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Title: Freiland: ein sociales Zukunftsbild. English - Freeland: A Social Anticipation
Author: Hertzka, Theodor, 1845-1924
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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FREELAND

A SOCIAL ANTICIPATION


BY


DR. THEODOR HERTZKA

TRANSLATED BY
ARTHUR RANSOM


1891



TRANSLATOR'S NOTE


This book contains a translation of _Freiland; ein sociales Zukunftsbild_,
by Dr. THEODOR HERTZKA, a Viennese economist. The first German edition
appeared early in 1890, and was rapidly followed by three editions in an
abridged form. This translation is made from the unabridged edition, with a
few emendations from the subsequent editions.

The author has long been known as an eminent representative of those
Austrian Economists who belong to what is known on the Continent as the
Manchester School as distinguished from the Historical School. In 1872 he
became economic editor of the _Neue Freie Presse_; and in 1874 he with
others founded the Society of Austrian National Economists. In 1880 he
published _Die Gesetze der Handels-und Sozialpolitik_; and in 1886 _Die
Gesetze der Sozialentwickelung_. At various times he has published works
which have made him an authority upon currency questions. In 1889 he
founded, and he still edits, the weekly _Zeitschrift für Staats-und
Volkswirthschaft_.

How the author was led to modify some of his earlier views will be found
detailed in the introduction of the present work.

The publication of _Freiland_ immediately called forth in Austria and
Germany a desire to put the author's views in practice. In many of the
larger towns and cities a number of persons belonging to all classes of
society organised local societies for this purpose, and these local
societies have now been united into an International Freeland Society. At
the first plenary meeting of the Vienna _Freilandverein_ in March last, it
was announced that a suitable tract of land in British East Africa, between
Mount Kenia and the coast, had already been placed at the disposal of the
Society; and a hope was expressed that the actual formation of a Freeland
Colony would not be long delayed. It is anticipated that the English
edition of _Freiland_ will bring a considerable number of English-speaking
members into the Society; and it is intended soon to make an application to
the British authorities for a guarantee of non-interference by the
Government with the development of Freeland institutions.

Any of the readers of this book who wish for further information concerning
the Freeland movement, may apply either to Dr. HERTZKA in Vienna, or to the
Translator.

A.R.

ST. LOYES, BEDFORD: _June_, 1891.



AUTHOR'S PREFACE


The economic and social order of the modern world exhibits a strange
enigma, which only a prosperous thoughtlessness can regard with
indifference or, indeed, without a shudder. We have made such splendid
advances in art and science that the unlimited forces of nature have been
brought into subjection, and only await our command to perform for us all
our disagreeable and onerous tasks, and to wring from the soil and prepare
for use whatever man, the master of the world, may need. As a consequence,
a moderate amount of labour ought to produce inexhaustible abundance for
everyone born of woman; and yet all these glorious achievements have
not--as Stuart Mill forcibly says--been able to mitigate one human woe.
And, what is more, the ever-increasing facility of producing an abundance
has proved a curse to multitudes who lack necessaries because there exists
no demand for the many good and useful things which they are able to
produce. The industrial activity of the present day is a ceaseless confused
struggle with the various symptoms of the dreadful evil known as
'over-production.' Protective duties, cartels and trusts, guild agitations,
strikes--all these are but the desperate resistance offered by the classes
engaged in production to the inexorable consequences of the apparently so
absurd, but none the less real, phenomenon that increasing facility in the
production of wealth brings ruin and misery in its train.

That science stands helpless and perplexed before this enigma, that no beam
of light has yet penetrated and dispelled the gloom of this--the
social--problem, though that problem has exercised the minds of the noblest
and best of to-day, is in part due to the fact that the solution has been
sought in a wrong direction.

Let us see, for example, what Stuart Mill says upon this subject: 'I looked
forward ... to a future' ... whose views (and institutions) ... shall be
'so firmly grounded in reason and in the true exigencies of life that they
shall not, like all former and present creeds, religious, ethical, and
political, require to be periodically thrown off and replaced by others.'
[Footnote: _Autobiography_, p. 166.]

Yet more plainly does Laveleye express himself in the same sense at the
close of his book 'De la Propriété': 'There is an order of human affairs
_which is the best ... God knows it and wills it_. Man must discover and
introduce it.'

It is therefore an _absolutely best, eternal order_ which both are waiting
for; although, when we look more closely, we find that both ought to know
they are striving after the impossible. For Mill, a few lines before the
above remarkable passage, points out that all human things are in a state
of constant flux; and upon this he bases his conviction that existing
institutions can be only transitory. Therefore, upon calm reflection, he
would be compelled to admit that the same would hold in the future, and
that consequently unchangeable human institutions will never exist. And
just so must we suppose that Laveleye, with his '_God_ knows it and wills
it,' would have to admit that it could _not_ be man's task either to
discover or to introduce the absolutely best order known only to God. He is
quite correct in saying that if there be really an absolutely best order,
God alone knows it; but since it cannot be the office of science to wait
upon Divine revelation, and since such an absolutely best order could be
introduced by God alone and not by men, and therefore the revelation of the
Divine will would not help us in the least, so it must logically follow,
from the admission that the knowing and the willing of the absolutely good
appertain to God, that man has not to strive after this absolutely good,
but after the _relatively best_, which alone is intelligible to and
attainable by him.

And thus it is in fact. The solution of the social problem is not to be
sought in the discovery of an _absolutely good_ order of society, but in
that of the _relatively best_--that is, of such an order of human
institutions as best corresponds to the contemporary conditions of human
existence. The existing arrangements of society call for improvement, not
because they are out of harmony with our longing for an absolutely good
state of things, but because it can be shown to be possible to replace them
by others more in accordance with the contemporary conditions of human
existence. Darwin's law of evolution in nature teaches us that when the
actual social arrangements have ceased to be the relatively best--that is,
those which best correspond to the contemporary conditions of human
existence--their abandonment is not only possible but simply inevitable.
For in the struggle for existence that which is out of date not only _may_
but _must_ give place to that which is more in harmony with the actual
conditions. And this law also teaches us that all the characters of any
organic being whatever are the results of that being's struggle for
existence in the conditions in which it finds itself. If, now, we bring
together these various hints offered us by the doctrine of evolution, we
see the following to be the only path along which the investigation of the
social problem can be pursued so as to reach the goal:

First, we must inquire and establish under what particular conditions of
existence the actual social arrangements were evolved.

Next we must find out whether these same conditions of existence still
subsist, or whether others have taken their place.

If others have taken their place, it must be clearly shown whether the new
conditions of existence are compatible with the old arrangements; and, if
not, what alterations of the latter are required.

The new arrangements thus discovered must and will contain that which we
are justified in looking for as the 'solution of the social problem.'

When I applied this strictly scientific method of investigation to the
social problem, I arrived four years ago at the following conclusions, to
the exposition of which I devoted my book on 'The Laws of Social
Evolution,' [Footnote: _Die Gesetze der Sozialentwickelung_ Leipzig, 1886.]
published at that time:

The actual social arrangements are the necessary result of the human
struggle for existence when the productiveness of labour was such that a
single worker could produce, by the labour of his own hands, more than was
indispensable to the sustenance of his animal nature, but not enough to
enable him to satisfy his higher needs. With only this moderate degree of
productiveness of labour, the exploitage of man by man was the only way by
which it was possible to ensure to _individuals_ wealth and leisure, those
fundamental essentials to higher culture. But as soon as the productiveness
of labour reaches the point at which it is sufficient to satisfy also the
highest requirements of every worker, the exploitage of man by man not only
ceases to be a necessity of civilisation, but becomes an obstacle to
further progress by hindering men from making full use of the industrial
capacity to which they have attained.

For, as under the domination of exploitage the masses have no right to more
of what they produce than is necessary for their bare subsistence, demand
is cramped by limitations which are quite independent of the possible
amount of production. Things for which there is no demand are valueless,
and therefore will not be produced; consequently, under the exploiting
system, society does not produce that amount of wealth which the progress
of science and technical art has made possible, but only that infinitely
smaller amount which suffices for the bare subsistence of the masses and
the luxury of the few. Society wishes to employ the whole of the surplus of
the productive power in the creation of instruments of labour--that is, it
wishes to convert it into capital; but this is impossible, since the
quantity of utilisable capital is strictly dependent upon the quantity of
commodities to be produced by the aid of this capital. The utilisation of
all the proceeds of such highly productive labour is therefore dependent
upon the creation of a new social order which shall guarantee to every
worker the enjoyment of the full proceeds of his own work. And since
impartial investigation further shows that this new order is not merely
indispensable to further progress in civilisation, but is also thoroughly
in harmony with the natural and acquired characteristics of human society,
and consequently is met by no inherent and permanent obstacle, it is
evident that in the natural process of human evolution this new order must
necessarily come into being.

When I placed this conclusion before the public four years ago, I assumed,
as something self-evident, that I was announcing a doctrine which was not
by any means an isolated novelty; and I distinctly said so in the preface
to the 'Laws of Social Evolution.' I fully understood that there must be
some connecting bridge between the so-called classical economics and the
newly discovered truths; and I was convinced that in a not distant future
either others or myself would discover this bridge. But in expounding the
consequences springing from the above-mentioned general principles, I at
first allowed an error to escape my notice. That ground-rent and
undertaker's profit--that is, the payment which the landowner demands for
the use of his land, and the claim of the so-called work-giver to the
produce of the worker's labour--are incompatible with the claim of the
worker to the produce of his own labour, and that consequently in the
course of social evolution ground-rent and undertaker's profit must become
obsolete and must be given up--this I perceived; but with respect to the
interest of capital I adhered to the classical-orthodox view that this was
a postulate of progress which would survive all the phases of evolution.

As palliation of my error I may mention that it was the opponents of
capital themselves--and Marx in particular--who confirmed me in it, or,
more correctly, who prevented me from distinctly perceiving the basis upon
which interest essentially rests. To tear oneself away from long-cherished
views is in itself extremely difficult; and when, moreover, the men who
attack the old views base their attack point after point upon error, it
becomes only too easy to mistake the weakness of the attack for
impregnability in the thing attacked. Thus it happened with me. Because I
saw that what had been hitherto advanced against capital and interest was
altogether untenable, I felt myself absolved from the task of again and
independently inquiring whether there were no better, no really valid,
arguments against the absolute and permanent necessity of interest. Thus,
though interest is, in reality, as little compatible with associated labour
carried on upon the principle of perfect economic justice as are
ground-rent and the undertaker's profit, I was prevented by this
fundamental error from arriving at satisfactory views concerning the
constitution and character of the future forms of organisation based upon
the principle of free organisation. _That_ and _wherefore_ economic freedom
and justice must eventually be practically realised, I had shown; on the
other hand, _how_ this phase of evolution was to be brought about I was not
able to make fully clear. Yet I did not ascribe this inability to any error
of mine in thinking the subject out, but believed it to reside in the
nature of the subject itself. I reasoned that institutions the practical
shaping of which belongs to the future could not be known in detail before
they were evolved. Just as those former generations, which knew nothing of
the modern joint-stock company, could not possibly form an exact and
perfect idea of the nature and working of this institution even if they had
conceived the principle upon which it is based, so I held it to be
impossible to-day to possess a clear and connected idea of those future
economic forms which cannot be evolved until the principle of the free
association of labour has found its practical realisation.

I was slow in discovering the above-mentioned connection of my doctrine of
social evolution with the orthodox system of economy. The most
clear-sighted minds of three centuries have been at work upon that system;
and if a new doctrine is to win acceptance, it is absolutely necessary that
its propounder should not merely refute the old doctrine and expose its
errors, but should trace back and lay open to its remotest source the
particular process of thought which led these heroes of our science into
their errors. It is not enough to show _that_ and _wherefore_ their theses
were false; it must also be made clear _how_ and _wherefore_ those thinkers
arrived at their false theses, what it was that forced them--despite all
their sagacity--to hold such theses as correct though they are simply
absurd when viewed in the light of truth. I pondered in vain over this
enigma, until suddenly, like a ray of sunlight, there shot into the
darkness of my doubt the discovery that in its essence my work was nothing
but the necessary outcome of what others had achieved--that my theory was
in no way out of harmony with the numerous theories of my predecessors, but
that rather, when thoroughly understood, it was the very truth after which
all the other economists had been searching, and upon the track of
which--and this I held to be decisive--I had been thrown, not by my own
sagacity, but solely by the mental labours of my great predecessors. In
other words, _the solution of the social problem offered by me is the very
solution of the economic problem which the science of political economy has
been incessantly seeking from its first rise down to the present day_.

But, I hear it asked, does political economy possess such a problem--one
whose solution it has merely attempted but not arrived at? For it is
remarkable that in our science the widest diversity of opinions co-exists
with the most dogmatic orthodoxy. Very few draw from the existence of the
numberless antagonistic opinions the self-evident conclusion that those
opinions are erroneous, or at least unproved; and none are willing to admit
that--like their opponents--they are merely seeking the truth, and are not
in possession of it. So prevalent is this tenacity of opinion which puts
faith in the place of knowledge that the fact that every science owes its
origin to a problem is altogether forgotten. This problem may afterwards
find its solution, and therewith the science will have achieved its
purpose; but without a problem there is no investigation--consequently,
though there may be knowledge, there will be no science. Clear and simple
cognisances do not stimulate the human mind to that painstaking,
comprehensive effort which is the necessary antecedent of science; in
brief, a science can arise only when things are under consideration which
are not intelligible directly and without profound reflection--things,
therefore, which contain a problem.

Thus, political economy must have had its problem, its enigma, out of the
attempts to solve which it had its rise. This problem is nothing else but
the question '_Why do we not become richer in proportion to our increasing
capacity of producing wealth?_' To this question a satisfactory answer can
no more be given to-day than could be given three centuries ago--at the
time, that is, when the problem first arose in view, not of a previously
existing phenomenon to which the human mind had then had its attention
drawn for the first time, but of a phenomenon which was then making its
first appearance.

With unimportant and transient exceptions (which, it may be incidentally
remarked, are easily explicable from what follows) antiquity and the Middle
Ages had no political economy. This was not because the men of those times
were not sharp-sighted enough to discover the sources of wealth, but
because to them there was nothing enigmatical about those sources of
wealth. The nations became richer the more progress they made in the art of
producing; and this was so self-evident and clear that, very rightly, no
one thought it necessary to waste words about it. It was not until the end
of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth centuries of our era,
therefore scarcely three hundred years ago, that political economy as a
distinct science arose.

It is impossible for the unprejudiced eye to escape seeing what the first
political economists sought for--what the problem was with which they
busied themselves. They stood face to face with the enigmatical fact that
increasing capacity of production is not necessarily accompanied or
followed by an increase of wealth; and they sought to explain this fact.
Why this remarkable fact then first made its appearance will be clearly
seen from what follows; it is unquestionable _that_ it then appeared, for
the whole system of these first political economists, the so-called
Mercantilists, had no other aim than to demonstrate that the increase of
wealth depends not, as everybody had until then very naturally believed,
upon increasing productiveness of labour, but upon something else, that
something else being, in the opinion of the Mercantilists, money.
Notwithstanding what may be called the tangible absurdity of this doctrine,
it remained unquestioned for generations; nay, to be candid, most men still
cling to it--a fact which would be inconceivable did not the doctrine offer
a very simple and plausible explanation of the enigmatical phenomenon that
increasing capacity of production does not necessarily bring with it a
corresponding increase of wealth.

But it is equally impossible for the inquiring human mind to remain
permanently blind to the fact that money and wealth are two very different
things, and that therefore some other solution must be looked for of the
problem, the existence of which is not to be denied. The Physiocrats found
this second explanation in the assertion that the soil was the source and
origin of all wealth, whilst human labour, however highly developed it
might be, could add nothing to what was drawn from the soil, because labour
itself consumed what it produced. This may look like the first application
of the subsequently discovered natural law of the conservation of force;
and--notwithstanding its obvious absurdity--it was seriously believed in
because it professed to explain what seemed otherwise inexplicable. Between
the labourer's means of subsistence, the amount of labour employed, and the
product, there is by no means that quantitative relation which is to be
found in the conversion of one physical force into another. Human labour
produces more or less in proportion as it is better or worse applied; for
production does not consist in converting labour into things that have a
value, but in using labour to produce such things out of natural objects. A
child can understand this, yet the acutest thinkers of the eighteenth
century denied it with the approval of the best of their contemporaries and
of not the worst of their epigones, because they could not otherwise
explain the strange problem of human economics.

Then arose that giant of our science, one of the greatest minds of which
humanity can boast--Adam Smith. He restored the ancient wisdom of our
ancestors, and also clearly and irrefutably demonstrated what they had only
instinctively recognised--namely, that the increase of wealth depends upon
the productiveness of human labour. But while he threw round this truth the
enduring ramparts of his logic and of his sound understanding, he
altogether failed to see that the actual facts directly contradicted his
doctrine. He saw that wealth did _not_ increase step by step with the
increased productiveness of labour; but he believed he had discovered the
cause of this in the mercantilistic and physiocratic sins of the past. In
his day the historical sense was not sufficiently developed to save him
from the error of confounding the--erroneous--explanations of an existing
evil with its causes. Hence he believed that the course of economic events
would necessarily correspond fully with the restored laws of a sound
understanding--that is, that wealth would necessarily increase step by step
with the capacity of producing it, if only production were freed from the
legislative restraints and fiscal fetters which cramped it.

But even this delusion could not long prevail. Ricardo was the first of the
moderns who perceived that wealth did not increase in proportion to
industrial capacity, even when production and trade were, as Smith
demanded, freed from State interference and injury. He hit upon the
expedient of finding the cause of this incongruity in the nature of labour
itself. Since labour is the only source of value, he said, it cannot
increase value. A thing is worth as much as the quantity of labour put into
it; consequently, when with increasing productiveness of labour the amount
of labour necessary to the production of a thing is diminished, then the
value of that thing diminishes also. Hence no increase in the
productiveness of labour can increase the total sum of values. This,
however, is a fundamental mistake, for what depends upon the amount of
labour is merely the _relative_ value of things--the exchange relation in
which they stand to other things. This is so self-evident that Ricardo
himself cannot avoid expressly stating that he is speaking of merely the
'relative' value of things; nevertheless, this relative value--which,
strictly speaking, is nothing but a value relation, the relation of
values--is treated by him as if it were absolute value.

And yet Ricardo's error is a not less important step in the evolution of
doctrine than those of his previously mentioned predecessors. It signifies
the revival of the original problem of political economy, which had been
lost sight of since Adam Smith; and Ricardo's follower, Marx, is in a
certain sense right when, with bitter scorn, he denounces as 'vulgar
economists' those who, persistently clinging to Smith's optimism, see in
the _productiveness_ of labour the measure of the increase of _actual_
wealth. For all that was brought against Ricardo by his opponents was known
by him as well as or better than by them; only he knew what had escaped
their notice, or what they saw no obligation to take note of in their
theory--namely, that the actual facts directly contradicted the doctrine.
It by no means escaped Ricardo that his attempted reconciliation of the
theory with the great problem of economics was absurd; and Marx has most
clearly shown the absurdity of it. The latter speaks of the alleged
dependence of value, not upon the productiveness of labour, but upon the
effort put forth by the labourer, as the 'fetishism' of industry; this
relation, being unnatural, contrary to the nature of things, ought
therefore--and this, again, is Marx's contribution to the progress of the
science--to be referred back to an unnatural ultimate cause residing, not
in the nature of things, but in human arrangements. And in looking for this
ultimate cause, he, like his great predecessors, comes extremely near to
the truth, but, after all, glides past without seeing it.

On this road, which leads to truth past so many errors, the last stage is
the hypothesis set up by the so-called Historical School of political
economy--the hypothesis, namely, that there exists in the nature of things
a gulf between economic theory and practice, which makes it quite
conceivable that the principles that are correct _in thesi_ do not coincide
with the real course of industrial life. The existence of the problem is
thereby more fully established than ever, but its solution is placed
outside of the domain of theoretical cognisance. For the Historical School
is perfectly correct in maintaining that the abstractions of the current
economic doctrine are practically useless, and that this is true not only
of some of them, but of all. The real human economy does _not_ obey those
laws which the theorists have abstractedly deduced from economic phenomena.
Hence it is only possible either that the human economy is by its very
nature unfitted to become the object of scientific abstraction and
cognisance, or that the abstractions hitherto made have been
erroneous--erroneous, that is, not in the sense of being actually out of
harmony with phenomena from which they are correctly and logically deduced,
but in the sense of being theoretically erroneous, deduced according to
wrong principles, and therefore useless both _in abstracto_ and _in
concreto_.

Of these alternatives only the second can, in reality, be correct. There is
absolutely no reasonable ground for supposing that the laws which regulate
the economic activity of men should be beyond human cognisance; and still
less ground is there for assuming that such laws do not exist at all. We
must therefore suppose that the science which seeks to discover these laws
has hitherto failed to attain its object simply because it has been upon
the wrong road--that is, that the principles of political economy are
erroneous because, in deducing them from the economic phenomena, some fact
has been overlooked, some mistake in reasoning has been committed. There
_must_ be a correct solution of the problem of political economy; and the
solution of the social problem derived from the theory of social evolution
offers at once the key to the other.

The correct answer to the question, 'Why are we not richer in proportion to
the increase in our productive capacity?' is this: _Because wealth does not
consist in what can be produced, but in what is actually produced; the
actual production, however, depends not merely upon the amount of
productive power, but also upon the extent of what is required, not merely
upon the possible supply, but also upon the possible demand: the current
social arrangements, however, prevent the demand from increasing to the
same extent as the productive capacity._ In other words: We do not produce
that wealth which our present capacity makes it possible for us to produce,
but only so much as we have use for; and this use depends, not upon our
capacity of producing, but upon our capacity of consuming.

It is now plain why the economic problem of the disparity between the
possible and the actual increase of wealth is of so comparatively recent a
date. Antiquity and the middle ages knew nothing of this problem, because
human labour was not then productive enough to do more than provide and
maintain the means of production after covering the consumption of the
masses and the possessors of property. There was in those ages a demand for
all the things which labour was then able to produce; full employment could
be made of any increase of capacity to create wealth; no one could for a
moment be in doubt as to the purpose which the increased power of producing
had served; there was no economic problem to call into existence a special
science of political economy. Then came the Renaissance; the human mind
awoke out of its thousand years of hibernation; the great inventions and
discoveries rapidly followed one upon another; division of labour and the
mobilisation of capital gave a powerful impulse to production; and now, for
the first time, the productiveness of labour became so great, and the
impossibility of using as much as labour could produce became so evident,
that men were compelled to face the perplexing fact which finds expression
in the economic problem.

That three centuries should have had to elapse before the solution could be
found, is in perfect harmony with the other fact that it was reserved for
these last generations to give us complete control over the forces of
nature, and to render it possible for us to _make use_ of the knowledge we
have acquired. For so long as human production was in the main dependent
upon the capacity and strength of human muscles, aided by the muscles of a
few domestic animals, more might certainly be produced than would be
consumed by the luxury of a few after the bare subsistence of the masses
had been provided for; but to afford to _all_ men an abundance without
excessive labour needed the results of the substitution of the
inexhaustible forces of nature for muscular energy. Until this substitution
had become possible, it would have availed mankind little to have attained
to a knowledge of the ultimate ground of the hindrance to the full
utilisation of the then existing powers of production.

For in order that the exploitage of man by man might be put an end to, it
was necessary that the amount of producible wealth should not merely exceed
the consumption of the few wealthy persons, but should be sufficient to
satisfy the higher human needs of all. Economic equity, if it is not to
bring about a stagnation in civilisation, assumes that the man who has to
depend upon the earnings of his own labour is in a position to enjoy a
considerable amount of wealth at the cost of moderate effort. This has
become possible only during the last few generations; and herein is to be
sought the reason why the great economists of the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries were not able to rise to an unprejudiced critical
examination of the true nature and the necessary consequences of the
exploiting system of industry. _They_ were compelled to regard exploitage
as a cruel but eternally unavoidable condition of the progress of
civilisation; for when they lived it was and it always had been a necessity
of civilisation, and they could not justly be expected to anticipate such a
fundamental revolution in the conditions of human existence as must
necessarily precede the passage from exploitage to economic equity.

So long as the exploitage of man by man was considered a necessary and
eternal institution, there existed no motive to prompt men to subject it to
a closer critical investigation; and in the absence of such an
investigation its influence upon the nature and extent of demand could not
be discovered. The old economists were therefore _compelled_ to believe it
chimerical to think of demand as falling short of production; for they
said, quite correctly, that man produces only to consume. Here, with them,
the question of demand was done with, and every possibility of the
discovery of the true connection cut off. Their successors, on the other
hand, who have all been witnesses of the undreamt-of increase of the
productiveness of labour, have hitherto been prevented, by their otherwise
well-justified respect for the authority of the founders of our science,
from adequately estimating the economic importance of this revolution in
the conditions of labour. The classical system of economics is based upon a
conception of the world which takes in all the affairs of life, is
self-consistent, and is supported by all the past teachings of the great
forms of civilisation; and if we would estimate the enormous force with
which this doctrine holds us bound, we must remember that even those who
were the first to recognise its incongruity with existing facts were unable
to free themselves from its power. They persisted in believing in it,
though they perceived its incompatibility with the facts, and knew
therefore that it was false.

This glance at the historical evolution of economic doctrine opens the way
to the rectification of all the errors of which the different schools of
political economy have--even in their quest after truth--been guilty. It is
seen that the great inquirers and thinkers of past centuries, in their vast
work of investigation and analysis of economic facts, approached so very
near to the full and complete cognisance of the true connection of all
phenomena, that it needed but a little more labour in order to construct a
thoroughly harmonious definitive economic theory based upon the solution,
at last discovered, of the long vexed problem.

I zealously threw myself into this task, and had proceeded with it a
considerable way--to the close of a thick first volume, containing a new
treatment of the theory of value; but when at work on the classical theory
of capital, I made a discovery which at once threw a ray of light into the
obscurity that had until then made the practical realisation of the forms
of social organisation impossible. _I perceived that capitalism stops the
growth of wealth, not_--as Marx has it--_by stimulating 'production for the
market,' but by preventing the consumption of the surplus produce; and that
interest, though not unjust, will nevertheless in a condition of economic
justice become superfluous and objectless._ These two fundamental truths
will be found treated in detail in chapters xxiv. and xviii.; but I cannot
refrain here from doing justice to the manes of Marx, by acknowledging
unreservedly his service in having been the first to proclaim--though he
misunderstood it and argued illogically--the connection between the problem
of value and modern capitalism.

I consider the theoretical and practical importance of these new truths to
be incalculable. Not merely do they at once give to the theory of social
evolution the unity and harmony of a definitive whole, but, what is more,
they show the way to an immediate practical realisation of the principles
formulated by this theory. If it is possible for the community to provide
the capital for production with out thereby doing injury to either the
principle of perfect individual freedom or to that of justice, _if interest
can be dispensed with without introducing communistic control in its stead,
then there no longer stands any positive obstacle in the way of the
establishment of the free social order_.

My intense delight at making this discovery robbed me of the calm necessary
to the prosecution of the abstract investigations upon which I was engaged.
Before my mind's eye arose scenes which the reader will find in the
following pages--tangible, living pictures of a commonwealth based upon the
most perfect freedom and equity, and which needs nothing to convert it into
a reality but the will of a number of resolute men. It happened to me as it
may have happened to Bacon of Verulam when his studies for the 'Novum
Organon' were interrupted by the vision of his 'Nova Atlantis'--with this
difference, however, that his prophetic glance saw the land of social
freedom and justice when centuries of bondage still separated him from it,
whilst I see it when mankind is already actually equipped ready to step
over its threshold. Like him, I felt an irresistible impulse vividly to
depict what agitated my mind. Thus, putting aside for awhile the abstract
and systematic treatise which I had begun, I wrote this book, which can
justly be called 'a political romance,' though it differs from all its
predecessors of that category in introducing no unknown and mysterious
human powers and characteristics, but throughout keeps to the firm ground
of the soberest reality. The scene of the occurrences described by me is no
imaginary fairy-land, but a part of our planet well-known to modern
geography, which I describe exactly as its discoverers and explorers have
done. The men who appear in my narrative are endowed with no supernatural
properties and virtues, but are spirit of our spirit, flesh of our flesh;
and the motive prompting their economic activity is neither public spirit
nor universal philanthropy, but an ordinary and commonplace self-interest.
Everything in my 'Freeland' is severely real, only one fiction underlies
the whole narrative, namely, that a sufficient number of men possessing a
modicum of capacity and strength have actually been found ready to take the
step that shall deliver them from the bondage of the exploiting system of
economics, and conduct them into the enjoyment of a system of social equity
and freedom. Let this one assumption be but realised--and that it will be,
sooner or later, I have no doubt, though perhaps not exactly as I have
represented--then will 'Freeland' have become a reality, and the
deliverance of mankind will have been accomplished. For the age of bondage
is past; that control over the forces of nature which the founder of modern
natural science, in his 'Nova Atlantis,' predicted as the end of human
misery has now been actually acquired. We are prevented from enjoying the
fruits of this acquisition, from making full use of the discoveries and
inventions of the great intellects of our race, by nothing but the
phlegmatic faculty of persistence in old habits which still keeps laws and
institutions in force when the conditions that gave rise to them have long
since disappeared.

As this book professes to offer, in narrative form, a picture of the actual
social life of the future, it follows as a matter of course that it will be
exposed, in all its essential features, to the severest professional
criticism. To this criticism I submit it, with this observation, that, if
my work is to be regarded as a failure, or as the offspring of frivolous
fancy, it must be demonstrated that men gifted with a normal average
understanding would in any material point arrive at results other than
those described by me if they were organised according to the principles
which I have expounded; or that those principles contain anything which a
sound understanding would not accept as a self-evident postulate of justice
as well as of an enlightened self-interest.

I do not imagine that the establishment of the future social order must
necessarily be effected exactly in the way described in the following
pages. But I certainly think that this would be the best and the simplest
way, because it would most speedily and easily lead to the desired result.
If economic freedom and justice are to obtain in human society, they must
be seriously _determined upon_; and it seems easier to unite a few
thousands in such a determination than numberless millions, most of whom
are not accustomed to accept the new--let it be ever so clear and
self-evident--until it has been embodied in fact.

Nor would I be understood to mean that, supposing there could be found a
sufficient number of resolute men to carry out the work of social
emancipation, Equatorial Africa must be chosen as the scene of the
undertaking. I was led, by reasons stated in the book, to fix upon the
remarkable hill country of Central Africa; but similar results could be
achieved in many other parts of our planet. I must ask the reader to
believe that, in making choice of the scene, I was not influenced by a
desire to give the reins to my fancy; on the contrary, the descriptions of
the little-known mountains and lakes of Central Africa adhere in all points
to sober reality. Any one who doubts this may compare my narrative with the
accounts given by Speke, Grant, Livingstone, Baker, Stanley, Emin Pacha,
Thomson, Johnston, Fischer--in short, by all who have visited these
paradisiacal regions.

Just a few words in conclusion, in justification of the romantic
accessories introduced into the exposition of so serious a subject. I might
appeal to the example of my illustrious predecessors, of whom I have
already mentioned Bacon, the clearest, the acutest, the soberest thinker of
all times. But I feel bound to confess that I had a double purpose. In the
first place, I hoped by means of vivid and striking pictures to make the
difficult questions which form the essential theme of the book acceptable
to a wider circle of readers than I could have expected to reach by a dry
systematic treatment. In the second place, I wished, by means of the
concrete form thus given to a part of my abstractions, to refute by
anticipation the criticism that those abstractions, though correct _in
thesi_, were nevertheless inapplicable _in praxi_. Whether I have succeeded
in these two objects remains to be proved.

THEODOR HERTZKA.

VIENNA: _October_ 1889.



FREELAND

A SOCIAL ANTICIPATION



_BOOK I_



CHAPTER I


In July 18 ... the following appeared in the leading journals of Europe and
America:

'INTERNATIONAL FREE SOCIETY'

'A number of men from all parts of the civilised world have united for the
purpose of making a practical attempt to solve the social problem.

'They seek this solution in the establishment of a community on the basis
of perfect liberty and economic justice--that is, of a community which,
while it preserves the unqualified right of every individual to control his
own actions, secures to every worker the full and uncurtailed enjoyment of
the fruits of his labour.

'For the site of such a community a large tract of land shall be procured
in a territory at present unappropriated, but fertile and well adapted for
colonisation.

'The Free Society shall recognise no exclusive right of property in the
land occupied by them, either on the part of an individual or of the
collective community.

'For the cultivation of the land, as well as for productive purposes
generally, self-governing associations shall be formed, each of which shall
share its profits among its members in proportion to their several
contributions to the common labour of the association. Anyone shall have
the right to belong to any association and to leave it when he pleases.

'The capital for production shall be furnished to the producers without
interest out of the revenue of the community, but it must be re-imbursed by
the producers.

'All persons who are incapable of labour, and women, shall have a right to
a competent allowance for maintenance out of the revenue of the community.

'The public revenue necessary for the above purposes, as well as for other
public expenses, shall be provided by a tax levied upon the net income of
the total production.

'The International Free Society already possesses a number of members and
an amount of capital sufficient for the commencement of its work upon a
moderate scale. As, however, it is thought, on the one hand, that the
Society's success will necessarily be in proportion to the amount of means
at its disposal, and, on the other hand, that opportunity should be given
to others who may sympathise with the movement to join in the undertaking,
the Society hereby announces that inquiries or communications of any kind
may be addressed to the office of the Society at the Hague. The
International Free Society will hold a public meeting at the Hague, on the
20th of October next, at which the definitive resolutions prior to the
beginning of the work will be passed.

'For the Executive Committee of the International Free Society,

'KARL STRAHL.

'THE HAGUE, _July_ 18 ...'

This announcement produced no little sensation throughout the world. Any
suspicion of mystification or of fraud was averted by the name of the
acting representative of the Executive Committee. Dr. Strahl was not merely
a man of good social position, but was widely known as one of the first
political economists of Germany. The strange project, therefore, could not
but be seriously received, and the journals of the most diverse party
tendencies at once gave it their fullest attention.

Long before the 20th of October there was not a journal on either side of
the Atlantic which had not assumed a definite attitude towards the question
whether the realisation of the plans of the Free Society belonged to the
domain of the possible or to that of the Utopian. The Society itself,
however, kept aloof from the battle of the journals. It was evidently not
the intention of the Society to win over its opponents by theoretical
evidence; it would attract to itself voluntary sympathisers and then
proceed to action.

As the 20th of October drew near, it became evident that the largest public
hall in the Hague would not accommodate the number of members, guests, and
persons moved by curiosity who wished to attend. Hence it was found
necessary to limit the number of at least the last category of the
audience; and this was done by admitting gratis the guests who came from a
distance, while those who belonged to the place were charged twenty Dutch
guldens. (The proceeds of these tickets were given to the local hospital.)
Nevertheless, on the morning of the 20th of October the place of
assembly--capable of seating two thousand persons--was filled to the last
corner.

Amid the breathless attention of the audience, the President--Dr.
Strahl--rose to open the meeting. The unexpectedly large number of fresh
members and the large amount of contributions which had been received
showed that, even before facts had had time to speak, the importance of the
projected undertaking of the International Free Society was fully
recognised by thousands in all parts of the habitable globe without
distinction of sex or of condition. 'The conviction that the community to
the establishment of which we are about to proceed'--thus began the
speaker--'is destined to attack poverty and misery at the root, and
together with these to annihilate all that wretchedness and all those vices
which are to be regarded as the evil results of misery--this conviction
finds expression not simply in the words, but also in the actions, of the
greater part of our members, in the lofty self-denying enthusiasm with
which they--each one according to his power--have contributed towards the
realisation of the common aim. When we sent out our appeal we numbered but
eighty-four, the funds at our disposal amounted to only 11,400£; to-day the
Society consists of 5,650 members, and its funds amount to 205,620£.' (Here
the speaker was interrupted by applause that lasted several minutes.) 'Of
course, such a sum could not have been collected from only those most
wretched of the wretched whom we are accustomed to think of as exclusively
interested in the solution of the social problem. This will be still more
evident when the list of our members is examined in detail. That list
shows, with irresistible force, that disgust and horror at the social
condition of the people have by degrees taken possession of even those who
apparently derive benefit from the privations of their disinherited
fellow-men. For--and I would lay special emphasis upon this--those
well-to-do and rich persons, some of whose names appear as contributors of
thousands of pounds to our funds, have with few exceptions joined us not
merely as helpers, but also as seekers of help; they wish to found the new
community not merely for their suffering brethren, but also for themselves.
And from this, more than from anything else, do we derive our firm
conviction of the success of our work.'

Long-continued and enthusiastic applause again interrupted the President.
When quiet was once more restored, Dr. Strahl thus concluded his short
address:

'In carrying out our programme, a hitherto unappropriated large tract of
land will have to be acquired for the founding of an independent community.
The question now is, what part of the earth shall we choose for such a
purpose? For obvious reasons we cannot look for territory to any part of
Europe; and everywhere in Asia, at least in those parts in which Caucasian
races could flourish, we should be continually coming into collision with
ancient forms of law and society. We might expect that the several
governments in America and Australia would readily grant us land and
freedom of action; but even there our young community would scarcely be
able to enjoy that undisturbed quiet and security against antagonistic
interference which would be at first a necessary condition of rapid and
uninterrupted success. Thus there remains only Africa, the oldest yet the
last-explored part of the world. The equatorial portion of its interior is
virtually unappropriated; we find there not merely the practically
unlimited extent and absence of disturbing influences necessary for our
development, but--if the selection be wisely made--the most favourable
conditions of climate and soil imaginable. Vast highlands, which unite in
themselves the advantages of the tropics and of our Alpine regions, there
await settlement. Communication with these hilly districts situated far in
the interior of the Dark Continent is certainly difficult; but that is a
condition necessary to us at first. We therefore propose to you that we
should fix our new home in the interior of Equatorial Africa. And we are
thinking particularly of the mountain district of Kenia, the territory to
the east of the Victoria Nyanza, between latitude 1° S. and 1° N., and
longitude 34°-88° E. It is there that we expect to find the most suitable
district for our purpose. Does the meeting approve of this choice?'

Unanimous assent was expressed, and loud cries were enthusiastically
uttered of 'Forwards! To-day rather than to-morrow!' It was unmistakably
evident that the majority wished to make a beginning at once. The President
then resumed:

'Such haste is not practicable, my friends. The new home must first be
found and acquired; and that is a difficult and dangerous undertaking. The
way leads through deserts and inhospitable forests; conflicts with inimical
wild races will probably be inevitable; and all this demands strong
men--not women, children, and old men. The provisioning and protection of
an emigrant train of many thousand persons through such regions must be
organised. In short, it is absolutely necessary that a number of selected
pioneers should precede the general company. When the pioneers have
accomplished their task, the rest can follow.

'To make all requisite provision with the greatest possible vigour,
foresight, and speed, the directorate must be harmonious and fully informed
as to our aims. Hitherto the business of the Society has been in the hands
of a committee of ten; but as the membership has so largely increased, and
will increase still more largely, it might appear desirable to elect a
fresh executive, or at least to add to the numbers of the present one from
the new members. Yet we cannot recommend you to adopt such a course, for
the reason that the new members do not know each other, and could not
become sufficiently well acquainted with each other soon enough to prevent
the election from being anything but a game of chance. We rather ask from
you a confirmation of our authority, with the power of increasing our
numbers by co-option from among you as our judgment may suggest. And we ask
for this authorisation--which can be at any time withdrawn by your
resolution in a full meeting--for the period of two years. At the
expiration of this period we shall--we are fully convinced--not only have
fixed upon a new home, but have lived in it long enough to have learnt a
great deal about it.'

This proposition was unanimously adopted.

The President announced that all the communications of the executive
committee to the members would be published both in the newspapers and by
means of circulars. He then closed the meeting, which broke up in the
highest spirits.

The first act of the executive committee was to appoint two persons with
full powers to organise and take command of the pioneer expedition to
Central Africa. These two leaders of the expedition were so to divide their
duties that one of them was to organise and command the expedition until a
suitable territory was selected and occupied, and the other was to take in
hand the organisation of the colony. The one was to be, as it were, the
conductor, and the other the statesman of the expeditionary corps. For the
former duty the committee chose the well-known African traveller Thomas
Johnston, who had repeatedly traversed the region between Kilimanjaro and
Kenia, the so-called Masailand. Johnston was a junior member of the
Society, and was co-opted upon the committee upon his nomination as leader
of the pioneer expedition. To take charge of the expedition after its
arrival at the locality chosen, the committee nominated a young engineer,
Henry Ney, who, as the most intimate friend of the founder and intellectual
leader of the Society--Dr. Strahl--was held to be the most fitting person
to represent him during the first period of the founding of the community.

Dr. Strahl himself originally intended to accompany the pioneers and
personally to direct the first work of organisation in the new home, but
the other members of the committee urged strong objections. They could not
permit the man upon whose further labours the prosperous development of the
Society so largely depended to expose himself to dangers from which he was
the more likely to suffer harm because his health was delicate. And, after
mature reflection, he himself admitted that for the next few months his
presence would be more needed in Europe than in Central Africa. In a word,
Dr. Strahl consented to wait and to follow the pioneers with the main body
of members; and Henry Ney went with the expedition as his substitute.



CHAPTER II


The account--contained in this and the next five chapters--of the
preparations for and the successful completion of the African expedition,
as well as of the initial work of settling and cultivating the highlands of
Kenia, is taken from the journal of Dr. Strahl's friend:

My appointment as provisional substitute for our revered leader at first
filled me with alarm. The reflection that upon me depended in no small
degree the successful commencement of a work which we all had come to
regard as the most important and far-reaching in its consequences of any in
the history of human development, produced in me a sensation of giddiness.
But my despondency did not last long. I had no right to refuse a
responsibility which my colleagues had declared me to be the most fitted to
bear; and when my fatherly friend Strahl asked me whether I thought failure
possible on the supposition that those who were committed to my leadership
were fired with the same zeal as myself, and whether I had any reason to
question this supposition, then my courage revived, and in place of my
previous timidity I felt an unshakable conviction of the success of the
work, a conviction which I never lost for a moment.

The preparatory measures for the organisation of the pioneer expedition
were discussed and decided upon by the whole committee of the International
Free Society. The first thing to determine was the number of the
expedition. The expedition must not be too small, since the race among whom
we proposed to settle--the nomadic Masai, between the Kilima and the Kenia
mountains--was the most warlike in Equatorial Africa, and could be kept in
check only by presenting a strong and imposing appearance. On the other
hand, if the expedition were too numerous it would be exposed to the risk
of being hampered by the difficulty of obtaining supplies. It was
unanimously agreed to fix the number of pioneers at two hundred of the
sturdiest members of the Society, the best able to endure fatigue and
privation and to face danger, and every one of whom gave evidence of
possessing that degree of general intelligence which would qualify him to
assume, in case of need, the whole responsibility of the mission.

In pursuance of this resolve, the committee applied to the branch
associations--which had been formed wherever members of the Society
lived--for lists of those persons willing to join the expedition, to whose
health, vigorous constitution, and intelligence the respective branch
associations could certify. At the same time a full statement was to be
sent of the special knowledge, experience, and capabilities of the several
candidates. In the course of a few weeks offers were received from 870
strongly recommended members. Of these a hundred, whose qualifications
appeared to the committee to be in all points eminently satisfactory, were
at once chosen. This select hundred included four naturalists (two of whom
were geologists), three physicians, eight engineers, four representatives
of other branches of technical knowledge, and six scientifically trained
agriculturists and foresters; further, thirty artisans such as would make
the expedition able to meet all emergencies; and, finally, forty-five men
who were exceptionally good marksmen or remarkable for physical strength.
The selection of the other hundred pioneers was entrusted to the branch
associations, which were to choose one pioneer out of every seven or eight
of those whose names they had sent. The chosen men were asked to meet as
speedily as possible in Alexandria, which was fixed upon as the provisional
rendezvous of the expedition; money for their travelling expenses was
voted--which, it may be noted in passing, was declined with thanks by about
half of the pioneers.

Thus passed the month of November. In the meantime the committee had not
been idle. The equipment of the expedition was fully and exhaustively
discussed, the details decided upon, and all requisites carefully provided.
Each of the two hundred members was furnished with six complete sets of
underclothing of light elastic woollen material--the so-called Jäger
clothing; a lighter and a heavier woollen outer suit; two pair of
waterproof and two pair of lighter boots; two cork helmets, and one
waterproof overcoat. In weapons every member received a repeating-rifle of
the best construction for twelve shots, a pocket revolver, and an American
bowie-knife. In addition, there were provided a hundred sporting guns of
different calibres, from the elephant-guns, which shot two-ounce explosive
bullets, to the lightest fowling-pieces; and of course the necessary
ammunition was not forgotten.

At this point the weightiest questions for discussion were whether the
expedition should be a mounted one, and whether the baggage should be
transported from the Zanzibar coast by porters, called _pagazis_, or by
beasts of burden. Johnston's first intention was to purchase only eighty
horses and asses for the conveyance of the heavier baggage, and for the use
of any who might be sick or fatigued; and to hire 800 _pagazis_ in Zanzibar
and Mombasa as porters of the remainder of the baggage, which he estimated
at about 400 cwt. But he gave up this plan at once when he discovered what
my requirements were. He had made provision merely for six months'
maintenance of the expedition, and for articles of barter with the natives.
I required, above all, that the expedition should take with it implements,
machinery (in parts), and such other things as would place us in a
position, when we had arrived at our goal, as speedily as possible to begin
a rational system of agriculture and to engage in the production of what
would be necessary for the use of the many thousand colonists who would
follow us. We needed a number of agricultural implements, or, at least, of
those parts of them which could not be manufactured without complicated and
tedious preparation; similar materials for a field-forge and smithy, as
well as for a flour-mill and a saw-mill; further, seeds of all kinds and
saplings in large quantities, as well as many materials which we could not
reckon upon being able to produce at once in the interior of Africa.
Finally, I pointed out that, in order to make the way safe for the caravans
that would follow us, it would be advisable to form friendly alliances,
particularly with the warlike Masai, for which purpose larger and more
valuable stores of presents would be required than had been provided.

Johnston made no objection to all this. He estimated that the necessary
amount of baggage would thus be doubled, perhaps trebled, and that the
1,600 or 2,400 _pagazis_ that would be required would make the expedition
too cumbrous. Dr. Strahl proposed that transportation by _pagazis_ should
be relinquished altogether, and that beasts of burden should be used
exclusively. He knew well that in the low lands of Equatorial Africa the
tsetse-fly and the bad water were particularly fatal to horses; but these
difficulties were not to be anticipated on our route, which would soon take
us to the high land where the animals would be safe. And the difficulty due
to the peculiar character of the roads in Central Africa could be easily
overcome. These roads possess--as he had learnt from Johnston's
descriptions, among others--where they pass through thickets or bush, a
breadth of scarcely two feet, and are too narrow for pack-horses, which
have often to be unloaded at such places, and the transportation of the
luggage has to be effected by porters. This last expedient would either be
impossible or would involve an incalculable loss of time in the case of a
caravan possessing only beasts of burden with a proportionately small
number of drivers and attendants. But he thought that the roads could
everywhere be made passable for even beasts of burden by means of an
adequate number of well-equipped _éclaireurs_, or advance-guard. Johnston
was of the same opinion: if he were furnished with a hundred natives--whom
he would get from the population on the coast--supplied with axes and
fascine-knives, he would undertake to lead a caravan of beasts of burden to
the Kenia without any delay worth mentioning.

When this question was settled, Dr. Strahl again brought forward the idea
of mounting the 200 pioneers themselves. He had a double end in view. In
the first place--and it was this in part that had led him to make the
previous proposition--it would be necessary to provide for the introduction
and acclimatisation of beasts of burden and draught in the future home,
where there were already cattle, sheep, and goats, but neither horses,
asses, nor camels; and he held that it would be best for the expedition to
take with them at once as large a number as possible of these useful
animals. Moreover, he thought that we could travel much faster if we were
mounted. In the next place, he attached great importance to the careful
selection of animals--whether beasts of burden or for the saddle--suitable
for breeding purposes particularly in the case of the horses, since the
character of the future stock would depend entirely upon that of those
first introduced. This also was agreed to; only Johnston feared that the
expenses of the expedition would be too heavily increased. According to his
original plan, the expenses would not exceed 12,000£; but the alterations
would about quadruple the cost. This was not questioned; and Johnston's
estimate was subsequently found to be correct, for the expedition actually
consumed 52,500£. But it was unanimously urged that the funds which had
been placed so copiously at their disposal, and which were still rapidly
pouring in, could not be more usefully applied than in expediting the
journey as much as possible, and in establishing the new community upon as
sound a foundation as the means allowed.

The detailed consideration of the requisite material was then proceeded
with. When everything had been reckoned, and the total weight estimated, it
was found that we should have to transport a total burden of about 1,200
cwt., as follows:

    150 cwt. of various kinds of meat and drink;
    120  "   "  travelling materials (including fifty waterproof tents for
                four men each);
    160  "   "  various kinds of seed and other agricultural materials;
    220  "   "  implements, machinery, and tools;
    400  "   "  articles of barter and presents;
    120  "   "  ammunition and explosives.

At Johnston's special request, in addition to the above, four light steel
mortars for shell were ordered of Krupp, in Essen. His object was not to
use these murderous weapons seriously against any foe; but he reckoned
that, should occasion occur, peace could be more easily preserved by means
of the terror which they would excite. At the last moment there came to
hand 300 Werndl rifles, together with the needful cartridges--very good
breechloaders which we bought cheaply of the Austrian Government, to use
partly as a reserve and partly to arm some of the negroes who were to be
hired at Zanzibar.

The baggage was to be borne by 100 sumpter-horses, 200 asses and mules, and
80 camels. Since we also needed 200 saddle-horses, with a small reserve for
accidents, it was resolved to buy in all 320 horses, 210 asses, and 85
camels, the horses to be bought, some in Egypt and some in Arabia, the
camels in Egypt, and the asses in Zanzibar.

All the necessary purchases were at once made. Our authorised agents
procured everything at the first source; buyers were sent to Yemen in
Arabia and to Zanzibar for horses and asses. When all this was done or
arranged, Johnston and I--we had meantime contracted a close
friendship--started for Alexandria.

But, before I describe our action there, I must mention an incident which
occurred in the committee. A young American lady had determined to join the
expedition. She was rich, beautiful, and eccentric, an enthusiastic admirer
of our principles, and evidently not accustomed to consider it possible
that her wishes should be seriously opposed. She had contributed very
largely to the funds of the Society, and had made up her mind to be one of
the first to set foot in the new African home. I must confess that I was
sorry for the noble girl, who was devoured by an eager longing for
adventure and painfully felt as a slight the anxious solicitude exhibited
by the committee on account of her sex. But nothing could be clone; we had
refused several women wishful to accompany their husbands who had been
chosen as pioneers, and we could make no exceptions. When the young lady
found that her appeals failed to move us men of the committee, she turned
to our female relatives, whom she speedily discovered; but she met with
little success among them. She was cordially and affectionately received by
the ladies, for she was very charming in her enthusiasm; but that was only
another reason, in the eyes of the women, for concluding that the men had
been right in refusing to allow such a delicate creature to share in the
dangers and privations of the journey of exploration. She was petted and
treated like a spoilt child that longed for the impossible, until Miss
Ellen Fox was fairly beside herself.

She suddenly calmed down; and this occurred in a striking manner
immediately after she became acquainted with another lady who also, though
for other reasons, wished to join our expedition. This other lady was my
sister Clara. While the former was prompted to go to Africa by her zeal for
our principles, the latter was fired with the same desire by detestation
and dread of those same principles. My sister (twelve years my senior, and
still unmarried, because she had not been able to find a man who satisfied
her ideal of personal distinction and lofty character) was one of the
best--in her inmost heart one of the noblest--of women, but full of
immovable prejudices with which I had been continually coming into contact
for the twenty-six years of my life. She was not cold-hearted--her hand was
always open to those who needed help; but she had an invincible contempt
for everything that did not belong to the so-called higher, cultured
classes. When for the first time the social question was explained to her
by me, she was seized with horror at the idea that reasonable men should
believe that she and her kitchen maid were endowed with equal rights by
nature. Finding that all efforts to convert her were in vain, I long
refrained from telling her anything of my relations with Dr. Strahl, or of
the, founding of the Free Society and the _rôle_ which I played in it. I
wished to spare her as long as possible the sorrow of knowing of my going
astray; for I love this sister dearly, and am idolised by her in return.
For many long years the one passion of her life was her anxious solicitude
about me. We lived together, and she always treated me as a small boy whose
bringing up was her business. That I could exist more than at most two or
three days away from her protection, without becoming the victim of my
childish inexperience and of the wickedness of evil men, always seemed to
her an utter impossibility. Imagine, then, the unutterable terror of my
protectress when I was eventually compelled to disclose to her not only
that I was a member of a socialistic society, had not only devoted the
whole of my modest fortune to the objects of that society, but had actually
been selected as leader of 200 Socialists into the interior of Africa! It
was some days before she could grasp and believe the monstrous fact; then
followed entreaties, tears, desperate reproaches, and expostulations. I
might let the fellows have my money--over which, however, she felt that she
should have kept better guard--but, for heaven's sake, could I not stay
like an honest man at home? She consulted our family physician as to my
responsibility for my actions; but she came back worse than she went, for
he was one of our Society--indeed, a member of the expedition. At last,
when all else had failed, she announced that, if I persisted in rushing to
my ruin, she would accompany me. When I explained to her that this could
not be, as there were to be no women in the expedition, she brought her
heaviest artillery to bear upon me; she reminded me of our deceased mother,
who, on her deathbed, had commissioned my sister never to leave me--a
testamentary injunction to which I ought religiously to submit. As I still
remained obdurate, daring for the first time in my life to remark that our
good mother had plainly committed me to my sister's care only during the
period of my childhood, she fell into hopeless despondency, out of which
nothing could rouse her. In vain did I use endearing terms; in vain did I
assure her that among our 200 pioneers there would certainly be some
excellent fellows between whom and myself there would exist kindly human
relations; in vain did I promise her that she should follow me in about six
months' time: it was all of no avail. She looked upon me as lost; and as
the day of my departure drew near I became exceedingly anxious to find some
means of allaying my sister's touching but foolish sorrow.

Just then Miss Ellen visited my sister. I was called away by business, and
had to leave them together alone; when I returned I found Clara wonderfully
comforted. She no longer wailed and moaned, and was even able to speak of
the dreadful subject without tears. It was plain that Miss Ellen's
exaltation of feeling had wrought soothingly upon her childish anguish; and
I inwardly blessed the charming American for it, the more so that from that
moment the latter no longer troubled us with her importunities. She had
gone away suddenly, and I most heartily congratulated myself on having thus
got rid of a double difficulty.

On the 3rd of December Johnston and I reached Alexandria, where we found
most of our fellow-pioneers awaiting us. Twenty-three wore still missing,
some of whom were coming from great distances, and others had been hindered
by unforeseen contingencies. Johnston set to work at once with the
equipment, exercising, end organisation of the troop. For these purposes we
left the city, and encamped about six miles off, on the shore of Lake
Mareotis. The provisioning was undertaken by a commissariat of six members
under my superintendence; each man received full rations and--unless it was
expressly declined--2£ per month in cash. The same amount was paid during
the whole of the time occupied by the expedition--of course not in the form
of cash, which would have been useless in Equatorial Africa, but in goods
at cost price for use or barter. After such articles as clothing and arms
had been unpacked, the exercises began. Eight hours a day were spent in
manoeuvring, marching, swimming, riding, fencing, and target-practice.
Later on Johnston organised longer marches, extending over several days, as
far as Ghizeh and past the Pyramids to Cairo. In the meantime we got to
know each other. Johnston appointed his inferior officers, to whom, as to
him, military obedience was to be rendered--a necessity which was readily
recognised by all without exception. This may appear strange to some, in
view of the fact that we were going forth to found a community in which
absolute social equality and unlimited individual liberty were to prevail.
But we all understood that the ultimate object of our undertaking, and the
expedition which was to lead to that object, were two different things.
During the whole journey there did not occur one case of insubordination;
while, on the other hand, on the side of the officers not one instance of
unnecessary or rude assumption of authority was noticed.

When the time to go on to Zanzibar came, we were a completely trained
picked body of men. In manoeuvring we could compete with any corps of
Guards--naturally only in those exercises which give dexterity and agility
in face of a foe, and not in the parade march and the military salutes. In
these last respects we were and remained as ignorant as Hottentots. But we
could, without serious inconvenience, march or sit in the saddle, with only
brief halts, for twenty-four hours at a stretch; our quick firing yielded a
very respectable number of hits at a distance of eleven hundred yards; and
our grenade firing was not to be despised. We were quite as skilful with a
small battery of Congreve rockets which Johnston had had sent after us from
Trieste, on the advice of an Egyptian officer who had served in the
Soudan--a native of Austria, and a frequent witness of our practising at
Alexandria. The language of command, as well as that of our general
intercourse, was English. As many as 35 per cent. of us were English and
American, whilst the next numerous nationality--the German--was represented
by only about 23 per cent. Moreover, all but about forty-five of us
understood and spoke English more or less perfectly, and these forty-five
learnt to speak it tolerably well during our stay in Alexandria.

On the 30th of March we embarked on the 'Aurora,' a fine screw steamer of
3,000 tons, which the committee had chartered of the English P. and O.
Company, and which, after it had, at Liverpool, Marseilles, and Genoa,
taken on board the wares ordered for us, reached Alexandria on the 22nd of
March. The embarkation and providing accommodation for 200 horses and 60
camels, which had been bought in Egypt, occupied several days; but we were
in no hurry, as, on account of the rainy season, the journey into the
interior of Africa could not be begun before May. We reckoned that the
passage from Alexandria to Zanzibar--the halt in Aden, for taking on board
more horses and camels, included--would not exceed twenty days. We had
therefore fully two weeks left for Zanzibar and for the passage across to
Mombasa, whence we intended to take the road to the Kilimanjaro and the
Kenia, and where, on account of the danger from the fever which was alleged
to prevail on the coast, we did not purpose remaining a day longer than was
necessary.

Our programme was successfully carried out. At Aden we met our agents with
120 superb Yemen horses, and 25 camels of equally excellent breed. Here
also were embarked 115 asses, which--like the camels--had been procured in
Arabia instead of Zanzibar or Egypt. On the 16th of April the 'Aurora'
dropped anchor in the harbour of Zanzibar.

Half the population of the island came out to greet us. Our fame had gone
before us, and, as it seemed, no ill fame; for the European colonists--who
during the last few years had increased to nearly 200--and the Arabians,
Hindoos, and negroes, vied with each other in friendliness and welcome.
Naturally, the first person to receive us was our Zanzibar representative,
who hastened to give us the agreeable assurance that he had exactly
performed his commission, and that, in view of the prevailing public
sentiment respecting us, there would be no difficulty whatever in engaging
the number of natives we required. The English, French, German, Italian,
and American consuls welcomed us most cordially; as did also the
representatives of the great European and American houses of business, who
were all most zealous in pressing their hospitality upon us. Finally
appeared the prime minister of the Sultan, who claimed the whole 200 of us
as his guests. In order to avoid giving offence in any quarter, we left
ourselves at the disposal of the consuls, who distributed us among the
friendly competitors in a way most agreeable to everyone. Johnston and
sixteen officers--myself being one of the company--were allotted to the
Sultan, who placed his whole palace, except that part devoted to his harem,
at our disposal, and entertained us in a truly princely manner. Yet,
ungrateful as it may seem, I must say that we seventeen elect had every
reason to envy those of our colleagues who were entertained less
splendidly, but very comfortably, in the bosom of European families. Our
host did only too much for us: the ten days of our residence in Zanzibar
were crowded with an endless series of banquets, serenades, Bayadère
dances, and the like; and this was the less agreeable as we really found
more to be done than we had expected. A great quantity of articles for
barter had to be bought and packed; and we had to engage no fewer than 280
Swahili men--coast dwellers--as attendants, drivers, and other workmen,
besides the requisite number of guides and interpreters. In all this both
the consuls and the Sultan's officials rendered us excellent service; and
as the negroes had a very favourable opinion of our expedition, in which
they anticipated neither excessive labour nor great danger, since we had a
great number of beasts and were well armed, we had a choice of the best men
that Zanzibar could afford for our purpose. But all this had to be attended
to, and during the whole of the ten days Johnston was sorely puzzled how to
execute his commission and yet do justice to the attentions of the Sultan.

At last, in spite of everything, the work was accomplished, and, as the
issue showed, well accomplished--certainly not so much through any special
care and skill on our part as through the good will shown to us on all
sides. The merchants, European and Indian, supplied us with the best goods
at the lowest prices, without giving us much trouble in selection; and the
Swahili exercised among themselves a kind of ostracism by whipping out of
the market any disreputable or useless colleagues. In this last respect, so
fortunate were we in our selection that, during the whole course of the
expedition, we were spared all those struggles with the laziness or
obstinacy of the natives which are generally the lot of such caravans; in
fact we had not a single case of desertion--an unheard-of circumstance in
the history of African expeditions.

On the 26th of April we left Zanzibar in the 'Aurora,' and reached Mombasa
safely the next morning. We had sent on, in charge of ten of our men, the
whole of our beasts and the greater part of our baggage in the 'Aurora' a
week before, together with a number of the attendants who had been engaged
in Zanzibar. We found all these in good condition, and for the most part
recovered from the ill-effects of the sea voyage. In order to muster the
people we had engaged, and at the same time to allot to each his duty, we
pitched a camp outside of Mombasa in a little palm-grove that commanded a
beautiful view of the sea. To every two led horses or camels, and to every
four asses, a driver and an attendant were allotted. This gave employment
to 145 of the 280 Swahili; 85 more were selected to carry the lighter and
more fragile articles, or such things as must be always readily accessible;
and the remaining 100--including, of course, the guides and two
interpreters--served as _éclaireurs_. By the 2nd of May everything was
ready, the burdens distributed, and every man had his place assigned; the
journey into the interior could be at once begun.

As, however, we could not start until we had received the European mails,
due in Zanzibar on the 3rd or 4th, by which we were to receive the last
news of our friends and any further instructions the committee wished to
give us, we had several days of leisure, which we were able to employ in
viewing the country around Mombasa.

The place itself is situated upon a small island at the mouth of a river,
which here spreads out into a considerable bay, with several dense
mangrove-swamps upon its banks. Hence residence on the coast and in Mombasa
itself is not conducive to health, and by no means desirable for a length
of time. But a few miles inland there are gently undulating hills, clothed
with fine clumps of cocoa-palms growing on ground covered with an
emerald-green sward. Among the trees are scattered the garden-encircled
huts of the Wa-Nyika, who inhabit this coast. These hills afford a healthy
residence during the rainy season; but it would be dangerous for a European
to live here the year through, as the prevailing temperature in the hot
months--from October to January--would in time be injurious to him. In May,
however, when the heavy rains that fall from February to April have
thoroughly cooled the soil and the air, the heat is by no means
disagreeable.

The French packet-ship was a day behind, and did not arrive at Zanzibar
until late in the night of the 4th; but, thanks to the courtesy of the
captain, we received our letters a day earlier than we had expected them.
The captain, learning at Aden that we were awaiting our letters at Mombasa,
when off that place hailed an Arabian dhow and sent us by that our
packages, which we consequently received on the same morning; we should
otherwise have had to wait for them until the evening of the next day. Of
the news thus brought us only two items need be mentioned: first, the
intimation that the committee had instructed our agent in Zanzibar to keep
up constant communication with Mombasa during the whole period of our
journey, and for that purpose to have in readiness several despatch-boats
and a swift-sailing cutter; and, secondly, the information that on the 18th
of April, the day of despatching the mails, the membership of the Society
had reached 8,460, with funds amounting to nearly 400,000£.

Together with our letters there came another little surprise for us from
home. The dhow brought us a pack of not less than thirty-two dogs, in
charge of two keepers, who were the bearers of greetings to us from their
master, Lord Clinton. His lordship, a warm espouser of our principles and a
great lover of dogs, had sent us this present from York, believing that it
would be very useful to us both on our journey and after we had arrived at
our destination. The dogs were splendid creatures--a dozen mastiffs and
twenty sheep-dogs of that long-legged and long-haired breed which looks
like a cross between the greyhound and the St. Bernard. The smallest of the
mastiffs was above twenty-seven inches high at the loins; the sheep-dogs
not much smaller; and they all proved themselves to be well-trained and
well-mannered creatures. They met with a cordial welcome from us all. The
two keepers told us that they were perfectly indifferent to our plans and
principles, for they 'knew nothing at all about such matters;' but, if we
would allow them, they would gladly accompany us along with their
four-footed friends. As they looked like strong, healthy, and, in spite of
their simplicity, very decent fellows, and as they professed to be
tolerably expert in riding and shooting and experienced in the training and
treatment of different kinds of animals, we were pleased to take them with
us. A cordial letter of thanks was returned to Lord Clinton; and when our
mails had been sent off to Zanzibar, and all arrangements for the morrow
completed, we retired to rest for the last time previous to our departure
for the dark interior of the African world.



CHAPTER III


On the 5th of May we were woke by the horns and drums of the Kirangozis
(leaders of the caravan) at three o'clock, according to arrangement. The
large camp-fires, which had been prepared overnight, were lighted, and
breakfast--tea or coffee, with eggs and cold meat for us whites, a soup of
meat and vegetables for the Swahili--was cooked; and by the light of the
same fires preparations were made for starting. The advance-guard,
consisting of the hundred _éclaireurs_ and twenty lightly laden packhorses,
accompanied by thirty mounted pioneers, started an hour after we awoke. The
duty of the advance-guard was, with axe, billhook, and pick, so to clear
the way where it led through jungle and thicket as to make it passable for
our sumpter beasts with the larger baggage; to bridge, as well as they were
able, over watercourses; and to prepare the next camping-place for the main
body. In order to do this, the advance-guard had to precede us several
hours, or even several days, according to the character of the country. We
learnt from our guides that no great difficulties were to be anticipated at
the outset, so at first our advance-guard had no need to be more than a few
hours ahead.

It was eight o'clock when the main body was in order. In the front were 150
of us whites, headed by Johnston and myself; then followed in a long line
first the led horses, then the asses, and finally the camels; twenty whites
brought up the rear. Thus, at last, we left our camp with the sun already
shining hotly upon us; and, throwing back a last glance at Mombasa lying
picturesquely behind us, we bade farewell to the sea foaming below, whose
dull roar could be distinctly heard despite a distance of four or five
miles. To the sound of horns and drums we scaled the steep though not very
high hills that separated us from the so-called desert which lay between us
and the interior. The region, which we soon reached, evidently deserves the
name of desert only in the hot season; now, when the three months' rainy
season was scarcely over, we found the landscape park-like. Rich, though
not very high, grass alternated with groves of mimosa and dwarf palm and
with clumps of acacia. When, after a march of two hours, we had left the
last of the coast hills behind us, the grass became more luxuriant and the
trees more numerous, and taller; antelopes showed themselves in the
distance, but they were very shy and were soon scared away by the dogs,
which were not yet broken of the habit of useless hunting. About eleven
o'clock we halted for rest and refreshment in the shade of a palm-grove
which a dense mass of climbing plants had converted into a stately giant
canopy. All--men and beasts--were exhausted, though we had been scarcely
three hours on the march; the previous running and racing about in camp for
four hours had been the reverse of refreshing to us, and after ten o'clock
the heat had become most oppressive. Johnston comforted us by saying that
it would be better in future. In the first place, we should henceforth be
less time in getting ready to march, and should therefore start earlier--if
it depended upon him, soon after four--doing the greatest part of the way
in the cool of the morning, and halting at nine, or at the latest at ten.
Moreover, the district we were now going through was the hottest, if not
the most difficult, we should have to travel over; when we had once got
into the higher regions we should be troubled by excessive heat only
exceptionally.

Reinvigorated by this encouragement, and more still by a generous meal--the
bulk of which consisted of two fat oxen bought on the way--and by the rest
in the shade of the dense liana-canopy, we started again at four o'clock,
and, after a trying march of nearly five hours, reached the camping-place
prepared by our advance-guard in the neighbourhood of a Wa-Kamba village
between Mkwalé and Mkinga. We did not come up with the advance-guard at
all; they had rested here about noon, but had gone on several hours before
we arrived, in order to keep ahead of us. However, they had left our supper
in charge of one of their number--eleven antelopes of different kinds,
which their huntsmen had shot by the way. The Swahili who had been left
with this welcome gift, and who mounted his Arab horse to overtake his
companions as soon as he had delivered his message, told us that they had
unexpectedly come upon a large herd of these charming beasts, among which
the white huntsmen had committed great havoc. Five antelopes had furnished
his company with their midday meal, as many had been taken away for their
evening meal, and the rest--among which, as he remarked, not without a
little envy, were the fattest animals--had been left for us. This attention
on the part of our companions who were ahead of us was received by us all
the more gratefully as, in the Wa-Kamba villages which we had passed
through since our midday halt, we had found no beasts for sale, except a
few lean goats, which we had refused in hopes of getting something better;
and we had been less fortunate in the chase than our advance-guard. Nothing
but a few insignificant birds had come within reach of our sportsmen, and
so we had already given up any hope of having fresh meat when the
unexpected present furnished us with a dainty meal, the value of which only
those can rightly estimate who have left an exhausting march behind them,
and have the prospect of nothing but vegetables and preserved meats before
them.

On the morning of the next day, mindful of the inconvenience experienced by
us the day before, we began our march as early as half-past four. At first
the country was quite open; but in a couple of hours we reached the Duruma
country, where our advance-guard had had hot work. For more than half a
mile the path lay through thorny hush of the most horrible kind, which
would have been absolutely impassable by our sumpter beasts but for the
hatchets and billhooks of our brave _éclaireurs_. Thanks, however, to the
ample clearance they had made, we were quickly through. Towards eight
o'clock the way got better again; and this alternation was repeated until,
on the evening of the third day, we left Durumaland behind us and entered
upon the great desert that stretches thence almost without a break as far
as Teita. We once got very near to our advance-guard; I gave my steed the
spur, in order to see the men at their work, but they made it their
ambition to prevent us from getting quite close to them. With eager haste
they plied knife and hatchet in the thick thorny bush, until a passage was
made for us; and they then at once hurried forward without waiting for the
main column, the head of which was within a mile and a quarter of them.

Nothing noteworthy occurred during these days. We left our camp about
half-past four each morning, made our first halt about nine, resumed our
march again before five in the afternoon, and camped between eight and nine
in the evening. The provisioning in Durumaland was difficult; but we
succeeded in procuring from the pastoral and agricultural inhabitants
sufficient vegetables and flesh food, and of the latter a supply large
enough to last us until we had passed through the Duruma desert. The soil
seems to possess a great natural fertility, but its best portions are
uncultivated and neglected, since the inhabitants seldom venture out of
their jungle-thickets on account of the incessant inroads of the Masai. We
heard everywhere of the evil deeds of these marauders, who had only a few
weeks before fallen upon a tribe, slain the men, and driven off the women,
children, and cattle, and were said to be again on the war-path in search
of new booty. Our assurance that we would shortly free their district, as
well as the districts of all the tribes with whom we had contracted or
expected to contract alliance, from this scourge, was received by the
Wa-Duruma with great incredulity; for the Sultan of Zanzibar himself had
failed to prevent the Masai from extending their raids and levying
contributions even as far as Mombasa and Pangani. Nevertheless, our promise
spread rapidly far and near.

On the morning of the fourth day of our journey, just as we were preparing
to enter upon the desert, we learnt from some natives, who hurried by
breathless with alarm and anxiety, that a strong body of Masai had in the
night made a large capture of slaves and cattle, and were now on their way
to attack us. Thereupon we altered our arrangements. As the position we
occupied was a good one, we left our baggage and the drivers in camp, and
got ourselves ready for action. The guns were mounted and horsed, and the
rockets prepared; the former were placed in the middle, and the latter in
the two wings of the long line into which we formed ourselves. This was the
work of scarcely ten minutes, and in less than another quarter of an hour
we saw about six hundred Masai approaching at a rapid pace. We let them
come on unmolested until they were about 1,100 yards off. Then the trumpets
brayed, and our whole line galloped briskly to meet them. The Masai stopped
short when they saw the strange sight of a line of cavalry bearing down
upon them. We slackened our pace and went on slowly until we were a little
over a hundred yards from them. Then we halted, and Johnston, who is
tolerably fluent in the Masai dialect, rode a few steps farther and asked
them in a loud voice what they wanted. There was a short consultation among
the Masai, and then one of them came forward and asked whether we would pay
tribute or fight. 'Is this your country,' was the rejoinder, 'that you
demand tribute? We pay tribute to no one; we have gifts for our friends,
and deadly weapons for our foes. Whether the Masai will be our friends we
shall see when we visit their country. But we have already formed an
alliance with the Wa-Duruma, and therefore we allow no one to rob them.
Give back the prisoners and the booty and go home to your kraals, else we
shall be obliged to use against you our weapons and our medicines
(magic)--which we should be sorry to do, for we wish to contract alliance
with you also.'

This last statement was evidently taken to be a sign of weakness, for the
Masai, who at first seemed to be a little alarmed, shook their spears
threateningly, and with loud shouts set themselves again in motion towards
us. Our trumpets brayed again, and while we horsemen sprang forwards the
guns and rockets opened fire--not upon the foe, among whose close masses
they would have wrought execution as terrible as it would have been
unnecessary--but away over their heads. The Masai stayed for only one
volley. When the guns thundered, the rockets, hissing and crackling, swept
over their heads, and, above all, the strange creatures with four feet and
two heads rushed upon them, they turned in an instant and fled away
howling. Our artillery sent another volley after them, to increase their
panic, if possible; while the horsemen busied themselves taking prisoners
and getting possession of the slaves and children, who were now visible in
the distance.

In less than half an hour we had forty-three prisoners, and the whole of
the booty was in our possession. We should not have succeeded so completely
in freeing the Duruma women and children had these not been fettered in
such a way as to make it impossible for them to run quickly. For when these
poor creatures saw and heard the fighting and the noise, they made
desperate attempts to follow the fleeing Masai. The children behaved more
sensibly, for, though they were much alarmed by the firing and the rockets,
they gave us and our dogs--which performed excellent service in this
affair--little difficulty in driving them into our camp.

The captured Masai were fine daring-looking fellows, and maintained a
considerable degree of self-composure in spite of their intense alarm and
of their expectation of immediate execution. Fortunately there was among
them their _leitunu_, or chief and absolute leader of the party--a bronze
Apollo standing 6 ft. 6 in. high. He looked as if he would like to thrust
his _sime_, or short sword, into his own breast when the Wa-Duruma, who had
begun to collect about us, ventured to mock at him and his people and to
shout aloud for their death. Johnston most emphatically refused this
demand. Speaking loudly enough for the prisoners to hear, he explained that
the Masai were to become our allies; we had simply punished them for the
wrong they had done. Did they--the Duruma--imagine that we needed their
help, or the help of anyone, to slay the Masai if we wished to slay them?
Had they not seen that we fired into the air, when a few well-aimed shots
from our mighty machines would have sufficed to tear all the Masai in
pieces? Then, in order to show the Duruma--but still more the Masai--the
truth of these words, which had been listened to with shuddering and
without the slightest trace of scepticism, Johnston directed a full volley
of all our guns and rockets upon a dilapidated straw-thatched round hut
about 1,100 yards off. The hut was completely smashed, and at once burst
into flames--a spectacle which made a most powerful impression upon the
savages.

'Now go,' said Johnston to the Wa-Duruma, pretending not to notice how
intently our prisoners listened and looked on, 'and take your women,
children, and cattle, which we have set free, and leave the Masai in peace.
We will see to it that they do not trouble you in future. But do not forget
that in a few weeks the Masai also will be our allies.'

The Wa-Duruma obeyed, but they did not quite know what to make of this
business. When they were gone away, Johnston ordered their weapons to be
given back to the captive Masai, whom he commanded to go away, telling them
that in at most two weeks' time he expected to visit Lytokitok, the
south-eastern frontier district of Masailand; and that it was in order to
inform them of this that he had had them brought before him. But instead of
at once taking advantage of this permission to go away, the _el-moran_ (as
the Masai warriors are called) lingered where they were; and at last
Mdango, their _leitunu_, stepped forward and explained that it would be
certain death for such a small band of Masai, separated from their own
people, to seek to get home through Durumaland in its present agitated
condition; and if they must die, they would esteem it a greater honour to
die by the hand of so mighty a white _leibon_ (magician) than to be slain
by the cowardly Wa-Duruma or Wa-Teita. As it was our intention to visit
their country very soon, we willingly permitted them to accompany us.

Johnston's face beamed with delight at this auspicious beginning; but
towards the Masai he maintained a demeanour of absolute calm, and declared
in a dignified tone that what they asked was a great favour, and one of
which their previous behaviour had shown them to be so little worthy that
before he could give them a definite answer he must hold a _shauri_
(council) of his people. Leaving them standing where they were, he called
aside some twenty of us who were on horseback near him, and told us the
substance of the conversation. 'Of course, we will accede to the request of
the _leitunu_, who, judging from the large number of _el-moran_ that follow
him, must be one of their most influential men. If he is completely won
over, he will bring over his countrymen with him. So now I will inform him
of the result of our council.'

'Listen,' said he, turning to Mdango; 'we have decided to accede to your
request, for your brethren in Lytokitok shall not be able to say that we
have exposed you to a dishonourable death. But as we have directed our
weapons against you, though without shedding of blood, our customs forbid
us to admit you as guests to our camp and our table before you have fully
atoned for the outrage by which you have displeased us. This atonement will
have been made when each of you has contracted blood-brotherhood with him
who took you prisoner. Will you do this, and will you honourably keep your
word?'

The _el-moran_ very readily assented to this. Hereupon another council
was held among ourselves, and this was followed by the fraternisation--
according to the peculiar customs of the Masai--of the forty-three
prisoners with their captors; and we thereby gained forty-three allies
who--as Johnston assured us--would be hewed in pieces before they would
allow any harm to happen to us if they could prevent it.

By this time it was nine o'clock, and, as the day promised to be glowing
hot, we had no desire to set foot upon the burning Duruma desert until the
sun was below the horizon. We therefore retired to our camp, which had not
been left by the sumpter beasts, and then we prepared our midday meal. In
honour of our bloodless victory, we prepared an unusually sumptuous repast
of flesh and milk--the only food of the Masai _el-moran_--followed by an
enormous bowl of rum, honey, lemons, and hot water, which was heartily
relished by our people, but which threw the Masai into a state of ecstasy.
The ecstasy knew no bounds when, the punch being drunk, the forty-three
blood-brethren were severally adorned with red breeches as a tribute of
friendship. The _leitunu_ himself received an extra gift in the form of a
gold-embroidered scarlet mantle.

The Duruma desert, which we entered about five o'clock, is quite
uninhabited, and during the dry months has the bad repute of being almost
absolutely without water. Now, however, immediately after the rainy season,
we found a sufficient quantity of tolerably good water in the many
ground-fissures and well-like natural pits, often two or three yards deep.
But we suffered so much from the heat before sunset, that we sacrificed our
night-rest in making a forced march to Taro, a good-sized pool formed by
the collected rain-water. We reached this towards morning, and rested here
for half a day--that is, we did not start again until the evening,
husbanding our strength for the worst part of the way, which was yet to
come. From this point the water-holes became less frequent, and the
landscape particularly cheerless--monotonous stony expanses alternating
with hideous thorn-thickets. Yet both men and beasts held out bravely
through those three miserable days, and on the 12th of May we reached in
good condition, though wetted to the skin by a sudden and unexpected
downpour of rain, the charming country of the Wa-Teita on the fine Ndara
range of hills.

We here experienced for the first time the ravishing splendour of the
equatorial highlands. The Ndara range reaches a height of 5,000 feet and is
covered from summit to base with a luxuriant vegetation; a number of
silvery brooks and streams murmur and roar down its sides to the valleys;
and the view from favourably situated points is most charming. As we rested
here a whole day, most of us used the opportunity to make excursions
through the marvellous scenery, being most courteously guided about by
several Englishmen who had settled here for missionary and business
purposes. I could not penetrate so far as I wished into the tangle of
delicious shadowy valleys and hills which surrounded us, because I had to
arrange for the provisioning of the caravan both in Teita and for the
desert districts between Teita and the Kilimanjaro. But my more fortunate
companions scaled the neighbouring heights, spent the night either on or
just below the summits, refreshed themselves with the cool mountain air,
and came back intoxicated with all the beauty they had enjoyed. Even at the
foot of the Teita hills it was scarcely less charming. The bath under one
of the splashing waterfalls, fanned by the mild air and odours of evening,
would ever have been one of the pleasantest recollections of my life, if
Africa had not offered me still more glorious natural scenes.

We spent the 14th and 15th in leisurely marches through this paradise, in
which a rich booty in giraffes and various kinds of antelopes fell to our
huntsmen. Everywhere we concluded friendly alliances with the tribes and
their chiefs, and sealed our alliances with presents. During the two
following days we worked our way through the uninhabited--but therefore the
richer in game--desert of Taveta, which in fact is not so bad as its
reputation; and on the afternoon of the 17th we approached the cool forests
of the foot-hills of the Kilima, where a strange surprise was hi store for
us.

When we were a few miles from Taveta and--as is customary in Africa--had
announced the arrival of our caravan by a salvo from our guns, Johnston and
I, riding at the head of the train, saw a man galloping towards us with
loose rein, in whom we at once recognised the leader of our advance-guard,
Engineer Demestre. The haste with which he galloped towards us at first
gave us some anxiety; but his smiling face soon showed us that it was no
ill-luck which brought him to us. He signalled to me from a distance, and
cried as he checked his horse in front of us: 'Your sister and Miss Fox are
in Taveta.'

Both Johnston and I must have made most absurd grimaces at this unexpected
announcement, for Demestre broke out into uproarious laughter, in which at
last we joined. Then he told us that, on the previous evening, when he and
his party arrived at Taveta, the two ladies had accosted him in the streets
as unconcernedly as if it were a casual meeting at home, had altogether
ignored the slight they had received, and, when asked, had told him in an
indifferent tone that they had travelled hither from Aden, whence they
started on the 30th of April--therefore while we were waiting at
Mombasa--to Zanzibar, whence, after a short stay, they went to Pangani and,
taking the route by Mkumbara and the Jipé lake, reached Taveta on the 14th
of May. They were accompanied by their servant and friend, Sam--a worthy
old negro who was Miss Fox's constant attendant--and four elephants upon
which they rode, to the boundless astonishment of the negroes. They were
quite comfortable in Taveta. 'Miss Clara sends greetings, and bids me tell
you that she longs to press you to her sisterly heart.'

When I saw that Demestre was not joking I put spurs to my horse, and in a
few minutes found myself in a shady, bowery woodland road which led from
the open country into Taveta. Soon after I saw the two ladies, one of whom
ran towards me with outstretched arms and, almost before I had touched the
ground, warmly embraced me, she weeping aloud the while. After the first
storm of emotion was over, I tried to get from my sister a fuller account
of her appearance here among the savages; but I failed, for as often as the
good creature began her story it was interrupted by her tears and her
expressions of joy at seeing me again, as well as by thoughts of all the
dangers from which I--heedless boy!--had been preserved by nothing but my
good luck. In the meantime Miss Fox had come up to us. She returned my
greeting with a slight tinge of sarcasm, but none the less cordially; and I
at length learned from her all that I wished to know.

I found that the two, at their very first meeting, had come to an
understanding and decided upon the principal features of their plot,
reserving the arrangement of details until we had left Europe. My sister
had found in Miss Fox the energy and the possession of the requisite
pecuniary means for the independent undertaking of an expedition, against
the will of the men; and Miss Fox had found in my sister the companion and
elder protectress, without whom even she would have shrunk from such a bold
enterprise. As Miss Fox was exactly informed of all our plans, she was able
to copy them in her own arrangements. She procured what she needed from the
manufacturers and brokers from whom we got our provisions, articles of
barter, and travelling necessaries. Like us, she substituted sumpter beasts
for _pagazis_; only, in order to be original in at least one point, she
chose elephants instead of horses, camels, or asses. She inferred that, as
elephants--though hitherto untamed--abounded in all the districts to which
we were going, Indian elephants would thrive well throughout Equatorial
Africa. A business friend of her late father's in Calcutta bought for her
four fine specimens of these pachyderms, and sent them with eight
experienced keepers and attendants to Aden, whence she took them with her
to Zanzibar. Here several guides and interpreters were hired; and, in order
not to come into collision with us too near the coast, she chose the route
by Pangani. The curiosity of the natives was here and there a little
troublesome; but, thanks mainly to the courteous attentions of the German
agents stationed in Mkumbana, Membe, and Taveta, the expedition had not met
with the slightest mishap. On their arrival at Taveta they had at once
dismissed their Swahili, and intended to join our expedition with the
elephants and Indians--unless we insisted on leaving them behind us alone
in Taveta.

What was to be done under such circumstances? It followed as a matter of
course that the two Amazons must henceforth form a part of our expedition;
and, to tell the truth, I knew not how to be angry with either my sister or
Miss Fox for their persistency. The worst dangers might be considered as
averted by the affair with the Masai in Duruma; the difficulties of the
journey were, as the result showed, no more than women could easily brave.
Therefore I gave myself up without anxiety to the joy of the unexpected
reunion. I was gratified to note also that the other members of the
expedition welcomed this addition to our numbers. So the elephants with
their fair burdens--for it may be added in passing that my sister,
notwithstanding her thirty-eight years, still retains her good looks--had
their place assigned to them in our caravan.

We bade farewell to our Masai friends outside Taveta. They were
commissioned to inform their countrymen that we should reach the frontier
of Lytokitok in eight or ten days, and that it was our intention to go
through the whole of Masailand in order to find a locality suitable for our
permanent settlement. This settlement of ours would be in the highest
degree profitable to the race in whose neighbourhood we should build our
dwellings, as we should make such race rich and invincible by any of their
foes. We should force no one to receive us and give us land, although we
possessed--as they were convinced--sufficient power to do so; and many
thousands of our brethren were only awaiting a message from us to come and
join us. If, however, a free passage were not peaceably granted to us
through any territory, we knew how to force it. We finally made our
blood-brethren solemnly engage to bring as many tribes as possible into
alliance with us, especially those who dwelt on the route to the Naivasha
lake, our route to the Kenia mountain; and we parted with mutual
expressions of good will. They had shown themselves most agreeable fellows,
and as parting mementos we gave them a number of what in their eyes were
very valuable presents for their beloved ones--the so-called 'Dittos'--such
as brass wire, brass bracelets and rings with imitation stones,
hand-mirrors, strings of glass pearls, cotton articles, and ribbons. These
gifts, which in Europe had not cost 20£ altogether, were--as we afterwards
had occasion to prove--worth among the Masai as much as a hundred fat oxen;
and the _el-moran_ were struck dumb with our generosity. But in their eyes
Johnston's final gift was beyond all price--a cavalry sabre with iron
sheath and a good Solingen blade for each of the departing heroes. To give
ocular demonstration of the quality of these weapons, Johnston got a
Belgian, skilled in such feats, to cut through at one stroke the strongest
of the Masai spears, the head of which was nearly five inches broad. He
then showed to the astonished warriors the still undamaged sword-blade. 'So
do our _simes_ cut,' he said, 'when used in righteous battle; but beware of
drawing them in pillage or murder, for they will then shatter in your hands
as glass and bring evil upon your heads.' We then gave them a friendly
salute, and they were soon out of sight.

We stayed in Taveta five days to give our animals rest after their trying
marches, and to refresh ourselves with the indescribable charms of this
country, which surpassed in pleasantness and tropical splendour, as well as
in the grandeur of the mountain-ranges, anything we had hitherto seen. We
wished also, with the assistance of the German agents settled here and in
the neighbouring Moshi, to complete our equipment for the rest of the
journey. These gentlemen, and not less the friendly natives, readily gave
us information as to what wares were then in special demand in Masailand;
and as we happened to have very few of a kind of blue pearls just then
fashionable among the Dittos, and not a single piece of a sort of cotton
cloth prized as a great novelty, we bought in Taveta several beast-loads of
these valuables.

In our excursions from Taveta we saw for the first time the Kilimanjaro
mountain in all its overpowering majesty. Rising abruptly more than 13,000
feet above the surrounding high land, this double-peaked giant reaches an
altitude of 19,000 feet above the sea, and bears upon its broad massive
back a stretch of snow with which in impressiveness neither the glaciers of
our European Alps nor, in a certain sense, those of the Andes and the
Himalayas, can compare. For nowhere else upon our earth does nature present
such a strong and sudden contrast between the most luxuriant and exuberant
tropical vegetation and the horrid chilling waste of broken precipices and
eternal ice as here in Equatorial Africa. The flora and fauna at the foot
of the Himalayas, for example, are scarcely less gorgeous than in the
wooded and well-watered country around Taveta; but while the snow-covered
peaks of the mountain-range of Central Asia rise hundreds of miles away
from the foot of the mountains, and it is therefore not possible to enjoy
the two kinds of scenery together, heightened by contrast, here one can,
from under the shade of a wild banana or mango-palm, count with a good
telescope the unfathomable glacier-crevasses--so palpably near is the world
of eternal ice to that of eternal summer. And what a summer!--a summer that
preserves its richest treasures of beauty and fruitfulness without relaxing
our nerves by its hot breath. These shady yet cheerful forests, these
crystal streams leaping everywhere through the flower-perfumed land, these
balmy airs which almost uninterruptedly float down from the near icefields,
and on their way through the mountain-gorges and higher valleys get laden
with the spicy breath of flowers,--all this must be seen and enjoyed in
order to know what Taveta is.

This favoured land produces a superabundance of material enjoyments of a
tangible kind. Fat cattle, sheep and goats, poultry, dainty fishes from the
Jipé lake and the Lumi river, specially dainty game of a thousand kinds
from the banks of the smaller mountain-streams which flow down the sides of
the Kilimanjaro, satisfy the most insatiable longing for flesh food. The
vegetable kingdom pours forth not less lavishly from its horn of plenty a
supply of almost all the wild and cultivated fruits and garden-produce of
the tropics. At the same time everything is so cheap that the most
extravagant glutton could not exceed a daily consumption costing more than
a penny or two, even should the courteous and hospitable Wa-Taveta accept
payment at all--which, however, they seldom did from us. It is true that
the fame of our heroic deeds against the Masai had gone before us, and
particularly the assurance that we had delivered Taveta from these
unwelcome guests, who, it is true, had hitherto been kept away on every
attack by the impenetrable forest fastnesses of Kilima, but whose
neighbourhood was nevertheless very troublesome. Besides, our hands were
ever open to the men of Taveta, and still more generously to the women.
European goods of all kinds, articles of clothing, primitive ornaments, and
especially a selection of photographs and Munich coloured picture-sheets,
won the hearts of our black hosts, so that when, on the morning of the 23rd
of May, we at last set out on our way, we were as sorry to leave this
splendid woodland district as the Wa-Taveta were to lose us. These good
simple-minded men accompanied us over their frontier; and many of the by no
means ill-looking Taveta girls, who had lost their hearts to their white or
their Swahili guests, shed bitter tears, and told their woe preferably to
our two ladies, who fortunately did not understand a word of these effusive
demonstrations of the Tavetan female heart. Prudery is an unknown thing in
Equatorial Africa; and the Taveta fair ones would have been as little able
to understand why anyone should think it wrong to open one's heart to a
guest as their white sisters would have been to conceive of the possibility
of talking freely and in all innocence of such matters without giving the
least offence to friends and relatives.



CHAPTER IV


There are two routes from Taveta to Masailand, one leading westward past
Kilima through the territory of the Wa-Kwafi, the other along the eastern
slopes of the mountain through the lands occupied by the various tribes of
the Wa-Chaga.

Both routes pass through fertile and pleasant country; but we chose the
latter, because just then the Wa-Kwafi were at war with the Masai, and we
wished to avoid getting mixed up with any affair that did not concern us.
Moreover, we preferred to have dealings with the quiet and pacific Wa-Chaga
rather than with the swaggering Wa-Kwafi. By short day-marches we went on
past the wildly romantic Chala lake, shut in by dark perpendicular rocks,
through the wooded hillsides of Rombo and over the tableland of Useri. On
our way we crossed three considerable streams which unite to form the Tzavo
river. We also came upon numberless springs which sent their water down
from Kilima in all directions to irrigate the park-like meadows and the
well-cultivated fields of the natives. All along our route we exchanged
gifts and contracted alliances of friendship At times the chase was engaged
in, furnishing us with a great number of antelopes, zebras, giraffes, and
rhinoceroses.

On the 28th of May we reached the frontier of Lytokitok, the south-eastern
boundary of Masailand. As we crossed the Rongei stream we met our friend
Mdango, accompanied by a large number of his warriors. His report was
gratifying. He had given his message, not only to the elders and warriors
of his own tribe, but to all the tribes from Lytokitok to the frontiers of
Kapté, and had invited them to a great _shauri_ at the Minyenye hill, half
a day's march from the frontier in the direction of the Useri. The
invitation had been numerously accepted by both _el-morun_ and
_el-moran_--_i.e._ married men and warriors--the latter attending to the
number of above 3,000 men; and two days before they had been in
consultation from morning until evening. The result was the unanimous
resolve to permit us to pass through; but they had not yet agreed whether
to insist upon the payment of the customary _hongo_, or tribute, exacted
from trade-caravans, or to await our spontaneous liberality. Indeed,
difficulties still stood in the way of a permanent alliance of friendship
with us, and it was mainly the majority of the _el-moran_ who wanted to
treat us as strangers passing through Masailand were generally
treated--that is, to exhibit towards us a violent, arrogant, and
extortionate demeanour. They refused to believe in our great power, since
we had not killed even one Masai warrior, but had sent home in good
condition all who had fought against us, except sixteen--who had, however,
been killed by the Wa-Duruma and the Wa Teita, and not by us. This party
advanced the opinion that Mdango and his men had fled from us out of
childish alarm, which assertion nearly led to a sanguinary encounter
between the deeply incensed accused and their accusers. Since, however,
even the latter admitted that we must be very good fellows, inasmuch as we
had in no way abused our victory, they were, as already stated, not
disinclined graciously to permit our passage through their country. And
since Mdango consoled himself with the reflection that we could best
dispose of the braggarts who laughed at him, he had restrained himself, and
told the other party they had better meet us and try to frighten us; he and
his would remain neutral notwithstanding the blood-brotherhood he had
contracted with us, but he would have nothing to do with compelling us to
pay tribute. All his six hundred warriors would adhere to him, and nearly
as many _el-moran_ from other tribes; the married men--the
_el-morun_--were, almost without exception, favourable to us. Thus stood
affairs, and we had to prepare ourselves to meet, hi a few hours, some
2,000 _el-moran_, to whom we must either pay heavy tribute or play the same
game as we had played with him and his in Duruma. Moreover, he gave us
plainly to understand that a few sharp shots from the cannons, or, still
better, a few rockets, would not be amiss.

Johnston rejected this counsel of revenge, which was unworthy of a
blood-brother of white men, and pacified him by promising that the boasters
should be thoroughly shamed, and that the laughers in Masailand should be
those of Mdango's party. Thereupon Johnston very quietly made his
preparations. The sumpter beasts and their drivers occupied the well-fenced
camp prepared by our advance-guard; we whites, on the contrary, placed
ourselves conspicuously in the shade of some large isolated sycamores, with
our saddled horses a few yards behind us, where were also the limbered-up
guns and rocket-battery. Even the four elephants, which Johnston had
accustomed to fire in Taveta, had a _rôle_ assigned to them in this
burlesque, and they were therefore sent with their attendants to feed in
the shade of a small wood close at hand. When all this was arranged, we
settled down quietly to our cooking, and did not allow ourselves to be
disturbed when the first band of _el-moran_ became visible. Our apparent
indifference perplexed them, and while still a mile and a quarter from us
they held a consultation. Then a deputation of ten of their young warriors
approached, the rest of the band awaiting their companions who had not yet
appeared. The messengers addressed us with great dignity, and, after they
had been referred to Johnston as our _leitunu_, asked us what we wanted.

'An unmolested passage through your country, and friendship with you,' was
the answer.

Would we pay tribute?

'Our brother Mdango has told you that for our friends we have rich
presents, but these presents are given voluntarily or for services
rendered. We have weapons for our foes, but tribute for no one.'

The _el-moran_ replied with dignity, but haughtily, that it was not the
custom of the country to allow travellers to pass through as they pleased;
we must either pay what was demanded, or fight.

'Friends, consider well what you are doing. We do not wish to fight, but to
keep the peace and become your brethren. Go back to your kraals, and be
careful not to molest us. Tell this to your young warriors. If you go away,
we will take that as an indication of your friendly disposition, and there
shall no harm come to you. But if you come beyond that bush' (here Johnston
pointed to a small wood, a little over two hundred yards away from our
camp) 'we shall look upon it as an attack. I have spoken.'

The _el-moran_ went away with as much quiet dignity as they had exhibited
when they approached us. The number in sight had meantime increased to
nearly 2,000 men, who were arranged in tolerably good military order. When
they received our answer, they raised a not unmusical war-cry and,
extending their lances, hurried forward with a quick step. We sat still by
the side of our cooking-vessels as if the affair did not concern us, until
the foremost of the _el-moran_ had reached the specified bush. Johnston
then caused the signal to be blown; quick as lightning we were in the
saddle, and, with the elephants in our midst, we galloped towards the
_el-moran_, whilst a quick fire with blank-cartridge opened upon them and
our artillery began to play. The effect was not less drastic than it had
been in the case of the followers of Mdango. The arrogant assailants beat a
noisy retreat, and--an unheard-of disgrace for fighting _el-moran_--many of
them let fall their lances and shields in the panic. The whole body of them
fled until they were completely out of our view; but we went back to our
cooking-utensils, where we found Mdango's followers and adherents, who had
been inactive spectators of the scene, convulsed with laughter. We invited
them within our fenced camp, where we loaded each man with presents. First
Mdango was rewarded for his diplomatic services with a bright-coloured
gold-embroidered robe of honour (where, in speaking of presents, 'gold' is
mentioned--which the Central African neither knows nor values--spurious
metal must be understood), a silver watch, a white-metal knife, fork, and
spoon, and several tin plates. The using of the last-named articles must
have been very difficult to him at first; but it ought to be stated that
his watch continued to go well, and on special occasions he made use of his
knife and fork with a great deal of dignity.

Other Masai notables were honoured with choice presents, though not so
extravagantly as the much-envied Mdango. All the _el-moran_
received--besides strings of pearls and kerchiefs for their girls--the
much-coveted red breeches; each married man a coloured mantle; and every
woman, married or single, who honoured our camp with a visit was made glad
by gifts of pictures, pearls, and all kinds of bronze and glass
knickknacks. It took about fifty of us several hours to distribute these
presents. It was difficult to keep order in this surging mass of excited
and chattering men and women. It was almost sunset before the last of the
Masai men left our camp, whilst the prettiest of the girls and women showed
no inclination to return to their household gods.

Under the pretence of doing honour to our new friends, but really in order
to show that, when necessary, our weapons could strike as well as make a
noise, we ordered a grand parade for the next forenoon. At this there were
present, not merely our adherents, but also most of our assailants of
yesterday. The latter were shy and confused, like whipped children; but
they were attracted both by curiosity and by the hope of yet winning the
favour of the magnanimous _mussungus_ (whites). After manoeuvring for about
half an hour, we gave a platoon fire with ball-cartridge at a fixed target;
and then one of our sharpshooters smashed ten eggs thrown up in rapid
succession--a feat which won enthusiastic applause from the _el-moran_.
Even the ringleaders of yesterday's opponents, when this first part of the
play was over, declared that it would be madness to fight with such
antagonists; they saw clearly that we could have blown them all into the
air yesterday in ten minutes. The artillery portion of the spectacle
produced a still greater effect. About a mile and a quarter from our camp
Johnston had improvised several good-sized block-houses of heavy timber
covered with brushwood and dry grass, and had placed in them a quantity of
explosives. These structures, which were really of a substantial character,
were now subjected to a fire of grenades and rockets; and it can be readily
imagined that the ascending flames, the crackling of the falling timbers,
and the explosion of the enclosed fireworks, would strongly impress the
Masai. But the terrible fascination reached its climax when Johnston
brought into play a mine and an electric communication which had been
prepared during the night, and by means of which a hut stored with
fireworks was sent into the air. The Masai were now convinced that a
movement of our hands was sufficient alone to blow into the air any
enemies, however numerous they might be; and from that time to offer
violent resistance to us appeared to them as useless as to offer it to
supernatural powers.

When we saw that they were thus sufficiently prepared, we proceeded to
conclude our alliance of peace and friendship. First of all, however,
Johnston announced to the abashed and silently retreating victims of
yesterday's sham fight that we whites had forgiven them, that in the solemn
act now beginning we wished to look upon none but contented faces, and that
therefore they were to have presents given them. When this had been
announced, Johnston required the kraals--seventeen from Lytokitok and four
from Kapté were represented--each to nominate the _leitunu_ and _leigonani_
of its _el-moran_ and two of its _el-morun_ to draw up the contract with
us. The choice of these was soon finished, and an hour later the
deliberations--in which on our side only Johnston, myself, and six officers
took part--were opened by all sorts of ceremonies. First there were several
speeches, in which on our side were set forth the advantages which the
Masai would derive from our settling in their midst or on their frontiers;
and on the side of the Masai orators assurances of admiration and affection
for their white friends played the principal _rôle_. Then Johnston laid the
several points of the contract before them, as follows:

1. The Masai shall preserve unbroken peace and friendship towards us and
our allies, who are the inhabitants of Duruma, Teita, Taveta, Chala, and
Useri.

2. The Masai shall on no pretence whatever demand _hongo_ (tribute) from
any caravan conducted by white men; but promise on the contrary to assist
by all means in their power the progress of such caravans, particularly in
furnishing them, as far as their supplies allow, with provisions at a fair
price.

3. The Masai shall, when required by us at any time, place at our disposal
any number of _el-moran_ to act as escort or sentinels, yielding military
obedience to us during the period of their service with us.

4. In return we bind ourselves to recognise the Masai as our friends, to
protect them in their rights, and to aid them against foreign attacks.

5. The _el-moran_ of all the tribes in alliance with us shall receive every
man yearly two pair of good cotton trousers and fifty strings of glass
pearls to be chosen by themselves, or, if they wish, other articles of like
value. The _el-morun_ shall receive every man a cotton mantle; the
_leitunus_ and _leigonanis_ trousers, pearls, and mantle.

6. The _el-moran_ who shall be called out for active service among us shall
every one receive, besides full rations in flesh and milk, a daily payment
of five strings of pearls, or their value.

These conditions, which were received by the Masai present with signs of
undisguised satisfaction, were confirmed with great solemnity by the
symbolic ceremony of blood-fraternisation between the contracting parties.
As the multitude, who stood looking on at a respectful distance, greeted
the conditions, when read to them, with loud shouts of joy, we knew that
the public opinion of Lytokitok and of a portion of Kapté was completely
won.

We told our new allies that it was our intention to pass Matumbato and
Kapté on our way to the Naivacha lake, to admit to the alliance as many as
possible of the Masai tribes dwelling on our route, and then proceed to the
Kenia either by Kikuyu or by Lykipia. To facilitate our entering into
friendly relations with the tribes through whose territories we should
pass, we asked for a company of fifty _el-moran_ to precede us under the
leadership of our friend Mdango, who had risen very high in the estimation
of his countrymen. Our request was granted, and Mdango felt no little
flattered by the choice which had fallen on him. The fifty _el-moran_ whom
we asked for grew to be above five hundred, for the younger warriors
contended among themselves for the honour of serving us. The Masai advised
us not to take the route by Kikuyu. The Wa-Kikuyu are not a Masai tribe,
but belong to quite a different race, and have from time immemorial been at
feud with the Masai. They were described to us as at once treacherous,
cowardly, and cruel, as people without truthfulness and fidelity, and with
whom an honourable alliance was impossible. But as we had already learnt,
in our civilised home, how much reliance is to be placed on the opinions
held of each other by antagonistic nations, the above description produced
no effect upon our minds beyond that of convincing us that the Wa-Kikuyu
and the Masai were hereditary foes. That we were correct in our scepticism
the result showed. Mdango was informed that we should adhere to our
original purpose. He was to precede us by forced marches, if possible to
the frontiers of Lykipia, then turn and await us on the east shore of the
Naivasha lake, where, in three weeks' time, we hoped to hold the great
_shauri_ with the Masai tribes which he would then have got together and
won over to our wishes. As to the Wa-Kikuyu who occupied the territory to
the east of Naivasha, we ourselves would arrange with them.

Mdango left next morning, while we remained until the 1st of June at
Miveruni, on the north side of the Kilimanjaro. The news of what had
happened had reached the neighbouring Useri, whose inhabitants--hitherto
living in constant feud with the Masai--now came in great numbers, under
the leadership of their Sultan, to visit us, and to be convinced of the
truth of what they had heard. They brought gifts for both ourselves and the
Masai, the gifts for the latter being tokens of their pleasure at the
ending of their feud. We received fifty cows and fifty bulls; the Masai
half the number. This gift suggested to the Masai elders the idea of
sending messengers with greetings from us, and with assurances of peace
henceforth, to the Chaga, Wa-Taveta, Wa-Teita, and Wa-Duruma; which
embassy, as we learnt afterwards, returned six weeks later so richly
rewarded that the inhabitants of Lytokitok gained more in presents than
they had ever gained in booty by their raids. And as these presents were
repeated annually, though not to so great an amount, the peace was in this
respect alone a very good stroke of business for our new friends. But the
tribes which had formerly suffered from the Masai when on the war-path
profited still more from the peace, for they were henceforth able to
pasture their cattle in security and to till their fields, whilst
previously just the most fertile districts had been left untilled through
dread of the Masai.

As we were abundantly supplied with flesh and milk (for the Masai had given
us presents in return in the shape of fine cattle), we begged the Sultan of
Useri--who, of course, was not left unrewarded for his friendliness--to
hold his presents in his own keeping until we needed them. We intended to
use the cattle he offered us for the great caravans that would follow. For
the same purpose, we also left in charge of our Masai friends in Miveruni
three hundred and sixty head of cattle which we had not used of their
presents. We were not dependent upon our cattle for meat, as the chase
supplied us with an incredible abundance of the choicest dainties. For
instance, in three hours I shot six antelopes of different kinds, two
zebras, and one rhinoceros; and as our camp contained many far better
sportsmen than I am, it may be imagined how easy a matter it was to
provision us. In fact, though unnecessary slaughter was avoided as much as
possible, and our better sportsmen tried their skill upon only the game
that was very rare or very difficult to bring down, we could not ourselves
consume the booty brought home, but every day presented carcases of game to
our guest-friends. In particular, we shot rhinoceroses, with which the
country swarmed, solely for the use of our blacks, who were passionately
fond of certain portions of those animals, whilst no portion is palatable
to Europeans except in extreme need. When we were on the march it was often
necessary to kill these animals, because they--the only wild animals that
do it in Central Africa--have the inconvenient habit of attacking and
breaking through the caravans when they discover their neighbourhood by
means of the wind. This happened almost daily during the whole of our
journey, though only once a serious result followed, when a driver was
badly wounded and an ass was tossed and gored. But the inconvenience caused
by these attacks was always considerable, and we thought it better to shoot
the mischievous uncouth fellows rather than allow them an opportunity of
running down a man or a beast.

We had hitherto seen only isolated footprints of elephants, but on the
northern declivities of the Kilimanjaro we found elephants in great
numbers, though not in such enormous herds as we were to meet with later in
the Kenia districts. They were the noble game to which the more fastidious
of our sportsmen confined their attentions, without, however, achieving any
great success; for the elephants here were both shy and fierce, having
evidently been closely hunted by the ivory-seekers. It was necessary to
exercise extreme caution; and thus it was that only three of our best and
most venturesome hunters succeeded in killing one each, the flesh of which
was handed over to the blacks, whilst the small quantity of ivory found its
way into our treasury. _A propos_ of hunting, it may be mentioned here that
the lions, which were met with everywhere on our journey in great numbers,
sometimes in companies of as many as fifteen individuals, afforded the
least dangerous and generally the least successful sport. The lion of
Equatorial Africa is a very different animal from his North African
congener. He equals him in size and probably in strength, but in the
presence of man he is shyer and even timid. These lions will not attack
even a child; in fact, the natives chase them fearlessly with their
insignificant weapons when the lions fall upon their herds. All the many
lions upon which our huntsmen came made off quickly, and, even if wounded,
showed fight only when their retreat was cut off; in short, they are
cowards in every respect. The reason for this is to be sought in the great
abundance of their prey. As the table is always furnished for the 'king of
beasts,' and he need not run any danger or put forth any great effort in
order to satisfy his wants, he carefully avoids every creature that appears
seriously to threaten his safety. The buffalo, which is certainly the most
dangerous of all African wild beasts, is attacked by lions only when the
buffalo is alone and the lions are many in company.

At four in the morning of the 1st of June we left Miveruni. A march of
several hours placed the last of the woodland belts of the Kilima
foot-hills behind us, and we entered upon the bare plains of the Ngiri
desert. The road through these and past the Limgerining hills by the high
plateau of Matumbato offered little that was noteworthy. On the 6th of June
we reached the hills of Kapté, along whose western declivities we passed at
a height of from 4,000 to 5,500 feet above the sea. On our left, beneath
us, were the monotonous plains of Dogilani, stretching farther than the eye
could reach, and on our right the Kapté hills, rising to a height of nearly
10,000 feet, their sides showing mostly rich, grassy, park-like land, and
their summits clothed with dark forests. Numerous streamlets, here and
there forming picturesque waterfalls, fell noisily down, uniting in the
Dogilani country into larger streams, which, as far as the eye could follow
them, all took their course westward to fall into the Victoria Nyanza, the
largest of all the great lakes of Central Africa. All the tribes on our way
received us as old friends, even those with whom we had not previously
contracted alliance. They had all heard the wonderful story of the white
men who wished to settle amongst them, and who were at once so mighty and
so generous. Mdango's invitation to the _shauri_ at the Naivasha lake had
everywhere been gladly received; multitudes were already on their way, and
others joined us or promised to follow. There was no mention at all of
_hongo_; in short, our game was won in all parts of the country.

On the 12th we reached the confines of the Kikuyu country, along which our
further route to the Naivasha led. The evil reports of the knavish, hateful
character of this people were repeated to us in a yet stronger form by the
Kapté Masai, their immediate neighbours. But we had in the meantime
received from another source a very different representation. Our two
ladies had with them an Andorobbo girl whom they had taken into their
service in Taveta. The Andorobbo are a race of hunters who, without settled
residence, are to be met with throughout the whole of the enormous region
between the Victoria Nyanza and the Zanzibar coast. Sakemba--as the girl of
eighteen was called--belonged to a tribe of this race that hunted elephants
in the districts at the foot of the Kenia to the north of Kikuyu. She had
been stolen two years before by the Masai, who had sold her to a Swahili
caravan, with which she had gone to Taveta. The girl had an invincible
longing for her home--a rare thing among these races; and as it was known
that my sister and Miss Ellen were awaiting a caravan that was going on to
the Kenia, the girl appealed to them to buy her from her master and take
her back to her home, where her relatives would gladly pay the cost in
elephants' teeth. Touched by the importunity of the girl, Clara and Miss
Fox bought her of her master, gave her her liberty, and engaged to take her
with them. The girl was very intelligent, and was well-informed concerning
the affairs of her native country. She had heard in Miveruni what evil
reports the Masai gave of the Wa-Kikuyu, and she took the first opportunity
of assuring her protectresses that the case was not nearly so bad as it was
made to appear. The Masai and the Wa-Kikuyu were old foes, and, as they
consequently did each other all the harm they could, they ascribed every
conceivable vice to each other. It was true that the Wa Kikuyu would rather
fight in ambush than in the open field, and they certainly were not so
brave as the Masai; but they were treacherous and cruel only to their
enemies, while those who had won their confidence could as safely rely upon
them as upon the members of any other nation. The Andorobbo would much
rather have dealings with the Wa-Kikuyu than with the Masai, because the
former were much more peaceable and less overbearing than the latter. Our
direct route to the Kenia lay through Kikuyu, whilst the route through
Lykipia would have taken at least six days longer on account of the
_détour_ we should have to make around the Aberdare range of hills.

As we had no reason to question the trustworthiness of this report, the
last--and to us most important--part of which was confirmed by a glance at
the map, we resolved at any rate to attempt the route through Kikuyu.
Therefore, whilst the greater part of the expedition continued to pursue,
under Johnston's guidance, the northerly route to the Naivasha lake, I with
fifty men and a quantity of baggage went easterly by the frontier place,
Ngongo-a-Bagas. My intention was to take with me merely Sakemba as one
acquainted with the country and the people, and to leave the two ladies in
Johnston's care until my return. But my sister declared that she would not
leave me on any account; and as the Andorobbo girl belonged to the women
and not to me, and moreover asserted that there would be absolutely no
danger for the women, since it had been from time immemorial an unbroken
custom for the Masai and the Wa-Kikuyu to respect each other's women in
time of war--an assurance which was confirmed on all hands, even by the
Masai themselves--my sister and Miss Ellen became members of our party.

As soon as we entered the territory of Kikuyu we found ourselves in
luxuriant shady forests, which however could by no means be said to be
'impenetrable,' but were rather remarkable for being in very many places
cut through by broad passages, which had the appearance of having been made
by some skilful gardener for the convenience and recreation of
pleasure-seekers. These ways were not perfectly straight, but as a rule
they went in a certain definite direction. In breadth they varied from
three to twenty feet; at places they broadened out into considerable
clearings which, like the narrower ways, were clothed with a very fine and
close short grass, and were deliciously shady and cool. The origin of these
ways was, and is, an enigma to me. On each side of them there was underwood
between the stems of the tall trees. At places this underwood was very
thick, and we could plainly see that dark figures followed us on both
sides, watching all our movements, and evidently not quite sure as to what
our intentions were. The fact that we came from the hostile Masailand might
have excited mistrust, for we proceeded in this way a couple of hours
without an actual meeting between ourselves and any of our unknown escort.

An end had to be put to this, for some unforeseen accident might lead to a
misunderstanding followed by hostilities. So I asked Sakemba if she dared
to go alone among the Wa-Kikuyu. 'Why not?' asked she. 'It would be as safe
as for me to go into the hut of my parents.' I therefore ordered a halt,
and the Andorobbo girl went fearlessly towards the bushes where she knew
the Wa-Kikuyu to be, and at once disappeared. In half an hour she returned
accompanied by several Wa-Kikuyu women, who were sent to test the truth of
Sakemba's story--that is, to see whether we were, with the exception of a
few drivers, all whites, and whether--which would be the most certain proof
of our pacific intentions--there were really two white women among us.
Uncertain rumours about us had already reached the ears of the Wa-Kikuyu;
but, as these reports had come through the hostile Masai, the Wa-Kikuyu had
not known how much to believe. But the deputation of women opened up
friendly relations between us; a few lavishly bestowed trinkets soon won us
the hearts and the confidence of the black fair ones. Our visitors did not
waste time in returning to the men, but signalled and called the latter to
come to them, with the result that we were immediately surrounded by
hundreds of admiring and astonished Wa-Kikuyu.

I went among them, accompanied only by an interpreter, and asked where
their sultan and elders were. Sultan had they none, was the answer--they
were independent men; their elders were present among them. 'Then let us at
once hold a _shauri_, for I have something of importance to tell you.' No
African can resist a request to hold a _shauri_; so we immediately sat down
in a circle, and I was able to make known my wishes. First, I told them of
our victory over the Masai, and how we had forced them to preserve peace
with us and with all our allies, I also told them of our subsequent
generosity. I then assured them that we also wished to have the Wa-Kikuyu
as our allies, which would result in peace between them and the Masai, and
would bring great benefit to them from us. We asked for nothing, however,
in return but a friendly reception and an unmolested passage through their
territory. If they refused, we would force them to grant it, as we did the
Masai. 'Look here'--I took a repeating-rifle in my hand--'this thing hits
at any distance;' and I gave it to one of our best marksmen and pointed to
a vulture which sat upon a tree a little more than three hundred yards off.
The shot was heard, and the vulture fell down mortally wounded. The
Wa-Kikuyu showed signs of being about to run away, although they had
occasionally heard the reports of guns in their conflicts with Swahili
caravans. What frightened them was not the noise, but the certainty of the
aim. However, they were soon reassured, and I went on: 'We not only always
hit with our weapons, but we can shoot without cessation.' I had this
assertion demonstrated to them by a rapid succession of ten shots; and
again my hearers were seized with a horrible fright. 'We have fifty such
things here, a hundred and fifty more among the Masai, and many many
thousands where we come from. Besides, we carry with us the most dangerous
medicines--all to be used only against those who attack us. But we have
costly presents for those who are friendly towards us.' Then I ordered to
be opened a bale of various wares which had been specially packed for such
an occasion, and I said: 'This belongs to you, that you may remember the
hour in which you saw us for the first time. No one shall say, "I sat with
the white men and held _shauri_ with them, and my hands remained empty." If
you wish to know how liberally we deal with those who become our allies, go
and ask the Masai.'

The effect of this address, and still more of the openly displayed
presents, left nothing to be desired. The distribution of the presents gave
rise to a tremendous scramble among our future friends; but when this was
over--fortunately without any serious mischief--we were overwhelmed with
extravagant asseverations of affection and zealous service. First we were
invited to honour with our presence their huts, so ingeniously concealed in
the forest thickets, an invitation which we readily accepted. We were
careful, however, to take up our quarters in a commanding position, and to
keep ourselves well together. I also directed that several of our people
should, without attracting attention, keep constant watch. I left the
baggage in charge of four gigantic mastiffs which we had brought with us.
The former part of these precautions proved to be quite unnecessary; no one
harboured any evil design against us, and the anxious timidity which the
Wa-Kikuyu at first so manifestly showed quickly yielded to the most
complete confidence, in which change of attitude, it may be incidentally
remarked, the women led the way. On the other hand, it proved to be
extremely advisable to keep watch over the baggage. Desperate cries of
'Murder!' and 'Help!' were soon heard from a Wa-Kikuyu boy, who, thinking
our baggage was unwatched, had crept near it with a knife, but was very
cleverly fixed by one of the mastiffs. We released him, frightened nearly
to death, but otherwise quite unhurt, out of the clutches of the powerful
animal; and we were troubled by no further attempt upon our baggage.

The next morning we asked our hosts to accompany us a few days' march
further into the interior of the country in the direction of the Kenia, and
to invite as many of their associated tribes as they could communicate with
in so short a time to meet us in a _shauri_, since we desired to contract
with them a firm alliance. This was readily promised, and so for two days
we were accompanied by several hundred Wa-Kikuyu through the magnificent
forest, in which the flora vied with the fauna in beauty and multiplicity
of species. The Wa-Kikuyu entertained us in a truly extravagant manner,
without accepting payment for anything. We were literally overloaded with
milk, honey, butter, all kinds of flesh and fowl, _mtama_ cakes, bananas,
sweet potatoes, yams, and a great choice of very delicious fruits. We
wondered whence this inexhaustible abundance, particularly of wild fruits,
came; for in the forest clearings which we had passed through pasturage and
agriculture were evidently only subordinate industries. At the end of the
second day's march, however, the riddle was solved; for when we had reached
the considerable river called the Guaso Amboni, which falls into the Indian
Ocean, we found spreading out before us farther than the eye could reach a
high plateau which, so far as we could see, had the character of an open
park-land, bearing, especially where it touched the forest we had just
left, all the indications of a very highly developed agriculture. Here was
evidently the source of the Kikuyu's inexhaustible corn supply. Far in the
northern horizon we saw a large blue mountain-range, at least 50 or 60
miles distant, which our guides and Sakemba said was the Kenia range. They
assured us that from where we were there could be seen in clear weather the
snowy peak of the principal mountain; but at that time it was hidden by
clouds.

Here, then, lay before us the goal of our wanderings, and powerful emotion
seized us all as we, though only at a great distance, for the first time
looked upon our future home. The Kenia peak, however, remained wrapped in
clouds during the two days of our stay on the eastern outskirts of the
Kikuyu forest. We made our halt in a charming grove of gigantic bread-fruit
trees, where the Wa-Kikuyu placed their huts gratuitously at our disposal.
The place is called Semba, and had been selected as the meeting-place of
the great _shauri_. We found a great number of natives already assembled
there; and on the next day everything was arranged and confirmed between us
to our mutual satisfaction. Thus we were able to start on our return march
on the 16th of June. We did not go over the Ngongo, but followed a
tributary of the Amboni to its source--more than 7,000 feet above the
sea--and then dropped abruptly down from the edge of the Kikuyu tableland
and went direct to the Naivasha, which we reached on the evening of the
19th. We were somewhat exhausted, but otherwise in good condition and in
excellent spirits. We had discovered that we should be able to reach the
Kenia a good week earlier than would have been possible by the originally
chosen route through Lykipia.

The Naivasha is a beautiful lake in the midst of picturesque ranges of
hills, the highest points of which reach 6,500 feet. The lake has a
superficies of about thirty square miles, and its characteristic feature is
a fabulous wealth in feathered game of all kinds. Here Johnston had made
all the necessary preparations for the great feast of peace and joy which
we purposed to give the Masai. The news that they had henceforth to reckon
the Wa-Kikuyu also among our friends was received by the _el-moran_ with
mixed feelings; but they submitted to the arrangement without murmuring,
and at the feast, in which fifty of the principal men among the Wa Kikuyu
who had accompanied us took part, the new friendship between the two races
was more firmly established.

The feast consisted of a two days' great carousing, at which we provided
enormous quantities of flesh, baked food, fruits, and punch for not less
than 6,000 guests, without reckoning women and children. The chief feature
consisted of some splendid fireworks. During these two days 150 fat young
bulls, 260 antelopes of various kinds, 25 giraffes, innumerable feathered
game, and an enormous quantity of vegetables were consumed. The punch was
brewed in 100 vessels, each holding above six gallons, and each filled on
the average four times. Nevertheless, this colossal hospitality--apart from
the fireworks--cost us nothing at all. The cattle were presents, and indeed
were a part of the number brought to us by numerous tribes as tokens of
grateful esteem; the game we had, of course, not bought, but shot; and the
vegetables were here, on the borders of Kikuyu, so cheap that the price may
be regarded as merely nominal. As to the punch, the chief ingredient,
rum--fortunately not a home production in Masailand and Kikuyuland--our
experts had made on the spot, without touching the nearly exhausted supply
we had brought with us. For among our other machinery there was a still.
This was unpacked, wild-growing sugar-cane was to be had in abundance, and
hence we had rum in plenty. Care was taken that the process was not so
watched by the natives as to be learnt by them, for we did not wish to
introduce among our neighbours that curse of negroland, the rum-bottle. The
hot punch which we served out to them did not contain more than one part of
rum to ten of water; yet nearly three hundred gallons of this noble spirit
had to be used in the improvised bowls during the two days of the feast.
The jubilation, particularly during the letting-off of the fireworks, was
indescribable; and when finally, after silence had been obtained by
flourish of trumpets, we had it proclaimed by strong-voiced heralds that
the nation of the Masai were invited by us to be our guests at the same
place every year on the 19th and 20th of June, the people nearly tore us to
pieces out of pure delight.

The 21st of June was devoted to rest after the fatigues of the feast, and
to the arrangement of the baggage; on the 22nd the march to Kikuyu was
begun. To avoid taking the sumpter beasts over the steep acclivities of the
hills that skirted the Naivasha valley, we turned back towards
Ngongo-a-Bagas, which we reached on the 24th. Here we decided to establish
an express communication with the sea, in order that the news of our
arrival at our goal, which we expected to reach in a few days, might be
carried as quickly as possible to Mombasa, and thence to the committee of
the International Free Society. From Mombasa to Ngongo our engineers had
measured 500 miles; we had done the distance in 38 days--from May 5 to June
12--of which, however, only 27 were real marching days. We calculated that
our Arab horses, if put to the strain for only one day, could easily cover
more than 60 miles in the day, and that therefore the whole distance could
be covered in eight stages of a day each. Therefore sixteen of our best
riders, with twenty-four of the best-winded racers, were ordered back.
These couriers were directed to distribute themselves in twos at distances
of about sixty miles--where the roads were bad a little less, and where
they were good a little more. As baggage, besides their weapons and
ammunition, they were furnished with merely so much of European necessaries
and of articles for barter on the way as could be easily carried by the
eight supernumerary horses, which were at the same time to serve as a
reserve. For the rest we could safely rely upon their being received with
open arms and hospitably entertained by the natives they might meet with
along the route we had taken. A similar service of couriers was established
between Ngongo and the Kenia; as this latter distance was about 120 miles
it was covered by two stages. Thus there was a total of ten stages, and it
was anticipated that news from Kenia would reach Mombasa in ten days--an
anticipation which proved to be correct.

The march through the forest-land of Kikuyu, which was entered on the 25th,
was marked by no noteworthy incident. When, early on the morning of the
27th, we reached the open, we found ourselves at first in a thick fog,
which was inconvenient to us Caucasians merely in so far as it hid the view
from us; but our Swahili people, who had never before experienced a
temperature of 53° Fahr. in connection with a damp atmosphere, had their
teeth set chattering. To the northerners, and particularly to the
mountaineers among us, there was something suggestive of home in the
rolling masses of fog permeated with the balmy odours of the trees and
shrubs. About eight A.M. there suddenly sprang up a light warm breeze from
the north; the fog broke with magical rapidity, and before us lay, in the
brilliant sunshine, a landscape, the overpowering grandeur of which mocks
description. Behind us and on our left was the marvellous forest which we
had not long since left; right in front of us was a gently sloping stretch
of country in which emerald meadows alternated with dark banana-groves and
small patches of waving corn. The ground was everywhere covered with
brilliant flowers, whose sweet perfume was wafted towards us in rich
abundance by the genial breeze. Here and there were scattered small groups
of tall palms, some gigantic wide-spreading fig-trees, planes, and
sycamores; and numerous herds of different kinds of wild animals gave life
to the scene. Here frolicked a troop of zebras; there grazed quietly some
giraffes and delicate antelopes; on the left two uncouth rhinoceroses
chased each other, grunting; about 1,100 yards from us a score of elephants
were making their way towards the forest; and at a greater distance still
some hundreds of buffaloes were trotting towards the same goal.

This splendid country stretched out of sight towards the east and the
south-east, traversed by the broad silver band of the Guaso Amboni, which,
some five miles off, and perhaps at a level of above 300 feet below where
we were standing, flowed towards the east, and, so far as we could see,
received at least a dozen small tributaries from sources on both of the
enclosing slopes. The tributaries springing from the Kikuyu forest on the
southern side--on which we were--are the smaller; those from the northern
side are incomparably more copious, for their source is the Kenia range.
This giant among the mountains of Africa, which covers an area of nearly
800 square miles and rises to a height of nearly 20,000 feet, now--despite
the 50 miles between us and that--showed itself to our intoxicated gaze as
an enormous icefield with two crystalline peaks sharply projected against
the dark firmament.

Even the Swahili, who are generally indifferent to the beauties of nature,
broke out into deafening shouts of delight; but we whites stood in
speechless rapture, silently pressed each other's hands, and not a few
furtively brushed a tear from the eye. The Land of Promise lay before us,
more beautiful, grander, than we had dared to dream--the cradle of a happy
future for us and, if our hopes and wishes were not vain, for the latest
generations of mankind.

From thence onward it was as if our feet and the feet of our beasts had
wings. The pure invigorating air of this beautiful tableland, freshened by
the winds from the Kenia, the pleasant road over the soft short grass, and
the sumptuous and easily obtained provisions, enabled us to make our daily
marches longer than we had yet done. On the evening of the 27th we crossed
the eastern boundary of Kikuyu, where we had to lay in large stores of
provisions, because we then entered a district where the only population
consisted of a few nomadic Andorobbo. As far as we could see, the country
resembled a garden, but man had not yet taken possession of this paradise.
The 28th and the greater part of the 29th found us marching through flowery
meadows and picturesque little woodlands, and crossing murmuring brooks and
streams of considerable size; but the only living things we met with were
giraffes, elephants, rhinoceroses, buffaloes, zebras, antelopes, and
ostriches, with hippopotamuses and flamingoes on the river banks. Most of
these creatures were so tame that they scarcely got out of our way, and
several overbold zebras accompanied us for some distance, neighing and
capering as they went along. On the afternoon of the 29th we entered the
thick highland forest, which stretched before us farther than we could see,
and through the dense underwood of which the axe of our pioneers had to cut
us a way. The ground had been gradually ascending for two days--that is,
ever since we had left the Amboni--and it now became steeper; we had
reached the foot of the Kenia mountain. The forest zone proved to be of
comparatively small breadth, and on the morning of the 30th we emerged from
it again into open undulating park-land. When we had scaled one of the
heights in front of us, there lay before us, almost within reach of our
hands, the Kenia in all the icy magnificence of its glacier-world.

We had reached our goal!



CHAPTER V


It was eight weeks since we had left Mombasa, a shorter time than had ever
been taken by any caravan in Equatorial Africa to cover a distance of more
than 600 miles. During the whole time we had all been, with unimportant
exceptions, in good health. There had been seven cases of fever among us
whites, caused by the chills that followed sudden storms of rain; the fever
in all these cases disappeared again in from two to eight days, and left no
evil results. Twice a number of cases of colic occurred among both whites
and blacks, on both occasions resulting simply from gastronomic excesses,
first in Teita and then at the Naivasha lake; and these were also cured,
without evil results, by the use of tartar emetic. These sanitary
conditions, exceptionally favourable for African journeys, even in the
healthy highlands, were the result of the judicious marching arrangements,
and, particularly among us whites, of the care taken to provide for all the
customary requirements of civilised men. Tea, coffee, cocoa, meat extract,
cognac to use with bad water, light wine for the evening meals, tobacco,
and cigars, were always abundantly within reach; our mackintoshes and
waterproof boots while marching, and the waterproof tents in camp,
protected us from the wet--the chief source of fever; and we were assisted
to bear our lesser privations and inconveniences by our zeal for our task,
and not least by the fine balmy air which, from Teita onwards, we almost
always breathed. Our saddle-horses and sumpter beasts also were, by the
nourishing feed and the judicious treatment which they received, enabled to
bear well the heavy labours of the march.

I cannot forbear expressing the opinion that the heavy losses of other
caravans, which sometimes lose all their beasts in a few days, are to be
ascribed less to the climate or to the--in the lowlands, certainly very
troublesome--insect pests, than to the utter inexperience of the Swahili in
the treatment of animals. Had we relied merely upon our blacks, we should
have left most of our beasts, and certainly all our horses, on the road to
feed the vultures and hyenas. The horses would never have been allowed to
cool before they drank, they never would have been properly groomed, if we
had not continually insisted upon these things being done, and given a good
example by attending to our saddle-horses ourselves. That the 'white
gentleman' attended to his horse's wants before he attended to his own
wrought such an effect upon the Swahili that at last their care for their
beasts developed into a kind of tenderness. The consequence was that during
the whole journey we lost only one camel, three horses, and five asses--and
of these last only two died of disease, the other three having been killed
by wild beasts. Of the dogs, we lost three by wild beasts--one by a
rhinoceros, and two by buffaloes.

From the moment of our arrival at the Kenia, the conduct of the expedition
devolved into my hands. My first care on the next morning was to despatch
to our friends in Europe my detailed journal of the events which had
already happened, together with a brief closing report. In the latter I
stated that we could undertake to have everything ready for the reception
of many thousands of our brethren by the next harvest--that is, according
to the African calendar, by the end of October. We could also undertake to
get finished a road suitable for slow-going vehicles from Mombasa to Kenia
by the end of September at the latest, with draught oxen in sufficient
number. I asked the managers of the Society, on their part, to have a
sufficient number of suitable waggons constructed in good time; and I, on
my part, engaged that, from and after the first of October, any number of
duly announced immigrant members should be conveyed to their new home
safely and with as little inconvenience as was possible under the
circumstances. In conclusion, I asked them to send at once several
hundredweight of different kinds of goods, accompanied by a new troop of
vigorous young members.

The two couriers with this despatch--the couriers had always to ride in
twos--started before dawn on the 1st of July; punctually on the 10th the
despatch was in Mombasa, on the 11th at Zanzibar; on the same day the
committee received my report by telegraph from our agents in Zanzibar, and
the journal, which went by mail-ship, they received twenty days later. On
the evening of the 11th the reply reached Zanzibar; and on the 22nd I was
myself able to read to my deeply affected brethren these first tidings from
our distant friends. The message was very brief: 'Thanks for the joyful
news; membership more than 10,000; waggons, for ten persons and twenty
hundredweight load each, ordered as per request, will begin to reach
Mombasa by the end of September; 260 horsemen, with 300 sumpter beasts, and
800 cwt. of goods start end of July. Send news as often as possible.' I had
already anticipated the wish expressed in the last sentence, for not less
than five further despatches had been sent off between the 6th and the 21st
of July. What they contained will be best learnt from the following
narrative of our experiences and our labours; and from this time forward a
distinction has to be made between the work of preparing the new home on
the Kenia and the arrangements necessary for keeping up and improving our
communication with the coast.

On the evening of the last day of June we had pitched our camp on the bank
of a considerable stream, the largest we had yet seen. Its breadth is from
thirty to forty yards, and its depth from one to three yards. The water is
clear and cool, but its current is strikingly sluggish. It flows from
north-west to south-east, through a trough-like plateau about eighteen
miles long, which bends, crescent-shaped, round the foot-hills of the
Kenia. The greatest breadth of this plateau in the middle is nearly nine
miles, whilst it narrows at the west end to less than a mile, and at the
east end to two miles and a half. This trough-like area of about 100 square
miles consists entirely of rich grass-land, with numerous small groves of
palms, bananas, and sycamores. It is bounded on the south by the grassy
hills which we had crossed over, on the west by abrupt rocky walls, on the
north partly by dark forest-hills, and partly by barren lofty rocks which
hide from view the main part of the Kenia lying behind them. On the east,
between the hills to the south and the rocks to the north, there is an
opening through which the stream finds its outlet by a waterfall of above
300 feet, and the thunder and plashing of which were audible at the great
distance at which we were. This river, which was later found to be the
upper course of the Dana, entering the Indian Ocean on the Witu coast,
enters our plateau by a narrow gate of rocks through which we were not at
first able to pass. From the north, down the declivities of the foot-hills
of the Kenia, four larger and many smaller streams hurry to the Dana, and
in their course through their rocky basins form a number of more or less
picturesque cascades. The height of this large park-like plateau above the
sea-level, measured at its lowest point--the stream-bed--is nearly 6,000
feet.

Whilst we were engaged in the detailed examination of this lofty plateau, I
sent out several expeditions, whose duty it was to penetrate as far as
possible into the Kenia range, in order to find elevated points from which
to make exact observations of the form and character of the district lying
around us. For though the country immediately about us charmed us so much,
yet I would not definitively decide to lay the foundation-stone of our
first settlement until I had obtained at least a superficial view of the
whole region of the Kenia. The information which Sakemba was able to give
us was but little, and insufficient. We were therefore much delighted when
eight natives, whom we recognised as Andorobbo, showed themselves before
our camp. They had seen our camp-fires on the previous night, and now
wished to see who we were, Sakemba, who went out to them, quickly inspired
them with confidence, and we now had the best guides we could have wished
for. With Sakemba's help we soon informed them of our first
purpose--namely, to send out eight different expeditions, each under the
guidance of an Andorobbo. The first expedition returned on the evening of
the same day, and the last at the end of a week, and all with tolerably
exhaustive reports.

Not one of the expeditions had got near the summit of the Kenia.
Nevertheless, grand views had been obtained from various easily accessible
points of the main body of the mountain, some of them at an altitude of
above 10,000 feet. It had been found that the side of the Kenia best
adapted to the rearing of stock and to agriculture was that by which we had
approached it. To the eastward and northward were large stretches of what
appeared to be very fertile land; but that on the east was very monotonous,
and lacked the not merely picturesque, but also practically advantageous,
diversity of open country and forest, hill and plain, which we found in the
south. On the north the country was too damp; and on the west there spread
out an endless extent of forest broken by only a small quantity of open
ground. It might all be converted into most productive cultivated land at a
later date; but, at the outset, soil that was ready for use was naturally
to be preferred. The inner portions of the mountain district before us were
filled with wooded hills and rocks traversed by numberless valleys and
gorges. These foot-hills reached on all sides close to the abruptly rising
central mass of the Kenia; only in the south-west, about three miles from
the western end of our plateau, did the foot-hills retire to make room for
an extensive open valley-basin, in the middle of which was a lake, the
outflow from which was the Dana. Our experts estimated the superficies of
this valley at nearly sixty square miles; and all agreed that it was very
fertile, and that its situation made it a veritable miracle of beauty. The
best way into this valley was through the gorge by which the Dana flowed;
but, so long as we were without suitable boats, we were obliged to enter
the valley not directly from our plateau, but by a circuitous route through
a small valley to the south.

I received this report on the morning of the 3rd of July. Next day, without
waiting for the return of two of the expeditions which were still absent, I
started for this much-lauded lake and valley. The indicated route, which
proved to be, in fact, a very practicable one, led from our camp to the
western end of the plateau, then bending towards the south and skirting a
small, rocky, wooded hill, it entered a narrow valley leading in a
northerly direction. This valley opened into the Dana gorge, which is here
neither so narrow nor so impassable as at its opening into the plateau.
Following this gorge upwards, in an hour we found ourselves suddenly
standing in the sought-for valley.

The view was perfectly indescribable. Imagine an amphitheatre of almost
geometrical regularity, about eleven miles long by seven miles and a half
broad, the semicircle bounded by a series of gently rising wooded hills
from 300 to 500 feet high, with a background formed by the abrupt and
rugged precipices and cloud-piercing snowy summit of the Kenia. This
majestic amphitheatre is occupied on the side nearest to the Kenia by a
clear deep-blue lake; on the other side by a flowery park-land and meadows.
The whole suggests an arena in which a grand piece, that may be called 'The
Cascades of the Kenia Glaciers,' is being performed to an auditory
consisting of innumerable elephants, giraffes, zebras, and antelopes. At an
inaccessible height above, numberless veins of water, kissed by the
dazzling sunlight, spring from the blue-green shimmering crevasses. Foaming
and sparkling--now shattered into vapour reflecting all the hues of the
rainbow, now forming sheets of polished whiteness--they rush downwards with
ever increasing mass and tumult, until at length they are all united into
one great torrent which, with a thundering roar plainly audible in a
favourable wind six miles away, hurries from its glacier home towards the
precipitous rocks. There the whole colossal mass of water--which a few
miles off forms the Dana river--falls perpendicularly down from a height of
1,640 feet, so dashed into vapour-dust as to form a great rainbow-cloud.
The stream suddenly disappears in mid-air, and the eye seeks in vain to
track its course against the background of dark glistening cliffs until,
more than 1,600 feet below, the masses of falling vapour are again
collected into flowing water, thence, with the noise and foam of many
smaller cascades, to reach the lake by circuitous routes.

Speechless with delight, we gazed long at this unparalleled natural
miracle, whose grandeur and beauty words cannot describe. The eye eagerly
took in the flood of light and glittering colour, and the ear the noise of
the water pealing down from a fabulous height; the breast greedily inhaled
as a cordial the odorous air which was wafted through this enchanted
valley. The woman who was with us--Ellen Fox--was the first to find words.
Like a prophetess in an ecstasy, she looked long at the play of the water;
then, suddenly, as a stronger breath of wind completely dissipated the
vaporous veil of the waterfall, which just before had formed a waving,
sabre-like, shimmering band, she cried, 'Behold, the flaming sword of the
archangel, guarding the gate of Paradise, has vanished at our approach! Let
us call this place Eden!'

The name Eden was unanimously adopted. That this valley must be our future
place of abode was at once decided by all of us. A more careful examination
showed its superficies to be over sixty-two square miles. Allowing thirteen
miles for the elliptical lake stretching out under the Kenia cliffs, and
fifteen miles for the woods which clothed the heights around the valley,
there remained above thirty miles of open park-land surrounding the lake,
except where the Kenia cliffs touched the water, stretching in narrow
strips to the Kenia on the north-east, and broadening on the other sides to
from 1,100 yards to four miles. The glacier-water forming the Dana entered
the valley on the north-west, and left it on the south-east. The water,
which was not so cold when it entered the lake as might have been expected,
rapidly acquired a higher temperature in the lake; on hot days the lake
rose to 75° Fahr. Other streams fall into the lake, some of them from the
Kenia cliffs, and others from the various hills which surround the valley.
We counted not less than eleven such streams, among them a hot one with a
temperature of 125° Fahr.

Naturally we had not been idle during the four days which preceded our
discovery of Eden Vale. On the 1st of July, a few hours after the couriers
with the first despatches, the expeditions appointed to establish regular
communication with Mombasa were sent off. There were two such expeditions:
one, under Demestre and three other engineers, had to construct the road;
and the other, under Johnston, had to procure the draught oxen--of which it
was estimated about 5,000 would be required--and to arrange for the
provisioning of the whole distance. To the first expedition were allotted
twenty of our members and two hundred of our Swahili men, with a train of
fifty draught beasts; with Johnston went merely ten of ourselves, twenty
draught beasts, and ten sheep-dogs. How these expeditions accomplished
their tasks shall be told later.

I had now sent away altogether 58 of our own people, 200 Swahili men, and
181 saddle and draught beasts, besides having lost nine of the latter by
death during the journey. I had, therefore, now with me at the Kenia 149
whites, 80 Swahili, and 475 beasts, besides the dogs and the elephants. In
addition to the above, we were offered the services of several hundred of
the Wa-Kikuyu, who had followed us. Of these latter I retained 150 of the
most capable; the others, in charge of five of ourselves, I sent back at
once to their home, with the commission to purchase and send on to the
Kenia 800 strong draught oxen, 150 cows, 400 oxen for slaughter, and
several thousand hundredweight of various kinds of corn and food. Having
attended to these things, I allotted and gave out to the most suitable
hands the many different kinds of work which had first to be done. One of
our workmen had charge of the forge and smithy, another the saw-mill, with,
of course, the requisite assistance. A special section was told off for the
tree-felling, and another section had to get ready and complete the
agricultural implements. One of the engineers who remained at the Kenia was
appointed, with one hundred blacks under him, to construct the requisite
means of communication in the settlement--particularly to build bridges
over the Dana.

On the 5th of July we shifted our settlement to Eden Vale. The ground was
exactly measured, and on the shores of the lake the future town was marked
out, with its streets, open spaces, public buildings, and places of
recreation. In this projected town we allowed space for 25,000 family
houses, each with a considerable garden; and this covered thirteen square
miles. Outside of the building area--which could be afterwards enlarged at
pleasure--2,500 acres were selected for temporary cultivation, and
irrigated with a network of small canals; as soon as possible it was to be
fenced in to protect it against the incursions of the numberless wild
animals that swarmed around it, as well as from our domestic animals which,
though shut up at night in a strong pen, were allowed during the day, when
they were not in use, to pasture in the open country under the care of some
of the Swahili men and the dogs.

In the meantime, the saw-mill, which had been set up in the Dana plateau,
hard by the river, and had for its motive-power one of the rapid streams
that came down from the hills, had begun its work. The first timber which
it cut up was used in the construction of two large flat boats, in which
the transportation of the building timber up the river to the Eden lake was
at once begun. A few weeks later, on the shores of the lake, there had
arisen forty spacious wooden buildings, into which we whites removed from
the confined camp-tents we had previously occupied. The negroes preferred
to remain in the grass huts which they had made for themselves in the
shelter of a little wood. By this time the cattle were also furnished with
their pen, which was high and strong enough to offer an insurmountable
obstacle to any invasion by quadrupeds. In this pen there was room for
about two thousand beasts, and it was, moreover, provided with a covered
space for protection against rain.

By the 9th of July, our smiths, wheelwrights, and carpenters had converted
ten of the ploughshares we had brought with us into ploughs, and by the
same date the first consignment of cattle had come in from Kikuyu--120 oxen
and 50 cows, together with 200 sheep and a large quantity of poultry.
Ploughing was at once attempted, under the direction of our agriculturists.
The Kikuyu oxen struggled a little against the yoke, and at first they
could not be made to keep in the furrow; but in three days we were able to
work them with ease in teams of eight to a plough. This expenditure of
force was necessary, as the black fat soil, matted by the thick virgin
turf, was extremely difficult to break up. At first it was necessary to
have a driver to every pair of oxen, and the furrows were not so straight
as if ploughed by long-domesticated oxen; but at any rate the ground was
broken up, and in a comparatively short time the beasts got accustomed to
their work and went through it most satisfactorily. On the 15th of July a
fresh arrival of oxen brought fifteen more ploughs into use; and again on
the 20th. By the end of the month, with these forty ploughs, some 750 acres
had been broken up. This was at once harrowed and prepared for the seed. It
was then sown with what seed-corn we had brought with us--chiefly wheat and
barley--supplemented to the extent of about three-fourths by African wheat
and _mtama_ corn. The ground was then rolled again, and the work was
finished in the second half of August. The whole of the cultivated area was
then hedged in, and we cheerfully greeted the beginning of the shorter
rainy season.

In the meantime a garden--provisionally of about twenty-five acres--had
been laid out, a little farther from the precincts of the town than the
arable land; for whilst the latter could easily be removed farther away as
the town increased, it was necessary to find for the garden as permanent a
site as possible--one therefore that lay outside of the range of the growth
of the town. As we had among us no less than eighteen skilled gardeners,
and as these had as much assistance as they required from the Swahili and
Wa-Kikuyu, the twenty-five acres were in a few months planted with the
choicest kinds of fruits and berries, vegetables, flowers--in short, with
all kinds of useful and ornamental plants which we had brought from our old
homes, had collected on our way, or had met with in the neighbourhoods in
which we had settled. The garden also was covered with a network of
irrigating canals, and enclosed against unwelcome intruders by a high and
strong fence.

Against accidental inroads of monkeys there was no other protection than
the vigilance of our dogs and the guns of the gardeners. A war of
annihilation was therefore begun against the monkeys of the whole district,
of which there were untold legions in the woods that girdled Eden Vale and
in some small groves in the vale itself. While we shot other animals only
when we needed their flesh, the monkeys were destroyed wherever they showed
themselves in the neighbourhood of Eden Vale; and very soon the cunning
creatures began carefully to avoid the inhospitable valley, whilst outside
of it they retained their former daring. Several other animals were also
excluded from the general law of mercy, and that even more rigorously than
the monkeys, which were proscribed only within the boundaries of the
valley. These animals were leopards and lions, against which we organised,
whenever we had time, serious hunting expeditions. After a few months these
animals entirely disappeared from the whole district; and subsequently they
almost voluntarily forsook all the districts into which we penetrated with
our weapons and with our noisy activity. They have room enough elsewhere,
and hold it to be unnecessary to expose their skin to the bullets of white
men. On the other hand, we did not molest the hyenas; the harm which they
now and then did by the theft of a sheep was more than compensated for by
their usefulness as devourers of carrion. They are shy, cowardly beasts,
which do not readily attack anything that is alive; but in the character of
unwearied sanitary police they scour field and forest for dead animals. In
the list of beasts not to be spared stood at first the hippopotamuses,
which haunted the Eden lake and the Dana in large herds. We should have had
nothing to object to in these uncouth brutes if they had not molested our
boats and behaved aggressively towards our bathers. But, after our shells
had somewhat lessened their number, and in particular after certain
uncommonly daring old fellows had been disposed of, the rest acquired
respect for us and kept at a distance whenever they saw a man; we then
relaxed our severity, and for the time contented ourselves with keeping
them out of Eden Vale. But of course we showed no mercy to the numberless
crocodiles that infested the lake and the river. We attacked these with
bullet and spear, with hook and poison, day and night, in every conceivable
way; for we were anxious that our women and children, when they came,
should be able to bathe in the refreshing waters without endangering their
precious limbs. As the district which these animals frequented was in the
present case a very circumscribed one--fresh individuals could come neither
down from the Kenia nor over the waterfall at the end of the great
plateau--we soon succeeded in so thinning their numbers that only a few
examples were left, the destruction of which we handed over to our
Andorobbo huntsmen, whom we furnished with weapons for this Purpose, and to
whom we offered a large premium for every crocodile slain in the Eden lake
or in the Dana above the waterfall. As a fact, before the arrival of the
first caravan of immigrants, the last crocodile had disappeared from Eden
Vale and from the basin of the Dana.

Agriculture, gardening, and the chase had not absorbed all the strength at
our disposal. We were at the same time busy constructing a number of
practicable roads round the lake, along the river-bank to the east end of
the plateau, and a number of branches from this main road to different
parts of our district. It must not be imagined that these roads were works
of art--they were merely fieldways, which, however, made it possible to
carry about considerable loads without the expenditure of an enormous
amount of force. In three places the Dana was bridged over for vehicular
traffic, and in two others for foot traffic. Only in two places was much
work required--at the end of the gorge through which the Dana passed from
Eden Vale into the great plateau, and at a place where the Kenia cliffs
touched the lake. At these places several cubic yards of rock had to be
blown away, in order to make room for a road.

As in the meanwhile neither wheelwrights nor smiths had been standing
still, when the roads were ready there were also ready for use upon them a
number of stout waggons and barrows.

The construction of the flour-mill demanded a greater expenditure of
labour. The mill was fixed on the upper course of the Dana, 1,100 yards
above the entrance of the river into the Eden lake, and was furnished with
ten complete sets of machinery. The site was chosen because just above
there was a strong rapid, while below the Dana flowed calmly with a very
trifling fall until it reached the great cataract. Thus we had, through the
whole of the provisionally occupied district, a splendid waterway to the
mill, and yet for the mill we could take advantage of the rapid flow of the
upper Dana. We had brought from Europe the more complicated and delicate
parts of this mill; but the wheels, shafts, and the ten millstones we
manufactured ourselves. This mill--which was provisionally constructed of
wood only--was ready by the end of September, thanks to the additional
assistance of the two instalments of members which had reached us in the
early part of the same month.

I have already mentioned that, as soon as we had reached the Kenia, I asked
our committee for fresh supplies and a fresh body of pioneers; and that the
committee had informed me that at the end of July there would start an
expedition of 260 horsemen and 800 cwt. of goods upon 300 beasts. This
expedition reached Mombasa on the 18th of August. Then it divided into two
groups: one group, containing the most adventurous 145 horsemen, started at
once on the 18th of August with fifty very lightly loaded led-horses--the
whole of the 300 sumpter beasts were horses--without taking with them a
single native except an interpreter. They relied upon the assistance of
those of our men who were constructing the roads, and of the population
friendly to us; but they were at the same time resolved to bear without
murmuring any deprivations and fatigue that might await them. A forced ride
of twenty days, with only a one day's rest at Taveta, brought these brave
fellows among us on the 9th of September. Five horses had died, seven
others had to be left behind knocked up; they themselves, however, all
reached us, except one who had broken his leg in a fall, and was left in
good hands in Miveruni, somewhat exhausted, but otherwise in good
condition. The newly arrived joined us heartily in our work two days after.
The 115 others reached us ten days later, with 250 sumpter horses and 100
Swahili drivers. The greater part of the goods they had given to Johnston
on the way, who met with them at Useri, where he had been eagerly awaiting
them. The articles brought to us at the Kenia--in all something over 300
cwt.--contained a quantity of tools and machinery; these, and especially
the considerable addition of workmen, contributed in no small degree to
expedite our various works.

The flour-mill was--as has been stated--ready by the end of September. It
at once found abundant employment. It is true that our harvest was not yet
gathered in; but we had been gradually purchasing different kinds of
grain--to the amount of 10,000 cwt.--of the Wa-Kikuyu, and had stored it
near the lake in granaries, for which the saw-mill had supplied the
building material. All this grain was ground by the end of October; and,
even if our harvest had failed, the first few thousands of those who were
coming would not have had to suffer hunger.

But our harvest did not fail. A few weeks after the beginning of the hot
season--which begins in October--the fertile soil, which had been
continuously kept moist by our system of irrigation, blessed us with a crop
that mocked all European conceptions. Every grain sowed yielded on an
average a hundred and twenty fold. Our 750 acres yielded 42,000 cwt. of
different kinds of grain, for each haulm ended, not in single lean ears,
but in thick heavy bunches of ears--our European wheat and barley not less
than the African kinds. We had fortunately made ample preparation for the
work of the harvest. Before the end of August a machine-factory had been
erected a few hundred yards above the flour-mill. Water-power was used, and
the work of manufacture began at once. Partly of materials brought with us,
but mainly of materials prepared by ourselves, we had constructed several
reaping-machines and two threshing-machines, worked by horse-power.

Our factories were able to produce these machines because our geologists
had discovered, among other valuable mineral treasures, iron and coal in
our district. The coal lay in one of the foot-hills of the Kenia, on the
Dana plateau, nearly two miles from the river; the iron in one of the
foot-hills which the Dana in its upper course had cut through, a mile and a
quarter above Eden Yale. The coal was moderately good anthracite, and the
iron ore was a rich forty-percent. ferro-manganese. A smelting and refining
furnace, as well as an iron-works, were at once put up near the source of
the iron; they were of a, primitive and provisional character, but they
sufficed to supply us with serviceable cast and wrought iron, and thus to
make us at once independent of the supplies brought from Europe. We now
possessed a small but independent iron industry, and this enabled us to
gather in and work up within a few weeks the unexpectedly rich harvest.

A further use which we immediately made of our increased powers of
production was to put up two new saw-mills and a brewery. The saw-mills
were needed to supply material for the shelter of the continually
increasing stream of fresh arrivals; and the brewery was intended to serve
as a means of agreeably surprising the new-comers with a welcome draught of
a familiar beverage with which most of them would be sorry to dispense. As
soon as the barley was cut and threshed, it was malted. Our gardeners had
grown hops of very acceptable quality on the sides of the Kenia foot-hills;
and soon a cool cellar, made by utilising some natural caverns, was filled
with casks of the noble drink.

By the end of October we were able to contemplate our four months' labours
with a restful satisfaction. Six hundred neat block-houses awaited as many
families; 50,000 cwt. of corn and flour, copious supplies of cattle for
slaughter and draught, building material and tools, were ready for the
food, shelter, and equipment of many thousands of members. The garden had
been not less successfully cultivated, and its dainty gifts were already
beginning to be enjoyed. Our own garden-produce did not, as yet, suffice to
cover our anticipated requirements; but it continued to be supplemented by
a brisk barter trade with the Wa-Kikuyu. For these natives we had
established a regular weekly market in Eden Vale, which several hundreds of
them attended, bringing with them their goods upon ox-carts, the use of
which we had introduced among them and had made possible by means of the
roads our engineers had constructed through their country. Since we had set
up our iron-works, the Wa-Kikuyu came to us principally for iron either in
a raw condition or made up into tools. For this they at first bartered
cattle and vegetables; afterwards, when we no longer needed these things,
they offered mainly ivory, of which we had already acquired 138 tons,
partly through our trade with the Wa-Kikuyu and the Andorobbo, and partly
as the fruits of our own hunting. For ivory is as cheap here as
blackberries; the Wa-Kikuyu and the Andorobbo are glad to buy our wrought
iron for double its weight in the material which is so valuable in the
West. An iron implement, whether hammer, nail, or knife, is exchanged for
from ten to twenty times its weight in ivory. Thus almost the whole cost of
our expedition was already covered by our ivory--the cattle and provisions,
the implements and machinery, not to speak of the land, being thrown in
gratis.



CHAPTER VI


Whilst we at the Kenia were thus busily preparing a comfortable home for
our brethren who were expected from the Old World, our colleagues, under
the direction of Demestre and Johnston, were working not less successfully
on the tasks allotted to them.

Demestre had nothing to do with the construction of roads within the Kenia
district; his work began with the great forests that girdled this district.
The execution of the work from thence to the boundary between Kikuyu and
Masailand, at Ngongo, he deputed to the engineer Frank, an American; the
second section, from Ngongo to Masimani in Masailand, midway between Ngongo
and Taveta, was allotted to the engineer Möllendorf, a German; the third
section, from Masimani to Taveta, to Lermanoff, a Russian, as his name
shows; the last and most difficult section, from Taveta to Mombasa,
including two of the worst deserts, Demestre reserved to himself. To each
of the four sections five whites were appointed. His 200 Swahili,
strengthened by double that number of Wa-Kikuyu hired on the march through
their land, Demestre divided between the first two sections, allotting 50
Swahili and 300 Wa-Kikuyu to the first in Kikuyuland, and 150 Swahili and
100 Wa-Kikuyu to the second in Masailand. The third section was organised
from Taveta. Lermanoff and a companion rode thither from Kenia, by making
use of our courier-stages, in six days. He engaged 100 Swahili men in
Taveta--where Swahili caravans are always to be met with--and 250 natives
in Useri and Chaga. In the meantime his four colleagues had arrived and
brought with them the pack-horses allotted to his--as to each--section; and
the work from Taveta to Useri was begun on the 15th of July. Demestre also
made use of the courier-stages, and rode, with no other breaks than
night-rests, first to Teita, where he hired 400 Wa-Teita, whom he at once
set to work, under the direction of one of his colleagues, upon the road
between Teita and Taveta. He then hastened on to Mombasa, and by the 20th
of July he was able to put 500 people of the coast upon the most difficult
part of the work--the road from Mombasa to Teita.

The work to be done in all cases was threefold. First, in the places where
there was a deficiency of water--of which places there were several in the
lower sections, particularly in the deserts of Duruma, Teita, and
Ngiri--wells had to be dug and, where there was no spring-water, cisterns
made capacious enough to supply water sufficient not merely for the workmen
during the construction of the road, but afterwards for the men and cattle
of the caravans that passed that way. As there occur in Equatorial Africa
at all seasons of the year heavy storms of rain, which in the so-called hot
season are only much less frequent than in the so-called rainy season,
there was no danger that large cisterns draining the rain-water from a
sufficiently wide area would be exhausted even in the hot months; but the
cisterns had to be protected from the direct rays of the sun as well as
from impurities. The former was effected by providing the cisterns with
covering and shelter; the second by making the rain-water filter through
layers, several yards thick, of sand and gravel. The natural water-holes,
which are found in all deserts, but which dry up in times of protracted
drought, indicated the spots where it would be most practicable to
construct cisterns, for such spots were naturally the lowest points. The
larger of these water-holes needed only to be deepened, the evaporation of
the water guarded against, and the cisterns surrounded by the
above-mentioned natural filter, and the work was then finished. Of these in
the different sections twenty five were dug, with a depth of from nine to
sixteen yards and a diameter of from two to nine yards. Of ordinary wells
with spring-water thirty-nine were made. Each of these artificial supplies
of water was placed under the protection of a watchman.

In the second place, there was the road-making itself. In general, the
route which the expedition had taken from Mombasa to the Kenia was chosen,
and merely freed from obstacles and widened to twice its original width
where it led through bush. But at certain places, particularly where steep
heights had to be traversed, it was necessary to look for a fresh and less
hilly track. That several bridges had to be built scarcely need be
mentioned.

The third part of the work consisted in the erection of primitive houses of
shelter, at suitable places, for both men and cattle. Accommodation for
several hundred men, pens for cattle, and storehouses for provisions, were
constructed at sixty-five stations, at distances varying from seven to
twelve miles.

These works were all completed between Mombasa and Teita by the end of
September, and in all the other sections fourteen days later. The workmen,
however, were not discharged, as a part of them were required for guarding
and maintaining the road and buildings, and another part found occupation
in the transport service on the newly made highway. The cost of
construction for the whole by no means small undertaking was 14,500£, half
of which went in wages and half in rations; the material used in the work
cost nothing.

By this time Johnston had completed the purchase of the draught-beasts
required for the transport service, and had organised the commissariat of
the caravans. His Masai friends procured for him in a few weeks the
originally ordered 5,000 head of cattle; and as every despatch from the
committee of the Free Society reported a larger and larger number of
members on their way to the settlement, our order was increased to 9,000,
exclusive of the 750 head of cattle, the unused remnant of our presents
which we had left behind us in Useri and Masailand. As the committee had
reason to anticipate that by the end of October the number of members
intending at once to join the colony would reach 20,000, they had enlarged
their orders for waggons to 1,000, and announced that fact to us in the
course of September. Therefore, as every waggon--which weighed 14 cwt., and
would carry ten persons, with 20 cwt. of luggage--would require four yoke
of oxen, the total number of draught-oxen needed would be 8,000, in
addition to a reserve of 200 head, and 1,550 oxen and cows for slaughter.
Johnston received this message on the southern frontier of Masailand, and,
as there was not time to return, he had to complete his provisioning in the
districts of Kilima and Teita. Nevertheless he succeeded in collecting the
full number of cattle and distributing them along the sixty-five stages
between Mombasa and the Kenia without materially raising prices by his
purchases in these favoured districts. He bought 8,500 oxen and 500 cows,
and the cost--including the travelling expenses and wages of the buyers and
drivers--amounted to no more than 8,650£--that is, the goods which we
bartered for them had cost us this amount. Each head of cattle cost on the
average a little over eight shillings, half of which represented incidental
expenses, the bare selling price being less than four shillings a head.

Johnston so arranged the transport service that every day twenty-five
waggons left Mombasa, and at every one of the sixty-five stations found
fresh draught-oxen ready. Arrived at Eden Vale, the waggons had to return
to Mombasa in the same manner. By this simple and practical arrangement,
all the waggons were kept constantly in motion between Mombasa and the
Kenia, whilst the draught-oxen merely moved to and fro in fixed teams
between neighbouring stations. In this way 250 persons could be conveyed
every day, and to convey 20,000--the total number of members reported by
the committee--would require eighty days, unless some of them made the
journey on horseback.

The waggons constructed in England, America, and Germany arrived punctually
at Mombasa. They were in every respect models of skilful construction,
solidly and yet, in proportion to their size, lightly built, affording many
conveniences without sacrificing simplicity. Each one accommodated ten
persons with sitting space in the day and with good sleeping space at
night. By a very simple alteration of the seats, room could be made for ten
persons--four above and six beneath. Strong springs made the riding easy, a
movable leathern covering gave shelter from rain or sun, and the mattrasses
which served as beds at night were by day so buckled on the under-side of
the leathern covering as to afford double protection against the heat of
the sun. Accommodation for the baggage was provided in a similarly
practical manner.

The first ship, with 900 members, arrived on the 30th of September. This
ship, like all that followed, was the property of the Society. Anticipating
that the stream of emigrants would not soon cease, would probably continue
to increase, and desirous to keep the transportation of the emigrants as
much as possible in their hands, the Society had bought twelve large,
swift-sailing steamships, averaging 3,500 tons burden, and had had them
adapted to their purpose. They could do this without overstraining their
resources; for, though the 940,000£ which these twelve steamers cost
exceeded the amount actually in hand, the Society could safely reckon that
the deficit would soon be made good by the contributions of new members, to
accommodate whom the vessels and all the other provisions were intended. In
fact, by the middle of September the number of members exceeded 20,000, and
the property of the Society had grown to 750,000£. Of this amount, however,
150,000£ had been spent independently of the purchase of the ships, and a
similar amount would in the immediate future be required for the general
purposes of the Society; thus less than half of the cost of the ships was
in hand and available for payment. But the sellers readily gave the Society
credit, and handed over the vessels without delay, even before any money
was paid. They risked nothing by this, for the Society's executive were
fully justified in calculating that the future income from new members
would be at least 100,000£ a month, while the Society's property was quite
worth all the money they had hitherto spent upon it.

The chief thing, however, was that people were getting to have more and
more faith in the success of the Society's undertaking, and to look upon
that undertaking as representative of the great commonwealth of the future.
Several governments already offered their assistance to the committee, who
accepted those offers only so far as they afforded a moral support. A
number of scientific and other public associations took a most lively
interest in the aims of the Society. For example, the Geographical
Societies of London and Rome gave, the one 4,000£ and the other 50,000
lires, merely stipulating in return that a periodical report should be sent
to them of all the scientifically interesting experiences of the Society.
That the business world should also interest themselves in the Society's
doings is not surprising. For the vessels which had been bought the Society
made an immediate payment of forty per cent., and undertook to pay the
remainder within three years. The whole was, however, paid off before the
end of the second year.

The ships thus bought were employed to convey the emigrant members from
Trieste to Mombasa. As each vessel carried from 900 to 1,000 passengers,
while the waggons could convey 200 persons daily from Mombasa to the
settlement, it was necessary that two ships should reach Mombasa per week;
it being assumed that a part of the emigrants would prefer to travel from
Mombasa on horseback. And as the average length of a voyage to Mombasa and
back was thirty-five days, the twelve vessels were sufficient to maintain a
continuous service, with an occasional extra voyage for the transport of
goods, particularly of horses. There was no distinction of class on board
the vessels of the Society; no fee was taken from anyone, either for
transport or for board during the whole voyage, and everyone was therefore
obliged to be content with the same kind of accommodation, which certainly
was not deficient in comfort. On deck were large dining-rooms and rooms for
social intercourse; below deck was a small sleeping-cabin for each family,
comfortably fitted up and admirably ventilated. The members were received
on board in the order in which they had entered the Society, the earlier
members thus having the priority. Of course it was optional for any member
to make the voyage on any ship not belonging to the Society, without losing
his place in the list of claimants when he arrived at Mombasa.

At Mombasa everyone was at liberty to continue his journey either on
horseback or in a waggon. The horsemen might either accompany the caravans
or ride in advance in such stages as they pleased, only the horses must be
changed regularly at the sixty-five stations, provision being made for a
sufficient supply of horses. The travellers in waggons had, moreover, the
option of going on night and day uninterruptedly, pausing only to effect
the necessary changes of oxen; or of travelling more deliberately, halting
as long as they pleased at the midday or the night stations. In the former
case they could, in favourable weather, reach Eden Vale in fourteen days,
or even less; in the latter case twenty days or more would be spent on the
journey.

All the arrangements were perfectly carried out. There was no hitch
anywhere. The commissariat left nothing to be desired. An escort of ten
Masai, which Johnston had organised for each station, kept guard against
wild beasts during the night journeys, and had to serve as auxiliaries in
any difficulty; while four commissioners sent from among our members, and
located respectively at Teita, Taveta, Miveruni, and Ngongo, superintended
the whole. The natives greeted the first train of waggons with jubilant
astonishment, but received all with the greatest friendliness and
helpfulness. Particularly the Wa-Taveta, the Sultan of Useri, and the Masai
tribes did not fail to overwhelm our travellers with proofs of their
respect and love for the white brethren who had 'settled on the great
mountain.'

The first new arrivals--among them our beloved master--entered Eden Valley
on the 14th of October; they were followed by an uninterrupted series of
fresh companies. But, before the story of this new era in the history of
our undertaking is told, a brief account must be given of what had been
taking place at the Kenia.

As early as August, a numerous deputation of Masai tribes from Lykipia--the
country to the north-west of the Kenia--and from the districts between the
Naivasha and the Baringo lakes, arrived at Eden Vale offering friendship,
and asking to be admitted into the alliance between us and the other Masai.
This very affecting request was made with evident consciousness of its
importance, and the granting of it certainly placed us under new and heavy
obligations. Yet I granted it without a moment's hesitation, and my act
received the approval of all the members. For the pacification of the most
quarrelsome and unquestionably the bravest of all the tribes of the
equatorial zone was not too dearly bought by the sacrifice of a few
thousand pounds sterling per annum. We now had a satisfactory guarantee
that civilisation would gradually develop in these regions, which had
hitherto been cursed by incessant feuds and pillage; that we should be able
so to educate the black and brown natives that they would become more and
more useful associates in our great work; and that, in proportion as we
taught them to create prosperity and luxury for themselves, we should be
increasing the sources of our own prosperity. So I addressed to the brown
warriors a flattering panegyric, declared myself touched by the friendly
sentiments they had expressed, and promised with all speed to send an
embassy to them in order to conclude the treaty of alliance and to do them
honour. They were sent away richly laden with presents; and they on their
part had not come empty-handed, for they brought with them a hundred choice
beasts, and two hundred fat-tailed sheep. Johnston, whom I at once informed
of the incident, undertook the fulfilment of the promise I had given. I
have already stated that for this purpose he provided himself with a full
supply of the necessary goods from the baggage of the expedition which he
met with in September on its way to the Kenia. When his task in the
road-stages was finished, he started, about the beginning of October, for
the Naivasha lake, and went thence through the extensive and, for the most
part, exceedingly fertile high plateau--6,000 feet above the sea--which,
bounded by hills from 3,300 to 6,600 feet higher, contains the elevated
lakes of Masailand--namely, not only the Naivasha lake, the marvellous
Elmeteita lake, and the salt lake of Nakuro, but also a series of smaller
basins. On the 20th of October he reached the Baringo lake, on the northern
limit of Masailand, a lake that covers 77 square miles in a depression of
the land not more than 2,500 feet above the sea. Thence, in a westerly
direction, he went over ground, rising again, past the grand Thomson Falls,
through the wooded and well-watered Lykipia, and in the second week of
November he reached us at the Kenia, having on the way contracted alliance
with all the Masai tribes through whose lands he had passed, as well as
with the 'Njemps' at the Baringo lake.

In the next place an account has to be given of the successful attempts
made, at the instigation of our two ladies, to tame several of the wild
animals indigenous to the Kenia. The idea was originated by Miss Fox, who
in the first instance wished merely to provide pleasure for the women and
children of the expected new arrivals. Miss Fox won over my sister, a great
friend to animals, to this idea; and so they hired several Andorobbo and
Wa-Kikuyu to capture monkeys and parrots, of which in Eden Vale there were
several very charming species. The attempts to tame these creatures were
successful beyond expectation--so much so that after a few weeks the
captives, when let loose, voluntarily followed their mistresses. This
excited the ambition of both of the ladies, and the Andorobbo were
commissioned to capture some specimens of a particularly pretty species of
antelope, which our naturalists decided to be a variety of the tufted
antelope (_Cephalophus rufilatus_), which is almost peculiar to Western
Africa. This attempt was also successful. It is true that the old animals
proved to be so shy and intractable that they were at last allowed to go
free; but several young ones became attached to their guardians with
surprising rapidity, and followed them like dogs. These antelopes are not
larger than a medium-sized sheep, and the young ones in particular look
exceedingly pretty with their red tufts, and disport themselves like frisky
kids. Miss Ellen and my sister soon had about them a whole menagerie of
antelopes, monkeys, and parrots, trained to perform all sorts of tricks for
the delectation of the children who were expected.

Thus matters stood when one of the elephant-keepers whom Miss Ellen had
brought with her to the Kenia, and who had given up all thoughts of
returning to their home, ventured to ask his 'mistress'--for the Indians
could not accustom themselves to the idea that they were perfectly
independent men--whether she would not like an elephant-baby also as a pet?
Receiving an affirmative answer, he undertook to capture one or more, if he
were allowed to go with the four elephants and their keepers into the woods
for a few days. As Miss Ellen had allowed her elephants to be employed in
the building operations, where these interesting colossi were of invaluable
service, and as the work could not be interrupted for the sake of a
plaything, she told the Indian that she would forego her wish, or at least
would wait until the elephants could be more easily spared from the work.
The Indian went away, but the idea that his beloved mistress should be
deprived of anything that would--as he had at once perceived--have given
her great pleasure, roused him out of his customary fatalistic indolence.
He brooded over the matter for a couple of days, and on the third he
appeared with the proposal to make good the loss of time occasioned by the
temporary absence of the four elephants by capturing, with the aid of the
other Cornaks, not only a young elephant, but also several old elephants,
and training them for work. 'But African elephants cannot be trained like
the Indian ones,' objected Miss Ellen. The Indian ventured to question
this, and his seven colleagues were all of his opinion. Elephants were
elephants; they would like to see an animal with a trunk that they could
not tame in a few weeks if he only got into their hands. 'If it is really
so, why have you not said so before; for you must have seen what good use
can be made of elephants here?' asked the American, and received for answer
merely a laconic 'Because you have not asked us.'

Miss Ellen did not know what to do. The idea of furnishing the colony of
Eden Vale with herds of tame elephants--for if these animals could be
tamed, there might as well be thousands as one--did not allow her to rest.
On the other hand, she remembered to have read, in her natural-history
studies, that African elephants were untameable. We all, when she asked us,
were obliged to affirm that there were no tame elephants anywhere in
Africa. She thought over this problem until she began to grow melancholy;
evidently she was anxious that a trial should be made. But the Indians
insisted upon the impossibility of capturing wild elephants without the
assistance of the tame ones; and she shrank the more from using the latter
in a doubtful attempt at a time when work urgently required doing, because
the tame elephants were her own property, and therefore the decision
depended entirely upon herself. Just then our zoologist, Signor Michaele
Faënze, returned from a long excursion to the central mass of the Kenia;
and when Miss Fox took him into her confidence, he at once sided with the
Indians. He admitted that, as a matter of fact, there were no tame African
elephants; but he maintained that this was simply because the Africans had
forgotten how to make the noble beast serviceable to man. The reason did
not lie in the character of the African elephant, for in the days of the
Romans trained elephants were as well known in Africa as in Asia. They
should let the Indians make an attempt; if the latter understood their
business they would succeed as well in Africa as in India.

And so it turned out. The eight Cornaks with their four elephants went into
the neighbouring forests; and when, as soon happened, they had found a herd
of wild elephants, they did with them exactly as they had learnt to do at
home. The tame elephants were sent without their attendants into the midst
of the herd of wild ones, by whom they were at first greeted with some
signs of surprise, but were ultimately received into companionship. The
crafty animals then fixed their attention upon the leader of the herd, the
strongest and handsomest bull, caressed him, whisked the flies off him, but
in the meantime bound, with some strong cord they had taken with them, one
of his legs to a stout tree. Having done this, they uttered their cry of
alarm--a sharp trumpet-like sound--and ran off as if they had discovered
some danger. On this signal, the Indians rushed forward with loud cries and
the firing of guns, and thus caused the whole herd to rush off after the
tame elephants. The poor prisoner, of course, could not run off with the
rest, desperately as he strained at the ropes; and the Indians allowed him
to stamp and trumpet, without for a while troubling themselves about him.
Their next care was to follow the track of the escaped herd. In the course
of an hour they had again crept up to it, to find that in the meantime the
four tame elephants had repeated the same trick with a new victim, which
was also fettered and then left in the same manner. In the course of the
day three more elephants shared the same fate; and by that time the herd
appeared to have grown suspicious, for their betrayers returned alone to
their keepers.

Now first was a visit paid to the five captives, among whom was a female
with a yearling about the size of a half-grown calf. The tame elephants
went straight to the captives straining at the ropes, and bound their
fore-feet tightly together. This was not done without furious resistance on
the part of the betrayed beasts; but this resistance was overcome in a most
brutal way by strokes of the trunk and by bites. Thereupon the merciless
captors busied themselves removing from within their victims' reach
everything that is pleasant to an elephant's palate--grass, bushes, and
tree-twigs; and what their trunks could not do they enabled the keepers to
do with axe and hatchet by dragging the captives down upon their sides.

When night came, all five captives were securely bound and deprived of
every possibility of getting food. They were watched, however, to secure
them from being attacked by lions or leopards. The next morning the tame
elephants again visited their captive brethren one after the other, helped
the fallen ones to get up--which was not effected without a good deal of
thrashing and pushing--and then again left them to their fate.

This went on for three days; the poor captives suffered from hunger and
thirst, and received barbarous blows from their treacherous brethren
whenever the latter came near them. By the fourth day they had become so
weak and subdued that they no longer roared, but pitifully moaned when
their tormentors approached, which nevertheless fell upon them fiercely
with trunk and teeth. Now a rescuing angel appeared to them, in human form.
An Indian, with threatening actions and several noisy blows, drove the
captors from their victim, and offered to the latter a vessel of water. If
the wild elephant, struck with astonishment, took time to survey the
situation, the tragi-comedy was over--the beast was tamed. For, in this
case, he would, after a little hesitation, accept the proffered drink, and
then a little food; he could afterwards be fed and watered without danger,
and, under the escort of the tame elephants, led home for further training.
If, on the contrary, the sight of the man maddened him--as was the case
with three out of the five--the thrashing-and-hunger treatment had to be
continued until the elephant began to understand that release from his
situation could be afforded only by the terrible biped.

At last all the captives submitted to their fate. The only danger in this
process consists in the necessity, on the part of the hunter, of relying
upon the accuracy of his judgment concerning the captive's character when
he first approaches him. It is true that the tame elephants stand by
observant and ready to help; but as a single thrust of the tusk of an
enraged animal may be fatal, the business requires a great deal of courage
and presence of mind. However, the Indians asserted that anyone only
partially accustomed to the ways of elephants could tell with certainty
from the look of the animal what he meant to do; it was therefore necessary
merely to take the precaution not to get very close to a captive elephant
before reading in his eye submission to the inevitable, and then there was
nothing to fear.

After an absence of six days, the expedition returned with the five
captives, which were certainly not yet trained and serviceable for work,
but were so far tame that they quietly allowed themselves to be shut up,
fed, watered, and taught. In the course of another fortnight they were
ready for use in all kinds of work, particularly when they had one of the
veterans by their side. Miss Ellen had a double triumph: she possessed a
charming baby elephant, which was certainly a little too clumsy for a
lap-dog, but was nevertheless as droll a creature as could be, and soon
made itself the acknowledged favourite of all Eden Vale; and she had
besides opened out for the Society an inexhaustible source of very valuable
motive power, of which no one would have thought but for her.

From that time forth we actively carried on the capture of elephants, so
that in a little while the elephant was the chief draught-beast in the
Kenia, and could be employed wherever heavy weights had to be removed to
short distances or to places inaccessible to waggons.

This successful experiment with the elephants suggested to us the taming of
other animals, for purposes, not merely of pleasure, but of utility. The
first attempt was made upon the zebra, and was successful. Though the old
animals were useless, the foals, when captured quite young, were tolerably
tractable and not particularly shy; and in the second generation our tame
zebras were not distinguishable from the best mules, except in colour.
Ostriches and giraffes came next in the order of our domestic animals; but
our trainers achieved their greatest triumph in taming the African buffalo.
This is the most vicious, uncontrollable, and dangerous of all African
beasts; and yet it was so thoroughly domesticated that in the course of
years it completely supplanted the common ox as a draught-beast. The bulls
that had grown up in a wild condition were, and remained, perfect devils;
but the captured cows could be so thoroughly domesticated that they would
eat out of their attendants' hands, and the buffaloes bred in a state of
domestication exhibited exactly the same character as the ordinary domestic
cattle. The bulls, especially when old, continued to be somewhat
unreliable; but the cows and oxen, on the other hand, were as gentle and
docile as any ruminant could be. They were never valued among us as milch
kine--for, though their milk was rich, it was not great in quantity--but
they were incomparable as draught-beasts. They were higher by half a foot
than the largest domestic cattle; they measured two feet across the
shoulders, and their horns were too thick at the base to be spanned by two
hands. No load was too heavy for these gigantic beasts; two buffaloes would
keep up their steady pace with a load that would soon have disabled four
ordinary oxen. They bore hunger, thirst, heat, and rain better than their
long-domesticated kindred; in short, they proved themselves invaluable in a
country where good roads were not everywhere to be found.

The third incident--But this really concerns only me personally, and
belongs to this narrative merely so far as it relates to the mode of life
and the social conditions of Eden Vale. It will therefore be best if I next
tell how we lived, what our habits were, and how we worked in the new home,
before the arrival of the main body of our brethren.



CHAPTER VII


The colonists in Eden Vale looked upon me--the Society's plenipotentiary,
who had organised our expedition to the Kenia and procured the necessary
means--as their president in the full sense of the word: I might have
commanded and I should have been obeyed. But, on the other hand, I acted
not only in harmony with my own inclination, but also according to the
evident intention of the committee, when I assumed merely the position of
president of an association of men who had power to manage their own
affairs. Whenever it was possible, I consulted my colleagues previous to
making any arrangements, and acted in accordance with the will of the
majority; and only in the most urgent cases, or when orders had to be given
to persons who were absent, did I act independently. The distribution of
the work to different groups was made by arrangement between all the
members concerned, and the superintendents of the several branches of work
were elected by their special colleagues. Though in all essential matters
the views and proposals of myself and of those more particularly in my
confidence were always carried out (so that if in what I have written I
had, for brevity's sake, said 'I arranged,' 'I designed,' it would have
been essentially correct), yet this was due entirely to the fact that my
confidants were the intellectual leaders of the colony, and the others
voluntarily subordinated themselves to them. Moreover, we all knew that the
present was only a provisional arrangement. In the meanwhile, no one worked
for himself; all that we produced belonged not to the producer, not even to
the whole of the producers, but to the undertaking upon the common property
of which we were, in return, all living. In a word, the Free Society which
we wished to found was not yet founded--it was in process of forming; and
for the time we were, in reference to it, nothing more than persons
employed according to the old custom, and differed from ordinary
wage-earners simply in the fact that it was left to ourselves to decide
what we should keep for our own maintenance and what we should set apart as
the employer's share of the gains. If any evil-intentioned colleague had
compelled me to do so, I not only had the right, but was resolved, to
assume the attitude of the 'plenipotentiary.' That I was able to avoid
doing this contributed no little to heighten the mutual pleasure we all
experienced, and very materially facilitated the transition to the ultimate
form of our organisation; but this did not alter the fact that our life and
work, both on the journey and at the Kenia, were carried on under the
social forms of the old system.

During this period the hours of work, whether of overseer or simple
workman, white or negro, at Eden Vale were alike for all--from 5 A.M. to 10
A.M. and from 4 P.M. to 6 P.M.; only in the harvest-time were one or two
hours added. All work ceased on Sundays.

The order of the day was as follows: We rose about 4 A.M. and took a bath
in Eden Lake, where several bathing houses had been constructed. The
washing and repairing of clothes was attended to--under the superintendence
of a member who was an expert in such matters--by a band of Swahili, to
whom this work was allotted as their sole duty. We wore every day the
clothes which had been cleansed on the previous day, and which were brought
to the owner in the course of the day to be ready for him in the morning.
After the toilet came the breakfast, the preparation of which, as well as
of all the other meals, was also the special duty of a particular band of
Swahili. In initiating them into the mysteries of French cookery my sister
was of great service. This first breakfast consisted, according to
individual taste, of tea, chocolate, coffee--black or _au lait_--milk, or
some kind of soup; to these might be added, according to choice, butter,
cheese, honey, eggs, cold meat, with some kind of bread or cake. After this
first breakfast came work until 8, followed by a second breakfast,
consisting of some kind of substantial hot food--omelets, fish, or roast
meat--with bread, also cheese and fruits; the drinks were either the
delicious spring-water of our hills, or the very refreshing and agreeable
banana-wine made by the natives. Fifteen or twenty minutes were usually
spent over this breakfast, and work followed until 10 A.M. Then came the
long midday rest, when most of us, particularly in the hotter months, took
a second bath in the lake, followed by private recreation, reading,
conversation, or games. As a rule, the heat in this part of the day was
great; in the hot season the thermometer frequently measured 95° Fahr. in
the shade. It is true that the heat out of doors was prevented from
becoming unendurable by cool breezes, which, in fine weather, blew
regularly between 11 A.M. and 5 P.M. from the Kenia, and these breezes were
the stronger the hotter the day; but it was most agreeable and most
conducive to health to spend the midday hours under cover. At 1 P.M. the
principal meal was taken, consisting of soup, a course of meat or fish with
vegetables, sweet pastry, and fruit of many kinds, with banana-wine or,
when our brewery had been set to work, beer. The meal over, some would
sleep for half an hour, and the rest of the time would be filled up with
conversation, reading, and games. When the fiercest heat was over, the two
hours of afternoon work would be gone through. After this a few indulged in
a third and hasty bath. At 7 P.M. a meal similar to the first breakfast was
taken, out of doors if it did not rain, and in large companies. It should
be stated that, with reference to the meals and to all other means of
refreshment, everyone could choose what and how much he pleased. It was
only in the matter of alcoholic drinks that there was any restriction, and
that for easily understood reasons. Later, when everyone acted for himself,
even in this matter there was perfect liberty; but so long as we were under
the then existing obligations to the Society it was necessary to observe
restrictions for the sake of the negroes.

The evenings were generally devoted to music. We had some very skilful
musicians, an excellent orchestra of wind and string instruments numbering
forty-five performers, and a fine choir; and these performed whenever the
weather permitted. The air would grow cool two or three hours after sunset;
on some nights the thermometer would measure over 70° Fahr., but it
occasionally sank to less than 60° Fahr., so that the night-rest was always
refreshing.

Sundays were given up to recreation and instruction: excursions into the
adjoining woods, hunting expeditions, concerts, public lectures, addresses,
&c.

The block-houses in which we dwelt were intended to serve each family as a
future--though merely provisional--home. Each stood in a garden of 1,200
square yards; and with its six rooms--living-room, kitchen, and four
bedrooms--covered 150 square yards. At this time each such house was
occupied by four of us; to the two women and Sakemba--the latter had been
visited by her parents and their family, and had induced them to put up
their grass hat in Eden Vale--a separate house was of course allotted.

This last arrangement, however, did not please my sister at all. During the
journey she had yielded to the necessity of being separated from me, the
darling ward given into her charge by our sainted mother. Arrived at Eden
Vale, she expected to resume her old rights of guardianship and domestic
superintendence; but she found herself prevented from carrying out her
wishes by her duty towards a second, who in the meantime had become a
favourite with her--namely, Miss Fox. She could not possibly leave this
young woman alone among so many men; but as little could she bring us both
into the same house, though in her eyes we were mere children. What would
her friends in Paris have said to that? I spent all my leisure time in the
women's house, whither I was unconsciously more and more strongly
attracted, not less by the young American's conversation--which was a
piquant mixture of animated controversy and unaffected chatter--than by her
harp-playing and her clear alto voice. But this did not satisfy sister
Clara, who at last hit upon the plan of marrying us. Our common
'foolishness'--that is, our social ideas--made us, she thought, mutually
suitable; and though, in her opinion, we should make a pair entirely
lacking in sound domestic common sense, _she_ was there to think and act
for both of us.

Having once conceived this purpose, she, as a prudent and discreet person
who rightly foresaw that in this matter she could not expect implicit
obedience from either Miss Fox or myself, placed us under close
observation. Though she was peculiarly lacking in personal experience in
matters of love, yet, by means merely of that delicate sensibility peculiar
to woman, she made the startling discovery that we were already over head
and ears in love with each other. At first she was so astonished at this
discovery that she would not believe her own eyes. But the thing was too
clear to make mistake possible. We two lovers had ourselves not the
remotest suspicion of our condition; but to anyone who knew Miss Fox so
well as several months of unbroken companionship with the open-hearted and
ingenuous young American had enabled my sister to do, there could be no
difficulty in understanding what was the matter when a young woman, who had
hitherto lived only for her ideals, freedom and justice, whose idol had
been humanity, but who had shown no interest in any individual man apart
from the ideas to which he devoted himself, was thrown into confusion as
often as she heard the footsteps of a certain man, and in her confidential
intercourse with my sister, instead of talking of the grandeur of our
principles, preferred to talk of the excellences of him who in Eden Vale
was the leading exponent of those principles. As to my own feelings, sister
Clara knew too well that hitherto woman had interested me merely on account
of her position in human society not to feel as if scales had fallen from
her eyes when one day, after long and devotedly watching Miss Fox as she
was busying herself about something, I broke out with the words, 'Is not
every movement of that girl music?'

So my sister took us each aside and told us we must marry. But she met with
a check from both of us. On hearing of the proposal, Miss Ellen, though she
became alternately crimson and pale, at once exclaimed that she would
rather die than marry me. 'Would not those arrogant men who deny us women
any sense of the ideal, any capacity for real effort, and look upon us as
the slaves of our egoistic impulses--would they not triumphantly assert
that my pretended enthusiasm for our social undertaking was merely passion
for a man; that it was not for the sake of an idea, but for the sake of a
man, that I had run off to Equatorial Africa? No--I don't love your
brother--I shall never love, still less marry!' This heroic apostrophe was,
however, followed by a flood of tears, which, when sister Clara wished to
interpret them in my favour, were declared to be signs of emotion at the
offensive suspicion. I received the proposal in a similar way. When Clara
hinted to me that I was in love with Miss Fox, I laughed at her heartily,
and declared that what she took to be symptoms of my passion were merely
signs of psychological interest in a woman who was capable of a genuine
enthusiasm for abstract ideas.

But a motherly sister who has once conceived the purpose of getting her
brother--and her female friend as well--married, is not so easily driven
from the field: at least, not when she has such good and manifold grounds
to adhere to her intention. As she could not gain her end in a direct way,
she tried a circuitous one--not a new one, but one often tried: she made us
both jealous. She told each of us in confidence that she had given up her
'stupid plan,' as the other party was no longer free. As she slily added to
me that she had devised her project merely to be able to come into my house
with my young wife and to resume her motherly care over me, and as this was
evidently the truth, I also gave credence to the invention that Ellen had
left a betrothed lover in America, who was about to appear in Eden Vale.
'Only think, Ellen never made this confession until I approached her with
my plan of getting her married! It is very lucky that you, my boy, care
nothing for the sly little creature; it would have been a pretty business
if you had set your heart upon Ellen!'

I declared myself perfectly satisfied with this turn of affairs; but at the
same time I felt as if a knife had pierced my heart. Suddenly my love stood
clear and distinct before my mind's eye--a glowing boundless passion, such
as he only can feel whose heart has remained six-and-twenty years
untouched. It seemed to me an unalterable certainty that, though I might
still live and struggle, I could never more enjoy life and life's battles!
But was my fate so certain and inevitable? Was it not possible to drive
from the field this lover who had exposed his betrothed to all the dangers
of an adventurous journey, to all the temptations of her unprotected
condition, and who was now about to appear and snatch the bliss from my
Eden? Was it at all conceivable that Ellen--this Ellen--such as I had known
her for months, would love such a wretched fellow? Away to her, to learn
the truth at any price!

I rushed over to the neighbouring house. There in the meantime my sister
had been telling a similar tale to Ellen. She had, she said to Ellen,
conceived the idea of making us man and wife; and therefore, in the hope
that my wooing would overcome her (Ellen's) resistance, she had also told
me of her plan; and when I hesitated she had urged it more strongly, until
at last I had confessed that, unknown to her, I had become betrothed in
Europe. The bride would reach Eden Vale with the next party that
arrived.... Clara had got so far when my appearance interrupted the story.

Deadly pale, Ellen turned towards me. She tried to speak, but her voice
failed her. My half-sad, half-angry inquiry after the American betrothed
first gave her speech. In a moment she found the key to the situation--that
I loved her, and that my sister had deceived us both. What followed can be
easily imagined. Thus it came to pass that Ellen was my betrothed when Dr.
Strahl arrived at Eden Vale; and this is the third incident which I was
about to narrate above.

Whether the joy with which I for the first time pressed to my heart the
woman of my love was greater than that with which I welcomed the friend of
my soul, the idol of my intellect, to the earthly paradise to which he had
shown us the way--this I cannot venture to decide.

When, in the eyes of my revered friend, as he looked upon our new home and
the strongly pulsing joyous life that already filled it, I saw tears of
joy, and in those tears a sure guarantee of immediate success, I was not
seized with such an extravagant delight--almost more than the breast which
felt it for the first time could bear--as I felt a few days before when my
beloved revealed to me the secret of her heart. But when my hair shall have
grown white and my back shall be bent with years, and the recollection of
those lover's kisses may no longer drive my blood so feverishly through my
veins as to-day, yet the thought of the hour in which, hand in hand with my
friend, I experienced the proud pure joy of having accomplished the first
and most difficult step towards the redemption of our suffering
disinherited brethren out of the tortures of many thousands of years of
bondage--the thought of that hour will never lose its bliss-inspiring power
as long as I am among the living.

Long, long stood the master on the heights above Eden Vale, eagerly taking
in every detail of the charming picture. Then, turning to us standing
around him he asked if we had given a name to the country that stretched
out before us on all sides, and which was to be our home. When I said that
we had not, and added that to him, who had given words to the idea that had
led us hither, also belonged the office of finding a word for the country
in which that idea was to be realised, he cried out: 'Freedom will find its
birthplace in this country; FREELAND we will name it.'



_BOOK II_



CHAPTER VIII


We now resume the thread of our narrative where Ney's journal left off.

With the President there had arrived in Eden Vale three members of the
executive committee; five others followed a few days after with the first
waggon-caravan from Mombasa; so that, including Ney, Johnston, and Demestre
(the last of whom had been co-opted at the suggestion of the two former),
twelve were now in Freeland. As hie committee at that time consisted of
fifteen members, there still remained three at a distance, of whom one was
in London, another at Trieste, and the third at Mombasa, at which places
they were for the present to act as the committee's authorised agents in
the foreign affairs of the Society. Their duty was to receive fresh
members, to collect and provisionally to have charge of the funds, and to
superintend the emigrations to Eden Vale.

Their instructions respecting applications for membership were to receive
every applicant who was not a relapsed criminal, and who could read and
write. The former condition needs no justification. We had an unqualified
confidence in the ennobling influence of our social reforms, because those
reforms removed the motive that impelled to most vices; we were perfectly
satisfied that Freeland would produce no criminals, and would even, if it
were not beyond the bounds of possibility, wean from vice those who had
been previously made criminals by misery and ignorance; but we wished, in
the beginning, to avoid being swamped by bad elements, and, in view of the
excusable attempts of certain States to rid themselves in some way or
another of their relapsed criminals, we were compelled to exercise caution.

It may seem a greater hardship that the perfectly illiterate were excluded.
But this was a necessary requirement of our programme. We wished to
transfer the right of the absolute free self-control of the individual to
the domain of labour from that of the relation of servitude which had
existed for thousands of years. We wished to transform the worker who had
been dependent upon his employer for his bread into the independent
producer acting at his own risk in free association with free colleagues.
It follows, as a matter of course, that in this our work we could use only
such workers as were raised above at least the lowest stage of brutality
and ignorance. That we thus excluded the most miserable of the miserable,
is true; but, apart from the fact that generally the ignorant man lacks a
clear consciousness of his misfortune and degradation, and his sufferings
are therefore, as a rule, rather of a physical than of a moral nature, we
could not allow ourselves to be so led astray by pity as to endanger the
success of our work. The ignorant man _must_ be under authority; and as it
was not our purpose to educate our members gradually to become free
producers, but to introduce them immediately to a system of free
production, we were compelled to protect ourselves against ignorance as
well as against crime.

Should it, on the other hand, be contended that ability to read and write
is of itself by no means a sufficient evidence of the possession of that
degree of culture and intelligence which must be presupposed in men who are
to exercise control over their own work, the answer is that for such a
purpose a very high degree of intelligence is certainly requisite, yet not
in all, but only in a relatively not large number of the workers, who thus
organise themselves, whilst the majority need not possess more than that
moderate amount of mental capacity and mental training which is enough to
enable them to look after their own interests. When a hundred or a thousand
workers unite to work for their common profit and at their common risk, it
is not every one of them that can or need have the abilities requisite to
organise and superintend this common production--it is merely necessary
that a very few possess this higher degree of intelligence; whilst it is
enough for the majority that they are able rightly to judge what ought to
be and is the result of the production in common, and what characteristics
those must possess in whose hands the guardianship of the common interest
is placed. But just here is the knowledge of letters absolutely
indispensable, for it is the printed word alone which makes man and his
judgment independent of the accidental influences of immediate surroundings
and first opens his mind to instruction. It will later on be seen in how
large a measure the most comprehensive publicity of all the proceedings
connected with this productive activity--a publicity possible only through
writing and print--contributed to the success of our work.

Of course these two conditions which applicants for membership had to
satisfy had from the beginning been insisted upon by the committee, and the
second condition at first very strictly so. It had been found, however,
that the intellectual level of most of the applicants was surprisingly
high. In the main, from among the class of manual labourers it was only the
_élite_, who in any numbers interested themselves in our undertaking; and
as, when the membership had gone beyond 20,000, a slight leaven of
ignorance could not be very dangerous, the committee contented itself with
requiring that the application should be made in the applicant's own
handwriting.

The number of applicants--women and children are always reckoned
in--continued to increase, particularly after the publication of the first
report of the settlement of the colony at the Kenia. When the
committee--with the exception of the delegates left behind--embarked at
Trieste, the rate of increase of members had reached 1,200 weekly; three
months later it had risen to 1,800 weekly. The European agents had to
register the new members--as had previously been done with the old
members--carefully, according to sex, age, and calling, and at every
opportunity to despatch the lists to Freeland; they had also to organise
and superintend the transport to Mombasa, which in all cases was
gratuitous; and they were authorised to pay all necessary expenses, in case
of need even to buy new ships, subject to subsequent examination and
approval of the accounts. It was also the duty of the agents to advise and
help the members when they were preparing for the journey; and they had
authority to give material assistance to needy comrades. The members'
contributions showed a tendency to increase similar to that of the number
of members. It was evident that the interest in and the understanding of
the character of our undertaking grew not merely among the working classes,
but also among the wealthy; the weekly addition to the funds increased from
20,000£ at the end of September to 30,000£ at the end of December. These
funds, after payment of the expenses incurred by the agents, were under the
control of the committee, whose executive organ, however, in this respect
also, for the payment of debts incurred outside of Freeland, were the
delegates who had been left behind.

On the 20th of October the committee held its first sitting in Eden Vale,
for the purpose of drawing up such rules as were required to regulate the
constitution of the free associations that were henceforth to be
responsible for all production in Freeland. Hitherto the sittings of the
committee had been so far public that every member of the Society had
access to them, and this was to continue to be the case; but a provisional
regulation was now adopted by which the audience might take part in the
proceedings, though simply as consultative members. This regulation was to
be in force until the press could perform its news-spreading and
controlling functions. At the same time it was found that, whilst the
committee had long been unanimous in holding that the Society's
programme--that is, the organisation of production upon the basis of
absolute individual independence on the one hand, and the securing to every
worker the full and undiminished produce of his work on the other
hand--should be carried out as soon as the committee had reached the new
home, a part of the members of the Society still wished to continue the
provisional organisation for at least a few months. In favour of this it
was alleged that the executive knew best what were the needs as well as the
capabilities of the gradually assembling community; the colonists should be
allowed time to become accustomed to their new conditions and to acquire
confidence in themselves; the committee had hitherto exhibited so much
discretion in all their measures, that it was their duty to keep for some
time longer the absolute direction of affairs in their own hands. It was
particularly the members who had just arrived in Eden Vale who exhibited
this dread of immediate and absolute independence. They thought they should
not be able at once to act wisely for themselves; it would be cruel to
pitch them as it were head-over-heels into the water, forcing upon them the
alternative of swimming or sinking, when they themselves did not know
whether they could swim or not. Ney, as the director of the works at the
Kenia, was especially importuned by these faint hearted ones to manage
their affairs for them, and not to force upon them an independence for
which they did not yet feel themselves qualified.

The committee were prepared for this demand, and had no difficulty in
dispelling the fears thus expressed. In the first place, the timid members
were made to understand that to continue production as the common
undertaking of the whole community after the Society, as such, had settled
in Freeland, would be sheer Communism. The 200 pioneers of the first
expedition, and the 260 of the second, were simply functionaries appointed
by the Society, whose relation to the Society was not altered in the least
by the fact that they were at the Kenia, while the committee were in
Europe. The pioneers were well aware of this before they left the Old
World. But the case was different with all who now came to the settlement.
Those who came now were not the officials, but the members of the Society;
they did not come to do something at the bidding of the Society, but to
work on their own account on the basis of the Society's principles of
organisation. We had therefore no further right to utilise the first comers
for the benefit of those who came after them. Even if we had such a right,
it would be a fatal mistake to exercise it. For those that came now were no
longer the carefully selected small band with whom we formerly had to do,
but persons who, though influenced by one great common idea, were yet a
thoroughly heterogeneous crowd accidentally thrown together, whom it would
be a very dangerous experiment to entrust with an anti-egoistic system of
production. The first 400 were--at least, in their character of
workers--mainly men of one mould, similar in their capacities and in their
requirements; the few leaders found ready obedience because no one
questioned their intellectual superiority, and chiefly because every one
who took part in the two expeditions was, as it were, pledged beforehand to
obedience. The new-comers, on the contrary, were persons of very various
capacities, and still more diverse in their requirements: there were among
them women and old persons, fathers with numerous children. There might
also be among them--and this was the greatest danger--ambitious persons, to
whom one could not assign the right place because their capacities would
not be known, and who would certainly refuse to obey.

Thus, Communism would most probably in a very short time produce universal
dissatisfaction, and that would lead to chaos. Consequently we had as
little power as we had right to introduce it. But we had not the least
occasion to do so. Why should not that take place at once which must take
place sooner or later--namely, the organisation of free labour, with all
the profits taken by the workers themselves? Because there was not yet
enough human material for the organisation of all the branches of industry?
What necessity was there to organise all branches at once; and, on the
other hand, what certainty was there that it would be possible or useful to
do so in the course of several weeks or months? To take an example: there
were several weavers among us, for whom at present there were no
companions, and who therefore were not in a position to start their
industry with reasonable hopes of success. What was there to prevent these
weavers, in the meantime, from engaging in some other occupation; and who
would guarantee that a little later on there would be weavers enough to set
up a factory; and that, should such a factory be set up, the conditions of
the settlement would be such as to make weaving sufficiently profitable to
justify the carrying of it on? And while it was admitted that there would
be at first more such torsos--such insufficient fragments--of future
branches of industry than there would be later on, this inconvenience was
more than counterbalanced by the fact that it was easier to begin a new
organisation among a small than among a large number of men. In every
respect it appeared advisable at once to organise production upon the basis
of free individual action. Of course it did not follow that the committee
did not possess, not merely the right, but also the duty, of making all the
provision in its power to facilitate and promote the work of organisation.
They would not confine themselves to the work of smoothing the way for the
members of the Society, but would utilise their knowledge and experience in
pointing out to the members the best way. They would assume no compelling
authority, but claimed to be the best--because the best-informed--advisers
of the members. Further, there was no doubt that the whole of the hitherto
acquired property, whether derived from the contributions of the members or
created in Freeland, since it belonged to the whole community and not to
the individual members, was at the disposal of the committee, and that the
committee would make a legitimate use of this its responsibility. The
members might therefore rest assured that no one should be left uncared for
or exposed to blind accident. The committee would act as advisers and
helpers to anyone who wished for their advice and help, not only now, but
at any time. In truth, what the committee purposed to do--conformably to
the Society's programme--differed from the above-mentioned demands in only
two points. The committee offered their advice, whilst they were asked to
command and to allow no scope to other and probably, in many points, better
counsel; and they offered both advice and help in the interest of each
separate individual, whilst they were asked to act in the interest of the
whole community alone.

These explanations gave general satisfaction, and afterwards, when those
detailed regulations had been decided upon which were partly in
contemplation and partly already in operation for the establishment of the
new forms of organisation, the last remnant of fear and hesitation
vanished.

The fundamental feature of the plan of organisation adopted was unlimited
publicity in connection with equally unlimited freedom of movement.
Everyone in Freeland must always know what products were for the time being
in greater or less demand, and in what branch of production for the time
being there was a greater or less profit to be made. To the same extent
must everyone in Freeland always have the right and the power--so far as
his capabilities and his skill permitted--to apply himself to those
branches of production which for the time being yield the largest revenue,
and to this end all the means of production and all the seats of production
must be available to everyone. The measures required, therefore, must first
of all have regard to these two points. A careful statistical report had to
register comprehensively and--which is the chief point--with as much
promptitude as possible every movement of production on the one hand and of
consumption on the other, as well as to give universal publicity to the
movement of prices of all products. In view of the great practical
importance of this system of public advertisement, care would have to be
taken to exclude deception or unintentional errors--a problem which, as
what follows will show, was solved in the most perfect yet simple manner.

And in order that the knowledge thus made common to everyone may be
actually and profitably made use of by everyone--which is possible only
when everyone is placed in a position to apply his capabilities to those
among the branches of labour in which he is skilled, and which for the time
being yield the highest revenue--provision must be made that everyone shall
always be able to obtain possession of the requisite means of production.
Of these means of production there are two classes--the powers of nature
and capital. Without these means of production, the most exact information
as to which are the branches of labour whose products are in greatest
demand, and which, therefore, yield the highest profits, would be of as
little use as the most perfect skill in such branches of production. A man
can utilise his power to labour only when he has command both of the
materials and forces supplied by nature, and of the appropriate instruments
and machines; and if he is to compete with his fellow-workers he must
possess both classes of the means of production as fully and as completely
as they. In order to grow wheat, a man must not only have land at his
command, but he must have land that is equally good for growing wheat as is
the land of the other wheat-growers, otherwise he will labour with less
profit and possibly with actual loss. And possession of the most fertile
land will not make the work possible, or at any rate equally profitable,
unless the worker possesses the requisite agricultural implements, or if he
possesses them in a less degree than his competitors.

Then as to capital: the Free Society undertook to place it at the disposal
of everyone who wished for it, and that without interest, on condition that
it was reimbursed out of the proceeds of production within a period the
length of which was to be determined by the nature of the proposed
investment. As the instruments of labour and the other capitalistic aids to
labour could be provided to any amount and of any quality, one part of the
problem was thereby solved.

The case was different with the natural powers, as representative of which
we will take the land with which those powers are bound up. No one has
produced the land, therefore no one has a claim of ownership upon it, and
everyone has a right to use it. But not merely has no one produced the
land, no one can produce it; the land, therefore, exists in a limited
quantity, and, moreover, the existing land is not all of the same quality.
Now, in spite of all this, how is it possible to satisfy everyone's claim
not merely to land, but to produce-bearing land?

In order to make this clear, the third and, in reality, most fundamental
predicate of economic justice must be expounded. When every worker is
promised the undiminished produce of his own labour, it is necessarily
assumed that the worker himself is the sole and exclusive producer of the
whole of this produce. But this he was, by no means, according to the old
economic system. The worker as such produced only a part of the product,
while another part was produced by the employer, whether he was landowner,
capitalist, or undertaker. Without the organising disciplinary influence of
the latter the toil of the worker would have been fruitless, or at least
much less fruitful; formerly the worker supplied merely the power, while
the organising mind was supplied by the employer.

It is not implied by this that the more intellectual element in the work of
production was formerly to be found exclusively or necessarily on the side
of the employer: the technicians and directors who superintend the great
productive establishments belong essentially to the wage-earners; and it
will be readily admitted that in many cases the higher intelligence is to
be found not in the employers, but in the workers. Nevertheless, in all
cases where a number of workers have had to be brought together and
accustomed to work in common, this work of organising has been the business
of the employer. Hitherto the worker has been able to produce for himself
only in isolation; whenever a number had to be brought together, in one
enterprise, a 'master' has been necessary, a master who with the
whip--which may be made either of thongs or of the paragraphs in a set of
factory regulations--has kept the rebellious together, and _therefore_--not
because of his higher intelligence--has swept the profits into his own
pocket, leaving to the workers, whether they belonged to the proletariat or
to the so-called intelligent classes, only so much as sufficed to sustain
them. Hitherto the workers have made no attempt to unite their productive
labours without a master, as free, self-competent men, and not as servants.
The employment of those powerful instruments and contrivances which science
and invention have placed in the hands of men, and which so indefinitely
multiply the profits of human activity, presupposes the united action of
many; and hitherto this united action has been taken only hand in hand with
servitude. The productive associations of a Schulze-Delitzsch and others
have effected no change in the real character of servitude; they have
merely altered the name of the masters. In these associations there are
still the employers and the workers; to the former belongs the profit, the
latter receive stall and manger like the biped beasts of burden of the
single employer or of the joint-stock societies whose shareholders do not
happen to be workers. In order that labour may be free and
self-controlling, the workers must combine as such, and not as small
capitalists; they must not have over them any employer of any land or any
name, not even an employer consisting of an association of themselves. They
must organise themselves as workers, and only as such; for only as such
have they a claim to the full produce of their labour. This organisation of
work without the slightest remnant of the old servile relationship to an
employer of some kind or other, is the fundamental problem of social
emancipation: if this problem be successfully solved, everything else will
follow of itself.

But this organisation was not nearly so difficult as it appears to be at
first sight. The committee started from the principle that the right forms
of the organisation of free labour were best found through the free
co-operation of all those who shared in this organisation. No special
difficulties were discovered in this. The questions which had to be dealt
with were of the simplest nature. For example: in order to set up an
iron-works, it was not at all necessary that the workers should all
understand the whole mechanism of the manufacture of iron. Two things only
were necessary--first, that the men should know what sort of persons they
ought to set at the head of their factory; and, secondly, that on the one
hand they should give those persons sufficient authority properly to
control the work, and, on the other hand, they should reserve to themselves
sufficient authority to hold the reins of their undertaking in their own
hands. Doubtless, very serious mistakes might be made in the organisation
of the managing as well as of the overlooking organs--there might be a
serious misproportion in the powers conferred. But the previously mentioned
unlimited publicity of all productive operations, which on other grounds
also would be demanded in the interest of the commonwealth, materially
lightened the task of the associations of workers; and as all the members
of each such productive association had in this decisive point exactly the
same interests, and their whole attention was always directed to these
interests, they learnt with remarkable speed to correct the mistakes they
had made, so that after a few months the new apparatus worked tolerably
well, and in a remarkably short time reached a high degree of perfection.
From the beginning there was nothing left to desire in the industry and
diligence of all the associates--a fact which might have been anticipated
in view of the full play given to self-interest as well as of the incessant
mutual encouragement and control of men who had equal rights and were
equally interested.

The committee therefore drew up a 'Model Statute' for the use of the
associations, not at all anticipating that it would really be preserved as
a model, but merely for the sake of making a beginning and of providing a
formula which the associations might use as the skeleton of the schemes of
organisation that their experience would enable them to devise. As a matter
of fact this 'Model Statute,' which was at first accepted almost unaltered
by all the associations, was in less than twelve months so much altered and
enlarged that little more than the leading principles of its original form
remained. These, however, were the following:

1. Admission into every association is free to everyone, whether a member
of any other association or not; and any member can leave any association
at any time.

2. Every member has a claim upon such a share of the net profits of the
association as is proportionate to the amount of work he has contributed.

3. Every member's contribution of work shall be measured by the number of
hours he has worked; the older members receiving more than those who have
joined the association later, in the proportion of a premium of _x_ per
cent. for every year of seniority. Also, a premium can be contracted for,
in the way of free association, for skilled labour.

4. The labour contribution of superintendents or directors shall, according
to a voluntary arrangement with every individual concerned, be reckoned us
equal to a certain number of hours of work per day.

5. The profits of the association shall be calculated at the end of every
year of business, and, after deducting the repayment of capital and the
taxes paid to the Freeland commonwealth, divided. During each year the
members shall receive, for every hour of work or of reckoned work, advances
equal to _x_ per cent. of the net profits of the previous year.

6. The members shall, in case of the dissolution or liquidation of on
association, be liable for the contracted loan in equal proportions; which
liability, so far as regards the still outstanding amount, attaches also to
newly entering members. When a member leaves, his liability for the already
contracted loan shall not cease. This liability for the debts of the
association shall, in case of dissolution or liquidation, be in proportion
to the claim of the liable member upon the existing property.

7. The highest authority of the association is the general meeting, in
which every member possesses an equal active and passive vote. The general
meeting carries its motions by a simple majority of votes; a majority of
three-fourths is required for the alteration of statutes, dissolution, or
liquidation.

8. The general meeting exercises its rights either directly as such, or
through its elected functionaries, who are responsible to it.

9. The management of the business of the association is placed in the hands
of a directorate of _x_ members, elected for _x_ years by the general
meeting, but their appointment can be at any time rescinded. The
subordinate business functionaries are nominated by the directorate; but
the fixing of the salaries--measured in hours of work--of these
functionaries is the business of the general assembly on the proposition of
the directorate.

10. The general meeting annually elects a council of inspection consisting
of _x_ members, to inspect the books and take note of the manner in which
the business is conducted, and to furnish periodical reports.

It will strike the reader at once that only with reference to the possible
dissolution of an association (section 6) is there a mention of what should
apparently be regarded as the principal thing--namely, of the 'property' of
the associations and of the claims of the members upon this property. The
reason of this is that any 'property' of the association, in the ordinary
sense, does not exist. The members, it is true, possess the right of
usufruct of the existing productive capital; but as they always share this
right with every newly entering member, and are themselves bound to the
association by nothing except their interest in the profits of their
labour, so there can be no property-interest in the association so long as
they are carrying on their work. And, in fact, that which everyone can use
cannot constitute property, however useful it maybe. There are no
proprietors--merely usufructuaries of the association's capital. And should
it be thought that this is in contradiction to the obligation to reimburse
the loaned productive capital of the associations, it ought not to be
overlooked that even this repayment of capital--except in the already
mentioned case of a liquidation--is done by the members merely in their
capacity of usufructuaries of the means of production. As the reimbursed
capital is derived from the profits, and these are divided among the
members in proportion to each one's contribution of work, every member
contributes to the reimbursement in proportion to the amount of work he
does. And when the subject is looked at more closely it will be seen that
the repayments are ultimately derived from the consumers of the commodities
produced by the associations; they form, of course, a part of the cost of
production, and must necessarily be covered by the price of the product.
That this shall take place fully and universally is ensured with infallible
certainty by the free mobilisation of labour. A production in which these
repayments were not completely covered by the price of the commodities
produced would fail to attract labour until the diminished supply of the
commodities had produced the requisite rise in price. When the repayments
have all been made, this part of the cost of production ceases; the
association capital may be regarded as amortised, and the prices of the
commodities produced sink--again under the influence of the free
mobilisation of labour; so that the members of the association individually
profit as little by the employment of burdenless capital as they suffered
before by the liquidation of their burden. Profit and loss are always
distributed--still thanks to the mobilisation of labour--equally among all
the workers of Freeland.

Thus it is seen that, in consequence of this simple and infallibly
operative arrangement, productive capital is, strictly speaking, as
ownerless as the land; it belongs to everyone, and therefore to no one. The
community of producers supplies it and employs it, and it does both in
exact proportion to the amount of work contributed by each individual; and
payment for the expenditure is made by the community of consumers--again by
each one in exact proportion to the consumption of each individual.

That an absolute and universally uniform level of profits should result
from this absolutely free mobility of labour neither was expected, nor has
it been attained. Often the inequality is not discovered until the
balance-sheets are drawn up, and therefore cannot until then be removed by
the ebb and flow of labour. But, besides this, there is an important and
continuous difference of gains--a difference which it is impossible to
equalise, and which has its intrinsic foundation in the difference in the
amount of effort and inconvenience involved in engaging in the different
branches of labour. Certainly it is not the same in Freeland as in other
parts of the world, where only too often the burden of labour is in inverse
ratio to its profitableness; with us difficult, burdensome, unpleasant
kinds of labour must without exception obtain larger gains than the easier
and more agreeable--so far as the latter do not demand special
skill--otherwise everyone would at once forsake the former and apply
themselves to the latter. Moreover, the premium allowed to the older
members in section 3--which varies in different associations from one to
three per cent. for each year, and therefore, in cases of long-continued
labour, amounts to a very respectable sum, and is intended to attach the
proved veteran of labour to the undertaking--prevents an absolute
equalisation of gains even in associations of exactly similar constitution.

Section 5 of the statutes requires a brief explanation. In the first year,
the calculation of the advances to be made to the association members could
not, of course, be based upon the net profits of the previous year, and the
committee therefore suggested a fixed sum of one shilling per hour. This
strikingly high rate will perhaps excite surprise, particularly in view of
the scale of prices that prevailed at the Kenia; and it may reasonably be
asked whence the committee derived the courage to hope for such a high rate
of profits as would justify the payment of such an advance. But this
valuation was not recklessly made, it was in truth the expression of
extreme prudence. The results of the associated productive labour hitherto
in operation had actually been much more favourable. The corn industry, for
example, had yielded a gross return of a little over 41,000 cwt. of
different cereals for a total expenditure of 44,500 hours of labour. The
average price of these cereals in Eden Vale at that time was not quite 3s.
per cwt., as we had grown more than we needed, and the export through
Mombasa yielded only 3s. on account of the still very primitive means of
transport. We had therefore, in round figures, agricultural produce worth
6000£. The cost of producing this was: materials 400£, amortisation of
invested capital (implements and cattle) 300£; so that 5,300£ remained as
net profit. As a tax to cover all those expenses which, in accordance with
our programme, had to be incurred by the commonwealth, and which will be
spoken of further on, not less than thirty-five per cent. was set aside.
Thus a round sum of 3,400£ remained as disposable profit. Divided by the
44,500 hours of labour, this gave 1s. 6d. for each hour. This was also
approximately the average profit of the other kinds of production, so far
as it was possible to assess it in the absence of a general market at the
Kenia. Thus it could be assumed with the utmost confidence that, had we
been able to control the prices of all commodities by means of supply and
demand, there would either have been paid, or might have been assessed, at
least a price equivalent to that which produced the agricultural profit.
For we could at once have produced--as far as our supply of labour
went--and disposed of cereal crops valued at 3s. per cwt. at Eden Vale;
therefore, in the period of work through which we had already passed
everyone was able to earn at least 1s. 6d. by one hour's labour. But, as
will presently be seen, we were entering upon the next period of work with
much improved means; therefore, apart from unforeseen contingencies, the
productiveness of our labour must very considerably increase, so that, in
granting an advance of one shilling for each hour of labour, we calculated
that we were advancing scarcely the half of the actual earnings--an
assumption that was fully borne out by the result. In later seasons it
became the practice of most associations to make the advance as much as
ninety per cent. of the net profits of the previous year.

As to the salaries of the directorate, these were from the beginning very
different in different associations. Where no extraordinary knowledge and
no special talent were necessary, the overseers were content to have their
superintendence valued at the price of from eight to ten hours of work per
diem. There were directors who received as much as the value of twenty-four
hours of work per diem, and in the very first year this amounted to an
income of about 850£. The functionaries of a lower grade received, as a
rule, the value of from eight to ten hours of work per diem. In most cases
the controlling council of inspection received no extra remuneration for
their duties.

The credit granted to the associations in the first year of work reached an
average amount of 145£ per head of the participating workers; and if it be
asked whence we derived the funds to meet the requirements of the total
number of our members, the answer is, from the members themselves. And the
reference here is not merely to those voluntary contributions paid by the
members on their joining the International Free Society, for these
contributions were in the first instance devoted to the transport service
between Trieste and Freeland, and would not have sufficed to supply our
associations with capital if they had all been devoted to that purpose. The
credit required in the course of the first year rose to nearly two million
pounds sterling, while the voluntary contributions up to that date did not
much exceed one million and a-half. The principal means which enabled us to
meet the requirements of our members were supplied us, on the one hand by
the Society's property hi disposable materials, and on the other hand by
the members' tax.

It should be mentioned here that, for the first year, the committee
reserved to itself the right of deciding the amount and the order of
granting the credit given. This, though merely negative, interference with
the industrial relations of the associations was not in harmony with the
principle of the producers' right of unconditioned self-control; but was so
far unavoidable, inasmuch as our commonwealth had not yet actually attained
to that high degree of productiveness of labour which is the assumed result
of the perfect realisation of all the fundamental principles of that
commonwealth. Later, when we were more fully furnished with the best means
of production which technical progress placed within our reach, and we were
consequently no longer occupied in provisionally completing and improving
what already existed, there could never be any question whether the surplus
of the current production would suffice to meet the heaviest fresh claims
for capital that could arise. It was different at the beginning, when the
need for capital was unlimited, and the means of supplying that need as yet
undeveloped. The Free Commonwealth could not offer more than it could
supply, and it had therefore to reserve to itself a right of selection from
among the investments that applied for credit. Thanks to the thorough
solidarity of interests created by the free mobility of labour, this could
happen without even temporarily affecting the essential material interests
of the producers by giving some a dangerous advantage over others. For if,
as was scarcely to be avoided, certain productions were helped or hindered
by the giving or withholding of credit, this was immediately and naturally
followed by such a shifting of labour as at once restored the equilibrium
of profits.

But this interference during the first year extended only to the
controlling of the amount and order of granting the credit asked, for, and
not to the way in which it was used. In this respect, from the very
beginning the principle of the producers' responsibility was carried out to
the fullest extent. As it was necessary for the producers to be successful
in order to repay the capital taken up, so it was their business to see
that care was taken to make a profitable use of such capital. It is true
that--as has been already stated--the consumers ultimately bear the cost of
production; but they do this, of course, only when and in so far as the
processes employed in production have been useful and necessary. If an
association should procure unnecessary or defective machinery, it would be
impossible for it to transfer to the purchasers of its commodities the
losses thus occasioned; the association would not have increased, but
diminished, its gains by such investments. It can therefore be left to the
self-interest of those who are concerned in the associations to guard
against such a waste of capital.

We now come to the question how it is possible to guarantee the equal right
of everyone to equally fertile land. This problem also is solvable in the
simplest manner by the free mobility of labour involved in the principle of
free association. As everywhere else in the world, there was in Freeland
richer and poorer land; but as more workers were attracted to the better
land than to the worse, and as, according to a well-known economic law, a
greater expenditure of labour upon an equal extent of land is followed by
_relatively diminishing_ returns, so the individual worker obtained no
higher net profit per hour of labour on the best land than upon the worst
land which could be cultivated at all.

On the Dana plateau, for example, by the expenditure of 32 hours of labour
48 cwt. of wheat could be produced per acre; in Eden Vale the same
expenditure of labour would produce merely 36 cwt. Therefore, as the cwt.
of wheat was worth 3s. 1-1/2d., and 1-1/2d. was sufficient to cover all
expenses, the land association in the Dana plateau had at the end of the
year a return of 4s. 6d. for every hour of work, and, after deduction of
tax and repayment of capital, 2s. 9d. for division among the members. The
members of the Eden Vale association, on the other hand, had only 2s. per
hour of labour to divide among the members; and as careful investigation
proved that this difference was due neither to accidental uncongeniality of
the weather nor to a less amount of labour, but to the character of the
soil, the consequence was that in the next year the newly arrived
agriculturists preferred the better land of the Dana plateau. There was now
an average expenditure of 42 hours of labour to the acre in the Dana
plateau, but in Eden Vale only 24; yet in the former place the additional
10 hours of labour did not yield the 1-1/2 cwt. per hour, as was the case
when the expenditure of labour was only 32 hours, but merely a scant 3
qrs.; that is, the returns did not rise from 48 cwt. to 63 cwt., but merely
to 55 cwt.--sank therefore to 1.34 cwt. per hour of labour. The consequence
was that the returns, notwithstanding the considerable increase in the
price of grain due to the improved means of communication, rose merely to
5s., of which 3s. per hour of labour was available for division among the
members. In Eden Vale, on the other hand, the gross returns were lessened
merely 3 cwt. by the withdrawal of eight hours of labour per acre; the
produce therefore now was 33 cwt. for 24 hours of labour, or 1.37 cwt. per
hour of labour. The Eden Vale association therefore numbered a trifle more
than that of Dana; and as Eden Vale was a more desirable place of
residence, and had more conveniences than the Dana plateau, the stream of
agriculturists flowed back to Eden Vale until, after two other harvests,
there remained a difference of profit of about five per cent. in favour of
the Dana plateau, and this advantage, with slight variations, continued
permanently.

But just as the principle of the solidarity of interests brought about by
the mobility of labour placed him who used the actually worse land in the
enjoyment of the advantages of the better land, so everyone, whatever
branch of production he might be connected with, participated in all the
various kinds of advantages of the best land; and, on the other hand, every
cultivator of the soil, like every other producer, derived profit from all
the increased productiveness of labour, in whatsoever branch of labour in
our commonwealth it might arise, just as if he were himself immediately
concerned in it. _All_ means of production are common property; the use
which any one of us may make of this common property does not depend upon
the accident of possession, nor upon the superintending care of an
all-controlling communistic authority, but solely upon the capacity and
industry of each individual.



CHAPTER IX


As already stated, the fundamental condition of the successful working of
the simple organisation described above was the completest publicity of all
industrial proceedings. The organisation was in truth merely a mode of
removing all those hindrances that stand in the way of the free realisation
of the individual will guided by a wise self-interest. So much the more
necessary was it to give right direction to this sovereign will, and to
offer to self-interest every assistance towards obtaining a correct and
speedy grasp of its real advantage.

No business secrets whatever! That was at once the fundamental law of Eden
Vale. In the other parts of the world, where the struggle for existence
finds its consummation not merely in exploiting and enslaving one another,
but over and above this in a mutual industrial annihilation--where, in
consequence of the universal over-production due to under-consumption,
competition is synonymous with robbing each other of customers--there, in
the Old World, to disclose the secrets of trade would be tantamount to
sacrificing a position acquired with much trouble and cunning. Where an
immense majority of men possess no right to the increasing returns of
production, but, not troubling themselves about the productiveness of
labour, must be content with 'wages'--that is, with what is necessary for
their subsistence--there can be no sufficient demand for the total produce
of highly productive labour. The few wealthy cannot possibly consume the
constantly growing surplus, and their endeavour to capitalise such
surplus--that is, to convert it into instruments of labour--is defeated by
the impossibility of employing the means of a production the products of
which cannot be consumed. In the exploiting world, therefore, there
prevails a constant disproportion between productive power and consumption,
between supply and demand; and the natural consequence is that the disposal
of the products gives rise to a constant and relentless struggle between
the various producers. The principal care of the exploiting producers is
not to produce as much and as well as possible, but to acquire a market for
as large as possible a quantity of their own commodities; and as, in view
of the disproportion above explained, such a market can be acquired and
retained only at the expense of other producers. There necessarily exists a
permanent and irreconcilable conflict of interest. It is different among
us. We can always be sure of a sale, for with us no more can be produced
than is used, since the total produce belongs to the worker, and the
consumption, the satisfaction of real requirements, is the exclusive motive
of labour. Among us, therefore, the disclosure of the sources of trade can
rob no one of his customers, since any customers whom he may happen to lose
must necessarily be replaced by others.

On the other hand, what reason has the producer in the world outside to
communicate his experiences to others? Can those others make any use of the
knowledge they would thus acquire, except to do him injury? And can he use
any such information when communicated to him, except to the injury of
others? Does he allow others to participate in his business when his is the
more profitable, or does another let him do so with the business of that
other when the case is reversed? If the demand for the commodities of a
producer increases, the labour market is open to him, where he can find
servants enough ready to work without inquiring about his profits so long
as they receive their 'wages.' Thus, elsewhere in the world, not even are
the consumers interested in the publication of trade practices, which
publication, moreover, as has already been said, would be a matter of
impossibility. Quite different is this among us in Freeland. We allow
everyone to participate in our trade advantages, and we can therefore
participate in the trade advantages of everyone else; and we are compelled
to publish these advantages because, in the absence of a market of
labourers who have neither will nor interest of their own, this publicity
is the only way of attracting labour when the demand for any commodities
increases.

And--which is the principal thing--whilst elsewhere no one has an interest
in the increase of production by others, among us every one is most
intensely interested in seeing everyone produce as easily and as well as
possible. For the classical phrase of the solidarity of all economic
interests has among us become a truth; but elsewhere it is nothing more
than one of those numerous self-deceptions of which the political economy
of the exploiting world is composed. Where the old system of industry
prevails, universal increase of production of wealth is a chimera. Where
consumption by the masses cannot increase, there cannot production and
wealth increase, but can be only shifted, can only change place and owner;
in proportion as the production of one person increases must that of some
one else diminish, unless consumption increases, which, where the masses
are excluded from enjoying the increasing returns of labour, can happen
only accidentally, and by no means step by step with the increasing power
of productiveness of labour. With us in Freeland, on the contrary, where
production--in view of the necessary growth of the power of consumption in
exactly the same proportion--can and does increase indefinitely so far as
our facilities and arts permit, with us it is the supreme and most absolute
interest of the community to see that everyone's labour is employed
wherever it can earn the highest returns; and there is no one who is not
profited when the labour of all is thus employed to the completest extent
possible. The individuals or the individual associations which, by virtue
of our organisation, are compelled to share an accidentally acquired
advantage with another, certainly suffer a loss of gain by this
circumstance looked at by itself; but infinitely greater is the general
advantage derived from the fact that the same thing occurs everywhere, that
productiveness is constantly increasing, and their own advantage therefore
compels the occurrence of the same everywhere. To how undreamt-of high a
degree this is the case will be abundantly shown by the subsequent history
of Freeland.

It remains now to say something of the measures adopted to ensure the most
extensive publicity of industrial proceedings. We start from the principle
that the community has to concern itself with the affairs of the individual
as little as possible in the way of hindering or commanding, but, on the
other hand, as much as possible in the way of guiding and instructing.
Everyone may act as he pleases, so far as he does not infringe upon the
rights of others; but, however he acts, what he does must be open to
everyone. Since he here has to do not with industrial opponents, but only
with industrial rivals, who all have an interest in stimulating him as much
as possible, this publicity is to his own advantage. In conformity with
this principle, when a new member was admitted by the outside agents, his
industrial specialty was stated, and the report sent as quickly as possible
to the committee. This was not done out of idle curiosity, nor from a
desire to exercise a police oversight; rather these data were published for
the use and advantage of the productive associations as well as of the new
members themselves. The consequence was that, as a rule, the new members on
their arrival at the Kenia found suitable work-places prepared for them,
such as would enable them at once to utilise their working capacity to the
best advantage. No one forced them to accommodate themselves to these
arrangements made without their co-operation, but as these arrangements
served their advantage in the best conceivable way, they--with a few
isolated exceptions--accepted them with the greatest pleasure.

The second and most important subject of publication were the trade reports
of the producers, of the associations as well as of the comparatively few
isolated producers. Of the former, as being by far the more important and
by their very nature compelled to adopt a careful system of bookkeeping, a
great deal was required--in fact the full disclosure of all their
proceedings. Gross returns, expenses, net returns, purchases and sales,
amount of labour, disposal of the net returns,--all must be published in
detail, and, according to the character of the respective data, either
yearly, or at shorter intervals--the amount of labour, for example, weekly.
In the case of the isolated producers, it sufficed to publish such details
as would be disclosed by the regulation about to be described.

The buying and selling of all conceivable products and articles of
merchandise in Freeland was carried on in large halls and warehouses, which
were under the management of the community. No one was forbidden to buy and
sell where he pleased, but these public magazines offered such enormous
advantages that everyone who did not wish to suffer loss made use of them.
No fee was charged for storing or manipulation, as it was quite immaterial,
in a country where everyone consumed in proportion to his production,
whether the fees were levied upon the consumers as such, or upon the same
persons in their character as producers in the form of a minimal tax. What
was saved by the simplification of the accounts remained as a pure gain.
Further, an elaborate system of warranty was connected with these
warehouses. Since the warehouse officials were at the same time the channel
through which purchases were made, they were always accurately informed as
to the condition of the market, and could generally appraise the warehoused
goods at their full value. The sales took place partly in the way of public
auction, and partly at prices fixed by the producers; and here also no
commission was charged to either seller or buyer.

The supreme authority in Freeland was at the same time the banker of the
whole population. Not merely every association, but every individual, had
his account in the books of the central bank, which undertook the receipts
and the disbursements from the millions of pounds which at a later date
many of the associations had to receive and pay, both at home and abroad,
down to the individual's share of profits on labour and his outlay on
clothes and food. A 'clearing system,' which really included everything,
made these numberless debit and credit operations possible with scarcely
any employment of actual money, but simply by additions to and subtractions
from the accounts in the books. No one paid cash, but gave cheques on his
account at the central bank, which gave him credit for his earnings,
debited his spendings to him, and gave him every month a statement of his
account. Naturally the loans granted by the commonwealth as capital for
production, mentioned in the previous chapter, appeared in the books of the
bank. In this way the bank was informed of the minutest detail of every
business transaction throughout the whole country. It not only knew where
and at what price the producers purchased their machinery and raw material
and where they sold their productions, but it knew also the housekeeping
account, the income and cost of living of every family. Even the retail
trade could not escape the omniscience of this control. Most of the
articles of food and many other necessaries were supplied by the respective
associations to their customers at their houses. All this the bank could
check to a farthing, for both purchases and sales went through the books of
this institution. The accounts of the bank had to agree with the statements
of the statistical bureau, and thus all these revelations possessed an
absolutely certain basis, and were not merely the results of an approximate
valuation. Even if anyone had wished to do so, it would have been simply
impracticable to conceal or to falsify anything.

This comprehensive and automatically secured transparency of the whole of
the productive and business relations afforded to the tax assessed in
Freeland a perfectly reliable basis. The principle was that the public
expenditure of the community should be covered by a contribution from each
individual exactly in proportion to his net income; and as in Freeland
there was no source of income except labour, and the income from this was
exactly known, there was not the slightest difficulty in apportioning the
tax. The apportionment of the tax was very simply made as soon as the
income existed, and that through the medium of the bank; and this was done
not merely in the case of the associations, but also of the few isolated
producers. In fact, by means of its bank the community had everyone's
income in hand sooner than the earners themselves; and it was merely
necessary to debit the earners with the amount and the tax was paid. Hence
in Freeland the tax was regarded not as a deduction from net income, but as
an outlay deducted from the gross product, just like the trade expenses. In
spite of its high amount, no one looked upon it as a burden, because
everyone knew that the greater part of it would flow back to him or to his,
and every farthing of it would be devoted to purposes of exclusively public
utility, which would immediately benefit him. It was therefore quite
correct to recognise no difference whatever between productive outlay by
the commonwealth and the more private outlay of the associations and
individuals, and accordingly to designate the former not as 'taxes,' but as
'general expenditure.'

This general expenditure, however, was very high. In the first year it
amounted to thirty-five per cent. of the net profits, and it never sunk
below thirty per cent., though the income on which the tax was levied
increased enormously. For the tax which the community in Freeland had
imposed upon themselves for the very purpose of making this increase of
wealth possible was so comprehensive in its objects as to make a most
colossal amount necessary.

One of its objects was to create the capital required for the purposes of
production. But it was only at first that the whole of this had to be met
out of the current tax, as afterwards the repayment of the loans partly met
the new demands.

A constantly increasing item of expenditure was the cost of education,
which swallowed up a sum of which no one outside of Freeland can have any
conception.

The means of communication also involved an expenditure that rose to
enormous dimensions, and the same has to be said of public buildings.

But the chief item of expenditure in the Freeland budget was under the head
of 'Maintenance,' which included the claims of those who, on account of
incapacity for work or because they were by our principles released from
the obligation of working, had a right to a competence from the public
funds. To these belonged all women, all children, all men over sixty years
of age, and of course all sick persons and invalids. The allowances to
these different classes were so high that not merely urgent necessities,
but also such higher daily needs as were commensurate with the general
wealth in Freeland for the time being, could be met. With this view the
allowances had to be so calculated that they should rise parallel with the
income of the working part of the population; the amounts, therefore, were
not fixed sums, but varied according to the average income. The average net
profit which fell to the individual from all the productive labour in the
country, and which increased year by year, was the unit of maintenance. Of
this unit every single woman or widow--unless she was a teacher or a nurse,
and received payment for her labour--was allotted thirty per cent.; if she
married, her allowance sank to fifteen per cent.; the first three children
in every household were allowed five per cent. each. Parentless orphans
were publicly supported at an average cost of twelve per cent. of the
maintenance unit. Men over sixty years and sick persons and invalids
received forty per cent.

It may at once be remarked that it would startle those unaccustomed to
Freeland ideas to hear the amounts of these allowances. In the first year
the maintenance unit reached 160£; therefore an unmarried woman or a widow
received 48£; a married woman 24£; a family with three children and a wife
48£; an old man or invalid 64£, which, in view of the prices that then
prevailed among us, was more than most European States give as pensions to
the highest functionaries or to their widows and orphans. For a cwt. of
fine flour cost, in that first year at the Kenia, 7s., a fat ox 12s.;
butter, honey, the most delicious fruits, were to be had at corresponding
prices. Lodgings cost not more at most than 2£ a year. In brief, with her
48£ a single woman could live among us in the enjoyment of many luxuries,
and need not deny herself to any material extent of those conveniences and
enjoyments which at that time were obtainable at all in Eden Vale. And
afterwards, when prices in Freeland were somewhat higher, the profits of
labour, and consequently the percentage of the maintenance allowance,
quickly rose to a much greater extent, so that the purchasing power of the
allowance constantly became more pronounced. But this was the intention of
the people of Freeland. Why? In the proper place this subject will be again
referred to, and then will in particular be explained why the women,
without exception, receive a maintenance allowance, and why teaching and
nursing are the only occupations of women that are mentioned. Here we
merely state that it naturally required a constantly increasing tax to
cover all these expenses.

Considerable items of expenditure were to be found under the heads,
'Statistics,' 'Warehouses,' and 'Bank'; but the relative cost of these
branches of the executive--notwithstanding their great absolute
growth--fell so rapidly in comparison with the taxable income, that in a
few years it had sunk to a minimal percentage of the total expenditure.

On the other hand, the departments of justice, police, military, and
finance, which in other countries swallow up nine-tenths of the total
budget, cost nothing in Freeland. We had no judges, no police organisation,
our tax flowed in spontaneously, and soldiers we knew not. Yet there was no
theft, no robbery, no murders among us; the payment of the tax was never in
arrears; and, as will be shown later on, we were by no means defenceless.
Our stores of weapons and ammunition, as well as our subsidies to the
warlike Masai, might be reckoned as a surrogate for a military budget. As
to the lack of a magistracy, we were such arrant barbarians that we did not
even consider a civil or a criminal code necessary, nor did we at that time
possess a written constitution. The committee, still in possession of the
absolute authority committed to it at the Hague, contented itself with
laying all its measures before public meetings and asking for the assent of
the members, which was unanimously given. For the settlement of
misunderstandings that might arise among the members, arbitrators were
chosen--at the recommendation of the committee--who should individually and
orally, to the best of their knowledge, give their judgment, and from them
appeal was allowed to the Board of Arbitrators; but they had as good as
nothing to do. Against vices and their dangerous results to the community,
we did not exercise any right of _punishment_, but only a right of
_protection_; and we esteemed _reformation_ the best and most effectual
means of protection. Since men with a normal mental and moral character, in
a community in which all the just interests of every member are equally
recognised, cannot possibly come into violent collision with the rights of
others, we considered casual criminals as mentally or morally diseased
persons, whose treatment it was the business of the community to provide
for. They were therefore, in proportion to their dangerousness to the
community, placed under surveillance or in custody, and subjected to
suitable treatment as long as seemed, in the judgment of competent
professional men, advisable in the interest of the public safety.
Professional men in the above sense, however, were not the justices of the
peace, who merely had to decide _whether_ the accused individual should
undergo the reforming treatment, but medical men specially chosen for this
purpose. The man who was under surveillance or in custody had the right of
appealing to the united Board of Medical Men and Justices of the Peace, and
publicly to plead his case before them, if he thought that he had been
injured by the action of the medical man set over him.

The appointment of the officers for public buildings, means of
communication, statistics, warehouses, central bank, education, &c., was
vested provisionally in the committee. The salaries were reckoned in
hour-equivalents, like those of the functionaries of the associations; and
these salaries ranged from 1,200 to 5,000 labour hours per annum, which in
the first year amounted to from 150£, to 600£. The agents in London,
Trieste, and Mombasa were each paid 800£ per annum. These agents remained
only two years at their foreign posts, and then had a claim to
corresponding positions in Freeland. To each of its own members the
committee gave a salary of 5,000 hour-equivalents.

Each member of the committee was president of one of the twelve branches
into which the whole of the public administration of Freeland was
provisionally divided. These branches were:

     1. The Presidency.
     2. Maintenance.
     3. Education.
     4. Art and science.
     5. Statistics.
     6. Roads and means of communication.
     7. Post--including later the telegraph.
     8. Foreign affairs.
     9. Warehouses.
    10. Central bank.
    11. Public undertakings.
    12. Sanitation and administration of justice.

These are, in general outlines, the principles upon which in the beginning
Freeland was organised and administered. They stood the test of experience
in all respects most satisfactorily. The formation of the associations was
effected without the slightest delay. As the majority of the members who
successively arrived were unknown to each other, it was necessary in
filling the more responsible positions provisionally to follow the
recommendations of the committee; in most cases, therefore, provisional
appointments were made which could be afterwards replaced by definitive
ones. The already mentioned kinds of productive labour--agriculture,
gardening, pasturage, millering, saw-mills, beer-brewing, coal-mining, and
iron-working--were considerably enlarged and materially improved by the
increase of labour which daily arrived with the Mombasa caravans. A great
number of new industries were immediately added. Ono of the first--most of
the material of which was imported and only needed completing--was a
printing-office, with two cylinder machines and five other machines; and
from this office issued a daily journal. Then came in quick succession a
machine-factory, a glass-works, a brickyard, an oil-mill, a chemical-works,
a sewing and shoe factory, a carpenter's shop, and an ice-factory. On the
first day of the new year the first small screw steamboat was launched for
towing service in the Eden lake and the Dana river. This was at short
intervals followed by other and larger steamers for goods and passengers,
all constructed by the ship-building association, which, on account of its
excellent services, increased with extraordinary rapidity.

At the same time the committee employed a not inconsiderable part of the
newly arriving strength in public works; and the workers thus employed had
naturally to be paid at a rate corresponding to the average height of the
general labour-profit, and even at a higher rate when specially trying work
was required. These public works were, in the first instance, the
provisional house-accommodation for the newly arriving members. It was
arranged that every family should be furnished with a separate house,
whilst for those who were single several large hotels were built. The
family houses were of different sizes, containing from four to ten
dwelling-rooms, and each house had a garden of above 10,000 square feet.
Every new-comer could find a house that was convenient to him as to size
and situation, and might pay for it either at once or by instalments. Not
fewer than 1,500 such houses had to be got ready per month; they were
strongly built of double layers of thick plunks, and the average cost was
about 8£ 10s. per room. For the use of hotel rooms, sixpence per week per
room was sufficient to cover the amortisation of the capital and the
expenses of management.

Together with the dwelling-houses, the building of schools was taken in
hand; and as it was anticipated that for some time from 1,000 to 1,200
fresh school-children would arrive per month, it was necessary to make
provision to secure a continuous increase of accommodation. These schools,
as well as the private houses, were of course erected, some in Eden Vale
and some on the Dana plateau, and were only of a provisional character, but
light, airy, and commodious. It was also necessary to secure a timely
supply of teachers, a task the accomplishment of which the committee
connected with another scarcely less important question. There was in
Freeland a great disproportion in the comparative number of the sexes,
particularly of young men and young marriageable women. Of the 460 pioneers
who had reached the Kenia between June and September, very few had either
wives or betrothed in the old home; and among the later arrivals there was
a preponderance of young unmarried men. It was not to be expected that the
immediate future would bring an adequate number of young unmarried women
unless some special means were adopted; but this forced celibacy could not
continue without danger of unpleasant social developments in a community
that aimed at uniting absolute freedom with the strictest morality. In
Taveta and Masailand, a few isolated cases of intrigue with native girls
and wives had occurred. At the Kenia, our young people had, without
exception, resisted the enticements of the ugly Wa-Kikuyu women; but our
young people could not permanently be required to exercise a self-denial
which, particularly in this luxurious country, would be contrary to nature.
It was therefore necessary to attract to Freeland young women who would be
a real gain not only to the men whom they married, but also to the country
that received them. We had merely to make the state of affairs known in
Europe and America, and to announce that women who remained single were in
Freeland supported by the State, and we should very soon have had no reason
to complain of a lack of women. But whether we should have been pleased
with those whom such an announcement might bring is another question. We
preferred, therefore, to instruct our representatives in the old home to
engage women-teachers for Freeland. The salary--180£ for the first
year--was attractive, and we had a choice of numberless candidates. It was
therefore to no one's injury if these highly cultured women, most of whom
were young, gave up their teaching vocation not long after they reached
Freeland and consented to make some wooer happy. The vacated place was at
once filled by a new teacher, who quite as quickly made room for a fresh
successor.

In this way, for several years Freeland witnessed a constant influx of
quickly marrying women-teachers, though our representatives had no
instructions to make their choice of the candidates for our teacherships
depend in any way upon the suitability of such persons as candidates for
matrimony. Our announcement in the leading newspapers of the old home was
seriously meant and taken. 'Well-qualified cultured women-teachers wanted.
Salary 180£ for the first year; more afterwards.' Elderly women who seemed
suitable for teachers were sometimes appointed; but young, sprightly women
are in the nature of things better fitted than old and enfeebled ones to
educate children, and thus we obtained what we needed without exhibiting
the least partiality. Later, this announcement was no longer needed; for it
gradually became known, especially in England, France, and Germany, that
young women-teachers found in Freeland charming opportunities of becoming
wives; so that the permanent preponderance of men among the general
immigrants was continually balanced by this influx of women-teachers.

The next problem to which special attention was given during this first
year of the new government was that of the post. The courier-service
between Eden Vale and Mombasa no longer sufficed to meet the demands of the
increased intercourse. The mails had grown to be larger in quantity than
could be transported in saddlebags, and they had to be more quickly
carried. It was most desirable that letters and despatches should pass
between Mombasa and Freeland at a more rapid rate than a little over sixty
miles a day, which had hitherto been the maximum. With this in view, the
road to Mombasa was thoroughly repaired. It should be remembered that this
road had not been 'constructed' in the Western sense of the term, but was
mainly in the condition in which nature had left it, nothing having been
done but to remove wood that stood in the way, fill up holes, and build
bridges. As the so called dry season extends from September to February,
very little rain had yet fallen; nevertheless our heavy waggons, which were
daily passing to and fro, had in places, where the ground was soft, made
deep ruts; and it was to be expected that the long rainy season beginning
in March would completely stop the traffic in some places if the road was
not seen to in time. Demestre, the head of the department for road
construction, therefore engaged 2,000 Swahili, Wa-Kikuyu, and Wa-Teita in
order at once to repair the worst places, and afterwards to improve the
whole of the road.

In the meantime, our general postmaster, Ferroni, had organised a threefold
transport and post service. For ordinary goods a luggage-service was
established, running uninterruptedly day and night, the oxen teams being
still retained. The old waggons, carrying both passengers and luggage, had
been obliged to halt longer at certain stations in the day than at others,
for the meal-times; and, apart from this, they were often delayed on the
way by the travellers. The new luggage-waggons stayed nowhere longer than
was necessary to give time to change the oxen and the attendants, and thus
gained an average of four hours a day, so that under favourable conditions
they could reach Eden Vale in twelve days. Of course passengers were not
taken. A second kind of service was arranged for express goods, and here
elephants were the motive power. Mrs. Ellen Ney's Indians, assisted by
several of our own people, who had been initiated into the secrets of the
catching and taming of these pachyderms, had trained several hundred of
these animals. Thirty-five elephants were placed at stages between Eden
Vale and Mombasa, and upon their backs from ten to twelve hundredweight of
the most various kinds of goods were daily carried in both directions. This
elephant-post covered the 600 miles and odd between the coast and Eden Vale
in seven or eight days. For the third and fastest service mounted couriers
were employed; only there were twenty-two instead of only ten relays, and
sixty-five fresh horses were used, so that, with an average speed of over
eleven miles an hour, the whole journey was made in two days and a half.
They carried merely despatches and letters; but from Mombasa they also
carried a packet of European and American newspapers for our Eden Vale
newspaper. (All newspapers sent to private persons were carried by the
elephant-post.) A few months later, our representative in Mombasa effected
an arrangement between the Sultan of Zanzibar and the English and the
German governments, in accordance with which a telegraph-line was
constructed between Mombasa and Zanzibar at the common cost of the
contracting parties. This very soon made it possible for us to communicate
with and receive answers from all parts of the civilised world in five or
six days; and our newspaper was able every Wednesday--its publishing
day--to report what had happened three days before in London or New York,
Paris or Berlin, Vienna or Rome, St. Petersburg or Constantinople. For
passengers, besides the oxen-waggons, which, on account of their greater
comfort, were retained for the use of women and children, there were
express-waggons drawn by horses, which made the journey in ten days.

For the rest, the mode of life at the Kenia had meanwhile altered but
little, with the exception of the fact that Eden Vale, which before the
arrival of the first waggon-caravan was only a large village, in the course
of a few months grew to be a considerable town of more than 20,000
inhabitants. On the Dana plateau, where at first there were only a few
huts, two large villages had sprung up--one at the east end near the great
waterfall, and inhabited by the workers in several factories; the other
nearer to Eden Vale, and the home of an agricultural colony. A very
noticeable air of untroubled joyousness and unmistakable comfort was common
to all the inhabitants of Freeland. The manner of life was still very
primitive, in harmony with the provisional character of the houses and the
dress; on the other hand, as to meat and drink there was abundance, even
luxury. The meals were in the main still arranged as they had been at first
by the earliest comers; only the women had soon invented a number of fresh
and ingenious modes of utilising the many delicate products of the country.
The list of aesthetic and intellectual enjoyments within reach had not been
considerably enlarged. The journal; a library founded by the Education
Bureau, and daily enriched by newly arriving chests of books, so that by
the New Year it contained 18,000 volumes, which did not by any means meet
the demand for reading, particularly during the hot midday hours; several
new singing and orchestral societies; reading or debating circles; and two
dozen pianos--these were all that had been added to the original stock of
means of recreation. But there was frequent hunting in the splendid woods;
and excursions to the more accessible points of view were the order of the
day. In short, the Freelanders endeavoured to make life as pleasant as
possible with such a temporarily small variation in the programme of
pleasures and intellectual recreation. In spite of all drawbacks, happiness
and content reigned in every house.

With respect also to the hours of labour, the system originally adopted was
on the whole retained. The men worked for the most part between 5 and 10
A.M. and between 4 and 6 P.M.; the women, assisted by natives, took care of
the home and of the children when they were not at school. Yet no one felt
bound to observe these hours--everyone worked when and as long as he
pleased; and several associations, the work of which would not well bear
the interruption of meal-times, introduced a system of relays which ensured
the presence of a few hands at work during the hot hours. But as no one
could be compelled to work during those hours, it became customary to pay
for the more burdensome midday work a higher rate than for the ordinary
work, and this had the effect of bringing the requisite number of
volunteers. The same held good for the night work that was necessary in
certain establishments.



CHAPTER X


At the end of our first year of residence at the Kenia, Freeland possessed
a population of 95,000 souls, of whom 27,000 were men belonging to 218
associations and engaged in eighty-seven different kinds of work. In the
last harvest--there are here two harvests in the year, one in October after
the short rainy season, and the other in June after the long rainy
season--36,000 acres had yielded nearly 2,000,000 cwt. of grain,
representing in value the sum of 300,000£, and giving to the 10,800 workers
an average profit of nearly 2s. 6d. for every hour of labour. But it must
not be supposed that all these workers spent their whole time in
agricultural pursuits; except during sowing and harvest a great many
agriculturists found profitable employment for the labour which would have
been superfluous in the fields in the neighbouring industrial
establishments. The average profit of all the industries was a little
higher than that of agriculture; and as it was usual to work about forty
hours a week, the average weekly earnings of an ordinary worker of moderate
application were 5£ 5s.

Next to agriculture, the iron-works and machine-factories gave employment
to the greatest number; in fact, if we take not the temporary employment of
a large number of men, but the total number of labour-hours devoted to the
work, as our measure, then these latter industries employed much more
labour than agriculture. And this is not to be wondered at, for all the
associations needed machinery in order to carry on their work to the best
advantage. In other countries, where the wages of labour and the profit of
labour are fundamentally different things, there is a fundamental
distinction between the profitableness of a business and the theoretical
perfection of the machinery used in it. In order to be theoretically useful
a machine must simply save labour--that is, the labour required for
producing and working the machine must be less than that which is saved by
using it. The steam-plough, for example, is a theoretically good and useful
machine if the manufacture of it, together with the production of the coal
consumed by it, swallows up less human labour than on the other hand is
saved by ploughing with steam instead of with horses or cattle. But the
actual profitableness of a machine is quite another thing--out of Freeland,
we mean, of course. In order to be profitable, the steam-plough must save,
not labour, but value or money--that is, it must cost less than the labour
which it has saved would have cost. But elsewhere in the world it by no
means follows that it costs less because the amount of labour saved is
greater than that consumed by the manufacture of the steam-plough and the
production of the coal it uses. For whilst the labour which the improved
plough saves receives merely its 'wages,' with the bought plough and the
bought coal there have to be paid for not only the labour required in
producing them, but also three items of 'gain'--namely, ground-rent,
interest, and undertaker's salary. Thus it may happen that the
steam-plough, between its first use and its being worn out, saves a million
hours of labour, whilst in its construction and in the total quantity of
coal it has required, it may have consumed merely 100,000 hours of labour;
and yet it may be very unprofitable--that is, it may involve very great
loss to those who, relying upon the certainty of such an enormous saving of
labour, should buy and use it. For the million hours of labour saved mean
no more than a million hours of _wages_ saved; therefore, for example,
10,000£, if the wages are merely 1£ for a hundred hours of labour. For the
construction of the plough and for the means of driving it 100,000 hours of
labour are required, which alone certainly will have cost 1,000£. But then
the rent which the owners of the iron-pits and the coal-mines charge, and
the interest for the invested capital, must be paid, and finally the
profits of the iron-manufacturer and the coal-producer. All this may, under
certain circumstances, amount to more than the difference of 9,000£ between
cost of labour in the two cases respectively; and when that is the case the
Western employer loses money by buying a machine which saves a thousand per
cent. of his labour. With us the case is quite different: the living labour
which the steam-plough spares _us_ is hour for hour exactly as valuable as
the labour-time which has been bestowed upon the plough and has been
transformed into commodities; for in Freeland there is no distinction
between the profit of labour and the wages of labour, and in Freeland,
therefore, every theoretically useful--that is, every really
labour-saving--machine is at the same time, and of necessity, profitable.
This is the reason why in Freeland the manufacture of machines is
necessarily of such enormous and constantly increasing importance. One half
of our people are engaged in the manufacture of ingenious mechanical
implements, moved by steam, electricity, water, compressed or rarefied air,
by means of which the other half multiply their powers of production a
hundredfold; and it follows as a natural consequence that among us the
employment of machinery has developed a many-sidedness and a perfectness of
which those who are outside the limits of our country have no conception.

The most important manufacture taken in hand before the end of this first
year was that of steam-ploughs and--worked provisionally by animal
labour--seed-drills and reaping-machines sufficient for the cultivation of
the 64,000 acres which were to be brought under the plough for the October
harvest. We calculated that, by the initial expenditure of 3,500,000 hours
of labour, we should save at least 3,000,000 hours of labour yearly. In
other parts of the world that would have been a great misfortune for the
workers who would thus have been rendered superfluous, while the community
would not have profited at all. We, on the contrary, were able to find
excellent employment for the labour thus saved, which could be utilised in
producing things that would elevate and refine, and for which the increased
productiveness of labour had created a demand.

A second work, which had to be carried out during the next year, was the
improvement of the means of communication by deepening the bed of the Dana
from the flour-mill above the Eden lake to the great waterfall on the Dana
plateau, and by the construction of a railway across the Dana plateau. With
this were to be connected rope-lines on several of the Kenia foot-hills for
the use of the miners and the foresters.

That all the existing industries were enlarged, and a great number of new
ones started, will be taken for granted. It should be mentioned that only
such factories were erected in Eden Vale or on the upper course of the Dana
as would pollute neither the air nor the water; the less cleanly
manufactures were located at the east end of the Dana plateau, close upon
or even below the waterfall. Later, means were found of preventing any
pollution whatever of the water by industrial refuse.

The town of Eden Vale had grown to contain 48,000 souls and covered more
than six square miles, with its small houses and gardens, and its numerous
large, though still primitively constructed, wooden public buildings. The
herds of cattle, and the horses, asses, camels, elephants, and the newly
imported swine--all of which had increased to an enormous extent--were for
the main part transferred to the Dana plateau, while the wild animals were
excluded by a strong stockade drawn round the heights that encircled Eden
Vale.

We were driven to this last somewhat costly measure by an incident which
fortunately passed off without serious consequences, but which showed the
necessity of being protected against marauding animals. The noise of the
town had for months made the wild animals which once abounded in Eden Vale
avoid our immediate neighbourhood. But in the surrounding woods and copses
there were still considerable numbers of antelopes, zebras, giraffes,
buffaloes, and rhinoceroses; the elephants alone had completely
disappeared. One fine evening, just before sunset, an enterprising old
rhinoceros bull approached the town, and, enraged by some dogs--of which we
had imported a good number, besides those that were descended from the dogs
we brought with us--made his way into one of the principal streets of the
town. This street led to a little grove which was a favourite playground
for children, especially in the evening, and which was full of children
when the savage brute suddenly appeared among them. The children were in
charge of several women-teachers, who, as well as the children, lost their
heads at sight of the monster, which was snorting and puffing like a
steam-engine. Teachers and children fled together, chased by the
rhinoceros, which, singling out a little fugitive, tossed her like a
feather into the air. Seeing one of the teachers, who had fallen in her
fright, lying motionless on the ground, the rhinoceros chose her as his
next victim, and was within a few steps of her when the dogs, which had so
far contented themselves with barking, now fell in a body upon the beast as
if they recognised the danger of the women and children, and, by biting its
ears and other tender parts, drew its fury upon themselves. The struggle
was an unequal one, and in a few moments the rhinoceros had slain two of
the brave dogs and severely wounded three others; but the rest persisted in
their attack, and thus gave the children and their attendants time to save
themselves. The little girl who had been tossed was merely frightened, and
found safety in one of the houses near by. The rhinoceros, when he had put
several more of the dogs _hors de combat_, trotted off, and was soon out of
sight of the men who had hastened to the rescue with all kinds of weapons.

Such a scene could not be allowed to be repeated. The next day it was
resolved to surround Eden Vale with a fence, and the work was at once
begun. As the Kenia rocks formed a secure defence on one side, it was
necessary only to construct a semicircular barrier. On the ridge of the
surrounding heights, with timber obtained on the spot, a barrier five feet
high was constructed, strong enough to resist the attacks of any wild
beast, and extending about twenty miles. This protection was intended
simply to keep out rhinoceroses, elephants, and buffaloes; antelopes,
zebras, even giraffes and such like, if they had a fancy for leaping the
barrier, could do no harm. Nor did we need any protection against beasts of
prey--lions and leopards--for these had for months entirely left the
neighbourhood. When this barrier was completed, except for a distance of
about 220 yards, we had a great hunt, by which all the wild beasts that
were still in the valley were driven to this opening and then chased out.
The chain of hunters was so close that we had every reason to be sure that
not an animal was left behind. Two rhinoceroses and a buffalo made an
attempt to break the chain, but were shot down. The opening in the barrier
was then closed up, and there was no longer any wild quadruped worth
mentioning in the whole of Eden Vale.

On the other hand, the groves and woods within the barrier became
increasingly populous with tame antelopes of all kinds, which were
accustomed to return to their owners in the evening. Very soon there was
not a family--particularly with children--in Eden Vale which did not
possess one or more tame antelopes, monkeys, or parrots; and elephant cubs,
under two years of age, wandered by dozens in the streets and in the public
places, the pampered pets of the children, who were remarkably attached to
these little proboscidians. An elephant cub is never better pleased than
when he has as many children as he can carry upon his back, and he will
even neglect his meals in order to have a frolic with his two-legged
comrades.

At the beginning of the second year our European agents informed us that
the rate of increase of members had assumed very large proportions. The
notices of Freeland which had been published in the journals--
correspondents of some of the principal European and American journals had
visited us--had naturally very powerfully quickened the desire to
emigrate; and if all the indications did not deceive us, we had to expect,
during the second year of our residence at the Kenia, an influx of at
least twice, probably thrice, as many as had come during the first year.
Provision had, therefore, to be made for the requisite means of transport.
As many of the more wealthy new members paid for passages in ships
belonging to foreign companies, instead of waiting to take their turn in
our own ships, the most urgent part of the work was that of increasing the
means of transport from Mombasa. A thousand new waggons were therefore
purchased as speedily as possible, together with the requisite number of
draught-cattle; and they were set to work in the order of purchase from
March onwards. At the same time our London agent bought first six, and
shortly afterwards four more, steamships of from 4,000 to 10,000 tons
burden, and adapted them to our requirements so that each ship could carry
from 1,000 to 3,000 passengers. By means of these new steamships the
traffic through Trieste was increased; the largest ships took passengers
from thence as the most favourably situated point of departure for the
whole of the middle of Europe. Twice a week, also, a ship went from
Marseilles, and once a month another from San Francisco across the Pacific
Ocean. After a third set of a thousand waggons had been ordered to provide
for emergencies, we thought we had made adequate provision for the
transport of immigrants during the second year.

So stood affairs when Demestre approached the committee with the
declaration that our primitive method of transport from Mombasa could not
possibly suffice to meet the requirements of the strong permanent tide of
immigration which promised to set in. We must at once think about
constructing a railway between Eden Vale and the coast. The cost would be
covered by the immigrants alone, and the incalculable advantage that would
accrue to the whole of our industry would be clear profit. When he spoke of
the covering of the cost by the immigrants he did not mean to propose that
they should pay for travelling on the railway. The fare, however high it
were fixed, would not suffice to cover the cost; and he did not propose to
levy any direct payment for transport by rail, any more than had been done
for transport by waggon. What he referred to was the saving of time. The
waggons did the journey on an average in fourteen days, and after the
fatigues of the journey the immigrants needed a rest of several days before
they were ready for work. By rail the 600 miles and odd could comfortably
be done in twenty-four hours; there would thus be an average saving of
twelve labour-days. When it was considered that, among the 250,000 or
300,000 immigrants who might be expected to arrive yearly for some time to
come, there would be between 70,000 and 80,000 persons able to work, the
railway would mean a gain for them of from 800,000 to 1,000,000
labour-days. At present the average daily earnings amounted to 15s., and
the 800,000 labour-days therefore represented a total value of 600,000£.
But before the railway was finished the average value of labour in Freeland
would probably have doubled; and when he said that the railway would in the
first year of its working yield to the immigrants at least a million pounds
sterling he was certainly within the mark. Every year would this gain
increase in proportion to the increased productiveness of labour in
Freeland.

On the other side was the cost of construction of the line; he would not
speak of the cost of working, for, though there was no doubt that it would
be less than the cost of working the transport services hitherto in
operation, yet the saving might be left out of sight as not worth
mentioning. The cost of constructing a railway to the coast could not be
definitely calculated, particularly as the route was not yet decided upon.
Whether the route of our caravan-road should be, with slight alterations,
retained; whether another route to Mombasa should be chosen; or whether the
coast should be reached at quite another point, nobody could say at
present, when only one of the routes had been surveyed at all, and that
only very imperfectly. But on the supposition that no better route could be
found than the old one, or that this should be ultimately chosen on
technical grounds, he could positively assert that the railway could not
possibly cost nearly so much as the savings of the immigrants would amount
to in the course of a few years. And, in consequence of the way in which
labour was organised in Freeland, every increase in the produce of labour
was converted into immediate gain to the whole community.

We should therefore proceed at once to construct the railway, even if it
were merely to the advantage of the immigrants. That it was not merely to
their advantage, however, was self-evident, since the profit which the
community would derive from the cheapening and facilitating of the goods
traffic would be infinitely greater--so great that it could not be even
approximately calculated. He merely wished to throw a few rays of light
upon the economic result of the railway. Assuming that the line would be
completed in three years, we should then have a population of about a
million, and there was no doubt that when we had sufficient means of
transport we should be able easily to produce ten million hundredweight of
grain for export. Such a quantity of grain at the Kenia then represented
one and a-half million pounds sterling. If the cost of transport sank from
five or six shillings per cwt., the current price--independently of the
fact that a greater quantity could not then be conveyed--to one shilling,
or at most eighteen-pence, which might be looked upon as the maximum
railway freight for 600 miles, then the value of the above quantity of
grain would be raised to a round two million pounds sterling. In short, he
was firmly convinced that the railway, even at the highest probable cost,
must fully pay for itself in three or four years at the latest. He
therefore proposed that they should at once send out several expeditions of
skilled engineers to find the most suitable route for the future line. They
should not proceed too cautiously, for even a considerable difference in
cost would be preferable to loss of time.

Everything that Demestre urged in support of his project was so just and
clear that it was unanimously adopted without debate; in fact, everyone
secretly wondered why he had not himself thought of it long before. The
only thing to do now, therefore, was to trace the route of the future
railway. In the first place, there was the old route through Kikuyu into
Masailand, thence to the east of Kilimanjaro, past Taveta and Teita, to
Mombasa. A second and possibly more favourable route was thought of, which
led also southwards, and reached the coast at Mombasa, but took a direction
two degrees further east, through Kikuyu, into the country of the Ukumbani,
and thence followed the valley of the Athi river to Teita. This track might
probably shorten the distance by more than a hundred miles. The third, the
shortest route to the ocean, led directly east, following the Dana, through
the Galla lands, to the Witu coast; here eventually nearly half the
distance might be saved, for we were but about 280 miles from the coast in
a straight line.

It was decided that these three routes should be examined as carefully as
would be possible in the course of a few months; for the beginning of the
construction of the line was not to be delayed more than half a year.
Demestre was appointed to examine the old route, with which he was already
well acquainted. Two other skilful engineers were sent to the Athi and the
Dana respectively, each accompanied, as was Demestre, by a staff of not
less qualified colleagues. But these two latter expeditions, having to
explore utterly unknown districts, inhabited by probably hostile tribes,
had to be well armed. They were each 300 strong, and, besides a sufficient
number of repeating-rifles, they took with them several war elephants, some
cannons, and some rockets. All these expeditions were accompanied by a
small band of naturalists, geologists in particular. They started in the
beginning of May, and they were instructed to return, if possible, in
August, before the short rainy season.

Whilst our attention was fixed principally upon the east in making
provision for the enormous influx expected from Europe and America, an
unexpected complication was brought about in the west by means of our
allies, the Masai. In order to find a new field for their love of
adventure, which they could no longer bring into play against the Swahili,
Wa-Duruma, Wa-Teita, Wa-Taveta, and Wa-Kikuyu, whom we had made their
allies, the Masai fell upon the Nangi and Kavirondo, who live west of Lake
Baringo, and drove off a large number of their cattle. But when the
patience of these large tribes was exhausted, they forgot for a time their
mutual animosities, turned the tables upon the Masai, and overran their
country. In this war the Masai suffered a great deal, for their opponents,
though not equal to them in bravery, far surpassed them in numbers. If the
Masai had but got together in time, they might have easily collected in
their own country an army equal to the 18,000 Kavirondo and Nangi who took
the field against them: but they were thrown into confusion by the
unexpected attack, got together a poor 7,000 _el-moran_, and suffered utter
defeat in two sanguinary engagements. More than a thousand of their
warriors fell, and the swarms of the victors poured continuously over the
whole country between the Lakes Baringo and Naivasha, sweeping all the
Masai before them, and getting an immense booty in women, children, and
cattle. This was at the beginning of May; and the Masai, who knew not how
to escape from their exasperated foes except by our aid, sent couriers who
reached the Kenia with their petitions for help on the 10th of the month.

This help was of course at once granted. On the day after the messengers
reached us, 500 of our horsemen, with the still available cannons and
rockets, and with twenty-four elephants, started in forced marches for the
Naivasha, where the Masai, favoured by the character of the country,
thought they could hold out for a time. Our men reached their destination
on the 16th, just after our allies had met with another reverse and were
scarcely able to hold out another day. Johnston, who led our little army,
scarcely waited to refresh his horses before he sent word to the Kavirondo
and the Nangi that they were to cease hostilities at once; he was come, not
as their enemy, but as arbitrator. If they would not accept his mediation,
he would at once attack them; but he warned them beforehand that successful
resistance to his weapons and to those of his people was impossible.
Naturally, this threat had no effect upon the victorious blacks. It is true
they had already heard all sorts of vague rumours about the mysterious
white strangers; and the elephants and horses, which they now saw, though
at a distance, were not likely to please them. But their own great numbers,
in comparison with the small body of our men, and chiefly their previous
successes, encouraged them, after their elders had held a short _shauri_,
to send a defiant answer. Let Johnston attack them; they would 'eat him up'
as they meant to eat up the whole of Masailand.

Johnston anticipated such an answer, and had made the necessary
preparations. As soon as he had received the challenge he caused his men to
mount at once, told the Masai not to join in the fight at all, and then he
attacked the Kavirondo and Nangi. This time he did not rely upon the effect
of blank-cartridges, not because an entirely bloodless battle would
scarcely have satisfied the Masai's longing for revenge, but because he
wished to end the whole war at a single stroke. He therefore allowed his
men to approach within 550 yards of the blacks, who kept their ground; and
then, whilst the horsemen charged the enemy's centre, he directed several
sharp volleys from the cannons and rockets against them. Naturally, the
whole order of battle was at once broken up in wild flight, though not many
men fell. Those who fled westward Johnston allowed to escape; but the main
body of the enemy, who tried to get away along the banks of the Naivasha to
the north, were cut off by 400 of our men, whilst he kept with the other
hundred between the blacks and the Masai, principally for the purpose of
preventing the latter from falling upon the conquered. Our 400 horsemen,
who made a wide circle round the fugitives, much as sheep-dogs do around a
scattering flock of sheep, soon brought the Kavirondo and Nangi to a stand,
who, when they found themselves completely surrounded, threw down their
weapons and begged for mercy. Johnston ordered them to send their elders to
him, as he did not intend to do them any further harm, but merely wished to
bring about peace between them and the Masai.

As might be supposed, the peace negotiations were brief, for Johnston did
not require anything unjust from the conquered, who were completely at his
mercy. They were to give up all their prisoners and booty; and, after they
had taken an oath to keep the peace with us and the Masai, they should
remain unmolested. In the meantime, however, until the prisoners and the
booty had been given up--for only a part of both had fallen into our hands,
the Kavirondo having sent off the greater part to their own country several
days before--they were to remain upon one of the Naivasha islands as our
prisoners. Those who thus remained numbered more than 10,000, and included
some of the chief men of their nation. The Kavirondo and Nangi accepted
these terms; in the course of the afternoon and night they were ferried
across to one of the neighbouring islands, and twelve of their number were
sent home to bring back the booty.

Johnston, having caused the Masai leaders to be brought before him,
administered to them a very severe reprimand. Did they think that we should
continue to be friends with thieves and robbers? Had he not told them that
the swords which we had given to their _leitunus_ would snap asunder like
glass if drawn in an unrighteous cause? And in the war with the Kavirondo
and Nangi were not the Masai in the wrong? 'We have saved you from the just
punishment with which you were threatened, for the alliance which we had
contracted still stood good when you were defeated; but we dissolve that
alliance! I stay here until the Kavirondo and Nangi have brought back their
booty, which shall be handed over to you in its entirety; but, after that,
do not expect anything more from us. We can live in friendship with only
peaceable honourable people. Henceforth the Kavirondo and Nangi are our
friends; woe to you in the future if you ever break the peace; our anger
will shatter you as the lightning shatters the sycamore-tree!'

The Masai were completely cowed. This unlooked-for dissolution of a
friendship which had for a year past been their chief pride, and which had
just been their salvation in extremity, was more than they were able to
bear. But Johnston preserved a severe attitude towards them, and finally
insisted upon their leaving his camp. When the _leitunus_ and _leigonanis_
returned to their people with the terrible news that their friendship with
the white brethren was at an end there were exhibited the most extravagant
signs of distress. The whole camp of the Masai rushed over to ours; but
Johnston ordered them to be told that, weaponless though they were, he
would fire upon them if they dared to come near. This was repeated several
times during the next few days. The Masai sent messengers throughout the
whole country, called together the wisest of their elders, and again and
again endeavoured to induce Johnston to treat with them; but he remained
inexorable, had his camp entrenched, and threatened to shoot every Masai
who attempted to enter it.

In ten days the Kavirondo and Nangi messengers returned with the prisoners
and the cattle. Johnston now bade the Masai elders appear before him that
he might hand over to them what he had won for them in battle. The Masai
came, and took advantage of the opportunity of making their last attempt to
appease the terrible white man. Johnston might keep all that he--not
they--had recovered; they were willing to regard the loss they had suffered
as the just punishment of their crime; they were ready to do yet more if he
would but forgive them and give them his friendship again. It was to this
point that Johnston had wished to bring these people, whom he knew right
well. He showed himself touched by their appeal, but said that he could
grant nothing without the knowledge and consent of the other leaders in
Eden Vale. He would report to the great council the repentance of the Masai
people; and it was for the council to decide what was to be done. On the
19th and 20th of June, the days appointed for the commemoration of the
alliance with us, they were to come with their fellow-countrymen to the
place of rendezvous on the south shore of Naivasha lake; there should they
receive an answer.

It is unnecessary to say that Johnston's threats were not seriously meant.
The alliance with the Masai was of too much importance to us for us to wish
it dissolved. But Johnston had been instructed by the committee to use
every means to restrain the Masai from plundering in the future and to
induce them to keep the peace with all their neighbours. And the committee
were well aware that extreme measures were necessary to attain these ends,
for to convert the Masai into a peaceable people meant nothing less than to
divest them of their characteristic peculiarities. They are in truth a
purely military nation. War is their peculiar business--their organisation
and habits of life all have reference to war. They differ from all their
neighbours, being ethnographically distinct, for they are not negroes, but
a bronze-coloured Hamitic race evidently related to the original
inhabitants of Egypt. They carry on no industry, even their cattle-breeding
being in the hands of their captured slaves; while they themselves are in
youth exclusively warriors, and in age dignified idlers. The warriors, the
_el-moran_, live apart and unmarried--though by no means in celibacy--in
separate kraals; the older married men--the _el-morun_--also live in
separate villages. They buy their weapons of the Andorobbo who live among
them; and the small amount of corn which the married men and their wives
consume--for the _el-moran_ eat only milk and flesh--they buy of
neighbouring foreign tribes. Their morals are exceptionally loose, for the
warriors live in unrestrained fellowship with the unmarried girls--the
Dittos; and the married women allow themselves all conceivable liberties,
without any interference on the part of their husbands. Notwithstanding all
this, these dissolute plundering earls form the finest nation of the whole
district east of the Victoria Nyanza--brave, strong, ingenuous,
intelligent, and, when they are once won, trustworthy. To convert them into
industrious and moral men would be a grand work and would make our new
home, in which we could not go far without coming into collision with them,
truly habitable to us.

But it was very difficult to accomplish this. Their military organisation
had to be broken up, their immorality suppressed, their prejudice against
labour overcome. That this was by no means impossible was proved by many
past examples. The Wa-Kwafi, living to the south and west of them, as well
as the Njemps on the Baringo lake, are either of pure Masai extraction or
have much Masai blood in their veins; yet they practise agriculture and
know nothing of the _el-moran_ and Ditto abuse. But the change had been
effected among these by the agency of extreme want. It was only those Masai
tribes who were completely vanquished by other Masai and robbed of all
their cattle that were dispersed among agricultural negro tribes, whose
customs they had to adopt, while they unfortunately gave up their good
characteristics along with their bad ones. Johnston's task now was to see
if it wore not possible by rational compulsion to effect such a change in
them as in other instances had been effected by want. How he prosecuted his
attempt we have seen.

When Johnston released the Kavirondo and Nangi prisoners, he invited them
to send, on the 19th, as numerous an embassy as possible of their elders to
Naivasha, where we would confirm the newly formed alliance and seal it with
rich presents. He left the whole of his army at Naivasha, partly to cover
the retreat of the discharged prisoners, and partly to watch the booty (the
Masai still hesitated to take back the booty, and even forbade their
captured wives and children to leave our camp), while he himself,
accompanied by only a few horsemen, hastened to Eden Vale, there to get
further instructions. The proposal which he laid before the committee was
that everything should now be demanded from the Masai--the iron could be
forged if struck when it was hot; and as conditions of the renewal of
friendship he suggested the following three points: dissolution of the
_el-moran_ kraals, emancipation of all slaves whatever, formation of
agricultural associations. Of course we were not to be content with the
statement of these demands, but must ourselves take in hand the work of
carrying them out. Particularly would it be necessary to assist the Masai
in the organisation of the agricultural associations, to furnish them with
suitable agricultural implements, and to give them instruction in rational
agriculture. Finally, and chiefly, was it necessary to win over the
_el-moran_ by employing them in relays as soldiers for us. The ideal of
these brown braves was the routine of a military life. The alliance with
the Kavirondo and Nangi might lead to hostile complications with Uganda,
the country adjoining Kavirondo, when we could very well make use of a
Masai militia, and thus accomplish two ends at once--viz. the complete
pacification and civilisation of Masailand, and assistance against Uganda,
the great raiding State on the Victoria Nyanza, with which sooner or later
we must necessarily come into collision.

The committee adopted these suggestions after a short deliberation. Five
hundred fresh volunteers (as a matter of course, all our expeditions
consisted of volunteers) from among our agriculturists were placed under
Johnston's orders, as agricultural teachers for the Masai; whilst a part of
the five hundred men already at Naivasha were selected to superintend the
military training of the _el-moran_. Further, Johnston received for his
work the whole of the ploughs which had been thrown out of use in Freeland
by the introduction of steam-machinery. There were not less than 3,000 of
these ploughs, as well as a corresponding number of harrows and other
agricultural implements. With these were also granted 6,000 oxen accustomed
to the plough, as well as supplies of seeds, &c. The committee at once
telegraphed to Europe for 10,000 breechloaders and a million cartridges,
with 10,000 sidearms, which were supplied cheaply by the Austrian
Government out of the stock of disused Werndl rifles, and could reach
Naivasha by the end of June. Five complete field-batteries and eight
rocket-batteries were at the same time ordered in Europe; these, however,
were not for the Masai militia, but for our own use in any future
contingencies. An English firm promised to deliver two weeks later 10,000
very picturesque and strikingly designed complete uniforms, of which,
moreover, our Eden Vale sewing-factory speedily got ready several hundred
made of our large stores of brightly coloured woollen goods, so that the
_el-moran_ were able to see, on the 19th and 20th of June, the splendours
in store for them.

Thus furnished, Johnston left Eden Vale on the 12th of June, and reached
the shore of the Naivasha on the 16th, leaving his caravan of goods a few
days' march behind him. The elders and _leitunus_ of all the Masai tribes,
as well as the ambassadors of the Kavirondo and Nangi, already awaited him.
The negotiations with the latter were soon ended: the conditions of
alliance were again discussed, rich presents exchanged (the Kavirondo had
brought several thousand head of cattle for their magnanimous victors), and
on this side nothing further stood in the way of the approaching
covenant-feast. We had thus secured trustworthy friends as far as the
Victoria Nyanza, a great part of the shore of which was in the hands of the
Kavirondo; in return for which, it is true, we had undertaken--what we did
not for a moment overlook--the heavy responsibility of protecting the
Kavirondo against all foes, even against the powerful Uganda.

The Masai, on the other hand, were at first greatly troubled by the
conditions demanded of them. Johnston's eloquence, however, soon convinced
them that their acceptance of these conditions was not merely unavoidable,
but would be very profitable to themselves. He overcame their prejudice
against labour by showing them that an occupation to which we powerful and
rich white men were glad to devote ourselves could be neither degrading nor
burdensome. They were not to suppose that we intended them to grub about in
the earth, like the barbarous negroes, with wretched spades; the hard work
would be done by oxen; they need only walk behind the implements, which
were already on the way ready to be distributed among them. A few hours'
light work a day for a few months in the year would suffice to make them
richer than they had ever been made by the labour of their slaves. Even the
_el-moran_ were won over without very much difficulty by the promise that,
if they would only work a little in turns, they should now be trained to
become invincible warriors like ourselves, and should receive fine clothing
and yet finer weapons. And when at last the endless caravan with the oxen
and the agricultural implements arrived; when the wonderful celerity with
which tire ploughs cut through the ground was demonstrated; and when
Johnston dressed up a chosen band of _el-moran_ in the baggy red hose and
shirts, the green jackets, and the dandyish plumed hats, with rifle,
bayonet, and cartridge-box, and made them march out as models of the future
soldiery, the resignation which had hitherto been felt gave way to
unrestrained jubilation. The Masai had originally yielded out of fear of
our anger, and more still of the danger lest our friendship to the
surrounding tribes might lead to the unconditional deliverance of the Masai
into the hands of their hereditary foes. The numerous embassies which had
appeared from all points of the compass (for the Wa-Kikuyu, Wa-Taveta,
Wa-Teita, and Wa-Duruma--even the Wa-Kwafi and Swahili tribes--had sent
representatives laden with rich presents to take part in the Naivasha
festival) were significant reminders to them. But now they accepted our
terms with joy, and were not a little proud of being able to show to the
others that they were still the first in our favour.

And as the Masai, when they have made any engagement, are honourably
ambitious--unlike the negroes--to keep it, the carrying out of the
stipulations was a comparatively easy and speedy matter. A hasty census,
which we made for several purposes, showed that there were some 180,000
souls in the twelve Masai tribes scattered over a district of nearly 20,000
square miles, from Lykipia in the extreme north to Kilimanjaro in the
south. The country, although dry and sterile in the south-west, is
exuberantly fertile in the east and north, and--particularly around the
numerous ranges of hills, which rise to a height of 15,000 feet--equals in
beauty the Teita, Kilima, and Kenia districts, and could well support a
population a hundred times as large as the present one; but the perpetual
wars and the licentiousness of the people have hitherto limited the
increase of the population. Among the 180,000 were about 54,000 men capable
of labour, the _el-moran_ being included in that number. We handed over to
the Masai 12,000 yoke-oxen, in exchange for which we received the same
number of oxen for fattening. Our 500 agricultural instructors now looked
out for the most suitable arable ground for their pupils, whom they
organised into 280 associations similar to ours, without a right of
property in the soil and with the amount of labour as the sole measure of
the distribution of produce. The instructors taught them the use of the
implements; and were able, two months later, to report to Eden Vale, with
considerable satisfaction, that above 50,000 acres had been sown with all
kinds of field-produce. The harvest proved to be abundantly sufficient not
only to cover all the needs of the Masai, but also to secure to their white
teachers, both agricultural and military, the payment then customary in
Freeland.

While in this way, on the one hand, the agricultural associations were set
to work, on the other hand some 300 military instructors initiated relays
of 6,500 _el-moran_ into the mysteries of the European art of war. The
26,000 Masai warriors were divided into four companies, each of which was
put into uniform and exercised for a year. The rifles remained our
property, the uniforms became the property of the Masai warriors, but could
be worn only when the owners were on duty. There was no pay for peace
duty--rather, as above mentioned, the Masai defrayed the cost of their
military training out of the proceeds of their agriculture.

The agricultural as well as the military instructors made themselves useful
in other ways, by imparting to their pupils all kinds of skill and
knowledge. There were no specially learned men among them, but they opened
up a new world to the Masai, exercised a refining and ennobling influence
upon their habits and morals, and in a surprisingly short time made
tolerably civilised men of them. The Masai, on their part, enjoyed their
new lives very much. They were well aware that their altered condition made
them the object of all their neighbours' envy, whilst they were still more
highly respected than before. And, what was the main thing--at the
beginning at least--they enjoyed their new wealth and their increased
honour without finding their labour at all painful to those needs. For in
this fortunate country it required very little labour expended in a
rational way to get from the fruitful soil the little that was there looked
upon as extraordinary wealth. He who twice a year spent a few weeks in
sowing and harvesting could for the rest of the year indulge in the still
favourite luxury of _dolce far niente_. In later years, when the needs of
the Masai had been largely multiplied by their growing culture, more labour
was required to satisfy those needs; but in the meantime our pupils had got
rid of their former laziness; and it may be confidently asserted that not
one of them ever regretted that we had imposed our civilisation upon his
nation. On the contrary, the example of the Masai stimulated the
neighbouring peoples; and, in the course of the following years, the most
diverse tribes voluntarily came to us with the request that we would do
with them as we had done with the Masai. The suppression of property in the
soil among those negro races who--unlike the Masai and most of the other
peoples of Equatorial Africa--possessed such an institution in a developed
form, in no case presented any great difficulty: the land was voluntarily
either given up or redefined. Nowhere was property in land able to assert
itself along with labour organised according to our principles.



CHAPTER XI


The meeting of the International Free Society at the Hague had, as the
reader will remember, conferred full executive power upon the committee for
the period of two years. This period expired on the 20th of October, when
the Society would have to give itself a new and definitive constitution,
and the powers hitherto exercised by the committee would have to be taken
over by an administrative body freely elected by the people of Freeland. On
the 15th of September, therefore, the committee called together a
constituent assembly; and, as the inhabitants were too numerous all to meet
together for consultation, they divided the country into 500 sections,
according to the number of the inhabitants, and directed each section to
elect a deputy. The committee declared this representative assembly to be
the provisional source of sovereign authority, and required it to make
arrangements for the future, leaving it to decide whether it would empower
the committee to continue to exercise its executive functions until a
constitution had been agreed upon, or would at once entrust the
administration of Freeland to some new authority. After a short debate, the
assembly not only decided unanimously to adopt the former course, but also
charged the committee with the task of preparing a draft constitution. As
such a draft had already been prepared in view of contingencies, the
committee at once accepted the duty imposed upon it. Dr. Strahl, in the
name of the committee, laid the draft constitution 'upon the table of the
House.' The assembly ordered it to be printed, and three days after
proceeded to discuss it. As the proposed fundamental law and detailed
regulations were extremely simple, the debate was not very long-winded;
and, on the 2nd of October, the laws and regulations were declared to be
unanimously approved, and the new constitution was put in force.

The fundamental laws were thus expressed:

1. Every inhabitant of Freeland has an equal and inalienable claim upon the
whole of the land, and upon the means of production accumulated by the
community.

2. Women, children, old men, and men incapable of work, have a right to a
competent maintenance, fairly proportionate to the level of the average
wealth of the community.

3. No one can be hindered from the active exercise of his own free
individual will, so long as he does not infringe upon the rights of others.

4. Public affairs are to be administered as shall be determined by all the
adult (above twenty years of age) inhabitants of Freeland, without
distinction of sex, who shall all possess an equal active and passive right
of vote and of election in all matters that affect the commonwealth.

5. Both the legislative and the executive authority shall be divided into
departments, and in such a manner that the whole of the electors shall
choose special representatives for the principal public departments, who
shall give their decisions apart and watch over the action of the
administrative boards of the respective departments.

In these five points is contained the whole substance of the public law of
Freeland; everything else is merely the natural consequence or the more
detailed expression of these points. Thus the principles upon which the
associations were based--the right of the worker to the profit, the
division of the profit in proportion to the amount of work contributed, and
freedom of contract in view of special efficiency of labour--are naturally
and necessarily implied in the first and third fundamental laws. As the
whole of the means of labour were accessible to everyone, no one could be
compelled to forego the profit of his own labour; and as no one could be
forced to place his higher capabilities at the disposal of others, these
higher capabilities--so far as they were needed in the guidance and
direction of production--must find adequate recompense in the way of
freedom of contract.

With reference to the right of maintenance given to women, children, old
men, and men incapable of working, by the second section, it may be
remarked that this was regarded, in the spirit of our principles, as a
corollary from the truth that the wealth of the civilised man is not the
product of his own individual capabilities, but is the result of the
intellectual labour of numberless previous generations, _whose bequest
belongs as much to the weak and helpless as to the strong and capable_. All
that we enjoy we owe in an infinitely small degree to our own intelligence
and strength; thrown upon these as our only resources, we should be poor
savages vegetating in the deepest, most brutish misery; it is to the rich
inheritance received from our ancestors that we owe ninety-nine per cent.
of our enjoyments. If this is so--and no sane person has ever questioned
it--then all our brothers and sisters have a right to share in the common
heritage. That this heritage would be unproductive without the labour of us
who are strong is true, and it would be unfair--nay, foolish and
impracticable--for our weaker brethren to claim an _equal_ share. But they
have a right to claim a fraternal participation--not merely a charitable
one, but one based upon their right of inheritance--in the rich profits won
from the common heritage, even though it be by _our_ labour solely. They
stand towards us in the relation, not of medicant strangers, but of
co-heirs and members of our family. And of us, the stronger inheritors of a
clearly proved title, every member of the common family demands the
unreserved recognition of this good title. For we cannot prosper if we
dishonour and condemn to want and shame those who are our equals. A healthy
egoism forbids us to allow misery and its offspring--the vices--to harbour
anywhere among our fellows. Free, and 'of noble birth,' a king and lord of
this planet, must everyone be whose mother is a daughter of man, else will
his want grow to be a spreading ulcer which will consume even us--the
strong ones.

So much as to the right of maintenance in general. As to the provision for
women in particular, it was considered that woman was unfitted by her
physical and psychical characteristics for an active struggle for
existence; but was destined, on the one hand, to the function of
propagating the human race, and, on the other hand, to that of beautifying
and refining life. So long as we all, or at least the immense majority of
us, were painfully engaged in the unceasing and miserable struggle to
obtain the barest necessities of animal life, no regard could be paid to
the weakness and nobility of woman; her weakness, like that of every other
weak one, could not become a title to tender care, but became inevitably an
incitement to tyranny; the nobility of woman was dishonoured, as was all
purely human and genuine nobility. For unnumbered centuries woman was a
slave and a purchasable instrument of lust, and the much-vaunted
civilisation of the last few centuries has brought no real improvement.
Even among the so-called cultured nations of the present day, woman
remained without legal rights, and, what is worse, she was left, in order
to obtain subsistence, to sell herself to the first man she met who would
undertake to provide and 'care for' her for the sake of her attractions.
This prostitution, sanctioned by law and custom, is in its effects more
disastrous than that other, which stands forth undisguised and is
distinguished from the former only in the fact that here the shameful
bargain is made not for life, but only for years, weeks, hours. It is
common to both that the sweetest, most sacred treasure of humanity, woman's
heart, is made the subject of vulgar huckstering, a means of buying a
livelihood; and worse than the prostitution of the streets is that of the
marriage for a livelihood sanctioned by law and custom, because under its
pestilential poison-breath not only the dignity and happiness of the
living, but the sap and strength of future generations are blasted and
destroyed. As love, that sacred instinct which should lead the wife into
the arms of the husband, united with whom she might bequeath to the next
generation its worthiest members, had become the only means of gain within
her reach woman was compelled to dishonour herself, and in herself to
dishonour the future of the race.

Happiness and dignity, as well as the future salvation of humanity, equally
demanded that woman should be delivered from the dishonourable necessity of
seeing in her husband a provider, in marriage the only refuge from material
need. But neither should woman be consigned to common labour. This would be
in equal measure prejudicial both to the happiness of the living and to the
character and vigour of future generations. It is as useless as it is
injurious to wish to establish the equality of woman by allowing her to
compete with man in earning her bread--useless, because such a permission,
of which advantage could be taken only in exceptional cases, would afford
no help to the female sex as a whole; injurious, because woman cannot
compete with man and yet be true to her nobler and tenderer duties. And
those duties do not lie in the kitchen and the wardrobe, but in the
cultivation of the beautiful in the adult generation on the one hand, and
of the intellectual and physical development of the young on the other.
Therefore, in the interests not only of herself, but also of man, and in
particular of the future race, woman must be altogether withdrawn from the
struggle for the necessaries of life; she must be no wheel in the
bread-earning machinery, she must be a jewel in the heart of humanity. Only
one kind of 'work' is appropriate to woman--that of the education of
children and, at most, the care of the sick and infirm. In the school and
by the sick-bed can womanly tenderness and care find a suitable
apprenticeship for the duties of the future home, and in such work may the
single woman earn wages so far as she wishes to do so. At the same time,
our principles secured perfect liberty to woman. She was not forbidden to
engage in any occupation, and isolated instances have occurred of women
doing so, particularly in intellectual callings, but public opinion in
Freeland approved of this only in exceptional cases--that is, when special
gifts justified such action; and it was our women chiefly who upheld this
public opinion.

The fact that the maintenance allowance for women was fixed at one-fourth
less than that for men--and the constituent assembly confirmed not only the
principle, but the proposed ratio of the different maintenance
allowances--was not the expression of any lower estimate of the _claim_ of
woman, but was due simply to the consideration that the _requirements_ of
woman are less than those of man. We acted upon the calculation that a
woman with her thirty per cent. of the average labour-earnings of a
Freeland producer was as well provided for as a maintenance-receiving man
with his forty per cent.; and experience fully verified this calculation.

Not only had the single woman or the widow a right to a maintenance, but
the married woman also had a similar right, though only to one-half the
amount. This right was based upon the principle that even the wife ought
not to be thrown upon the husband for maintenance and made dependent upon
him. As in housekeeping the woman's activity is partly called forth by her
own personal needs, it was right that some of the burden of maintenance
should be taken from the husband, and only a part of it left as a common
charge to both. With the birth of children, the family burden is afresh
increased, and, as this is specially connected with the wife, we increase
her maintenance allowance until it reaches again the full allowance of a
single woman--that is, thirty per cent. The allowances would be as follows:

    A childless family                                   15 per cent.
    A family with one child                              20    "
        "     "   two children                           25    "
        "     "   three or more children                 30    "
    A working widow with a child                          5    "
        "       "    "   two children                    10    "
        "       "    "   three or more children          15    "
    An independent woman                                 30    "
     "      "       "    with a child                    35    "
     "      "       "    with two children               40    "
     "      "       "    with three or more children     45    "

Just as the women's and children's maintenance-claims accumulated according
to circumstances, so was it with those claims and the claims of men unable
to work, and old men. The maximum that could be drawn for maintenance was
not less than seventy per cent. of the average income, and this happened in
the cases--which were certainly rare--in which a married man who had a
claim had three or more children under age.

The fourth fundamental principle--the extension of the franchise to adult
women--calls for no special comment. It need only be remarked that this law
included the negroes residing in Freeland. This was conditioned, of course,
by the exclusion from the exercise of political rights of all who were
unable to read and write--an exclusion which was automatically secured by
requiring all votes to be given in the voter's own handwriting. We took
considerable pains not only to teach our negroes reading and writing, but
also to give them other kinds of knowledge; and as our efforts were in
general followed by good results, our black brethren gradually participated
in all our rights.

A more detailed explanation is, however, required by the fifth section of
the fundamental laws, according to which the community exercised their
control over all public affairs not through _one_, but through several
co-ordinated administrative boards, elected separately by the community. To
this regulation the administrative authorities of Freeland owed their
astonishing special knowledge of details, and the public life of Freeland
its equally unexampled quiet and the absence of any deeply felt, angry
party passions. In the States of Europe and America, only the executive
consists of men who are chosen--or are supposed to be thus chosen--on
account of their special knowledge and qualification for the branches of
the public service at the head of which they respectively stand. Even this
is subject to very important limitations; in fact, with respect to the
parliamentary constitutions of Europe and America, it can be truthfully
asserted that those who are placed at the head of the different branches of
the administration only too often know very little about the weighty
affairs which they have to superintend. The assemblies from which and by
whose choice parliamentary ministers are placed in office are, as a rule,
altogether incapable of choosing qualified men, for the reason that
frequently there are none such in their midst. It does not follow from this
that parliamentary orators and politicians by profession do not generally
understand the duties of their office better than those favourites of power
and of blind fortune who hold the helm in non-parliamentary countries; but
experts they are not, and cannot be. Yet, as has been said, the organs of
the executive at least _ought_, to be such, and by a current fiction they
are held to be such; and a man who specially distinguishes himself in any
department thereby earns a claim--though a subordinate one--to receive
further employment in that department of the public service. For the
legislative bodies outside of Freeland, on the other hand, special
knowledge is not even theoretically a qualification. The men who make laws
and control the administration of them, need, in theory, to have not the
least knowledge of the matters to which these laws refer. The support of
the electors is usually quite independent of the amount of such knowledge
possessed by the representatives, who are chosen not as men of special
knowledge, but as men of 'sound understanding.'

But this is followed by a twofold evil. In the first place, it converts the
public service into a private game of football, in which the players are
Ignorance and Incapacity. The words of Oxenstiern, 'You know not, my son,
with how little understanding the world is governed,' are true in a far
higher degree than is generally imagined. The average level of capacity and
special knowledge in many of the branches of public service in the
so-called civilised world is far below that to be found in the private
business of the same countries. In the second place, this centralised
organisation of the public administration, with an absence of persons of
special qualification, converts party spirit into an angry and bitter
struggle in which everything is risked, and the decision depends very
rarely upon practical considerations, but almost always upon already
accepted political opinions. Incessant conflict, continuous passionate
excitement, are therefore the second consequence of this preposterous
system.

An improvement is, however, simply impossible so long as the present social
system remains in force. For, so long as this is the case, the public
welfare is better looked after by ignorant persons who act independently of
professional knowledge than it would be if professional men had power to
further the interests of their own professions at the expense of the
general public. For the interests of specialists under an exploiting system
of society are not merely sometimes, but generally, opposed to those of the
great mass of the people. Imagine a European or American State in which the
manufacturers exercised legislative and executive control over
manufactures, agriculturists over agriculture, railway shareholders over
the means of transport, and so forth--the specialist representatives of
each separate interest making and administering the laws that particularly
concerned their own profession! As under the exploiting system of society
the struggle for existence is directed towards a mutual suppression and
supplanting, so must the consequences of such a 'constitution' as we have
just supposed be positively dreadful. In those cases which are grouped
together under the heading of 'political corruption,' where isolated
interests have succeeded in imposing their will upon the community, the
shamelessness of the exploitage has exceeded all bounds.

But it is different in Freeland. With us no separate interest is
antagonistic to or not in perfect harmony with the common interest.
Producers, for example, who in Freeland conceive the idea of increasing
their gains by laying an impost upon imports, must be idiotic. For, to
compel the consumers to pay more for their manufactures would not help
them, since the influx of labour would at once bring down their gains again
to the average level. On the other hand, to make it more difficult for
other producers to produce would certainly injure themselves, for the
average level of gain--above which their own cannot permanently rise--would
be thereby lowered. And exactly the same holds good for all our different
interests. In consequence of the arrangement whereby every interest is open
to everyone, and no one has either the right or the might to reserve any
advantage to himself alone, we are fortunately able to entrust the decision
of all questions affecting material interest to those who are the most
directly interested--therefore, to those who possess the most special
knowledge. Not merely do the legislature and the executive thereby acquire
in the highest degree a specialist character, but there disappears from
public life that passionate prepossession which elsewhere is the
characteristic note of party politics. As a well-understood public interest
and sound reason decide in all matters, we have no occasion to become
heated. At our elections our aim is not 'to get in one of our party,' but
the only thing about which opinions may differ is which of the candidates
happens to be the most experienced, the most apt for the post. And as, in
consequence of the organisation of our whole body of labour, the
capabilities of each one among us must in time be discovered, mistakes in
this determining point in our public life are scarcely possible.

As the constituent assembly retained the twelvefold division of the
governing authority, there were henceforth in Freeland, besides the twelve
different executive boards--which in their sphere of action were to some
extent analogous to the ministries of Western nations--twelve different
consultative, determining, and supervising assemblies, elected by the whole
people, in place of the single parliament of the Western nations. These
twelve assemblies were elected by the whole of the electors, each elector
having the right to give an equal vote in all the elections; but the
distribution of the constituencies was different, and the election for each
of the twelve representative bodies took place separately. Some of these
elections--those, namely, for the affairs of the chief executive and
finance, for maintenance, for education, for art and science, for
sanitation and justice--took place according to residence; the elections in
the other cases according to calling. For the latter purpose, the whole of
the inhabitants of Freeland were divided, according to their callings, into
larger or smaller constituencies, each of which elected one or more
deputies in proportion to its numbers. Of those callings which had but few
followers, several of the more nearly allied were united into one
constituency. Membership of the respective constituencies depended upon the
will of the elector--that is, every elector could get his or her name
entered in the list of any calling with which he or she preferred to vote,
and thus exercise the right of voting for the representative body elected
by the members of that calling.

The highest officers in the twelve branches of the executive were appointed
by the twelve representative bodies; the appointment of the other officers
was the business of the chiefs of the executive. In all the more important
matters all these had to consult together beforehand upon the measures that
were to be laid before the representative bodies.

The discussions of the different representative bodies, as a rule, took
place apart, and generally in sessions held at different periods. Several
of the bodies sat permanently, others met merely for a few days once a
year. The numerical strength of these specialist parliaments was different:
the smallest--that for statistics--consisted of no more than thirty
members, the four largest of a hundred and twenty members each. When
matters which interested equally several different representative bodies
had to be discussed, the bodies thus interested sat together. Disputes as
to the competency of the different bodies were impossible, as the mere wish
expressed by any representative body to take part in the debates of another
sufficed to make the subject under consideration a common one.

The natural result of this organisation was that every inhabitant of
Freeland confined his attention to those public affairs which he
understood, or thought he understood. In each branch of the administration
he gave his vote to that candidate who in his opinion was the best
qualified for a seat in that branch of the administration. And this, again,
had as a consequence a fact to Western ideas altogether incredible--namely,
that every branch of the public administration was in the hands of the most
expert specialists, and the best qualified men in all Freeland. Very soon
there was developed a highly remarkable kind of political honour,
altogether different from anything known in Western nations. Among the
latter, it is held to be a point of honour to stick to one's party
unconditionally through thick and thin, to support it by vote and influence
whether one understands the particular matter in question or not. The
political honour of a citizen of Freeland demands of him yet more
positively that he devote his attention and his energy to public affairs;
but public opinion condemns him severely if--from whatever motive--he
concerns himself with matters which he plainly does not understand. Thus it
is strictly required that the elector should have some professional
knowledge of that branch of the administration into which he throws the
weight of his vote. The elections, therefore, are in very good hands;
attempts to influence the electors by fallacious representations or by
promises would, even if they were to be made, prove resultless. There is no
elector who would vote in the elections of the whole twelve representative
bodies. The women, in particular, with very few exceptions, refrain from
voting in the elections in which the separate callings are specially
concerned; on the other hand, they take a lively interest in the elections
in which the electors vote according to residence; and in the elections for
the board of education their votes turn the scale. Their passive franchise
also comes into play, and in the representative bodies that have charge of
maintenance, of art and science, of sanitation and justice, women
frequently sit; and in that which has charge of education there are always
several women. They never take part in the executive. By way of completing
this description, it may be mentioned that the elected deputies are paid
for their work at the rate of an equivalent of eight labour-hours for each
day that they sit.

After the constituent assembly had passed the constitution it dissolved
itself, and the election of the twelve representative bodies was at once
proceeded with. Punctually on the 20th of October these bodies met, and the
committee handed its authority over into their hands. The members of the
committee were all re-elected as heads of the different branches of the
administration, except four who declined to take office afresh. The
government of Freeland was now definitively constituted.

In the meantime, the three expeditions sent to discover the best route for
a railway to the coast had returned. The expedition which had been
surveying the shortest route--that through the Dana valley to the Witu
coast--had met with no exceptional difficulty as to the land, and the
expectation that this, by far the shortest, would prove to be also
technically preferable had been verified. Nor in any other respect had any
serious difficulty been encountered within about 125 miles from Kenia. But
from thence to the coast the Galla tribes offered to the expedition such a
stubborn and vicious opposition that the hostilities had not ceased at the
end of two months, and several conflicts had taken place, in which the
Galla tribes had always been severely punished; but this did not prevent
the expedition from having to carry out its thoroughly peaceful mission in
perpetual readiness to fight. A railway through that region would have had
to be preceded by a formal campaign for the pacification or expulsion of
the Galla tribes, and could then have been constructed only in the midst of
a permanent preparedness for war. This route had therefore, provisionally
at least, to be rejected.

There were not less weighty reasons against the route over Ukumbani along
the Athi river. Along the river-valley the road could have been made
without special technical difficulty, but, particularly on the second half
of it, the route lay through unhealthy swamps and jungles, which could not
immediately be brought under cultivation. And if a route were chosen which
would leave the valley proper and pass among the adjoining hills, the
technical conditions would not be more favourable, nor the estimated cost
less, than a line along the third route following the old road to Mombasa.
This third route was therefore unanimously fixed upon. It had in its favour
the important circumstance that it passed through friendly districts, which
at no very distant future would most probably be settled by Freeland
colonists. That it was the longest and the most expensive of the three
could not, therefore, prevent us from giving it the preference, unless the
difference in cost proved to be too great--which, as the event showed, was
not the case.

The work was begun forthwith. Powerful and novel machines of all kinds
were, in the meantime, constructed in great number by our Freeland
machine-factories, and, furnished with these, 5,000 Freeland and 8,000
negro workers began the work at eighteen different points, not including
the eleven longer and the thirty-two shorter tunnels--with a total length
of twenty-four miles--each of which formed a separate part of tin work. The
rails, of the best Bessemer metal, were partly made by ourselves, and were
partly--those for the distance between Mombasa and Taveta--brought from
Europe. Two years after the turning of the first sod the part between Eden
Vale and Ngongo was ready for traffic; three months later the part between
Mombasa and Taveta; and nine months later still the middle portion between
Ngongo and Taveta. Thus exactly five years after our pioneers had first set
foot in Freeland, the first locomotive, which the day before had seen the
waves of the Indian Ocean breaking upon the shore at Mombasa, greeted the
glaciers of the Kenia with its shrill whistle.

That this extensive work could be completed in so short a time and with so
little expenditure of labour we owed to our machinery; which also enabled
us to keep the cost within comparatively moderate limits, despite the fact
that we had necessarily to pay our workers at a rate at which no railway
constructors were ever paid before. Our Freeland railway constructors, who
had at once formed themselves into a number of associations, earned in the
first year 22s. a day each, and in the third year 28s. a day, though they
worked only seven hours a day. Notwithstanding this, the whole 672 miles,
most of it tolerably difficult work through hills, cost only 9,500,000£, or
a little over 14,000£ per mile. Our 13,000 workers did more with their
magnificent labour-sparing machines than 100,000 ordinary workers could
have done with pick and barrow; and the employment of this colossal
'capital'--valued at 4,000,000£--was profitable because labour was paid at
so high a rate.

As a matter of course, a telegraph was laid between Eden Vale and Mombasa
together with this double-railed railway.

Whilst these works were in progress and the incessantly growing population
of Freeland was brought into closer connection with the old home, important
changes had been brought about in our relations with our native African
neighbours--changes in part pacific, in part warlike, and which exercised a
not less important influence upon the course of development of our
commonwealth.

In the first place, the Masai of Lykipia and the lake districts between
Naivasha and Baringo, had, at their own initiative and at their own cost,
though under the direction of some of our engineers, constructed a good
waggon-road, 230 miles long, through their whole district from the Naivasha
lake northwards, and then eastwards through Lykipia as far as Eden Vale.
They declared that their honour and their pride were offended by having to
pass through a foreign district when they wished to visit us, the only
practicable road having been one through the country of the Wa-Kikuyu. So
strong was their desire to be in immediate touch with our district that,
when a part of the hired Wa-Taveta road-makers, on account of some
misunderstanding, left them in the lurch, the Masai themselves took their
places, and, taking turns to the number of 3,000, they carried on the work
with an energy which no one could have supposed to be possible in a people
who not long before had been so averse to labour. We decided to reward this
proof of strong attachment and of great capacity by an equally striking act
of recognition. When the Masai road was finished, and a deputation of the
elders and leaders of all the tribes made a jubilant and triumphant entry
by it into Eden Vale, we received them with great honour, and gave them
presents for the whole Masai people which were worth about as much as the
new road had cost. In addition, the 6,500 Werndl rifles, which had hitherto
been only lent to the Masai, and 2,000 horses were given them as their own
property in token of our friendship and respect. It goes without saying
that the weapons were received by this still martial people with great
enthusiasm. And the horses were almost more valuable still in their eyes;
for riding was the one among all our arts which the Masai most admired, and
among all our possessions which they esteemed most highly were our horses.
But we had hitherto been very frugal with our horses, and we had given away
only a few to individual natives in Masailand and Taveta in recognition of
special services. The number of horses in Freeland had, partly by breeding,
but mainly by continuous systematic importation, increased during the first
two years to 26,000; but we expected at first to make more use of horses
than was afterwards found to be necessary, and that was the reason why this
noble animal, which we had been the first to establish in Equatorial
Africa, was still a much-admired rarity everywhere outside of Freeland,
particularly in Masailand, where the horse was regarded as the ideal of
martial valour.

In the second place, it should be mentioned that the civilisation of the
Masai, as well as of the other tribes in alliance with us, made rapid
progress. The _el-moran_, when once they had become accustomed to light
work, and had given up their inactive camp-life, allowed themselves to be
induced by us to enter early upon the married state. Our women succeeded in
uprooting the Ditto abuse. Several of the ladies, with Mrs. Ney at their
head, undertook a tour through Masailand, and offered to every Masai girl
who made a solemn promise of chastity until marriage, admission into a
Freeland family for a year, and instruction in our manners, customs, and
various forms of skilled labour. So great was the number who accepted this
offer, that they could not all be received into Freeland at once, but had
to be divided into three yearly groups. Yet even those who could not be
immediately received were decorated with the insignia of their new
honour--a complete dress after the Freeland pattern, their barbarian wire
neck-bands, leg-chains, and ear-stretchers, as well as their coating of
grease, being discarded--and they were solemnly pronounced to be 'friends
of the white women.' So permanent was the influence of this distinction
upon the Masai girls, who had not given up their ambition along with their
licentious habits, that not one of them proved to be unworthy of the
friendship of the virtuous white ladies. The Masai youth were so zealous in
their efforts to win the favour of the girls who were thus distinguished,
that the latter were all very soon married. That at the end of the year
there was an eager competition for the girls who were returning home is as
much a matter of course as that those who in the meantime had married, even
if they had had children, had not forfeited their right to a residence in
Freeland--a circumstance that led to not a few embarrassments. The ultimate
result was that in a very short time the once so licentious Masailand was
changed into a model country of good morals. The hitherto prevalent
polygamy died out, and several hundred good schools arose in different
parts of the country, which in that way made gigantic strides towards
complete civilisation.

In the meantime, in the north-west, among our Kavirondo friends on the
north shore of the Victoria Nyanza, events of another kind were preparing.
The Kavirondo, a very numerous and peaceable agricultural and pastoral
tribe, touched Uganda, where, during recent years, there had been many
internal struggles and revolutions. Unlike the other peoples whom we have
become acquainted with, and who lived in independent, loosely connected,
small tribes under freely elected chiefs with little influence, the
Wangwana (the name of the inhabitants of Uganda) have been for centuries
united into a great despotically governed State under a _kabaka_ or
emperor. Their kingdom, whose original part stretches along the north bank
of the Victoria Nyanza, has been of varying dimensions, according as the
fierce policy of conquest of the _kabaka_ for the time being was more or
less successful; but Uganda has always been a scourge to all its
neighbours, who have suffered from the ceaseless raids, extortions, and
cruelties of the Wangwana. Broad and fertile stretches of country became
desert under this plague; and as for many years the _kabaka_ had been able,
by means of Arab dealers, to get possession of a few thousand (though very
miserable) guns, and a few cannons (with which latter he had certainly not
been able to effect much for want of suitable ammunition), the dread of the
cruel robber State grew very great. Just at the time of our arrival at the
Kenia there was an epoch of temporary calm, because the Wangwana were too
much occupied with their own internal quarrels to pay much attention to
their neighbours. After the death of the last _kabaka_ his numerous sons
terribly devastated the country by their ferocious struggles for the rule,
until in the previous year one of the rivals who was named Suna (after an
ancestor renowned both for his cruelty and for his conquests) had got rid
of most of his brothers by treachery. The power was thenceforward
concentrated more and more in the hands of this _kabaka_, and the raids and
extortions among the neighbouring tribes at once recommenced. Suna's anger
was directed particularly against the Kavirondo, because these had allowed
one of his brothers, who had fled to them, to escape, instead of having
delivered him up. Repeatedly had several thousand Wangwana fallen upon the
Kavirondo, carried off men and cattle, burnt villages, cut down the
bananas, destroyed the harvests, and thus inflicted inhuman cruelty. In
their necessity the Kavirondo appealed to the northern Masai tribes for
help. They had heard that we had supplied the Masai with guns and horses;
and they now begged the Masai to send a troop of warriors with European
equipments to guard their Uganda frontier. As payment, they promised to
give to every Masai warrior who came to their aid a liberal maintenance and
an ox monthly, and to every horseman, two oxen.

Less on account of this offer than to gratify their love of adventure, the
Masai, having first consulted us in Freeland, consented. We saw no
sufficient reason to keep them from rendering this assistance, although we
were by no means so certain as to the result as were our neighbours, who
considered themselves invincible now they were in possession of their new
weapons. We offered to place several experienced white leaders at the head
of the troops they sent to Kavirondo; but as we saw that our martial
friends looked upon this as a sign of distrust and were a little displeased
at the offer, we simply warned them to be cautious, and particularly not to
be wasteful of the ammunition they took with them.

At first everything went well. Wherever the Wangwana marauders showed
themselves they were sent home with bleeding heads, even when they appeared
in large numbers; and after a few months it seemed almost as if these
severe lessons had induced the Wangwana to leave the Kavirondo alone in
future, for a long time passed without any further raids. But suddenly,
when we were busy getting in our October harvest, there reached us the
startling news of a dreadful catastrophe which had befallen our Masai
friends in Kavirondo. The _kabaka_ Suna had only taken time to prepare for
an annihilating blow. While the former raids had been made by bodies of
only a few thousand men, this time Suna had collected 30,000, of whom 5,000
bore muskets; and, placing himself at their head, he had with these fallen
upon the Kavirondo and Masai unexpectedly. He surprised a frontier-camp of
900 Masai with 300 horses when they were asleep, and cut them to pieces
before they had time to recover from their surprise. The Masai thus not
only lost more than a third of their number, but the remainder of them were
divided into two independent parts, for the surprised camp was in the
middle of the cordon. But, instead of hastily retreating and waiting until
the remaining force had been able to unite before taking the offensive, one
of the Masai leaders, as soon as he had hurriedly got some 500 men
together, was led by his rage at the overthrow of so many of his comrades
to make a foolhardy attack upon the enormously over-numbering force of the
enemy; he thereby fell into an ambush, and, after having too rashly shot
away all his cartridges, was, together with his men, so fearfully cut down
that, after a most heroic resistance, only a very few escaped. Our friend
Mdango, who now took the command, was able to collect only 1,100 or 1,200
Masai on the other wing; and with these he succeeded in making a tolerably
orderly retreat into the interior of Kavirondo, being but little molested
by Suna, whose eye was kept mainly fixed upon collecting the colossal
booty.

Our ultimatum was despatched to Suna on the very day on which we received
this sad news. We told the Masai, who offered to send the whole body of
their warriors against Uganda, that 1,000 men, in addition to the 1,200 at
present in Kavirondo, would be sufficient. We placed these 2,200 Masai
under our Freeland officers, chose from among ourselves 900 volunteers,
including 500 horsemen, and added twelve cannons and sixteen rockets,
together with thirty elephants. On the 24th of October Johnston, the leader
of this campaign, started for Kavirondo along the Masai road.

There he found, around the camp of the _el-moran_--now, when it was too
late, very carefully entrenched and guarded--unnumbered thousands of
Kavirondo and Nangi, armed with spear and bow. These he sent home as a
useless crowd. On the 10th of November he crossed the Uganda frontier; six
days later Suna was totally overthrown in a brief engagement near the Ripon
falls, his host of 110,000 men scattered to the winds, and he himself, with
a few thousand of his bodyguard armed with muskets and officered by Arabs
from the coast, taken prisoner.

On the second day after the fight our men occupied Rubaga, the capital of
Uganda. Thither came in rapid succession all the chief men of the country,
promising unconditional submission and ready to agree to any terms we might
offer. But Johnston offered to receive them into the great alliance between
us and the other native nations--an offer which the Wangwana naturally
accepted with the greatest joy. The conditions laid upon them were:
emancipation of all slaves, peaceful admission of Freeland colonists and
teachers, and reparation for all the injury they had done to the Kavirondo
and the Masai. In this last respect the Wangwana people suffered nothing,
for the countless herds of cattle belonging to their _kabaka_ which had
fallen into our hands as booty amply sufficed to replace what had been
stolen from the Kavirondo and as indemnity for the slain Kavirondo and
Masai warriors. Suna himself was carried away as prisoner, and interned on
the banks of the Naivasha lake.

The subsequent pacific relations were uninterrupted except by an isolated
attempt at resistance by the Arabs that had been left in the country; but
this was promptly and vigorously put down by the Wangwana themselves
without any need of our intervention. What contributed largely to inspire
respect in the breasts of the Wangwana were a military road which the
Kavirondo and Nangi constructed from the Victoria Nyanza to the Masai road
on the Baringo lake, and a Masai colony of 3,000 _el-moran_ on the
Kavirondo and Uganda frontier. But on the whole, after the battle at the
Ripon falls, the mere sound of our name was sufficient to secure peace and
quiet in this part also of the interior of Equatorial Africa. All round the
Victoria Nyanza, whose shores from time immemorial had been the theatre of
savage, merciless fighting, humane sentiments and habits gradually
prevailed; and as a consequence a considerable degree of material
prosperity was developed with comparative rapidity among what had
previously been the wildest tribes.

Even apart from its size, the Victoria Nyanza is the most important among
the enormous lakes of Central Africa. It covers an area of more than 20,000
square miles, and is therefore, with the exception of the Caspian, the Sea
of Aral, and the group of large lakes in North America, the largest piece
of inland water in the world. It is larger than the whole of the kingdom of
Bavaria, and its depth is proportionate to its size, for the plummet in
places does not touch the ground until it has sunk 250 fathoms; it lies
4,400 feet above the sea-level--more than 650 feet above the Brocken, the
highest hill in Middle Germany. This lake is nearly encircled by ranges of
hills which rise from 1,500 to 5,000 feet above its surface; so that the
climate of the immediately contiguous country, which is healthy without
exception and quite free from swamp, is everywhere temperate, and in some
districts positively Arcadian. And this magnificent, picturesque, and in
many places highly romantic lake is the basin source of the sacred Nile,
which, leaving it at the extreme northern end by the Ripon falls, flows
thence to the Albert Nyanza, which is 1,500 feet lower, and thence
continues its course as the White Nile.

Two months after we had established ourselves in Kavirondo and Uganda a
screw steamer of 500 tons burden was ploughing the sea-like waves of the
Victoria Nyanza, and before the end of the next year our lake flotilla
consisted of five ships. These were well received everywhere on the coast,
and the brisk commerce created by them proved to be one of the most
effective of civilising agencies. The fertility of the lands surrounding
this splendid lake is positively unbounded. A few hundred square yards of
well-watered ground are sufficient to supply the needs of a large family;
and when we had once instructed the natives in the use of agricultural
implements, the abundance of the choicest field and garden produce was
unexampled. But the growth of higher needs, particularly among the tribes
that dwelt on the western shores of the lake, remained for a long time
remarkably behind the improvement in the means of production. These simple
tribes produced more than sufficient to supply their wants, almost without
any expenditure of labour, and often out of mere curiosity to see the
results of the improved implements which had been furnished to them. As
they had no conception of property in land, and the non-utilisable
over-production could not, therefore, with them--as would unquestionably
have happened elsewhere--beget misery among the masses, here for years
together the fable of the Castle of Indolence became a reality. The idea of
property was almost lost, the necessities of life became valueless,
everyone could take as much of them as he wished to have; strangers
travelling through found everywhere a well-spread table; in short, the
Golden Age seemed about to come to the Victoria Nyanza. This absolute lack
of a sense of higher needs, however, proved to be a check to further
progress, and we took pains--not altogether without regret--so far to
disturb this paradisiacal condition as to endeavour to excite in the tribes
a taste for what they had not got. Our endeavours succeeded, but the
success was long in coming. With the advent of more strongly felt needs a
higher morality and intellectual culture at once took root in this corner
of the earth.



CHAPTER XII


One of the principal tasks of the Freeland government, and one in which, as
a rule, the ministries for art and science and for public works
co-operated, was the thorough investigation and survey of our new home:
first of the narrower district of the Kenia, and then of the neighbouring
regions with which we were continually coming into closer relationship. The
orographic and hydrographic systems of the whole country were determined;
the soil and the climate were minutely examined. In doing this, both the
higher scientific standpoint and that of prosaic utility were kept in view.
For scientific purposes there was constructed an accurate map of the whole
of the Masai and Kikuyu territories, showing most of the geographical
details. All the more prominent eminences were measured and ascended, the
Kenia not excepted.

The view from the Kenia is magnificent above measure; but, apart from the
mountain itself and its glaciers, it offers little variety. In a circle, as
far as the eye can reach, spreads a most fertile country, intersected by
numerous watercourses, which nowhere, except in a great trough-like basin
of about 1,900 square miles in extent in the north-west, give rise to
swamps. The most striking feature of the whole region is the tableland
falling away in a number of terraces, and broken by the shoulders of
massive hills. The foot-hills proper of the Kenia begin with the highest
terrace, where they form a girdle of varying breadth and height around the
central mass of the mountain, which rises with a steep abrupt outline. This
central mass, at a height of from 16,000 to 18,000 feet, bears a number of
gigantic glacier-fields, from the midst of which the peak rises abruptly,
flanked at some distance by a yet steeper, but small, horn.

A very different character marks the next in importance of the
mountain-formations that belong to the district of Freeland--namely, the
Aberdare range, about forty-five miles west of the Kenia, and stretching
from north to south a distance of more than sixty miles, with an average
breadth of twelve and a-half miles. The highest peak of this chain reaches
nearly 15,000 feet above the sea; and while the Kenia everywhere bears an
impress of grandeur, a ravishing loveliness is the great characteristic of
the Aberdare landscapes. It is true that here also are not wanting colossal
hills that produce an overwhelming impression, but the chief peculiarity is
the charming variety of romantic billowy-outlined hills, intermingled with
broad valleys, covered in part with luxuriant but not too dense forests, in
part spreading out into emerald flowery pastures everywhere watered by
numberless crystal-clear brooks and rivers, lakes and pools. This
mountain-district of nearly 800 square miles resembles a magnificent park,
from whose eminences the mighty snow-sea of the Kenia is visible to the
east, and the emerald-and-sapphire sheen of the great Masai
lakes--Naivasha, El-Meteita, and Nakuro--to the west. And this marvellously
lovely landscape, which combines all the charms of Switzerland and India,
bears in the bosom of its hills immense mineral treasures. Here, and not at
the Kenia, as our geologists soon discovered, was the future seat of the
Freeland industry, particularly of the metallurgic industry. Beds of coal
which in extent and quality at least equalled the best of England,
magnetite containing from fifty to seventy per cent. of iron, copper, lead,
bismuth, antimony, sulphur in rich veins, a large bed of rock-salt on the
western declivity just above the salt lake of Nakuro, and a number of other
mineral treasures, were discovered in rapid succession, and the most
accessible of them were at once taken advantage of. In particular, the
newly opened copper-mines had a heavy demand made upon their resources when
the telegraph was laid to the coast; the demand was still heavier as
electricity became more and more largely used as a motive force.

For great changes had meantime taken place at the Kenia. New-comers
continued to arrive in greater and greater numbers. At the close of the
fourth year the population of Freeland had risen to 780,000 souls. A great
part of Eden Vale had become a city of villas, which covered forty square
miles and contained 58,000 dwelling-houses, whose 270,000 occupants devoted
themselves to gardening, industrial, or intellectual pursuits. The
population of the Dana plateau had risen to 140,000, who, besides
cultivating what land was still available there for agriculture, gave by
far the greater part of their attention to various kinds of industries. The
main part of the agriculture had been transferred to a plain some 650 feet
lower down, beyond the zone of forest. This lower plateau extended, with
occasional breaks, round the whole of the mountain, and offered in its
3,000 square miles of fertile soil abundant agricultural ground for the
immediate future.

Here some 240,000 acres were at first brought under the plough after they
had--like all the cultivated ground in Freeland--been protected against the
visits of wild animals by a strong timber fence. The smaller game, which
could not be kept away from the seed by fencing, had respect for the dogs,
of which many were bred and trained to keep watch at the fences as well as
to guard the cattle. This protection was amply sufficient to keep away all
the creatures that would have meddled with the seed, except the monkeys,
some of which had occasionally to be shot when, in their nocturnal raids,
they refused to be frightened away by the furious barking of the
four-footed guardians.

Steam was still provisionally employed as motive power in agriculture; but
provision was being made on a very large scale to substitute electric for
steam force. The motive power for the electric dynamos was derived from the
Dana river where, after being supplemented by two large streams from the
hills just below the great waterfall, it was broken into a series of strong
rapids and cataracts as it hurried down to the lower land. These rapids and
cataracts were at the lower end of the tableland which, as indicative of
the use we made of it, we named Cornland. It was these rapids and smaller
cataracts, and not the great waterfall of 800 feet, that were utilised for
agricultural purposes. These afforded a total fall of 870 feet; and, as the
river here already had a great body of water, it was possible, by a
well-arranged combination of turbines and electro-motors, to obtain a total
force of from 500,000 to 600,000 horse-power. This was far more than could
be required for the cultivation of the whole of Cornland even in the
intensest manner. The provision made for the next year was calculated at
40,000 horse-power. Well-isolated strong copper wires were to convey the
force generated by twenty gigantic turbines in two hundred dynamos to its
several destinations, where it had to perform all the labours of
agriculture, from ploughing to the threshing, dressing, and transport of
the corn. For a network of electrical railways was also a part of this
system of agricultural mechanism.

The great Dana cataract, with what was calculated to be a force of 124,000
horse-power, was utilised for the purposes of electric lighting in Eden
Vale and in the town on the Dana plateau. For the time being, for the
public lighting it sufficed to erect 5,000 contact-lamps a little more than
100 feet high, and each having a lighting power of 2,000 candles. These
used up a force of 12,000 horse-power. For lighting dwelling-houses and
isolated or night-working factories, 420,000 incandescent-lamps were
employed. This required a force of 40,000 horse-power; so that the great
cataract had to supply a force of 52,000 horse-power to the electro-motors.
This was employed during the day as the motive power of a net of railways,
with a total length of a little over 200 miles, which traversed the
principal streets and roads in the Dana plateau and Eden Vale. In the
evening and at night, when the electricity was used for lighting purposes,
the railways had to be worked by dynamos of several thousand horse-power.
In this way altogether nearly two-fifths of the available force was called
into requisition at the close of the fifth year; the remaining three-fifths
remained for the time unemployed, and formed a reserve for future needs.

The fourth and fifth years of Freeland were also marked by the construction
of a net of canals and aqueducts, both for Eden Vale and for the Dana
plateau. The canals served merely to carry the storm-water into the Dana;
whilst the refuse-water and the sewage were carried away in cast-iron pipes
by means of a system of pneumatic exhaust-tubes, and then disinfected and
utilised as manure. The aqueducts were connected with the best springs in
the upper hills, and possessed a provisional capacity of supplying
22,000,000 gallons daily, and were used for supplying a number of public
wells, as well as all the private houses. By the addition of fresh sources
this supply was in a short period doubled and trebled. At the same time all
the streets were macadamised; so that the cleanliness and health of the
young towns were duly cared for in all respects.

The board of education had made no less vigorous efforts. A public opinion
had grown up that the youth of Freeland, without distinction of sex and
without reference to future callings, ought to enjoy an education which,
with the exception of the knowledge of Greek and Latin, should correspond
to that obtainable, for example, in the six first classes in a German
gymnasium. Accordingly, boys and girls were to attend school from the age
of six to that of sixteen years, and, after acquiring the elements, were to
be taught grammar, the history of literature, general history, the history
of civilisation, physics, natural history, geometry, and algebra.

Not less importance was attached to physical education than to intellectual
and moral. Indeed, it was a principle in Freeland that physical education
should have precedence, since a healthy, harmoniously developed mind
presupposed a healthy harmoniously developed body. Moreover, in the
cultivation of the intellect less stress was laid upon the accumulation of
knowledge than upon the stimulation of the young mind to independent
thought; therefore nothing was more anxiously and carefully avoided than
over-pressure of mental work. No child was to be engaged in mental
work--home preparation included--longer than at most six hours a day; hence
the hours of teaching of any mental subject were limited to three a day,
whilst two other school hours were devoted daily to physical
exercises--gymnastics, running, dancing, swimming, riding; and for boys, in
addition, fencing, wrestling, and shooting. A further principle in Freeland
education was that the children should not be _forced_ into activity any
more than the adults. We held that a properly directed logical system of
education, not confined to the use of a too limited range of means, could
scarcely fail to bring the pliable mind of childhood to a voluntary and
eager fulfilment of reasonably allotted duties. And experience justified
our opinion. Our mode of instruction had to be such as would make school
exceedingly attractive; but, when this had been achieved, our boys and
girls learnt in half the time as much, and that as thoroughly, as the
physically and intellectually maltreated European boys and girls of the
same age. For health's sake, the teaching was carried on out of doors as
much as possible. With this in view, the schools were built either in large
gardens or on the border of the forest, and the lessons in natural history
were regularly, and other lessons frequently, given in connection with
excursions into the neighbourhood. Consequently our school children
presented a different appearance from that we had been accustomed to see in
our old home, and especially in its great cities. Rosy faces and figures
full of robust health, vigour, and the joy of living, self-reliance, and
strong intelligence were betrayed by every mien and every movement. Thus
were our children equipped for entering upon the serious duties of life.

Naturally such a system of instruction demanded a very numerous and highly
gifted staff of teachers. In Freeland there was on an average one teacher
to every fifteen scholars, and the best intelligence in the land was
secured for the teaching profession by the payment of high salaries. For
the first four classes, which were taught chiefly by young women--single or
widowed--the salaries ranged from 1,400 to 1,800 labour-hour equivalents;
for the other six classes from 1,800 to 2,400. In the fifth year of the
settlement these salaries, reckoned in money, amounted to from 350£ to
600£.

But even such a demand for high intelligence Freeland was determined to
meet out of its own resources. In the third year, therefore, a high school
was founded, in which all those branches of knowledge were taught which in
Europe can be learnt at the universities, academies, and technical
colleges. All the faculties were endowed with a liberality of which those
outside of Freeland can have scarcely any conception. Our observatories,
laboratories, and museums had command of almost unlimited means, and no
stipend was too high to attract and retain a brilliant teacher. The same
held good of the technical, and not less of the agricultural and
commercial, professorial chairs and apparatus for teaching in our high
school. The instruction in all faculties was absolutely untrammelled, and,
like that in the lower schools, gratuitous. In the fifth year of the
settlement the high school had 7,500 students, the number of its chairs was
215; its annual budget reached as high as 2,500,000£, and was rapidly
increasing.

The means for all this enormous outlay was furnished in rich abundance by
the tax levied on the total income of all producers; for this income grew
amazingly under the double influence of the increasing population and the
increasing productiveness of labour. When the railway to the coast was
finished and its results had begun to make themselves felt, the value of
the average profit of a labour-hour quickly rose to 6s.; and as at this
time, the end of the fifth year in Freeland, 280,000 workers were
productively engaged for an average of six hours a day--that is, for 1,800
hours in the year--the total value of the profit of labour that year in
Freeland amounted to 280,000 × 1,800 × 6s.--that is, to a round sum of
150,000,000£. Of this the commonwealth reserved thirty-five per cent. as
tax--that is, in round figures, 52,500,000£; and this was the source from
which, after meeting the claims for the maintenance allowances--which
certainly absorbed more than half--all the expenses it was held desirable
to indulge in were defrayed.

In fact, the growth of revenue was so certain and had reached such large
proportions that, at the end of the fifth year, the executive resolved to
place before the representative bodies, meeting together for the purpose,
two measures of great importance: first, to make the granting of credits to
the associations independent of the central authority; and, secondly, to
return the free contributions of the members who had already joined, and in
future to accept no such contributions.

For the reasons given in the eighth chapter, the amount and order of the
loans for productive purposes had hitherto been dependent upon the decision
of the central authority. The stock of capitalistic aids to labour, and
consequently the productive means of the community, had now, however,
reached such a stage as to make any limit to the right of free and
independent decision by the workers themselves quite unnecessary. The
associations might ask for whatever they thought would be useful to
themselves, the capital of the country being considered equal to any
demands that could be reasonably anticipated. And this confidence in the
resources of Freeland proved to be well grounded. It is true that twice, in
the years that immediately followed this resolution, it happened that, in
consequence of unexpectedly large demands for capital, the portion of the
public revenue used for that purpose considerably exceeded the normal
proportion; but, thanks to the constant increase in all the profits of
production, this was borne without the slightest inconvenience. Later, the
reserves in the hands of the commonwealth sufficed to remove even this
element of fluctuation from the relations between the demand for capital
and the public revenue.

On the other hand, this resolution called forth a remarkable attempt to
swindle the commonwealth by means of the absolute freedom with which loans
were granted. In America a syndicate of speculative 'men of business' was
formed for the purpose of exploiting the simple-minded credulity of us
'stupid Freelanders.' Their plan was to draw as large a sum as possible
from our central bank under the pretence of requiring it to found an
association. Forty-six of the cleverest and most unscrupulous Yankees
joined in this campaign against our pockets. What they meant to do, and how
far they succeeded, can be best shown by giving the narrative written by
their leader, who is at present the honoured manager of the great saltworks
on the Nakuro lake:

'After we had arrived in Eden Vale, we decided to try the ground before we
proceeded to execute our design. We noticed, to our great satisfaction,
that the mistrust of the Freelanders would give us very little trouble. The
hotel in which we put up supplied us with everything on credit, and no one
took the trouble to ask we were. When I remarked to the host in a paternal
tone that it was a very careless procedure to keep a pump indiscriminately
free to any stroller who might come along, the host--I mean the director of
the Eden Vale Hotel Association--laughed and said there was no fear of
anyone's running away, for no one, whoever he might be, ever thought of
leaving Freeland. "So far, so good," thought I; but I asked further what
the Hotel Association would do if a guest _could_ not pay? "Nonsense," said
the director; "here everyone can pay as soon as he begins to work." "And if
he can't work?" "Then he gets a maintenance allowance from the
commonwealth." "And if he won't work?" The man smiled, slapped me on the
shoulder, and said, "Won't work won't last long here, you may rely upon it.
Besides, if one who has sound limbs _will_ be lazy--well, he still gets bed
and board among us. So don't trouble yourself about paying your score; you
may pay when you can and will."

'He made a curious impression upon us, this director. We said nothing, but
resolved to sound these Freelanders further. We went into the great
warehouses to get clothes, linen, &c., on credit. It succeeded admirably.
The salesmen--they were clerks, as we found--asked for a draft on the
central bank; and when we replied that we had no account there as yet, they
said it did not matter--it would be sufficient if we gave a written
statement of the amount of our purchases, and the bank, when we had an
account there, would honour it. It was the same everywhere. Mackay or Gould
cannot get credit in New York more readily than we did in Freeland.

'After a few days, we began to take steps towards establishing our
association. As I have said, we had at first no fear of exciting distrust.
But it was inconvenient that the Freeland constitution insisted upon
publicity in connection with every act, date, and circumstance connected
with business. We knew that we had nothing to fear from police or courts of
justice; but what should we do if the Freeland public were to acquire a
taste for the proposed association and wish to join it? Naturally we could
not admit outsiders as partners, but must keep the thing to ourselves,
otherwise our plan would be spoilt. We tried to find out if there were any
means of limiting the number of participators in our scheme. We minutely
questioned well-informed Freelanders upon the subject. We complained of the
abominable injustice of being compelled to share with everybody the benefit
of the splendid "idea" which we had conceived, to reveal our business
secrets, and so forth. But it was all of no use. The Freelanders remained
callous upon this point. They told us that no one would force us to reveal
our secrets if we were willing to work them out with our own resources; but
if we needed Freeland land and Freeland capital, then of course all
Freeland must know what we wanted to do. "And if our business can employ
only a small number of workers--if, for example, the goods that we wish to
make, though they yield a great profit, yet have a very limited
market--must we also in such a case let everybody come in?" "In such a
case," was the answer, "Freeland workers will not be so stupid as to force
themselves upon you in great numbers." "Good!" cried I, with dissembled
anger; "but if more should come in than are needed?" The people had an
answer even to this; for they said that those workers that were not needed
would withdraw, or, if they remained, they would have to work fewer hours,
or work in turns, or do something of that sort; opportunity of making
profitable use of spare time was never lacking in Freeland.

'What was to be done? We should be obliged to give our plans such a
character as to prevent the Freeland workers from having any wish to share
in them. But this must not be done too clumsily, as the people would after
all smell a rat, or perhaps join us out of pure philanthropy, in order to
save us from the consequences of our folly. We ultimately decided to set up
a needle-factory. Such a factory would be obviously--in the then condition
of trade--unprofitable, but the scheme was not so absolutely romantic as to
bring the inquisitive about our necks. We therefore organised ourselves,
and had the satisfaction of having no partners except a couple of
simpletons who, for some reason or other, fancied that needle-making was a
good business; and it was not very difficult to pet rid of these two. The
next thing was to fix the amount of capital to be required for the
business--that is, the amount of credit we should ask for at the central
bank. We should very naturally have preferred to ask at once for a million
pounds sterling; but that we could not do, as we should have to state what
we needed the money for, and a needle-factory for forty-eight workers could
not possibly have swallowed up so much without bringing upon us a whole
legion of investigating critics in the form of working partners. So we
limited our demand to 130,000£, and even this amount excited some surprise;
but we explained our demand by asserting that the new machines which we
intended to use were very dear.

'But now came the main anxiety. How were we to get this 130,000£, or the
greater part of it, into our pockets? Our people had elected me director of
the first "Eden Vale Needle-factory Association," and, as such, I went the
next day into the bank to open our account there and to obtain all the
necessary information. The cashier assured me that all payments authorised
by me should be at once made; but when I asked for a "small advance" of a
few thousand pounds, he asked in astonishment what was to be done with it.
"We must pay our small debts." "Unnecessary," was his answer; "all debts
are discharged here through the bank." "Yes, but what are my people and I
to live upon in the mean time, until our factory begins to work?" I asked
with some heat. "Upon your work in other undertakings, or upon your
savings, if you have any. Besides, you cannot fail to get credit; but we,
the central bank, give merely productive credit--we cannot advance to you
what you consume."

'There we were with nothing but our credit for 130,000£, and we began to
perceive that it was not so easy to carry off the money. Certainly we could
build and give orders for what we pleased. But what good would it do us to
spend money upon useless things?

'The worst was that we should have to begin to work in earnest if we would
not after all excite a general distrust; so we joined different
undertakings. But we would not admit that we were beaten, and after mature
reflection I hit upon the following as the only possible method of carrying
out the swindle we had planned. The central bank was the channel through
which all purchases and sales were made, but, as I soon detected, did not
interfere in the least with the buyer or the person who ordered goods in
the choice of such goods as he might think suitable. We had, therefore, the
right to order the machinery for our needle-factory of any manufacturers we
pleased in Europe or America, and the central bank would pay for it. We,
therefore, merely had to act in conjunction with some European or American
firm of swindlers, and share the profits with them, in order to carry off a
rich booty.

'At the same time, it occurred to me that it would be infinitely stupid to
make use of such a method. It was quite plain that very little was to be
gained in that way; but, even if it had been possible for each of us to
embezzle a fortune, I had lost all desire to leave Freeland. The chances
were that I should be a loser by leaving. I was a novice at honest work,
and any special exertion was not then to my taste. Yet I had earned as much
as 12s. a day, and that is 180£ a year, with which one can live as well
here as with twice as much in America or England. Even if I continued to
work in the same way, merely enough to keep off _ennui_, my income would
very soon increase. In the worst case, I could live upon my earnings here
as well as 400£ or 500£ would enable me to live elsewhere; and there was
not the slightest prospect of being able to steal so much. The result was
that I declined to go away. Firstly, because I was very happy here;
intercourse with decent men was becoming more and more pleasant and
attractive to the scoundrel, which I then was; and then--it struck me as
rather comical--I began to get ashamed of my roguery. Even scoundrels have
their honour. In the other parts of the world, where _everyone_ fleeces his
neighbour if he can, I did not think myself worse than the so-called honest
people: the only difference was that I did not adhere so closely to the
law. There, all are engaged in hunting down their dear neighbours; that I
allowed myself to hunt without my chart did not trouble my conscience much,
especially as I only had the alternative of hunting or being hunted. But
here in Freeland no one hunted for his neighbour's goods; here every rogue
must confess himself to be worse than all the rest, and indeed a rascal
without necessity, out of pure delight in rascality. If one only had the
spur of danger which in the outer world clothed this hunting with so much
poetry! But here there was not a trace of it! The Freelanders would not
even have pursued us if we had bolted with our embezzled booty; we might
have run off as unmolested as so many mangy dogs. No; here I neither would
nor could be a rascal. I called my companions together to tell them that I
resigned my position as director, withdrew altogether from the company, and
meant to devote myself here to honest work. There was not one who did not
agree with me. Some of them were not quite reconciled to work, but they all
meant to remain. One specially persistent fellow asked whether, as we were
once more together by ourselves, and might not be so again, it would not be
a smart trick if we were to embezzle a few thousand pounds before we became
honest folks; but it did not even need a reference to the individual
responsibility of the members of the association for the debts that the
association contracted in order to dispose of the proposition of this last
adherent to our former rascality. Not only would they all stay here, but
they would become honest--these hardened rogues, who a few weeks before
were wont to use the words _honest_ and _stupid_ as synonyms. So it came to
pass that the fine plan, in devising which the "smartest fellows" of New
England had exhausted their invention, was silently dropped; and, if I am
well informed, not one of the forty-six of us has ever uttered a
complaint.'

The second proposal brought before the united representatives of
Freeland--the repayment of the larger or smaller contributions which most
of the members had up to then paid on admission into the Society--involved
the disbursement of not less than 43,000,000£. The members had always been
told that their contributions were not repayable, but were to be a
sacrifice towards the attainment of the objects of the Society.
Nevertheless, the government of Freeland considered that now, when the new
commonwealth no longer needed such a sacrifice, it was only just to
dispense with it, both prospectively and retrospectively. The generous
benefactors had never based any claim to special recognition or higher
honour upon the assistance they had so richly afforded to the poorer
members; in fact, most of them had even refused to be recognised as
benefactors. Neither was this assistance in any way inconsistent with the
principles upon which the new community was founded; on the contrary, it
was quite in harmony with those principles that the assistance afforded by
the wealthy to the helpless should be regarded as based upon sound rational
self-interest. But when the time had come when, as a consequence of this so
generously practised rational egoism, the commonwealth was strong enough to
dispense with extraneous aids, and to repay what had been already given, it
seemed to us just that this should be done.

This proposal was unanimously accepted without debate, and immediately
carried into execution. All the contributors received back their
contributions--that is, the amounts were placed to their credit in the
books of the central bank, and they could dispose of them as they pleased.

With this, the second epoch of the history of Freeland may be regarded as
closed. The founding of the commonwealth, which occupied the first epoch,
was effected entirely by the voluntary sacrifices of the individual
members. In the second period, this aid, though no longer absolutely
necessary, was a useful and effective means of promoting the rapid growth
of the commonwealth. Henceforth, grown to be a giant, this free
commonwealth rejected all aid of whatever kind that did not spring out of
its regular resources; and, recompensing past aid a thousand-fold, it was
now the great institution upon whose ever-inexhaustible means the want and
misery of every part of the world might with certainty reckon.



_BOOK III_



CHAPTER XIII


Twenty years have passed away--twenty-five years since the arrival of our
pioneers at the Kenia. The principles by which Freeland has been governed
have remained the same, and their results have not changed, except that the
intellectual and material culture, and the number and wealth of the
inhabitants have grown in a continually increasing ratio. The immigration,
by means of fifty-four of the largest ocean steamers of a total of 495,000
tons register, had reached in the twenty-fifth year the figure of 1,152,000
heads. In order to convey into the heart of the continent as quickly as
possible this influx to the African coast from all parts of the world, the
Freeland system of railways has been either carried to or connected with
other lines that reach the ocean at four different points. One line is that
which was constructed in the previous epoch between Eden Vale and Mombasa.
Four years later, after the pacification of the Galla tribes, the line to
the Witu coast through the Dana valley was constructed. Nine years after
that, a line--like all the other principal lines in Freeland,
double-railed--along the Nile valley from the Victoria Nyanza and the
Albert Nyanza, through the equatorial provinces of Egypt, Dongola, the
Soudan, and Nubia, was connected with the Egyptian railway system, and thus
brought Freeland into railway communication with the Mediterranean.
Finally, in the twenty-fourth year, the finishing touch was given to the
great Equatorial Trunk Railway, which, starting from Uganda on the Victoria
Nyanza, and crossing the Nile where it leaves the Albert Nyanza, reaches
the Atlantic Ocean through the valleys of the Aruwhimi and the Congo. Thus
we possess two direct railway communications with the Indian Ocean, and one
each with the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Naturally, the
Mombasa line was largely superseded by the much shorter Dana line; our
passenger trains run the 360 miles of the latter in nine hours, while the
Mombasa line, despite its shortening by the Athi branch line, cannot be
traversed in less than double that time. The distance by rail between Eden
Vale and Alexandria is 4,000 miles, the working of which is in our hands
from Assuan southward. On account of the slower rate of the trains on the
Egyptian portion, the journey consumes six days and a half; nevertheless,
this is the most frequented route, because it shortens the total journey by
nearly two weeks for all the immigrants who come by the Mediterranean
Sea--that is, for all Europeans and most of the Americans. The Grand
Equatorial Trunk Line--which, by agreement with the Congo State, was
constructed almost entirely at our cost and is worked entirely by us--has a
length of above 3,000 miles, and travellers by it from the mouth of the
Congo can reach Eden Vale in a little less than four days.

Eden Vale, and the Kenia district generally, have long since ceased to
receive the whole influx of immigrants. The densest Freeland population is
still to be found on the highlands between the Victoria Nyanza and the
Indian Ocean, and the seat of the supreme government is now, as formerly,
in Eden Vale; but Freeland has largely extended its boundaries on all
sides, particularly on the west. Freeland settlers have spread over the
whole of Masailand, Kavirondo, and Uganda, and all round the shores of the
Victoria Nyanza, the Mutanzige, and the Albert Nyanza, wherever healthy
elevated sites and fruitful soil were to be found. The provisional limits
of the territory over which we have spread are formed on the south-east by
the pleasant and fertile hill-districts of Teita; on the north by the
elevated tracts between the lakes Baringo and Victoria Nyanza and the Galla
countries; on the west by the extreme spurs of the Mountains of the Moon,
which begin at the Albert lake; and on the south by the hilly districts
stretching to the lake Tanganika. This makes an area of about 580,000
square miles. This area is not, however, everywhere covered with a compact
Freeland population; but in many places our colonists are scattered among
the natives, whom they are everywhere raising to a higher and freer
civilisation. The total population of the territory at this time under
Freeland influence amounts to 42,000,000 souls, of whom 26,000,000 are
whites and 10,000,000 black or brown natives. Of the whites 12,500,000
dwell in the original settlement on the Kenia and the Aberdare range;
1,500,000 are scattered about over the rest of Masailand, on the north
declivities of the Kilimanjaro and in Teita; the hills to the west and
north of Lake Baringo have a white population of 2,000,000; round the
Victoria Nyanza have settled 8,500,000; among the hills between that lake
and Lakes Mutanzige and Albert 1,500,000; on the Mountains of the Moon,
west of Lake Albert Nyanza, 3,000,000; and finally, to the south, between
these two lakes and Lake Tanganika, are scattered 2,000,000.

The products of Freeland industry comprehend almost all the articles
required by civilised men; but mechanical industry continues to be the
chief branch of production. This production is principally to meet the home
demand, though the productive capacity of Freeland has for years materially
surpassed that of all the machine-factories in the rest of the world. But
Freeland has employment for more machinery than the whole of the rest of
the world put together, for the work of its machines takes the place of
that of the slaves or she wage-labourers of other countries; and as our
26,000,000 whites--not to reckon the civilised negroes--are all
'employers,' we need very many steel and iron servants to satisfy our
needs, which increase step by step with the increase of our skill.
Therefore comparatively few of our machines--except certain specialties--go
over our frontiers. On the contrary, agriculture is pursued more largely
for export than for home consumption; indeed, it can with truth be asserted
that the whole of the Freeland corn-produce is available for export, since
the surplus of the corn-production of the negroes which reaches our markets
is on an average quite sufficient to cover our home demand. In the
twenty-fourth year there were 22,000,000 acres of land under the plough,
which in the two harvests produced 2,066,000,000 cwt. of grain and other
field-produce, worth in round figures 600,000,000£. To this quantity of
agricultural produce must be added other export goods worth 550,000,000£;
so that the total export was worth 1,150,000,000£. On the other hand, the
chief item of import goods was that of 'books and other printed matter';
and next to this followed works of art and objects of luxury. Of the
articles which in other countries make up the chief mass of outside
commerce, the Freeland list of imports shows only cotton goods, cotton
being grown at home scarcely at all. This item of import reached the value
of 57,000,000£. The import of books--newspapers included--reached in the
previous year 138,000,000£, considerably more than all the rest of the
world had in that same year paid for books. It must not be inferred that
the demand for books in Freeland is entirely, or even mainly, covered by
the import from without. The Freeland readers during the same year paid
more than twice as much to their home publishers as to the foreign ones. In
fact, at the date of our writing this, the Freelanders read more than three
times as much as the whole of the reading public outside of Freeland.

The above figures will show the degree of wealth to which Freeland has
attained. In fact, the total value of the productions of the 7,500,000
producers during the last year was nearly seven milliard pounds sterling
(7,000,000,000£.) Deducting from that amount two milliards and a-half to
cover the tax for the purposes of the commonwealth, there remained four
milliard and a-half as profit to be shared among the producers, giving an
average of 600£ to each worker. And to produce this we worked only five
hours a day on the average, or 1,500 hours in the year; so that the average
net value of an hour's labour was 8s.--little less than the average weekly
wage of the common labourer in many parts of Europe.

Almost all articles of ordinary consumption are very much cheaper in
Freeland than in any other part of the civilised world. The average price
of a cwt. of wheat is 6s; a pound of beef about 2-1/2d., a hectolitre
(twenty-two gallons) of beer or light wine 10s., a complete suit of good
woollen clothing 20s. or 80s., a horse of splendid Arab stock 15£, a good
milch cow 2£, &c. A few articles of luxury imported from abroad are
dear--_e.g._ certain wines, and those goods which must be produced by
hand-labour--of which, however, there are very few. The latter were all
imported from abroad, as it would never occur to a Freelander to compete
with foreigners in hand-labour. For though the harmoniously developed,
vigorous, and intelligent workers of our country surpass two- or three-fold
the debilitated servants of Western nations in the strength and training of
their muscles, they cannot compete with hand-labour that is fifty- or a
hundred-fold cheaper than their own. Their superiority begins when they can
oppose their slaves of steel to the foreign ones of flesh and bone; with
these slaves of steel they can work cheaper than those of flesh and bone,
for the slaves which are set in motion by steam, electricity, and water are
more easily satisfied than even the wage-labourers of 'free' Europe. These
latter need potatoes to fill their stomach, and a few rags to cover their
nakedness; whilst coal or a stream of water stills the hunger of the
former, and a little grease suffices to keep their joints supple.

This superiority of Freeland in machinery, and that of foreign countries in
hand labour, merely confirms an old maxim of experience, which is none the
less true that it still escapes the notice of the so-called 'civilised
nations.' That only the relatively rich nations--that is, those whose
masses are relatively in the best condition--very largely employ machinery
in production, could not possibly long escape the most obtuse-minded; but
this undeniable phenomenon is wrongly explained. It is held that the
English or the American people live in a way more worthy of human nature
than, for example, the Chinese or the Russians, because they are richer;
and that for the same reason--namely, because the requisite capital is more
abundant--the English and Americans use machinery while the Chinese and
Russians employ merely human muscles. This leaves unexplained the principal
question, whence comes this difference in wealth? and also directly
contradicts the facts that the Chinese and the Russians make no use of the
capital so liberally and cheaply offered to them, and that machine-labour
is unprofitable in their hands as long as their wage-earners are satisfied
with a handful of rice or with half-rotten potatoes and a drop of spirits.
But it is a part of the _credo_ of the orthodox political economy, and is
therefore accepted without examination. Yet he who does not use his eyes
merely to shut them to facts, or his mind merely to harbour obstinately the
prejudices which he has once acquired, must sooner or later see that the
wealth of the nations is nothing else than their possession of the means of
production; that this wealth is great or small in proportion as the means
of production are many and great, or few and small; and that many or few
means of production are needed according as there is a great or a small use
of those things which are created by these means of production--therefore
solely in proportion to the large or small consumption. Where little is
used little can be produced, and there will therefore be few instruments of
production, and the people must remain poor.

Neither can the export trade make any alteration; for the things which are
exported must be exchanged for other things, whether food, or instruments
of labour, or money, or some other commodity, and for that which is
imported there must be some use; which, however, is impossible if there is
no consumption, for in such a case the imported articles will find as
little sale as the things produced at home. Certainly those commodities
which are produced by a people who use neither their own productions nor
those of other people, may be lent to other nations. But this again depends
upon whether foreigners have a use for such a surplus above what is
required at home; and as this is not generally the case, it remains, once
for all, that any nation can produce only so much as it has a use for, and
the measure of its wealth is therefore the extent of its requirements.

Naturally this applies to only those nations whose civilisation has reached
such a stage that the employment of complex instruments of labour is
prevented, not by their ignorance, but simply by their social political
helplessness. To such nations, however, applies in full the truth that they
are poor simply because they _cannot_ eat enough to satisfy themselves; and
that the increase of their wealth is conditioned by nothing else than the
degree of energy with which the working classes struggle against their
misery. The English and the Americans _will_ eat meat, and therefore do not
allow their wages to sink below the level at which the purchase of meat is
possible; this is the only reason why England and America employ more
machinery than China and Russia, where the people are contented with _rice_
or _potatoes_. But we in Freeland have brought it to pass that our working
classes are secure of obtaining the whole profit of their labour, however
great that profit may be; what, therefore, could be more natural than that
we should employ as much machinery as our mechanicians can invent?

Nothing can permanently prevent the operation of this first law of
economics. Production exists solely for the sake of consumption, and must
therefore--as ought long since to have been seen--depend, both in its
amount and in the character of its means, upon the amount of consumption.
And if some tricksy Puck were to carry off overnight to some European
country all our wealth and all our machinery, without taking to that
country our social institutions as well, it is as certain that that country
would not be a farthing richer than it was before, as it is that China
would not be richer if all the wealth of England and America were carried
thither without allowing the Chinese labourers more than boiled rice for
food and a loin-cloth for clothing. Just as in this case the English and
American machinery would become mere useless old iron in China, so in the
former case would our machinery in Europe or America. And just as the
English and the Americans, if their working classes only retained their
present habits, would very quickly produce fresh machinery to take the
place of that which had been spirited away to China, and would thereby
regain their former level of wealth, so it would not be difficult for us to
repeat what we have already effected--namely, to place ourselves afresh in
possession of all that wealth which corresponds to _our_ habits of life.
For the social institutions of Freeland are the true and only source of our
wealth; that we can _use_ our wealth is the _raison d'etre_ of all our
machinery.

Under the name of machinery we here include everything which on the one
hand is not a free gift of nature, but the outcome of human effort, and on
the other hand is intended to increase the productiveness of human labour.
This power has grown to colossal dimensions in Freeland. Our system of
railways--the lines above-named are only the four largest, which serve for
communication with other countries--has reached a total length of road of
about 358,000 miles, of which less than 112,000 miles are main lines, while
about 248,000 miles are lines for agricultural and industrial purposes. Our
canal system serves mainly for purposes of irrigation and draining, and the
total length of its numberless thousands of larger and smaller branches is
beyond all calculation, but these canals are navigable for a length of
86,000 miles. Besides the passenger ships already mentioned, there are
afloat upon the seas of the world nearly 3,000 of our freight steamers with
a total registered tonnage of 14,500,000. On the lakes and rivers of Africa
we possess 17,800 larger and smaller steamers with a total register of
5,200,000 tons. The motive power which drives these means of communication
and the numberless machines of our agriculture and our factories, our
public and private institutions, reaches a total of not less than
245,000,000 horse-power--that is, fully twice the mechanical force employed
by the whole of the rest of the world. In Freeland there is brought into
use a mechanical force of nearly nine and a-half horse-power per head of
the population; and as every registered horse-power is equal to the
mechanical force of twelve or thirteen men, the result in labour is the
same as if every Freelander without exception had about 120 slaves at his
disposal. What wonder that we can live like masters, notwithstanding that
servitude is not known in Freeland!

The value of the above enormous investments of all kinds can be calculated
to a farthing, because of the wonderful transparency of all our industrial
operations. The Freeland commonwealth, as such, has, during the twenty-five
years of its existence, disbursed eleven milliards sterling for investment
purposes. The disbursement through the medium of associations and of
individual workers (the latter in relatively insignificant numbers) has
amounted to twenty-three milliards sterling. So that the total investments
represent a sum of thirty-four milliards, all highly profitable capital,
despite--or rather because of--the fact that it belongs to no one
particular owner; for this very absence of private proprietorship of the
total productive capital is the reason why any labour power can avail
itself of those means of production by the use of which the highest
possible profit can be realised. Every Freelander is joint-possessor of
this immense wealth, which amounts--without taking into account the
incalculable value of the soil--to 1,300£ per head, or 6,000£ per family.
Thus, in these twenty-five years we have all become in a certain sense
quite respectable capitalists. This capital does not bear us interest; but,
on the other hand, we owe to it the labour-profit of seven milliards
sterling, which gives an average of 270£ per head for the 26,000,000 souls
in Freeland.

But, before we describe the Freeland life which has developed itself upon
the foundation of this abundance of wealth and energy, it will be necessary
to give a brief outline of Freeland history during the last twenty years.

In the former section we had reached the first railway connection with the
Indian Ocean on the one hand, and the campaign against Uganda, with the
first colonisation of the shores of the Victoria Nyanza, on the other. The
attention of our explorers was next directed to the very interesting
hill-country north and north-west of Lake Baringo, particularly Elgon, the
district on the frontier of Uganda, which rises to an elevation of some
14,000 feet. Here was a large field for future settlement equal to the
Kenia and Aberdare ranges in fertility, climate, and beauty of scenery. In
variety, the view from the summit of Elgon surpassed anything we had before
seen. To the south-west stretched the sea-like expanse of the Victoria
Nyanza, bounded only by the horizon. To the north, forty miles away rose
the snow-covered peak of Lekakisera. To the east, the eye ranged over
immense stretches of forest-hills, whilst the smiling highlands of Uganda
closed the view to the west.

The very evident traces of the former activity of a highly developed
civilised people stimulated the spirit of investigation of our
archaeologists. The great caves which had been noticed by earlier
travellers in the foot-hills around the Elgon had every appearance of being
of an artificial origin. It was quite as evident that none of the races
dwelling within thousands of miles of these caves could have excavated
them. They are all in a hard agglomerate, and their capacity varies from
about 25,000 to 125,000 cubic yards. Their purpose was as enigmatical as
their origin. For the most part they are to be found on steep, scarcely
accessible, precipitous mountain-sides, but, without exception, only in a
thick layer of breccia or agglomerate interposed between a trachytic and a
volcanic stone. At that time they were inhabited by a race of a very low
type, subsisting solely upon the chase and pasturage, and who were utterly
incapable of making such dwellings, and declared that the caves had existed
from the beginning. But who made them, and for what purpose were they
originally made? That they were to be found only in one particular stratum
naturally gave rise to the supposition that they were made by mining
operations. They must have been opened in a past age for some kind of ore
or other mineral product, and have been worked with a great expenditure of
labour and for a very long period; for the caves are so many and so large
that, even with modern appliances, it would have needed thousands of men
for many decades to excavate them in the hard agglomerate of sand and
pebbles. The excavation had been made, however, not with powder and
dynamite, but with chisel and pickaxe; the caves must therefore have been
the work of thousands of years. There was only _one_ people who could here
have expended upon such a work sufficient strength for a sufficient
time--the Egyptian. This most ancient civilised people in the world, whose
history covers thousands of years, must have excavated these caves; of this
there was no doubt among our archaeologists.

That in the grey antiquity the Egyptians penetrated to the sources of their
holy river (it may be remarked in passing that the Ripon falls, where the
Nile flows out of the Victoria Nyanza, are in clear weather very plainly to
be seen from the Elgon) has nothing in it so remarkable, even though modern
historical investigation has not been able to find any trace of it. But
wherever the Egyptians penetrated, and particularly wherever they built,
one is accustomed to find unmistakable traces of their activity. It behoved
us, therefore, to search for such traces, and then to discover what the
Pharaohs of the ancient dynasties had sought for here. Our researches were
successful as to the first object, but not as to the second. In two places,
unfortunately outside of the entrances to the caves in question, where
atmospheric and perhaps other influences had been destructively at work,
there were found conically pointed basalt prisms, which exhibited
unmistakable traces of hieroglyphic writing. These inscriptions were no
longer legible; and though our Egyptologists, as well as those of London
and Paris, agreed in thinking that the inscription on one stone distinctly
referred to the goddess Hathor, this view is rather the verdict of a kind
of archaeological instinct than a conclusion based upon tangible evidence.
That the stones bore Egyptian inscriptions, and had stood for thousands of
years at the entrances to these caves, was plain enough, even to the eyes
of laymen. Parenthetically it may be remarked that this discovery throws
light upon the origin of the Masai, of whom it has already been said that
they were not negroes, but a bronze-coloured race showing the Hamitic type.
Plainly the Masai are Egyptians, who, in a forgotten past, were cut off
from the rest in the highlands south of the Baringo lake. Their martial
habits would suggest descent from the ancient Egyptian warrior caste,
possibly from those discontented warriors who, twenty-five centuries ago,
in the days of Psammetichus I., migrated to Ethiopia, when Pharaoh had
offended them by the employment of Greek mercenaries.

But this did not tell what the Egyptians, in honour either of Hathor or of
some other celestial or terrestrial majesty, were looking for on the Elgon.
We spared no pains in seeking further evidence; both in the caves and in
other parts of the agglomerate in which they were excavated, we diligently
looked for something to throw light upon the subject. But we found nothing,
at least nothing that appeared to be of any special use to the Egyptians,
either in the way of metals or of precious stones. We were finally
compelled to content ourselves with the supposition that some of the
variously coloured stones which were present in the formation in great
number and variety were highly valued in the days of the Pharaohs, without
the knowledge of the fact having descended to our days. There would be
nothing remarkable in this, for neither would it have been the first
instance in which men have for thousands of years reckoned as very precious
that upon which subsequent generations scarcely deigned to glance, nor do
we know enough of the life of the ancient Egyptians to be able positively
to assert that every object in the inscriptions and papyrus-rolls means
this or that. It is therefore very possible that in many of the Egyptian
inscriptions which have come down to us a great deal is told of the stones
found here on the Elgon, whilst we, misled by the great value which the
narrator ascribes to the said stones, think that some precious stone now
highly valued was referred to, and that generations of Egyptian slaves have
spent their lives here in cruel toil, in order to procure for their masters
an object of luxury which we to-day carelessly kick aside when it
accidentally comes in our way.

Let this be as it may, we found nothing of any value in the agglomerate in
which the Egyptians had excavated. But, in the immediate neighbourhood of
the cave-hills, we found something else: something that men coveted
thousands of years ago, as they do to-day, but which, singularly enough,
escaped the miners of the Pharaohs, and was not looked for by them on the
Elgon--namely, gold, and that in large rich veins. It was accidentally
discovered by one of the engineers engaged in the examination of the caves,
who, significantly, was at first seized with horror at his discovery. He
was an enthusiastic young Spaniard, who had only recently reached Freeland,
and he saw in his discovery a great danger for those Freeland principles
which were so passionately worshipped by him, and he therefore at first
resolved to keep it secret. He reflected, however, that some one else would
soon come upon the same trace, and that the evil which he dreaded would
become a fact. He therefore decided to confide in those under whom he was
acting, and to point out to them the danger that threatened the happiness
of Freeland. It was very difficult to make Nunez--as this young enthusiast
was named--understand that there would be little hope for the security and
permanent vitality of the institutions of Freeland if the richest possible
discovery of gold were able to put them in jeopardy, and to convince him
that gold-mining was like any other kind of work--that labour would flow to
the mines as long as it was possible to earn as much there as in any other
branch of production, and the result of his discovery could only be that of
slightly raising the average earnings of Freeland labour.

And so it was. Nunez had not erred in his estimate of the productiveness of
the mines; the newly opened gold-diggings soon yielded some 12,000,000£ a
year.

The managers of the central bank utilised this new source of wealth in gold
for the establishment of an independent Freeland coinage. Hitherto the
English sovereign had been our gold currency, and we had reckoned in
English pounds, shillings, and pence. Now a mint was set up in Eden Vale,
and the coinage underwent a reform. We retained the sterling pound and the
shilling, but we minted our pound nearly one per cent. lighter than the
English one, so that it might be exactly equal to twenty-five francs of the
French or decimal system of coinage; the shilling we divided, not into
twelve parts, but into a hundred.

Of these Freeland pounds, which in the course of a few years acquired
undisputed rank as a cosmopolitan coin, and passed current everywhere, only
a comparatively small number circulated in Freeland itself. We needed in
our domestic transactions scarcely any cash. All payments were made through
the bank, where every one--our civilised negroes not excepted--had an
account, and which possessed branches all over the country. At first the
coins were used for paying small amounts, then cheques came into general
use for these, and later still it came to be sufficient, to write a simple
order on the bank. The coinage was therefore almost exclusively needed for
foreign use; in the course of sixteen years the mint has issued some
130,000,000£ of which scarcely seven per cent. remained in Freeland, and
all except a very small portion of this lies in the bank cellars, where its
repose is never disturbed. For with us there are no fluctuations of the
money market, since there exists scarcely any demand for money in Freeland.
Gold is our measure of value, and will remain so as long as there is no
commodity discovered better fitted to perform this function--that is,
exposed to less variation in value--than this metal. The instrument of
_transferring_ value among us is not money, but paper, ink, and pen.
Scarcity and superfluity of gold are therefore in Freeland as meaningless
conceptions as would be a scarcity or superfluity of metres in Europe.

The gold discoveries on the Elgon at any rate contributed towards hastening
the settlement of those splendid highlands lying to the north-west of Lake
Baringo. The adjacent Uganda was used as a seat of agriculture, whilst the
towns, essentially copies of Eden Vale, whose wooden houses had meanwhile
given place to elegant villas of stone and brick, wore located on the
cooler heights of the wooded hills.

Our pioneers pursued their way ever farther and farther. There was still
abundant room in the older settlements; but the spirit of discovery,
together with the fascination of novelty that hung around the distant
districts, continually led new bands farther and farther into the 'Dark
Continent.' When the shores of the Victoria Nyanza no longer contained
anything unknown, our pathfinders penetrated the primitive forests of the
hilly districts between Lakes Mutanzige and Albert Nyanza. Here, for the
first time, we came into contact with cannibal races, the subjection of
whom was no small task and was not accomplished without bloodshed. From the
Albert Nyanza, the east shores of which are mostly bare and barren, we
obtained an enticing view of the Mountains of the Moon, whose highest point
rises above 13,000 feet, and in the cool season frequently shows a cap of
snow. Down the picturesque declivities that look towards the lake fall from
incredible heights a number of powerful cataracts, giving rise to pleasant
inferences as to the nature of the district in which the streams have their
source. Naturally they did not long remain unvisited, and the fame of the
new marvels of natural beauty found there soon drew hundreds of thousands
of settlers thither. There also we came into collision with cannibal races,
some of which still carry on their evil practices in secret. From hence our
pioneers turned southwards, everywhere making use of the hill-ranges as
highways. Six years ago our outposts had reached Lake Tanganika, where they
gave preference to the western heights that rise in places 3,000 feet above
the level of the lake, which is itself about 5,000 feet above the sea. At
present hundreds of thousands of our people are settled on the lovely
shores of this the longest, though only the second largest, of the
equatorial lakes. Lake Tanganika is not quite half so large as the Victoria
Nyanza, and is nowhere too broad for a good eye to see the opposite hills,
but its length reaches 360 miles, about three-fourths as long as the
Adriatic Sea, and the fastest of the 286 steamers which at this time
navigate it at our charge takes nearly twenty-four hours to go from end to
end.

We now came more and more into immediate contact with colonies under
European influence. In the south and east we touched German and English
interests and spheres of influence; in the north-east, more or less
directly, French and Italian; in the north Egyptian; in the west the
vigorously developing Congo State. Our intercourse was everywhere directed
by the best and most accommodating intentions, but a number of questions
sprang up which urgently demanded a definitive solution. For instance, the
neighbouring colonies found it inconvenient to be in close proximity to
Freeland settlements; their population was drawn away by us like iron
filings by a magnet. Wherever a Freeland association established itself
near a foreign colony, nothing of that colony was left after a little
while, except the empty dwellings and the forsaken plantations: the
colonists had settled among us and become Freelanders. At the same time,
the foreign governments neither could nor wished to do anything, since the
interests of their subjects were not damaged; but with respect to the
establishment of their power in the countries in question, the foreign
governments were necessarily made uncomfortable by the impossibility of
asserting themselves in our neighbourhood.

We were also compelled to moot the question, what would happen if
Freelanders wore to settle in any district belonging to a Western nation?
We had hitherto purposely avoided doing this, but ultimately it would be
unavoidable. What would happen then? Should we, in possession of the
stronger form of civilisation, yield to the weaker and more backward one?
Could we do so, even if we were willing? Freeland is not a state in the
ordinary sense of the word. Its character does not lie in dominion over a
definite territory, but in its social institutions. These institutions are
in themselves quite compatible with foreign forms of government, and for
the sake of keeping peace with our neighbours we were compelled to try to
obtain legal recognition of our institutions, in the first place, in the
neighbouring colonial districts.

And not merely upon the continent of Africa, but in other parts of the
world also, there came into existence a number of questions between
ourselves and various governments, which urgently needed settling. On
principle we avoided getting mixed up with any of the political affairs of
foreign countries; but we held it to be our right and our duty to help with
our wealth and power our needy brethren, in whatever part of the inhabited
world they might live. Freeland money was to be found wherever want had to
be relieved and the disinherited and wretched to be aided against
exploitage. Our offices and our ships were gratuitously at the service of
all who wished to flee to us out of the sorrow of the old system of
society; and we never wearied in our efforts to make the blessings of our
institutions more and more accessible to our suffering brethren. All this,
as has been said, we considered to be both our duty and our right, and we
were not disposed to allow ourselves to be turned aside from the fulfilment
of our mission by the protests of foreign Powers. But it became impossible
not to perceive that the relations between us and several European and
Asiatic governments were getting more and more strained. In the democratic
west of Europe, in America, and in Australia, public opinion was too strong
in our favour for us to fear any--even passive--resistance to our efforts
from those countries. But the case was different with several Eastern
States. Particularly since our means, and consequently our propagandist
activity, had attained the colossal dimensions of the last few years, with
a promise of continued growth, it had been here and there seriously asked
whether, and by what means, it was possible to keep out Freeland money and
to counteract Freeland influence. For a time the governments in question
avoided an open breach with us, partly on account of the public opinion
which was powerful in our favour even in their countries, and partly on
account of the large financial resources which were in our hands. They did
not wish to have us as avowed enemies, but they wished to control the
influx of Freeland money and the purposes to which it was applied, and to
check the emigration to Freeland.

We were not disposed to stand and look upon such attempts with folded arms.
The right to spring to the aid of our enslaved fellow-men, or to keep open
to them a refuge in Freeland, we were determined to defend to the utmost of
our strength; and no one in Freeland doubted that we were strong enough in
case of need to resist any attempts by foreign Powers to limit our
activity. But all in Freeland were agreed that every conceivable pacific
means must be tried before we appealed to arms. And the difficulty in the
way of a bloodless settlement of the quarrel lay in the fact that the
Freelanders and the foreigners held opposite views concerning the military
strength of Freeland. Whilst we, as has been said, were convinced that we
were as strong as any military State in the world--nay, as several of them
put together--those very foreign governments with whom we were at variance
looked upon us as powerless from a military point of view. We were
therefore convinced that a definitive threat by our plenipotentiaries would
not be taken seriously, and that on this very account any attempt
energetically to maintain our position could produce the requisite effect
only by actual war. And a war it was that confirmed our position everywhere
abroad, though not with either an European or an Asiatic, but with an
African power--a war which, though it had a very indirect bearing upon the
subject in question, yet brought this question to a decision.

How this came about will be told in the letters given in the following
chapters. These letters were written by Prince Carlo Falieri, a young
Italian diplomatist, who has since settled in Freeland, but who at the time
to which these letters refer was visiting Eden Vale in his country's
service. This correspondence will, at the same time, give a vivid picture
of Freeland manners and life in the twenty-fifth year of its history.



CHAPTER XIV


Eden Vale: July 12, ----

After a silence of several months I am writing to you from the chief city
in Freeland, where my father and I have already been for some days. What
has brought us to the country of social liberty? You know--or perhaps you
do not know--that my chiefs at Monte Citorio have for some time not known
how to deal with the brown Napoleon of the East Coast of Africa, the Negus
John V. of Abyssinia; and that our good friends in London and Paris have
experienced the same difficulty. So the cabinets of the three Western
Powers have agreed to seek an African remedy for the common African malady.
To find this we are here. Lord E---- and Sir W. B---- are sent on the part
of England; Madame Charles Delpart and M. Henri de Pons on the part of
France; while Italy is represented by Prince Falieri and his son--my
littleness. We are commissioned to represent to the Freelanders that it
would be to their interest as well as to ours if they allowed their country
to be the theatre of war against Abyssinia.

Those of us among Europeans who have possessions on the African coast of
the Red Sea and south of the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb have had much trouble
with the Negus. During the late war he kept the allied armies of England,
France, and Italy in check; and, had it not been for the intervention of
our Italian fleet, those armies would narrowly have escaped the fate of
that Egyptian host which, according to the Bible, was drowned in the Red
Sea 3,300 years ago. The Negus--plainly with the aid of certain friends of
his in Europe--has utilised the five years' peace (which was not a very
creditable one for us) in perfecting his already powerful army and
organising it according to the Western pattern. He now possesses 300,000
men armed with weapons of the best and most modern construction, an
excellent cavalry of at least 40,000, and an artillery of 106 batteries,
which our representatives describe as quite equal to any European troops.
What John means to do with an armament so enormously beyond the needs of
poor Abyssinia has been rendered plain by the events of the last five
years. He wishes to take from us and the English the coast towns on the Red
Sea, and from the French their province south of Bab-el-Mandeb. Our coast
fortresses and fleet will not be able in the long run to prevent this,
unless we can defeat the Abyssinians in the open field. But how are armies,
equal to the reorganised Abyssinian forces, to be maintained on those
inhospitable coasts? How can a campaign be carried on, with nothing but the
sea at the rear, against an enemy of whose terrible offensive strength we
have already had only too good proof? Yet the Negus must be met, cost what
it will; for with the sacrifice of the coast towns the connection with East
Asia, and with that part of East Africa which during the last twenty years
has become one of the principal seats of commerce, will be lost to all
European Powers. We know only too well that John V. has been making the
most extensive preparations. To-day his agents in Greece, Dalmatia, and
even North America are engaging sailors by thousands, who are evidently
intended to man a fleet of war as soon as the possession of the points on
the coast makes it possible for the Abyssinians to keep one. Whether he
will buy his fleet abroad or build it himself is at present an enigma. If
he did the former, it could not possibly escape the knowledge of the Powers
threatened by this future fleet; but none of the great shipwrights of the
world have any warships of unknown destination, in course of construction.
If the Abyssinian fleet is to be built in the Red Sea after the coast has
passed into the possession of Abyssinia, why does he want so many sailors
at once? This enigma is by no means calculated to lay our fears as to the
ultimate aims of Abyssinia. In short, it has been decided in London, Paris,
and Rome to take the bull by the horns, and to begin offensive operations
against the East African conqueror. The three cabinets will together
furnish an expedition of at least 300,000 men, and immediately after the
close of the five years' peace--that is, at the end of September
next--attack Abyssinia. But Freeland, and not this time our own coast
possessions, is to form the basis of the operations. This will give the
allied armies a secure rear for provisioning and retreat; and our task as
diplomatists is to win over the Freeland government to this project. We ask
for nothing but passive co-operation--that is, a free passage for our
troops. Whether our instructions go so far as to compel this passive
assistance in case of need I do not know; for not I, but merely my father,
is initiated into the most secret views of the leaders of our foreign
politics; and though my well-known enthusiasm for this land of Socialists
has not prevented our government from appointing me as _attaché_ to my
father's mission, yet I imagine I shall not be admitted to share the more
important secrets of our diplomacy.

Now you know, my friend, _why_ we have come to Freeland. If you are curious
to know _how_ we got here, I must tell you that we came from Brindisi to
Alexandria by the 'Uranus,' one of the enormous ships which Freeland keeps
afloat upon all seas for the mail and passenger service. With us came 2,300
immigrants to Freeland; and if these find in the new home only one-half of
what they promised themselves, Freeland must be a veritable paradise. My
father, who at first hesitated to entrust himself to a Freeland steamer
which carries all its passengers free of charge and, as is well known,
makes no distinction in the treatment of those on board, admitted, when he
had been two days on the voyage, that he did not regret having yielded to
my entreaty. Our cabins were not too small, were comfortable, and most
scrupulously clean; the cooking and commissariat in general left nothing to
be desired; and--what surprised us most--the intercourse with the very
miscellaneous immigrants proved to be by no means disagreeable. Among our
2,300 fellow-voyagers were persons of all classes and conditions, from
_savants_ to labourers; but even the latter showed themselves to be so
inspired by the consciousness that they were hastening to a new home in
which all men stood absolutely on an equality, that not the slightest
rowdyism or disturbance was witnessed during the whole voyage.

At Alexandria we took the first express-train to the Soudan, which,
however, until it reached Assuan--that is, as long as it was in the hands
of Egyptian conductors and drivers--was express in little more than the
name. At Assuan we entered a Freeland train; and we now went on with a
punctuality and speed elsewhere to be met with only in England or America.
Sleeping, dining, and conversation cars, furnished with every convenience
and luxury, took us rapidly up the Nile, the line crossing the giant stream
twice before we reached Dongola. It was characteristic that no fare was
charged above Assuan. The food and drink consumed in the dining-cars or in
the stations had to be paid for--on the 'Uranus' even the board was given
for nothing--but travelling accommodation is provided gratuitously by the
Freeland commonwealth, on land as well as at sea.

You will allow me to omit all description of land and people in Egypt and
its dependencies. In the last decade, and especially since the completion
of the Freeland Nile line, there has been some change for the better; but
on the whole I found the misery of the fellahs still very severe, and only
different in degree and not in essence from what has been so often
described by travellers in these regions. A picture of a totally different
kind presented itself to the eye when we neared the Albert Nyanza and
reached Freeland territory. I could scarcely trust my senses when, on
awaking on the morning of the fifth day of our railway journey, I looked
out of the car and, instead of the previous scenery, I caught sight of
endless cultivated fields pleasantly variegated by luxuriant gardens and
smiling groves, among which elegant villas, here scattered and there
collected into townships, were conspicuous. As the train stopped soon after
at a station the name of which was a friendly omen for an
Italian--Garibaldi--we saw for the first time some Freelanders in their
peculiar dress, as simple as it is becoming, and, as I at once perceived,
thoroughly suitable to the climate.

This costume is very similar to that of the ancient Greeks; even the
sandals instead of shoes are not wanting, only they are worn not on the
naked foot, but over stockings. The dresses of the Freeland women are, for
the most part, more brightly coloured than those of the men, which latter,
however, do not exhibit the dull and monotonous tints of the dress of men
in the West. In particular, the Freeland youths are fond of bright clear
colours, the younger women preferring white with coloured ornaments. The
impression which the Freelanders made upon me was quite a dazzling one.
Full of vigour and health, they moved about with cheerful grace in the
simile of the trees in the station-garden; they showed such an aristocratic
self-possessed bearing that I thought at first that this was the rendezvous
of the leaders of the best society of the place. This notion was
strengthened when several Freelanders entered the train, and I discovered,
in conversation with them as the train went on, that their culture fully
corresponded to their appearance. Yet these were but ordinary country
people--agriculturists and gardeners, with their wives, sons, and
daughters.

Not less astonishing was the respectability of the negroes scattered among
and freely mingling with the whites. Their dress was still lighter and
airier than that of the whites--mostly cotton garments instead of the
woollen clothes worn by the latter; for the rest, these natives had the
appearance of thoroughly civilised men. From a conversation which I held
with one in the train I found that their culture had reached a high
stage--at any rate, a much higher one than that of the rural population in
most parts of Europe. The black with whom I conversed spoke a fluent,
correct English, had a Freeland newspaper in his hand, and eagerly read it
during the journey; and he showed himself to be well acquainted with the
public affairs not only of his own country, but also of Europe. For
instance, he gave expression to the opinion that our difficulties with
Abyssinia had evidently been occasioned by the Russian government, who
necessarily wished to make it difficult for the Western Powers, and
particularly England, to communicate with India; and he justified this
opinion in a way that revealed as much knowledge as soundness of judgment.

Towards noon, at the station 'Baker,' we reached the Albert lake, just
where the White Nile flows out of it. Here a very agreeable surprise
awaited me. You remember David Ney, that young Freeland sculptor with whom
we trotted about Rome together last autumn, and to whom I in particular
became so much attached because the splendid young fellow charmed me both
by his outward appearance and by the nobility of his disposition. What you
probably did not know is that, after David left Europe at the close of his
art studies in Rome, we corresponded; and he was therefore informed of my
intended visit. My friend had taken the trouble to make the thirty hours'
journey from Eden Vale, where he lives with his parents--his father is, as
you know, a member of the Freeland government--to the Albert Nyanza, had
got as far as 'Baker' station, and the first thing I noticed as we entered
the station was his friendly, smiling face. He brought to my father and me
an invitation from his parents to be their guests while we remained in Eden
Vale. 'If you, your grace,' said he to my father, 'will be content with the
house and entertainment which a citizen of Freeland can offer you, you will
confer a very great favour upon all of us, and particularly upon me, who
would thus have the privilege of undisturbed intercourse with your son. The
splendour and magnificence to which you are accustomed at home you will
certainly miss in our house, which scarcely differs from that of the
simplest worker of our country; but this deprivation would be imposed upon
you everywhere in Freeland; and I can promise that you shall not want for
any real comfort.' To my great satisfaction, after a moment's reflection my
father cordially accepted this invitation.

I will not now enlarge upon what I saw during the day and a half's journey
from the Albert lake to Eden Vale, as I shall have occasion to refer to it
again. Indeed, this my first Freeland letter will swell to far too great a
size if I give you only a superficial report of what first interested me
here--that is, of the daily life of the Freelanders. Our express flew in
mad speed past the cornfields and plantations that clothe the plains of
Unyoro and the highlands of Uganda; then ran for several hours along the
banks of the billowy Victoria Nyanza, through a lovely country of hill and
mountain--the whole like one great garden. Leaving the lake at the Ripon
falls, we turned into the wildly romantic mountain district of Elgon, with
its countless herds and its rich manufacturing towns, skirted the
garden-fringed Lake Baringo, and sped through the Lykipia to the Alpine
scenery of the Kenia. Towards nine in the evening of the sixth day of our
railway journey we at length reached Eden Vale.

It was a splendid moonlit night when we left the station and entered the
town; but brighter than the moon shone the many powerful electric
arc-lamps, so that nothing escaped the curious eye. Even if I wished to do
it now, I could not describe to you in detail the impression made upon me
by this first Freeland town into which I had been. Imagine a fairy garden
covering a space of nearly forty square miles, filled with tens of
thousands of charming, tastily designed small houses and hundreds of
fabulously splendid palaces; add the intoxicating odours of all kinds of
flowers and the singing of innumerable nightingales--the latter were
imported from Europe and Asia in the early years of the settlement and have
multiplied to an incredible extent--and set all this in the framework of a
landscape as grand and as picturesque as any part of the world can show;
and then, if your fancy is vigorous enough, you may form some mild
conception of the delight with which this marvellous city filled me, and
fills me still more and more the longer I know it. The streets and open
places through which we passed were apparently empty; but David assured us
that the shores of the lake were full of life every evening until midnight.
In many of the houses which we passed could be heard sounds of mirth and
gaiety. On broad airy terraces and in the gardens around them sat or
sauntered the inhabitants in larger or smaller groups. The clinking of
glasses, music, silvery laughter, fell upon the ear: in short, everything
indicated that here the evenings were devoted to the most cheerful
sociality.

After a rapid ride of about half an hour, we reached the home of our hosts,
near the centre of the town and not far from the lake. The family Ney
received us in the most cordial manner; nevertheless their dignified
bearing very profoundly impressed even my proud father. The ladies in
particular were so much like princesses in disguise that my father at once
transformed himself into the inimitable gallant Paladin of chivalry you
have known him to be in Rome, London, and Vienna. Father Ney betrayed, at
the first glance, the profound thinker accustomed to serious work, but who
by no means lacked the mien of agreeable self-possession. Judging from the
fact that he had been six-and-twenty years in the service of the Freeland
commonwealth, he must be at least fifty years old, but he looks to be
scarcely forty. The younger of the sons, Emanuel, technician by calling, is
a complete duplicate of David, though a little darker and more robust than
the latter, who, as you know, is no weakling. The mother, Ellen by name, an
American by birth, who--thanks, evidently, to David's reports of
me--received me with a truly motherly welcome, must be, judging from the
age of her children, about forty-five, but her youthful freshness gives her
the appearance rather of a sister than a mother of her children. She is
brilliantly beautiful, but is rendered specially charming by the goodness
and nobility of mind impressed upon her features. She introduced to us
three girls between eighteen and twenty years of age as her daughters, of
whom only one--Bertha--resembled her and her sons. This one, a young copy
of the mother, at once embarrassed me by the indescribable charm of her
presence. She was so little like the others--Leonora and Clementina--that I
could not refrain from remarking upon it to David. 'These two are not
blood-relations to us, but pupil daughters of my mother; what that means I
will tell you by-and-by,' was his answer.

As, despite the comfort of Freeland cars, we were naturally somewhat
exhausted by our six days' railway journey, after a short conversation with
our hosts we begged to be allowed to retire to our rooms. David acted as
our guide. After leaving the spacious garden-terrace upon which we had
hitherto lingered, we passed through a simple but tastefully arranged
drawing-room and a stately dining-hall which communicated, as I noticed,
with a large room used as a library on the right, and with two smaller
rooms on the left. These latter rooms were, David told us, his parents'
workrooms. We then came into a richly decorated vestibule, from which
stairs led above to the bedrooms. Here David took us into two bedrooms with
a common anteroom.

Then followed a short explanation of the many provisions for the comfort of
the users of the rooms. 'Pressure upon this button on the right near the
door-post,' demonstrated David, 'lights the electric chandelier; a touch on
the button near the bedside-table lights the wall-lamp over the bed. Here
the telephone No. 1 is for use within the house and for communication with
the nearest watch-room of the Association for Personal Service. A simple
ringing--thus--means that some one is to come hither from the watch-room.
All these buttons--they are known by their distinctive borders--here and
there about the walls, there by the writing, desk and here by the bed, are
connected with this telephone-bell. Thus, whenever you wish to call a
member of this association, which always has persons on duty, you need not
move either from the arm-chair in which you may be sitting or from the bed
on which you are resting. Every telephone and every signal has its number
in the watch-room as well as on a list in the vestibule we have just left;
in two minutes at the longest after you have rung, a messenger of the
association will have hastened to wait on you.'

'That is a wonderful arrangement,' I remarked, 'which secures for you all
the convenience of having a _valet-de-chambre_ ready to obey every hint of
yours, without being obliged to put up with the trouble which our valets
cost us. But this luxury must be very costly, and therefore not commonly
enjoyed.'

'The cost is very moderate, just because everybody makes use of this public
service,' answered my friend. 'There is one such watch-room with three
watchers for every 600 or 800 houses. The attendance is paid for--or rather
calculated--according to the length of time during which it is required,
and, as is customary with us, the rate of payment is measured by the
average value of an hour's work as shown by the accounts published every
year by our central bank. In the past year, when an hour's work was worth
8s., we had to pay about 5d. for every three minutes--for that is the unit
upon which this association bases its calculation. Those who ring often and
keep the association busy have to pay a larger share at the end of the
year, and those who ring seldom a smaller share. But in all cases the
association must come upon them for its expenses and for the payment of its
nine watching members--for the three watchers change morning, noon, and
evening. Last year the amount required for each watch-room was in round
figures 6,000£; and as, for example, the time-bills of the 720 families of
our radius amounted to not quite two-thirds of that sum, the remaining
2,000£ had to be assessed in proportion to the use made of the service by
each family. Our family makes comparatively little demand upon the service
of this association; we paid, for example, last year 6£ in all--that is, 4£
direct payment for time, and 2£ additional assessment--for we used the
service only 203 times during the whole year.'

'Why,' asked my father, 'is there comparatively less use of the service in
your house than elsewhere?'

'Because our household always contains two or three young women, who make
it their pleasant duty to give to my parents all that personal attendance
which is befitting well-bred cultured women. Those two girls--for a year
they have been assisted by my sister--are young Freelanders such as are to
be found in every Freeland house whose housewife has a special reputation
for intelligence and refined manners; pardon me for classing my mother
among these exceptions. Every young woman of Freeland esteems it a special
honour and a great privilege to be received into such a house for at least
a year, because it is universally acknowledged that nothing refines the
intellect and the manners of developing girls more than the most intimate
intercourse possible with superior women. As a matter of course such young
ladies are regarded and treated exactly as if they were children of the
family; and they render to their adoptive parents the same service as
thoughtful and affectionate daughters. Father and mother can scarcely feel
a wish which is not divined and gratified.'

'Ah, that is exactly our institution of royal maids of honour,' said my
father, smiling.

'Certainly; but I very much doubt whether your royal pair are so
thoroughly, and in particular so tenderly, confided in as my parents always
are by these pupil-daughters of my mother. During the past eighteen
years--which is the age of this institution in Freeland--not less than
twenty-four of these young ladies have passed through our house; and they
all still maintain filial relations with my parents and sisterly ones with
us. Those who are at present with us--Leonora and Clementina--you have
already seen.'

'You said just now,' said my father, 'that your whole household--four
ladies and three gentlemen--during a whole year, called for your
ministering spirits by means of this alarum only two hundred times three
minutes. You mentioned, besides, the service rendered by those charming
young ladies. But who does all that coarser work, which even the spirit of
Aladdin's lamp could scarcely get through in 600 minutes, or ten hours, a
year in such a house as this? It seems to me that you have some ten or
twelve dwelling-rooms. It is true the floor is of marble, but it must be
swept. Everywhere I see heavy carpets--who keeps these clean? In a word,
who does the coarser work in this comfortably furnished house, which one
can see at a glance is kept most carefully in order?'

'The association with whose watch-room I have already made you acquainted.
Only we do not need to ring in order to get our regular requirements
attended to. The household work is done on the basis of a common tariff
without any trouble on our part, and with a punctuality that leaves nothing
to be desired. The association possesses duplicates of the house-keys and
room-keys of all the houses that it serves. Early in the morning, when we
are most of us still asleep, its messengers come noiselessly, take the
clothing that has to be cleaned--or rather that has to be exchanged, for we
Freelanders never wear the same garment on two successive days--from where
they were left the previous evening, put the clean clothes in the proper
place, get ready the baths--for in most Freeland houses every member of the
family has a separate bath which is daily used, unless a bath in the lake
or the river is preferred--clean the outer spaces and some of the rooms,
take away the carpets, and disappear before most of us have had any
knowledge of their presence. And all this is done in a few minutes. It is
almost all done by machinery. Do you see that little apparatus yonder in
the corridor? That is a hydraulic machine brought into action by the
turning of that tap there, which places it in connection with the
high-pressure service from the Kenia cascades. (In other towns, where a
hydraulic pressure of thirty-five atmospheres is not so easily to be had,
electric or atmospheric motors are employed.) Here the steel shaft in the
hollow in the floor covered with that elegant grating, and there near the
ceiling the bronze shaft that might be mistaken for a rod on which to hang
mirrors or pictures--these transmit the motion of the hydraulic machine to
every room in the house, from the cellar to the rooms under the roof. And
there, in that room, are a number of machines whose uses I can scarcely
explain to you unless you see them at work. The three or four messengers of
the association bring a number of other implements with them, and when
these machines are brought into connection with the shafts above or below,
and the tap of the water-motor is opened, the room is swept and washed
while you can turn round, and the heaviest articles set in their places; in
short, everything is put right silently and with magical rapidity, though
human hands could have done it only slowly and with a great deal of
disagreeable noise.

'A little later the workers of the association reappear in order to clean
the rest of the rooms, to lay the carpets in their places, and prepare
everything in the kitchen and the breakfast-room for breakfast. And so
these people come and go several times during the day, as often as is
agreed upon, in order to see that all is right. Everything is done without
being asked for, silently, and with the speed of lightning. Our house
belongs to the larger, and our style of living to the better, in Freeland;
the association has, therefore, more to do in few houses than in ours;
nevertheless, last year, for all these services they charged us for not
more than 180 hours, for which, according to the tariff already mentioned,
we had to pay 72£. I question if any house equal to ours in Europe or
America could be kept in a like good condition for double or treble this
sum. And instead of having to do with troublesome "domestics," we are
served by intelligent, courteous, zealous men of business who are compelled
by competition--for we have six such associations in Eden Vale--to do their
utmost to satisfy the families that employ them. The members of these
associations are "gentlemen" with whom one can very properly sit at the
same table, the table which they have themselves just prepared, and neither
our two "maids of honour" nor my sister would have the slightest objection
to wait upon, among other guests, members of the Association for Personal
Services.

'You will soon become acquainted with the gentlemen of the association, for
the members that have charge of our house will come immediately to obtain
the most exact information as to all your special wishes. You must not grow
impatient if _you_ have to undergo a somewhat circumstantial examination;
it will be for your comfort, and will not be repeated. When you have once
been subjected to the association's questions, which leave out nothing
however trivial, it will never, so long as you are in Freeland, happen to
you to find the wrong garments brought you, or your bath a degree too hot
or too cold, or your bed not properly prepared, or any of those little
items of neglect and carelessness on the absence of which domestic
happiness in no small degree depends.

'That is enough about the Association for Rendering Personal Services. I
can now go on with my explanation of our domestic arrangements. This other
telephone has the same use as the telephone in Europe, with this
difference, that here everyone possesses his own telephone. That screw
there opens the cold-air service, which brings into every room artificially
cooled and slightly ozonised air, should the heat become unpleasant; and as
this sometimes happens even at night--as when in the hot months a nocturnal
storm rises--the screw is placed near the bed.'

I give you all these details because I think they will interest you as
showing how marvellously well these Freelanders have understood how to
substitute their 'iron slaves' for our house slaves. I will merely add that
the Association for Rendering Personal Services satisfied even my father's
very comprehensive demands. He declares that he never found better
attendance at the Bristol Hotel in Paris.

Not to weary you, I will spare you any description of the first and second
breakfast on the next day, and will only make your mouth water by
describing the principal meal, taken about six o'clock in the evening. But
first I must introduce you to two other members of the Ney family with whom
we became acquainted in the course of our second day. These are David's
aunt Clara, his father's sister, and her husband, Professor Noria, both
originals of a very special kind. Aunt Clara, at heart an ardent
Freelander, has a passion for incessantly arguing about the equality which
here prevails, in which 'truly high-toned' sentiments and manners cannot
possibly permanently exist. But woe to anyone who would venture to agree
with her in this. In spite of her sixty years, she is still a resolute
lively woman, with a very respectable remnant of what was once great
beauty. Nineteen years ago she married the professor, first because in him
she found an indefatigable antagonist in her attacks upon Freeland, and
next because he realised in a very high degree her ideal of manly
'distinction.' For Professor Noria is passionately fond of studying
heraldry, has all kinds of chivalrous and courtly ceremonials, from the
days of King Nimrod down to the present, at his fingers' ends, but has
always been too proud to degrade his knowledge by selling it for filthy
lucre. Being an enthusiast in the cause of equality and freedom he came to
Freeland, where for a few hours at morn and eve he works at gardening, and
thereby comfortably supports himself and his wife--children they have none;
but through the day he labours at his great heraldic work, which, if it is
ever finished, is to prove to the world that all the ills it has hitherto
suffered can be explained by the facts expressed in heraldry.

But now for our dinner. David admitted, when I questioned him, that in
honour of us a fifth course was added to the customary four. But the charm
of the meal consisted, not in the number, but in the superiority of the
dishes, and not less in the absence of the attendants, who, not belonging
to the society at table, necessarily are a disturbing element. I may say,
without exaggeration, that I have seldom seen a meal so excellently
prepared, and never one consisting of such choice material. The flesh of
young oxen fattened upon the aromatic pastures of the higher hills and of
the tame antelopes cannot be matched anywhere else; the vegetables throw
the choicest specimens of a Paris Exhibition in the shade; but the special
pride of Freeland is the choiceness and multiplicity of its fruits. And now
for the mysterious mode of serving. A cupboard in the wall of the
dining-room yielded an apparently inexhaustible series of eatables. First
Miss Bertha fetched from this cupboard a tureen, which she had to lift
carefully by its ivory handles, and which when uncovered was found to
contain a delicious soup. Then from another compartment of the same
cupboard was brought a fish as cold as if it had just come from the ice.
Then followed, from yet another compartment, a hot ragout, followed by a
hot joint, with many vegetables and a salad. Next came ices, with pastry,
fruits, cheese. The meal was ended with black coffee made in the presence
of the guests, and choice cigars, both, like the beer and the wine, of
Freeland growth and manufacture. There was no attendance visible during the
meal; the three charming girls fetched everything either out of the
mysterious cupboard or from a side-table.

Mrs. Ney now became the cicerone. 'This wall-cupboard,' she explained, 'is
one-half ice-cellar--that is, it is cooled by cold air passing through it;
the other half is a kind of hearth--that is, it is furnished with an
electrical heating apparatus. Between the two compartments, and divided
from them by non-conducting walls, is a neutral space at the ordinary
temperature. The cupboard has also the peculiarity of opening on two
sides--here into the dining-room, and outside into the corridor. Whilst we
were at table the Food Association brought in quick succession the dishes
which had been ordered, in part quite ready, in part--as, _e.g._, the roast
meat and the vegetables--prepared but not cooked. The food that was ready
was placed in the respective compartments of the cupboard from the
corridor; a member of the association cooked the meat and vegetables in a
kitchen at the back of the house, furnished also with electrical cooking
apparatus. This is not the usual order; when we are alone the cooking is as
a rule done in the cupboard, and attended to by my daughters. It takes but
a little time, and the smell of the cooking is never perceptible, as the
cupboard is both hearth and ice-cellar in one, and therefore possesses the
character of a good ventilator. Washing the dishes, &c., is the business of
the association, as is also attendance at table if it is required.'

Coffee was taken out-of-doors on one of the terraces, where the ladies sang
to the harp and the piano. Meantime Mr. Ney told us the family
relationships of the two pupil-daughters. Leonora is the child of an
agriculturist in Lykipia, Clementina the daughter of one of his heads of
departments. The latter information surprised us. 'Why,' I asked, 'do these
ladies forsake the parental houses, which must be highly respectable ones?'
Mr. Ney explained that it was not a respectable house that the
pupil-daughters sought, but simply the cultured, intellectual housewife.
The husband may be ever so famous and learned, but if the housewife is only
an ordinary character, no pupil-daughters will ever cross the threshold.
The institution was intended to afford girls the benefit of a higher
example, of an ennobling womanly intercourse, and not the splendour of
richer external surroundings; which, it may be remarked, had no application
to the prevailing circumstances in Freeland, as, generally speaking, all
families here live on the same footing. Clementina's mother is a brave
woman with a good heart, but after all only a good practical housekeeper,
'therefore,' said he, with a sparkle in his eye,' she begged my Ellen, who
is reckoned among the noblest women in this country which is so rich in
fine women, to take her Clementina for a couple of years as a favour.'

I must now conclude for to-day, for I am tired; but I have a great deal
more to tell you of my experiences both inside and outside of the house of
the Neys.



CHAPTER XV


Eden Vale: July 18, ----.

To-day I take up again the report of our experiences here, which I began a
week ago. You will readily imagine that my father and I were both full of
curiosity to see the town. Guessing this, Mr. Ney next morning invited us
to join him and his son on a tour round Eden Vale. The carriage was already
waiting! It was a light and elegant vehicle with steel wheels like those of
a velocipede, and with two seats each comfortably accommodating two
persons. As we, in response to David's signal, exhibited some hesitation
and made no effort to get into the vehicle, David perceived that we
missed--the horses! He explained to us that in Freeland, and particularly
in the towns, the use of animals to draw vehicles was for many reasons
given up in favour of mechanical power, which was safer, cleaner, and also
cheaper. This vehicle was a kind of _draisine_, and the driver, whose place
is on the right side of the front seat, has nothing to do but to press
lightly downwards upon a small lever at his right hand, in order to set the
machine in motion, the speed depending upon the strength of the pressure.
The upward motion of the lever slacks the speed or brings the vehicle to a
standstill; while a turning to right or left is effected by a corresponding
rotary motion of the same lever. The motive power is neither steam nor
electricity, but the elasticity of a spiral spring, which is not
inseparably attached to the vehicle, but can be inserted or removed at
will.

'The cylindrical box, a little over half a yard long and about eight inches
deep, here over the front axle,' demonstrated my friend, 'contains the
spiral spring. Before being used the spring is wound up and that very
tightly--an operation which is effected by steam-engines in the workshops
of the Association for Transport, the energy present in the steam being
thus converted into the energy of the tension of the spring. The power thus
laid up in the spring is transferred to the axle by a very simple
mechanism, and is sufficient to make the wheel revolve ten thousand times
even if the vehicle is tolerably heavily loaded; and as the wheel has a
circumference of about six feet and a half, the spring will carry the
vehicle a distance of about twelve miles and a half. The speed depends, on
the one hand, upon the load in the vehicle, and on the other hand upon the
amount of pressure upon the regulating lever. The maximum speed attained by
these ordinary _draisines_, on a good road and with a moderate load, is two
and a half revolutions--that is, about thirteen feet--in the second, or a
little over eleven miles an hour. But we have what are called racing
carriages with which we can attain nearly twice that speed. The force of
the spring is exhausted when the wheel has made ten thousand revolutions,
which in slow travelling occurs in from one and a quarter to one and a half
hours. On longer or more rapid journeys provision must therefore be made
for sufficient reserve force, and this is done in various ways. One can
take with him one or more springs ready wound up, for carrying which
surplus boxes are attached to the back of the vehicle. When the spring is
wound up and the escapement secured, it will retain its energy for years.
But as every spring weighs at least nearly eighty pounds, this mode of
providing reserve power has its limits. Besides, the changing of the
springs is no little trouble. As a rule, a second method is preferred. The
Transport Association has a number of station-houses for other purposes, on
all the more frequented roads. These stations are indicated by flags, and
travellers in the _draisines_ can halt at these and get their springs
changed. Every station always has on hand a number of wound-up springs; and
so travellers can journey about at any time without let or hindrance,
particularly if they are prudent enough to furnish themselves with a
reserve spring for emergencies. Such stations exist not merely in and
around Eden Vale, but in and around all the towns in Freeland as well as on
all the more frequented country roads. And as the different associations
carrying on the same industry all over the country were shrewd enough to
adopt the same measure for all their springs, it is possible to travel
through the whole of Freeland certain of finding everywhere a relay of
springs. But if one would be absolutely sure, he can bespeak the necessary
springs for any specified route through the agency of his own association;
and in this case nothing would prevent him from leaving the highways and
taking the less frequented byways so far as they are not too rough and
steep--a contingency which, in view of the perfect development of the
Freeland system of roads, is not to be feared except among the most remote
mountain-paths. In this way, two years ago, our family went through the
whole of the Aberdare and Baringo districts, travelling a distance of above
a thousand miles, and doing the whole journey most comfortably in a
fortnight.'

At last, with a shake of the head, we consented to get into the automatic
carriage. My father sat in front with Mr. Ney, and David and I behind; a
pressure by Ney upon the lever, and the machine noiselessly moved off
towards the Eden lake. The banks of this lake--except on the north-western
side, where quays for the merchant traffic stretch for more than three
miles--are bordered by a fourfold avenue of palm-trees, and are laid out in
marble steps reaching down to the water, except where occupied by piers
covered with lines of rails. At these piers the passengers are landed from
the steamers which navigate the lake in all directions, but which, in order
not to pollute the balmy air, are provided with perfectly effective
smoke-consuming apparatus. Even the discordant shriek of the steam-whistle
has been superseded in Freeland. For the Eden lake is only incidentally a
seat of traffic; its chief character is that of an enormous piece of water
for pleasure and ornament. A large portion of the shore is taken up by the
luxuriously furnished bathing-establishments which stretch far out into the
lake and are frequented by thousands at all times in the day. These baths
are for the most part surrounded by shady groves, and near them are to be
found the theatres, opera-houses, and concert-halls of Eden Vale, to the
number of sixteen, which we on this occasion saw only on the outside. Our
hosts told us that the lake looked most charming by moonlight or under the
electric light, and that therefore we would visit it in the course of a few
evenings.

We then turned away from the lake, and went to the heights which rose in a
half-crescent form around Eden Vale. Here we perceived at once, even at a
distance of nearly two miles, a gigantic building which must constantly
excite the admiration of even those who are accustomed to it, and which
fairly bewildered us strangers. It is as unparalleled in size as it is
incomparable in the proportions and harmonious perfection of all its parts.
It gives at once the impression of overpowering majesty and of fairy-like
loveliness. This wonderful structure is the National Palace of Freeland,
and was finished five years ago. It is the seat of the twelve supreme
Boards of Administration and the twelve Representative Bodies. It is built
entirely of white and yellow marble, surpasses the Vatican in the area it
covers, and its airy cupolas are higher than the dome of St. Peter's. That
it could be built for 9,500,000£ is explained only by the fact that all the
builders as well as all the best artists of the country pressed to be
employed in some way in its erection. And--so David told me--the motive
that prompted the artists and builders to do this was not patriotism, but
pure enthusiasm for art. Freeland is rich enough to pay any price for its
National Palace, and no one had a thought of lessening the cost of the
building; but the peculiar and impressive beauty of the work as seen in the
design had fascinated all artists. David described the feverish excitement
with which the commissioners appointed to decide upon the designs sent in
announced that a plan had been presented, by a hitherto unknown young
architect, which was beyond description; that a new era had been opened in
architecture, a new style of architecture invented which in nobility of
form rivalled the best Grecian, and in grandeur the most massive Egyptian
monuments. And all who saw the design shared in this enthusiasm. The
competitors--there were not less than eighty-four, for there had already
been a great deal of beautiful building in Eden Vale--without exception
withdrew their designs and paid voluntary homage to the new star that had
risen in the firmament of art.

We were loth to turn away and look at any other buildings. Not until we had
three times been round the National Palace did we consent to leave it. I
will spare you the catalogue of the numberless handsome buildings which we
hurriedly passed by; I will only say that I was quite bewildered by the
number and magnificence of the public buildings devoted to different
scientific and artistic purposes. The academies, museums, laboratories,
institutions for experiment and research, &c., seemed endless; and one
could see at a glance that they were all endowed with extravagant
munificence. I must confine myself to a description of the largest of the
three public libraries of Eden Vale, the interior of which we were invited
to inspect. I was at once struck with the great number of visitors, and
next with the fact that only a part of the magnificent rooms were devoted
exclusively to reading, other rooms being filled with guests who were
enjoying ices or coffee, or with readers of both sexes who were smoking, or
again with people talking and laughing. 'It seems,' said I to Mr. Ney,
'that in Freeland the libraries are also _cafés_ and conversation
_salons_.' He admitted this, and asked if I supposed that the number of
serious readers was affected by this arrangement. As I hesitated to answer,
he told me that at first a considerable party in Freeland saw in this
combination of reading with recreative intercourse a desecration of
science. But all opposition was given up when it was seen that the
possibility of alternating study with cheerful conversation very largely
increased the number of readers. Of course the Association for Providing
Refreshments--for this, and not the library executive, provide the
refreshments--was not allowed to enter a certain number of reading-rooms,
and in certain of the rooms where refreshments and smoking were allowed
talking was forbidden. Thus people visited the library either to study, to
amuse themselves with a book, or to converse with acquaintances, according
to their mood. The magnificent airy rooms, particularly those with large
verandahs communicating with the central pillared court laid out with
flower-beds and shrubs, formed, even in the heat of mid-day, a pleasant
rendezvous; so that in the public life of Eden Vale the libraries played
somewhat the same _rôle_ as the Agora in that of ancient Athens or the
Forum in that of ancient Rome. At times there were as many as 5,000 persons
of both sexes assembled in this building: at least, our host assured us, as
many as that might be found in the two smaller libraries at the northern
and western ends of the city; and anyone who cared to take the trouble to
examine the eighty-two rooms of the building would probably find that quite
one half of those present made a considerable use of the 980,000 volumes
which the institution already possessed.

After we had passed numberless public buildings, the purposes of some of
which I could scarcely understand, as our 'civilised' Europe possesses
nothing like them--I mention, as an example, merely the Institute for
Animal Breeding Experiments, the work of which is, by experiment and
observation, to establish what influence heredity, mode of life, and food
exercise upon the development of the human organism--it occurred to me that
we had not passed a hospital. As I was curious to see how the
world-renowned Freeland benevolence, which for years past had richly
furnished half the hospitals of the world with means, dealt with the sick
poor in its own country, I asked David to take me to at least one hospital.
'I can show you a hospital as little as I can a prison or a barracks, in
Eden Vale, for the very simple reason that we do not possess one in all
Freeland,' was his answer.

'The absence of prisons and barracks I can understand; we knew that you
Freelanders can manage without criminal laws or a military administration;
but--so I thought--sickness must exist here: that has nothing to do with
your social institutions!'

'Your last sentence I cannot unconditionally assent to,' said Mr. Ney,
joining in our conversation. 'Even diseases have decreased under the
influence of our social institutions. It is true they have not
disappeared--we have sick in Freeland--but no poor sick, for we have no
poor at all, either sick or sound. Therefore we do not possess those
reservoirs of the diseased poor which in other countries are called
"hospitals." We certainly have institutions in which sick persons can, at
good prices, procure special and careful treatment, and they are largely
patronised, particularly in cases requiring surgical operations; but they
are private institutions, and they resemble both in their constitution and
their management your most respectable sanatoria for "distinguished
patients."'

I was satisfied with this explanation so far; but now another doubt
suggested itself. Without public hospitals there could be no proper medical
study, I thought; and anatomy in particular could not be studied without
the corpses of the poor for dissecting purposes. But Mr. Ney removed this
doubt by assuring me that the so-called clinical practice of Freeland
medical men was in many respects far superior to that of the West, and even
anatomical studies did not suffer at all. It had become the practice, both
in Eden Vale and in all Freeland university towns, for medical students in
their third year to assist practising physicians, whom, with the permission
of the patients and under pledge of behaving discreetly, they accompanied
in their visits to the sick, of course only in twos, or at most in threes,
if the patient required the assistance of several persons. As all the
physicians approved of this practice, which secured to them very valuable
gratuitous assistance of various kinds, and as the patients also for the
same reason profited much by it, the people rapidly became accustomed to
it. In difficult cases these assistants were a great boon to the sick, to
whom they ministered with indefatigable care, and whose kindness in
allowing them to be present they thus repaid by their skilful attention.
When you reflect that in Freeland only _one_ commodity is dear and scarce,
the labour of man, it can easily be estimated how valuable, as a rule, such
assistance is both to the physician and to the patient. And in this way on
the average the young medical men learn more than is learnt by hospital
practice. They do not see so many sick persons, but those whom they do see
they see and treat more fully and more considerately. As a layman, he--Mr.
Ney--could not perhaps give sufficiently exhaustive proof of the fact, but
he knew that men who had been trained in hospitals admitted that
physicians educated as they were in Freeland became better diagnosticians
than hospital students. As to anatomical studies, he said, in the
first place, that preparations and models afforded--certainly very
expensive--substitutes for many school dissections, and in numerous
instances were to be preferred; and, in the next place, that the scarcity
of subjects for dissection was by no means so extreme in Freeland as I
seemed to think. It was true there were no poor who, against their own will
and that of their friends, could be subjected to the dissecting-knife; but
on this very account there was to be found here no such foolish prejudice
against dissection as was elsewhere entertained by even the so-called
cultured classes. The medical faculty received great numbers of subjects;
and it could scarcely be a detriment to study that the students were
compelled to treat these subjects with more respect, and to restore them in
a short time to their surviving friends for cremation.

David further told me that in Freeland the physician is not paid by the
patient, but is a public official, as is also the apothecary. The study of
medicine is nevertheless as free in the universities here as any other
study, and no one is prevented from practising as a physician because he
may not have undergone an examination or passed through a university. This
is the inevitable consequence of the principles of the commonwealth. On the
other hand, however, the commonwealth exercises the right of entrusting the
care of health and sanitation to certain paid officials, as in every other
kind of public service. These appointments are made, according to the
public needs, by the head of the Education Department, who, like all other
heads of departments, is responsible to his own representative board--or
parliament of experts, as we may call it. It is the practice for the
professors to propose the candidates, who, of course, undergo many severe
examinations before they are proposed. Anyone who fails to get proposed
_may_ practise medicine, but as the public knows that the most skilful are
always chosen with the utmost conscientiousness conceivable, this liberty
to practise is of no value. Anyone who thus fails to get proposed, and has
neither the energy nor the patience to attempt to wipe off his disgrace at
the next opportunity, simply hangs his medical vocation on a nail and turns
to some other occupation. The elected physicians are not allowed to receive
any payment whatever from their patients. At first their salary is
moderate, scarcely more than the average earnings of a worker--that is,
1,800 hour-equivalents per annum; but it is increased gradually, as in the
cases of the other officials, and the higher sanitary officials are taken
from among the physicians. As the payments are controlled by the
departmental parliament, and as this is elected by the persons who in one
way or another are interested in this branch of the government, the best
possible provision is made to prevent the physicians from assuming an
unbecoming attitude towards their patients. No one is obliged to call in
any one particular physician. The physicians live in different parts of
each town, as conveniently distributed as possible; but everyone calls in
the physician he likes best; and as physicians are naturally elected as far
as possible upon the Representative Board for Sanitation--whose sittings,
it may be remarked in passing, are generally very short--the number of
votes which the representatives receive is the best evidence of their
relative popularity. It goes without saying that foreign physicians also,
if they are men of good repute and do not object, have the same right as
the Freeland physicians to submit their qualifications to the proposing
body of professors. It should be added that in the larger towns, besides
the ordinary physicians and surgeons, specialists are also appointed for
certain specific diseases.

We had now been in our carriage for four hours, and were tired of riding,
as was natural, notwithstanding the easy motion and comfort of the vehicle.
The Neys proposed that we should send the carriage home and return on foot,
to which we assented. We left the carriage at one of the stations of the
Transport Association, and walked, under the shady alleys with which every
street in Eden Vale is bordered. We now had leisure to examine more closely
the elegant private houses, which, while they all showed the Eden Vale
style of architecture--half-Moorish half-Grecian in its character--were for
the rest alike neither in size nor in embellishment. The most conspicuous
charm of these villas consists in their wonderfully lovely gardens, with
their choice trees, their surpassingly beautiful flowers, the white marble
statuary, the fountains, and the many tame animals--especially monkeys,
parrots, brightly coloured finches, and all sorts of song-birds--which were
sporting about in them among merrily shouting children. We were astonished
at the extraordinary cleanness of the streets; and the chief reason of this
was said to be that, since the invention of automatic carriages, no draught
animals kicked up dust or dropped filth in the streets of Freeland towns.

'Are there no horses here?' I asked; and I was told that there were a great
number, and of the noblest breed; but they were used only for riding
outside of the town, among the neighbouring meadows, groves, and woods.

'But that must be a very expensive luxury here,' I said. 'The horse itself
and its keep may be cheap enough; but, as human labour is the dearest thing
in Freeland, I cannot understand how any Freeland income can support the
cost of a groom. Or do such servants receive exceptionally low wages here?'

'The last would be scarcely possible among us,' answered Mr. Ney, smiling;
'for who would be willing to act as groom in Freeland? We are obliged to
give those who attend to horses the same average payment as other workers;
and if, for the seven saddle, horses which I keep in the stables of the
Transport Association, I had to pay for servants after the scale of Western
lands, the cost would be more than the whole of my income. But the riddle
is easily solved: the work in the stables is done by means of machinery, so
that on an average one man is enough for every fifty horses. You shake your
heads incredulously! But when you have soon in how few minutes a horse can
be groomed and made to look as bright as a mirror by our enormous
cylindrical brushes set in rotation by mechanism; in how short a time our
scouring-machines and water-service can cleanse the largest stable of dung
and all sorts of filth; and how the fodder is automatically supplied to the
animals, you will not only understand how it is that we can keep horses
cheaply, but you will also perceive that in Freeland even the "stablemen"
are cultured gentlemen, as deserving of respect and as much respected as
everybody else.'

Conversing thus we reached home, where a hearty luncheon was taken, and
some matters of business attended to. After the dinner described in my
last, our hosts and we went again to the lake, and visited first the large
opera-house, where, on that day, the work of a Freeland composer was given.
This piece was not new to us, for it is one of the many Freeland
compositions which have been well received and are often performed in other
countries. But we were astonished at the peculiar--yet common to all
Freeland theatres--arrangement of the auditorium. The seats rise in an
amphitheatre to a considerable height; and the roof rests upon columns,
between which the outer air passes freely. As many as ten thousand persons
can find abundant room in the larger of these theatres, without an
accumulation of vitiated air or any excessive heat.

The performance was excellent, the appointments in every respect brilliant;
yet the price--which was not varied by any difference of rank--was
ridiculously low according to Western notions. A seat cost sixpence--that
is in the large opera-house; the other theatres are considerably cheaper.
The undertakers are in all cases the urban communes, and the performers, as
well as the managers, act as communal officials. The theatres are all
conducted on the economic principle that the cost and maintenance of the
building fall upon the communal budget; and the door-money has to cover
merely the hire of the performers and the stage expenses.

I learnt from David that Eden Vale possessed, besides the grand opera, also
a dramatic opera, and four theatres, as well as three concert-halls, in
which every evening orchestral and chamber music and choruses are to be
heard. But as a Freeland specialty he mentioned five different theatres for
instruction, in which astronomical, archaeological, geological,
palaeontological, physical, historical, geographical, natural history--in
short, all conceivable scientific lectures were delivered, illustrated by
the most comprehensive display of plastic representative art. The lectures
are written by the most talented specialists, delivered by the most
eloquent orators, and placed on the stage by the most skilful engineers and
decorators. This kind of theatre is the most frequented; as a rule, the
existing accommodation is not sufficient, hence the commune is building two
new lecture-houses, which will be opened in the course of a few months. The
grandeur of these presentations--as I learnt for myself the next
evening--is really astounding; and though the young generally compose the
greater part of the audience, adults also attend in large numbers.

When we left the theatre, the Neys engaged one of the gondolas which an
association keeps there in readiness, and which is propelled by a screw
worked by an elastic spring; and we steered out into the lake. The lake
was lit up as brilliantly as if it were day, by elevated electric lights,
with reflectors all round the shore. We had that evening the special
pleasure of hearing a new cantata by Walter, the most renowned composer
of Freeland, performed for the first time by the members of the Eden
Vale Choral Society. This society, which generally chooses the Eden
lake as the scene of its weekly performances, makes use on such occasions
of a number of splendid barges, the cost of whose--often positively
fairylike--appointments is defrayed by the voluntary contributions of its
members and admirers.

Was it the influence of the very peculiar scenery, or was it the beauty of
the composition itself?--certainly the effect which this cantata produced
upon me was overwhelming. On the way home I confessed to David that I had
never before been so struck with what I might call the transcendental power
of music as during the performance on the lake. I seemed to hear the
World-spirit speaking to my soul in those notes; and I seemed to understand
what was said, but not to be able to translate it into ordinary Italian or
English. At the same time I expressed my astonishment that so young a
community as that of Freeland should have produced not merely notable works
in all branches of art, but in two--architecture and music--works equal to
the best examples of all times.

Mrs. Ney was of opinion that this was simply a necessary consequence of the
general tendency of the Freeland spirit. Where the enjoyment of life and
leisure co-exist the arts must flourish, since the latter are merely
products of wealth and noble leisure. And it could be easily explained how
it was that architecture and music were the first of the arts to develop.
Architecture necessarily and at once received a strong stimulus from the
needs of a commonwealth of a novel and comprehensive character; and in the
case of Freeland the influence of the grand yet charming nature of the
country was unmistakable. On the other hand, music is the earliest of all
forms of art--that to which the genius of man first turns itself whenever a
new era of artistic creation is introduced by new modes of feeling and
thinking.

'From the circumstance that your greatest master has to-day given the
public a gratuitous first performance of his new composition, one might
almost conclude that in this country the composers, or at any rate some of
them, are also public officials. Is it so?' asked my father.

Mr. Ney said it was not so, and added that composers, poets, authors, and
creative artists in general, when they produced anything of value, could
with certainty reckon upon making a very good income from the sale of their
works. As all Freeland families spent large sums in purchasing books,
journals, musical compositions, and works of art of all kinds, the
conditions of the art-world could not be correctly measured by Western
standards. The artistic productions sold during the previous year had
realised 300,000,000£. Of this sum, however, the greater part represented
the cost of reproductions, particularly in the case of printed works; yet
the author of an only tolerably popular composition, book, or essay was
sure of a very considerable profit. Editions numbering hundreds of
thousands were here not at all remarkable; and editions of millions were by
no means rare. For instance, Walter had hitherto composed in all six larger
and eighteen smaller works, and for the sale of them the Musical Publishing
Association had, up to the end of the last year, paid him 21,000£. In fact,
it could be positively asserted that an author of any kind, who produced
only one exceptionally good work, could live very comfortably upon the
proceeds of its sale. It had even happened that the public libraries had
bought 50,000 copies of a single book. Freeland possesses 3,050 such
institutions, and the larger of them are sometimes compelled to keep many
hundred copies of books which are much sought after. When the interest of
the reading public diminishes, the libraries withdraw a part of these
copies, and there are yearly large auctions of such withdrawn books,
without, however, diminishing the sales of the publishing associations.
Moreover, the authors of Freeland are continuously and profitably kept busy
by thousands of journals of all conceivable kinds which, so far as they
offer what is of value, have a colossal sale. Capable architects,
sculptors, painters can always reckon upon brilliant successes, for the
demand for good and original plans and beautiful statues and pictures is
always greater than the supply. The _grand_ art, it is true, finds
employment only in public works, but here, as we have seen, it finds it on
a most magnificent and most profitable scale. In Freeland they attach
extraordinary importance to the cultivation of the beautiful and the noble;
they hold the grand art to be one of the most effectual means of ethical
culture; and as the community is rich enough to pay for everything that it
thinks desirable, the public outlay for monumental buildings and their
adornment finds its limits only in the capacities of the creative artists.
And the happy organisation of the departments which have these things in
charge has--hitherto at any rate--preserved the Freelanders from serious
blunders. Not everything that has been produced at the public cost is
worthy of being accepted as perfect--many works of art thus produced have
been thrown into the shade by better ones; but even those subsequently
surpassed creations were at the time of their production the best which the
existing art could produce, and to ask for more would be unjust. And I
could not avoid perceiving that the population of Freeland are not merely
proud of their public expenditure in art, but that they thoroughly enjoy
what they pay for; and in this respect they are comparable to the ancient
Athenians, of whom we are told that, with solitary exceptions, they all had
an intense appreciation of the marvellous productions of their great
masters.

'With such a universal taste for the beautiful among your people,' said my
father to Mrs. Ney, 'I am surprised that so little attention is given to
the adornment of the most beautiful embellishment of Freeland--its queenly
women. Certainly their dress is shapely, and I have nowhere noticed such a
correct taste in the choice of the most becoming forms and colours; but of
actual ornaments one sees none at all. Here and there a gold fastener in
the hair, here and there a gold or silver brooch on the dress--that is all;
precious stones and pearls seem to be avoided by the ladies here. What is
the reason of this?'

'The reason is,' answered Mrs. Ney, 'that the sole motive which makes
ornaments so sought after among other nations is absent from us in
Freeland. Vanity is native here also, among both men and women; but it does
not find any satisfaction in the display of so-called "valuables," things
whose only superiority consists in their being dear. Do you really believe
that it is the _beauty_ of the diamond which leads so many of our pitiable
sisters in other parts of the world to stake happiness and honour in order
to get possession of such glittering little bits of stone? Why does the
woman who has sold herself for a genuine stone thrust aside as unworthy of
notice the imitation stone which in reality she cannot distinguish from the
real one? And do you doubt that the real diamond would itself be degraded
to the rank of a valueless piece of crystal which no "lady of taste" would
ever glance at, if it by any means lost its high price? Ornaments do not
please, therefore, because they are beautiful, but because they are dear.
They flatter vanity not by their brilliancy, but by giving to the owner of
them the consciousness of possessing in these scarcely visible trifles the
extract of so many human lives. "See, here on my neck I wear a talisman for
which hundreds of slaves have had to put forth their best energies for
years, and the power of which could lay even you, who look upon the pretty
trifle with such reverent admiration, as a slave at my feet, obedient to
all my whims! Look at me: I am more than you; I am the heiress who can
squander upon a trifling toy what you vainly crave to appease your hunger."
That is what the diamond-necklace proclaims to all the world; and _that is
why_ its possessor has betrayed and made miserable perhaps both herself and
others, merely to be able to throw it as her own around her neck. For note
well that ornaments adorn only those to whom they belong; it is mean to
wear borrowed ornaments--it is held to be improper; and rightly so, for
borrowed ornaments lie--they are a crown which gives to her who wears it
the semblance of a power which in reality does not belong to her.

The power of which ornaments are the legitimate expression--the power over
the lives and the bodies of others--does not exist in Freeland. Anyone
possessing a diamond worth, for example, 600£, would here have at his
disposal a year's income from one person's labour; but to buy such a
diamond and to wear it because it represented that value would, in view of
our institutions, be to make oneself ridiculous; for he who did it would
simply be investing in that way the profits of _his own labour_. Value for
value must he give to anyone whose labour he would buy for himself with his
stone; and, instead of reverent admiration, he would only excite compassion
for having renounced better pleasures, or for having put forth profitless
efforts, in order to acquire a paltry bit of stone. It would be as if the
owner of the diamond announced to the world: "See, whilst you have been
enjoying yourselves or taking your ease, I have been stinting myself and
toiling in order to gain this toy!" In everybody's eyes he would appear not
the more powerful, but the more foolish: the stone, whose fascination lies
purely in the supposition that its owner belongs to the masters of the
earth who have power over the labour of others, and _therefore_ can amuse
themselves by locking up the product of so much sweating toil in useless
trinkets--the stone can no longer have any attraction for him. He who buys
such a stone in Freeland is like a man who should set his heart upon
possessing a crown which was no longer the symbol of authority.'

'Then you do not admit that ornaments have any real adorning power? You
deny that pearls or diamonds add materially to the charms of a beautiful
person?' asked my father in reply.

'That I do, certainly,' was the answer. 'Not that I dispute their
decorative effect altogether; only I assert that they do not produce the
same and, as a rule, not so good an effect as can be produced by other
means. But, in general, the toy, which has no essential appropriateness to
the human body, does not adorn, but, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred,
rather disfigures, its proud possessor. That in other parts of the world a
lady decked with diamonds pleases you gentlemen better than one decked with
flowers is due to the same cause that makes you--though you may be staunch
Republicans--see more beauty in a queen than in her rivals, though at the
bar of an impartial aesthetics the latter would be judged the more
beautiful. A certain something, a peculiar witchery, surrounds her--the
witchery (excuse the word) of servility; this it is, and not your aesthetic
judgment, which cheats you into believing that the diamond lends a higher
charm than the rose-wreath. Let the rose become the symbol of authority to
be worn only by queens, and you would without any doubt find that roses
were the adornment best fitted to reveal true majesty.'

'But the precious metals'--thus I interposed--'are not so completely
abjured in Freeland as precious stones and pearls. Is there no
inconsistency here?'

'I think not,' answered Mrs. Ney. 'We make use of any material in
proportion to its beauty and suitability. If we find gems or pearls really
useful for decorative purposes, and sufficiently beautiful when thus used
to compensate in their aesthetic attractiveness for their cost, we make use
of them without hesitation. But that does not apply to jewels as personal
ornaments: the natural rose is, under all circumstances, a better adornment
than its imitation in rubies and diamonds. The precious metals, on the
other hand, have certain properties--durability, lustre, and extraordinary
malleability--which in many cases make it imperative to employ them for
decorative purposes. Nevertheless, even their employment is very limited
among us. These studs here, and the fillet in my daughter's hair, are not
of pure gold, but are made of an alloy the principal ingredient in which is
steel, and which owes its colour and immunity from rust to gold, without
being as costly as silver. No one wishes to pass off such steel-gold for
real gold; we use this material simply because we think it beautiful and
suitable, and would at once exchange it for another which was cheaper and
yet possessed the same properties. We use pure gold only exceptionally. Our
table-plate, which you perhaps thought to be silver, is made of an alloy
which owes to silver nothing but its resistance to most of the acids. If
you examine the plate more closely you will see that this silver-alloy
differs from pure silver both in being of a lighter colour and in being
less weighty. In short, we use the noble metals never _because_ of, but now
and then _in spite of_, their costliness.

'I might say that we women of Freeland are vain, because our desire to
please is more pronounced than that of our Western sisters. We are not
content with being beautiful; we wish to appear beautiful, and the men do
all they can to stimulate us in this endeavour; only I must ask you to make
this distinction--we do not wish to make a show, but to please. Therefore
to a Freeland woman dress and adornment are never ends in themselves, but
means to an end. In Europe a lady of fashion often disfigures herself in
the cruellest manner because she cares less about the effect produced by
her person than about that produced by her clothes, her adornment; she does
not choose the dress that best brings out her personal charms, but the most
costly which her means will allow her to buy. We act differently. Our own
aesthetic taste preserves us from the folly of allowing a dressmaker to
induce us to wear garments different from those which we think or know will
best bring out the good points of our figure. Besides, we can always avail
ourselves of the advice of artistically cultured men. No painter of renown
would disdain to instruct young women how to choose their toilette; in
fact, special courses of lectures are given upon this important subject.
Naturally there cannot be any uniform fashion among us, since the
composition, the draping, and the colours of the clothing are made to
harmonise with the individuality of the wearer. To dress the slender and
the stout, the tall and the short, the blonde and the brunette, the
imposing and the _petite_, according to the same model would be regarded
here as the height of bad taste. A Freeland woman who wishes to please
would think it quite as ridiculous if anyone advised her to change a mode
of dressing or of wearing her hair which she had proved to be becoming to
her, merely because she had been seen too often dressed in this style. We
cannot imagine that, in order to please, it is best to disfigure oneself in
as many ways as possible; but we hold firmly to the belief--and in this we
are supported by the men--that the human form should be covered and veiled
by clothing, but not distorted and disfigured.'

We gallantly declared that we thoroughly agreed with these principles of
the toilette. The truth is, that a stranger in Freeland, accustomed to the
eccentricities of Western fashions, at first thinks the artistically
designed costumes of the women a little too simple, but he ultimately comes
to find a return to the Western caricatures simply intolerable. You will
remember that in Rome David assured us that European fashions gave him
exactly the same impression as those of the African savages. After being
here scarcely a week, I begin to entertain the same opinion.

But I see that I must conclude without having exhausted my matter.
Promising to give next time what I have omitted here,

Thine,

----.



CHAPTER XVI


Eden Vale: July 28, ----

I could not keep my promise to write again soon, because last week was
taken up with a number of excursions which I made with David on horseback,
or by means of automatic _draisines_, into the environs of Eden Vale and to
the neighbouring town of Dana, and by rail to the shores of the Victoria
Nyanza. In this way I have got to know quite a number of Freeland towns, as
well as several scattered industrial and agricultural colonies. I have seen
the charming places embosomed in shady woods in the Aberdare range, where
extensive metallurgical industries are carried on; Naivasha city, the
emporium of the leather industry and the export trade in meat, and whose
rows of villas reach round the Naivasha lake, stretching a total distance
of some forty miles; the settlements among the hills to the north of the
Baringo lake, with their numerous troops of noble horses, herds of cattle
and swine, flocks of sheep, multitudes of tame elephants, buffaloes, and
zebras, their gold and silver mines; and Ripon, the centre of the mill
industry and of the Victoria Nyanza trade. In all the towns I found the
arrangements essentially the same as in Eden Vale: electric railways in the
principal streets, electric lighting and heating, public libraries,
theatres, &c. But what surprised me most was that even the rural
settlements, with very few exceptions, were not behind the towns in the
matter of comforts and conveniences. Electric railways placed them in
connection with the main lines. Wherever five or six villas--for the villa
style prevails universally in Freeland--stand together, they have electric
lighting and heating; even the remotest mountain-valleys are not without
the telegraph and the telephone; and no house is without its bath. Wherever
a few hundred houses are not too widely scattered a theatre is built for
them, in which plays, concerts, and lectures are given in turn. There is
everywhere a superfluity of schools; and if a settler has built his house
too far from any neighbours for his children to be able to attend a school
near home, the children are sent to the house of a friend, for in Freeland
nothing is allowed to stand in the way of the education of the young.

Of course I have not neglected the opportunity of observing the people of
Freeland at their work, both in the field and in the factory. And it was
here that I first discovered the greatness of Freeland. What I saw
everywhere was on an overpoweringly enormous scale. The people of the
Western nations can form as faint a notion of the magnitude of the
mechanical contrivances, of the incalculable motive force which the powers
of nature are here compelled to place at the disposal of man, as they can
of the refined, I might almost say aristocratic, comfort which is
everywhere associated with labour. No dirty, exhausting manual toil; the
most ingenious apparatus performs for the human worker everything that is
really unpleasant; man has for the most part merely to superintend his
never-wearying iron slaves. Nor do these busy servants pain the ears of
their masters by their clatter, rattle, and rumbling. I moved among the
pounding-mills of Lykipia, which prepare the mineral manure for the local
Manure Association by grinding it between stone-crushers with a force of
thousands of hundredweights, and there was no unpleasantly loud sound to be
heard, and not an atom of dust to be seen. I went through iron-works in
which steel hammers, falling with a force of 3,000 tons, were in use. The
same quiet prevailed in the well-lit cheerful factory; no soiling of the
hands or faces of the workers disturbed the impression that one here had to
do with gentlemen who were present merely to superintend the smithy-work of
the elements. In the fields I saw ploughing and sowing: again the same
appearance of the lord of the creation who, by the pressure of a finger,
directed at will the giants Steam and Electricity, and made them go whither
and on what errand he thought fit. I was _under_ the ground, in the
coal-pits and the iron-mines, and there I did not find it different: no
dirt, no exhaustive toil for the man who looked on in gentlemanly calm
whilst his obedient creatures of steel and iron wrought for him without
weariness and without murmuring, asking of him nothing but that he should
guide them.

During these same excursions I learnt more about a number of the
recreations in which the Freelanders specially indulge. With David I
visited the numerous points on the Kenia and the Aberdare mountains from
which one obtains the most charming views. To these points every Sunday the
young people resort for singing and dancing, and as a rule they are treated
to some surprise which the Recreation Committee--a standing institution in
every Freeland town--has organised in celebration of some event or other.
To me the most surprising was the Ice-Festival on the great skating-pool on
the Kenia glacier. Five years before, the united Recreation Committees of
Eden Vale, Dana City, and Upper Lykipia had converted a plateau nearly
14,000 feet above the sea, and covering 5,900 acres, into a pool fed by
water from the adjoining large icefield. From the end of May until the
middle of August there are always at this elevation severe night frosts,
which quickly convert the glacier-water of the pool, already near the
freezing-point, into a solid floor of ice. After surrounding this
magnificent skating-place with luxurious warmable waiting, dressing, and
refreshment rooms, and connecting it with the foot of the mountain by means
of an inclined railway, the united committees handed over their work to the
public for gratuitous use. The large expense of construction was easily
defrayed by voluntary contributions, and the cost of maintenance was more
than covered by the donations of the numerous visitors. During the whole of
the cool season the large ice-pool is covered by skaters, very many of whom
are women, not merely from the Kenia district--that is, from a radius of
sixty or seventy miles--but also from all parts of Freeland. Even from the
shores of the Indian Ocean and of the great lakes men and women who are
fond of this healthy amusement come to participate in the brilliant
ice-festivals. There is at present a project on foot to build at the
skating-place a magnificent hotel, which shall enable the lovers of this
graceful and invigorating exercise to spend the night at an elevation of
nearly 14,000 feet above the sea. Moreover, the great popularity of the
Kenia ice-pool has given occasion to another similar undertaking, which is
nearly completed on the Kilimanjaro, at a level 1,640 feet higher than the
ice-pool of the Kenia. Another projected ice-pool on the Mountains of the
Moon, near the Albert Nyanza, has not yet been begun, as the local
committee have not yet found a site sufficiently high and large.

But all these arrangements for recreation did not excite my admiration and
astonishment so much as the buoyant and--in the best sense of the
word--childlike delight and gladness with which the Freelanders enjoyed not
merely their pleasures, but their whole life. One gets the impression
everywhere that care is unknown in this country. That ingenuous
cheerfulness, which among us in Europe is the enviable privilege of the
early years of youth, here sits upon every brow and beams from every eye.
Go through any other civilised country you please, you will seldom, I might
say never, find an adult upon whose countenance untroubled happiness,
buoyant enjoyment of life, are to be read; with a careful, most often with
an anxious, expression of face men hurry or steal past us, and if there is
anywhere to be seen a gaiety that is real and not counterfeited it is
almost always the gaiety of recklessness. With us it is only the 'poor in
spirit' who are happy; reflection seems to be given us only that we may
ponder upon the want and worry of life. Here for the first time do I find
men's faces which bear the stamp of both conscious reflection and
untroubled happiness. And this spectacle of universal happy contentedness
is to me more exhilarating than all else that there is to be seen here. One
breathes more freely and more vigorously; it is as if I had for the first
time escaped from the oppressive atmosphere of a stifling prison into the
freedom of nature where the air was pure and balmy. 'Whence do you get all
this reflected splendour of sunny joyousness?' I asked David.

'It is the natural result of the serene absence of care which we all
enjoy,' was his answer. 'For it is not a mere appearance, it is a reality,
that care is unknown in this country, at least that most hideous, most
degrading of all care--how to get daily bread. It is not because we are
richer, not even because we are all well-off, but because we--that is,
every individual among us--possess the absolute certainty of continuing to
be well-off. Here one _cannot_ become poor, for everyone has an inalienable
right to his share of the incalculable wealth of the community. To-morrow
lies serene and smiling before us; it cannot bring us evil, for the
well-being of even the last among us is guaranteed and secured by a power
as strong and permanent as the continuance of our race upon this
planet--the power of human progress. In this respect we are really like
children, whom the shelter and protection of the parental house save from
every material care.'

'And are you not afraid,' I interposed, 'that this absence of care will
eventually put an end to that upon which you rely--that is, to progress?
Hitherto at least want and care have been the strongest incentives to human
activity; if these incentives are weakened, if the torturing anxiety about
to-morrow ceases, then will progress be slackened, stagnation and then
degeneration will follow, and together with the consequent inevitable
impoverishment want and care will come again. I must admit that none of
this has so far shown itself among you; but this does not remove my fears.
For at present you in Freeland are enjoying the fruits of the progress of
others. What has been thought out and invented under the pressure of the
want and sorrow of unnumbered centuries, what is still being thought out
and invented under the pressure of the want and sorrow of untold millions
outside the boundaries of your own country--it is all this which makes your
present happiness possible. But how will it be when what you are striving
after has happened, when the whole human race shall have been converted to
your principles? Do you believe that want can completely disappear from off
the face of the earth without taking progress with it?'

'We not only believe that,' was his answer, 'but we know it; and everyone
who does not allow obsolete prejudices to distort his judgment of facts
must agree with us. To struggle for existence is the inexorable command,
upon the observance of which nature has made progress--nay, the very being
of every living thing--to depend: this we understand better than any other
people in the world. But that this struggle must necessarily be prompted by
hunger we deny; and we deny also that it is necessarily a struggle between
individuals of the same species. Even we have to struggle for existence;
for what we require does not fall into our lap without effort and labour.
Yet not _opposed_ but _side by side_ do we stand in our struggle; and it is
on this very account that the result is never doubtful to us. When we are
referred to the conflict to be found everywhere in the animal world, we can
appeal to the fact that man possesses other means of struggling than do his
fellow-creatures which stand on a lower level, and can work out his
evolution in a different manner. But to plead this would be to resort to a
poor and unnecessary subterfuge, for in reality the reverse is the case.
Want and material care are--with very rare exceptions--no natural
stimulants to fight in the competitive struggle for existence. By far the
larger number of animals never suffer lack, never feel any anxiety whatever
about the morrow; and yet from the beginning all things have been subjected
to the great and universal law of progress. Very rarely in the animal world
is there the struggle of antagonism between members of the same species;
the individuals live together in peace and generally without antagonism,
and it is against foes belonging to other species that their weapons are
directed. It is against lions and panthers that the gazelle fights for
existence by its vigilance and speed, not against its own fellows; lions
and panthers employ their cunning and strength against the gazelle and the
buffalo, and not against other lions and panthers. Conflict among ourselves
and against members of our own species was and is the privilege of the
human race. But this sad privilege has sprung from a necessity of
civilisation. In order to develop into what we have become we have been
obliged to demand from nature more than she is in a position voluntarily to
offer us; and for many thousands of years there has been no way of
obtaining it but that of satisfying our higher needs by a system of mutual
plunder and oppression. And in this way want became a stimulus to conflict
in the human struggle for existence. Note, therefore, that the fighting of
man against man, with material care as the sharpest spur to the conflict,
was not and is not the simple transference to human society of a law
everywhere prevalent in nature, but an exceptional distortion of this great
natural law under the influence of a certain phase of human development. We
suffered want not because nature compelled us to do so, but because we
robbed each other; and we robbed each other because with civilisation there
arose a disproportion between our requirements and our natural means of
satisfying them. But now that civilisation has attained to control over the
forces of nature, this disproportion is removed; in order to enjoy plenty
and leisure we no longer need to exploit each other. Thus, to put an end to
the conflict of man with man, and at the same time of material want, is not
to depart from the natural form of the struggle for existence, but in
reality to return to it. The struggle is not ended, but simply the
unnatural form of it. In its endeavour to raise itself above the level of
the merely animal nature, humanity was betrayed into a long-enduring strife
with nature herself; and this strife was the source of all the unspeakable
torture and suffering, crime and cruelty, the unbroken catalogue of which
makes up the history of mankind from the first dawn of civilisation until
now. But this dreadful strife is now ended by a most glorious victory; we
have become what we have endeavoured for thousands of years to become, a
race able to win from nature plenty and leisure for all its members; and by
this very re-acquired harmony between our needs and the means of satisfying
them have we brought ourselves again into unison with nature. We remain
subject to nature's unalterable law of the struggle for existence; but
henceforth we shall engage in this conflict in the same manner as all other
creatures of nature--our struggle will be an external, not an internal one,
not against our fellow-men nor prompted by the sting of material want.'

'But,' I asked, 'what will prompt men to struggle in the cause of progress
when want has lost its sting?'

'Singular question! You show very plainly how difficult it is to understand
things which contradict the views we have drunk in with our mother's milk,
and which we have been accustomed to regard as the foundation-stones of
order and civilisation, even when those views most manifestly contradict
the most conspicuous facts. As if want had ever been the sole, or even the
principal, spring of human progress! The strife with nature, in which the
disproportion between the needs of civilisation and the ability to satisfy
those needs led mankind through a long period of transition from barbarism
to a state of culture worthy of human nature, had, it is true this
result--viz. that the struggle for existence assumed not only its natural
forms, but also forms which were unnatural, and which did violence to the
real and essential character of most of nature's offspring; yet these
latter forms never attained to absolute dominion. In fact, as a rule nature
has shown herself stronger than the human institutions which were in
conflict with her. During the whole of the history of civilisation we owe
the best achievements of the human intellect not to want, but to those
other impulses which are peculiar to our race, and which will remain so as
long as that race dominates the earth. Thrice blind is he who will not see
this! The great thinkers, inventors, and discoverers of all ages and all
nations have not been spurred on by hunger; and in the majority of cases it
may be asserted that they thought and speculated, investigated and
discovered, not _because_ they were hungry, but _in spite_ of it. Yet--so
it may be objected--those men were the elect of our race; the great mass of
ordinary men can be spurred on only by vulgar prosaic hunger to make the
best use of what the elect have discovered and invented. But those who
judge thus are guilty of a most remarkable act of oversight. Only those who
are strongly prejudiced can fail to see that it is just the well-to-do, the
non-hungry, who most zealously press forward. Hunger is certainly a
stimulus to labour, but an unnerving and pernicious one; and those who
would point triumphantly to the wretches who can be spurred on to activity
only by the bitterest need, and sink into apathy again as soon as the pangs
of hunger are stilled, forget that it is this very wretchedness which is
the cause of this demoralisation. The civilised man who has once acquired
higher tastes will the more zealously strive to gratify those tastes the
less his mental and physical energy has been weakened by degrading want,
and the less doubtful the result of his effort is. For all unprejudiced
persons must recognise the most effective stimulus to activity not in
hopeless want, but in rational self-interest cheerfully striving after a
sure aim. Now, _our_ social order, far from blunting this self-interest,
has in reality for the first time given it full scope. You may therefore be
perfectly certain of this: the superiority over other nations in
inventiveness and intellectual energy which you have already noted among us
is no accidental result of any transitory influences, but the necessary
consequence of our institutions. Every nation that adopts these
institutions will have a similar experience. Just as little as we need the
stimulus of the pangs of want to call forth those inventions and
improvements which increase the amount and the variety of our material and
intellectual enjoyments, so little will progress he checked in any other
nation which, like us, finds itself in the happy position of enjoying the
fruits of progress.'

I was deeply moved as my friend thus spoke like an inspired seer. 'When I
look at the matter closely,' I said, 'it seems as if, according to the
contrary conception, there can be progress only where it is to all intents
and purposes useless. For the fundamental difference between you
Freelanders and ourselves lies here--that you enjoy the fruits of progress,
while we merely busy ourselves with the Danaidean vessel of
over-production. No one doubts that Stuart Mill was right when he
complained that all our discoveries and inventions had not been able to
alleviate the sorrow and want of a single working-man; nevertheless, what
terrible folly it would be to believe that that very want was necessary in
order that further discoveries and inventions might be made!

'But,' I continued, 'to return to the point at which we started: you have
not yet fully explained to me all the astonishing, heart-quickening
cheerfulness which prevails everywhere in this land of the happy. Want and
material care are here unknown: admitted. But there are outside of Freeland
hundreds of thousands, nay millions, who are free from oppressive care: why
do they not feel real cheerfulness? Compare, for instance, our respective
fathers. Mine is unquestionably the richer of the two, and yet what deep
furrows care has engraved upon his forehead, what traces of painful
reflection there are about his mouth; but what a gladsome light of eternal
youth shines from every feature of your father! I might almost imagine that
the air which one breathes in this country has a great deal to do with
this; for the folds and wrinkles in my father's features of which I have
just spoken have in the fortnight of our stay here grown noticeably less,
and I myself feel brighter and happier than ever I felt before.'

'You have forgotten the most important thing,' replied David--'the
influence of public feeling upon the feelings of the individual. Man is a
social being whose thoughts and feelings are derived only in part from his
own head and his own heart, whilst a not less important part of them--I
might say the fundamental tone which gives colour and character to the
individual's intellectual and emotional life--has its source in the social
surroundings for the time being. Everyone stands in a not merely external,
but also an internal, indissoluble relation of contact with those who are
around him; he imagines that he thinks and feels and acts as his own
individuality prompts, but he thinks, feels, and acts for the most part in
obedience to an external influence from which he cannot escape--the
influence of the spirit of the age which embraces all heads, all hearts,
and all actions. Had the enlightened humane freethinker of to-day been born
three centuries ago, he would have persecuted those who differed from him
upon the most subtile, and, as he now thinks, ridiculous points of belief,
with the same savage hatred as did all others who were then living. And had
he seen the light yet a few centuries earlier--say, among the pagan Saxons
of the days of Charlemagne--human sacrifices would have shocked him as
little as they did the other worshippers of the goddess Hertha. And the man
who, brought up as a pagan Saxon in the forests of the Weser and the Elbe,
would have held it honourable and praiseworthy to make the altar-stone of
Hertha smoke with the blood of slaughtered captives, would in that same age
have felt invincible horror at such a deed, had he--with exactly the same
personal capabilities--by accident been born in imperial Byzantium instead
of among German barbarians. At Byzantium, on the other hand, he would have
indulged in lying and deceit without scruple, whilst, if surrounded by the
haughty German heroes, he--in other respects the same man from head to
foot--would have been altogether incapable of such weak vices. Since this
is so--since the virtues and vices, the thoughts and the feelings, of those
of our contemporaries among whom we are born and brought up give the
fundamental tone to our own character, it is simply impossible that the
members of a community, maddened by a ceaseless fear of hunger, should pass
their lives in undisturbed serenity. Where an immense majority of the
people never know what the morrow may bring forth--whether it may bring a
continuance of miserable existence or absolute starvation--under the
dominion of a social order which makes one's success in the struggle for
existence depend upon being able to snatch the bread out of the mouth of a
competitor, who in his turn is coveting the bread we have, and is striving
with feverish anxiety to rob us of it--in a society where everyone is
everyone's foe, it is the height of folly to talk of a real gladsome
enjoyment of life. No individual wealth protects a man from the sorrow that
is crushing the community. The man who is a hundredfold a millionaire, and
who cannot himself consume the hundredth part of the interest of his
interest, even he cannot escape the sharp grip of the horrid hunger-spectre
any more than the most wretched of the wretched who wanders, roofless and
cold and hungry, through the streets of your great cities. The difference
between the two lies not in the brain and in the heart, but simply in the
stomach; the second simply endures physical suffering over and above the
psychical and intellectual suffering of the first. But the psychical and
mental suffering is permanent, and therefore more productive of results.
Look at him, your Croesus plagued with a mad hunger-fever; how breathlessly
he rushes after still greater and greater gains; how he sacrifices the
happiness and honour, the enjoyment and peace, of himself and of those who
belong to him to the god from whom he looks to obtain help in the universal
need--the god Mammon. He does not possess his wealth, he is possessed by
it. He heaps estate upon estate, imagining that upon the giddy summit of
untold millions he shall obtain security from the sea of misery which rages
horridly around him. Nay, so blinded is the fool that he does not perceive
how it is merely this ocean of universal misery that fills him with horror;
but he rather cherishes the sad delusion that his dread will become less if
but the abyss below be deeper and farther removed from his giddy seat
above. And let it not be supposed that by this superstitious dread of
hunger merely the foolishness of individuals is referred to. The whole age
is possessed by it, and the best natures most completely so. For the more
sensitive are the head and the heart, the more potent is the influence
exerted by the common consciousness of universal want in contrast with
transitory individual comfort. Only absolutely cold-hearted egoists or
perfect idiots form here and there an exception; they alone are able really
to enjoy their wealth undisturbed by the hunger-spectre which is strangling
millions of their brethren.

'This, Carlo, is what imprints upon the faces of all of you such
Hippocratic marks of suffering. You can never give yourselves up to the
unrestrained enjoyment of life so long as you breathe an atmosphere of
misery, sorrow, and dread. And it is this community of feeling, which
connects every man with his surroundings, that enables you here, only just
arrived among a society to which this misery, this sorrow, this dread, are
totally unknown, to enjoy that cheerful serenity of thought and emotion
which is the innate characteristic of every healthy child of nature. And
we, who have lived for a generation in the midst of this community from
which both misery and the fear of misery are absent--we have almost
completely got rid of that gloomy conception of human destiny of which we
were the victims so long as the Old World was about us with its
self-imposed martyrdom. I use the limiting expression "almost" with
reference to those among us who had reached adult manhood before they came
to Freeland. We younger ones, who were born and have grown up here without
having ever seen misery, differ in this respect very considerably from our
elders who in their youth saw the Medusa-head of servility face to face. It
is five-and-twenty years since my father and mother, who were both among
the first arrivals at the Kenia, escaped from the mephitic atmosphere of
human misery, the degradation of man by man. But the recollection of the
horrors among which they formerly lived, and which they shared without
being able to prevent, will never quite fade out of their minds, and their
hearts can never be fully possessed by that godlike calm and cheerful
serenity which is the natural heritage of their children, whose hands have
never been stained by the sweat and blood of enslaved fellow-men, and who
have never had to appropriate for their own enjoyment the fruit of the
labour of others--have never stood before the cruel alternative of being
either the hammer or the anvil in the struggle for existence.'

You know me well enough to imagine what an overpowering impression these
words would make upon me. But I recalled by accident at this very moment a
conversation I had had with the elder Ney about savings and insurance in
Freeland, and it occurred to me that these were both things that did not
harmonise with the absence of care of which his son had just been speaking.
So I asked David, 'Why do men save in a country in which everyone can
reckon with certainty upon a constantly increasing return for his industry,
and in which even those who are incapable of work are protected not merely
against material want, but even against the lack of higher enjoyments? Does
not this thrift prove that anxiety for the morrow is not after all quite
unknown here?'

'Almost all men save in Freeland,' answered David; 'nay, I can with
certainty say that saving is more general here than in any other country.
The object of this saving is to provide for the future out of the
superfluity of the present; and certainly it follows from this that a
certain kind of care for the morrow is very well known among us also. The
distinction between our saving and the anxious thrift of other peoples lies
merely here, that our saving is intended net to guard us against want, but
simply against the danger of a future diminution of the standard of our
accustomed enjoyments; and that we pursue this aim in our saving with the
same calm certainty as we do our aim in working. A contradiction between
this and what was said just now is found only when you overlook the
equivocal meaning of the _word_ "care." We know no "care" so far as a
_fear_ concerning the morrow is implied by the word; but our whole public
and private life is pervaded by _foresight_, in the sense of making
precautionary arrangements to-day in order that the needs of to-morrow may
be met. Fear and uneasiness about the future, the _atra cura_ of the
Latins, you will look for among us in vain. It is this care which poisons
the pleasure of the present; whilst that other, which can only improperly
be called care, but the real name of which is foresight, by means of the
perfect sense of security which it creates concerning the morrow enhances
the delight of present enjoyment by the foretaste to-day of future
enjoyments already provided for. Herein lies the guarantee of the success
of our institutions, that, while solidarity is secured between the interest
of the individual and the interest of the community, the individual
possesses, together with liberty of action, a part of the responsibility of
his action. Only a part, because the action of the individual is not
altogether without limitations. Everyone in Freeland is hedged in by the
equal rights of all the others, even more and more effectually than
elsewhere. Consequently, everyone's responsibility finds its limitations
just where the responsibility of all can be substituted for his own. And
the guarding against actual deprivation on the part of anyone is one of the
obligations of the whole community, which thereby and at the same time
protects itself. Just as among you, a noble family, acting in its own
well-understood interest, would not allow any of its members to fall into
sordid misery, so long as it could in any way prevent it, so we, who act
upon the principle that all men are brothers of the _one_ noble race
destined to exercise control over the rest of nature, do not allow anyone
who bears our family features to suffer want so far as our means allow us
to save him from it. An existence altogether worthy of man, participation
in all that the highest culture makes _necessary_--this we guarantee to all
who live in our midst, even when they have left off working. But absolute
necessaries do not include the whole of the good things attainable at any
given time; whence it follows that the transition from labour to the ever
so well-earned leisure of age would be connected with the deprivation of a
number of highly prized customary enjoyments, if the copious proceeds of
former labour were not in part laid by for use in this time of leisure.
Take, for example, my father: if he pleased to spend now the 1,440£ which
he receives as one of the Freeland executive, together with the 90£ which
my mother's claim for maintenance amounts to, he could not, after his
retirement from office, with the fifty-five per cent. of the
maintenance-unit to which he and my mother together would be entitled--that
is, with 330£--carry on his household without retrenchments which, though
they might deprive him only of superfluities, would nevertheless be keenly
felt, because they would involve the giving up of what he has accustomed
himself to. It is true that a considerable number of his present expenses
consists of items which in part would cease in the course of time, in
part--_e.g._, his contributions to benevolent objects in other parts of the
world--could not be expected from persons who are receiving a maintenance
from the commonwealth, and in part would no longer accord with the tastes
and capacities of aged persons. But in spite of all this, my parents would
have to forego many things to which they are accustomed; and to avoid this
is the purpose of their saving.

'In order that this end may be attained, we have an altogether peculiar
form of insurance. The insurance department of our central bank supplies
the stipulated insurance-money not in fixed amounts, but in sums bearing a
certain proportion to the common maintenance-allowance, or--which amounts
to the same thing--to the average value of labour for the time being. As
the aim of the insured is to be completely saved from anxiety as to the
future, there must, in view of the continual increase in the profits of
labour, be maintained an exact correspondence between those profits and the
amount of insurance. For the requirements of the individual are regulated
by the standard of life around him, and when this is raised so are his
requirements raised. The annuity secured by the insurance must therefore be
variable, if its object is to be completely attained. Consequently, the
premiums are regulated by the height of the profits of labour for the time
being. Certainly the inevitable arbitrariness of the connection between the
premium and the claim of the insured is thereby magnified; but we do not
allow that to trouble us. Our experts have taken into consideration, with
the most scrupulous attempt at accuracy, all the appertaining factors, and
the premiums--the rates of which have, since the institution has been in
existence, been slightly amended to bring them into harmony with the
teaching of experience--were so fixed as to make it probable that they
would suffice to cover all current demands. If, however, contrary to our
expectation, we should find that we erred on one side or the other, we
should not look upon this as a great misfortune. The satisfaction of having
secured to ourselves means sufficient to meet our requirements at all times
will not appear to us to have been too dearly bought even if it prove that
we have paid a few shillings or pounds more than was necessary; and, on the
other hand, if the premiums should prove to have been too small, the
deficiency will be at once made up out of the resources of the
commonwealth.

'Perhaps you will ask what right we have in this way to burden future
generations to the profit of their ancestors? The same right that we have
continually to project into the future the claims upon the
maintenance-allowance. As you know, these are entirely discharged out of
the current public revenue, no reserve being accumulated for this purpose,
the principle acted upon being that the workers of the present have to
support the invalids of the past. Our parents when incapable of working are
maintained out of the proceeds of our labour; and when we in our turn
become incapable of working, it will be the duty of our children to support
us out of the proceeds of their labour. It is no favour which we show to
our parents and expect from our children, but a right--a right based upon
the fact that each successive generation enjoys not merely the fruits of
its own labour, but also the fruits of the labour of its predecessors.
Without the treasures of knowledge and inventiveness, of wealth and
capital, which we accumulate and bequeath, our posterity would be very
poorly provided for. And if the next generation should find itself called
upon to make up any deficit in favour of those of their parents who--it is
immaterial on what ground--held an extraordinary increase in their
maintenance-allowance to be necessary, we should not find any injustice in
that, because the payments of the insured at once found employment in such
a way as to benefit not merely the present, but also the future. The
insurance-premiums have already accumulated to milliards; they have been
invested chiefly in railways, canals, factories--in short, in works in aid
of labour, most of which will endure for many generations. You may
therefore regard the additional sums which may _possibly_ have to be paid
by the workers of the future to the insured of to-day as an insignificant
interest subsequently levied by the latter upon the former; or, what is
simpler still, you can imagine that the fathers retain for their own use
until the end of their lives a part of the wealth they themselves have
earned, and then at their death bequeath their whole property to their
descendants.'

Here David ended his instructions for the time; and I will imitate him.

----



CHAPTER XVII


Eden Vale: Aug. 2, ----

For some time I have been deeply interested in the education of the young
here, and the day before yesterday was devoted to the study of this
subject. Accompanied by David, I first visited one of the many
kindergartens which are pretty evenly distributed about the town in Eden
Vale. In an enclosure consisting partly of sunny sward and partly of shady
grove, some fifty boys and girls of from four to six years of age were
actively occupied under the direction of two young women of about eighteen
or twenty, and a young widow. The children sang, danced, indulged in all
sorts of fun and frolic, looked at picture-books which were explained to
them, listened sometimes to fairy-tales and sometimes to instructive
narratives, and played games, some of which were pure pastime and others
channels of instruction. Among the little people, who enjoyed themselves
right royally, there was a constant coming and going. Now one mother
brought her little one, and now another fetched hers away. In general the
Freeland mothers prefer to have their children with them at home; only when
they leave home or pay a visit, or have anything to attend to, do they take
their little ones to the nearest kindergarten and fetch them away on their
return. Sometimes the young people beg to be allowed to go to the
kindergarten, and the mothers grant them their request. But that is an
exception; as a rule the children sport about at home under the eyes of
their parents, and the earliest education is the special duty of the
mother. A Freeland wife seldom needs to be taught how this duty can be best
fulfilled; if she does there is a kindergarten not far off, or, later, the
pedagogium, where good advice can always be obtained. I was told that every
Freeland child of six years can read, has some skill in mental arithmetic,
and possesses a considerable amount of general information, without having
seen anything but a picture-book.

After the kindergarten came the elementary school. These schools also are
pretty evenly distributed about Eden Vale, and, like the kindergartens, are
surrounded by large gardens. They have four classes, and girls and boys are
taught together. The teaching is entirely in the hands of women, married or
unmarried; only gymnastics and swimming are taught by men to the boys.
These two subjects occupy both boys and girls an hour every day. At least
thrice a week excursions of several hours' duration are made into the
neighbouring woods and hills, accompanied by a teacher for each class, and
during these excursions all kinds of object-teaching are pursued. I watched
the pupils at their books and in the gymnasium, in the swimming-school and
on the hills, and had abundant opportunity of convincing myself that the
children possessed at least as much systematised knowledge as European
children of the same ago; whilst upon vaulting-horse and bars,
climbing-pole and rope, they were as agile as squirrels; in the water they
swam like fishes, and after a three hours' march over hill and dale they
were as fresh and sprightly as roes.

We next went to the middle schools, in which boys and girls of from ten to
sixteen years are taught apart, the former solely by men, the latter partly
by women. Here still greater attention is paid to bodily exercises of all
kinds, and in order to obtain the requisite space these schools are located
on the outskirts of the town, in the neighbourhood of the woods. I was
astonished at the endurance, strength, and grace of the boys and girls in
gymnastics, running, jumping, dancing, and riding. The boys I also saw
wrestling, fencing, and shooting. A few passes with the rapier and the
sabre with several of the youngsters showed me, to my surprise, that they
were not merely my equals, but in many points were superior to me, though
you know that I am one of the best fencers in Italy, the country so
renowned for this art. I was not less astonished at the splendid muscular
development of the half-grown wrestlers and gymnasts, than at the ease with
which the same youths overtook a horse at full gallop and threw themselves
upon its back. But I was completely dumfounded with the skill with which
the lads used their rifles. The target--scarcely so large as an ordinary
dinner-plate--was seldom missed at a distance of 550 yards, and not a few
of the young marksmen sent ball after ball into the bull's-eye. Altogether
the upper classes of these middle schools gave me the impression that they
were companies of picked young athletes; at the same time these athletes
showed themselves well acquainted with all those branches of learning which
are taught in the best European secondary schools.

I learnt that, up to this age, the instruction given to all the children of
Freeland is the same, except that among the girls less time is given to
bodily exercises and more to musical training. At sixteen years of age
begins the differentiation of the training of the sexes, and also the
preparation of the boys for their several vocations. The girls either
remain at home, and there complete their education in those arts and
branches of knowledge, the rudimental preparation for which they have
already received; or they are sent as pupil-daughters, with the same view,
to the house of some highly cultured and intellectually gifted woman.
Others enter the pedagogic training institutions, where they are trained as
teachers, or they hear a course of lectures on nursing, or devote
themselves to aesthetics, art, &c.

The boys, on the other hand, are distributed among the various higher
educational institutions. Most of them attend the industrial and commercial
technical institutions, where they spend a year or two in a scientific and
practical preparation for the various branches of commerce and industry.
Every Freeland worker passes through one of these institutions, whether he
intends to be agriculturist, spinner, metal-worker, or what not. There is a
double object aimed at in this: first, to make every worker, without
distinction, familiar the whole circle of knowledge and practice connected
with his occupation; and next to place him in the position of being able to
employ himself profitably, if he chooses to do so, in several branches of
production. The mere spinner, who has nothing to do but to watch the
movements of his spindles, in Freeland understands the construction and the
practical working of everything connected with his industry, and knows what
are the sources whence it derives its materials and where its best markets
are; from which it follows that when the functionaries of his association
are to be elected the worker is guided in voting by his technical
knowledge, and it is almost impossible that the choice should fall upon any
but the best qualified persons. But, further, this simple spinner in
Freeland is no mere automaton, whose knowledge and skill begin and end with
the petty details of his own business: he is familiar with at least one or
several other branches of industry; and from this again it follows that the
man can take advantage of any favourable circumstance that may occur in
such other branch or branches of industry, and can exchange the plough for
the loom, the turning-lathe for the hammer, or even any of these for the
writing-desk or the counting-house; and by this means there can be brought
about that marvellous equilibrium in the most diverse sources of income
which is the foundation of the social order of the country.

Young persons who have given evidence of possessing superior intellectual
ability attend the universities, in which Freeland's professors, the higher
government officials, physicians, technicians, &c., are educated; or the
richly endowed academies of art, which send forth the architects,
sculptors, painters, and musicians of the country. Even in all these
educational institutions great importance is attached to physical as well
as to intellectual development. The industrial and commercial technical
colleges have each their gymnasium, wrestling-hall, and riding-school,
their shooting and fencing ground, just as the universities and academies
have; and as in these places the youths are not so directly under the
control of their teachers as are the boys in the intermediate schools, the
institution of public local and national exercises prevents the students
from relaxing in their zeal for bodily exercises. All young men between
sixteen and twenty-two years of age are organised in companies of a
thousand each, according to their place of abode; and, under officers
chosen by themselves, they meet once a month for exercise, and in this way
still further develop their physical powers and skill. Once a year, in each
of the forty-eight districts into which Freeland is divided for
administrative purposes, a great competition for prizes takes place, before
a committee of judges selected from the winners of previous years. On these
occasions there are first single contests between fencers, marksmen,
riders, wrestlers, and runners, the competitors being champions chosen by
each thousand from their own number; and next, contests between the
thousands themselves as such. A few weeks later there is a national
festival in a valley of the Aberdare range specially set apart for this
purpose; at that festival the winners in the district contests compete for
the national championship. I am assured that no Greek youth in the best age
of Hellas more eagerly contended for the olive-branch at the Isthmian Games
than do the Freeland youths for the prize of honour at these Aberdare
games, although here also the prize consists of nothing but a simple crown
of leaves--a prize which, certainly, is enhanced by the fanfares of triumph
which resound from the Indian Ocean to the Mountains of the Moon and from
Lake Tanganika to Lake Baringo, and by the enthusiastic jubilation of such
districts and towns as may be fortunate enough to have sent successful
competitors. Hundreds of thousands stream out of all parts of the country
to these contests; and the places to which the victors belong, particularly
the district of the conquering thousand, welcome back their youths with a
series of the most brilliant festivals.

When I heard this, I could not refrain from remarking that such enthusiasm
on the occasion of a mere pastime seemed to me to be extravagant; and I
particularly expressed my astonishment that Freeland, the home of social
equity, could exhibit such enthusiasm for performances which might appear
important in warlike Hellas, but which here, where everything breathed
inviolable peace, could have no value but as simple bodily exercises.

'Quite right,' answered David, 'only it is this very superiority in bodily
exercises which secures to us Freelanders the inviolable peace which we
enjoy. We have no military institutions; and if it were not for our
superiority in all that appertains to bodily strength and skill we should
be an easy prey to any military Power that coveted our wealth.'

'But you surely do not imagine,' I cried, not without a sarcastic smile,
'that your boy-fencers and marksmen and the victors at your Isthmian Games
make you a match for any great military Power that might really attack you?
In my opinion, your safety lies in the mutual jealousy of the European
Powers, each of which is prevented by the others from seizing such a prize;
and yet more in your isolation, the sea and mountains saving you from such
dangerous visits. But, to secure yourselves against contingencies, I think
it would be well for you to make some military provision, such as a
competent militia, and particularly a powerful fleet, the expense of which
would be nothing in comparison with your wealth.'

'We think differently,' said David. 'Not our war-games, but our superior
physical ability which is exhibited in those games perfectly secures us
against any attack from the most powerful foe who, against our harmoniously
developed men and youths perfected in the use of every kind of arm, could
bring into the field nothing but a half-starved proletariat scarcely able
to handle their weapons when required to do so. We hold that in war the
number of shots is of less moment than the number of hits, and that the
multitude of fighters counts for less than their efficiency. If you had
seen, as I did, at the last year's national festival how the victorious
thousand won their prize, you would perhaps admit that troops composed of
such men, or of men who approached them in skill, need fear no European
army.'

On my asking what were the wonderful feats performed on the occasion
referred to, David gave me a detailed account of the proceedings, the
substance of which I will briefly repeat. In the contests between the
thousands, the firing _en masse_ is directed against a gigantic movable
target, which represents in life-size a somewhat loosely ordered front-line
of a thousand men; by a special apparatus, the front line, when at a
distance of about 1,300 yards, is set quickly in motion towards the
firing-party, and the mechanism of the target is so arranged that every
bullet which hits one of the thousand figures at once throws that figure
down, so that the row of the imaginary foes gets thinner at every hit. The
rule is that that thousand is the victor which knocks down the whole of the
figures in the approaching target in the shortest time and with the least
expenditure of bullets. Of course these two conditions compensate each
other according to certain rules--that is, a small _plus_ in time is
corrected by a corresponding _minus_ in the ammunition consumed, and _vice
versâ_. At all events, it is incumbent to shoot quickly and accurately; and
in particular the competing thousands must be so thoroughly well drilled
and so completely under command that on no account are two or more marksmen
to aim at the same figure in the target. This last condition is no trifling
one; for if it is difficult in a line of a thousand men to allot to every
marksman his particular aim, and that instantaneously, without reflection
and without recall, the difficulty must be very much greater when the
number of the objects aimed at is continually becoming less, whilst the
number of the marksmen remains the same. In addition to all this, in order
to have any chance at all of winning the olive-branch, the firing must
begin the moment the target is set in motion--that is, when the figures are
at a distance of 1,300 yards. At the last contest, the victorious thousand
emptied the target within 145 seconds from the moment of starting. The
target during this time had only got within 924 yards of the marksmen, who
had fired 1,875 shots. Of course, it is not to be inferred that the same
results would necessarily be obtained from firing at living and not
inactive foes. But if it be taken into consideration--so David
thought--that the intensity of the excitement of the Freeland youth in
front of a European army could scarcely be so great as on the
competition-field, when they are striving to wrest the much-coveted prize
from well-matched opponents--for the least successful of the competing
forty-eight thousands emptied the target in 190 seconds, when it had got
within a distance of 930 yards and had fired 2,760 shots; and when,
further, it is remembered that, in the presence of an actual foe, the most
difficult of the conditions of the contest--viz. that of the lowest number
of shots--ceases to exist; then it must certainly be admitted that such
firing would, probably in a few minutes, completely annihilate an equally
numerous body of men within range, and that it would sweep away twice or
thrice as many as the shooters before the foe would be in a position to do
the shooters any very material injury. There is no European army, however
numerous it may be, which would be able to stand against such firing. It is
not to be expected that men, who are driven forward by nothing but mere
discipline, would even for a few minutes face such a murderous fusillade.

On my part I had no argument of weight to meet this. I did not deny that
the soldiers in our gigantic European armies, who do nothing with their
shooting-sticks but allay their helpless fears by shooting innumerable
holes in the air, only one out of two hundred of their bullets reaching its
billet, could do little with such antagonists. 'But how would you defend
yourselves against the artillery of European armies?' I asked.

'By our own artillery,' answered David. 'Since these institutions of ours
have the double purpose of stimulating zeal for physical development and of
making us secure against attack without maintaining an army, we give
considerable prominence in our exercises to practising with cannons of the
most various calibres. And even this practice is begun at school. Those
boys who, having reached the fourth class in the intermediate schools, have
shown proficiency in other things, are promoted to artillery practice--and
this, it may be observed, has proved to be a special stimulus to effort.
The reason you have not seen the cannons is that the exercise-ground lies
some distance outside of the town--a necessary arrangement, as some of the
guns used are monsters of 200 tons, whose thunder would ill accord with the
idyllic peace of our Eden Vale. The young men are so familiar with this
kind of toy, and many of them have, after profound ballistic studies,
brought their skill to such perfection, that in my opinion they would show
themselves as superior to their European antagonists in artillery as they
would in rifle-practice. The same holds good of our horsemen. In brief, we
have no army; but our men and youths handle all the weapons which an army
needs infinitely better than the soldiers of any army whatever. And as,
moreover, for the purposes of our great prize-contests there exists an
organisation by means of which, out of the 2,500,000 men and youths whom
Freeland now possesses capable of bearing arms, the best two or three
hundred thousand are always available, we think it would he a very easy
thing to ward off the greatest invading army--a danger, indeed, which we do
not seriously anticipate, as we doubt if there is a European people that
would attack us. Rifles and cannons collected for use against us would very
soon--without our doing anything--be directed against those who wished us
ill.'

To this I assented. We then discussed several other topics connected with
the education of the young; and I took occasion to ask how it was that the
before-mentioned voluntary insurance against old age and death in Freeland
was effected on behalf of only the insurer himself and his wife, and not of
his children. According to all I had seen and heard, indifference towards
the fate of the children could not be the reason. I therefore asked David
to tell me why, whilst we in Europe saved chiefly for the children, here in
Freeland nothing was laid by for them.

'The reason,' explained David, 'lies here; the children are already
sufficiently provided for--as sufficiently as are those who are unable to
work, and the widows. And this is necessarily involved in the principle of
economic justice; for if the children were thrown upon the voluntary thrift
of their parents--as they are with you--they would be made dependent upon
conduct upon which they in truth could exercise no influence. If I accustom
myself to requirements which my maintenance-allowance could not enable me
to satisfy, it lies in my own power permanently to secure what I need by
means of an insurance-premium. If I neglect to do this, it is my own fault,
and I have no right to complain when I afterwards have to endure unpleasant
privations. The case is the same with my wife, for she exercises the same
influence over the management of the household as I do. My children, on the
other hand, would suffer innocently if they were thrown upon our personal
forethought for what they would need in the future. They must, therefore,
be protected from any privation whatever, independently of anything that I
may do. And that is the case. What we bequeath to our children, and
bequeath it in all cases, is the immense treasure of the powers and wealth
of the commonwealth delivered into their care and disposition. Just think.
The public capital of Freeland already amounts to as much as 6,000£ for
every working inhabitant; and last year this property yielded to everyone
who was moderately industrious a net income of 600£, and the ratio of
income is, moreover, constantly growing year by year.'

'But,' I interposed, 'suppose a child is or becomes incapable of work?'

'If he is so from childhood, then the forty per cent. of the
maintenance-unit, to which in such a case he has a right, is abundantly
sufficient to meet all his requirements, for he neither can nor should have
an independent household. If he _becomes_ incapable of work, after he has
set up a household and perhaps has children of his own, it would be his
own, not his parents' fault, if he had neglected to provide for this
emergency--assuming, of course, that he considered it necessary to make
such provision.'

'Very well; I perfectly understand that. But how is it with those who are
orphaned in infancy? Is no provision made for such? It cannot possibly
accord with the sentiments of Freeland parents who live in luxury to hand
over their children to public orphanages?'

'As to orphanages, it is the same as with hospitals,' answered David. 'If
by orphanages you mean those barracks of civilised Europe or America, in
which the waifs of poverty are without love, and after a mechanical pattern
educated into the poor of the future, there are certainly none such among
us. But if you mean the institutions in which the Freeland orphans are
brought up, I can assure you that the most sensitive parents can commit
their children to them with the most perfect confidence. Of course, nothing
can take the place of parental love; but otherwise the children are cared
for and brought up exactly as if they were in their parents' house. The
sexes dwell apart by tens in houses which differ in nothing from other
Freeland private houses; and they are under the care of pedagogically
trained guardians, whose duty it is not to teach them, but to watch over
them and attend to all their domestic wants. Food, clothing, play,--in
short, the whole routine of life is in every respect similar to that of the
rest of Freeland. They are taught in the public schools; and after they
have passed through the intermediate schools, the young people themselves
decide whether they will go to a technical school or to a university. Until
their majority they remain in the adoptive home selected for them by the
authorities, and then, if they are not yet able to maintain themselves,
they enjoy the general right of maintenance-allowance. What more could the
most affectionate care of parents do for them? Not even the most intangible
reproach can attach to training in such a public orphanage, for the
children are not the children of poverty, but simply orphans.'

'But I imagine that orphans from better houses are adopted by relatives or
acquaintances, particularly if the parents make full provision for their
support,' I answered.

'In case there are such houses to which the children can go, the parents
need make no provision for their maintenance, but merely a testamentary
declaration, and the children will then be transferred to such houses
without becoming any pecuniary burden to their adoptive parents. For in
such a case the commonwealth pays to the household in question an
equivalent to what would have been the cost of maintenance at the
orphanage; and as, besides the ordinary expenses of living in every
Freeland house, the fee for personal superintendence must be paid out of
this equivalent, the allowance will not be much more than the child will
cost its foster-parents. Thus no parental provision is needed to save the
orphans from being dependent upon the liberality or goodwill of strangers.
But I should tell you that this interposition of friendly or even related
families on behalf of orphans is exceptional. Unless circumstances are very
much in favour of such an arrangement, Freeland parents prefer to leave
their children to the care of the public orphanages. And this is very
intelligible to all who have had opportunities of observing the touching
tenderness of the guardian angels who rule in these houses, and of the
intimate relations which quickly develop between the children and their
attendants. Our Board of Maintenance, supported by our Board of Education,
lays great weight upon this part of its duty. Only the most approved
masters and mistresses--and the latter must also be experienced nurses--are
appointed as guardians of the orphans; and to have been successfully
occupied in this work for a number of years is a high distinction zealously
striven after, particularly by the flower of our young women.'

'I can quite understand that,' I said. 'May I, in this connection, ask how
you deal with the right of inheritance in general, and of inheritance of
real property in particular? For here, in property in houses there seems to
me to be a rock upon which your general principles as to property in land
might be wrecked. It is one of the fundamental principles of your
organisation that no one can have a right of property in land; but
houses--if I have been rightly informed--are private property. How do you
reconcile these things?'

'Everyone,' answered David, 'can dispose freely of his own property, at
death as in life. The right of bequest is free and unqualified; but it must
be noted that between husband and wife there is an absolute community of
goods, whence it follows that only the survivor can definitively dispose of
the common property. The right of property in the house, however, cannot be
divided; and it is not allowable to build more than one dwelling-house upon
a house-and-garden plot. Finally, the dwelling-house must be used by the
owner, and cannot be let to another. If the house-plot be used for any
other purpose than as the site of the owner's home, the breach of the law
involves no punishment, and no force will be brought to bear upon the
owner, but the owner at once loses his exclusive right as usufructuary of
the plot. The plot becomes at once, _ipso facto_, ground to which no one
has a special right, and to which everyone has an equal claim. For,
according to our views, there is no right of property in land, and
therefore not in the building-site of the house; and the right to
appropriate such ground to one's own house is simply a right of usufruct
for a special purpose. Just as, for example, the traveller by rail has a
claim to the seat which he occupies, but only for the purpose of sitting
there, and not for the purpose of unpacking his goods or of letting it to
another, so I have the right to reserve for myself, merely for occupation,
the spot of ground upon which I wish to fix my home; and no one has any
more right to settle upon my building-site than he has to occupy my cushion
in the railway, even if it should be possible to crowd two persons into the
one seat. But neither am I at liberty to make room for a friend upon my
seat; for my fellow-travellers are not likely to approve of the
inconvenience thereby occasioned, and they may protest that the legs and
elbows of the sharer of my seat crowd them too much, and that the air-space
calculated for one pair of lungs is by my arbitrary action shared by two
pair. Just so my house-neighbours are not likely to approve of having my
walls and roof too near to theirs, and will resent the arbitrary act by
which I fill the air-space of the town with more persons than the
commonwealth allows.

'Now, in the exercise of my right of usufruct of a definite plot of ground,
I have inseparably connected with this plot something over which I have not
merely the right of usufruct, but also the right of property--namely, a
house. Consequently my right of usufruct passes over to the person to
whom--whether gratuitously or not--I transfer my right of property in the
house. Therefore I can sell, or bequeath, or give away my house without
being prevented from doing so by the fact that I have no right of property
in the building-site.

'But if, through any circumstances independent of my labour or of the
building cost, the site on which my house stands acquires a value above
that of other building-sites, this increased value belongs not to me, but
to those who have given rise to it, and that is, without exception, the
community. Let us suppose that building-ground in Eden Vale has acquired
such an exceptional value, while there are still sites available throughout
Freeland for milliards of persons: this local increase of value can be
attributed merely to the fact that the excellent streets, public grounds,
splendid monuments, theatres, libraries--in short, the public institutions
of Eden Vale--have made living in this town more desirable than in any
other place in the country. But these public institutions are not my
work--they are the work of the community; and I have no right to put into
my pocket the increased ground-value derived from the common enjoyment of
these institutions. All that I myself have expended upon the house and
garden belongs to me, and on a change of ownership must be either made good
to me or put to my credit; but the ground-price--and, indeed, the whole of
it--belongs to the commonwealth; for building-sites which offer no
advantages over any others are, in view of the still existing surplus of
unoccupied ground, valueless. The commonwealth, therefore, has, strictly
speaking, a right at any time to claim this value or an equivalent; and if
the question were an important one, it would be advisable actually to
exercise this right--that is, from time to time, or at least on a change of
ownership, to assess the value of the sites of houses and gardens, and to
appropriate the surplus of the sale-price to the public treasury.

'In reality, in view of our other arrangements, this question of the value
of building-sites in Freeland is of no importance whatever. It must not be
forgotten that our private houses are not lodging-houses, but merely family
dwellings. As I have already said, every contract to let renders absolutely
void the occupier's right of exclusive usufruct of the house-site. He who
lets his house has, by the very act of doing so, made his plot masterless.
A secret letting is prevented by our general constitution, and particularly
by the central bank, which we will visit next. Thus the increased value
which may be acquired by a building-plot cannot become a question of
importance, and we are able to refrain altogether from interfering with
free trade in houses. We buy, sell, bequeath, and give away our
dwelling-houses, and no one troubles himself about it. I may remark, in
passing, that up to the present there has been no noticeable increase in
the prices of sites. A man pays for his house what the house itself is held
to be worth, the trifling differences being due to the greater or less
taste exhibited in the structure, the greater or less beauty of the garden,
&c., &c. But that the Eden Vale plots, for example, as such, have a special
value cannot be asserted, as there are still many thousands freely
available to anyone, but which are not taken. The conveniences of life are
pretty evenly distributed throughout Freeland, and no town can boast of
attractions which are not balanced by attractions of other kinds in other
towns. Eden Vale, for instance, possesses the most splendid buildings, and
is distinguished by incomparable natural beauty; hence it is less adapted
to industries, and has no agricultural colony in its neighbourhood. Dana
City, on the other hand, which is specially suitable for industry, and is
in the midst of agricultural land, is unattractive to many on account of
its ceaseless and noisy business activity. And, in general, we Freelanders
are not fond of large towns; we love to have woods and meadows as near us
as possible, and those who are able to live in the country do it in
preference to living in towns. Of course, there is not likely to be any
lack of rural building-sites; hence there can never be any ground-price
proper among us. If, however, building-ground should acquire a price, we
are in any case protected by our way and manner of building and living from
such prices as would give rise to any material derangement of our property
relations. Whether a family residence has a higher or a lower value is,
therefore, after all, only a question of subordinate interest, and it is
not worth the trouble, in order to equalise the differences in value which
arise, to bring into play an apparatus which, under the circumstances,
might lead to chicanery.'

I agreed with him. Wishing, however, to understand this important matter in
all its relations, I supposed a case in which the opportunity of gaining an
extraordinarily high profit was connected with a certain definite locality,
and asked what would happen then. 'Let us imagine that in a small valley
surrounded by uninhabitable rocks or marshes, a mine of incalculable value
is discovered, the exploitation of which would give twice or thrice as much
profit as the average profit in Freeland at that time. Naturally everyone
will labour at this mine until the influx of workers produces an
equilibrium in the profits. If there were sufficient space round the mine
for dwelling-houses, nothing would stand in the way of this equalisation of
profits; but as, in the supposed case, the space is limited, only the first
comers will be able to work at the mine; all later comers--unless they camp
out--will be as effectually excluded from competing as if an insuperable
barrier had been raised round the mine. The fortunate usufructuaries of the
few building-sites will, therefore, be in the pleasant situation of
permanently pocketing twice or thrice the average proceeds of labour--let
us say, for example, 1,600£ a year, whilst 600£ is the average.
Consequently their early occupation of the ground will be worth 1,000£ a
year to them, exactly the same as to a London house-owner the lucky
circumstance that his ancestors set up their huts on that particular spot
on the banks of the Thames is worth his 1,000£ or more a year. That this is
the rule and is the principal source of wealth, not only in London, but
everywhere outside of Freeland, whilst in this country it would require an
extraordinary concurrence of circumstances to produce similar phenomena,
makes no difference in the fact itself that it can occur everywhere, and
that, if you know of no means to prevent it, the ground-rent you have
fortunately got rid of might revive among you. Nay, in this--I will admit
extreme--case the Freeland institutions would prove themselves a hindrance
to the national exploitation of such a highly profitable opportunity for
labour, the most intense utilisation of which would evidently be to the
general interest. If such a case occurred in Europe or America, the
fortunate owners would surround the mines with large lodging-barracks, from
which certainly they would without any trouble derive enormous profits, but
which at the same time would make it possible to extract the rich treasures
from the earth. Your Freeland house-right, on the contrary, would in such a
case prevent the exploitation of the treasure of the earth, merely in order
that an exceptional increase of the wealth of individuals should be
avoided. And yet it is characteristic of your institutions as a whole to
render labour more productive than is possible under an exploiting system
of industry. A correct principle, however, must be correct under all
circumstances.'

'That is also my view,' answered David; 'but in such cases even your
Western law affords a means of help--namely, expropriation. Let it be
assumed that we could by no means whatever make the neighbourhood of the
mine accommodate a greater number of dwelling-houses; then, in the public
interest, we would redeem the houses already existing at the mine, and in
their place we would erect large lodging-houses after the pattern of our
hotels. If that would not suffice to accommodate as many workers as were
required in order to bring the profit of labour at the mine into
equilibrium with the average profit of the country, we would proceed to the
last resource and expropriate the mine for the benefit of the commonwealth.
By no means would even such a very improbable contingency present any
serious difficulties to the carrying out of our principles. For you will
certainly admit that the undertaking of a really monopolist production by
the commonwealth is not contrary to our principles. If you would deny it,
you must go farther, and assert that in working the railways, the
telegraphs, the post, nay, even in assuming the ultimate control of the
community, there is to be found a violation of the principle of individual
freedom.'

'You are only too right,' I answered, 'and I cannot defend myself from the
charge of harbouring a doubt which would have been seen to be superfluous
if I had only been unreservedly willing to admit that the people of
Freeland, whatever might happen, would probably make the wisest and not the
stupidest provision against such a contingency as I imagined. The ground of
that inconceivable stubbornness with which we adherents of the old are apt
to resist every new idea is, that we imagine difficulties, which exist only
in our fancy, and most unnecessarily suppose that there is no other way of
surmounting those imaginary difficulties than the stupidest imaginable. We
then triumphantly believe we have reduced the new ideas _ad absurdum_;
whilst we should have done better to have been ashamed of our own
absurdities.'

With this fierce self-accusation I will close my letter to-day; but not
without telling you in confidence that in making it I was thinking less of
myself than of--others.

----



CHAPTER XVIII


Eden Vale: Aug. 6, ----

Yesterday, accompanied by the two English agents, we inspected the Freeland
Central Bank. The comprehensive and--as a necessary consequence--
exceedingly simple clearing system excited the highest admiration of the
two experienced gentlemen. The remarkably small amount of cash required to
adjust the accounts of the whole of the gigantic business transactions
drew from Lord E---- the inquiry why Freeland retained gold as a measure
of value. He thought that, as the Freelanders already made the value of a
unit of labour-time the standard of calculation in their most important
affairs, the simplest plan would be to universalise this method--that is,
to declare the labour-hour to be the measure of value, the money-unit.
This would, he thought, far better harmonise with the general social order
of Freeland, in which labour is the source and basis of all value.

The director of the bank (Mr. Clark) replied: 'That is a view which has
been repeatedly expressed by strangers; but it is based simply upon
confounding the _measure of value_ with the _source of income_. For labour
alone is not the source of value, though most Socialists adopt this error
of the so-called classical economists as the ground of their demands. If
all value were derived from labour and from labour alone, then even among
you in the old exploiting world everything would be in favour of the
workers, for even there the workers have control over their working power.
The misery among you is due to the fact that the workers have no control
over the other things which are requisite for the creation of value,
namely, the product of previous work--_i.e._ capital, and the forces and
materials derived from nature. We in Freeland have guaranteed to labour the
whole of what it assists to produce. But we do not base this right upon the
erroneous proposition that labour is the sole source of the value of what
it produces, but upon the proposition that the worker has the same claim to
the use of those other factors requisite for the creation of value as he
has to his working-power. But this is only by the way. Even if labour were
the only source of and the only ingredient in value, it would still be in
any case the worst conceivable _measure_ of value; for it is of all things
that possess value the one the value of which is most liable to variations.
Its value rises with every advance in human dexterity and industry; that
is, a labour-day or a labour hour is continuously being transformed into an
increasing quantity of all imaginable other kinds of value. That the value
of the product of labour differs as the labour-power is well or badly
furnished with tools, well or badly applied, cannot be questioned, and
never has been seriously questioned. Now, among us in Freeland _all_
labour-power is as well equipped and applied as possible, because the
perfect and unlimited freedom of labour to apply itself at any time to
whatever will then create the highest value brings about, if not an
absolute, yet a relative equilibrium of values; but, in order that this may
be brought about, there must exist an unchangeable and reliable standard by
which the value of the things produced by labour can be measured. That the
labour expended by us upon shoe goods and upon textile fabrics, upon
cereals and turnery goods, possesses the same value is shown by the fact
that these various kinds of wares produced in the same period of time
possess the same value; but this fact can be shown, not by a comparison
between the respective amounts of labour-time, but only by a comparison
with something that has a constant value in itself. If we concluded that
the things which required an equal time to produce were of equal value
because they were produced in an equal time, we might soon find ourselves
producing shoes which no one wanted, while we were suffering from a lack of
textile fabrics; and we might see with unconcern the superfluity of turnery
wares, the production of which was increasing, while perhaps all available
hands were required in order to correct a disastrous lack of cereals. To
make the labour-day the measure of value--if it were not, for other
reasons, impossible--involves Communism, which, instead of leaving the
adjustment of the relations between supply and demand to free commerce,
fixes those relations by authority; doing this, of course, without asking
anyone what he wishes to enjoy, or what he wishes to do, but
authoritatively prescribing what everyone shall consume, and what he shall
produce.

'But we in Freeland strive after what is the direct opposite of
Communism--namely, absolute individual freedom. Consequently we, more
imperatively than any other people, need a measure of value as accurate and
reliable as possible--that is, one the exchange-power of which, with
reference to all other things, is exposed to as little variation as
possible. This best possible, most constant, standard the civilised world
has hitherto found rightly in gold. There is no difference in value between
two equal quantities of gold, whilst one labour-day may be very materially
more valuable than another; and there is no means of ascertaining with
certainty the difference in value of the two labour-days except by
comparing them both with one and the same thing which possesses a really
constant value. Yet this equality in value of equal quantities of gold is
the least of the advantages possessed by gold over other measures of value.
Two equal quantities of wheat are of nearly equal value. But the value of
gold is exposed to less _variation_ than is the value of any other thing.
Two equal quantities of wheat are of equal value at the same time; but
to-morrow they may both be worth twice as much as to-day, or they may sink
to half their present value; while gold can change its value but very
little in a short time. If its exchange-relation to any commodity whatever
alters suddenly and considerably, it can be at once and with certainty
assumed that it is the value not of the gold, but of the other commodity,
which has suddenly and considerably altered. And this is a necessary
conclusion from that most unquestionable law of value according to which
the price of everything is determined by supply and demand, if we connect
with this law the equally unquestionable fact that the supply and demand of
no other thing are exposed to so small a relative variation as are those of
gold. This fact is not due to any mysterious quality in this metal, but to
its peculiar durability, in consequence of which in the course of thousands
of years there has been accumulated, and placed at the service of those who
can demand it, a quantity of gold sufficient to make the greatest temporary
variations in its production of no practical moment. Whilst a good or a bad
wheat harvest makes an enormous difference in the supply of wheat for the
time being, because the old stock of wheat is of very subordinate
importance relatively to the results of the new harvest, the amount of gold
in the world remains relatively unaltered by the variations, however great
they may be, of even several years of gold-production, because the existing
stock of gold is enormously greater than the greatest possible
gold-production of any single year. If all the gold-mines in the world
suddenly ceased to yield any gold, no material influence would be produced
upon the quantity of available gold; whilst a single general failure in the
cereal crop would at once and inevitably produce the most terrible
corn-famine. This, then, is the reason why gold is the best possible,
though by no means an absolutely perfect, measure of value. But labour-time
would be the worst conceivable measure of value, for neither are two equal
periods of labour necessarily of equal value, nor does labour-time in
general possess an unalterable value, but its exchange-power in relation to
all other things increases with every step forward in the methods of
labour.'

We were all convinced, but Lord E---- could not refrain from remarking that
the Freelanders did nevertheless estimate the value of many things in
labour-equivalents. He at once received from my father the pertinent answer
that, according to all they had yet heard, this happened only in cases in
which an increase of payment had to run parallel with a rise in the value
of labour. Salaries and maintenance-allowances _ought_ to rise in
proportion as the proceeds of labour and therewith the general consumption
rose; and it was only when this relation had to be kept in view that the
value of things could be estimated in labour-equivalents.

Mr. Clark now drew our attention to the comprehensive, transparent, and
detailed publicity which marked all the pecuniary affairs of Freeland, in
consequence of the entry in the bank books of all commercial and industrial
relations. No one can deceive either himself or others as to his
circumstances; and one of the most important social consequences of this is
that no one has any desire to shine by extravagant spending. Extravagance
is only too often prompted by a desire to make oneself appear in the eyes
of the world richer than one really is; such an attempt in this country
would only provoke a smile. And if anyone wished to spend in luxuries more
than he earned, the bank would naturally refuse him credit for such a
purpose; and without this credit the spendthrift would have to appeal to
the liberality of his fellow-citizens before he could indulge in his
extravagance. The amounts of all incomes and of all outgoings lie open to
the day; all the world knows what everybody has and whence he gets it. And
as everyone is free to engage in any branch of industry whatever, the
difference of income can excite no one's envy.

But Lord E---- here asked whether the degree of authoritative arbitrariness
inevitable in fixing salaries of different kinds--_e.g._ of officials--did
not present some contradiction to the otherwise operative principle of
unconditional freedom of choice of calling, and to the equilibrium in the
proceeds of different kinds of labour which resulted from this freedom.
'When the profits of the woollen industry are higher than those of
agriculture, fresh labour will be transferred to the former until an
equilibrium has been established between the two profits; if a permanent
excess of profit shows itself in one of these branches of production, it is
evident under your institutions that this can be due solely to the fact
that the labour in this more profitable industry is less agreeable, more
exhausting, or demands a higher or rarer knowledge or skill. No one has the
slightest ground to complain of injury; and so far the harmony produced by
freedom is worthy of all admiration. But when it comes to appointments and
salaries, this absolute freedom must cease. You, as the head of a
department of the government, receive 1,400£, your neighbour the
hand-worker earns merely 600£; how do you know that the latter does not
feel that he is wronged thereby?'

'My lord,' said Mr. Clark, smiling, 'if you mean, how do I know whether my
neighbour does not feel himself wronged _by nature_ because he is not able,
like me, to earn 1,400£ a year, I must answer that I can speak only from
conjecture, and that I really possess no certain knowledge as to his
feelings. But if you think that my neighbour, or anyone else in Freeland,
could find in my higher salary an advantage conferred on me by an arbitrary
exercise of authoritative power, or by the favour of the electors, or for
any inadequate reason, I can certainly show that you are mistaken. For my
salary is, in the last resort, as much the result of free competition as is
the labour-profit of my neighbour. Whether I am the right man for my post
is a question which is decided by the corporations by whom my election is
made, and whose choice is controlled or superseded by no automatically
working contrivance; with what salary my office must be endowed, in order
that qualified men, or let us say men who are held to be qualified, may be
obtained, this is regulated by exactly the same automatic laws as is the
labour-profit of a weaver or an agriculturist. And this holds good of the
salary of the youngest official up to that of the heads of the departments
of the Freeland government. The fixing of the salaries in every case
depends upon the free judgment of the presidents or of the electoral
colleges; but these presidents or electoral colleges must fix the salaries
at such sums as will at any time attract a sufficient number of qualified
candidates. Of course, a pound more or less a year would make no
difficulty--it is a recognised principle that the salaries should be high
enough to attract rather a superfluity than a lack of candidates; but when
the number of candidates is greater than a certain ratio, the salaries are
reduced, whilst a threatened lack of candidates is met by an increase of
salaries. I will add, that it is to be taken as a matter of course that in
Freeland the unsuccessful candidates are not breadless aspirants. Success
or failure is never therefore a question of a livelihood, but of the
gratification of inclination and sometimes of vanity. A man gives up his
office when more profitable or more agreeable occupation attracts him
elsewhere. The public officials are not paid the same salaries in all the
branches of the public service. Specially trying work, or work demanding
special knowledge, obtains here higher profits, just as in the various
industries. And whilst the labour-earnings of ordinary manual labour are
the measure of the salaries of the lower officials, so do the salaries of
the various association-managers exercise a regulative influence upon the
salaries of the higher public officials. You, also, have often experienced
that the attractions of positions connected with public activity have in no
small degree brought down the salaries of government officials, professors,
&c., below the level of the incomes of those who hold the chief posts in
associations. As a rule, it is found that with a rise in the general level
of intelligence there is a _relative_--by no means an absolute--sinking of
the higher salaries. While the directors of several large associations
receive as much as 5,000 hour-equivalents a year, the highest officials in
the Freeland central government at the present time receive only 3,600
more, and that because our persistent assertion of the relative
depreciation of the higher salaries is met by the parliaments with an
equally persistent resistance, and the parliaments yield to our
importunities only very slowly and very reluctantly. To be just, it should
be added that the same game is repeated in the associations. The directors
would often be satisfied with much lower salaries, for they often really do
not know what to do with their incomes, which, in comparison with prices in
Freeland, are in some cases exorbitant, and increase with every increase in
the value of labour. Particularly during the last decade, since the value
of the hour-equivalent has increased so much, proposals from above to
reduce salaries have become a standing rule. I repeat, this reduction must
be understood to be merely relative--that is, to refer merely to the number
of hour-equivalents. The value of a labour-hour has quadrupled within the
last twenty years; those of us, therefore--we public officials, for
example--who receive twenty-eight per cent. fewer hour-equivalents than we
did originally, still have incomes which, when reckoned in money, have been
nearly tripled. As a rule, however, the associations will not hear of even
such a reduction. Though their directors openly avow their willingness to
accept lower salaries, the associations are afraid of offending some one or
other of the competing societies which pay higher salaries; and as a few
hundred pounds are not worth considering in view of the enormous sums which
a great association annually turns over, the reduction of the salaries goes
on but slowly. Nevertheless there is a gradual lessening of the difference
between the maximum and the minimum earnings, plainly proving that even in
this matter of salaries the law of supply and demand is in full operation.'

Lord E---- thanked him for this explanation. But now Sir B---- proposed a
far weightier question. 'What struck me most,' said he, 'when I was
examining the enormous operations of your central bank, and what I am not
yet able to understand, is how it is possible, without arbitrary exercise
of authority and communistic consequences, to accumulate the immense
capital which you require, and yet neither pay nor reckon any interest.
That interest is the necessary and just reward of the capitalist's
self-denial I do not indeed believe; but I hold it to be the tribute which
has to be paid to the saver for sparing the community, by his voluntary
thrift, the necessity of making thrift compulsory. What I now wish to know
is, what were your reasons for forbidding the payment of interest? Or are
you in Freeland of opinion that it is unjust to give to the saver a share
of the fruits of his saving?'

'We are not of that opinion,' answered the director. 'But first I must
assure you that you have started from an erroneous assumption. We _forbid_
the payment of interest as little as we "forbid" the undertaker's profit or
the landlord's ground-rent. These three items of income do not exist here,
simply because no one is under the necessity of paying them. If our workers
needed an "undertaker" to organise and discipline them for highly
productive activity, no power could prevent them from giving up to him what
belonged to him--namely, the profit of the undertaking--and remaining
satisfied themselves with a bare subsistence. Nothing in our constitution,
and no one among us, would interfere with such an undertaker in the
peaceable enjoyment of his share of the produce. If the land needed--'

'Pardon my interruption,' said Sir B----. '"If our workers needed an
undertaker to organise and discipline them, no power could prevent them
from giving up to him the whole of the produce"--these were your words. In
the name of heaven, do not your workers need such a man? Do they need none
over them to organise, discipline, guide, and overlook the process of
production? And when I hear you so coolly and distinctly assert that such a
man has a right to the produce, and that neither for God's sake nor in the
name of justice need he leave to the worker more than a bare subsistence, I
am compelled to ask myself whether you, an authority in Freeland, are
pleased to jest, or whether what we have hitherto seen and heard here rests
upon a mere delusion?'

'Forgive me for not having expressed myself more plainly,' answered the
director to Sir B---- and to the rest of us who, like him, had shown our
consternation at the apparent contradiction between the last words of our
informant and the spirit of Freeland institutions. 'I said, "If our workers
needed an _undertaker_": I beg you to lay emphasis upon the word
"undertaker." A man or several men to arrange, organise, guide the work,
they certainly need; but such a man is not an undertaker. The difference
between our workers and others consists in the fact that the former allow
themselves to be organised and disciplined by persons who are dependent
upon them, instead of being their masters. The conductors of our
associations are not the masters, but the officials--as well as
shareholders--of the working fellowship, and have therefore as little right
to the whole produce as their colleagues abroad. The latter are appointed
and paid by the "owner" of what is produced; and in this country this owner
is the whole body of workers as such. An undertaker in the sense of the old
industrial system, on the other hand, is a something whose function
consists in nothing but in being master of the process of production; he is
by no means the actual organiser and manager, but simply the owner, who, as
such, need not trouble himself about the process of production further than
to condescend to pocket the profits. That the undertaker at the same time
bears the risks attendant upon production has to be taken into account when
we consider the individual undertaker, but not when we consider the
institution as such, for we cannot speak of the risk of the body of
undertakers as a whole, I called the undertaker, not a man, but a
something, because in truth it need not be a man with flesh and blood. It
may just as well be a scheme, a mere idea; if it does but appropriate the
profits of production it admirably fulfils its duty as undertaker, for as
such it is nothing more than the shibboleth of mastership. Let us not be
misled by the fact that frequently--we will say, as a rule--the undertaker
is at the same time the actual manager of the work of production; when he
is, he unites two economic functions in one person, that of the--mental or
physical--labour and that of the undertakership. Other functions can just
as well be associated together in him: the undertaker can be also
capitalist or landlord; nevertheless, the undertaker, as economic subject,
has no other function than that of being master of other men's labour and
of appropriating to himself the fruits of the process of production after
subtracting the portions due to the other factors in production.

'And this master, whose function consists simply of an abstract mastership,
is an inexorable necessity so long as the workers are servants who can be
disciplined, not by their enlightened self-interest, but only by force. To
throw the blame of this exclusively or only mainly upon "capital" was a
fatal error, which for a long time prevented the clear perception of the
real cause--the servile habits and opinions that had grown stronger and
stronger during thousands of years of bondage. Capital is indispensable to
a highly developed production, and the working masses of the outside world
are mostly without capital; but they are without it only because they are
powerless servants, and even when in exceptional cases they possess capital
they do not know how to do anything with it without the aid of masters. Yet
it is frequently the capital of the servants themselves by means of
which--through the intervention of the savings-banks--the undertaker
carries on the work of production; it none the less follows that he pockets
the proceeds and leaves to the servants nothing but a bare subsistence over
and above the interest. Or the servants club their savings together for the
purpose of engaging in productive work on their own account; but as they
are not able to conceive of discipline without servitude, cannot even
understand how it is possible to work without a master who must be obeyed,
because he can hire and discharge, pay and punish--in brief, because he is
master; and as they would be unable to dispose of the produce, or to agree
over the division of it, though this might be expected from them as
possessors of the living labour-power,--they therefore set themselves in
the character of a corporate capitalist as master over themselves in the
character of workmen. In these productive associations, which the workers
carry on with money they have saved by much self-denial or have involved
themselves in worry and anxiety by borrowing, they remain as workers under
a painful obligation to obey, and the slaves of wages; though certainly in
their character of small capitalists they transform themselves into masters
who have a right to command and to whom the proceeds of production
belong--that is, into undertakers. The example of these productive
associations shows, more plainly than anything else can, that it was
nothing but the incapacity of the working masses to produce without masters
that made the undertaker a necessity. We in Freeland have for the first
time solved the problem of uniting ourselves for purposes of common
production, of disciplining and organising ourselves, though the proceeds
of production belonged to us in our character of workers and not of
capitalists. And as the experiment succeeded, and when undertaken by
intelligent men possessing some means must succeed, we have no further need
of the undertaker.

'But undertakership is not forbidden in Freeland. No one would hinder you
from opening a factory here and attempting to hire workers to carry it on
for wages. But in the first place you would have to offer the workers at
least as much as the average earnings of labour in Freeland; and in the
second place it is questionable if you would find any who would place
themselves under your orders. That, as a matter of fact, no such case has
occurred for the past eighteen years--that even our greatest technical
reformers, in possession of the most valuable inventions, have without
exception preferred to act not as undertakers, but as organisers of free
associations--this is due simply to the superiority of free over servile
labour. It has been found that the same inventors are able to accomplish a
great deal more with free workers who are stimulated by self-interest, than
with wage-earners who, in spite of constant oversight, can only be induced
to give a mechanical attention to their tasks. Moreover, the system of
authoritative mastership was as repugnant to the feelings of the masters as
to those of the men under them, and both parties found themselves
uncomfortable in their unfamiliar _rôles_--as uncomfortable as formerly in
the _rôles_ of absolutely co-equal associates in production. So
considerable was this mutual feeling of discomfort, and so evident was the
inferiority of the servile form of organisation, that all such attempts
were quickly given up, though no external obstacle of any kind had been
placed in their way. Certainly it must not be overlooked that every
undertaker who needs land for his business is in constant danger of having
claims made by others upon the joint use of the land occupied by him, for,
of course, we do not grant him a privilege in this respect; neither he nor
anyone else in Freeland can exclude others from a co-enjoyment of the
ground. Nevertheless, as we have plenty of space, it would have been long
before the undertaker would have had to strike his sail on this account.
That the few who in the early years of our history made such attempts
quickly transformed themselves into directors of associations, was due to
the fact that, in spite of any advantages which they might possess, they
could not successfully compete with free labour. Three of these undertakers
failed utterly; they could fulfil their obligations neither to their
creditors nor to their workmen, and must have had to submit to the disgrace
of bankruptcy if their workmen, distinctly perceiving the one defect from
which the undertakings suffered, had not taken the matter in hand. Since
the inventions and improvements for the introduction of which these three
undertakers had founded their businesses, were valuable and genuine, and
the masters had during their short time of mastership shown themselves to
be energetic and--apart from their fancy for mastership--sensible men, the
workers stepped into the breach, constituted themselves in each case an
association, took upon themselves all the liabilities, and then, under the
superintendence of the very men who had been on the brink of ruin, carried
on the businesses so successfully that these three associations are now
among the largest in Freeland. Four other several individuals--also notable
industrial inventors--avoided a threatened catastrophe only by a timely
change from the position of undertakers to that of superintendents of
associations; and they stand at present at the head of works whose workers
are numbered by thousands, and have since realised continuously increasing
profits, high enough to satisfy all their reasonable expectations. Thus, as
I have said, undertakership is not forbidden in Freeland; but it cannot
successfully compete with free association.'

Sir B---- and the others declared themselves perfectly satisfied with this
explanation, and begged the bank director to proceed with his account which
they had interrupted. 'You were saying,' intimated my father, 'that in
Freeland interest was no more forbidden than undertaker's gains and
ground-rent. As to undertaker's gains we now understand you; but before you
proceed to the main point of your exposition--to interest--I would like to
ask for fuller details upon the question of ground-rent. How are we to
understand that this is not forbidden in Freeland?'

'How you are to understand that,' was the answer, 'will best be made plain
to you if I take up my train of thought where I left off. If, in order to
labour productively, we required the undertaker, no power in heaven or
earth could save us from giving up to him what was due to him as master of
the process of production, while we contented ourselves with a bare
subsistence--that is what I said. I would add that we should also be
compelled to pay the tribute due to the landlord for the use of the ground,
if we could not till the ground without having a landlord. For property in
land was always based upon the supposition that unowned land could not be
cultivated. Men did not understand how to plough and sow and reap without
having the right to prevent others from ploughing and sowing and reaping
upon the same land. Whether it was an individual, a community, a district,
or a nation, that in this way acquired an exclusive right of ownership of
the land, was immaterial: it was necessarily an _exclusive_ right,
otherwise no one would put any labour into the land. Hence it happened, in
course of time, that the individual owner of land acquired very
considerable advantages in production over the many-headed owner; and the
result was that common property in land gradually passed into individual
ownership. But this distinction is not an essential one, and has very
little to do with our institutions. With us, the land--so far as it is used
as a means of production and not as sites for dwelling-houses--is
absolutely masterless, free as air; it belongs neither to one nor to many:
everyone who wishes to cultivate the soil is at liberty to do so where he
pleases, and to appropriate his part of the produce. There is, therefore,
no ground-rent, which is nothing else than the owner's interest for the use
of the land; but a prohibition of it will be sought for in vain. In the
fact that I have no right to prohibit anything to others lies no
prohibition. It cannot even be said that I am prohibited from prohibiting
anything, for I may do it without hindrance from anyone; but everybody will
laugh at me, as much as if I had forbidden people to breathe and had
asserted that the atmospheric air was my own property. Where there is no
power to enforce such pretensions, it is not necessary to prohibit them; if
they are not artificially called forth and upheld, they simply remain
non-existent. In Freeland no one possesses this power because here no one
need sequestrate the land in order that it may be tilled. But the magic
which enables us to cultivate ownerless land without giving rise to
disputes is the same that enables us to produce without undertakers--free
association.

'Just as little do we forbid interest. No one in Freeland will prevent you
from asking as high a rate of interest as you please; only you will find no
one willing to pay it you, because everyone can get as much capital as he
needs without interest. But you will ask whether, in this placing of the
savings of the community at the disposal of those who need capital, there
does not lie an injustice? Whether it is not Communism? And I will admit
that here the question is not so simple as in the cases of the undertaker's
gains and of ground-rent. Interest is charged for a real and tangible
service essentially different from the service rendered by the undertaker
and the landowner. Whilst, namely, the economic service of the two latter
consists in nothing but the exercise of a relation of mastership, which
becomes superfluous as soon as the working masses have transformed
themselves from servants working under compulsion into freely associated
men, the capitalist offers the worker an instrument which gives
productiveness to his labour under all circumstances. And whilst it is
evident that, with the establishment of industrial freedom, both undertaker
and landowner become, not merely superfluous, but altogether
objectless--_ipso facto_ cease to exist--with respect to the capitalist,
the possessor of savings, it can even be asserted that society is dependent
upon him in an infinitely higher degree when free than when enslaved,
because it can and must employ much more capital in the former case than in
the latter. Moreover, it is not true that service rendered by capital--the
giving wings to production--is compensated for by the mere return of the
capital. After a full repayment, there remains to the worker, in proportion
as he has used the capital wisely--which is his affair and not the
lender's--a profit which in certain circumstances may be very considerable,
the increase of the proceeds of labour obtained by the aid of the capital.
Why should it be considered unreasonable or unjust to hand over a part of
this gain to the capitalist--to him, that is, to whose thrift the existence
of the capital is due? The saver, so said the earlier Socialists, has no
right to demand any return for the service which he has rendered the
worker; it costs him nothing, since he receives back his property
undiminished when and how he pleases (the premium for risk, which may have
been charged as security against the possible bad faith or bankruptcy of
the debtor, has nothing to do with the interest proper). Granted; but what
right has the borrower, who at any rate derives advantage from the service
rendered, to retain all the advantage himself? And what certainty has he of
being able to obtain this service, even though it costs the saver nothing
to render it, if he (the borrower) does not undertake to render any service
in return? It is quite evident that the interest is paid in order to induce
the saver to render such a friendly service. How could we, without
communistic coercion, transfer capital from the hands of the saver into
those of the capital-needing producer? For the community to save and to
provide producers with capital from this source is a very simple way out of
the difficulty, but the right to do this must be shown. No profound thinker
will be satisfied with the communistic assertion that the capital drawn
from the producers in one way is returned to them in another, for by this
means there does not appear to be established any equilibrium between the
burden and the gain of the individual producers. The tax for the
accumulation of capital must be equally distributed among all the
producers; the demand for capital, on the other hand, is a very unequal
one. But how could we take the tax paid by persons who perhaps require but
little capital, to endow the production of others who may happen to require
much capital? What advantage do we offer to the former for their compulsory
thrift?

'And yet the answer lies close at hand. _It is true that in the exploiting
system of society the creditor does not derive the slightest advantage from
the increase in production which the debtor effects by means of the
creditor's savings; on the other hand, in the system of society based upon
social freedom and justice both creditor and debtor are equally
advantaged._ Where, as with us, every increase in production must be
equably distributed among all, the problem as to how the saver profits from
the employment of his capital solves itself. The machinist or the weaver,
whose tax, for example, is applied to the purchase or improvement of
agricultural machines, derives, with us, exactly the same advantage from
this as does the agriculturist; for, thanks to our institutions, the
increase of profit effected in any locality is immediately distributed over
all localities and all kinds of production.

'If anyone would ask what right a community based upon the free
self-control of the individual, and strongly antagonistic to Communism, has
to coerce its members to exercise thrift, the answer is that such coercion
is in reality not employed. The tax out of which the capitalisation is
effected is paid by everyone only in proportion to the work he does. No one
is coerced to labour, but in proportion as a man does labour he makes use
of capital. What is required of him is merely an amount proportional to
what he makes use of. Thus both justice and the right of self-control are
satisfied in every point.

'You see, it is exactly the same with interest as with the undertaker's
gains and with ground-rent: the guaranteed right of association saves the
worker from the necessity of handing over a part of the proceeds of his
production to a third person under any plea whatever. Interest disappears
of itself, just like profit and rent, for the sole but sufficient reason
that the freely associated worker is his own capitalist, as well as his own
undertaker and landlord. Or, if one will put it so, _interest, profit, and
rent remain, but they are not separated from wages, with which they combine
to form a single and indivisible return for labour_.'

And with this, good-night for the present.

----



CHAPTER XIX


Eden Vale: Aug. 11, ----

What we learnt from the director of the Freeland Central Bank occupied the
thoughts of my father and myself for a long time. As this high functionary,
who was a frequent visitor at the house of the Neys, dined with our hosts
the next day, the table-talk ran mainly upon the Freeland institutions. My
father began by asking whether the circumstance that the rest of the world,
from which Freeland did not--and, in fact, in this matter could
not--isolate itself, paid interest for loans, did not induce Freeland
savers to seek foreign investments for their money; or whether at least
some artificial means had not to be adopted to prevent this.

'There is nothing, absolutely nothing,' answered Mr. Clark, 'to prevent
Freeland savers from investing their capital abroad; in fact, at present--I
have quite recently been referring to the statistics upon this point
regularly published by our central bank--some two and a-half milliards
(2,500,000,000£) are invested partly in the large foreign banks, partly in
European and American bonds. For example, a good half of your Italian
national debt is in the hands of Freelanders. But what are such figures in
comparison with the gigantic amounts of our savings and capital? We cannot
prevent, and have no reason whatever to prevent, many Freelanders from
being induced by foreign interest to accumulate more capital than is needed
here at home on the one hand, and more than they consider necessary to
insure themselves against old age on the other. For what is required for
these two purposes cannot go abroad.'

'And is not this last-mentioned fact a disadvantage to the Freeland saver?'
I asked.

'A Freelander who thought so,' said Mr. Ney, 'must have a very imperfect
knowledge of what is to his own advantage. The interest paid by foreign
debtors can in no respect compare with the advantages offered by employment
of the money in Freeland, those advantages being, as you know, equably
distributed among all the members of our commonwealth. At the end of last
year we had altogether thirty-four milliards sterling invested. The
calculated profit of these investments amounted to seven milliards;
therefore, more than twenty per cent. Moreover, thanks to these same
investments, every Freelander enjoys gratuitously the electric light,
warming, the use of railways and steamships, &c., advantages the total
value of which would very nearly equal the remunerative production effected
by our investments. Anyone can now calculate how much more profitable
Freeland investments of capital are than foreign ones. Moreover, the two
and a-half milliards, of which friend Clark spoke, is a large sum in
European and American financial operations, and it has actually contributed
towards very considerably lowering from time to time the rate of interest
in all the foreign money-markets; but when this amount is compared with
Freeland finances, the investment of it abroad is seen to be simply an
insignificant and harmless whim. This large sum brings in, at the present
rate of interest--you will understand that Freeland savers invest merely in
the very best European or American bonds--about thirty-four millions
sterling; that is, not quite the two-hundredth part of the national revenue
of Freeland. And there can be no doubt that this whim will--for us--lose
much of even its present importance as Freeland continues to grow; for the
competition of our capital has already reduced the rate of discount of the
Bank of England to one and a-quarter per cent., and raised the price of the
One and a-Half per cent. Consols to 118; hence there can be no doubt that a
large flow of Freeland savings to Europe and America must, in a near
future, reduce the rate of interest to a merely nominal figure. That this
whim of investing capital abroad will altogether vanish as soon as foreign
countries adopt our institutions is self-evident.'

I now addressed to Mr. Clark the question in what way the Freeland
commonwealth guarded against the danger of _crises_, which, in my opinion,
must here be much more disastrous than in any other country.

'Crises of any kind,' was the answer, 'would certainly dissolve the whole
complex of the Freeland institutions; but here they are impossible, for
lack of the source from which they elsewhere spring. The cause of all
crises, whether called production-crises or capital-crises, lies simply in
over-production--that is, in the disproportion between production and
consumption; and this disproportion does not exist among us. In fact, the
starting-point of the Freeland social reform is the correct perception of
the essential character of over-production arrived at twenty-six years ago
by the International Free Society. Until then--and in the rest of the world
it is still the case--the science of political economy found in this
phenomenon an embarrassing enigma, with which it did not know how better to
deal than to deny its existence. There was no real over-production--that
is, no general non-consumption of products--so taught the orthodox
political economists; for, they contended, men labour only when induced to
do so to supply a need, and it is therefore impossible in the nature of
things that more goods should be produced than can be consumed. And, on our
supposition, to which I will refer presently, this is perfectly correct.
Everyone will use what he produces to meet a certain need; he will either
use his product himself or will exchange it for what another has produced.
It matters not what that other product is, it is at any rate something that
has been produced; the question never need be what kind of product, but
only whether some product is asked for. Let us assume that an improvement
has taken place in the production of wheat: it is possible that the demand
for wheat will not increase in proportion to the possibility of increasing
its production, for it is not necessary that the producers of wheat should
use their increased earnings in a larger consumption of wheat. But then the
demand for something else would correspondingly increase--for example, for
clothing, or for tools; and if this were only known in time, and production
were turned in that direction, there would never be a disturbance in the
exchange-relations of the several kinds of goods. Thus the orthodox
doctrine explains crises as due not to a surplus of products in general,
not to a mere disproportion between production and consumption, but to a
transient disturbance of the right relation between the several kinds of
production; and it adds that it is simply paradoxical to talk of a
deficient demand in view of the misery prevailing all over the world.

'In this, in other respects perfectly unassailable reasoning, only _one_
thing is forgotten--the fundamental constitution of the exploiting system
of society. Certainly it is a cruel paradox to speak of a general lack of
demand in view of boundless misery; but where an immense majority of men
have no claim upon the fruits of their labour, this paradox becomes a
horrible reality. What avails it to the suffering worker that he knows how
to make right, good, and needful use of what he produces, if that which he
produces does not belong to him? Let us confine ourselves to the example of
the increased production of wheat by improved methods of cultivation. If
the right of disposal of the increased quantity of grain belonged to the
agricultural producers, they would certainly eat more or finer bread, and
thus themselves consume a part of the increased production; with another
part they would raise the demand for clothing, and with another the demand
for implements, which would necessarily be required in order that more
grain and clothing might be produced. In such a case it would really be
merely a question of restoring the right relation between the production of
wheat, of clothing, of implements, which had been disturbed by the
increased production of one of these--wheat; and increased production, a
condition of greater prosperity for all, would, after some transient
disturbances, be the inevitable consequence. But since the increased
proceeds of wheat-cultivation do not belong to the workers, since those
workers receive in any case only a bare subsistence, the progress which has
been made in their branch of production does not enable them to consume
either more grain or more clothing, and therefore there can exist no
increased demand for implements for the production of wheat and textile
fabrics.'

'But,' I objected, 'though this increased product is withheld from the
workers, it is not ownerless--it belongs to the undertakers; and these too
are men who wish to use their gains to satisfy some want or other. The
undertakers will now increase their consumption; and after all one might
suppose it would be impossible that a general disproportion should exist
between supply and demand. Certainly it would now be commodities of another
kind, the production of which would be stimulated in order to restore an
equilibrium between the several branches of labour. If the increase
belonged to the workers, then would more grain, more ordinary clothing, and
more implements be required; but since it belongs to a few undertakers
there will be an increased demand only for luxuries--dainties, laces,
equipages--and for the implements requisite to produce these luxuries.'

'Exactly!' said David, who here joined in the conversation. 'Only the
undertakers are by no means inclined to apply, in any considerable degree,
the surplus derived from increased production to an additional consumption
of luxuries; but they capitalise most of it--that is, invest it in
implements of production. Nay, in some circumstances--as we heard
yesterday--the "undertaker" is no man at all possessing human wants, but a
mere dummy that consumes nothing and capitalises everything.'

'So much the better,' I said, 'wealth will increase all the more rapidly;
for rapidly growing capital means rapidly increasing production, and that
is in itself identical with rapidly increasing wealth.'

'Splendid!' cried David. 'So, because the working masses cannot increase
their consumption, and the undertakers will not correspondingly increase
theirs, and consequently there can be no increased consumption of any
commodity whatever, therefore the surplus power of production is utilised
in multiplying the means of production. That is, in other words, no one
needs more grain--so let us construct more ploughs; no one needs more
textile material--so let us set up more spinning-mills and looms! Are you
not yet able to measure the height of absurdity to which your doctrine
leads?'

I think, Louis, you, like myself, will admit that there is simply no reply
to reasoning so plain and convincing. An economic system which bars the
products of human industry and invention from the only use to which they
should finally be applied--namely, that of satisfying some human
requirement--and which is then astonished that they cannot be consumed,
narrowly escapes idiocy. But that such is the character of the system which
prevails in Europe and America must in the end become clear to everyone.

'But, in heaven's name, what becomes of the productive power among us which
thus remains unemployed?' I asked. 'We are, on the whole, as advanced in
art, science, and technical skill as you are in Freeland; I must therefore
suppose that we could become as rich, or nearly so, as you, if we could
only find a use for all our production. But we do not actually possess a
tenth of your wealth, and yet there is twice as much hard work done among
us as there is here. For though among you everyone works, and among us
there are several millions of persons of leisure who live simply upon the
toil of others, yet this is counterbalanced by the circumstance that our
working masses are kept at their toil ten hours or more daily, whilst here
an average working day is only five hours. Certainly among us there are
millions of unemployed workers; but that also is more than compensated for
by the labour of women and children, which is unknown among you. Where
then, I repeat, lies the immense difference between the utilisation of our
powers of production and of yours?'

'In the equipment of labour,' was the answer. 'We Freelanders do not work
so hard as you do, but we make full use of all the aids of science and
technics, whilst you are able to do this only exceptionally, and in no case
so completely as we do. All the inventions and discoveries of the greatest
minds are as well known to you as to us; but as a rule they are taken
advantage of only by us. Since your aristocratic institutions prevent you
from enjoying the things the production of which is facilitated by those
inventions, you are not able to take advantage of the inventions except in
such small measure as your institutions permit.'

Even my father was profoundly moved by this crushing exposition of a system
which he had always been accustomed to honour as the highest emanation of
eternal wisdom. 'Incredible! shocking!' he murmured in a tone audible only
to myself.

But Mr. Clark proceeded: 'Among us, on the contrary, the theorem of the
so-called classical economics, that a general excess of production is
impossible, has become a truth, for in Freeland consumption and production
exactly tally. Here there can be over-production only temporarily and in
_isolated_ kinds of goods--that is, the equilibrium between different kinds
of production may be temporarily disturbed. But we have no need to be
afraid of even this trifling danger. The intimate connection of all
productive interests springing from the nature of our institutions is an
antecedent guarantee of equilibrium between all branches of production. A
careful examination will show that the whole of Freeland is one great
productive society, whose individual members are independent of one
another, and yet are connected in one respect--namely, in respect of the
proceeds of their labour. Just because everyone can labour where and how he
pleases, but everyone's labour is alike in aiming at the highest possible
utility, so--apart from any incidental errors--it is impossible but that an
equal amount of labour should result in an equal amount of utility. All our
institutions tend towards this one point. At first, as long as our
commonwealth was in its initial stages, it sometimes happened that
considerable inequalities had to be subsequently balanced; the producers
did not always know until the year's accounts were closed what one and the
other had earned. But that was a period of childhood long since outlived.
At present, every Freelander knows, to within such trifling variations as
may be due to little unforeseen accidents, exactly what he and others have
earned, and also what they have every prospect of earning in the near
future. He does not wait for inequalities to arise and then set about
rectifying them; but he takes care that inequalities shall not arise. Since
our statistics always show with unerring accuracy what at the time is being
produced in every branch of industry, and since the demand as well as its
influence upon prices can be exactly estimated from a careful observation
of past years, therefore the revenue not only of every branch of industry,
but of every separate establishment, can be beforehand so reliably
calculated that nothing short of natural catastrophes can cause errors
worth notice. If such occur, then comes in the assistance of the reciprocal
insurance. In fact, in this country, not only are there no crises, but not
even any considerable variations in the different productions. Our
Statistical Department publishes an unbroken series of exact comparative
statistics, from which can at any time be seen where either fresh demand or
excess of labour is likely to arise; our supply of labour is controlled by
these returns, and that is sufficient--with rare exceptions--to preserve a
perfect equilibrium in production. It frequently occurs that here or there
a newly started establishment comes to grief, particularly in the mining
industry. Such a failure must not, however, be regarded as a
bankruptcy--how can undertakers become bankrupt when they have neither
ground-rent, nor interest, nor wages to pay, and who in any case still
possess their highly priced labour-power?--but at the worst as a case of
disappointed expectations. And should the very rare circumstance occur,
that the community or an association loses the loaned capital through the
premature death of the borrower, of what importance is that in the face of
the gigantic sums safely employed in our business? And if a guaranty (_del
credere_) were insisted upon to cover such a loss, it would amount to
scarcely a thousandth part of one per cent., and would not be worth the ink
used in writing it.'

'And do not foreign crises sometimes disturb the calm course of your
Freeland production? Are not your markets flooded, through foreign
over-production, with goods for which there is no corresponding demand?' I
asked.

'It certainly cannot be denied that we are considerably inconvenienced by
the frequent and sudden changes of price in the markets of the world caused
by the anarchic character of the exploiting system of production. We are
thereby often compelled to diminish our production in certain directions,
and divert the labour thus set free to other branches of industry, though
there is no actual change in the cost of production or in the relative
demand. These foreign, sudden, and incalculable influences sometimes make a
diversion of labour from one production to another necessary in order to
preserve an equilibrium in the profits, though the regular and automatic
migration of labour from one industry to another is sufficient to correct
the disturbance in the relations between supply and demand due to natural
causes. But these spasmodic foreign occurrences cannot produce a serious
convulsion in our industrial relations. Just as it is impossible to throw
out of equilibrium a liquid which yields to every pressure or blow, so our
industry is able to preserve its equilibrium by means of its absolutely
free mobility. It may be thrown into fruitless agitation, but its natural
gravity at once restores the harmony of its relations. But, as I have said,
such a disturbance is produced only by a partial over-production abroad.
That this brings about a superabundance of all commodities, we care but
little. Since foreign countries do not send us their goods for nothing, but
demand other goods in return, what those other goods shall be is their
business, not ours. We have no interest-bearing bonds or saleable property
in land; hence our export goods must be the produce of our labour. The fact
that in Freeland every product must find a purchaser is therefore by no
means affected by external trade.'

'That is very clear,' I admitted.

'But,' interposed my father,' why do you not protect yourselves against
disturbance due to foreign fluctuations in production, by a total exclusion
of foreign imports?'

'Because that would be to cut off one's hand in order to prevent it from
being injured,' was Mr. Clark's drastic answer. 'We import only those goods
which we cannot produce so cheaply ourselves. But since, as I have already
taken the liberty of saying, the imported goods are not presented to us,
but must be paid for by goods produced by us, it is of importance that we
should be able to produce the goods with which we make the payment more
cheaply--that is, with less expenditure of labour-power--than we could the
imported goods. For instance, we manufacture scarcely any cotton goods, but
get nearly all such goods from England and America. We could, certainly,
manufacture cotton goods ourselves, but it is plain that we should have to
expend upon their manufacture more labour-power than upon the production of
the corn, gold, machinery, and tools with which we pay for the cotton goods
that we require. If it were not so, we should manufacture cotton goods
also, for there is no conceivable reason for not doing so but the one just
mentioned. If, therefore, our legislature prohibited the importation of
cotton goods, we should have to divert labour from other branches of
industry for the sake of producing _less_ than we do now. We should have
either to put up with fewer goods, or to work more, to meet the same
demand. Hence, in this country, to enact a protective duty would be held to
be pure madness.'

'Then you hold,' said my father, 'that our European and American economists
and statesmen who still in part adhere to the system of protection, are
simply Bedlamites; and you believe that the only rational commercial policy
is that of absolute free trade?'

'Allow me to say,' answered Mr. Clark,' that Europe and America are not
Freeland. I certainly cannot regard protection even abroad as rational, for
the assumptions from which it starts are under all circumstances false. But
neither do I think the foreign free trader is essentially wiser than the
protectionist, for he also starts from assumptions which are baseless in an
exploiting country. The prohibitionists think they are encouraging
production: they are doing the opposite, they are hindering and hampering
production; and the free traders, in so far as they insist upon this fact,
are perfectly correct. Both parties, however, fail to see that in an
exploiting society, which is never able to utilise more than a small part
of its power to produce, the influence of legislative interference with
trade upon the good or the bad utilisation of productive power is a matter
of very little importance. Of what advantage is it to the free traders that
a nation under the domination of their commercial system _is able_ to make
the most prolific use of their industrial capacities, so long as the
continuance of industrial servitude prevents this nation from enjoying more
than enough to satisfy the barest necessities of life? More than is
consumed cannot, under any circumstances, be produced; and consumption
among you abroad is so infinitely small, that it is verily ridiculous to
dispute over the question whether this or that commodity can be produced
better at home or abroad.

'What alone interests us in this controversy among the foreign commercial
politicians is that neither party has the slightest suspicion that what the
free traders rightly reproach the protectionists with, and what the latter
wrongly defend, is the very thing that gains so many adherents to
protection--namely, the hindering and hampering of production. The
protectionists have a right to boast that they compel their people to apply
two day's labour or a double amount of capital to the production at home of
a thing which, by means of external trade, might have been exchanged for
things that are the product of merely half as much expenditure of home
labour. We, who work in order to enjoy, would have a good right to treat as
insane any persons among us who proposed such a course as an "encouragement
of home labour"; but among you, where labour and enjoyment are completely
dissevered, where millions cry for work as a favour--among you, the
hampering of labour is felt to be a benefit because it makes more toil
necessary in order to procure an equal amount of enjoyment. Among you it is
also a somewhat dangerous narcotic, for protection has a Janus head: it not
merely increases the toil, it at the same time still more diminishes the
consumption by raising the price of the articles in demand, the rise in
price never being followed immediately by a rise in wages; so that, in the
end, in spite of the increased difficulty in production, no more labour and
capital are employed than before. But the intimate relation between these
things is as a book sealed with seven seals to both protectionists and free
traders. Had it been otherwise, they must long since have seen that the
cure for industrial evils must be looked for not in the domain of
commercial politics, but in that of social politics.'

'Now I begin to understand,' I cried out, 'the widespread growth of
economic reaction against which we Western Liberals are waging a ridiculous
Quixotic war with all our apparently irrefutable arguments. We present to
the people as an argument against protection exactly that after which they
are--unconsciously, it is true--eagerly longing. Protective tariffs, trade
guilds, and whatever else the ingenious devices of the last decades may be
called, I now understand and recognise as desperate attempts made by men
whose very existence is threatened by the ever growing disproportion
between the power to produce and consumption--attempts to restore to some
extent the true proportion by curbing and checking the power to produce.
Whilst the protectionist is eager to put fetters upon the international
division of labour, to keep at a distance the foreigner who might otherwise
save him some of his toil, the advocate of trade-guilds fights for
hand-labour against machine-labour and commerce. And when I look into the
matter, I find all these people are in a certain sense wiser than we
Liberals of the old school, who know no better cure for the malady of the
time than that of shutting our eyes as firmly as possible. It is true, our
intentions have been of the best; but since we have at length discovered
how to attain what we wished for, we should at once throw off the fatal
self-deception that political freedom would suffice to make men truly free
and happy. Political freedom is an indispensable, but not the sole,
condition of progress; whoever refuses to recognise this condemns mankind
afresh to the night of reaction. For if, as our Liberal economics has
taught, it were really contrary to the laws of nature to guarantee to all
men a full participation in the benefits of progress, then not only would
progress be the most superfluous thing imaginable, but we should have to
agree with those who assert that the eternally disinherited masses can find
happiness only in ignorant indifference. Now I realise that the material
and mental reaction is the logically inevitable outcome of economic
orthodoxy. If wealth and leisure are impossible for all, then it is
strictly logical to promote material and mental reaction; whilst it is
absurd to believe that men will perpetually promote a growth of culture
without ever taking advantage of it. I now see with appalling distinctness
that if our toiling masses had not been saved by their social hopes from
sharing our economic pessimism, we Liberals would long since have found
ourselves in the midst of a reaction of a fearful kind: it is not through
_us_ that modern civilisation has been spared the destruction which
overwhelmed its predecessors.'

After dinner, Mr. Ney invited us to accompany him to the National Palace,
where the Parliament for Public Works was about to hold an evening session
in order to vote upon a great canal project. He thought the subject would
interest us. We accepted the invitation with thanks.

The Parliament for Public Works consists of 120 members, most of whom, as
David--who was one of the party--told me, are directors of large
associations, particularly of associations connected with building; but
among the members are also professors of technical universities, and other
specialists. The body contains no laymen who are ignorant of public works;
and the parliament may be said to contain the flower and quintessence of
the technical science and skill of all Freeland.

The project before the house was one which had been advocated for above a
year by the directors of the Water and Mountain-Cultivation Associations of
Eden Vale, North Baringo, Ripon, and Strahl City, in connection with two
professors of the technical university of Ripon. The project was nothing
less than the construction of a canal navigable by ships of 2,000 tons
burden, from Lake Tanganika, across the Mutanzige and Albert Nyanza, whence
the Nile could be followed to the Mediterranean Sea; and from the mouth of
the Congo, along the course of that river, across the Aruwhimi to the
Albert lake; thence following several smaller streams to the Baringo lake,
along the upper course of the Dana, and thence to the Indian Ocean. The
project thus included two water-ways, one of which would connect the great
lakes of Central Africa with the Mediterranean Sea, and the other, crossing
the whole of the continent, would connect the Atlantic with the Indian
Ocean. Since a part of the immense works involved in this project would
have to be carried through foreign territories--those of the Congo State
and of Egypt--negotiations had been opened with those States, and all the
necessary powers had been obtained. The readiness of the foreign
governments to accede to the wishes of the Eden Vale executive is explained
by the fact that Freeland did not propose to exact any toll for the use of
its canals, thus making its neighbours a free gift of these colossal works.
In connection with this project, there was also another for the acquisition
of the Suez Canal, which was to be doubled in breadth and depth and
likewise thrown open gratuitously to the world. The English government,
which owned the greater part of the Suez Canal shares, had met the
Freelanders most liberally, transferring to them its shares at a very low
price, so that the Freelanders had further to deal with only holders of a
small number of shares, who certainly knew how to take advantage of the
situation. The British government stipulated for the inalienable neutrality
of the canal, and urged the Freelanders to prosecute the work with vigour.

The following were the preliminary expenses:

                                                          £
    South-North Canal (total length 3,900 miles)     385,000,000
    East-West Canal (total length 3,400 miles)       412,000,000
    Suez Canal (purchase and enlargement)            280,000,000
                           Total                   1,077,000,000£

It was estimated that the whole would be completed in six years, and that
therefore a round sum of 180,000,000£ would be required yearly during the
progress of the work. The Freeland government believed that they were
justified by their past experience in expecting that the national income
would in the course of the coming six years increase from seven
milliards--the income of the past year--to at least ten and a-half
milliards, giving a yearly average of eight and a-half milliards for the
six years. The cost of construction of the projected works would therefore
absorb only two and one-eighth per cent. of the estimated national income,
and would be covered without raising the tax upon this income above its
normal proportion. The estimated cost was accompanied by detailed plans,
and also by an estimate of the profits, according to which it was
calculated that in the first year of use the canals would save the country
32,000,000£ in cost of transport; and therefore, taking into account the
presumptive growth of traffic, the canals would, in about thirty years, pay
for themselves in the mere saving of transport expenses. Moreover, these
future waterways were to serve in places as draining and irrigating canals;
and it was calculated that the advantage thus conferred upon the country
would be worth on an average 45,000,000£ a year. Thus the whole project
would pay for itself in fourteen years at the longest, without taking into
account the advantages conferred upon foreign nations.

As the whole of the proposals and plans had been in the hands of the
members for several weeks, and had been carefully studied by them, the
discussion began at once. No one offered any opposition to the principle of
the project. The debate was confined chiefly to two questions: first,
whether it was not possible to hasten the construction; and secondly,
whether an alternative plan, the details of which were before the house,
was not preferable. With reference to the first question, it was shown
that, by adopting a new system of dredging devised by certain experienced
specialists, quite six months could be saved; and it was therefore resolved
to adopt that system. As to the second question, after hearing the
arguments of Mr. Ney, it was unanimously decided to adhere to the plan of
the central executive. After a debate of less than three hours, the
government found itself empowered to spend 1,077,000,000£, something more
than the cost of all the canals in the rest of the civilised world. This
amount was to be spent in five and a-half years, in constructing works
which would make it possible for ocean steamers to cross the African
continent from east to west, to pass from the Mediterranean as far as the
tenth degree of south latitude, and to remove every obstacle and every toll
from the passage of the Suez Canal.

I was absolutely dumfounded by all this. 'If I had not already resolved to
strike the word "impossible" out of my vocabulary, I should do it now,' I
remarked to Mr. Ney on our way home. I must add that in the Freeland
parliaments all the proceedings take place in the presence of the public,
so that I had an opportunity of making a hasty examination of the details
of the project which had just been adopted. You know that I understand such
things a little, and I was therefore able to gather from the plans that the
two central ship canals crossed several watersheds. One of these watersheds
I accidentally knew something of, as we had passed a part of it on our
journey hither, and a part of it we had seen in some of our excursions. It
rises, as I reckon, at least 1,650 feet above the level of the canal. I
asked Mr. Ney whether it was really proposed to carry a waterway for ships
of 2,000 tons burden some 1,650 feet up and down--was it not impossible
either to construct or to work such a canal?

'Certainly!' he replied, with a smile. 'But if you look at the plan more
carefully, you will see that we do not _go over_ such watersheds by means
of locks, but _under_ them by means of tunnels.'

I looked at him incredulously, and my father's face expressed no little
astonishment.

'What do you find remarkable in that, my worthy guests? Why should it be
impracticable to do on canals what has so long and extensively been done on
railways, which could be much more easily carried _over_ hills and
valleys?' asked Mr. Ney. 'I admit that our canal tunnels are very costly;
but as, in working, they spare us what is the most expensive of all things,
human labour-time, they are the most practical for our circumstances.
Besides, in several cases we had no alternative except to dispense with the
canals or to construct tunnels. The watershed you speak of is not the most
considerable one: our greatest boring--connecting the river system of the
Victoria Nyanza with the Indian Ocean--is carried, in one stretch of ten
and a-half miles, 4,000 feet below the watershed; and altogether, in our
new project, we have not less than eighty-two miles of tunnelling. Such
tunnels are, however, not quite novelties. There are in France, as you
know, several short water-tunnels; we possess, in our old canal system,
several very respectable ones, though certainly they cannot compare either
in length or in size with the new ones, by means of which large ocean
vessels--with lowered masts, of course--will be able to steam through the
bowels of whole ranges of mountains. The cost is enormous; but you must
remember that every hour saved to a Freeland sailor is already worth eight
shillings, and increases in value year by year.'

'But,' said my father, 'what, after all, is inconceivable to me is the
haste, I might almost say the _nonchalance_, with which milliards were
voted to you, as if it was merely a question of the veriest trifle. I would
not for a moment question the integrity of the members of your Parliament
for Public Buildings; but I cannot refrain from saying that the whole
assembly gave me the impression of expecting the greatest personal
advantage from getting the work done as speedily and on as large a scale as
possible.'

'And that impression was a correct one,' replied Mr. Ney. 'But I must add
that every inhabitant of Freeland will necessarily derive the same personal
profit from the realisation of this canal project. Just because it is so,
just because among us there truly exists that solidarity of interests which
among other peoples exists only in name, are we able to expend such immense
sums upon works which can be shown to promise a utility above their cost.
If, among you, a canal is constructed which increases the profitableness of
large tracts of land, your recognised economics teaches you that it adds to
the prosperity of all. But this is correct only for the owners of the
ground affected by the canal, whilst the great mass of the population is
not benefited in the least by such a canal, and perhaps the owners of other
competing tracts of land are actually injured. The lowering of the price of
corn--so your statesmen assert--benefits the non-possessing classes; they
forget the little fact that the rate of wages cannot be permanently
maintained if the price of corn sinks. Against this there is certainly to
be placed as a consolation the fact that the non-possessing masses will not
be permanently injured by the increased taxes necessitated by such public
works; for he who earns only enough to furnish a bare subsistence cannot
long be made to pay much in taxes. Therefore, in your countries, the
controversy over such investments is a conflict of interests between
different landowners and undertakers, some of whom gain, whilst others gain
nothing, or actually lose. Among us, on the contrary, everyone is alike
interested in the gains of profitable investments in proportion to the
amount of work he does; and everyone is also called upon to contribute to
the defraying of the cost in proportion to the amount of work he does:
hence, a conflict of interests, or even a mere disproportion in reaping the
advantage, is among us absolutely excluded. The new canals will convert
17,000,000 acres of bog into fertile agricultural land. Who will be
benefited, when this virgin soil traversed by such magnificent waterways
annually produces so many more pounds sterling per acre than is produced by
other land? Plainly everyone in Freeland, and everyone alike, whether he be
agriculturist, artisan, professor, or official. Who gains by the lowering
of freights? Merely the associations and workers who actually make use of
the new waterways for transport? By no means; for, thanks to the unlimited
mobility of our labour, they necessarily share with everyone in Freeland
whatever advantage they reap. Therefore, with perfect confidence, we commit
the decision of such questions to those who are most immediately interested
in them. They know best what will be of advantage to them, and as their
advantage is everybody's advantage, so everybody's--that is, the
commonwealth's--treasury stands as open and free to them as their own. If
they wish to put their hands into it, the deeper the better! We have not to
inquire _whom_ the investment will benefit, but merely _if_ it is
profitable--that is, if it saves labour.'

'Marvellous, but true!' my father was compelled to admit. 'But since in
this country there exists the completest solidarity of interests, I cannot
understand why you require the repayment of the capital which the
commonwealth supplies to the different associations.'

'Because not to do so would be Communism with all its inevitable
consequences,' was the answer. 'The ultimate benefit of such gratuitously
given capital would certainly be reaped by all alike; but, in that case,
who could guarantee that the investment of the capital should be
advantageous and not injurious? For an investment of capital is
advantageous only when by its help more labour is saved than the creation
of the capital has cost. A machine that absorbs more labour than it takes
the place of is injurious. But we are now secured against such wasteful
expenditure, at least against any known waste of capital. The commonwealth,
as well as individuals, may be mistaken in its calculations; both may
consider an investment profitable which is afterwards proved to be
unprofitable--that is, which does not pay for the labour which it costs.
Nevertheless, the _intention_ in all investments can only be to save the
expenditure of energy, for both the commonwealth and individuals must bear
the cost of their own investments. If, however, the commonwealth had to be
responsible for the investments of individuals--that is, of the
associations--then the several associations would have no motive to avoid
employing such mechanical aids as would save less labour than they cost.
The necessary consequence of this liberality on the part of the
commonwealth would therefore be that the commonwealth would assume a right
of supervision and control over those who required capital; and this would
be incompatible with freedom and progress. All sense of personal
responsibility would be lost, the commonwealth would be compelled to busy
itself with matters which did not belong to it, and loss would be
inevitable in spite of all arbitrary restraints from above.'

'That, again,' said my father, 'is as plain and simple as possible. But I
must ask for an explanation of one other point. In virtue of the solidarity
of interests which prevails among you, everyone participates in all
improvements, wherever they may occur; this takes place in such a manner
that everyone has the right to exchange a less profitable branch of
production, or a less profitable locality, for a more profitable one. Then
what interest has the _individual_ producer--that is, the _individual_
association--to introduce improvements, since it must seem to be much
simpler, less troublesome, and less risky, to allow others to take the
initiative and to attach oneself to them when success is certain? But I
perceive that your associations are by no means lacking in push and
enterprise: how is this? What prompts your producers to run risks--small
though they may be--when the profit to be gained thereby must so quickly be
shared by everybody?'

'In the first place,' replied Mr. Ney, 'you overlook the fact that the
amount of the expected profit is not the only inducement by which
working-men, and particularly our Freeland workers, are influenced. The
ambition of seeing the establishment to which one belongs in the van and
not in the rear of all others, is not to be undervalued as a motive
actuating intelligent men possessing a strong _esprit de corps_. But, apart
from that, you must reflect that the members of the associations have also
a very considerable _material_ interest in the prosperity of their own
particular undertaking. Freeland workers without exception have very
comfortable, nay, luxurious homes, naturally for the most part in the
neighbourhood of their respective work-places; they run a risk of having to
leave these homes if their undertaking is not kept up to a level with
others. In the second place, the elder workmen--that is, those that have
been engaged a longer time in an undertaking--enjoy a constantly increasing
premium; their work-time has a higher value by several units per cent. than
that of the later comers. Hence, notwithstanding the solidarity of
interest, the members of each association have to take care that their
establishment is not excelled; and since the risk attending new
improvements is very small indeed, the spirit of invention and enterprise
is more keenly active among us than anywhere else in the world. The
associations zealously compete with each other for pre-eminence, only it is
a friendly rivalry and not a competitive struggle for bread.'

By this time it had grown late. My father and I would gladly have listened
longer to the very interesting explanations of our kind host, but we could
not abuse the courtesy of our friends, and so we parted; and I will take
occasion also to bid you, Louis, farewell for to-day.

----



CHAPTER XX


Eden Vale: Aug. 16, ----

In your last letter you give expression to your astonishment that our host,
with only a salary of 1,440£ as a member of the government of Freeland, is
able to keep up such an establishment as I have described, to occupy an
elegant villa with twelve dwelling-rooms, to furnish his table, to indulge
in horses and carriages--in a word, to live as luxuriously as only the
richest are able to do among us at home. In fact, David was right when he
promised us that we should not have to forego any real comfort, any genuine
enjoyment to which we had been accustomed in our aristocratic palace at
home. Our host does not possess capital the interest of which he can use;
nor is Mrs. Ney a 'blue-stocking'--as you surmise--who writes highly paid
romances for Freeland journals; nor does the elder Ney draw upon his son's
income as artist. It is true that Mrs. Ney once possessed a large fortune
which she inherited from her father, one of the leading speculators of
America; but she lost this to the last farthing in the great American
crisis of 18--, soon after her marriage. The domestic habits of the Neys
were not, however, affected in the least by this loss; for since her
migration to Freeland she had never made any private use of her fortune,
but had always applied its income to public purposes. This does not prevent
Mr. Ney from spending--over and above the outlay you mention--very
considerable sums upon art and science and in benevolence: the last of
course only abroad, for here no one is in need of charity. As it is not
considered indiscreet in Freeland to talk of such matters, I am in a
position to tell you that last year the Neys spent 92£ for objects of art,
75£ for books, journals, and music, 120£ in travelling, and 108£--the
amount that remained to their credit after defraying all the other
expenses--in foreign charities and public institutions. Thanks to the
marvellous organisation of industry and trade, everything here is
fabulously cheap--in fact, many things which consume a great deal of money
in Europe and America do not add in the least to the expenses of a Freeland
household, as they are furnished gratuitously by the commonwealth, and paid
for out of the tax which has been subtracted in advance from the net income
of each individual. For example, in the cost of travelling, not a farthing
has to be reckoned for railway or steamship, since--as you have already
learnt from my former letters--the Freeland commonwealth provides free
means of personal transport. The same holds, as I think I have already told
you, of the telegraphs, the telephones, the post, electric lighting,
mechanical motive-power, &c. On the other hand, the Freeland government
charges the cost of the transport of goods by land and water to the owners
of the goods. I will take this opportunity of remarking that almost every
Freeland family spends on an average two months in the year in travelling,
mostly in the many wonderfully beautiful districts of their own land, and
more rarely in foreign countries. Every Freelander takes a holiday of at
least six, and sometimes as much as ten weeks, and seeks recreation,
pleasure, and instruction, as a tourist. The highlands of the Kilimanjaro,
the Kenia, and the Elgon, of the Aberdare range and the Mountains of the
Moon, as well as the shores of all the great lakes, swarm at all
seasons--except the two rainy seasons--with driving, riding, walking,
rowing, and sailing men, women, and children, in full enjoyment of all the
delights of travel.

An intelligent and hearty love of nature and natural beauty is a general
characteristic of the Freelanders. They are proprietors in common of the
whole of their country, and their loving care for this precious possession
is everywhere conspicuous. It is significant that nowhere in Freeland are
the streams and rivers poisoned by refuse-water; nowhere are picturesque
mountain-declivities disfigured by quarries opened in badly selected
localities. No such offences against the beauty of the landscape are
anywhere to be met with. For why should these self-governing workers rob
themselves of the real pleasure afforded by healthy and beautiful natural
scenes, for the sake of a small saving which must be shared by everybody?
Naturally, this intelligent regard for rural attractions benefits tourists
also. Everywhere both the roads and the railways are bordered by avenues of
fine palms, whose slender branchless trunks do not obscure the view, whilst
their heavy crowns afford refreshing shade. In consequence of this simple
and effective arrangement, one suffers far less from heat and dust here
under the equator than in temperate Europe, where in the summer months a
several hours' journey by rail or road is frequently a torture. At all the
beautiful and romantic spots, the Hotel and Recreation Associations have
employed their immense resources in providing enormous boarding-houses, as
well as many small villas, in which the tourists may find every comfort,
either in the company of hundreds or thousands of others, or in rural
isolation, for hours, days, weeks, or months.

If you are astonished at the luxury in the house of the Neys, what will you
say when I tell you that in this country every simple worker lives
essentially as our hosts do? The villas merely have fewer rooms, the
furniture is plainer; instead of keeping saddle-horses of their own, the
simple workers hire those belonging to the Transport Association; less
money is spent upon objects of art, books, and for benevolent purposes:
these are the only differences. Take, for instance, our neighbour Moro.
Though an ordinary overseer in the Eden Vale Paint-making Association, he
and his charming wife are among the intimate friends of our host, and we
have already several times dined in his neat and comfortable seven-roomed
house. Even 'pupil-daughters' are not lacking in his house, for his wife
enjoys--and justly, as I can testify--the reputation of possessing a
special amount of mental and moral culture; and, as you know,
pupil-daughters choose not the great house, but the superior housewife. And
if it should strike you as remarkable that such a Phoenix of a woman should
be the wife of a simple factory-hand, you must remember that the workers of
Freeland are different from those of Europe. Here everybody enjoys sound
secondary education; and that a young man becomes an artisan and not a
teacher, or a physician, or engineer, or such like, is due to the fact that
he does not possess, or thinks he does not possess, any _exceptional_
intellectual capacity. For in this country the intellectual professions can
be successfully carried on only by those who possess exceptional natural
qualifications, since the competition of _all_ who are really qualified
makes it impossible for the imperfectly qualified to succeed. Among
ourselves, where only an infinitely small proportion of the population has
the opportunity of studying, the lack of means among the immense majority
secures a privilege even to the blockheads among the fortunate possessors
of means. The rich cannot all be persons of talent any more than all the
poor can. Since we, however, notwithstanding this, supply our demand for
intellectual workers--apart, of course, from those exceptional cases which
occur everywhere--solely from the small number of sons of rich families, we
are fortunate if we find one capable student among ten incapables; of which
ten--since the one capable student cannot supply all our demand--at most
only two or three of the greatest blockheads suffer shipwreck. Here, on the
contrary, where everyone has the opportunity of studying, there are, of
course, very many more capable students; consequently the Freelanders do
not need to go nearly so low down as we do in the scale of capacity to
cover their demand for intellectual workers. It does not necessarily follow
that their cleverest men are cleverer than ours; but our incapables--among
the graduates--are much, much more incapable than the least capable of
theirs can possibly be. What would be of medium quality among us is here
far below consideration at all. Friend Moro, for instance, would probably,
in Europe or America, not have been one of the 'lights of science,' nor 'an
ornament to the bar'; but he would at least have been a very acceptable
average teacher, advocate, or official. Here, however, after leaving the
intermediate school, it was necessary for him to take a conscientious
valuation of his mental capacity; and he arrived at the conclusion that it
would be better to become a first-rate factory-overseer than a mediocre
teacher or official. And he could carry out this--perhaps too
severe--resolve without socially degrading himself, for in Freeland manual
labour does not degrade as it does in Europe and America, where the
assertion that it does not degrade is one of the many conventional lies
with which we seek to impose upon ourselves. Despite all our democratic
talk, work is among us in general a disgrace, for the labourer is a
dependent, an exploited servant--he has a master over him who can order
him, and can use him for his own purpose as he can a beast of burden. No
ethical theory in the world will make master and servant equally
honourable. But here it is different. To discover how great the difference
is, one need merely attend a social reunion in Freeland. It is natural, of
course, that persons belonging to the same circle of interests should most
readily associate together; but this must not be supposed to imply the
existence of anything even remotely like a breaking up of society into
different professional strata. The common level of culture is so high,
interest in the most exalted problems of humanity so general, even among
the manual labourers, that _savants_, artists, heads of the government,
find innumerable points of contact, both intellectual and aesthetic, even
with factory-hands and agricultural labourers.

This is all the more the case since a definite line of demarcation between
head-workers and hand-workers cannot here be drawn. The manual labourer of
to-day may to-morrow, by the choice of his fellow-labourers, become a
director of labour, therefore a head-worker; and, on the other hand, there
are among the manual labourers untold thousands who were originally elected
to different callings, and who have gone through the studies required for
such callings, but have exchanged the pen for the tool, either because they
found themselves not perfectly qualified intellectually, or because their
tastes have changed. Thus, for instance, another visiting friend of the
Neys successfully practised as a physician for several years; but he now
devotes himself to gardening, because this quiet calling withdraws him less
than his work as physician from his favourite study, astronomy. His
knowledge and capacity as astronomer were not sufficient to provide him
with a livelihood, and as he was frequently called in the night from some
interesting observation reluctantly to attend upon sick children, he
determined to earn his livelihood by gardening, so that he might devote his
nights to an undisturbed observation of the stars. Another man with whom I
have here become acquainted exchanged the career of a bank official for
that of a machine-smith, simply because he did not like a sedentary
occupation; several times he might have been elected by the members of his
association on the board of directors, but he always declined on the plea
of an invincible objection to office work. But there is a still larger
number of persons who combine some kind of manual labour with intellectual
work. So general in Freeland is the disinclination to confine oneself
_exclusively_ to head-work, that in all the higher callings, and even in
the public offices, arrangements have to be made which will allow those
engaged in such offices to spend some time in manual occupations. The
bookkeepers and correspondents of the associations, as well as of the
central bank, the teachers, officials, and other holders of appointments of
all kinds, have the right to demand, besides the regular two months'
holiday, leave of absence for a longer or a shorter time, which time is to
be spent in some other occupation. Naturally no wages are paid for the time
consumed by these special periods of absence; but this does not prevent the
greater part of all those officials from seeking a temporary change of
occupation for several months once in every two or three years, as
factory-hands, miners, agriculturists, gardeners, &c. An acquaintance of
mine, a head of a department of the central executive, spends two months in
every second year at one or other of the mines in the Aberdare or the
Baringo district. He tells me he has already gone practically through the
work of the coal, the iron, the tin, the copper, and the sulphur mines; and
he is now pleasantly anticipating a course of labour in the salt-works of
Elmeteita.

In view of this general and thorough inter-blending of the most ordinary
physical with the highest mental activity, it is impossible to speak of any
distinction of class or social status. The agriculturists here are as
highly respected, as cultured gentlemen, as the learned, the artists, or
the higher officials; and there is nothing to prevent those who harmonise
with them in character and sentiment from treating them as friends and
equals in society.

But the women--elsewhere the staunchest upholders of aristocratic
exclusiveness--in this country are the most zealous advocates of a complete
amalgamation of all the different sections of the population. The Freeland
woman, almost without exception, has attained to a very high degree of
ethical and intellectual culture. Relieved of all material anxiety and
toil, her sole vocation is to ennoble herself, to quicken her understanding
for all that is good and lofty. As she is delivered from the degrading
necessity of finding in her husband one upon whom she is dependent for her
livelihood, as she does not derive her social position from the occupation
of her husband, but from her own personal worth, she is consequently free
from that haughty exclusiveness which is to be found wherever real
excellences are wanting. The women of the so-called better classes among us
at home treat their less fortunate sisters with such repellent arrogance
simply because they cannot get rid of the instinctive feeling that these
poorer sisters would have very well occupied their own places, and _vice
versâ_, had their husbands been changed. And even when it is not so, when
the European 'lady' actually does possess a higher ethical and intellectual
character, she is obliged to confess that her position in the opinion of
the world depends less upon her own qualities than upon the rank and
position of her husband--that is, upon another, who could just as well have
placed any other woman upon the borrowed throne. Schopenhauer is not
altogether wrong: women are mostly engaged in one and the same
pursuit--man-hunting--and it is the envy of competition that lies at the
bottom of their pride. Only he forgets to add, or rather he does not know,
that this pursuit, which is common to all women, and which he lashes so
unmercifully, is, with all its hateful evil consequences, the inevitable
result of their lack of legal rights, and is in no way indissolubly bound
up with their nature.

The women here, who are free and endowed with equal legal rights with the
men in the highest sense of the words, exhibit none of this pride in the
external relations of life. Even when the calling or the wealth of the
husband might give rise to a certain social distinction, they would never
recognise it, but allow themselves to be guided in their social intercourse
simply by personal characteristics. It is the most talented, the most
amiable woman whose friendship they most eagerly seek, whatever may be the
position of the woman's husband. Hence you can understand that Mrs. Moro
could select her husband without having to make the slightest sacrifice in
her relation to Freeland 'society.'

Whilst we are upon this subject, let me say a few words as to the character
of society here. Social life here is very bright and animated. Families
that are intimate with each other meet together without ceremony almost
every evening; and there is conversation, music, and, among the young
people, not a little dancing. There is nothing particular in all this; but
the very peculiar, and to the stranger at first altogether inexplicable,
attraction of Freeland society is due to the prevailing tone of the most
perfect freedom in combination with the loftiest nobility and the most
exquisite delicacy. When I had enjoyed it a few times, I began to long for
the pleasure of these reunions, without at first being able to account for
the charm which they exercised upon me. At last I arrived at the conviction
that what made social intercourse here so richly enjoyable must be mainly
the genuine human affection which characterises life in Freeland.

Social reunions in Europe are essentially nothing more than masquerades in
which those present indulge in reciprocal lying--meetings of foes, who
attempt to hide under courtly grimaces the ill-will they bear each other,
but who nevertheless utterly fail to deceive each other. And under an
exploiting system of society this cannot be prevented, for antagonism of
interests is there the rule, and true solidarity of interests a very rare
and purely accidental exception. To cherish a genuine affection for our
fellow-men is with us a virtue, the exercise of which demands more than an
ordinary amount of self-denial; and everyone knows that nine-tenths of the
wearers of those politely grinning masks would fall upon each other in
bitter hatred if the inherited and acquired restraints of conventional good
manners were for a moment to be laid aside. At such reunions one feels very
much as those miscellaneous beasts may be supposed to feel who are confined
together in a common cage for the delectation of the spectacle-loving
public. The only difference is that our two-legged tigers, panthers,
lynxes, wolves, bears, and hyenas are better trained than their four-legged
types; the latter glide about fiercely snarling at each other, with
difficulty restraining their murderous passions as they cast side-glances
at the lash of their tamer, whilst the ill-will lurking in the hearts of
the former is to be detected only by the closest observer through some
malicious glance of the eye, or some other scarcely perceptible movement.
In fact, so complete is the training of the two-legged carnivora that they
themselves are sometimes deceived by it; there are moments when the hyenas
seriously believe that their polite grinning at the tiger is honestly
meant, and when the tiger fancies that his subdued growls conceal a genial
affection and friendship towards his fellow-beasts. But these are only
fleeting moments of fond self-deception; and in general one cannot get rid
of the sensation of being among natural enemies, who, but for the external
restraints, would fly at our throats. The Freelanders, on the contrary,
feel that they are among true and honourable friends when they find
themselves in the company of other men. They have nothing to hide from one
another, they have no wish either to take advantage of or to injure one
another. It is true that there is emulation between them; but this cannot
destroy the sentiment of friendly comradeship, since the success of the
victor profits the conquered as well. Genial candour, an almost childlike
ingenuousness, are therefore in all circumstances natural to them; and it
is this, together with their joyous view of life and their intellectual
many-sidedness, which lends such a marvellous charm to Freeland society.

But let me go on with the story of my experiences here. Yesterday we saw
for the first time in Freeland a drunken man! We--my father and I--had,
after dinner, been with David for a short walk on the shore of the lake,
where most of the Eden Vale hotels are situated. As we were returning home
we met a drunken man, who staggered up to us and stutteringly asked the way
to his inn. He was evidently a new-comer. David asked us to go the
remaining few steps homewards without him, and he took the man by the arm
and led him towards his inn. I joined David in this kindly act, whilst my
father went home. When we had also got home we found my father engaged in a
very lively conversation with Mrs. Key over this little adventure. 'Only
think,' cried he to me, 'Mrs. Ney says we should think ourselves fortunate
in having seen what is one of the rarest of sights in this country! She has
lived in Freeland twenty-five years, and has seen only three cases of
drunkenness; and she is convinced that at this moment there is not another
man in Eden Vale who has ever drunk to intoxication! You Freelanders'--he
turned now to David--'are certainly no teetotallers; your beer and
palm-wine are excellent; your wines leave nothing to be desired; and you do
not seem to me to be people who merely keep these good things ready to
offer to an occasional guest. Does it really never happen that some of you
drink a little more than enough to quench your thirst?'

'It is as my mother says. We like to drink a good drop, and that not
seldom; and I will not deny that on festive occasions the inspiration
begotten of wine here and there makes itself pretty evident; nevertheless,
a Freelander incapably drunk is one of the rarest phenomena. If you are so
much surprised at this, ask yourself whether well-bred and cultured men are
accustomed to get drunk in Europe and America. I know that happens even
among you only very rarely, although public opinion there is less strict
upon this point than it is here. But in Freeland there are no persons who
are compelled to seek forgetfulness of their misery in intoxication, and
the examples of such persons cannot therefore serve to accustom the public
to the sight of this most degrading of all vices. Many, I know, think that
the disgusting picture afforded by drunken persons is the best means of
exciting a feeling of repugnance towards this vice--a view which is
probably derived from Plutarch's statement that the Lacedemonians used to
make their helots drunk in order to serve as deterring examples to the
Spartan youth. This account may be true or false, but an argument in favour
of the theory that example deters by its disgusting character can be based
upon it only by the most thoughtless; for it is a well-attested fact that
the Spartans--the rudest of all the Greeks--were more addicted to
drunkenness than any other Hellenic tribe. The "deterring" example of the
helots had therefore very little effect. It is because in this country
drunkenness is so extremely rare that it excites such special disgust; and
as, moreover, the principal source of this vice--misery--is removed, the
vice itself may be regarded as absolutely extinct among us. This result has
been not a little assisted by the circumstance that merrymakings and
festivities in Freeland are always largely participated in by women. Since
we honour woman as the embodiment and representative of human enjoyment, as
the loftiest custodian of all that ennobles and adorns our earthly
existence, we are unable to conceive of genuine mirth without the
participation of women. You have seen enough of our Freeland women to
understand that indecorous excesses of any kind in their presence are
wellnigh inconceivable.'

'We are not so much surprised that you Freelanders are proof against this
vice,' replied my father. 'But your respected mother tells us that even
among the immigrants drunkards are as rare as white ravens. Now, I am not
aware that teetotal apostles keep watch on your frontiers. The immigrants,
at any rate many of them, belong to those races and classes which at home
are by no means averse to drinking, and indeed to drunkenness in its most
disgusting forms; what induces these people, when they get here, to become
so persistently abstemious?'

'First, the removal of those things which in Europe and America lead to
drunkenness. Sometimes, during my student-travels in Europe--when I studied
not merely art, but also the manners and customs of your country--I have
gone into the dens of the poor and have there found conditions under which
it would have appeared positively miraculous if those who lived there had
not sought in the dram-bottle forgetfulness of their torture, their shame,
and their degradation. I saw persons to the number of twenty or thirty--all
ages and sexes thrown indiscriminately together--sleeping in one room,
which was only large enough for those who were in it to crowd close
together upon the filthy straw that covered the floor--men who from day to
day had no other home than the factory or the ale-house. And these were not
the breadless people, but persons in regular employ; and not exceptional
cases, but types of the labourers of large districts. That such men should
seek in beastly intoxication an escape from thoughts of their degradation,
of the shame of their wives and daughters--that they should lose all
consciousness of their human dignity, never astonished me, and still less
provoked me to indignation. I felt astonishment and indignation only at the
folly which allowed such wretchedness to continue, as if it were in reality
a product of an unchangeable law of nature. And it seems to me quite as
natural that such men, when they get here--where they regain their dignity
and their rights, where on every hand gladness and beauty smile upon
them--should along with their misery cast away the vices of misery. These
immigrants all gladly and eagerly adapt themselves to their new
surroundings. Most of them cannot expect to become in all respects our
equals: the more wretched, the more degraded, they were before, so much the
more boundless is their delight, their gratitude, at being here treated by
everyone as equals; on no account would they forfeit the respect of their
new associates, and, as these latter universally avoid drunkenness, so the
former avoid it also.'

'You have explained to us why there are no drunkards in this country,' I
said. 'But it appears to me much more remarkable that your principle of
granting a right of maintenance to all who are incapable of working,
whatever may be the occasion of that incapacity, has not overwhelmed you
with invalids and old people without number. Or have we yet to learn of
some provisions made to defend you from such guests? And how, without
exercising a painfully inquisitorial control, can you prevent the lazy from
enjoying the careless leisure which the right of maintenance guarantees to
real invalids? I can perfectly well understand that your intelligent
Freelanders, with their multitudinous wants, will not be content with forty
per cent., when a little easy labour would earn them a hundred per cent.
But among the fresh immigrants there must certainly be many who at first
can scarcely know what to do with the full earnings of their labour, and
who at any rate--so I should suppose--would prefer to draw their
maintenance-allowance and live in idleness rather than engage in what, from
their standpoint, must appear to be quite superfluous labour. Perhaps, with
respect to the right to a maintenance-allowance, you make a distinction
between natives and immigrants; if so, what gives a claim to maintenance?'

'No distinction is made with respect to the right to a
maintenance-allowance, a sufficient qualification for which is a
certificate of illness signed by one of our public physicians, or proof of
having attained to the age of sixty years. The greatest liberality is
exercised on principle in granting the medical certificate; indeed,
everyone has the right, if one physician has refused to grant a
certificate, to go to any other physician, as we prefer to support ten lazy
impostors rather than reject one real invalid. Nevertheless we have among
us as few foreign idlers as native ones. In this matter also, the influence
of our institutions is found to be powerful enough to nip all such
tendencies in the bud. Note, above all, that the strongest ambition of the
immigrant is to become like us, to become incorporated with us; in order to
this, if he is healthy and strong, he must participate in our affairs. They
understand human nature very imperfectly who think that proletarians in
whom there lingers a trace of human dignity would, when they have an
opportunity of taking part in important enterprises as fully enfranchised
self-controlling men, forego that opportunity and prefer to allow
themselves to be supported by the commonwealth. The new-comers are
_anxious_ to participate in all that is to be earned and done in this
country; in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred no other stimulus to work is
needed than this. And the few to whom this stimulus is not sufficient, soon
find themselves, when the novelty of their surroundings has worn off,
compelled by _ennui_ and isolation to turn to some productive activity. We
have here no public-house life in the European sense, no consorting of
habitual idlers: here a man _must_ work if he would feel at ease, and
therefore everyone works who is capable of doing so. The most stubborn
indolence cannot resist for more than a few weeks at the longest the
magical influence of the thought that in order to dare to salute the first
in the land as an equal no other title of honour or influence is necessary
than any honest work. Consequently, even among the immigrants strong
healthy idlers are extremely rare exceptions, which we allow to exist as
cases of mental disease. But even these must not suffer want among us.
Without possessing any recognised right to it, they receive what they need,
and even more than is absolutely necessary according to European ideas.

'As to the question whether the right of maintenance does not attract into
this country all the bodily and mental incapables, the cripples and the old
people, of the rest of the world, I can only answer that Freeland
irresistibly attracts everyone who hears of the character of its
institutions; and that therefore the proportion between the immigrants who
are capable of working and those who are not is dependent simply upon
whether such information reaches the one class more quickly and more easily
than it does the other. We reject no one, and admit the cripple to our
country as freely as the able-bodied worker; but it lies in the nature of
things that the ablest, the most vigorous, offer themselves in larger
numbers than those who are weak in body or in mind.

'From the founding of our commonwealth we have insisted upon the ability to
read and write sufficiently to be able to participate in all our rights.
Freedom and equality of rights assume the possession of a certain degree of
knowledge, from which we _cannot_ exempt anyone. It is true we might resort
to the expedient of exercising guardianship over the untaught; but to do
this would be to open up to the authorities a sphere of influence which we
hold to be incompatible with real freedom, and we therefore treat
illiterate immigrants as strangers, or, if you will, as guests whom it is
everyone's duty to assist as much as possible, and who, so far as they show
themselves capable of doing anything, suffer no material disadvantage in
comparison with the natives, but are not allowed to exercise any political
right.'

'But how,' asked my father--'how do you arrive at a knowledge of the mental
condition of your ignorant fellow-countrymen? Have you a special board for
this purpose; and do no unpleasantnesses spring from such an inquisition?'

'We make no inquiry, and no board troubles itself about the knowledge of
the people. At first, in order not to be overwhelmed by foreign ignorance,
we took the precaution of excluding illiterates from gratuitous admission
into Freeland, but for the last nineteen years we have ceased to exclude
any. Everyone, without any exception, has since been free to settle
gratuitously in any part whatever of Freeland. No one asks him what he
knows; he is free to make full use of all our institutions, to exercise all
our rights; only he must do so in the same way as we, and that is
impossible to the illiterate. Whithersoever he goes--to the central bank,
to any of the associations, to the polling-places--he must read and write,
and as a matter of course write with understanding--must be familiar with
printed and written words; in short, he must possess a certain degree of
culture, from the possession of which we cannot exempt him even if we
would.'

'Then,' said my father, 'your boasted equality of rights exists only for
educated persons?'

'Of course,' explained Mrs. Ney. 'Or do you really believe that perfectly
uneducated persons possess the power of disciplining themselves? Certainly,
real freedom and equality of rights presuppose some degree of culture. The
freedom and equality of rights of poverty and barbarism can, it is true,
exist among ignorant barbarians, but wealth and leisure are the products of
higher art and culture, and can be possessed only by truly civilised men.
He who would make men free and rich must first give them knowledge--this
lies in the nature of things; and it is not our fault, but yours, that so
many of your compatriots must be educated into freedom.'

'There you are right,' sighed my father. 'And what has been your experience
of these illiterate immigrants?'

'The experience that this exclusion from perfect equality of rights, being
connected with no material disadvantage, operates as an absolutely
irresistible stimulus to acquire as quickly as possible what was left
unacquired in the old home. For the use of such immigrants we have
established special schools for adults; neighbours and friends interest
themselves in them, and the people learn with touching eagerness. They by
no means content themselves with acquiring merely that amount of knowledge
which is requisite to the exercise of all the Freeland rights, but they
honestly endeavour to gain all the knowledge possible; and the cases are
very few in which the study of a few years has not converted such
immigrants into thoroughly cultured men.'

'And as to the immigrants who reach us in a really invalided condition,'
interposed David, 'we fulfil towards them the duty of maintenance as if
they had grown old and weak in Freeland workshops. We have not detected any
considerable increase of our annual expenditure in consequence. It is a
characteristic fact, moreover, that those who reach us as invalids make for
the most part only a partial use of their right to claim a
maintenance-allowance. These pitiable sufferers as a rule take some time to
accustom themselves to the Freeland standard of higher enjoyments, and at
first they have no use for the wealth which streams in upon them.'

'I must ask you to remove yet one other difficulty, and one that seems to
me to be the greatest of all. What of the criminals, against whose
immigration you are not protected? To me it seems most strange that, with
the millions of your Freeland population, you can dispense with both police
and penal code; and I am utterly at a loss to understand how you dispose of
those vagabonds and criminals who are sure to be drawn hither, like wasps
by honey, by your enticing lenity, which will not punish but merely reform
the bad? It is true you have told us that the justices of the peace
appointed to decide civil disputes have authority in the first instance in
criminal cases also, and that an appeal is allowed from these to a higher
judicial court; but you added that these judges had all of them as good as
nothing to do, and that only very rare cases occurred in which the
reformatory treatment adopted in this country had to be resorted to. Have
your institutions such a strong ameliorating power over hardened
criminals?'

'Certainly,' answered Mrs. Ney. 'And if you carefully consider what is the
essential and ultimate source of all crime, you will find this is quite
intelligible. Do not forget that justice and law in the exploiting form of
society make demands on the individual which are directly opposed to human
nature. The hungry shivering man is expected to pass by the abundance of
others without appropriating that which he needs to satisfy the imperative
demands of nature--nay, he must not indulge in envy and ill-will towards
those who have in plenty what he so cruelly lacks! He is to love his
fellow-man, though just where the conflict of interests is the most bitter,
because it is waged around the very essentials of existence--just there,
where his fellow-man is his rival, his tyrant, his slave, in every case his
enemy, from whose injury he derives gain and from whose gain injury accrues
to him! That for thousands of years all this has been inevitable cannot be
denied; but it would be foolish to overlook the fact that the same cruel
sequence which made the exploitation of man by man--that is, injustice--the
necessary antecedent to the progress of civilisation, also called into
existence crime--that is, the rebellion of the individual against the order
which is both horrible in itself and yet indispensable to the welfare of
the community. The exploiting system of society requires the individual to
do what harms him, because the welfare of the community demands it, and
demands it not as a specially commendable and pre-eminently meritorious
act, which can be expected of only a few noble natures in whom public
spirit has suppressed every trace of egoism, but as something which
everyone is to do as a matter of course, the doing of which is not called a
virtue, though the not doing of it is called a crime. The hero who
sacrifices his life to his fatherland, to mankind, subordinates his own to
a higher interest, and never will the human race be able to dispense with
such sacrifices, but will always demand of its noblest that love of wife
shall conquer love of self; nay, it may be stated as a logical consequence
of progressive civilisation that this demand shall grow more and more
imperative and meet with an ever readier response. But the name of this
response is 'heroism,' its lack involves no crime; it cannot be enforced,
but it is a voluntary tribute of love paid by noble natures. But in the
economic domain a similar, nay, more difficult, heroism is required
especially from the lowest and the most wretched, and must be required of
such as long as society is based upon a foundation of exploitage, and
'criminal' must be the name of all those who show themselves to be less
great than a Leonidas, or a Curtius, or a Winkelried on the battle-field,
or than those generally nameless heroes of human love who have fearlessly
sacrificed themselves in the conflict with the inimical powers of nature at
the bidding of the holy voice within them--the voice of human love.

'But we in Freeland ask from no one such heroism as our right. In economic
matters we require of the individual nothing that is antagonistic to his
own interests; it follows as a matter of course that he never rebels
against our laws. That which under the old order could be asserted only by
self-complacent thoughtlessness, is a truth among us--namely, that economic
morality is nothing but rational egoism. You will therefore find it
intelligible that _reasonable_ men cannot break our laws.

'But you ask, further, how does it happen that those unfortunates who in
other countries are driven into crime, not by want, but by their evil
disposition--and it cannot be denied that there are such--do not give us
any trouble? Here also the question suggests its own answer. This hatred
towards society and its members is not natural, is not innate in even the
worst of men, but is the product of the injustice in the midst of which
these habitual criminals live. The love of wife and of one's fellows is
ineradicably implanted in every social animal--and man is such an animal;
but its expression can be suppressed by artificially excited hatred and
envy. It is true that long-continued exercise of evil instincts will
gradually make them so powerfully predominant as to make it appear that the
social nature of man has been transformed into that of the beast of prey,
no longer linked to society by any residuum of love or attachment. But it
only _seems_ so. The most hardened criminal cannot long resist the
influence of genuine human affection; hatred and defiance hold out only so
long as the unfortunate sees himself deprived of the possibility of
obtaining recognition in the community of the happy, as one possessed of
equal rights with the others. If this hope is held out to him all defiance
ceases.

'I question if there has ever been a large percentage of men of criminal
antecedents among the immigrants into Freeland. As my son has already said,
the proportion in which different categories of men have come hither
depends not upon the greater or less degree of misery, but upon the
intelligence of the men. Since the criminal classes in the five parts of
the world know relatively less of Freeland than do the honest and
intelligent workers, I am convinced that relatively fewer of them have come
hither. At any rate, we have seen very few signs of their presence here. We
have a few dozen incorrigibly vicious persons in the country, but these are
without exception incurable idiots. How these reached us I do not know; but
of course, as soon as their mental unsoundness was ascertained, they were
placed in asylums.'

This point being cleared up, my father asked for a final explanation. He
said he could perfectly understand that the Freeland institutions, being
nothing else but a logical carrying out of the principle of economic
justice, were thoroughly capable of meeting every fair and reasonable
demand. He nevertheless expressed his astonishment at the perfect
satisfaction which the people universally exhibited with themselves and
their condition. Did not _unreasonable_ party agitations create
difficulties in Freeland? Particularly he wished to know if Communism and
Nihilism, which were ever raising their heads threateningly in Europe, gave
no trouble here. 'In the eyes of a genuine Communist,' he cried, 'you are
here nothing but arrant aristocrats! There is not a trace of absolute
equality among you! What value can your boasted equality of _rights_ have
in the eyes of people who act upon the principle that every mouthful more
of bread enjoyed by one than is enjoyed by another is theft; and who
therefore, to prevent one man from possessing more than another, abolish
all property whatever? And yet there are no police, no soldiers, to keep
these Bedlamites in order! Give us the recipe according to which the
nihilistic and communistic fanaticism can be rendered so harmless.'

'Nothing easier,' answered Mrs. Ney. 'Supply everyone to satiety, and no
one will covet what others have. Absolute equality is an hallucination of
the hunger-fever, nothing more. Men are _not_ equal, either in their
faculties or in their requirements. Your appetite is stronger than mine;
perhaps you are fond of gay clothing, I would not give a farthing for it;
perhaps I am dainty, while you prefer a plain diet; and so on without end.
What sense would there be in attempting to assimilate our several needs? I
do not care to inquire whether it is possible, whether the violence
necessary to the attempt would not destroy both freedom and progress; the
idea itself is so foolish that it would be absolutely inconceivable how
sane men could entertain it, had it not been a fact that one of us is able
to satisfy neither his strong nor his weak appetite, his preference neither
for fine nor for quiet clothing, neither for dainties nor for plain food,
but must endure brutal torturing misery. When to that is added the mistake
that my superfluity is the cause of your deficiency, it becomes
intelligible why you and those who sympathise with you in your sufferings
should call for division of property--absolutely equal division. In a word,
Communism has no other source than the perception of the boundless misery
of a large majority of men, together with the erroneous opinion that this
misery can be alleviated only by the aid of the existing wealth of
individuals. This view is inconceivably foolish, for it is necessary only
to open one's eyes to see what a pitiful use is made of the power which man
already possesses to create wealth. But this foolish notion was not hatched
by the Communists; your orthodox economists gave currency to the doctrine
that increased productiveness of labour cannot increase the already
existing value--it was they, and not the Communists, who blinded mankind to
the true connexion between economic phenomena. Communists are in reality
merely credulous adherents of the so-called "fundamental truths" of
orthodox economy; and the only distinction between them and the ruling
party among you is that the Communists are hungry while the ruling classes
are full-fed. When it is perceived that nothing but perfect equality of
rights is needed _in order to create more than enough for all_, Communism
disappears of itself like an evil tormenting dream. You may require--even
if you do not carry it out--that all men shall be put upon the same bread
rations, so long as you believe that the commonwealth upon which we are all
compelled to depend will furnish nothing more than mere bread, for we all
wish to eat our fill. To require that the same sorts and quantity of roast
meats, pastry, and confections shall be forced upon everyone, when it is
found that there is enough of these good things for all, would be simply
puerile. Hence there is and can be no Communist among us.

'For the same reason Nihilism is impossible among us, for that also is
nothing more than an hallucination due to the despair of hunger, and can
flourish only on the soil of the orthodox view of the world. Whilst
Communism is the practical application which hunger makes of the thesis
that human labour does not suffice to create a superfluity for all,
Nihilism is the inference drawn by despair from the doctrine that culture
and civilisation are incompatible with equality of rights. It is orthodoxy
which has given currency to this doctrine; certainly, as the spokesman of
the well-to-do, it holds no other inference to be conceivable than that the
eternally disinherited masses must submit to their fate in the interests of
civilisation. But the party of the hungry turn in foaming rage against this
civilisation, the very defenders of which assert that it can never help the
enormous majority of men, and therefore can do nothing more for them than
make them increasingly conscious of their misery. We have demonstrated that
civilisation is not merely compatible with, but is necessarily implied in,
the economic equality of rights. Hence Nihilism also must be unknown among
us.'

'Then you think,' I said, 'that equality of actual income has nothing to do
with equality _of rights_? For my part, I must admit that that useless
heaping up of superfluous riches, which we have occasion to observe in our
European society, has grown to be a very objectionable thing, even though I
am convinced that the misery is not, in the slightest degree, caused by
this accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few, and would not be
materially alleviated by a general distribution of it. A social system that
does not prevent this excessive accumulation in a few hands must remain
imperfect, whatever provision it may make in other directions for the
welfare of all.'

'And I cannot altogether get rid of the same feeling,' said my father. 'But
my opinion is that in this revolt against inequality in itself we need see
nothing more than the moral repulsion which every impartial thoughtful man
feels against what have hitherto been the _causes_ of the inequality. Among
us at home, we see that large fortunes are very seldom acquired by means of
pre-eminent individual talent, but are, as a rule, due to the exploitation
of other men; and, when acquired, they are sure to be employed in further
exploitation. This it is that arouses our indignation. If a fortune,
however great, were acquired merely by pre-eminent talent, and employed to
no other end than the heightening of the owner's personal enjoyment--as is
the case in Freeland--the repugnance we now feel would soon pass away. What
does our amiable hostess think upon this point?'

'The repugnance to excessively large fortunes,' replied Mrs. Ney, 'is not,
in my opinion, based upon any injustice in their origin or use, but has a
deeper cause--namely, the fact that, apart from very rare exceptions, the
difference of capacity in men is not so great as to justify such enormous
differences of fortune. Most of the wealth of a highly civilised society
consists of what was bequeathed by the past; and the portion actually
produced by existing individuals is so relatively small that a certain
degree of equality--not merely of rights, but also of enjoyment and
use--possesses a basis in fact and is a requirement of justice. Every
advance in civilisation is synonymous with a progressive diminution of the
differences. Carry your thoughts back to primitive conditions, when the
individual, in his struggle for existence, was almost entirely shut up to
the use of his congenital appliances, and you will find the differences
were very great: only the strong, the agile, the cunning could hold their
own; the less gifted were compelled to give way. As the growth of
civilisation added to men's appliances, so that even the less gifted was
able to procure what was necessary to his subsistence, the difference in
the achievements of different individuals at first remained very great. The
skilful hunter gets a far richer booty than the less skilful one; the
strong and nimble agriculturist achieves with the spade a manifold greater
result than the weak and the slow. The invention of the plough very
materially reduces this difference, and--so far as the difference depends
upon physical capacity--the invention of the power-machine reduces it
almost to _nil_. Machinery more and more takes the place of the energy of
human muscles; and, at the same time, the results of the talent and
experience of previous generations accumulate and, in a growing ratio,
exceed the invention of the actual living generation. It is true that in
intellectual matters the individual differences do not diminish so
completely as in matters dependent upon the corporal powers; but even the
intellectual differences do not justify the colossal inequality suggested
to the mind by the words "a large fortune." The man who drives a
steam-plough may be either a giant or a dwarf, but he gets through the same
amount of work. Quick-wittedness and discretion in conducting the process
of production will considerably increase the result; but in the present day
an achievement which shall exceed the average a hundredfold or a
thousandfold in value is possible only to genius, and it is only to genius
that our sense of justice would accord it.

'I believe that in this respect also our Freeland institutions have hit the
mark. Among us inequality exists only so far as the difference of capacity
justifies it; and we have seen that, in proportion as wealth increases, the
distribution of it becomes automatically more and more equal. As in this
country everything is controlled by a competition which is free in fact,
and not in name merely, it follows as a necessary result that every kind of
capacity is better paid the rarer it is. When we first founded our
commonwealth knowledge and experience in business were rare--that is, the
demand was greater than the supply; they were therefore able to command a
higher price than ordinary labour. This is no longer the case; thanks to
the general improvement in culture and the intensive participation of all
in all kinds of business, head-work, as such, has lost its claim to
exceptional wages. Only when superior intellectual gifts are connected with
knowledge and experience in business can the man who performs head-work
expect to obtain higher pay than the manual labourer. Yet even here there
is to be seen a _relative_ diminution of the higher pay. In the early years
of Freeland a specially talented leader of production could demand six
times as much as the average earnings of a labourer; at present three times
as much as the average is a rare maximum, which in the domain of material
production is exceeded only in isolated cases of pre-eminent inventors. On
the other hand, the earnings of gifted authors and artists in this country
have no definite limits; as their works are above competition, so the
rewards they obtain bear no proportion to those obtainable in ordinary
business.

'But in this way, I think, the most delicate sense of equality can be
satisfied. Economic equality of rights never produces absolute and
universal equality; but it is really accompanied by a general levelling of
the enjoyments of all, and leaves unaffected only such incongruities as the
most fastidious sense of justice will recognise as having their basis in
the nature of things.'

Here ended this conversation, which will ever be a memorable one to me,
because it confirmed my decision to become a Freelander.



CHAPTER XXI


Eden Vale: Aug. 20, ----

In your last you say you think it very strange that in my letters I make no
further mention of the young ladies who for the past six weeks have been
under the same roof with me. When a young Italian--so argues your
inexorable logic--has nothing to say about pretty girls with whom he
associates, and among whom there is one whose first glance--according to
his own confession--threw him into confusion, he has either been rejected
by the lady in question or contemplates giving her an opportunity of
rejecting him. Your logic is right, Louis: I am in love--indeed I was from
the first sight I had of Bertha, David's splendid sister; and I have even
had a narrow escape of being rejected. Not that my beloved has not returned
my affection; as soon as I could summon courage to propose to her, Bertha
confessed, with that undisguised candour which is charming in her--more
correctly, in all the women of Freeland--that on the very first evening of
our acquaintance she felt she should either marry me or marry no one. And
yet, on my first wooing her, I had to listen to a 'No' of the most
determined character. The fact was that Bertha could not make up her mind
to become an Italian duchess; and my father, who--hear it and be
astounded!--pleaded for me, had as a matter of course insisted that she
should go to Italy with me, reside on our ducal estates there, weave the
ducal diadems into her locks--they are of a ravishing blonde--and make it
her life's duty to continue the noble race of the Falieri. My desire to
settle in Freeland as a Freelander was regarded by my father as a foolish
and extravagant whim. You know his views--a strange medley of honest
Liberalism and aristocratic pride: rather, these were his views, but here
in Freeland the democratic side of his character has considerably broadened
and strengthened. Indeed, he became quite enthusiastic in his admiration of
the Freeland institutions. If there were but another branch of the Falieri
to which could be committed the transmission of the ducal traditions, _per
Bacco!_ my father would have at once assented to my wish, and, as he loves
me tenderly, he would not hesitate long before he followed my example. But
his enthusiasm, noble and sincere as it is, would not permit me to lay the
axe at the root of the genealogical tree of a house whose ancestors had
fought among the first Crusaders, and had later, as petty Italian princes,
filled the world with deeds (of infamy). Against my loving Bertha he made
no objection--really and truly, my dear friend, not the least. On the
contrary, he was not a little proud of me when, in answer to his question
whether I was sure of the maiden's love in return, I replied with a
confident 'Yes.' 'Lucky dog you are,' cried he, 'to win that splendid
creature so quickly! Who can match us Falieris!' Bertha had captivated my
father as she had me; and as he entertained the greatest respect for the
Freeland women in general, he had no objection whatever to a _bourgeoise_
daughter-in-law. But only on condition that I gave up the 'insane' idea of
remaining here. 'The girl has more sense in her little finger than you have
in your whole body,' said he; 'she would little relish seeing her lover
cast a shattered ducal crown at her feet. It is very fine to be a Freeland
woman--but, believe me, it is much finer to be a duchess. Besides, these
two very agreeable qualities can easily be united. Spend the winter and
spring in our palaces at Rome and Venice; summer and autumn you could enjoy
freedom on your lake and among your mountains--in my company, if you had no
objection. Let it stand so: I will get Bertha for you, but not another word
about a permanent settlement here.'

This did not please me. I assure you I had not formed the intention of
becoming a Freelander for the sake of my beloved; but I could not think of
her either in a ducal diadem or in the state rooms of our castles.
Nevertheless, I was fain to submit for a while to the will of my father;
and I did not really know whether Bertha and her relatives would show
themselves so insensible to the attractions of a title and of princely
wealth as would be necessary in order that I might have them as
confederates against my father. In short, my father pleaded my case with
Mr. Ney, and in the presence of Bertha and myself asked her parents for the
hand of their daughter for his son, the Prince Carlo Falieri, adding that
immediately after the wedding he would hand over to me his estates in the
Romagna, Tuscany, and Venice, as well as the palaces at Rome, Florence,
Milan, Verona, and Venice; and would retain for himself merely our Sicilian
possessions--as a reserve property, he jestingly said. The elder Neys
received these grandiose proposals with a chill reserve that gave me little
hope. After a silence of some minutes, and after having thrown at me a
searching and reproachful glance, Mr. Ney said, 'We Freelanders are not the
despots, but simply the counsellors, of our daughters; but in _this_ case
our child does not need counsel: if Bertha is willing to go with you to
Italy as the Princess Falieri, we will not prevent her.'

With a proud and indignant mien Bertha turned--not to me, but--to my
father: 'Never, never!' she cried with quivering lips. 'I love your son
more than my life; I should die if your son discarded me in obedience to
you; but leave Freeland--leave it as _princess_!--never, never! Better die
a thousand times!'

'But, unhappy child,' replied my father, quite horrified at the unexpected
effect of his proposal, 'you utter the word "princess" as if it were to you
the quintessence of all that is dreadful. Yes, you should be princess, one
of the richest, proudest of the princesses of Europe--that is, you should
have no wish which thousands should not vie with each other in fulfilling;
you should have opportunities of making thousands happy; you should be
envied by millions--' 'And cursed and hated,' interposed Bertha with
quivering lips. 'What! You have lived among us six weeks, and you have not
learned what a free daughter of Freeland must feel at the mere suggestion
of leaving these happy fields, this home of justice and human affection, in
order, afar off in your miserable country, not to wipe away, but to extort
the tears of the downtrodden--not to alleviate the horrors of your slavery,
but to become one of the slave-holders! I love Carlo so much above all
measure that I should be ready by his side to exchange the land of
happiness for that of misery if any imperative duty called him thither; but
only on condition that his hands and mine remained free from foreign
property, that we ourselves earned by honest labour what we needed for our
daily life. But to become _princess_; to have thousands of serfs using up
their flesh and blood in order that I might revel in superfluity; to have
thousands of curses of men tortured to death clinging to the food I eat and
the raiment I wear!' As she uttered these words she shuddered and hid her
face in her hands; then, mastering herself with an effort, she continued:
'But reflect--if you had a daughter, and some one asked you to let her go
to be queen among the cannibal Njam-Njam, and the father of her bridegroom
promised that a great number of fat slaves should be slaughtered for
her--what would she say, the poor child who had drunk in with her mother's
milk an invincible disgust at the eating of human flesh? Now, see: we in
Freeland feel disgust at human flesh, even though the sacrifice be slowly
slaughtered inch by inch, limb by limb, without the shedding of blood; to
us the gradual destruction of a fellow-man is not less abhorrent than the
literal devouring of a man is to you; and it is as impossible for us to
exist upon the exploitation of our enslaved fellows as it is for you to
share in the feasts of cannibals. I cannot become a princess--I _cannot_!
Do not separate me from Carlo--if you do we shall both die, and--I have not
learnt it to-day for the first time--you love not only him, but me also.'

This appeal, enforced by the most touching glances and a tender grasping of
his hands, was more than my father could resist. 'You have verily made me
disgusted with myself. So you think we are cannibals, and the only
difference between us and your amiable Njam-Njam is that we do not slay our
sacrifices with one vigorous blow and then devour them forthwith, but we
delight in doing it bit by bit, inch by inch? You are not far wrong; at any
rate, I will not force upon you the privileges of a position as to which
you entertain such views. And my son appears in this point to share your
tastes rather than those which have hitherto been mine. Take each other,
and be happy in your own fashion. For myself, I will consider how I may to
some extent free myself from the odour of cannibalism in my new daughter's
eyes.'

Bertha flew first to me, then to my father, then in succession to her
parents and brothers and sisters, and then again fell upon my father's
neck. Her embrace of her father-in law was so affectionate that I was
almost inclined to be jealous. My father became at once so eager for our
wedding that he asked the Neys forthwith to make all the necessary
arrangements for this event. He expected to be obliged to return to Europe,
provisionally, in about a month, and he should be pleased if we could be
married before he went. Mrs. Ney, however, asked what further preliminaries
were necessary? We had mutually confessed our love, the blessing of the
parents on both sides was not lacking; we might, if agreeable to ourselves,
start off somewhere that very day, by one of the evening trains, on our
wedding-tour--perhaps to the Victoria Nyanza, on whose shores she knew of a
small delightfully situated country house.

I myself was somewhat surprised at these words, though they were evidently
anticipated by my bride. But my father was utterly at a loss to know what
to make of them. Of course his delicacy of feeling would not have allowed
him to declare plainly that he thought it scandalous in the highest degree
for a couple of lovers to start off on a journey together only a few hours
after their betrothal, and that he could not conceive how a respectable
lady could suggest what would bring such disgrace upon her house. There was
a painful pause, until Mr. Ney explained to us that in Freeland the
reciprocal declaration by two lovers that they wished to become husband and
wife was all that was required to the conclusion of a marriage-contract.
The young people had nothing further to do than to make such an express
declaration, and they would be married.

'That is, indeed, extremely simple and charming,' said my father, shaking
his head. 'But if the State or the commonwealth here has nothing to do with
the marriage-contract, how does it know that such a contract has been
entered into, and how can it give its protection to it?'

'Of course the marriage-contract is communicated to the Statistical
Department as quickly as possible, but this enrolment has nothing to do
with the validity of the contract; and as to the protection of the
marriage-bond, we know of no other here than that which is to be found in
the reciprocal affection of the married pair,' said Mrs. Ney.

My father thereupon began to ventilate the question whether it was not
advisable on many grounds to attach to the marriage-contract some more
permanent guarantee; but this suggestion was met, particularly on the part
of Bertha, with such an evident and--to him--quite inexplicable resentment
that he dropped the subject. Later, when we men were by ourselves, he
inquired what the ladies found so offensive in the idea of giving to
marriage some kind of protection against the changing fancies of the wedded
pair? It was easy to see that the conversation had left upon him the
impression that the women of Freeland held views upon this subject which
were altogether too 'free.' But Mr. Ney gradually succeeded in convincing
him--I had understood the matter from the beginning--that the reverse was
the case; that the horror at the thought of being _compelled_ to belong to
a man who was not loved was not merely quite compatible with inviolable
conjugal fidelity, but was a logical outcome of the highest and purest
conception of marriage. At first he held out. He would not deny the ethical
justness of the Freeland principle that marriage without love was
objectionable; only he questioned whether this principle could be strictly
applied to practical life without opening the door to licentiousness. The
fact that in Freeland divorces were quite unknown did not at once suffice
to convince him. Mrs. Ney, who surprised us in the midst of this
discussion, gave the finishing touch.

'If you take a comprehensive view of the whole complex of our economic and
social institutions,' said she to my father, 'you will see why in Freeland
man and wife must regard each other with different eyes than is the case in
Europe or America. All your scruples will vanish, for the logical
connection of economic justice with conjugal fidelity and honour lies as
plain and open as does its connection with honour in questions of _meum_
and _tuum_. That well-to-do intelligent men do not steal and rob, that in a
highly cultivated society which guarantees to everyone the undiminished
product of his own labour no one touches the fruits of another man's
industry--this is not more self-evident than it is that the same principle
of economic justice must smother in the germ all longing for the wife or
the husband of another. For man is by nature a monogamous and monandrous
being; polygamy and polyandry are inconsistent with the fundamental
characteristics of his nature; they are diseases of civilisation which
would vanish spontaneously with a return to the healthy conditions of
existence. Sexual honour and fidelity, like honesty in matters of property,
are rare "virtues" only where they impose upon the individual the exercise
of a self-denial which is not reconcilable with the instinct of
self-preservation; where, as among us, a harmony of interests is
established even in this domain, where everyone gets the whole of what is
his own, and no one is expected to forego in the common interest of the
community what belongs to himself--here even this virtue is transformed
into a rational self-interest which every accountable person exhibits
spontaneously and without any compulsion from without, as something that he
owes to himself. We are all faithful because faithfulness does not impose
upon any one of us the renunciation of his individuality.'

'I admire this sentiment,' answered my father, 'and do not wish to dispute
the fact upon which it is based. It may be that in Freeland conjugal
fidelity is without exception the rule, and that unfaithfulness is regarded
as a kind of mental aberration; but if it is so, then the men and women of
Freeland are themselves exceptions, and to deduce a formal law of nature
from their behaviour seems to me to be premature. Because in this
country--it matters not from what causes--sexual morality has become
exceptionally high, because to your delicate ethical sense polygamy and
polyandry in any form are repugnant, it does not follow that the
inconstancy which has marked men and women in all stages of civilisation is
to be at once regarded as "contrary to human nature." It were well, madam,
if you were right, for that would mean that the last source of vice and
crime was stopped; but, alas! the experience of all ages shows that
unfaithfulness and love root themselves by turns deeply in human nature. I
can understand that you, as a woman, should be influenced more by moral
than by sober scientific views; but I am afraid that results which are
based less upon nature than upon--certainly very admirable--moral
experiments, will prove to be not too permanent.'

A delicate flush passed over the face of my mother as she heard this. I
noticed that she did not feel quite comfortable in having to reply to this
in the presence of men; but as my father was not to be convinced in any
other way, she answered, at first with hesitancy, but she was afterwards
carried away by her interest in the subject. She said:

'I am a woman of Freeland, and my sentiments are those of Freeland. I would
not ascribe to nature what is merely the outcome of my own moral views.
When I said that man is a monogamous being, and that polygamy and polyandry
were repugnant to the conditions of his existence, were contrary to his
real nature, I referred--far from speaking from an ethical
standpoint--simply to the animal nature of man. We belong, to speak
plainly, to a species of animals which nature intends to be monogamous and
monandrous. A species, whose progeny takes nearly twenty years to arrive at
maturity, cannot thrive without the united care of father and mother. It is
the long-continued helplessness of our children that makes the permanent
union of a single pair natural to man. The moral sentiments--which,
certainly, in a healthy condition of human society also gravitate in the
same direction--are nothing more than the outcome of these natural
conditions of existence. If a man reached maturity in a single year our
moral sentiments would permit, would perhaps imperatively demand, a change
of partner after every child; for, without exception, we hold that alone to
be beautiful and good which is requisite to the thriving of the species.
Now the _genus homo_ categorically demands, in order that it may thrive,
that father and mother should foster the young for twenty years; in the
meantime fresh offspring arrive; the natural command to rear children--you
see I make use of the crassest expressions of natural history--therefore
keeps the male and the female together until there ceases to be any reason
for a separation. It would be simply contrary to nature if the natural
sentiments and instincts of man were _not_ in harmony with this command of
nature. Conjugal attachment and fidelity _must_ be and are natural
instincts of man; all phenomena that appear to indicate the opposite are
simply consequences of transitory excrescences of civilisation. It was
social inequality which gave rise to sexual vices as to all the other
vices. The same relation of mastership which gives the employer control
over the labour of other men also gives him power over other women than his
wife; and the same servitude which deprived the slave of his right to the
produce of his own labour robs the woman of her right to herself. Love
becomes an article of merchandise, _sold_ in order to appease hunger and to
cover nakedness, _bought_ in order to gratify inconstant desires. You think
I hold that to be unnatural because it is immoral? On the contrary, I hold
it to be immoral because it is contrary to nature. That, your highness, is
what I would impress upon you. A better acquaintance with this land of
freedom will show you that fidelity and honour between husband and wife are
here no rare exceptions, but the universal rule; but you must know at once
that we do not therefore exercise any superhuman virtue, but simply act in
conformity with the real nature of man.'

I could plainly see, by the warm admiration expressed in the way in which
he gallantly lifted Mrs. Ney's hand to his lips, that my father was already
convinced; but, in order to mask his retreat, he threw out the question
whether there were not, in this country, any other disturber of conjugal
peace?

'You mean harshness, love of domination, wrangling? Even these cannot occur
in a really free society based upon perfect equality of rights. It is the
lack of freedom and of legal equality which elsewhere sows discord between
the sexes and makes them like enemies by nature. The enslaved woman, robbed
of her share of the goods of the earth, is impelled, by inexorable
necessity, to trade upon the sexual desires and the weaknesses of man; she
finds herself in a constant state of war with him, for she has no
alternative but to suffer wrong or to do wrong. What the other sex has
wrongly obtained from her sex the individual woman must win back for
herself from the individual man by stratagem and cunning, and the
individual man is forced into a continuous attitude of defence by this
injustice of his sex, and by the consequently necessary attempts at
re-vindication by the woman. In this respect, also, Schopenhauer is not
altogether wrong: there is no other sympathy between man and woman than
that of the epidermis; but he forgets here also to add that this is not the
natural relation of the sexes, but one resulting from the unnatural
subjection of the woman--that not man and woman as such, but slave and
master, are reciprocally opposed as strangers and foes. Remove the
injustice which this disturbance of a relation so consonant with nature has
called forth, and it will at once be seen that the sympathy between husband
and wife is the strongest, the most varied, and the most comprehensive of
all. The woman possesses those very excellences of heart and intellect
which most charm the man, and the excellences of the man are just those
which the woman most highly prizes. Nature, which has physically adapted
the sexes to each other, has also psychically formed them as complementary
halves. Nature, to accomplish whose purposes it is necessary that man and
wife should remain faithful for life, could not have acted so
inconsistently as to endow them with psychical attributes which would
prevent or render difficult such lifelong fidelity. The instinct that
preserves the race and is the occasion of so much passionate physical
enjoyment, this instinct must also inspire the sexes with the strongest
conceivable mutual sympathy with each other's mental and ethical character.
In Freeland every disturbing discord is removed from the natural relation
between the sexes; what wonder that that relation shows itself in its
perfect harmony and beauty! Every Freeland man is an enthusiastic
worshipper of the women; every Freeland woman is a not less enthusiastic
worshipper of the men. In the eyes of our men there is nothing purer,
better, more worthy of reverence than the woman; and in the eyes of us, the
women of Freeland, there is nothing greater, nobler, more magnanimous than
the man. A man who ill-uses or depreciates his wife, who does not make it
his pride to screen her from every evil, would be excluded from the society
of all other men; and a wife who attempted to rule over her husband, who
did not make it her highest aim to beautify his life, would be avoided by
all other women.'

My father made no further objection. He was content that I should take my
Bertha according to Freeland customs and without any formal ceremony. Only
_one_ condition he insisted upon: there should be a fortnight's interval
between betrothal and wedding. I consented reluctantly to this delay; had I
followed my own desires, we should have flown off together to the Victoria
Nyanza that same day, and my betrothed also--for prudery is unknown
here--did not hide the fact that she shared in my impatience. But during
the last few hours my father had made such superhuman concessions that we
owed him this--truly no small--sacrifice. On the 3rd of September,
therefore, Bertha will become my wife; but from to-day you must look upon
me as a citizen of Freeland.

       *       *       *       *       *

Ungama: Aug. 24.

  ''Twixt cup and lip...'

When I finished my letter four days ago, and kept it back a little while in
order to put in an enclosure from Bertha, who declared herself under an
obligation to send to my friend a few words of apology for having stolen
me, I had not the slightest presentiment that momentous events would come
between me and the fulfilment of my ardent desires. The war in which we are
engaged produces remarkably little excitement in my new fatherland; and if
I were not in Ungama, I should not suspect that we were at war with an
enemy who has repeatedly given serious trouble to several of the strongest
military States of Europe. But I have not been a Freelander long enough not
to be keenly sensible of the bitter disgrace and the heavy loss which my
native land has lately suffered; and on all grounds--in my character of
Freelander and also of quondam Italian--I held it to be my duty to take
part personally in the war. Until this war is ended, there can of course be
no thought of a wedding. In the meantime, the chance of war has brought me
away from Eden Vale to the coast of the Indian Ocean. But I will tell my
story in order.

Know then, first of all, that--for this is no longer a diplomatic
secret--the efforts of my father and of his English and French colleagues
to get permission for 300,000 or 350,000 Anglo-Franco-Italian troops to
pass through Freeland, utterly failed. The Eden Vale government said that
Freeland was at peace with Abyssinia, and had no right to mix itself up
with the quarrels of the Western Powers. But the aspect of affairs would be
entirely changed if those Powers resolved to adopt the Freeland
constitution in their African territories; in which case those territories
would be regarded as a part of the Freeland district, and as such would
naturally be protected by Freeland. But then the military convention asked
for would be superfluous, for Freeland would treat every attack upon its
allies as a _casus belli_, and would with its own forces compel Abyssinia
to keep the peace. The negotiations lasted for weeks without any result.
Evidently the cabinets of London, Paris, and Rome did not attach any
importance to the promise made by Freeland, though the ambassadors, and
particularly my father, honestly did what they could to give the Western
cabinets confidence in the military strength of Freeland. The Powers were
not indisposed to recognise the Freeland law in their colonies on the Red
and Indian Seas as a condition of alliance; but persisted, nevertheless, in
asking for a military convention, to which Freeland would not consent. So
the matter stood until a few days ago.

On the morning after my betrothal, as we were sitting at breakfast, a
despatch in cypher came to my father from Ungama, the large port belonging
to Freeland on the Indian Ocean. My father, when he had deciphered the
despatch, sprang up pale and excited, and asked Mr. Ney forthwith to summon
a session of the executive of the Freeland central government, as he had a
communication of urgent importance to make. Remarking the sympathetic alarm
of our friends, my father said, 'The matter cannot remain a secret--you
shall learn the bad news from my lips. The despatch is from Commodore
Cialdini, captain of one of our ironclads stationed at Massowah. It runs:
"Ungama: Aug. 21, 8 A.M. Have just reached here with ironclad 'Erebus' and
two despatch-boats--one ours and one French--escaped from Massowah much
damaged. The night before last, John of Abyssinia, contrary to existing
treaty of peace, treacherously fell upon Massowah and took it with scarcely
a blow struck. Our vessels lying in harbour, as well as the English and
French, seventeen in number, were also surprised and taken, none escaping
except ourselves and the two despatch-boats. The smaller coast fortresses
which we passed are also all in the hands of the Abyssinians. As we are cut
off from Aden by a number of the enemy's steamships that are following us,
and the 'Erebus' is not in a condition to fight, we have run into Ungama
for refuge and to repair our damage. If the Abyssinians find us here, I
shall blow up our ships."'

This was bad tidings, not only for the allies, but also for Freeland, for
it meant war with Abyssinia, which the Freelanders had hoped to avoid.
Though it had been resolved from the first to secure for the European
Powers, as presumptive allies, peace with Abyssinia, yet, in reliance upon
the great respect which Freeland enjoyed among the neighbouring peoples,
the Freelanders had indulged in the hope of so imposing upon the defiant
semi-barbarians by a determined attitude as to keep them quiet without a
resort to arms. The treacherous attack, at the very time when the
plenipotentiaries of the attacked Powers were in Eden Vale, destroyed this
hope.

In the National Palace we found the Freeland ministers already assembled,
and we were soon followed by the English and French plenipotentiaries. By
his agitated demeanour, the French ambassador showed that he had already
heard the unhappy tidings. It was some hours later when the English
ambassador received direct tidings that their ironclad corvette 'Nelson'
had reached Ungama half-wrecked, having had a desperate encounter on her
way with two of the vessels that had fallen into the hands of the
Abyssinians, and one of which she bored and sank. In the meantime, more
accurate and detailed accounts had reached the Freeland Foreign Office from
different places on the coast, revealing the full extent of the misfortune.
The Abyssinian attack had been made with vastly superior forces, assisted
by treachery, and had been completely successful. As the treaty of peace
with Abyssinia had several weeks to run, the garrisons of the--for the most
part unhealthy--places on the coast were neither very strong nor very
vigilant. The Abyssinians had simultaneously--at about two o'clock in the
morning--attacked and taken Massowah, Arkiko, and Obok, the chief
fortresses of the Italians, the English, and the French, as well as all the
eight coast forts belonging to the same Powers. The garrisons, surprised
asleep, were in part cut down, in part taken prisoners, and the vessels
lying in the harbours were--with the exception of those already
mentioned--captured at the same time. That as early as the next morning the
Abyssinians were able to put to sea in some of these captured vessels is to
be explained by the Negus's zealous enlistment of sailors already
mentioned, which also proves that the attack had been long premeditated and
was carefully planned. The treachery was so excellently well managed, that
it was only a few minutes after the vessels were taken that the four which
had escaped had to encounter a most destructive attack from the guns of the
other ships. The vessels that fell into the hands of the Abyssinians in the
three ports were: seven English, five French, and four Italian ironclads,
including several of the first class; and eleven English, eight French, and
four Italian gunboats and despatch-boats. About 24,000 men were either
killed or taken prisoners in the fortresses and vessels.

The plenipotentiaries of the three Powers had, upon receipt of this Job's
tidings, telegraphed to their governments for instructions. They told the
Freeland executive that in all probability the conclusion of the military
convention would now be most strongly insisted upon. Now that the
fortresses had fallen, it would be absolutely impossible to collect upon
the inhospitable shores of the Red Sea an army sufficiently large to meet
the Negus. In fact, this was almost categorically the collective demand of
the three Powers which reached Eden Vale the same day. As categorical,
however, was the rejection of the proposal, accompanied by the declaration
that the Eden Vale government intended to carry on alone the war with
Abyssinia which now seemed inevitable. Moreover, the allies were told that
their armies could not be brought to the seat of war soon enough. Even if
the Suez Canal had been practicable for the transport of troops, their
proposed 350,000 could not be brought together under two months at the
least; and it was certain that, long ere that, the Negus John would have
attempted to get possession of all the strategical positions of Freeland.
And again, wherever the ships which the Abyssinians had taken could be
utilised to block the Suez Canal, the allied forces, if they were called
out, would at any rate arrive too late to prevent it. The overland route
through Egypt could be so easily blocked by the Abyssinians that to select
it as the base of operations would be simply absurd. The only route that
remained was that round the Cape of Good Hope; and how long it would take
to transport 350,000 auxiliary troops that way to Freeland, the cabinets of
Paris, Rome, and London could calculate for themselves. But the Powers need
feel no uneasiness; they should receive satisfaction sooner and more
completely than they seemed to expect it. Before the English, French, and
Italians could have got ready so great an expedition, we should have
reckoned with the Negus. In the meantime, the allies might get their new
garrisons ready to sail for the coast towns of the Red and Indian Seas;
they could despatch them by the usual route through the Suez Canal, for
before their transport-ships reached the canal--which could not be until
the end of the next month--Freeland would either have recaptured or
destroyed the stolen fleet of Abyssinia.

The last statement in particular was received by the allied Powers and
their ambassadors with intense astonishment; and I must confess that I
could not myself see how we, without a single ship of war, were to
annihilate a fleet of sixteen first-class and twenty-three small vessels of
war. It was not without some amount of bitter sarcasm that the ambassadors
replied that, instead of making such grandiose proposals, it would be more
practical to take measures that the wretchedly battered vessels now lying
in the harbour at Ungama might be repaired and sent to sea again as quickly
at possible. Even the possibility of saving them from the immensely
superior force of the enemy rested upon the very uncertain hope that the
foe would not at once look for them in the utterly defenceless port of
Ungama.

'For the moment'--thus did one of the executive console the distressed
diplomats--' that is, for the next few hours, you are certainly right. If
before dark this evening a superior Abyssinian force appears before Ungama
and begins at once by attacking your ships, those ships are in all human
probability lost. But that holds good only for to-day. If the Abyssinian
fleet shows itself, we have prepared for it a reception which will
certainly not entice it to come again.'

'What have you done?' asked the ambassadors in astonishment. 'What can you
do to protect the wretched remnant of our proud allied fleet?' While he
said this, the eyes of the men whose patriotism had been so deeply wounded
were anxiously fixed upon the members of the executive, and, in spite of my
naturalisation in Freeland, I participated only too strongly in their
feelings. You will understand that we were not concerned merely for the
preservation of the few vessels; but to have at last found a point of
resistance to the daring barbarians, to know that our men were relieved
from the necessity of renewing their shameful flight--this it was which had
a sweet sound of promise in the ear. The executive hastened to give us a
full explanation.

As I have already told you, the Education Department of the Freeland
government possesses a large number of cannon of different calibre in all
parts of the country for the exercise of the young men. The largest of
these can pierce the strongest of the armour-plates now in use like a piece
of card. As soon as the first news of the attack had been received,
eighty-four of these giant guns had been put in motion towards Ungama from
the adjoining districts. As all these monsters run upon rails that are in
connection with the network of Freeland railways, they were all on their
way towards the coast before noon, accompanied by the young men who were
familiar with the handling of them; and they would reach their destination
in the course of the evening or during the night. As in Ungama, for
purposes of ordinary harbour-service, several lines of rails ran along the
coast in connection with the network of railways, the guns as they arrived
could at once be placed in their several positions, which had been in the
meantime--in course of the same day--provided with provisional earthworks.
Later on, these earthworks were to receive armour-coating; but at present,
as the central executive calculated, eighty-four guns of the largest size,
manned by the most experienced gunners, would suffice even without any
special protection to keep any armour-clads manned by wandering adventurers
at a respectful distance.

I could not endure to stay longer in Eden Vale. After bidding my father a
hasty farewell, and taking a somewhat less hurried farewell of Bertha, I
started for Ungama. Two days later it was seen that the precautions which
had been taken were neither superfluous nor insufficient. On the 23rd of
August five Abyssinian ironclads and four gunboats appeared off Ungama;
and, as the harbour was thought to be quite defenceless, they attempted
forthwith to steam in for the purpose of destroying the disabled vessels of
the allies which lay there. A shot from the largest of our armour-crushers,
at a distance of a little over six miles, carried away one of the funnels
of the nearest ironclad frigates. This made them more cautious; but they
held on their way. Now our young gunners allowed the once-warned foe to
steam in to within four miles and a-half of the shore, without giving a
sign of their presence; then they opened fire simultaneously with
thirty-seven cannons. This, however, did not last long. The first volley
sank a gunboat, and damaged the whole fleet so much that the enemy was
thrown into visible disorder. Some of the vessels appeared to be about to
return our fire, while others seemed disposed to turn about and steam away.
Two minutes later our second volley swept over the waves; it could be
plainly seen that this time not one of the thirty-seven shots had missed
its mark. All the enemy's ships showed severe damage, and the whole fleet
had lost all desire to continue the unequal conflict. They reversed their
engines and steamed off into the open sea with all possible speed. A third
and a fourth salvo were sent after them, and a second gunboat and the
largest of the ironclad frigates sank. Three other volleys did still
further damage to the fleeing enemy, but failed to sink any more of the
ships; but we learnt from the Italian despatch-boat, which followed the
Abyssinian ships at a distance, that an hour after the battle a third
gunboat sank, and that one of the ironclad frigates had to be taken in tow
in order to get her out of the reach of our strand batteries. These
batteries had lost only two men.

With the account of this Freeland deed of arms--in which I was simply an
astonished spectator--I close this letter. When, where, and whether I shall
write you another is known only to the God of war.



CHAPTER XXII


Massowah; Sept. 25, ----

If I recollect rightly, it is just a month and a day since I sent you my
last letter. During this brief time I have gone through experiences which
must have afforded you in old Europe many a surprise, and which--if I am
not mistaken in the views of my new countrymen--will, in their immediate
consequences, be of decisive importance to the whole of the habitable
globe. It is the freedom of the world, I believe, that has been won on the
battle-fields of the Red Sea and the Galla country; a victory has been
gained, not merely over the unhappy John of Abyssinia, but also over many
another tyranny which has held nations in bondage in your so-called
civilised world. But why should I spend time in surmises about questions
which the immediate future must bring to a decision? My present letter
shall serve the purpose of assuring you of my safety and health, as well as
of describing the Freeland-Abyssinian campaign, in which I took part from
the beginning to the end.

On the 25th of August, two days after the outbreak of the war, the Eden
Vale central executive received the Negus's ultimatum, in which he declared
that he bore no ill-will against Freeland, but he had taken up arms only in
order to protect himself and Freeland against a European invasion, which,
as he had learnt, would be forced upon Freeland. As we had not shown
courage enough to keep the foe away from our frontiers, the duty of
self-preservation compelled him to demand from us the surrender of several
important strategical points. If we acceded to this request, he would
otherwise respect our liberties and rights, and would even overlook the
damage done to his vessels at Ungama. But, if we refused, he would make a
hostile invasion into our territory; and as, by the overthrow of the coast
fortresses, he had guarded against our receiving any speedy assistance from
Europe, the result could not be doubtful. He was already in motion with an
army of occupation numbering 300,000 men, and expected within a week to
have crossed our northern frontier. It was for us to decide whether we
would receive him as a friend or as a foe. The answer to the Negus ran
thus: He was mistaken in his supposition that Freeland thought of receiving
foreign troops. Freeland was as little disposed to admit into its territory
either English, French, or Italian, as to admit him for military purposes.
We could, nevertheless, live at peace with him only on condition that he
determined to maintain peace with the above-mentioned European Powers, and
to make full compensation for the injury he had done to them. We did not
wish to conceal from him that Freeland intended to enter into a friendly
alliance with these European States, and would then hold itself bound to
regard the enemies of its friends as its own enemies. He was warned against
mistaking the conspicuously pacific character of Freeland for cowardice or
weakness. A week would be given him to relinquish his threatening attitude
and to furnish guarantees of peace and compensation. If within a week
overtures of peace were not made, Freeland would attack him wherever he was
found.

Of course, no one doubted the issue of this interchange of messages; and
the preparations for the war were carried on with all speed.

Scarcely had the telegraph and the journals carried the first news of the
Abyssinian attack through Freeland, before announcements and questions
reached the central executive from all quarters, proving that the
population of the whole country not merely had come to the conclusion that
a war was imminent, but that, without any instruction from above, there had
set themselves automatically in motion all those factors of resistance
which could have been supplied by a military organisation perpetually on a
war-footing. Freeland mobilised itself; and the event proved that this
self-determined activity of millions of intelligent minds accustomed to act
in common afforded very much better results than would have been obtained
under an official system of mobilisation, however wisely planned and
prepared for. From all the corps of thousands of the whole country there
came in the course of the first few days inquiries whether the central
executive thought the co-operation of the inquirers desirable. The corps of
thousands of the first class, belonging to the twelve northern and
north-eastern districts, comprising the Baringo country and Lykipia,
announced at once that on the next day they should be fully assembled--with
the exception of any who might be travelling--since they assumed that the
prosecution of the war with Abyssinia would be specially their business. It
was the general opinion in Freeland that from 40,000 to 50,000 men would be
sufficient to defeat the Abyssinians; and as the northern districts
possessed eighty-five of the corps of thousands that had gained laurels in
the district exercises, no one doubted that the work of the war would fall
upon these alone. Many a young man in the other parts of the country felt
in his breast the stirrings of a noble ambition; but there was nowhere
manifested a desire to withdraw more labour from the country than was
necessary, or to interfere with the rational plan of mobilisation by
pushing corps into the foreground from a distance. While the other corps
thus voluntarily held back, those of the northern districts threw
themselves, as a matter of course, into the campaign. But those thousands
which during recent years had been victors at the great Aberdare games
expressed the wish--so many of them as did not belong to the mobilised
districts--to participate in the mobilisation; and all who had been victors
in the individual contests at the last year's district and national games
begged, as a favour, to be incorporated among the mobilised thousands. Both
requests were granted; and the additional material thus supplied amounted
to four corps of thousands and 960 individuals. Altogether about 90,000 men
prepared themselves--about twice as many as the general opinion held to be
requisite. But the men themselves, of their own initiative, decided, on the
next day, that merely the unmarried men of the last four years, between the
ages of twenty-two and twenty-six, should take the field. The force was
thereby reduced to 48,000, including 9,500 cavalry and 180 guns, to which
last were afterwards added eighty pieces from the Upper Naivasha district.

Each thousand had its own officers. Some of them were married, but it was
resolved that, notwithstanding this, they should be retained. The election
of superior officers took place on the 23rd of August, after the four extra
corps had arrived at the place in North Lykipia appointed for this purpose.
The chief command was not given to one of the officers present, but to a
young engineer named Arago, living at Ripon as head of the Victoria Nyanza
Building Association. Arago of course accepted the position, but asked to
have one of the head officials of the traffic department of the central
executive as head of the general staff. Hastening from Ungama direct to
North Lykipia, I applied to that official with the request that he would
place me on the general staff--a request to which, as I was able to prove
my possession of the requisite knowledge, and in consideration of my recent
renunciation of my Italian birthright, he was doubly willing to accede.
David arrived at the same time as myself, bringing me the tenderest
greetings and the cordial consent of my bride to the step I was taking,
declaring at the same time that he should not jog from my side while the
campaign lasted.

All the thousands were abundantly furnished with weapons and ammunition;
and there was no lack of well-trained saddle-horses.

The commissariat was entrusted to the Food-providing Associations of Eden
Vale and Dana City. The technical service--pioneering,
bridge-construction, field-telegraphy, &c.--was undertaken by two
associations from Central and Eastern Baringo; and the transport service
was taken in hand by the department of the central executive in charge of
such matters. Within the Freeland frontiers, the perfection of the network
of communication made the transport and maintenance of so small an army a
matter of no difficulty whatever. But as the Freelanders did not intend to
wait for the Abyssinians, but meant to carry the war into the Galla country
and to Habesh, 5,000 elephants, 8,000 camels, 20,000 horses, and 15,000
buffalo oxen were taken with the army as beasts of burden. Tents,
field-kitchens, conserves, &c., had to be got ready; in short, provision
had to be made that the army should want nothing even in the most
inhospitable regions outside of Freeland.

All these preparations were completed by the 29th of August. Two days
previously Arago had sent 4,000 horsemen with twenty-eight guns over the
Konso pass into the neighbouring Wakwafi country, with instructions to
spread themselves out in the form of a fan, to discover the whereabouts of
the Abyssinians, whose approach we expected in that quarter. To be prepared
for all contingencies, he sent smaller expeditionary corps of 1,200 and 900
men, with eight and four guns respectively, to watch the Endika and Silali
mountain-ranges, which lay to the north-east and the north-west of his line
of operations. Further, at the Konso pass he left a reserve of 6,000 men
and twenty guns; and on the 30th of August he crossed the Galla frontier
with 36,000 men and 200 guns. In order to make long marches and yet to
spare the men, each man's kit was reduced as much as possible. It
consisted, besides the weapons--repeating-rifle, repeating-pistol, and
short sword, to be used also as bayonet--of eighty cartridges, a
field-flask, and a small knapsack capable of holding only _one_ meal. All
the other luggage was carried by led horses, which followed close behind
the marching columns, and of which there were twenty-five to every hundred
men. This very mobile train, accessible to the men at all times, carried
waterproof tents, complete suits and shoes for change of clothing,
mackintoshes, conserves and drink for several days, and a reserve of 200
cartridges per man. In this way our young men were furnished with every
necessary without being themselves overburdened, and they were consequently
able to do twenty-five miles a day without injury.

The central executive had sent with the army a fully authorised
commissioner, whose duty it was to carry out any wish of the leaders of the
army, so far as the doing so was the business of the executive; to conduct
negotiations for peace should the Negus be disposed to come to terms; and,
finally, to provide for the security and comfort of the foreign military
plenipotentiaries and newspaper correspondents who should join the
campaign. Some of the latter accompanied us on horseback, while others were
accommodated upon elephants; most of them followed the headquarters, and
were thus kept _au courant_ of all that took place.

On the third day's march--the 2nd of September--our mounted advance-guard
announced that they had come upon the enemy. As Arago, before he engaged in
a decisive battle, wished to test practically whether he and we were not
making a fatal mistake in imagining ourselves superior to the enemy, he
gave the vanguard orders to make a forced reconnaisance--that is, having
done what he could to induce the foe to make a full disclosure of his
strength, to withdraw as soon as he was sure of the course the enemy was
taking.

At dawn on the 3rd of September we came into collision (I was one of the
advanced body at my own request) with the Abyssinian vanguard at Ardeb in
the valley of the Jubba. The enemy, not much more in number than ourselves,
was completely routed at the first onset, all their guns--thirty-six
pieces--taken, as well as 1,800 prisoners, whilst we lost only five men.
The whole affair lasted scarcely forty minutes. While our lines were
forming, the Abyssinian artillery opened upon us a perfectly ineffectual
fire at three miles and three-quarters. Our artillery kept silent until the
enemy was within a mile and a-half, when a few volleys from us silenced the
latter, dismounted two of their guns, and compelled the rest to withdraw.
Our artillery next directed its attention to the madly charging cavalry of
the enemy, which it scattered by a few well-aimed shells, so that our
squadron had nothing left to do but to follow the disordered fugitives and
to ride down the enemy's infantry, thrown into hopeless confusion by their
own fleeing cavalry. The affair closed with the pursuit of the
panic-stricken foe and the bringing in of the prisoners. The enemy's loss
in killed and wounded, though much greater than ours, was comparatively
small.

Thus ended the prologue of the sanguinary drama. Our horse had scarcely got
together again, and the prisoners, with the captured guns, sent to the
headquarters, when dense and still denser masses of the enemy showed
themselves in the distance. This was the whole of the Abyssinian left wing,
numbering 65,000, with 120 guns. Twenty of our guns were stationed on a
small height that commanded the marching route of the enemy, and opened
fire about seven in the morning. The masses of the enemy's infantry were at
once seen to turn aside, while ninety of the Abyssinian guns were placed
opposite our artillery. The battle of cannons which now began lasted an
hour without doing much harm to our artillery, for at so great a
distance--three miles--the aim of the Abyssinian gunners was very bad,
whilst our shells silenced by degrees thirty-four of the enemy's pieces.
Twice the Abyssinians attempted to get nearer to our position, but were on
both occasions driven back in a few minutes, so deadly was our fire at a
shorter distance. As this did not answer, the enemy tried to storm our
position. His masses of infantry and cavalry had deployed along the whole
of our thin front, and shortly after eight o'clock the whole of the vastly
superior force was in movement against us.

What next took place I should not have thought possible, notwithstanding
what I had seen of the skill in the manipulation of their weapons possessed
by the Freeland youth. Even the easily gained victory over the enemy's
vanguard had not raised my expectations high enough. I confess that I
regarded it as unjustifiable indiscretion, and as a proof of his total
misunderstanding of the task which had been committed to him by the
commander-in-chief, that Colonel Ruppert, the leader of our little band,
should accept battle, and that not in the form of a covered retreat, but as
a regular engagement which, if lost, must inevitably issue in the
annihilation of his 4,000 men. For he had deployed his cavalry--who had all
dismounted, and fired with their splendid carbines--in a thin line of over
three miles, extending a little beyond the lines of the enemy, and with
very weak reserves behind him. Thus he awaited the Abyssinians, as if they
had been advancing as _tirailleurs_ and not in compact columns. And I knew
these storming columns well; at Ardeb and before Obok they had overthrown
equal numbers of England's Indian veterans, France's Breton grenadiers, and
Italy's _bersaglieri_; their weapons were equal to those of Freeland, their
military discipline I was obliged to consider as superior to that of my
present companions in arms. How could our thin line withstand the onset of
fifteen times as many veteran warriors? I was firmly convinced that in
another quarter of an hour they must be broken in pieces like a cord
stretched in front of a locomotive; and then any child might see that after
a few minutes' carnage all would be over. In spirit I took leave of distant
loved ones--of my father--and I remembered you too, Louis, in that hour
which I thought I had good reason to consider my last.

And, what was most astonishing to me, the Freelanders themselves all seemed
to share my feelings. There was in their demeanour none of that wild lust
for battle which one would have expected to see in those who--quite
unnecessarily--engaged in the proportion of one against fifteen. A
profound, sad earnestness, nay, repugnance and horror, could be read in the
generally so clear and bright eyes of these Freeland youths and men. It was
as if they, like myself, were all looking in the face of death. The
officers also, even the colonel in command, evidently participated in these
gloomy forebodings: then why, in heaven's name, did they offer battle? If
they anticipated overthrow, why did they not withdraw in time? But what
injustice had I done to these men! how completely had I mistaken the cause
and the object of their anxiety! Incredible as it may sound, my comrades in
arms were anxious not for their own safety, but on account of their
enemies; they shuddered at the thought of the slaughter that awaited not
themselves, but their foes. The idea that they, free men, could be
vanquished by wretched slaves was as remote from their minds as the idea
that the hare can be dangerous to him is from the mind of the sportsman.
But they saw themselves compelled to shoot down in cold blood thousands of
unfortunate fellow-creatures; and this excited in them, who held man to be
the most sacred and the highest of all things, an unspeakable repugnance.
Had this been told me _before_ the battle, I should not have understood it,
and should have held it to be braggadocio; now, after what I have
shudderingly passed through, I find it intelligible. For I must confess
that a column advancing against the Freeland lines, and torn to pieces by
their fire, is a sight which freezes the blood of even men accustomed to
murder _en masse_, as I am. I have several times seen the destroying angel
of the battlefield at work, and could therefore consider myself steeled
against its horrors: but here....

I will not describe my fooling, but what occurred. When the Abyssinians
were a little less than a mile from us, Ruppert's adjutants galloped along
our front for the last time and bade our men to fire: 'But not a shot after
they begin to waver!' Then among us there was a stillness as of death,
whilst from the other side the noise of the drums and the wild music grew
louder and louder, interrupted from time to time by the piercing war-cries
of the Abyssinians. When the enemy was within half a mile our men
discharged a single volley: the front line of the enemy collapsed as if
smitten by a blast of pestilence; their ranks wavered and had to be formed
anew. No second shot was as yet fired by the Freelanders; but when the
Abyssinians again pressed forward with wild cries, and now at a more rapid
pace, there thundered a second volley; and as the death-seeking brown
warriors this time stormed forward over their shattered front rank, a third
volley met them. This was enough for the enemy for the present; they turned
in wild confusion, and did not stop in their flight until they thought
themselves out of our range. Our fire had ceased as soon as the enemy
turned, and it was high time it did. Not that our position would have been
at all endangered by a further advance of the enemy: the Abyssinians had
advanced little more than a hundred yards, and were still, therefore,
between six and seven hundred, yards away, and it was most improbable that
one of them could have reached our front. But it was this very distance,
and the consequent absence of the special excitement of close combat, that
made the horror of the slaughter too great for human nerves to have borne
it much longer. Within a few minutes nearly a thousand Abyssinians had been
killed or wounded; and many of the Freeland officers afterwards declared to
me that they were seized with faintness at the sight of the breaking ranks
and of the foes in the agonies of death. I can perfectly understand this,
for even I felt ill.

The Freeland medical men and ambulance corps were already at work carrying
the wounded foes from the field, when the Abyssinian artillery recommenced
the battle, and their infantry at the same time opened a tremendous fire.
But as the infantry now kept themselves prudently at the respectable
distance of a mile and a quarter, their fire was at first quite harmless
and therefore was not answered by our men. But when a ball or two had
strayed into our ranks, Colonel Ruppert gave orders that every tenth man
should step far enough out of the ranks to be visible to the enemy and
discharge a volley. This hint was understood; the enemy's infantry-fire
ceased at once, as the Abyssinians learnt from the effects of this small
volley that the Freeland riflemen could make themselves so unpleasant, even
at such a great distance, that it would not be advisable to provoke them to
answer an ineffective fire. The stubborn fellows, who evidently could not
bear the thought of being driven from the field by such a handful of men,
formed themselves afresh into storming columns, this time with a narrower
front and greater depth. But these columns met with no better fate than
their predecessors, the only difference being that they had to meet a more
rapid fire. After a few minutes they were compelled to retire with a loss
of eight hundred men, and could not be made to move forward again. In order
to get possession of the Abyssinian wounded, who were much better cared for
under Freeland treatment than under that of their own people, Ruppert sent
out an advance-party before whom the enemy hastily retreated, so that we
remained masters of the field. Our losses amounted to eight dead and
forty-seven wounded; the Abyssinians had 360 killed, 1,480 wounded, and
left thirty-nine guns behind. Our first care was to place the
wounded--friend and foe alike--in the ambulance-waggons, of which there was
a large number, all furnished with every possible convenience, and to send
them towards Freeland. Then the captured guns and other weapons were hidden
and the dead buried.

Just as the last duty was performed, and we had begun our retreat to
headquarters, strong columns of Abyssinians appeared in the west, whilst at
the same time the left wing of the enemy, which had retreated towards the
north, again came into sight. Ruppert did not, however, allow himself to be
diverted from his purpose. Masses of the enemy's cavalry made a vigorous
attempt to follow us, but were quickly repulsed by our artillery, and we
accomplished our retreat to headquarters without further molestation.

We now knew from experience that the assumed superiority of Freeland troops
over opponents of any kind was a fact. The Abyssinians had fought as
bravely against us as they had formerly fought against European troops.
Their equipment, discipline, and training, upon which despotism had brought
all its resources to bear for many years, left, according to European
ideas, nothing to be desired; and these dark-skinned soldiers had
repeatedly shown themselves to be a match for equal numbers of European
troops. But we had repulsed a number fifteen times as many as ourselves,
without allowing the issue to be for a moment uncertain. That the fight
lasted as long as it did, and did not much sooner end in the complete
overthrow of the Abyssinians, was due to the fact that the leader of the
advance-guard adhered to his orders, to compel the enemy to disclose his
whole force. Had our commander at once thrown himself with full force upon
the enemy, given him no time to deploy his troops, and energetically made
use of his advantage, the 65,000 men of the enemy's left wing would have
been scattered long before the centre could have come into action. Not that
Colonel Ruppert was wrong in waiting and confining himself rather to
defensive action. Even he had to learn, by the issue of the conflict, that
the presumed superiority of the Freelanders was an absolute fact; and the
more doubtful the ultimate victory of our cause appeared, the more
decisively was it the duty of a conscientious leader to avoid spilling the
blood of our Freeland youth merely to perform a deed of ostentatious
heroism. He, like the rest of us, naturally concluded that this first
lesson would abundantly suffice to show the Negus the folly of continuing
the struggle.

We had not, however, taken into account the obtuseness of a barbaric
despot. When the commissioner of the executive, who accompanied the
expedition, sent next day a flag of truce into the Abyssinian headquarters,
announcing to John that Freeland was still prepared to treat with him for
the restoration of the captured fortresses and ships, and for the
arrangement of peace guarantees, the Negus received the ambassadors
haughtily, and asked them if they were come offering terms of submission.
Because our advanced guard had retired, he treated the affair of the day
before as an Abyssinian victory. He said the officers of the five repulsed
brigades were cowards; we should see how _he_ himself would fight. In
short, the blinded man would not hear of yielding. He evidently hoped for a
complete change of fortune from a not badly planned strategic flunking
manoeuvre which he had been meanwhile carrying out, and which had only one
defect--it did not sufficiently take into account the character of his
opponents. In short, more fighting had to be done.

On the 5th of September the two armies stood face to face. The Negus, with
265,000 men and 680 guns, had entrenched himself in a very favourable
position, and seemed indisposed to take the offensive. Our commander also
felt little inclined to storm the enemy's camp, a course which would have
involved an unnecessary sacrifice. To lie here, on the Jubba river, in an
inhospitable district in which his army must soon run short of provisions,
could not possibly be the intention of the enemy. He merely wished to keep
us here a little while until he could by stratagem outflank us. Arago,
having guarded against that, determined to wait; but in the meantime, in
order to tire the enemy of waiting, he caused our cavalry to intercept the
enemy's provisioning line. Our men lacked for nothing: the commissariat was
managed admirably. Among the Abyssinians, on the contrary, Duke Humphrey
was the host. Nevertheless the enemy kept quiet for three days in his
evidently untenable position, and the field-telegraph first informed us of
the motive of his doing so.

The Negus had sent out 45,000 men, who, making a wide circuit eastwards
beyond our outposts, were to cross the Endika range of hills, and to effect
an entrance into Freeland behind us, and in that way compel us to retreat.
Even if his plot had succeeded it would have helped him but little, for the
men left behind in the northern districts of Freeland would have very
quickly overcome these 45,000 men. But a few days of Abyssinian activity
might have been inconvenient for the prosperous fields and cities of North
Baringo and Lykipia; and it was therefore well that the passes of the
Endika range were guarded by 1,200 Freeland soldiers and eight guns. The
Abyssinians came upon these on the 7th of September, and through the whole
day vainly attempted to force a passage. Next morning they found themselves
shut in on their rear by our reserves, who had been left at the Konso pass,
and who had hastened to the scene of action by forced marches. After a
brief and desperate resistance the Abyssinians were compelled to lay down
their arms.

This news reached us about, noon on the 8th of September. This Job's
message must have reached the Negus about the same time, for towards two
o'clock we saw the enemy leaving the camp and preparing to give battle.
Arago rightly judged that, in order to avoid useless bloodshed, the
Abyssinians must this time be prevented from storming our lines in masses,
and must be completely routed as quickly as possible and deprived of any
power of offering further resistance. He therefore sent our artillery to
the front, repelled an attack from the enemy's centre by a couple of sharp
volleys from our mounted rifles, and at the same time moved 14,000 men on
the left flank of the enemy. Thence he opened fire about half-past three,
and, simultaneously making a vigorous attack on the front, he so completely
broke up the Abyssinian order of battle that the columns which a little
while before had been so well ordered were in a very short time crushed
into a chaotic mass, which our lines of rifles swept before them as the
beaters drive the game before the sportsmen. After the panic had once
seized the enemy there was but little firing. It was fortunate that the
Negus had posted on his left wing the troops that had learnt our mode of
fighting at Ardeb. These poor fellows remembered, after they had received a
murderous volley from our column advancing on their flank, that the
Freelanders stop firing as soon as the enemy gives way. Hence they could
not be made to stand again; and the cry of terror, 'Don't shoot, or you are
dead men!' with which they threw themselves upon their own centre--which in
the meantime had been attacked--was not calculated to stimulate the latter
to resistance. By five o'clock all was over; the centre and the left wing
of the Abyssinians were fleeing in wild confusion, the right wing, 54,000
men strong, was thrown, with the loss of all the artillery, into the
entrenchment they had just left, and there laid down their weapons as soon
as our guns began to play against the improvised earthworks. The other
prisoners taken on the field and during the pursuit, which lasted until
nightfall, amounted to 72,000; so that including the 41,000 unwounded men
who had fallen into our hands in the Endika passes, we now had 167,000
prisoners. The second battle cost the enemy 760 killed and 2,870 wounded;
our own losses in this last encounter were 22 killed and 105 wounded.

Assuming that the Negus succeeded in collecting the scattered remnants of
his army, he would still have nearly 130,000 men at his disposal, and it
was possible that he might still persist in the campaign. To prevent this,
the pursuit was carried on with all possible energy. All the cavalry and a
part of the artillery kept at the heels of the enemy; the rest of the army,
after the wounded and prisoners were provided for and the dead were buried,
followed rapidly the next morning. The retreating Abyssinians made no
further serious resistance, but allowed themselves to be easily taken
prisoners. In this way, during a five days' chase through the Galla
country, 65,000 more men fell into our hands. John had lost nearly all his
artillery in the engagement on the Jubba; during the pursuit he lost
twenty-six more guns, and then had only seventeen left. With these, and
about 60,000 utterly demoralised and for the most part disarmed men, the
Negus succeeded on the 13th of September in reaching the southern frontier
of his country, which he had recently left with such high hopes. Among the
hill-districts of Shoa he attempted to stop our pursuit. In spite of the
formidable natural advantages afforded him by his strong position, it would
not have been difficult to drive him out by a vigorous attack in the front.
But here again Arago shrank from causing unnecessary bloodshed, aid by
means of a skilful flank manoeuvre he induced the Negus, on the next day,
voluntarily to leave his position. Thence the pursuit continued without
intermission through the provinces of Shoa, Anchara, and Tigre, to the
coast. If the Negus had hoped to attract fresh troops on the way, or to
inflame the national fanaticism of his subjects against us, he was
disappointed. The utterly demoralised panic-stricken fragments of his army
which he carried with him were a _Mene, Tekel_, which caused his own people
to vanish wherever he came as if the ground had swallowed them up, to
reappear after he had gone and to receive us (his pursuers) with
palm-branches and barley, the Abyssinian emblems of peace. This led the
hunted man, when he had reached the frontier of Tigre, to leave the rest of
his army to their fate, and to throw himself, with a small guard of
horsemen, into his newly acquired coast possessions. Arrived there, with
masterly rapidity he concentrated all his available troops in the coast
fortresses, which he hoped, with the help of the fleet, to be able to
defend long enough to give time for a possible diversion in his favour
among the hill-tribes at our rear. This was the state of things when, on
the 18th of September, our advance-guard appeared before the walls of
Massowah. The Negus did not then know how short a time his fancied security
would last.

The fleet which the Negus had taken from the European Powers at this time
still contained thirteen men-of-war and nineteen gunboats and
despatch-boats; at the attack on Ungama, three ironclad frigates and four
smaller vessels had been either totally lost or so seriously damaged that
the Abyssinians, who had no means of repairing them, could make no further
use of them. A few days after the first unsuccessful attempt the
Abyssinians reappeared in greater force before Ungama, whose well-known
extensive wharves now for the first time seemed attractive to them; but at
the first greeting from our giant guns they wisely vanished, and did not
allow themselves to be sighted again.

On the other hand, they now watched all the more carefully the two
entrances into the Red Sea--from Bab-el-Mandeb in the south, and from Suez
in the north. They did not immediately expect any stronger naval power to
come from the Indian Ocean, as, besides the two ironclads and the two
despatch-boats which lay damaged at Ungama, there were no English, French,
or Italian warships of importance for thousands of miles in those seas; and
it would take months to get together a new fleet and send it round by the
Cape of Good Hope. Moreover, the Abyssinian agents in Europe reported that
the allies were preparing an expedition for the canal route, and not for
the Cape route. The fact that the French were collecting materials at
Toulon was not decisive evidence, as that Mediterranean port was as
convenient for the one route as for the other. That the Italians
concentrated their ships at Venice instead of at Genoa, which would be much
more convenient for an Atlantic expedition, spoke somewhat more plainly;
but that the English had chosen Malta as their rendezvous made the
destination of the fleet clear to everybody. But the Abyssinians could not
understand how the allies expected to pass the Suez Canal, which the
Abyssinian guns were able so completely to command that any vessel entering
the canal could be sunk ten times before it could fire a broadside.
Besides, the Abyssinians cruising at the mouth of the canal had made it
impassable by a sunken vessel laden with stones. To remove this obstacle
under the fire of 184 heavy guns--the number possessed by the Abyssinian
fleet--was an undertaking at which John grimly smiled when he thought of
it. And as he now needed his ironclads as least as much at Massowah as at
Suez and Bab-el-Mandeb, he had the larger part of them brought to him in
order to keep the Freeland besieging army in check, while merely four
ironclad frigates, two gunboats, and one despatch-boat remained at Suez,
and one ironclad frigate, three gunboats, and two despatch-boats at
Bab-el-Mandeb.

The ships ordered to Massowah reached that port on the 18th and 19th of
September; but our newly constructed Freeland fleet had already started
from Ungama on the 16th.

Immediately after receiving news of the capture of the coast fortresses and
the ships of the allies, the central executive had determined upon the
construction of this fleet, and the work was not delayed an hour. There was
no time to construct an armoured fleet; but they did not think they needed
one. What the executive decided upon was the construction of fast wooden
vessels with guns of such a range that their shots would destroy the
ironclads without allowing the shots of the latter to reach our vessels.
The government relied not merely upon the greater speed of the vessels and
the longer range of the guns, but chiefly upon the superiority of our
gunners. It was calculated that if our vessels could come within a certain
distance of the enemy, our guns would destroy the strongest ship of the
enemy before our vessels could be hit. The Freeland shipbuilding and other
industries were fully capable, if the work were undertaken with adequate
energy and under skilful organisation, of constructing and equipping a
sufficient number of wooden vessels of from 2,000 to 3,500 tons in the
course of a few weeks. As early as the 23rd of August the keels of
thirty-six such vessels were laid at Ungama; there was sufficient timber in
stock, and the machine-works of Ungama also had in stock enough
ship-engines of between 2,000 and 3,000 horse-power to furnish the new
vessels, the larger of which were to be supplied with four such engines.
The best and largest guns were collected from all the Freeland
exercise-grounds; twenty-four new ones, which threw all former ones into
the shade, were made in the steel-works at Dana City. The work was carried
out with such energy that within twenty-two days the final touch had been
given to the last of the thirty-six floating batteries. These constructions
were not perfect in elegance; but in mechanical completeness they were
faultless. They were flat-decked, so as to present as little surface as
possible to the enemy's balls, and were divided into water-tight
compartments to prevent their being sunk by shells striking them under the
water-line. Each vessel had at least two engines working in complete
independence of each other, so that it could not easily be deprived of its
power of locomotion. Only the powder-magazines were armour-plated, but the
plates used were of the strongest kind. The guns, which moved freely on the
deck, weighed from 100 to 250 tons, and were distributed, to some vessels
one, to others two, and to others three; altogether thirty-six vessels
possessed seventy-eight guns. The maximum speed ranged for the different
vessels from twenty-three to twenty-seven knots per hour.

As we had promised the Western Powers that we would open the Suez Canal to
the European transport-ships, we had to proceed at once to carry this task
into execution. On the evening of the 19th of September our vessels sighted
the Abyssinian squadron cruising in the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb. These,
mistaking us for passenger-steamers, at once gave chase, and were not a
little astonished to find that the harmless looking crafts did not alter
their course. It was not until the enemy had got within a little more than
nine miles and had had a taste of a few of our heaviest shot, that they
recognised their error and beat a hasty retreat. The greater part of our
fleet kept on its way into the Red Sea; only six of our largest and fastest
vessels pursued the fleeing Abyssinians, sunk two of their ships by a
well-directed fire, which, on account of the distance, the enemy could not
effectively return, and drove the others ashore. Our sloops picked as many
of the men as they could reach out of the water, and the vessels then
proceeded on their way to Suez. The affair with the Bab-el-Mandeb squadron
lasted only about two hours and a-half.

The greater part of our fleet steamed unperceived past Massowah in the
night of the 19th-20th; the other six were, however, in the early dawn,
seen and pursued by a hostile cruiser. As it was not our intention to make
a halt at Massowah or prematurely to warn the Abyssinian ships lying there
by giving a lesson to a cruiser as we passed, our vessels did not answer
the enemy's shots--though several of the latter struck us--but endeavoured
to get out of reach as quickly as possible. They succeeded in doing this
without suffering any serious damage. As we learnt afterwards, our vessels
were mistaken at Massowah also for mail-ships which were heedlessly running
into the hands of the cruisers guarding the canal. All that the Negus did
was to set his vessels industriously cruising off Massowah for several
nights in order to prevent the six supposed mail-steamers from escaping if
they should turn back from Suez.

On the afternoon of the 22nd our fleet appeared off Suez, attacked the
enemy's ships forthwith, and, after a short engagement, sank three of them.
The others, including three ironclad frigates, ran ashore, and the crews
were taken by the Egyptian troops. Our admiral provisionally handed over to
the Egyptians the Abyssinian sailors and marines who had been rescued from
drowning, and told off three of our vessels to assist the Egyptian and
English canal officials in raising the sunken stone-ship. These officials
told us that the allied fleet had reached Damietta the day before. If the
last obstacle to the navigation of the canal could be removed so soon, the
first ships of the allies could enter the Red Sea on the 24th, and the
expedition might be expected at Massowah by the end of the month. In order
to open Massowah by that time, our fleet at once returned southwards, and
on the 24th of September appeared off the Negus's last place of refuge.

The Freeland array had, in the meantime, remained inactive outside of
Massowah, knowing that the co-operation of our vessels would enable us to
take the place without difficulty. When those vessels appeared in the
offing, several small Abyssinian war-ships steered towards them. A few
shots from ours put the enemy's vessels to flight, and the Negus at last
understood the situation. However, he still hoped to demolish our wooden
ships, until the terrible execution effected by the first charges from our
enormous guns taught him and his admirals better. Continually withdrawing
out of range of the heavy ironclads as they steamed towards our vessels,
the destructive long-ranged guns of the latter poured forth their shot and
sank two of the frigates, before even _one_ of the enemy's balls had struck
a Freeland vessel. The enemy then turned and fled, but our vessels, keeping
at the same advantageous distance, pressed hard after them, and, before the
hostile fleet had reached the harbour, sank a third ironclad. Even in the
harbour the enemy found as little security as in the open sea; the dreadful
armour-crushing guns sent in shot after shot; a fourth ship sank, and then
a fifth. At the same time our gigantic guns battered at the harbour
bastions with tremendous effect, and we expected every moment to see the
white flag as a token of surrender. Instead of that, the Negus, finding
that he could not hold the fortress, and expecting no mercy from us,
suddenly made a desperate sortie, in the hope of fighting his way through
our lines to the hills. He succeeded in passing only our first line of
outposts; before he had reached the first Freeland line several volleys had
brought his party to a standstill and had given him his death. The
Abyssinians threw their arms away, and the war was ended.

To-morrow David and I return in the fastest of the Freeland vessels to
Ungama, where Bertha awaits us. The fortnight my father bargained for has
passed more than twice--I shall meet, not my betrothed, but my wife, on the
Freeland seashore.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here end the Freeland letters of our new countryman, Carlo Falieri, to his
friend the architect Luigi Cavalotti. The two friends have exchanged
residences; Cavalotti has migrated to Freeland, Falieri on the contrary,
after spending a few delightful weeks on a paradisiacal island on Lake
Victoria Nyanza, has been withdrawn from us for a time. He obeyed a call
from his native land to assist in the carrying out of those reforms which
had to be undertaken there, as elsewhere throughout the world, in
consequence of the events described in his letters, and of other events
which followed those. His wife accompanies him on his mission, in the
furtherance of which our central government has placed the resources of
Freeland at his disposal. But this carries us into the subject of the
following book.



_BOOK IV_



CHAPTER XXIII


The moral effect of our Abyssinian campaign was immense among all the
civilised and half-civilised peoples who heard of it. We ourselves had
expected the most salutary results from it, as we foresaw that the
brilliant proof of our power which we had given to the world would make our
adversaries more cautious and induce them to be more compliant to our just
wishes. But the effect far exceeded our most sanguine expectations. The
former opponents of economic justice were not merely silenced, but actually
converted--a fact which seemed to astonish us Freelanders ourselves rather
than our friends abroad. We could not clearly understand why people, who
for decades had regarded our efforts as foolish or objectionable, should,
simply because our young men had shown themselves to be excellent soldiers,
suddenly conclude that it would be possible and beneficial to enable every
worker to retain the full produce of his industry. The connection between
the latter and the execution done by our rifles and cannons was not clear
to us who lived under the dominion of reason and justice; but outside of
Freeland, wherever physical force was still the ultimate ground of right,
everybody--even those who in principle endorsed our ideas--held it to be a
matter of course that the crushing blows under whose tremendous force the
Negus of Abyssinia fell, were an unanswerable _argumentum ad hominem_ for
the superiority of our institutions as a whole. In particular, the sudden
victorious appearance of our fleet operated abroad as a decisive proof that
economic justice is no mere dream-Utopia, but a very real actuality; in
short, our military successes proved to be the triumph of our social
institutions. A strong feverish excitement took possession of all minds;
and men everywhere now wished practically to adopt what until then had been
seriously regarded by a comparatively small number as an ideal to be
attained in the future, by many had been treated with disfavour, and by
most had been altogether ignored.

And it was seen--which certainly did _not_ surprise us--that the impatience
and the revolutionary fever were the intenser the less the subjects of them
had previously studied our principles. The most advanced liberal-minded
nations, whose foremost statesmen had already been in sympathy with us, and
had made well-meant, but disconnected, attempts to lead their
working-classes into industrial freedom, applied themselves with
comparative deliberateness to the task of effecting the great economic and
social revolution with as little disturbance of the existing interests as
possible. England, France, and Italy, which before the outbreak of the
Abyssinian war were already prepared to introduce our institutions into
their East African possessions, now resolved to co-operate with us in the
conversion of their existing institutions into others analogous to ours--a
course which they could take without involving themselves in any very
revolutionary steps. Several other European Powers, as well as the whole of
America and Australia, immediately followed their example. This gave rise
to some stormy outbursts of popular feeling in the States in question; but
beyond the breaking of a few windows no harm was done. There were more
serious disturbances in the 'conservative' States of Europe and in some
parts of Asia; there occurred violent uprisings and serious attacks upon
unpopular ministers, who in vain asserted that they no longer had any
objection to make to economic equity. Here and there the struggle led to
bloodshed and confiscations. The working-classes mistrusted the wealthy
classes, but were themselves not agreed upon the course that should be
taken; and the parties assumed a more and more threatening attitude towards
each other. But the condition of affairs was worst where the governments
had formerly acted in avowed opposition to the people, the wealthy had
oppressed the masses, and the latter had been designedly kept in ignorance
and poverty. In such countries there was no intelligent popular class
possessing influence enough to control the outbursts of furious and
unreasoning hatred; cruelty and horrors of all kinds were perpetrated, the
former oppressors slaughtered wholesale, and there would have been no means
of staying the senseless and aimless bloodshed if, fortunately for these
countries, our influence and authority had not ultimately quieted the
raging masses and turned the agitation into proper channels. After one of
the parties, which in those countries were fruitlessly tearing each other
to pieces, had conceived the idea of calling in our intervention, the
example was generally followed. Wherever anarchy prevailed in the east of
Europe, in Asia, in several African States, requests were sent that we
would furnish commissioners, to whom should be granted unlimited authority.
We naturally complied most gladly with these requests; and the Freeland
commissioners were everywhere the objects of that implicit confidence which
was necessary for the restoration of quiet.

In the meantime those States also which were more advanced in opinion had
asked for confidential agents from Freeland to assist, both with counsel
and material aid, the governments in prosecuting the intended reforms. We
say advisedly with counsel and _material aid_ for the people of Freeland,
as soon as it was known that assistance had been asked for, granted to
their delegates, whether acting as consultative members of a foreign
government or as commissioners furnished with unlimited power, disposal
over the material resources of Freeland for the benefit of the countries
that had sent for them; the sums advanced being treated not as gifts, but
as loans. The central government of Eden Vale formally reserved the right
to give the final decision in the case of each loan; but as it was an
understood principle that necessary help was to be afforded, and as only
those who were on the spot could know what help was necessary, a
discretionary right of disposal of the available capital really lay in the
hands of the commissioners and confidential agents.

That we were able, in the course of a few months, to meet a demand from
abroad for nearly two milliard pounds sterling is explained by the fact
that our Freeland Insurance Department had at its disposal in an available
form about one-fifth of its reserve of more than ten milliards sterling.
The other four-fifths were invested--that is, it was lent to associations
and to the commonwealth for various purposes; the one-fifth had been
retained in the coffers of the bank as disposable stock for emergencies,
and now could be used to meet the sudden demand for capital. This reserve,
of course, was not kept in the form of gold or silver: had it been, it
would not have been available when an accidental demand arose. It is not
gold or silver, but quite other things that are required in a time of need:
the precious metals can serve merely as suitable means of procuring the
things that are really required. In order that such things may be acquired
they must exist somewhere in a sufficient quantity, and that they exist in
sufficient quantity to meet a sudden and exceptionally large demand cannot
be taken for granted. He who suddenly wants goods worth milliards of pounds
will not be able to buy them anywhere, because they are nowhere stored up
to that amount; if he would be protected from the danger of not being able
to get such a demand met, he must lay up, not the money for purchase, but
the goods themselves which he expects to need. Take, for example, the case
of the Russians who had burnt and destroyed the granaries of their
landowners, the warehouses of their merchants, the machines in their
factories: what good would have done them had the milliards of roubles
which they needed to make good--and to add to--what had been destroyed been
sent to them in the form of money for them to spend? There were no surplus
supplies which they could have bought: had they taken our money into the
markets the only effect would have been to raise all prices, and to have
made all the neighbouring nations share their distress. And in the same way
all the other nations, which we wished to assist in their endeavour to rise
as quickly as possible out of their misery into a state of wealth similar
to our own, needed not increased currency but increased food, raw material,
and implements. And our reserve was laid up in the form of such things.
About half of it always consisted of grain, the other half of various kinds
of raw material, particularly materials for weaving, and metals. When our
commissioner in Russia asked at different times for sums amounting
altogether to 285,000,000£, he did not receive from us a farthing in money,
but 3,040 cargoes of wheat, wool, iron, copper, timber, &c.: the result was
that the wasted country did not suffer at all from want, but a few months
later--certainly less in consequence of the loans themselves than of the
fact that the loans were employed in the Freeland spirit--it enjoyed a
prosperity which a short time before no one would have dreamt to be
possible. In the same way we made our resources useful to other nations,
and we resolved that should our existing means not suffice to meet the
demands, we would make up what was still needed from the produce of the
coming year.

We by no means intended to continue this _rôle_ of economic and social
providence to our brother peoples longer than was absolutely necessary. We
did not shrink from either the burden or the responsibility; but we
considered that in all respects it would be for the best if the process of
social reconstruction, in which all mankind was now engaged, were to be
carried out with the united powers of all, according to a well-considered
common plan. We therefore determined at once to invite all the nations of
the earth to a conference at Eden Vale, in which it might be decided what
ought next to be done. It was not our intention that this congress should
pass binding resolutions: it should remain, we thought, free to every
nation to draw what conclusions it pleased from the discussions at the
congress; but it seemed to us that in any case it would be of advantage to
know what the majority thought of the movement now going on.

This suggestion met with no serious objection anywhere. Among the less
advanced nations of Asia there was a strong feeling that, instead of
spending the time in useless talk, it would be better simply to put into
execution whatever we Freelanders advised. The constituent assemblies of
several--and those not the least--nations said that they on their part
would abide by what we said, whatever the congress might decide upon. But
it was necessary only to point out that we could not advise them until we
had heard them, and that a congress seemed to be the best means of making
their wants known, to induce them to send delegates. We could not prevent
many of the delegates from receiving instruction to vote with us
Freelanders in all divisions whatever--an instruction which proved to be
quite unnecessary, as the congress did not divide at all, except upon
questions of form, upon other questions confining itself to discussion and
leaving everyone to draw his own conclusions from the debates.

On the other hand, in the most advanced countries a small minority had
organised an opposition, not, it is true, against the general principles of
economic justice, but against many of the details involved in carrying out
that principle. This opposition had nowhere been able to elect a delegate
who should bear its mandate to the World's Congress; but it everywhere
found strong advocates among the Freeland confidential agents and
commissioners, who, while perfectly in harmony with the public opinion of
Freeland, endeavoured, as far as possible, to secure a representation of
every considerable party tendency, in order that those who clung to the
obsolete old economic order should have no right to complain that they
could not make themselves heard. Sixty-eight nations were invited to take
part in the congress; it was left to the nations themselves to decide how
many delegates they should send, provided they did not send more than ten
each. The sixty-eight countries elected 425 delegates, thus making with the
twelve heads of departments of the Freeland government a total number of
437 members of the congress.

On the 3rd of March, in the twenty-sixth year after the founding of
Freeland, the congress met in the large hall of the Eden Vale National
Palace. On the right sat those who questioned the possibility of carrying
out the proposed reform universally, in the centre the adherents of
Freeland, on the left the Radicals to whom the most violent measures seemed
best. The presidency was given to the head of the Freeland government,
which position had been uninterruptedly occupied by Dr. Strahl since the
founding of the commonwealth.

We give the following _résumé_ of the six days' discussion from the
official minutes:

FIRST DAY

The PRESIDENT, in the name of the Freeland people, welcomed the delegates
of the nations who had responded to the Freeland invitation.

CHARLES MONTAIGNE (_Centre_), in the name of his colleagues, thanked the
Freeland people for the magnanimous and extraordinary assistance which they
had afforded to the other nations of the earth in their struggles after
economic freedom. Not content with showing to the rest of the world the way
to economic freedom and justice, Freeland had also made enormous material
sacrifices. For his part, he did not know which was the more astonishing,
the inexhaustibleness of the resources which Freeland had at its disposal
or the disinterested magnanimity exhibited in the employment of those
resources.

JAMES CLARK (_Freeland_): In the interest of sober truth, as well as with a
view of furthering as much as possible the great work we all have at heart,
I must explain that though the Freeland people are always happy to make
disinterested sacrifices for the good of their brother peoples, and that in
all they do in this way their object is rather to develop and to promote
the best interests of mankind than to obtain any advantage for themselves,
yet, as a matter of fact, the milliards lent to foreign countries cost
Freeland no material sacrifice, but bring it considerable material profit.
[Sensation.] Under the _régime_ of economic justice and freedom the
solidarity of all economic interests is so universal and without exception,
that in Freeland business becomes as profitable as it is possible to
conceive of its being while you, with our assistance, are growing rich most
rapidly. This would be true if we gave you the milliards instead of lending
them. You look at each other and at me with an inquiring astonishment? You
hold it to be impossible to become rich by lending gratuitously or by
absolutely giving away a part of one's property? Yet nothing is simpler.
The subject is a very important one, and will come up for discussion again
in the course of our sittings; at present I will only briefly point out
that we have been prevented by the misery of the rest of the world from
making the right use of the advantages of international division of labour.
We have been obliged to manufacture for ourselves goods which we might have
obtained better from you; and we have therefore had to produce a smaller
quantity of those things which we could have produced most profitably. It
is plain that we should be far richer if we could give our attention
chiefly to the production of grain for ourselves and for you, and derive
from you the supplies we need to meet our demand for manufactured articles.
For here the soil yields for an equal amount of labour and capital ten
times as much as among you, while few manufactures here yield a larger
return for labour and capital than they do abroad. But, on account of the
system of exploitation which has prevailed and is not yet got rid of among
you--the cheap wages consequent upon which have cramped your use of
labour-saving machinery--we have been, and still are, compelled to meet
most of our demand for manufactured articles by our own production, since
you are scarcely able to produce for yourselves, to say nothing of
producing for us, a great number of goods which in the nature of things you
ought to be able to produce most profitably both for yourselves and for us,
and in exchange for which you would receive our foodstuffs and raw
material. We calculate that the removal of this hindrance to the complete
international division of labour must increase the productiveness of our
labour so much that the resulting gain would be cheaply bought by a
permanent sacrifice of many milliards. You need not wonder, then, at
finding us always so eager in encouraging you to make the freest and
fullest claims upon our resources. You will never dip so deeply into our
pockets that we--in our own interest as well as in yours--will not wish to
see you dip still deeper. Every farthing spent in hastening the development
of your wealth is made good to us ten and twentyfold.

FRANCIS FAR (_Right_): If it is so much to the interest of Freeland to
enrich us that Freeland is profited even by making us a gift of its
capital, why has it not given us its capital sooner? Who would have
hindered it from handing its milliards over to us? Why did it delay so
long, and why does it now make its assistance conditional on our accepting
its economic institutions?

JAMES CLARK: Because so long as you remained in servitude every farthing
given to you for such a purpose would have been simply thrown away.
Formerly we could do nothing more than support the victims of your social
system and mitigate the misery and wretchedness you inflicted upon
yourselves. As a matter of fact, there have long been large sums of
Freeland capital--bearing interest, it is true--invested in Europe and
America. What has been the result? This money has contributed to increase
the amount of surplus capital among you: it could not increase the quantity
of capital actually employed in production among you, for nothing could
have done that but an increased consumption by the people outside of
Freeland--and this was not compatible with what were then your economic
principles. Therefore we have been able to help you only since you
yourselves have held out the hand: our capital will benefit you only
because you have at length decided to enjoy the fruits of it yourselves.
[General assent.]

The PRESIDENT: In order to preserve a certain amount of order in our
discussions, I propose that we at once agree upon a list of the questions
to be considered. It may not always be possible to adhere strictly to the
order in the list; but it is advisable that each speaker should endeavour
as much as possible to confine himself to the subject under discussion. In
order to expedite matters, the Freeland government has prepared a kind of
agenda, which you can accept, or amend, or reject. The matters for
discussion mentioned in this agenda, I may remark, were not introduced on
our initiative, but were mentioned by the leaders of the different parties
abroad as needing more detailed explanation: we, on our part, contented
ourselves with arranging these questions. We propose, therefore, that the
following be the order in which the subjects be discussed:

1. How can the fact be explained that never in the course of history,
before the founding of Freeland, has there been a successful attempt to
establish a commonwealth upon the principles of economic justice and
freedom?

2. Is not the success of the Freeland institutions to be attributed merely
to the accidental, and therefore probably transient, co-operation of
specially favourable circumstances; or do those institutions rest upon
conditions universally present and inherent in human nature?

3. Are not want and misery necessary conditions of existence; and would not
over-population inevitably ensue were misery for a time to disappear from
the earth?

4. Is it possible to introduce the institutions of economic justice
everywhere without prejudice to inherited rights and vested interests; and,
if possible, what are the best means of doing this?

5. Are economic justice and freedom the ultimate outcome of human
evolution; and what will probably be the condition of mankind under such a
_régime_?

Has anyone a remark to make upon our proposal? No one has. Therefore I
place point 1 upon the order of the day, and call upon delegate Erasmus
Kraft to speak.

ERASMUS KRAFT (_Right_): Wherever thinking men dwell upon this earth, we
are preparing to exchange the state of servitude and misery in which from
time immemorial our race has been sunk, for a happier order of things. The
brilliant example which we have before our eyes here in Freeland seems to
be a pledge that our attempt will--nay, must--succeed. But the more evident
this certainty becomes, the more urgent, the more imperative, becomes the
question why that which is now to be accomplished has not long since been
done, why the genius of humanity slept so long before it roused itself to
the task of completing this richly beneficent work. And the simpler--the
more completely in harmony with human nature and with the most primitive
requirements of sound reason--appears to be the complex of those
institutions upon which the work of emancipation depends, so much the more
enigmatical is it that earlier centuries and millenniums, when there was no
lack of enlightened and noble minds, never seriously attempted to
accomplish such a work. We see that it suffices to guarantee to everyone
the full enjoyment of what he produces, in order to supply everyone with
more than enough; and yet through untold millenniums men have patiently
endured boundless misery with all its consequences of sorrow and crime as
if they were inevitable conditions of existence. Why was this? Are we
shrewder, wiser, juster than all our ancestors; or, in spite of all the
apparently infallible evidence in favour of the success of our work, are we
not perhaps under a delusion? It is true that the greatest and most
important part of the history of mankind is veiled in the obscurity of
primitive antiquity; yet history is so old that it is scarcely to be
assumed that the endeavour after the material well-being of all--an
endeavour prompted by the most ardent desires of every creature--should now
make its appearance for the first time. It must be that such an endeavour
has been put forth, not _once_ merely but repeatedly, even though no
tradition has given us any trustworthy account of it. But where are its
results? Or did its results once exist though we know nothing of them? Is
the story of the Golden Age something more than a pious fable; and are we
upon the point of conjuring up another Golden Age? And then arises the
query, how long will this Golden Age last; will it not again be followed by
an age of bronze and an age of iron, perhaps in a more wretched, more
humble form than that exhibited by the age from which we are preparing to
part? Is that fatalistic resignation, with which the ages known to us
endured misery and servitude, a human instinct evolved during an earlier
and bitter experience--an instinct which teaches mankind to endure
patiently the inevitable rather than strive after a brief epoch of
happiness and progress at the risk of a deeper fall? In obedience to the
hint from the chair, I will at present refrain from inquiring what might be
the cause of such a relapse into redoubled misery, as this will be the
theme of the third point in the list of subjects for discussion; but I
think that before we proceed to an exposition of all the conceivable
consequences of the success of our endeavours it would be advisable first
to find out _whether_ those endeavours will really and in their full extent
succeed; and in order to find this out, it will again be advisable to ask
why such endeavours have never succeeded before--nay, perhaps, why they
have never before been made.

CHRISTIAN CASTOR (_Centre_): The previous speaker is in error when he
asserts that history tells us of no serious attempt to realise the
principle of economic justice. One of the grandest attempts of this kind is
Christianity. Everyone who knows the Gospels must know that Christ and His
apostles condemned the exploitation of man by man. The words of Scripture,
'Woe to him who waxes fat upon the sweat of his brother,' contain _in nuce_
the whole codex of Freeland law and all that we are now striving to
realise. That the official Christianity afterwards allowed its work of
emancipation to drop is true; but individual Fathers of the Church have
again and again, in reliance upon the sacred text, endeavoured to realise
the original purposes of Christ. And that during the Middle Ages, as well
as in modern times, vigorous attempts to realise the Christian ideal--that
is, the ideal of Christ, not that of the Church--have never been wanting is
also well known. This is what I wished to point out. The elucidation of the
question why all these attempts were wrecked I leave to other and better
furnished minds.

VLADIMIR OSSIP (_Left_): Far be it from me to hold the noble Founder of
Christianity responsible for what was afterwards made out of His teaching;
but our friend from the United States goes, in my opinion, too far when he
represents Christ and His successors as _our_ predecessors. We proclaim
prosperity and freedom--Christ preached self-denial and humility; we desire
the wealth, He the poverty, of all; we busy ourselves with the things of
this world--He had the next world before His eyes; we are--to speak
briefly--revolutionaries, though pacific ones--He is the founder of a
religion. Let us leave religion alone; I do not think it will be of any use
for us to call in question the _meum_ and _tuum_ as to Christianity.

LIONEL ACOSTA (_Centre_): I differ entirely in this case from the previous
speaker, and agree with our colleague from North America. The teaching of
Christ, though not explicit as to means and ends, is the purest and noblest
proclamation of social freedom that has yet been heard, and it is this
proclamation of social emancipation, and not any religious novelty, that
forms the substance of the 'Good News.' It was a master-stroke of the
policy of enslavement to represent Christ as a founder of a religion
instead of a social reformer: the latter doctrine had quickly won the
hearts of the oppressed masses because it promised them release from their
sufferings, but the former doctrine was used to lull to sleep their
awakening energy.

Christ did not concern Himself with religion--not a line in the Gospels
shows the slightest trace of His having interfered with one of the ancient
religious precepts of His country. The most orthodox Jew can unhesitatingly
place the Gospels in the hands of his children, certain that they will find
nothing therein to wound their religious sentiment. [A Voice: Then why was
Christ crucified?] I am asked why Christ was crucified if He had done
nothing contrary to the Mosaic law. Do men commit murder from religious
motives _merely_? Christ was hurried to death because He was a _social_,
not because He was a religious, innovator; and it was not the pious but the
powerful among the Jews who demanded His death. Scarcely a word is needed
to set this matter right in the minds of all those who study without
prejudice the momentous events of that saddest, but at the same time most
glorious, of the days of Israel, upon which the noblest of her sons
voluntarily sought and found a martyr's death. In the first place, it is a
well-attested historical fact that in Judaea at that time death for
religious heresy was as little known as in Europe during the last century.
In the second place, the mode of execution--the cross, which was quite
foreign to the Jews--shows that Christ was executed according to Roman, not
Jewish, law. But the Romans, the most tolerant in religious matters of all
peoples, would never have put a man to death for religious innovation; they
would not have allowed the execution to take place, much less have
themselves pronounced sentence and carried out that sentence in their own
method. The cross was among them the punishment for _riotous slaves_ or
their _instigators_. I do not say this for the purpose of shifting the
responsibility for Christ's death from Judaea--it is the sad privilege of
that people to have been the executioner of its noblest sons; and as only
the Athenians killed Socrates, so none but the Jews killed Christ; the
Romans were only the instruments of Jewish hatred--the hatred, that is, of
those wealthy men among the Jews of the time who denounced the 'perverter
of the people' to the Governor because they trembled for their possessions.
Indeed, it is quite credible that the Governor did not show himself willing
to accede to the wishes of the eager denouncers, for he, the Roman, who had
grown up in unshaken faith in the firmly established rights of property,
did not understand the significance and bearing of the social teaching of
Christ. The Gospels leave us little room to doubt--and it would be
difficult to understand how it could be otherwise--that he held Christ to
be a harmless enthusiast, who might have been let off with a little
scourging. Generations had to pass away before the _Roman_ world could
learn what the teaching of Christ really was; and then it fell upon His
followers with a fury without a parallel--crucified them, threw them to the
beasts; in short, did everything that Rome was accustomed to do to the foes
of its system of law and property, but never to the followers of foreign
religions. It was different with the _Jewish_ aristocracy: these at once
understood the meaning and the bearing of the Christian propaganda, for
they had long since learnt the germ of these social demands in the
Pentateuch and in the teaching of the earlier prophets. The year of Jubilee
which required a fresh division of the land after every forty-nine years,
the regulation that all slaves should be emancipated in the seventh
year--what were these but the precursors of the universal equality demanded
by Christ? Whether all these ideas, which are to be found in the Sacred
Scriptures of ancient Judaea, were ever realised in practice is more than
doubtful. But they were currently known to every Jew; and when Christ
attempted to give them a practical form--when, in vigorous and rousing
addresses, He denounced woe to the rich man who fattened upon his brother's
sweat--then the powerful in Jerusalem at once recognised that their
interests were threatened by a danger which was not clearly seen by
non-Jewish property-owners until much later. There is not the slightest
doubt that they made no secret of the true grounds of their anxiety to the
Roman Governor, for Christ was executed, not as a sectary, but as an
inciter to revolt.

But, of course, it could not be told to the people that the death of Christ
was demanded because He wished to put into practice the principle of
equality laid down in the sacred books and so often insisted on by the
prophets. The people had to be satisfied with the fable of the religious
heresy of the Nazarene, which fable, however--except in the case of the
unjudging crowd that collected together at the crucifixion--for a long time
found no credence. Everywhere in Israel did the first Christian communities
pass for good Jews; they were called _Judaei_ by all the Roman authors by
whom they were mentioned. What they really were, in what respects alone
they differed from the other communities of Jews, is sufficiently revealed
in the Acts of the Apostles, notwithstanding the very natural caution of
the writer, and the subsequent equally intelligible corruptions of the
text. They were Socialists, to some extent Communists; absolute economic
equality, community of goods, was practised among them. Later, when the
Christian Church sacrificed its social principle to peace with the State,
and transformed itself from a cruelly persecuted martyr to equality into an
instrument of authority and--perhaps because of this apostasy--of a doubly
zealous persecuting authority, then first did she put forth as her own
teaching the malicious calumny of her former maligners, and took upon
herself the _rôle_ of a new religion; and since then she has, in fact, been
the propounder of a new religion. And that she has succeeded, for more than
1,500 years, in connecting her new _rôle_ with the name of Christ, is
mainly the fault of the Jews, who, through the sanguinary persecutions
which have been carried on against them in the name of the meek Sufferer of
Golgotha, have allowed themselves to be betrayed into a blind and foolish
hatred towards this their greatest and noblest son.

But it remains none the less true that Christ suffered death for the idea
of social justice and for this alone--nay, that before His time this idea
was not unknown to Judaism. And it is equally true that notwithstanding all
subsequent obscuration and corruption of this world-redeeming idea, the
propaganda of economic emancipation has never since been completely
suppressed. It was in vain that the Church forbad the laity to read those
books which were alleged to contain no teaching but that of the Church:
again and again did the European peoples, languishing in the deepest
degradation, derive from those forbidden Scriptures courage and inspiration
to attempt their emancipation.

DARJA-SING (_Centre_): I should like to add to what I have just heard that
another people, six centuries before Christ, also conceived the ideas of
freedom and justice--I mean the Indian people. The essence of Buddhism is
the doctrine of the equality of all men and of the sinfulness of oppression
and exploitation. Nay, I venture to assert that the already mentioned ideas
of social freedom to be found in the Pentateuch, and held by the prophets,
and consequently those also held by Christ, are to be referred back to
Indian suggestion. At first sight this appears to be an anachronism, for
Buddha lived six centuries before Christ, while the Jewish legends carry
back the composition of the Pentateuch to the fourteenth century before
Christ. But recent investigations have almost certainly established that
these alleged books of Moses were composed in the sixth century B.C. at the
earliest--at any rate, after the return of the Israelites from the
so-called Babylonish captivity. Now, just at the time when the _élite_ of
the then existing Jews were carried to Babylon, Buddha sent his apostles
through the whole of Asia; and it may safely be assumed that those who
'wept by the waters of Babylon' were specially susceptible to the teaching
of such apostles.

When, therefore, certain eminent German thinkers assert that Christianity
is a drop of foreign blood in the Arian peoples, they are certainly correct
in so far as Christianity actually came to them as Semitism, as having
sprung from Judaism; nevertheless the Arian world can lay claim to the
fundamental conception of Christianity as its own, since it is most highly
probable that the Semitic peoples received the first germ of it from the
Arians. I say this not for the purpose of depreciating the service
performed by the great Semitic martyr to freedom. I cannot, alas! deny that
we Arians were not able to accomplish anything of our own strength with the
divine idea that sprang from our bosom. While it is probable that the
horrors of the Indian system of caste, that most shameful blossom that ever
sprang from the blood-and-tear-bedewed soil of bondage, made India the
scene of the first intellectual reaction against this scourge of mankind,
it is certain, on the other hand, that that very system of caste so
severely strained the energy of our Indian people as to make it impossible
for them to give practical effect to the reaction. Buddhism was
extinguished in India, and outside of India it was soon entirely robbed of
its social characteristic. Those transcendental speculations to which even
in the West it was _attempted_ to limit Christianity have in Eastern Asia
been in reality the only effects of Buddhism. Indeed, the idea of freedom
took different forms in the minds of the founders--taking one form in the
Indian Avatar which, notwithstanding all his sublimity, bore the mark of
his nationality; and taking another form in the Messiah of Judah who saw
the light of the world in the midst of a people fired with a never-subdued
yearning for freedom. Buddha could conceive of freedom only in the form of
that hopeless self-renunciation which was falsely introduced into the
Christian idea of freedom by those who did not wish to have their own
enjoyments interfered with by the claims of others.

In fact, I am convinced that even our more vigorous kinsmen who had
migrated to the West could not have given practical effect to the
conception of freedom and equality if we--the Indian world--had transmitted
to them that conception just as we had conceived it. For even those who
migrated westward carried in their blood to Europe, and retained for a
thousand years, the sentiment of caste. The idea that all men are equal,
really equal here upon earth, would have remained as much beyond the grasp
of the German noble and the German serf as it has remained beyond the grasp
of the Indian Pariah or Sudra and the Brahman or Kshatriya. This conception
had first to be condensed and permanently fixed by the genius of the
strongly democratic little Semitic race on the banks of the Jordan, and
then to be subjected to a severe--and, for a time, adverse--analytical
criticism by the independent and logical spirit of research of Rome and
Greece, before it could be transplanted and bear fruit in purely Arian
races. It is very evident that the converted German kings adopted
Christianity because they held it to be a convenient instrument of power.
It was for the time being immaterial to them what the new doctrine had to
say to the serfs; for the serf who looked up to the 'offspring of the
gods,' his master, with awful reverence, seemed to be for ever harmless,
and the only persons against whom it was necessary for the masters to arm
were their fellow lords, the great and the noble, who differed from the
kings in nothing but in the amount of their power. The right to rule came,
according to the Arian view, from God: very well, but the right of the
least of the nobles sprang, like that of the king, from the gods. Now, the
kings found in Christ the _one_ supreme Lord who had conferred power upon
them, and upon them alone. They alone now possessed a divine source of
authority; and therefore history shows us everywhere that it was the kings
who introduced Christianity against the--often determined--opposition of
the great, and never that the great were converted without, or against the
will of, the kings. The masses of the people, the serfs, where were these
ever asked? They have to do and believe what their masters think well; and
without exception they do it, making no resistance whatever--allowing
themselves to be driven to baptism in flocks like sheep, and believing, as
they are commanded to do, that all power comes from _one_ God, who bestows
it upon _one_ lord. For the Arian serf is a mere chattel without a will,
and will not think for himself until he is educated to do so. This work of
education has been a long time in progress; but, as the previous speaker
rightly said, the idea of freedom has never slept.

ERICH HOLM (_Right_): I do not think that any valid objection can be made
to the statement that the general idea of economic justice is thousands of
years old and has never been completely lost sight of. But it is a question
whether this general idea of equality of rights and of freedom has much in
common with that which _we_ are now about to put into practice, or whether
in many respects it does not differ from that ancient idea. And, further,
it is a question whether that idea, which we have heard is already
twenty-five centuries old, has ever been or can be realised.

With reference to the first question, I must admit that Christ, in contrast
to Buddha, entertained not a transcendental and metaphysical, but a very
material and literal idea of equality. It is true that He pronounced the
poor in spirit blessed; but the rich, who according to Him would find it
harder to get into heaven than it is for a rope of camel's hair to go
through a needle's eye, were not the rich in spirit, but the rich in
earthly riches. It is also true that he said, 'My kingdom is not of this
world' and 'Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's'; yet everyone
who reads these passages in connection with their context must see that He
is simply waiving all interference whatever with political affairs--that in
wishing to gain the victory for social justice he is influenced not by
political, but by transcendental aims for the sake of eternal blessedness.
Whether Rome or Israel rules is immaterial to Him, if only justice be
exercised; yet only pious narrow-mindedness can deny that He wished to see
justice exercised here below, and not merely in the next world. But is that
which Christ understands by justice really identical with what we mean by
it? It is true that the 'Love thy neighbour as thyself,' which He preached
in common with other Jewish teachers, would be a senseless phrase if it did
not imply economic equality of rights. The man who exploits man loves man
as he does his domestic animal, but not as himself: to require true
'Christian neighbourly love' in an exploiting society would be simply
absurd, and what would come of it we have in times past sufficiently
experienced. Indeed, the apostle removes all doubt from this point, for he
expressly condemns the getting rich upon another's sweat.

So far, then, we are completely at one with Christ. But He just as
emphatically condemns wealth and praises poverty, whilst we would make
wealth the common possession of all, and therefore would place all our
fellow-men in a condition in which--to speak with Christ--it would be
harder to enter the kingdom of heaven than it is for a rope to go through a
needle's eye. Here is a contradiction which it seems to me can scarcely be
reconciled. We hold misery, Christ held wealth, to be the source of vice,
of sin: our equality is that of wealth, His that of poverty. This is my
first point.

In the second place, Christ did _not_ succeed, modest as His aims were. Is
not, then, an appeal to this noblest of all minds calculated to discourage
rather than to encourage us in the pursuit of our aims?

EMILIO LERMA (_Freeland_): The previous speaker has brought the poverty
which Christ praised and required into a false relation with
the--alleged--miscarriage of His work of emancipation. Christ's work
miscarried not in spite of, but _because_ of, the fact that He attempted to
base equality upon poverty. The equality of poverty cannot be established,
for it would be synonymous with the stagnation of civilisation. However, it
is not only possible, but necessary, to bring about the equality of wealth,
as soon as the necessary conditions exist, because this is synonymous with
the progress of civilisation. You will say that certainly this is so
according to our view; but according to the view of Christ wealth is an
evil. Very true. But when we examine the matter without prejudice, it is
impossible not to see _that Christ rejected wealth only because it had its
source in exploitation_. There is nothing in the life of Christ to suggest
that He was such a gloomy ascetic as He must have been if He had held
wealth, as such, to be sinful: numberless passages in the Gospels afford
unequivocal evidence of the contrary. Christ's daily needs were very
simple, but He was always ready to enjoy whatever His adherents offered
him, and never saw any harm in getting as much pleasure from living as was
consistent with justice. This view of His was not affected even by the
hatred with which the rich of Jerusalem persecuted Him, and the
often-quoted condemnation of the rich has in it something contrary to the
spirit of the Gospels, if we tear it away from its connection with the
words, 'Woe unto him who waxeth fat upon the sweat of his brother.' In
condemning wealth, Christ condemned merely its source; the kingdom of
heaven was closed to wealth because, and only because, wealth could not be
acquired except by exploiting the sweat of men. There can be no doubt that
Christ, like ourselves, would have become reconciled to wealth if then, as
in our days, wealth were possible without exploitation--nay, really
possible only without it. We shall have further occasion to discuss why
this was impossible in Christ's day and for many centuries afterwards; at
present it is enough to know that it _was_ impossible, that the only choice
lay between poverty and wealth with exploitation.

Christ rendered the immortal service of having recognised this alternative
more clearly than anyone before Him, and of having attacked exploitation
with soul-stirring fervour. It was inevitable that He should be crucified
for what He did, for in the antagonism between justice and the claims of
civilisation the first always succumbs. It was inevitable that He should
die, because He unrolled the banner of true human love, freedom, and
equality--in short, of all the noblest sentiments of the human
heart--nearly two thousand years too soon; too soon, that is, for Him, not
for us: for dull-witted humanity needed those two thousand years in order
fully to understand what its martyr meant. For humanity Christ died not a
day too soon. There is, then, no contradiction between the Christian ideas
and what we are striving for; the difference between the two lies simply
herein: that the first announcement of the idea of equality was made in an
age when the material conditions necessary for the practical realisation of
this divine idea did not yet exist, whilst our endeavours signify the
'Incarnation of the Word,' the fruit of the seed then cast into the mind of
mankind. It cannot, therefore, be said that the Christian work of
emancipation has really 'miscarried': there merely lie two thousand years
between the beginning and the completion of the work undertaken by Christ.

On account of the lateness of the hour the President here closed the
sitting, the debate standing adjourned until the next day.



CHAPTER XXIV


SECOND DAY

(_Adjourned Discussion upon the first point on the Agenda_)

LEOPOLD STOCKAU (_Centre_) re-opened the debate: I think that the
preliminary question, whether our present endeavours after economic justice
really are without any historical precedent, was exhaustively discussed
yesterday and was answered in the negative. At least, I am authorised by
yesterday's speakers of the opposite party to declare that they are fully
convinced that the teaching of Christ differs in no essential point from
that which is practically carried out in Freeland, and which we wish to
make the common property of the whole world. We now come to the main
subject of the first question for discussion--namely, to the inquiry why
the former attempts to base human industry upon justice and freedom have
been unsuccessful.

The answer to this question has already been suggested by the last speaker
of yesterday. Former attempts miscarried because they aimed at establishing
the equality of poverty: ours will succeed because it implies the equality
of wealth. The equality of poverty would have produced stagnation in
civilisation. Art and science, the two vehicles of progress, assume
abundance and leisure; they cannot exist, much less can they develop, if
there are no persons who possess more than is sufficient to satisfy their
merely animal wants. In former epochs of human culture it was impossible to
create abundance and leisure for all--it was impossible because the means
of production would not suffice to create abundance for all even if all
without exception laboured with all their physical power; and therefore
much less would they have sufficed if the workers had indulged in the
leisure which is as necessary to the development of the higher intellectual
powers as abundance is to the maturing of the higher intellectual needs.
And since it was not possible to guarantee to all the means of living a
life worthy of human beings, it remained a sad, but not less inexorable,
necessity of civilisation that the majority of men should be stinted even
in the little that fell to their share, and that the booty snatched from
the masses should be used to endow a minority who might thus attain to
abundance and leisure. Servitude was a necessity of civilisation, because
that alone made possible the development of the tastes and capacities of
civilisation in at least a few individuals, while without it barbarism
would have been the lot of all.

It is, moreover, a mistake to suppose that servitude is as old as the human
race: it is only as old as civilisation. There was a time when servitude
was unknown, when there were neither masters nor servants, and no one could
exploit the labour of his fellow-men; that was not the Golden, but the
Barbaric, Age of our race. While man had not yet learnt the art of
_producing_ what he needed, but was obliged to be satisfied with gathering
or capturing the voluntary gifts of nature, and every competitor was
therefore regarded as an enemy who strove to get the same goods which each
individual looked upon as his own special prey, so long did the struggle
for existence among men necessarily issue in reciprocal destruction instead
of subjection and exploitation. It did not then profit the stronger or the
more cunning to force the weaker into his service--the competitor had to be
killed; and as the struggle was accompanied by hatred and superstition, it
soon began to be the practice to eat the slain. A war of extermination
waged by all against all, followed generally by cannibalism, was therefore
the primitive condition of our race.

This first social order yielded, not to moral or philosophical
considerations, but to a change in the character of labour. The man who
first thought of sowing corn and reaping it was the deliverer of mankind
from the lowest, most sanguinary stage of barbarism, for he was the first
producer--he first practised the art not only of collecting, but of
producing, food. When this art so improved as to make it possible to
withdraw from the worker a part of his produce without positively exposing
him to starvation, it was gradually found to be more profitable to use the
vanquished as beasts of labour than as beasts for slaughter. Since slavery
thus for the first time made it possible for at least a favoured few to
enjoy abundance and leisure, it became the first promoter of higher
civilisation. But civilisation is power, and so it came about that slavery
or servitude in one form or another spread over the world.

But it by no means follows that the domination of servitude must, or even
can, be perpetual. Just as cannibalism--which was the result of that
minimum productiveness of human labour by means of which the severest toil
sufficed to satisfy only the lowest animal needs of life--had to succumb to
servitude as soon as the increasing productiveness of labour made any
degree of abundance possible, so servitude--which is nothing else but the
social result of that medium measure of productiveness by which labour is
able to furnish abundance and leisure to a few but not to all--_must_ also
succumb to another, a higher social order, as soon as this medium measure
of productiveness is surpassed, for from that moment servitude has ceased
to be a necessity of civilisation, and has become a hindrance to its
progress.

And for generations this has actually been the case. Since man has
succeeded in making the forces of nature serviceable in production--since
he has acquired the power of substituting the unlimited elemental forces
for his own muscular force--there has been nothing to prevent his creating
abundance and leisure for all; nothing except that obsolete social
institution, servitude, which withholds from the masses the enjoyment of
abundance and leisure. We not merely can, but we shall be compelled to make
social justice an actual fact, because the new form of labour demands this
as imperatively as the old forms of labour demanded servitude. Servitude,
once the vehicle of progress, has become a hindrance to civilisation, for
it prevents the full use of the means of civilisation at our disposal. As
it reduces to a minimum the things consumed by most of our brethren, and
therefore does not call into play more than a very small part of our
present means of production, it compels us to restrict our productive
labour within limits far less than those to which we should attain if an
effective demand existed for what would then be the inevitable abundance of
all kinds of wealth.

I sum up thus: Economic equality of rights could not be realised in earlier
epochs of civilisation, because human labour was not then sufficiently
productive to supply wealth to all, and equality therefore meant poverty
for all, which would have been synonymous with barbarism. Economic equality
of rights not only can but _must_ now become a fact, because--thanks to the
power which has been acquired of using the forces of nature--abundance and
leisure have become possible for all; but the full utilisation of the now
acquired means of civilisation is dependent on the condition that everyone
enjoys the product of his own industry.

SATZA-MUNI (_Right_): I think it has been incontrovertibly shown that
economic equality of rights was formerly impossible, and that it _can_ now
be realised; but why it _must_ now be realised does not seem to me to have
been yet placed beyond a doubt. So long as the productiveness of labour was
small, the exploitation of man by man was a necessity of civilisation--that
is plain; this is no longer the case, since the increased productiveness of
labour is now capable of creating wealth enough for all--this is also as
clear as day. But this only proves that economic justice has become
possible, and there is a great difference between the possible and the
necessary existence of a state of things. It has been said--and the
experience of the exploiting world seems to justify the assertion--that
full use cannot be made of the control which science and invention have
given to men over the natural forces, while only a small part of the fruits
of the thus increased effectiveness of labour is consumed; and if this can
be irrefutably shown to be inherent in the nature of the thing, there
remains not the least doubt that servitude in any form has become a
hindrance to civilisation. For an institution that prevents us from making
use of the means of civilisation which we possess is in and of itself a
hindrance to civilisation; and since it restrains us from developing wealth
to the fullest extent possible, and wealth and civilisation are power, so
there can consequently be no doubt as to why and in what manner such an
institution must in the course of economic evolution become obsolete. The
advanced and the strong everywhere and necessarily imposes its laws and
institutions upon the unprogressive and the weak; economic justice would
therefore--though with bloodless means--as certainly and as universally
supplant servitude as formerly servitude--when it was the institution which
conferred a higher degree of civilisation and power--supplanted
cannibalism. I have already admitted that the modern exploiting society is
in reality unable to produce that wealth which would correspond to the now
existing capacity of production: hence it follows as a matter of fact that
the exploiting society is very much less advanced than one based upon the
principle of economic justice, and it also quite as incontrovertibly
follows that the former cannot successfully compete with the latter.

But before we have a right to jump to the conclusion that the principles of
economic justice must necessarily be everywhere victorious, it must be
shown that it is the essential nature of the exploiting system, and not
certain transitory accidents connected with it, which makes it incapable of
calling forth all the capacity of highly productive labour. Why is the
existing exploiting society not able to call forth all this capacity?
Because the masses are prevented from increasing their consumption in a
degree corresponding to the increased power of production--because what is
produced belongs not to the workers but to a few employers. Right. But, it
would be answered, these few would make use of the produce themselves. To
this the rejoinder is that that is impossible, because the few owners of
the produce of labour can use--that is, actually consume--only the smallest
portion of such an enormous amount of produce; the surplus, therefore, must
be converted into productive capital, the employment of which, however, is
dependent upon the consumption of those things that are produced by it.
Very true. No factories can be built if no one wants the things that would
be manufactured in them. But have the masters really only this _one_ way of
disposing of the surplus--can they really make no other use of it? In the
modern world they do as a matter of fact make no other use of it. As a
rule, their desire is to increase or improve the agencies engaged in
labour--that is, to capitalise their profits--without inquiring whether
such an increase or improvement is needed; and since no such increase is
needed, so over-production--that is, the non-disposal of the produce--is
the necessary consequence. But because this is the fact at present, _must_
it necessarily be so? What if the employers of labour were to perceive the
true relation of things, and to find a way of creating an equilibrium by
proportionally reducing their capitalisation and increasing their
consumption? If that were to happen, then, it must be admitted, all
products would be disposed of, however much the productiveness of labour
might increase. The consumption by the masses would be stationary as
before; but luxury would absorb all the surplus with exception of such
reserves as were required to supply the means of production, which means
would themselves be extraordinarily increased on account of the enormously
increased demand caused by luxury.

And who will undertake to say that such a turn of affairs is altogether
impossible? The luxury of the few, it is said, cannot possibly absorb the
immense surplus of modern productiveness. But why not? Because a rich man
has only one stomach and one body; and, moreover, everyone cannot possibly
have a taste for luxury. Granted; luxury, in its modern forms, cannot
possibly consume more than a certain portion of the surplus produce of
modern labour. But are we shut up to these modern kinds of luxury? What if
the wealthy once more have recourse to a mode of spending repeatedly
indulged in by antiquity in order to dispose of the accumulating proceeds
of slave-labour? In ancient Egypt a single king kept 200,000 men busy for
thirty years building his sepulchre, the great pyramid of Ghizeh. This same
Pharaoh probably built also splendid palaces and temples with a no less
profligate expenditure of human labour, and amassed treasures in which
infinite labour was crystallised. Contemporaneously with him, there were
other Egyptian magnates, priests, and warriors in no small number, who
sought and found in similar ways employment for the labour of their slaves.
If the luxury of the living did not consume enough, then costly spices,
drink-offerings and burnt-offerings were lavished upon the dead, and thus
the difficulty of disposing of the accumulated produce of labour was still
further lightened. And this succeeded admirably. The Egyptian slave
received a few onions and a handful of parched corn for food, a loin-cloth
for clothing; and yet, notwithstanding a comparatively highly developed
productiveness of the labour of countless slaves exploited by a few
masters, there was no over-production. In ancient India the men in power
excavated whole ranges of hills into temples, covered with the most
exquisite sculptures, in which an infinite amount of labour was consumed;
in ancient Rome the lords of the world ate nightingales' tongues, or
instituted senseless spectacles, in order to find employment for the
superfluous labour of countless slaves who, despite the considerable
productiveness of labour, were kept in a condition of the deepest misery.
And it answered. Why should not such a course answer in modern times?
Because, thanks to the control we have acquired over nature, the
productiveness of labour has become infinitely greater. Labour may have
become infinitely more productive; indeed, I think it probable that it is
no longer possible for the maddest prodigality of the few wealthy to give
_full_ employment to the whole of the labour-energy at present existing
without admitting the masses to share in the consumption; but it would be
possible for the wealthy to consume a very large portion of the possible
produce. Then why does the modern exploiting society build no pyramids, no
rock palaces; why do the lords of labour institute no costly cultus of the
dead; why do they not eat nightingales' tongues, and keep the exploited
populace busy with circus spectacles and mock sea-fights? They could
indulge in these and countless other things, if they only discovered that
the surplus must be consumed and not capitalised. But as long as they
continue to multiply the instruments of labour, and only the instruments of
labour, so long are they simply increasing over-production, and can become
richer only in proportion as the consumption accidentally increases. As
soon, however, as they adopt the above-mentioned expedient, the connection
between their wealth and the lot of the masses is broken. Why does not this
happen?

I hope it is not necessary for me expressly to assert that I am far from
wishing for such a turn in affairs; rather, I should look upon it as the
greatest misfortune that could befall mankind, for it would mean that,
despite the enormously increased productiveness of labour, exploitation was
not necessarily a hindrance to civilisation, and consequently would not
necessarily be superseded by economic justice. But Confucius says rightly,
that what is to be deplored is not always to be regarded as impossible or
even as only improbable.

JOHN BELL (_Centre_): The last speaker, who in other respects shows himself
to be a profound thinker, overlooks the fact that the completest
utilisation of the existing means of civilisation and the corresponding
evolution of wealth are not the only determining criteria in the struggle
for existence among nations. The strength of a nation that employs its
wealth in fostering the higher development of the millions of its subjects,
will ultimately become very different from that of a nation which consumes
an equal amount of wealth merely in increasing the enjoyment, nay, the
senseless luxury, of the ruling classes.

ARISTID-KOLOTRONI (_Centre_): The last speaker is correct in what he says,
although it may be objected that the wealthy are not necessarily obliged to
consume their wealth in senseless luxury: they might just as well gratify
their pride by boundless benevolence, accompanied by enormous expenditure
in all imaginable kinds of scientific, artistic and other institutions of
national utility. But I think we are getting away from the main point,
which is: is such a turn of affairs possible? The fact that it has not
occurred, despite all the evils of over-production, that on the contrary a
continually growing desire to capitalise all surplus profits dominates the
modern world, should save us from a fear of such a contingency.

KURT OLAFSOHN (_Freeland_): I must agree with Satza-Muni, the honourable
member for Japan, so far as to admit that the bare fact that such a
contingency has not yet been realised cannot set our minds completely at
rest. The consideration advanced by the two following speakers as to
whether an exploiting society in which the consumption by the wealthy
increases indefinitely must, under all circumstances, succumb to the
influence of the free order of society, appears arbitrary and inconclusive.
I venture to think that the free society does not possess the aggressive
character of the exploiting society, and that therefore the latter, even
though it should prove to be decidedly the weaker of the two, may continue
to exist for some time side by side with the other so far as it does not
itself recognise the necessity of passing over to the other. And this
recognition would be materially delayed by the fact that the ruling classes
profit by the continuance of exploitation. The change could then be
effected universally only by sanguinary conflicts, whilst we lay great
stress upon the winning over of the wealthy to the side of the reformers.
It is the enormous burden of over-production that opens the eyes of
exploiters to the folly of their action; should this spur be lacking, the
beneficial revolution would be materially delayed. The member for Japan is
also correct in saying that repeatedly in the course of history the surplus
production which could not be consumed in a reasonable manner has led the
exploiting lords of labour to indulge in senseless methods of consumption.
It may therefore be asked whether what has repeatedly happened cannot
repeat itself once more; but a thorough investigation of the subject will
show that the question must be answered with a decided _No_.

No, it _can_ never happen again that full employment for highly productive
labour will be found except under a system of economic justice; for since
it last occurred, a new factor has entered into the world which makes it
for all times an impossibility. This factor is the mobilisation of capital
and the consequent separation of the process of capital formation from the
process of capital-using. Anyone who in Ancient Egypt or Ancient Rome had
surplus production to dispose of and wished to invest it profitably,
therefore in the form of aids to labour, must either himself have had a
need of aids to labour, or must have found someone else who had such a need
and was on that account prepared to take his surplus, at interest of
course. It was impossible for anyone to invest capital unless someone could
make use of such capital; and if this latter contingency did not occur, it
was a matter of course that the possessor of the surplus production,
unusable as capital, should seek some other mode of consuming it. Many such
modes offered themselves, differing according to the nature of the several
kinds of exploiting society. If the constitution of the commonwealth was a
patriarchal one, the labour which had become more productive would be
utilised in improving the condition of the serfs, in mitigating the
severity of their labour. In a commonwealth of a more military character
the increasing productiveness of labour would serve to enlarge the
non-labouring, weapon-bearing class. If--as was always the case when
civilisation advanced--the bond between lord and serf became laxer, the
lord merely increased his luxury. But, in any case, the surplus which could
not be utilised in the augmentation or improvement of labour was consumed,
and there could therefore be no over-production. As now, however, the
possessor of surplus produce can--even when no one has a need of his
savings--obtain what he wants, viz. interest, he has ceased to concern
himself as to whether that surplus is really required for purposes of
production, but is anxious to capitalise even that which others can make as
little use of as he can.

And this, in reality, is the result of the mobilisation of capital. Since
this discovery has been made, all capital is as it were thrown into one
lump, the profits of capital added to it, and the whole divided among the
capitalists. No one needs my savings, they are absolutely superfluous, and
can bear no fruit of any kind; nevertheless I receive my interest, for the
mobilisation of capital enables me to share in the profits of
profit-bearing, that is, of really working, capital. I deposit my savings
at interest in a bank, or I buy a share or a bill and thereby raise the
price of all other shares or bills correspondingly, and thus make it appear
as if the capital which they represent had been increased, while in truth
it has remained unchanged. And the produce of this working capital has not
increased through the apparent addition of my capital; the interest paid on
the whole amount of capital including mine is not more than that paid on
the capital before mine was added to it. The addition of my superfluous
capital has lowered the _rate_ of interest, or, what comes to the same
thing, has raised the price of a demand for the same rate of interest as
before; but even a diminished rate of interest is better than no interest
at all. I continue, therefore, to save and capitalise, despite the fact
that my savings cannot be used productively as capital; nay, the
above-mentioned diminution of the rate of interest impels me, under certain
circumstances, to save yet more carefully, that is, to diminish my
consumption in proportion as my savings become less remunerative. It is
evident that my surplus produce cannot find any productive employment at
all, yet there is no way out of this circle of over production. Luxury
cannot come in as a relief, because the absence of any profitable
employment for the surplus renders that surplus valueless, and the ultimate
result is the non-production of the surplus. Only exceptionally is there an
actual production of unconsumable and, consequently, valueless things; the
almost unbroken rule is that the things which no one can use, and which
therefore are valueless, will not be produced. Since the employer leaves to
the worker only a bare subsistence, and can apply to capitalising purposes
only so much as is required for the production of consumable commodities,
every other application of the profits being excluded by capitalism, he
cannot produce more than is enough to meet these two demands. If he
attempts to produce more, the inevitable result is not increased wealth,
but a crisis.

We have, therefore, no ground to fear that the ruling classes will again,
as in pro-capitalistic epochs, be able to enjoy the fruits of the
increasing productiveness of labour without allowing the working masses to
participate in that enjoyment. Capitalism, though by no means--as some
socialistic writers have represented--the cause of exploitation, is the
obstacle which deprives modern society of every other escape from the fatal
grasp of over-production but that of a transition to economic justice. It
is the last stage in human economics previous to that of social justice.
From capitalism there is no way forward but towards social justice; for
capitalism is at one and the same time one of the most effectual
provocatives of productivity and the bond which indissolubly connects the
increase of the effective production of wealth with consumption.

WILHELM OHLMS (_Right_): Then how is it that the Freeland institutions,
which are to become those of the whole of civilised mankind, have broken
with capitalism?

HENRI FARR (_Freeland_): So far as by capitalism is to be understood the
conversion of any actual surplus production into working capital, we in
Freeland are far from having broken with it. On the contrary, we have
developed it to the utmost, for much more fully than in the exploiting
capitalistic society are our savings at all times at the disposal of any
demand for capital that may arise. But our method of accumulating and
mobilising capital is a very different and much more perfect one: the
solidarity of interest of the saver with that of the employer of capital
takes the place of interest. This form of capitalism can never lead to
over-production, for under it--as in the pre-capitalistic epoch--it is the
demand for capital that gives the first impulse to the creation of capital.
But that this kind of capitalisation is impracticable in an exploiting
society needs no proof. For such a society there is no other means of
making the spontaneously accumulating capital serviceable to production
than that of interest; and as soon as the mobilisation of capital dissolves
the immediate personal connection between saver and employer of capital,
creditor and debtor, interest inevitably impels to over-production, from
which there is no escape except in economic justice--or relapse into
barbarism. [Loud and general applause.]

The PRESIDENT here asked if anyone else wished to speak upon point 1 of the
Agenda; and, as no one rose, he declared the discussion upon this subject
closed.

The Congress next proceeded to discuss point 2:--

_Is not the success of the Freeland institutions to be attributed merely to
the accidental and therefore probably transient co-operation of specially
favourable circumstances; or do those institutions rest upon conditions
universally present and inherent in human nature?_

GEORGE DARE (_Right_) opened the debate: We have the splendid success of a
first attempt to establish economic justice so tangibly before us in
Freeland, that there is no need to ask whether such an attempt _can_
succeed. It is another question whether it _must_ succeed, and that
everywhere, because it has succeeded in this one case. For the
circumstances of Freeland are exceptional in more than one respect. Not to
mention the pre-eminent abilities, the enthusiasm and the spirit of
self-sacrifice which marked the men who founded this fortunate
commonwealth, and some of whom still stand at its head, men such as it is
certain will not everywhere be found ready at hand, it must not be
overlooked that this country is more lavishly endowed by nature than most
others, and that a broad band of desert and wilderness protected it--at
least at first--from any disturbing foreign influence. If men of talent,
enjoying the unqualified confidence of their colleagues, are able on a soil
where every seed bears fruit a hundredfold to effect the miracle of
conjuring inexhaustible wealth for millions out of nothing, of
exterminating misery and vice, of developing the arts and sciences to the
fullest extent,--all this is, in my opinion, no proof that ordinary men,
given perhaps to squabbling with each other, and to being mutually
distrustful, will achieve the like or even approximately similar results on
poorer land and in the midst of the turmoil of the world's competitive
struggle. My doubts upon this point will appear the more reasonable when it
is remembered that in America we have witnessed hundreds upon hundreds of
social experiments which have all either proved to be in a greater or less
degree miserable fiascos, or at least have only assumed the proportion of
isolated successful industrial enterprises. It is true that some of our
efforts at revolutionising modern society have had remarkable pecuniary
results; but that has been all: a new, practicable foundation of the social
organisation they have not furnished, not even in germ. I wished to give
expression to these doubts; and before allowing ourselves to be intoxicated
by the example of Freeland, I wished to invite you to a sober consideration
of the question whether that which is successful in Freeland must
necessarily succeed in the rest of the world.

THOMAS JOHNSTON (_Freeland_): The previous speaker makes a mistake when he
ascribes the success of the Freeland undertaking to exceptionally
favourable conditions. That our soil is more fertile than that of most
other parts of the world is, it is true, a permanent advantage, which,
however, accrues to us merely in the item of cost of carriage; for, after
allowing for this, the advantage of the fertility of our soil is equally
shared by all of you everywhere, wherever railways and steam-vessels can be
made use of. Isolation from the market of the world by broad deserts was at
first an advantage; but it would now be a disadvantage if we had not made
ourselves masters of those deserts. And as to the abilities of the Freeland
government, I must--not out of modesty, but in the name of truth--decline
the compliments paid us. We are not abler than others whom you might find
by the dozen in any civilised country. Only in one point were we in advance
of others, namely, in perceiving what was the true basis of human
economics. But the advantage which this gave us was only a temporary one,
for at present you have men in abundance in every part of the civilised
world who have become as wise as we are even in this matter. The advantage
we derived from being the first in this movement was that we have enjoyed
for nearly a generation the happiness in which you are only now preparing
to participate. Freeland's advantages are due simply to the date of its
foundation, and have now lost their importance. Now that the establishment
of a world-wide freedom is contemplated, there will no longer be any
national advantages or disadvantages. What belongs to us belongs to you
also, and what is wonderful is that we as well as you will become richer in
proportion as each of us is obliged to allow all the others to share
quickly, easily, and fully our own wealth. We have suffered from being
compelled to enjoy our wealth alone, and we shall become richer as soon as
you share that wealth; and in the same way will you become richer as others
share in your wealth. For herein lies the solidarity of interest that is
associated with true freedom, that every existing advantage in
production--such as wealth is--can be the more fully utilised the wider the
circle of those who enjoy its fruits.

That those attempts, of which the last speaker spoke, all miscarried is due
to the fact that they were all based upon wrong principles. The only thing
they have in common with what we have carried out in Freeland, and what you
now wish to imitate, is the endeavour to find a remedy for the misery of
the exploiting world; but the remedy which we seek is a different one from
that which they sought, and in that--not in exceptional advantages which we
may have had--lies the cause of our success and of their miscarriage.

For it was not by the aid of economic justice that they sought to attain
their end; they sought deliverance from the dungeon of exploitation,
whether by a way which did not lead out of it, or by a way which, though it
led out of that dungeon, yet led into another and more dreadful one. In
none of those American or other social experiments, from the Quaker
colonies to the Icaria of Cabet, was the full and undiminished produce of
labour ever assured to the worker; on the contrary, the produce belonged
either to small capitalists who, while themselves taking part in the
undertaking as workers, shared the produce according to the amount of
capital they had invested, or it belonged to the whole as a body, who as
such had a despotic right of disposal over both the labour and the produce
of the labour of every individual. These reformers were, without exception,
associated small capitalists or communists. They were able, if they had
specially good fortune, or if they were under specially able direction, to
achieve transient success; but a revolution of the current industrial
system by them was not to be thought of.

(_End of Second Day's Debate_)



CHAPTER XXV


THIRD DAY

(_Debate on Point 2 of the Agenda, continued_)

JOHANN STORM (_Right_): I think that the lack of any analogy between the
frequent attempts to save society undertaken by small capitalists or
communists and the institutions of Freeland has been made sufficiently
clear. I think also that we are convinced that the exceptional external
advantages, which may have at any rate favoured and assisted the success of
Freeland, are not of a kind to suggest a fear that our proposed work will
fail for the want of such advantages. But we do not yet know whether the
success of social reform is exposed to danger from any conditions inherent
in human nature, and therefore universally to be met with. We have, in our
discussion upon the first point of the agenda, established the fact that,
thanks to the control which has been acquired over the forces of nature,
exploitation has become an obstacle to civilisation, and its removal a
necessity of civilisation. But severe criticism cannot be satisfied with
this. For is everything which is necessary to the progress of civilisation
consequently also possible? What if economic justice, though an
extraordinary vehicle of civilisation, were for some reason unfortunately
impracticable? What if that marvellous prosperity, which astonishes us so
much in Freeland, were only a transient phenomenon, and carried in itself
the germ of decay, despite, nay, because of, its fabulous magnitude? In a
word, what if mankind could not permanently, and as a whole, participate in
that progress the necessary condition of which is economic justice?

The evidence to the contrary, already advanced, culminates in the
proposition that the exploitation of man by man was necessary only so long
as the produce of human labour did not suffice to provide abundance and
leisure for all. But what if other influences made exploitation and
servitude necessary, influences the operation of which could not be stayed
by the increased productiveness of labour, perhaps could never be stayed?
The most powerful hindrance to the permanent establishment of a condition
of economic justice, with its consequences of happiness and wealth, is
recognised by the anxious student of the future in the danger of
over-population. But as this is a special point in the agenda, I, like my
colleagues who have already spoken, will postpone what occurs to my mind
upon the subject. There are, however, other and not less important
difficulties. Can a society, which lacks the stimulus of self-interest,
permanently exist and make progress, and succeed in making public spirit
and rational enlightenment take the place thoroughly, and with equal
effectiveness, of self-interest? Does not the same apply to private
property? Self-interest and private property are not altogether set aside
by the institutions of Freeland. I readily admit this, but they are
materially restricted. Even under the rule of economic justice the
individual is himself responsible for the greater or less degree of his
prosperity--the connection between what he himself does and what he gets is
not altogether dissolved; but as the commonwealth unconditionally protects
every man in all cases against want, therefore against the ultimate
consequences of his own mistakes or omissions, the stimulating influence of
self-responsibility is very materially diminished. Just so we see private
property abolished, though not entirely, yet in its most important
elements. The earth and all the natural forces inherent in it are declared
ownerless; the means of production are common property; will that, can
that, remain so everywhere, and for all time, without disastrous
consequences? Will public spirit permanently fill the office of that
affectionate far-seeking care which the owner bestows upon the property for
which he alone is responsible? Will not the gladsome absence of care, which
has certainly hitherto been brilliantly conspicuous in Freeland, eventually
degenerate into frivolity and neglect of that for which no one in
particular is responsible? The fact that this has not yet happened may
perhaps be due--for it is not yet a generation since this commonwealth was
founded--to the dominant enthusiasm that marked the beginning. New brooms,
it is said, sweep clean. The Freelander sees the eyes of the whole world
fixed upon him and his doings; he feels that he is still the pioneer of new
institutions; he is proud of those institutions, every worker here to the
last man holds himself responsible for the way and manner in which he
fulfils the apostolate of universal freedom to which he is called. Will
this continue permanently: in particular, will the whole human race feel
and act thus? I doubt it; at least, I am not fully convinced that it must
necessarily be so. And what if it is not so? What if, we will not say all,
but many nations show themselves to be unable to dispense with the stimulus
of want-inspired self-interest, the lure of unconditioned private property,
without sinking into mental stagnation and physical indolence? These are
questions to which we now require answers.

RICHARD HELD (_Centre_): The previous speaker finds that self-interest and
private property are such powerful spurs to activity that, without their
full and unrestricted influence, permanent human progress is scarcely
conceivable, and that it is extremely uncertain whether public spirit would
be an effective substitute for them. I go much farther. I assert that
without these two means of activity no commonwealth can be expected to
thrive, unless human nature is radically changed, or labour ceases to
require effort. Every attempt in the domain of economics to substitute
public spirit or any other ethical motive for self-interest must
immediately, and not merely in its ultimate issue, prove an ignominious
fiasco. I think it quite unnecessary to give special proof of this; but for
the very reason that self-interest and its correlative, private property,
are the best incitements to labour, and can be effectively replaced by no
surrogate--for this very reason, I contend, are the institutions of
economic justice immensely superior in this respect to those of the
exploiting system of industry. For they alone really give full play to
self-interest and the right of private ownership: the exploiting system
only falsely pretends to do this.

For servitude is, in truth, the negation of self-interest. Self-interest
assumes that the worker serves his 'own' interest by the trouble he takes;
does this apply to the _régime_ of exploitation: does the servant work for
his _own_ profit? With reference to the question of self-interest, anyone
who would show that economic justice was less advantageous than servitude
would have to assert that labour was the most productive and profitable
when the worker produced, not for his own, but for some one else's profit.
But it will perhaps be objected that the employer produces for his own
profit. Right. But, apart from the fact that this, strictly speaking, has
nothing to do with the stimulating effect of self-interest upon labour--for
here it is not the profit of his own but of some one else's labour that
comes in question--it is clear that a system which secures to only a
minority the profit of work must be infinitely less influential than the
one we are now considering, which secures the profit to every worker. In
reality the exploiting world, with very few exceptions, knows only men who
labour without getting the profit themselves, and men who do not labour
themselves yet get profit from labour; in the exploiting world to labour
for one's own profit is quite an accidental occurrence. With what right,
then, does exploitation dare to plume itself upon making use of
_self_-interest as a motive to labour? _Some one else's_ interest is the
right description of the motive to labour that comes into play under
exploitation; and that this should prove itself to be more effective than
the self-interest which economic justice has to introduce into the modern
world as a novelty it would be somewhat difficult to demonstrate.

It is nearly the same with private property. What boundless presumption it
is to claim for a system which robs ninety-nine per cent. of mankind of all
and every certainty of possessing property, and leaves to them nothing that
they can call their own but the air they breathe--what presumption it is to
claim for such a system that it makes use of private property as a stimulus
to human activity, and to urge this claim as against another system which
converts all men without exception into owners of property, and in fact
secures to them unconditionally, and without diminution, all that they are
able in any way to produce! Or does, perhaps, the superiority of the
'private property' of the exploiting system lie in the fact that it extends
to things which the owner has _not_ himself produced? Unquestionably the
adherents of the old system have no clear conception of what is _mine_ and
what is _thine_. What properly belongs to _me_? 'Everything you can take
from anyone, 'would be their only answer, if they were but to speak
honestly. Because this appropriation of the property of others has, in the
course of thousands of years, been formulated into certain established
rules, consecrated by cruel necessity, the adherents of the old system have
completely lost the natural conception of private property, the conception
which is inherent in the nature of things. It passes their comprehension
that, though force can possess and make use of whom it pleases, yet the
free and untrammelled use of one's own powers is the inalienable property
of everyone, and that consequently any political or social system which
overrides this inalienable personal right of every man is based, not upon
property, but upon robbery. This robbery may be necessary, nay, useful--we
have seen that for thousands of years it actually was useful--but
'property' it never will be, and whoever thinks it is has forgotten what
property is.

After what has been said, it seems to me scarcely necessary to spend many
words in dispelling the fear that frivolity or carelessness in the
treatment of the means of production will result from a modified form of
property. As to frivolity, it will suffice to ask whether hopeless misery
has proved itself to be such a superior stimulus to economic prudence as to
make it dangerous to supersede it by a personal responsibility which,
though it lacks the spur of misery, is of a thoroughly comprehensive
character. And as to the fear lest carelessness in the treatment of the
means of production should prevail, this fear could have been justified
only if in the former system the workers were owners of the means of
production. Private property in these will, it is true, not be given to
them by the new system, but instead of it the undiminished enjoyment of the
produce of those means; and he whose admiration of the beauties of the
existing system does not go so far as to consider the master's rod a more
effective stimulus to foresight than the profit of the workers may rest
satisfied that even in this respect things will be better and not worse.

CHARLES PHUD (_Right_): I do not at all understand how the previous speaker
can dispute the fact that in the former system self-interest is that which
conditions the quantity of work. No one denies that the workers must give
up a part of the profit of their labour; but another part remains theirs,
hence they labour for their own profit, though not exclusively so. At any
rate they must labour if they do not wish to starve, and one would think
that this stimulus is the most effectual one possible. So much as to the
denial that self-interest is the moving spring of so-called exploited
labour. As to the attack upon the conception of property advanced by those
of us who defend, not exactly the existing evil condition of things, but a
rational and consistent reform of it, I would with all modesty venture to
remark that our sense of justice was satisfied because no one compelled the
worker to share with the employer. He made a contract as a free man with
the employer.... [General laughter.] You may laugh, but it is so. In
countries that are politically free nothing prevents the worker from
labouring on his own account alone; it is, therefore, at any rate incorrect
to call the portion which he surrenders to the employer robbery.

BÉLA SZÉKELY (_Centre_): It seems to me to be merely a dispute about a word
which the previous speaker has attempted to settle. He calls wages a part
of the profit of production. It may be that here and there the workers
really receive a part of the profit as wages, or as an addition to the
wages. With us, and, if I am rightly informed, in the country of the
speaker also, this was not generally customary. We rather paid the workers,
who were quite unconcerned about the profits of their work, an amount
sufficient to maintain them; profits--and losses when there were any--fell
exclusively to the lot of the production, the employers. He could have said
with nearly as much justice that his oxen or his horses participated in the
profits of production. When I say 'nearly,' I mean that this could as a
rule be said _more_ justly of oxen and horses, for, while those useful
creatures are for the most part better fed when their labour has enriched
their master, this happens very rarely in the case of our two-logged
rational beasts of labour.

Then the previous speaker made hunger absolutely identical with
self-interest. The masses _must_ labour or starve. Certainly. But the slave
must labour or be whipped: thus this strange logic would make it appear
that the slave is also stimulated to labour by self-interest. Or will the
arguer fall back upon the assertion that self-interest refers merely to the
acquisition of material goods? That would be false; self-interest does not
after all either more or less prompt men to avoid the whip than to appease
hunger. But I will not argue about such trifles: we will drop the rod and
the whip as symbols of activity stimulated by self-interest. But how does
it stand with those slave-holders who--probably in the interest of the
'freedom of labour'--do not whip their lazy slaves, but allow them to
starve? Is it not evident that the previous speaker would, under their
_régime_, set self-interest upon the throne as the inciter to work? That
hunger is a very effectual means of _compulsion_, a more effectual one than
the whip, no one will deny; hence it has everywhere superseded the latter,
and very much to the advantage of the employer. But self-interest? The very
word itself implies that the profit of the labour is the worker's own. So
much as to hunger.

And now as to the security against the injustice of exploitation; for my
own part I do not understand this at all. The workers were 'free,' nothing
compelled them to produce for other men's advantage? Yes, certainly,
nothing but the trifle--hunger. They could leave it alone, if they wished
to starve! Just the 'freedom' which the slave has. If he does not mind
being whipped, there is nothing to compel him to work for his master. The
bonds in which the 'free' masses of the exploiting society languish are
tighter and more painful than the chains of the slave. The word 'robbery'
does not please the previous speaker? It is, indeed, a hard and hateful
word; but the 'robber' is not the individual exploiter, but the exploiting
society, and this was formerly, in the bitter need of the struggle for
existence, compelled to practise this robbery. Is the slaughter in battle
any the less homicide because it is done at the command, not of the
individual, but of the State, which is frequently acting under compulsion?
It will be said that this kind of killing is not forbidden by the penal
law, nay, that it is enjoined by our duty to our country, and that only
forbidden kinds of killing can be called 'homicide.' _Juridically_ that is
quite correct; and if it occurred to anyone to bring a charge of killing in
battle before a court of justice he would certainly be laughed at. But he
would make himself quite as ludicrous who, because killing in war is
allowed, would deny that such killing was homicide if the point under
consideration was, not whether the act was juridically penal, but how to
define homicide as a mode of violently putting a man to death. So
exploitation is no robbery in the eye of the penal law; but if every
appropriation to one's self of the property of another can be called
robbery--and this is all that the present case is concerned with--then is
robbery and nothing else the basis of every exploiting society, of the
modern 'free' society no less than of the ancient or mediaeval
slave-holding or serf-keeping societies. [Long-continued applause, in which
Messrs. Johann Storm and Charles Prud both joined.]

JAMES BROWN (_Right_): Our colleague from Hungary has so pithily described
the true characteristics of self-interest and property in the exploiting
society, that nothing more is to be said upon that subject. But even if it
is correct that these two motive springs of labour can be placed in their
right position only by economic justice, it still remains to be asked
whether the only way of doing this--namely, the organisation of free,
self-controlling, unexploited labour--will prove to be everywhere and
without exception practicable. Little would be gained by the solemn
proclamation of the principle that every worker is his own master, and the
complete concession to all workers of a right of disposal of the means of
production, if those workers were to prove incapable of making an adequate
use of such rights. The final and decisive question, therefore, is whether
the workers of the future will always and everywhere exhibit that
discipline, that moderation, that wisdom, which are indispensable to the
organisation of truly profitable and progressive production? The exploiting
industry has a routine which has taken many thousands of years for its
development. The accumulated experience of untold generations teaches the
employer under the old system how to proceed in order to control a crowd of
servants compelled dumbly to obey. He, nevertheless, frequently fails, and
only too often are his plans wrecked by the insubordination of those under
him. The leaders of the workers' associations of the future have as good as
no experience to guide them in the choice of modes of association; they
will have as masters those whom they should command, and yet we are told
that success is certain, nay, success must be certain if the associated
free society is not to be convulsed to its very foundations. For whilst the
exploiting society confines the responsibility for the fate of the separate
undertakings to those undertakings themselves, the so-often-mentioned
solidarity of interests in the free society most indissolubly connects the
weal and the woe of the community with that of every separate undertaking.
I shall be glad to be taught better; but until I am, I cannot help seeing
in what has just been said grounds for fear which the experience of
Freeland until now is by no means calculated to dissipate. The workers of
Freeland have understood how to organise and discipline themselves: does it
follow from this that the workers everywhere will be equally intelligent?

MIGUEL SPADA (_Left_): I will confine myself to a brief answer to the
question with which the previous speaker closed. It certainly does not
follow that the attempt to organise and discipline labour without
capitalist employers must necessarily succeed among _all_ nations simply
because it has succeeded among the Freelanders, and will unquestionably
succeed among numerous other peoples. It is possible, nay, probable, that
some nations may show themselves incapable of making use of this highest
kind of spontaneous activity; so much the worse for them. But I hope that
no one will conclude from this that those peoples who are not thus
incapable--even if they should find themselves in the minority--ought to
refrain from such activity. The more capable will then become the
instructors of the less capable. Should the latter, however, show
themselves to be, not merely temporarily incapable, but permanently
intractable, then will they disappear from the face of the earth, just as
intractable cannibals must disappear when they come into contact with
civilised nations. The delegate who proposed the question may rest assured
that the nation to which he belongs will not be numbered among the
incapable ones.

VLADIMUR TONOF (_Freeland_): The honourable member from England (Brown) has
formed an erroneous conception of the difficulties of the organisation and
discipline now under consideration, as well as of the importance of any
miscarriage of individual enterprises in a free community. As to the former
matter, I wish to show that in the organisation of associated capital,
which is well known to have been carried out for centuries, there is an
instructive and by no means to be despised foreshadowing of associated
labour, so far as relates to the modes of management and superintendence to
be adopted in such cases. Of course there are profound distinctions which
have to be taken into consideration; but it has been proved, and it is in
the nature of things, that the differences are all in favour of associated
labour. In this latter, for instance, there will not be found the chief
sins of associations of capitalists--namely, lack of technical knowledge
and indifference to the objects of the undertaking on the part of the
shareholders; and therefore it is possible completely to dispense with
those useless and crippling kinds of control-apparatus with which the
statutes of the companies of capitalists are ballasted. As a rule, the
single shareholder understands nothing of the business of his company, and
quite as seldom dreams of interfering in the affairs of the company
otherwise than by receiving his dividends. Notwithstanding, _he_ is the
master of the undertaking, and in the last resort it is his vote that
decides the fate of it; what provisions are therefore necessary in order to
protect this shareholder from the possible consequences of his own
ignorance, credulity, and negligence! The associated workers, on the
contrary, are fully acquainted with the nature of their undertaking, the
success of which is their chief material interest, and is, without
exception, recognised as such by them. This is a decisive advantage. Or
does anyone see a special difficulty in the fact that the workers are
placed under the direction of persons whose appointment depends upon the
votes of the men who are to be directed? On the same ground might the
authority of all elective political and other posts be questioned. The
directors have no means of _compelling_ obedience? A mistake; they lack
only the right of arbitrarily dismissing the insubordinate. But this right
is not possessed by many other bodies dependent upon the discipline and the
reasonable co-operation of their members; nevertheless, or rather on this
very account, such bodies preserve better discipline than those
confederations in which obedience is maintained by the severest forcible
measures. It is true that where there is no forcible compulsion discipline
cannot so easily pass over into tyranny; but this is, in truth, no evil.
Moreover, the directors of free associations of workers can put into force
a means of compulsion, the power of which is more unqualified and absolute
than that of the most unmitigated tyranny: the all-embracing reciprocal
control of the associates, whose influence even the most obstinate cannot
permanently withstand. It is certainly indispensable that the workers as a
whole, or a large majority of them, should be reasonable men whose
intelligence is sufficient to enable them to understand their own
interests. But this is the first and foremost _conditio sine quâ non_ of
the establishment of economic justice. That economic justice--up to the
present the highest outcome of the evolution of mankind--is suitable only
to men who have raised themselves out of the lowest stage of brutality, is
in no respect open to question. Hence it follows that nations and
individuals who have not yet reached this stage of development must be
educated up to it; and this educational work is not difficult if it be but
undertaken with a will. We doubt that it could altogether fail anywhere, if
undertaken seriously and in the right way.

And now let us look at the second side of the question which has been
thrown out. Is it correct that, in consequence of the solidarity of
interests which exists in the free community, the weal and woe of the whole
are indissolubly bound up with the success of any individual undertaking?
If it be meant by this that in such a community everyone is interested in
the weal of everyone else, and consequently in the success of every
undertaking, then it fully expresses what is the fact; but--and this was
evidently the meaning of the speaker--if it is meant that the weal of such
a community is dependent upon the success of every single undertaking of
its members, then it is utterly groundless. If an undertaking does not
thrive, its members leave it and turn to one that is more prosperous--that
is all. On the other hand, this mobility of labour, bound up with the
solidarity of interests, protects the free community from the worse
consequences of actual miscarriage. If there should be an ill-advised
choice of directors, the unqualified officials can do but relatively little
mischief; they see themselves--that is, the undertaking under their
control--promptly forsaken by the workers, and the losses are insignificant
because confined within a small area. In fact, this mobility proves itself
to be in the last resort the most effectual corrective of all kinds of
mistakes, the agency by which all the defective forms of organisation and
the less capable minds are thrust aside and automatically superseded by
better. For the undertakings which, from any cause whatever, fail to thrive
are always in a comparatively short time absorbed by better, without
involving in ruin--as happens under the exploiting system of society--those
who were engaged in the former undertakings. Hence it is not necessary that
these free organisations should in all cases strike the highest note at the
very beginning in order eventually to attain to perfect order and
excellence; for in the friendly competition what is defective rapidly
vanishes from sight, being merged in what is proved to be superior, which
then alone holds the field.

JOHN KILMEAN (_Right_): Let us grant, then, that the associations of free
labour are organised as well as, or better than, the capitalists'
associations of the old exploiting world. Is there, nevertheless, no ground
to fear that they will exhibit serious defects in comparison with
undertakings conducted by individual employers? That self-interest, so far
as concerns the workers themselves, can for the first time have full play
in stimulating activity is true; but with respect to the management the
reverse is the fact. At least one would think that the interest of the
individual undertaker in the success of the business belonging to him alone
must be a keener one than that of directors, who are nothing more than
elected functionaries whose industrial existence is in no way indissolubly
connected with the undertaking. The advantages which the private
undertaking conducted by the individual proprietor has hitherto exhibited
over the joint-stock company, it must, in the nature of things, also have
over the free associations.

THEODOR YPSILANTI (_Freeland_): Let us assume, for the present, that this
is so. But are the advantages of the individual undertaker over the
joint-stock company really so great? It is not necessary to theorise for
and against, since practice has long ago pronounced its verdict. And what
is this? Simply that the joint-stock undertaking has gradually surpassed,
nay, in the most important and the most extensive branches of business
totally superseded, the much-lauded private undertaking. It can be
confidently assorted that in every kind of undertaking which is large
enough to support the--certainly somewhat costly--apparatus of a
joint-stock company, the joint-stock company is undisputed master of the
field, so that there remains to the private undertaking, as its domain,
nothing more than the dwarf concerns with which our free society does not
meddle. It cannot be said that this is due to the larger money power of the
combined capital, for even relatively small undertakings, whose total
capital is many times less than that of a great many private millionaires,
prefer, I may say choose exclusively, the joint-stock form. It is quite as
great a mistake to ascribe this fact to the reluctance of private
capitalists to run the risk involved in certain undertakings, and to their
consequent preference for joint-stock undertakings; for, in the first
place, it is generally the least risky branches of business in which the
joint-stock form most exclusively prevails; and in the second place, we see
only too often that individual capitalists place enormous sums in single
companies, and even found undertakings in a joint-stock form with their own
capital. But a decisive proof of the superiority of the joint-stock company
is the universal fact that the great capitalists are everywhere entrusting
the control of their property to joint-stock companies. If the
account-books of the wealthy in every civilised exploiting country were to
be examined, it would unquestionably be found that at least nine-tenths of
the capitalists had employed the greatest part of their capital which was
not invested in land in the purchase of shares. This, however, simply shows
that the rich prefer not to manage their wealth themselves, but to allow it
to be managed by joint stock companies.

The orthodox theory, spun out of the flimsiest fictions, is not able to do
anything with this fact; it therefore ignores it, or seeks to explain it by
a number of fresh fictions, such as the fable of divided risk, or some
other similar subterfuge. The truth is that the self-interest of the
employer has very little to do with the real direction of the businesses
belonging to him--so far as concerns great undertakings--for not the
employer, but specially appointed wage-earners, are, as a rule, the actual
directors; the alleged advantage of the private undertaking, therefore,
does not exist at all. On the other hand, the undertaking of the private
capitalist is at a very heavy disadvantage in competition with that of the
joint-stock company, inasmuch as the latter almost always attracts by far
the greater amount of intelligence. The capitalist, even the largest, is on
the average no cleverer than other men--that is, generally speaking, he is
_not_ particularly clever. It may, perhaps, be objected that he would
scarcely have attained to great wealth had he not possessed superior
abilities; but apart from the fact that it has yet to be established
whether in the modern exploiting society it is really special mental gifts,
and not rather other things, that lead to the accumulation of great wealth,
most large fortunes are no longer in the hands of the original acquirers,
but in those of their heirs. Consequently, in private undertakings, if not
the actual direction, yet certainly the highest authority, and particularly
the final decision as to the choice of the actual directors, lies in the
hands of men who, shall we say, half of them, possess less than the
average, nine-tenths of the rest about the average, and only one-twentieth
of them more than the average of human intelligence. Naturally
nineteen-twentieths of the undertakings thought out and established by such
men will be either indifferent or bad. It will be further objected that it
is in the main the same men to whom a similar _rôle_ falls in the creation
and officering of joint-stock companies. Very true. But here it is usual
for the few able men among the wealthy to take the _rôle_ of leaders; the
stupid or the moderately gifted are changed from autocratic despots into a
herd of common docile cattle, who, led by the instinct of self-interest,
blindly follow the abler men. And even when it is otherwise, when the
incapable rich man stubbornly insists upon thrusting forward his empty
pate, he finds himself compelled to give reasons for what he does, to
engage in the game of question and answer with his fellow shareholders, and
ordinarily he is thus preserved from the gross follies which he would be
sure to commit if the whole responsibility rested upon himself. In a word,
capitalists acting together as joint-stock companies as a rule exhibit more
ability than capitalists acting independently. But even if it were not so,
the selections which they make--as shareholders--in appointing the chief
managers of their business are infinitely better than those made by private
capitalists, because a whole category of intelligences, and that of the
highest and best kind, stands at the disposal of the joint-stock company,
but not of the private undertaker. Many persons who offer themselves as
directors, members of council of administration, presidents, of joint-stock
companies, would never condescend to enter into the service of an
individual. The general effect of all this is, that joint-stock companies
in the greater number of cases possess far abler, more intelligent managers
than private undertakings--a circumstance which no one will overlook who is
but even moderately well acquainted with the facts of the case.

The alleged superiority of the private undertaking, supposed to be due to
the personal care and oversight of the owner, is therefore nothing more
than one of the many fables in which the exploiting world believes in spite
of the most obvious lack of truth. But even the trifling advantages which
the private undertaking really has over the joint-stock company cannot be
claimed as against freely associated labour. Colleague Tonof has already
pointed out that ignorance and indifference, those most dangerous
characteristics of most shareholders, are not to be feared in those who
take part in labour associations. Here it can never happen that an
unscrupulous minority will obtain control of the management and exploit the
undertaking for the benefit of some private interest; here it is natural
that the whole body of members, who are interested in the successful
conduct of the business, should incessantly and attentively watch the
behaviour of the officials they have elected; and in view of the perfect
transparency of all the business transactions in the free community, secret
practices and crooked ways--those inevitable expedients of dishonour--are
not to be thought of. In a word, the form of labour organisation
corresponding to the higher stage of civilisation proves itself to be
infinitely superior in every respect to the form of organisation prevalent
in the past--a fact which, strictly speaking, is a matter of course.

It does not follow that this form of organisation is the most suitable for
every kind of labour; there are branches of production--I mention merely
the artistic or the scientific--in which the individual must stand by
himself; but we do not apply the principle of association to these
branches. For no one would forcibly impose this principle, and the
individual freedom that is nowhere interfered with is able of itself to
take care that what is done is everywhere done in the way that has been
found to be most consistent with nature, and best.

MIGUEL DIEGO (_Right_): We know now that the new system unites in itself
all the natural requisites of success; it has been shown before that its
introduction was demanded by the progress of civilisation. How comes it
that, in spite of all, the new system enters the world, not as the product
of the co-operation of elementary automatically occurring historical
events, but rather as a kind of art-product, as an artificially produced
outcome of the efforts of certain individuals? What if the International
Free Society had not been formed, or if its appeal had been without
response, its work crushed in the germ, or in some other way made to
miscarry? It will be admitted that these are conceivable contingencies.
What would have become of economic justice if any one of these
possibilities had occurred? If social reform is in truth an inevitable
necessity, it must ultimately be realised in spite of the opposition of the
whole world; it must show itself to be indissolubly bound up with forces
which will give it the victory over prejudice, ill-will, and adverse
accident. Thus alone would proof be given that the work in which we are
engaged is something more than the ephemeral fruit of fallible human
ingenuity--that rather those men who gave it the initial impulse and
watched over its development were acting simply as the instruments of the
universal force which, if _they_ had not done the work, would have found
other instruments and other ways to attain the inevitable end.

HENRI NEY (_Freeland_): If the existence of economic justice as an
established fact depended upon the action of the founders of Freeland,
little could have been said, not merely as to its necessary character, but
also as to the certainty of its continuance. For what individual men
attempt, other men can frustrate. It is true that, as far as outward
appearances go, all historical events are human work: but the great
necessary events of history are distinguished from merely accidental
occurrences by the fact that in them all the actors are clearly seen to be
simply the instruments of destiny, instruments which the genius of mankind
calls into being when it is in need of them. We do not know who invented
language, the first tool, writing; but whoever it was, we know that he was
a mere instrument of progress, in the sense that, with the same certainty
with which we express any other natural law, we can venture to assert that
language, the tool, writing, would have been invented even if their
respective accidental inventors had never seen the light. The same holds
good of economic freedom: it would have been realised, even if none of us
who actually realised it for the first time had existed. Only in such a
case the form of its entrance into the world of historical fact would
probably have been a different, perhaps a more pacific, a more joyous one
still than that of which we are the witnesses; but perhaps it might have
been a violent and horrible one.

In order to show this in a manner that excludes all doubt, it must first be
demonstrated that the continuance of modern society as it has been evolved
in the course of the last century is in the very nature of things an
impossibility. For this purpose you must allow me to carry you back some
distance.

In the original society of barbarism, when the productiveness of labour was
so small that the weaker could not be exploited by the stronger, and one's
own prosperity depended upon the suppression and annihilation of
competitors, a thirst for blood, cruelty, cunning, were not merely
necessary to the self-preservation of the individual, but they were
obviously serviceable to the society to which the individual belonged. They
were, therefore, not only universally prevalent, but were reckoned as
virtues. The most successful and most merciless slayer of men was the most
honourable member of his tribe, and was lauded in speech and song as an
example worthy of imitation.

When the productiveness of labour increased, these 'virtues' lost much of
their original importance; but they were not converted into vices until
slavery was invented, and it became possible to utilise the labour instead
of the flesh of the conquered. Then bloodthirsty cruelty, which hitherto
had been profitable, became injurious, since, for the sake of a transient
enjoyment--that of eating human flesh--it deprived the victorious
individual, as well as the society to which he belonged, of the permanent
advantage of augmented prosperity and increased power. Consequently, the
bestial thirst for blood gradually disappeared in the new form of the
struggle for existence, and from a cherished virtue it passed into a
characteristic which met with increasing disapproval--that is, it became a
vice. It necessarily became a vice, for only those tribes which were the
subjects of this process of moral transformation could enjoy all the
advantages of the new forms of labour and of the new social institution,
slavery, and could therefore increase in civilisation and power, and make
use of their augmented power to extirpate or to bring into subjection the
tribes that persisted in their old cannibal customs. In this way, in the
course of thousands of years, there grew up among men a new ethics which,
in its essential features, has been preserved until our days--the ethics of
exploitation.

But to call this ethics 'philanthropy' is the strangest of mistakes. It is
true that the savage bloodthirsty hatred between man and man had given
place to milder sentiments; but it is a long way from those sentiments to
genuine philanthropy, by which we understand the recognition of our
fellow-man as our equal, and not merely that chilly benevolence which we
entertain towards even dumb animals. Real philanthropy is as inconsistent
with exploitation as with cannibalism. For though the new form of the
struggle for existence abhors the death of the vanquished, it substitutes
for it the oppression and subjugation of man by man as an imperative
requirement of social prosperity. And it should be clearly understood that
real and unselfish philanthropy is not merely not demanded by the kind of
struggle for existence which is carried on by the exploiting society, but
is known to be distinctly injurious, and is quite impracticable as a
universally operative race-instinct. Individuals may love their fellow-men
as themselves; but as long as exploitation is in force, such men must
remain rare, and by no means generally esteemed, exceptions. Only hypocrisy
or gross self-deception will question this. Certainly the so-called
civilised nations of the West have for more than a thousand years written
upon their banners the words 'Love thy neighbour as thyself,' and have not
shrunk from asserting that they lived up to those words, or that at least
they endeavoured to do so. But in truth they loved their fellow-man, in the
best of cases, as a useful domestic animal, have without the slightest
scruple profited by his painful toil, by his torture, and have not been
prevented by any sentiment of horror from slaughtering him in cold blood
when such a course was or seemed to be profitable to them. And such were
not the sentiments and feelings of a few particularly hard-hearted
individuals, but of the whole body of society; they were not condemned but
imperatively demanded by public opinion, lauded as virtues under all sorts
of high-sounding names, and, so far as deeds and not empty phrases were in
question, their antithesis, the genuine philanthropy, passed at best as
pitiable folly, or more generally as a crime worthy of death. He who
uttered the words quoted above, and to Whom prayers were offered in the
churches, would have been repeatedly crucified, burnt, broken on the wheel,
hanged by them all, in the most recent past perhaps imprisoned, had He
again ventured, as He did nineteen centuries ago, to preach in the
market-place, in burning living words that could not be misunderstood, that
which men's purblind eyes and their minds clouded by a thousand years of
ancient self-deception read, but did not understand, in the writings of His
disciples.

But the decisive point is, that in the epoch of exploitation mankind could
not have thought or felt, not to say acted, otherwise. They were compelled
to practise exploitation so long as this was a necessity of civilisation;
they were therefore unable either to feel or exercise philanthropy, for
that was as little in harmony with exploitation as repugnance to homicide
was with cannibalism. Just as in the first barbaric epoch of mankind that
which the exploiting period called 'humanity' would have been detrimental
to success in the struggle for existence, so, later, that which _we_ call
humanity, the genuine philanthropy, would have placed any nation that had
practised it at a disadvantage. To eat or to be eaten--that was the
alternative in the epoch of cannibalism; to oppress or to be oppressed, in
the epoch of exploitation.

A change in the form and productiveness of labour has recently been
effected; neither social institutions nor moral sensibilities can escape
the influence of that change. But--and here I come to the last decisive
point--there are certainly several alternatives conceivable. The first is
that with which we have hitherto been exclusively occupied: the social
institutions accommodate themselves to the change in the form of labour,
and the modification of the struggle for existence thus brought about leads
to a corresponding revolution in moral sentiments; friendly competition and
perfect solidarity of interests supersede the reciprocal struggle for
advantage, and the highest philanthropy supersedes the exploitation of man.

If we would once for all remove the last doubt as to the unqualified
necessity of this phase of evolution, let us suppose that the contrary has
happened, that the adaptation of the social institutions to the modified
form of labour is not effected. At any rate the mind can imagine such a
possibility; and I hold it to be superfluous, at this point in the
demonstration, to discuss the probability or the improbability of such a
supposition--we simply assume the case. But it would be absurd likewise to
assume that this persistence of the old form of the social institutions
could occur without being necessarily accompanied by very material
reactions both upon the forms of labour and upon the moral instincts of
mankind. Those over-orthodox but not less thoughtless social politicians
who accept the above assumption, hold it to be possible for a cause of such
enormous and far-reaching importance as is an increased productiveness of
labour, that makes it possible for all men to enjoy abundance and leisure,
to remain without the slightest influence upon the course of human
evolution. They overlook the fact that the struggle for existence in human
society must in any case be changed under the influence of this factor,
whether the social institutions undergo a corresponding adaptation or not,
and that consequently the inquiry must in any case be made what reaction
this changed form of the struggle for existence can or must exercise upon
the totality of human institutions?

And in what consists the change in the struggle for existence, in such a
case as that indicated above? _Simply in a partial reversion to the form of
struggle of the first, the cannibal, epoch of mankind!_

We have seen that exploitation transformed the earlier struggle, that aimed
at annihilating the competitor, into one directed towards his subjugation.
But now, when the productiveness of labour is so great that the
consumption, kept down by exploitation, is no longer able to follow it, the
suppression, the--if not the physical, yet the industrial--annihilation of
the competitor is once more a necessary condition of everyone's prosperity,
and the struggle for existence assumes at once the forms of subjugation and
annihilation. In the domain of industry it now profits little to have
arbitrary authority over any number of human subjects of exploitation; if
the exploiter is not able to drive his co-exploiter from the market, he
must succumb in the struggle for existence. And the exploited now have not
merely to defend themselves from the harsh treatment of their masters: they
must, if they would ward off hunger, fight with tooth and claw for the only
too few places at the food-crib in the 'labour market.' Is it conceivable
that such a terrible alteration in the fundamental conditions of the
struggle for existence can remain without influence upon human ethics?
Cause and effect _must_ correspond--the ethics of the cannibal epoch _must_
triumphantly return. In consequence of the altered character of the
conflict of annihilation, the former cruel and malicious instincts will
undergo a modification, but the fundamental sentiment, the unqualified
animosity against one's fellow-man, must return. During the thousands of
years when the struggle was directed towards the making use of one's
neighbour, and especially when the exploited had become accustomed to
reverence in the exploiter a higher being, there was possible between
master and servant at least that degree of attachment which exists between
a man and his beast. Neither masters nor servants had any necessary
occasion to hate each other. Mutual consideration, magnanimity, kindness,
gratitude, could in such a condition become--certainly very
sparingly--substitutes for philanthropy. But now, when exploitation and
suppression are at one and the same time the watchwords of the struggle,
the above-mentioned virtues must more and more assume the character of
obstacles to a successful struggle for existence, and must consequently
disappear in order to make room for mercilessness, cunning, cruelty,
malice. And all these disgraceful characteristics must not merely become
universally prevalent: they must also become universally esteemed, and be
raised from the category of the most shameful kinds of baseness to that of
'virtues.' As little as it is possible to conceive of a 'humane' cannibal
or of an exploiter under the influence of real philanthropy, so little is
it possible to think of a magnanimous and--in the former sense--virtuous
exploiter permanently under the colossal burden of over-production; and as
certainly as the cannibal society was compelled to recognise the thirst for
murder as the most praiseworthy of all virtues, so certainly must the
exploiting society, cursed by over-production, learn to reverence the most
cunning deceiver as its ideal of virtue. But it will be objected that,
logically unassailable as this position may be, it is contradicted by
facts. Over-production, the disproportion between the productivity of
labour and the capacity for consumption as conditioned by the existing
social institutions, has practically existed for generations; and yet it
would be a gross exaggeration to assert that the moral sensibilities of
civilised humanity had undergone such a terrible degeneration as is
indicated above. It is certainly true that, in consequence of the
increasingly reckless industrial competitive struggle, many kinds of
valueless articles are produced in larger and larger quantities--nay, that
there is beginning to prevail a certain confusion in public opinion, which
is no longer able clearly to distinguish between honest services and
successful roguery; but it is equally true, on the other hand, that never
before was humanity in all its forms so highly esteemed and so widely
diffused as it is in the present. These undeniable facts, however, do not
show that over-production can ultimately lead to any other than the
above-indicated results--which would be logical nonsense; they only show,
on the one hand, that this dreadful morbid phenomenon in the industrial
domain of mankind has not yet been long enough in existence to have fully
matured its fruit, and that, on the other hand, the moral instinct of
mankind felt a presentiment of the right way out of the economic dilemma
long before that right way had become practicable. It is only a few
generations since the disproportion between productivity and consumption
became unmistakably evident: and what are a few generations in the life of
mankind? The ethics of exploitation needed many centuries in order to
subvert that of cannibalism: why should the relapse into the ethics of
cannibalism proceed so much more rapidly? But the instinctive presentiment
that growing civilisation will be connected, not with social stagnation and
moral retrogression, but with both social and moral progress--this yearning
for liberty, equality, and fraternity ineradicably implanted in the Western
mind, despite all the follies and the horrors to which it for a time gave
rise--it was just this 'drop of foreign blood in the European family of
nations,' this Semitic-Christian leaven, which, when the time of servitude
was past, preserved that Western mind from falling even temporarily into a
servile and barbarous decay. Things will _not_ follow the last indicated
course of evolution--exploitation will _not_ persist alongside of increased
productivity; and that is the reason why the indicated moral consequences
will not ensue. If, however, it be assumed that material progress and
exploitation combined are the future lot of mankind, this cannot logically
be conceived otherwise than as accompanied by a complete moral relapse. Yet
a third form of evolution may be assumed as conceivable: in the antagonism
between the productivity of labour and the current social rights, the
former--the new form of labour--might succumb; in the face of the
impossibility of making full use of the acquired industrial capacity,
mankind might lose this capacity again. In such a case, the concord between
productivity and consumption, labour and right, would have recovered the
old basis, and as a consequence the ethics of mankind might also remain in
the same track. Progress towards genuine philanthropy would necessarily be
suspended, for the struggle for existence would, as before, be based upon
the subjugation of one's fellow-men, but the necessity for the struggle of
annihilation would be avoided. The presentiment of the possibility of such
a development was not foreign to the Western mind; there have not been
wanting, particularly during the last generations, attempts, partly
conscious and partly unconscious, to load men's minds in this direction.
Alarmed and driven nearly to distraction by the strangling embrace of
over-production, whole nations have at times attacked the fundamental
sources of production, sought to choke the springs of the fruitfulness of
labour, and persecuted with violent hatred the progress of civilisation,
whose fruits were for the time so bitter. These attacks upon popular
culture, upon the different kinds of division of labour, upon machinery,
cannot be understood except in connection with the occasional attempts to
end the discord between production and distribution by diminishing the
former. It is impossible not to see that in this way morality also would be
preserved from a degeneracy the real cause of which this sort of reformers
certainly did not understand, but which hovered before their mind's eye as
an indistinct presentiment. And now, having noticed _seriatim_ the three
conceivable forms of evolution--namely, (1) the adaptation of social rights
to the new and higher forms of labour and the corresponding evolution of a
new and higher morality; (2) the permanent antagonism between the form of
labour and social rights, and the corresponding degeneracy of morality; (3)
the adaptation of the form of labour to the hitherto existing social rights
by the sacrifice of the higher productivity, and the corresponding
permanence of the hitherto existing morality--we now ask ourselves whether
in the struggle between these three tendencies any but the first can come
off as conqueror. They all three are conceivable; but is it conceivable
that material or moral decay can assert itself by the side of both moral
and material progress, or will ultimately triumph over these? It is
possible, we will say even probable, that but for our successful
undertaking begun twenty-five years ago, mankind would for the most part
still longer have continued to traverse the path of moral degeneracy on the
one hand, and of antagonism to progress on the other; yet there would never
therefore have been altogether wanting attempts in the direction of social
deliverance, and the ultimate triumph of such attempts could be only a
question of time. No; mankind owes us nothing which it would not have
obtained without us: if we claim to have rendered any service, it is merely
that of having brought about more speedily, and perhaps with less
bloodshed, that which must have come. [Vehement and long-continued applause
and enthusiastic cheers from all sides. The leaders of the opposition one
after another shook the hands of the speaker and assured him of their
support.]

(_End of Third Day's Debate_)



CHAPTER XXVI


FOURTH DAY

The PRESIDENT (Dr. Strahl): We have reached the third point in the agenda:
_Are not want and misery necessary conditions of existence; and would not
over-population inevitably ensue were misery for a time to disappear from
the earth?_ I call upon Mr. Robert Murchison.

ROBERT MURCHISON (_Right_): I must first of all, in the name of myself and
of those of my colleagues who entertained doubts of the practicability of
the work of social reform, formally declare that we are now thoroughly
convinced, not only of the practicability, but also of the inevitable
accomplishment of that reform. Moreover, what has already been advanced has
matured our hope that the other side will succeed in removing as completely
the doubts that still cling to our minds. In the meantime I hold it to be
my duty, in the interest of all, to seek explanations by strongly stating
the grounds of such doubts as I am not yet able to free myself from. By far
the most important of these doubts, one which has not yet been touched
upon, is the subject now before us for discussion. It refers not to the
practicability, but to the durability of the work of universal freedom and
prosperity. Economic justice must and will become an accomplished fact:
that we know. But have we a right to infer that it will permanently assert
itself? Economic justice will be followed by wealth for all living. Want
and misery, with their retinue of destructive vices, will disappear from
the surface of the earth. But together with these will disappear those
restraints which have hitherto kept in check the numerical growth of the
human race. The population will increase more and more, until at
last--though that day may be far off--the earth will not be able to support
its inhabitants. I will not trouble you with a detailed repetition and
justification of the well-known principle of my renowned countryman,
Malthus. Much has been urged against that principle, but hitherto nothing
of a convincing character. That the increase in a geometric ratio of the
number of living individuals has no other natural check than that of a
deficiency of food is a natural law to which not merely man but every
living being is inexorably subject. Just as herrings, if they could freely
multiply, would ultimately fill the whole of the ocean, so would man, if
the increase of his numbers were not checked by the lack of food,
inevitably leave no space unoccupied upon the surface of the globe. This
cruel truth is confirmed by the experience of all ages and of all nations;
everywhere we see that it is lack of food, want with its consequences, that
keeps the number of the living within certain limits; and it will remain so
in all future times. Economic justice can very largely extend the area
included in these sad limits, but can never altogether abolish the limits.
Under its _régime_ the food-supply can be increased tenfold, a hundredfold,
but it cannot be increased indefinitely. And when the inevitable limit is
reached, what then? Wealth will then gradually give place to privation and
ultimately to extreme want; a want that is the more dreadful and hopeless
because there will be no escape from its all-embracing curse--not even that
partial escape which exploitation had formerly offered to a few. Will,
then, mankind, after having passed from cannibalism to exploitation and
from that to economic justice, revert to exploitation, perhaps even to
cannibalism? Who can say? It seems evident that economic justice is not a
phase of evolution which our race could enjoy for any great length of time.
It is true that Malthus and others after him have proposed to substitute
for the repressive law of misery certain preventives of over-population.
But these preventives are all based upon artificial and systematic
suppression of the increase of population. If they could be effectively
employed at all, such an employment of them is conceivable only in a poor
population groaning under the worst consequences of misery; I cannot
imagine that men enjoying abundance and leisure, and in possession of the
most perfect freedom, will subject themselves to sexual privations. In my
opinion, this kind of prevention could not under the most favourable
circumstances, come into play in a free society until the pressure of
over-population had become very great, and the former prosperity, and with
that perhaps the sense of individual liberty also, had been materially
diminished. This is not a pleasant prospect, quite apart from the moral
repulsiveness of all such violent interference with the relations of the
sexes--relations which would be specially delicate under the _régime_ of
economic justice. The perspective shows us in the background a picture
which contrasts sadly with the luxuriant promise of the beginning. Do the
men of Freeland think that they are able to defend their creation from
these dangers?

FRANZISKO ESPERO (_Left_): Man differs from other living beings in having
to prepare food for himself, and, in fact, in being able, with increasing
civilisation, to prepare it the more easily the denser the population
becomes. Carey, an eminent American economist, has pointed this out, and
has thereby shown that the otherwise indisputably operative natural law,
according to which a species has an inevitable tendency to outgrow its
means of sustenance, does not apply to man. The fact that want and misery
have, notwithstanding, hitherto always operated as checks upon the growth
of the population is not the result of a natural law but of exploitation.
The earth would have produced enough for all if everyone had but been able
to make free use of his powers. But, as we have seen, exploitation is an
institution of men, not of nature. Get rid of that, and you have driven
away the spectre of hunger for ever.

STEFAN VALÓ (_Freeland_): I think it will be well at once to state what is
the Freeland attitude towards the subject now under discussion. The
honourable member from Brazil (Espero) is correct in connecting the actual
misery of mankind--in the epoch of exploitation--with human institutions
instead of with the operation of natural forces. The masses suffered want
because they were kept in servitude, not because the earth was incapable of
yielding more copious supplies. I will add that this actual misery never
prevented the masses from multiplying up to the point at which the further
increase of population was checked by other factors--nay, that as a rule
misery acted as a stimulus to the increase of the population. Our friend
from Brazil is in error, however, when, relying upon the empty rhetoric of
Carey, he denies that the growth of the population, if it could go on
indefinitely, would necessarily at last lead to a lack of food. The first
of the speakers of to-day has rightly remarked that in such a case the time
must come when there would no longer be space enough on the earth for the
men who were born. But can we conceive the condition possible in which our
race should cover the surface of the earth like a plague of locusts? Nay, a
really unlimited and continuous increase in the number of human beings
would not merely ultimately cover the whole surface of the earth, but would
exhaust the material necessary for the crowded masses of human bodies. The
growth of the population _must_, therefore, have some limit, and so far are
Malthus and his followers correct. Whether this limit is to be found
exactly in the supply of food is another question--a question which cannot
be satisfactorily answered in the affirmative until it has been positively
shown, or at any rate rendered plausible, that other factors do not come
into play long before a lack of food is felt--factors whose operation is
such that the limit of necessary food-supply is never, except in very rare
cases, even approximately reached, to say nothing of its being crossed.

ARTHUR FRENCH (_Right_): What I have just heard fills me with astonishment.
The member of the Freeland government admits--what certainly cannot
reasonably be denied--that unlimited growth of population is an
impossibility; and yet he denies that a lack of food is the sought-for
check of over-population. It may be at once admitted that Malthus was in
error in supposing that this natural check had already been operative in
human society. Men have suffered hunger because they were prevented from
supplying themselves with food, not because the earth was incapable of
copiously--or, at least, more copiously--nourishing them all. Exploitation
has therefore proved to be a check upon over-population operating before
the limit of necessary food has been reached; it has been a kind of
hunger-cure which man has applied to himself before nature had condemned
him to suffer hunger. I am less able to understand what the speaker means
when he says the misery artificially produced by exploitation has sometimes
proved to be, not a check, but rather a stimulus to the growth of
population. But I should particularly like to hear more about those other
factors which are alleged to have acted as effective checks, and which the
speaker evidently anticipates will in future regulate the growth of the
population. These factors are to produce the wonderful effect of preventing
the population from ever getting even approximately near to the limit of
the necessary food-supply. They cannot be artificial and arbitrarily
applied means, otherwise a member of the Freeland government, of this
commonwealth based upon absolute freedom, would not speak of them so
confidently. But apart from all this, how can there be any doubt of the
operation of such an elementary factor of restriction as the lack of food
in human society, whilst it is to be seen so conspicuously throughout the
whole of organic nature? Is man alone among living beings exempt from the
operation of this law of nature; or do the Freelanders perhaps know of some
means that would compel, say, the herrings so to control their number as
not to approach the limit of their food-supplies, or, rather, induce them
to preserve such a reasonable rate of increase as would be most conducive
to the prosperous continuance of their species?

This cutting apostrophe produced a great sensation. The tension of
expectancy was still further increased when several members of the Freeland
government--including Stefan Való, who had already spoken--urgently begged
the President to take part in the debate. The whole assembly seemed
conscious that the discussion--not merely the special one of the day, but
the general discussion of the congress--had reached its decisive point. If
the advocates of economic justice were able successfully to meet the
objections now urged by their opponents, and to show that those objections
were groundless, then the great argumentative battle was won. What would
follow would not concern the question _whether_, but merely the question
_how_, the new social order could be well and lastingly established. But if
the Freeland evidence failed upon this point--if the structure of
Opposition argumentation could not in this case be blown down like a house
of cards--then all the previous successes of the advocates of economic
justice would count for nothing. To remove the misery of the present merely
to prepare the way for a more hopeless misery in the future, was not that
which had aroused men's enthusiasm. If there remained only a shadow of such
a danger, the death-knell of economic justice had been sounded.

Amid breathless silence, Dr. STRAHL rose to speak, after he had given up
the chair to his colleague Ney, of the Freeland government.

Our friend of the Right (he began) ended his appeal to us with the question
whether we in Freeland knew of any means which would compel the herrings to
confine the increase in their numbers within such bounds as would best
conduce to the prosperous continuance of their species. My answer is brief
and to the point: Yes, we know of such a means. [Sensation.] You are
astonished? You need not be, dear friends, for you know of it as well as we
do; and what leads you to think you do not know of it is merely that
peculiar mental shortsightedness which prevents men from perceiving the
application of well-known facts to any subject upon which the prejudices
they have drunk in with their mother's milk prevent them making a right use
of their senses and their judgment. So I assert that you all know of the
means in question as well as we do. But I do not say, as you seem to
assume, that either you or we were in a position to teach this prudence to
the herrings--a task, in fact, which would be scarcely practicable. I
assert, rather, that our common knowledge of the means in question is
derived not from our gift of invention, but from our gift of
observation--in other words, that the herrings have always acted in the way
in which, according to the opinion of the propounder of the question, they
need to be taught how to act by our wisdom; and that, therefore, in order
to attain to a knowledge of the mode of action in question, we need merely
first, open our eyes and see _what_ goes on in nature, and secondly, make
some use of our understanding in order that we may find out the _how_ of
this natural procedure.

Let us, then, first open our eyes--that is, let us remove the bandages with
which inherited economic prejudices have blinded us. To make this the
easier, my friends, I ask you to fix your mind upon any living thing--the
herring, for example--without thinking of any possible reference which it
may have to the question of population in human society. Do not seek among
the herrings for any explanation of human misery, but regard them simply as
one of the many kinds of boarders at the table of nature. It will then be
impossible for you not to perceive that, though this species of animal is
represented by very many individuals, yet those individuals are not too
numerous to find places at nature's table. Nay, I assert that--always
supposing you keep merely the herring in mind, and are not at the same time
looking at human misery in the background--you would think it absurd to
suppose for a moment that the herrings, if they were more numerous than
they are, would not find food enough in the ocean--that there were just as
many of them as could be fully fed at the table of nature. Or let us take
another species of animal, the relations between which and its food-supply
we are not obliged to arrive at by reflection, but, if necessary, could
easily discover by actual observation--namely, the elephant. Malthus
calculated how long it would take for a pair of elephants to fill the world
with their descendants, and concluded that it would be lack of food which
would ultimately check their indefinite increase. Does not the most
superficial glance show you that nowhere on the earth are there nearly so
many elephants as would find nourishment in abundance? Would you not think
anyone a dotard who would try to convince you of the contrary? Thus you all
know--and I wish first of all to make sure of this--that every kind of
animal, whether rare or common, more or less fruitful, regularly keeps
within such limits as to its numerical increase as are far, infinitely far,
removed from a deficiency in the supply of food. I go further: you not
merely know that this is so--you know also that it must be so, and why it
must be so. Careful observation of natural events teaches you that a
species which regularly increased to the very limit of the food-supply, and
was, therefore, regularly exposed to hunger and privations, must
necessarily degenerate--nay, you cannot fail to see that to many kinds of
animals such an increase to the limit of the food-supply would mean sudden
destruction. For the animals sow not, neither do they reap; they do not
store up provisions for the satisfaction of future needs: and if at any
time they were obliged to consume all the food that nature had produced for
them, they would thereby, as a rule, destroy the source of their future
food-supply, and would not merely suffer hunger, but would all starve. You
know, therefore, that that inexhaustible abundance which, in contrast to
the misery of human society, everywhere prevails in nature, and which,
because of this contrast, the thinkers and poets of all ages have spoken
and sung about, is not due to accident, but to necessity; and it only
remains now to discover that natural process, that causal connection, by
virtue of which this state of things necessarily exists. Upon this point
men were treated to nothing but vague phrases when Malthus lived. The veil
which hid the history of the evolution of the organic world had not then
been lifted; men were therefore obliged to content themselves with
explaining all that took place in the kingdoms of animals and plants as the
work of Providence or of the so-called vital force--which naturally even
then prevented no one from seeing and understanding the fact as well as the
necessity of this formerly inexplicable natural phenomenon. But you, living
in the century of Darwin, cannot for a moment entertain any doubt upon this
last point. You know that it is through the struggle for existence that the
living beings have developed into what they are--that properties which
prove to be useful and essential to the well-being of a species are called
forth, perfected, and fixed by this struggle; and, on the other hand,
properties which prove to be detrimental to the well-being of a species are
suppressed and removed. Now, since the property of never increasing to the
limit of the food-supply is not only advantageous but absolutely necessary
to the well-being--nay, to the existence--of every species, it must have
been called forth, perfected, and fixed as a permanent specific character
by the struggle for existence. You knew all this, my friends, before I said
it; but this knowledge was so consciously present to your mind as to be of
use in the process of thinking only when purely botanical or zoological
questions were under consideration: as soon as in your organ of thought the
strings of social or economic problems were struck, there fell a thick,
opaque veil over this knowledge which was so clear before. The world no
longer appeared to you as it is, but as it looks through the said veil of
acquired prejudices and false notions; and your judgment no longer obeyed
those universal laws which, under the name of 'logic,' in other cases
compelled your respect, but indulged in singular capers which--if the said
veil had not fallen over your senses--could not have failed to make you
laugh. Indeed, so accustomed have you become to mistake the pictures which
this veil shows to you for the actual world that you are not able to free
yourselves from them even after you have roused yourselves to tear the veil
in pieces. The false notions and erroneous conclusions of the Malthusian
theory arose from the fact that its author was not able to discover the
true source of the misery of mankind. He asked himself why did the Irish
peasant and the Egyptian fellah suffer hunger? He was prevented by the
above-mentioned veil from seeing that they suffered hunger because the
produce of their labour was taken away from them--because, in fact, they
were not permitted to labour. But he perceived that the masses everywhere
and always suffered hunger--in some places and at some times less severely
than in other places and at other times: yet, in spite of all their painful
toil and industry, they perpetually suffered hunger, and had done so from
time immemorial. Hence he at last came to the conclusion that this
universal hungering was a consequence of a natural law. He further
concluded that the fellah and the Irish peasant and the peoples of all
parts of the world and of all times had suffered and still suffer hunger
because there are too many of them; and there are too many of them because
it is only hunger that prevents them from becoming still more numerous.
That the world, perplexed by the enigma of misery, should believe _this_
becomes intelligible when one reflects that misery must have a cause, and
erroneous explanations must obtain credence when right ones are wanting.
But it is remarkable, my friends, that you, who have recognised in
exploitation and servitude the causes of misery, should still believe in
that strange natural law which Malthus invented for the purpose of
constructing out of it the above-mentioned makeshift. This means that,
though you have torn the veil in pieces, your mind and your senses are
still enveloped in its tatters. You have released yourselves sufficiently
to see why the fellah and the Irish peasant suffer hunger to-day, but you
tremble in fear that our posterity will have to endure the horrors of
over-population. You still see the herring threatened with starvation, and
the elephant wandering with an empty stomach over the bare-eaten
forest-lands of Hindostan and Africa; and you pass in thought from the
herring and the elephant to our poor over-populated posterity.

Tremendous applause burst forth from all parts of the hall when Dr. Strahl
had finished. As he passed from the speaker's tribune to the President's
chair, he was cordially shaken by the hand, not only by his friends who
crowded around him, but also by the leaders of the Opposition, who gladly
and unreservedly acknowledged themselves convinced. The excitement was so
great that it was some time before the debate could be resumed. At last the
President obtained a hearing for one of the previous speakers.

ROBERT MURCHISON (_Right_): I rise for the second time, on behalf of those
who sit near me, first to declare that we are fully and definitively
convinced. You will readily believe that we do not regret our defeat, but
are honestly and heartily glad of it. Who would not be glad to discover
that a dreadful figure which filled him with terror and alarm was nothing
but a scarecrow? And even a sense of shame has been spared us by the
magnanimity of the leader of the opposite party, who laid emphasis upon the
fact that not merely we, but even his adherents outside of Freeland, still
cherished in their hearts the same foolish anxiety, begotten of acquired
and hereditary prejudices and false notions. The phantoms fled before his
clear words, our laughter follows them as they flee, and we now breathe
freely. But, if we might still rely upon the magnanimity of the happy
dwellers in Freeland, the after-effects of the anxiety we have endured
still linger in us. We are like children who have been happily talked out
of our foolish dread of the 'black man,' but who nevertheless do not like
to be left alone in the dark. We would beg you to let your light shine into
a few dark corners out of which we cannot clearly see our way. Do not
despise us if we still secretly believe a little in the black man. We will
not forget that he is merely a bugbear; but it will pacify us to hear from
your own mouths what the true and natural facts of the case are. In the
first place, what are, in your opinion, the means employed by nature, in
the struggle for the existence of species, to keep the growth of numbers
from reaching the limit of the food-supply? Understand, we ask this time
merely for an expression of opinion--of course, you cannot, any more than
anyone else, _know_ certainly how this has been done and is being done in
individual cases; and if your answer should happen to be simply, 'We have
formed no definite opinion upon the subject,' we should not on that account
entertain any doubt whatever as to the self-evident truth that every living
being possesses the characteristic in question, and that the origin of that
characteristic must be sought somewhere in the struggle for existence. In
order to be convinced that the stag has acquired his fleetness, the lion
his strength, the fox his cunning, in the struggle for existence, it is not
necessary for us to know exactly how this has come about; yet it is well to
hear the opinions as to such subjects of men who have evidently thought
much about them. Therefore we ask for your opinions on the question of the
power of adaptation in fecundity.

LOTHAR WALLACE (_Freeland_): We think that the characteristic in question,
as it is common to all organisms, must have been acquired in a very early
stage of evolution of the organic world; from which it follows that we are
scarcely able to form definite conceptions of the details of the struggle
for existence of those times--as, for example, of the process of evolution
to which the stag owes his swiftness. We can only say in general that
between fecundity and the death-rate an equilibrium must have been
established through the agency of the mode of living. A species threatened
with extinction would increase its fecundity or (by changing its habits)
diminish its death-rate; whilst, on the other hand, a species threatened
with a too rapid increase would diminish its fecundity or (again by
changing its habits) increase its death-rate. Naturally the death-rate in
question is not supposed to depend upon merely sickness and old age, but to
be due in part to external dangers. The great fecundity, for example, of
the heiring would, according to this view, be both cause and effect of its
habits of life, which exposed it in its migrations to enormous destruction.
Whether the herring and other migratory fishes adopted their present habits
because of their exceptional fecundity--the origin of which would then have
to be sought in some other natural cause--or whether those habits were
originally due to some other cause, and provoked their exceptional
fecundity, we cannot tell. But that a relation of action and reaction
exists and must necessarily exist here is evident, since a species whose
death-rate is increased by an increase of danger must die out if this
increase of death-rate is not accompanied by an increased fecundity; and,
in the same way, increased fecundity, when not followed by an increased
death-rate, must in a short time lead to deterioration. At any rate, it can
be shown that, whether deterioration or extermination has been the agent,
species have died out; and it can be inferred thence that some species do
not possess this power of effecting an equilibrium between fecundity and
death-rate. But this conclusion would be too hasty a one. All natural
processes of adaptation take place very gradually; and if a violent change
in external relations suddenly produces a very considerable increase in the
death-rate, it may be that the species cannot adapt its fecundity to the
new circumstances rapidly enough to save itself from destruction. To infer
thence that the species in question did not possess this power of
adaptation at all would be as great a mistake as it would be to argue that,
for example, because the stag, or the lion, or the fox, notwithstanding
their fleetness, strength, or cunning, are not protected from extermination
in the face of overpowering dangers, therefore these beasts do not possess
swiftness, strength, or cunning, or that these properties of theirs are not
the outcome of an adaptation to dangers called forth in the struggle for
existence.

Since there can be no doubt that the power of adaptation, of which we have
just spoken, was absolutely necessary to the perpetuation of any species in
the struggle for existence in the very beginning of organic life upon our
planet, it must have been acquired in immemorial antiquity, and must
consequently be a part of the ancient heritage of all existing organisms.
There certainly was a time, in the very beginning of life, when this power
of adaptation was not yet acquired; but nature has an infallible means of
making not only useful but necessary characters the common property of
posterity, and this means is the extirpation of species incapable of such a
power of adaptation. The selection in the struggle for existence is
effected by the preservation of those only who are capable of development
and of transmitting their acquired characters to posterity until those
characters become fixed, such individuals as revert to the former condition
being exterminated as they appear.

The reciprocal adaptation of fecundity to death-rate has thus belonged
unquestionably for a long time to the specific character of all existing
species without exception. Its presence is manifested not merely in the
great universal fact that all species, despite many varying
dangers--leaving out of view sudden external catastrophes and attacks of
special violence--are preserved from either extermination or deterioration,
but also in isolated phenomena which afford a more intimate glimpse into
the physiological processes upon which the adaptation in question depends.
Human knowledge does not yet extend very far in this direction, but
accident and investigation have already given us a few hints. Thus, for
example, we know that, as a rule, high feeding diminishes the fecundity of
animals; stallions, bulls, etc., must not become fat or their procreative
power is lessened, and the same has been observed in a number of femal