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´╗┐Title: Reform and Politics
 - Part 2 from The Works of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume VII
Author: Whittier, John Greenleaf
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Reform and Politics
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                           REFORM AND POLITICS


                         JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER



                           REFORM AND POLITICS


THERE is a large class of men, not in Europe alone, but in this country
also, whose constitutional conservatism inclines them to regard any
organic change in the government of a state or the social condition of
its people with suspicion and distrust.  They admit, perhaps, the evils
of the old state of things; but they hold them to be inevitable, the
alloy necessarily mingled with all which pertains to fallible humanity.
Themselves generally enjoying whatever of good belongs to the political
or social system in which their lot is cast, they are disposed to look
with philosophic indifference upon the evil which only afflicts their
neighbors.  They wonder why people are not contented with their
allotments; they see no reason for change; they ask for quiet and peace
in their day; being quite well satisfied with that social condition which
an old poet has quaintly described:--

               "The citizens like pounded pikes;
               The lesser feed the great;
               The rich for food seek stomachs,
               And the poor for stomachs meat."

This class of our fellow-citizens have an especial dislike of theorists,
reformers, uneasy spirits, speculators upon the possibilities of the
world's future, constitution builders, and believers in progress.  They
are satisfied; the world at least goes well enough with them; they sit as
comfortable in it as Lafontaine's rat in the cheese; and why should those
who would turn it upside down come hither also?  Why not let well enough
alone?  Why tinker creeds, constitutions, and laws, and disturb the good
old-fashioned order of things in church and state?  The idea of making
the world better and happier is to them an absurdity.  He who entertains
it is a dreamer and a visionary, destitute of common sense and practical
wisdom.  His project, whatever it may be, is at once pronounced to be
impracticable folly, or, as they are pleased to term it, _Utopian._

The romance of Sir Thomas More, which has long afforded to the
conservatives of church and state a term of contempt applicable to all
reformatory schemes and innovations, is one of a series of fabulous
writings, in which the authors, living in evil times and unable to
actualize their plans for the well-being of society, have resorted to
fiction as a safe means of conveying forbidden truths to the popular
mind.  Plato's "Timaeus," the first of the series, was written after the
death of Socrates and the enslavement of the author's country.  In this
are described the institutions of the Island of Atlantis,--the writer's
ideal of a perfect commonwealth.  Xenophon, in his "Cyropaedia," has also
depicted an imaginary political society by overlaying with fiction
historical traditions.  At a later period we have the "New Atlantis" of
Lord Bacon, and that dream of the "City of the Sun" with which Campanella
solaced himself in his long imprisonment.

The "Utopia" of More is perhaps the best of its class.  It is the work of
a profound thinker, the suggestive speculations and theories of one who

               "Forerun his age and race, and let
               His feet millenniums hence be set
               In midst of knowledge dreamed not yet."

Much of what he wrote as fiction is now fact, a part of the frame-work of
European governments, and the political truths of his imaginary state are
now practically recognized in our own democratic system.  As might be
expected, in view of the times in which the author wrote, and the
exceedingly limited amount of materials which he found ready to his hands
for the construction of his social and political edifice, there is a want
of proportion and symmetry in the structure.  Many of his theories are no
doubt impracticable and unsound.  But, as a whole, the work is an
admirable one, striding in advance of the author's age, and prefiguring a
government of religious toleration and political freedom.  The following
extract from it was doubtless regarded in his day as something worse than
folly or the dream of a visionary enthusiast:--

"He judged it wrong to lay down anything rashly, and seemed to doubt
whether these different forms of religion might not all come from God,
who might inspire men in a different manner, and be pleased with the
variety.  He therefore thought it to be indecent and foolish for any man
to threaten and terrify another, to make him believe what did not strike
him as true."

Passing by the "Telemachus" of Fenelon, we come to the political romance
of Harrington, written in the time of Cromwell.  "Oceana" is the name by
which the author represents England; and the republican plan of
government which he describes with much minuteness is such as he would
have recommended for adoption in case a free commonwealth had been
established.  It deals somewhat severely with Cromwell's usurpation; yet
the author did not hesitate to dedicate it to that remarkable man, who,
after carefully reading it, gave it back to his daughter, Lady Claypole,
with the remark, full of characteristic bluntness, that "the gentleman
need not think to cheat him of his power and authority; for what he had
won with the sword he would never suffer himself to be scribbled out of."

Notwithstanding the liberality and freedom of his speculations upon
government and religion in his Utopia, it must be confessed that Sir
Thomas More, in after life, fell into the very practices of intolerance
and bigotry which he condemned.  When in the possession of the great seal
under that scandal of kingship, Henry VIII., he gave his countenance to
the persecution of heretics.  Bishop Burnet says of him, that he caused a
gentleman of the Temple to be whipped and put to the rack in his
presence, in order to compel him to discover those who favored heretical
opinions.  In his Utopia he assailed the profession of the law with
merciless satire; yet the satirist himself finally sat upon the
chancellor's woolsack; and, as has been well remarked by Horace Smith,
"if, from this elevated seat, he ever cast his eyes back upon his past
life, he must have smiled at the fond conceit which could imagine a
permanent Utopia, when he himself, certainly more learned, honest, and
conscientious than the mass of men has ever been, could in the course of
one short life fall into such glaring and frightful rebellion against his
own doctrines."

Harrington, on the other hand, as became the friend of Milton and Marvel,
held fast, through good and evil report, his republican faith.  He
published his work after the Restoration, and defended it boldly and ably
from the numerous attacks made upon it.  Regarded as too dangerous an
enthusiast to be left at liberty, he was imprisoned at the instance of
Lord Chancellor Hyde, first in the Tower, and afterwards on the Island of
St.  Nicholas, where disease and imprudent remedies brought on a partial
derangement, from which he never recovered.

Bernardin St. Pierre, whose pathetic tale of "Paul and Virginia" has
found admirers in every language of the civilized world, in a fragment,
entitled "Arcadia," attempted to depict an ideal republic, without
priest, noble, or slave, where all are so religious that each man is the
pontiff of his family, where each man is prepared to defend his country,
and where all are in such a state of equality that there are no such
persons as servants.  The plan of it was suggested by his friend Rousseau
during their pleasant walking excursions about the environs of Paris, in
which the two enthusiastic philosophers, baffled by the evil passions and
intractable materials of human nature as manifested in existing society,
comforted themselves by appealing from the actual to the possible, from
the real to the imaginary.  Under the chestnut-trees of the Bois de
Boulogne, through long summer days, the two friends, sick of the noisy
world about them, yet yearning to become its benefactors,--gladly
escaping from it, yet busy with schemes for its regeneration and
happiness,--at once misanthropes and philanthropists,--amused and solaced
themselves by imagining a perfect and simple state of society, in which
the lessons of emulation and selfish ambition were never to be taught;
where, on the contrary, the young were to obey their parents, and to
prefer father, mother, brother, sister, wife, and friend to themselves.
They drew beautiful pictures of a country blessed with peace, indus try,
and love, covered with no disgusting monuments of violence and pride and
luxury, without columns, triumphal arches, hospitals, prisons, or
gibbets; but presenting to view bridges over torrents, wells on the arid
plain, groves of fruit-trees, and houses of shelter for the traveller in
desert places, attesting everywhere the sentiment of humanity.  Religion
was to speak to all hearts in the eternal language of Nature.  Death was
no longer to be feared; perspectives of holy consolation were to open
through the cypress shadows of the tomb; to live or to die was to be
equally an object of desire.

The plan of the "Arcadia" of St. Pierre is simply this: A learned young
Egyptian, educated at Thebes by the priests of Osiris, desirous of
benefiting humanity, undertakes a voyage to Gaul for the purpose of
carrying thither the arts and religion of Egypt.  He is shipwrecked on
his return in the Gulf of Messina, and lands upon the coast, where he is
entertained by an Arcadian, to whom he relates his adventures, and from
whom he receives in turn an account of the simple happiness and peace of
Arcadia, the virtues and felicity of whose inhabitants are beautifully
exemplified in the lives and conversation of the shepherd and his
daughter.  This pleasant little prose poem closes somewhat abruptly.
Although inferior in artistic skill to "Paul and Virginia" or the "Indian
Cottage", there is not a little to admire in the simple beauty of its
pastoral descriptions.  The closing paragraph reminds one of Bunyan's
upper chamber, where the weary pilgrim's windows opened to the sunrising
and the singing of birds:--

"Tyrteus conducted his guests to an adjoining chamber.  It had a window
shut by a curtain of rushes, through the crevices of which the islands of
the Alpheus might be seen in the light of the moon.  There were in this
chamber two excellent beds, with coverlets of warm and light wool.

"Now, as soon as Amasis was left alone with Cephas, he spoke with joy of
the delight and tranquillity of the valley, of the goodness of the
shepherd, and the grace of his young daughter, to whom he had seen none
worthy to be compared, and of the pleasure which he promised himself the
next day, at the festival on Mount Lyceum, of beholding a whole people as
happy as this sequestered family.  Converse so delightful might have
charmed away the night without the aid of sleep, had they not been
invited to repose by the mild light of the moon shining through the
window, the murmuring wind in the leaves of the poplars, and the distant
noise of the Achelous, which falls roaring from the summit of Mount

The young patrician wits of Athens doubtless laughed over Plato's ideal
republic.  Campanella's "City of the Sun" was looked upon, no doubt, as
the distempered vision of a crazy state prisoner.  Bacon's college, in
his "New Atlantis," moved the risibles of fat-witted Oxford.  More's
"Utopia," as we know, gave to our language a new word, expressive of the
vagaries and dreams of fanatics and lunatics.  The merciless wits,
clerical and profane, of the court of Charles II.  regarded Harrington's
romance as a perfect godsend to their vocation of ridicule.  The gay
dames and carpet knights of Versailles made themselves merry with the
prose pastoral of St.  Pierre; and the poor old enthusiast went down to
his grave without finding an auditory for his lectures upon natural

The world had its laugh over these romances.  When unable to refute their
theories, it could sneer at the authors, and answer them to the
satisfaction of the generation in which they lived, at least by a general
charge of lunacy.  Some of their notions were no doubt as absurd as those
of the astronomer in "Rasselas", who tells Imlac that he has for five
years possessed the regulation of the weather, and has got the secret of
making to the different nations an equal and impartial dividend of rain
and sunshine.  But truth, even when ushered into the world through the
medium of a dull romance and in connection with a vast progeny of errors,
however ridiculed and despised at first, never fails in the end of
finding a lodging-place in the popular mind.  The speculations of the
political theorists whom we have noticed have not all proved to be of

                                "such stuff
          As dreams are made of, and their little life
          Rounded with sleep."

They have entered into and become parts of the social and political
fabrics of Europe and America.  The prophecies of imagination have been
fulfilled; the dreams of romance have become familiar realities.

What is the moral suggested by this record?  Is it not that we should
look with charity and tolerance upon the schemes and speculations of the
political and social theorists of our day; that, if unprepared to venture
upon new experiments and radical changes, we should at least consider
that what was folly to our ancestors is our wisdom, and that another
generation may successfully put in practice the very theories which now
seem to us absurd and impossible?  Many of the evils of society have been
measurably removed or ameliorated; yet now, as in the days of the
Apostle, "the creation groaneth and travaileth in pain;" and although
quackery and empiricism abound, is it not possible that a proper
application of some of the remedies proposed might ameliorate the general
suffering?  Rejecting, as we must, whatever is inconsistent with or
hostile to the doctrines of Christianity, on which alone rests our hope
for humanity, it becomes us to look kindly upon all attempts to apply
those doctrines to the details of human life, to the social, political,
and industrial relations of the race.  If it is not permitted us to
believe all things, we can at least hope them.  Despair is infidelity and
death.  Temporally and spiritually, the declaration of inspiration holds
good, "We are saved by hope."



BERNARDIN ST. PIERRE, in his Wishes of a Solitary, asks for his country
neither wealth, nor military glory, nor magnificent palaces and
monuments, nor splendor of court nobility, nor clerical pomp.  "Rather,"
he says, "O France, may no beggar tread thy plains, no sick or suffering
man ask in vain for relief; in all thy hamlets may every young woman find
a lover and every lover a true wife; may the young be trained arightly
and guarded from evil; may the old close their days in the tranquil hope
of those who love God and their fellow-men."

We are reminded of the amiable wish of the French essayist--a wish even
yet very far from realization, we fear, in the empire of Napoleon III.--
by the perusal of two documents recently submitted to the legislature of
the State of Massachusetts.  They indicate, in our view, the real glory
of a state, and foreshadow the coming of that time when Milton's
definition of a true commonwealth shall be no longer a prophecy, but the
description of an existing fact,--"a huge Christian personage, a mighty
growth and stature of an honest man, moved by the purpose of a love of
God and of mankind."

Some years ago, the Legislature of Massachusetts, at the suggestion of
several benevolent gentlemen whose attention had been turned to the
subject, appointed a commission to inquire into the condition of the
idiots of the Commonwealth, to ascertain their numbers, and whether
anything could be done in their behalf.

The commissioners were Dr. Samuel G. Howe, so well and honorably known
for his long and arduous labors in behalf of the blind, Judge Byington,
and Dr. Gilman Kimball.  The burden of the labor fell upon the chairman,
who entered upon it with the enthusiasm, perseverance, and practical
adaptation of means to ends which have made him so efficient in his
varied schemes of benevolence.  On the 26th of the second month, 1848, a
full report of the results of this labor was made to the Governor,
accompanied by statistical tables and minute details.  One hundred towns
had been visited by the chairman or his reliable agent, in which five
hundred and seventy-five persons in a state of idiocy were discovered.
These were examined carefully in respect to their physical as well as
mental condition, no inquiry being omitted which was calculated to throw
light upon the remote or immediate causes of this mournful imperfection
in the creation of God.  The proximate causes Dr. Howe mentions are to be
found in the state of the bodily organization, deranged and
disproportioned by some violation of natural law on the part of the
parents or remoter ancestors of the sufferers.  Out of 420 cases of
idiocy, he had obtained information respecting the condition of the
progenitors of 359; and in all but four of these eases he found that one
or the other, or both, of their immediate progenitors had in some way
departed widely from the condition of health; they were scrofulous, or
predisposed to affections of the brain, and insanity, or had intermarried
with blood-relations, or had been intemperate, or guilty of sensual

Of the 575 cases, 420 were those of idiocy from birth, and 155 of idiocy
afterwards.  Of the born idiots, 187 were under twenty-five years of age,
and all but 13 seemed capable of improvement.  Of those above twenty-five
years of age, 73 appeared incapable of improvement in their mental
condition, being helpless as children at seven years of age; 43 out of
the 420 seemed as helpless as children at two years of age; 33 were in
the condition of mere infants; and 220 were supported at the public
charge in almshouses.  A large proportion of them were found to be given
over to filthy and loathsome habits, gluttony, and lust, and constantly
sinking lower towards the condition of absolute brutishness.

Those in private houses were found, if possible, in a still more
deplorable state.  Their parents were generally poor, feeble in mind and
body, and often of very intemperate habits.  Many of them seemed scarcely
able to take care of themselves, and totally unfit for the training of
ordinary children.  It was the blind leading the blind, imbecility
teaching imbecility.  Some instances of the experiments of parental
ignorance upon idiotic offspring, which fell under the observation of Dr.
Howe, are related in his report Idiotic children were found with their
heads covered over with cold poultices of oak-bark, which the foolish
parents supposed would tan the brain and harden it as the tanner does his
ox-hides, and so make it capable of retaining impressions and remembering
lessons.  In other cases, finding that the child could not be made to
comprehend anything, the sagacious heads of the household, on the
supposition that its brain was too hard, tortured it with hot poultices
of bread and milk to soften it.  Others plastered over their children's
heads with tar.  Some administered strong doses of mercury, to "solder up
the openings" in the head and make it tight and strong.  Others
encouraged the savage gluttony of their children, stimulating their
unnatural and bestial appetites, on the ground that "the poor creatures
had nothing else to enjoy but their food, and they should have enough of

In consequence of this report, the legislature, in the spring of 1848,
made an annual appropriation of twenty-five hundred dollars, for three
years, for the purpose of training and teaching ten idiot children, to be
selected by the Governor and Council.  The trustees of the Asylum for the
Blind, under the charge of Dr. Howe, made arrangements for receiving
these pupils.  The school was opened in the autumn of 1848; and its first
annual report, addressed to the Governor and printed by order of the
Senate, is now before us.

Of the ten pupils, it appears that not one had the usual command of
muscular motion,--the languid body obeyed not the service of the imbecile
will.  Some could walk and use their limbs and hands in simple motions;
others could make only make slight use of their muscles; and two were
without any power of locomotion.

One of these last, a boy six years of age, who had been stupefied on the
day of his birth by the application of hot rum to his head, could
scarcely see or notice objects, and was almost destitute of the sense of
touch.  He could neither stand nor sit upright, nor even creep, but would
lie on the floor in whatever position he was placed.  He could not feed
himself nor chew solid food, and had no more sense of decency than an
infant.  His intellect was a blank; he had no knowledge, no desires, no
affections.  A more hopeless object for experiment could scarcely have
been selected.

A year of patient endeavor has nevertheless wrought a wonderful change in
the condition of this miserable being.  Cold bathing, rubbing of the
limbs, exercise of the muscles, exposure to the air, and other appliances
have enabled him to stand upright, to sit at table and feed himself, and
chew his food, and to walk about with slight assistance.  His habits are
no longer those of a brute; he observes decency; his eye is brighter; his
cheeks glow with health; his countenance, is more expressive of thought.
He has learned many words and constructs simple sentences; his affections
begin to develop; and there is every prospect that he will be so far
renovated as to be able to provide for himself in manhood.

In the case of another boy, aged twelve years, the improvement has been
equally remarkable.  The gentleman who first called attention to him, in
a recent note to Dr. Howe, published in the report, thus speaks of his
present condition: "When I remember his former wild and almost frantic
demeanor when approached by any one, and the apparent impossibility of
communicating with him, and now see him standing in his class, playing
with his fellows, and willingly and familiarly approaching me, examining
what I gave him,--and when I see him already selecting articles named by
his teacher, and even correctly pronouncing words printed on cards,--
improvement does not convey the idea presented to my mind; it is
creation; it is making him anew."

All the pupils have more or less advanced.  Their health and habits have
improved; and there is no reason to doubt that the experiment, at the
close of its three years, will be found to have been quite as successful
as its most sanguine projectors could have anticipated.  Dr. Howe has
been ably seconded by an accomplished teacher, James B. Richards, who has
devoted his whole time to the pupils.  Of the nature and magnitude of
their task, an idea may be formed only by considering the utter
listlessness of idiocy, the incapability of the poor pupil to fix his
attention upon anything, and his general want of susceptibility to
impressions.  All his senses are dulled and perverted.  Touch, hearing,
sight, smell, are all more or less defective.  His gluttony is
unaccompanied with the gratification of taste,--the most savory viands
and the offal which he shares with the pigs equally satisfy him.  His
mental state is still worse than his physical.  Thought is painful and
irksome to him.

His teacher can only engage his attention by strenuous efforts, loud,
earnest tones, gesticulations and signs, and a constant presentation of
some visible object of bright color and striking form.  The eye wanders,
and the spark of consciousness and intelligence which has been fanned
into momentary brightness darkens at the slightest relaxation of the
teacher's exertions.  The names of objects presented to him must
sometimes be repeated hundreds of times before he can learn them.  Yet
the patience and enthusiasm of the teacher are rewarded by a progress,
slow and unequal, but still marked and manifest.  Step by step, often
compelled to turn back and go over the inch of ground he had gained, the
idiot is still creeping forward; and by almost imperceptible degrees his
sick, cramped, and prisoned spirit casts off the burden of its body of
death, breath as from the Almighty--is breathed into him, and he becomes
a living soul.

After the senses of the idiot are trained to take note
of their appropriate objects, the various perceptive faculties are next
to be exercised.  The greatest possible number of facts are to be
gathered up through the medium of these faculties into the storehouse of
memory, from whence eventually the higher faculties of mind may draw the
material of general ideas.  It has been found difficult, if not
impossible, to teach the idiot to read by the letters first, as in the
ordinary method; but while the varied powers of the three letters, h, a,
t, could not be understood by him, he could be made to comprehend the
complex sign of the word hat, made by uniting the three.

The moral nature of the idiot needs training and development as well as
his physical and mental.  All that can be said of him is, that he has the
latent capacity for moral development and culture.  Uninstructed and left
to himself, he has no ideas of regulated appetites and propensities, of
decency and delicacy of affection and social relations.  The germs of
these ideas, which constitute the glory and beauty of humanity,
undoubtedly exist in him; but there can be no growth without patient and
persevering culture.  Where this is afforded, to use the language of the
report, "the idiot may learn what love is, though he may not know the
word which expresses it; he may feel kindly affections while unable to
understand the simplest virtuous principle; and he may begin to live
acceptably to God before he has learned the name by which men call him."

In the facts and statistics presented in the report, light is shed upon
some of the dark pages of God's providence, and it is seen that the
suffering and shame of idiocy are the result of sin, of a violation of
the merciful laws of God and of the harmonies of His benign order.  The
penalties which are ordained for the violators of natural laws are
inexorable and certain.  For the transgressor of the laws of life there
is, as in the case of Esau, "no place for repentance, though he seek it
earnestly and with tears."  The curse cleaves to him and his children.
In this view, how important becomes the subject of the hereditary
transmission of moral and physical disease and debility! and how
necessary it is that there should be a clearer understanding of, and a
willing obedience, at any cost, to the eternal law which makes the parent
the blessing or the curse of the child, giving strength and beauty, and
the capacity to know and do the will of God, or bequeathing
loathsomeness, deformity, and animal appetite, incapable of the
restraints of the moral faculties!  Even if the labors of Dr. Howe and
his benevolent associates do not materially lessen the amount of present
actual evil and suffering in this respect, they will not be put forth in
vain if they have the effect of calling public attention to the great
laws of our being, the violation of which has made this goodly earth a
vast lazarhouse of pain and sorrow.

The late annual message of the Governor of Massachusetts invites our
attention to a kindred institution of charity.  The chief magistrate
congratulates the legislature, in language creditable to his mind and
heart, on the opening of the Reform School for Juvenile Criminals,
established by an act of a previous legislature.  The act provides that,
when any boy under sixteen years of age shall be convicted of crime
punishable by imprisonment other than such an offence as is punished by
imprisonment for life, he may be, at the discretion of the court or
justice, sent to the State Reform School, or sentenced to such
imprisonment as the law now provides for his offence.  The school is
placed under the care of trustees, who may either refuse to receive a boy
thus sent there, or, after he has been received, for reasons set forth in
the act, may order him to be committed to prison under the previous penal
law of the state.  They are also authorized to apprentice the boys, at
their discretion, to inhabitants of the Commonwealth.  And whenever any
boy shall be discharged, either as reformed or as having reached the age
of twenty-one years, his discharge is a full release from his sentence.

It is made the duty of the trustees to cause the boys to be instructed in
piety and morality, and in branches of useful knowledge, in some regular
course of labor, mechanical, agricultural, or horticultural, and such
other trades and arts as may be best adapted to secure the amendment,
reformation, and future benefit of the boys.  The class of offenders for
whom this act provides are generally the offspring of parents depraved by
crime or suffering from poverty and want,--the victims often of
circumstances of evil which almost constitute a necessity,--issuing from
homes polluted and miserable, from the sight and hearing of loathsome
impurities and hideous discords, to avenge upon society the ignorance,
and destitution, and neglect with which it is too often justly
chargeable.  In 1846 three hundred of these youthful violators of law
were sentenced to jails and other places of punishment in Massachusetts,
where they incurred the fearful liability of being still more thoroughly
corrupted by contact with older criminals, familiar with atrocity, and
rolling their loathsome vices "as a sweet morsel under the tongue."  In
view of this state of things the Reform School has been established,
twenty-two thousand dollars having been contributed to the state for that
purpose by an unknown benefactor of his race.  The school is located in
Westboro', on a fine farm of two hundred acres.  The buildings are in the
form of a square, with a court in the centre, three stories in front,
with wings.  They are constructed with a degree of architectural taste,
and their site is happily chosen,--a gentle eminence, overlooking one of
the loveliest of the small lakes which form a pleasing feature in New
England scenery.  From this place the atmosphere and associations of the
prison are excluded.  The discipline is strict, as a matter of course;
but it is that of a well-regulated home or school-room,--order, neatness,
and harmony within doors; and without, the beautiful 'sights and sounds
and healthful influences of Nature.  One would almost suppose that the
poetical dream of Coleridge, in his tragedy of Remorse, had found its
realization in the Westboro' School, and that, weary of the hopelessness
and cruelty of the old penal system, our legislators had embodied in
their statutes the idea of the poet:--

"With other ministrations thou, O Nature,
Healest thy wandering and distempered child
Thou pourest on him thy soft influences,
Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and breathing sweets,
Thy melodies of woods, and winds, and waters,
Till he relent, and can no more endure
To be a jarring and a dissonant thing
Amidst this general dance and minstrelsy."

Thus it is that the Christian idea of reformation, rather than revenge,
is slowly but surely incorporating itself in our statute books.  We have
only to look back but a single century to be able to appreciate the
immense gain for humanity in the treatment of criminals which has been
secured in that space of time.  Then the use of torture was common
throughout Europe.  Inability to comprehend and believe certain religious
dogmas was a crime to be expiated by death, or confiscation of estate, or
lingering imprisonment.  Petty offences against property furnished
subjects for the hangman.  The stocks and the whipping-post stood by the
side of the meeting-house.  Tongues were bored with redhot irons and ears
shorn off.  The jails were loathsome dungeons, swarming with vermin,
unventilated, unwarmed.  A century and a half ago the populace of
Massachusetts were convulsed with grim merriment at the writhings of a
miserable woman scourged at the cart-tail or strangling in the ducking-
stool; crowds hastened to enjoy the spectacle of an old man enduring the
unutterable torment of the 'peine forte et dare,'--pressed slowly to
death under planks,--for refusing to plead to an indictment for
witchcraft.  What a change from all this to the opening of the State
Reform School, to the humane regulations of prisons and penitentiaries,
to keen-eyed benevolence watching over the administration of justice,
which, in securing society from lawless aggression, is not suffered to
overlook the true interest and reformation of the criminal, nor to forget
that the magistrate, in the words of the Apostle, is to be indeed "the
minister of God to man for good!"

                       LORD ASHLEY AND THE THIEVES.

"THEY that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick," was
the significant answer of our Lord to the self-righteous Pharisees who
took offence at his companions,--the poor, the degraded, the weak, and
the sinful.  "Go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and
not sacrifice; for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to

The great lesson of duty inculcated by this answer of the Divine Teacher
has been too long overlooked by individuals and communities professedly
governed by His maxims.  The phylacteries of our modern Pharisees are as
broad as those of the old Jewish saints.  The respectable Christian
detests his vicious and ill-conditioned neighbors as heartily as the
Israelite did the publicans and sinners of his day.  He folds his robe of
self-righteousness closely about him, and denounces as little better than
sinful weakness all commiseration for the guilty; and all attempts to
restore and reclaim the erring violators of human law otherwise than by
pains and penalties as wicked collusion with crime, dangerous to the
stability and safety of society, and offensive in the sight of God.  And
yet nothing is more certain than that, just in proportion as the example
of our Lord has been followed in respect to the outcast and criminal, the
effect has been to reform and elevate,--to snatch as brands from the
burning souls not yet wholly given over to the service of evil.  The
wonderful influence for good exerted over the most degraded and reckless
criminals of London by the excellent and self-denying Elizabeth Fry, the
happy results of the establishment of houses of refuge, and reformation,
and Magdalen asylums, all illustrate the wisdom of Him who went about
doing good, in pointing out the morally diseased as the appropriate
subjects of the benevolent labors of His disciples.  No one is to be
despaired of.  We have no warrant to pass by any of our fellow-creatures
as beyond the reach of God's grace and mercy; for, beneath the most
repulsive and hateful outward manifestation, there is always a
consciousness of the beauty of goodness and purity, and of the
loathsomeness of sin,--one chamber of the heart as yet not wholly
profaned, whence at times arises the prayer of a burdened and miserable
spirit for deliverance.  Deep down under the squalid exterior,
unparticipative in the hideous merriment and recklessness of the
criminal, there is another self,--a chained and suffering inner man,--
crying out, in the intervals of intoxication and brutal excesses, like
Jonah from the bosom of hell.  To this lingering consciousness the
sympathy and kindness of benevolent and humane spirits seldom appeal in
vain; for, whatever may be outward appearances, it remains true that the
way of the transgressor is hard, and that sin and suffering are
inseparable.  Crime is seldom loved or persevered in for its own sake;
but, when once the evil path is entered upon, a return is in reality
extremely difficult to the unhappy wanderer, and often seems as well nigh
impossible.  The laws of social life rise up like insurmountable barriers
between him and escape.  As he turns towards the society whose rights he
has outraged, its frown settles upon him; the penalties of the laws he
has violated await him; and he falls back despairing, and suffers the
fetters of the evil habit to whose power he has yielded himself to be
fastened closer and heavier upon him.  O for some good angel, in the form
of a brother-man and touched with a feeling of his sins and infirmities,
to reassure his better nature and to point out a way of escape from its
body of death!

We have been led into these remarks by an account, given in the London
Weekly Chronicle, of a most remarkable interview between the professional
thieves of London and Lord Ashley,--a gentleman whose best patent of
nobility is to be found in his generous and untiring devotion to the
interests of his fellow-men.  It appears that a philanthropic gentleman
in London had been applied to by two young thieves, who had relinquished
their evil practices and were obtaining a precarious but honest
livelihood by picking up bones and rags in the streets, their loss of
character closing against them all other employments.  He had just been
reading an address of Lord Ashley's in favor of colonial emigration, and
he was led to ask one of the young men how he would like to emigrate.

"I should jump at the chance!" was the reply. Not long after the
gentleman was sent for to visit one of those obscure and ruinous courts
of the great metropolis where crime and poverty lie down together,--
localities which Dickens has pictured with such painful distinctness.
Here, to his surprise, he met a number of thieves and outlaws, who
declared themselves extremely anxious to know whether any hope could be
held out to them of obtaining an honest living, however humble, in the
colonies, as their only reason for continuing in their criminal course
was the impossibility of extricating themselves.  He gave them such
advice and encouragement as he was able, and invited them to assemble
again, with such of their companions as they could persuade to do so, at
the room of the Irish Free School, for the purpose of meeting Lord
Ashley.  On the 27th of the seventh month last the meeting took place.
At the hour appointed, Lord Ashley and five or six other benevolent
gentlemen, interested in emigration as a means of relief and reformation
to the criminal poor, entered the room, which was already well-nigh
filled.  Two hundred and seven professed thieves were present.  "Several
of the most experienced thieves were stationed at the door to prevent the
admission of any but thieves.  Some four or five individuals, who were
not at first known, were subjected to examination, and only allowed to
remain on stating that they were, and being recognized as, members of the
dishonest fraternity; and before the proceedings of the evening commenced
the question was very carefully put, and repeated several times, whether
any one was in the room of whom others entertained doubts as to who he
was.  The object of this care was, as so many of them were in danger of
'getting into trouble,' or, in other words, of being taken up for their
crimes, to ascertain if any who might betray them were present; and
another intention of this scrutiny was, to give those assembled, who
naturally would feel considerable fear, a fuller confidence in opening
their minds."

What a novel conference between the extremes of modern society!  All that
is beautiful in refinement and education, moral symmetry and Christian
grace, contrasting with the squalor, the ignorance, the lifelong
depravity of men living "without God in the world,"--the pariahs of
civilization,--the moral lepers, at the sight of whom decency covers its
face, and cries out, "Unclean!"  After a prayer had been offered, Lord
Ashley spoke at considerable length, making a profound impression on his
strange auditory as they listened to his plans of emigration, which
offered them an opportunity to escape from their miserable condition and
enter upon a respectable course of life.  The hard heart melted and the
cold and cruel eye moistened.  With one accord the wretched felons
responded to the language of Christian love and good-will, and declared
their readiness to follow the advice of their true friend.  They looked
up to him as to an angel of mercy, and felt the malignant spirits which
had so long tormented them disarmed of all power of evil in the presence
of simple goodness.  He stood in that felon audience like Spenser's Una
amidst the satyrs; unassailable and secure in the "unresistible might of
meekness," and panoplied in that "noble grace which dashed brute violence
with sudden adoration and mute awe."

Twenty years ago, when Elizabeth Fry ventured to visit those "spirits in
prison,"--the female tenants of Newgate,--her temerity was regarded with
astonishment, and her hope of effecting a reformation in the miserable
objects of her sympathy was held to be wholly visionary.  Her personal
safety and the blessed fruits of her labors, nevertheless, confirmed the
language of her Divine Master to His disciples when He sent them forth as
lambs among wolves: "Behold, I give unto you power over all the power of
the enemy."  The still more unpromising experiment of Lord Ashley, thus
far, has been equally successful; and we hail it as the introduction of a
new and more humane method of dealing with the victims of sin and
ignorance, and the temptations growing out of the inequalities and vices
of civilization.

                             WOMAN SUFFRAGE.

                    Letter to the Newport Convention.

                 AMESBURY, MASS., 12th, 8th Month, 1869.

I HAVE received thy letter inviting me to attend the Convention in behalf
of Woman's Suffrage, at Newport, R.  I., on the 25th inst.  I do not see
how it is possible for me to accept the invitation; and, were I to do so,
the state of my health would prevent me from taking such a part in the
meeting as would relieve me from the responsibility of seeming to
sanction anything in its action which might conflict with my own views of
duty or policy.  Yet I should do myself great injustice if I did not
embrace this occasion to express my general sympathy with the movement.
I have seen no good reason why mothers, wives, and daughters should not
have the same right of person, property, and citizenship which fathers,
husbands, and brothers have.

The sacred memory of mother and sister; the wisdom and dignity of women
of my own religious communion who have been accustomed to something like
equality in rights as well as duties; my experience as a co-worker with
noble and self-sacrificing women, as graceful and helpful in their
household duties as firm and courageous in their public advocacy of
unpopular truth; the steady friendships which have inspired and
strengthened me, and the reverence and respect which I feel for human
nature, irrespective of sex, compel me to look with something more than
acquiescence on the efforts you are making.  I frankly confess that I am
not able to forsee all the consequences of the great social and political
change proposed, but of this I am, at least, sure, it is always safe to
do right, and the truest expediency is simple justice.  I can understand,
without sharing, the misgivings of those who fear that, when the vote
drops from woman's hand into the ballot-box, the beauty and sentiment,
the bloom and sweetness, of womankind will go with it.  But in this
matter it seems to me that we can trust Nature.  Stronger than statutes
or conventions, she will be conservative of all that the true man loves
and honors in woman.  Here and there may be found an equivocal, unsexed
Chevalier D'Eon, but the eternal order and fitness of things will remain.
I have no fear that man will be less manly or woman less womanly when
they meet on terms of equality before the law.

On the other hand, I do not see that the exercise of the ballot by woman
will prove a remedy for all the evils of which she justly complains.  It
is her right as truly as mine, and when she asks for it, it is something
less than manhood to withhold it.  But, unsupported by a more practical
education, higher aims, and a deeper sense of the responsibilities of
life and duty, it is not likely to prove a blessing in her hands any more
than in man's.

With great respect and hearty sympathy, I am very truly thy friend.

                              ITALIAN UNITY

                   AMESBURY, MASS., 1st Mo., 4th, 1871.

     Read at the great meeting in New York, January, 1871, in celebration
     of the freedom of Rome and complete unity of Italy.

IT would give me more than ordinary satisfaction to attend the meeting on
the 12th instant for the celebration of Italian Unity, the emancipation
of Rome, and its occupation as the permanent capital of the nation.

For many years I have watched with deep interest and sympathy the popular
movement on the Italian peninsula, and especially every effort for the
deliverance of Rome from a despotism counting its age by centuries.  I
looked at these struggles of the people with little reference to their
ecclesiastical or sectarian bearings.  Had I been a Catholic instead of a
Protestant, I should have hailed every symptom of Roman deliverance from
Papal rule, occupying, as I have, the standpoint of a republican radical,
desirous that all men, of all creeds, should enjoy the civil liberty
which I prized so highly for myself.

I lost all confidence in the French republic of 1849, when it forfeited
its own right to exist by crushing out the newly formed Roman republic
under Mazzini and Garibaldi.  From that hour it was doomed, and the
expiation of its monstrous crime is still going on.  My sympathies are
with Jules Favre and Leon Gambetta in their efforts to establish and
sustain a republic in France, but I confess that the investment of Paris
by King William seems to me the logical sequence of the bombardment of
Rome by Oudinot.  And is it not a significant fact that the terrible
chassepot, which made its first bloody experiment upon the halfarmed
Italian patriots without the walls of Rome, has failed in the hands of
French republicans against the inferior needle-gun of Prussia?  It was
said of a fierce actor in the old French Revolution that he demoralized
the guillotine.  The massacre at Mentana demoralized the chassepot.

It is a matter of congratulation that the redemption of Rome has been
effected so easily and bloodlessly.  The despotism of a thousand years
fell at a touch in noiseless rottenness.  The people of Rome, fifty to
one, cast their ballots of condemnation like so many shovelfuls of earth
upon its grave.  Outside of Rome there seems to be a very general
acquiescence in its downfall.  No Peter the Hermit preaches a crusade in
its behalf.  No one of the great Catholic powers of Europe lifts a finger
for it.  Whatever may be the feelings of Isabella of Spain and the
fugitive son of King Bomba, they are in no condition to come to its
rescue.  It is reserved for American ecclesiastics, loud-mouthed in
professions of democracy, to make solemn protest against what they call
an "outrage," which gives the people of Rome the right of choosing their
own government, and denies the divine right of kings in the person of Pio

The withdrawal of the temporal power of the Pope will prove a blessing to
the Catholic Church, as well as to the world.  Many of its most learned
and devout priests and laymen have long seen the necessity of such a
change, which takes from it a reproach and scandal that could no longer
be excused or tolerated.  A century hence it will have as few apologists
as the Inquisition or the massacre of St. Bartholomew.

In this hour of congratulation let us not forget those whose suffering
and self-sacrifice, in the inscrutable wisdom of Providence, prepared the
way for the triumph which we celebrate.  As we call the long, illustrious
roll of Italian patriotism--the young, the brave, and beautiful; the
gray-haired, saintly confessors; the scholars, poets, artists, who, shut
out from human sympathy, gave their lives for God and country in the
slow, dumb agony of prison martyrdom--let us hope that they also rejoice
with us, and, inaudible to earthly ears, unite in our thanksgiving:
"Alleluia!  for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!  He hath avenged the
blood of his servants!"

In the belief that the unity of Italy and the overthrow of Papal rule
will strengthen the cause of liberty throughout the civilized' world, I
am very truly thy friend.

                           INDIAN CIVILIZATION.

THE present condition and future prospects of the remnants of the
aboriginal inhabitants of this continent can scarcely be a matter of
indifference to any class of the people of the United States.  Apart from
all considerations of justice and duty, a purely selfish regard to our
own well-being would compel attention to the subject.  The irreversible
laws of God's moral government, and the well-attested maxims of political
and social economy, leave us in no doubt that the suffering, neglect, and
wrong of one part of the community must affect all others.  A common
responsibility rests upon each and all to relieve suffering, enlighten
ignorance, and redress wrong, and the penalty of neglect in this respect
no nation has ever escaped.

It is only within a comparatively recent period that the term Indian
Civilization could be appropriately used in this country.  Very little
real progress bad been made in this direction, up to the time when
Commissioner Lang in 1844 visited the tribes now most advanced.  So
little had been done, that public opinion had acquiesced in the
assumption that the Indians were not susceptible of civilization and
progress.  The few experiments had not been calculated to assure a
superficial observer.

The unsupported efforts of Elliot in New England were counteracted by the
imprisonment, and in some instances the massacre of his "praying
Indians," by white men under the exasperation of war with hostile tribes.
The salutary influence of the Moravians and Friends in Pennsylvania was
greatly weakened by the dreadful massacre of the unarmed and blameless
converts of Gnadenhutten.  But since the first visit of Commissioner
Lang, thirty-three years ago, the progress of education, civilization,
and conversion to Christianity, has been of a most encouraging nature,
and if Indian civilization was ever a doubtful problem, it has been
practically solved.

The nomadic habits and warlike propensities of the native tribes are
indeed formidable but not insuperable difficulties in the way of their
elevation.  The wildest of them may compare not unfavorably with those
Northern barbarian hordes that swooped down upon Christian Europe, and
who were so soon the docile pupils and proselytes of the peoples they had
conquered.  The Arapahoes and Camanches of our day are no further removed
from the sweetness and light of Christian culture than were the
Scandinavian Sea Kings of the middle centuries, whose gods were patrons
of rapine and cruelty, their heaven a vast, cloud-built ale-house, where
ghostly warriors drank from the skulls of their victims, and whose hell
was a frozen horror of desolation and darkness, to be avoided only by
diligence in robbery and courage in murder.  The descendants of these
human butchers are now among the best exponents of the humanizing
influence of the gospel of Christ.  The report of the Superintendent of
the remnants of the once fierce and warlike Six Nations, now peaceable
and prosperous in Canada, shows that the Indian is not inferior to the
Norse ancestors of the Danes and Norwegians of our day in capability of

It is scarcely necessary to say, what is universally conceded, that the
wars waged by the Indians against the whites have, in nearly every
instance, been provoked by violations of solemn treaties and systematic
disregard of their rights of person, property, and life.  The letter of
Bishop Whipple, of Minnesota, to the New York Tribune of second month,
1877, calls attention to the emphatic language of Generals Sherman,
Harney, Terry, and Augur, written after a full and searching
investigation of the subject: "That the Indian goes to war is not
astonishing: he is often compelled to do so: wrongs are borne by him in
silence, which never fail to drive civilized men to deeds of violence.
The best possible way to avoid war is to do no injustice."

It is not difficult to understand the feelings of the unfortunate pioneer
settlers on the extreme borders of civilization, upon whom the blind
vengeance of the wronged and hunted Indians falls oftener than upon the
real wrong-doers.  They point to terrible and revolting cruelties as
proof that nothing short of the absolute extermination of the race can
prevent their repetition.  But a moment's consideration compels us to
admit that atrocious cruelty is not peculiar to the red man.  "All wars
are cruel," said General Sherman, and for eighteen centuries Christendom
has been a great battle-field.  What Indian raid has been more dreadful
than the sack of Magdeburg, the massacre of Glencoe, the nameless
atrocities of the Duke of Alva in the Netherlands, the murders of St.
Bartholomew's day, the unspeakable agonies of the South of France under
the demoniac rule of revolution!  All history, black with crime and red
with blood, is but an awful commentary upon "man's inhumanity to man,"
and it teaches us that there is nothing exceptional in the Indian's
ferocity and vindictiveness, and that the alleged reasons for his
extermination would, at one time or another, have applied with equal
force to the whole family of man.

A late lecture of my friend, Stanley Pumphrey, comprises more of valuable
information and pertinent suggestions on the Indian question than I have
found in any equal space; and I am glad of the opportunity to add to it
my hearty endorsement, and to express the conviction that its general
circulation could not fail to awaken a deeper and more kindly interest in
the condition of the red man, and greatly aid in leading the public mind
to a fuller appreciation of the responsibility which rests upon us as a
people to rectify, as far as possible, past abuses, and in our future
relations to the native owners of the soil to "deal justly and love



To Mary C.  Moore, teacher in the Perkins Asylum.

DEAR FRIEND,--It gives me great pleasure to know that the pupils in thy
class at the Institution for the Blind have the opportunity afforded them
to read through the sense of touch some of my writings, and thus hold
what I hope will prove a pleasant communion with me.  Very glad I shall
be if the pen-pictures of nature, and homely country firesides, which I
have tried to make, are understood and appreciated by those who cannot
discern them by natural vision.  I shall count it a great privilege to
see for them, or rather to let them see through my eyes.  It is the mind
after all that really sees, shapes, and colors all things.  What visions
of beauty and sublimity passed before the inward and spiritual sight of
blind Milton and Beethoven!

I have an esteemed friend, Morrison Hendy, of Kentucky, who is deaf and
blind; yet under these circumstances he has cultivated his mind to a high
degree, and has written poems of great beauty, and vivid descriptions of
scenes which have been witnessed only by the "light within."

I thank thee for thy letter, and beg of thee to assure the students that
I am deeply interested in their welfare and progress, and that my prayer
is that their inward and spiritual eyes may become so clear that they can
well dispense with the outward and material ones.


Read at the meeting in Boston, May, 1883, for the consideration of the
condition of the Indians in the United States.

AMESBURY, 4th mo., 1883.

I REGRET that I cannot be present at the meeting called in reference to
the pressing question of the day, the present condition and future
prospects of the Indian race in the United States.  The old policy,
however well intended, of the government is no longer available.  The
westward setting tide of immigration is everywhere sweeping over the
lines of the reservations.  There would seem to be no power in the
government to prevent the practical abrogation of its solemn treaties and
the crowding out of the Indians from their guaranteed hunting grounds.
Outbreaks of Indian ferocity and revenge, incited by wrong and robbery on
the part of the whites, will increasingly be made the pretext of
indiscriminate massacres.  The entire question will soon resolve itself
into the single alternative of education and civilization or

The school experiments at Hampton, Carlisle, and Forest Grove in Oregon
have proved, if such proof were ever needed, that the roving Indian can
be enlightened and civilized, taught to work and take interest and
delight in the product of his industry, and settle down on his farm or in
his workshop, as an American citizen, protected by and subject to the
laws of the republic.  What is needed is that not only these schools
should be more liberally supported, but that new ones should be opened
without delay.  The matter does not admit of procrastination.  The work
of education and civilization must be done.  The money needed must be
contributed with no sparing hand.  The laudable example set by the
Friends and the American Missionary Association should be followed by
other sects and philanthropic societies.  Christianity, patriotism, and
enlightened self interest have a common stake in the matter.  Great and
difficult as the work may be the country is strong enough, rich enough,
wise enough, and, I believe, humane and Christian enough to do it.


Read at a meeting of the Essex Club, in Boston,
November, 1885.

AMESBURY, 11th Mo., 10, 1885.

I AM sorry that I cannot accept thy invitation to attend the meeting of
the Essex Club on the 14th inst.  I should be glad to meet my old
Republican friends and congratulate them on the results of the election
in Massachusetts, and especially in our good old county of Essex.

Some of our friends and neighbors, who have been with us heretofore, last
year saw fit to vote with the opposite party.  I would be the last to
deny their perfect right to do so, or to impeach their motives, but I
think they were mistaken in expecting that party to reform the abuses and
evils which they complained of.  President Cleveland has proved himself
better than his party, and has done and said some good things which I
give him full credit for, but the instincts of his party are against him,
and must eventually prove too strong for him, and, instead of his
carrying the party, it will be likely to carry him.  It has already
compelled him to put his hands in his pockets for electioneering
purposes, and travel all the way from Washington to Buffalo to give his
vote for a spoilsman and anti-civil service machine politician.  I would
not like to call it a case of "offensive partisanship," but it looks a
good deal like it.

As a Republican from the outset, I am proud of the noble record of the
party, but I should rejoice to see its beneficent work taken up by the
Democratic party and so faithfully carried on as to make our organization
no longer necessary.  But, as far as we can see, the Republican party has
still its mission and its future.  When labor shall everywhere have its
just reward, and the gains of it are made secure to the earners; when
education shall be universal, and, North and South, all men shall have
the free and full enjoyment of civil rights and privileges, irrespective
of color or former condition; when every vice which debases the community
shall be discouraged and prohibited, and every virtue which elevates it
fostered and strengthened; when merit and fitness shall be the conditions
of office; and when sectional distrust and prejudice shall give place to
well-merited confidence in the loyalty and patriotism of all, then will
the work of the Republican party, as a party, be ended, and all political
rivalries be merged in the one great party of the people, with no other
aim than the common welfare, and no other watchwords than peace, liberty,
and union.  Then may the language which Milton addressed to his
countrymen two centuries ago be applied to the United States, "Go on,
hand in hand, O peoples, never to be disunited; be the praise and heroic
song of all posterity.  Join your invincible might to do worthy and
godlike deeds; and then he who seeks to break your Union, a cleaving
curse be his inheritance."



IT was said of St. Francis of Assisi, that he had attained, through the
fervor of his love, the secret of that deep amity with God and His
creation which, in the language of inspiration, makes man to be in league
with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field to be at peace
with him.  The world has never been without tender souls, with whom the
golden rule has a broader application than its letter might seem to
warrant.  The ancient Eastern seers recognized the rights of the brute
creation, and regarded the unnecessary taking of the life of the humblest
and meanest as a sin; and in almost all the old religions of the world
there are legends of saints, in the depth of whose peace with God and
nature all life was sacredly regarded as the priceless gift of heaven,
and who were thus enabled to dwell safely amidst lions and serpents.

It is creditable to human nature and its unperverted instincts that
stories and anecdotes of reciprocal kindness and affection between men
and animals are always listened to with interest and approval.  How
pleasant to think of the Arab and his horse, whose friendship has been
celebrated in song and romance.  Of Vogelwied, the Minnesinger, and his
bequest to the birds.  Of the English Quaker, visited, wherever he went,
by flocks of birds, who with cries of joy alighted on his broad-brimmed
hat and his drab coat-sleeves.  Of old Samuel Johnson, when half-blind
and infirm, groping abroad of an evening for oysters for his cat.  Of
Walter Scott and John Brown, of Edinburgh, and their dogs.  Of our own
Thoreau, instinctively recognized by bird and beast as a friend.  Emerson
says of him: "His intimacy with animals suggested what Thomas Fuller
records of Butler, the apologist, that either he had told the bees
things, or the bees had told him.  Snakes coiled round his legs; the
fishes swam into his hand; he pulled the woodchuck out of his hole by his
tail, and took foxes under his protection from the hunters."

In the greatest of the ancient Hindu poems--the sacred book of the
Mahabharata--there is a passage of exceptional beauty and tenderness,
which records the reception of King Yudishthira at the gate of Paradise.
A pilgrim to the heavenly city, the king had travelled over vast spaces,
and, one by one, the loved ones, the companions of his journey, had all
fallen and left him alone, save his faithful dog, which still followed.
He was met by Indra, and invited to enter the holy city.  But the king
thinks of his friends who have fallen on the way, and declines to go in
without them.  The god tells him they are all within waiting for him.
Joyful, he is about to seek them, when he looks upon the poor dog, who,
weary and wasted, crouches at his feet, and asks that he, too, may enter
the gate.  Indra refuses, and thereupon the king declares that to abandon
his faithful dumb friend would be as great a sin as to kill a Brahmin.

     "Away with that felicity whose price is to abandon the faithful!
     Never, come weal or woe, will I leave my faithful dog.
     The poor creature, in fear and distress, has trusted in my power to
     save him;
     Not, therefore, for life itself, will I break my plighted word."

In full sight of heaven he chooses to go to hell with his dog, and
straightway descends, as he supposes, thither.  But his virtue and
faithfulness change his destination to heaven, and he finds himself
surrounded by his old friends, and in the presence of the gods, who thus
honor and reward his humanity and unselfish love.


Read at the reception in Boston of the English delegation representing
more than two hundred members of the British Parliament who favor
international arbitration.

AMESBURY, 11th Mo., 9, 1887.

IT is a very serious disappointment to me not to be able to be present at
the welcome of the American Peace Society to the delegation of more than
two hundred members of the British Parliament who favor international
arbitration.  Few events have more profoundly impressed me than the
presentation of this peaceful overture to the President of the United
States.  It seems to me that every true patriot who seeks the best
interests of his country and every believer in the gospel of Christ must
respond to the admirable address of Sir Lyon Playfair and that of his
colleagues who represented the workingmen of England.  We do not need to
be told that war is always cruel, barbarous, and brutal; whether used by
professed Christians with ball and bayonet, or by heathen with club and
boomerang.  We cannot be blind to its waste of life and treasure and the
demoralization which follows in its train; nor cease to wonder at the
spectacle of Christian nations exhausting all their resources in
preparing to slaughter each other, with only here and there a voice, like
Count Tolstoi's in the Russian wilderness, crying in heedless ears that
the gospel of Christ is peace, not war, and love, not hatred.

The overture which comes to us from English advocates of arbitration is a
cheering assurance that the tide of sentiment is turning in favor of
peace among English speaking peoples.  I cannot doubt that whatever stump
orators and newspapers may say for party purposes, the heart of America
will respond to the generous proposal of our kinsfolk across the water.
No two nations could be more favorably conditioned than England and the
United States for making the "holy experiment of arbitration."

In our associations and kinship, our aims and interests, our common
claims in the great names and achievements of a common ancestry, we are
essentially one people.  Whatever other nations may do, we at least
should be friends.  God grant that the noble and generous attempt shall
not be in vain!  May it hasten the time when the only rivalry between us
shall be the peaceful rivalry of progress and the gracious interchange of

              "When closer strand shall lean to strand,
               Till meet beneath saluting flags,
               The eagle of our mountain crags,
               The lion of our mother land!"


Read at the Woman's Convention at Washington.

OAK KNOLL, DANVERS, MASS., Third Mo., 8, 1888.

I THANK thee for thy kind letter.  It would be a great satisfaction to be
able to be present at the fortieth anniversary of the Woman's Suffrage
Association.  But, as that is not possible, I can only reiterate my
hearty sympathy with the object of the association, and bid it take heart
and assurance in view of all that has been accomplished.  There is no
easy royal road to a reform of this kind, but if the progress has been
slow there has been no step backward.  The barriers which at first seemed
impregnable in the shape of custom and prejudice have been undermined and
their fall is certain.  A prophecy of your triumph at no distant day is
in the air; your opponents feel it and believe it.  They know that yours
is a gaining and theirs a losing cause.  The work still before you
demands on your part great patience, steady perseverance, a firm,
dignified, and self-respecting protest against the injustice of which you
have so much reason to complain, and of serene confidence which is not
discouraged by temporary checks, nor embittered by hostile criticism, nor
provoked to use any weapons of retort, which, like the boomerang, fall
back on the heads of those who use them.  You can afford
in your consciousness of right to be as calm and courteous as the
archangel Michael, who, we are told in Scripture in his controversy with
Satan himself, did not bring a railing accusation against him.  A wise
adaptation of means to ends is no yielding of principle, but care should
be taken to avoid all such methods as have disgraced political and
religious parties of the masculine sex.  Continue to make it manifest
that all which is pure and lovely and of good repute in womanhood is
entirely compatible with the exercise of the rights of citizenship, and
the performance of the duties which we all owe to our homes and our
country.  Confident that you will do this, and with no doubt or misgiving
as to your success, I bid you Godspeed.  I find I have written to the
association rather than to thyself, but as one of the principal
originators and most faithful supporters, it was very natural that I
should identify thee with it.

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