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´╗┐Title: Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 09
 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers
Author: Hubbard, Elbert
Language: English
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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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 09
 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers" ***

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Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers






  My horse was very lame, and my head did ache exceedingly. Now what
  occurred I here avow is truth--let each man account for it as he
  will. Suddenly I thought, "Can not God heal man or beast as He
  will?" Immediately my weariness and headache ceased; and my horse
  was no longer lame.
  --_Wesley's Journal_

Once in a speech on "The Increase of Population," Edmund Burke
intimated his sympathy with Malthus, and among other interesting data
made note that Susanna Wesley was the twenty-fourth child of her
parents. Burke, however, neglected to state how many sisters and
brothers Susanna had who were younger than herself, and also what
would have been the result on church history had the parents of
Susanna named their twenty-third child Omega.

John Wesley was the fifteenth child in a family of nineteen. And yet
the mother did her own work, thus eliminating the servant-girl
problem, and found time to preach better sermons to larger
congregations than did her husband. Four of Susanna's children became
famous--John, Charles, Samuel and Martha.

John rebuked and challenged the smug, self-satisfied and formal
religion of the time; had every church-door locked against him;
sympathized with the American Colonies in their struggle for freedom;
and founded a denomination which today is second in wealth and numbers
to one alone.

John Wesley left no children after the flesh, but his influence has
colored the entire fabric of Christianity. There is no denomination
but that has been benefited and bettered by his beautiful spirit.

Charles Wesley was the greatest producer of hymns the world has ever
seen, having written over six thousand songs, and rewritten most of
the Bible in lyric form. He was "the brother of John Wesley," and
delighted all his life in being so called. No one ever called John
Wesley the brother of Charles. John had a will like a rope of silk--it
slackened, but never broke. He was resourceful, purposeful,
courageous, direct, healthy, handsome, wise, witty, happy; and he rode
on horseback, blazing the way for many from darkness into light.
Charles followed.

Three of the children of Charles Wesley became great musicians, and
one of them was the best organist of his time in England.

The third noted brother in this remarkable family was Samuel, who was
thirteen years older than John, and exercised his prerogative to pooh-
pooh him all his life. Samuel was an educated High Churchman, a Latin
scholar, and a poet of quality. Samuel always had his dignity with
him. He wrote and published essays, epics, and histories of nobodies;
but of all his writings, the only thing from his pen that is now read
and enjoyed is a letter of remonstrance to his mother because he hears
that she has joined "Jack's congregation of Methodists, and is a
renegade from the true religion." Needless to say the "true religion"
to Samuel was the religion in which he believed--all others were
false. Samuel being an educated Churchman did not know that all
religions are true to the people who believe in them.

The fourth Wesley of note was Martha, who looked so much like her
brother John that occasionally, in merry mood, she dressed herself in
his cassock and surplice, and suddenly appearing before the family
deceived them all until she spoke. Martha was the only girl in the
brood who was heir to her mother's mind. Had she lived in this age she
would have made for herself a career. A contemporary says, "She could
preach like a man," a remark, I suppose, meant to be complimentary. In
one respect she excelled any of the Wesleys--she had a sense of humor
that never forsook her. John usually was able to laugh; Charles smiled
at rare intervals; and Samuel never. As it was, Martha married and was
swallowed by the conventions, for the times subdue us, and society
takes individuality captive and binds it hand and foot with green

But the times did not subdue John Wesley: he was the original circuit-
rider, and his steed was a Pegasus that took the fences of orthodoxy
at a bound, often to the great consternation and grief of theological
squatters. He was regarded as peculiar, eccentric, strange,
extravagant, just as any man ever has been and would be today who
attempted to pattern his life after that of the Christ. Perhaps it is
needless to say that the followers of John Wesley do not much resemble
him, indeed not more so than they resemble Jesus of Nazareth.

John Wesley and Jesus had very much in common. But should a man of the
John Wesley pattern appear, say, in one of the fashionable Methodist
churches of Chicago, the organist would drown him out on request of
the pastor; and the janitor, with three fingers under his elbow, would
lead him to the door while the congregation sang "Pull for the Shore."

       *       *       *       *       *

Julia Wedgwood, daughter of Josiah and Sarah Wedgwood, and sister to
the mother of Darwin, wrote a life of John Wesley. In this book Miss
Wedgwood says, "The followers of a leader are always totally different
from the leader." The difference between a leader and a follower is
this: a leader leads and a follower follows. The shepherd is a man,
but sheep are sheep. As a rule followers follow as far as the path is
good, but at the first bog they balk. Betrayers, doubters and those
who deny with an oath are always recruited from the ranks of the
followers. In a sermon John Wesley once said: "To adopt and live a
life of simplicity and service for mankind is difficult; but to follow
the love of luxury, making a clutch for place, pelf and power,
labeling Paganism Christianity, and imagining you are a follower of
Christ, this is easy. Yet all through life we see that the reward is
paid for the difficult task. And now I summon you to a life of
difficulty, not merely for the sake of the reward, but because the
life of service is the righteous life--the right life--the life that
leads to increased life and increased light."

A most remarkable woman was Susanna Wesley. The way she wound her mind
into the minds of her sons, John and Charles, was as beautiful as it
was extraordinary. Very few parents ever really get acquainted with
their offspring. Parents who fail to keep their promises with their
children, and who prevaricate to them, have children that are
secretive and sly. But often no one person is to blame, for children
do not necessarily have any spiritual or mental relationship to their
parents: their minds are not attuned to the same key--they are not on
the same wire.

Indeed, even with the great Susanna Wesley, there was a close and
confiding intimacy with only two of her brood. John Wesley has
written, "I can not remember ever having kept back a doubt from my
mother--she was the one heart to whom I went in absolute confidence,
from my babyhood until the day of her death."

The Epworth Parsonage, where John Wesley was born, was both a house
and a school. Probably the mother centered her life on John and
Charles because they responded to her love in a way the others did
not. In the year Seventeen Hundred Nine, the parsonage burned, with a
very close call for little John, who was asleep in one of the upper
chambers. The home being destroyed, the family was farmed out among
the neighbors until the house could be rebuilt. John was sent to the
home of a neighboring clergyman, ten miles away. After a week we find
him writing to his mother asking her if she has lost a little boy,
because if so he is the boy--a most gentle way of reminding her that
she had not written to him. At this time he was but six years old, yet
we see his ability to write a letter. This peculiar letter is the
earliest in a long correspondence between mother and son. Mrs. Wesley
preserved these letters, just as the mother of Whitman treasured the
letters of Walt with a solicitude that seems tinged with the romantic.
Much of the correspondence between John Wesley and his mother has been
published, and in it we see the intimate touch of absolute mental
undress where heart speaks to heart in abandon and self-forgetfulness.
The person who reaches this stage in correspondence has passed beyond
the commonplace. This formulation of thought for another is the one
exercise that gives mental evolution or education.

John Wesley was sent to Charterhouse School when he was eleven years
old, and he remained there for six years, when he went to Oxford.
After his twelfth year he was denied the personal companionship of his
mother, but every day he wrote to her--sometimes just a line or two,
and then at the end of the week the letter was forwarded.

In his later years Wesley did not think that either the "Charity
School" or Oxford, where he went on a scholarship, had benefited him
except by way of antithesis: but the correspondence with his mother
was the one sweet influence of his life that could not be omitted.
Their separation only increased the bond. We grow by giving; we make
things our own by reciting them; thought comes through action and
reaction; and happy is the man who has a sympathetic soul to whom he
can outpour his own. When Charles Kingsley was asked to name the
secret of his insight and power, he paused, and then answered, "I had
a friend!"

John Wesley had a friend; incidentally, that friend was his mother.
She died when he was thirty-nine years of age, after he had learned to
wing his way on steady pinions. And in the flight she was not left

We are familiar with the lives of many great men, but where among them
all can you name a genius whose mother's mind matched his, even in his

       *       *       *       *       *

The primitive Christian is a reactionary product of his time. Humanity
continuing in one direction acquires success, and finally through an
overweening pride in its own powers, relaxation enters, and self-
indulgence takes the place of effort. No religion is pure except in
its inception and in its state of persecution.

A religion grown great and rich and powerful becomes sloth and swag,
its piety being performed perfunk; and then ceases to be a religion at
all. It is merely an institution.

Religions multiply by the budding process. Every new denomination is
an offshoot from a parent stem. "A new religion" is a contradiction in
terms--there is only one religion in the world. A brand-new religion
would wither and die as soon as the sun came out.

New denominations begin with a protest against the lapses and
grossness of the established one, and the baby religion feeds and
lives on the other until it has grown strong enough to break off and
live a life of its own. Buds are being broken off all the time, but
only a few live; the rest die because they lack vitality. That is why
all things die--I trust no one will dispute the fact.

Christian Science, for instance, appropriated two great things from
the parent stock: the word "Christian," and the Oxford binding, which
made "Science and Health" look just like the Bible. One could carry it
on the street as he went to church without fear of accusation that he
was on the way to the circulating-library. It fulfilled the
psychological requirements.

John Wesley retained the word "Episcopal" for the new denomination,
and he also retained the gown and tippet. And it was near a hundred
years before the denomination had grown to a point where it could
afford to omit the gown--and possibly its omission was an error then.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of university education at this time let Miss Wedgwood speak:

  We can hardly wonder that the time spent at Oxford was, to a man
  like Gibbon, "the most idle and unprofitable period of his life," to
  use his own words. Even under the very different system which
  prevailed in the early portion of the present century, one of the
  most fertile thinkers of our day has been heard to speak of his
  university career as the only completely idle interval of his life.
  How often it may have proved not a mere episode, but the foundation
  of a life of idleness, no human being can tell. Nor was the evil
  merely negative. While the student lounged away his time in the
  coffeehouse and the tavern, whilst the dice-box supplied him with a
  serious pursuit, and the bottle a relaxation, he was called upon at
  every successive step to his degree to take a solemn oath of
  observance to the academical statutes which his behavior infringed
  in every particular. While the public professors received a thousand
  pounds a year for giving no lectures, the candidates for degrees
  were obliged to ask and pay for a dispensation for not having
  attended the lectures that never were given.

  The system in every public declaration solemnly recognized and
  accepted was in every private action utterly defied. Whatever the
  Oxford graduate omitted to learn, he would not fail to acquire a
  ready facility in subscribing, with solemn attestations, professions
  which he violated without hesitation or regret. The Thirty-nine
  Articles were signed on matriculation, without any attempt to
  understand them. "Our venerable mother," says the great historian
  from whom we have already quoted, "had contrived to unite the
  opposite extremes of bigotry and indifference"; and these blended
  influences, which led Gibbon first to Rome, and then to skepticism,
  proved no doubt to the average mind a mere narcotic to all spiritual
  life. Gibbon is not the only great writer who has recorded his
  testimony against Hanoverian Oxford. Adam Smith in that work which
  has been called, with pardonable exaggeration, "the most important
  book that ever was written," the "Wealth of Nations," has, in the
  following remarks on universities, evidently incorporated his
  anything but loving recollections of the seven years which he spent
  at Baliol College. "In the University of Oxford the greater part of
  the professors have for these many years given up even the pretense
  of teaching. The discipline is in general contrived not for the
  benefit of students, but for the interest, or, more properly
  speaking, for the ease of the masters. In England the public schools
  are less corrupted than the universities; the youth there are, or at
  least may be, taught Greek and Latin, which is everything the
  masters pretend to teach. In the university the youth neither are,
  nor can be, taught the sciences which it is the business of those
  incorporated bodies to teach." It is the last statement to which
  attention is here directed. It is not that the university drew up a
  bad program, nor even that this scheme was badly carried out. That
  might be the case also; but the radical vice of the system was not
  that it was essentially incomplete in theory or faulty in practise,
  but that it was false. Its worst result was not poor scholars, but
  insincere and venal men.

  I believe Europe can not produce parallels to Oxford and Cambridge
  in opulence, buildings, libraries, professorships, scholarships, and
  all the external dignity and mechanical apparatus of learning. If
  there is an inferiority, it is in the persons, not in the places or
  their constitution. And here I can not help confessing that a desire
  to please the great, and bring them to the universities, causes a
  compliance with fashionable manners, a relaxation of discipline, and
  a connivance at ignorance and folly, which errors he confesses
  occasioned the English universities to be in less repute than they
  were formerly. The fashion of sending young men thither was even in
  some degree abated among that class who at the present day would be
  the most reluctant to omit it--the nobility. The useless and
  frivolous exercises required for the attainment of academic honors,
  and the relaxation of discipline, had by this time created a
  widespread and deeply felt contempt for the whole system of which
  they formed a part; and the indulgent but candid observer, who tries
  to dilute his censure with the truism that he could not have been
  placed anywhere in this sublunary world without discovering many
  evils, informs us that in his seven years' residence at the
  university he saw immorality, habitual drunkenness, idleness,
  ignorance and vanity openly and boastfully obtruding themselves on
  public view, and triumphing without control over the timidity of
  modest merit.

It is under such conditions that the strong man of right intent
rebukes the sloth and hypocrisy of his time. Very seldom, if ever,
does he faintly guess the result of his protest. Jesus rebuked the
iniquities and follies of Jerusalem, pleading for simple honesty,
directness of speech and love of neighbors. In wrath the Pharisees
made the usual double charge against Him--heresy and treason--and He
was crucified.

Heresy and treason are invoked together; one is an offense against the
Church, the other against the State. "The man is a traitor to God and
a traitor to his country," that settles it--off with his head! The
offenses of Socrates, Jesus, Savonarola, Huss, Wyclif, Tyndale, Luther
and John Wesley were all identical. Reformers are always guilty--
guilty of telling unpleasant truths. The difference in treatment of
the man is merely the result of a difference in time and local
environment. Oxford was professedly a religious institution; it was a
part of the State. John Wesley, the undergraduate, perceived it was in
great degree a place of idleness and dissipation. John wrote to his
mother describing the conditions. She wrote back, pleading that he
keep his life free from the follies that surrounded him, and band
those who felt as he did into a company, and meet together for prayer
and meditation in order that they might mutually sustain one another.

Susanna Wesley was the true founder of Methodism, a fact stated by
John Wesley many a time.

As early as Seventeen Hundred Nine, she wrote to her son Samuel, who
was then at Oxford, and who was never converted from Oxford
influences: "My son, you must remember that life is our divine gift--
it is the talent given us by Our Father in Heaven. I request that you
throw the business of your life into a certain method, and thus save
the friction of making each day anew. Arise early, go to bed at a
certain hour, eat at stated times, pray, read and study by a method,
and so get the most out of the moments as they swiftly pass, never to
return. Allow yourself so much time for sleep, so much for private
devotion, so much for recreation. Above all, my son, act on principle,
and do not live like the rest of mankind, who float through the world
like straws upon a river."

In hundreds of her letters to John and Charles at Oxford, their mother
repeats this advice in varying phrase: "We are creatures of habit; we
must cultivate good habits, for they soon master us, and we must be
controlled by that which is good. Life is very precious--we must give
it back to God some day, so let us get the most from it. Let us
methodize the hours, so we may best improve them."

John Wesley was a leader by nature, and before he was twenty he had
gathered about him at Oxford a little group of young men, poor in
purse, but intent in purpose, who held themselves aloof from the
foibles and follies of the place, and planned their lives after that
of the Christ. In ridicule they were called Methodists. The name

In this Year of Grace, Nineteen Hundred Seven, there are more than
thirty million Methodists, and about seven million in America, The
denomination owns property to the value of more than three hundred
million dollars in the United States, and has more than one hundred
thousand paid preachers.

       *       *       *       *       *

After Wesley's graduation he was importuned by the authorities to
remain and act as tutor and teacher at Christchurch College. He was a
diligent student, and his example was needed to hold in check the
hilarious propensities of the sons of the nobility.

In due time John was ordained to preach, and often he would read
prayers at neighboring chapels. His brother Charles was his devoted
echo and shadow. Then there was an enthusiastic youth by the name of
George Whitefield, and a sober, serious young man, James Hervey, who
stood by the Oxford Methodists and endured without resentment the
sarcastic smiles of the many.

These young men organized committees to visit the sick; to search out
poor and despondent students and give them aid and encouragement; to
visit the jails and workhouses. The intent was to pattern their lives
after that of the Apostles. They were all very poor, but their wants
were few, and when John Wesley's income was thirty pounds a year he
gave two pounds for charity. When it was sixty pounds a year he gave
away thirty pounds; and here seems a good place to say that, although
he made more than a hundred thousand pounds during his life from his
books, he died penniless, just as he had wished and intended.

Thus matters stood in the year Seventeen Hundred Thirty-five, when
James Oglethorpe was attracted to that Oxford group of ascetic
enthusiasts. The life of Oglethorpe reads like a novel by James
Fenimore Cooper. He was of aristocratic birth, born of an Irish
mother, with a small bar sinister on his scutcheon that pushed him out
and set him apart. He was a graduate of Oxford, and it was on a visit
to his Alma Mater that he heard some sarcastic remarks flung off about
the Wesleys that seemed to commend them. People hotly denounced
usually have a deal of good in them. Oglethorpe was an officer in the
army, a philanthropist, a patron of art, and a soldier of fortune. He
had been a Member of Parliament, and at this particular time was
Colonial Governor of Georgia, home on a visit.

He had investigated Newgate and other prisons and had brought charges
against the keepers and succeeded in bringing their inhumanities
before the public. Hogarth has a picture of Oglethorpe visiting a
prison, with the poor wretches flocking around him telling their woes.
In a good many instances prisoners were given their liberty on the
promise of Oglethorpe that he would take them to his colony. The heart
of Oglethorpe was with the troubled and distressed; and while his
philanthropy was more on the order of that of Jack Cade than it was
Christian, yet he at once saw the excellence in the Wesleys, and
strong man that he was, wished to make their virtue his own. He
proposed that the Wesleys should go back with him to America and
evolve an ideal commonwealth.

Oglethorpe had with him several Indians that he had brought over from
America. They were proud, silent, and had the reserve of their kind.
Moreover, they were six feet high, and when presented at court wore no
clothes to speak of.

King George the Second, when these sons of the forest were presented
to him, appeared like a pigmy. Oglethorpe knew how to march his forces
on an angle. London society went mad trying to get a glimpse of his
savages. He declared that the North American Indians were the finest
specimens--intellectually, physically and morally--of any people the
world had ever seen. They needed but one thing to make them perfect--

The Wesleys, discouraged by the small impress they had made on Oxford,
listened to Oglethorpe's arguments and accepted his terms. Charles was
engaged as Secretary to the Governor, and John Wesley was to go as a

And so they sailed away to America. On board ship they methodized the
day--had prayers, sang hymns and studied, read, exhorted and wrote as
if it were their last day on earth. This method excited the mirth of
several scions of nobility who were on board, and Oglethorpe opened
out on the scoffers thus: "Here, you damned pirates, you do not know
these people. They forget more in an hour than you ever knew. You take
them for tithe-pig parsons, when they are gentlemen of learning, and,
like myself, graduates of Oxford. I am one of them, I would have you
know. I am a religious man and a Methodist, too, and I'll knock hell
out of anybody who, after this, smiles at either my friends or my

Long years after, Wesley told this story to illustrate the fact that a
man might give an intellectual assent to a religion and yet not have
much of it in his heart. Oglethorpe looked upon Methodism as a good
thing--cheaper than a police system--and sure to bring good results.
If John Wesley and George Whitefield could convert his colony and all
the Indians round about, his work of governing would be much reduced.
Oglethorpe was a very practical man.

       *       *       *       *       *

John Wesley did not convert the Indians, because he could not find
them, they being away on wars with the other tribes. Besides that, he
could not speak their language and was wholly unused to their ways.
The Indian does not unbosom himself to those who do not know him, and
the few Indians Wesley saw were stubbornly set in the idea that they
had quite as good a religion as his. And Wesley was persuaded that
probably they had.

In the city of Savannah, there were just five hundred eighteen people
when John Wesley was there. About half of these were degenerate sons
of aristocrats, ex-convicts, soldiers of fortune, and religious
enthusiasts--the rest were plain, every-day folk.

Pioneer people are too intent on maintaining life to go into the
abstrusities of either ethics or theology. Wesley soon saw that his
powers demanded a wider field. The experience, though, had done him
much good, especially in two ways. He had gotten a glimpse of chattel
slavery and made a remark about it that is forever fixed in
literature, "Human slavery is the sum of all villainies." Then he had
met on shipboard a party of Moravians, and was so impressed by them
that he straightway began to study German. In six weeks' time he could
carry on an acceptable conversation in that language. At the end of
the two years which he spent in Georgia, through attending the
services of the Moravians, he could read, write and preach in the
German language.

The Moravians seemed to him the only genuine Christians he had ever
seen, and their example of simple faith, industry, directness of
speech, and purity of life made such an impress upon him that
thereafter Methodism and Moravianism were closely akin.

At Savannah there were some people too poor to afford shoes, and when
these people appeared at church in bare feet they were smiled at by
the alleged nobility. Seeing this, on the following Sunday, John
Wesley appeared barefoot in the pulpit, and this was his habit as long
as he was in Georgia. This gave much offense to the aristocrats; and
Wesley also made himself obnoxious by preaching salvation to the
slaves. Indeed, this was the main cause of his misunderstanding with
the Governor. Oglethorpe considered any discussion or criticism of
slavery "an interference with property-rights."

And so Wesley sailed back to England, sobered by a sense of failure,
but encouraged by the example of the Moravians, who accepted whatever
Providence sent, and counted it gain.

The overseers of Oxford, like Oglethorpe, had no special personal
sympathy with the peculiar ideas of Wesley; but as a matter of policy
they recognized that his influence in the great educational center was
needed for moral ballast. And so his services were secured as Greek
Professor and occasional preacher.

Concerning the moral status of Oxford at this time, Miss Wedgwood
further says:

  The condition of Oxford at the time of the rise of Methodism has
  been too little noted among those who have studied the great
  Evangelical Revival. Contemplating this important movement in its
  latter stage, they have forgotten that it took its rise in the
  attempt made by an Oxford tutor to bring back to the national
  institution for education something of that method which was at this
  time so disgracefully neglected. To surround a young man with
  illustrations of one kind of error is the inevitable preparation for
  making him a vehement partisan of its opposite, and in education the
  influence on which we can reckon most certainly is that of reaction.
  The hard external code and needless restrictions of Methodism should
  be regarded with reference to what Wesley saw in the years he spent
  in that abode of talent undirected and folly unrestrained.

It was to the Oxford here described--the Oxford where Gibbon and Adam
Smith wasted the best years of their lives, and many of their
unremembered contemporaries followed in their steps with issues not
less disastrous to themselves, however unimportant to others--to the
Oxford where young men swore to observe laws which they never read,
and renewed a solemn promise when they had discovered the
impossibility of keeping it--that Wesley, about a score of years after
his entrance to the University, poured forth from the pulpit of Saint
Mary's such burning words as must have reached many a conscience in
the congregation.

"Let me ask you," he said in his university sermon for Seventeen
Hundred Forty-four, "in tender love and in the spirit of meekness, is
this a Christian city? Are we, considered as a community of men, so
filled with the Holy Ghost as to enjoy in our hearts, and show forth
in our lives, the genuine fruits of that Spirit? I entreat you to
observe that here are no peculiar notions now under consideration:
that the question is not concerning doubtful opinions, but concerning
the undoubted fundamental branches (if there be any such) of our
common Christianity. And for the decision thereof I appeal unto your
own consciences. In the presence of the great God, before whom both
you and I shall shortly appear, I pray you that are in authority over
us, whom I reverence for the sake of your office, to consider (and
that not after the manner of dissemblers with God), are you living
portraitures of Him whom ye are appointed to represent among men? Do
you put forth all your strength in the vast work you have undertaken?
Let it not be said that I speak here as if all under your care were
intended to be clergymen. Not so: I speak only as if they were
intended to be Christians. But what example is set us by those who
enjoy the beneficence of our forefathers, by Fellows, Students,
Scholars, and more especially those who are of some rank and eminence?
Do ye, who are of some rank and eminence--do ye, brethren, abound in
the fruits of the Spirit, in holiness of mind, in self-denial and
mortification, in seriousness and composure of spirit, in patience,
meekness, sobriety, temperance; and in unwearied, restless endeavors
to do good to all men? Is this the general character of Fellows of
Colleges? I fear it is not. Rather, have not pride and haughtiness,
impatience and peevishness, sloth and indolence, gluttony and
sensuality been objected to us, perhaps not always by our enemies, nor
wholly without ground? Many of us are more immediately consecrated to
God, called to minister in holy things. Are we then patterns to the
rest in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity? Did we indeed enter
on this office with a single eye to serve God, trusting that we were
inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon us this ministration,
for the promoting of His glory, and the edifying of His people? Where
are the seals of our apostleship? Who that were dead in trespasses and
sins have been quickened by our word? Have we a burning zeal to save
souls from death? Are we dead to the world and the things of the
world? When we are smitten on one cheek, do we not resent it, or do we
turn the other also, not resisting evil, but overcoming evil with
good? Have we a bitter zeal, inciting us to strive sharply and
passionately with those that are out of the way? Or is our zeal the
flame of love, so as to direct all our words with sweetness, lowliness
and meekness of wisdom?

"Once more: what shall we say of the youth of this place? Have you
either the form or the power of Christian godliness? Are you diligent
in your business, pursuing your studies with all your strength? Do you
redeem the time, crowding as much work into every day as it can
contain? Rather, are ye not conscious that you waste day after day
either in reading that which has no tendency to Christianity, or in
gaming, or in--you know not what? Are you better managers of your
fortune than of your time? Do you take care to owe no man anything? Do
you know how to possess your bodies in sanctification and honor? Are
no drunkenness and uncleanness found among you? Yea, are there not
many of you who glory in your shame? Are there not a multitude of you
that are forsworn? I fear, a swiftly increasing multitude. Be not
surprised, brethren--before God and this congregation I own myself to
have been of the number solemnly swearing to observe all those customs
which I then knew nothing of, and all those statutes which I did not
so much as read over, either then, or for a long time afterwards. What
is perjury, if this is not? But if it be, oh, what a weight of sin--
yea, sin of no common dye--lieth upon us! And doth not the Most High
regard it?

"May it not be a consequence of this that so many of you are a
generation of triflers with God, with one another, and your own souls?
Who of you is, in any degree, acquainted with the work of the Spirit,
His supernatural work in the souls of men? Can you bear, unless now
and then in a church, any talk of the Holy Ghost? Would you not take
it for granted, if any one began such a conversation, that it was
hypocrisy or enthusiasm? In the name of the Lord God Almighty I ask,
What religion are ye of?"

We may hope that, even in that cold and worldly age, there was more
than one in Saint Mary's church whose conscience was awakened so to
re-echo that question that he joined with his whole soul in the prayer
with which the sermon concluded: "Lord, save or we perish! Take us out
of the mire that we sink not. Unto Thee all things are possible.
According to the greatness of Thy power, preserve Thou them that are
appointed to die!"

       *       *       *       *       *

The fervor of Wesley's zeal gave offense to the prim and precise
parsons who recited their prayers with the aid of a T-square.

To them religion was a matter of form, but to Wesley it was an
experience of the heart. From the Moravians he had acquired the habit
of interjecting prayers into his sermons--from speaking to the people,
he would suddenly change, raise his eyes aloft, and speak directly to
Deity. This to many devout Churchmen was blasphemous. Of course the
trouble was that it was simply new--we always resent an innovation.
"Did you ever see anything like that?" And the fact that we have not
is proof that it is absurd, preposterous, bad.

Wesley went one day to hold evening prayers at a village church near
Oxford. His fame had preceded him: the worthy warden securely locked
the doors and deposited the key in the capacious depths of his
breeches-pocket and went a-fishing. Several old women were waiting to
attend the service, and rather than send them away, Wesley, standing
on the church-steps, read prayers and spoke. It was rather an unusual
scene, and the unusual attracts. Loafers from the tavern across the
way came over, children gathered in little groups, people who had
never entered a place of worship stopped and listened. Some laughed,
others looked serious, and most of them remained to the close of the

Thus does everything work together for good for everybody. The warden
and his astute vestrymen thought to block the work of Wesley, and
Wesley did the only thing he could: spoke outside of the church, and
thus did he speak to the hearts of people who had never been inside
the church and who would not go inside the building. Street preaching
was not the invention of John Wesley, but up to his time no clergyman
in the Church of England had attempted so undignified a thing.

Wesley was doing what his mother had done the very year he was born.
She had preached to the people of the village of Epworth in the
churchyard, because, forsooth, the chancel was a sacred place and
would suffer if any one but a man, duly anointed, spoke there. The
woman had a message and did the only thing she could: spoke outside,
and spoke to two hundred fifty people, while the regular attendance to
hear her husband was twenty-five.

And so John Wesley had made a discovery, and that was that to reach
the submerged three-quarters, you must make your appeal to them on the
street, in the marketplaces--from church-steps. His experience on
shipboard and in America had done him good. They had taught him that
form and ritual, set time and place, were things not necessary-that
whenever two or three were gathered together in His name, He was in
their midst.

And it was in preaching to the outcasts that Wesley found himself, and
was "converted." He says, "My work in America failed because I had not
then given my heart to my Savior."

Now he got the "power," and whether this word means to his followers
what it meant to him is a question we need not analyze. Power comes by
abandonment: the orator who flings convention to the winds and gives
himself to the theme finds power.

The opposition and the ridicule were all very necessary factors in
allowing Wesley to find his true self.

He wrote to his mother telling what he was doing, and she wrote back
giving him her blessing, writing words of encouragement. "Son John
must speak the words of love on any and every occasion when the spirit
moves," she said.

John Wesley was attracting too much attention to himself at Oxford:
there came words of warning from those in authority. To these
admonitions he replied that he was a duly ordained clergyman of the
Church of England, and there was nothing in the canons that forbade
his holding services when and where he desired. And then he adds: "To
show simple men and women the way of life, and tell them of Him who
died that we might live, surely can not be regarded as an offense. I
must continue in my course." That settled it--Oxford the cultured was
not for him. He was a preacher without a pulpit--a teacher without a

He saddled his horse and with all his earthly possessions in his
saddlebags traveled toward London--following that storied road which
almost every great and powerful man of England had traversed. He was
penniless, but he owned his horse. He was a horse-lover: he delighted
in the companionship of a horse, and where the way was rough he would
walk and lead the patient animal. It comes to us with a slight shock
that the Reverend John Wesley anticipated Colonel Budd Doble by
saying, "God's best gift to man--a horse!"

So John Wesley rode, not knowing where he was going or why--only that
Oxford no longer needed him. When he started he was depressed, but
after passing the confines of the town, and once out upon the highway
with the green fields on either side, he lifted up his voice and sang
one of his brother's hymns. Exile from Oxford meant liberty.

Arriving at a village he would stand on the church-steps, on a street-
corner, often from a tavern-veranda, and speak. In his saddlebags he
carried his black robe and white tippet. He could put these on over
his travel-stained clothes and look presentable. His hair was worn
long and parted in the middle; his face was cleanly shaved, and
revealed comely features of remarkable strength.

The man was a commanding figure. People felt the honesty of his
presence. The crowd might cat-call, and jeer, but those who stood near
offered no violence. Indeed, more than once the roughs protected him.
He preached of righteousness and judgment to come. He pleaded for a
better life--here and now. And so he traveled, preaching three or four
times a day, and riding from twenty to fifty miles. At London he
preached on the "heaths," and thousands upon thousands who never
entered a church heard him. That phrase, "They came to scoff and
remained to pray," is his.

Wesley's oratory was not what is known to us as "the Methodist style."
He was quiet, moderate, conversational, but so earnest that his words
carried conviction. The man was honest--he wanted nothing--he gave

Such a man today, preaching in the same way, would command marked
attention and achieve success. The impassioned preaching of Whitefield
was what gave the "Methodist color." Charles Wesley was much like
Whitefield, and was regarded as a greater preacher than his brother
because he indulged in more gymnastics--but John was far the greater
man. And so the Great Awakening began; other preachers followed the
example of the Wesleys, and were preaching in the fields and by the
roadside and were organizing "Methodist Societies." But John Wesley
was their leader and exemplar.

Neither of the Wesleys nor did Whitefield have any idea at this time
of organizing a separate denomination or of running opposition to the
Established Church.

They belonged to the Church, and these "Societies" were merely for
keeping alive the spiritual flame which had been kindled.

The distinguishing feature of John Wesley's work seemed to be the
"class" which he organized wherever possible. This was a
schoolteacher's idea. There was a leader appointed, and this class of
not more than ten persons was to meet at least once a week for prayer
and praise and to study the Scriptures. Each person present was to
take part--to stand on his feet and say something.

In this Wesley was certainly practical: "All must take part, for by so
doing the individual grows to feel he is a necessary part of the
whole. Even the humblest must read or pray or sing, or give testimony
to the goodness of God."

And so we get the circuit-rider and see the evolution of the
itinerancy. And then comes the "local preacher," who was simply a
"class leader" who had gotten "the power."

Wesley saw with a clear and steady vision that the paid preacher, the
priest with the "living" was an anomaly. To make a business of
religion was to miss its essence, just as to make a business of love
evolves a degenerate. Our religion should be a part of our daily
lives. The circuit-rider was an apostle: he had no home, drew no
salary, owned no property; but gave his life without stint to the
cause of humanity. It was Wesley's habit to enter a house--any house--
and say, "Peace be unto this house." He would hold then and there a
short religious service. People were always honored by his presence:
even the great and purse-proud, as well as the lowly, welcomed him.
All he wanted was accommodations for himself and his horse, and these
were freely given. He looked after the care of his horse himself, and
always the last thing at night he would see that his horse was
properly fed and bedded.

One horse he rode for ten years; and when it grew old and lame, his
grief at having to leave it behind found vent in a flood of tears as
he stood with his arms about its neck. Was ever mortal horse so
honored? To have carried an honest man a hundred thousand miles, and
been an important factor in the Great Awakening! Is there a Horse
Heaven? In the State of Washington they say, "Yes." Perhaps they are
right. Often before break of day, before the family was astir, Wesley
would be on his way.

       *       *       *       *       *

As an argument against absolute innocency in matters of love, the
unfortunate marriage of Wesley, at the discreet age of forty-eight,
has been expressed at length by Bernard Shaw. If Wesley had roamed the
world seeking for a vixen for a wife, he could not have chosen better.
Mrs. Vazeille was a widow of about Wesley's age--rich, comely, well
upholstered. In London he had accepted her offers of hospitality, and
for ten years had occasionally stopped at her house, so haste can not
be offered as an excuse. The fatal rock was propinquity, and this was
evidently not on the good man's chart; neither did he realize the ease
and joy with which certain bereaved ladies can operate their lacrimal
glands. On the way down "The Foundry" steps at night, Wesley slipped
and sprained his ankle. He hobbled to the near-by residence of Mrs.
Vazeille. On sight of him, the lady burst into tears, and then for the
next week proceeded to nurse him.

He was due on the circuit and anxious to get away; he could not ride
on horseback, and therefore if he went at all, he must go in a
carriage. Mrs. Vazeille had a carriage, but she could not go with him,
of course, unless they were married.

So they were married, and were miserable ever afterward.

Mrs. Wesley was glib, shallow, fussy, and never knew that her husband
belonged to the world, and to her only incidentally. She took sole
charge of him and his affairs; ordered people away who wanted to see
him if she did not like their looks; opened his mail; rifled his
pockets; insisted that he should not go to the homes of poor people;
timed his hours of work; and religiously read his private journal and
demanded that it should be explained. This woman should have married a
man who kept no journal, and one for whom no one cared. As it was, no
doubt she suffered up to her capacity, which perhaps was not great,
for God puts a quick limit on the sensibilities of the stupid.

She even pulled him about by the hair before they had been married a
year; and made faces at him as he preached, saying sotto voce, "I've
heard that so often that I'm sick of it." In company, she would
sometimes explain to the assembled guests what a great and splendid
man her first husband was.

But worst of all, she took Wesley's faithful saddle-horse "Timothy,"
and hitched him alongside of a horse of her own to a chaise, with a
postboy in a red suit on his back, tooting a horn.

Poor Wesley groaned, and inwardly said, "It is a trial sent by God--I
must bear it all."

Finally the woman renounced him and left for Scotland. He then stole
his own horse from her stable, and rode away as in the good old days.
But alas! in a month she was on his trail. She caught up with him at
Birmingham and fell on his neck, after the service, explaining that
she was Mrs. John Wesley. The poor man could neither deny it nor run
away, without making a scene, and so she accompanied him to his

Her protests of reformation vanished in a week, and the marks of her
nails were again on his fine face. This program was kept up for
thirty-one years, with all the variations possible to a jealous woman,
who had an income sufficient to allow her to indulge her vagaries and
still move in good society. On October Fourteenth, Seventeen Hundred
Eighty-one, Wesley wrote in his Journal, "I am told my wife died
Monday and was buried on this evening."

Wesley once wrote to Asbury, "She has cut short my life full twenty
years." If this were true, one can see how Wesley would otherwise have
made the century run. However, Wesley was right: it was not all bad;
the Law of Compensation never sleeps, and as a result of his
unfortunate marriage, Wesley knew things which men happily married
never know.

John Wesley did not blame anybody for anything. Once when he saw a
drunken man reeling through the street, he turned to a friend and
said, "But for the grace of God, there goes John Wesley!" All his
biographies agree that after his fiftieth year his power as a preacher
increased constantly until he was seventy-five. He grew more gentle,
more tender, and there was about him an aura of love and veneration,
so that even his enemies removed their hats and stood silent in his
presence. And we might here paraphrase his own words and truly say of
him, as he said of Josiah Wedgwood, "He loved flowers and horses and
children--and his soul was near to God!"

The actual reason for breaking away or "coming out" is a personal
antipathy for the leader. Like children playing a game, theologians
reach a point where they say, "I'll not play in your back yard." And
not liking a man, we dislike his music, his art, his creed. So they
divide on free grace, foreordination, baptism, regeneration, freedom
of the will, endless punishment, endless consequences, conversion,
transubstantiation, sanctification, infant baptism, or any one of a
dozen reasons which do not represent truth, but are all merely a point
of view, and can honestly be believed before breakfast and rejected

However, the protest of Wesley had a basic reason, for at his time the
State Religion was a galvanized and gilded thing, possessing
everything but the breath of life.

       *       *       *       *       *

And so John Wesley went riding the circuit from Land's End to John
O'Groat's, from Cork to Londonderry, eight thousand miles, and eight
hundred sermons every year. In London he spoke to the limit of his
voice--ten thousand people. Yet when chance sent him but fifty
auditors he spoke with just as much feeling. His sermons were full of
wit, often homely but never coarse. He knew how to interest tired men;
how to keep the children awake. He interspersed anecdote with
injunction, and precept with homely happenings. He yearned to better
this life, and to evolve souls that were worth saving.

Wesley grew with the years, and fully realized that preaching is for
the preacher. "Always in my saddlebags beside my Bible and hymnal I
carried one good book." He knew history, science as far as it had been
carried, and all philosophy was to him familiar. The itineracy he
believed was a necessity for the preacher as well as for the people. A
preacher should not remain so long in a place as to become cheap or
commonplace. New faces keep one alive and alert. And the circuit-rider
can give the same address over and over and perfect it by repetition
until it is most effective.

The circuit-rider, the local preacher or class-leader, the classes,
the "love-feast," or general meeting--these were quite enough in the
way of religious machinery.

Finally, however, Wesley became convinced that in large cities an
indoor meeting-place was necessary in order to keep the people banded
together. Often the weather was bad, and then it was too much to
expect women and children to stand in the rain and cold to hear the

So London supplied an abandoned warehouse called "The Foundry," and
here the Wesleys met in a vast body for a service of song and praise.
Methodism is largely a matter of temperament--it fits the needs of a
certain type. The growing mind is not content to have everything done
for it. The Catholics and Episcopalians were doing too much for their
people, and not letting the people do enough for themselves. The
Methodist class-meeting allowed the lowliest member to lift up his
voice and make his own appeal to the Throne of Grace. Prayer is for
the person who prays, and only very dull people doubt its efficacy.
The God in your own heart always harkens to your prayer, and if it is
reasonable and right, always answers it.

"Methodism raised the standard of intellect in England to a degree no
man can compute," says Lecky the freethinking historian. Drunkenness,
gambling, dog-fighting, bear-baiting in whole communities were
replaced by the singing of hymns, prayers and "testimonies," in which
every one had a part. Wesley loved flowers and often carried garden-
seeds to give away, and then on his next trip would remember to ask
about results. He encouraged his people to be tidy in their dress and
housekeeping, and gentle in their manners.

Thousands learned to read that they might read the Bible; thousands
sang who had never tried to sing before; and although the singing may
have been of a very crude quality and the public speaking below par,
yet it was human expression and therefore education, evolution,
growth. That Wesley thought Methodism a finality need not be allowed
to score against him. His faith and zeal had to be more or less blind,
otherwise he would not have been John Wesley; philosophers with the
brain of Newton, Spencer, Hegel, Schopenhauer, could never have done
the work of Wesley. Had Wesley known more, he would have done less. He
was a God-intoxicated man--his heart was aflame with divine love.

He carried the standard far to the front, and planted the flowing
pennant on rocky ramparts where all the world could see. To carry the
flag further was the work of others yet to come.

It was only in the year Seventeen Hundred Eighty-four, when Wesley was
eighty-one years old, that he formally broke loose from the mother-
church and Methodism was given a charter from the State. At this time
John Wesley announced himself as a "Scriptural Episcopus," or a bishop
by divine right, greatly to the consternation of his brother Charles.
But the morning stars still sang together, even after he had ordained
his comrade, Asbury, "Bishop of America" and conferred the title of
bishop on a dozen others. It was always, however, carefully explained
that they were merely Methodist-Episcopal bishops and not Episcopal
bishops. A year before his death Wesley issued an order that no
Methodist services should be held at the hours of the regular church
service, and that no Methodist bishop should wear a peculiar robe,
have either a fixed salary, residence or estate, nor should he on any
account allow any one to address him as "My Lord."

It was a very happy life he led--so full of work that there was no
time for complaint. The constant horseback riding kept his system in
perfect health. At eighty-five he said: "I never have had more than a
half-hour's depression in my life. My controlling mood has been one of
happiness, thankfulness and joy." Wesley endeavored not to make direct
war upon the Established Church--he hoped it would reform itself. He
did not know that men with fixed and fat incomes seldom die and never
resign; and his innocence in thinking he could continue on his course
of organizing "Methodist Societies," and still keep his place within
the Church, reveals his lack of logic. Moreover, he never had enough
imagination to see that the Methodist Church would itself become great
and strong and powerful and rich, and be an institution very much like
the one from which in his eighty-first year he at last broke away.
Charles Wesley and Whitefield died members of the Church of England,
and were buried in consecrated ground; but John Wesley passed
peacefully out in his eighty-eighth year, requesting that his body be
buried in City Road Chapel, in the plot of ground that he by his life,
love and work had consecrated. And it was so done.


  The more you study this question, the more you will see that the
  true law of social life is the law of love, and law of liberty, the
  law of each for all and all for each; that the golden rule of morals
  is also the golden rule of the science of wealth; that the highest
  expressions of religious truth include the widest generalizations of
  political economy.
  --_Henry George_

[Illustration: HENRY GEORGE]

Henry George died in Eighteen Hundred Ninety-seven. Nearly twenty
years have passed since men heard his voice, looked on his strong,
lithe, active form, saw the gleam of his honest eyes, and felt the
presence of a man--a man who wanted nothing and gave everything--a man
who gave himself. Twenty years!

And in those years the world has experienced, and is now passing
through, a peaceful revolution such as men have never before seen.
Those years have given us a new science of religion; a new education;
a new penology; a new healing art; a new method in commerce.

The wisdom of honesty as a business asset is nowhere questioned, and
the clergy has ceased to call upon men to prepare for death. We are
preparing to live, and the way we are preparing to live is by living.

The remedy Henry George prescribed for economic ills was as simple as
it was new, and new things and simple things are ever looked on as
objectionable. The universality of conservatism proves that it must
have its use and purpose in the eternal order. It keeps us from going
too fast; it prevents us from bringing about changes for which mankind
is not prepared. Nature's methods are evolutionary, not revolutionary.

Slaves can not be made free by edict. Moses led his people out of only
one kind of captivity, and in the wilderness they wandered in bondage
still. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation did not free the colored
race, because it is the law of God that he who would be free must free
himself. A servile people are slaves by habit, and habit is the only
fetter. Freedom, like happiness, is a condition of mind. A whining,
complaining, pinching, pilfering class that listens for the whistle,
watches the clock, that works only when under the menacing eye of the
boss, and stands in eternal fear of the blue envelope here, and
perdition hereafter, can never be made free by legislative enactment.
Freedom can not be granted, any more than education can be imparted:
both must be achieved, or we yammer forever without the pale. A
simple, strong and honest people is free. People enslaved by
superstition and ruled by the dead have work at filing fetters ahead
of them, which only they themselves can do. Henry George did not
realize this, and his strength lay in the fact that he did not. He did
not know when men get the crook out of their backs, the hinges out of
their knees, and the cringe out of their souls, that then they are
free. Slaves place in the hands of tyrants all the power that tyrants
possess. Fortunate it was for Henry George, and for the world, that he
did not know that any man who labors to help the workingman will be
mobbed by the proletariat for his pains a little later on. Monarchies
maybe ungrateful, but their attitude is a sweet perfume compared to
the ingratitude of the laborer. He can be helped only by stealth, and
his freedom must come from within. The moral weakness of man is the
one thing that makes tyranny possible.

Tyranny is a condition in the heart of serfs. Tyrants tyrannize only
over people of a certain cast of mind. Tyrants are men who have stolen
power--convicts who have wrested guns from their guards. Watch them,
and in a little while they will again shift places. Henry George was a
very great man: great in his economic, prophetic insight; great in his
faith, his hope, his love. He gave his message to the world, and
passed on, scourged, depressed, undone, because the world did not
accept the truths he voiced. Yet all for which he strived and
struggled will yet come true--his prayer will be answered. And the
political parties and the men who in his life opposed him are now
adopting his opinions, quoting his reasons, and in time will bring
about the changes he advocated. Of all modern prophets and reformers,
Henry George is the only one whose arguments are absolutely
unanswerable and whose forecast was sure.

       *      *       *       *       *

Henry George was that rare, peculiar and strange thing--an honest man.
Whether he had genius or not we can not say, since genius has never
been defined twice alike, nor put in the alembic and resolved into its
constituent parts. All accounts go to show that from very childhood
Henry George was singularly direct and true. His ancestry was Welsh,
Scotch and English in about equal proportions, and the traits of the
middle class were his, even to a theological sturdiness that robbed
his mind of most of its humor. Reformers must needs be color-blind,
otherwise they would never get their work done--they see red or purple
and nothing else. Born in Philadelphia in Eighteen Hundred Thirty-
nine, on Tenth Street, below Pine, in a house still standing, and
which should be marked with a bronze plate, but is not, Henry George
took on a good many of the moral traits of his Quaker neighbors. His
father was a clerk in the Custom-House, having graduated from a
position as sea-captain on account of an excess of caution and a taste
for penmanship. Later the good man went into the publishing business,
backed by the Episcopal Church, and issued Sunday-School leaflets,
sermons and prayer-books. In fact, he became the official printer of
the denomination. With him was a man named Appleton, who finally went
over to New York and started in on his own account, founding the firm
of D. Appleton and Company, which forty years thereafter was to
publish to the world a book called, "Progress and Poverty."

The worthy father of Henry George was a good Churchman, but not a
businessman. He bought the things he ought not, and left unsold the
things he should have worked off. He didn't know the value of time.
Other people did things while he was getting ready to commence to

And so the whirligig of time sent him back to his desk at the Custom-
House, on a salary so modest that it meant poverty, and progress crab-

The children old enough to work got jobs, and Henry of the red hair
and freckles found a place as printer's devil at two dollars a week.
College was out of the question, and Girard Institute was regarded as
infidelic. However, episcopacy did not have quite so strong a hold
on this household as it once had. The Georges believed in freedom and
took William Lloyd Garrison's paper, "The Liberator," and the mother
read it aloud by the light of a penny dip. Next came "Uncle Tom's
Cabin," and when, in Eighteen Hundred Fifty-six, the Republican Party
was born, the George family, father, mother and children, all had
pronounced views on the subject of human rights--very different views
from those held by the royal Georges of England. When Henry George was
sixteen, the restlessness of coming manhood found expression, and he
shipped before the mast and sailed away to the Antipodes. The boy had
the small, compact form, the physical activity and the daring which
make a first-class sailor, but happily his brain was too full of ideas
to transform him into a dog of the sea.

A trip to Australia, with salt pork all the time, sea-biscuit every
day, lobscouse on Sundays, plum-duff once a month, and a total absence
of mental stimulus, cured him of the idea that freedom was to be found
on the bounding wave and the rolling deep.

At seventeen he was back at the case, setting type and getting a man's
pay because he was able to "rastle the dic.," which means that he was
on familiar terms with the dictionary and could correct proof.

Education is a matter of desire, and the printer's case with bad copy
to revise is better than "English Twenty-two" at Harvard. Henry George
moused nights at the Quaker Apprentices' Library, and he also read
Franklin's "Autobiography"; his mind was full of Poor Richard maxims,
which he sprinkled through his diary; but best of all, with seven
other printers he formed another "Junta," and they met twice a week to
discuss "poetry, economics and Mormonism." It was very sophomoric, of
course, but boys of eighteen who study anything and defend it in
essays and orations are right out on the highway which leads to
superiority. The trouble with the 'prentice is that he does not know
how to spend his evenings; the love of leisure and the wish for a good
time cause the moments to slip past him, out of his reach forever, out
into the great ocean of time.

Life is a sequence--the logical, farseeing mind is a cumulative
consequence. Men who are wise at forty were not idle at twenty. "Read
anything half an hour a day, and in ten years you will be learned,"
says Emerson.

Henry George worked and read, and the "Junta" gave him the first taste
of that intoxicating thing, thinking on one's feet. We grow by
expression, and never really know a thing until we tell it to somebody
else. Henry George was getting an education, getting it in the only
way any one ever can, or has, or does--getting it by doing.

But the wanderlust was again at work; California was calling--the land
of miracle--and printer's ink began to pall. Henry George was a
sailor; every part of a sailing ship was to him familiar--from bilge-
water to pennant, from bowsprit to sternpost. He could swab the
mainmast, reef the topsail in a squall, preside in the cook's-galley,
or if the mate were drunk and the captain ashore he could take charge
of the ship, put for open sea and ride out the storm by scudding
before the wind.

Ships in need of sailors were lying in the offing. When young Henry
George took a walk it was always along the docks. He knew every ship
there in the Delaware, and visited with the sailormen, who told of the
happenings in far-off climes. News from California much interested
him; California was another America, hopelessly separated from us by
an impassable range of forbidding mountains, reinforced with desert
plains, peopled only by hostile savages. But the sea was an open
highway to this land of enchantment. California called! And finally
Henry George overcame temptation by succumbing to it, and sailed away
southward in the staunch little ship "Shubrick," bound for the modern
Eldorado by way of Cape Horn. It was a six months' passage, with many
stops and much trading, and time that seem lifted out of the calendar
and thrown away. Henry George arrived in California penniless. But he
had health and a willingness to work. He became a farmhand, a tramp
pedler, a laborer shoveling gravel into a sluice-way and standing all
day knee-deep in water. It was all good, for it taught the youth that
life was life; and wherever you go you carry your mental and spiritual
assets, as well as your cares, on the crupper. Then there came a job
in the composing-room of a newspaper, and the life-work of Henry
George was really begun, for his employers had discovered that he
could "rastle the dic.," and if copy were scarce he could create it.

       *       *       *       *       *

The gold-fever got into the blood of Henry George, and his savings
became a shining mark for the mining-shark. A thousand men lose money
at mining where one strikes pay-gravel. Henry George was one of the

He got good wages and boarded at the best hotel in San Francisco, the
"What Cheer House." This storied hostelry was owned by a man named
Woodward, who had a few ideas of his own. Woodward not only hated Rum,
Romanism and Rebellion, but also women. Woodward was a confirmed
bachelor, having been confirmed by a lady bachelor in some dark,
mysterious way, years before. So no woman was allowed either to stop
at the hotel or to work in it. The labor was done by Chinese, and
Henry George wrote home to his sisters, describing the place as an
immaculate conception.

Next to the fact that no women were allowed in the "What Cheer House,"
was the further more astounding proposition that the place was run on
absolutely temperance principles, thus, for the time at least,
silencing that hoary adage of the genus wiseacre that no hotel can
succeed without a bar. Woodward became rich, and from the proceeds of
his temperance hotel founded Woodward Gardens--a park beloved by all
who know their San Francisco.

The third peculiar thing about this hotel was that it had a library of
a thousand volumes.

It was the only public library in San Francisco at that time, and it
was the books that led Henry George to spend twice as much for board
as he otherwise would have done.

While Henry George was at the "What Cheer House," an English traveler
added a volume to the little library, Buckle's "History of
Civilization." Woodward tried to read the book, but failing to become
interested in it, between serving the soup and the fish, handed it to
a waiter saying, "Here, give it to that red-headed printer; he can get
something out of it if anybody can." Henry George took the book to his
room, and that night sat reading it until two o'clock in the morning.
That statement of Buckle's, "Adam Smith's 'Wealth of Nations' has
influenced civilization more profoundly than any other book ever
written, save none," caught the young printer's attention.

The next day he looked in the library for the "Wealth of Nations," and
sure enough, it was there! He began to read. He read and reread. And
whether Buckle's statement is correct or not, this holds: Adam Smith's
"Wealth of Nations" influenced Henry George more profoundly than any
other book he had ever read.

Henry George was not yet immune from the gold-fever microbe, and
several times was lured away into the mountains, "grubstaking" a man
with hope plus and secrets as to gold-bearing quartz that would
paralyze the world.

When twenty-one we find our young man one of six printers who bought
out the "Evening Journal." Henry George was foreman of the composing-
room, but took a hand anywhere and everywhere. A curious comment on
the business acumen of the "Journal" men lies in their agreement that
all should have an equal voice in the policy of the paper. Hence we
infer that all were equally ignorant of the stern fact that in
business nothing succeeds but one-man power. So the "Journal" went
drifting on the rocks in financial foggy weather and the hungry waves
devoured her.

When Fate desires a great success she sends her chosen one failure.
Henry George at twenty-two was ragged, in debt--and also in love. The
"What Cheer House" was all right for a man getting good wages, but
when you go into business for yourself it is different, and George
found board with a private family.

The lady in the case was Miss Fox, ward and niece of the landlord with
whom the impecunious printer boarded.

Annie Fox and our printer read Dana's "Household Book of Poetry," with
heads close together.

The inevitable happened--they decided to pool their poverty in the
interests of progress. To ask the landlord for his blessing seemed out
of the question, in view of the fact that the printer was two weeks
behind in his board. The girl had the proverbial clothes on her back.

Matthew McClosky, the uncle, was a good deal of a man. He showed his
shrewdness and appreciation of the present order by buying a large
tract of land near the city, and grew rich on the unearned increment.
Had his niece and the printer confided in him they might have shared
in his prosperity, in which case "Progress and Poverty" would never
have been written.

It was the memorable year of Eighteen Hundred Sixty-one. The heart of
Henry George was with the Union--he had decided to enlist. He told the
girl so behind the kitchen-door. Her answer was a flood of tears, and
a call to arms. The result was that the next night the couple stole
out, and made their way to a Methodist parsonage, where they were

Henry George was nominally a member of the Methodist Church, but the
creed of Thomas Paine was more to his liking--"The world is my
country; mankind are my friends; to do good is my religion." The young
lady was a Catholic, and so the preacher compromised by reading the
Episcopal service. The only witnesses were the minister's wife and
Henry George's chum, Isaac Trump. "I didn't catch your friend's name,"
said the minister in filling out the marriage-certificate.

"I. Trump," was the reply.

"I observe you do," was the answer; "but oblige me with the
gentleman's name."

There are three great epochs in life--birth, death, marriage. The
first two named you can not avoid. Since life is a sequence, no one
can say what would have happened had not this or that occurred. Mrs.
George proved an honest, earnest, helpful wife. Her conservatism
curbed the restless spirit of her husband and gave his mind time to
ripen, for until his marriage the ideals of the French Revolution were
strong in his heart. He saw the evils of life and was intent on
changing them. The Catholic faith is an elastic one, both esoteric and
exoteric, and those who are able can take the poetic view of dogma
instead of the literal, if they prefer. Henry George and his wife took
the spiritual or symbolic view, and moved steadily forward in the
middle of the road. He was too gentle and considerate to quote
Voltaire and Rousseau at inopportune times, and she sustained and
encouraged his mental independence. All of which is here voiced with
one foot on the soft pedal, and with no thought of putting forth an
argument to the effect that young gentlemen with liberal views should
marry ladies who belong to the Catholic persuasion.

The day after his marriage the bridegroom found work in a printery at
twelve dollars a week, and thus was the pivotal point safely rounded.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here was a man absolutely honest, with no bad habits, industrious and
economical, but lacking in that peculiar something which spells
success. The type is not rare. One trouble was that our Henry George
stuck to no one place long enough to make himself a necessity. Men of
half his ability made twice as much money.

The days went by, and Henry George wrote to Trump, "I am advance-agent
for the stork." Now storks bring love and hope--and care, and anxious
days and sleepless nights. Henry George's domestic affairs had
steadied his bark, and while his relatives in Philadelphia thought he
carried an excess of Romish ballast, it was all for the best. He read,
studied, thought, and wanting little his mind did not list either to
port or to starboard.

Henry George had graduated from the case into the editorial room. He
worked on all the newspapers, by turn, in San Francisco and
Sacramento, and had come to be regarded as one of the strongest
editorial writers on the Coast. The business office was beyond his
province, and as a newspaper was a business venture, and is run
neither to educate the public nor for the proprietor's health, the
manager did not look upon Henry George as exactly "safe." And hence
the reason is plain why George was regarded as a sectional bookcase
and not as a fixture.

At thirty he had evolved to a point where the New York "Tribune" asked
him to write a signed editorial for them on the Chinese question. Then
he wrote for the "Overland Monthly"; and when a great literary light
came to San Francisco to appear on the lyceum stage, Henry George was
asked to introduce him to the audience, especially if the man was
believed to have heresy secreted on his person, in which case of
course the local clergy took no risks of contamination, not being

On the occasion of the death of a certain tramp printer, whose name is
now lost to us in the hell-box of time, no clergyman being found to
perform the service, Henry George officiated, and preached a sermon
which rang through the city like a trumpet-call, extolling not what
the man was, but what he might have been.

This custom of the laity taking charge of funerals still exists in the
West, to a degree not known, say, in New England, where in certain
localities people are not considered legally dead unless both an
orthodox doctor and an orthodox preacher officiate.

The very poor, and the outcasts of society, in San Francisco began to
look upon Henry George as the Bishop of Outsiders. Often he was called
upon to go and visit the stricken, the sick and the dying. And there
was a kind of poetic fitness in all this, for the man possessed that
superior type of moral and intellectual fiber which makes a great
physician or an excellent priest--he could "minister." And it was only
division of labor that separated the offices of doctor and priest, and
actually they are and should be one.

In Sacramento now lives a successful merchant, a Jew by birth, and a
man of great grace of spirit, who has this superior, spiritual quality
which makes his services sought after, and in response to demand he
goes all over the State saying the last words over the dust of those
who in their lives had lost faith in the established order, or had too
much faith in God.

After his thirty-sixth year Henry George slipped by natural process
into this semi-religious order--a priest after the order of
Melchizedek. He was spokesman for those who had no social standing, a
voice for the voiceless, a friend to the friendless, even those who
were not friends to themselves.

But at thirty-seven he was up on the mountain-side where he saw to a
distance that very few men could. He felt his own dignity and knew his
worth. The president of the University of California, recognizing his
ability as a thinker and speaker, asked him to give a course of
lectures on economics.

He gave one--this was all they could digest.

California colleges have had a lot of trouble with economics--it has
been a theme more fraught for them with danger than theology. How
Californians make their money and how they spend it is a topic which
in handling requires great subtlety of intellect, a fine delicacy of
expression and much diplomacy, otherwise twenty-three petards!

Here is a passage from Henry George's lecture before the University of

  For the study of political economy you need no special knowledge, no
  extensive library, no costly laboratory. You do not even need
  textbooks or teachers if you will but think for yourselves. All that
  you need is care in reducing complex phenomena to their elements, in
  distinguishing the essential from the accidental, and in applying the
  simple laws of human action with which you are familiar. Take
  nobody's opinion for granted; "try all things; hold fast to that
  which is good." In this way, the opinions of others will help you
  by their suggestions, elucidations and corrections; otherwise they
  will be to you as words to a parrot.

  All this array of professors, all this paraphernalia of learning, can
  not educate a man. They can but help him educate himself. Here you may
  obtain the tools; but they will be useful to him only who can use
  them. A monkey with a microscope, a mule packing a library, are fit
  emblems of the men--and unfortunately, they are plenty--who pass
  through the whole educational machinery, and come out but learned
  fools, crammed with knowledge which they can not use--all the more
  pitiable, all the more contemptible, all the more in the way of real
  progress, because they pass, with themselves and others, as educated

  California is a land of extremes--everything grows big and fast,
  especially ideas. No country ever saw such wealth and such poverty
  side by side. The mansions on Nob Hill were so grand that their
  magnificence discouraged the owners and abashed visitors; at
  receptions, a keg of beer on a sawbuck in the kitchen and champagne in
  a washtub, with ham sandwiches in a bushel basket, were all that could
  be assimilated. And yet past the high iron gates of these palaces
  prowled want--gaunt, hungry and menacing.

  Land was never so cheap nor so dear as it has been in California. We
  gave a railroad-company twenty-five thousand acres of land for every
  mile of track it built, and for years a dollar an acre was the ruling
  price at which you could buy to your limit. And yet there were at the
  same time little half-acres for which men pushed a hundred thousand
  dollars in gold-dust over the counter and then crowed about their

Henry George studied economics at first hand. The dignified frappe
which he received in way of honorarium for his university lecture had
its advantages. People in San Francisco wanted to hear what the editor
had to say as well as to read his utterances. He was invited to give
the Fourth of July oration at the Grand Opera House--a very great

Henry George was a reformer, and reformers have but one theme, and
that theme is Liberty. We grow by expression. There is no doubt that
the university lecture and the Fourth of July oration added cubits to
the stature of Henry George. In these two addresses we find the kernel
of his philosophy--a kernel that was to germinate into a mighty tree
which would extend its welcoming shade to travelers for many a decade
yet to come.

       *       *       *       *       *

Like every other great book (or great man), "Progress and Poverty" was
an accident--a providential accident. The book was ten years in the
incubation. It began with a newspaper editorial in Eighteen Hundred
Sixty-nine, and found form in a volume of five hundred pages in
Eighteen Hundred Seventy-nine.

The editorial merely called attention to the fact that California, in
spite of her vast wealth, was peopled, for the most part, with people
desperately poor; and that ground in the vicinity of any city, town or
place of enterprise was held at so exorbitant a figure that the poor
were actually enslaved by the men who owned the land. That is to say,
the men who owned the land controlled the people who had to live on
it, for man is a land animal, and can not live apart from land, any
more than fishes can live at a distance from water. And moreover we
tax for the improvements on land, thus really placing a penalty on

The article attracted attention, and opened the eyes of one man at
least--and that was the man who wrote it. He had written better than
he knew; and any writer who does not occasionally surprise himself
does not write well.

Henry George had surprised himself, and he wrote another editorial to
explain the first. These editorials extended themselves into a series,
and hand-polished and sandpapered, were reprinted in pamphlet form in
Eighteen Hundred Seventy-one, under the title of "Our Land Policy."
The temerity which prompted the printing of this pamphlet was evolved
through a letter from John Stuart Mill. Henry George knew he was right
in his conclusions, but he felt that he needed the corroboration of a
great mind that had grappled with abstruse problems; so he sent one of
his editorials to Mill, the greatest living intellect of his time.

Mill showed his interest by replying in a long letter, wherein he
addressed George as a man with a mind equal to his own, not as a
sophomore trying his wings.

The letter from Mill was to him a white milepost. The corroboration
gave him courage, confidence, poise.

The thousand copies of the pamphlet cost Henry George seventy-five
dollars. The retail price was twenty-five cents each. Twenty-one
copies were sold. The rest were given away to good people who promised
to read them. Pamphlets are for the pamphleteer, but let the fact here
be recorded that new ideas have always been issued at the author's
expense--and also risk. Martin Luther, Dean Swift, John Milton, Paine,
Voltaire, Sam Adams were all pamphleteers. The early Colonial
"broadsides" were pamphlets issued by men with thoughts plus, and all
of the men just named fired inky volleys which proved to be shots
heard 'round the world.

As the years passed, Henry George was gathering gear; he was getting
an education. Providence was preparing him for his work. All he
expressed by tongue or pen had land, labor, production and
distribution in mind. He was getting acquainted with every phase of
the subject--anticipating the objections, meeting the objectors,
opening up side-paths.

And so, in Eighteen Hundred Seventy-eight, when he sat down to write a
magazine article on "Our Government Land Policy," the air was full of
reasons. Soon the article stretched itself beyond magazine length, and
in order to cover the theme he set down headings:

  1 Wages
  2 Capital
  3 Division of Labor
  4 Population
  5 Subsistence
  6 Rent
  7 Interest
  8 The Remedy for Unequal Distribution

He wrote all one night--wrote in a fever. The next day his pulse got
back to normal, and on talking the matter over with his wife he
decided to begin it all over and work his philosophy up into a book,
writing as he could, only one or two hours a day.

He was absolutely without capital, dependent on his income from space-
writing in the daily newspapers, but he began and the work grew.

It was all done on "stolen time," to use the phrase of Macaulay, and
therefore vital, for things done because you have to do them--done to
get rid of them--contain the red corpuscle.

On March Twenty-second, Eighteen Hundred Seventy-nine, the precious
bundle of manuscript was shipped to D. Appleton and Company, New York,
with instructions that if the work was not accepted, to hold subject
to the author's order.

In six weeks came a letter from the Appletons, gracious,
complimentary, "but"--in fact, no work on political economy had ever
sold sufficiently either to make money for the author or to pay the
bare cost of the book to the publisher.

Here was a dampener, and if Henry George had been a trifle more astute
in the laws of literary supply and demand, he could and would have
anticipated the result, even in spite of the natural prejudice which
an author always feels for the offspring of his brain.

A letter was now sent Thomas George, the author's brother, in
Philadelphia, requesting him to go over to New York and find a market
for the wares.

Thomas had the work passed on by the Harpers, by Scribner, and all
"much regretted."

The next thing was to interest Professor Swinton and several New York
friends, and have them go in a body and storm the castle of Barabbas.
The committee called on D. Appleton and Company, and again laid the
case before them.

Finally the publishers agreed that if the author would advance money
for the electrotype-plates, they would undertake the publication.

But alas, the author was in the proverbial author's condition. On the
offer being laid before Henry George by mail, he replied that he could
make the electrotype-plates himself. He was a typesetter and he had
friends who would give him the use of their printing-outfits. The
offer was satisfactory to the Appletons, provided Professor Swinton
would agree to take on his own account a hundred copies of the work on

The Professor agreed. And the manuscript was sent back to San
Francisco, a trifle dog-eared and the worse for five months' wear.

The author began his typesetting with the same diligence that he had
brought to bear in the writing. This was stolen time, too. He worked
an hour in the morning and two hours at night. Other printers offered
to help, and a genial, bum electrotyper, damnably cheerful, offered to
come in and lend a hand, provided Henry George would agree to give a
funeral oration over the derelict one's grave at the proper time.
Henry George gleefully agreed.

So the work of making the electrotype-plates moved on apace. In the
meantime some of Henry George's political friends had interviewed the
Governor and Henry George was made inspector of gas-meters, at fifteen
hundred dollars a year.

It was four months' work to make the plates, but early in the year
Eighteen Hundred Eighty they were shipped to New York, a few proofs of
the book being taken, stitched up and sent out for review.

So far as we know, there was no one in California able to read the
book and intelligently review it. Leastwise they never did.

The Appletons, however, gradually awoke to the fact that they had a
prize, and they made efforts to get the work into right reviewing
hands. Better still, they began to inquire about what manner of man
Henry George was.

Next they wrote to the author suggesting that, if he would come to New
York and personally present his views, it would help in the sale of
the books.

Fortunately Henry George was not hampered by the ownership of real
estate, nor an excess of personal property, so he hastily packed up,
transportation having been secured by John Russell Young, a capitalist
who had faith in his genius from the first.

Henry George arrived in New York penniless, but Professor Swinton, E.
L. Youmans (that excellent blind man of great insight), John Russell
Young and the Appletons gave him a rich reception.

The tide had turned.

       *       *       *       *       *

Henry George received all the recognition that any thinker and writer
could desire, from August, Eighteen Hundred Eighty, to the day of his
death, October Twenty-eighth, Eighteen Hundred Ninety-seven. Men might
not agree with him in his conclusions, but few indeed dare meet him in
a duel of argument, either by pen or upon the public platform.

He spoke in churches, halls and private parlors. His newspaper and
magazine articles commanded a price. He met the greatest minds of
America and of Europe on an equal footing.

In England his book was having a sale far beyond what it had met with
at home.

And when he spoke in London and the chief cities of Great Britain, the
halls were packed to suffocation. He appealed to the Messianic
instinct of English workingmen, and they hailed him as the coming man
--their deliverer. They stripped doors from their hinges and carried
him aloft upon the improvised platform. They unhitched the horses from
his carriage and drew him through the streets in triumphal state. This
all meant little--it was only campaign exuberance--the glare and flare
of smoky kerosene-torches, and the blare of brass.

Henry George was right in the same class with Spencer, Huxley, Tyndall
and John Stuart Mills, none of whom, happily, was a college man, and
therefore all were free from the handicap of dead learning and
ossified opinion, and saw things as if they were new. Ignorance is a
very necessary equipment in doing a great and sublime work that is to
eclipse anything heretofore performed.

The mind of Henry George was a flower of slow growth. At thirty-seven
he was just reaching mental manhood. According to all reasonable
tables of expectancy, he should have rivaled Humboldt and been in his
prime at eighty. His brain was the brain of Ricardo; but instead of
sticking to his boos, he got caught in the swirl of politics, and was
matched up with the cheap, the selfish, the grasping. The people who
snatched Henry George out of his proper sphere as a thinker, writer
and lecturer, and flung him into the turmoil of practical politics,
were of exactly the class who would, if they could, have a little
later ridden him on a rail.

It was all a little like that speech of a man in Indianapolis who
nominated James Whitcomb Riley for the Presidency of the United
States. The mob diluted the thought of Henry George and trod his proud
and honest heart into the mire.

Had he been elected mayor of New York, he could have done little or
nothing for reform, for a mayor has only the power delegated to him by
the ward boss and the genus heeler. Beyond this he can merely apply
the emergency-brake by the use of the veto.

Henry George was a racehorse hitched by spoilsmen to an overloaded
jaunting-car with a drunken driver, bound for Donnybrook Fair.

And soon men said he was dead.

       *       *       *       *       *

The logic of Henry George's book and its literary style are so
insistent that it has been studied closely by economists of note in
every country on the globe. Its argument has never been answered, and
those who have sought to combat it have rested their case on the
assertion that Henry George was a theorist and a dreamer, and so far
as practical affairs were concerned was a failure. With equal logic we
might brand the Christian religion as a failure because its founder
was not a personal success, either in his social status or as a
political leader.

Gradually the thinking men of the world, the statesmen and the doers,
are beholding the fact that mankind is an organism, and that a country
is only as rich as its poorest citizen; that an athlete with Bright's
disease is not worth as much to humanity as a small, lively and
healthy boy of ten with cheek of tan and freckles to spare. Health
comes from right living, and living without useful effort is only

People living on the pavement or in sky-scrapers soon degenerate.

Man can not thrive apart from land. Abject poverty is found only in
great cities, where population is huddled like worms in a knot.

The highest average of intelligence, happiness and prosperity is found
in villages, where each family owns its home, and the renter is the
rare exception.

The word "renter" we used Out West as a term of contempt. The
ownership of an acre of land gives a sense of security which religion
can not bestow. God's acre, with vegetables, fruits, flowers, a cow
and poultry, places a family beyond the reach of famine, even if not
of avarice. Moreover, this single acre means sound sleep, good
digestion and resultant good thoughts, all from digging in the dirt
and mixing with the elements. "All wealth comes from the soil," says
Adam Smith, and he might have added, man himself comes from the soil
and is brother to the trees and the flowers. Men can no more live
apart from land than can the grass. The ownership of a very small plot
of ground steadies life, lends ballast to existence, and is a bond
given to society for good behavior.

"I am no longer an anarchist--I have bought a lot and am building a
house," a Russian refugee advised his restless colleagues at home,
when they wrote, asking him for quotations on dynamite.

It is obvious and easy to say that the people who make city slums
possible do not want to own houses and would not live upon land and
improve it, if they could.

The worst about this statement is that it is true. They are so sunken
in fear, superstition and indifference that they lack the squirrel's
thrift in providing a home and laying in a stock of provisions; they
are even without the ground-hog's ambition to burrow. They are too
sodden to know what they are missing, and are lacking in the
imagination which pictures a better condition.

They are like those pigmy bondsmen who work in the cotton-mills of the
South--yellow, gaunt, too dead to weep, too hopeless to laugh, too
pained to feel.

From these creatures and creators of slums it is absurd to talk of
gratitude for the offer of betterment. People who expect gratitude do
not deserve it. Neither can the slumsters by force be placed on land
and be expected to till it. A generation, at least, will be required
to work a change, and this change will come through educating the
children--through the kindergarten and the kindergarten methods--and
most of all through school-gardens. The so-called "back districts" are
fast being annihilated, for quick transportation is bringing city and
country close together. The time is coming, and shortly, too, when a
fare of one cent a mile will be the universal rule, and a mile a
minute will not be regarded as an unusual speed.

Now here is something which Henry George did not say, and if he knew
was too diplomatic to mention: The reason the people have not had
possession of the land is because they did not want it. The ownership
of the land you need to use comes in answer to prayer--and prayer is
the soul's desire, uttered or unexpressed. The will of the people is
supreme. If fraud and rascality exist in high places, it is because we
elect rascals to office.

The will of the people is supreme. When we cease toadying to brainless
nabobs, and quit imitating them as soon as we get the money, we will
be on the road to reformation. As it is, most poor people are just
itching to live as the rich do. The average servant-girl who gets
married quits work then and there, and is quite content to live the
rest of her life as a slave, asking her husband for a quarter at a
time and cajoling the money out of him by hook or crook, or else
explorating his trousers for free coinage when opportunity offers.
Fresh air is free, but the average individual does not know it; and
neither would this same person use land if it were given him. Freedom
is a condition of mind.

Yet apart from the "submerged tenth" is a very large class of people
to whom land and a home would be a positive paradise, and who are
simply forced into flats and tenements on account of present economic
conditions: the land is monopolized, and held by men who neither
improve it themselves nor will they allow others to. Then hold it
awaiting a rise in value.

This increase in value is not on account of anything the owner may do
--in fact, he is usually an absentee and does nothing. The increase
comes from the enterprise and thrift of people for whom the owner has
no interest, beyond contempt.

If these enterprising people who do the work of the world--making the
things the world needs--want more land for their business or for
homes, they have to pay the absentee for the increased value which
they themselves have brought about. When you beautify and enrich the
value of your own lot by improving it, you are making it impossible to
buy the vacant lot next to you without bankruptcy.

Moreover, you are taxed by the State for any improvement you make on
your land, and this taxation on improvements must of necessity tend
toward discouragement of improvement. It is really a surer way to make
money, to hang on to land and do nothing, than to improve it.

The remedy proposed by Henry George is simply the Single Tax, and this
tax to be on land values and not on improvements.

That is to say, with the Single Tax, the man who owns the vacant lot
covered with briars and brambles would pay the same tax that you pay
on your lot next door upon which you have built a house, barn and
conservatory and planted trees and flowers.

The immediate tendency of this policy would be to cause the gentleman
who owned the vacant lot devoted to cockleburs to put up on it a sign,
"For Sale Cheap."

Even the opponents of the Single Tax agree that its inauguration would
at once throw on the market a vast acreage of unimproved land, and
that is just the one reason why they oppose it. All those thousands of
acres held by estates, trustees and idle heirs, in the vicinity of
Boston, Philadelphia and up the Hudson, would be for sale.

The single tax would give the land back to the people, or at least
make it possible for people who want it to get what they could use.
Those who have the desire to improve land, and improve themselves by
improving it, would no longer be blocked.

The fresh blood of the country which makes the enterprise of cities
possible comes from the boys and the girls who warmed their feet on
October mornings where the cows lay down; who have been brought up to
work on land, to plant and hoe and harvest and look after livestock.
This is all education, and very necessary education. "A sand-pile and
dirt in which to dig is the divine right of every child," says Judge

And if it is the divine right of a child to dig in the dirt, why isn't
it the divine right of the grown-up? It is, and would be so recognized
were it not for the fact that we have been obsessed by a fallacy
called "the divine right of property." This idea has come down to us
from the Reign of the Barons, when a dozen men owned all of England,
and plain and unlettered people could not legally own a foot of land.
All paid tribute to the Barons, who were actually and literally

We will grant of course that what a man produces and creates is his,
but the land to which he may be legal heir and which probably he has
never seen, and which certainly he does not use or improve, is his
only through a legal fiction. When the matter of legal fiction was
explained to Colonel Bumble and he was told that legally a husband
knew the whereabouts of his wife, because the law regarded a man and
wife as one, Colonel Bumble replied with acerbity, "The law is a

Comparatively few people have the courage of Colonel Bumble, so they
do not express themselves; but the commonsense of the world is now
coming to believe that the law was made for man, and not man for the

The only people who oppose the single tax are the holders of land who
are hanging on to it expecting to grow rich through inertia.

The problem of civilization is to eliminate the parasite. The idle
person is no better than a dead one and takes up more room. The man
who lives on the labor of others is a menace to himself and to

The taxes necessary to support the government should be paid by those
who have the funds wherewith to be idle; no longer should the chief
burden fall on the home-maker.

Tax the land, and the man who owns it will have to make it productive
by labor, or else get out and allow some one else to have a chance.

Do not drive the landlords out--tax them out.

Let the land gravitate to the people who have the disposition and the
ability to improve it--and that is just what the Single Tax will do.
So this, then, is the philosophy of Henry George.


  Priests look backward, not forward. They think that there were once
  men better and wiser than those who now live, therefore priests
  distrust the living and insist that we shall be governed by the dead.
  I believe this is an error, and hence I set myself against the Church
  and insist that men shall have the right to work out their lives in
  their own way, always allowing to others the right to work out their
  lives in their own way, too.

[Illustration: Garibaldi]

The writer who tells the simple facts in the life of Garibaldi lays
himself open to the charge of evolving melodrama, wild and riotous.

Garibaldi's personal friends and admirers always referred to him in
such words as these: patriot, savior, father-noble, generous, pure-
hearted, unselfish, devoted, philanthropic.

They transferred the infallibility of Pope Pius the Ninth to his
enemy, Garibaldi.

The Pope was not much given to rhetorical lyddite, so when the name of
Garibaldi was mentioned he simply stopped his ears and hissed. He
acknowledged that in all the bright lexicon of words there was not a
symbol strong enough to express his contempt for Joseph Garibaldi.

The actual fact was that Pio Nono, for whom Garibaldi named his
favorite donkey, had very much in common with Garibaldi. Had they met
as strangers on sea or plain, they would have delighted in each
other's society. They were both kind, courteous, considerate, highly
intelligent men. They were lovers of their kind.

Garibaldi's passion was to benefit men by giving them freedom. The
Pope's prayer was to benefit men by giving them religion.

But freedom without responsibility leads to license, and license
unrestrained means slavery, and religion not safeguarded by freedom is
superstition; and what is superstition but slavery?

Before Garibaldi was twenty he began to read Mazzini, whom Margaret
Fuller called the Emerson of Italy--and Margaret Fuller knew both
Emerson and Mazzini intimately and well. She lived for one and died
for the other.

Mazzini, the delicate, the esthetic, the spiritual, the subtle, was a
candle whose beams burned bright for all Italy. His dream of a free
and united Italy caught Garibaldi, the rugged, daring son of the sea,
and fired his heart. Mazzini was a thinker; Garibaldi a fighter.

Italy had twice been queen of the world: first, when Julius Caesar
ushered in an age of light; and second, when Columbus, child of Genoa,
the same city that mothered Mazzini, sailed the seas. The first
Italian Renaissance we call the Age of Augustus; the second, the Age
of Michelangelo.

The third great tidal wave of reason, Garibaldi said, would live as
the Age of Mazzini.

But there be those in Italy now, wise and influential, who call it the
Age of Garibaldi.

Without Mazzini, there would have been no Garibaldi. Italy would today
probably be where she was when these young men conceived their
patriotic dream: the Pope supreme temporal ruler of Rome, and the rest
of Italy divided up into a dozen cringing provinces, each presided
over by a princeling, who, on favor of some patron, Austria, Germany
or France, the favor duly viseed by the Pope, was allowed to call
himself king. The final authority of the Pope was undisputed in things
both temporal and spiritual, and he who questioned or expressed his
doubts was guilty of two crimes: heresy and treason, the two
artificial papier-mache offenses which made the Dark Ages very dark.

The hope of Mazzini was to make Italy a republic. But the time was not
yet ripe. They ousted the Pope, but Fate compromised with Destiny, and
Victor Emmanuel, a republican monarchist from Sicily, was made king in
name, but with a safety-brake in way of a ministry that could annul
his edicts.

And so Mazzini and Garibaldi, each individually a failure, won--
although success came not in the way they expected, nor was it their
heart's desire.

That bold and magnificent equestrian statue of Garibaldi crowns the
heights of Rome, looking down upon the Eternal City; the dust of
Mazzini rests in a village churchyard; but both live in the hearts of
humanity as men who gave their lives to make men free.

      *       *       *       *       *

Garibaldi was born in the city of Nice in Eighteen Hundred Seven,
being one of the advance-guard of a brigade of genius, for great men
come in groups. His parents were poor, and being well under the heel
of the priest, were only fairly honest. The father was a waterman who
plied the Riviera in a leaky schooner--poling, rowing, or sailing, as
Providence provided. Once the good man was returning home after a
cruise where ill luck was at the helm. The priest had blessed him when
he started, and would be on hand when he came back to receive his
share of the loot, for business was then, and is yet, in Italy, a kind
of legalized freebooting. Then it was that the honest fisherman lapsed
and lifted the nets of another between the dawn and the day.

The son, then only twelve years of age, scorned the act and declared
he would steal a ship or nothing. The boy was duly punished in the
interests of piety and also to relieve the pent-up emotions of the

The heroic spirit of Garibaldi was not a legacy from either his father
or his mother. However, they dowered him with health and great bodily
strength, and this physical superiority had much, no doubt, to do in
shaping his life's course.

Men fall victims to their facility. Musicians, for instance, often
become intoxicated by their own sweet sounds, and are lured on to
unseemliness, making much discord in life's symphony.

The late-lamented Brann had a felicity and a facility in the use of
words that finally cost him his life. Men with pistol facility and
word felicity die by the pistol. The brain of the prizefighter does
not convolve: he relies more on his "jabs" than on thoughts that burn
--and those who live by the hammer die by the hammer.

There is no doubt that Garibaldi's romantic career in a lifelong fight
for freedom was born of a liking for the fray, to express it bluntly,
with freedom as a convenient excuse. This sounds unkind, but it is
not. Garibaldi loved peace so much that he was willing to fight for it
any day.

While yet a youth he became captain of his father's craft, and
Garibaldi Senior took the wheel and obeyed orders.

Then we hear that Garibaldi was an expert swimmer, a rather unusual
accomplishment for a sailor. He was always on the lookout for an
opportunity to dive overboard, disrobing in the air, and rescuing the
perishing. There is even a legend of his having saved a washer-woman
from drowning when he was but eight years old. A captious critic has
remarked that probably the old lady fell into her washtub. Thereupon,
a kinsman of the great man comes forward to give the facts, which are
that the woman was doing laundry-work by the riverside, and stooping
over, fell into the damp and was rescued by the boy. But it also seems
on the word of Garibaldi himself that the woman would not have fallen
in had not the boy suddenly appeared behind her playing bear, thus
bringing about the catastrophe which he averted.

When Garibaldi was twenty-one he was in command of a small schooner
bound for the Black Sea on a trading expedition. The intent of the
expedition was twofold: to sell the merchandise which the ship
carried, and also if possible to capture certain bands of pirates that
were infesting the dank, dark waters. It is perhaps quite needless to
say that pirates are often men who are engaged in the laudable
undertaking of protecting the shipping from pirates, just as admission
to the bar is a sort of commercial letter of marque and reprisal.

That Garibaldi was a pirate, only his enemies said. But anyway,
Garibaldi and a band of twenty boys, all younger than himself, sailed
away to victory or to death.

It proved to be neither; for they were captured by pirates, who took
their arms, provisions, merchandise, and even their compasses and
clothing, leaving only their ship and the sky overhead and the water

Garibaldi took the capture as coolly as did Caesar under similar
conditions, and talked poetry and philosophy with the pirates, and the
gentlemen gave back a few provisions, with apologies and regrets for
having troubled so fine a gentleman.

The next day, our friends, innocent of clothing, fell in with an
English ship that ministered to their wants. Captain Taylor of the
English ship was so impressed with the young captain that he wrote
home about him, describing his courtesy, intelligence, and poetic
fervor, all made manifest as Garibaldi stood on the deck of his
schooner clad only in a doormat.

At this time Garibaldi had read the history of his country; in
imagination he saw the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was
Rome. And better still, he had figured out in his own mind why sleep
and death, and moth and dust, and rust and ruin had settled down upon
the race, and mankind had endured a thousand years of theological

He knew that save in freedom alone does the intellect flower and
blossom; that joy is the legal tender of the soul; that only through
liberty can men progress and grow; and that great and beautiful work
can be done only by a free and happy people.

The torch that fired his intellect was Mazzini, who was publishing a
little periodical of protest that voiced what its editor felt, who
wrote right out of his heart, and whose cry was, "Freedom and United
Italy--an Italy free from the rule of the Pope."

Mazzini, the son of a doctor, expressed what many thought and felt,
but dare not say. He had stated in no mincing phrase that the rule of
the priest meant mental subjugation and a gradual, creeping, insidious
return of the Dark Ages. He printed it on slips of paper and passed
them out upon the street when but a youth in the High School.

Thereupon, Mazzini had been duly cautioned, and on repeating his
offense his little folder of ideas was suppressed, and the precious
fonts and presses thrown into the sea with the street-sweepings of the

The next month Mazzini's magazine appeared just the same, printed by
night at the office of a friend, and then its author was safely placed
behind prison-bars. The authorities dare not kill him--besides, what
is the use?--but they proposed to teach him a wholesome lesson and
break his fiery spirit if possible, this being the policy that had
continued from the time of Socrates. To hold truth secure by putting
down the man of initiation--the man of insight who could see a better
condition--all who were filled with a discontent that challenged the
perfection of the present order--this to the many meant safety; the
men in power simply taking their cue from the rabble--"Away with him!"

And Garibaldi hearing of the trouble that had come to Mazzini, whom he
admired but had not yet met, hastened home and threw himself into the
cause. He got together a little band of foolish youths, and planned a

He enlisted as a sailor on board the "Eurydice," a government craft,
intending to revolt, steal the ship and go to the rescue of Mazzini.
But about this time Mazzini was released with a warning, it being
thought that a dreamy, penniless lawyer's clerk could not make much
trouble anyway.

Mazzini and Garibaldi were totally different in their methods and
habits of thought. Garibaldi reverenced Mazzini and called him master,
and Mazzini admired the daring of Garibaldi, and no doubt was
influenced and encouraged by him to continue sending out his little
leaflets of liberty, which were secretly printed and circulated, read
and reread, and passed along. Examined by us now, they seem innocent
indeed, as harmless as pages lifted from Emerson's essay on "Nature,"
but actually they were the dynamite that was to rend the rocks of
Italy's Gibraltar of orthodoxy.

Matters were now culminating fast. Mazzini and Garibaldi were
organizing secret bands of "Young Italy." The arrangement was to
secure and hold a certain point on the Swiss frontier as headquarters,
and from there make open war upon Austria and the Pope. Like John
Brown, these zealous revolutionaries felt sure that, at the call to
arms, the subjugated provinces would cast off their shackles and join
hands with the liberators. They did not realize that slavery is a
condition of mind, and that as a class slaves are quite happy in their
serfdom, being as unaware of their true condition as are those caught
in the coils of superstition. No one sees the coils but the free man
on the outside. The beauty of freedom's fight is that it frees the

The secret societies known as "Young Italy" failed in their secrecy.
No secrets can be kept except for a day. Spies were duly initiated,
and the report of the daily doings was handed in to the Pope and his
council. To capture Garibaldi and Mazzini and hang them would have
been easy; but to do this might bring about the very storm so much
feared. So the word was passed that the conspirators were to be
arrested; a price was placed upon their heads, and an opportunity was
given them to escape.

Mazzini traveled leisurely through France, which offered him safe
passage to London. Garibaldi remained on the border, and with a little
band engaged in joyous guerrilla warfare, hoping for a general revolt.
The time was not yet ripe, and nothing he could then do would gather
up the scattered forces of freedom and crystallize them.

Fighting was then going on in South America--when are they not
fighting in South America?--and Garibaldi thought he saw an
opportunity to strike a blow for freedom, and so he sailed away for
the equator, filled with a passion for freedom, desiring only to give
himself for the benefit of humanity. Yet his heart was with "Young
Italy," and that the time would come when he would return and break
the fetters that the Pope had forged for the minds of men, he always
knew and prophesied. Such was the firm purpose and unwavering faith of
Joseph Garibaldi.

       *       *       *       *       *

Arriving in South America, Garibaldi took time to investigate
conditions. Then he offered his services to Don Gonzales, who had set
up a republic on a side street, and was fighting the power of the
Emperor of Brazil.

Don Gonzales was delighted with Garibaldi--Garibaldi won every one he
desired to win. He had the rare quality which we call "personal

Garibaldi was fitted out with a ship which he manned with sixteen of
his countrymen--fighters of his own selection, men of his own intrepid
spirit. This crew constituted the navy of the new republic, and
Garibaldi was given the title, "Secretary of the Navy." He called his
ship the "Mazzini," writing to the prophet and patriot in London for
his blessing; but without waiting for it sailed away to victory. The
first bout with the enemy secured them a prize in the way of a ship
four times the size of their own, well provisioned and carrying one
hundred men. Garibaldi at once scuttled his own craft, ran up his flag
on board the prize, and calling all hands on deck solemnly christened
her the "Mazzini," in loving token of the ship just sent to Davy
Jones' locker. Then the question arose, What should be done with the

Garibaldi gave them their choice of being sent ashore in safety, with
a week's provisions and their side-arms, or re-enlisting under his own
glorious banner. The men without parley, one and all cried, "We are
yours to do with as you will!" Emerson says, "The work of eloquence is
to change the opinions of a lifetime in twenty minutes." This being
true, Garibaldi must have been eloquent, and eloquence is personality.
The Corsican, in his Little Corporal's uniform, walked out before the
legions sent to capture him, and before he had uttered a word, they
cried, "Command us!" and threw down their arms.

The power of Garibaldi over men was superb. He won through the
devotion of his soldiers. When he struck he hit quick and hard, and
then he made his victory secure by magnanimity toward the defeated. It
was his policy never to put prisoners in irons, or disgrace or
humiliate them. He banished hate from their hearts by saying: "You are
brave fighters! You are after my own heart. I need you!"

Julius Caesar had a deal of this same temperament, and if the sober,
serious, spiritual and priestly quality of Mazzini could have been
fused with the fighting spirit of Garibaldi we would have had the
Julian soul once more with us. Possibly Rome is not yet dead,
Shakespeare to the contrary notwithstanding.

       *       *       *       *       *

Garibaldi and his gallant crew on board the "Mazzini" kept the enemy
speculating. On one occasion when pursued, Garibaldi ran his ship up a
narrow bay, one of the winding mouths of the Amazon. The two ships in
pursuit were sure they had him in a trap and followed fast, intending
to drive him so far inland that when the tide turned he would be held
fast on the rocks, and then they could land a force, as they had five
times as many men as he, and shoot his ship full of holes at their
leisure from the shore. But Garibaldi was a sailor, and he had the
true pilot's intuition for finding the channel. Suddenly, as the
pursuing ships rounded a bend, from the height of a commanding
precipice a deadly stream of shot and shell was poured down through
the defenseless decks. And the gunners on the ships could not elevate
their cannon to get the range. Garibaldi had taken his best cannon
from his ship and masked this battery on shore. For two months he had
worked to lure the enemy to their ruin. The scheme worked.

On shore he was equally fertile in resource, and his plan of getting
his troops in the neighborhood of the enemy, and lighting long lines
of campfires so as to mislead as to the number of his troops, was with
him a common form of strategy. Then lo! as his campfires burned
brightly, he would circle the foe and stampede them by simultaneous
attacks on both flanks, making a mob of what twenty minutes before was
an army.

He also had a way of retreating before the enemy, and at last making a
seemingly stubborn resistance on some friendly ridge or hilltop. The
enemy would then pause, re-form and charge. But a thousand yards
before the hilltop would be reached, Garibaldi's men, secreted in
sunken roadways or the dry beds of waterways, would rise like
sprouting dragons' teeth and scatter their rain of death. His men wore
bright red shirts so as to protect themselves from the danger of being
shot by their own comrades. Later, the appearance of the red shirt
struck terror to the foe. In Italy now, when you see a red-shirted
brigade, do not imagine it is a volunteer fire-company out for a
holiday--it is merely a company of militia called "The Garibaldians."

Garibaldi became a sort of superstition in South America. His
appearance on land or sea, at seemingly the same time, his sudden
sallies and miraculous disappearances, carried out the idea that he
was the Devil incarnate. The armies sent to capture him came home with
the report, "We would have killed or captured him, but alas, God
ordained that he should not be found!"

Fighting along the shore with simply a few ships, by co-operating with
the land forces, and having that scouted and maligned thing, "horse
marines," at his quick command, he wore the enemy to a frazzle. His
tactics were those of Quintus Fabius, who supplied us our word
"Fabian"--opportunist. Fabius fought the combined hosts of Hannibal
for ten years, as one to five, and was never captured and never
defeated. When peace was declared he dictated his own terms, and was
given royal honors when he rode through the streets of Rome at the
head of his tattered troops, just as Christian DeWet, the valiant
Boer, was tendered an ovation when he visited London, which he had
first festooned with crape.

       *       *       *       *       *

Garibaldi was operating in a horse country, a country, by the way, in
physical features, not unlike that over which DeWet occasionally rode
at the rate of one hundred miles from sunset to day-dawn. Garibaldi,
although a sailor born, did not ride a horse with face toward the
horse's tail, as sailormen are said to do in one of Kipling's merry
tales. However, he might have done so, for he was a most daring rider,
and in South America filled in the time with many excursions ashore,
where he chose his companions from the ship by lot, there always being
a great desire among the men to follow close to their beloved leader.
He insisted that all of his men should be horsemen as well as
soldiers, for no one could tell when they might have to abandon their
ships and take to the land.

These wild, free excursions into the sparsely settled interior were
not fraught with much danger, for the plainsmen were mostly with the
republic, and Garibaldi took great pains to treat with the citizen's
family. For instance, although cattle were plentiful and of little
value, when he wanted fresh meat he always asked for it. The same with
horses. "Treat citizens as friends, informing them that you come to
protect, not to destroy," was his injunction.

One valuable possession Garibaldi secured in Brazil, however, was
taken without legal permission. It seems Garibaldi on one of his
journeys inland had halted with six of his band for dinner at the
house of a planter and ranchman. The place was fair to look upon, the
house situated in a clump of trees that lined the bank of a stream.
Near at hand were orange-groves and great banks of azaleas in full
bloom. On the hillside were grapes that grew in purple clusters, which
made poor Garibaldi think of his far-off Italy, the home from which he
was exiled, and to which return meant death.

Garibaldi reined into the yard and sat hatless on his horse, looking
at this scene of peace, prosperity, and gentle, smiling beauty. A
sense of loneliness swept over him. He thought of himself as a
homeless outcast, without love, friendless, fighting an eternal fight
for people whom he did not know, and very few of whom indeed knew him
even by name.

A barking of the dogs brought several servants to the door. On seeing
the red-shirted soldiers, their rifles across the pommels of their
saddles, the servants hastily ran back and proceeded to bar the doors
and windows. Garibaldi smiled wearily and was inwardly debating
whether he would try to show the inmates of the house that he was a
friend or ride away.

Just then the door opened and a woman came out on the veranda. She was
a young woman, not over twenty--dark, slight, handsome and
intelligent. She looked at Garibaldi, and her self-possession made the
invincible fighter blush to the roots of his long yellow hair and
tawny beard. She was not afraid. She walked down the steps, and in a
pleasant voice said, "You are Garibaldi." And Garibaldi was on the
point of denying it, for he had not heard a woman's voice in four
months, and was all unnerved. His tongue refused to do its bidding,
and he only bowed, and then tried to apologize for his intrusion.

"You are Garibaldi, and if you insist on remaining to dinner, I will
prepare the meal for you--I can do nothing else."

She spoke in Spanish, and as Garibaldi replied, he was mindful that
his Castilian was terribly broken. Then he spoke in Italian, and when
she answered in very broken Latin, they both smiled. They were even.
When he learned that her husband was not at home, he refused to enter
the house, but sat on the veranda, and there the lady served him and
his companions with her own fair hands, as the servants stood by and
looked on perplexed. Garibaldi did not eat much--his appetite had
vanished. He followed the frail and beautiful young woman furtively
with his eyes as she moved back and forth heaping the plates of his
hungry troopers. He thought she looked sad and preoccupied.

Garibaldi tried to speak, but his Spanish had suddenly taken wing. But
when the lady entered the house and returned with one of Mazzini's
little pamphlets on liberty, he started and then almost sobbed as he
read the well-remembered words, "Do that which is right, and fear no
man, for man was made to be free."

He saw that the pamphlet was one of the master's earliest productions,
and how it should have preceded him four thousand miles he could only
guess, and the lady's command of Italian was not sufficient to
explain. But in his joy he held out his hand to her, and she responded
to his grasp. There was an understanding. They were both lovers of

Garibaldi felt that he must not remain--he must hasten away ere he
said or did something foolish. "You must not come back, my husband is
a royalist," said the lady, "and he will be greatly displeased when he
knows you have been here. But you were hungry and I have fed you--now
good-by." She held out her hand and then hastily broke away before the
soldier could take it. Garibaldi mounted his horse, and followed by
the troopers rode slowly down the bed of the stream, and as they
disappeared into the thicket of azaleas, Garibaldi looked back. The
lady was standing on the veranda leaning against a pillar. She held up
the Mazzini pamphlet. Garibaldi removed his hat.

       *       *       *       *       *

Garibaldi was on a tour of inspection, getting a good idea of the
coast-line, and patriotism and duty should have kept him steadily on
the march.

But something else was tugging at his heart. He rode ten miles, halted
and pitched camp. Early the next morning he rode back alone, leaving
his rifle behind, but keeping his pistols in his belt. He wanted to
see the husband of the beautiful young lady. The man must be a pretty
good kind of man--a royalist by birth probably, but if he could be
rightly informed might become a friend of the cause.

When Garibaldi reached the house, the lady was on the veranda--she
seemed to be expecting him. She was sad, pale, serious, and dressed in
blue. She called her husband out and introduced him, and he and
Garibaldi shook hands. Garibaldi tried to talk with him about Mazzini,
but as near as Garibaldi could guess the rancher had never heard the

The man was fully twenty years older than his wife, and Garibaldi
guessed, from his looks, that his wealth was an inheritance, not an
accumulation. A little further talk and the facts developed as
Garibaldi had suspected--the man was a degenerate scion of Spanish
aristocracy. He seemed too stupid or too indifferent to know who his
visitor was, or what he stood for. He brought out strong drink and
then suggested cards as a diversion.

Garibaldi did not like the looks of the man, and courteously declined
his pasteboard suggestions. All the time the young woman stood a
little way off and looked wistfully at the red-shirted soldier. Her
lips moved in pantomime--she was trying to say something to him.
Garibaldi talked about nothing, laughed aloud, and requested his host
to mix him a drink. While the man was busy at the sideboard, Garibaldi
moved carelessly toward the woman and caught her whispered words, "Do
not drink--go at once--he has sent for help--the place will be
surrounded in half an hour--go, I implore you!"

And all the time Garibaldi talked garrulously and sauntered around the
room. He took up the glass the man handed him, and raising it to his
lips, did not drink--but tossed the contents full into the face of the
person who had prepared the mixture. The man coughed, sputtered, swore
and Garibaldi backed to the door, one hand on a pistol at his belt. He
reached the veranda and looked for his horse. The horse was gone!
Garibaldi sprang back into the house, covering the royalist with his
pistol. "My horse, or you die--order my horse brought to the door!"
The man protested, begged, swore he knew nothing about the horse.
"I'll fetch your horse!" called the woman, and running around the
house brought the horse from a thicket, where it had evidently been
led by some servant. Again Garibaldi backed out of the house,
requesting the man to follow, which he obediently did at a distance of
five paces, his hands high in the air, as if in blessing. With pistol
still in hand Garibaldi mounted the horse, and as he did so the little
lady moaned, "He may kill me for this, but I would do it again--for
you!" Garibaldi kicked his right foot out of the stirrup, and held out
his hand. The lady without the slightest hesitation placed her foot in
the empty stirrup and leaped lightly up behind. As she did so
Garibaldi fired two shots well over the head of the paralyzed husband
of his late wife, and gave his horse the spurs. In a minute horse and
riders, two, were more than a quarter of a mile away over the plain,
the lady seated safely behind, her arms gently but surely enfolding
the red shirt. As they passed over a ridge they looked back, and there
stood the degenerate scion of royalty, his hands high above his head.
He had forgotten to take them down.

       *       *       *       *       *

But should any prosaic reader imagine that this little story is too
melodramatic to be true, I refer him to the monograph, "Garibaldi the
Patriot," by Alexandre Dumas, who got his data from the record written
by Garibaldi, himself. Moreover, Anita, for it was she, told the tale
to Madame Brabante, who in turn gave the facts to Margaret Fuller

We do not know Anita's last name. When she placed her foot in the
stirrup of Garibaldi's saddle, she gave herself to him, body, mind and
spirit, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, through evil
and good report, forever. By that act she left the past behind: even
the name "Anita" was a name that Garibaldi gave her, and if he ever
knew the story of her life before they met, he never thought it worth
while to mention it. Probably he did not care--life for both of them
really dated from the day they met. He was thirty-one, she was twenty-

When Garibaldi rode into camp, with the lady on the crupper, the six
red-shirted ones in waiting were not surprised. They were never
surprised at anything their master did. They believed in him as they
believed in God--only more so. And so they asked no questions--for
Garibaldi was one of the men that common men never interrogated.

"Break camp!" was the order, and in ten minutes they were on the
march, two men trailing a mile behind as a rear-guard. At midnight
they were safely aboard the good ship "Mazzini."

Anita proved herself a worthy mate for Garibaldi. She was the first
woman to wear a Garibaldi waist, although for the most part she wore
men's clothes, with two pistols in her belt and a rifle in her hands,
and wherever Joseph went, there went Anita. She was his servant, his
slave, his comrade, his wife. Read his autobiography and you will find
how lasting, loyal and tender his devotion was toward her. He was a
fatalist--a man without fear--and many times when surrounded by an
overwhelming foe, he simply bided his time and fought his way through
to safety. "When other men are ready to surrender, I hold fast," he
said. When once cut off by four soldiers of the enemy, and they
approached with loaded rifles and bayonets fixed, he drew his sword
and shouted, "I am Garibaldi--you are my prisoners!" and down went the

At another time he and Anita were caught by a band of forty troopers
in a log cabin in a clearing. They flung open the door, and standing,
one on each side, showed only the long glittering point of a spear
across the doorway. The enemy demanded a parley, but finally, not
knowing the number of persons inside, and realizing that a charge
meant death for two of the company, they withdrew. Silence and the
unknown are the only things really terrible.

And so Joseph and Anita lived and loved and fought, and incidentally
studied the few books which they possessed, and at odd times wrote
poetry. A year after that first ride on the back of the horse that
carried double, a son was born to them. A contemporary tells of seeing
Anita riding horseback, the chubby babe carried like a papoose,
looking out wonderingly at the world, which for him was just six
months old. In three years this baby boy was riding behind his mother
on the crupper, and another baby had come to do the papoose act.

So passed eight years of adventure by land and sea, in wood and vale,
on mountain and plain. Garibaldi had given Brazil all the freedom she
deserved--all she knew how to use. He was crowned as "The Hero of
Montevideo," and could have taken a place high in the councils of the
State. But across the sea he heard the rumble of battle going on in
his beloved fatherland, and the dream of a United Italy was still
vivid in his mind, and of course, vivid, too, in the mind of Anita. So
they sailed away, taking with them a hundred of their loyal, loving
men in the red shirts, who refused to be left behind. Arriving in
Italy, Garibaldi went at once to the home of his mother, who had
mourned him as lost and now received him as one risen from the dead.
Anita and the children appealed to the good woman, and her heart went
out to them, as if, indeed, they were all her own, loved into life.

When all at once, remembering her son's indifference for the Church,
she asked when and where they were married, Joseph looked at Anita,
and Anita looked at Joseph, and then they acknowledged that they had
only been married by a sailor, who had said the ceremony as he
remembered it, adding, "And may God have mercy on your souls." Hastily
the mother packed them off to a priest, who administered the right of
extreme marital unction, and charged them double fee on account of
their carelessness. They paid the fee, laughing inwardly, but glad to
relieve the mother of her qualms.

The children were left in the care of the grandmother, and Joseph and
Anita went forth to enlist under the banner of Charles Albert of
Piedmont and make war on superstition and the Pope.

       *       *       *       *       *

Charles Albert had been a staunch supporter of the very conditions
against which the striplings, Joseph Mazzini and Joseph Garibaldi, had
made war twenty years previous. But nations, like men, sometimes have
experiences that make them grow by throes and throbs, by leaps and
bounds. The writings of Mazzini had been constantly distributed and
circulated, and the fact that they were tabued by the government added
to the joys of the illicit. A well-defined wave of republicanism swept
the land. Those sensitive to ideas awoke, like lilacs sensitive to the
breath of May.

King Charles Albert, of all the Italian kinglets, alone guessed the
temper of his people, and issued to them a constitution with the right
of franchise. This meant war upon the Austrian protectorate and the

Volunteers from the other provinces flocked to the standard of
Piedmont. And about this time it was that Garibaldi and Anita offered
their services to the insurgent army. Charles Albert feared his old-
time foe, for Garibaldi was of a nature that detested compromise, and
the Piedmontese could not understand how he was willing to fight under
the banner of a king, even a king who had forsworn tyranny and reform.
But other provinces were seceding, and erelong Joseph Garibaldi found
himself at the head of a thousand Neapolitans, all clad in red shirts,
well armed, carrying banners upon which were sentiments like these:
"Man was made to be free!" "Down with priest and Pope!" and "Let us
own ourselves!"

The reformer paints things with a broom: exaggeration indeed is a
necessary part of his equipment. Garibaldi could not understand that
Italy was not ripe for a simple religion of love for wife, child and
neighbor, paying one's debts, and earning one's daily bread by honest
toil. He could not appreciate that the many really did not care for
either political or mental freedom, much preferring mendicancy to
work, and quite willing to delegate their thinking to a college of
cardinals. And so he waged his earnest fight, with a faith as full and
complete as the faith that actuated Old John Brown, whose soul goes
marching on.

In Eighteen Hundred Forty-nine, some of the provinces had capitulated
and joined forces with France and Austria, the insurgent leaders
having been promised places in the excise--the compromise hastened no
doubt by cold and hunger. Garibaldi's own force was much reduced and
he took to the mountains, abandoning his cavalry equipment. Orders
were out that he, or any of his band, caught should be shot, without
trial, by fours in presence of their companions and the army. Thirty
of his men and four of his best officers had been so executed.

He and Anita were surrounded and had taken refuge in a cornfield.
Anita was wounded and delirious with thirst and fever. A Garibaldian
had volunteered to go for water across an open field. Garibaldi
watched the man and saw him shot down by French soldiers in ambush. He
remained, knowing the enemy would soon come out of hiding to rob the
dead. Garibaldi waited close beside the body of his dead companion,
and killed with his own hands the man who had done the deed.

He got the water and carried it back to Anita in the cornfield. But
she now had no need of it--she was dead. Garibaldi remained by the
body until nightfall, and then carried it to the house of a peasant
nearby. He made the peasant woman understand that the dead was a
woman, a mother, like herself, and must be given decent burial--the
woman understood.

The torches of the enemy could be seen near at hand, trailing
Garibaldi from the cornfield to the house. He covered the beloved form
with his scarf, and giving the peasant woman his purse, hurried forth
barely in time to elude the pursuers. He made his way alone to the
seashore and found refuge in Venice.

There was a price upon his head, but still there were many throughout
Italy from Milan to Sicily who spoke of him as patriot and savior.

As a diplomatic move Rome relented, and Garibaldi was allowed to move
to Caprera, a rocky island ten miles from the coast. Here he lived
with his mother and children, writing, studying, farming; lived as
Victor Hugo lived at Guernsey, only without the wealth, but in touch
with Mazzini, exiled in London.

In Eighteen Hundred Fifty-three, Garibaldi came to New York and
remained nearly two years. He went into business under an assumed name
and accumulated two thousand dollars, so the little business must have

In Eighteen Hundred Fifty-four Naples was again in revolt, and
Garibaldi heard the trumpets of battle from afar. He returned to
Italy, and with his two thousand dollars bought the Island of Caprera,
that his children might be insured a home, and also, possibly, to
convince the government at Rome that he had come to stay.

Twice he left his beloved Caprera to work out his great dream of a
United Italy. He fought with troops that had no commissary; battled
with superstition; and saw his name belittled by those he sought to
serve. Finally he entered Naples at the head of an army and was
proclaimed Dictator. But statesmanship is business; and business is to
organize and discipline, and use the forces of monotonous peace.
Garibaldi expected too much: he wanted to see the Church uprooted, the
princes sent on their way, and the people supreme. This was not to be.
He did, however, live to see the Pope relinquish his temporal power,
and a United Italy, but with Victor Emmanuel, son of Charles Albert,
as king. The people still wanted a king, and they wanted their Church,
even though an emasculated one.

In Eighteen Hundred Seventy, Garibaldi and his son, the firstborn of
Anita, offered their services to Gambetta and enlisted with France to
fight against Germany. And yet Garibaldi had nothing against Germany,
and had fought France in many a tedious campaign, but he thought that
France now stood opposed to papal power, while Germany sympathized
with it.

After the war Garibaldi was elected to the Italian Parliament, and
performed, at least, one good piece of work: he succeeded in getting
an appropriation to erect a statue of Bruno upon the exact spot where
this lover of truth and right was burned alive, by order of the Pope,
for teaching that the earth revolved.

In September, Nineteen Hundred Four, the World's Free-Thought
Convention was held in Rome, and a committee was appointed to decorate
the statue of Bruno and hold at its base a memorial meeting. The
principal address was by Ernst Haeckel. In the course of his remarks
Haeckel said:

  We meet in the Eternal City in the cause of liberty and the cause of
  truth. We need to express, each in his own way, unfettered and
  unvexed by coercion and fear of suppression, the things we believe
  are right and just and beautiful, and should be said. We know but
  little, but in this we are agreed--that there is no final, arbitrary
  and dogmatic truth. Truth is a point of view; as we know more and
  comprehend more, we will express more. Man has today freedom to
  breathe, freedom to study, freedom to grow, such as he never before
  had since time began. Man has today more faith than he ever had
  before--more faith in himself, more faith in his fellows. Thinking,
  like the physical act of walking, is a matter of faith. For the
  privilege of being here today, in this place, expressing what we
  think, we are under special obligations to one man, and the entire
  world of progress is under obligation to this man--and that man is

Garibaldi passed peacefully away at his beloved Caprera in Eighteen
Hundred Eighty-two, aged seventy-five, gently ministered to by his
children and grandchildren. The insurance-company that might have
insured his life when he was twenty would have made money on the
transaction regardless of rate. Yet he was the hero of sixty-seven
battles on land and sea, and engaged in more than two hundred personal
encounters, where rifles, pistols, stilettos, swords or cudgels played
their part. Behold the irony of Fate!

No man was ever more detested, hated, feared--no man was ever better
loved. That he was a sternly honest, sincere man, singularly pure in
motive and abstemious in habit, even his bitterest enemies do not
dispute. If Savonarola was God-intoxicated, Garibaldi was freedom-

He refused bribes, declined honors, put aside titles, and died as
penniless as he was born, and as he had lived. His life was
consecrated to one thing--Liberty.


  What I contend is that England is today so situated in every
  particular of her domestic and foreign circumstances that, by
  leaving other governments to settle their own business and fight out
  their own quarrels, and by attending to the vast and difficult
  affairs of her own enormous realm, and the condition of her people,
  she will not only be setting the world an example of noble morality,
  which no other nation is so happily free to set, but she will be
  following the very course which the maintenance of her own greatness
  most imperatively demands. It is precisely because Great Britain is
  so strong in resources, in courage, in institutions, in geographical
  position, that she can, before all other European powers, afford to
  be moral, and to set the example of a mighty nation walking in the
  paths of justice and peace.

[Illustration: Richard Cobden]

Richard Cobden never had any chance in life. He was born in an obscure
hamlet of West Sussex, England, in Eighteen Hundred Four. His father
was a poor farmer, who lost his freehold and died at the top, whipped
out, discouraged, when the lad was ten years old. Richard Cobden
became a porter, a clerk, a traveling salesman, a mill-owner, a member
of parliament, an economist, a humanitarian, a statesman, a reformer.
Up to his thirteenth year he was chiefly interested in the laudable
task of making a living--getting on in the world. During that year,
and seemingly all at once and nothing first, just as bubbles do when
they burst, he beheld the problem of business from the broad vantage-
ground of humanitarianism. But he did not burst, for his dreams were
spun out of life's realities, and today are coming true; in fact, many
of them came true in his own time. Richard Cobden ceased to be
provincial and became universal.

He saw that commerce, instead of being merely a clutch for personal
gain, was the chief factor in civilization. He realized that we are
educated through our efforts to get food and clothing; and therefore
the man who ministers to the material wants of humanity is really the
true priest. The development of every animal has come about through
its love-emotions and its struggle to exist.

A factory in a town changes every person in the town, mentally and
physically. This being true, does not the management of this factory
call for men of heart and soul--broad-minded, generous, firm in the
right? Then every factory is influenced by the laws of the land, and
each country is influenced by the laws of other countries, since most
countries that are engaged in manufacturing find a market abroad.

Cobden set himself to inquire into the causes of discontent and
failure, of progress and prosperity. And not content merely to
philosophize, he carried his theories into his own enterprises.

Many of our modern business betterments seem to have had their rise in
the restless, prophetic brain of Richard Cobden. He of all men sought
to make commerce a science, and business a fine art. The world moves

It is only a few years ago that we in America thought to have in our
President's Cabinet a Secretary of Commerce and Labor.

Listen to what Cobden wrote in Eighteen Hundred Forty-three:

  In the close council of every king, or president, or prince, should
  be a man of affairs whose life is devoted to commerce and labor, and
  the needs and requirements of peace. His work is of far greater
  moment than that of men-of-war. Battleships ever form a suggestion
  for their use, and as long as we have armies, men will kill, fight
  and destroy. Soldiers who do not want to fight are not of this
  earth. Prepare for war and war will come. When government gives to
  the arts of peace the same thought and attention that it gives to
  the arts of war, we will have peace on earth and good-will among
  men. But so long as the soldier takes precedence of the businessman
  in the political courts of the world, famine, death, disease and
  want will crouch at our doors. Commerce is production, war is
  destruction. The laws of production and distribution must and will
  be made a science; and then and not until then will happiness come
  to mankind and this earth serve as a pattern for the paradise of
  another life, instead of being a pandemonium.

       *       *       *       *       *

Emerson defines commerce as carrying things from where they are
plentiful to where they are needed. Business is that field of human
endeavor which undertakes to supply the materials to humanity that
life demands.

The clergy are our spiritual advisers, preparing us for a pleasant and
easy place in another world. The lawyers advise us on legal themes--
showing us how to obey the law, or else evade it, and they protect us
from lawyers. The doctors look after us when disease attacks our
bodies--or when we think it does.

We used to talk about "The Three Learned Professions"; if we use the
phrase now, it is only in a Pickwickian sense, for we realize that
there are at present fifty-seven varieties of learned men.

The greatest and most important of all the professions is that of
Commerce, or Business. Medicine and law have their specialties--a
dozen each--but business has ten thousand specialties, or divisions.

So important do we now recognize business, or this ministering to the
material wants of humanity, that theology has shifted its ground, and
within a few years has declared that to eat rightly, dress rightly,
and work rightly are the fittest preparation for a life to come.

The best lawyers now are businessmen, and their work is to keep the
commercial craft in a safe channel, where it will not split on the
rocks of litigation nor founder in the shallows of misunderstanding.
Every lawyer will tell you this, "To make money you must satisfy your

The greatest change in business came with the one-price system.

The old idea was for the seller to get as much as he possibly could
for everything he sold. Short weight, short count, and inferiority in
quality were considered quite proper and right, and when you bought a
dressed turkey from a farmer, if you did not discover the stone inside
the turkey when you weighed it and paid for it, there was no redress.
The laugh was on you. And moreover a legal maxim--caveat emptor, "Let
the buyer beware"--made cheating legally safe.

Dealers in clothing guaranteed neither fit nor quality, and anything
you paid for, once wrapped up and in your hands, was yours beyond
recall--"Business is business," was a maxim that covered many sins.

A few hundred years ago business was transacted mostly through fairs
and ships, and by pedlers. Your merchant of that time was a
peripatetic rogue who reduced prevarication to a system.

The booth gradually evolved into a store, with the methods and customs
of the irresponsible keeper intact: the men cheated their neighbors
and chuckled in glee until their neighbors cheated them, which, of
course, they did. Then they cursed each other, began again, and did it
all over. John Quincy Adams tells of a certain deacon who kept a store
near Boston, who always added in the year 1775, at the top of the
column, as seventeen dollars and seventy-five cents.

The amount of misery, grief, disappointment, shame, distress, woe,
suspicion and hate caused by a system which wrapped up one thing when
the buyer expected another, and took advantage of his innocence and
ignorance as to quality and value, can not be computed in figures.
Suffice it to say that duplicity in trade has had to go. The self-
preservation of the race demanded honesty, square dealing, one price
to all. The change came only after a struggle, and we are not quite
sure of the one-price deal yet.

But we have gotten thus far: that the man who cheats in trade is tabu.
Honesty as a business asset is fully recognized. If you would succeed
in business you can not afford to sell a man something he does not
want; neither can you afford to disappoint him in quality, any more
than in count. Other things being equal, the merchant who has the most
friends will make the most money. Our enemies will not deal with us.
To make a sale and acquire an enemy is poor policy. To a pedler or a
man who ran a booth at a bazaar or fair, it was "get your money now or
never." Buyer and seller were at war. One transaction and they never
met again. The air was full of hate and suspicion, and the savage
propensity of physical destruction was refined to a point where
hypocrisy and untruth took the place of violence--the buyer was as bad
as the seller: if he could buy below cost he boasted of it. To catch a
merchant who had to have money was glorious--we smote him hip and
thigh! Later, we discovered that being strangers he took us in.

The one-price system has come as a necessity, since it reduces the
friction of life, and protects the child or simple person in the
selection of things needed, just the same as if the buyer were an
expert in values and a person who could strike back if imposed upon.
Safety, peace and decency demanded the one-price system. And so we
have it--with possibly a discount to the clergy, to schoolteachers,
and relatives as close as second cousins. But when we reach the point
where we see that all men are brothers, we will have absolute honesty
and one price to all.

And this change in business methods, in our mental attitude towards
trade, has all grown out of a dimly perceived but deeply felt belief
in the brotherhood of man, of the solidarity of the race--also, in the
further belief that life in all of its manifestations is Divine.

Therefore, he who ministers to the happiness and well-being of the
life of another is a priest and is doing God's work. Men must eat,
they must be clothed, they must be housed. It is quite as necessary
that you should eat good food as that you should read good books, hear
good music, hear good sermons, or look upon beautiful pictures. The
necessary is the sacred.

There are no menial tasks. "He that is greatest among you shall be
your servant." The physical reacts on the spiritual and the spiritual
on the physical, and, rightly understood, are one and the same thing.
We live in a world of spirit and our bodies are the physical
manifestation of a spiritual thing, which for lack of a better word
we call "God." We change men by changing their environment. Commerce
changes the environment and gives us a better society. To supply good
water, better sanitary appliances, better heating apparatus, better
food, served in a more dainty way--these are all tasks worthy of the
highest intelligence and devotion that can be brought to bear upon
them, and every Christian preacher in the world today so recognizes,
believes and preaches. We have ceased to separate the secular from
the sacred. That is sacred which serves.

Once, a businessman was a person who not only thrived by taking
advantage of the necessities of people, but who also banked on their
ignorance of values. But all wise men now know that the way to help
yourself is to help humanity. We benefit ourselves only as we benefit
others. And the recognition of these truths is what has today placed
the businessman at the head of the learned professions--he ministers
to the necessities of humanity.

Out of blunder and bitterness comes wisdom. Men are taught through
reaction, and all experience that does not kill you is good.

When the father of Richard Cobden gave up hope and acknowledged
defeat, the family of a full dozen were farmed out among relatives.
The kind kinsmen who volunteered to look after the frail and sensitive
Richard evaded responsibility by placing the lad in a boys' boarding-
school. Here he remained from his tenth until his sixteenth year. Once
a year he was allowed to write a letter home to his mother, but during
the five years he saw her but once.

Hunger and heartache have their uses. Richard Cobden lived to strike
the boarding-school fallacy many a jolting blow; but it required
Charles Dickens to complete the work by ridicule, just as Robert
Ingersoll laughed the Devil out of church. We fight for everything
until the world regards it as ridiculous, then we abandon it. So long
as war is regarded as heroic, we will fight for it; when it becomes
absurd it will die.

Said Richard Cobden in a speech in the House of Commons: "Of all the
pathetic fallacies perpetuated, none seems to me more cruelly absurd
than the English Boarding-School for boys. The plan of taking the
child of seven, eight or ten years away from his parents, and giving
him into the keeping of persons who have only a commercial interest in
him, and compelling him to fight for his life among little savages as
unhappy as himself, or sink into miserable submission, seems too
horrible to contemplate." Yet this plan of so-called education
continued up to about fifty years ago, and was upheld and supported by
the best society of England, including the clergy, who were usually
directly "particeps criminis" in the business.

Logic and reason failed to dislodge the folly, and finally it was left
to a stripling reporter, turned novelist, to give us Squeers and
Dotheboys Hall. This fierce ridicule was the thing which finally
punctured the rhinoceros hide of the pedagogic blunder.

There is one test for all of our educational experiments--will it
bring increased love? That which breeds hate and fosters misery is bad
in every star. Compare the boarding-school idea with the gentle
philosophy of Friedrich Froebel, and note how Froebel always insists
that the education of the mother and her child should go forward hand
in hand. Motherhood is for the mother, and she who shifts the care of
her growing child to a Squeers, not only immerses her child in misery
but loses the opportunity of her life.

When Richard was sixteen he was transferred from the boarding-school
to his uncle's warehouse in London. His position was that of a poor
relation, and his work in the warehouse was to carry bundles and
manipulate a broom. His shy and sensitive ways caught the attention of
a burly and gruff superintendent, whose gruffness was only on the
outside. This man said to the boy, before he had been sweeping a week:
"Young 'un, I obsarve with my hown hies that you sweeps in the
corners. For this I raises your pay a shilling a week, and makes you
monkey to the shipping-clerk."

In a year the shipping-clerk was needed as a salesman, and Richard
took his place. In another year Richard was a salesman, and canvassing
London for orders. Very shortly after he became convinced that to work
for relations was a mistake. Twenty years later the thought
crystallized in his mind thus: Young man, you had better neither hire
relatives nor work for them. It means servility or tyranny or both.
You do not want to be patronized nor placed under obligations, nor
have other helpers imagine you are a favorite. To grow you must be
free--let merit count and nothing else. Probably this was what caused
a wise man to say, "The Devil sent us our relatives, but thank Heaven
we can choose our friends for ourselves."

Relatives often assume a fussy patronizing management which outsiders
never do. And so at twenty we find Cobden cutting loose from
relatives. He went to work as a commercial traveler selling cotton
prints. That English custom of the "commercial dinner," where all the
"bagmen" that happened to be in the hotel dine at a common table, as a
family, and take up a penny collection for the waiter, had its rise in
the brain of Cobden. He thought the traveling salesman should have
friendly companionship, and the commercial dinner with its frank
discussions and good-fellowship would in degree compensate for the
lack of home. This idea of brotherhood was very strong in Richard
Cobden's heart. And always at these dinners he turned the conversation
into high and worthy channels, bringing up questions of interest to
the "boys," and trying to show them that the more they studied the
laws of travel, the more they knew about commerce, the greater their
power as salesmen. His journal about this time shows, "Expense five
shillings for Benjamin Franklin's 'Essays,'" and the same for
"'Plutarch's Lives.'" And from these books he read aloud at the
bagmen's dinners.

Cobden anticipated in many ways that excellent man, Arthur F. Sheldon,
and endeavored to make salesmanship a fine art.

From a salesman on a salary, he evolved into a salesman on a salary
and commission. Next he made a bold stand with two fellow-travelers
and asked for the exclusive London agency of a Manchester print-mill.
A year later he was carrying a line of goods worth forty thousand
pounds on unsecured credit. "Why do you entrust me with all these
goods when you know I am not worth a thousand pounds in my own name?"

And the senior member of the great house of Fort, Sons and Company
answered: "Mr. Cobden, we consider the moral risk more than we do the
financial one. Our business has been built up by trusting young,
active men of good habits. With us character counts." And Cobden went
up to London and ordered the words, "Character Counts!" cut deep in a
two-inch oak plank which he fastened to the wall in his office.

At twenty-seven his London brokerage business was netting him an
income of twelve hundred pounds a year. It seems at this time that
Fort and Sons had a mill at Sabden, which on account of mismanagement
on the part of superintendants had fallen into decay. The company was
thinking of abandoning the property, and the matter was under actual
discussion when in walked Cobden.

"Sell it to Cobden," said one of the directors, smiling.

"For how much?" asked Cobden.

"A hundred thousand pounds," was the answer.

"I'll take it," said Cobden, "on twenty years' time with the privelege
of paying for it sooner if I can." Cobden had three valuable assets in
his composition--health, enthusiasm and right intent. Let a banker
once feel that the man knows what he is doing, and is honest, and
money is always forthcoming.

And so Cobden took possession of the mill at Sabden. Six hundred
workers were employed, and there was not a school nor a church in the
village. The workers worked when they wanted, and when they did not
they quit. Every pay-day they tramped off to neighboring towns, and
did not come back until they had spent their last penny. In an
endeavor to discipline them, the former manager had gotten their ill-
will, and they had mobbed the mill and broken every window. Cobden's
task was not commercial: it was a problem in diplomacy and education.
To tell of how he introduced schools, stopped child labor, planted
flowerbeds and vegetable-gardens, built houses and model tenements,
and disciplined the workers without their knowing it, would require a
book. Let the simple fact stand that he made the mill pay by
manufacturing a better grade of goods than had been made, and he also
raised the social status of the people. In three years his income had
increased to ten thousand pounds a year.

"At thirty," says John Morley, "Cobden passed at a single step from
the natural egotism of youth to the broad and generous public spirit
of a great citizen." Very early in his manhood Cobden discovered that
he who would do an extraordinary work must throw details on others,
and scheme for leisure. Cobden never did anything he could hire any
one else to do. He saved himself to do work that to others was
impossible. That is to say, he picked his men, and he chose men of his
own type--healthy, restless, eager, enthusiastic, honest men. The
criticism of Disraeli that "Cobden succeeded in business simply
because he got other people to do his work," is sternly true. It
proves the greatness of Cobden.

       *       *       *       *       *

And so we find Richard Cobden, the man who had never had any chance in
life, thirty years old, with an income equal to thirty-five thousand
dollars a year, and at the head of a constantly growing business. He
had acquired the study habit ten years before, so really we need
shed no tears on account of his lack of college training. He knew
political history--knew humanity--and he knew his Adam Smith. And
lo! cosmic consciousness came to him in a day. His personal business
took second place, and world problems filled his waking dreams.

These second births in men can usually be traced to a book, a death, a
person, a catastrophe--a woman. If there was any great love in the
life of Cobden I would make no effort to conceal it--goodness me!

But the sublime passion was never his, otherwise there would have been
more art and less economics in his nature. Yet for women he always had
a high and chivalrous regard, and his strong sense of justice caused
him to speak out plainly on the subject of equal rights at a time when
to do so was to invite laughter.

And so let x--Miss X--symbol the cause of Richard Cobden's rebirth. He
placed his business in charge of picked men, and began his world
career by going across to Paris and spending three months in studying
the language and the political situation. He then moved on to Belgium
and Holland, passed down through Germany to Switzerland, across to
Italy, up to Russia, back to Rome, and finally took ship at Naples for
England by way of Gibraltar. On arriving at Sabden he found that,
while the business was going fairly well, it had failed to keep the
pace that his personality had set. When the man is away the mice will
play--a little. Things drop down. Eternal vigilance is not only the
price of liberty, but of everything else, and success in business most
of all.

Cobden knew the truth--that by applying himself to business he could
become immensely rich. But if he left things to others, he could at
the best expect only a moderate income on the capital he had already
acquired. Everything is bought with a price--make your choice!
Richard Cobden chose knowledge, service to mankind, and an all-round
education, rather than money. He spent six months at his print-mill,
and again fared forth upon his journeyings.

He visited Spain, Turkey, Greece and Egypt, spending several months in
each country, studying the history of the place on the spot. What
interested him most was the economic reasons which led to advance and
fall of nations. In Eighteen Hundred Thirty-five he started for
America on a sailing-vessel, making the passage in just five weeks.
One letter to his brother from America contains the following:

  I am thus far on my way back again to New York, which city I expect
  to reach on the Eighth instant, after completing a tour through
  Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Pittsburgh, Lake Erie to
  Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Albany (via Auburn, Utica, Schenectady), and
  the Connecticut Valley to Boston and Lowell. On my return to New
  York, I propose giving two days to the Hudson River, going up to
  Albany one day, and returning the next; after which I shall have two
  or three days for the purpose of taking leave of my good friends in
  New York, previous to going on board the "Britannia" on the
  Sixteenth. My journey may be called a pleasure-trip, for without an
  exception or interruption of any kind I have enjoyed every minute of
  the too short time allowed me for seeing this truly magnificent
  country. No writer has yet done justice to America. Her lakes,
  rivers, forests and cataracts are peculiarly her own, and when I
  think of their superiority to all that we have in the Old World, and
  still more, when I recollect that by a mysterious ordinance of their
  Creator, these were hid from "learned ken" till modern times, I fell
  into the fanciful belief that the Western continent was brought
  forth at a second birth, and intended by Nature as a more perfect
  specimen of her handiwork. But how in the name of breeding must we
  account for the degeneracy of the human form in this otherwise
  mammoth-producing soil? The men are but sorry descendants from the
  noble race that begot their ancestors. And as for the women--my eyes
  have not found one that deserves to be called a wholesome, blooming,
  pretty woman since I have been here! One-fourth part of the women
  look as if they had just recovered from a fit of jaundice; another
  quarter would in England be termed in a state of decided
  consumption; and the remainder are fitly likened to our fashionable
  women, haggard and jaded with the dissipation of a London season.
  There, now, haven't I out-Trolloped Mrs. Trollope! But leaving the
  physical for the moral, my estimate of American character has
  improved, contrary to my expectations, by this visit. Great as was
  my previous esteem for the qualities of this people, I find myself
  in love with their intelligence, their sincerity, and the decorous
  self-respect that actuates all classes. The very genius of activity
  seems to have found its fit abode in the
  souls of this restless and energetic race.

Among other interesting items which Cobden made note of in America was
that everywhere wood was used for fuel, "excepting at Brownsville,
Virginia, where beds of coal jut out of the hillside, and all the
people have to do is to help themselves." Pittsburgh interested him,
and he spent a week there: went to a theater and heard England hissed
and Columbia exalted. Pittsburgh burned only wood for fuel, the wood
being brought down on flatboats. At Youngstown, Ohio, were three
hundred horses used on the many stagecoaches that centered there.
There was a steamboat that ran from Cleveland to Buffalo in two days
and a night, stopping seven times on the way to take on passengers and
goods and wood for fuel. At Buffalo you could hear the roar of Niagara
Falls and see the mist. Arriving at the Canada side of the Falls he
was shaved by a negro who was a runaway slave, all negroes in Canada
being free.

Cobden says: "The States are not especially adapted for agricultural
products, the land being hilly and heavily wooded. American exports
are cotton, wool, hides and lumber." It will thus be seen that in
Eighteen Hundred Thirty-six America had not been discovered.

Arriving in England, Cobden began to write out his ideas and issue
them in pamphlet form at his own expense. For literature, as such, he
seemed to have had little thought, literature being purely a secondary

       *       *       *       *       *

Cobden's work was statistical, economic, political and philosophic.
From writing he read his pamphlets before various societies and
lyceums. Debates naturally followed, and soon Cobden was forced to
defend his theories.

He was nominated for a seat in Parliament and was defeated. Next year
he ran again and was elected. The political canvass had given freedom
to his wings; he had learned to think on his feet, to meet
interruption, to parry in debate. The air became luminous with

England then had a tax on everything, including bread. On grains and
meat brought into England there was an import tax which was positively
prohibitive. This tax was for the dual purpose of raising revenue for
the Government, and to protect the English farmer. Of course, the
farmer believed in this tax which prevented any other country from
coming into competition with himself.

Cobden thought that food-products should pass unobstructed to where
they were needed, and that any other plan was mistaken and vicious.
The question came up in the House of Commons, and Cobden arose to
speak. Anyone who then spoke of "free trade" was considered disloyal
to his country. Cobden used the word and was hissed. He waited and
continued to speak. "Famine is possible only where trade is
restricted," and he proved his proposition by appeals to history, and
a wealth of economic information that hushed the House into respectful
silence. As an economist he showed he was the peer of any man present.
The majority disagreed with him, but his courteous manner won respect,
and his resourceful knowledge made the opposition cautious.

Soon after he brought up a public-school measure, and this was voted
down on the assumption that education was a luxury, and parents who
wanted their children educated should look after it themselves, just
as they did the clothing and food of the child. At best, education
should be left to the local parish, village or city government.

Cobden was in the minority; but he went back to Manchester and formed
the Anti-Corn-Law League, demanding that wheat and maize should be
admitted to the United Kingdom free of duty, and that no tax of any
kind should be placed on breadstuffs. The farmers raised a howl--
incited by politicians--and Cobden was challenged to go into farming
communities and debate the question. The enemy hoped, and sincerely
believed, he would be mobbed. But he accepted the challenge, and the
debate took place, with the result that he was for the most part
treated with respect, since he convinced his hearers that agriculture
was something he knew more about than did the landlords. He showed
farmers how to diversify crops and raise vegetables and fruits, and if
grains would flow in cheaper than they could raise them, why then take
the money they received from vegetables and buy grain! It was an
uphill fight, but Cobden threw his soul into it, and knew that some
day it would win.

Cobden's contention was that all money necessary to run the Government
should be raised by direct taxation on land, property and incomes, and
not on food any more than on air, since both are necessary to actual
existence. To place a tariff on necessities, keeping these things out
of the country and out of the reach of the plain and poor people who
needed them, was an inhumanity. A tariff should be placed on nothing
but articles of actual luxury--things people can do without--but all
necessities of life should flow by natural channels, unobstructed. An
indirect tax is always an invitation to extravagance on the part of
Government, and also, it is a temptation to favor certain lines of
trade at the expense of others, and so is class legislation.
Government must exist for all the people, never for the few, and the
strong and powerful must consider the lowly and weak.

The landed gentry upheld the Corn Laws and used the word "commercial"
as an epithet. Very naturally they made their tenants believe that if
free trade were allowed, the farmers would be worse than bankrupt, and
commercialism rampant. Cobden stood for the manufacturing public and
the cities. The landlords tried to disparage Cobden by declaring that
smoky, dirty Birmingham was his ideal. Cobden's task was to make
England see that the less men tampered with the natural laws of trade
the better, and that no special class of citizens should suffer that
others might be prosperous, and that business and manufacturing must
and could be rescued from their low estate and be made honorable. And
so the fight went on. From a curiosity to hear what Cobden might say,
interest in the theme subsided, and the opposition adopted the
cheerful habit of trooping out to the cloakroom whenever Cobden arose
to speak.

Cobden had at least one very great quality which few reformers have:
he was patient with the fools. Against stupidity he never burst forth
in wrath. Impatience with stupidity is a fine mark of stupidity. He
knew the righteousness of his cause, and repeated and kept repeating
his arguments in varied form. His platform manner was conversational
and friendly. He often would use the phrase, "Come, let us just talk
this matter over together." And so he quickly established close,
friendly terms with his hearers, which, while lacking the thrill of
oratory, made its impress upon a few who grew to love the man. John
Bright tells of "the mild, honest look of love and genuineness that
beamed from his eyes," and which told the story even better than his

       *       *       *       *       *

And so the Anti-Corn-Law agitation continued. Sir Robert Peel, as head
of the Ministry, sought in every possible way to silence Cobden and
bring him into contempt, even to denouncing him as "a dangerous
agitator who would, if he could, do for London what Robespierre did
for Paris." But time went on as time does, and Cobden had been before
the country as the upholder of unpopular causes for more than ten
years. There was famine in Ireland. By the roadside famishing mothers
held to their withered breasts dying children, and called for help
upon the passers-by. Cobden described the situation in a way that
pierced the rhinoceros hides of the landlords, and they offered
concessions of this and that. Cobden said, "Future generations will
stand aghast with amazement when they look back upon this year and
see children starving for bread in Ireland, and we forbidding the
entry of corn into the country with a prohibitive tariff, backing up
this law with armed guns."

The common people began to awake. If famine could occur in Cork and
Dublin, why not in Manchester and London? The question came close,
now. The Anti-Corn-Law League saw its opportunity. Mass meetings were
held in all cities and towns. In Manchester, Cobden asked for funds to
carry on the agitation. He himself headed the list with a thousand
pounds. Twenty-three manufacturers followed his lead in three minutes.
Windsor and Westminster now sat up and rubbed their sleepy eyes, and
Sir Robert Peel sent word to Cobden asking for a conference. Cobden
replied, "All we desire is an immediate repeal of the Corn Laws--no
conference is necessary."

Sir Robert Peel sent in his resignation as Prime Minister, saying he
could not in conscience comply with the demands of the mob, and while
compliance seemed necessary to avoid revolution, others must make the
compromise. The Queen then appointed Lord John Russell as Prime
Minister and ordered him to form a new Cabinet and give an office to
Cobden. Lord Russell tried for four days to meet the issue, and
endeavored to placate the people with platitude and promise. Cobden
refused all office, and informed Lord Russell that he preferred to
help the Crown by remaining an outside advocate.

Every Government, at the last, is of the people, by the people, but
whether for the people depends upon whether the people are awake. And
now England did not care for a radical change of rulers; all the
citizens wanted was that those in power recede from their position and
grant the relief demanded. The Queen now reconsidered the resignation
of Sir Robert Peel and refused to accept it, and he again assumed the
reins. An extraordinary session of the House of Commons was called and
the Corn Laws were repealed. The House of Lords concurred. The
nobility was absolutely routed, and Cobden, "the sooty manufacturer,"
had won.

Strangely enough, panic did not follow, nor did the yeomanry go into
bankruptcy. The breadstuffs flowed in, and the manufacturing
population being better fed at a less outlay than formerly, had more
money to spend. Great general prosperity followed, and the gentry, who
had threatened to abandon their estates if the Corn Laws were
repealed, simply raised their rents a trifle and increased the gaming

Sir Robert Peel publicly acknowledged his obligation to Cobden, and
Lord Palmerston, who had fought him tooth and nail, did the same,
explaining, "A new epoch has arisen, and England is a manufacturing
country, and as such the repeal of the Corn Laws became desirable." As
though he would say, "To have had free trade before this new epoch
arose, would have been a calamity." A large sum had been subscribed
but not used in the agitation. And now by popular acclaim it was
decided that this money should go to Cobden personally as a thank-
offering. When the proposition was made, new subscriptions began to
flow in, until the sum of eighty thousand pounds was realized.
Cobden's business had been neglected. In his fight for the good of the
nation his own fortune had taken wing. He announced his intention of
retiring from politics and devoting himself to trade, and this was
that which, probably, caused the tide to turn his way. He hesitated
about accepting the gift, which amounted to nearly half a million
dollars, but finally concluded that only by accepting could he be free
to serve the State, and so he acceded to the wishes of his friends.
Some years later, Lord Palmerston offered him a baronetcy and a seat
in the cabinet, but he preferred still to help the State as an outside

John Morley, the strongest and sanest of modern English statesmen,

  "Cobden had an intrepid faith in the perfectibility of man. His
  doctrine was one of non-intervention; that the powerful can
  afford to be lenient; that mankind continually moves toward the
  light if not too much interfered with. By his influence the darker
  shapes of repression were banished from the education of the young;
  the insane were treated with a consideration before unknown; the
  criminal was regarded as a brother who deserved our gentlest
  consideration and patience; the time-honored and ineffective
  processes of violence and coercion fell into abeyance, and a
  rational moderation and enlightenment appeared on the horizon. He
  elevated and refined the world of business, just as he benefited
  everything he touched. His early death at the age of sixty-one
  seemed a calamity for England, for we so needed the help of his
  generous, gentle and unresentful spirit. He lived not in vain; yet
  years must pass before the full and sublime truths for which he
  stood are realized."


  These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the
  sunshine patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of
  his country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and
  thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily
  conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the
  conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap,
  we esteem too lightly; 't is dearness only that gives everything its
  value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and
  it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as FREEDOM
  should not be highly rated.
  --_Paine, in "The Crisis"_

[Illustration: THOMAS PAINE]

Thomas Paine was an English mechanic, of Quaker origin, born in the
year Seventeen Hundred Thirty-seven. He was the author of four books
that have influenced mankind profoundly. These books are, "Common
Sense," "The Age of Reason," "The Crisis," and "The Rights of Man."

In Seventeen Hundred Seventy-four, when he was thirty-seven years old,
he came to America bearing letters of introduction from Benjamin

On arriving at Philadelphia he soon found work as editor of "The
Pennsylvania Magazine."

In Seventeen Hundred Seventy-five, in the magazine just named, he
openly advocated and prophesied a speedy separation of the American
Colonies from England. He also threw a purple shadow over his
popularity by declaring his abhorrence of chattel slavery.

His writings, from the first, commanded profound attention, and on the
advice and suggestion of Doctor Benjamin Rush, an eminent citizen of
Philadelphia, the scattered editorials and paragraphs on human rights,
covering a year, were gathered, condensed, revised, made into a book.

This "pamphlet," or paper-bound book, was called "Common Sense."

In France, John Adams was accused of writing "Common Sense." He
stoutly denied it, there  being several allusions in it stronger than
he cared to stand sponsor for.

In England, Franklin was accused of being the author, and he neither
denied nor admitted it. But when a lady reproached him for having used
the fine alliterative phrase, applied to the king, "The Royal British
Brute," he smiled and said blandly, "Madame, I would never have been
so disrespectful to the brute creation as that."

"Common Sense" struck the keynote of popular feeling, and the
accusation of "treason," hurled at it from many sources, only served
to advertise it. It supplied the common people with reasons, and gave
statesmen arguments. The Legislature of Pennsylvania voted Paine a
honorarium of five hundred pounds, and the University of Pennsylvania
awarded him the degree of "Master of Arts," in recognition of eminent
services to literature and human rights. John Quincy Adams said,
"Paine's pamphlet, 'Common Sense,' crystallized public opinion and was
the first factor in bringing about the Revolution."

The Reverend Theodore Parker once said: "Every living man in America
in Seventeen Hundred Seventy-six, who could read, read 'Common Sense,'
by Thomas Paine. If he was a Tory, he read it, at least a little, just
to find out for himself how atrocious it was; and if he was a Whig, he
read it all to find the reasons why he was one. This book was the
arsenal to which the Colonists went for their mental weapons."

As "Common Sense" was published anonymously and without copyright, and
was circulated at bare cost, Paine never received anything for the
work, save the twenty-five hundred dollars voted to him by the

When independence was declared, Paine enlisted as a private, but was
soon made aide-de-camp to General Greene. He was an intrepid and
effective soldier and took an active part in various battles.

In December, Seventeen Hundred Seventy-six, he published his second
book, "The Crisis," the first words of which have gone into the
electrotype of human speech, "These are the times that try men's
souls." The intent of the letters which make up "The Crisis" was to
infuse courage into the sinking spirits of the soldiers. Washington
ordered the letters to be read at the head of every regiment, and it
was so done.

In Seventeen Hundred Eighty-one, Paine was sent to France with Colonel
Laurens to negotiate a loan. The errand was successful, and Paine then
made influential acquaintances, which were later to be renewed. He
organized the Bank of North America to raise money to feed and clothe
the army, and performed sundry and various services for the Colonies.

In Seventeen Hundred Ninety-one he published his third book, "The
Rights of Man," with a complimentary preface by Thomas Jefferson. The
book had an immense circulation in America and England. By way of
left-handed recognition of the work, the author was indicted by the
British Government for "sedition." A day was set for the trial, but as
Paine did not appear--those were hanging days--and could not be found,
he was outlawed and "banished forever."

He became a member of the French Assembly, or "Chamber of Deputies,"
and for voting against the death of the king came under suspicion, and
was cast into prison, where he was held for one year, lacking a few
weeks. His life was saved by James Monroe, America's Minister to
France, and for eighteen months he was a member of Monroe's household.

In Seventeen Hundred Ninety-four, while in France, there was published
simultaneously in England, America and France, Paine's fourth book,
"The Age of Reason."

In Eighteen Hundred Two, Thomas Jefferson, then President of the
United States, offered Paine passage to America on board the man-of-
war "Maryland," in order that he might be safe from capture by the
English, who had him under constant surveillance and were intent on
his arrest, regarding him as the chief instigator in the American
Rebellion. Arriving in America, Paine was the guest for several months
of the President at Monticello. His admirers in Baltimore, Washington,
Philadelphia and New York gave banquets in his honor, and he was
tendered grateful recognition on account of his services to humanity
and his varied talents. He was presented by the State of New York, "in
token of heroic work for the Union," a farm at New Rochelle, eighteen
miles from New York, and here he lived in comparative ease, writing
and farming.

He passed peacefully away, aged seventy-two, in Eighteen Hundred Nine,
and his body was buried on his farm, near the house where he lived,
and a modest monument erected marking the spot. He had no Christian
burial, although, unlike Mr. Zangwill, he had a Christian name. Nine
years after the death of Paine, William Cobbett, the eminent English
reformer, stung by the obloquy visited upon the memory of Paine in
America, had the grave opened and the bones of the man who wrote the
first draft of our Declaration of Independence were removed to
England, and buried near the spot where he was born. Death having
silenced both the tongue and the pen of the Thetford weaver, no
violent interference was offered by the British Government. So now the
dead man slept where the presence of the living one was barred and
forbidden. A modest monument marks the spot. Beneath the name are
these words, "The world is my country, mankind are my friends, to do
good is my religion."

In Eighteen Hundred Thirty-nine, a monument was erected at New
Rochelle, New York, on the site of the empty grave where the body of
Paine was first buried, by the lovers and admirers of the man. And
while only one land claims his birthplace, three countries now
dispute for the privilege of honoring his dust, for it so happened
that in France a strong movement was on foot demanding that the
remains of Thomas Paine be removed from England to France, and be
placed in the Pantheon, that resting-place of so many of the
illustrious dead who gave their lives to the cause of Freedom, close
by the graves of Voltaire, Rousseau and Victor Hugo. And the reason
the bones were not removed to Paris was because only an empty coffin
rests in the grave at Thetford, as at New Rochelle. Rumor says that
Paine's skull is in a London museum, but if so, the head that
produced "The Age of Reason" can not be identified. And the end is
not yet!

       *       *       *       *       *

The genius of Paine was a flower that blossomed slowly. But life is a
sequence, and the man who does great work has been in training for
it. There is nothing like keeping in condition--one does not know
when he is going to be called on. Prepared people do not have to hunt
for a position--the position hunts for them. Paine knew no more about
what he was getting ready for than did Benjamin Franklin, when at
twenty he studied French, evenings, and dived deep into history.

The humble origin of Paine and his Quaker ancestry were most helpful
factors in his career. Only a working-man who had tasted hardship
could sympathize with the overtaxed and oppressed. And Quakerdom made
him a rebel by prenatal tendency. Paine's schooling was slight, but
his parents, though poor, were thinking people, for nothing sharpens
the wits of men, preventing fatty degeneration of the cerebrum, like
persecution. In this respect, the Jews and Quakers have been greatly
blessed and benefited--let us congratulate them. Very early in life
Paine acquired the study habit. And for the youth who has the study
habit no pedagogic tears need be shed. There were debating-clubs at
coffeehouses, where great themes were discussed; and our young weaver
began his career by defending the Quakers. He acquired considerable
local reputation as a weaver of thoughts upon the warp and woof of
words. Occasionally he occupied the pulpit in dissenting chapels.

These were great times in England--the air was all athrob with
thought and feeling. A great tidal wave of unrest swept the land. It
was an epoch of growth, second only in history to the Italian
Renaissance. The two Wesleys were attacking the Church, and calling
upon men to methodize their lives and eliminate folly; Gibbon was
writing his "Decline and Fall"; Burke, in the House of Commons, was
polishing his brogue; Boswell was busy blithering about a book
concerning a man; Captain Cook was sailing the seas finding
continents; the two Pitts and Charles Fox were giving the king
unpalatable advice; Horace Walpole was setting up his private press
at Strawberry Hill; the Herschels--brother and sister--were sweeping
the heavens for comets; Reynolds, West, Lawrence, Romney and
Gainsborough were founding the first school of British Art; and David
Hume, the Scotchman, was putting forth arguments irrefutable. And
into this seething discontent came Thomas Paine, the weaver, reading,
studying, thinking, talking, with nothing to lose but his reputation.
He was twenty-seven years of age when he met Ben Franklin at a
coffeehouse in London. Paine got his first real mental impetus from
Franklin. Both were workingmen. Paine listened to Franklin one whole
evening, and the said, "What he is I can at least in part become."
Paine thought Franklin quite the greatest man of his time, an opinion
which, among others held by him, the world now fully accepts.

       *       *       *       *       *

Paine at twenty-four, from a simple weaver, had been called into the
office of his employer to help straighten out the accounts. He tried
storekeeping, but with indifferent success. Then it seems he was
employed by the Board of Excise on a similar task. Finally he was
given a position in the Excise. This position he might have held
indefinitely, and been promoted in the work, for he had clerical
talents which made his services valuable. But there was another theme
that interested him quite as much as collecting taxes for the
Government, and that was the philosophy of taxation. This was very
foolish in Thomas Paine--a tax-collector should collect taxes, and
not concern himself with the righteousness of the business, nor about
what becomes of the money.

Paine had made note of the fact that England collected taxes from
Jews, but that Jews were not allowed to vote because they were not
"Christians," it being assumed that Jews were not as fit, either
intellectually or morally, to pass on questions of state as members
of the "Church." In Seventeen Hundred Seventy-one, in a letter to a
local paper, he used the phrase, "The iniquity of taxation without
representation," referring to England's treatment of the Quakers.
About the same time he called attention to the fact that the
Christian religion was built on the Judaic, and that the reputed
founder of the established religion was a Jew and his mother a Jewess,
and to deprive Jews of the right of full citizenship, simply because
they did not take the same view of Jesus that others did, was a
perversion of the natural rights of man. This expression, "the
natural rights of man," gave offense to a certain clergyman of
Thetford, who replied that man had no natural rights, only
privileges--all the rights he had were those granted by the Crown.
Then followed a debate at the coffeehouse, followed by a rebuke from
Paine's superior officer in the Excise, ordering him to cease all
political and religious controversy on penalty.

Paine felt the smart of the rebuke; he thought it was unjustifiable,
in view of the fact that the excellence of his work for the Government
had never been questioned. So he made a speech in a dissenting chapel
explaining the situation. But explanations never explain, and his
assertion that the honesty of his service had never been questioned
was put out of commission the following week by the charge of
smuggling. His name was dropped from the official payroll until his
case could be tried, and a little later he was peremptorily
discharged. The charge against him was not pressed--he was simply not
wanted--and the statement by the head exciseman that a man working for
the Government should not criticize the Government was pretty good
logic, anyway. Paine, however, contended that all governments exist
for the governed, and with the consent of the governed, and it is the
duty of all good citizens to take an interest in their government, and
if possible show where it can be strengthened and bettered.

It will thus be seen that Paine was forging reasons--his active brain
was at work, and his sensitive spirit was writhing under a sense of
personal injustice.

One of his critics--a clergyman--said that if Thomas Paine wished to
preach sedition, there was plenty of room to do it outside of England.
Paine followed the suggestion, and straightway sought out Franklin to
ask him about going to America.

Every idea that Paine had expressed was held by Franklin and had been
thought out at length. Franklin was thirty-one years older than Paine,
and time had tempered his zeal, and beside that, his tongue was always
well under control, and when he expressed heresy he seasoned it with a
smile and a dash of wit that took the bitterness out of it. Not so
Paine--he was an earnest soul, a little lacking in humor, without the
adipose which is required for a diplomat.

Franklin's letters of introduction show how he admired the man--what
faith he had in him--and it is now believed that Franklin advanced him
money, that he might come to America.

William Cobbett says:

  As my Lord Grenville has introduced the name of Edmund Burke, suffer
  me, my Lord, to introduce the name of a man who put this Burke to
  shame, who drove him off the public stage to seek shelter in the
  pension-list, and who is now named fifty million times where the
  name of the pensioned Burke is mentioned once. The cause of the
  American Colonies was the cause of the English Constitution,
  which says that no man shall be taxed without his own consent. A
  little cause sometimes produces a great effect; an insult offered to
  a man of great talent and unconquerable perseverance has in many
  instances produced, in the long run, most tremendous effects; and it
  appears to me very clear that the inexcusable insults offered to Mr.
  Paine while he was in the Excise in England was the real cause of
  the Revolution in America; for, though the nature of the cause of
  America was such as I have before described it, though the
  principles were firm in the minds of the people of that country,
  still it was Mr. Paine, and Mr. Paine alone, who brought those
  principles into action.

Paine's part in the Revolutionary War was most worthy and honorable.
He shouldered a musket with the men at Valley Forge, carried messages
by night through the enemy's country, acted as rear-guard for
Washington's retreating army, and helped at break of day to capture
Trenton, and proved his courage in various ways. As clerk, secretary,
accountant and financier he did excellent service.

Of course, there had been the usual harmonious discord that will occur
among men hard-pressed and over-worked, where nerve-tension finds vent
at times in acrimony. But through all the nine long, weary years
before the British had had enough, Paine was never censured with the
same bitterness which fell upon the heads of Washington and Jefferson.
Even Franklin came in for his share of blame, and it was shown that he
had expended an even hundred thousand pounds in Europe, with no
explanation of what he had done with the money. When called upon to
give an accounting for the "yellow-dog fund," Franklin simply wrote
back, "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn." And
on the suggestion of Thomas Paine, the matter was officially dropped.

Paine was a writing man--the very first American writing man--and I am
humiliated when I have to acknowledge that we had to get him from
England. He was the first man who ever used these words, "The American
Nation," and also these, "The United States of America." Paine is the
first American writer who had a literary style, and we have not had so
many since but that you may count them on the fingers of one hand.
Note this sample of antithesis: "There are but two natural sources of
wealth--the earth and the ocean--and to lose the right to either, in our
situation, is to put the other up for sale."

Here is a little tribute from Paine's pen to America which some of our
boomers of boom towns might do well to use:

  America has now outgrown the state of infancy. Her strength and
  commerce make large advances to manhood; and science in all its
  branches has not only blossomed, but even ripened upon the soil. The
  cottages as it were of yesterday have grown into villages, and the
  villages to cities; and while proud antiquity, like a skeleton in
  rags, parades the streets of other nations, their genius, as if
  sickened and disgusted with the phantom, comes hither for recovery.
  America yet inherits a large portion of her first-imported virtue.
  Degeneracy is here almost a useless word. Those who are conversant
  with Europe would be tempted to believe that even the air of the
  Atlantic disagrees with the constitution of foreign vices; if they
  survive the voyage they either expire on their arrival, or linger
  away with an incurable consumption. There is a happy something in
  the climate of America which disarms them of all their power both
  of infection and attraction.

Ease, fluidity, grace, imagination, energy, earnestness, mark his
work. No wonder is it that Franklin said, "Others can rule, many can
fight, but only Paine can write for us the English tongue." And
Jefferson, himself a great writer, was constantly, for many years,
sending to Paine manuscript for criticism and correction. In one
letter to Paine, Jefferson adds this postscript, "You must not be too
much elated and set up when I tell you my belief that you are the only
writer in America who can write better than your obliged and obedient
servant--Thomas Jefferson."

Paine was living in peace at Bordentown in the year Seventeen Hundred
Eighty-seven. The war was ended, the last hostile Britisher had
departed, and the country was awakening to prosperity. Paine rode his
mettlesome old war-horse "Button," back and forth from Philadelphia,
often stopping and seating himself by the roadway to write out a
thought while the horse that had known the smell of powder quietly
nibbled the grass. The success of Benjamin Franklin as an inventor had
fired the heart of Paine. He devised a plan to utilize small
explosions of gunpowder to run an engine, thus anticipating our gas
and gasoline engines by nearly a hundred years. He had also planned a
bridge to span the Schuylkill. Capitalists were ready to build the
bridge, provided Paine could get French engineers, then the greatest
in the world, to endorse his plans. So he sailed away to France,
intending also to visit his parents in England, instructing his
friends in Bordentown with whom he boarded, to take care of his
horse, his rooms and books with all his papers, for he would be back
in less than a year. He was fifty years old. It was thirteen years
since he had left England, and he felt that his transplantation to a
new soil had not been in vain. England had practically exiled him,
but still the land of his birth called, and unseen tendrils tugged at
his heart. He must again see England, even for a brief visit, and then
back to America, the land that he loved and which he had helped to

And destiny devised that it was to be fifteen years before he was
again to see his beloved "United States of America."

Arriving in France, Paine was received with honours. There was much
political unrest, and the fuse was then being lighted that was to
cause the explosion of Seventeen Hundred Eighty-Nine. However, of all
this Paine knew little.

He met Danton, a freemason, like himself, and various other radicals.
"Common Sense" and "The Crisis" had been translated into French,
printed and widely distributed, and inasmuch as Paine had been a party
in bringing about one revolution, and had helped carry it through to
success, his counsel and advice were sought. A few short weeks in
France, and Paine having secured the endorsement of the Academy for
his bridge, went over to England preparatory to sailing for America.

Arriving in England, Paine found that his father had died but a short
time before. His mother was living, aged ninety-one, and in full
possession of her faculties. The meeting of mother and son was full
of tender memories. And the mother, while not being able to follow her
gifted son in all of his reasoning, yet fully sympathized with him in
his efforts to increase human rights. The Quakers, while in favor of
peace, are yet revolutionaries, for their policy is one of protest.

Paine visited the old Quaker church at Thetford, and there seated in
the silence, wrote these words:

  When we consider, for the feelings of Nature can not be dismissed,
  the calamities of war and the miseries it inflicts upon the human
  species, the thousands and tens of thousands of every age and sex
  who are rendered wretched by the event, surely there is something in
  the heart of man that calls upon him to think! Surely there is some
  tender chord, tuned by the hand of the Creator, that still struggles
  to emit in the hearing of the soul a note of sorrowing sympathy. Let
  it then be heard, and let man learn to feel that the true greatness
  of a nation is founded on principles of humanity, and not on
  conquest. War involves in its progress such a train of unforeseen
  and unsupposed circumstances, such a combination of foreign matters,
  that no human wisdom can calculate the end. It has but one thing
  certain, and that is to increase taxes. I defend the cause of the
  poor, of the manufacturer, of the tradesman, of the farmer, and of
  all those on whom the real burden of taxes fall--but above all, I
  defend the cause of women and children--of all humanity.

Edmund Burke, hearing of Paine's presence in England, sent for him to
come to his house. Paine accepted the invitation, and Burke doubtless
got a few interesting chapters of history at first hand. "It was equal
to meeting Washington, and perhaps better, for Paine is more of a
philosopher than his chief," wrote Burke to the elder Pitt.

Paine saw that political unrest was not confined to France--that
England was in a state of evolution, and was making painful efforts
to adapt herself to the progress of the times. Paine could remember a
time when in England women and children were hanged for poaching;
when the insane were publicly whipped, and when, if publicly
expressed, a doubt concerning the truth of Scripture meant exile or
to have your ears cut off.

Now he saw the old custom reversed and the nobles were bowing to the
will of the people. It came to him that if the many in England could
be educated, the Crown having so recently received its rebuke at the
hands of the American Colonies, a great stride to the front could be
made. Englishmen were talking about their rights. What are the natural
rights of a man? He began to set down his thoughts on the subject.
These soon extended themselves into chapters. The chapters grew into a
book--a book which he hoped would peacefully do for England what
"Common Sense" had done for America. This book, "The Rights of Man,"
was written at the same time that Mary Wollstonecraft was writing her
book, "The Rights of Women."

In London, Paine made his home at the house of Thomas Rickman, a
publisher. Rickman has given us an intimate glimpse into the life of
the patriot, and told us among other things that Paine was five feet
ten inches high, of an athletic build, and very fond of taking long
walks. Among the visitors at Rickman's house who came to see Paine
were Doctor Priestly, Home Tooke, Romney, Lord Edward Fitzgerald, the
Duke of Portland and Mary Wollstonecraft. It seems very probable that
Mrs. Wollstonecraft, as she styled herself, read to Paine parts of her
book, for very much in his volume parallels hers, not only in the
thought, but in actual wording. Whether he got more ideas from her
than she got from him will have to be left to the higher critics.
Certain it is that they were in mutual accord, and that Mrs.
Wollstonecraft had read "Common Sense" and "The Rights of Man" to a

It was too much to expect that a native-born Englishman could go
across the sea to British Colonies and rebel against British rule and
then come back to England and escape censure. The very popularity of
Paine in certain high circles centered attention on him. And Pitt, who
certainly admired Paine's talents, referred to his stay in England as

England is the freest country on earth. It is her rule to let her
orators unmuzzle their ignorance and find relief in venting grievances
upon the empty air. In Hyde Park any Sunday one can hear the same
sentiments for the suppression of which Chicago paid in her Haymarket
massacre. Grievances expressed are half-cured, but England did not
think so then. The change came about through thirty years' fight,
which Paine precipitated.

The patience of England in dealing with Paine was extraordinary. Paine
was right, but at the same time he was as guilty as Theodore Parker
was when indicted by the State of Virginia along with Ol' John Brown.

"The Rights of Man" sold from the very start, and in a year fifty
thousand copies had been called for.

Unlike his other books, this one was bringing Paine a financial
return. Newspaper controversies followed, and Burke, the radical,
found himself unable to go the lengths to which Paine was logically
trying to force him.

Paine was in Paris, on a visit, on that memorable day which saw the
fall of the Bastile. Jefferson and Adams had left France, and Paine
was regarded as the authorized representative of America; in fact, he
had been doing business in France for Washington. Lafayette in a
moment of exultant enthusiasm gave the key of the Bastile to Paine to
present to Washington, and as every American schoolboy knows, this
famous key to a sad situation now hangs on its carefully guarded peg
at Mount Vernon. Lafayette thought that, without the example of
America, France would never have found strength to throw off the rule
of kings, and so America must have the key to the detested door that
was now unhinged forever.

"And to me," said Lafayette, "America without her Thomas Paine is
unthinkable." The words were carried to England and there did Paine no
especial good. But England was now giving Paine a living--there was a
market for the product of his pen--and he was being advertised both by
his loving friends and his rabid enemies.

Paine had many admirers in France, and in some ways he felt more at
home there than in England. He spoke and wrote French. However, no man
ever wrote well in more than one language, although he might speak
intelligently in several; and the orator using a foreign tongue never
reaches fluidity. "Where liberty is, there is my home," said
Franklin. And Paine answered, "Where liberty is not, there is my
home." The newspaper attacks had shown Paine that he had not made
himself clear on all points, and like every worthy orator who
considers, when too late, all the great things he intended to say, he
was stung with the thought of all the brilliant things he might have
said, but had not.

And so straightway he began to prepare Part Two of "The Rights of
Man." The book was printed in cheap form similar to "Common Sense,"
and was beginning to be widely read by workingmen.

"Philosophy is all right," said Pitt, "but it should be taught to
philosophical people. If this thing is kept up London will re-enact
the scenes of Paris."

Many Englishmen thought the same. The official order was given, and
all of Paine's books that could be found were seized and publicly used
for a bonfire by the official hangman. Paine was burned in effigy in
many cities, the charge being made that he was one of the men who had
brought about the French Revolution. With better truth it could have
been stated that he was the man, with the help of George the Third,
who had brought about the American Revolution. The terms of peace made
between England and the Colonies granted amnesty to Paine and his
colleagues in rebellion, but his acts could not be forgotten, even
though they were nominally forgiven. This new firebrand of a book was
really too much, and the author got a left-handed compliment from the
Premier on his literary style--books to burn!

Three French provinces nominated him to represent them in the Chamber
of Deputies. He accepted the solicitations of Calais, and took his
seat for that province.

He knew Danton, Mirabeau, Marat and Robespierre. Danton and
Robespierre respected him, and often advised with him. Mirabeau and
Marat were in turn suspicious and afraid of him. The times were
feverish, and Paine, a radical at heart, here was regarded as a
conservative. In America, the enemy stood out to be counted: the
division was clear and sharp; but here the danger was in the hearts of
the French themselves.

Paine argued that we must conquer our own spirits, and in this new
birth of freedom not imitate the cruelty and harshness of royalty
against which we protest. "We will kill the king, but not the man,"
were his words. But with all of his tact and logic he could not make
his colleagues see that to abolish the kingly office, not to kill the
individual, was the thing desired.

So Louis, who helped free the American Colonies, went to the block,
and his enemy, Danton, a little later, did the same; Mirabeau, the
boaster, had died peacefully in his bed; Robespierre, who signed the
death-warrant of Paine, "to save his own head," died the death he had
reserved for Paine; Marat, "the terrible dwarf," horribly honest,
fearfully sincere, jealous and afraid of Paine, hinting that he was
the secret emissary of England, was stabbed to his death by a woman's

And amid the din, escape being impossible, and also undesirable,
Thomas Paine wrote the first part of "The Age of Reason."

The second part was written in the Luxembourg prison, under the shadow
of the guillotine. But life is only a sentence of death, with an
indefinite reprieve. Prison, to Paine, was not all gloom.

The jailer, Benoit, was good-natured and cherished his unwilling
guests as his children. When they left for freedom or for death, he
kissed them, and gave each a little ring in which was engraved the
single word, "Mizpah." But finally Benoit, himself, was led away, and
there was none to kiss his cheek, nor to give him a ring and cry
cheerily, "Good luck, Citizen Comrade! Until we meet again!"

       *       *       *       *       *

A great deal has been said by the admirers of Thomas Paine about the
abuse and injustice heaped upon his name, and the prevarications
concerning his life, by press and pulpit and those who profess a life
of love, meekness and humility. But we should remember that all this
vilification was really the tribute that mediocrity pays genius. To
escape censure, one only has to move with the mob, think with the mob,
do nothing that the mob does not do--then you are safe. The saviors of
the world have usually been crucified between thieves, despised,
forsaken, spit upon, rejected of men. In their lives they seldom had a
place where they could safely lay their weary heads, and dying their
bodies were either hidden in another man's tomb or else subjected to
the indignities which the living man failed to survive: torn limb from
limb, eyeless, headless, armless, burned and the ashes scattered or
sunk in the sea.

And the peculiar thing is that most of this frightful inhumanity was
the work of so-called good men, the pillars of society, the
respectable element, what we are pleased to call "our first citizens,"
instigated by the Church that happened to be in power. Socrates
poisoned; Aristides ostracized; Aristotle fleeing for his life; Jesus
crucified; Paul beheaded; Peter crucified head downward; Savonarola
martyred; Spinoza hunted, tracked and cursed, and an order issued that
no man should speak to him nor supply him food or shelter; Bruno
burned; Galileo imprisoned; Huss, Wyclif, Latimer and Tyndale used for
kindling--all this in the name of religion, institutional religion,
the one thing that has caused more misery, heartaches, bloodshed, war,
than all other causes combined. Leo Tolstoy says, "Love, truth,
compassion, service, sympathy, tenderness, exist in the hearts of men,
and are the essence of religion, but try to encompass these things in
an institution and you get a church--and the Church stands for and has
always stood for coercion, intolerance, injustice and cruelty."

No man ever lifted up his voice or pen in a criticism against love,
truth, compassion, service, sympathy and tenderness. And if he had, do
you think that love, truth, compassion, service, sympathy, tenderness,
would feel it necessary to go after him with stocks, chains,
thumbscrews and torches?

You can not imagine it.

Then what is it goes after men who criticize the prevailing religion
and shows where it can be improved upon? Why, it is hate, malice,
vengeance, jealousy, injustice, intolerance, cruelty, fear.

The reason the Church does not visit upon its critics today the same
cruelties that it did three hundred years ago is simply because it has
not the power. Incorporate a beautiful sentiment and hire a man to
preach and defend it, and then buy property and build costly buildings
in which to preach your beautiful sentiment, and if the gentleman who
preaches your beautiful sentiment is criticized he will fight and
suppress his critics if he can. And the reason he fights his critics
is not because he believes the beautiful sentiment will suffer, but
because he fears losing his position, which carries with it ease,
honors and food, and a parsonage and a church, tax-free.

Just as soon as the gentleman employed to defend and preach the
beautiful sentiment grows fearful about the permanency of his
position, and begins to have goose-flesh when a critic's name is
mentioned, the beautiful sentiment evaporates out of the window, and
exists only in that place forever as a name. The Church is ever a
menace to all beautiful sentiments, because it is an economic
institution, and the chief distributor of degrees, titles and honors.

Anything that threatens to curtail its power it is bound to oppose and
suppress, if it can. Men who cease useful work, in order to devote
themselves to religion, are right in the same class with women who
quit work to make a business of love. Men who know history and
humanity and have reasonably open minds are not surprised at the
treatment visited upon Paine by the country he had so much benefited.
Superstition and hallucination are really one thing, and fanaticism,
which is mental obsession, easily becomes acute, and the whirling
dervish runs amuck at sight of a man whose religious opinions are
different from his own.

Paine got off very easy; he lived his life, and expressed himself
freely to the last. Men who discover continents are destined to die in
chains. That is the price they pay for the privilege of sailing on,
and on, and on, and on.

Said Paine:

  The moral duty of a man consists in imitating the moral goodness and
  beneficence of God manifested in the creation towards all creatures.
  That seeing as we daily do, the goodness of God to all men, it is an
  example calling upon all men to practise towards each other, and
  consequently that everything of persecution and revenge between man
  and man, and everything of cruelty to animals, is a violation of
  moral duty.

      *       *       *       *       *

The pen of Paine made the sword of Washington possible. And as Paine's
book, "Common Sense," broke the power of Great Britain in America,
and "The Rights of Man" gave free speech and a free press to England,
so did "The Age of Reason" give pause to the juggernaut of orthodoxy.
Thomas Paine was the legitimate ancestor of Hosea Ballou, who founded
the Universalist Church, and also of Theodore Parker, who made
Unitarianism in America an intellectual torch.

Channing, Ripley, Bartol, Martineau, Frothingham, Hale, Curtis,
Collyer, Swing, Thomas, Conway, Leonard, Savage--yes, even Emerson and
Thoreau--were spiritual children, all, of Thomas Paine. He blazed the
way and made it possible for men to preach the sweet reasonableness of
reason. He was the pioneer in a jungle of superstition. Thomas Paine
was the real founder of the so-called Liberal Denominations, and the
business of the liberal denominations has not been to become great,
powerful and popular, but to make all other denominations more
liberal. So today in all so-called orthodox pulpits one can hear the
ideas of Paine, Henry Frank and B. Fay Mills expounded.


  The repentance of England requireth two things: First, the expulsion
  of all dregs of popery and the treading under foot of all glistering
  beauty of vain ceremonies. Next, no power or liberty must be
  permitted to any, of what estate, degree or authority they be,
  either to live without the yoke of discipline by God's word
  commanded, or to alter one jot in religion which from God's mouth
  thou hast received. If prince, king or emperor would enterprise to
  change or disannul the same, that he be the reputed enemy to God,
  while a prince who erects idolatry must be adjudged to death.
  --_John Knox_

[Illustration: John Knox]

John Knox the Scotchman, Martin Luther the German, and John Calvin the
Frenchman, were contemporaries. They constitute a trinity of strong
men who profoundly influenced their times; and the epoch they made was
so important that we call it "The Reformation." They form the undertow
of that great tidal wave of reason and commonsense called the Italian
Renaissance. And as the chief business of the Hahnemannian school of
medicine was to dilute the dose of the Allopaths, and the Christian
Scientists confirmed the homeopaths in a belief concerning the
beauties of the blank tablet, so did Luther, Calvin and Knox
neutralize the arrogance of Rome, and dilute the dose of despotism.

Knox, Luther, and Calvin were hunted men. They lived stormy,
tumultuous lives, torn by plot and counterplot. Very naturally, their
religion is filled with fever and fear, and their God is jealous,
revengeful, harsh, arbitrary, savage--a God of wrath.

Only a bold man, rough and coarse, could have defied the reigning
powers and done the work which Destiny had cut out for John Knox to
do. His power lay in the hallucination that his utterances were the
final expressions of truth. Had he known more he would have done less.

Life is a sequence, and we are what we are because this man lived. To
the memory of John Knox we acknowledge our obligation; but we realize
that for us to accept and adopt the conclusions and ideals of one who
lived in such tempestuous times is no honor to ourselves, nor to him.

The Christian Church has preached five special phases of belief, as
follows: First, Religion by Definition; Second, Religion by
Submission; Third, Religion by Substitution; Fourth, Religion by
Culture; Fifth, Religion by Service.

All of these phases overlap, more or less, and the difference in sects
consists simply in the amount of emphasis which is placed upon each or
any particular phase. And this is largely a matter of temperament.

The Catholic Church emphasizes definition above all things. You are
told the nature of evil; the Godhead, the trinity, the sacraments,
the "elements" are explained, and the syllabus and catechism play
most important parts. Before you are confirmed you have to memorize
many definitions: little girls of ten glibly explain the difference
between a mortal and a venal sin, and boys in knee-breeches discourse
upon the geography of other worlds, and the state of sinners after

Next to Religion by Definition is Religion by Submission, and usually
they go together. Persons too stupid to define can still submit.
Service is not an essential, and in fact service without definition is
usually regarded as hideous, "the righteousness of an unbeliever being
as filthy rags." However, if it were not for the service rendered by
the monks, priests and nuns, the Catholic Church could never have
retained its hold upon humanity. Its schools, asylums, hospitals and
houses of refuge have been its excuse for existence, and the undoing
of the infidel. But service with the Catholic Church is emphasized
only for the priesthood--the laity being simply asked to define,
submit and pay. Culture and character are left to natural selection,
and the thought that any person but a priest could have either is a
very modern hypothesis. In way of Religion by Definition, Saint Paul
was the great modern exponent. That the Theological Quibblers' Club
existed long before his time we know full well. In fact, the chief
invective of Jesus against Judaism was that it had degenerated into a
mere matter of dispute concerning intricate nothings.

When Paul was brought before Gallio, the brother of Seneca, Gallio
paid his respects to the same quibbling propensities against which
Jesus had inveighed, by saying, "If it were a matter of wrong or of
wicked villainy. O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you:
but if they are questions about words and names and your own law, look
to it yourselves; I am not minded to be a judge of these matters."

Pity and piety have nothing necessarily to do with Religion by
Definition. We can all recall men of acute minds who thought
themselves pious, who had bartered their souls away in order to become
senior wranglers. Intellect lured them on into wordy unseemliness;
their skill in forensics became a passion, and to embarrass and defeat
the antagonist became the thing desired, not the pursuit of truth.
They fell victims to their facility in syntax and prosody--semi-
Solomons in Scriptural explanations, waxing wise in defining the
difference 'twixt hyssop and myrrh.

Forty years ago no town in America was free from joint debates where
the disputants would argue six nights and days together concerning
vicarious salvation, baptism, regeneration, justification and the
condition of unbaptized infants after death. Debates of this kind set
the entire populace by the ears, and at post-office, tavern, grocery,
family table, and even after the disputants had gone to bed, reasons
nice, and subtleties hairsplitting were passed back and forth, until
finally the party getting worsted fell back on maternal pedigrees, and
epithet took the place of logic.

If the matter ended merely with the weapons of wordy warfare, it was
fortunate and well, for these eyes have seen a camp-meeting where
singletrees, neck-yokes, harness-tugs and scalding water augmented
arguments concerning foreordination as taught by John Calvin and
freewill as defined by John Knox.

Theological wrangles belong essentially to a pioneer people: an
earnest, stubbornly honest people, whose lives are given over to a
battle with the elements and the brute forces of Nature, always

Submission is not recognized in their formula except as a word, and
their abnegation takes the form of a persistent pursuit of the thing
desired, by following another trail. Such persons are always very
proud, and the thing upon which they most pride themselves is their
humility, and absence of pride.

"Morality comes only after physical self-preservation is secure," says
Herbert Spencer, and with culture it is the same, and so the word is
not in the bright lexicon of pioneers. All of their service is of the
Connecticut variety--if you need things, they have them for sale. And
so we get the wooden-nutmeg enterprise, and the peculiar incident of
the New Haven man at the Pan-American Fair, who sold wooden nutmegs
for charms and bangles. But one day, running out of wooden nutmegs, he
went to a wholesale grocer and bought a bushel of the genuine ones,
and these he palmed off upon the innocent and unsuspecting, until he
was brought to book on the charge of false pretenses. Human service,
as taught by Jesus of Nazareth, has only been tried in a very
spasmodic way, except for advertising purposes. The world has now, for
the first time in history, reached a point where as a vital problem
the production of wealth is secondary to the question of how we shall
distribute it. And so the Religion of Service is being seriously
considered, and perhaps will soon be given a trial. The man who said
that the number of marriages was in exact ratio to the price of corn
spoke wisely. What he meant was that physical well-being directly
affects all of our social relations. It is exactly the same with our
religion. Economics and religion are very closely related. People in a
certain physical environment have a certain religion. A tired and
overworked people, enslaved as chattels or by the spirit of the times,
find solace in a mournful religion, and a haven of rest hereafter--
also, in the contemplation of a Hell for those who believe differently
from what they do. They sing, "All Days Will Be Sunday By and By," or
"Sweet Rest in Heaven." If they are oppressed by debt and mortgages
that gnaw, they sing, "Jesus paid it all, yes, all the debt I owe." A
warlike people whose wealth has come from conquest will shout the
English National Hymn and take joy in such lines as "Confound their
knavish tricks," expressed as a prayer.

The Religion of Culture flowers best in those with seven generations
of New England clerical ancestry, or a carefully pruned F. F. V.
family-tree. It goes with just a little and not too much C. B. & Q.
and Old Colony eight per cent guaranteed, or wide ancestral acres.
Most Unitarians and Episcopalians hold a caveat on culture and have
character by the scruff. The Religion of Culture has a flavor of thyme
and mignonette, and a gleam of old silver plate handed down as
heirlooms. It means leisure, books on the shelf, well-filled
woodsheds, and cellars stocked with vegetables.

It is leisurely, kindly, intelligent, gentle beautiful. The Religion
of Culture is exclusive, and slips easily into social caste, which is
spiritual and mental ankylosis. Its disadvantages are that to pursue
culture is to frighten her far afield, and have her elude you. To
strive for character is to lose it.

People who strive for health are headed for the sanatorium, for
vitality plus comes only to those who do not think much about it; and
likewise character is evolved best by those who forget character and
lose their lives in service. Dyspeptics are people who have no faith
in their digestive apparatus.

The Reformation revolved around Definition and Substitution. We escape
the doom we deserve through the death of some one else. This belief in
Substitution goes with an age that never doubted the beauty of capital
punishment, and was worked out by men familiar with block, broadax and
basket. Luther, Calvin and Knox possessed the elements of Submission,
Character and Service only in rudimentary form. Substitution and
Definition were their cornerstones.

       *       *       *       *       *

That sturdy reformer, Martin Luther, was born in Fourteen Hundred
Eighty-three. He was nine years old when Columbus turned the prow of
his caravel to the West and persistently sailed on.

Luther's father was a miner--a day laborer--and the lad's childhood
was grim and cheerless. He sang on the streets, and held out a ragged
cap for pennies. His fine, sweet voice caught the ear of a priest, and
the boy's services were used at the altar. The lad was alert, active,
intelligent, ambitious. Very naturally he was educated for the
priesthood. He became a monk, and evolved into a preacher of worth and

A prosperous and successful church always produces a class of
dignitaries given over to sloth and sensuality. From a sublime idea,
with a desire to benefit and to bless, the church degenerates into an
institution for the distribution of honors, and an engine for
punishment for all who oppose it. To Martin Luther religion was a
matter of the heart, and his soul was filled with the thought of
service. At the same time he had ability in the matter of definition.
He began calling upon the Church to reform, and demanding that priests
repent. Very naturally the priests thought it absurd for Luther to try
to bring the righteous to repentance. They laughed. Later they
scowled. Then they called on Doctor Luther to mend his manners, and
not make the Church and himself ridiculous in the eyes of the world.

Had Luther had an eye on the main chance he would at this time have
pulled in his horns, and chosen other texts, and been promoted in due
course to a bishopric; for although the man was small in stature, yet
he carried the crown of his head high and his chin in. What he had
before simply stated he now began to prove. The small hand of
authority, gloved in imitation velvet, here lifted Luther out of a
position of power and honor as "District Vicar," a place that spelled
promotion, and put him back as a grade school-teacher. Had the Pope
been really infallible and the church authorities all-wise, they would
have killed Luther, and that would 'a' been an end on 't. Leniency
just then was an error in judgment. Luther set about bolstering his
mental position. The more he thought about it, the more firmly
convinced was he that his cause was just.

Where thinkers are, there is thought. Thinkers think anywhere, in
country, village, town--in prison. Wittenberg was obscure, more than
half of the students were charity boys, the professors were thin,
dyseptic and glum, or fat and opinionated--all repeated the things
they had been taught, save Martin Luther alone.

And on the thirty-first day of October, Fifteen Hundred Seventeen,
Luther tacked upon the church-door his ninety-five theses, and offered
to debate them 'gainst all the Church Fathers that could be mustered.

Trite, indeed, are the propositions now. Rome has really accepted them
all, even to that one which hints that we, too, are divine in degree,
just like our Elder Brother. Challenges on the church-doors of
colleges were common, but coming from a semi-silenced priest, and
directed at the Pope's emissary, ah! that was different. Even at that,
the whole affair would have been lost in local oblivion, had not the
few zealous boys who loved Luther started their two printing-presses
in the cellar of the church, and worked night and day pulling proofs.
The printing-presses did it! Without the typesetter, the make-ready
man, and the sturdy lads who pulled the lever, Luther's voice would
not have reached across the campus.

But lo! Luther was talking to the world, not to sleepy Wittenberg!
Luther was requested to appear at the Vatican--more properly, the
Castle Angelo. He ignored the invitation. Another summons followed.
Luther went into hiding. He was arrested, tried and condemned, and
sentence suspended. He was again tried, this time by the Emperor and
the Electors, and again condemned. The formal sentence of death only
awaited, and then for him the fagots would flare and the flames

His friends captured him, they of the printing-presses, helped by
others, and bore him away to a prison where his enemies could not
follow. Many a man has been thrown into prison by his enemies, but who
besides Luther was so treated by his friends! Public sentiment was
with him--Germany stood by him--but best of all the printers pulled
the proofs, and four-page folders edited by Martin Luther went
fluttering all over the world, protesting man's right to think.

So he lived out his days, did Martin Luther, on parole, under sentence
of death, working, thinking, writing, printing. And over in France a
serious, sober young man, keen, mentally hungry, translated one of
Luther's pamphlets into French, and printed it for his school-fellows.
Having printed it, he had to explain it, and next to defend it--and
also his action in having printed it. The young man's name was Jean
Chauvain. He spelled it "Caulvain" or "Calvain." The world knows him
as John Calvin.

       *       *       *       *       *

John Calvin was a Frenchman, but it is well to remember that the
typical Frenchman, like the typical Irishman and his brother the Jew,
exists only in the comic papers, and on the vaudeville stage. The
frivolous and the mercurial were not in Calvin's make-up.

The parents of Calvin were of that same sturdy, seafaring type which
produced Millet, Auguste Rodin, Jules Breton, and other simple,
earnest and great souls who have done great deeds. Calvin was the true
Huguenot type.

Peasant ancestry and a nearness to the soil are necessary conditions
in the formation of characters who are to re-map continents, artistic
or theological. The Puritan is a necessary product of his time.

However, Calvin had the advantage of one remove from actual hardship,
and this evidently refined his intellect, and relieved him of world
stage-fright. His father was a notary or steward in the employ of the
De Mommor family. Very naturally, the boy mixed with the scions of
royalty on an equal footing, for pom-pom-pull-away knows no caste, and
a boy's a boy for a' that. At twelve years of age, he felt himself
quite as noble as those of noble blood, and so expressed himself to
his playmates. Probably they found it convenient to agree with him.
Their nickname for him was, "The Accusative."

The world accepts a man at the estimate he places upon himself. There
was a De Mommor lad the same age of John Calvin, and one three years
older. In his studies he set them both a pace, and so correct and
diligent was he that when the De Mommor lads were sent down to Paris,
the tutor insisted that John Calvin should go, too, and a benefice was
at once made out for him providing that he should be educated for the
priesthood. Legend has it that at this time, being then fifteen years
old, he admonished his parents in the way of life, and instructed them
how to conduct themselves during his absence.

At eighteen he was preaching, and soon after was given a living and
placed in charge of a country parish. It was about this time, when he
was between nineteen and twenty years of age, that a copy of one of
Luther's pamphlets fell into his hands. It was a pivotal point.
Thrones were to totter, families be rent in twain, millions of minds
receive a bias! This serious, sober young priest, freshly tonsured,
took the pamphlet to his garret and read it. Then he set about to
refute it. Luther's arguments did not so much interest Calvin as did
the man himself, the man who had defied authority.

And really Calvin did not like the man: Luther's rollicking, coarse
and blunt ways repelled this studious and ascetic youth. The one thing
that Calvin admired in Luther was his self-reliance. Suddenly it came
over Calvin that life should be religion and religion should be life,
and that in the claims of the priesthood there was a deal of pretense.

In refuting Luther he grew to admire him. He resolved to eliminate the
tonsure and dress in citizens' clothes. His resolution stuck, and as
soon as his hair had grown out, he went home and told his father and
patron that he had abandoned theology and wished to study law. And so
he was sent to Orleans and placed in the office of the eminent judge,
Peter de Stella.

But theology is a matter of temperament, and instead of writing
briefs, Calvin began translating Luther's Bible into French. He was
requested to relinquish this pastime long enough to draw up a legal
opinion concerning the divorce of our old friend Henry the Eighth.

Calvin was never wrung by days of doubt nor by nights of pain. He
parted from the Church without a struggle, and adopted as his motto,
"If God be for us, who can be against us?"

He again began to preach. He was a duly ordained priest in good
standing--technically, at least--in the Catholic Church. He had all
the confidence of a sophomore--age did not wither him, nor could
custom stale his infinite variety. He questioned and contradicted
everybody, young or old, regardless of position. But so cleanly was
the man's mode of life, so intellectual, so personally unselfish and
sincere was he, that although heretics were being burned in France by
twos and sevens, yet for several years no hand was laid upon him.

Finally, in spite of the De Mommors, a legal notice was served upon
Calvin, signed by King Francis in person, asking him to desist, and
giving him three months to get back in the theological traces, making
peace with his superiors.

Calvin always had a taste for printing, and now at his own expense he
translated the "De Clementia" of Seneca into French and had the book
printed, dedicating it to the king. This was his brief for clemency
and at the same time an argument for free speech. Seneca's father had
a college of oratory, and Seneca said: "Let the people talk. If they
be right the king can not be harmed; but if they be wrong they will
merely hurt themselves: kings can afford to exercise clemency."

The book was really an insult to the king, since it assumed that
Francis had never read Seneca. This doubtless was a fact; but Francis,
instead of studying up on the old Roman, simply issued an order for
the arrest of Calvin. Calvin quit Paris in hot haste, and no doubt
thereby saved his head.

Doctor Servetus, a physician and learned monk from Spain, was then in
Paris giving popular lectures "against Lutherism and such other
similar forms of grievous error." Servetus was a "Papal Delegate"--
what we would call "a revivalist." Calvin thought Servetus had him
especially in mind. So he issued a challenge at long distance to
debate the issues publicly. Servetus accepted the challenge, but the
arrangements fell through. Calvin found refuge in Strassburg, then at
Basle, being politely sent along from each place, finally reaching
Geneva. He was then twenty-four years old.

At Geneva he at once made his presence felt by attempting to organize
a reformed or independent Catholic Church. For this he was asked to
leave, and then was expelled, living in retirement in the mountains.
Two of the syndics who had brought about his expulsion died, as even
syndics do, and Calvin returned, informing the populace that the death
of the syndics was a punishment upon them for their lack of welcome to
a good man and true.

From this time Calvin turned Geneva into a theocracy, and the city was
sacred to prayer, praise and Bible study. Students flocked from all
over Christendom to hear the new gospel expounded. They came from
Germany, France, England and Scotland. The air was full of unrest. And
among others who came out of curiosity, to study, or perhaps because
they were not needed at home, was a man from Edinburgh. He was six
years younger than Calvin, but very much like him in temperament.

His name was John Knox.
Servetus was a rhetorician, controversialist and diplomat--gentle,
considerate, gracious. He belonged to that suave and cultured type of
Catholic that wins to the Church princes and people to education and
wealth. He has been likened by John Morley to Cardinal Newman.

After Calvin reached Geneva he entered into a long correspondence
with Doctor Servetus, and the debate which had been planned was
carried on by correspondence. Servetus proposed to Calvin that the
postponed debate should take place in Geneva. Calvin replied that if
Servetus came to Geneva he would burn him alive.

Now, there were really many more Catholics in Switzerland than
dissenters, or "Protestants," and Servetus, knowing Calvin's weakness
for exaggeration, did not take his threat seriously. So Servetus
journeyed by leisurely stages southward, on his way to Naples, but he
never reached there. He stopped at Geneva, like other pilgrims, "to
study the new religion."

Geneva was the home of free speech, and this being so, Servetus had
just as good a right there as Calvin. But Calvin looked upon the
coming of Servetus as a menace, and honestly thought, no doubt, that
Servetus was in the personal employ of the Vatican, with intent to
collect evidence against "the new faith." Calvin aroused the community
into a belief that their rights were being jeopardized.

Servetus was arrested and thrown into prison. The charge was heresy--a
charge that at this safe distance makes us smile. But the humor of
heretics charging heretics with heresy, and demanding that they should
be punished, did not dawn upon John Calvin.

Heresy is a matter of longitude and time.

The trial lasted from August until September. Calvin supplied the
proof of guilt by bringing forward the many letters written him by
Servetus. The prisoner did not deny the proof, but instead sought to
defend his position. Calvin replied at length, and thus did the long-
postponed debate take place.

The judges decided in favor of Calvin.

The next day Servetus was burned alive in the public square.

"I interceded for him," said John Calvin; "I interceded for him--I
wanted him beheaded, not burned."

       *       *       *       *       *

The encyclopedia records that John Knox was born at Haddington,
Scotland, in the year Fifteen Hundred Five. As to the place, there is
no doubt; but as for the time, Andrew Lang, after much research,
places the date as Fifteen Hundred Fifteen.

Usually men, eke women, bring the date of their birth forward, but
Knox with much care set his back. He justified himself in this
because, when he was twenty, he was explaining the difference between
truth and error with great precision, and to give the words weight he
added ten years to his age, explaining to a finikin friend that at
twenty he knew more than any man of thirty that could be produced. And
this was doubtless true.

John Knox came of a respectable family of the middle class. He was
independent, blunt, bold, coarse, with an underground village
vocabulary acquired in his childhood that he never quite forgot.

At the grammar-school he was the star scholar, and at Saint Andrews
quickly took front rank and set his teachers prophesying. And the
peculiar part is that all of their prophecies came true, which proves
for us that infant prodigies sometimes train on.

John Knox became a priest and a preacher of power before he was
twenty-five. In temperament he was very much such a man as Luther,
save that Luther was considerable of a joker. Luther had more common-
sense than Knox, but what Knox lacked in humor he made up in
learning. In fact, his love of learning was his chief weakness. He
was as self-reliant as a black Angus. At twenty-six Knox made a vow
that he would no longer kneel. This led to a rebuke from Cardinal
Beaton, followed by the retort courteous.

About this time he met George Wishart, and the men became fast
friends. Four years passed and a chapter in history was played that
wrenched the stern nature of John Knox, and for once broke up the icy
fastness of his heart and caused his tears to flow. That was the
burning at the stake of Wishart on the campus in front of Saint

That his Alma Mater should lend itself to such a horrible crime in the
name of justice caused Knox to break forth in curses that reached the
ears of those in power, and had he not fled, the Fate that overtook
Wishart would have been his.

George Wishart was of Scottish birth, but had spent some time in
Germany, and had caught the spirit of Luther. All accounts agree that
he was a gentle and worthy character, and very moderate in his
expressions. He was a teacher at Cambridge, and his first offense
seems to have been that he translated the New Testament from Greek
into English, without permission.

He came to Saint Andrews and gave a course of lectures, it being the
custom then for colleges to "exchange pulpits." Knox attended these
lectures and heard Wishart for the first time. The Catholics making a
demonstration against Wishart, Knox became one of a volunteer

Being on familiar terms with the great men of Edinburgh, Wishart was
chosen by Henry the Eighth for the very delicate errand of going to
Scotland and interceding for the hand in marriage of Mary Stuart, the
infant "Queen of Scots," with Edward, the infant son of our old
friend. Wishart seems to have been an unwilling tool in this matter,
and his action set Catholic Scotland violently against him.

Persecution pushed him on into unseemly speech, and Cardinal Beaton
set the sure machinery in motion that ended in the death of this
strong, earnest and simple man who had not yet reached the height of
his powers.

The fires that consumed the body of George Wishart fired the heart of
John Knox, and from that hour he was the avowed foe of the papacy.

Two years later, Cardinal Beaton was assassinated by "parties
unknown." But Knox, having often cheerfully referred to Beaton as "a
son of Beelzebub," was accused of hatching the plot, even though he
did not personally take a hand in executing it.

Shortly after the death of Beaton, Knox, believing the atmosphere had
cleared, came back to Edinburgh and preached at the Castle. Soon he
had quite a following, but of people who he himself says, in his
"History of the Reformation," were "gluttons, wantons and licentious
revelers, but who yet regularly and meekly partook of the sacrament."
Knox saw plainly this peculiar paradox, that every reformer is
followed and professed by lawbreakers who consider themselves just
like him. These rogues who took the sacrament regularly were the cause
of much annoyance to Knox, and gave excuse for many accusations
against him.

Knox preached a sermon entitled, "Killing No Murder," attempting to
show how, when men used their power to subjugate other men, their
death becomes a blessing to every one.

The Castle was stormed by Catholics, in which a brigade of French took
part. Knox and various others were taken to France, and there set to
work as galley-slaves. Escaping through connivance he made his way to
Geneva, attracted by the fame of Calvin.

But his heart was in Scotland, and in a year he was back once more on
the heather calling upon the papal heathen to repent.

John Knox was in Geneva three different times. He was a heretic, too,
and his heresy was of the same kind as that of Calvin. And as two
negatives make an affirmative, so do two heretics, if they are strong
enough, transform heresy into orthodoxy. To be a heretic you have to
be in the minority and stand alone.

Calvin had a high regard for Knox, but they were too much alike to
work together in peace. Calvin was never in England, and in fact never
learned to speak English; but Knox spoke French like a native, having
improved the time while in prison in France by studying the language.
There were several hundred English refugees in Geneva, and Calvin
appointed Knox pastor of the English church. This was in Fifteen
Hundred Fifty-four, the year following the death of Servetus. Knox
deprecated the death of the Papal Delegate, but looked upon it
lightly, a mere necessity of the times, and "a due and just warning to
the Pope and the followers of the Babylonish harlot."

When Luther was forty-two he married "Catherine the Nun," a most
noble and excellent woman of about his own age, who encouraged him in
his very trying position and sustained him in time of peril.

Calvin married Idalette de Bures, the widow of an Anabaptist whom he

Calvin was not a lover by nature, and explained to the world that his
marriage was simply a harmless necessary _defi_ to Rome. Happily the
venture proved a better scheme than he wist, and after some years, he
wrote, "I would have died without the helpmeet God sent me--my wife,
who never opposed me in anything." John Knox was married when thirty-
eight to the winsome Marjorie Bowes, aged seventeen, the fifth child
of Mary Bowes, whom he had ardently wooed in his youth. His boast to
the mother that "Providence planned that you should reject me in order
that I might do better," was an indelicate slant by the right oblique.

Marjorie withered in the cold, keen atmosphere of theological
definition, and died in a few years.

And then Fate sent a close call for the Reformer in the daring,
dashing person of Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary's mother was Mary of
Guise, a French woman discreetly married to King James of Scotland.
Knox always bore a terrible hatred toward Mary of Guise, and all
French people for that matter, for his little term in the galleys.
Hisbook, "The Monstrous Regiment of Women," had Mary Tudor, Mary of
Guise, and Mary, Queen of Scots, in mind. Queen Elizabeth paid a
compliment to the worth of the author by outlawing him for "his insult
to virtuous womanhood."

Men who hate women are simply suffering from an overdose. Knox was a
woman-hater who always had one especially attractive woman upon his
list, with intent to make of her a Presbyterian. In this he was as
steadfast as the leader of a colored camp-meeting.

Mary, Queen of Scots, had no more landed on Scottish soil from
Catholic France than Knox fled, fearing for his head. Ere long he came
back and sought a personal interview with the young queen, just turned
twenty, "with intent to bring her heart to Jesus." They seemed to have
talked of other themes, for "she was exceeding French and frivolous
and stroked my beard when I sought to explain to her the wickedness of
profane dancing."

Then Mary tried her hand at converting Knox to the "Mother Church."
And as a last inducement legend has it that she offered to marry him
if he would become a Catholic. Here John Knox coughed and hesitated--
she was getting near his price. He was he saw the devil's tail behind
her chair. He rushed from her presence, quaking with fear.

Stormy interviews followed, back up by handy epithets in which they
both proved expert. It was a pivotal point. Had John Knox married
Mary, Queen of Scots, there would have been no Presbyterian Church, no
Princeton, no Doctor McCosh, no Grover Cleveland.

On March Twentieth, Fifteen Hundred Sixty-three, the banns were read
between John Knox and Margaret "Stewart," or Stuart, daughter of Lord
Ochiltree, and a forebear of our own Tom Ochiltree. The young lady was
two months past sixteen years old. The Queen was furious, for the
girl, being of Royal blood, "should really have consulted me before
renouncing her religion for this praying and braying man with long

There was full and just cause for indignation, for although Mary was
then safely wedded to Darnley, preparing to have him assassinated (and
later to lose her own head), she yet regarded John Knox as her private

Marriage merely added another trouble to the stormy and burdened life
of our great reformer. He had successfully fought the powers of Rome;
the queenly daughter of Henry the Eighth, and Anne Boleyn had found
him incorrigible and given him up as a hopeless case; Calvin could not
tame him; but now a chit of a girl with retrousse nose, who should
have been at work in a paper-box factory, led him a merry dance, and
the voice that had thundered threat and defiance piped in forced
assent. December strawberries, I am told, lack the expected flavor.

When Knox died, he left a widow aged twenty-five, come Michaelmas. She
wore deep mourning, and so did Mary, Queen of Scots, but Mary
explained that her deep veil was merely to hide her smiles.

In two years the widow married Andrew Ker, notorious for having once
leveled a pistol at the Queen. The widow survived Knox just sixty-two
years, and died undeceived, not realizing that she had once been
wedded to a man who had shaped a great religion--one whom Carlyle, his
countryman, calls the master mind of his day.


  I have often tried to picture to myself what famine is, but the
  human mind is not capable of drawing any form, any scene, that will
  realize the horrors of starvation. The men who made the Corn Laws
  are totally ignorant of what it means. The agricultural laborers
  know something of it in some counties, and there are some hand-loom
  weavers in Lancashire who know what it is. I saw the other night,
  late at night, a light in a cottage-window, and heard the loom
  busily at work, the shuttle flying rapidly. It ought to have a
  cheerful sound, but when it is at work near midnight, when there is
  care upon the brow of the workman--lest he should not be able to
  secure that which will maintain his wife and children--then there is
  a foretaste of what is meant by the word "famine."

  Oh, if these men who made the Corn Laws, if these men who step in
  between the Creator and His creatures, could for only one short
  twelvemonth--I would inflict upon them no harder punishment for
  their guilt--if they for one single twelvemonth might sit at the
  loom and throw the shuttle! I will not ask that they should have the
  rest of the evils; I will not ask that they shall be torn by the
  harrowing feelings which must exist when a beloved wife and helpless
  children are suffering the horrors which these Corn Laws have
  inflicted upon millions.
  --_John Bright_

[Illustration: John Bright.]

The Society of Friends--I like the phrase, don't you? The thought of
having friends, and of being a friend, comes to us like a benison and
a benediction. Friendship is almost a religion: the recognition in
your life of the fact that to have friends you must be one is

The Quakers did not educate men to preach: they simply educated them
to be Friends--and live. Those who "heard the Voice" preached. Most
modern preachers do not follow a Voice--they only harken to an echo.
The practical test with the Quakers was whether the man heard the
"Voice" or not--if so, he could preach. Men were not licensed to
preach--that is quite superfluous and absurd. Those who have to listen
are the only ones to decide concerning whether the speaker has heard
the "Voice" or not. As it is now, we often license men to preach who
can not. The ability should be the license.

For, certain it is that men who can command attention need no
testimonial from a commission in lunacy. People who have lived and are
living are the only ones who have a message for living men and women.

George Fox plainly saw that a paid priesthood--specialists in
divinity--created a caste, a superior class that exalted the pulpit at
the expense of the pew. The plan tended to suppress the pew, for all
the talking was strictly ex parte. It also tended to self-deception
among the clergy, for they seldom heard the other side, and in time
came to believe their own statements, no matter how extravagant.

People learn to think by thinking, and to talk by talking. In
explaining a theme to another, it becomes luminous to ourselves.

And so Fox foresaw, with a vision that was as beautiful as it was
rare, that to educate an entire congregation you must make them all
potential preachers. Then any man who rises to speak is aware that a
reply may follow from his mother, his wife, his sister or his

And so the listeners not only listened to the person speaking, but
they also always harkened for the "Inner Voice" and watched for the
"Light Within." In all of which method and plan dwells much plain
commonsense to which the world, of necessity, will yet return.

George Fox was the son of a Leicestershire weaver, and he was himself
a weaver by trade. He had thoughts and he could express them. And so
he traveled and preached in the marketplaces, at crossroads, on
church-steps--just the religion of friendship: simplicity, industry,
directness, truth.

No priests, no liturgy, no creed, no sacraments, no titles nor
degrees--a religion of friendship! You should not kill your enemy,
because he is your friend who does not yet understand you. To make war
on others is to make war on yourself. Do as you would be done by.

Fox had no intention of founding an organization, nor was he in
competition with any other religion. Such a movement, of course,
depends entirely upon the quality of the man who advocates it. George
Fox had personality--character--and so people flocked to hear him
speak. His plea was so earnest, so direct, so vivid, so irrefutable,
that as the listeners listened, some trembled with emotion. "Quakers,"
a scoffer called them, and this word, flung by an unknown hoodlum,
stuck like a mud-ball. The name of the particular hoodlum, like the
man who fired the Alexandrian Library, still lies mired in the mud
from which he formed the ball that stuck. That ball escaped the fate
of the mass because it hit a great man; had the thrower thought only
to have attached his name, it might have gone down the ages linked
with that of greatness.

In a short time Fox found himself in troubled waters. He had offended
the Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Baptists, and to save
himself and his people he finally banded them into an organization.
About this time William Penn appeared (with his hat firmly on his
head) and organized colonies of Quakers to go to New Jersey and
Pennsylvania. The Quakers refused to accept the sacrament, claiming
that no one part of life was any more holy than the rest, and that no
one man was any more worthy of performing a rite than another.

Parliament then stepped in and made church attendance compulsory, the
sacrament obligatory, and the protest against war and advocacy of
universal peace a misdemeanor.

Those early Quakers were really people who had graduated from the
Church. When the scholar graduates from school the teacher is proud,
and friends send flowers and kindly congratulations. When you graduate
from Church the preacher declares you are lost, and the congregation
calls you bad names. Up to Sixteen Hundred Eighty-nine, things were
not allowed to rest even there, for you were considered by the law to
be the enemy of the State. In Sixteen Hundred Fifty-six, a thousand
Quakers were in prison in England on account of their religious
belief, several hundred had been hanged, a few were burned at the
stake, many had their ears cut off, others were branded, and many
others had their tongues bored through. But strangely enough, the
number of Quakers increased. A king can't kill all his people, even if
they are all wrong, and so in fear the government changed its tactics.

In Sixteen Hundred Eighty-nine came the Toleration Act, which put a
stop to violent persecution, retaining merely the passive sort. The
Quakers were excluded from all schools, colleges and universities, and
from all right of franchise and the holding of political office; like
unto the fond mother who orders her child to come into the house, and
then when the child does not obey, says, "Well, stay out then!"

So the Quakers stayed out, not wishing to come in, but they had to pay
tithes for support of the Established Church, whether they attended
services or not. This arrangement still exists in America, only it has
to be worked by indirection: instead of compelling everybody to pay
for the support of the clergy, we reach the same point by allowing
church property to be exempt from taxation.

Persecution having ceased, the Quakers quit proselyting and therefore
ceased to grow. But the traditions remained and the sentiment of
friendship of man for man remained to fertilize that wonderful
year, Seventeen Hundred Seventy-six, the year that man was really

George Fox prepared the way for Susanna Wesley and her two great sons,
John and Charles.

George Fox believed and taught the equality of the sexes. He said that
God's spirit might voice itself through a woman quite as readily as
through a man; and it was with this thought in mind, and the example
of the Quakers before her, that Susanna Wesley harkened to the Voice
and spoke to the multitude. Later came little Elizabeth Fry, with a
message for those in bonds, and also for those who had a fine faith in
fetters, and a belief in chains and bars and gyves and the gentle
ministry of the lash.

The wisdom of the paid priesthood lies in the fact that it renders a
large number of men useless for anything else. Seven years in college
emasculates the man. His very helplessness then makes him clutch the
Church with a death-grip. He is a sailor who can not swim.

And these advocates, incapacitated by miscalled seminaries for alluseful
endeavor, become defenders of the faith and prosecutors of all
and each and any who fix their hearts on such simple and Godlike
things as friendship and equality. Indeed, many of these advocates
abjure the relationship of the sexes, tolerating woman only as a
necessity, and as for themselves personally eschew her--or say they

The Society of Friends being essentially a Religion of Humanity, and
therefore divine, regards man as the equal of woman. John Bright was
always a bit boastful that one of his maternal grandparents was a
Jewess who forfeited the friendship of her family by eloping with a
Quaker--there is a cross for you! Joseph Bright, the father of John
Bright, never voluntarily paid church-tithes. Every year the bailiff
came, demanded money, was courteously refused, and proceeded to levy
on goods which were carried away, duly advertised and sold at

John Bright very early in life was delegated by his father to go and
bid on the chattels levied upon, and this was his first introduction
into business. For a time he himself paid church-tithes, but never
without the protest, "I hereby pay this tax because I am obliged to;
but entering my protest because I believe that this money is not to be
used for either the glory of God or the benefit of man." Later, he
went back to his father's plan and let the State levy.

His religion was one of friendship for humanity, and to him man was
the highest expression of divinity. Also, he believed that the love of
God could never even have been imagined were it not for the loves of
men and women.

       *       *       *       *       *

John Bright was born in Eighteen Hundred Eleven. He was the
culminating flower of seven generations of Quaker ancestry. His father
was a rich manufacturer at Rochdale, and being a Quaker, did not try
the dubious experiment of making his children exempt from useful work
in the name of education.

Be it known that John Bright had no part in that aristocratic and
somewhat costly invention known as Bright's disease. This was the work
of Doctor Richard Bright, a distant kinsman.

The parents of John Bright were both public speakers, and little John
was an orator through prenatal tendency. A good plan for parents, or
possible parents, to follow is to educate themselves in the interests
of posterity, and this without asking that foolish question propounded
by an Irish Member of Parliament, "What has posterity ever done for

So this, then, is the recipe for educating your children: Educate

Beyond this, man inherits himself; he is both ancestor and posterity.
I am today what I am because I was what I was last year; and next year
I will be what I will be, because I am now what I ata. These were
truths which were, very early in life, familiar to John Bright. Before
he could speak without a childish lisp, his mother taught him to
decide on his own actions. "I don't want to study; can't I go and wade
in the brook?" once asked little John of his mother.

"Thee better go into the next room and listen for the Voice, then do
as it says," answered the mother.

The boy went into the next room and soon returned, saying, "The Voice
says I must study hard for half an hour and then I can go and wade in
the brook."

"Very well," was the reply; "we must always obey the Voice."

At this time there was a wave of Socialism sweeping over England,
originated largely by Robert Owen, a Welshman, who at the age of
nineteen became manager, by divine right, of a Manchester cotton-mill.
He was a man of splendid initiative, noble resources, generous

Robert Owen caught it from Josiah Wedgwood, and set out to make his
cotton-mill a school as well as a factory. Among the good men he
discovered and hired to teach his people was John Tyndall, one of the
world's great scientists. Owen seized upon Fourier's plan of the
"phalanstery"--five hundred or a thousand people living in one great
palace, built in the form of a hollow square. Each family was to have
separate apartments, but there would be common dining-rooms and one
great laundry; certain people would be set apart to care for the
children; there would be art-galleries, libraries, swimming-pools; and
all these working people would have the benefits and advantages that
now accrue only to the fortunate few. It was a scheme of co-operation,
but Owen's people refused to co-operate--the world was not ready for
it. Then Owen tried the plan in America, and founded the town of New
Harmony, Indiana, which had the second public library in America,
Benjamin Franklin having founded the first in Philadelphia.

Robert Owen thought he had failed, but he had not, for his ideas have
enriched the world, and when we are worthy of Utopia it will be here.

John Bright's father caught it from Robert Owen, just as Owen had been
exposed to Josiah Wedgwood. Great hearts never fail, no matter what
occurs; even though they die, they yet live again in minds made

Joseph Bright had an auditorium attached to his mill, and often
invited speakers to come from Liverpool or Manchester and give
lectures to his people on science, travel or literature. By the time
John Bright was twenty-one he was usually chosen to preside at these
lectures. This, because he had learned to speak in Quaker meetings by
speaking. He was quiet, simple, forceful, direct. In size he was
small, but what he lacked in inches he made up in brain.

The grandfather of John Bright's mother was John Grattan, a Quaker
preacher who spent five years in prison because he refused to take the
oath of allegiance to the English Church. The life of Grattan
descended as a precious legacy from mother to son, and all history was
early made familiar to him through the teaching of this mother who
passed away when the boy was eighteen. So she did not live to know the
greatness of her son, but before her passing he had developed far
enough so she prophesied that if ever a Friend were admitted to the
Cabinet, John Bright would be that one. This prophecy, unlike so many
born of the loving mother heart, came true, and this in spite of the
fact that the Quakers up to this time had never had anything to do
with politics.

Once John Bright was asked how he had been educated, and he replied,
"By my mother, with the help of the Rochdale Literary Society."

And it was a fact that this society, founded by Joseph and Martha
Bright, that met weekly for more than thirty years, was almost a
university, and served to set Rochdale apart as a city set upon a
hill. This society discussed every topic of human interest, save
politics and religion, boxing the compass of human knowledge. The
wisdom, excellence, worth and benefit of such a society in a town is
of an importance absolutely beyond compute. No religious institution
can compare with it in beneficent results, carried on, as it was, by a
businessman, his wife and their children, all quite incidentally! Were
they not Friends, indeed?

By the process of natural selection, John Bright slipped into the
place of superintendent of his father's mill, and before he was
twenty-five was the actual manager. As such he had traveled
considerably, making various trips to London, and also to the various
cities of the Continent.

But now in his twenty-seventh year there had been a marked increase in
Church-Rates, and the Church people were jubilant over the fact that
the Quaker mill-owners, who never went to Church, were obliged to pay
more to the support of the Church than any one else in the town. John
Bright called a meeting of the Literary Society and invited all
clergymen in the town to be present, and for once there was a breaking
over the rules and both religion and politics were discussed. From
that time to his death John Bright was a-sail upon a sea of politics.
Here is a portion of that first political speech:

  The vicar has published a handbill, a copy of which I hold in my
  hands; he quotes Scripture in favor of a rate, and a greater piece
  of hardihood can not be imagined, "Render unto Caesar the things
  that are Caesar's," leaving out the latter part of the sentence.

  I hold that to quote Scripture in defense of church-rate is the very
  height of presumption. The New Testament teems with passages
  inculcating peace, brotherly love, mutual forbearance, charity,
  disregard of filthy lucre, and devotedness to the welfare of our
  fellowmen. In the exaction of church-rates, in the seizure of the
  goods of the members of his flock, in the imprisonment of those who
  refuse to pay, in the harassing process of law and injustice in the
  Church courts, in the stirring-up of strife and bitterness among the
  parishioners--in all this a clergyman violates the precepts he is
  paid to preach, and affords a mournful proof of the infirmity or
  wickedness of human nature. Fellow townsmen, I look on an old church
  building--that venerable building yonder, for its antiquity gives
  it a venerable air--with a feeling of pain. I behold it as a witness
  of ages gone by, as a connecting link between this and former ages.
  I could look on it with a feeling of affection, did I not know that
  it forms the center of that source of discord with which our
  neighborhood has for years been afflicted, and did it not seem that
  genial bed wherein strife and bitter jarring were perpetually
  produced to spread their baneful influence over this densely peopled
  parish. I would that that venerable fabric were the representative
  of a really reformed Church--of a Church separated from the foul
  connection with the State--of a Church depending upon her own
  resources, upon the zeal of her people, upon the truthfulness of her
  principles, and upon the blessings of her spiritual head! Then would
  the Church be really free from her old vices: then would she run a
  career of brighter and still brightening glory: then would she unite
  heart and hand with her sister churches in this kingdom, in the
  great and glorious work of evangelizing the people of this great
  empire, and of every clime throughout the world. My friends, the
  time is coming when a State Church will be unknown in England, and
  it rests with you to accelerate or retard that happy consummation. I
  call upon you to gird yourselves for the contest which is impending,
  for the hour of conflict is approaching when the people of England
  will be arbiters of their own fate--when they will have to choose
  between civil and religious liberty, or the iron hoof, the mental
  thralldom of a hireling State priesthood. Men of Rochdale, do your
  duty! You know what becomes you. Maintain the great principles you
  profess to hold dear: unite with me in a firm resolve and under no
  possible circumstances will you ever again pay a tax to support a
  church: and whatever may await you, prove that good and bold
  principles can nerve the heart: and ultimately our cause, your
  cause, the world's cause, shall triumph gloriously.

       *       *       *       *       *

Great men make room for great men. John Bright first met Richard
Cobden in Eighteen Hundred Thirty-four. Bright was then twenty-three
years old, while Cobden had reached the mature age of thirty. Bright
regarded him as a patriarch, and called at his office in Manchester
with thumping heart. Cobden looked at young Bright with his intuitive
glance and concluded he wanted work. Cobden saw by his caller's
clothes that he was a Quaker, and in an instant had decided to employ

In relating the incident, years after, Cobden said: "I was wrong in my
conclusions--I thought he had come to me for work; instead, he had
come to hire me. He wanted me to go over to Rochdale and lecture for
his Literary Society."

When you go to a businessman and ask him to lecture, you catch him
with his guard down. Cobden was complimented--he asked questions about
the Bright Mill at Rochdale, and was ashamed to note that, although it
was only a few miles away, he did not know of the spirit of humanity
that dwelt in that particular commercial venture. The Brights were
doing the very things which he was advocating--making business both a
religion and an art. "My love went out to the gentle-voiced stranger,"
said Cobden, "and I was ashamed at my ignorance concerning the fine
souls at my very door, who were actually carrying into execution the
things which I had prided myself on having originated."

So Cobden went over to Rochdale to lecture, and there began that
friendship between two strong men which only death could sever, and
possibly even death did not--I really cannot say. But for many years
Cobden was to speak at Rochdale--several times a year. Whenever he
heard the Voice he went over to Rochdale and told his friends, the
millworkers, what had come to him.

"When I had a big speech to make in London I always visited Rochdale
and gave my message first, for the Brights had trained their audiences
to think, and if they understood, I felt I could take my chances in
the House of Commons."

So Bright helped to evolve Cobden, and Cobden was a prime factor in
the evolution of Bright. As the years went by, these men grew to look
alike, and the term "David and Jonathan" seemed a fitting phrase for
them, only no one could really say which was David and which Jonathan.

       *       *       *       *       *

When John Bright was twenty-eight years old he married Elizabeth
Priestman, a woman near his own age, and a person, like himself, of
power. It seemed an ideal mating--they loved the same things. Many
plans were made, for lovers are always given to planning. There was
to be a cottage in the hills, where they were to live like peasants,
without servants or equipage, and there John was to write a wonderful
history of civilization, and make a forecast of the future, showing
how the regeneration of the world was to come by wedding ethics to

The plan never materialized. John and Elizabeth journeyed together for
two years, and then she died and was buried in her wedding-dress,
holding a spray of syringa in her stiff, blue-veined hands.

John Bright had arranged to have the funeral very simple in all its
arrangements--all quite Quaker-like. He himself was going to make a
little speech, telling how the Voice had said to him that death was as
natural as life, and perhaps just as good, and that she who was dead
had no fear of death, but greeted it as an imitation, her only care
being for the living.

But John Bright did not make the speech. He held in his arms his
motherless baby girl, a little over a year old, and the baby laughed
and pulled his hair in childish glee, and John Bright, groping for
words, found them not. He took his seat, dumb. A Quakeress arose, a
worker in the mills, and made the speech which he had intended to
give--perhaps she made a better one.

John Bright had only turned thirty, but he thought that life for him
was then and thereafter but a blank. He did not realize that whether
death is an initiation for the dead or not, it surely is for the
living. To stand by an open grave and behold the sky shut down on less
worth in the world is a milestone--an epoch.

A month of dumb, dragging, bitter grief followed, and Richard Cobden
came up from Manchester to visit his friend. Cobden had a message for
Bright. It was this: "Grief hugged to the heart is a kind of selfish
joy. To live is to think, to work, to act. At this moment thousands of
women and children are starving in England--absolutely perishing for
lack of bread. Come with me and help remove the tax that places food
out of the reach of many. Transmute grief for the dead into love for
the living. Let us never rest until the Corn Laws are abolished--
Come!" To dedicate himself to humanity now seemed easy for John
Bright. This he did, and life took on a great, quiet sanctity,
purified and refined by death.

The baby girl grew into beautiful womanhood. She is now a grandmother
with children grown, and true to tradition, as became the daughter of
her father, she made herself notorious for the many and famous for the
few, by heading an appeal to Parliament in favor of woman suffrage.
For the same cause comes Mrs. Cobden-Sanderson, daughter of Richard
Cobden, and spends four months in jail for insisting that her
political preferences shall be officially recorded. We do move that
precious slow!

       *       *       *       *       *

Bright now took up the big business of the Anti-Corn-Law League, and
devoted himself to the issue, even to neglecting his private affairs.
The "League" had headquarters in Manchester, and Bright was its practical
head. Cobden was then making a tour of the provinces, speaking in
schoolhouses, townhalls and marketplaces, endeavoring to show the
folly of maintaining a tax on food. The idea was then conceived of
Cobden and Bright traveling together, going into the enemy's country,
and offering to debate the issue with all comers. The challenge aroused
the people, and wherever the orators went, they spoke to the capacity
of the hall. Cobden opened the debate, started the question in a
half-hour speech, and then the meeting was thrown open for the
opposition. Occasionally a man replied, often a clergyman of local
oratorical reputation being put forward by the landlords.

Bright then finished him and polished him off in a way that made any
further opposition impossible. Bright had certain well-defined ideas
about the clergy that took with the people, and a braver man never
stood on a platform. Here is a taste of his quality:

  The declaration of the Church as by law established, makes me say
  that I believe that the Establishment has been the means of
  increasing individual piety and national prosperity. But
  individually I would ask, how comes it that England is now, as
  regards a vast proportion of her population, ignorant and
  irreligious--how is it that while the Church has had the King for
  its head and governor, the two Houses of Parliament to support it,
  and the whole influence of the aristocracy and landed gentry of the
  country to boot (with the advantage of being educated at Oxford and
  Cambridge, from which Dissenters have been shut out)--that while the
  Church has had millions upon millions to work upon, drawn not only
  from her own party, but from the property of Dissenters-I ask how
  comes it that England is neither a sober nor a moral country, and
  that vice in every shape rears its horrid front? Does it not prove
  that there is a radical error in the system? By the union of the
  people of England advantages of no trifling amount have lately been
  gained: the barrier of the Test Acts has been broken down; the
  system of parliamentary corruption has been stormed with success;
  and I trust the time is not far distant when the consciences of men
  will be no longer shackled by the restrictions of the civil power,
  when religious liberty will take the place of toleration, and when
  men will wonder that a monopoly ever existed which ordained State
  priests sole venders of the lore that works salvation.

The farmers were in opposition to the League, being told by the
landlords that if breadstuffs were allowed to come into the United
Kingdom free, the tillers of the soil would be made bankrupt.

Cobden was a ready speaker, and his knowledge of history and economics
commanded respect, but Bright's oratory went to their hearts. Bright
had a touch of the true Methodist fervor which won the hearer without
making too much of a demand on his intellect.

Shortly after Cobden and Bright made their alliance, Cobden ran for
Parliament and was elected. "The one thing that formed the pivotal
point, and won the farmers, as well as the men of Manchester, was the
oratory of John Bright," said Gladstone. The term "Manchester men" was
flung at Cobden and Bright, and stuck. It meant that they were merely
manufacturers, neither scholars nor gentlemen. Bright had modified the
severity of the Quaker costume, but wore the soft, gray colors with
hat to match, "because," said his enemies, "it is so effective."

Cobden being now in the House of Commons, Bright called himself
"Secretary of the Exterior," and often fought the good fight alone,
speaking on an average three nights a week, and the rest of the time
attending to his business.

Two years after Cobden's election, Bright was obliged to purchase a
suit of solemn black and a chimney-pot hat, for he, too, had been
chosen a member of the House of Commons.

"Another Manchester man--I do declare, you know, it will be a
convention of bagmen, yet!" remarked Sir Robert Peel, as he adjusted
his monocle. Peel, however, grew to have a very wholesome respect for
the Manchester men. They could neither be bribed, bought nor bullied.
They had money enough to free them from temptation, and they could
think on their feet. They were in the minority, but it was a minority
that could not be snubbed nor subdued.

The total repeal of the Corn Laws came in Eighteen Hundred Forty-nine,
but not until both Cobden and Bright had been threatened with criminal
proceedings for inciting revolution. However, the ministry backed
down, the new era came, and proved to be one of peace and great

John Bright worked for humanity. To his voice, more than to any other,
Ireland owes her freedom from the "Establishment."

He struggled to free England from the clutch of the Established
Church, but admitted at last that it would require time to unloose the
grip of the clergy from their perquisites. Always and forever he
argued and voted against war, or any increase of armament, even when
he stood alone. And once he forfeited his seat for a term by going
against the popular cry for blood. John Bright is a good example of a
man with the study habit. Not only did he carry on a great private
business, and at the same time bear heavy burdens in the management of
his country's affairs, but he was always a student, always a learner,
and also always a teacher. Neither he nor Richard Cobden ever divorced
ethics from business, religion from work, nor life from education.

John Bright possessed a sterling honesty, a perennial good-cheer, and
always and forever a tender, sympathetic heart. These things seemed to
spring naturally, easily and gently from his nature; they were the
habits of his life. And having acquired good habits his judgment was
almost uniformly correct; his actions manly; his temper considerate;
his opinion right. Private business was to John Bright a public trust.
He, of all men, knew that the only way to help one's self is to help

During our Civil War, John Bright sided with the North, and fired his
broadsides of scorn at the many in the House of Commons who hoped and
prayed that the United States would no longer be united.

In Eighteen Hundred Sixty-eight, under Gladstone as Premier, Bright
was chosen President of the Board of Trade, being the first Quaker to
hold a Cabinet office.

John Bright was a rich man, and his life proves what riches can do
when rightly used. That his example of absolute honesty and adherence
to principle sets him apart as a character luminous and unique is and
indictment of the times in which we live.

John Bright's energy, eloquence, purity of conduct, sincerity of
purpose, his freedom from petty quarrels, his unselfishness, his lofty
ideals, his noble discontent and prophetic outlook, have tinted the
entire zeitgeist, and are discovering for us that Utopia is here now,
if we will but have it so.


  The Right Honorable Baronet has said there has been no word of
  recantation. The Right Honorable Baronet speaks truth. There has
  been no recantation, neither will there be. You have no right to ask
  me for any recantation. You have no right to ask me for anything. If
  I am legally disqualified, lay the case before the courts. When you
  ask me to make a statement, you are guilty of impertinence to me, of
  treason to the traditions of this House, and of impeachment of the
  liberties of the people. I beg you now, do not plunge me into a
  struggle I would shun. The law  gives me no remedy if the House
  decides against me. Do not mock at the constituencies. If you place
  yourself above the law, you leave me no course save lawless
  agitation, instead of reasonable pleading. It is easy to begin such
  a  strife, but none knows how it would end. You think I am an
  obnoxious man, and that I have no one on my side. If that be so,
  then the more reason that this  House, grand in the strength of its
  centuries of liberty, should have now that generosity in dealing
  with one who tomorrow may be forced into a struggle for public
  opinion against it.
  --_Bradlaugh to the House of Commons_

[Illustration: Bradlaugh]

Thomas Paine, Robert Ingersoll and Charles Bradlaugh form a trinity of
names inseparably linked. The memory of Paine was for many years
covered beneath the garbage of prevarication. In order to find the
man, we had to excavate for him. Happily, with the help of the
Reverend Moncure D. Conway, we found him.

Ingersoll's life lies open to us, and the honest, loving, and gentle
nature of the man is beyond dispute. The pious pedants who tried to
traduce him were self-indicted. No one now even thinks to answer
them. The man who said, "In a world where death is, there is no time
to hate," needs no defense. We smile. With Bradlaugh it is the same.
His biography in two volumes, by his daughter, is a very human
document. The work is worthy of comparison with that most excellent
book, the life of Huxley by his son.

The essence of good biography lies largely in indiscretion. This
loving daughter's tribute to her father tells things which some might
say do no honor to anybody. Quite true, but these are the
corroborating things which inform us that the book is truth.

Charles Bradlaugh performed for England the same service that Robert
Ingersoll did for America. Both presented the minority report. Through
their influence the Church was able to renounce the devil and all his

These men were both born in the year Eighteen Hundred Thirty-three,
about a month apart. In many ways they were very much alike. In
physique they were heroic; both were lawyers; both were natural

Bradlaugh, however, began his radical career before he was of age,
while Ingersoll was nearly forty before he set aside diplomacy and
ceased wooing bronchitis.

Charles Bradlaugh was the first child of a worthy clerk married to a
housemaid. His father never earned more than two guineas a week. All
these parents ever did for their son was to supply him with physical
life, and teach him by antithesis. No trace can be found that he in
any mental characteristic resembled either. Parents are evidently
people who are used for a purpose by a Something.

Bradlaugh's parents were wedded to the established order, and never
doubted the literal inspiration of the Scriptures. They also believed
in the divine origin of the prayer-book, a measure of credulity which,
although commendable, is, I believe, not required. These parents were
severe, exacting, imperious--not bad nor exactly cruel--simply
"consistent." They believed that man was a worm of the dust, and stood
by the traditions. They believed in the dogma of total depravity and
lived up to it.

A bundle of old clothes sent yearly from a rich cousin in Kent was an
epoch. Sugar in the house was out of the question, and once when the
rich cousin in Kent, who was an omnibus-inspector, sent a pound of
brown sugar in the pocket of an old coat, the sweets suddenly
vanished. Charles was accused and stubbornly denied the theft. He was
then punished with the handy strap for both the denial and the
larceny. Later, it turned out that a little girl next door stole the
sugar, and when Charles refused to inform on her, she informed on
herself. Then the boy was again whipped because he had not informed on
the girl. Charles got all of the disgrace and none of the sugar.

Charles was sent to a "ragged school," and became, at the mature age
of ten, so exact a penman that he almost rivaled his father, who could
write the Lord's Prayer on the back of a postage-stamp. At this
school, beside getting an education, Charles got pedagogic scars on
his body which ten years later, when he enlisted in the army, were
noted in the physical description.

The daughter of Bradlaugh has in her possession a beautiful motto from
Scripture done into antique text by the lad for his mother when the
boy was nine years old. All around the motto are flying birds penned
in pure Spencerian. The motto is this: "Then said Joab, I may not
tarry long with thee. And he took three darts in his hand and thrust
them through the heart of Absalom while he was yet alive in the midst
of the oak. And ten young men of Joab's smote Absalom and slew him."
This was before the art of working mottoes with worsted in perforated
cardboard had been perfected.

When ten years of age Charles was taken from school and hired out as
an office-boy at five shillings a week, the money being paid to the
father and duly used for the support of the family. It is good to see,
though, that at that early day the expense-account was made to serve
its legitimate use. When the boy had bundles to deliver and was given
money for 'bus-fare, he walked and kept the fare. The bridge-toll was
a half-penny, and by climbing aboard of a wagon this was saved. To be
back on time he would run. He became an expert in catching on 'buses
and riding on the axle of cabs, well out of reach of the driver's
whip. With the money so saved he bought penny tracts on politics,
history and religion. One day he was sent to deliver a bundle to Mark
Marsden, a writer and publisher. Charles did not know the man, but in
his hand, all unconsciously, he carried a tract written by Marsden.
Nothing interests an author like a copy of his own amusing works.
Marsden gave the boy two pats on the head, a bun, a half-crown and
three penny pamphlets on political economy.

Charles went away stepping high, but his tongue was so paralyzed with
surprise and joy that he forgot to thank the man. Twenty years after
he remembered the transaction vividly--it was the first real human
kindness that had ever come his way. He told of it, standing on the
same platform with Marsden and speaking to two thousand people.
Marsden had forgotten the incident--happy Marsden, who gave out love
and joy as he journeyed and made no notes. This little story proves
two things: That authors are not wholly bad, and that kindness to a
boy is a good investment. Boys grow to be men--at least some do, and I
trust it will not be denied that all men were once boys. Bradlaugh, to
the day of his death, was always kind to boys. He realized that with
them he was dealing with soul-stuff, and that Destiny awaited just
around the corner.

When Charles was fourteen years old he had gravitated to the cashier's
desk, and his pay was twelve shillings a week.

He was large for his age, and the life of the streets had sharpened
his wits, so he was old for his years. He was studious and very
religious, as children struggling with adolescence often are. Sundays
were sacred to church, morning and evening, and the spare hours were
given over to reading the lives of the martyrs. Only on weekdays did
he read history or political tracts. In Sunday School he was a very
promising teacher.

Then comes in one, the Reverend J. G. Packer, incumbent of Saint
Peter's, who lives in history only because he entered into a quarrel
with this boy.

Young Bradlaugh was preparing for confirmation; he could say the
catechism backward and forward, and he also knew Bible history from
Genesis to Revelation. But he could not reconcile certain portions of
Bible history with our belief in an all-loving, all-wise and ever-just
God. So he wrote to his pastor a long and respectful letter in precise
and exact Spencerian, asking for light.

Now, the Reverend J. G. Packer regarded interrogation as proof of
depravity, and straightway sent the letter to the boy's father. At the
same time he suspended the youth for three months from Sunday School,
denouncing him before the school as atheistical, all this in the
interests of discipline. These tactics of coercion were the rule a
hundred years ago, and the Reverend J. G. Packer had simply lost his
reckoning as to longitude and time. There was a violent scene between
father and son, and the boy being too big to chastise was simply
handed a few pages of Billingsgate.

At this time Bonner's Fields was a great place for open-air meetings.
The custom of public speaking in London parks still continues, and on
any pleasant Sunday afternoon one can hear all kinds of orthodox and
heretical vagaries defended on the turf. Young Bradlaugh took to the
open-air meetings, and lifted up his voice in praise, feeling the
usual stimulus and joyous uplift that goes with martyrdom. After his
own orthodox service was over, he sought out the opposition and tried
to silence the infidels in debate. One of these infidels, in pity for
the boy's innocence and ignorance, loaned him a copy of Paine's "Age
of Reason." Up to this time he had never heard of Paine. Now he began
to study him, and he began by reading his life. From this he gleaned
the fact that Paine had suffered for conscience sake and had been
driven out of England, just as he, himself, had been driven out of the

The three months' suspension having expired, young Bradlaugh was
invited to come back into the fold. But he did not come. He had been
learning things. Paine and persecution had sharpened his mind. I do
not believe that Packer drove Bradlaugh into atheism, but I do believe
that he hastened the process by about twenty years. Bradlaugh did not
have the quality of mind that could ever have been encysted by

Boyhood was being left behind. He had joined a Free-thinkers' Club,
which met at a coffeehouse kept by Mrs. Richard Carlile, who had come
up to London, alone, from the country, and published a little magazine
devoted to the rights of woman. She had kept up the fight for freedom
for a score of years. Poverty and calumny could not subdue her. She
was bordering on fifty, and spoke in the parks, to all and any who
would listen, scorning to take up a collection. Her private character
was beyond reproach. Indeed, her namesake, Tammas the Titan, who
spelled his name in a different way, speaks of her as one "insultingly
virtuous." And so the Reverend J.G. Packer discovered that young
Bradlaugh was "loitering at the coffeehouse of that Jezebel, the
Carlile woman." Straightway he wrote a letter to young Bradlaugh,
giving him three days in which to return to the church, renouncing all
infidel beliefs, or his employers would be informed of his habits, in
which case his cashiership would be taken from him.

This letter was evidently the joint work of the boy's parents and the
busy and unctuous clergyman. The only trouble was that their plan
worked too well. The boy, believing that it meant the loss of his
position, was desperate. He waited until two days had expired, and
then on the morning of the third boldly resigned his position, and
taking his scanty effects left home forever. Thus began that lifelong
fight for freedom which ended only with his death.

       *       *       *       *       *

And so we find Charles Bradlaugh absolutely severed from his parents.
He used to walk up and down past the home that was once his, but his
sisters were forbidden, on pain of being turned into the streets, to
speak to him.

That he suffered terribly, there is no doubt; but that a fine,
sustaining pride was his, is equally true. Sorrow is never quite all
sorrow, and most funerals carry with them a dash of consoling
satisfaction for the mourners.

Young Bradlaugh now began to concentrate on his books--he felt sure
that he had a mission. He became a waiter at a coffeehouse, then a
clerk, next a salesman; but the reputation of being an infidel follow
him, and he could not disprove the charge. In fact, I do not think he
tried to, for on Sundays he was at Hyde Park lecturing on temperance
and saying unsavory things about the clergy on account of their
indifference concerning the real needs of the people.

A teetotaler in England then was almost as much of a curiosity as in
the days of Franklin. Young Bradlaugh seemed to possess all the
heresies. He became a vegetarian, rented a room for three shillings a
week, and boarded himself on sixpence a day. Cooking is a matter of
approbation and emulation, and he who cooketh unto himself alone is on
the road to dyspepsia.

This long, lanky youth, intent on reforming the world in the matter of
food, drink and theological diet, was six feet two, and weighed
exactly ninety-nine pounds in the shade. He wore a chimney-pot hat, a
tight-fitting, long, black coat, and lavender spats. Fasting and study
had given him a visage like the ghost in "Hamlet," and gotten him
where no man would hire him.

Then it was that hunger forced him into a recruiting-office, no doubt
aided by the specious argument that he wanted to teach temperance to
Tommy Atkins. The recruiting-officer gazed at the apparition and sent
for a surgeon. This surgeon sent for another, and both went over the
skeleton, tapping, listening, prodding and counting. "All he needs is
food and work," said surgeon Number One, giving the subject a final
poke with his pudgy forefinger.

So Private Bradlaugh was sworn in, and that night shipped to Dublin,
where uniforms were to be provided. Very naturally, the chimney-pot
hat did not survive the voyage, the rim being smashed down around his
neck for a 'kerchief. The clerical coat also soon looked the worse for
wear; and a copy of Euclid as well as books by David Hume served for

It was hard, but all a part of life, and young Bradlaugh took his
lesson. We know this because in just six months his regiment was
stationed near the storied village of Donnybrook, and Bradlaugh was
one of sixteen selected to attend the Fair. This committee did not got
to the Fair armed with feather dusters.

Bradlaugh now weighed one hundred sixty, and had proved his prowess
with the shillalah. It was the unwritten law at Donnybrook that no
soldiers should be allowed to attend the Fair. The managers, however,
still continued to sell tickets to soldiers, yet to keep the
enterprise from being wiped out of existence, only sixteen soldiers
from each regiment were allowed to attend on any single day.

Bradlaugh's reach and height saved him, and the motto, "Wherever you
see a head, hit it," did not disturb him, since his headpiece was well
above high-water mark.

Regular food, regular work and regular sleep did Bradlaugh a world of
good. He never much believed in war, but the idea of the Government
giving her male citizens a little compulsory physical training always
appealed to him.

Three years of soldier life did not supply Bradlaugh any bad habits,
and whether he influenced Tommy Atkins in following the straight and
narrow path is still a problem.

On pleasant Sundays it was the rule that the regiment should be
marched to church. On one occasion a certain clergyman had excused
himself from explaining a passage of Scripture on the ground that
soldiers could not understand it, anyway. This brought a letter from
Private Bradlaugh, wherein he explained that particular passage to the
pastor, and also revealed the fact that a soldier might know quite as
much as a preacher.

The next Sunday, when the clergyman referred to the letter and in
scathing tones rebuked the sender, three hundred soldiers unhooked
their sabers and dropped them on the stone floor. The din broke up
the service. Very shortly after, as punishment, the regiment was sent
to a barracks in a region that lacked religious advantages.

In the absence of a chaplain Private Bradlaugh was allowed each Sunday
to address the men "on some moral theme."

This continued until complaint was made to the home office, when there
came a curt order forbidding "any public talk by Private Bradlaugh or
others on the subject of politics or religion."

Bradlaugh's three years of army life held back his mental processes
and allowed his body to develop. On the other hand, he had been exiled
from society, so he idealized things, seeing them with the eye of
imagination rather than beholding them as they actually were.

Sometimes this is well, and sometimes not. When Charles Bradlaugh,
aged twenty, married Susannah Hooper, some people said it was a
"lovely wedding." Miss Hooper had social station, while Bradlaugh only
had prospects. The bride was handsome, vivacious, witty, pink and

Never was a man more beset by unkind Fate than Bradlaugh. His wife's
intellect was merely a surface indication; she cared nothing for his
ideals, and all of his love for truth was for her a mockery. She
sought to lead him into conventional lines, to have him renounce his
peculiar views and join the church. His fond dreams of educating her
slid into disarrangement, and inside of a year he found himself
mentally absolutely alone. Five years went by and three children had
been born to them.

Bradlaugh was still preaching temperance in the parks; and as if to
defy his precepts, his wife took to strong drink, so that when he
returned home he often found her cared for by the neighbors, who in
pity had come in to protect the children.

That peculiar English custom of women drinking at public bars helped
along the work of undoing. It is a sorry tale, save for the devotion
of the two girls and their brother for their father and his love for
them. The mother was only a mother in name. She became a confirmed and
helpless victim of alcoholism, and lingered on for some years,
existing in a sanitarium or cared for by a special attendant.

       *       *       *       *       *

After his marriage Bradlaugh entered a lawyer's office. He soon
became head clerk to the firm. His natural ability for public speaking
made him a good trial advocate, and then he had a physical ability
that rendered him especially valuable where seizures were to be made
or evictions effected.

The practise of law then, it seems, was not at a very high mark. Wise
men nowadays try to keep out of court. They know that in a lawsuit
both sides lose, also that a bad compromise is better than a good
lawsuit. But forty years ago, to "have the law on him" was quite the
common way of dealing with your enemy, instead of forgetting the wrong
that had been done you, and leaving the man to Nemesis.

We hear of a certain case where one of Bradlaugh's clients had built a
brick house on rented ground, without the legal precaution of taking a
ninety-nine-year lease. Naturally, the rapacious landlord--for all
landlords are rapacious, I am told--ordered the renter out at the end
of the year.

The renter then demanded that the landlord should pay him for his
building. This was very foolish on the part of the renter, and
revealed a woeful ignorance of common law. Bradlaugh was retained and
interviewed the obdurate landlord--for all landlords, I am told, are
obdurate as well as rapacious. But all was in vain.

That night Bradlaugh and his client got together a hundred good men
and true and carried the house away from chimney to cornerstone,
leaving nothing but the cellar.

This legal move was very much like that of Robert Ingersoll, who had a
railroad company lay half a mile of track through one of the streets
of Peoria, between midnight and sun-up, and then let the opposing
party carry the case to the courts.

Ingersoll's interest in the world of thought cost him the Governorship
of the State of Illinois. Bradlaugh's interest along similar lines
cost him the foremost position at the English bar. The man had
presence, persistence, courage, and that rapid, ready intellect which
commands respect with judge, jury and opposition. Before he was
twenty-five he knew history, mythology, poetry, economics and theology
in a way that few men do who spend a lifetime in research.

Public speaking opens up the mental pores as no other form of
intellectual exercise does. It inspires, stimulates, and calls out the
reserves. Perhaps the best result of oratory is in that it reveals a
man's ignorance to himself and shows him how little he knows, thus
urging him to reinforce his stores and prepare for a siege.

All this, of course, does not apply to clergymen whose efforts are
purely "ex parte," and where a reply on the part of the pew is
considered an offense.

Wendell Phillips advised the young oratorical aspirant to take "a
course of mobs." Most certainly Bradlaugh did, and then he continued
to take post-graduate courses. His Donnybrook experiences were simply

The crowds at Hyde Park who came to hear him speak were not actuated
wholly by a desire to hear the answer to Pilate's question.

Bradlaugh had his own corner in the Park where he spoke on Sunday
mornings, when the weather was pleasant. At this meeting he invited
replies, so the proceeding usually took the form of a debate. And he
had a way of enlivening in a similar manner the service of his friends
the enemy. Often the audience, for pure love of mischief, would start
pushing, and two hundred hoodlums would overrun the meeting. There was
no special violence about it--it is very English, you know.
Occasionally it happens yet in Hyde Park, and the true London Bobby,
who never sees anything he does not want to see, allows the beefeaters
to crowd, jostle, and push themselves tired. It was really all very
funny unless you were caught in the pushing crowd, then all you could
do was to keep on your feet and go with the merry mass. But the
attendance at Hyde Park meetings was increasing, and in the rough-
house, at times, some one would fall and be trampled upon.

So an order was issued from Scotland Yard that all public speaking in
the parks should cease between ten o'clock in the morning and two in
the afternoon. This was during church hours, for church attendance had
begun to fall off very perceptibly.

Bradlaugh thought the order was without due process of law--that the
parks belonged to the people, and that public speaking in the open was
not an abuse of the people's rights. More people than ever flocked to
Hyde Park on the Sunday set for the fray. Bradlaugh arranged that a
dozen or more of his colleagues should begin to speak at the same time
in different parts of the park. The police began to charge and the
crowds began to push. Then the police used their truncheons. Two
policemen seized Bradlaugh. He politely asked them to keep their hands
off, and when they did not he showed them his quality by wresting
their truncheons from them, and flinging them to the cheering crowd.
He then bumped the heads of the officers together, inciting riot, so
ran the records.

This all sounds rather tragic, and I am sorry to believe that
Bradlaugh rather enjoyed it. No one man physically was a match for
him, and all men fall easy victims to their facility. The police did
not succeed on this occasion in arresting him; and it seems that there
was a sentiment abroad that made the Government hesitate about
arresting him on a bench warrant. A few years before, and Bradlaugh
would have been hanged, and there would 'a been an end on't. However,
several friends of the "Cause" were locked up, and the next day
Bradlaugh appeared in court to defend them. A truce was declared,
without renouncing the rights of free speech, and Bradlaugh agreed,
for the present, to cease holding public meetings.

The little weekly newspaper, "The Reasoner," published by Bradlaugh
was paying expenses, and there was a fair demand for his intellectual
wares. When he lectured in the provinces, there were the usual
warnings from pastors to their flocks which served to lessen the
advertising expenses of the lecture. Many of those warned not to go,
of course went, just to see how bad it was. Then occasionally halls
were closed against Bradlaugh on account of local pressure, and
lawsuits followed, for the "Iconoclast," while not believing much in
law, was yet so inconsistent as to invoke it. So all through life,
when he did not have a lawsuit on hand, existence seemed tasteless and
insipid. After he had lectured in a town, there was the usual
theological and oratorical pyrotechnics in reply, with sermons from
that indelicate text, "The fool saith in his heart, there is no God,"
and challenges that he should come back and fight it out. The number
of people who won tuppence worth of fame by replying to Ingersoll were
as naught compared to those who achieved fame by berating Bradlaugh.

In all of the opposition encountered by Ingersoll, his arguments were
never met with physical violence. Halls were locked against him,
newspapers denounced him, preachers thundered, but no mobs gathered to
hoot him down. Neither did he ever have to excuse himself in the midst
of a discourse, and go outside to stop a tin-pan serenade.

The Governor of Delaware, I believe, once notified Ingersoll that
Delaware had its whipping-post ready for his benefit when he came that
way. But the threat raised such a laugh that Delaware, for a time,
became a national joke. Later, a committee of Delaware citizens, as if
to make amends, invited Colonel Ingersoll to speak at Dover, and this
he did, also addressing the State Legislature.

Bradlaugh, however, for many years encountered ancient eggs,
vegetables, rocks, and pushing, jostling mobs, which on several
occasions swept him off the platform, but not before a few first
citizens had been tumbled pellmell into the orchestra. Let it here be
repeated that the sole offense of Bradlaugh was that he opposed the
Christian religion. The violence offered him was of necessity the work
of Christians, or those directly influenced and instigated by them.
Ingersoll's reference to the fact that the most zealous, orthodox
Christian State in the Union still had its whipping-post was a turn
of the argument which Bradlaugh effectively used. And so stingingly
true was his statement that violence and mob-rule in England were the
monopoly of organized religion, that the better element began to
discourage the hot-headed communicants instead of urging them on. So,
by Eighteen Hundred Seventy-six, Bradlaugh lectured throughout the
United Kingdom to large audiences of highly cultured people, who came
and gladly paid admission to hear him speak. Newspapers that had tried
either to smother him with silence or else denounce him without reason
began to report his speeches. Of course there was a little unkind
comment, too, but this became less frequent, and was mostly the work
of insignificant journals. One semi-religious paper of very small
caliber, in a suburb of London, where he lived, published a "roast"
that is worth repeating. It runs as follows:

  We have in our midst the very Corypheus of infidelity, a compeer of
  Holyoake, a man who thinks no more of the Bible than if it were an
  old ballad--Colenso is a babe to him. This is a mighty man of valor,
  I assure you--a very Goliath in his way. He used to go starring it
  in the provinces, itinerating as a tuppenny lecturer on Tom Paine.
  He has occasionally appeared in our Lecture-Hall. He, too, as well
  as other conjurers, has thrown dust in our eyes and has made the
  platform reel beneath the superincumbent weight of his balderdash
  and blasphemy. The house he lives in is a sort of "Voltaire Villa."
  The man and his "squaw" occupy it, united by a bond unblessed by
  priest or parson. But that has an advantage: it will enable him to
  turn his squaw out to grass, like his friend Charles Dickens, when
  he feels tired of her, unawed by either the ghost or the successor
  of Sir Cresswell Cresswell. Not having any particular scruples of
  conscience about the Lord's Day, the gentleman worships the God of
  Nature in his own way. He thinks "ratting" on a Sunday with a good
  Scotch terrier is better than the "ranting" of a good Scotch divine--
  for the Presbyterian element has latterly made its appearance among
  us. Like the homeopathic doctor described in the sketch, this
  gentleman combines a variety of professions "rolled into one." In
  the provinces he is a star of the first magnitude, known by the name
  of Moses Scoffer; in the city a myth known to his pals as Swear 'Em
  Charley; and in our neighborhood he is a cipher--incog., but
  perfectly understood. He contrives to eke out a tolerable
  livelihood: I should say that his provincial blasphemies and his
  city practise bring him a clear five hundred pounds a year at the
  least. But is it not the wages of iniquity? He has a few followers
  here, but only a few. He has recently done a very silly act; for he
  has, all at once, converted "Voltaire Villa" into a glass house, and
  the whole neighborhood can now see into the wigwam, where he dwells
  in true Red Indian fashion with his squaw.

Had this clumsy libel appeared anywhere else than in a paper
circulated in the immediate neighborhood of his home, probably
Bradlaugh would have paid no attention to it. Other things quite as
bad had been said about him; but this time he simply put on his hat
and called on the writer, the Reverend Hugh McSorley. Just what
happened Bradlaugh never told, and about it McSorley was singularly
silent. It is feared, however, that at that time Bradlaugh had not
quite gotten rid of all his Christian virtues.

He carried a rattan cane, and his daughters thought that he went to
see McSorley with no intent of breaking the Bible injunction to spare
the rod. This we know, that the Reverend Mr. McSorley linked his name
with that of the Reverend J. G. Packer, and that McSorley's friends
paid Bradlaugh five hundred pounds, which money was promptly turned
over by Bradlaugh to the "Masonic Home" and "The Working-Men's
Relief," two charities that Bradlaugh ever remembered when he
realized on libel-suits. In the next issue of McSorley's paper
appeared the following apology:

  The editor and proprietor of this newspaper desires to express his
  extreme pain that the columns of a journal which has never before
  been made the vehicle for reflection on private character should,
  partly by inadvertence, and partly by a too-unhesitating reliance on
  the authority and good faith of others, have contained a mischievous
  and unfounded libel upon Mr. Charles Bradlaugh.

  That Mr. Bradlaugh holds, and fearlessly expounds, theological
  opinions entirely opposed to those of the editor and the majority of
  our readers, is undoubtedly true, and Mr. Bradlaugh can not and does
  not complain that his name is associated with Colenso, Holyoake or
  Paine; but that he has offensively intruded those opinions in our
  lecture-hall is not true. That his ordinary language on the platform
  is balderdash and blasphemy is not true. That he makes a practise of
  openly desecrating the Sabbath is not true. That he is known by the
  name of Moses Scoffer, or Swear 'Em Charley, is not true. Nor is
  there any foundation for the sneer as to his city practise, or for
  the insinuations made against his conduct or character as a scholar
  and a gentleman.

  While making this atonement to Mr. Bradlaugh, the editor must
  express his unfeigned sorrow that the name of Mrs. Bradlaugh should
  have been introduced into the article in question, accompanied by a
  suggestion calculated to wound her in the most vital part, conveying
  as it does a reflection upon her honor and fair fame as a woman and
  a wife. Mrs. Bradlaugh is too well known and too much respected to
  suffer by such a calumny; but for the pain so heedlessly given to a
  sensitive and delicate nature the editor offers this expression of
  his profound and sincere regret.

When Bradlaugh was forty-one years of age he met Annie Besant. This
was in Eighteen Hundred Seventy-four, and a friendship grew up between
them that was of great benefit to both. Mrs. Besant was a woman of
much power, a clear, logical thinker, and a fluent and eloquent public
speaker. Her influence upon Bradlaugh was marked. After meeting her,
much of the storm and stress seemed to leave his nature, and he
acquired a poise and peace he had never before known.

They entered into a business partnership and together published the
"National Reformer." The exceptional quality of Mrs. Besant's mind
raised the status of the paper. Charles Bradlaugh and Annie Besant
were influencing their times, and were being influenced by their
times. Once they talked to mobs, now they had audiences.

It was through Mrs. Besant's influence that Bradlaugh was nominated
for Parliament in Northampton. Three successive elections he ran, and
was defeated, each defeat, however, being by a smaller majority than
before. Mrs. Besant campaigned the district and certainly introduced a
new element into politics. "I can not vote," she said, "but I trust I
can use a woman's privilege and influence men concerning the use of
the ballot for truth and right."

In Eighteen Hundred Eighty, Bradlaugh was elected with Mr. Labouchere,
whose views as to theology and the Established Church were one with

"Labby" took the oath quite as a matter of course, just as atheists
everywhere kiss the book in courts, it being to them but an antique
form of affirming that what they say will be truth. Had Bradlaugh
followed Labouchere's example, the most important chapter of his life
would not have been written. Bradlaugh asked that he be allowed to
affirm his allegiance, instead of making oath. Here the House of
Commons blundered, for if as a body it had given assent, that would
have made the request of Bradlaugh quite incidental and trivial.
Instead, the House made a mountain out of a molehill, by refusing the
request and appointing a select committee of seventeen members to
consider the matter. They called Bradlaugh before them and
interrogated him at length as to his belief in a Supreme Being and a
life after death. Then they voted, and the ballot stood eight to
eight. The chairman, a large white barn-owl, gave the casting vote,
declining to accept the affirmation. The matter was reported to the
House, and the action duly confirmed. Bradlaugh then, on advice of
Labouchere, notified the House that he was willing to accept the
regulation oath, all in the interests of amity, it being of course
understood that his religious views had not changed. Bradlaugh
thought, of course, that this would end the matter, his view being
that he had fully receded from his former position, and was conforming
to the pleasure of his colleagues in accepting the regulation oath. To
his surprise, however, when he approached the bar to take the oath,
Gladstone arose and remonstrated against administering the oath to a
man who had publicly disavowed his belief in a Supreme Being, and
moved that the question be referred to a select committee.

Here was a new and unexpected issue. The ayes had it. A committee,
consisting of the suggestive number of twenty-three, examined
Bradlaugh at length and finally reported against allowing him to take
the oath, but recommended that he be allowed to affirm at his own
legal risk. The suggestion was promptly voted down, to the eternal
discredit of Gladstone, who led the opposition, and was bent on
keeping the "infidel" out of Parliament. During the conflict, the
character, high endowments, and personal worth of Bradlaugh were never
officially challenged--it was just his lack of religious belief. The
matter was fast becoming a national issue, and Churchwomen without
number were canvassing all England with petitions asking Parliament to
remember that England was a Christian nation.

Bradlaugh was down and out, legally, but he presented himself again at
the bar, showed his election credentials, and demanded that the oath
be administered. He was arrested as an intruder on motion of Sir
Stafford Northcote, but was immediately released, as it was seen he
was going to meet violence with violence.

Gladstone here came in with a very sharp bit of practise. He
introduced a resolution that "any member shall be allowed to affirm or
to take oath, at his own legal peril."

Bradlaugh here fell an easy prey, and at once affirmed, and took his
seat, when he was straightway arrested on a warrant for violation of
the rules of the House, which ordained that no man should take
official part in Parliament who had not taken the oath.

This transferred the case to the criminal courts, where the case was
tried and Bradlaugh found guilty. This legally vacated his seat. The
Church folks were jubilant, and Gladstone received many
congratulations from men with collars buttoned behind, on having
disposed of the infidel Bradlaugh.

But the matter was not yet settled. Northampton had another election,
and Bradlaugh was again elected.

Again he presented himself at the bar of the House and asked to be
sworn. The House, however, would not accept either his oath or his
affirmation, and asked for time to consider. In the meantime, writs
were issued to "show cause," demurrers filled the air, and the
mandamus grew gross through lack of exercise.

Four months passed, and the House making no move, Bradlaugh endeavored
to appear and address the members on his own behalf. He was ordered to
leave. But he demanded "English fair play." He said: "I have been
elected a member of the House of Commons, you do not contest my
election, neither do you declare my seat vacant. I ask to be allowed
either to take the oath or to affirm, whichever you choose, but so far
you allow me to do neither. In justice to my constituents I am here to

The order was given that he be removed, and then occurred a scene such
as had never occurred in the House before, and probably never will
occur again. Four messengers attempted to seize Bradlaugh. He flung
them from him as though they were children. They stood about him
attempting to get a hold upon him, menacing him. The police were
called and ten of them made a rush at the man. Benches were torn up,
tables upset, and the mass of fifteen men went down in a heap.
Bradlaugh's clothing was literally torn into shreds, and his face was
bruised and bloody when after ten minutes' battle he was overpowered
and carried outside. No attempt was made to arrest him: he was simply
put out and the gates locked. The crowd in the street would have
overrun the place in an instant, had not Mrs. Besant, who stood
outside, motioned them back. They had put him out, but the end was not
yet. Things done in violence have to be done over again.

Bradlaugh was elected for the third time. Again he presented himself
at the House, and on refusal to administer the oath he administered it
himself. He was arrested for blasphemy, and charges of circulating
atheistic literature were brought in various courts. The endeavor was
to enmesh him in legal coils and break his spirit. Where then was the
English spirit of fair play!

But public opinion was crystallizing, society was waking up, and a
rapidly growing conviction was springing into being that, aside from
the injustice to Bradlaugh himself, the House of Commons was unfair
to Northampton in not allowing the borough to be represented by the
man they so persistently sent. "An affirmation bill" was introduced
in the House and voted down.

Again Bradlaugh was elected. On his sixth election Bradlaugh presented
himself as usual at the bar, and this time, on the order of Speaker
Peel, who had been elected on this very issue, Bradlaugh's oath was
accepted, and he took his seat. The opposition was dumb. Bradlaugh
had won.

He promptly introduced an affirmation bill which became a law without
any opposition worth the name. Bradlaugh's crowning achievement is
that he fixed in English law the truth that the affirmation of a man
who does not believe in a Supreme Being is just as good as the oath of
one who does.

During the Bradlaugh struggle, John Morley, the free-thinker, was a
member of the House of commons, having taken the regulation oath and
been accepted without quibble. Morley constantly used his influence
with Labouchere in Bradlaugh's behalf, but for five years he was
blocked by Gladstone.

However, John Morley is now a member of the Cabinet. Gladstone is
dead. In January, Eighteen Hundred Ninety-one, when it was known that
Bradlaugh was dying, a resolution was introduced and passed by the
House of Commons, expunging from the records all references to
Bradlaugh having been expelled or debarred from his seat. Gladstone,
the chief figure in the expulsion and disbarment, favored the

When the dying man was told this, he said: "Give them my greetings--I
am grateful. I have forgiven it all, and would have forgotten it,
save for this." Here he paused, and was silent. After some moments, he
opened his eyes, half-smiled, and motioning to Labouchere to come
close, whispered: "But, Labby, the past can not be wiped out by a
resolution of Parliament. The moving finger writes, and having writ,
moves on, nor all your tears shall blot a line of it."


  He tells of the rhodora, the club-moss, the blooming clover, not of
  the hibiscus and the asphodel. He knows the bumblebee, the
  blackbird, the bat and the wren. He illustrates his high thought by
  common things out of our plain New England life: the meeting of the
  church, the Sunday-School, the dancing-school, a huckleberry party,
  the boys and girls hastening home from school, the youth in the shop
  beginning an unconscious courtship with his unheeding customer, the
  farmers about their work in the fields, the bustling trader in the
  city, the cattle, the new hay, the voters at a town meeting, the
  village brawler in a tavern full of tipsy riot, the conservative who
  thinks the nation is lost if his ticket chances to miscarry, the
  bigot worshiping the knot-hole through which a dusty beam of light
  has looked in upon the darkness, the radical who declares that
  nothing is good if established, and the patent reformer who screams
  in your unwilling ears that he can finish the world with a single
  touch--and out of all these he makes his poetry, or illustrates his
  --_Theodore Parser's Lecture on Emerson_

[Illustration: Theodore Parker]

Among wild animals, members of each species look alike. Horses,
wolves, deer, cattle, quails, prairie-chickens, rabbits--think it

Breeds in birds and animals are formed by taking individual
peculiarities and repeating them through artificial selection until
that which was once peculiar and unique becomes common. White pigeons
are simply albinos. But all breeds in time "run out" and form a type,
just as a dozen kinds of pigeons in a loft will in a few years
degenerate into a flock, where all the members so closely resemble
each other that you can not tell one from another.

A religious denomination or a political party is a breed. When it is
new it has marks of individuality; it means something. In a few years
it reverts to type. Political parties grown old are all equally bad.
They begin as radical and end as conservative. That which began in
virtue is undone through profligacy. Among successful religions there
is no choice--they all have a dash of lavender.

When the man who founded the party, or upon whose name, fame and
influence the party was founded, dies, the many who belong to it are
tinted by the whims and notions of Thomas, Richard and Henry, and it
reverts to type.

Only very strong and self-reliant characters form sects. Moses founded
a denomination which has been kept marvelously pure by persecution,
and healthy by constant migration. Jesus broke away from this sect and
became an independent preacher. Naturally he was killed, for up to
very recent times all independent preachers were killed, and quickly.
Paul took up the teachings of Jesus and interpreted them, and by his
own strong personality founded a religion. Paul was crucified, too,
head downward, and his death was really more dramatic than that of his
chief, but there was a lack of literary men to record it.

So we get the religion of Christ interpreted by Paul, and finally
viseed and launched by a Roman Emperor. Now, countries are this or
that, because the reigning ruler is. This must be so where there is a
state religion and forth thousand priests look to the king for their
pay-envelope and immunity from all taxation. Henry the Eighth and his
daughter Elizabeth decreed that England should be Protestant. They
gave the Catholic clergy the choice of resigning their livings or
swearing allegiance to the new faith. Only seventy-nine out of ten
thousand dropped out. If Mary Tudor and Mary Stuart had succeeded
politically, England would today have been Catholic. The many have no
belief of any kind: they simply accept some one's else belief.

When Constantine professed Christianity, every pagan temple in Rome
became a Christian Church. Had Constantine been circumcised, instead
of baptized, all the pagan temples would have become synagogues, and
every priest a rabbi. They do say it was a Christian woman who
influenced Constantine in favor of Christianity, If so, it is neither
remarkable nor strange. Constantine made the labarum the battle-flag
of Rome. "By this sign I conquer." And he did. So we get the religion
of Jesus, siphoned through the personality of Paul, fused with
paganism, and paganism being the stronger tendency, the whole fabric
reverts to type.

We loose the pouter, the tumbler is forgot, and we get slaty-gray men
and women ruled by ruffed Jacobins.

       *       *       *       *       *

Christianity is one thing; the religion of the Christ is another.
Christianity is a river into which has flowed thousands upon thousands
of streams, springs, brooks and rills, as well as the sewage of the
cities. In the main it traces to pagan Rome, united with the cool,
rapid-running Rhone of classic Greece. But the waters of placidly
flowing Judaism, paralleling it, have always seeped through, and the
fact that more than half of all Christianity prays to a Jewess, and
that both Jesus and Paul were Jews, should not be forgotten.

The blood of all the martyrs, rebels and revolters who have attempted
to turn the current of this river has tinted its waters. That its
ultimate end is irrigation, and not transportation, is everywhere

To keep religion a muddy, polluted, pestilential river, instead of
allowing it to resolve itself into a million irrigating-ditches, has
been the fight of the centuries. The trouble is that irrigation is
not an end--it is just a beginning. Irrigation means constant and
increasing effort, and priests and preachers have never prayed, "Give
us this day our daily work." Their desire has been to be carried--to
float with the tide, and he who floats is being carried downstream.
Men who have tried to tap the stream and divert its waters to parched
pastures have usually been caught and drowned in its depths. And this
is what you call history.

All new religions have their beginning in exactly this way: they are
streams diverted from the parent waters. And the quality and influence
of the new religion depend upon the depth of the new channel, its
current, and the territory it traverses.

As before stated, most of the rebels were quickly caught, Moses
rebelled from the religion of Egypt; Jesus rebelled from the religion
of Moses; Paul rebelled from Judaism, adopted the name and led the
little following of the martyred Savior; Constantine seized the name
and good-will, and destroyed rebellion and competition by a master
stroke of fusion--when you can not successfully fight a thing, all is
not lost, you can still embrace it; Savonarola was an unsuccessful
rebel from Constantine's composite religion; Luther, Calvin and Knox
successfully rebelled; Henry the Eighth defied the Catholic Church for
reasons of his own and broke from it; Methodism and Congregationalism
broke from both the canal of John Knox and that of Queen Elizabeth and
her lamented father; Unitarianism in New England was a revolt from the
rule of the Congregational Church, and Emerson and Theodore Parker
were rebels from Unitarianism.

Emerson and Parker were irrigators. They gave the water to the land,
instead of trying to keep it for a fishpond. Neither one ever ordered
the populace to cut bait or fall in and drown. As a result we are
enriched with the flowers and fruits of their energies; they
bequeathed to us something more than a threat and a promise--they gave
us the broad pastures, the meadows, the fertile fields, and the lofty
trees with their refreshing shade.

       *       *       *       *       *

Theodore Parker was the first of his kind in America--an independent,
single-handed, theological fighter--a preacher without a
denomination, dictated to by no bishop, governed by no machine. He has
had many imitators, and a few successors. The number will increase as
the days go by. Parker was a piece of ecclesiastical nebulae thrown
off by the Unitarian denomination, moving through space in its orbit
towards oblivion, the end of all religions, where one childless god
presides, Silence. The destiny of all religions is to die and
fertilize others. It is yet too soon to say what man's final religion
will be.

Parker's business was not to start a new world; rather, it was to
collide with old, reeling, wobbling worlds, break them into pieces,
and send these pieces spinning through space.

For fourteen years Theodore Parker spoke at Music-Hall, Boston, every
Sunday, to congregations that varied from a thousand to three
thousand, the capacity of the auditorium. During these years he was
the dominating intellectual factor of Boston, if not all New England.
People went to Boston, for hundreds of miles, just to hear Parker, as
they went to Brooklyn to hear Beecher. And as for many people,
Plymouth Church and Beecher were Brooklyn, so to others Music-Hall and
Parker were Boston.

Churchianity can only be disintegrated by the slow process of erosion.
Joseph Parker's work in London tended to make all English clergymen
who desired freedom, free. For over twenty years he preached every
Thursday noon, and often twice on Sunday. No topic of vital human
interest escaped him. He was a self-appointed censor and critic--
sharp, vigilant, alert, yet commending as well as protesting. The two
Parkers, one in America and one in England, made epochs. In point of
time Theodore Parker comes first, and his discourses were keyed to a
higher strain. Less theatrical than his gifted namesake, not so fluid
nor so picturesque, his thought reduced to black and white reads
better. What Theodore Parker said can be analyzed, parsed, taken
apart. He always had a motif and his verb fetches up. He said things.

His best successor was David Swing, a man so great that the
Presbyterian Church did not need him. Gentle, deliberate, homely,
lovable, eloquent--David Swing was made free by those who had not the
ability to appreciate him, and of course knew not what they did. You
keep freedom by giving it away. Swing swung wide the gates that the
captives might go free. Truly was it said of him that he liberalized
every denomination in the West. Contemporary with Swing was Hiram W.
Thomas, the door of the Methodist cage opening for him, because he
believed in the divinity of everybody. Thomas believed even in the
goodness of bad people. Swing and Thomas prepared the way, and are the
prototypes of these modern saints: Felix Adler, Minot Savage, Brand
Whitlock, B. Fay Mills, Rabbi Fleischer, M. M. Mangasarian, Henry
Frank, Thomas Osborne, John Worthy, Ben Lindsey, Margaret Lagrange,
Levi M. Powers, John E. Roberts, Winifred Sackville Stoner, Sam
Alschuler, Katharine Tingley, James A. Burns, Jacob Beilhart, McIvor
Tyndall, and all the other radiant rationalists in ordinary who
gratify the messianic instinct of their particular group.

It is the unexpected that happens. One of the peculiar, unlooked-for
results of independent preaching was to evolve the sensational
preacher, who, clinging like a barnacle to orthodoxy, sought to meet
the competition of the independent by flaunting a frankness designed
to deceive the unwary. This species announced on blackboards and in
the public prints that he would preach to "Men Only," or "Women Only,"
and his subjects were "Girls, Nice and Naughty," "Baldheads,
Billboards and Bullheads," "Should Women Propose?" "Love, Courtship
and Marriage," "Lums, Tums and Bums," "The Eight Johns," "The Late
Mrs. Potiphar," or some other subject savoring of the salacious.

The Reverend T. DeWitt Talmage was the high priest of all sensational
preachers. He was without the phosphorus to attract an audience of
intellectual people, but he did draw great crowds who came out of
curiosity to see the gyroscopic gyrations. Talmage never ventured far
from shore, and he of all men knew that while the mob would forgive
vulgarity--in fact, really enjoyed it--unsoundness of doctrine was
to it a hissing. Orthodoxy is very tolerant--it forgives everything
but truth. Every fetish of the superstitious and cringing mind,
Talmage repeated over and over in varying phrase. He was the
antithesis of an independent, exactly as Spurgeon was. It is the
fate of every man who lives above the law to be hailed as brother by
some of those who are genuine lawbreakers.

Talmage thought he was an independent, but he was independent in
nothing but oratorical gymnastics. Talmage spawned a large theological
brood who barnstorm the provinces as independent evangelists. These
base, bawling, baseball ranters, who have gotten their pulpit manners
from the bleachers, do little beyond deepening superstition, pandering
to the ignorance of the mob, holding progress back, and securing unto
themselves much moneys. They mark the degeneration of a dying
religion, that is kept alive by frequent injections of sensationalism.
Light awaits them just beyond.

Theodore Parker drew immense audiences, not because he pandered to the
many, but because he deferred to none. He challenged the moss-covered
beliefs of all denominations, and spoke with an inward self-reliance,
up to that time, unknown in a single pulpit of America.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the year Eighteen Hundred Ten, Lincoln, Darwin, Tennyson,
Gladstone, Elizabeth Browning, Mary Cowden Clarke, Felix Mendelssohn,
Edgar Allan Poe, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Cyrus McCormick were each
and all a year old.

The parents of Theodore Parker had been married twenty-six years, and
been blessed with ten children, the eldest, twenty-five years old, and
the youngest five, when Theodore persistently forced his presence upon
them. Of course, no one suspected at the time that it was Theodore
Parker, but "Theodore" was the name they gave him, meaning, "One sent
from God." That this implied no disrespect to the other members of the
family can be safely assumed.

The Old-World plan of making the eldest son the heir was based upon
the theory that the firstborn possessed more power and vitality than
the rest. The fact that all of Theodore Parker's brothers and sisters
occupy reserved seats in oblivion, and he alone of the brood arrived,
affords basis for an argument which married couples of discreet years
may build upon if they wish.

Theodore Parker was born in the same old farmhouse where his father
was born, three miles from the village of Lexington. The house has now
disappeared, but the site is marked with a bronze tablet set in a
granite slab, and is a place of pilgrimage to many who love their
historic New England.

The house was on a hillside overlooking the valley, pleasant for
situation. Above and beyond were great jutting boulders, over which
the lad early learned to scramble. There he played I-Spy with his
sisters, his brothers regarding themselves as in another class, so
that he grew up a girl-boy, and picked flowers instead of killing

The coming of Spring is always a delight to country children, and it
was a delight that Theodore Parker never outgrew. In many of his
sermons he refers to the slow melting of the snow, and the children's
search for the first Spring flowers that trustingly pushed their way
up through the encrusted leaves on the south side of rotting logs.
Then a little later came the violets, blue and white, anemones, sweet-
william, columbine and saxifrage. In the State House at Boston the
visitor may see a musket bearing a card reading thus: "This firearm
was used by Captain John Parker in the Battle of Lexington, April 19,
1775." Then just beneath this is another musket and its card reads:
"Captured in the War for Independence by Captain John Parker at
Lexington. Presented by Theodore Parker." These two guns were upon the
walls of Theodore Parker's library for over thirty years. And of
nothing pertaining to his life was he so proud as that of the war
record of his grandfather. When little Theodore was four years of age
his sisters would stand him on a chair and ask, "What did grandpa say
to the soldiers?" And the chubby cherub in linsey-woolsey dress would
repeat in a single mouthful, "Do not fire unless fired upon, but if
they mean to have a war let it begin here!"

John Parker, son of the man who captured the first British musket in
the War of the Revolution, lacked the proverbial New England thrift.
Instead of looking after his crops and flocks and herds, he preferred
to putter around a little carpenter-shop attached to the barn, and
make boats and curious windmills, and discuss that wonderful day of
the Nineteenth of April, Seventeen Hundred Seventy-five, when he was
fourteen years old, and had begged to try just one shot from his
father's flintlock at the straggling British, who had innocently
stirred up such a hornets' nest.

That storied twenty-mile march from Boston to Concord was mapped, re-
mapped, discussed and explained, and is still being explained and
wondered at by descendants of the embattled farmers.

All of which is beautiful and well; and he who cavils concerning it,
let his name be anathema. But the actual fact is that, instead of the
War of the Revolution beginning at Lexington, it began several years
before at Mecklenburg, North Carolina, where the mountaineers arose in
revolt against laws made in London and in the making of which they had
no part. There at Mecklenburg over two hundred Americans were killed
by British troops, while the "massacre" at Lexington cost the
Colonists just seven lives.

And the moral seems to be this: Parties about to perform heroic deeds
would do well to choose a place where poets, essayists and historians
abound. It was Emerson who fired the shot heard 'round the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

All good writing men exercise their privilege to use that little
Pliocene pleasantry about the boy who is not strong enough to work
being educated for a preacher. We are apt to overlook the fact,
however, that the boy not strong enough to work is often the only one
who desires an education--all of this according to Emerson's Law of

Theodore Parker in his youth was slight, slender and sickly, but he
had a great hunger for knowledge. Those who have brawn use it, those
without fall back on brain--sometimes.

It can not be said that Theodore Parker's parents set him apart for
the ministry: he set himself apart and got his education in spite of
them. At fifteen, he once created a small seismic disturbance by
announcing to the family at supper, "I entered Harvard College today."

This educational move was scouted and flouted, and the fact pointed to
that there was not enough money in the ginger-jar to keep him at
Cambridge a week. And then the boy explained that he was going to
borrow books and do his studying at home. He had passed the
examinations and been duly admitted to the freshman class.

Let the fact stand that Theodore Parker kept up his studies for four
years, and would have been entitled to his degree had he not been a
non-resident. In Eighteen Hundred Forty, when Parker was thirty years
of age, Harvard voted him the honorary degree of A.M. This was well,
but if a little delay had occurred Parker would not have been so
honored, and as it was, it was suggested by several worthy persons
that the degree should be taken away without anesthetics. Both Parker
and Emerson seriously offended their Alma Mater and were practically

When eighteen years old Theodore Parker was a fairly prosperous
pedagogue, and at twenty had saved up enough money to go to Harvard
Divinity School.

Here he was very studious, and his skill in Greek and Latin made the
professors in dead languages feel to see that their laurels were in
place. Everybody prophesied that the Parker boy would be a great man--
possibly a college professor! Theodore was passing through the
realistic age when every detail must be carefully put in the picture.
He was painstaking as to tenses, conscientious as to the ablative, and
had scruples concerning the King James version of Deuteronomy. About
the same time he fell in love--very much in love. Some one has said
that an Irishman in love is like Vesuvius in a state of eruption. A
theological student in love is like a boy with the hives. Theodore
thought that all Cambridge was interested in his private affairs, so
he wrote to this one and that advising them of the engagement, but
cautioning secrecy, the object of secrecy in such cases being that the
immediate parties themselves may tell everybody. He asked his father's
consent, intimating that it made no difference whether it was
forthcoming or not--the die was cast. He asked the consent of the
girl's parents, and they having a grudge against the Parkers assented.
Having removed all obstacles, the happy couple waited four years, and
were safely married. Lydia Cabot's character can all be summed up in
the word "good." She went through Europe, and remembered nothing but
the wooden bears in Switzerland, of which she made a modest
collection. When her husband preached, her solicitude was that his
cravat might not become disarranged, for once when he was discussing
the condition of sinners after death, his necktie gravitated around
under his ear, and his wife nearly died of mortification. When he
began to lose his hair she consulted everybody as to cures for
baldness, and brought up the theme once at prayer-meeting, making her
appeal to the Throne of Grace. This led Parker to say that the
calamity of being bald was not in the loss of hair; it was that your
friends suddenly revealed that they had recipes concealed on their
person. Before his marriage Parker had positive ideas on the bringing
up of children, and intimated what he proposed to do. But Fate decreed
that he should be childless, that all religious independents might
call him father. There is only one thing better than for a strong man
to marry an absolutely dull woman. She teaches him by antithesis: he
learns by contrast, and her stupidity is ever a foil for his
brilliancy. He soon grows to a point where he does not mentally defer
to her in the slightest degree, but goes his solitary way, making good
that maxim of Kipling, "He travels the fastest who travels alone." He
learns to love the ideal. The mediocre quality of Parker's wife was,
no doubt, a prime factor in bringing out the self-reliant qualities in
his own nature.

Parker's first pastorate was the Unitarian church at West Roxbury, ten
miles from Boston, and an easy drive from Concord and Lexington. This
was in the year Eighteen Hundred Thirty-six, a year memorable to
lovers of Emerson, because it was during that year that the "Essay on
Nature" was issued. It was put forth anonymously, and published at the
author's expense. Doctor Francis Bowen, Dean of Harvard Divinity
School, had denounced the essay as "pantheistic and dangerous." He
also discovered the authorship, and expressed his deep sorrow and
regret that a Harvard man should so far forget the traditions as to
put forth such a work. Theodore Parker came to the defense of Emerson,
and this seems to have been Parker's first radical expression.

Emerson was seven years older than Parker, but Parker had the ear of
the public; whereas at this time Emerson was living in forced
retirement, having been compelled to resign his pastorate in Boston on
account of heretical utterances.

Theodore Parker was very fortunate in his environment. It will hardly
do to say that he was the product of his surroundings, because there
were a good many thousand people living within the radius of Ralph
Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, Bronson Alcott, George Ripley and
William Ellery Channing, who were absolutely unaware of the presence
of these men. The most popular church in Concord today is the Roman
Catholic. Theodore Parker fitted his environment and added his aura to
the transcendental gleam. He was the lodestone that attracted the
Brook-Farmers to West Roxbury. It is easy to say that if these
Utopians had not selected West Roxbury as the seat of the new regime,
they would have performed their transcendental tricks elsewhere; but
the fact remains, they did not.

Parker was on the ground first; Ripley used to come over and exchange
pulpits with him. Charles A. Dana, Margaret Fuller, Bronson Alcott,
George William Curtis and Henry Thoreau once walked out from Boston to
hear him preach.

All these people exercised a decided influence on Theodore Parker; and
when "The Dial" was published, Parker was one of the first

Parker preached for thinking people--his appeal was not made to punk.
A sermon is a collaboration between the pew and the pulpit; happy is
the speaker with listeners who are satisfied with nothing but his

The Thursday lecture was an institution in Boston intermittently for
two hundred years, being first inaugurated by Anne Hutchinson and the
Reverend John Cotton. The affair was mostly for the benefit of
clergymen, in order that they might hear one another and see
themselves as others saw them. To be invited to give a Thursday
lecture was a great honor.

Theodore Parker was invited to give one; he gave the address and then
was invited back, in order that his hearers might ascertain whether
they had understood correctly. Parker had said that to try to prove
the greatness of Jesus by his miracles was childish and absurd. Even
God was no better or greater through diverting the orderly course of
Nature and breaking His own laws by strange and exceptional acts.
Parker did not try to disprove the matter of miracles. He only said
that wise men would do well not to say anything about them, because
goodness, faith, gentleness and love have nothing to do with the
miraculous, neither does a faith in the miraculous tend to an
increased harmony of life. A man might be a good neighbor, a model
parent and a useful citizen, and yet have no particular views
concerning the immaculate conception.

This all sounds very trite to us: it is so true that we do not think
to affirm it. But then it raised a storm of dissent, and a resolution
was offered expressing regret that the Reverend Theodore Parker had
been invited to address a Boston Christian assemblage. The resolution
was tabled, but the matter had gotten into the papers, and was being
discussed by the peripatetics.

Parker had at his church in Roxbury substituted Marcus Aurelius for
the Bible at one of his services; and everybody knew that Marcus
Aurelius was a Pagan who had persecuted the Christians. Was it the
desire of Theodore Parker to transform Christian Boston into a Pagan
Rome? Parker replied with a sermon showing that Boston sent vast
quantities of rum to the heathen; that many of her first citizens
thrived on the manufacture, export and sale of strong drink; and that
to call Boston a Christian city was to reveal a woeful lack of
knowledge concerning the use of words. About this time there was a
goodly stir in the congregation, some of whom were engaged in the
shipping trade. After the sermon they said, "Is it I--Is it I?" And
one asked, "Is it me?"

The Unitarian Association of Boston notified Theodore Parker that in
their opinion he was no better than Emerson, and it was well to
remember that Pantheism and Unitarianism were quite different. That
night Theodore Parker read the letter, and wrote in his journal as

  The experience of the last twelve months shows me what I am to
  expect of the next twelve years. I have no fellowship from the other
  clergy; no one that helped in my ordination will now exchange
  ministerial courtesies with me. Only one or two of the Boston
  Association, and perhaps one or two out of it, will have any
  ministerial intercourse with me. "They that are younger than I have
  me in derision." I must confess that I am disappointed in the
  ministers--the Unitarian ministers. I once thought them noble; that
  they would be true to an ideal principle of right. I find that no
  body of men was ever more completely sold to the sense of

All the agitation and quasi-persecution was a loosening of the
tendrils, and a preparation for transplanting. Growth is often a
painful process. Socially, Parker had been snubbed and slighted by the
best society, and his good wife was in tears of distress because the
meetings of the missionary band were held without her assistance and
elsewhere than at her house.

Here writes Parker:

  Now, I am not going to sit down tamely, and be driven out of my
  position by the opposition of some and the neglect of others, whose
  conduct shows that they have no love of freedom except for
  themselves--to sail with the popular wind and tide. I shall do this
  when obliged to desert the pulpit because a free voice and a free
  heart can not be in "that bad eminence." I mean to live with Ripley
  at Brook Farm. I will study seven or eight months of the year; and,
  four or five months. I will go about and preach and lecture in the
  city and glen, by the roadside and fieldside, and wherever men and
  women may be found. I will go eastward and westward, and northward
  and southward, and make the land ring; and if this New England
  theology that cramps the intellect and palsies the soul of us does
  not come to the ground, then it shall be because it has more truth
  in it than I have ever found.

Then came the suggestion from Charles M. Ellis, a Boston merchant,
that Parker quit sleepy Roxbury and defy classic Boston by renting the
Melodeon Theater and stating his views, instead of having them
retailed on the street from mouth to mouth. If the orthodox
Congregationalists wanted war, why let it begin there. The rent for
the theater was thirty dollars a day; but a few friends plunged,
rented the theater, and notified Parker that he must do the rest.

Would any one come--that was the question. And Sunday at eleven A. M.
the question answered itself. Then the proposition was--would they
come again? And this like all other propositions was answered by time.

The people were hungry for truth--the seats were filled.

What began as a simple experiment became a fixed fact. Boston needed
Theodore Parker.

An organization was effected, and after much discussion a name was
selected, "The Twenty-eighth Congregational Society of Boston." And
the Orthodox Congregationalists raised a howl of protest. They showed
that Parker was not a Congregationalist at all, and the Parkerites
protested that they were the only genuine sure-enoughs, and anyway,
there was no copyright on the word. Congregational Societies were
independent bodies, and any group of people could organize one who

In the meantime the society flourished, advertised both by its loving
friends and by its frenzied enemies.

Parker grew with the place. The Melodeon was found too small, and
Music-Hall was secured.

The audience increased, and the prophets who had prophesied failure
waited in vain to say, "I told you so."

There sprang up a demand for Parker's services in the Lyceum lecture-
field. People who could not go to Boston wanted Parker to come to
them. His fee was one hundred dollars a lecture, and this at a time
when Emerson could be hired for fifty.

Parker had at first received six hundred dollars a year at Roxbury,
then this had gradually been increased to one thousand a year.

The "Twenty-eighth" paid him five thousand a year, but the Lyceum work
yielded him three times as much. The sons of New England who fight
poverty and privation until they are forty acquire the virtue of

Parker and his wife lived like poor people, as every one should. The
saving habit was upon them. Lydia Parker had her limitations, but her
weakness was not in the line of dress and equipage. She did her own
work, and demanded an accounting from her Theodore as to receipts and
disbursements, when he returned from a lecture-tour. To save money,
she did not usually accompany him on his tours. So God is good. To get
needful funds for personal use he had to juggle the expense-account.

Reformers are supposed to live on half-rations, and preachers are poor
as church mice; but there may be exceptions. Both Emerson and Parker
contrived to collect from the world what was coming to them. Emerson
left an estate worth more than fifty thousand dollars, and Theodore
Parker left two hundred thousand dollars, all made during the last
fourteen years of his life.

Theodore Parker preached at Music-Hall nine hundred sermons. All were
written out with great care, but when it came to delivering them,
although he had the manuscript on his little reading-desk, he seldom
referred to it. The man was most conscientious and had a beautiful
contempt for the so-called extemporaneous speaker. His lyceum lectures
were shavings from his workshop, as most lectures are. But preparing
one new address, and giving on an average four lectures a week, with
much travel, made sad inroads on his vitality. Every phase of man's
relationship to man was vital to him, and human betterment was his one
theme. In Eighteen Hundred Fifty-five he was indicted, along with
Colonel Higginson and William Lloyd Garrison, for violation of the
Fugitive-Slave Law. And when John Brown made his raid, Theodore Parker
was indicted as an "accessory before the fact." Had he been caught on
Virginia soil he would doubtless have been hanged on a sour-apple tree
and his soul sent marching on.

In his sermons he was brief, pointed, direct and homely in expression.
He used the language of the plain people On one occasion he said: "I
have more hay down than I can get in. Whether it will be rained on
before next Sunday I can not say, but I will ask you to use your
imaginations and mow it away."

Again he says: "I do not care a rush for what men who differ from me
do or say, but it has grieved me a little, I confess, to see men who
think as I do of the historical and mythical connected with
Christianity, who yet repudiate me. It is like putting your hand in
your pocket where you expect to find money and discovering that the
gold is gone, and that only the copper is left."

Recently there has been resurrected and regalvanized a story that was
first told in Music-Hall by Theodore Parker on June Nineteenth,
Eighteen Hundred Fifty-six. The story was about as follows:

  Once in a stagecoach there was a man who carried on his knees a box,
  on which slats were nailed. Now a box like that always incites
  curiosity. Finally a personage leaned over and said to the man of
  the mysterious package:

  "Stranger, may I be so bold as to ask what you have in that box?"
  "A mongoose," was the polite answer.

  "Oh, I see--but what is a mongoose?"

  "Why, a mongoose is a little animal we use for killing snakes."

  "Of course, of course--oh, but--but where are you going to kill
  snakes with your mongoose?"

  And the man replied, "My brother has the delirium tremens, and I
  have brought this mongoose so he can use it to kill the snakes."

  There was silence then for nearly a mile, when the man of the
  Socratic Method had an idea and burst out with, "But Lordy gracious,
  you do not need a mongoose to kill the snakes a fellow sees who has
  delirium tremens--for they are only imaginary snakes!" "I know,"
  said the owner of the box, tapping his precious package gently, "I
  know that delirium-tremens snakes are only imaginary snakes, but
  this is only an imaginary mongoose."

And the moral was, according to Theodore Parker, that, to appease the
wrath of an imaginary God, we must believe in an imaginary formula,
and thereby we could all be redeemed from the danger of an imaginary
hell. Also that an imaginary disease can be cured by an imaginary

Theodore Parker died in Florence, Italy, in Eighteen Hundred Sixty,
aged fifty years. His disease was an excess of Theodore Parker. His
body lies buried there in Florence, in the Protestant cemetery, only a
little way from the grave of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

At his funeral services held in Boston, Emerson said:

  Ah, my brave brother! It seems as if, in a frivolous age, our loss
  were immense, and your place can not be supplied. But you will
  already  be consoled in the transfer of your genius, knowing well
  that the nature of the world will affirm to all men, in all times,
  that which for twenty-five years you valiantly spoke. The breezes of
  Italy murmur the same truth over your grave, the winds of America
  over these bereaved streets, and the sea which bore your mourners
  home affirms it. Whilst the polished and pleasant traitors to human
  rights, with perverted learning and disgraced graces, die and are
  utterly forgotten, with their double tongue saying all that is
  sordid about the corruption of man, you believed in the divinity of
  all, and you live on.


  _For my beloved wife, Elizabeth Cromwell. These:
                                         Edinburgh, 3d May, 1651_

  My Dearest: I could not satisfy myself to omit this post, although I
  have not much to write; yet indeed I love to write to my dear who is
  so very much in my heart. It joys me to hear thy soul prospereth:
  the Lord increase His favors to thee more and more. The great good
  thy soul can wish is, that the Lord lift upon thee the light of His
  countenance, which is better than life. The Lord bless all thy good
  counsel and example to all those about thee, and hear all thy
  prayers and accept thee always.

  I am glad to hear thy son and daughter are with thee. I hope thou
  wilt have some opportunity of good advice to them. Present my duty
  to my mother. My love to all the family. Still pray for Thine,
                                      _Oliver Cromwell_

[Illustration: OLIVER CROMWELL]

Oliver Cromwell was a Puritan, which word was first applied in bucolic
pleasantry by an unbeliever--may God rest his soul!--and was adopted
by this body of people who desired to live lives of purity, reflecting
the will of the Lord.

Oliver did in his life so typify all the Puritan qualities of sterling
honesty (as well as some simplicities springing out of his faults)
that the time spent in considering him shall not be lost. "Our Oliver
was the last glimpse of the godlike vanishing from England," wrote
Thomas Carlyle. Obscured in lurid twilight as the shadow of death,
hated by somnambulant pedants, doleful dilettanti, phantasmagoric
errors, bodeful inconceivabilities, trackless, behind pasteboard
griffins, wiverns, chimeras, Carlyle had to search through thirty
thousand pamphlets and forty thousand letters for the soul of

Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdon, England, April Twenty-fifth,
Fifteen Hundred Ninety-nine. His parents belonged to the landed
gentry, but who yet were poor enough so they ever felt the necessity
of work and economy. The mother of Cromwell was a widow when she
wedded Richard, the happy father of Oliver. The widow's husband had
accommodatingly died, and he now has a monument, placed they say by
Oliver Cromwell himself, in Ely Cathedral, which records him thus:
"Here sleepeth until the last Great Day, when the Trump shall sound,
William Lynne, Esq., who had the honor and felicity to be the first
husband of Elizabeth, Mother through the Grace of God to Oliver
Cromwell." At the bottom of the inscription a would-be wag wrote, "Had
he lived long enough he would have been the stepfather of Oliver."

Oliver was the fifth child of his parents, who it seems were happily
wedded, the gray mare being much the better horse. And this once
caused Oliver to say (and which the same is here recorded to disprove
the statement that he had no wit), "Men who are born to rule other men
are themselves ruled by women." This may be truth or not--I can not

Smelted out of the dross-heap of lying biographers, most of whose
stories should be given Christian burial, we get the truth that this
boy was brought up by pious, hard-working parents.

The splenetic capacity, the calumnious credulity, the pleasures of
prevarication and of rolling falsehoods like a sweet morsel under the
tongue, have made those thirty thousand Cromwell pamphlets possible.
It is stated by one writer, Heath, now pleasantly known as "Carrion
Heath," that Oliver's father was a brewer, and the son grew up a
tapster, but was compelled to resign his office on account of being
his own best customer.

Waiving all these precious libels, created to supply a demand, we find
that Oliver grew up, swart and strong, a sturdy country lad, who did the
things that all country boys do, both good and ill. He wrestled,
fought, swam, worked, studied a little. He was packed off to
Cambridge, where he entered Sidney Sussex College, April Twenty-
second, Sixteen Hundred Sixteen, which is the day that one William
Shakespeare died, but which worthy playwright was never even so much
as once mentioned by Cromwell in all of his voluminous writings. If
Cromwell ever heard of Shakespeare he carefully concealed the fact.

Before we proceed further it may be proper to say that the father of
our Oliver had a sister who married William Hampden of Bucks, and this
woman was the mother of John Hampden, who was deemed worthy of mention
in "Gray's Elegy" and also in several prose works, notably the court
records of England. The family of Oliver traced to that of Thomas
Cromwell, Earl of Essex; although such is the contempt for pedigree by
men who can themselves do things, that Oliver once disclaimed Thomas,
as much as to say. "There has been only one Cromwell, and I am the
one." It was about thus (I do not five the exact words, because I was
not present and the Pitt system was not then in use, great men at that
time not having stenographers at their elbows): Bishop Goodman, (known
as Badman) was reading to the Protector a long, slushy Billwalker-of-
Fargo address full of semi-popish jargon, when his Lordship's
relationship to Thomas, the Mauler of Monasteries, was mentioned. Here
broke in Oliver with, "Eliminate that--eliminate that--he was no
relative of mine--good morning!"

Bishop Badman was a queer old piece of theological confusion, who went
over to popery, body, boots and breeches, believing that Oliver was
a bounder and was soon to be ditched by destiny. Bishop Badman, having
made the prophecy of ill-luck, did all he could to bring it about,
when death ditched him; and whether he ever knew the rest about
Cromwell, we do not know, even yet, as our knowledge of another world
comes to us through persons who can not always be safely trusted to
tell the truth about this.

At Cambridge, our Oliver did not learn as much from books as from the
boys, eke girls, I am sorry to say--all great universities being co-ed
in fact, if not in name. His mother sent him things to eat and things
to wear, but among items to wear at that time, stockings were for
royalty alone. Queen Elizabeth was the first person of either the male
or the female persuasion in England to wear knit stockings, and also
to use a table-fork--this being for spearing purposes.

Oliver's mother sent him a baize or bombazine table-cloth. And this
tablecloth did he cut up, prompted by the devil, into stockings, for
he was justly proud of his calves, the same having been admired by the
co-eds of Cambridge. For all of these things, in after-years, Oliver
did pray forgiveness and beseech pardon for such pride of the eye and
lust of the flesh, manifest in pedal millinery.

A year at Cambridge proved the uselessness of the place, but it was
necessary to go there to find this out. The death of his father
brought matters to a climax, and Oliver must prepare for very hard
times. Then London and a lawyer's office welcomed him.

On Thursday, October Twenty-ninth, Sixteen Hundred Eighteen, Cromwell
saw a curious sight: it was the fall of the curtain in the fifth act
of the life of Sir Walter Raleigh, who introduced tobacco into
England, and did several other things, for which the monarchy was, as
usual, ungrateful. Raleigh had sought to find an Eldorado for England,
and alas! he only found that man must work wherever he is, if he would
succeed, and that fields of gold and springs of eternal youth exist
only in dreams, where they best belong. It was a cold, gray morning,
and Sir Walter was kept standing on the scaffold while the headsman
ground his ax, the delay being for the amusement and edification of
the Christian friends assembled.

"One thing I will never do," said Oliver Cromwell, law-clerk, swart
and lusty, in green stockings and other sartor-resartus trifles; "one
thing I will never do--and that is, take human life!" Oliver was both
tender-hearted and grim.

Sir Walter's frame shook in the cold, dank fog, and the sheriff
offered to bring a brazier of coals; but the great man proudly drew
around him the cloak, now somewhat threadbare, that he had once spread
for good Queen Bess to tread upon, and said, "It is the ague I
contracted in America--the crowd will think it fear--I will soon be
cured of it," and he laid his proud head, gray in the service of his
country, calmly on the block, as if to say, "There now, take that, it
is all I have left to give you!"

       *       *       *       *       *

How much legal lore Cromwell acquired in London is a matter of dim and
dusty doubt. That his vocabulary was slightly extended there is quite
probable, for later he uses the word "law-wolf," thus supplying Alfred
Henry Lewis with a phrase that was to be sent clattering down the
corridors of time. That Alfred Henry may have been absolutely
innocent of the truth that he was using a classicism and not a Kansas
mouth-filler is quite probable. In London, Oliver took unto himself a
wife, he being twenty-one and three weeks over. The lady was the
daughter of a client of the firm for which Oliver Cromwell was a
process-server. That he successfully served papers on the young lady
is undeniable, for he led her captive to Saint Giles' Church,
Cripplegate, and they were there married August, Sixteen Hundred
Twenty, the clerk being so overcome (doubtless by the presence of
Oliver Cromwell, the coming Lord Protector of England, Scotland and
Ireland) that he neglected to put in the day of the month. In the same
church sleeps one John Milton, who was much respected and beloved by
our Oliver, and who proved that a Puritan could write poetry.

The father of Oliver having died, as before truthfully stated, first
prophesying that his son would grow up a ne'er-do-well, this son took
his new-found wife up to the Fen Country to live with his mother and
sister. That he would be Lord Protector of the Farm seems quite the
proper thing to say, but that he was dutiful, modest, teachable, is a

Here he lived, with babies coming along one a year, hard-working,
simple, earnest, for seven years escaping the censorious eye of Clio,
weaver of history. Happy lives make dull biographies. Also, we can
truthfully say that nothing tames a man like marriage. Take marriage,
business, responsibility, and a dash of poverty, mix, and we get an
ideal condition. These things make for a noble discontent and the
industry and unrest that unlimber progress.

Then comes that peculiar psychic experience which is often the lot of
men born to make epochs, who also have souls fit to assert themselves.
We find our Oliver consumed with a strange despair, biting world-
sorrow, Tophet pouring black smoke into the universe of his being--
temptations in the wilderness!

Men of neutral quality do not make good Christians-militant. Our
Oliver was not neutral. Out of the black night of unrest and through
the thick darkness, he gradually saw the eternal ways and got good
reckonings by aid of the celestial guiding stars.

So Oliver emerged at twenty-seven, alive with cosmic consciousness--a
God-intoxicated man. That Deity spoke through him, he never doubted.
Thereafter he was to be religious, not only on Sundays and Wednesday
evenings, but always and forever.

Suddenly and without warning appears in history, Oliver Cromwell,
taking his seat in the House of Commons on Monday, March Seventeenth,
Sixteen Hundred Twenty-seven, making then a speech of five minutes,
accusing one Reverend Doctor Alablaster of flat popery; and goes back
into the silence, pulling the silence in after him, to remain twelve

Then comes he forth again as member of Cambridge. He was a country
squire, bronze-faced, callous-handed, clothes plainly made by a woman,
dyed brown with walnut-juice. The man was much in earnest, although
seemingly having little to say. He was not especially conspicuous,
because it was largely a Parliament of Puritans. As members, there sat
in it John Hampden, Selden, Stratford, Prynne, and with these, the
rising tide had carried Oliver Cromwell. In a seat near him sat Sir
Edward Coke, known to posterity because he wrote a book on Lyttleton,
and Lyttleton is known to us for one sole reason only, and that is
because Coke used him for literary flux.

Religions are founded on antipathies.

Patriotism, which Doctor Johnson, beefeater-in-ordinary, said is the
last refuge of a rogue, is usually nothing but hatred of other
countries, very much as we are told that the shibboleth of Harvard is,
"To hell with Yale."

Puritanism is a reactionary move, a swinging out of the pendulum away
from idleness, gluttony, sham, pretense and hypocrisy.

Charles the First was king. He was a year younger than Oliver, but as
Fate would have it, he was to die first. So sat Oliver Cromwell, grim,
silent--thinking. And then back he lumbered by the stagecoach to his
country house.

His finances not prospering, he had moved to the little village of
Saint Ives, famous because of the fact that there was born the only
lawyer ever elected to a saintship. Once a year there is a village
festival at Saint Ives in honor of the attorney, when all the children
sing, "Advocatus et non latro, res miranda populo."

The land owned by Cromwell was boggy, willow-grown, marshy, fit only
for grazing. Oliver was a justice of the peace, now devoting his days
to improving his herds, draining the marsh-lands, praying,
occasionally fasting, exhorting at the village crossroads, and once
collaring the loafers at a country tavern and making them join in a
hymn. This exploit, together with that of quelling a small disturbance
among some student factions at the neighboring town of Cambridge, had
attracted a little attention to him, and Cambridge Puritans, not
knowing whom else to send to Parliament, chose Cromwell, the dark

With his big family he was very gentle, yet obedience was demanded,
and given, without question or dispute, and a glance at the portrait
of the man makes the matter plain. It was easier to agree with him
than successfully to oppose him.

So slipped the years away, broken only by an echo from cousin John
Hampden, who refused to pay "ship-money." This ship-money meant that
if you didn't pay so much--twenty shillings or ten pounds, according
to the needs of the exchequer--you could be drafted into His
Majesty's service and sent to sea. The money you paid was nominally to
hire a substitute, but no one but King Charles and Attorney-General
Noy, who fished out the precious precedent from the rag-bag of the
past, knew what became of the money.

Noy was a close-running mate of Archbishop Laud, who hunted heretics
and cropped the ears of a thousand Puritans. Noy is described for us
as a law-pedant, finding legal precedent for anything that royalty
wished to do. Noy devised the ship-money scheme, and then died before
his law went into effect: killed by the hand of Providence, the
Puritans said, who uttered prayers of thankfulness for his taking off,
all of which was quite absurd, since the law lives, no matter who
devised it. Rulers who wish to tax their subjects heavily should do it
by indirection--say by means of the tariff.

The affection in which Noy was held is shown in that he was known as
Monster to the King, the domdaniel of attorneys. When he died the
result of the autopsy was that "his brains were found to be two
handfuls of dry dust, his heart a bundle of sheepskin writs, and his
belly a barrel of soft soap." He wasn't a man at all.

John Hampden was tried for refusal to pay ship-money. The trial lasted
three weeks and three days.

The best legal talent in England had a hand in it, and one man made a
speech eleven hours long, without sipping water. The verdict went
against Hampden--he must pay the twenty shillings. I believe,
however, he did not; neither did John Milton, who wrote a pamphlet on
the subject; neither did Oliver Cromwell.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a tale in that good old classic, McGuffy's Third Reader, to
the effect that a man once punished one of his children, and a minute
after had his own ears violently boxed by his mother, with the
admonition, "You box the ears of your child, and I'll box the ears of
mine!" This story, which once much delighted the rosy children of
honest farmers, was told by Charles Dickens, with Oliver Cromwell in
the title role.

That Cromwell inherited his mother's leading traits of character, all
agree. She lived to be ninety, and to the day of her death took a deep
interest in political and theological history. She believed in her boy
even more than she believed in God, and took a deep delight in "that
heaven has used me as an instrument in bringing about His will." In
her nature she combined the attributes of Quaker, Dunkard and
Mennonite. She was a come-outer before her son was, and ever appealed
in spirit to the God of Battles for peace.

It was the year Sixteen Hundred Forty, and Oliver was again a member
of Parliament. The session lasted only three weeks, and then was
petulantly dissolved by King Charles, who, not being able to compel
the members to do his bidding, yet had the power to send them
scampering into space.

At the new election Cambridge again elected Oliver, not for anything
he had done, but as a rebuke to the haughty and frivolous Charles for
rejecting him. This was known as the Long Parliament: it lasted two
years, and during its sessions about all that Oliver did was to sit
and cogitate.

In January, Sixteen Hundred Forty-two, there took place the
inevitable--Charles and Parliament clashed. The Royalists had been so
busy enjoying themselves, and cutting off the ears of people who
failed to bow at the right time, that they had not rightly interpreted
the spirit of the times. There was an attempt being made to oust
Presbyterianism from Scotland and supplant it with the Episcopacy.
These religious denominations were really political parties, and while
the Puritans belonged to neither, calling themselves Independents,
their hearts were with the persecuted Presbyterians, because they were
come-outers for conscience' sake, while the Episcopalians never were.
Old Noll called Episcopalians, "bastard Catholics," and it is no
wonder his ears burned. The Bishops wanted to use them in their

Come-outism is a peculiar and well-defined move on the part of
humanity towards self-preservation, righteousness, at the last, being
only a form of common-sense. That greed, selfishness, pomp and folly
in all the million forms which idleness can invent, investing itself
in the name of religion, will cause certain people to come out and
lead lives of truth, sobriety, method, industry and mutual service, is
as natural as that cattle should protect themselves from the coming

When the great Omnipotence that rules the world wishes to destroy a
nation or a party, He gives it its own way. When the governor of an
engine breaks and the machine begins to race, all ye who love life had
better look out and come out.

The dominant party had outdone the matter of taxations, star-
chamberings, hangings, whippings, and the maintaining of blood-
sprinkled pillories. The time was ripe: Charles and his rollicking,
reckless Royalists failed to see the handwriting on the wall. It was a
case of spontaneous combustion. Oliver was forty-three, with hair
getting thin in front, and three moles (which he ordered the portrait-
painter not to omit) were reinforced by wrinkles. He had a son
married, and was a grandfather.

So he went back to his farm on the order of Charles and took his moles
with him. He was a bit sobered by the thought that he had been one of
a body who had openly defied the king, and therefore he was an outlaw.
To submit quietly now meant branding and ear-cropping, if not the
stake. He called a prayer-meeting at his house--the neighbors came--
they sang and supplicated God, not Charles the First, and then Oliver
asked for volunteers to follow him to the government powder-magazine
near by, and capture it ere the Royalists used it for the undoing of
the Lord's people. "His salvation is nigh unto them that fear Him,
that His glory may dwell in the land!" And they went forth, and seized
the sleepy guards, who had not been informed that war had begun. The
plate belonging to the University was taken care of, so that it would
not fall into the hands of the enemy, and the classic old campus took
on the look of a siege.

Cromwell commissioned himself Captain of Horse. It was a farmers'
uprising, for freedom is ever a sort of farm-product. Adam Smith says,
"All wealth comes from the soil." What he meant to say was "health,"
not "wealth." Men who fight well, fight for farms--their homes, not
flats or hotels. Indians do not fight for reservations. The sturdy
come-outer is a man near the soil. Successful revolutions are always
fought by farmers, and the government which they create is destroyed
by city mobs.

Cromwell knew this and said to Cousin John Hampden: "Old, decayed
serving-men and tapsters can never encounter gentlemen. To match men
of honor you must have God-fearing, sober, serious men who fight for
conscience, freedom, and their wives, children, aged parents, and
their farms. Give me a few honest men and I will not demand numbers--
save for enemies." And he gathered around him a thousand picked
Puritans, men with moles, farmers and herdsmen, who were used to the
open. This regiment, which was called "Ironsides," was never beaten,
and in time came to be regarded as invincible. The men who composed it
compared closely with the valiant and religious Boers, who were
overpowered only by starvation and a force of six to one. The
Ironsides were like Caesar's Tenth Legion, only different. They went
into battle singing the Psalms of David, and never stopped so long as
an enemy was in sight, except for prayer.

John Forster, who wrote a life of Cromwell in seven volumes, says, "If
Oliver Cromwell had never done anything else but muster, teach and
discipline this one regiment, his name would have left a sufficient
warrant of his greatness."

The Winter of Sixteen Hundred Forty-two and Sixteen Hundred Forty-
three was devoted to preparations for the coming struggle, which
Cromwell knew would be renewed in the Spring. All his private fortune
went into the venture. He covered the country for a hundred miles
square, and broke up every Royalist rendezvous. The Spring did not
bring disappointment, for the Royalist army came forward, and were
successful until they reached Cromwell's country. Here the
Parliamentarians met them as one to three, and routed them.

"They were as stubble before our swords," wrote Cromwell to his wife.
Old Noll not only led the fighting, but the singing, and insisted on
being in every charge where the Ironsides took part. He had not been
trained in the art of war, but from the very first he showed
consummate genius as a general. He aimed to strike the advancing army
in the center, go straight through the lines, and then circle to
either the right or the left, milling the mass into a mob, destroying
it utterly. It was all the work of men born on horseback, who, if a
horse went down, clambered free and jumped up behind the nearest
trooper, or, clinging to the tail of a running horse, swung sword
right and left and all the time sang, "Unto Thee, O Lord, and not unto
us!" This two-men-to-a-horse performance was an exercise in which our
Oliver personally trained his Ironsides. He showed them how to sing,
pray, fight and ride horseback double. At Marston Moor, Fairfax led
the right wing of the Parliamentary army. Prince Rupert at the head of
twenty thousand men charged Fairfax and defeated him. Cromwell played
a waiting game and allowed the army of Rupert to tire itself, when he
met it with his Ironsides and sent it down the pages of history in
confusion and derision. At this battle the eldest son of Cromwell was
killed, and the way he breaks the news to a fellow-soldier, a young
man, as if he were consoling him, reveals the soul of this sturdy man:

  _To my loving Brother, Colonel Valentine Walton. These:
                                        Before York 5th July, 1644_

  Dear Sir: It's our duty to sympathize in all mercies, and to praise
  the Lord together in chastisement or trials, that so we may sorrow

  Truly England and the Church of God hath had a great favor from the
  Lord, in this great victory given unto us, such as the like never
  was since this war began. It had all the evidences of an absolute
  victory obtained by the Lord's blessing upon the godly party
  principally. We never charged but we routed the enemy. The left
  wing, which I commanded, being on our own horse, saving a few Scots
  in our rear, beat all the Prince's horse. God made them as stubble
  to our swords. We charged their foot regiments with our horse, and
  routed all we charged. The particulars I can not relate now; but I
  believe of the twenty thousand the Prince has not four thousand
  left. Give glory, all the glory, to God.

  Sir, God hath taken away our eldest son by a cannon-shot. It broke
  his leg. We were necessitated to have it cut off, whereof he died.

  Sir, you know my own trials this way; but the Lord supported me with
  this: That the Lord took him into the happiness we all pant for and
  live for. There is our precious child full of glory, never to know
  sin and sorrow any more. He was a gallant young man, exceedingly
  gracious. God give you His comfort. Before his death he was so full
  of comfort that to Frank Russel and myself he could not express it,
  "It is so great above my pain." This he said to us. Indeed it was
  admirable. A little after, he said, "One thing lies upon my spirit."
  I asked him what that was. He told me it was that God had not
  suffered him to be any more the executioner of His enemies. At this
  fall, his horse being killed with the bullet, and as I am informed
  three horses more, I am told he bid them open to the right and left,
  that he might see the rogues run. Truly he was exceedingly beloved
  in the army of all who knew him. But few knew him; for he was a
  precious young man fit for God. You have cause to bless the Lord. He
  is a glorious saint in heaven; wherein you ought exceedingly to
  rejoice. Let this drink up your sorrow; seeing these are not feigned
  words to comfort you, but the thing is so real and undoubted a
  truth. We may do all things by the strength of Christ. Seek that,
  and you shall easily bear your trial. Let this public mercy to the
  Church of God make you forget your private sorrow. The Lord be your
  strength: so prays Your truly faithful and loving brother,
                                             _Oliver Cromwell_

       *       *       *       *       *

Great Britain was rent with civil war: plot and counterplot--intrigue,
feud, fear and vengeance--filled the air. Men alternately prayed and
cursed, then they shivered. Commerce stood still. Farmers feared to
plant, for they knew that probably the work would be worse than vain:
the product would go to feed their enemies and deepen their
oppression. Backward and forward surged the armies, consuming,
destroying and wasting. The pride and flower of England's manhood had
enlisted or been drafted into the fray.

The fight was Episcopalians against Dissenters: the Church versus the
People. Most of the Dissenters were Puritans, and they belonged to
various denominations; and many, like Oliver Cromwell, belonged to
none. The issue was freedom of conscience. Cromwell regarded religion
as life and life as religion, and to him and to all men he believed
that God spoke directly, if we would but listen.

If the Church won, many felt that freedom would flee, and England
would be as it was in the reign of Bloody Mary.

If the Puritans won, no one knew the result--would power be safe in
their hands? Men at the last were but men. In the hands of royalty,
money flowed free. There had been thousands of pensioners, parasites,
ladies of fashion and gentlemen of leisure, parties who worked an hour
every other Thursday, and whose duties were limited largely to signing
their vouchers--royalty and relatives of royalty, all feeding at the
public trough. These people "spent their money like kings"--which
means that they wasted their substance in riotous living. And the
average mind--jumping at conclusions--reasons that liberal spenders
benefit society. In the South our colored brothers are much happier
when getting ten cents at a time, ten times a day, than if receiving a
monthly stipend of fifty dollars. Even yet there be those who argue
that rich people who spend money freely on folly benefit the race,
forgetful that anything which calls for human energy is a waste to the
world of human life, unless it is a producer of wealth and happiness
as well as a distributor. Waste must always be paid for, and usually
it is paid for in blood and tears; but beggars who live on tips never
know it. A tramp who is given a quarter feels a deal more lucky than
if he gets a chance to earn a dollar.

All wealth comes through labor: the people earn the money, and the
parasites get a part of it; and in the Seventeenth Century, they got
most of it. Then when these parasites wasted the money the people had
earned, the many thought they were being blessed. The English people
in the Seventeenth Century were about where the colored brother is
now, and I apologize to all Afro-Americans when I say it. However, out
of the mass of ignorance, innocence, brutality, bestiality,
fanaticism, superstition, arose here and there at long intervals a man
equal to any we can now produce. But they were fugitive stars,
unsupported, and they had to supply their own atmosphere.

Cromwell was an accident, a providential accident, sent by Deity in
pleasantry, to give a glimpse of what a man might really be.

       *       *       *       *       *

William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, was to Charles the First what
Richelieu was to Louis the Thirteenth of France. Laud came so near
being a Catholic that the Pope, perceiving his fitness, offered to
make him a cardinal. In fact, but a few years before, all of the
clergy in England were Catholics and when their monarch changed
religions they changed theirs. Laud was of the opinion that vows,
responses, intonings, genuflexions and ringing of bells constituted

Cromwell said that religion was the dwelling of the spirit of God in
the heart of man. Laud brought about much kneeling and candle-
snuffing. He was Pope of the English Church, and played the part
according to the traditions.

A Scotch Presbyterian clergyman by the name of Leighton declared in a
sermon that bishops derived their power from men, not God. Laud showed
him differently by placing him in the pillory, giving him a hundred
lashes on the bare back, branding him with the letter "I," meaning
infidel, cutting off one ear and slitting his nose.

William Prynne, a barrister, denounced Laud for his inhuman cruelty,
and declared that Laud's misuse of power proved Leighton was right.
Then it was Prynne's turn. He was fined two thousand pounds for
"treason, contumacy and contravention." Archbishop Laud was head of
the Church of England, and he who spoke ill of Laud spoke ill of the
Church; and he who slandered the Church was guilty of disloyalty to
God and his country. King Charles looked on and smiled approval while
Prynne had his ears cut off and his nose slit. Charles signed the
sentence that Prynne should wear a red letter "I" on his breast and
stand in the marketplace on a scaffold two hours a day for a month,
and then be imprisoned for life. Thus was Nathaniel Hawthorne supplied
a name and an incident. Also thus did Charles and his needlessly pious
Archbishop set an awful example to Puritans, for we teach forever by
example and not by precept. Rulers who kill their enemies are teaching
murder as a fine art, and fixing private individuals in the belief
that for them to kill their enemies is according to the "higher law,"
and also preparing them for the abuse of power when they get the

Doctor Bastwick, a physician in high repute, expressed sympathy for
Barrister Prynne as he stood in the sun on the scaffold, consoling him
with a word of friendship and a foolish tear. Laud had a clergyman in
disguise standing near the condemned Prynne, "to feel the pulse of the
people." He felt the pulse of Doctor Bastwick, and reported his action
to Laud, the religieux. Then Bastwick was a candidate. He was
arrested, fined a thousand pounds, had his ears cut off without the
use of cocaine, a month apart, both nostrils were slit, and he was
imprisoned for life. Cousin John Hampden took a petition to King
Charles, asking that mercy should be granted Doctor Bastwick, as he
was an old man, a good physician, and his action was merely a kindly
impulse, and not a deliberate insult to either the Archbishop or the
King. The petition was ignored and John Hampden cautioned.

Oliver Cromwell was then in London, having come to town with three
wagonloads of wool, but his wits were not woolgathering. Dissenters
were not safe. There is a report noted by both Carlyle and Charles
Dickens that Cromwell, having sold his wool and also his horses,
embarked on a ship with John Hampden, bound for Massachusetts Bay
Colony, leaving orders for his family to follow. The ship being
searched by spies of Laud, Oliver and John were put ashore and ordered
to make haste to their country houses and stay there and cultivate the
soil. The King and his Archbishop made a slight lapse in not allowing
Oliver and John to depart in peace.

When John Hampden refused to pay ship-money, Laud wanted him publicly
whipped. Charles, guessing the temper of the times, allowed the case
to go to trial.

Cromwell was a member of the Long parliament that ordered the arrest
and trial of Laud. Laud was placed in the Tower in Sixteen Hundred
Forty-one, but his trial did not take place until Sixteen Hundred
Forty-four. Cromwell argued that anybody who could speak well of Laud
must be heard. The trial consumed a year. Laud was found guilty of six
hundred counts of gross inhumanity and violation of his priestly oath,
and was beheaded with a single stroke of the ax that had severed the
head of Raleigh.

At this time Charles was in the field, moving from this point to that,
feeling to see if his head was in place, and trying to dodge the
Parliamentary armies. Also, at this time, fighting in the ranks of
Cromwell, was one John Bunyan, who was to outlive Cromwell, write a
book, glorify Bedford Jail and fall a victim to Royal vengeance.

Fate dug down and tapped in Cromwell's nature great reservoirs of
unguessed strength. As Ingersoll said of Lincoln, "He always rose to
the level of events." There is an unanalyzed bit of psychology here: a
man is tired, ready to drop out, and lo! circumstances call upon him,
and he makes the effort of his life. Beneath all humanity there is a
lake of power, as yet untapped.

Cromwell's greatest successes were snatched from the teeth of defeat.
He always had a few extra links to let out. He grew great by doing.
When others were ready to quit, he had just begun. Like Paul Jones,
when called upon to surrender he shouted back, "Why, sir, by the
living God, I have not yet commenced to fight!"

       *       *       *       *       *

When conversation lags in Great Britain, or any of her Colonies, the
question of whether the execution of Charles the First was justifiable
is still debated.

That Charles the First was a saint compared with his son Charles
the Second can easily be shown. He was cool, courageous, diplomatic,
regular in church attendance, gentle in his family relations. He was
objectionable only in his official capacity. He was weak, vacillating
and full of duplicity. It is absolutely true that cutting off his head
did not increase the sum total of love, beauty, truth, kindness and
virtue in the breast of the beefeaters.

England still spends ten times as much for beer as for books, and the
religion in which Charles believed is yet the established one. The
religion of Cromwell, which represented simple industry, truth, and
mutual helpfulness, omitting ritual, is still considered strange,
erratic and peculiar.

For fifteen years the rule of Oliver Cromwell in England was supreme.
With the help of Admiral Blake he drove the pirates from the
Mediterranean, set English captives free, and made Great Britain both
respected and feared the round world over. Spain gave way and dipped
her colors; Italy paid a long-delayed indemnity of sixty thousand
pounds for injuries done to British subjects; Catholic France
religiously kept hands off.

The Episcopal faith was not suppressed, but was simply placed on the
same footing as Presbyterianism. Toleration for each and every faith
was manifest, and the pillory and whipping-post fell into disuse. The
prison-ships lying in the Thames, waiting for their living cargo to be
carried away and dumped on distant lands, were cleaned out, refitted,
holystoned, and sent out as merchant-ships. Roads were built,
waterways deepened, canals dug, and marsh-lands drained.

A general order was issued that any British soldier or sailor, in any
place or clime, who at any time was guilty of assault on women, or who
looted or damaged private property, or attacked a neutral, should be
at once tried, and, if found guilty, shot. If, in the exigency of war,
English soldiers were compelled to take private property, receipts
must be given, prices fixed, and drafts drawn for same on the home
office. All this to the end, "Thou shalt not steal." Pensions were cut
off, parasites set to work, vagabonds collared and given jobs, and all
State business managed on the same plan that a man would bring to bear
in his private affairs. For carrying dummy names on his payroll, the
governor of a shipyard was led forth and dropped into the sea, and a
man who gave a ball at the expense of the State was deprived of his
office and sent to the Barbados.

Cromwell liked to dress as a private soldier, mixing with his men, and
going to taverns or palaces looking for contraband of war. When he was
Chief Commander of the armies of England, he insisted on acting as
colonel and leading the Ironsides into battle at the head of a charge.

When Cromwell was presented with six coach-horses, all alike, and by
one sire, he insisted on personally driving them. The coach was loaded
with broad-brimmed Puritans, who had guiltily left their work, when
the horses ran away, frightened, they say, by an Episcopal bishop. All
Royalists laughed--but not very loud. A few ultra-Puritans said it was
a warning to Oliver not to try to set up a monarchy.

In Cromwell's time the Ananias Club had not been formed, although
eligible candidates were plentiful. Oliver refers to Archbishop Laud
as a "deep-dyed liar," and in the Cathedral, at Ely, he once
interrupted the services by calling the officiating clergyman, "a
pious prevaricator."

Cromwell, like many another bluff and gruff man, was a deal more
tender-hearted than he was willing to admit. The death of his daughter
broke the heart of Old Noll--he could not live without her. So passed
away Oliver Cromwell in his sixtieth year. The very human side of his
nature was shown in his supposing that his son Richard could rule in
his place. A short year and the young man was compelled to give way.
Royalists came flocking home, with greedy mouths watering for
fleshpots, ecclesiastical and political.

And so we have Charles the Second and confusion.


  As I do understand it, laws, commands, rules and edicts are for
  those who have not the light which makes plain the pathway. He
  who has God's grace in his heart can not go astray.
  --_Anne Hutchinson_

[Illustration: ANNE HUTCHINSON]

Boston was founded in Sixteen Hundred Thirty. The village was first
called Trimountain, which was shortened as a matter of prenatal
economy to Tremont.

The site was commanding and beautiful--a pear-shaped peninsula, devoid
of trees, wind-swept, facing the sea, fringed by the salt-marsh, and
transformed at high tide into an actual island.

The immediate inspirer of the Puritan exodus from England was
Archbishop Laud, who had a cheerful habit of cutting off the ears of
people who differed with him concerning the unknowable. The Puritans
were people who believed in religious liberty. They rebelled from
ritual, form, pomp and parade in sacred things. Their clergy were
"ministers," their churches were "meetinghouses," their communicants
"a congregation."

The Boston settlers were Congregationalists, and stood about halfway
between Presbyterianism and the Independents. Oliver Cromwell, it will
be remembered, was an Independent. John Winthrop, a man very much like
him, was a Congregationalist.

The Independents had no priests, but the Congregationalists
compromised on a minister.

Charles the First and his beloved Archbishop Laud regarded these
Congregationalists as undesirable citizens, and so obligingly gave
John Winthrop his charter for the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and said,
"Go, and peace be with you," although that is not the exact phrase
they used.

In Sixteen Hundred Thirty-three, the Reverend John Cotton arrived at
Tremont from Boston, Lincolnshire, England. In his honor, in a burst
of enthusiasm, the settlers voted to change the name of their town
from Tremont to Boston. And Boston Village it remained--Saint
Botolph's Town--governed by the town-meeting, until Eighteen Hundred
Thirty-two, when it became a city, and Boston it is, even unto this

Boston now has considerably more than half a million people; at the
beginning of the Revolutionary War it had twenty thousand inhabitants;
in Sixteen Hundred Thirty-three, when John Cotton arrived, it had
three hundred seven folk. The houses were built of logs--not of cut
stone and marble--mostly in blockhouse style, chinked with mud. There
were no wharves, but John Winthrop proudly says, "A ship can come
within half a mile of my house, so deep is the channel."

John Cotton was a very strong and earnest man, much beloved by all who
knew him. Almost every family in the Massachusetts Bay Colony named a
child after him. Increase Mather named one of his sons "Cotton." The
Colonists did not leave England by individuals or single families.
They came in groups--church-groups--headed by the pastor of his
flock. They were not in search of an Eldorado, nor a fountain of
youth. It was distinctly a religious movement, the object being
religious liberty. They wished to worship God in their own way. They
believed that this world was a preparation for eternity. They believed
that religion is the chief concern of mortals here below. Had they
been told that man moves in a mysterious way his blunders to perform,
the remark would have been lost on them.

Religion was the oil which caused the flame of their lives to burn
brightly. They knew nothing of science, of history, of romance or of
poetry. Their one book was the Bible, and by it they endeavored to
guide their lives. Nature to them was something opposed to God, and
all natural impulses were looked upon with suspicion. They never
played and seldom laughed. They toiled, prayed, sang, and for
recreation argued as to the meaning of Scriptural passages. To know
what these passages meant was absolutely necessary in order to find a
right location for your soul in another world. The fear of the Lord is
not only the beginning of wisdom, but also its end.

And yet there was a recompense in their zeal, for it was the one thing
which caused them to emigrate. In its holy flame all old ties were
consumed, the past became ashes, hardships and dangers as naught, and
although there was much brutality in their lives, they were at least
different kinds of brutes from what they otherwise would have been.
They were transplanted weeds. Religious zeal has its benefits, but
they are often bought at a high price.

The Puritans left the Old World to gain religious liberty, but to give
religious liberty in the New was beyond their power. The only liberty
they allowed was the liberty to believe as they believed. Others were
wrong, they were right--therefore it was right for them to take the
wrong in hand and set them right. They were filled with fear, and fear
is the finish of everything upon which it gets a clutch. Were it not
for fear man's religion would reduce itself to a healthful emotional
exercise, a beautiful intermittent impulse. Institutional religion is
founded on the monstrous assumption that man is a fully developed
creature, and has the ability, when rightly instructed, to comprehend,
appreciate and understand final truth--hence the creeds, those
curious ossified metaphors, figures of speech paralyzed with fright.

Sufficient unto the day is the knowledge thereof. What is best today
is best for the future. We must realize that life is a voyage and we
are sailing under sealed orders. We open our orders every morning, and
this allows us to change our course as we get new light.

These Puritans knew the voyage from start to finish, or thought they
did. They never doubted--hence their inhumanities, their lack of
justice, their absence of sympathy. And all the persecutions that had
been visited upon them, they in turn visited upon others as soon as
they had the power. Their lives were given over to cruelty and

These church-groups seemed to understand intuitively that a little
separation was a good thing. If this were not so, things would have
been even worse than they were. There were groups at Salem,
Charlestown, Newtown, Cambridge, Watertown, Roxbury, Dorchester,
Mystic and Lynn, each presided over by a "minister." This minister was
a teacher, preacher, doctor, lawyer and magistrate. In times of doubt
all questions were referred to him. The first "General Court" was a
meeting composed of the ministers, presided over by the Governor of
the Colony, and all things ecclesiastic and civil were regulated by

Of course these men believed in religious liberty--liberty to do as
they said--but any one who questioned their authority or criticized
their rulings was looked upon as an enemy of the Colony. So we see how
very easily, how very naturally, State and Church join hands.

Puritans were opposed to a theocracy, but before the Colony was six
weeks old, the ministers got together and passed resolutions, and
these resolutions being signed by the Governor, who was of their
religious faith, were laws. The "General Court" was a House of Lords,
where the members, instead of being bishops, were ministers, and the
State religion was of course Congregationalism.

All that is needed is time, and the rebels evolve exactly the same
kind of institution as that from which they rebelled. The Puritans
fled for freedom, and now in their midst, if there be any who want the
privilege of disagreeing with them, these, too, must flee. And so does
mankind ever move in circles.

Successful religions are all equally bad.

       *       *       *       *       *

Anne Hutchinson arrived in Boston, September Eighteenth, Sixteen
Hundred Thirty-four, on board the good ship "Griffin." With her was
her husband, William Hutchinson, and their fifteen children. It had
been a pleasant passage of seven weeks.

The Hutchinsons came from Boston, England, and had been members of the
Reverend John Cotton's church. It had been their intention to leave
for the New World with him the year before, but they had been detained
by the authorities, for just what reason we do not know. If the
persons who held them back a year had succeeded in keeping them
entirely, it would have been well for them, but not for literature,
for then this "Little Journey" would not have been written.

The Hutchinsons were accounted rich, having a thousand guineas in
gold, not to mention the big family of children. John Cotton had told
of them, and of the many fine qualities of heart and mind possessed by
Mrs. Hutchinson. Several of the Hutchinson children were fully grown,
and we are apt to think of the mother as well along in years. The fact
was, she had barely turned forty, with just a becoming sprinkling of
gray in her hair, when she reached the friendly shores of America.

Life on shipboard is a severe test of character. The pent-up quarters
bring out qualities, and often attachments are made or repulsions
formed, that last a lifetime. On board a co-ed ship, people either
make love or quarrel, or they may do both.

The "Griffin" carried more than a hundred passengers, among them two
clergymen who are known to fame simply because they crossed the sea
with Anne Hutchinson. These men were the Reverend John Lathrop and the
Reverend Zacharius Symmes. Religious devotions occupied a goodly
portion of the Puritan time, both on ship and on shore. The two
clergymen on the "Griffin" very naturally took charge of the spiritual
affairs on the craft, and apportioned out the time as best suited
them. There were prayers in the morning, prayers in the evening,
preaching in the forenoon, prayers and singing psalms between times.

Mrs. Hutchinson was a physician by natural endowment, and made it her
special business to look after the physical welfare of the women and
children on the ship. This was well; but when she called a meeting of
all the women on board ship, and addressed them, the Reverend John
Lathrop and the Reverend Zacharius Symmes invited the themselves to
attend, in order to see what manner of meeting it might be.

All went well. But in a week, Mrs. Hutchinson kind of got on the
nerves of the reverend gentlemen. Both men were strictly class B:
stern, severe, sober, serious, sincere, very sincere. Mrs. Hutchinson
was practical, rapid, witty and ready in speech; they were obtuse and
profound. Of course they argued--for all parties were Puritans. Daily
disputes were indulged in about the meaning of misty passages of
biblical lore. The ministers attended Mrs. Hutchinson's meetings, and
she attended theirs. They criticized her teachings, and she made bold
to say a few words about their sermons. The passengers, having
nothing better to do, took sides.

When land was sighted, and at last the "Griffin" passed slowly through
the mouth of the harbor, all disputes were forgotten and a joyous
service of thanksgiving was held. I said all disputes were forgotten:
two men, however, remembered. These men were the Reverend John Lathrop
and the Reverend Zacharius Symmes. They felt hurt, grieved, injured:
the woman had usurped their place, and besprinkled their sacred
offices with disrespect--at least they thought so.

When anchor was dropped, they were among the first to clamber over the
side and pull for the shore. They sought out John Winthrop, Governor
of the Colony, and told him to beware of that Hutchinson woman--she
had a tongue that was double-edged. John Winthrop smiled and guessed
that a woman with fifteen children could not help but be a blessing to
the Colony. The two ministers drew down long Puritan visages and
thought otherwise.

       *       *       *       *       *

The capacity for intellectual endeavor in a well-balanced woman is not
at its height until her childbearing days are in abeyance. At such a
time, in many instances, there comes to her a new birth of power:
aspiration, ambition, desire, find new channels, and she views the
world from a broad and generous vantage-ground before unguessed. The
frivolous, the transient, the petty--each assumes its proper place,
and she has the sense of value now if ever.

A great man once said in his haste that no woman under thirty knew
anything worth mentioning, her life being ruled by emotion, not
intellect. The great man was then forty; at fifty he pushed the limit
along ten years. At thirty feeling is apt to cool a little, and the
woman has times when she really thinks. Between forty and fifty is her
harvest-time, and if she ever realizes cosmic consciousness it is

Anne Hutchinson was rounding her fortieth milestone when she conceived
a great and sublime truth. It took possession of her being and seemed
to sway her entire life. This truth was called "Covenant of Grace."
Its antithesis is "Covenant of Works."

All theological dogmas, at the base, have in them a germ of truth. The
danger lies in making words concrete and building a structure upon

Covenant of Grace and Covenant of Works are both true, but the first
is sublimely true, while the second is true relatively. Both phrases
come from Saint Paul, who was the very prince of theological
quibblers. Covenant of Grace means that if you have the grace of God
in your heart, your life will justify itself; that is, if you are
filled with the spirit of good, inspired by right intent, and possess
a firm faith that you are the child of God, and God has actually
entered into a covenant with you to bless, benefit and protect you
here and hereafter. Also, that under these conditions you can really
do no sin. You may make mistakes, but this divine covenant that is
yours transforms even your lapses, blemishes, blunders, errors and
sins into blessings, so that in the end only the good is yours.

When you have gotten your mind and soul into right relationship with
God or the Divine Spirit, you do not have to seek, strive, struggle,
or painstakingly select and decide as to your actions. God's spirit
acting through you makes you immune from harm and wrong. Your mind
being right, your actions must of necessity be right, because an act
is but a thought in motion.

So, enter into the Covenant of Grace--make a bargain with God that you
will keep your being free from wrong thought--lie low in His hand.
Let His spirit play through you, relax, cease wrestling for a
blessing, and realize that you already have it. Then for you all of
the harassing details of life become simplified. What you shall say,
what you shall do, how you shall dress, what the particular actions
of the day shall be--all are as naught. Life becomes automatic,
divinely so, and regulates itself if you but have the Covenant of

The opposite view is the Covenant of Works. That is, you make an
agreement with God that you will obey His will; that you will control
and guard your "work," or actions; that your conduct will be correct.
Conduct then becomes the vital thing, not thought. By a "work" was
meant a deed, and you got God's assurance in your heart of salvation
through the propriety of your acts. Turner painted painstakingly
before he acquired the broad and general sweep. Washington, Franklin
and Lincoln, all in youth, compiled lists of good actions and bad

People in this stage set down lists of things which they should not
do, and also lists of things they should do. Young people usually make
lists of things they want to do, but must not. This stage compares
with the stage of realism in art. You must be realistic before you
become impressionistic. They want God's favor, they wish Him to smile
upon them, and so they are feverishly intent on doing only the things
of which He approves. Likewise they are fearful of doing the things of
which He disapproves.

Moses made a list of seven things the children of Israel must not do,
and three things they must do; and these we call the Ten Commandments.

The question of Covenant of Grace or Covenant of Works is a very old
one, and it is not settled yet. It goes forever with a certain type of
mind. Our criminal laws punish for the act--magistrates consider the
deed. And it is only a few years ago since a judge in America focused
the world's attention upon himself by refusing to punish delinquent
children brought before him for their deeds. He organized the Juvenile
Court, the sole intent of which is not to punish for the act, but to
go back of this and find out why this child committed the act, and
then remove the cause. And in doing this Judge Lindsey had to become a
lawbreaker himself, for he often violated his oath of office by
refusing to enforce the law where a specific punishment was provided
for a specific offense.

The entire and sole offense of Anne Hutchinson was her emphasis of a
Covenant of Grace. She had first gotten the idea from the Reverend
John Cotton; but it had enlarged in her mind until it took possession
of her nature, perhaps to the exclusion of some other good things. All
of her exhortations to the women on shipboard were: Don't be anxious;
don't be fearful; don't worry about the cares of your household or the
conduct of your husband or children. Don't be anxious about your own
conduct. Just dedicate your lives to God, and in consideration of the
dedication His grace or spirit will fill your hearts, so that all of
your actions will be right and proper and without sin.

Of course, this plea was met with specific questions, such as, if
works are immaterial and grace is all, then what shall I do in this
case, also that and the other? And how about teaching the catechism
and memorizing the Ten Commandments? Must not we say prayers, and
attend divine worship, and pay tithes, and obey magistrates?

Little minds always find endless food for argument and disputation,
right here. To leave the question to Nature and let actions adjust
themselves, they will never do. They want direct orders covering all
the exigencies of life. To meet this demand the Torah of the Jews was
devised, telling how to kill chickens, how to remove the feathers, how
to pass a stranger in an alley, how to cook, eat, pray, sleep, sing,
and cut one's hair.

Thus we get such peculiar laws as that it is a sin for a Jew to make a
fire at certain hours, to trim his beard, or for a Chinaman to clip
his cue. All barbaric people devise codes covering the minutiae of
conduct. With the Hopi Indians the maidens dress their hair in one way
and the married women in another, and if a married woman clothes
herself like a maiden, she is regarded as past redemption, and is
killed. One of the Ten Commandments, that against making graven
images, was founded on the fallacy that sculpture and idolatry were
one and the same thing. The Puritans believed that the arts of
sculpture and painting were both idolatrous. Some believed also that
instrumental music was the work of the devil. While a few believed
that wind-instruments, like the organ, were proper and right, yet
stringed instruments were harmful and tended to lascivious pleasings.
Now there are churches that use the pipe-organ, but allow the use of a
piano only in the lecture-room, or guildhouse. The United
Presbyterians disunited from the main body by abjuring all music but
that of the human voice, and then they split as to the propriety of
using a tuning-fork.

The Baptists have always played the organ, but the cornet as an
instrument to be used in leading congregational singing has caused
much dispute and contention. And while the cornet is allowed by many,
the violin is still tabu absolutely in certain districts. All this is
"Covenant of Works": be careful concerning what you do--have a
sleepless and vigilant eye for conduct--look to your deeds!

Anne Hutchinson cut the Gordian knot of law at a stroke, by saying,
"Get the grace of God in your hearts, and it is really no difference
what you do, or do not do." Now this is a very old idea. The elect few
who get their heads into a certain mental stratum have always come to
a belief in the truth of the Covenant of Grace.

When Jesus plucked the ears of corn on the Sabbath day he violated
Jewish law, and showed them then and at various other times that he
had small respect for laws governing conduct.

Persons who take this view are regarded as anarchists. They are looked
upon as enemies of the State; consequently they are dangerous persons,
and must be gotten rid of. Their guilt is always founded on an
inference: they do not believe in this, hence surely they are guilty
of that.

During the Civil War it was assumed by a large contingent that if you
believed in equal rights for the colored man you were desirous of
having your daughter marry a "nigger."

Many good men assume that if you believe in giving the right of
suffrage to women, you want your wife to run for the office of
constable. There are those who assume that men who do not go to church
play cards; those who play cards chew tobacco; those who chew tobacco
drink whisky; those who drink whisky beat their wives; therefore all
men should go to church.

All of Anne Hutchinson's troubles came from inferences; these
inferences were the work of the clergy.

       *       *       *       *       *

Those first Colonists lived practically communal lives, as pioneers
usually do. In their labors they worked together and for one another.
If a house was to be built, there was a "bee" and everybody got busy.
When a shipload of emigrants arrived, the entire town welcomed them at
the waterside. The Hutchinsons were especially welcome, coming as the
near and dear personal friends of John Cotton. Mrs. Hutchinson and
several of her children were housed with the Cotton family, until they
could build a home of their own.

Mrs. Hutchinson was regarded as an especially valuable arrival, for
she had rare skill in medicine and a devotion in nursing the sick that
caused her to be looked upon with awe. With children she was
especially fortunate. Hers was the healing touch, for she had the
welling mother-heart, the heart of infinite love; and the cures she
worked by simply holding the stricken child in her arms and breathing
upon it were thought to be miraculous.

With pioneers, children are at a premium. Puritans regarded the death
of a child as a visitation of the wrath of God; it filled the whole
settlement with terror. So naturally, any one who could stay the hand
of death was regarded as divinely endowed. Also, they were regarded by
some with suspicion, for these people believed there were two sources
of power, God and Satan.

Anne Hutchinson smiled at this, and told the people that sickness was
a result of wrong living or accident, and was not a manifestation of
the wrath of God at all, and the cure was simply worked by getting in
harmony with the laws of Nature.

Here, unwittingly, Mrs. Hutchinson was treading on very thin
theological ice. She was contradicting the clergy. She thought Nature
and God were one--they knew otherwise. But her days were so filled
with the care of the sick who besieged her house, that she was forced
in self-protection to give the people strong meat.

There were times when the weather was bad, and the whole settlement
would sink into melancholia. These people were on the bleak hillside,
facing the sea. Back of them, hedging them close, was the forest, dim,
dark and mysterious. In this wood were bears, wolves, panthers, which
in Winter, lured by the smell of food, would occasionally enter the
village to the great danger of life. At nightfall the settlers would
go inside, bar the windows and doors, and look to their matchlocks,
which in emergency might be needed.

Now and again came Indians, proud and painted, and paraded through the
village threateningly, and innocently helped themselves to whatsoever
they saw which they needed. Mrs. Hutchinson's power of healing had
gone abroad among these red men, and now and again an Indian mother
would stop at her door with a stricken papoose, and such were never
turned away.

The houses were small, ill-ventilated, overcrowded, and the singing,
praying and exhortation were not favorable to the welfare of the sick,
nervous or tired. The long severe Winter was a cause of dread and
apprehension. This was weather to which English people were not used,
and they had not grown accustomed to battle with the snow and ice.
Instead of facing it, they went into their houses to protect
themselves against it. So there was much idle time, when only prayer
and praise for a God of wrath filled the hours. Not a family was free
from disease, not a house but that upon the doorposts were marks of

The word "psychology" had never been heard by Mrs. Hutchinson, but the
thing itself she knew. She sought to relieve the people of gloom, to
stop introspection and self-analyzation. They quarreled, strife was
imminent; and when, with the dread of Winter, came the added fear of a
Pequot uprising, the whole place was treading the border-land of
insanity. It is doubtful whether Anne Hutchinson knew that insanity
was infectious, and that whole families, communities, can become
possessed of hallucinations--that towns can go mad, and nations have a

But this we know, she challenged the eight ministers who were there in
the Colony by calling meetings of women only, and teaching a gospel
which was at variance with what the eight learned men upheld. Her
theme was the Covenant of Grace. Get His spirit in your hearts and you
will not have to trouble about details. All your anxious care about
your children, your fear of disease, and horror at thought of death,
will disappear. This fear is what causes your sickness.

"You think some of your acts have been displeasing to God, and
therefore you suffer; but I say, if you but have the Grace of God in
your souls, and have transcendent minds, you can never displease Him."

It will be seen that this is the pure Emersonian faith which has not
only been applied to life in general, but to the arts. Anne Hutchinson
was the mother of New England Transcendentalism. Self-consciousness is
fatal to the art of expression; he who fixes his thought on the
movements of his hands and feet is sure to get tangled up in them;
good digestion does not require the attention of the party most
interested; and he who devotes all of the time to his spiritual estate
will soon have the whole property in chancery. Man is not a finality--
he is not the thing--the play's the thing: life is the play and the
play is life. Man is only one of the properties. Look out, not in; up,
not down, and lend a hand. And these things form the modern
application of the philosophy of Anne Hutchinson.

The ministers got together in secret session and decided that Anne
Hutchinson must be subdued. She was a usurper upon their preserve, a
trespasser and an interloper. Fear was the rock upon which they split.
And I am not sure but that fear is the only rock in life's channel.
Mrs. Hutchinson had told them that sermons, prayers and hymns were
mere "works," and that a person could do all that they demanded and
still be a thief and a rogue at heart, and that this close attention
to conduct meant eventual hypocrisy. On the other hand, if your mental
attitude was right, your conduct would be right.

"Even though it is wrong?" asked the Reverend Mr. Wilson.

And Anne Hutchinson replied, "Aye, verily."

"Then you say that you can commit no sin?"

"If my heart is right, I can not sin."

"Is your heart right?"

"I am trying to make it so."

"Then you can commit any act you wish?"

"Whatever I wish to do will be right, if my heart is right."

"But suppose, now--" and here these clergymen asked questions which no
gentleman ever asks a lady.

These men had a fine faculty for misunderstanding, misinterpreting,
and misrepresenting other people's thoughts.

John Cotton tried to pour oil on the troubled waters by explaining
that the idea of a Covenant of Grace was general, and to make it
specific was unjust and unreasonable. Then they turned on Cotton and
said, "So, you are one of them?"

Anne Hutchinson was ordered not to speak in public.

She still held meetings at her own house, and claimed she had the
right to ask her friends to her home and there to talk to them.

She it was who instituted the Boston Thursday Lecture, which was taken
up by John Cotton and carried by an apostolic succession to the
crowning days of its success, when Adirondack Murray reigned supreme.
Mrs. Hutchinson spoke to all the women the house would hold. The
Colony was divided into two parts: those who believed in a Covenant of
Grace and those who held to a Covenant of Works.

John Cotton seemed to be the only clergyman of the eight who realized
that both sides were right. Anne Hutchinson quoted him, told what he
had said in England, as well as here--and then John Cotton had to
defend himself. He did it by criticizing her, and then by accusing her
of taking his words too literally. He feared the mob.

The breach widened--he denounced her. Winthrop was against her, and
Cotton saw defeat for himself if he longer stood by her. She was a
good woman, but she must be suppressed for the good of the Colony.
With the consent of Cotton, and Wilson, his colleague, these two men,
being joint ministers to the Boston church, made formal charges of
heresy against her.

Sir Henry Vane, a youth of twenty-four, noble both by birth and by
nature, was elected Governor of the Colony. He sided with Mrs.
Hutchinson, and sought to bring commonsense to bear and stem the tide
of fanaticism. They turned on him, and his downfall was identical with
hers, although he was to return to England and make his own way to
success: to love Peg Woffington and elbow his way to place and power,
and also to London Tower, and lay his head upon the block in the
interests of human rights.

Mrs. Hutchinson was tried by an ecclesiastic court and found guilty.
In the trial, which covered several months, Mrs. Hutchinson defended
herself at great length and with much skill; but what the clergymen
demanded was an absolute retraction, and a promise that she would no
longer usurp their special function of giving public instruction.

All this time the Colony was rent by schism. Up at Salem was a Baptist
preacher by the name of Roger Williams, who was much in sympathy with
Mrs. Hutchinson, personally, although not adopting all of her ideas.
He thought that in view of the great usefulness of Mrs. Hutchinson as
a nurse and neighbor, she should be allowed to speak when she chose
and say what she wished, "because if it be a lie, it will die; and if
it be truth, we ought to know it." Roger Williams would have done well
to have kept a civil tongue in his head. There was a rod in pickle for
him, too, and his words were duly noted and recorded by witnesses.

Then there was Mary Dyer, wife of William Dyer, who came to Boston in
Sixteen Hundred Thirty-five, when the Hutchinson trouble was beginning
to brew. Mary Dyer is described by John Winthrop as "a comely person
of ready tongue, somewhat given to frivolity." But the years were to
subdue her. She became much attached to Mrs. Hutchinson, and whenever
Mrs. Hutchinson spoke in public Mrs. Dyer was always near at hand to
lend her support. In the journal of Winthrop there are various
references to Mrs. Dyer. The man was interested in her, but one of
these references reflects most seriously on the mental processes of
this excellent man. When the charges of heresy were brought against
Mrs. Hutchinson, Mrs. Dyer stood by her boldly, and was threatened by
the clergymen with similar proceedings. Winthrop says Mrs. Dyer was so
wrought upon by the excitement that she was taken with premature
childbirth. She was attended by Mrs. Hutchinson, and the child, "being
not human," was despatched. This horrible story was related throughout
the Colony, and both women were regarded as being in league with the
devil. School-children used to run and hide when they saw Mrs. Dyer
coming. A little later the Reverend Cotton Mather was to cite the case
of Mary Dyer as precedent for his pet belief in witchcraft.

Mrs. Hutchinson was found guilty and expelled from the church. She was
then again tried by the General Court, wherein all of her judges in
the Ecclesiastic Court also sat. After a long, laborious and insulting
trial, with no one but herself to raise a voice in her defense, pitted
against the eight clergymen, she ably defended her cause and actually
put them all to rout--an unforgivable thing, and an error in judgment
on her part.

There is much literature surrounding the case, and one of the
ministers, Thomas Welde, wrote a pamphlet explaining his part in it,
quite forgetful of the fact that explanations never explain. The more
one reads of Welde, the greater is his admiration for Mrs. Hutchinson.
Governor Hutchinson of Massachusetts, the great-grandson of Anne
Hutchinson, edited the journal of Winthrop, and gives a remarkably
unprejudiced account of the sufferings of his great maternal ancestor.

Being banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Mrs. Hutchinson
found refuge in Rhode Island, where she was welcomed by Roger
Williams, the first person, I believe, who lifted up his voice for
free speech in America. Mrs. Hutchinson was followed by her own family
and eighteen persons from Boston who sympathized with her. Included in
the party was Mary Dyer.

At Providence, Mrs. Hutchinson drew around her a goodly number of
people, including Quakers and Baptists, who listened to her discourses
with interest.

The ministers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony evidently felt that they
had made a mistake, for they got together and delegated three of their
number to go down to Providence and acquaint the renegades with the
news that if they would recant all belief in a Covenant of Grace, they
could return. Mrs. Hutchinson met the delegates with dignity and
kindness. The conference lasted for two days, and the committee
returned reporting the matter hopeless.

There were several desertions from Boston by those who sympathized
with Mrs. Hutchinson, and some of those people Mrs. Hutchinson
prevailed upon to go back. There were threats that the Massachusetts
people were coming down to capture them all by force. This so preyed
upon the Hutchinsons, who had suffered severely, that they packed
their now scanty goods upon a raft, and with improvised sails headed
for the Dutch settlement of Manhattan.

They were kindly received and given title to a tract of land on Long
Island, near Hell Gate. There, in a little clearing, on the water's
edge, they began to build a house. Ere the roof was on they were
attacked by Indians, who evidently mistook them for Dutch, and all
were massacred.

So died Anne Hutchinson.

       *       *      *       *       *

Anne Hutchinson was mourned by Mary Dyer as a sister, and she preached
a funeral sermon at Providence in eulogy of her. Mrs. Dyer also went
back to Boston and made an address in praise of Anne Hutchinson on
Boston Common, to the great scandal of the community. Mrs. Dyer had
now become a Quaker, principally because Quakers had no paid
priesthood and allowed women who heard the Voice to preach.

Mary Dyer heard the Voice and preached. Her attention was called to
the law, which in Boston provided that Quakers and Jews should have
their ears cut off and their tongues bored.

She continued to preach, and was banished.

She came back, and was found standing in front of the jail talking
through the bars to two Quakers, Robinson and Stevenson, who were
confined there awaiting sentence. She had brought them food, and was
exhorting them to be of good-cheer. She was locked up, and asked to
recant. She acknowledged she was a Quaker, and not in sympathy with

She was sentenced by Governor Endicott, on her own confession, with
having a contempt for authority, and ordered to be hanged. The day
came and she was led forth, walking hand in hand with her two guilty
Quaker brothers.

The scaffold was on Boston Common, on the little hill about where the
band-stand is at the present day.

Mrs. Dyer stood and watched them hang her friends, one at a time. As
they were swung off into space she called to them to hold fast to the
truth, "for Christ is with us!" Whenever she spoke or sang, the drums
that were standing in front and back of her were ordered to beat, so
as to drown her voice.

After the bodies of her friends had dangled half an hour they were cut

It was then her turn. She ascended the scaffold, refusing the help of
the Reverend Mr. Wilson. He followed her and bound his handkerchief
over her eyes, a guard in the meantime tying her hands and feet with

"Do you renounce the Quakers?"
"Never, praise God, His son Jesus Christ, and Anne Hutchinson, His
handmaiden--we live by truth!".

"A reprieve! a reprieve!!" some one shouted. And it was so--Governor
Endicott had ordered that this woman be banished, not hanged, unless
she again came back to Boston. It was all an arranged trick to
frighten the woman thoroughly.

Wilson removed the handkerchief from her eyes. They unbound her feet,
and the thongs that held her hands were loosed. She looked down below
at the bodies of Robinson and Stevenson lying dead on the grass. She
asked that the sentence upon her be carried out. But not so: she was
led by guards fifteen miles out into the forest and there liberated.

In a few months she was back in Boston, to see her two grown-up sons,
and also to bear witness to the "Inner Light."

Being brought before Governor Endicott, she was asked, "Are you the
same Mary Dyer that was here before?"

"I am the same Mary Dyer."

"Do you know you are under sentence of death?"

"I do, and I came back to remind you of the unrighteousness of your
laws, and to warn you to repent!"

"Are you still a Quaker?"

"I am still reproachfully so called."

"Tomorrow at nine o'clock I order that you shall be hanged."

"This sounds like something you said before!"

"Lead her away--away, I say!"

At nine the next morning a vast crowd covered the Common, the shops
and stores being closed, by order, for a holiday.

Mr. Wilson again attended the culprit. "Mary Dyer, Mary Dyer!" he
called in a loud voice as they stood together on the scaffold. "Mary
Dyer, repent, oh, repent, and renounce your heresies!"

And Mary Dyer answered, "Nay, man; I am not now to repent, knowing
nothing to repent of!"

"Shall I have the men of God pray for you?"

She looked about curiously, half-smiled, and said, "I see none here."

"Will you have the people pray for you?"

"Yes; I want all the people to pray for me!"

Again the light was shut out from her eyes, this time forever. Her
hands were bound behind her with thongs that cut into her wrists, her
feet were tied. She reeled, and the Reverend Mr. Wilson kindly
supported her. The noose was adjusted.

"Let us all pray!" said the Reverend Mr. Wilson. So they hanged Mary
Dyer in the morning.


  When the service of the public ceases to be the principal concern of
  the citizens, and they would rather discharge it by their purses
  than their persons, the State is already far on the way to ruin.
  When they should march to fight, they pay troops to fight for them
  and stay at home; when they should go to council, they send deputies
  and remain away; thus, in consequence of their indolence and wealth,
  they in the end employ soldiers to enslave their country, and
  representatives to sell it. So soon as a citizen says, What are
  State Affairs to me? the State may be given up for lost.


Who is the great man?

Listen, and I will tell you: He is great who feeds other minds. He is
great who inspires others to think for themselves. He is great who
tells you the things you already know, but which you did not know you
knew until he told you. He is great who shocks you, irritates you,
affronts you, so that you are jostled out of your wonted ways, pulled
out of your mental ruts, lifted out of the mire of the commonplace.

That writer is great whom you alternately love and hate. That writer
is great whom you can not forget.

Certainly, yes, the man in his private life may be proud, irritable,
rude, crude, coarse, faulty, absurd, ignorant, immoral--grant it all,
and yes be great. He is not great on account of these things, but in
spite of them. The seeming inconsistencies and inequalities of his
nature may contribute to his strength, as the mountains and valleys,
the rocks and woods, make up the picturesqueness of the landscape.

He is great to whom writers, poets, painters, philosophers, preachers,
and scientists go, each to fill his own little tin cup, dipper,
calabash, vase, stein, pitcher, amphora, bucket, tub, barrel or cask.
These men may hate him, refute him, despise him, reject him, insult
him, as they probably will if they are much indebted to him; yet if he
stirs the molecules in their minds to a point where they create
caloric, he has benefited them and therefore he is a great man.

Jean Jacques Rousseau was a great man. We are still reading him--still
talking about him--still trying to clap label upon him--still hunting
for a pigeonhole in which to place him.

If a man were wholly crude, rude, ignorant and coarse, and if he did
nothing but shock and irritate us, we would quickly cast him aside.
But in addition to shocking us the great man fascinates us by his
insight, his subtlety, his imagination, his sympathy, his tenderness,
his love. Behind the act he sees the cause, and so he excuses and
forgives. Knowing the present he is able to forecast the future, for
he, of all men, knows that effect follows cause. He does what we dare
not and says what we would like to if we had the mind. So in one sense
the man is our vicarious self--"I am that man." His very faultiness
brings him near. His blunders make him to us akin.

       *       *       *       *       *

To answer the arguments of Jean Jacques by references to his private
life were easy and obvious. He did not apologize for his life, and
perhaps we would do well to follow his example.

The fact that with his own hands he carried five of his offspring to
foundling asylums as they came into the world does not alter or change
the fact that he was also the author of "Emile," in which book, let it
be remembered, the idea of substituting natural for pedantic methods
in the training and developing of the physical, mental and moral
faculties of the growing child first found expression.

The book furnished Froebel with the fund of ideas for his experiments
with children which resulted in the Kindergarten, an institution that
has profoundly influenced the educational methods of every
enlightened country in the world.

Without a doubt this man who abandoned his own children became one of
the great instructors of the age.

But a fair understanding of the situation demands that we should
realize that things for which we blame him most occured before he was
thirty-eight years old. And the writings of his that really
influenced humanity were not written until after he was thirty-eight.
To confound the reasoning of the mature man, by pointing to what he
did at twenty-two, is, I submit, irrelevant, immaterial, inconsequent,
unrelated and uncalled for. When a critic has nothing to say of a
man's work, but calls attention to the errors of the author's youth,
he is running short of material.

That Rousseau revised his mode of living and reformed his reasoning in
his later years, viewing his early life with bitter regret, should be
put forward to his credit and not be used for his condemnation. The
facts, however, are all that his harshest critics state. But fact and
truth are often totally different things. Untruth enters when we
reason wrongly from our facts.

We have been told by both the friends and the enemies of Rousseau that
to him the French Revolution traces a direct lineage. For this his
friends give him credit, and his enemies blame. The truth is, that
revolutions are things that require long time and many factors to
evolve. A revolution is the culmination of a long train of evils.
Rousseau saw the evils and called attention to them, but he did not
exactly cause them--bless me! His little love-affairs with elderly
ladies, and grateful, should not be confused with the atrocious
cruelties and inhumanities that existed in France and had existed for
a hundred years and more.

A wise man of the East was once eating his dinner of dried figs, and
at the same time explaining to an admiring group the beauty and
healthfulness of a purely vegetable diet.

"Look at your figs through this," said a scientist present, handing
the man a microscope. The pundit looked and saw his precious figs were
covered with crawling microbes.

He handed the microscope back and said, "Friend, keep your glass--the
bugs no longer exist."

Jean Jacques handed the peasantry of France a reading-glass; Voltaire
did as much for the nobility.

       *       *       *       *       *

Jean Jacques Rousseau was born in Switzerland, which land, as all
folks know, has produced her full quota and more of reformers. The
father of Jean Jacques, quite naturally, was a watchmaker, with
mainspring ill-adjusted and dial askew, according to the report of the
son, who claimed to be full-jeweled, but was not perfectly adjusted to
position and temperature. Jean Jacques tells us that his first
misfortune was his birth, and this cost his mother her life. He was
adopted by Time and Chance and fed by Fate. When the lad was ten the
father fled from Geneva to escape the penalty of a foolish brawl, and
never again saw the son who was to rescue the family-name from

Kinsmen of the mother gave the boy into the hands of a retired
clergyman who levied polite blackmail on his former constituents by
asking them to place children, their own and others, in his hands that
they might be taught the way of life--and that the clergyman might
live, which, according to Whistlerian philosophy, was unnecessary.

That the boy was clever, shrewd, quick to learn, secretive as castaway
children ever are, can well be understood. He became a secretary, an
engineer, a valet, a waiter, working life's gamut backward, thus
proving that in human service there is no high nor low degree, only
this: he, at this time, knew nothing about human service--he was
fighting for existence.

Knowledge comes through desire, but where desire comes from no man can
say. It surely is not a matter of will.

Jean Jacques had a hunger for knowledge, and this, some wise men say,
is the precious legacy of mother to son. He wanted to know!

And it was this desire that shaped his career.

He asked questions of priests all day long, because he was filled with
the fallacy that priests knew the secrets of the unknowable and were
on friendly terms with God.

To escape importunity a priest sent him to Madame De Warens. Now
Madame was a widow, rich and volatile, filled with a holy religious
zeal. Where religion begins and sex ends no man can say--the books are
silent and revelation is dumb. Indeed, there be those who are so bold
as to say that art, love and religion are one.

Leaving this to the specialists, let us simply say that the love of
learning landed Jean Jacques, aged seventeen, poetic and philosophic
vagabond, into the precious care of Madame De Warens, who kept a
religious retreat for novitiates intent on the ideal life.

The religion of Mohammed made converts in numbers like unto the sands
of the desert, because they were promised a Paradise peopled by dark-
eyed houris. Orthodoxy got its hold by a promise of rest, idleness and
freedom from responsibility. The heaven into which Jean Jacques
slipped was a combination of all that Allah, Gabriel and the seductive
dreams of Moody, Sankey and such could provide. Science founded on
truth can never be popular until mankind further evolves, since it
offers nothing better than toil and difficulty, and after each
achievement increased work as a reward for work. This condition stands
no show when compared with a heaven that gives harps that never
require tuning, robes that need not be laundered, and mansions that
demand no plumbing.

Jean Jacques lived an ideal existence; he was the guest, pupil,
servant and lover of the Religious Lady who kept the Religious
Retreat. Also, he was immune from responsibility. But Paradise has one
serious objection--the serpent. This time the serpent was jealousy.
Whenever the Religious Lady had guests of quality, the snake sank its
fangs deep into the quivering flesh of her valet-lover. Thus does the
Law of Compensation never rest.

"What is your favorite book?" asked Ralph Waldo Emerson of George

And the answer was, "Rousseau's 'Confessions.'"

And Emerson's counter-confession was, "So is it mine."

Elizabeth Barrett Browning nibbled at the same cheese. But the belief
now is that Rousseau's "Confessions" is largely constructive truth, as
differentiated from fact, and constructive truth is the thing which
might have happened, but did not. Rousseau's "Confessions" is a
psychological study of hopes, desires, aspirations and hesitations,
flavored with regrets. All literature is confession--vicarious
confession. The gentle reader has the joy of doing the thing, and
escaping the penalty.

       *       *       *       *       *

Rousseu's first literary effort to attract attention was written in
his thirty-ninth year. It was merely an exercise penned with intent
to show that so-called civilization had really polluted mankind and
done more harm than good.

The essay was a subtle indictment of the times, with the French
Government in mind, all from the standpoint of a Swiss. And it
convinced at least one man--the author--of the truth of its

At this time there were in France more than a hundred offenses
punishable with death. In the coronation oath of the King was a clause
promising that he would exterminate all heretics. Just how this was to
be done, the King left to experts. The "lettre de cachet," or secret
arrest, was in full swing and very popular among princes and church
officials high in authority. Any suspected man could be removed from
family and friends as though the earth had swallowed him. He went out
to drive, or to walk, or to work, and was seen no more. Search was
vain and inquiry useless--aye, worse, it might involve the inquirer.
The writ of habeas corpus was as yet a barren hypothesis.

Common people had no rights: they were merely granted privileges, one
of which was the privilege to live until the order went out that the
man should die.

Confessions were wrung from men and women by the use of the rack,
twistings, blows, indignities, an exact description of which could not
be printed. These details were left to priests, sanctimonious men who
did their work with pious zeal and therefore were not accountable.
Church and State were wedded. To doubt Scripture was to be in league
against the State. Heresy and treason were one. To laugh at a priest
might be death. To fail to attend mass and pay was to run a risk.

Lords and bishops held vast estates and paid no taxes. Grain was not
allowed to flow from parish to parish, but was held in check by
prohibitive tariffs. The King, himself, speculated in breadstuffs and
banked on famine, for royalty was exempt from all tariff law. Thus was
food made a monopoly. To petition was construed as an insult to the
crown and was treated accordingly.

Most estates held serfs who were not allowed to leave the premises of
their lord on penalty of death--they belonged to the land.

Officers in the army had the right to beat their soldiers, and if the
soldier raised a hand to protect himself, he could be legally killed.

All skilled labor was in the hands of the guilds. These guilds got
their charters from the crown. They fixed prices, regulated the number
of apprentices, and decided who should work and who should not. To
work at an art without a license from the guild was punishable by fine
and imprisonment; to repeat the offense was death. Citizens could
neither sell their labor nor buy the labor of their neighbors or
families, without permission. The guild was master, and the guild got
its authority by dividing profits with a corrupt court. Thus a few
laborers received very high wages, but for the many there was no work.
The guild made common cause with the priest and the peer. The
collection of taxes was farmed out to the "farmers-general," who kept
half they got. When the yearly contract was signed, the Secretary of
State was given a present called "The Bottle of Wine," by the
successful bidders. This present was in cash and varied anywhere from
fifty to a hundred thousand francs. Where the custom began, no one
knew; but it ended with Turgot, who turned in to the government
treasury a perquisite that had been made him of seventy thousand
francs, and issued an order that no official should accept a present
of money from a government contractor.

Needless to say, Turgot was regarded as an unsafe person, and his
official career was cut short.

Thomas E. Watson, in his most interesting book, "The Story of France,"

  The Catholic church was a huge religious monopoly. Its hierarchy was
entrenched in a power before which the king himself was a secondary
  potentate. Then followed those consequences which have always
  followed when too much power is granted to any set of men. The
  Catholic church absorbed much of the wealth of the land. The higher
  priesthood became an aristocracy, imitating in every respect the
  feudal aristocracy, which was rich, idle and licentious. Just as the
  State regarded the subject from the standpoint of taxpayer only;
  just as the State imposed upon the common people all the burdens of
  government while denying them the benefits; so the nobility of the
  Catholic church lived sumptuously, lazily, licentiously--shirking
  their duties, forgetting the responsibilities of their sacred
  calling, neglecting the flock committed to their care, allowing
  ignorance and superstition to take full possession of the minds of
  the common people.

In the records of the human race there can be found no evidence more
damming to absolutism and the union of Church and State than is to be
found in the degraded, besotted condition of the common people of
France immediately proceeding the French Revolution.

All France was orthodox. The masses believed. With boundless credulity
they knelt at the foot of the priest.

Yet what had the priest done for them? Had he introduced books among
them? No. Liberal ideas? No. Schools? No. Information upon such
matters as concerned their material welfare? No. Had the Church ever
pleaded the peasant's case at the bar of public opinion? No. Ever
besought the king to lighten the weight of his heavy hand? No. Ever
protested against feudal wrongs? No. Ever shown the least desire that
the condition of the masses should be improved? No.

Royalist writers dwell scornfully upon the ignorance, brutality and
prejudice of the lower orders in France at the time of the Revolution
--let them write ever so scornfully, the lower they degrade the
peasant, the higher mounts the evidence and the indignation against
those who had been his keepers!

This government of France had been absolute. The State and the Church,
the king and the priest, had had entire control. The people had no
voice, no vote, no power. They had never been consulted. The entire
responsibility had been assumed by the monarch and his privileged few
--and here was the result. Theirs was the tree, theirs the fruit.
"Whatsoever a man sow, that also shall he reap"; and the crimes, the
ignorance, the brutality, the poverty, the misery of the masses of the
French people in Seventeen Hundred Eighty-nine, stands as a permanent
judgment of condemnation against the ruling classes, who were
responsible for the material, mental and spiritual condition of a
people who had so long been under their absolute control.

       *       *       *       *       *

Rousseau, the subtly silent, the handsome, the bewitchingly
melancholic, lived his subterranean life until he was forty-two. Then
he was dogged out of Paris by the police, and soon after appeared in
his native Geneva after an absence of twenty-five years. He was
accompanied by his wife Therese, her mother, and his dog Duke.

This mating between Jean Jacques and Therese was a happy one. She
could neither read nor write, nor did she care to. Yet she had an
idolatrous regard for her liege, and every evening he read aloud to
her and to his mother-in-law what he had written during the day. At
every pause in the reading, the old lady, without understanding a word
of it, would interject, "This is very fine!" And Therese would
skilfully transform a yawn into a sigh of delight, roll her eyes in a
transport of joy, and say nothing.

This was just what was required, and all that was required, save a
chronic quarrel with influential friends, to keep Rousseau in good
literary fighting form.

"A wife who is in competition with her husband, or who has just enough
mind to detect his faults, is the extinguisher of genius," said
Goethe, who lived up to his blue china and referred to his wife as a
convenient loaf of brown bread, which he declared was much more
nourishing than cake, having tried both.

Just outside Geneva, at Les Delices, Voltaire had built his private
theater, where he used to invite the favored children of Calvin to
witness the drama. Voltaire being a playwright and without prejudice
in the matter, had even suggested a municipal theater for Geneva. This
brought forth from Jean Jacques a scorching pamphlet on the seductive
deviltry of the drama, wherein it was pointed out that the downfall of
every nation that had gone by the boards had begun its slide to
Avernus in its love of the play. In this essay Rousseau expressed the
view of orthodox Geneva, where the traditions of Calvin still
survived. "The theater stands for luxury, idleness, sensuality and all
that is feverish and base; private theaters are private bagnios,"
wrote Rousseau. Probably Rousseau, when he began to write, did not
care anything about the matter one way or the other. But Voltaire had
neglected to invite him to a "first night," and now he was getting
even. As he wrote he convinced himself.

"He is like an oven that is too hot," said Voltaire; "it burns
everything that is put into it." Then when Voltaire found that
Rousseau's pamphlet was really making a splash in the sea of books, he
got mad and called Rousseau a "dog of Diogenes," "that Punchinello of
letters," the "fanfaron of ink," and other choice epithets.

Every knock being a boost, then as now, Rousseau found himself lifted
into the domain of successful authorship. His income was less than a
hundred pounds a year (Voltaire's was two or three thousand pounds).
but he had all he needed, and things were coming his way.

Voltaire represented the nobility--Rousseau stood for the people. And
Geneva being but a big village--twenty-four thousand inhabitants--the
battle of the giants was watched by the neighbors with interest.

Rousseau was a member of the Protestant Church; Voltaire called
himself a Catholic--so little do labels count.

Voltaire lived in a palace and rode in a coach with outriders;
Rousseau trudged on foot alone. Solitary, he would take his piece of
dry bread and grape-leaf full of cherries, and wander to the woods or
on the mountain-side, stopping and sitting on a boulder to write on
his ever-faithful pad when the thought came. "I have to walk ten miles
to get a thousand words," he said.

In Geneva at this time lived Diderot and D'Alembert, literary
refugees, busy at that first encyclopedia. They ran a kind of
literary clearing-house, and gave piecework to everybody who could
write and had two ideas to jingle against each other. Both Rousseau
and Voltaire, whenever they were in the mood, wrote for the
encyclopedia. Finally Voltaire started a dictionary of his own.

Geneva at this time must have been a very attractive place in which to
live. There were men there who wrote like geniuses and quarreled like
children. Father Taylor said that if Emerson were sent to hell, he
would start emigration in that direction. The refugees from France
made Geneva popular, and all the bickering added spice to existence
and made exile tolerable.

Rousseau persistently flocked alone and made much dole because his
friends forsook him. Then when they went to see him he complained
because they would not leave him alone. Diderot accused him of
insincerity because he changed the name of his dog from "Duke" to
"Turk," for fear of offending Madame d'Epinay, who gave him a cottage
rent-free. "He is a dwarf, mounted on stilts," said Baron Grimm.

And all the time Jean Jacques wandered on the mountain-side, ate his
brown bread and cherries, talked to himself and wrote, and got back
home in the twilight to present the day's catch of ideas to Therese
and the fat mother-in-law, who at the right time always said, "This is
very fine!" And Rousseau, full-jeweled, but unreliable as a horologe,
loved them both, second only to his dog, Turk, who lay at his feet and
occasionally pounded his tail on the floor to prove that he was still
awake and that the sentiments were his, and that he agreed with the
old lady--"This is very fine!" The quarrels of Jean Jacques with all
three were only a quarrel with himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

Having entertained Voltaire for a year, Frederick the Great shot this
winged arrow, "If I had a province to punish, I would give it to a
philosopher to govern."

Rousseau is flowery and often over-sentimental. But it can be assumed
that he himself always knew what he meant. Yet he has given rise to
much loose thinking. His references to the "Book of Nature," for
instance, were worked overtime by zealous converts. It will be
recalled how Chief Justice Marshall paralyzed a poetic attorney in
mid-flight, who referred to the "Book of Nature," by looking over his
glasses and saying, "One moment, please, while I take down the page
and paragraph of that passage in the volume to which counsel has just
kindly referred us."

It is the penalty of all original thinking that it inspires fools to
unseemliness as well as wise men to action.

Napoleon Bonaparte said, "Had there been no Rousseau, there would have
been no Revolution."

And George Sand said, "To blame the 'Social Contract' for the
Revolution is like blaming the Gospels for the massacre of Saint

George Sand is literary, but wrong, since Marat, Mirabeau,
Robespierre, got their arguments directly from Rousseau, and no one I
have ever heard made an appeal to Scripture as a defense for murdering
thirty thousand men, women and children. Mirabeau quotes this from
Rousseau in self-defense: "No true believer can be a persecutor. If I
were a magistrate and the law inflicted death on an atheist, I should
begin to put it into execution by burning the first man who should
accuse or persecute another."

Jefferson and Franklin both read the "Social Contract" in the original
French, and quoted from it in giving reasons why it was not only
right, but the duty, of the Colonies to separate from Great Britain.
Rousseau fired the heart and inspired the brain of Thomas Paine to
write the pamphlet, "Common-sense," which, more than any other one
influence, brought about the American Revolution.

Jefferson especially was fascinated by Rousseau, and in his library
was a well-thumbed copy of the "Social Contract." marked and re-
marked on page and margin. Paine and Jefferson were the only men
connected with the strenuous times of Seventeen Hundred Seventy-six
who had a distinct literary style--who worked epigram and antithesis.
And the style of each is identical with the other. That Paine wrote
the first draft of the Declaration of Independence needs no argument
for the literary connoisseur--he simply says, "Read it." But while we
know that both Paine and Jefferson fed on Rousseau for ten years, it
is not so clear that they collaborated. They got their information
from the same source--one in England and the other in America--and met
with minds mature.

As Victor Hugo gave the key to the modern American stylists, so did
the stylists--and precious few there were--of Seventeen Hundred
Seventy-six trace to Jean Jacques. The man who wrote the "Junius
Letters" had only one model.

That opening phrase of the Declaration, "We hold these truths to be
self-evident." is a literal translation from Jean Jacques.

The Reverend Joseph Parker once said to me, "I always begin strong and
I end strong, for only your first phrase and your last will be
remembered, if remembered at all, by the average listener."

Jean Jacques begins strong. The first words of the "Social Contract"
are, "Man is born free, but is everywhere enslaved."

Does not that remind you of the not-to-be-forgotten opening words of
"The Crisis": "These are the times that try men's souls"?

Rousseau says, "Every individual who opposes himself to the general
will ought to be restrained by the whole body, which signifies nothing
else than that they force him to be free." That is, he is no longer
fit to receive the benefits of the social contract since he refused to
pay the price.

The argument of the "Social Contract" is that, in all and every form
of government, the people enter into an agreement with the prince or
ruler, agreeing to waive the mutual right of freedom in consideration
of his seeing to it that laws shall be passed and enforced giving the
greatest good to the greatest number.

And this led to that shibboleth of the Revolution, "Liberty,
Fraternity, Equality." Only when it was written by Jean Jacques twenty
years before it ran thus, "Liberty, Fraternity, Equality--or Death."
The final word was too strong for even his fiery followers to digest.
But once understood it means that if either prince or pauper refuses
to sign the Social Contract and live for all, death then must be his
portion. For and in consideration of this interest in the peace and
welfare of all, the prince is given honors and is allowed to call
himself "a ruler." If, however, at any time the prince should so
forget his sacred office as to work for private gain or for a favored
few, then he is guilty of a breach of the contract, and the people
owe to themselves the duty of deposition or revolution. Just as
Nature, when a man's body is no more fit for service, kills the man,
so must we kill the office and begin anew.

And this was to cause Thomas Paine to say in the Chamber of Deputies,
when the execution of Louis the Sixteenth was under discussion, "I
vote to kill the kingly office, not the man."

The following passages taken at random from Jean Jacques might safely
be attributed to either Paine, Jefferson or "Junius":

  Wherever theological intolerance is admitted, it is impossible that
  it should not have some civil effect; and so soon as it has, the
  sovereign is no longer sovereign even in secular matters: the
  priests become the real masters, and kings are only their officers.
  Whoever dares to say, Beyond the Church there is no salvation, ought
  to be driven from the State.

  I perceive God in all His works; I feel Him in myself; I see Him all
  around me; but as soon as I contemplate His nature, as soon as I try
  to find out where He is, what He is, what is His substance, He
  eludes my gaze; my imagination is overwhelmed. I do not therefore
  reason about Him, for it is more injurious to the Deity to think
  wrongly of Him than not to think of Him at all.

  By equality we do not mean that all individuals shall have the same
  degree of wealth and power, but only, with respect to the former,
  that no citizen shall be rich enough to buy another, and that none
  shall be so poor as to be obliged to sell himself.

  Almost everything conspires to deprive a man brought up to command
  others of the principles of reason and justice. Great pains are
  taken, it is said, to teach young princes the art of reigning; it
  does not, however, appear that they profit much by their education.
  The greatest monarchs are those who have never been trained to rule.
  It is a science of which those who know least succeed best; and it
  is acquired better by studying obedience than command.

  Did there exist a nation of gods, their government would doubtless
  be democratic; it is too perfect for mankind.

  The individual by giving himself up to all gives himself up to none;
  and there is no member over whom he does not acquire the same right
  as that which he gives up himself. He gains an equivalent for what
  he loses, and a still greater power to preserve what he has. If,
  therefore, we take from the social contract everything which is not
  essential to it, we shall find it reduced to the following terms:
  Each of us puts his person and his power under the superior
  direction of the general will of all, and, as a collective body,
  receives each member into that body as an indivisible part of the

       *       *       *       *       *

Rousseau was born in Seventeen Hundred Twelve, and died in Seventeen
Hundred Seventy-eight. He wrote four books that are yet being read.
These books are the "Confessions," the "Social Contract," "Emile," and
the "New Heloise." I give the titles in order of popularity. It is
easy to say that people read the "Confessions" for the same reason
that they read "Peregrine Pickle" and "Tom Jones," it being one of
those peculiar books labeled by our French friends "risque." But its
salacious features are only incidental, and of themselves would not
have kept it afloat upon the tide of the times. The author, dead over
a hundred years, must have said something to keep men still reading
and discussing him.

Rousseau dealt with the elemental impulses of men and women. His cry,
"Back to Nature," is still the shibboleth of a great many good men,
from Parson Wagner to Theodore Roosevelt. Between the nobility and
orthodox Christianity, Nature was in a bad way in Rousseau's time. The
nobles thought to improve on her, and the preachers told the people
that what was natural was base. God was good, but Nature and the devil
were playing a game and the stakes were the souls of men. There are
many people still haunted with the hallucination that to trust your
impulses is to be damned.

Rousseau described human nature, and being truthful, some of it he
pictured as rude, crude and course. But on the other hand he showed
much that was redeeming--traits of beauty, truth, gentleness,
consideration, worth and aspirations that reached the skies. To trust
humanity, he thought, was the only way humanity could be redeemed. He
believed that blunders were sources of power, since by them we came to
distinguish between right and wrong. He was the first man to say,
"That country is governed best which is governed least." He gave
Horace Walpole the cue for the mot, "When the people of Paris speak of
the Garden of Eden, they always think of Versailles."

Rousseau is the first man of modern times to show us the beauty of
Nature in her wild and uncultivated attire. And he, more than any
other man who can be named, turned the attention of society towards
nature-study as a refining force. Read this from "Emile": "It was
Summer; we arose at break of day. He led me outside the town to a high
hill, below which the Po wound its way; in the distance the immense
chains of the Alps crowned the landscape; the rays of the rising sun
struck athwart the plains, and projected on the fields the long
shadows of the trees, the slopes, the houses, enriching by a thousand
accidents of light the loveliest prospect which the human eye could
behold." Rousseau is the spiritual ancestor of John Burroughs,
Thompson-Seton, and all our scientific, unscientific and sentimental
friends who flood us with Nature stories--fiction, fake or fact.

In his "Emile" he outlines our so-called pedagogic new-thought
methods. Birds' nests, bumblebees, hornets' nests, leaves, buds,
flowers, grasses, mosses, are schoolroom properties to which he often
refers. To a great degree he replaced the ferule, cat-o'-nine-tails,
dunce-cap, musty, dusty books, tear-stained slates, awful examples
and punishments of a hundred lines of Vergil, by wholesome good-cheer
and limpid forgetfulness of self in drawing pictures of spiders and
noting the difference between a wasp and a bee, a butterfly and a
moth, a frog and a toad, a mushroom and a toadstool. And so the reason
Rousseau is read is because there is much in his work that is
essentially modern. No thinker writes on political economy without
quoting the "Social Contract," either for the sake of bolstering his
own argument, or to show the folly of Jean Jacques. And I submit that
as long as we feel it necessary to refute an author, Andrew Lang may
expect letters from him any time, for, although dead, he yet lives.


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+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.