By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: What's What in America
Author: Brewster, Eugene V.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "What's What in America" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

|Transcriber's note:                              |
|                                                 |
|Obvious typographic errors have been corrected.  |
|                                                 |

What's What




Eugene V. Brewster


_Motion Picture Magazine, Motion Picture
Classic and Shadowland_

The Wm. G. Hewitt Press
61-67 Navy Street
Brooklyn, N. Y.




America is a heterogeneous conglomeration of humans comprising a
homogeneity. They are all alike, yet they are unalike. All corners of
the earth have contributed in the making, yet the one hundred millions
have all been blended together into the huge melting pot and we call
them Americans. They were attracted to "the land of the free" and remain
here because no other country offers such prizes and such liberty. All
are engaged in a wild scramble for fame and fortune, yet they are sadly
disorganized. While they have their labor unions, churches, colleges,
societies, and cults galore, and while they have their governments
(city, county, state and national), and while the more successful ones
(capitalists) have their organizations (trusts, monopolies and banking
institutions), there is no organization of the whole. Nobody seems to
take into account the tremendously important fact that all men and all
industries are now interdependent, and that therefore they must all be
organized into one organization.

One of the most marvellous things in America is the fact that we are so
unorganized that at any moment the whole nation may be tied up and
bound hand and foot by strikes. Any morning we may wake up and find the
nation paralized. Labor is becoming so organized that all industries are
at its mercy. The cost of living continues to rise, and we are powerless
to prevent profiteers from monopolizing our products and making prices
to suit themselves. We have no way to make people work if they don't
want to, even if we starve. Under our present laws we cannot prevent
strikes and walk-outs, even if we perish. There is nothing to prevent a
few men from cornering the market on all commodities and paralizing the
nation's industries.

And yet there is a remedy, and a simple one.

Free thought reigns supreme in America, and the national mind and
character have been moulded in a remarkably liberal manner.

A nation that embraces a multitude of believers in such theories as
phrenology, Christian Science, osteopathy, astrology, spiritism, etc.,
and which adopts these and other fads as religions, must indeed be an
over-credulous if not a fanatical one. Some of these isms and ologies
have been dissected and analyzed in the following pages, and these
little essays have been inserted parenthetically, as it were. They tend
to prove that Barnum was right when he said, "The American public loves
to be humbugged."

Here in America, not so many years ago, we were burning people at the
stake and punishing innocent persons for witchcraft. Still later some of
our best people were holding converse with departed spirits who were
otherwise busying themselves with upsetting tables, painting portraits,
etc. And it is so even now. Thousands of intelligent Americans are now
being guided in all their affairs by mediums, astrologists, palmists,
clairvoyants, etc. Some years ago I had occasion to make a more or less
thorough investigation of some of these isms and ologies, and in the
following chapters I have given some of the results.

Our forefathers came here to escape religious persecutions at home, but
one of the first things they did on landing was to impose the penalty of
death on all those who should dissent from their own religious beliefs.
These and other similar Puritanic orders have done much to prevent the
growth and development of the arts in America. We have had liberty and
freedom to excess, in some respects, yet in other respects we have been
tied hand and foot. We are not yet a full-grown nation. America is still
in its infancy of development.

It is also interesting to note how Americans follow a chosen leader like
so many sheep, and how and why certain leaders become popular. Hence, a
few chapters have been added which treat of men, habits, popularity,
greatness, the public, etc.

The author makes no apology for the fact that these little articles were
not written with the intention of inserting them in this volume. It is
obvious that they were not. Nevertheless, they are given here for what
they are worth, because they may be helpful in showing What's What in


December 15, 1919.


CREDULITY                        5

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE               10

OSTEOPATHY                      29

PHRENOLOGY                      42

PHYSIOGNOMY                     54

DREAMS                          61

SUPERSTITIONS                   71


GHOSTS                          94

HIGH COST OF LIVING            101

THE PUBLIC                     163

POPULARITY                     167

GREATNESS                      172


GENTLEMEN, BE SEATED           189

BEARDS                         202

GAMBLING                       211

WEDDING BELLS                  222

What's What In America


The physical origin of mental delusion has many times been investigated
and explained by various philosophers, but the different forms of
credulity and superstition have never yet been satisfactorily treated
with reference to the physiological and pathological principles upon
which they depend.

From the beginning, man was and is, by nature, endowed with an eager
propensity for novelty. This is particularly true of Americans. His
passion for the novel, the singular and the unusual, has influenced his
mind to attempt to discover the character of objects concealed in the
remote recesses of infinite space, and to investigate the various
invisible agencies that he has always found, and still finds, in
perpetual operation around him. Curiosity has always been one of the
great impelling forces of the scientific investigator. As Winwood Reade
says in his masterly "Martyrdom of Man," "The Philosophic spirit of
inquiry may be traced to brute curiosity, and that to the habit of
examining all things in search of food."

Man is by nature a credulous, and at the same time a superstitious,
being, and ever prone to allow an undue influence to the imagination and
passions. This is due to the original structure and specific elements of
the mind. It is a natural trait of the mind to contemplate with interest
whatever is presented to it as deviating from ordinary natural events,
whatever is novel or strange, and whatever affects the senses, through
an obscure medium so as to arouse the passions. Thus, when primeval man
first felt, saw or heard such natural phenomena as volcanic eruptions,
earthquakes, the aurora borealis, thunder, lightning, meteors, and
eclipses, it was quite natural for him to people the hidden recesses of
the earth and of space with demons, and to imagine that these strange
noises and sights were manifestations of some powerful enemy. In his
blind ignorance, he could ascribe no natural causes to the phenomena,
and he therefore attributed them to supernatural agencies. His feeling
of dependence, and of insecurity, in the face of these mighty unknown
forces, inclined him to seek a protector, and for this purpose he
created one or more gods. Idols of various kinds answered the purpose,
until his dawning intelligence taught him the futility of this sort of
worship, and then he worshipped the sun and other heavenly bodies. Then
a glimpse of astronomy further enlightened him, and, realizing the
absurdity of planet worship, he invented other gods of an invisible
nature to which he attributed the creation of all phenomena. The
propensity for the novel and marvelous always obscured his reason and
judgment. To the ignorant mind, everything marvelous is super-natural;
but the philosopher sees in all marvelous phenomena nothing but the
results of natural causes, even if those causes are not yet fully
understood. Science cannot yet fathom all of nature's mysteries, but
nearly every day brings forth new light.

In ancient times, the enlightened few took advantage of the ignorance of
the multitude, and, by stupefying their reason with a mixture of science
and magic, made them more submissive and obedient as slaves or subjects.
Science was used to inculcate gross superstitions in the minds of the
ignorant masses, for the purpose of enhancing the interests of the
deceivers. By means of concave and convex mirrors, of lenses, of
chemical and optical illusions, and even of ventriloquism, the pagans
fooled their devotees into all sorts of absurd beliefs. Demons and
angels were made to appear in frightfully distorted and hideous shapes,
the dead were evoked from their graves to hold converse with the living,
and every advantage was taken of natural phenomena such as the eclipse
and the mirage. Even drugs, like opium, were given and taken to throw
the operators into semi-conscious ravings and trances; and in
innumerable other ways the excited imaginations and the irresistible
propensity to believe in the miraculous, was taken advantage of by the
wise charlatans, seers, priests and soothsayers.

There are good reasons for believing that the dramatic exhibitions of
the Witch of Endor, by which Saul was made to believe in the
re-appearance of the deceased prophet, Samuel, to announce his
approaching fate at Gilboa, was but an imposition practiced upon the
senses of that superstitious monarch; and many of the ancient miracles,
which appear to be so corroborated, can be satisfactorily explained in a
similar manner. Ancient magic and natural science were synonymous, and
magic was made to become an assistant to government. Doubtless the
crimes committed by these unscrupulous charlatans, masquerading as
philosophers, suppressed for many centuries the smouldering light of
reason in the human race, and caused the world to be susceptible to the
terrific doctrine of witchcraft that held sway until the seventeenth
century, and which afflicted nearly every nation on the globe.

_Christian Science_

In order thoroughly to understand Christian Science, it is necessary to
understand Mary Baker Eddy. Hence, I have found it necessary,
reluctantly, to give a brief account of some of the important events of
her life. Should these events show her to be a mercenary, selfish woman,
it would tend to explain a great deal that she and her followers have
failed to explain.

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, was born the year
that Napoleon died, 1821. In her younger days, she lived in an
atmosphere of mysticism. Mesmerism was everywhere in evidence, and much
had been said about "Animal Magnetism," "Power of Mind over Matter,"
"the Shakers," "Faith Healing," etc., long before Mrs. Eddy had thought
or heard of these things. She married George W. Glover in 1842, who died
the following year, leaving Mrs. Eddy a widow at twenty-three. From that
time until about 1870, Mrs. Eddy lived a sad and sordid life of ill
health, poverty and unhappiness. In 1853, she had married Dr. Daniel
Patterson, a dentist, but this proved an unhappy union and they were
much separated, and finally divorced. During all this time she had
drifted from one place to another, wearing out her welcome at every
place she went, and usually leaving each place after having caused
family discord in the household. She was practically an invalid during
this period, which may account for her peevishness, ill-temper, domestic
selfishness, and want of consideration for those who had befriended her.

In 1862, being then forty-one years old and a nervous wreck, and
attracted by the stories of wonderful cures by Dr. Phineas Parkhurst
Quimby, Mrs. Eddy visited that famous occultrist at Portland, Maine. Dr.
Quimby had learned much of his philosophy, and all of his mesmeric
tricks, from Charles Poyen, whom he had followed about from place to
place. About three years before Mrs. Eddy called on him, Quimby had
perfected his system of mental healing and had reduced it to writing,
having discarded the mesmeric part of it. Various disinterested persons
are still living who have given reliable testimony to these facts, as
also to the following: (1) When Mrs. Eddy first visited Quimby she was a
physical wreck; (2) After three weeks' treatment from Quimby she was a
well woman; (3) She borrowed, and had in her possession for a long time,
a copy of Quimby's manuscripts; (4) She never gave Quimby credit for one
bit of her "Discovery"; and even went so far as to abuse him for the
rest of her life.

Please remember the dates: Mrs. Eddy first called on Quimby in 1862. In
February, 1866, she slipped on an icy sidewalk and sustained a severe
nervous shock. On the same day she called on Dr. A. M. Cushing for
medical treatment. Dr. Cushing says she continued to take his medicines
until she was cured. Mrs. Eddy denies that she took any of the medicines
after the first visit, and says that she cured herself in a miraculous
way and rose as one from the dead, and that she depended solely on God.
Yet, she called on this same Dr. Cushing the following August to be
treated for a cough!

During these days it is known that she spent much of her time writing,
and reading the _New York Ledger_, and, if we are to believe what she
wrote to a friend, she also read "_Irving's_ Pickwick Papers." She
apparently did not like Dickens.

In 1869 (please note the date) she taught Mrs. Wentworth the Quimby
theory for the sum of $300, to be taken out in board, and at that time
she made no pretense that it was her own theory. She even permitted Mrs.
Wentworth to copy from a manuscript which has been proven to be
identical with the original Quimby manuscript. Several witnesses testify
that she "talked Quimby till every one grew dead tired of hearing him,"
and she often remarked: "I learned this from Dr. Quimby, and he made me
promise to teach it to at least two persons before I die." It is also
known that Mrs. Eddy "shrank instinctively, like any other nervous
woman, from the sick-bed of others, and had shown such a morbid fear of
death that Mrs. Wentworth often wondered what there could be in her past
to make death seem so dreadful."

Mrs. Eddy did not practice healing. What she now wanted was to publish
and teach Quimbyism and to find some one to demonstrate the healing
theory. In 1870 she found just what she wanted in the person of Richard
Kennedy, with whom she went into partnership, and in six months they had
made $6,000. This was the sharp turning point of her life. She now
discarded Quimby forever, and her ambitions led her in time to discard
even Kennedy, her greatest benefactor. Everything was now Mrs. Eddy. She
next started a school or college where students paid her $100 each plus
a promise to pay her a life annuity of ten per cent. of all their future
earnings. She also made them give a bond for $3,000 which was to be
forfeited if they allowed any one to see or to copy the manuscripts that
she lent them. The college so prospered that she raised the price to
$300 for twelve lessons, induced, she says, "by a strange providence."

In 1877, at the age of fifty-six (although her age appears as forty in
the marriage license), she married Asa Gilbert Eddy, then forty years
old. He was "a man willing to be taught; he would even turn docility
into self-effacement." He died five years later. Even Mrs. Eddy could
not save him. Mrs. Eddy never had another husband, but "in Calvin A.
Frye, steward, bookkeeper, secretary, coachman, her 'man of all work,'"
as she herself called him, she has had the while one singularly devoted
to her and to her interests. To serve her he gave up all at the outset.
Family ties were relinquished. Friendships were allowed to languish. It
is said that never since the day he came, has he been beyond the reach
of her voice for a whole day! A few years ago Dr. E. J. Foster, whom she
adopted in 1882 as her son, was driven out of his home by Frye. Her own
son she seems to have forgotten entirely for long years at a time.

In 1875, Mrs. Eddy issued the first edition of "Science and Health with
Key to the Scriptures." Other editions came out in 1881, 1883, 1888,
1898, 1905, and 1906, and also other books and writings by the same
author, in all of which she claimed that her great discovery and
revelation came to her in 1866 (note the date). Meanwhile her college
was prospering and students flocked to it from all parts of the world,
each paying $300 for a three weeks' course, and in 1889 there were no
less than 300 on the waiting list. In 1894 she erected a building at a
cost of $221,000, which now stands as a frontispiece to the colossal
temple which was completed in 1906 at a cost of $2,000,000. The Mother
Church in Boston reported June 11, 1907, a membership of 43,876, and the
total membership of the 645 branch churches was 42,846.

On December 18, 1890, Mrs. Eddy said that _Science and Health_ was
"God's Book and He gave it at once to the people." Yet the book was
_sold_ by Mrs. Eddy for over $3 a copy, while a copy of the Bible may be
bought for a few cents, and if anybody cannot buy it, he can get a copy
presented to him free by any preacher or Sunday School teacher. Mrs.
Eddy also says that it pays to be a Christian Scientist and that the
professionals have made "their comfortable fortunes." When Mrs. Eddy
died, her private fortune was considerably in excess of a million
dollars, yet she persistently tried to evade paying her share of taxes.

This in brief is the life history of Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy. Her's was a
stormy career, filled with troubles, quarrels, lawsuits, internal
dissentions, fears, revenge, ill health, sorrows, unhappy marriages,
rivalries, disloyalties, and selfishness. She had many thousands to
admire and to worship her, but few to love her. Those who knew her best
loved her least. That she was one of the most remarkable women who ever
lived, few will doubt. Her career is almost as spectacular as that of
Joan of Arc, who, like Mrs. Eddy, rose from a poor girl to be a
world-famous leader of men. Neither had anything like an education, and
both had a poor start in life, but, out of sheer force of personality
and persistency, both accomplished wonders. Their lives read like
fiction. While history is full of examples where men have risen from
nowhere, and claimed that they were inspired, or Divine, or Sons of God,
or prophets, there is no parallel to the career of Mrs. Eddy, who has
won both the scholar and the ignoramus. No, not _ignoramus_, for the
ignoramus is not the kind to fall a victim to Mrs. Eddy's doctrine. It
requires a person of brains to "grasp" it. While it is true that people
unschooled in philosophy, science and theology are quickest to accept
_Science and Health_, and that those who read earnestly and think
loosely can get just enough glimpse of an imagined something that they
cannot quite grasp, yet which they feel is there somewhere, still, it
must be said that the average Christian Scientist is generally a person
of unusual intelligence. Were it not so, the doctrine would never have
become so popular. Was it not Lord Bacon who said something like
this?--"While a little philosophy inclineth men's minds to atheism,
depth in philosophy inclineth men's minds to religion." And so with
Christian Science. Given a good mind, and a good understanding, and an
investigating disposition, feed it _Science and Health_ and it will have
a tendency to accept it as truth, provided it is not allowed to hear the
other side, and provided it has not been previously trained to reason
correctly along scientific lines. There is just enough truth in it to
make it all sound plausible and there is just enough mysticism to make
the mind doubt its own acumen. Belief in Christian Science is a form of
intellectual hypnotism.

The hypothesis of Mrs. Eddy's doctrine is stated as follows: "The only
realities are the Divine Mind and its ideas. That erring mortal views,
misnamed _mind_, produce all the organic and animal action of the mortal
body * * * Rightly understood, instead of possessing sentient matter, we
have sensationless bodies * * * Whence came to me this conviction in
antagonism to the testimony of the human senses? From the self-evident
fact that matter has no sensation; from the common human experience of
the falsity of all material things; from the obvious fact that mortal
mind is what suffers, feels, sees; since matter cannot suffer."

Here are a few of Mrs. Eddy's favorite, oft-repeated assertions: "God is
supreme; is mind; is principle, not person; includes all and is
reflected by all that is real and eternal; is Spirit, and Spirit is
infinite; is the only substance; is the only life. Man was and is the
idea of God; therefore mind can never be in man. Divine Science shows
that matter and mortal body are the illusions of human belief, which
seem to appear and disappear to mortal sense alone. When this belief
changes, as in dreams, the material body changes with it, going wherever
we wish, and becoming whatsoever belief may decree. Human mortality
proves that error has been engrafted into both the dreams and
conclusions of material and mortal humanity. Besiege sickness and death
with these principles, and all will disappear."

This theory, that there is no reality except thought, is merely a
distinctive form of idealism that is as old as the hills, and Mrs.
Eddy's doctrine is the resultum of a confusion of isolated thoughts.
Read Plato, Hegel, Democritus, the Zend-Avesta, Spinoza, Kant, Bishop
Berkeley, Lotze, Hume, and various other works and you will find the
threads from which Mrs. Eddy's fabric is woven. But don't imagine that
the philosophers named ever believed any such things as Mrs. Eddy has
laid down in her books. Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Transcendentalists
speak of the supremacy of mind over matter, and all modern physicians
recognize the power of the mind over the body; but none of these ever
maintained that the discovery of those facts was made by Divine
revelation by order of God, to be given to the people at a certain time,
at so much per lesson or book.

Mrs. Eddy says that the one reality is God, whose name is Mind or
Spirit; that God is All-in-all; that all is infinite Mind and its
infinite manifestations; that matter is unknown in the Universe of Mind.
Now, if we take all this as mere speculation, all is well. But when we
are asked to make these ideas our Bible, our code of human conduct, our
bread and butter, our Divine law, that is where we should stop. What
matter if all of that is true or false? The world will go around just
the same. If Mrs. Eddy had stopped right there, she would not have
invited such a storm of criticism as she had to face. But she did not.
The critics began their deadly work soon after the first edition of her
book came out, and she met it courageously, proceeding to amend her
theories to suit the occasion. Constant and frequent changes were made
in _Science and Health_ and in her teachings, which was all right except
that it disproves her contention that the whole plan came to her as a
revelation in 1866, and that it was "God's book and He gave it at once
to the people." It really makes but little difference to most of us
whether Mrs. Eddy is right in her theory that there is no such thing as
matter and that all is spirit, for we are all compelled to act every day
as if matter were matter, and, to all intents and purposes, it _is_. Of
course, we are glad to have the truth, but it would be idiotic for a
man, who had discovered that there is no such thing as sound, to try to
persuade the world that his discovery was so important that a new system
of religion must at once be founded on it to regulate the daily affairs
of the whole world. Some of the truths in Christian Science are
important, but it does not follow that we are to discard all our other
religions, beliefs, and modes of living; for Christian Science is only a
speculation, and it does not concern most of us. It rightly is no more a
religion than is the theory of evolution, which, by the way, Mrs. Eddy
did not seem to understand, for she said: "Theorizing about man's
development from mushrooms to monkeys and from monkeys to men, amounts
to nothing in the right direction, and very much in the wrong."

Mrs. Eddy says that "God is not in the things He hath made"; and, in the
next breath she says that since things are matter, and that there is no
matter, then there can be no things. In her _final_ revelation of 1866,
expressed in 1875, she says that "God is Principle, not _person_"; yet
later, in a later _final_ revelation she says that "Life, Truth, and
Love constitute the _triune_ person called God." Again, she says, "Jesus
is the human man and Christ is the divine, hence the duality of Jesus,
the Christ." And, in 1894, and at other times, she has stated quite
plainly that she and Christ were one and the same.

Be all this as it may, Christian Science rests mainly on the hypothesis
that sin, sickness, disease and death are not real--that they exist only
in thought; that Christian Science can remedy these _seeming_ evils.
Had it not been for the curing and healing part of the doctrine,
Christian Science would never have become the fad that it has. All the
rest of the doctrine would have been looked on merely as an interesting
speculation, had not Mrs. Eddy injected the claim that Christian Science
cured everything--that it cured even sin as well as suffering. Here,
then, was something to interest everybody, and she made the invitation
all the more desirable when she added that doctors were "flooding the
world with diseases," that the fewer the doctors, the less disease the
world would suffer from, and that "as long as you read medical books you
will be sick." We all know of thousands of cases where doctors have been
of great assistance to humanity, and we know, too, of many serious
medical mistakes. We all know that medicine has been much overworked,
yet we must all admit that doctors and medicine have made this world
vastly better and more healthful. But what has Christian Science done?
Mrs. Eddy failed to give to the world the complete, authenticated record
of one single case of disease that she cured. True, she _said_ that she
had cured certain diseases, but we are left in the dark as to whether
they were diseases or what they were. She refused to have medical tests
made. She even announced that she had no time to give personal
treatments and consultations. At that time she was busy teaching, at
$300 a pupil. Besides, according to her theory, there was no such thing
as a body, or disease, or pain. She doubts even that Jesus suffered pain
on the cross, although the Bible says that He cried out in pain. Either
Jesus did suffer pain, or He falsely made those around Him _think_ that
He did, and we know that He was incapable of deception. Yet, Jesus
Christ and Mrs. Eddy are one and the same.

Christian Science seeks to eliminate pain, whereas most physicians
recognize pain as a blessing. It is a danger signal. It warns us of
decay, of disease, and of disorders. Were it not for pain, we would
allow our teeth to decay, our eyesight to be impaired, and various other
organs to degenerate. When we live wrongly, or eat too much, or overtax
our powers, Nature warns us to halt, but Christian Science says there is
no such thing as suffering, discomfort and pain, except in our

And thus we could go on for hours pointing out the inconsistencies of
Mrs. Eddy's theories, but a short article like this will not permit.
Take for example her statement that "Science can heal the sick who are
absent from the healers, as well as those present, since space is no
obstacle to mind"; and the assertion that "Christian Science divests
material drugs of their imaginary power * * * When the sick recover by
the use of drugs, it is the law of a general belief, culminating in
individual faith that heals, and according to this faith will the effect
be"; and "The not uncommon notion that drugs possess absolute, inherent
curative virtues of their own involves an error. Arnica, quinine, opium,
could not produce the effects ascribed to them except by imputed virtue.
Men _think_ they will act thus on the physical system, consequently they
_do_." Does anybody doubt that if the writer of those words walked into
a drugstore blindfolded and, unseen by anybody, drank opium, not knowing
what it was, she would not immediately feel the effects of that drug?
And that if she took any other drug, the effects would not be about the
same as they are known to be in practically all cases? Yet who would
say, under those circumstances, that Mind has endowed those drugs with
the powers to act on the system as they do? If Mind can so act, medicine
is just what we want, for Mind can be made to make drugs do even greater
things than they have yet done, perhaps to raise the dead.

But why go to greater length to point out the fallacies of this fad
that is nothing more than a superstition founded on a truth. _Science
and Health_ is simply words, words, words. It is a tangled mass of
assembled philosophy from various sources that has but little practical
value. That mind, suggestions and imagination have great influence over
the body nobody will deny, but nobody but Mrs. Eddy ever attempted to
form a religion out of that old fact. _Science and Health_ is founded on
the Bible, and pretends to be a key to it. It is a "key," but it is one
that breaks and distorts rather than opens. It is an interpretation, and
it treats the Book as if it were a puzzle that God left unsolved until
He inspired Mrs. Eddy to reveal its secrets, after having kept it from
the world for nearly 2,000 years. From the standpoint of a promoter,
Mrs. Eddy was wise in calling her doctrine _Christian Science_ and in
founding it on the Bible. That many have been helped by Christian
Science nobody will deny, but the same can be said of a hundred other
theories and beliefs, some of which are admittedly absurd. Some people
can be cured with sugar pills and some by an Indian medicineman.
Christian Science contains much that is true and good, and much that is
false and bad, and perhaps the harm that it has done may not outweigh
the good. Nobody knows. Those who get pleasure and satisfaction and
peace out of it should not be disturbed, but they should be warned not
to let it run away with them.

The Epicureans handed down to us some questions which have never been
quite satisfactorily answered, except by the Christian Scientists--who
are quite satisfied with their answer. If God is able to prevent evil,
and is not willing, where is His benevolence? If God is willing, but not
able, where is His power? If God is both able and willing, whence then
is evil? The Scientists say there is no evil, and that settles the whole
question. The blind man sees nothing. The Occulist teaches us to see:
the Scientist teaches us not to see. Excellent thought! When the thief
comes, we close our eyes, and lo! we do not see him, for he is not
there--and when we open our eyes, nothing else is there.

Consider for a moment the folly of holding that sickness, pain and
disease are products of the mind, and that they have no real existence.
To say this is to declare that there are no germs and microbes; and to
declare that mind causes disease and death is to upset the whole
accepted theory of creation and of evolution. Are not animals affected
by disease as well as man? If so, who would say that their meager minds
could cause it? and if it be said that human minds caused it, how about
the millions of animals who suffered pain, disease and death thousands
of years before man ever appeared upon earth? Does the Scientist know
that there are hundreds of different kinds of microbes, fighting and
combatting one another, that the big fish are eating the little ones,
that if there were no microbes there could be no putrefaction and that
if there were no putrefaction there could be no breaking down of the
dead bodies of animals and plants, and that the earth would be
encumbered with the dead bodies of these animals and plants of past
generations, and that very soon all the organic elements--all the carbon
and nitrogen, if not all the hydrogen and oxygen--on the face of the
earth would be fixed in these corpses and that all life would perish for
want of sustenance? In short, germs and death are just as important, and
just as inevitable, as joy and life.

The Christian Scientists, New Thoughtists and other dreamy faddists, who
would eliminate all death, sorrow, pain and suffering, by bringing
heaven to earth all in a day, are respectfully introduced to a paragraph
from John Ploughman: "There is a sound reason why there are bones in
our meat and stones in our land. A world where everything was easy would
be a nursery for babies, but not at all a fit place for men. Celery is
not sweet till it has felt a frost, and men don't come to their
perfection till disappointment has dropped a half-hundred weight or two
on their toes. Who would know good horses if there were no heavy loads?"


If we are to believe history every century produces one or more
wonderful healers, or persons with the "Healing Touch." It is said that
these mysterious persons have made the blind to see, the lame to walk,
the deaf to hear, and even the dead to rise, by means of laying on of
hands. Just how much of these records are facts or fiction no man may
say, but we may reasonably assume that a fair amount of facts are mixed
up with the fiction, even if we may not believe half of what we hear and

Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, of Kirksville, Mo., is the founder of
Osteopathy, and in that place he has founded what he is pleased to call
a college, which is highly successful. After reading his history, he
will perhaps remind you somewhat of Mary Baker Eddy, Elbert Hubbard,
Tolstoy, and Jesus of Nazareth, although it cannot be said that he bears
much physical or mental resemblance to any of these. He dresses like a
farmer or backwoodsman, and is Simplicity personified. His followers
worship him very much as do those of Mrs. Eddy, and there is a vein of
mystery, not to say of superstitious faith, connected with both their
doctrines that seems to bind their followers together. While Dr. Still
claims no divine inspiration, as did Mrs. Eddy, still he and his
disciples are inclined to the mysterious and supernatural. For example,
in one of the Osteopath books I find this, by his son Dr. Charles E.
Still, D.O.: "When a boy, I was out with my father and an old physician
one day, when he stopped at a house where there was a boy almost totally
blind. My father stepped up to him and took hold of his neck; in a few
minutes he bade him look at the sun, and behold, the blindness had
disappeared." This reads very much like a Bible miracle. "Again, we met
an old colored man who was badly crippled. My father asked him his
trouble and had him stand up against a drygoods box. My father set down
a flour sack of bones we were carrying; he then took hold of his leg and
after apparently winding it around a few times, he told the man to walk,
which he did without as much as a limp, much to the amazement of the
bystanders. Time and again equally as wonderful cures were made by him
in my presence." Dr. Still, Jr., then goes on to say that in an
epidemic of diphtheria he treated about sixty-five cases and lost but
one; that he was called on to treat practically all the ailments that
flesh is heir to; that he treated epileptics by the score and
successfully in most cases; that he set a neck that was broken, and set
a case of dislocated astragalus and cured it in one day after a
physician had assigned the patient to straps in bed for six weeks, thus
saving five weeks and five days of the patient's time, patience and
money. Other miraculous cures are reported by the Messrs. Still and by
other learned Osteopaths, and there are many people around who are
willing to give reliable testimony to the effect that they have been
cured of serious ailments by Osteopaths when doctors have failed.

Osteopathy is really the old Swedish movement cure under a new name, but
considerably enlarged and improved.

Some people imagine that Osteopathy is a sort of massage, but, according
to Dr. Still, Sr., this is a mistake, for he says: "Osteopathy
absolutely differs from massage. The definition of 'massage' is masso,
to knead; shampooing of the body by special manipulation, such as
kneading, tapping, stroking, etc. The masseur rubs and kneads the
muscles to increase the circulation. The Osteopath never rubs. He takes
off any pressure on blood vessels or nerves by the adjustment of any
displacement of bone, cartilage, ligament, tendon or muscle." Thus, an
Osteopath might be called a bone manipulator, and that is what the words
implies, "osteon" meaning _bone_. As a matter of fact, Dr. Still and all
Osteopaths to the contrary notwithstanding, Osteopathy is not
"absolutely different from massage." Dr. Still says that Osteopaths
adjust displaced muscles, does he not? And how do they do it? By
manipulating the muscles. That is just what the masseur does. It is true
that the masseur rubs, with a view to increasing the circulation, but it
is also true that the Osteopath kneads, or presses, for the same
purpose. A good masseur handles the muscles very much as do the
Osteopaths. Circulation is the object in both cases: If you want to hurt
an Osteopath's feelings, just tell him that he is a fine masseur. For,
has he not spent three years at an Osteopathic College to learn his art,
whereas the masseur may have learned his the previous week from some
Turkish bath operator? Please remember that the Osteopath is a
physician, and that he knows as much about anatomy and therapeutics as
do other physicians. Please also remember that the Osteopath has had a
thorough course in physiology, biology, embryology, histology,
pathology, symptomatology, physical and laboratory diagnosis,
obstetrics, gynecology, dietetics, hygiene, bacteriology, toxicology,
urinalysis, surgery, pediatrics, dermatology, phchistry, and medical
jurisprudence. The only physicianly subject with which he is not
familiar is materia medica, and that is something that he thinks is

The Osteopath does not believe in drugs. On that point he will have many
sympathizers, notably the Christian Scientists. In fact, many of our
best physicians have abandoned that old fashioned faith in drugs which
made people think that they could abuse Nature all they liked, and do as
they pleased, and that a few drops of medicine would cure them of the
ill-effects of their indiscretion. Dr. Osler, who was appointed Regius
Professor of Medicine at Oxford University a few years ago, gives a long
list of diseases, in his book "Textbook on the Theory and Practice of
Medicine," which cannot be cured by drugs, and he frequently states that
drugs are notoriously uncertain in their effects in many cases. Any
physician who is honest and wise will tell you that drugs are not being
used so much nowadays as formerly, and that medicine is still more or
less of an experiment in many cases, and often a dangerous and fatal
experiment. But, in spite of all this, it is certainly unwise to
denounce _all_ drugs simply because we do not know the certain effects
of _some_ drugs. Drugs have been in use since the beginning of history,
and we are still experimenting with them. While we do not yet know what
they will do and not do, we know that they will do _something_. In other
words, drugs have an effect on the body--that we know. We know that
certain drugs will put us to sleep, or cause us to vomit, or give us a
headache, or take away a headache, or benumb a pain, etc. Everybody
knows the effects of castor oil, pepsin, strychnine, salts, sugar of
lead, laudanum, paragoric, camphor, iodine, linament, calomel, and
certain other drugs in certain cases. Now, some of these drugs are
extremely useful and it would be a calamity if the human family were to
be deprived of their use. While, as we all know, many people are
extremely superstitious about medicines and are taking them all the time
to cure imaginary ills, and while it is true that many sick persons are
either killed or made worse every year by medicines administered by
physicians, still the sum-total of good that comes from the proper use
of drugs, and the immense possibilities of the future seem to reason
that we must not entirely discontinue the use of drugs. Nature is the
best doctor, and all that the physicians can do is to assist nature.
Osteopathy may assist nature, and so may massage, and so may water, and
exercise, and diet and drugs. Different cases require different
remedies. Drugs are a part of nature. Nature made all herbs, vegetables
and minerals. Some of our best medicines, even minerals, are found in
the food that we eat and in the water that we drink. Perhaps nature put
them there for a purpose. Perhaps she put in too much, perhaps she did
not put in enough. We are all different, no two alike. Our bodies are
made up of various chemicals, and many of our ailments are due to a
scanty supply of these chemicals. Hence, if we cannot get a sufficiency
of these chemicals from the foods, we may often require them from the
drug store. For example, phosphorus is necessary to the nerves and
brain. While it is found in various foods, it may be, as is often the
case, that we have to take phosphorus in some other form in order to
preserve our health or to restore our body to its normal state.

But the Osteopath does not reason this way. Dr. Still says: "God has
placed the remedy for every disease within the material house in which
the spirit of life dwells. I believe that the Maker of man has deposited
in some part or throughout the whole system of the human body drugs in
abundance to cure all infirmities; that all the remedies necessary to
health are compounded within the human body. They can be administered by
adjusting the body in such a manner that the remedies may naturally
associate themselves together. And I have never failed to find all these
remedies. Man should study and use only the drugs that are found in his
own drugstore--that is, in his own body." If this means anything, it
means that drugs are necessary, and that manipulating the bones of the
body results in a proper distribution of these drugs. The statement that
he has never failed to find these remedies, if it means anything, means
that Dr. Still has cured every case that has come to him, but he has
never said so in plain words; in fact, he admits elsewhere that he has
not been successful with all cases. And if he was not successful in
certain cases, the failure was due to not being able to adjust matters
so as properly to associate the drugs of the body with their remedies!
Farther on Dr. Still says that the still greater question to be solved
is, "How and when to apply the _touch_ which sets free the chemicals of
life as Nature designs." Does Dr. Still here mean that Osteopaths have a
certain magic touch which is so powerful and wonderful that it must be
used with great caution? That this touch lets loose certain drugs or
chemicals which the body needs to cure itself? It is possible that the
Doctor is speaking in figures and that he does not mean what his words
imply. It must be so. Otherwise, we must put him down as a charlatan. If
he speaks figuratively, he is indiscreet, because he plainly leads
people to think that the spinal column secrets certain drugs or
chemicals which are necessary to health and that these can be made to
flow to the necessary parts by means of certain manipulations.

Dr. Still would have us believe that Osteopathy is something of a
cure-all, and that its adoption makes the use of drugs unnecessary, but
all Osteopaths do not make this claim. Dr. George V. Webster, D.O.,
says: "Osteopathy is not a cure-all. There are disorders that are
incurable." This is encouraging, because we now know that if a disease
is incurable Osteopathy cannot cure it! Dr. Webster says that "there are
diseases needing surgical attention," that in some cases an anesthetic
is necessary, that a parasite requires an antiseptic, and that a poison
requires an antidote. Thus he has found that drugs have _some_ uses, at
least. In one place Dr. Webster says that Osteopathy is not a cure-all,
and in another we find him saying, "The application of osteopathic
principles to meet the problems of bodily disorder has demonstrated
their efficiency in _practically all diseases_"! Dr. Still himself says,
"You may say there are some failures. Yes, who would not expect it?
Perhaps the Osteopath is not able to apply the knowledge he should have
gained before being granted a diploma from his osteopathic school."

And thus, all through the Osteopath literature there is an inference
that bone manipulation cures everything, although it admits that it has
not always done so. This is the weak, fatally weak, spot in Osteopathy.
It is the old story of the over-enthusiastic specialist who thinks that
the sun rises and sets on his pet theory. Show a child a watch, and all
it sees and understands is that it is wound up and that the hands move
around. If the watch gets out of order the child tries to wind it up
again--that is all it knows. It does not know that inside the case are
hundreds of delicately arranged parts that are adjusted to a nicety. It
does not know that some of these parts may be worn out from over-use, or
are missing, or broken, or that they need cleaning. Likewise, when the
Osteopath sees a body suffering from some disorder, he usually sees only
the blood vessels and nerves, and he decides at once that one or more of
them is being squeezed by a misadjustment of some bone or muscle. He
looks on the spinal column as the backbone of the human structure, which
is of course true, and surmises that if anything is wrong it must have
originated in the spinal cord, which is not necessarily true. If it is
indigestion, or a disease of the kidney, or what not, he thinks that by
turning one of the keys on the spinal cord it will unlock the necessary
drug and let it flow to the disordered part. He wears a pair of glasses
on which is written the word "Osteopathy," and when he looks he sees
nothing but Osteopathy. Now, as a matter of fact, he is right in many
cases. He will cure when all the doctors in the world might not even
relieve. He has a great truth. He holds the key that unlocks the door to
many a mystery, and it is a key that should be in common use, by all
doctors. Where the regular physician would perhaps drug his patient to
death, the Osteopath might cure him with a few simple treatments. Take,
for example, a headache. Now, a headache is a symptom, not a disease. It
is a sign that something is going wrong. It is a sign that there is
either too much blood in the head, or not enough, usually the former. In
either case, it is probable that there is some abnormal pressure on some
blood-vessel or nerve, and that if that pressure could be released the
headache would disappear. Just examine a model of the spinal cord
sometime and see what a complicated structure it is, with all the little
nerves, blood vessels and muscles so intricately interwoven between its
many parts. We are all prone to get in certain habits. We learn to read
in a certain posture, and to write, and to lie down, and to walk, and to
sit, and in the course of years it would be strange if one or more of
our thousands of parts did not get into an abnormal position so as to
compress or squeeze some of the delicately arranged nerves or blood
channels, thus preventing freedom of passage. Such a condition might set
up congestion and inflammation, and it is likely to affect seriously
some distant organ. By readjusting the bones of the neck, shoulder, back
or spinal cord, we relieve that pressure and thereby cure the disorder.
There can be no doubt of all this, and every regular physician ought to
know it and to practice it, but they don't and won't. Furthermore, they
won't refer the patient to an Osteopath. Professional jealousy!

It is really a shame that there cannot be some kind of a union of the
various isms, ologies and athies. Certainly all Osteopaths should be
regularly admitted physicians and surgeons. If they could be broad
enough for that, they would soon put the old-school physicians out of

In conclusion, Osteopathy is much overestimated by some, and much
underestimated by many. It will do good to most anybody, and harm to
nobody. It will cure thousands of cases that the regular physicians
cannot cure; but, on the other hand, there are thousands of cases that
Osteopathy should not attempt to cure without the aid of the modern
school of physicians and surgeons.


The word phrenology comes from the Greek word _phren_, meaning the mind,
and _logus_, meaning science--the science of the mind. The alleged
science rests upon these principles: (1) The brain is the organ of the
mind; (2) the mind may be divided into a certain number of faculties
independent of one another; (3) each faculty resides in a definite
region of the brain; (4) the size of each region is the true measure of
the intellectual power of the organ therein residing. The phrenologist
examines the outside of the skull, and, by measuring the various bumps
and indentations thereon, claims to be able to tell how much brains are
within and just what faculties are concealed under each and every
portion of the skull. They claim to take into consideration various
other things, such as the texture of the hair, the lung power, the
brilliancy of the eye, the color of the skin, the general poise and
shape of the head, and so on, but phrenology really means bumpology or

The real fathers of the theory are Drs. Gall and Spurzheim, although we
find suggestions of it in the writings of some of the ancients, notably
those of Aristotle and Pythagoras, and even so far back as the ancient
Egyptians. Aristotle believed the brain to be a complex organ, but held
that the small head was the standard of perfection--"Little head, little
wit; big head not a bit." (For a lengthy treatise on phrenology and its
history, see Enc. Britannica.)

If phrenology is sound, the brain is divided into compartments, each
having a separate and distinct function to perform. But when the brain
is dissected, no such compartments or divisions are revealed, even under
the microscope. Neither the certical nor fibrous part of the brain
reveals any such dividing lines or difference in texture. And not only
this--the existence of the horizontal membrane separating the superior
from the interior part of the whole brain, and the arrangement of the
lateral ventricles, corpus callosum, the fornix and other parts, are of
themselves almost conclusive proof that there can be no compartments
such as phrenologists describe.

But even if the brain were divided into compartments, each resting
against the skull, it would next be necessary for the phrenologist to
prove that quantity means quality or that quantity means power.
Otherwise, a person might have a large quantity of, say, combativeness,
and a small quantity of, say, veneration, as donated by the size of the
bumps, at the places where those faculties are supposed to reside, but
the brain matter in the veneration compartment might be twice as dense,
compact, active, powerful or flexible as the brain matter in the
combativeness compartment, and hence the phrenologist would be deceived
by outward appearances. The phrenologist must depend upon size, and he
must assume that every part of the brain is of the same density, texture
and power. For example, when he sees a head that is large and full in
the upper forehead and small at the back, he at once declares that that
person's casuality, eventuality and comparison, are highly developed,
and that his amativeness and philoprogenitiveness are poorly developed.
Size is the measure, and he assumes that size means volume, and that
volume means power. Hence, a man with a large head must have more brains
than a man with a small head, and the more brains he has, the greater
his power, other things being equal. He forgets that many idiots have
enormous heads, and that the heads of many of the world's greatest
characters were very small. Several kinds of monkeys, the dolphin, the
canary and the sparrow, all have larger brains than man, in proportion
to the size of the body. The ground mole and field mouse have about the
same proportion as man. The whale, the rat, the porpoise and the goose
have more.

Again, the researches of physiologists of the highest authority seem to
have established the fact that the brain acquires its full size and
weight at the age of eight years! How can the phrenologist reconcile his
philosophy to this stubborn fact? The skull and head continue to grow
after the age of eight, but the brain remains the same in weight and
size. Everybody knows how the skulls of children change as they grow up,
and yet the brains never do. As the child acquires knowledge and
develops his mental faculties, the brain remains the same size and
weight. What then have bumps to do with his mind? We may polish our
brains, but we cannot add to them. And so, when the phrenologist says
that this pulpy matter called brains gradually grows larger and crowds
the skull bones out so as to make bumps, or that it shrinks, for want of
exercise, and makes the skull contract with it, causing indentations, he
is not talking from facts but from a premise founded on a delusion.

If the theory of phrenology is true, then, if a person should have an
accident or a disease, and lose a portion of his brain, he will lose
control of those faculties which are supposed to be located within the
lost part. Now, every physician knows of cases where patients have lost
portions of their brains, and you will probably not find a single case
where the patient lost control of the precise faculty said to be located
in that portion. The medical books are full of proof of this. Once in a
while a physician has to remove a portion of the brain where the faculty
of, say tune, is located, or it is destroyed by accident or disease, but
after the operation the patient has the same fondness and talent for
music that he formerly had. The brains of able men have been examined
after death, and certain portions have been found to be diseased; yet
the patients had shown no signs of having lost any of their faculties.

These examples show that the brain is not and cannot be composed of a
plurality of organs, each of which is the seat of a separate faculty, as
claimed by the phrenologists, because if such were the case the
destruction of one of these organs would result in the destruction of
the particular faculty connected with it.

Again, the phrenologist assumes that all skulls are of the same
thickness, and that every skull is of the same thickness at every point.
There are variations of this rule, as he will tell you, but in the main
the statement is true; for, if it were not so, bumps and indentations
would be almost meaningless. But the fact is that some skulls are only
one-eighth of an inch thick and some are a full inch in thickness. And
there is no certain way of telling just how thick a skull is, except by
an examination of its interior and not every subject is willing to
undergo this inconvenience. The phrenologist may thump it with his
knuckle and sound it, but he can never be certain how near he is to the
brain nor how much brains are within. And still again, nearly every
skull has thin parts and thick parts, and in some heads there are actual
cavities in places. So, even if the size of the brain is the sure test
of mentality, how is one to tell the size of a brain which is incased in
a skull of unknown and variable thickness?

And then, the mistaken notion that there are just and only thirty-five
or so faculties and that each acts independently of the others. As well
might one say that the retina of the eye is divided into compartments,
one to see flowers, one to see trees, one to see letters and figures,
and so on; or that the ear-drum is divided into sections--one section to
hear the voice, one to hear the violin and one to hear other sounds. If
there is a separate compartment for every faculty there should be nearer
thirty-five thousand compartments than thirty-five. But there are not
even thirty-five faculties, and there are certainly not more than two or
three compartments, if any. Aristotle divided the brain into only three
parts. Veneration is the result of fear, admiration, love, respect,
conscientiousness, and a dozen other things. Destructiveness and
combativeness, continuity, stubbornness and many other faculties produce
in greater or less degree, the same emotion and results. Form and size
are the same faculty, the knowledge of extension including both. To say
that each of these faculties has a separate plot or parcel of brains
staked out for its own private and exclusive use is about as sensible as
to say that there is a separate compartment of brains devoted to love of
children, another for the love of parents, another for brothers, another
for dogs, and so on. It requires no philosopher or psychologist to see
that every single faculty is a part of an inseparable indivisible whole.
Instead of endowing the mind with certain faculties and designating
these according to the nature of their function, the phrenologist
designates them according to the nature of object upon which they are
exercised. According to this, to be logical, he should have as many
faculties and compartments as there are things in the universe.

There are two ways of looking at phrenology. If there is a portion of
brains for each faculty, then we must determine how many faculties there
are, and we must assume that each portion or compartment performs only
its own function, for otherwise, if a certain compartment frequently
does the work of some other compartment, then the whole theory of
phrenology falls, because it matters not how much or how little brains a
person has in one compartment when other sections are to lend a hand in
helping its weak or deficient neighbors. The phrenologist must assume
that "comparison," for example, is the faculty that does all of the work
in that line, and that "color" does all of the work in its particular
line. Otherwise bumps would be meaningless. Fowler and Wells, the latest
authorities, give thirty-nine distinct and separate faculties, each with
its particular location. Now, many of these conflict, such as
comparison, form and size, combativeness and destructiveness, firmness
and continuity, cautiousness and secretiveness, veneration and
spirituality and conjugal love, friendship, amativeness, inhabitiveness
and philoprogenitiveness. True, these words of each group are not
synonyms, but they require the same mental process, produce like
emotions, or proceed from the same motives and sensations. If this be
true, part of the bottom of phrenology falls out. There is redundancy.
The faculty of cautiousness makes one cautious when one is exercising
one or more of the other faculties, and continuity is the faculty which
gives us the power of keeping one or more other faculties applied to the
task. Nearly every organ must be endowed with the power of imagination,
yet there is a faculty called ideality which is assumed to have a
monopoly of this power. Nearly every faculty is also endowed with
casuality, particularly calculation, constructiveness and comparison.
And if the phrenologist should say that there is no redundancy here,
that each of these things is a different and distinct faculty, surely if
there is not redundancy, there is at least deficiency (either of which
is fatal) in that according to his theory there should be separate
faculties for mechanical constructiveness and literary constructiveness,
separate faculties for love of children and love of cats, separate
faculties for the English language and the Chinese language, and every
language, and a separate faculty for every object of attention in the

Until the phrenologist can find some way of measuring the quantity of
neurine in the brain of his subject he cannot tell much about that
person's mentality; and when he does this he is no longer a

Phrenology takes in a wide field which contains so many avenues of
escape, that it is quite impossible to attack it at one point without
letting it out at another, for its powers to evade the issue are almost
unlimited. When the skull of Voltaire was examined, it was found to have
the organ of Veneration developed to an extraordinary degree. The
phrenologist would promptly explain: "His veneration for the Deity was
so great and his sensibility upon the subject of devotion so exquisite
that he became shocked and disgusted with the irreverence of even the
most devout Christians, and that out of pure respect for the Deity he
attempted to exterminate the Christian religion from the earth."

If you have a large bump of destructiveness, the phrenologist might
declare you were like the early English who would often say: "It's a
fine day; let's go out and kill somebody." Yet you may be only inclined
to destroy delusions; or to destroy the rum demon; or to demolish
gambling; or to combat vice.

The novel "Mr. Midshipman Easy," by Capt. Maryatt, might be recommended
for the consideration of phrenologists. Prof. Easy built a great machine
with tubes and pistons; the subject would get into the machine and, by
suction, the professor would draw out the good organ indentations and by
pressure suppress the "bad organ" bumps. If the brain grows, as
phrenologists claim, this system ought to help the brain grow in the
right direction and create perfect men.

The irregular formation of the skull, features, fingers and of other
parts of the anatomy are mere accidents of nature, and are no more a
test of a person's character and capacity than a cask is of its
contents. The verdict of phrenology retards the moral and intellectual
advancement of the subject and lessens the influence of reason,
religion, environment and education.

After Professor Porson's death, his head was dissected, when, to the
confusion of craniologists and the consolation of blockheads, it was
discovered that he had a skull of extraordinary thickness. Professor
Gall, on being called upon to reconcile the intellectual powers and
tenacious memory of Porson with a skull that would have suited an
ignorant prizefighter, replied: "How the ideas got into such a skull is
their business, not mine; but, when they were once in, they certainly
could never get out again."


Physiognomy is not entirely a delusion. There is no "science" of
Physiognomy, however, nor is it an exact art. The rules laid down by
Adamantius were quite different from those of Aristotle, just as those
of Baptist Porta and Robert Fludd were quite different from Levater's.
Physiognomy is the art of knowing the humor, temperament or disposition
of a person from observation of the lines of the face, and from the
character of its members or features. While there is as yet no code of
rules laid down by any author which constitutes a trustworthy guide,
there in an apparent analogy between the mind and the countenance, which
is discernible to keen observers. Probably every man and woman prides
him or herself on the ability of translating expression, because we all
imagine that we are good judges of human nature; yet, we have all erred
in this regard, and often they were costly errors. Our instincts and
intuitions, are perhaps the safest guides, after all, for there is but
little reliance to be placed on the text books; and the common beliefs
regarding the meaning of the features are anything but reliable. The
best that can be done, for the present, is to assemble the predominating
characteristics of the great men of history and compare these with their

It is generally conceded that the greatest authority on Physiognomy is
Levater; yet, in my copy of his principal work, which, by the way, is
the voluminous 15th London edition, he says: "I understand but little of
physiognomy, and have been, and continue daily to be, mistaken in my
judgment." Since no greater physiognomist ever lived, it seems fair to
assume that there is no "science" of physiognomy, and no infallible
system with which we can read the character and capabilities of a person
by means of the features. Whether such a science will yet be discovered
or devised, remains to be seen. However, it is possible, and even
probable, that the features all have meanings, even if we do not know
those meanings, and that the code finally adopted by Levater is fairly
correct. This being true, the best we can say for Physiognomy is that it
_helps_ us to interpret character by showing us _tendencies_. That is,
given a face the chin of which denotes firmness, and the mouth
tenacity, we may be reasonably certain that the individual will have a
strong tendency to do thus and so under certain conditions, provided
those characteristics are not over-balanced and offset by other
characteristics. That the tendency is not conclusive, is apparent: for
the person may be born with a nose which, according to Physiognomy,
denotes criminal propensities; yet, he may have overcome his immoral
tendencies by means of education, religion or environment, while his
nose remains unchanged. Again, he may have certain features which are
said to denote generosity, for example, yet there may be various other
features which denote love of power, acquisitiveness, vanity, etc.,
which would make it quite impossible to say that generosity would
predominate, and to which tendency the subject would yield. Indeed, it
is a grave question if all the accumulated knowledge of the ages on
Physiognomy would not be misleading, even if every person knew the
precise meaning of every section of the face; for, however skilful we
might be, our judgment would constantly be taxed to the utmost to weigh
and balance, to compare and distinguish, one indication with another,
and then that other with still another, and with perhaps a whole group
of others,--a task for a mathematician, psychologist and philosopher
combined. Again, who may say that a large nose, which was esteemed so
highly by Napoleon, or a strong jaw, which is generally understood to
denote perseverance, may not be mere accidents of nature, for are not
some born tongue-tied, cross-eyed or flat-footed, without design,
meaning or tendency, so far as those physical conditions are concerned?
And do not all persons develop one or more faculties, and neglect
others, without causing any change in the bones of the face? One may
conquer and conquer, like Alexander, until there are no more worlds to
be conquered, and yet not acquire a conqueror's nose. If we treat
Physiognomy as the science of interpreting expression by means of the
muscular anatomy of the face, that is a different matter; but the real
Physiognomy deals with bones as well as with muscles. If there is doubt
as to whether the shape of the bones of the face are indicative of
character, there is no doubt that the flesh and muscles of the face form
what we call expression of the countenance, and that this can be
interpreted with some degree of accuracy.

Levater says that the forehead is the image or mirror of the
understanding; the nose and cheeks the image of moral and sensitive
life; and the mouth and chin the image of the animal life; while the
eye will be to the whole as the summary and center. I am prepared to
believe without hesitation that nothing passes in the soul which does
not produce some change in the body, and that even desire, and the act
of willing, create a corresponding motion in the body; but it requires
extraordinary credulity to believe that bones are enlarged or diminished
by this process, and, consequently, that part of Physiognomy I must
reject. But it is quite certain that, on the countenance discernibly
appear light and gloom, joy and anxiety, stupidity, ignorance, and vice,
and that, on this waxen tablet are deeply scribed every combination of
sense and soul. On the forehead, all the Graces revel, or all the
Cyclops thunder! Nature has left it bare, that, by it, the countenance
may be enlightened or darkened. At its lowest extremities, thought
appears to be changed into action. The mind here collects the powers of
resistance. Here resides the _cornua addita pauperi_. Here headlong
obstinacy and wise perseverance take up their fixed abode. Beneath the
forehead are its expressive confines, the eyebrows; a rainbow of
promise, when benignant; and the bent bow of discord, when enraged;
alike descriptive, in each case, of interior feeling. The nose imparts
solidity and unity to the whole countenance,--the mountain that
shelters the fair vales beneath. How descriptive of the mind and
character are its various parts; the insertion, the ridge, the
cartilege, and the nostrils, through which life is inhaled. The eyes,
considered only as tangible objects, are by their form, the windows of
the soul, the fountains of light and life. The eye-bone, whether
gradually sunken, or boldly prominent, is also worthy of attention; as
likewise are the temples, whether hollow or smooth. That region of the
face which includes the eyebrows, eye, and nose, also include the chief
signs of soul; that its of will, or mind, in action. The occult, the
noble, the sublime, sense of hearing, has nature placed sideways, and
half concealed. On the inferior part of the face, nature has bestowed a
mask for the male, and not without reason, for here are displayed those
marks of sensuality, which ought to be hidden. All know how much the
upper lip betokens the sensations of taste, desire, appetite, and the
enjoyments of love; how much it is curved by pride and anger, drawn thin
by cunning, smoothed by benevolence, made flaccid by effeminacy; how
love and desire, sighs and kisses, cling to it, by indescribable traits.
The under lip is little more than its supporter, the rosy cushion on
which the crown of majesty reposes. If the parts of any two bodies can
be pronounced to be exactly adapted to each other, such are the lips of
man, when the mouth is closed. Words are the pictures of the mind. We
judge of the host by the portal. He holds the flaggon of truth, of love
and endearing friendship. The chin is formed by the under lip, and the
termination of the jaw-bones, and it denotes sensuality in man,
according as it is more or less flexible, smooth, or clear: it discovers
what his rank is among his fellows. The chin forms the oval of the
countenance; and when, as in the antique statues of the Greeks, it is
neither pointed nor indented, but smooth, and gradually diminishes, it
is then the keystone of the superstructure. With apologies to Herder for
much of the foregoing, thus endeth this brief dissertation on


It is quite clear that the phenomena of dreams could be perfectly
accounted for by natural laws and therefore they should not be
attributed to supernatural causes.

Ancient divines taught that dreams either proceeded from the Deity or
from the devil, but it is now quite certain that all dreams originate
only in the dreamers. Dreams come only from a state of imperfect sleep.
When sleep is perfect, all the faculties are at complete rest, and there
can be no dreams--and even if there were, memory being absent, the dream
could never be recalled. Bodily sensations are the most common cause of
dreams. A hot-water bottle at the feet might cause dreaming of a fire;
kicking the bed-clothes from the lower extremities might carry the
dreamer to scenes of snow and ice; getting one's head accidentally under
the pillow might involve the dreamer in a drowning episode or other
incident of strangulation. Physical ills also have their influence upon
the unsound sleeper, and the nature of the pain is usually similar to
the nature of the dream. The mind, during unsound sleep, is irrational,
and often groups incongruous things and scenes into meaningless and
impossible situations. Stored away in hidden recesses of the memory, are
innumerable items, and during imperfect sleep the mind seizes some of
these haphazard and forms some of the most fantastic and ludicrous

The cause of the dream is sometimes the cause of its fulfilment. For
example, a person might think, in his waking moments, of writing a poem,
and if it is strongly on his mind he is likely to dream of it. The dream
may suggest some missing link or idea, and when he awakes he is better
prepared to complete it. Belief in the supernatural origin of dreams is
also the frequent cause of their fulfilment. If a person dreams of
approaching sickness, and is superstitious, his fears and imagination
are likely to hasten the calamity. There is recorded somewhere in
history the case of a general who dreamed of a defeat, and, being
superstitious, his courage deserted him, and the enemy conquered. There
is also recorded the case of a German student, who dreamed that he was
to die the next day at a certain hour. His friends found him next
morning making a will and other preparations, and as the time drew
near, he had every appearance of a person about to die. His friends used
every argument to shake his belief in dreams, but to no purpose, and
they were despairing of saving him, when the physician contrived to set
the clock forward, and thus prolonged matters until the student's life
was at last saved. There are several instances on record where death has
actually ensued in consequence of the belief in the supernatural origin
of dreams, and there is no doubt that believers in dreams often cause
fulfilment by mental influence. It is true that there are instances on
record where a person has dreamed of the death of a relative, and found
that that relative had died at about the time of the dream, but these
instances are rare and prove nothing. When it is considered that there
are doubtless millions of instances where persons have dreamed of the
death of relatives, when they have not died, the comparatively few cases
where the dreams came true must be taken as mere coincidence. It is not
a miracle for a dream of this kind to come true, but it would indeed be
a miracle if one or more of such dreams did not come true, like the one
that is recorded of a proud young divinity student who dreamed three
times in one night that he must turn to the seventh verse of the fifth
chapter of Ecclesiastes, where he would find important instructions. He
arose in the morning, and turning to the specified passage, found this:
"In the multitude of dreams there are divers vanities."

The mental process by which the human mind arrived at the conclusion
that dreams result from supernatural causes is due to the same
propensity of the mind for the marvelous, and to that excess credulity
which attributes all unusual or remarkable mental impressions to some
external agency. The average mind is prone to reason out the causes of
phenomena to the limit of its mental powers, and then, when it arrives
at the point when it can go no farther, and can give no rational
explanation, to attribute the phenomena to the supernatural.

All dreams originate from former sensations. These sensations were
introduced into the mind by the senses, at some previous time or times,
and the mind has stored them away where they have lain dormant and
forgotten. The dream-state is that condition of temporary
subconsciousness when the memory recalls the aforesaid sensations and
submits them to the scrutiny of the reasoning faculty, by which their
relations are determined, through the agency of association. During
perfect sleep there can be no dream, because the dream is caused by a
state of activity of certain faculties, which, in perfect sleep, are in
a state of torpor. There could be no dream if the mental faculties,
including memory, are at perfect rest. Only when part of the mental
faculties are sufficiently active to recall the sensations and
impressions that are stored away, and to institute association, can
there be dreams. Some of the faculties must be active, and some
inactive, to produce a dream, and only in imperfect sleep does this
condition obtain. Among the inactive faculties in the dream state is
judgment, which, were it active, would correct the mental process and
discover the fallacy. Imagination is often brought strongly into play by
the dreamer; and the combination of imagination, previous sensations and
associations often create fantastic objects and pictures wholly
different from those occurring in nature. The mind of the dreamer can
readily combine parts of the sensations previously derived from
beholding an elephant, a crow and a cow, and may see in his dream a crow
with a trunk, a cow with a bill, or an elephant with upright horns and a
black feathered tail. It can also readily associate with his own self
parts of various sensations derived from reading or hearing of certain
crimes or improprieties, and picture himself in the act of doing things
utterly at variance with his morals and inclinations when in a conscious

It also may happen, in the various modes of combination, that objects or
events are portrayed in accordance with nature and facts, but, perhaps,
in exaggerated, diminished or distorted forms, in which case an
erroneous standard of judgment is formed that will throw all after
sensations out of perspective with truth.

The dreamer generally dreams of things which have lately been weighing
on his mind, but not necessarily so, nor does it follow that he will
dream what has been ardently expected or painfully dreaded. Association
of ideas may lead his unguided mind to a scene or object which, in his
wakeful moments, he cannot trace, for his memory usually preserves only
the final objects or scene, and not the various steps that led to it.
Thus, if moving be on his mind, he may, in his dream, see a moving van,
then a painting on the side of the van, then an artist, then a paint
shop, a model, another picture on an easel, and finally a very pleasant
or a very horrible scene in a studio. When the dreamer awakes he
remembers only the scene, and he is at a loss to know why he should have
dreamed of a scene so foreign to his previous thoughts.

There appears to be no truth whatever in the theory that dreams come as
omens or warnings, for they are purely accidental. Neither is there
apparently any truth in the belief that dreams come by opposites, that
they are the manifestation of some invisible agency, or that there is
anything supernatural, uncanny or mysterious about them.

To maintain that one can foretell future events, or read past events,
from dreams, is absurd. Nearly every person dreams each night, and
particularly during the moments when losing consciousness and the
moments when awakening, since imperfect sleep then obtains; and, it
would be strange indeed if, during one or more of these occasions, we
did not by chance dream of something which afterwards actually happens.

All bodily derangements that interrupt healthy sleep, such as irritation
of the digestive organs, and even over-exertion, worry, and undue
excitement, will produce dreams, and it is therefore fairly obvious
that, since we know the cause of dreams, their effects and results,
there is nothing marvellous, unnatural, wonderful, extraordinary or
supernatural in dreams.

Until the past few hundred years, the cause of dreams was not
understood. Aristotle believes the cause of dreams to be common sense,
but placed in the fancy. Avicen thought it to be an ultimate
intelligence moving the moon in the midst of that light with which the
fancies of men are illuminated while they sleep. Averroes, an Arabian
physician, ascribed it to the imagination. Democritus referred the cause
of them to little images, or representations, separated from the things
themselves. Plato placed it among the specific and concrete notions of
the soul. Albertus attributed dreams to superior influences, which
continually flow from the sky, through many specific channels.

In order to disdelusionize, it will be necessary to get a clear
understanding of the nature of the mind and of its workings. "When the
mind turns its view inward upon itself," says John Locke, "and
contemplates its own actions, _thinking_ is the first that occurs. In
it, the mind observes a great variety of modifications, and from them
receives distinct _ideas_. Thus the perception, which actually
accompanies, and is annexed to any impression on the body, made by an
external object, being distinct from all other modifications of
thinking, furnishes the mind with a distinct idea which we call
_sensation_; which is, as it were, the actual entrance of an idea into
the understanding by the senses.

"The same idea, when it occurs again without the operation of the like
object on the external sensory, is _remembrance_; if it be sought after
by the mind, and with pain and endeavor found, and brought again in
view, it is _recollection_; if it be held there long under
consideration, it is _contemplation_; when ideas float in our mind
without any recollection or regard of the understanding, it is that
which the French call _reverie_; our language has scarce a word for it.
When the ideas that offer themselves (for, as I have observed, while we
are awake, there will always be a train of ideas succeeding one another
in our minds) are taken notice of, and, as it were, registered in the
memory, it is _attention_; when the mind, with great earnestness, and of
choice, fixes its view on any idea, considers it on all sides, and will
not be called off by the ordinary solicitations of other ideas, it is
what we call intention or study. _Sleep_ without dreaming is rest from
all these; and dreaming itself, is the having of ideas (while the
outward senses are stopped, so that they receive not outward objects
with their usual quickness) in the mind, not suggested by any external
objects, or known occasion, nor under any choice or conduct of the
understanding at all, and whether that which we call _ecstasy_, be not
dreaming with the eyes open, I leave to be examined."

We often converse with a dead or absent friend, in our dreams, without
remembering that the grave or the ocean is between us. We float, like a
feather, or fly like a bird, upon the wind, one moment in New York, and
the next in Melbourne, without reflecting that the laws of nature are
suspended, or inquiring how the scene could have been so suddenly
shifted. We accommodate ourselves to every event, however romantic,
impossible, unreasonable, extravagant and absurd.

We also dream awake, which dreams may be called _reveries_ or
_waking-dreams_, and they are sometimes as chimerical, and impossible to
be realized, as our sleep dreams. Many fabulous stories of apparitions,
magic, and apparent miracles, owe their origin to some form of dream.


     _Superstition has done more harm than war, famine and pestilence._

It has been said that all men are tainted with superstition, in greater
or less degree, and that they are credulous from the cradle to the
grave. We may be particularly strong on Friday, on the thirteenth, on
walking under a ladder, and other foolish superstitions which have
thousands of times been exposed, yet we find ourselves weak on something
else equally absurd. We are credulous because we are naturally sincere,
which indicates that superstitious belief proceeds from honorable
principles. All men have a strong attraction to truth, and the man who
is the most deceitful is usually the most disposed to belief that other
men respect truth. And thus, before rejecting the statements of others,
we usually require to detect something in them which is not in accord
with our previous knowledge, unless, perchance, we have cause to suspect
a design to deceive us. Credulity is, therefore, natural, in part, and
it is also the result of the faulty education that we have received from
our distant ancestors.

Perhaps many of the superstitions owe their origin to religion. If
people had not been taught about devils, hells, miracles and other
mysteries, they would not be so susceptible to other beliefs equally

It is commonly known that gamblers are very superstitious, but fashions
change with them as they do with everything else; for, where
unsuccessful gamblers used formerly to make a knot in their linen, to
change their luck, they now content themselves with changing their
chairs, and performing other silly things which some successful gamester
has lately done. And so with other superstitious persons. As a security
against cowardice, it was once only necessary to wear a pin plucked from
the winding sheet of a corpse; now, all one needs is to rub the back of
a hunchback. To insure a prosperous accouchement to your wife, you once
had to tie her girdle to a bell and ring it three times, while now all
that is necessary is to see the new moon over your right shoulder and
wish. To get rid of warts, you were to fold up in a rag as many peas as
you had warts, and throw them into the highroad, when the unlucky person
who picked them up became your substitute; but now, they may be cured
by finding a pin, head toward you. To cure a tooth-ache you had to
solicit alms in honor of St. Lawrence, but in these enlightened times it
can be done by staring at a horseshoe over the door. And so on, _ad
infinitum_ do we find the superstitions, like the fashions, ever

The birth of science was the death of superstition, said Huxley; but,
alas, it is a slow and painful death. But, science is only half born as
yet, and that is why superstition is only half dead.

P. T. Barnum was known as the prince of humbuggers, yet few men have
ever lived who had a keener insight into human nature. He knew the human
heart, he knew its weaknesses, and he knew how to profit by his

The gullibility of the public is shown in various ways: first, by the
prosperity of the palmists, astrologers and mediums; second, by the
success of all get-rich-quick enterprises; third, by the crowds who
patronize the street fakirs who sell articles which nobody can operate
but themselves; and fourth, by the apparent success of certain officials
who operate through their press agents.

Palmistry, graphology, physiognomy, phrenology, clairvoyancy,
chirognomancy, and the other "sciences," have not yet been accepted by
the powers that be, fortunately, as an infallible detector of crime.
Very few, indeed, of the believers in these isms and ologies would care
to have their fate in court determined by experts in one or more of
these theories. Only a few hundred years ago, persons were tried and
convicted of witchcraft by the same sort of "experts," and the result
was that the accused had a very slight chance of acquittal.

Most of our great men have had their illusions, delusions and
superstitions, but that is no excuse for people of our times. Genius is
always ill-balanced, in accordance with the law of compensation.
Napoleon believed in the exploded theory of astrology, and he once said
of a bright star, "It has never deserted me. I see it on every
occurrence urging me onward; it is an unfailing omen of success." Oliver
Cromwell says he saw the figure of a gigantic woman enter his chamber,
who told him that he would become the greatest man in England. Sir
Joshua Reynolds thought the lamps in his gardens were trees, and the
women bushes, agitated by the breeze. Descartes thought he was followed
by an invisible person, whose voice urged him to continue his
researches. Loyola, lying wounded after the siege of Pampeluna, imagined
he saw the Virgin, who encouraged him to prosecute his mission. Pope
thought he saw an army come through the walls of his home to inquire
after his welfare. Goethe says that he once saw his exact counterpart
coming towards him. Byron was also visited by ghosts, and Dr. Johnson
thought he heard his mother's voice, though she was in a distant city.
Swedenborg imagined that he could converse with departed spirits.
Cellini was deterred from suicide by the apparition of a beautiful
woman, and Nicolai was annoyed by various spirits, one of which had the
appearance of a dead body. And when we remember that some of the world's
greatest minds were deluded by the doctrines of witchcraft, alchemy,
astrology, spiritualism, and kindred superstitions, now known to be
false and silly, including the mighty search for the Philosopher's
Stone, we should hesitate long before accepting any strange theory just
because somebody else believed in it.

ABRACADABRA was one of the names given to the Persian sun-god Mithra.
This word was supposed to have magic powers to cure diseases, provided
it was written in the form of a magic triangle several times, as
follows, and worn on the bosom for nine days:


Why is superstition so deep-rooted? Why do we cling to error so
tenaciously? Why does every new, occult fad soon attract a host of
followers? Let us see. First, there is a charm to everything that is
extraordinary--we love the unusual, the different, the marvelous, the
miraculous; second, we hate to see destroyed that which we love. Hence,
the tendency to exaggeration, which is a consequence of it; and hence
the regretful reluctance to have our dreams of wondrousness dispelled.
Is there anything quite so unpleasant, when we have told a friend of
some marvelous manifestation we had witnessed, as to have that friend
prove to us that the manifestation was but a trick? Not only is our
pride hurt, but our pet joy is spoiled; we had been hugging a sacred
mystery, only to find it a delusion.

That which we call mystery is unfinished knowledge--not complete
ignorance. That which we call the supernatural is but the natural not
yet understood, or only partly understood. We know a little of
everything, but not everything of everything, nor even everything of any
one thing. Science is only a mystery solved.

A prevalent and dangerous form of credulity or enthusiasm is that which
makes us extremists or faddists. A faddist is an extremist, and an
extremist is a faddist. It is one thing to be so stubborn and
old-fashioned that nothing new has any interest to us, and it is another
to be so credulous and catholic that we seize every new theory with a
mad enthusiasm. Every fad and delusion is founded on a truth, but the
extremist sees in them more than a truth; his brain becomes a
kaleidoscope, with numerous reflecting surfaces which reflect multifold
imaginary pictures. From two or three simple truths, sprang an immense
false system of astrology; from the simple truth that our temperaments
and characters are more or less expressed upon our bodies, sprang some
of the silly doctrines of palmistry and physiognomy; from the simple
truth that every person has an individuality which is expressed in his
apparel, his home and his manners, sprang the ridiculous theory of
psychometry; from the simple truth that souls live beyond the grave,
and that our imagination may picture those souls, sprang the untenable
belief in ghosts, spirits and mediums; and from the simple fact that our
pains and troubles are intensified by brooding over them, sprang the
fallacy of Christian Science. Who would say that the Boston tea party
_caused_ the Revolutionary war, or that the firing on Fort Sumpter
_caused_ the "late unpleasantness"? The quarrel between Queen Anne and
the Duchess of Marlborough over a pair of gloves did not cause the
change of ministry and the following peace with Louis XIV, nor did the
blood of Lucretia put an end to the kingly powers at Rome, as some say,
and neither did the sight of Virginia terminate the decemviral power,
nor did the view of Caesar's body and mantle enslave Rome. It seems to
be that love of the marvellous, of the curious, of the strange, and of
the impossible, that makes us ascribe great results to the most
insignificant and isolated causes.

There is a book entitled "Current Superstitions," which can be had in
any library, that should cure any reasonable mind of superstition. It
contains some thousands of superstitions common throughout the United
States, and if a person were to believe in them all, that person could
not live one day without violating a dozen or more that would involve
him into fatal consequences. Fortunately, the superstitious person
usually clings to only two or three, which are not bothersome, and he
does not see the folly of them. Some superstitions seem harmless enough,
such as, for example, the belief that holding an open umbrella over the
head in the house is productive of bad luck, for who wants to do such a
thing? or, that of walking under a ladder, for how many times in a
lifetime does a person have occasion to avoid doing so? But all
superstitions are harmful to the mind, and harmful in their influence
upon others--particularly upon children. A man cannot successfully
contend against an unknown enemy in the dark, and superstition
pre-supposes that there is some unknown, relentless, all-powerful force
at work, against God, Nature, common sense, and against the laws of the

There is an old story, but a well-authenticated one, which serves to
illustrate the dangers of superstition. In Hamburg, in 1784, a singular
accident occasioned the death of a young couple. The lady, going to the
church of the Augustin Friars, knelt down near a Mausoleum, ornamented
with divers figures in marble, among which was that of Death, armed with
a scythe, and a small piece of the scythe being loose, fell on the hood
of the lady's mantlet. On her return home, she mentioned the
circumstances as a matter of indifference to her husband, who, being a
credulous and superstitious man, cried out in a terrible panic, that it
was a presage of the death of his dear wife. The same day he was seized
with a violent fever, took to his bed and died. The disconsolate lady
was so affected at the loss that she was taken ill and soon followed
him. They were both interred in the same grave, and their inheritance,
which was very considerable, fell to some distant relatives.

Under the head of "Thirteen at Dinner," Edwards in "Words, Facts and
Phrases" says: "The common superstition which makes it unlucky to have
thirteen at dinner is no doubt a reference to the Last Supper of our
Lord and his disciples, where thirteen were present and Judas was among
them. He left first, and therefore the first of a party of thirteen to
leave the table is the unlucky one." Perhaps this is correctly stated,
but if so, how many persons now make the _dangerous_ mistake of at once
leaving a table as soon as they discover thirteen present! By leaving at
once they hope to avert the evil, whereas they are rushing into it. What
folly, either to leave the table or to remain at it, because of this

The Thirteen Club of New York serves a useful mission. Composed of
several hundred prominent people, it meets, discusses the folly of
popular superstitions, exposes the fallacies of the supernatural, and
breeds a healthy condition of the mind. They meet on Fridays, usually on
the 13th of the month, they enter the clubrooms by passing under a
ladder, the dues are multiples of thirteen, umbrellas are hung over
every chair, salt is spilled on every table, and so on, in defiance of
the laws of superstition.

Those foolish persons who believe in the silly superstition "Thirteen at
table, one of them sure to die," should remember that if there are
fourteen at table, or more, the chances of one of them dying soon are
much greater than if there were only thirteen, so that it is far safer
to reduce the number to thirteen!

Wonder is the effect of novelty upon ignorance, it is said, but the
ignorant are not the only ones to wonder over novelty, and other things
than novelty cause wonder, such as want of familiarity with common
things met with every day. Knowledge is the cure of both ignorance and
superstition, but of the love to wonder there appears to be no cure.

The reason we are so quick to believe in the supernatural is that we are
prone to discern in it either good luck or bad luck--benefit or
punishment. We are all governed by our passions--principally Hope and
Fear, and nothing is more capable of creating those hopes and fears than
unrestrained credulity concerning the mysterious.

Everybody has doubtless seen those wonderful, supernatural mind-readers
at Coney Island, who profess to be able to tell you your name. I
listened to one of their dialogs recently, in which a young lady and her
companion were amazed at having the magician look in their eyes and read
there their true names, fully convinced of the supernatural powers of
the operators. Guessing at how it was done, my friend and I strolled
off, made a plan, returned, stopped in front of the camp, and began a
conversation in which I addressed my friend as "William"--which was not
his name at all--and he called me "Washington," to all of which the
several fakirs were intently listening, though pretending not to. Just
as they thought they had enough to work upon they approached us, and we
yielded to their entreaties. We were ushered into the mystic chamber,
there was some whispering among them, and then we were dramatically
ordered to think intensely of our names, the chief fakir all the while
glaring tragicly into my friend's eyes. "Ah, I has it," said he,
gesticulating wildly, "William!" he exclaimed, exultantly. "Wonderful!"
was our reply. Devoting his attention to me, he appeared puzzled, but
finally said: "You no think; I no get name, but I tell you something
wonderful--I tell you what on your mind." "Very well," said I, "that
will do." And then he put his greasy forefingers on my temples and
cried, "You think you have some _washing done_!"

If every spiritualist, astrologer, palmist, clairvoyant, mind reader and
fortune teller were compelled by law to hang out a sign, "I am a
professor of tricks, magic, sleight-of-hand, legerdemain, and
tomfoolery; come in and match your wits against mine!" they would still
have many customers; but, if everybody believed in signs, there would be
no harm done. But perhaps the people would rather have it the other way,
as it is, so that they can nurse the delusion that "Perhaps there may be
something in it, after all."

_Stage Tricks and Occultism_

Stage tricks are usually harmless, except when played by fakirs who
claim to be possessed of supernatural powers. There is a large variety
of these, such as spiritualists, slate-writers, clairvoyants,
telepathists and mind-readers, who perform ordinary stage tricks under
the guise of occultism, and they deserve something more than mere
exposure. Every operator has his or her own particular method of
performing certain tricks, and it would be impossible to explain in a
brief article how each is done; but it may be helpful to expose a few of
the more common ones. All of these tricks may be accounted for as
follows: Sleight-of-hand, confederacy, ingenious contrivance, or the
application of some natural law, and most of the best tricks are
performed with the aid of two or more of these. Had Hermann the Great,
or Keller, been dishonest, they could almost have had the world at their
feet, by maintaining that their tricks were done through spirit or
physic force; but they were honest enough to admit that all their feats
were done by means of one or more of the devices just mentioned. There
is no slate-writing trick, or materialization, or mind-reading
exhibition, that they could not have duplicated, or even excelled; in
fact, they did actually duplicate and expose most of them. Had they
claimed that spirits or devils, aided them, a majority of the people
would probably have believed it without question. Perhaps one reason why
more mediums, and such, are not exposed and arrested, is because there
is something grew-some and awe-inspiring in the thought that possibly
the on-looker is in the presence of the inhabitants of another world;
or, perhaps the feeling of sadness, or of the sacredness of the
occasion, shuts off all sentiments of revenge, however doubtful he may
be of the genuineness of the exhibition. The fact that one by one
practically all the great mediums have been exposed, seems to make no
difference, because in our anxiety to learn if there is not some
possible way to get news of the departed loved ones, we reason that
because one, or a dozen, imposters have been exposed, this particular
one may be genuine, and that there may possibly be something in it after

Why is it that so many are willing to attribute occult powers to all
magicians who perform inexplicable tricks? There is scarcely a person
who cannot do one or more card tricks which will puzzle the most astute
observer, but we do not marvel because we know that they are merely
tricks; but let the trickster once announce that he is a mind-reader or
a hypnotist, and three out of every five will accept the statement as
truth and not seek further to disprove it. Thus, we are taught that
credulity is a disease with which most persons are afflicted, and that
it is very easy to fool the best of us. Those who are so weak as to
accept every mystery as a manifestation of supernatural power, should
obtain one of the many books which can be had at any library, and make a
study of the art of legerdemain. Then, when attending a spiritualistic
seance, or a slate-writing exposition, the student will be able readily
to detect the fraud and to duplicate it for the amusement of his own

If every investigator would, before going to a seance, buy one or more
of the books, which are on sale at every bookstore, showing how the
various stage tricks are done, there would not be many spiritualists in
the world. These books sharpen the wits, and while they may not give the
precise methods adopted by the medium to be visited, they will show how
easy it is to deceive the eye and to fool the best of us.

Much has been said of the wonderful tricks of the fakirs in India,
particularly of the Great Mango Trick, and all kinds of supernatural
powers have been ascribed to these clever people. In these exhibitions,
the fakirs take a seed and a pile of sand, and make a Mango tree grow,
in a few minutes, to the height of three or four feet. The secret lies
in the fact that the leaves and twigs of the Mango are such that they
can be folded into a very small compass and rolled up within the hollow
seed, so that when they are unrolled they do not show the slightest
crease. The fakir covers the whole with a cloth, and operates beneath
it, piling the dirt around it, and exhibiting the building tree
occasionally to his astonished audience. Baldwin, "The White Mahatma,"
has exposed this and many others of the Indian tricks, in his book, "The
Secrets of Mahatma Land Explained."

Slate-writing tricks are done in a hundred different ways. Some
operators carry a tiny point of pencil under their thumb nail, some have
chemical compounds which render writing invisible until heated, or
moistened, and some have duplicate slates. The messages they write are
obtained in various ways, often by means of accomplices, and still
oftener by guess-work.

Some mediums have a regular detective force who make it a business to
get acquainted with all susceptible persons, or prospective customers,
and after getting a history of these persons, they convey it to the
medium, who only has to await the coming of the victims to be able to
make startling revelations.

The mind readers also operate largely by means of confederates, and most
of the theatrical performers have clever trappings. One of these was
exposed recently in a Long Island village, when it was discovered that
the operator had several telephone wires running under the floor of the
theatre, from the rear of the stage. In another instance, it was found
that the sheets of cardboard, which were passed around for the audience
to rest their papers upon, were sensitized so that when they were
collected and subjected to chemical treatment they would make visible
the writing that had been done over them. The questions asked were
communicated to the operator by an accomplice in the wings. Another
method, adopted by those who claim to read the numbers in watch cases,
and to tell the numbers on banknotes, is that of a code of signals sent
to the operator by a confederate in the audience. These codes are
sometimes composed of words, and sometimes of gestures and signals.

One noted spiritualist claimed to be able to put the subject under a
spirit influence and give him superhuman strength. For instance, the
subject would support his feet on two little stools, and his hands upon
two others, each pair of stools being about five feet apart, and he
would then arch his body upward, in the form of a bridge. A heavy anvil
was then placed upon his abdomen, and the operator would take a huge
sledge hammer and beat a piece of red hot iron into a horseshoe. This
was only an experiment in inertia, and the heavy blows were hardly felt
by the man below, the effect of them being almost absorbed by the large
mass of iron. It was also noticed that when heavy weights were lifted at
arm's length, they were so arranged as to lie along the forearm, this
position being more graceful and about fifty per cent. easier. Leather
straps were broken around the chest, and this was done by means of a
sharp tongue to the buckle, filed to an edge, which cut the strap with
slight pressure. (The audience eagerly examined the strap in advance,
but never thought of examining the buckle.) Heavy Jack-chains were also
broken by the subject, but these chains all contained one weak link, of
unwelded soft iron, which would stretch out when pulled in a certain
direction. Pennies were broken with ease, but these were, of course,
prepared in advance, by placing them in a vice and working them back and
forth many times until they became soft in the middle.

Innumerable tricks are done by means of cans and other vessels
containing false bottoms, or several compartments, and every stage where
magicians perform contains various trap doors in the floor, mirrors, and
other illusions. A modern scheme is to have two rows of blinding lights,
before a black background, so that the audience cannot see the
machinery. By this contrivance, figures on the stage are made to float
in the air, and to do all kinds of apparently impossible things. One
familiar performance has a man at a piano rise in air and revolve
rapidly, all in full view--apparently--of the audience, and another
makes a lady dance in midair, and take gigantic strides at enormous
speed. These tricks are done by means of machinery, concealed from view
by optical illusions, the lady having an iron belt about her waist which
connects with the hidden machinery in the rear.

Another familiar trick is the appearance and disappearance of a person
into or from a box, basket, coffin, and so on, also in full view of the
audience. It will usually be observed that these are placed near to the
back curtain, where it is easy for a person to enter or exit through a
secret opening, but sometimes it is done through a trapdoor in the
floor. Once I had the pleasure of assisting Hermann the Great at
"Hermann's Theatre" on Broadway, since burned down. I went to his
dressing room before the performance, and he gave me a tiny rabbit which
I concealed in my ulster pocket, and at the same time several other
confederates were given "props," such as silk hats, in which omelets
were afterwards made, and handkerchiefs with red moons in the center,
and red handkerchiefs with white moons, which were afterwards used in
the performance by Hermann who cut a circle out of the middle of a white
handkerchief and one from a red handkerchief, and afterwards produced
out of the audience the handkerchiefs aforesaid, much to the wonderment
of the audience. The rabbit I held was the counterpart of another which
Hermann shot from a pistol on the stage, and which was afterwards found
in my pocket, much to my apparent chagrin.

The art of magic, while by no means a lost art, is not so popular now as
formerly, yet it still has a firm hold on human credulity. As Barnum
used to say, "The people love to be humbugged." Inborn in us is that
love of the marvelous which caused our ancestors to believe in
astrology, sorcery and witchcraft. The stage magician is well aware of
this, and as the old tricks become familiar to their audiences, they
soon discover new methods to satisfy this natural propensity to crave
mystery. Some good folks say that all magic is bad, in that it is deceit
and treachery; but this seems rather a lame argument when it is
remembered that the magician practically tells his audience that he is
going to fool them, and that he is merely matching his dexterity against
their quickness of perception. The real harm and danger comes of the
modern tricks of magic, in which the magician pretends that he is
possessed of some supernatural powers, such as spiritualistic
manifestations, clairvoyance, mind reading, slate-writing, etc. If the
real truth were known, these charlatans probably reason thus: "We are
magicians, the people love to be mystified, we can no longer entertain
them with the old tricks, they are ever ready to believe that which they
cannot understand, the supernatural is always entertaining; and since we
must make a living some how, we will perform our tricks and claim that
they are of supernatural origin." There is some logic in this view, from
their viewpoint, but from the standpoint of us who see the danger in,
and who are trying to destroy, superstition, it is a practice that
should be suppressed.

In the introduction to Barnum's "Humbugs of the World," the great
showman says, "I once travelled through the Southern States in company
with a magician. The first day in each town he astonished his auditors
with his deceptions. He then announced that on the following day he
would show how each trick was performed, and how every man might thus
become a magician. That expose spoiled the legerdemain market on that
particular route, for several years. So, if we could have a full
exposure of the tricks of trade of all sorts, of humbugs and deceivers
of past times--religious, political, financial, scientific, quackish and
so forth--we might perhaps look for a somewhat wiser generation to
follow us."

Thus, we could go on at great length to show how easy it is to deceive
people. It is one of the easiest things in the world to make up tricks
to fool the best of us, and all operators in occult or physic phenomena
know it. "Am I not to believe what I see with my own eyes, and hear with
my own ears?" they all say,--at least ALL who _want_ to be convinced.
The answer is, "No, you are not."


One by one the great superstitions of the world are slowly but surely
disappearing. It was not long ago when we, in this new country of
enlightenment, believed in _witchcraft_, and were burning witches at the
stake; but now it would take a long hunt to find a man, woman or child
who believed in that horrible and disastrous superstition. The same is
almost true of "_Ghosts_," for that word is now used more in jest than
in earnest; but to believe in "_apparitions_" is not altogether of past
centuries, for there are still many who cling to the delusion of
supernatural appearances. The modern way of putting it is "_Spirits_."

Authors, poets and dramatists of all ages, sacred and profane, have made
endless allusions to supernatural appearances, not only because _ghosts_
are convenient and entertaining characters to introduce, not only
because writers naturally tried to reflect the beliefs of the periods of
which they wrote, but because they could make a deeper impression on
the minds of a superstitious world. Shakespeare makes fine use of the
Ghost in Hamlet and in Macbeth, just as Goethe does of Mephistopheles in
Faust. Not only is fiction and the drama full of Ghosts, but there are
hundreds of volumes in the libraries giving serious, and apparently
"well-authenticated" cases of supernatural appearances. Mrs. Crowe's
"Nightside of Nature" is probably the classic of this line of
literature--at least, it appears to be quoted more than any other. The
author of Robinson Crusoe wrote "An Essay on the History and Reality of
Apparitions; being an account of what they are and what they are not,
when they come and when they come not; as also how we may distinguish
between apparitions of Good and Evil Spirits, and how we ought to behave
to them; with a variety of surprising and diverting examples never
published before."

I have frequently been asked by believing friends, "How do you account
for this?"--following with, perchance, an elaborate account of what the
aunt's mother's sister's nephew once saw. My answer has always been, and
still is, to those friends, to Mrs. Crowe, Daniel DeFoe and all others,
"I cannot account for what somebody else saw, says he saw, or thinks he
saw; but let me see it and I will guarantee to give you a reasonable
explanation." John Ruskin says somewhere that the greatest thing in this
world is to see something and to be able to tell simply and accurately
just what you saw, _and nothing else_. There is the secret! I remember
the first time I saw Hermann the Great, and how I went home and told
everybody about the wonderful trick he had performed. Of course, nobody
could tell me how it was done, for, from the way I described it, it was
an impossibility. Sometime later I had occasion to meet Mr. Hermann in
his dressing room, and I then learned how the trick was done. How
simple! I had been duped and deceived. My eyes had not seen aright. How
different was the story I had told, from the story Hermann told!

I have often thought, if Hermann had been in the _Ghost_ business, what
harm could he not have done!

We all know what becomes of the bodies and clothing of the dead. Of this
there can be no doubt. What becomes of the soul, the spirit, nobody
knows. Assuming that this does not die, which seems probable, we know
that it cannot again live within the same body and apparel, for that is
destroyed. To assume that the spirit procures a new and similar body and
clothing, is to assume the existence of material, physical matter in
the spiritual world. Does it not require quite a stretch of a
sacrilegious imagination to picture a clothing factory in the spiritual
world? And yet, we are told that ghosts appear "in the very clothes they
used to wear." Mrs. Bargrave "took hold of Mrs. Veal's gown several
times" and recognized the velvet. (Drelincourt on Death, 1700). We are
also told of "rustling of silk," "creaking of shoes" and "sounds of
footsteps" (Footfalls on the Boundary of Another World, Owen).

Even the voice is recognized, although the various organs that produced
the original voice on earth have long since perished. We all seem to
have a notion that ghosts should be light, thin and airy, but, it seems,
there must be fat _ghosts_, too. I remember at least one fat ghost, for
I yanked it into my lap in the middle of a highly interesting seance at
Mrs. Calder's, a famous _Ghost_ producer who once thrived in New York.
The ghost was alleged to be a famous Plymouth church preacher whose name
is too revered to be mentioned in this connection.

Some Ghosts have even appeared in iron armour, and some with walking
sticks, swords or shovels. People have heard, seen and felt all
these--the word _felt_ might be used in a double sense here, because one
vicious _ghost_ is said to have delighted in thumping his hosts with a
cane--so it can be assumed that such material things as clothing, armour
and canes are to be had in the other world. And yet, _ghosts_ are
transparent! You can see right through them. They disappear through a
stone wall, through a carpeted, oaken floor, and through a locked and
bolted door. You can shoot at them, run them through with a sword, and
you touch nothing.

Again, the same _Ghost_ frequently appears in many places at one and the
same time. DeFoe tells of the burglars who found the same _ghost_ in a
chair in every room in the house at the same moment. Still again, we
have "well-authenticated" cases of beggar Ghosts in rags, of one-armed
Ghosts, beheaded Ghosts, blind Ghosts, hungry Ghosts, thirsty Ghosts,
worried, tormented and unhappy Ghosts, and wicked, revengeful Ghosts.
Is, then, the spirit world (heaven), no improvement on our own world?
Mr. Kardec once asserted that we are surrounded by "myriads of
spirits--good, bad and indifferent," which quite alarmed the author of
"Mary Jane," who feared accidents might happen among such a crowd of
_spirits_. Mr. Baker, it was, who set the author at ease, by explaining
that "the _spirits_ can walk through one another and not feel it."

It is a wonder that, in a world so full of humbuggers,
get-rich-quicksters, fakirs and delusionists, greater effort has been
made to profit by the greatest of all passions. For every human weakness
we have a gold seeker, be it a Barnum, Munyon, a Lydia Pinkham, a 520%
Miller, a Dowie, a Dis de Bar, or a Sister Fox. Some want to be tall,
some short, some fat, some thin, some rich, some healthy, some
beautiful, etc., etc., and there is always an army of fakirs, honest,
semi-honest and otherwise, ready to make them so for a monetary
consideration payable in advance. But, the greatest distress, the
greatest passion, the greatest longing and yearning, is for the dead.
What a tremendous army is the army of the mourners! What a gold mine to
the man who can bring the mourner and the departed together! _Ghost_
makers do not necessarily mean to defraud, nor do they always perform
for money. There are good and bad, as in all else, and they sometimes
fool themselves in their efforts to fool others. The _Imagination_ is a
wonderful organism. It is the greatest machine on earth, because it can
do the greatest things. But, beware of it--it is not to be trusted; it
will expand your credulity, undermine your reason, and give you a taste
of the delirium tremens--which makes you see things!

_Strikes, Profiteering and the High Cost of Living_

_Being an Argument in Favor of Industrialized Government_



(_Simplified for the Uninitiated._)

The one great desire uppermost in the minds of men is to get the
greatest good from the earth, the source of all wealth, with the least
possible labor and effort. In the so-doing, both experience and reason
teach that economy is the watchword. It is the life blood of
civilization--the essence of industrial prosperity. The basis of all
philosophy is "I want," and in the pursuit of happiness and contentment,
economy must be the watchword.


The destruction of the smallest useful atom is an injury to every living
person; and the more useful the atom, the greater the injury. A great
fire, a flood, a devastating cyclone, is not only a calamity to those
immediately affected, but it is a universal loss; for, the great human
family is just so much poorer, the world's progress has been retarded,
and our onward march toward the perfect civilization has been checked.
Likewise, every stroke of labor that does not go toward making the world
better or richer is wasted energy. The man who insists on making shoes,
or raising wheat, or digging coal, when he is mentally, physically and
by nature ill-adapted to that calling, is a drone and a burden upon
society. He is wasting energy and impeding the general progress, because
he is doing something which others could do better or quicker, and he is
therefore the cause of misplacing two persons in unproductive and
unnatural callings.


The labor saving machine is the personification of economy. It, and all
great inventions, are welcomed by civilization as great economizers of
the world's work. It is wasted energy for man to do by hand that which
a machine can do as well and in less time. The machine economizes
production and therefore lightens and lessens the toil of the human
family. Ten men in a shop or industry, each assigned to that branch of
the business to which he is best adapted, form a combination for economy
identical with a machine. If a linotype machine, operated by one man,
can do the work of say five type-setters, the world is richer to the
extent of about what four men could create in other
vocations,--allowances being made for the labor required to make the
machine itself.


A person can no longer make his own hat, coat, shoes and house, and
raise his own vegetables, as Crusoe did. Ten thousand men are
co-operating to give him his shoes alone. There are the men who kill the
animal which provides the hide, the men who carry it to the jobber, the
men who strip it, the men who cure and tan it, the men who pack it, load
it on the trucks, put it on the cars, unload it, carry it to the leather
merchant, and the innumerable clerks, bookkeepers, advertisers and
stenographers who help sell it to the shoe manufacturer, the additional
transportation, the endless variety of hands it passes through in the
factory, and the countless hands that handle the finished shoe before it
reaches the consumer; and then,--the telegraph's part in the manufacture
or sale or transportation of that shoe, and the mails and the
advertising, each employing thousands. Even the linen thread used in the
shoe has a similar history; likewise the pegs, the needles, the
machines, the cloth lining and the metal eyelets. And the shoe is a
small part of a man's necessaries. What does all this show? The
inter-dependence of men, one upon the other.


We have come to that stage of human progress when we could not return to
the Crusoe method if we desired. We must depend upon our brothers in
distant parts. A vast industrial machine has been created, of which each
member of the human family forms a part. A must look to B for his shoes,
B must look to C for his meat, C must look to D for his coal, and all
must look to one another for every needed thing. Even the savages in
distant lands are at work procuring ivory and other commodities for us
while we are creating suitable articles for them, and thus the human
family are co-operating together for the common good.

If this system of co-operation or trade is not interfered with by
unnatural and artificial devices, every man will sooner or later find
his level and bend his energies in that calling to which he is best
fitted by nature, education, training, and environment. A natural law is
at work. To interfere with it is to divert commerce from its natural
channels and cause friction in the great industrial machine. The machine
needs no oiling or mending; it simply requires direction. It develops,
expands and lubricates as it runs. It is not revolution that wears out a
machine; it is friction.


Two or more persons can enjoy the heat of one stove, or the light of one
lamp, or the shelter of one roof, as well as one person, and without
depriving anyone of an equal quantity thereof. A printer can produce
1,000 circulars with but little more cost than 50. A truck or car can
carry tons with but little more expense than pounds. Two fish can be
fried in one pan as well as one. A professor can teach a class of 500 as
well as of five. Hence the advantages of combination and co-operation,
and hence the uneconomy of individual isolation. How much wiser for
Crusoe to take Friday in his household and divide their labors, each
doing that which best suits him, using,--so to speak--only one stove,
one lamp and one frying-pan.

Suppose at Christmas a man has 100 presents to distribute in various
localities. A messenger for each of the 100 presents would mean an
expense of say $50 and much wasted energy. A single messenger could so
systemize the work, by mapping out the shortest routes, that he could
accomplish the work in far less time, comparatively, than the 100
messengers, and his bill would be only about $5. Now, suppose the man
should ascertain that each of his 199 neighbors in the block also had
100 presents to deliver. That would make 20,000 presents in all. If each
man should employ a separate messenger it would cost about $1,000. One
messenger would go to First street and leave a package (little knowing
that another messenger was to deliver a package at perhaps the very next
door), thence to--say Nineteenth street, thence to a distant section of
the city, thence to still another district, and so on. Each of the 200
messengers would have the same long journey to make, wearing out his
shoe leather, making the cars do useless work, and wearing and wasting
his own energy. But suppose the 200 neighbors should combine and
co-operate. They would soon find that about five messengers could
deliver their 20,000 presents in about the same time that 200 could;
and, at $5 each, or $25 in all, with a saving of $975 to themselves.
Mapping out the city in five districts and assigning one messenger to
each, they would probably find that many presents were to be delivered
in adjoining houses, and some to different residents of the same house.
Witness the many steps that have been saved, and the time, and the labor
of 95 men who have thus been freed to work in some productive vocation.

Method and system are parents of economy. They allay waste, eliminate
useless labor, and lighten and lessen the toil of the human family.


Some morning at break of dawn witness the confusion in the simple
industry of delivering milk. A wagon rattles up to your door and leaves
a bottle of milk. It clatters down the street and leaves a bottle to a
neighbor in the next block. Then it turns down the avenue and leaves a
bottle several blocks away, and thence perhaps to a distant section.
But watch, and you behold another wagon coming. It stops at the next
house to yours and deposits a bottle on the window-sill, then dashes
down the block and leaves a bottle at some distant house, then to a
house perhaps several blocks away, and so on until it has covered, in
spots, a large territory. Soon, a third wagon appears and leaves a
bottle at the second house from yours, and then dashes away to distant
parts to cover its route.

And so on until nearly 200 different wagons, or grocer clerks, have
visited the 200 houses in your block to deliver 200 separate bottle of
milk. In every block the same scene is being enacted. Remember that
every employer has horses, wagons, harness, drivers, a store, books, a
cashier, advertising, fuel, light, and a plant to maintain.

[1]Now compare the unsystemized milk delivery with the scientific,
methodical system of delivering the mail. The letter-carrier leaves a
letter or paper at your door, hurries on to the next house, then to the
next and the next; then, he does likewise on the other side of the
street until nearly every house in the block is visited; then he
proceeds to the next block and continues his systematic, economical
labors; and so on until he approaches the line where another carrier
has been doing likewise in the adjoining district.

Suppose mail should be delivered in the unorganized, unmethodic manner
that milk is delivered; it would require many times as many carriers to
do it, and this additional work would be just as useless and wasteful to
the world as if they were employed to dig holes in the earth only to
fill them up again. If the milk business were to be organized similar to
the letter-carrying business what an enormous amount of wasted energy
and labor would be saved. What an immense amount of useful and
wealth-creating work could those now useless extra milkmen perform in
other callings.


The question is asked: Will all of the milk dealers one day combine and
form a Trust? And should they? My answer is, Yes. Competition will
perhaps drive them to it; but if it does not, some day they will see the
advantages and benefits of such a combination and they will wisely
follow the example of the oil and steel magnates. If they never see it,
then some of the larger and wiser milk dealers will, and they will
perhaps enlist sufficient capital to control the market by buying up the
milk supply at the farms, thus driving the smaller dealers out of the
business or into the Trust.

What is true in the milk business is also true of nearly every other
similar business, and that is the condition which this country has to
face in the near future.


A is engaged in the manufacture of shoes. B is a rival. They sell a
certain shoe for $3. Each has a separate plant to maintain; a
bookkeeper; a delivery wagon; and fuel, light, rent and advertising
bills to pay. After a while A and B form a partnership under one roof,
with only one delivery wagon, one bookkeeper, etc. With this great
saving in expenses they find that they can produce as many shoes with
the one enlarged plant as the two old plants produced and at much less
cost. They can now pay a little higher wages, make a little more profit
and still reduce the price of their shoes to, say, $2.90. C now comes to
town and opens a rival establishment. He has difficulty in producing as
good a shoe for $2.90 as does the firm of A & B, but he competes for a
while until D comes to town and starts another shoe factory. Then C and
D join their plants into one and the two firms go on competing, each
spending large sums in advertising, etc. Finally they all get together
and combine the several plants into one. They build an extension on A
and B's building and move C and D's machinery therein. The new firm of
A, B, C & D now have a large plant. Where formerly the individual
manufacturers employed say six bookkeepers, they can now get along with
but two. Where they once had ten delivery wagons they now require but
two or three, because of the systemized routes mapped out. Instead of
each manufacturer spending $10,000 a year for advertising, or $40,000 in
all, the new firm now spends only say $15,000. The saving and economy is
so great in nearly everything, that they can now pay still higher wages,
make still greater profit and sell their shoes for perhaps $2.75--if
they want to. Thus everybody is benefited by the enlarged partnership
except those who have been thrown out of employment, and they shall
presently be taken care of as we proceed.

Now, if four men by combining and forming a partnership can reduce the
price of shoes from $3.00 to $2.75 and pay higher wages and make more
profit than if they were operating separate plants, how great must be
the advantages of 100 or 1,000 men and plants combining into a
partnership. This would be a Trust. If two men can use the light of one
lamp or the heat of one radiator without one depriving the other of any
light and heat, so can 100 men do likewise, provided there is enough
light and heat to go around, and on this simple principle is the great
Trust founded. It economizes; it eliminates useless energy; it allays
waste; it saves. Our letters are delivered by the Trust system; our milk
is delivered by the old system of individual enterprise and is
inconsistent with modern civilization.


If the industries were not organized, if Trusts and Combinations were
unknown, if there were no corporations and no partnerships and
everything was carried on by individual units, what would be our
industrial condition? What an enormous amount of waste would there be
and what a colossal volume of extra work would the human family have to
perform to produce what we now have!

Organization is the key-note of the century. "Individual Enterprise" is
a relic of past ages. A partnership of two or more is organization on a
small scale. A corporation is practically a combination of two or more
partnerships, or an enlarged legalized partnership. A Trust then is
simply an organization of several smaller organizations. The greater and
more perfect the organization, the greater the economy. The greater the
economy the lower will be the cost of production, and the smaller will
be the amount of work to be performed and, likewise, the cheaper will be
the article--if! (See later).


Most advertising is wasted energy. One of its purposes is to take trade
from another and bring it to itself,--a snare set by A to attract B's
customers. It creates nothing, and is only useful as a means of
communication or notification, and it imposes an unnecessarily heavy
burden upon the human family. While it does give employment, it is not
much more useful employment than the hiring of men to shovel dirt into
the river and then hiring them to shovel it out again. If employment is
all we seek, why not tear down the public buildings and then hire men to
build them up again? (The question of employment for labor will be dealt
with elsewhere.)

This illustration is not intended to discourage advertising, for
advertising has its uses, and under present conditions is almost
synonymous with success. But suppose, for example, there were 100
telephone companies in New York instead of one. The competition would be
bitter. Prices would come down to the lowest competitive margin. But,
as prices and profits came down, so would wages. The rivalry would
encourage dishonesty, hatred and envy, and result in various
impositions, such as compelling every subscriber to have several

Each company would have the expense of maintaining a separate plant,
with its small army of employees, and wires strung over the city like a
mosquito netting, and each would be spending large sums in advertising
which would finally be paid by the consumers.

Now, contrast this unorganized confusion with the present single system
with its one small advertising bill to pay, one system of wires, one set
of canvassers and other employees, one engine room, one president, etc.
Has not the burden of the world's work been lightened and lessened by
this combination and organization?


Given a population of 80,000,000 of which say 20,000,000 are working
people, and given a certain amount of work required to provide the
80,000,000 people with food, clothes, shelter and the numerous minor
conveniences,--how many hours a day must these 20,000,000 working-people
labor to produce what we now produce, under the old unorganized system
of individual enterprise? If there were 100 telephone companies in New
York instead of one, here at once we require about ten times as many men
in this single industry as are now required, and these hundreds of
thousands of men required to operate the 100 telephone companies must be
taken away from other industries. And so on, throughout all the trades,
professions, factories and industries.

If the average day's work is now ten hours, and all those who want to
work are now employed, and only one-half of the industries are now
organized into Trusts, what would be the result if all the other
industries were organized into Trusts? First, there would not be so much
work to do, owing to the great saving and economy of combination as
before explained; and second, several hundred thousand workers who are
now employed would be thrown out of employment. Here we arrive at an
apparent obstacle. One of two things must be done; either the great
unemployed must leave the country, or be supported in idleness, or die
of starvation, or, _the hours of work must be reduced_! If 20,000,000
can do the required work, working ten hours a day, with half the
industries unorganized, and if organization (Trusts) would throw say
5,000,000 out of employment, then we must _reduce the hours of daily
work_ so as to give the 5,000,000 employment!

If the hours were reduced to say six, the remaining 15,000,000 could not
do all the work in that time, and the 5,000,000 unemployed must be
called in to help. A demand for the labor of the 5,000,000 would at once
be created. Everybody would then be employed. Every industry would be
organized. Useless work and wasted energy would be eliminated. Everybody
would have shorter hours of work. The uneducated would have more time to
study and develop. The arts would then be generously patronized. Paupers
would disappear. Wealth would multiply. Ignorance and drunkenness would
have received their death-blow, because their father--Poverty--would
have been destroyed. But hold,--other difficulties present themselves:
Who would compel the organized industries (Trusts) to reduce the hours
of work? What would prevent them charging exorbitant prices? Who or what
would prevent the captains of industry filling their own pockets and
keeping the great profits to themselves? Who or what would prevent the
rich from growing richer, and the poor poorer?


The informed reader might well have passed over the preceding pages, for
they are purely rudimentary; but if he has been kind and patient enough
to follow me thus far, so much the better, for he has refreshed his
memory and will be more ready to grasp that which is to follow.

Before proceeding let me recite in synopsis these important truths which
I have already illustrated:

     1. ECONOMY.--We desire to get the greatest good from mother earth
     with the least possible labor.

     2. WASTE.--The destruction of           }
     every useful atom.                      }
     Every useless stroke of work.           } Is a loss to all the world
     For 100 men to do what                  }
     10 men could do.                        }

     3. EMPLOYMENT.--We should not aim simply to give men employment. We
     must aim to make them useful--not merely laborious. To dig holes
     and then fill them up is employment, but it is not useful. So is
     all that work useless and wasteful which fewer men could do better
     or quicker under the Trust or Combination system.



Having familiarized ourselves with the elementary truths concerning the
Trust principle, we have now arrived at that point where we may begin to
shape an intelligent argument, but before so doing, let us summarize.
Perhaps we may now be able briefly to set forth the more important
features of the Trust or Combination.


     1. It eliminates useless labor and energy.

     2. It allays waste.

     3. It economizes and reduces to the minimum the cost of production.

     4. It reduces the world's work.

     5. It tends to lessen the hours of labor.

     6. It makes it possible to raise wages.

     7. It makes it possible to lower the prices of commodities, and
     thus reduce the cost of living.

     8. It operates in harmony with the law of natural selection.

     9. It destroys wasteful competition, and economizes by eliminating
     the useless and the unfit.

     10. It includes all of the advantages of co-operation without
     altogether destroying the advantages arising out of the natural
     instincts of rivalry, contest and emulation.


     1. It throws large numbers out of employment.

     2. It destroys many small dealers, jobbers and middlemen.

     3. It tends to create monopoly in private hands.

     4. It creates power in private hands arbitrarily to fix exorbitant
     prices, to lower wages and to control the market.

     5. It tends to create great wealth for the few at the expense of
     the many, widens the chasm between the rich and the poor, and
     causes concentration of wealth.


We have, then, in the Trust, an immense commercial giant which is both
good and bad at the same time. If one had a fine thoroughbred horse
which balked, or shied, or kicked, should we destroy it because of these
evil qualities, forgetting that it also has an equal percentage of good
qualities? Or, should we try to cure it of its faults by training it to
do our bidding? We do not condemn and destroy a great machine because it
has a defective part, but we rather seek to remedy the defect.

The Trust is doing a wonderful work for the world. Like improved
machinery, it is lightening and lessening the toil of the human family,
and at the same time it is working a great injury. Labor-saving
machinery is also working injury, in that it is making large numbers of
men idle, but this is not sufficient reason to destroy it. Machinery and
Trusts are brothers. To be consistent, if we destroy the one we must
destroy the other. Before contemplating destruction of the Trust, let us
see if we cannot find some way to train and to harness it, like the
horse, so that it will be useful and beneficial. Let us try to devise a
method whereby the good qualities of the Trust can be preserved and the
evil qualities eliminated.



The doctrine of socialism, which may be defined as government ownership
and operation of the means of production, is attractive. Some of our
ablest men are numbered among its exponents, and the political parties
which advocate socialism, in whole or in part, are growing rapidly.

The theory of socialism is so beautiful and may be so cleverly stated
that very few indeed have the acumen to withstand its assaults upon the
reason, particularly when only one side of the question is heard. The
great mass of our people have refused to accept it, not because they
believe it unsound, but because they either do not understand it or are
prejudiced and believe it to be some destructive, lawless scheme of the

The recent coal and railroad strikes, had they long continued and
assumed really alarming proportions, would have furnished an almost
unanswerable argument in favor of the government ownership idea; and a
repetition in these or in some other important industry would perhaps
so drive home the conviction that socialism was the only remedy, that
for all we could do the elections would be carried by the party
advocating those measures, and our present form of government

The superficial thinker, upon reading the foregoing pages, will probably
arrive at one or two conclusions as to the Trust; either it must be
destroyed or it must be taken over by the government. The more
thoughtful will conclude that it would not be wise or expedient, even if
possible, to destroy the Trust, and his next thought will be in the
direction of public ownership. He will say that if the government can
operate the Post Office system so successfully it ought to be able to
operate the coal mines, the oil fields, the factories and the railroads,
just as the cities operate their water works, police department, and in
many cases their railroads and gas plants. If he be not too thorough in
his reasoning he will conclude that if the government operated the
Trusts, all their evil qualities would be eliminated and their good
qualities saved. It is a convenient conclusion, yet it is unsound as I
shall presently proceed briefly to show.


Some writer has said, "Competition gluts our markets, enables the rich
to take advantage of the necessities of the poor, makes each man snatch
the bread out of his neighbor's mouth, converts a nation of brethren
into a mass of hostile, isolated units, and finally involves capital and
labor in one common ruin."

Successful competition denies competition, because the successful
competitor must destroy his rival, before he can be successful.
Competition is the antithesis of co-operation. The one means isolated
units, the other an organized combination of units. The Trust method of
co-operation, however, while it destroys competition among industries,
_does not destroy competition among men_. Here lies an important
distinction which will develop as we proceed.


Contest and rivalry are inherent instincts in all living things,--in
vegetable and animal life alike, and this struggle for existence
determines which shall survive. The law of survival of the fittest
determines which plant, which animal and which man shall succeed. All
these are struggling among themselves for supremacy and nature is the
supreme arbitrator of the contest. The law of natural selection cannot
be overcome. It is as fixed and immutable as the law of gravitation.
Men are not born equal. Nature never duplicates, and never creates two
things alike. Men are unequal and different in nature, in stature,
intellect, frugality, desire, industry, perseverance, hardiness and
strength. A wise Creator hath made it so.

Were all men alike they would all want the same thing--to do the same
thing, to create the same thing, and to consume the same thing--which
would result in chaotic confusion. Again, the inequality of conditions
has been one of Nature's greatest and most useful expedients in
developing and perfecting the race. To assume an equality among men is
to assume that which is impossible and that which would be unwise. It
has ever been the struggle for existence which has urged men to move
onward with vigorous, earnest and persistent effort. The desire to
surpass, to outshine, his fellows has always been and will ever be a
potent factor in his development, and when this rivalry is exerted in
the struggle for the means of sustenance then does this desire develop
into the power that moves the world. Emulation, that milder form of
competition, is that which may be said to have for its object of
attainment the applause and approval of our fellows. It has no influence
in the struggle for bread. The primary desire to sustain life and
perpetuate the species is the inherent instinct that gives power to the
secondary desire to excel or emulate a rival, and hence bread is the one
great objective point. Take away the necessity to struggle for food,
clothing and shelter, and you destroy that dynamic power that moves the


If contest and rivalry are inherent instincts, and if the struggle for
existence brings out men's best efforts, then, any system which destroys
the opportunity for the free exercise of these instincts in such a
struggle is at cross purposes with the basic principles of human nature,
and is therefore unsound and unscientific.

Socialism presupposes the government's taking over and operating of
every farm, factory, railroad, mine, telegraph, trade and industry. The
Goulds, the Rockefellers, the Morgans and the Schwabs must then seek
government positions with a fixed wage not to exceed the wages of their
inferior officers and workmen. If they were then to exercise their
marvellous organizing powers, it would no longer be the fear of poverty
which now inspires them. They would know that they could no longer
aspire to excel their fellows in wealth and social position, and there
would no longer be a struggle for existence.

Existence would be for everybody alike who is willing to labor a few
hours a day. Food, clothes and shelter would be in abundance for the
rich and poor, regardless of one's abilities or attainments. The one
great incentive that has always moved men to labor with energy,
enthusiasm and persistence will have vanished. The world would soon go
to sleep.


1. It would create an enormous and dangerous power for the party in
control, and would probably perpetuate its control over every industry
in the land.

2. It would destroy the instincts of rivalry, contest and competition
for the necessaries of life, and that desire to excel and surpass our
fellows, which instincts now move the world.

3. It removes the incentives to progress by eliminating the
opportunities to acquire individual affluence and social superiority.

4. It would result in stagnation of business.

5. It would cause deterioration in human character because of the
removal of the incentive which makes men strive to better themselves
mentally, morally and intellectually.

6. It is unscientific in that it does not comprehend the great
inequality of men and the necessity for the inequality of conditions.

7. It does not rest upon the fundamental law of natural selection,
because it diverts men from their natural callings, since it is the
struggle for existence only that determines which is fit to survive, and
which is best fitted for certain work.

8. It is impossible of attainment except by confiscation without just
compensation to the owners of the enterprises confiscated, and to this,
modern civilization would never consent.

9. It would create an industrial machine so colossal, so complicated and
so complex that it would be entirely unmanageable.

10. It would result in chaos and confusion because of the assumed
equality of very great inequalities.


There is much in socialism that is good and true. In fact, it may be
that it is nine-tenths true; but the other one-tenth is fatal--it
outweighs the other nine-tenths.

I have heretofore in my public life, and could now, set forth many
convincing arguments in favor of the government ownership idea. If I did
so now it would necessitate answering them by repeating and enlarging
upon that which I have just set forth, which is not the purpose of this
essay. In my opinion there has been no argument for socialism yet
produced that can overcome the force of the foregoing truths.

As times and conditions change, so do opinions, and thus has it been
with the writer. Change is the only thing that is constant--strange
paradox--and mutability is the one immutable law of the universe.



Most people agree that the Trust is the result of an evolutionary
development. If this be true, it is quite certain that the movement will
continue and that the Trusts will multiply in number and in size, and
thus even greater injury will be wrought than is now complained of, and
the problem will become the more complex and the more pressing for
solution. If the Trust is the result of a natural movement it is idle to
talk of such manifestly inadequate suggestions as tariff revision,
government ownership, the single tax, and publicity as Trust destroyers;
for, if it is natural, the Trusts will grow and thrive in spite of
these. But, should we listen for a moment to those who seek to
exterminate the Trust?


1. It performs the same function in civilization as improved
machinery--lightening and lessening the toil of the human family.

2. It organized the industries, eliminates useless labor, allays waste
and economizes in the use of nature's materials.

3. It makes less labor necessary, and therefore tends to reduce the
hours of work.

4. It makes enormously greater profits, comparatively, than individual
enterprises, and therefore makes higher wages possible.

5. It reduces the cost of production to the minimum and therefore makes
possible the lowest prices.

6. It is impossible to destroy the Trust without legislating against the
co-operative and partnership principle, and this would be futile as well
as demoralizing.


If then we are not to destroy the Trust, and if we are not to adopt the
government ownership idea, and if the Trust cannot safely be let alone
because of the injuries it is now working, and because of the still
greater injuries which it threatens to inflict upon society in the
future, what shall be done with it? What can be done with this
unmanageable monster to destroy its faults and yet not spoil its
virtues? How can we conquer the giant without slaying him?


One more phase of the question requires consideration before proceeding
with conclusions. In Gloversville, N. Y., and near vicinity, about
three-quarters of the inhabitants are engaged in the glove industry, and
in Troy, N. Y., the same conditions obtain as to collars and cuffs. All
over the country, we find the inhabitants of certain localities devoted
almost exclusively to one industry, such as pork-packing, manufacturing,
fishing, and mining, and even in our cities we find certain sections
devoted exclusively to banking, shipping, shopping, dry-goods,
manufacture, and commission brokerage. The people of a certain town,
having for generations devoted themselves exclusively to the manufacture
of say, bricks, have become proficient and expert in that industry. They
have invented or obtained control of the best machinery, they have
trained their children from infancy to become proficient in the
industry, and they have ever been alert to seize upon the best and
newest ideas that always come to those who devote their lives and
fortunes to the perfection of any one thing. Besides, natural advantages
such as water power, accessibility to navigable streams, climatic or
geological conditions, and geographical situation often attract and
confine the people of a locality to one industry. Racial limitations and
advantages also determine to some extent what calling a man shall
follow. The thick-skulled negro would not be a success in the icy
regions of Alaska, and the oily Esquimo would be a failure in the cotton
fields of the South. Again, nature has adapted certain regions to the
growing of cotton, or tobacco, or fruits, and in others it has deposited
vast quantities of coal, or iron, or oil.

These, in brief, are some of the facts which render irresistible the
conclusion that localization of industries and specialization of men is
the natural and inevitable condition of the future.

Now, if every locality shall in the future have its specialty and other
localities will not compete with it, as we have shown they often cannot,
then locality monopolizes that specialty.

Thus the people of Gloversville will probably obtain a monopoly of the
glove industry, likewise the people of Troy of the collar and cuff
industry, the people of Wilkes-Barre of the coal industry, and the
people of Omaha, Kansas City or Chicago, of the meat-packing industry,
and the people of Haverstraw of the brick industry--not only because of
their training and experience, but because of natural adaptation, or of
geological or geographical advantages.

Here, then, are natural monopolies at many points, and we may as well
legislate to stop the tides from rising and falling as to resist this
natural economic movement. While not necessarily a Trust, it partakes of
the nature of the Trust in effect, and it may properly be classed with
the Trust for all present purposes.

Thus, monopoly results from two known causes: the operation of the laws
of co-operation, and the operation of the laws of localization and


Since one can no longer make his own shoes alone and must summon the aid
of thousands of his fellows in this simple industry, so must he have the
assistance of many more thousands of his fellows to supply him with the
numerous other articles needed for his comfort. In exchange for their
aid he gives his own labor in his chosen calling, and thus does he and
every other man become a necessary unit in the vast universal
organization. All men and all industries are interdependent. Without
the steel industry, the shoe industry fails for want of nails, eyelets
and machines. Without the paper industry the steel industry fails for
want of paper, car-wheels, books, stationery, the mails and the
telegraph. Without the silk and cotton industries the glove industry
cannot thrive, and so on throughout the entire list.


Thomas Jefferson, the father of the present Democratic party, was an
individualist. He was opposed to the expenditure of public money in
repairing highways, to building state canals and to establishing even a
national university. He was strongly opposed to the government ownership
principle, and maintained that that government is best which governs
least. The keynote of his philosophy was "free individual enterprise."

Alexander Hamilton represented the opposite school of political
philosophy. He was for concentration, and centralization of power. At
the root of the Hamiltonian theory is the belief that the people are not
competent to govern themselves,--hence the idea of ruling from above. At
the root of the Jeffersonian theory is the home rule principle and
absolute confidence in the wisdom of the people. The Republican party
today is somewhat consistent with the Hamiltonian philosophy, while the
Democratic party is consistent with no one theory, and is composed of an
heterogeneous collection of philosophers (?) from divers schools; but,
assuming that the Democratic party is mainly Jeffersonian, it should be
the last party seriously to suggest the government ownership idea. Yet,
if we are to follow Jefferson's "Free individual enterprise" philosophy,
we cannot consistently destroy the Trust, for that would be interfering
with free individual enterprise. The word "free" was used by Jefferson
in the sense of freedom from governmental interference. However, there
are those who claim that the Trust destroys free individual enterprise
because of special governmental favors, such as tariffs, patent and
copyright laws and legislative discrimination, which contention is more
or less well founded, and these persons therefore wish the government to
refuse these favors, claiming that then the Trust cannot exist, and that
then there will be free individual enterprise. But this appears to be an
erroneous conclusion, in view of the enormous advantages and economies
of co-operation, and by no manner of logical reasoning is it possible
to construct a permanent remedy from such proposed action.

Briefly, there is nothing to be found in the traditions and philosophy
of either the Democratic or the Republican party, nor the various
socialist parties, to meet the situation.

Whether we approve of the collectivist school of philosophy, of which
Karl Marx was the illustrious head, or of the individualistic school, of
which Proudhon was perhaps the ablest exponent, whether we are followers
of Hamilton or Jefferson, we find we must seek out a new ground or a
middle ground somewhere, for the old theories will not meet the
situation and solve the problem.

There is some truth and virtue in everything that is false and evil,
just as there is some evil in everything that is good. We must discover
and appropriate the virtues of Jefferson and Proudhon, Hamilton and
Marx, and carefully discard their faults.



A family was once shipwrecked upon a large island. There were five
members of the family all able to work, and by a proper division of
their labor they managed to provide themselves with food, clothes, and
shelter. After a time another family was shipwrecked upon the same
island. The second family followed the example of the first, and each
prospered independently of the other. During the next year a third and
fourth family were also stranded upon the same island, for it was
unmarked on the charts and many a ship had met its fate upon its rocky
shores. As each family developed and multiplied, each having selected a
different part of the island, four little villages, some distance apart,
sprang up. During the daily hunts several other similar villages were
discovered in the interior, each representing a shipwrecked family of
previous years. As time wore on, and each village grew, and other
shiploads of people from all nations were deposited upon the island, it
came to pass that the island became quite densely inhabited, and the
villages almost touched one another at their outskirts.

One day a philosopher mysteriously made his appearance; and after
touring the island, he asked all of the inhabitants to meet him in an
open field. When the appointed day came, the entire adult population was
there, and the philosopher spoke as follows:

"You have a fine country here, and fine people. You are industrious and
simple. Each little village is independent of the other villages, for
each can provide itself with everything its people actually need. You
never ask favors from your neighboring villages. Each village has its
own corn field, its own carpenters, woods, cows, sheep, horses and
stores. But I find that you have no music, no books, no art, no places
of amusement and very little ingenuity. You all work from morn till
night and you have no time for these things. It is a constant, ceaseless
struggle for all of you to keep body and soul together. Each of you men
and women is an isolated unit. Each village is an isolated unit. You are
all isolated from the great commercial countries far beyond the seas.
Now, in travelling through your island, I found that one village had a
coal mine and all the people there used coal for fuel, while all the
other villages have to hew great trees, chop them up, and burn wood, in
order to get heat. In one village I found oil wells and the people there
burn oil, while all the other villages have to use bullrush torches. In
one village I found the soil of clay, so that the people made their
houses of bricks, while the other villages have to use blocks of wood,
or logs. In another village I found iron ore and their people have sharp
tools, while other villages have to use sharpened stones. And so on,
for I found each village has some peculiar and natural advantage over
the other. Now, my friends, why do you keep these God-given advantages
to yourselves? You villagers who have coal know that there is enough for
all the island, and so with you who have the iron, bricks, or cotton, or
fruits, or silks, or furs. Why don't you exchange what you make or raise
for the products of your neighbors? The whole island must have so many
hats, so many shoes, and so many houses, and if you divide your labors
and freely exchange your products with one another, you will find that
you will all have more comforts, and you won't have so long to work each
day. And when you have more leisure, you will begin to invent, and plan,
and enjoy yourselves, and write books, and visit one another to exchange
ideas. The gross amount that all you people produce each year is really
very, very small. If you should co-operate, you could create many times
as many commodities as you now produce."

The philosopher disappeared. The people talked about it for weeks
thereafter, and they finally began to adopt his plan. They built
railroads, and they freely exchanged products with one another. Money
then came into use. With money one could do almost anything. It
represented bread and butter. Every man tried to get all he could,--not
only to provide against future wants, but that he might outshine his
neighbors. There was gradually a great division of labor on the island,
and a great saving in work. The people no longer worked fifteen hours a
day. They did not have to. Men who had strong arms moved to the village
where they were doing something which required strength. Men who had
thick skulls moved to the cotton fields to work under a hot sun. Men who
had sharp eyes moved to the manufacturing village. Men with
executiveness became foremen, and superintendents, and presidents. And
so every village gradually became adjusted to the changed plans. Every
man sought that village or field best adapted to his physique or
abilities. Every man and every village finally became a specialist. In
the coal village they did nothing else but mine and transport coal. In
the oil village they only produced and shipped oil. In one village they
had several swift streams running through to the coast, and this village
was in the middle of the isle and not far from the iron and cotton
villages. It became the manufacturing village. This village was divided
into many different districts, and was very large. In one section, the
Manchester-like climate and misty atmosphere, and nearness to the
cotton fields, made it a natural cotton manufacturing center. Another
section was adapted for making steel and iron goods. And so on.

As time wore on, every industry on the island, localized, and every man
became specialized. Inventions and machinery multiplied. But every new
labor-saving machine saved labor, of course, and produced better goods
than hand labor. So every new machine took a job away from several
workmen. There was much complaint about this but new inventions kept
coming. There were now twenty different hat factories in the
manufacturing village, each trying to undersell the other. One day they
combined and built a large addition on the largest factory building.
Then they moved most of the other hat factory machinery in, and
destroyed the old buildings and the machinery they did not want. They
also discharged nineteen engineers, nineteen foremen, fifty bookkeepers,
two hundred drivers and packers and many other men, because they no
longer needed them. These poor discharged workmen did not know what to
do, for they had spent their lives at that business and knew no other.
First, there was a great hue and cry raised by all the little villages,
for they all felt sorry for the poor discharged workmen.

But soon, this big partnership concern began to sell the same hats for
far less than formerly, and they told the people that they could afford
to because they did not have so many men to pay, so much rent, so much
advertising, and were running things more economically. Other big
partnerships were formed all over the island, and after a while, so
great was the economy of combination that many men could not get any
work to do. Every big partnership soon took in all the little concerns
on the island, or else it drove them out of business by competition.

Some men became discouraged and began to drink rum, and others even
began to cheat and steal.

One day, some of the big partnerships had a banquet, and they talked
things over and they said: "We're making money and getting rich, but we
could do it faster if we did not have to pay so much wages. Let us raise
prices and cut wages down." This they did, and finally the workingmen
got together into a partnership of their own. They organized, and they
all said they must have just so much wages or they would not work at
all. This forced the big partnership people to pay better wages for a
while, but the two partnerships, employer and employee, were always
quarrelling. One day a very serious thing happened in the coal village.
The workmen refused to work because they thought they were not getting
enough wages. They stopped mining coal, and, while they were idle, all
other workmen on the island sent them money and provisions out of
sympathy. It was dead winter and people began to suffer and some of the
factories had to shut down. Even the railroads could not run their
engines. But the people made such an uproar that the coal owners finally
surrendered a little, reluctantly, and again the mines were operated.

Not long after this, a similar disturbance took place in the cotton
fields, and for a long while the whole island suffered for want of the
hundreds of things which cotton goes to make, even to shoe strings and

For several years these outbreaks in the different villages were very
frequent. First it was a cry of, "no oil;" then, "no milk;" then, "no
iron;" then "no meat." Finally, as a last straw on the back of the
already exhausted camel, all the railroads formed a partnership, and
they too became tied up, and ceased operation. Without them, the people
could scarcely get anything to eat, or drink, or wear, or burn, and
famine threatened the island; because, every village had become devoted
to only one thing, and it could not do or produce anything else. Each
had learned to depend upon the other villages for every other article.
Then there was a great public uprising. Meetings were held everywhere.
Many people said that the trouble was because people formed
partnerships. Others answered by saying that that was not the cause, for
even if there were no partnerships, still one village would continue to
have all the coal, another all the oil, and another all the cotton, on
the island. There were no tariffs, no land monopoly, no special
privileges, no government favoritism, no railroad discrimination, and no
taxes, so those whose fathers had heard of such things in other
countries could not advance such arguments. Nature had given certain
villages a natural monopoly of certain industries. Nature had also given
certain men a natural monopoly over certain trades and pursuits by
making them apt and proficient therein. Therefore, Nature was the
criminal, and she alone was to be blamed. But what were the forlorn
islanders to do about it?

One fine day, when everything was in a turmoil of discontent and
perplexity, the philosopher again made his appearance upon the island.
Many thought him a Divine being sent from heaven to succor and advise
them; and so, when he had called them all together, he addressed them

"My friends, you have advanced and progressed and developed wondrously
in one direction, but you have made a fatal mistake. You have
specialized and localized your industries, and have affected an
efficient system of division of labor, but, you forget that this means
monopoly in private hands. You have overlooked the fact that now, every
man is dependent upon every other man, and every industry is dependent
upon every other industry. Again, when one hundred concerns combine into
a partnership, or Trust, as we call it, and throw thousands out of
employment, or when a new machine does so, you now have no way of
providing for these unemployed thousands, and you cast them out upon the
world to shift for themselves."

"O, Sir," cried one of the islanders, "why can we not return to the old
way and not have all these modern ideas? We were getting along all right
before we began to exchange commodities with each other. Why can we not
go back to the old way?"

"Ah, too late, my friend, even if you all wished it," the old
philosopher said.

"But, surely, you do not wish it," he added. "Do you remember when you
worked from early morn till late at night and then had no stoves, no
lamps, no blankets, no carpets, no crockery, no cooking utensils, no
gas, no chairs, no wagons? Do you wish to return to that? Do you wish to
isolate yourself from your fellow men and separately make and raise
everything you eat and wear?"

Everybody saw the logic of this simple philosophy, and he was beseeched
to show them what to do.

"What you must do, my friends, is to organize. Organization is all you
require. You have as yet only organized into simple isolated groups. You
must now organize all these groups. Every industry, every partnership,
is a group. Each group is dependent upon all the others. This being
true, you must form a whole. Let every man stick to his special work,
let every locality remain in its special work, let every industry and
every partnership stick to its special work,--don't disturb nature--_but
all these must stick to each other_! How? By forming yourselves into one
solid, compact, organized body. Call yourselves a nation. Have a
convention at stated times, and let every industry, every labor
organization, and every locality send representatives and delegates to
this convention. It is foolish of you to let the coal villages send
coal wherever, whenever, and in such quantities, as they wish. And so
with every other industry. The law of demand is not always sufficient,
as a guide to what is needed. All are demanding more coal now, yet the
coal village is sending it out, here and there, without organized plan,
system or method. The national convention should determine these
questions, and all other national questions that do not adjust
themselves naturally. When they do not adjust themselves naturally
complaint should be and will be made to the national convention, and
then the convention shall have power to settle the question in dispute.
If one industry fails to do its duty and supply the others with its
specialty, be it coal, oil, cotton, bricks or gloves, it is ground for
complaint, and it then becomes a question for the national convention.
If a partnership or industry fails to pay its employees suitable wages,
and those employees refuse to work, it becomes a national question, and
the national convention must direct that that industry must give to the
workmen a greater share or proportion of the profits of that industry.
Whether it shall be a raise in wages, or compulsory profit-sharing, is a
question for the national convention to settle. Again when men cannot
work, and they become a burden upon society, it becomes a national
question, because their non-employment is caused by the organization of
the industries, and it becomes the nation's duty to give these men an
opportunity to earn a living. This it can do by lessening the hours of
work in the industries. If all the workmen are required to work fewer
hours each day, more men will be required to work, and thus employment
can be given to all. Every national question can therefore safely be
entrusted to the national convention; and, so long as that convention
has power to act, you will have no trouble.

I believe, however, that so long as the national convention is known to
be in existence, and that it has such power of direction, there will be
little for it to do. Because, the great partnerships and industries and
labor organizations, knowing of such a supreme judicial power, will
usually so adjust their differences, and in a natural and peaceful way,
that but few questions will come before the national convention. It is
therefore the knowledge of the existence and power of such body that
will urge all men to act honorably with one another. It is the fear of
it which will be the potent factor, and not the thing itself."

After a few more remarks of explanation, the old philosopher disappeared
as mysteriously as he had come. After deliberating upon his wise
suggestion for a while, the islanders finally adopted his plan, and
forever thereafter the island never had occasion to seek his counsel.



Let us assume that in the preceding pages we have proved the following

1. That the Trust cannot and must not be destroyed.

2. That the government could not and should not own and operate the

3. That the Trust, if not interfered with, will work great injury to
society and that therefore some stringent action must be taken.

4. That such action must be such as will not destroy the many virtues of
the Trust.


Let us assume that we have also proven the following propositions:

1. That every man is dependent upon his fellows for all the necessaries
and comforts of life.

2. That every industry is dependent upon other industries.

3. That the natural, proper and inevitable tendency is toward
specialization and localization.

4. That, as men specialize, and industries localize, a natural monopoly

5. That each man and each industry becomes an integral part of an
immense industrial machine.

6. That harmonious action of this machine must exist, for the reason
that if a single wheel is misplaced here, or an engineer refuses to
respond there, the action of the entire machine is impaired.

In the face of these two groups of premises but one conclusion can be
drawn, and that conclusion may be expressed in a single
word--ORGANIZATION! Men, localities and industries being interdependent,
society must organize for the general welfare. A league or association
must be formed, in which every man, every locality and every industry is
represented. Like all other societies, this association must have a
common head or center. It need not be altruistic (as against egoistic),
because the welfare of one must be the concern of all, if for no other
than purely selfish motives. The whole must see that every part properly
performs its work. A man can no longer be an isolated unit, for he is
now an integral and necessary part of society. He not only owes duties
to himself, he owes duties to society. He must recognize the mutuality
of all true human interests.


Can such an association or society be organized? Can so immense a
collection of bodies meet and combine with unanimity? Fortunately, we
need not speculate on the correct answer to these questions. We have an
illustrious example at hand. Society has already organized. The
organization is improperly called government. Government is simply
organized society. We elect a President as a public servant, not as a
governor. He does not, or should not, reign over us, but serve us, and
do our bidding. This is not a monarchy, but a democracy.

And so the great machine is already organized. Unfortunately we are not
in the habit of looking at _government as a huge industrial machine_,
and our law makers are too prone to assume arbitrary and tyrannical
power, regardless of the theory of democracy upon which all our
institutions rest. Furthermore, our lawmakers are mostly lawyers, rather
than industrialites.


Either organized society (government) is supposed to protect its members
(citizens), or it is not. If it is, then it is its duty to see that the
necessaries of life are not monopolized and placed beyond the reach of
its people. If it is not, then the organization is a failure, for
without the means of sustenance a nation cannot exist. If, then, we may
be permitted to view government as an organization of society having for
its aim the welfare and protection of its members, why shall not that
society have power to DIRECT the industrial machine? If all men and
industries in the nation are interdependent, why shall there not be a
NATIONAL DIRECTION, so that every industry shall be made to do its duty
toward society? If people must have coal, or oil, or meat, or
transportation, or gloves, and one set of men or one locality has a
monopoly thereof, why shall not the nation DIRECT that those men or
those localities shall do right by all other men and by all other
localities? That they will not always do so in the absence of national
direction is evidenced by the recent strike. The labor unions of the
country are probably able and willing to support the strikers for years
when a vital principle is involved, and so thoroughly is labor
organizing that serious conditions are likely to obtain in that most
important of all industries, transportation, to which industry all
others are so closely related and on which they are so helplessly


If government is to "promote the general welfare" by assuming the
obligation of keeping the necessaries of life within the reach of its
people, it must of necessity prohibit the fixing of prices of those
necessaries beyond the purchasing power of the people. Thus, if the coal
operators having a monopoly of coal choose to make the price of that
necessary $50 a ton, the national board of arbitrators (be it Congress
or some other body), must fix a reasonable price and if the employees of
any industry have a grievance, they cannot be allowed to strike and stop
work--their grievances must be arbitrated by the National Board.
Probably such a course would never become necessary, when the industrial
organization is perfected and the readjustment accomplished, but the
power of national direction must be ever present, _if for no other
purpose than to act as a warning_.


What is true of prices is equally true of the hours of work. Government
will not owe every man a living, but it will owe every man an
opportunity to earn a living. As the principle of co-operation develops
and is utilized, so great would be the economy that many would naturally
be thrown out of employment. Thus, rather than create a public
poorhouse, or "idle house," the hours of daily work must be reduced to
include all who are able and willing to labor.

If the tobacco manufacturers by combining and organizing the Shoe Trust
have thrust say 50,000 travelling salesmen and jobbers out of
employment, it should not complain if they are _nationally directed_ to
contribute toward their support in the same or in some other more useful
and productive industry by being directed to reduce the hours of work of
all men who are employed by it, thus making room for all who desire to
labor. Co-operation and combination carry their responsibilities, and
the co-operators must be presumed to intend the natural consequences of
their acts. Hence, the nation is justified in directing a reduction in
the hours of work whenever occasion requires.

And this is not so radical as at first appears. Many of our State
Legislatures have heretofore passed laws fixing the price of gas,
telephone service and railroad rates, and they have even fixed the hours
of daily work in certain industries. Again, witness the volumes of law
in regard to buildings, sweat shops, hotels, mines and railroads,
designed and passed for "public safety" and protection, and for "the
general welfare."

Again, witness what was done by all governments during the Great War!


Those who claim that "labor creates all wealth" must concede that the
foreman, the superintendent, the president and the manager is just as
much a laborer as the man who wields a hammer or drives a truck. That
the latter do not often get a fair share of the product or of "what he
produces" is, of course, true, for "rent, interest and profit" eat up
much of the proceeds of his toil. Without delving needlessly into the
profound question of the relations between capital and labor, be it said
that labor can, by a system of _national direction_ such as is here
suggested, obtain a fair and just reward for its toil through _a system
of compulsory profit-sharing_. There are already many cases in America
of voluntary profit-sharing with employes, and employers have found that
their men work better, quicker and more faithfully when given an
interest in the business. This is not urged as a necessary part of the
national direction idea, but as a most desirable part, and I am of
opinion that in compulsory profit-sharing with employes lies the real
solution and adjustment of the differences between capital and labor.


The word "compel" is a harsh word. It strikes at personal liberty and
individual freedom and attacks that spirit of independence which makes
men brave, honest and noble.

The theory of democracy assumes that every man has an inherent and
absolute right to freedom and liberty in so far as in exercising that
right he does not impair the rights of his fellows. He is the sole judge
of what he wants and of what is best for him, but in satisfying those
wants he must not interfere with the rights of others.

Law and government are designed to protect those rights, and in so doing
the right of compulsion is implied. All our institutions, courts, laws
and legislative departments rest upon the power of compulsion, and
without that power our form of government becomes ineffective. We compel
a man to keep his contract by applying to the court for an injunction;
we compel the vicious to obey certain laws or we imprison him; we compel
railroads to charge not more than a certain fare; we compel house
owners to clear their sidewalks of snow; we compel men to pay other men
what they owe, and if they do not, we compel the sheriff to take away
his property; we compel importers to pay a tariff; we compel husbands to
support their families, and we compel all to help support the government
by taxation.

The more civilization advances, the more society finds it necessary to
organize; and the more organized society is, the more compulsion is
necessary, until men become more perfect. Every individual now owes
duties to the collectivity as well as to himself, and the power of
compulsion must be vested in the collectivity so that those duties may
be enforced.

If we have arrived at that stage of progress when every man can be
depended upon to perform his whole duty by respecting the rights of
others, keeping his contracts and doing only those things which will
benefit society, and if the Trust can be depended upon to charge
reasonable prices, pay just wages and in all things respect the rights
of others, then the word compulsion may be stricken from the political
dictionary. If we have not, if men are still selfish, dishonest and
inconsiderate of the rights of other men, then the right to compel must
be a part of the political machinery.


The question may be asked, What power can compel the Trusts to do that
which they have been directed to do by the nation? For example, suppose
the coal mines remained idle,--what if the operators refused to obey the
national directory? It is not the purpose of this brief writing to draw
up a complete code, showing in detail how each and every man, industry
and question shall be handled, but simply to show that such a code can
be drawn and its regulations enforced. How do we now compel the electric
lighting companies to charge not more than a certain rate, the importers
to pay a tariff, the gas companies to supply us with gas at certain
prices, the law-breaker to pay his fine, and the corporations to pay
their taxes and penalties? These methods are well known, and they would
perhaps be adequate if adopted by the nation to compel its members to
keep its rules and regulations. If not, a certainly effective means of
inducement would be found in a tax on land values; for then, if a Trust
refused to obey, the land upon which it rests could be so taxed as to
render it unprofitable to hold it idle, and the Trust managers would
soon be compelled either to operate or sell the plant. The land monopoly
evil is serious and threatening, since all our land is owned by about
ten per cent. of our people, and, unfortunately, we are in the habit of
inviting men to buy vacant land and hold it idle while waiting for a
rise in values. The earth being the source of all wealth, those who
monopolize the land have a first lien upon all production. There appears
to be no immediately practicable remedy for this deplorable and
unnatural state of affairs, yet it is quite certain that whether or not
the contention of the Single Taxers is sound, national direction will be
a step in the right direction; for it will mean a more compact and more
perfect organization of society, and then we shall be able to see more
clearly just where the evils exist, just what is at fault, and just what
would remedy the defects in our present system. Besides, it would
permanently fix the taxing power in the national collectivity, and when
the various methods of taxation were being considered in the national
councils, the law of cause and effect could more easily be traced and
distinguished owing to the solidarity of society and the specific
information and complaint that would be forthcoming from the most
competent and well informed sources.


Must the constitution be amended in order that NATIONAL DIRECTION shall
be put into effect? And, if so, would it take eight or ten years before
this could be done? And is that constitution of ours, which has carried
us so successfully through a century and a quarter, so sacred that it
should be kept, with religious fidelity, unchanged and unaltered? Recent
events seem to cry out No!

As times and conditions change, so do men, opinions and laws, and so
should constitutions. It is superstitious bigotry to hold that our
revolutionary forefathers were infallible and that they could and did
foresee the conditions that are present in the opening years of the
second century after theirs.

On November 15th, 1777, the thirteen original colonies were banded
together under what was called the "Articles of Confederation." Article
II thereof said in part: "Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom
and independence." Article III said: "The said States hereby severally
enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their mutual
and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other." In the
following articles they vested in the Congress full power to make such
rules and regulations as it deemed best for the general welfare of all
the people.

Now, if all of the industries and labor organizations of the nation were
to meet and agree to do as did the thirteen States, each reserving the
right to send delegates to an empowered convention, then that convention
would have power to pass such laws as were necessary to carry out the
remedies hereinbefore suggested.

If a constitution nearly a century and a half old, which has already
been amended seventeen times, stands in the way of advancement and the
general welfare, would any man say that the obstacle should not speedily
be removed from that constitution?

The solution herein suggested does not necessarily require action by
Congress, and therefore an amendment to the constitution may not be
required. Nevertheless, a Congress could be empowered to act, and if it
were properly constituted and contained business men and representatives
from all industries and labor organizations, instead of lawyers and
politicians, it would answer the very purpose. Perhaps in time the
people will learn what kind of men to send to Congress. NATIONAL
DIRECTION would not necessarily require an immense industrial
department of government. NATIONAL DIRECTION is not national ownership.
It does not embrace the idea of absolute control. It does not place the
management of the Trusts in the hands of a department of government, or
of a Congress, for each industry should continue to manage its own
affairs, since it alone can be thoroughly conversant with the details of
its own plant.

I have aimed to show:

     1. That the Trust has as many virtues as faults.

     2. That it can be so treated as to retain its virtues and to
     eliminate its faults.

     3. That the Trust must not be destroyed.

     4. That the government must not own and operate the Trust and
     Industrial Combinations.

     5. That NATIONAL DIRECTION is the only scientific and practical

The arguments herein are intended to show the advantages and
practicability of NATIONAL DIRECTION of our industries, and the
harmonious operation of those natural laws and forces which are
incessantly working out their destiny. The inherent instincts of man,
his nature, his desires, his ambitions, his weaknesses must all be
considered in forming conclusions. That which is right will finally
prevail. We may retard the onward march of civilization, but we cannot
permanently check it. Not only does reason and logic urge the acceptance
of the conclusions herein presented, as it appears to the writer, but
unmistakable evidences of a natural movement in the direction indicated
are now apparent.

If the premises given are sound, NATIONAL DIRECTION is desirable. If the
conclusions are logical, NATIONAL DIRECTION is inevitable.


[1] This chapter, in fact all of part I, was written in 1903, and
published and copyrighted in 1906. Note what has taken place since then.

_The Public_

Who or what are the public? You say, the people! What people? Dr.
Johnson defined the public as "A majority of society," but this is
rather indefinite. "The public! the public!" exclaims Chamfort, "how
many fools does it take to make the public?" Bancroft did not think the
public fools, for he says, "The public is wiser than the wisest critic."
If the public is the majority, who is to say that they are wise or
unwise, right or wrong, fools or philosophers? Who or what is to be the
court of last resort? Somebody has said that the majority is usually
wrong, but who is to decide whether the majority or that "somebody" is
wrong? Schiller had but little faith in the majority, for he wrote,
"Votes should be weighed, not counted; the voice of the majority is no
proof of justice:" and Bovee suggests that a better principle than this,
that "the majority shall rule," is this other, that justice shall rule.
And according to the code of Justinian, "Justice is the constant and
perpetual desire to render every man his due." But, as a matter of fact,
the majority seldom do rule, for while our public men and political
bosses may say "The public be damned," as was publicly said by at least
one man and echoed by at least a thousand, the public is pretty sure to
get anything but justice, so long as such men are in control of the
election machinery. The public have opinions, doubtless, but they have
not yet found a way of expressing them when they want to, and not often
do they get what they want. The public is a heterogeneous mass, without
organization and without any settled community of interest. Sometimes,
we call the public by the uncomplimentary name, the mob. Goethe thought
the public particularly sensitive, for he said that "The public wishes
itself to be managed like a woman; one must say nothing to it except
what it likes to hear." He also thought them ungrateful, for he said,
"He who serves the public is a poor animal; he worries himself to death,
and no one thanks him for it." Hazlitt was of like mind, and he
maintained that the public have neither shame nor gratitude.

When we say of a man that he is popular with the masses, we mean with
the people; and it is interesting to speculate on how we form such an
opinion. How do we know that a man is popular with the people? Certainly
we have not asked all the people about it, and the few we have asked may
not be representative. Perhaps we form our opinion of the public's
opinion from one or more of these things: what the newspapers say, what
those persons say with whom we have talked, and from our knowledge of
the human heart generally. As for the last, we know that such virtues as
honesty, self-sacrifice, ability and courage are universally admired,
and that such vices as dishonesty, selfishness and cowardice are
universally condemned; so that if we know what impression certain acts
of a public official have made, we may come pretty near knowing whether
that man is or is not popular. As to the newspapers, they are usually
very close to the people, but they are sometimes closer to some other

Certainly the public must not be put down as fools. They may be
ignorant, when it comes to determining some great question over which
the best minds of the world are in dispute; they may be illogical; they
may be unreasoning; they may be sentimental; they may be unstable in
judgment; but certainly they are not fools. Like children and animals,
the most ignorant of the public have their instincts and intuitions,
and while the sun of public opinion may fluctuate from cloud to cloud,
it generally sets true at last. Like the Athenians, and sheep, the
public are more easily driven in a flock than individually. Just as the
crowd will make way for the man who pushes boldly forward, so will the
public follow any good leader who knows enough about his business to
appreciate the value of such sentiments as patriotism, humanity,
unselfish devotion and human sympathy. While such a leader is in favor,
the public are more than willing to be led, like so many sheep, but the
most trivial incident will sometimes win their disfavor, and history
shows that the public are perfectly willing to crown a man one day and
to hang him the next. To gain the favor of the mob is not so difficult;
but to serve the public so that they and their posterity will in after
years honor his name, that is indeed difficult, and decidedly worth


     "I court not the votes of the fickle mob." Horace.

Public favor is fickle fancy. It is as capricious, uncertain and
unreliable as the weather; and, while we may at times predict where it
will bestow its alleged blessings, we can never with certainty tell how
long it will remain there. Those who crave popularity should remember
that it begins by making a man its tool, and usually ends in making him
an object of contempt. A very trifling circumstance often creates
popularity, and a single circumstance just as trifling usually destroys
it. Was there ever a more popular man than Dewey after the Manila
victory? Yet the trifling circumstance of transferring his gift-house to
his new wife almost destroyed it. Hobson was equally popular after the
Merrimac episode, but he forfeited it by numerous kissing exhibitions.
Bird S. Coler was extremely popular while comptroller of New York and
lost the governorship by an inch, but his popularity was as quickly
forfeited as it was acquired. Louis XVI was extremely popular, but he
died at the guillotine a despised and hated monarch. Marie Antoinette
was equally popular, until she told the mob, who were crying for bread,
to eat cake. Napoleon was universally popular until he divorced
Josephine, and again popular at the cradle of the King of Rome. The
memory of Cromwell was infamous for more than a century, but now he is a
world hero. Robespierre was popular until he attempted to check the
effusion of bloodshed.

Popularity knows no law and no precedent. It sometimes attaches to
tyrants, for were not Caligula and Nero more popular than Germanicus? It
sometimes attaches to ignorance, for who is today more popular than our
champion batter or prize fighter? It sometimes attaches to immorality,
for did it not adopt the infamous Pompadour and du Barry? It sometimes
attaches to trifles, for was there ever such a fuss made over anything
as the Teddybear? It sometimes delights in the downfall of royal
favorites, and then exults in their reinstatements. It attaches to the
great, at times, and then hails with shouts of exultation those who
overthrow the great.

He who delights in popularity must be prepared to submit to the veriest
subjugation, for he must _obey_ the very ones whom he desires to

True merit heeds not the fulsome acclamations of capricious popularity,
but goes on its way regardless. It asks itself "What is right?" not
"What will the public applaud?" Merit as well as folly, loves
appreciation, but the one hopes for it as a just reward, while the other
seeks it as a theft.

There are two kinds of popularity: the popularity of men and the
popularity of their productions, the latter being the more reliable and
constant. The popularity of Roosevelt was mainly of the former kind, for
it was his pleasing and picturesque personality that made him one of the
most popular men of the last hundred years. As he recedes into history,
we can tell better whether his name will remain a household word like
Napoleon, Jackson, Lincoln, Webster, Grant, Bismarck and Gladstone's. It
may be that certain popularity is ephemeral, for public opinion
resembles a mind obeying by turns two directly opposite impulses,
lauding a man to the skies one day, and, on the next, as it discovers
him deficient in the merit it gratuitously ascribed to him, avenging
itself by deprecating that which it had capriciously over-rated.

Popularity is the keystone of modern politics. Alas, too few men have
we, who think, say, or act, without weighing the probabilities of its
popularity. Our statesmen care more for what is popular than for what is
right, and popularity is generally the sole consideration. To attain the
honors of posterity and of history, a more solid merit is required than
the ephemeral smile of popularity.

Popularity is a delusion.

It is an easy matter to become popular if one wants to, for all it
requires is passive tolerance, and active commendation. Taking the
individual, listen to his stories attentively, applaud his hobbies, rave
over his phonograph, his pianola, or his pictures, or books, or his dog.
A good listener is always popular. Taking the individual collectively,
the public, the same rule holds good. Place your ear to the ground,
study the whims of the people, learn how they worship, how they play and
how they work, then preach their doctrines, pat them on the back,
applaud their errors, and you can be popular. Rub the fur the right way
and the cat won't scratch. Pioneers of thought seldom attain popularity.
The man with a new idea, or who dares to preach something different, is
usually put in jail while he is alive, and put in marble after he is
dead. As Goethe says, "The public must be treated like women: they must
be told absolutely nothing but what they like to hear."


     The first step to greatness is to be honest.--Johnson.

     All great men are partially inspired.--Cicero.

     All great men come out of the middle classes.--Emerson.

     No really great man ever thought himself so.--Hazlitt.

     The world knows nothing of its greatest men.--H. Taylor.

     What millions died that Caesar might be great!--Campbell.

     The great are only great because we carry them on our shoulders:
     when we throw them off they sprawl on the ground.--Montandre.

     It is not in the nature of great men to be exclusive and

     None think the great unhappy but the great.--Young.

     There is but one method, and that is hard labor.--Sydney Smith.

     No man has come to true greatness who has not felt in some degree
     that his life belongs to his race, and that God gives him for
     mankind.--Phillips Brooks.

What is genius? Is it merely the ability to master details, as somebody
has said, or is it the result of some natural endowments, faculties, or
aptitudes for a particular thing? That it is some uncommon power of
intellect, all admit; but whether it is a general or a specific power,
is much disputed. Doctor Johnson's notion was that genius is nothing
more or less than great general powers of mind, capable of being turned
any way, or in any direction, and that "a man who has vigor may walk to
the East just as well as to the West." Emerson held quite the contrary
view, for he says that a man is born to some one thing, and that he is
"like a ship in a river; he runs against obstructions on every side but
one; on that side all obstruction is taken away, and sweeps serenely
over a deepening channel into an infinite sea." And again, in
_Representative Men_, "Each man is, by secret liking, connected with
some district of nature, whose agent and interpreter he is, as Linnaeus,
of plants; Huber, of bees; Fries, of lichens; Van Mons, of pears;
Dalton, of atomic forms; Euclid, of lines; Newton, of fluxions." On the
other hand, versatility of genius is not uncommon, for was not Leonardo
da Vinci master of all the arts? did not Lord Brougham excel in
everything, until they said of him "Science is his forte, omniscience
his foible"? and was not our own Franklin equally famous for his several
accomplishments? Nevertheless, it is quite certain that most of the
great men of history, in art, arms or letters, displayed genius in only
one line; yet this does not signify that they could not have displayed
equal genius in one or more other lines. Perhaps the case could be
stated thus: (1) A genius is a man of uncommon power of intellect; (2)
Every man has a natural bent for some one line of effort; (3) A genius
is apt to follow his natural bent, and thus excel in only one line; (4)
A genius may also excel in one or more other lines, circumstances and
environment leading him away from his natural inclinations.

What is greatness? Who were the greatest men of history? Who are the
great and the greatest men of the time? These are questions on every
tongue, yet who may say the answer? Seneca, Bacon, Carlyle, Goethe,
Emerson, Colton and other philosophers have written volumes without
answering any of these questions, and nobody yet has been able to give
answers satisfactory to all. There are four kinds of greatness: village
greatness, provincial greatness, world greatness and era greatness, for
we know that a man may be great in his village, mediocre in his
province, county, state or country, a nonentity in the world, and a
nobody in the era following that in which he lived. A few men are
accepted as great during their lifetimes, a few of these are accepted as
great outside their own colonies, and only a very few of these survive
their own eras. While it is true that a man is seldom a hero in his own
home, and that greatness is seen to better advantage from a distance,
yet some greatness is so weak that it dies before it is fullgrown.
Greatness is often divided into two kinds,--greatness of men of action,
and greatness of men of thought; yet this is an improper division,
since all great men are men of action, and are always endowed with a
force which may be called pneumatic energy.

Bismarck once said that a really great man is known by three
signs--generosity in the design, humanity in the execution, moderation
in success; but Brougham insists that "the true test of a great man is
his having been in advance of his age." Schopenhauer, in estimating the
greatness of great men, applies the inverted law of the physical, which
stands for the intellectual and spiritual nature, the former being
lessened by distance, the latter increased. But these views do not help
us much in our effort to find what is greatness. When Sir William Jones
was asked who was the greatest man, he answered, "The best: and if I am
required to say who is the best, I reply he that deserved most of his
fellow-creatures." Is this a correct test?--what
fellow-creatures?--creatures of his own time, or of all time?--who is to
judge what is best for them,--they or I?--and who is to say whether he
is deserving or not, and deserving of what? Dempsey is a great fighter;
Raphael was a great painter; Socrates a great philosopher; Hannibal a
great general; Beecher a great preacher; Columbus a great discoverer;
Browning a great poet; Gibbon a great historian; Lincoln a great
agitator; Dana a great editor; Steinitz a great chess-player; and so
on,--perhaps the greatest of their time, but would they be numbered
among the greatest men? Is a great shoemaker a great man? Yet he is very
deserving of his fellow-creatures, and he may be the greatest of his
kind. Is a great hangman as great as a great divine, and is the greatest
clown to be numbered among the greatest men of history?

Again, in selecting the great men, should there not be some limit in
number and some method of declaring different degrees of greatness,
because otherwise the man who wrote "Home, Sweet Home" might find a
place alongside Shakespeare. Again, should a conqueror be classed among
the great? Still again, are philosophers like Schopenhauer, Ibsen,
Bernard Shaw and Nietzsche to be numbered among the great, when most
people say that their philosophy is wrong, destructive and immoral? No
wonder, then, that nobody has yet been able to give a satisfactory
definition of Greatness. Alexander accomplished wonders: he conquered
the then known world and wept for other worlds to conquer; but perhaps
he was not so deserving of his fellows as some poor shoemaker. And take
Napoleon: he made all Europe run blood; yet he certainly did much good;
are we to balance his account and determine if the good outweighed the
bad? Dante and Milton are always numbered among the greatest men, yet
some do say that these great poets did more harm than good by
perpetuating the false doctrines of Hell and Paradise. Was Robespierre a
great man?--no one questions that great good came from the French
Revolution, yet who will urge a monument to Robespierre, the
personification of that Revolution? His intentions were good, however
bad may have been the method, but so were Cromwell's regardless of his
fanaticism; yet public opinion curses the one and crowns the other. Some
men seem to accomplish world-wonders without effort, while others
struggle against tremendous odds: of the two, the latter, of course, are
the greater, because, as Bryant says, "Difficulty is a nurse of
greatness--a harsh nurse, who rocks her foster children roughly, but
rocks them into strength. The mind, grappling with great aims and
wrestling with mighty impediments, grows by a certain necessity to the
stature of greatness." Some say that greatness is founded in human
sympathy, and that the man who shows the biggest heart plus the greatest
ability to do, is the greatest man. Others say that greatness consists
in reforming the world along religious lines, and still others maintain
that greatness is merely righteousness--"He is not great, who is no
greatly good" (Shakespeare). Was Caesar great? Remember Campbell's
line,--"What millions died that Caesar might be great." Beecher was
doubtless right when he said, "Greatness lies not in being strong, but
in the right use of strength," but men may differ as to what is the
right use, for, suppose he uses it to defend his people against some
other people, and for a cause which he believes in, as did Robert E.
Lee? He thought he was right, many others thought he was right, and he
displayed qualities truly great, yet Beecher would say that Lee was not
a great man. No great man ever yet lived who was conceded so to be by
everybody. We see many who are great, in a sense, and many that are
good; but we seldom see a man who is both great and good; and, according
to Franklin, a great man must be both. Leonardo da Vinci was great at
many things,--"master of all the arts," and as virtuous as most men, yet
many people place Caesar and Alexander in the list of great men and
leave da Vinci out. Perhaps Colton was right when he said, "Subtract
from the great men all that he owes to opportunity, all that he owes to
chance, and all that he has gained by the wisdom of his friends and the
folly of his enemies, and the giant will often be seen to be a pigmy."
Shall we class Joan of Arc among the great? She was the victim of an
illusion and she accomplished that which was bound to come. Shall we
nominate Diogenes? He was what would now be called a tramp and lived in
a tub. Shall we give Socrates a niche? He was also something of a tramp,
and we may never know how much he really said of the many wise things
which Plato attributed to him. Shall we declare Washington and Jefferson
great, and not Tom Paine, when the latter knew more than the other two
together, and gave them most of their ideas? No, we don't do that,
because they say that Paine's religious views were bad. Shall Theodore
Roosevelt go on the list? Shall we put Martin Luther on, and not
Voltaire? And how about poor John Brown?--he did not accomplish much but
he tried mighty hard and died in the attempt. Shall Booker T.
Washington's name not go on the immortal list just because he is black?
If not, how about Confucius who was yellow? Shall Jesus' name be written
on the scroll and not Buddha's or Mohammed's? The fact is that it is
next to impossible to name a complete list of the _great_ men of
history,--to say nothing of the _greatest_ men. One of the toughest
problems I ever attempted to solve was once given me by a young
student, who asked me to write down the names of the twenty-five
greatest men. I spent many evenings on it, and the answer was published
in many newspapers. The chief difficulty came in the attempt to limit
the list to just twenty-five--it is easy to make a list of _about_
twenty-five, or about fifty, or about ten.

As I remember it, the list was as follows:

 1.  Moses
 2.  Homer
 3.  Pericles
 4.  Alexander
 5.  Plato
 6.  Aristotle
 7.  Archimedes
 8.  Julius Caesar
 9.  Augustus Caesar
10.  Charlemagne
11.  Alfred the Great
12.  Leonardo da Vinci
13.  Dante
14.  Copernicus
15.  Galileo
16.  Shakespeare
17.  Bacon
18.  Milton
19.  Cromwell
20.  Newton
21.  Napoleon
22.  Beethoven
23.  Goethe
24.  Franklin
25.  Lincoln

This list is not yet satisfactory. It should contain John Fiske, who
knew everything, Herbert Spencer, Darwin, Kant, Descartes, Emerson,
Washington,--but hold! there is no end. Ten years from now I shall make
another list and it will probably contain a new name, perhaps
Roosevelt, Wilson, Bryan, Foch.

As Rochefoucauld says, "However brilliant an action may be, it ought not
to pass for great when it is not the result of great design." Some men
became famous--apparently great--by accident, or because of
circumstances, but that is not greatness. I once became the manager of a
dinner in honor of Mr. Bryan, and, like Byron, woke up one morning to
find myself famous--think of it!--famous for getting up a dinner. But
such fame is meteoric and has but a mushroom existence. Fielding says
somewhere that Greatness is like a laced coat from Monmouth Street,
which fortune lends us for a day to wear and tomorrow puts it on
another's back; but he did not mean Greatness, but Fame, or Popularity,
Greatness is not greatness if it is not lasting. If we cannot tell what
greatness is, we can tell what it is not. The greatness of a man must be
judged from the viewpoint of his own time, and we must make due
allowance for his weaknesses and blunders; for was not Napoleon a
believer in astrology, and could not any school-child today correct
Aristotle in natural history and physiology? With this thought in mind
we shall not have so much difficulty in singling out the great men of
history. "Nature never sends a great man into the planet, without
confiding the secret to another soul" (Emerson), and we soon discover
them, but not often in their own time--it requires the perspective of
history to get them in focus. Great men are the models of nations. As
Longfellow says, "they stand like solitary towers in the City of God,
and secret passages running deep beneath external nature give their
thoughts intercourse with higher intelligence, which strengthens and
consoles them, and of which the laborers on the surface do not even

       *       *       *       *       *

"Corporations are great engines for the promotion of the public
convenience, and for the development of public wealth, and, so long as
they are conducted for the purposes for which organized, they are a
public benefit; but if allowed to engage, without supervision, in
subjects of enterprise foreign to their charters, or if permitted
unrestrainedly to control and monopolize the avenues to that industry in
which they are engaged, they become a public menace; against which
public policy and statutes design protection."

_Leslie V. Lorillard, et al._--110 N. Y. 533.

_The Martyrdom of Genius_

It seems that those who have done the most good in this world have
usually been the most unfortunate. The history-makers are our martyr
heroes, abhored for their virtues, tortured for their courage, and
persecuted for their good deeds. Verily, all the world's a stage, and
the great actors appear upon it, say their lines, perform their parts,
and then disappear behind the curtain amid a storm of hisses. Genius is
seldom appreciated at short range. We praise dead saints, and persecute
living ones: we _roast_ our great men in one age, and boast of them in
the next. Let us see if history does not bear out these
assertions.--Alexander the Great died in his youth; Socrates was made to
drink the fatal hemlock; Leonidas, the immortal Greek patriot, was
hanged; Xerxes was assassinated in his sleep; Scipio was strangled in
his bed; Seneca, the Roman moralist, was banished to Corsica; Hannibal
took poison to prevent falling into the enemy's hands; Caesar was
assassinated by his friends; Philip of Macedon was assassinated by his
body guard; Archimedes was stabbed for not going to Marcellus till he
had finished his problem; Belisarius was sentenced to death and blinded;
Mohammed was despised and persecuted; Bruno was burned alive and his
ashes thrown to the four winds of heaven; Dante was banished from
Florence; Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded; Admiral Coligny was murdered
at the Massacre of St. Bartholomew; Joan of Arc was burned at the stake;
Savonarola was burned on a heap of faggots for his religious preaching;
Madam Roland was beheaded; Cardinal Wolsey died on his way to the
scaffold; Milton was stricken blind; Martin Luther was excommunicated
and persecuted; Anne Boleyn, the good and true wife of Henry VIII, was
beheaded; Palissy the Potter had to burn his house to feed his furnace,
and was imprisoned in the Bastile for his religious faith; Mary, Queen
of Scots, was beheaded after a long imprisonment; Cervantes, creator of
Don Quixote, was imprisoned for debt and suffered want; Edmund Spenser,
author of "Faerie Queen," also died of want; Henry of Navarre was
assassinated; Galileo was made to recant under penalty of death;
Napoleon was sent to St. Helena; Oliver Cromwell was an exile, a price
upon his head; Charles I. was beheaded, Marshal Ney, "Bravest of the
Brave," was cruelly shot to death for alleged treason; Madame Racamier,
the most beautiful and charming woman in history, died poor, blind and
an exile; Voltaire was arrested, imprisoned and exiled; Beethoven, "The
Shakespeare of Music," was stricken deaf; Mozart was buried in Potter's
Field; the gallant Decatur and the illustrious Hamilton were cruelly
shot by duelists; John Brown was shot for trying to free the slaves;
Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley were assassinated; Madame De Stael was
banished from Paris because Napoleon did not like her; Florence
Nightingale became a chronic invalid; Marie Antoinette was beheaded;
Garibaldi was condemned to death and compelled to flee his native land;
Gen. Custer fought the Indians till none of his soldiers lived and then
died upon the battle-field; Victor Hugo was made to flee Brussels;
Lafayette in France was imprisoned and nearly starved to death; David
Livingstone, explorer, died in the wilds of Africa; Tasso was exiled and
imprisoned and died in poverty; Lovejoy was murdered; Wm. Lloyd Garrison
and Wendell Phillips were mobbed on the streets of Boston; Sir Henry
Vane was beheaded because he asserted liberty; William Penn was
persecuted and imprisoned; Aristides was exiled; Aristotle had to flee
for his life and swallowed poison; Pythagoras was persecuted and
probably burned to death; Paul was beheaded; Spinoza was tracked,
hunted, cursed and forbidden aid or food; Huss, Wyclif, Latimer and
Lyndale were burned at the stake; Schiller was buried in a three-thaler
coffin at midnight without funeral rites; Pompey was assassinated in
Egypt by one of his own officers; Shelley, the poet, was drowned;
William, Prince of Orange, was assassinated; Anaxagoras was dragged to
prison for asserting his idea of God; Gerbert, Roger Bacon and Cornelius
Agrippa, the great chemists and geometricians, were abhored as
magicians; Petrarch lived in deadly fear of the wrath of the priests;
Descartes was horribly persecuted in Holland when he first published his
opinions; Racine and Corneille nearly died of starvation; Lee Sage, in
his old age was saved from starvation by his son who was an actor;
Boethius, Selden, Grotius and Sir John Pettus wrote many of their best
works in jail; John Bunyan wrote Pilgrim's Progress while in prison; De
Foe, author of the immortal Cruso, was imprisoned for writing a
pamphlet, and so was Leigh Hunt for a similar offense; Homer was a
beggar; Plautus turned a mill; Terence was a slave; Paul Borghese had
fourteen trades, yet starved with them all; Bentivoglio was refused
admission into the hospital he had himself erected; Camoens, author of
the Lusiad, died in an alms house; Dryden lived in poverty and distress;
Otway died prematurely through hunger; Steele was constantly pursued by
bailiffs; Fielding was buried in a factory graveyard without a stone;
Savage died in jail at Lisbon; Butler lived in penury and died in
distress; Chatterton, pursued by misfortune, killed himself in his
youth; Samuel Abbott, inventor of the process of turning potatoes into
starch, was burned to death in his own factory; Chaucer exchanged a
palace for a prison; Bacon died in disgrace; Ben Johnson lived and died
in poverty; Bishop Taylor was imprisoned; Clarendon died in exile; Swift
and Addison lived and died unhappy and unfortunate; Dr. Johnson died of
scrofula, in poverty and pain; Goldsmith was always poor and died in
squalor and misery; Smollett, several times fined and imprisoned, died
at 33; Cowper was poor and tinged with madness. Of the American
discoverers, Columbus was put in chains and died of poverty and neglect;
Roldin and Bobadilla were drowned; Ovando was harshly superceded; Las
Casas sought refuge in a cowl; Ojeda died in extreme poverty; Encisco
was deposed by his own men; Nicuessa perished miserably by the cruelty
of his party; Basco Nunez de Balboa was disgracefully beheaded; Narvaez
was imprisoned in a tropical dungeon and afterwards died of hardship;
Cortez was dishonored; Alvarado was destroyed in ambush; Almagro was
garroted; Pizarro was murdered and his four brothers were cut off.

Doubtless, many other martyrs could be mentioned, but perhaps the
foregoing will suffice to prove our case. As Napoleon once said, it is
the cause and not the death that makes the martyr, and many of the
foregoing martyrs perhaps deserved to die as they did. But, who may say?
An additional list will be found in "Fox's Martyrs," but they are mostly
religious martyrs, whereas the foregoing is general and fairly
representative of every age and of every calling.

_Gentlemen, Be Seated_

When the interlocutor says these words, all the men sit down. They all
assume that they are gentlemen; anyway, they know that they have been
called such, and they accept the appellation. Any man will be offended
if you say he is no gentleman. Every man wants to be known as a
gentleman. The sign that reads "Gentlemen will not expectorate upon the
floor--others _must_ not," is very effective, because every man who
reads it will obey, fearing that if he does not he will not be rated as
a gentleman. You cannot appeal to him on any stronger ground; the
dangers of tuberculosis, cleanliness, the ladies' skirts, and such, do
not weigh so heavy as the argument that real gentlemen do not
expectorate. Take the lowliest laborer, and you cannot pay him a higher
compliment than to make him understand that you rate him as a gentleman.
Even pickpockets, burglars and thugs pride themselves on being
gentlemen, when off duty, and it is their highest ambition to get
dressed up and to frequent the same hotels, restaurants and resorts that
gentlemen frequent. And yet, if you ask any of these what a gentleman
is, he cannot tell you. For that matter, who can? What is a gentleman?
What are the qualifications and requirements? Can a person be a
gentleman part of the time and not all the time, or is he born one way
or the other? Can a person who was not born a gentleman acquire the
title? Is it a matter of birth, a matter of character, a matter of
conscience, a matter of dress, a matter of conduct, or a matter of
education? Can a man who has been brought up in ignorance, crime, filth,
squalor, and degradation be educated to be a gentleman, or will his real
self pop out sometime and show that he is not? The dictionary definition
of a gentleman is: "A man of good birth; every man above the rank of
yeoman, comprehending noblemen; a man who, without a title, bears a coat
of arms, or whose ancestors were freemen; a man of good breeding and
politeness, as distinguished from the vulgar and clownish; a man in a
position of life above a tradesman or mechanic; a term of complaisance."
But none of these definitions covers the modern "gentleman"; not one is
adequate. Chaucer's idea was that "He is gentle who doth gentle deeds."
Calvert's was that a gentleman is a Christian product. Goldsmith's, that
the barber made the gentleman. Locke's, that education begins the
gentleman and that good company and reflection finishes him. Hugo's,
that he is the best gentleman who is the son of his own deserts.
Emerson's, that cheerfulness and repose are the badge of a gentleman.
Steele's, that to be a fine gentleman is to be generous and brave.
Spenser's, that it is a matter of deeds and manners. Shaftesbury's, that
it is the taste of beauty and the relish of what is decent, just and
amiable that perfects the gentleman. Byron's, that the grace of being,
without alloy of fop or beau, a finished gentleman, is something that
Nature writes on the brow of certain men. Beaconsfield's, that propriety
of manners and consideration for others are the two main characteristics
of a gentleman. Hazlitt's, that a gentleman is one who understands and
shows every mark of deference to the claims of self-love in others, and
exacts it in turn from them, and that _propriety_ is as near a word as
any to denote the manners of the gentlemen--plus elegance, for fine
gentlemen, dignity for noblemen and majesty for kings.

Chesterfield's opinion ought to be worth considering--"A gentleman has
ease without familiarity, is respectful without meanness, genteel
without affectation, insinuating without seeming art." Likewise
Ruskin's--"A gentleman's first characteristic is that fineness of
structure in the body which renders it capable of the most delicate
sensation; and of structure in the mind which renders it capable of the
most delicate sympathies; one may say simply 'fineness of structure.'"
The Psalmist describes a gentleman as one "that walketh uprightly, and
worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart," and Samuel
Smiles adds that a gentleman's qualities depend, not on fashion or
manners, but or moral worth; not on personal possessions, but on
personal qualities. Thackeray intimates that a gentleman must be honest,
gentle, generous, brave, wise; and, possessing all these qualities, he
must exercise them in the most graceful outward manner. That he must be
a loyal son, a true husband, and an honest father. That his life ought
to be decent, his bills paid, his taste high and elegant, and his aim in
life lofty and noble. A more modern view is that of the great English
philosopher, Herbert Spencer, who says that "Thoughtfulness for others,
generosity, modesty and self-respect are the qualities that make the
real gentleman or lady, as distinguished from the veneered article that
commonly goes by that name." And here's another view:

_Gentleman_--A man that's clean outside and in; who neither looks up to
the rich nor down on the poor; who can lose without squealing and who
can win without bragging; who is considerate of women, and children and
old people; who is too brave to lie, too generous to cheat, and who
takes his share of the world and lets other people have theirs.

Originally _gentleman_ was merely a designation, not a description, and
it was meant to apply to men occupying a certain conventional social
position. It had no reference to the qualities of heart, mind and soul.
Later the word _gentleman_ was given an exclusively ethical application.
Both ideas are extremes, and both are wrong, because the former might
apply to thieves, liars, cads, fops and ruffians, and the latter might
apply to servants and slaves, many of whom are men of the best and
truest type. There is an old saw that runs--

     "What is a gentleman?
       He is always polite,
       He always does right,
     And that is a gentleman."

If it is difficult to ascertain what a gentleman is, it is not difficult
to ascertain what a gentleman is not. For example, a gentleman is not--

1. One who jumps into the one vacant seat when there are women

2. One who smokes or swears in a public elevator in the presence of a

3. One who dashes through swinging doors and lets them bang into the
face of those behind.

4. One who jumps on the platform of a moving car when others are
patiently waiting to get on.

5. One who eats with his knife, picks his teeth in public, spits on the
floor, wipes his mouth on the tablecloth, coughs or sneezes in public
without covering his mouth, or cleans his nails in a public place.

6. One who carries his umbrella extended horizontally under his arm,
with the sharp ferrule sticking out behind to the inconvenience if not
peril of others.

7. One who rushes into a car before those in it have time to get off.

8. One who occupies two seats for himself and his newspaper or parcels
in a crowded car.

9. One who fails to apologize when he has unintentionally insulted

10. One who refuses to apologize or make amend when he has intentionally
insulted another.

11. One who always wants to bet or to fight when he is getting the
worst of an argument.

12. One who neglects to respect old age.

13. One who is mean, selfish and inconsiderate of the rights and
convenience of others.

14. One who deliberately uses uncouth or vulgar language.

15. One who is intentionally neglectful of his appearance to the extent
of wearing soiled linen in public and of neglecting his person so that
he is obnoxious to the olfactory organs of those around him.

16. One who lacks tolerance and who wrangles with everybody who does not
do as he would like them to do.

17. One who has a hot temper and does not know enough to put his foot on
the soft pedal.

18. One who laughs at a drunken man or woman or who induces them to
become so.

19. One who thinks that the world owes him a living and who proceeds to
collect it from everybody he comes across, by foul means or fair.

20. One who does not know that women, children and elderly people are
entitled to a preference and to unusual consideration on all occasions.

Gentlemen, be seated, and we will inquire still further as to what a
gentleman is and is not. Of course, at this command you are all seated.
The commander knew that there would be no exceptions in your judgment.
But, even if you do not agree with the opinions of those quoted above,
you have your own notions as to what is a gentleman, and it is a safe
bet that not one of you live up to those qualifications. The most
perfect of gentlemen sometimes fail to live up to their best. We all
fall down once in a while.

Some people define gentlemen as follows:

_Gentleman_--One who does not wear detachable cuffs; one who changes his
shirt every day; one whose clothes are of the latest pattern; one who
wears a cane, a silk hat and patent leather shoes; one who has money and
spends it freely; one who tips the waiter generously, and who would not
soil his hands by shaking hands with a laborer; one who is above work
and who would not associate with a common tradesman; one who respects to
the point of worship anybody who has money and who detests to the point
of hatred everybody who has not; one who has his nails manicured twice a
week, and who always wears gloves in public; one who thinks that the
greatest thing in the world is to belong to the smart set and to be

Such people forget that the _gentleman_ is solid mahogany, while the
fashionable man is only veneer. They forget that the gentleman is not so
much what he is without as what he is within. You cannot make a
gentleman out of fine clothes, even if you add elegant manners. Nor will
education complete him. When you educate the thief you do not
necessarily cure his thievery, and you often make him a more
accomplished thief. And some of the greatest thieves and cut-throats
have the most elegant manners and wear the finest clothes. The real
gentleman must be a gentleman clean through, from the center of his
heart to the top of his brain. Culture and refinement in the true sense
proceed from within. While they can be purchased at any good
boarding-school, this is another brand, and partake of the qualities of
varnish. They are a sort of polish.

Gentlemen, be seated. Ah, you do not seat yourselves so quickly! You
begin to see the light. Perhaps you realize that you are not so much of
a gentleman as you at first thought you were. You may have the instincts
of a gentleman, you may have good breeding, good manners, education,
refinement, good intentions, even culture, yet you know down in your
secret souls that you have some qualities that are not those of the
real, true gentleman. You may have gentleness, generosity, honesty,
polish, and yet you lack some of the other ingredients that are used in
the manufacture of a gentleman. But never you mind. None of us are
perfect--not even the writer! And you frown when you are told that _you_
are not gentlemen. But you are not. There is no such thing as a
gentleman. How can there be when a gentleman is a _perfect man_? The
thing to do is to try to be a gentleman. Let's try hard.

Gentlemen, be seated. You all sit, because you _try_ to be gentlemen,
and, for aught I know, you are as much gentlemen as anybody. Anyway, if
you try, you are, to all intents and purposes; for, if a man does the
best he can he is entitled to the highest honors, and what higher honors
are there than to be known as a real gentleman?

Gentlemen, be seated, and we shall hear from a wonderful philosopher,
Herr Friedrich Nietzsche. A million sages and diagnosticians, in all
ages of the world, have sought to define the gentleman, and their
definitions have been as varied as their minds, as we have already seen.
Nietzsche's definition, according to Mencken's translation, is based on
the fact that the gentleman is ever a man of more than average influence
and power, and on the further fact that this superiority is admitted by
all. The vulgarian may boast of his bluff honesty, but at heart he looks
up to the gentleman, who goes through life serene and imperturbable.
There is in the gentleman an unmistakable air of fitness and efficiency,
and it is this that makes it possible for him to be gentle and to regard
those below him with tolerance. The demeanor of highborn persons shows
plainly that in their minds the consciousness of power is ever present.
Above all things, they strive to avoid a show of weakness, whether it
takes the form of inefficiency or of a too-easy yielding to passion or
emotion. They never sink exhausted into a chair. On the train, when the
vulgar try to make themselves comfortable, these higher folk avoid
reclining. They do not seem to get tired after hours of standing at
court. They do not furnish their homes in a comfortable, but in a
spacious and dignified manner, as if they were the abodes of a greater
and taller race of beings. To a provoking speech, they reply with
politeness and self-possession--and not as if horrified, crushed,
abashed, enraged or out of breath, after the manner of plebians. The
gentleman knows how to preserve the appearance of ever-present physical
strength, and he knows, too, how to convey the impression that his soul
and intellect are a match for all dangers and surprises, by keeping up
an unchanging serenity and civility, even under the most trying

Thus spake Nietzsche, but he was really defining an aristocrat, or one
of the so-called nobility, for which he had a profound respect. Here is
still another definition:

_Gentility_--Perfect veracity, frank urbanity, total unwillingness to
give offense; the gentleness of right-hearted, level-headed good nature;
kindliness tactfully exercised through clear sense that duly appreciates
current circumstances involving the personal rights, privileges and
susceptibilities of others; and, while justly regarding these, acting on
what they generally suggest so considerately and so gracefully that a
pleasurable, heartfelt recognition of finest decency is inspired in

An old wag once said, "I never refuse to drink with a gentleman, and a
gentleman is a man who invites me to take a drink." That is the Kentucky
idea. But this is not:

_Gentleman_--One who has courage without bravado, pride without vanity,
and who is innately--not studiously, but innately--considerate of the
feelings of others.

And so the definitions vary inversely as the square of the desirability
of the kind of gentleman we try to be. In brief, a _gentleman_ is
indefinable as it is unmistakable. You can always tell him when you meet
him, but you cannot tell how or why.

Gentlemen, be seated. This is final. Just think over what you have
heard, and see if there is not now a clear idea of what a gentleman is
and is not. If you have read between the lines, you have seen the true
lights on the subject. Wit and mirth and humorous allusions--such as
they are--should not obscure the real issue. Do we not all know now what
a gentleman is? Quite true that we cannot define it, without a very
large vocabulary and thousands of words, yet we feel that we know. And,
knowing what a gentleman is, surely we shall all try to be one. And then
what more can the gods require?


And so the beard is coming in fashion again. Consoling thought to you of
the fertile facial soil and with ugly contour or ungainly blemishes to
conceal, but distressing to those chubby-faced, masculine beauties whose
tender skins will not yield a plentiful crop. But, you have had your
day, oh, ye of the germ-proof, Napoleonic countenance; so, discard your
Gillettes, and make way for his majesty--The Beard. The halcyon days of
the razor are no more, if we are to believe fickle Dame Fashion, and we
are now to welcome the day of the shears. If nature has been stingy, and
that glorious excrescence, the beard, is impossible to you, mon cher,
pray accept our sympathy; but, please be generous enough to take the
inevitable with good grace, and not worry us with foolish arguments
about bearded barbarians and unsanitary savages. We know that you can
make a strong case against the beard, but we imagine we can make one
equally strong in its favor. All of your progenitors had them,
including Adam--if we are to believe the ancient monuments, all of which
show those gentlemen with a bushy beard of no mean dimensions. You say
the ancient Egyptians wore no beards? Yes, but please observe that on
occasions of high festivity, they wore false beards as assertions of
their dignity and virility, and always represented their male deities
with splendid hirsute adornments tip-tilted at the ends. It is true that
they called the Greeks and Romans "barbarians" (bearded, unshaven,
savages), and that about 300 B. C., the latter began to shave and in
turn to call other peoples "barbarians"; but these incidents were only
passing fancies, freaks and fashions soon to make way for the
approaching, persistent reign of the beard. You say that Julian argued
arduously against the beard? Yes, but would you take for a model a man
whose whole body was bearded, and who prided himself on his long
finger-nails and on the inky blackness of his hands? And don't forget
that the reason Alexander abolished beards in his army was one that
hardly fits your case, for was it not because the enemy had a habit of
using the beard as a handle, much to the inconvenience--to say nothing
of the discomfort--of the victim?

The beard has had an eventful career, and has always been the bone of
contention between nations, churches, politicians, kings, gods, and
barbers. As to the last, suffice it to say that beards existed before
barbers, and that barbers are now as favorable to beards as they are
unfavorable to safety razors. As for the churches, they have been
alternately pro and con: Israel brought the beard safely out of Egyptian
bondage; the Orientals cherished it as a sacred thing; the Scriptures
abound with examples of how it was used to interpret pride, joy, sorrow,
despondency, etc., the Greek church was for beards, and the Roman church
against; the Popes of Naples wore beards at various periods; and now,
most of our popes, priests and preachers keep their "chins new reaped."
In Asia, wars have been declared on alleged grievances concerning
shaving, and Nero offered some of the hairs of his beard to Jupiter
Capitolinus who could well have bearded a dozen emperors from his own.
Herodotus has more to say of beards than of belles, bibles and Belzebub,
and the other poets and historians have found inspiration in like theme.
In some times, beards denoted noble birth and in others they were tokens
of depravity or of ostracism. The Roskolniki, a sect of schismatics,
maintained that the divine image resided in the beard, and for ages the
beard was the outward sign of a true man. In brief, the beard has had a
Titanic struggle for existence, first up, then down, first on and then
off. Just as it would attain the zenith of its glory, some beardless
king would come along and dethrone it, as was the case in Spain, for
example, when Philip V's tender chin refused to bear fruit, which
calamity soon changed the fashion among the Spanish nobility. And, no
sooner would the bald chin be established in favor, than some ugly-faced
prince would come forward with an edict that the elect must again
display the manly beard, as in France, when the young king's face was so
disfigured with scars that he found a beard necessary to give him an
appearance of respectability, whereupon all his faithful subjects found
that they also had scars to conceal, much to the dismay of the barbers.

Then, again, the beard was often attacked by the assessors, as well as
by the churches and fashions; for did not Peter the Great levy a heavy
tax on all Russian beards, and did not Queen Elizabeth, in spite of
bearded Raleigh, impose a tax of 3s. 4d. on all beards above a
fortnight's growth? These were unfair handicaps to the beard, and
greatly hampered its progress, but, beards, like truth, crushed to earth
will rise again, and so always did the beard. For, observe that in the
reign of Henry VIII the lawyers wore imposing beards, which became so
fashionable that the authorities at Lincoln's Inn made them pay double
common to sit at the great table; but mark that this was before 1535
when Henry raised his own crisp beard which afterwards became so
celebrated. Beginning with the 13th century, when beards first came in
fashion in England, up to the present, the poor beard has had a
checkered career, but of late it has held its own with commendable
persistency, and now all Europe is bearded, as it was in the beginning.

If the beard was sometimes held in respect, as in the Bastile, where an
official was kept busy shaving the captives, and as in our own prisons,
where the guests of the state are kept beardless, do you say that
occasionally it was held in contempt and betokens laziness and rudeness?
Yes, but, when your entire list of digressions is exposed, and your
whole catalog of objections exhausted, you will find that His Majesty
the Beard still waves triumphantly. It may be trod under foot for a
time, but, just as the shaven beard will soon grow again, so will the
beard that has been legislated against by court, church or fashion. In
days of old, to touch the beard rudely was to assail the dignity of its
owner; and when a man placed his hand upon his beard and swore by it,
he felt bounden by the most sacred of oaths. We all have a certain
reverence for traditions, and those of the beard are still respected,
among the uncivilized as well as among the civilized. Was it not Juan de
Castro, the Portuguese admiral, who borrowed a thousand pistoles and
pledged one of his whiskers, saying, "All the gold in the world cannot
equal this natural ornament of my valor?" Persius associated wisdom with
the beard, and called Socrates "Magister Barbatus" in commendation of
that gentleman's populous beard. And do not the sculptors and painters
usually represent Jupiter, Hercules and Plato with the same tokens of
strength, fortitude, sturdiness and virility? Who would favor a
"beardless youth" to Numa Pimpolius--he of the magnificent flowing
beard? Who would prefer a Shakespeare, a Longfellow, a Whitman, a
Ruskin, a Charlemagne, shorn of their hirsute adornments? Or a Lincoln,
Grant or Lee? But, of course, there are beards and beards; we are not
lost in admiration at sight of such anomalies as those of John Mayo
("John the Bearded"), or of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, nor even with
that majestic forest of hair which was attached to Queen Mary's agent to
Moscow, George Killingworth, whose beard measured five feet two inches,
and which so pleased the grim Ivan the Terrible that he actually laughed
and played with it. Coming down to the present, some of us will prefer
the silky, golden beard, such as adorns the handsome countenance of
Judge Wilkin, of the Children's Court; some the splendid snow-white
beard of Hudson Maxim, or the shorter and less white beard of our able
and amiable Edwin Markham; or the mixed, philosophic beard of General
Vanderbilt; or, perchance, we prefer the sandy, semi-gray beard of that
profound jurist, statesman, philosopher,--Judge Gaynor. And then there
is the erudite Bernard Shaw, and our virtuous statesman Judge Hughes,
and then there was the sage and honorable keeper of the public baths,
Dr. Wm. H. Hale, and Oscar Hammerstein, the impressario. Yes, the beard
is coming, so away with your safety razors, and supply your barber with
shears. Away with your alum, salves and powders, and look up the old
recipes for hair-restoring. The Roman youths used household oils to coax
the hairs to grow, but the apothecaries of those days were not so
cunning as ours, and soon we may expect to see the bill-boards and
advertising pages filled with notices of new preparations guaranteed to
grow a beard in a night, and directions how to care for, dress, comb,
clip and preserve it. No doubt we shall soon become as careful of those
sacred emblems of maturity and manhood, our whiskers, as Sir Thomas
Moore was of his, who, as he put his head upon the block, carefully laid
his beard out of the way, and then cracked a joke. What kind of a beard
shall we wear? Consult the artists and barbers, and trim it as you do
your hair--as best suits and becomes you. Charles the First adopted the
Vandyke beard, after the artist of that name. Ruskin, and other
philosophers, wore their beards as nature intended, trimming them about
once every decade. Actors, waiters, and doctors will probably wear no
beards, for obvious reasons, but they will all wish they could, if they
read James Ward's "Defense of the Beard," in which eighteen excellent
reasons are given, among which might be mentioned, protection to throat
and chest, and Nature. And yet, on the other hand, there are serious
objections to the beard, among which is the one made immortal by those
classic lines of Homer--or was it Lewis Carroll?--which runneth thus:

     "There was once a man with a beard,
     Who said, 'It is just as I feared:
       Two Owls and a Hen,
       Four Larks and a Wren
     Have all built their nests in my beard!'"

There has been some scientific inquiry as to why woman was made
beardless, but the question was never satisfactorily settled until the
poets became interested in the problem, and the result was as follows:

     "How wisely Nature, ordering all below,
     Forbade a beard on woman's chin to grow;
     For, how could she be shaved--whate'ver the skill--
     Whose tongue would never let her chin be still."


In 1890, a reformed gambler named John Philip Quinn, wrote a book,
"Fools of Fortune," which I read with interest when it first came out.
Later I met this man and saw him expose numerous tricks of gamblers. The
book comprehends a history of the vice in ancient and modern times, and
in both hemispheres, and is an exposition of its alarming prevalence and
destructive effects, with an unreserved and exhaustive disclosure of
such frauds, tricks and devices as are practised by professional
gambler, confidence man and bunko steerers; and the book was given to
the world with the hope that it might extenuate the author's twenty-five
years of gaming and systematic deception of his fellow men.

I wish every boy and every public official could read that book. Its
pages are twice the size of these, and there are no less than 640 of
them--a big and a valuable book. It would do more good in the world than
a great many so-called religious books that I could mention; and, if I
am ever rich, I would like to have it reprinted and sold for ten cents a
copy so that everybody could get one.

Alongside of this book in my library is another, entitled, "What's the
Odds," by Joe Ullman, the famous (or infamous) bookmaker. What a
contrast! This book tells many "interesting" stories of the turf, of the
pool-room and of the card-room, and it tends to cast a luring glamor
around racing and all sorts of gaming.

By the side of this book in my library is another, entitled "Gambling:
or Fortuna, Her Temple and Shrine. The True Philosophy and Ethics of
Gambling," by James Harold Romain, which is an able defense of gambling.
How much harm these two last-mentioned books may have done, no man may
say. Certainly they have done no good. If ever a book should be
suppressed by law, these two books should come first.

Mr. Romain says, "The keepers of gambling resorts are denounced, as
though they were responsible for the gambling propensity in mankind.
Resorts for gambling do not cause the passion. It is a tendency to which
all men are prone, more or less. The essential fact is the existence of
this passion. There can never be great difficulty in obtaining the
means for its gratification."

Now, it is quite true that gambling is a tendency to which most people
are prone, more or less, but that is no argument for increasing the
temptation, nor for encouraging the vice. Men are prone to steal, to
drink, to be dishonest, to lie, to cheat, to be immoral; but these
tendencies must be checked and suppressed, not encouraged. Because some
men will steal, should we license them and furnish them with ways and
means to carry out their brutal instincts? Civilization is striving to
eliminate man's brute passions. Thousands of institutions such as the
law and the church, the prisons and reformatories, the libraries and the
schools, are constantly combating man's animal tendencies. Shall we stop
all this and let man's passions have full sway? Mr. Romain says, yes. He
says, "In the name of liberty and equality, a brave battle has been
fought for individuality. Unjust and unwise interference by the state
has been ably resisted. It is demanded that private judgment be released
from the embrace of authority. The truth is, one man has no natural
right to make laws for another. True, he may repel another, when his own
rights are infringed, but he has no right to govern him." Of course,
this is anarchy. The doctrine of "no laws" is an exploded theory. By
common consent, the world has come to an understanding that the majority
of the people shall make laws to govern the whole, and there is no other
way. What is detrimental to the community must be suppressed, and the
law is the best suppressor.

While Fortuna may proudly enumerate her great votaries in America,
including Aaron Burr, Edgar Allen Poe, William Wirt, Luther Martin,
Gouverneur Morris, Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, General Hayne, Sam
Houston, Andrew Jackson, Generals Burnett, Sickles, Kearney, Steedman,
Hooker, Hurlbut, Sheridan, Kilpatrick, Grant, George D. Prentiss,
Sargeant S. Prentiss, Albert Pike, A. P. Hill, Beauregard, Early, Ben
Hill, Robert Toombs, George H. Pendleton, Thaddeus Stevens, Green of
Missouri, Herbert and Fitch of California, Jerry McKibben, James A.
Bayard, Benjamin F. Wade, Broderick, John C. Fremont, Judge Magowan,
Charles Spencer, Fernando Wood and his brother Benjamin, Colonel
McClure, Senator Wolcott, Senator Pettigrew, Senator Farwell, Matthew
Carpenter, Thomas Scott, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Hutchinson of Chicago,
and Pierre Lorillard; think of the long list of greater men who were not
addicted to gambling. This list is fairly complete, yet it is by no
means representative. If these men had the passion, they no doubt felt
sorry for it and they would be the first to warn others of the vice.
Some of them were ruined by it. It is a folly to be ashamed of, not to
be proud of. It is a weakness, and all great men have their weaknesses.
Think of the great men who were inveterate smokers and drinkers; yet we
would not hold them up as examples for the young simply because they
acquired these bad habits. Are we to emulate the faults of the great, or
their virtues?

Of all the passions that have enslaved mankind, none can reckon so many
victims as gambling. In the wrecking of homes, in the destroying of
character, in the encouragement of dishonesty, in the dissolving of
fortunes, gambling has only one rival--drink. The two are brothers. They
walk hand in hand. One seldom exists without the other. If drink comes
first, gambling follows shortly; if gambling gets hold of its victim
first, drink soon joins his brother. And with these two terrible,
fascinating, insidious habits firmly entrenched in a man's system, all
the other vices are invited in to keep the others company. Smoking, a
lesser evil, usually accompanies the rest, in fact usually comes first;
but it is hardly to be classed as a vice, since it in itself has no
immoral effects, and is simply a bad and an expensive habit, although it
is one that many enjoy without harm or danger, even with profit.
Gambling appeals to a latent instinct, and hence is all the more
alluring. It is a disease that, when it once gets hold, seldom lets go.
The victim may shake it off, for a time, but it will surely show its
fangs again, and it will require a struggle and many of them, throughout
life, to conquer it. It will crop out in divers ways and its influence
will be felt in all transactions. True, all life and business is a
gamble, in one sense--that is, a chance, but that is no reason why we
should make gambling King. Our efforts should be directed to dethroning
it, not to crowning it.

If you have a boy growing up, remember that he has a latent instinct to
gamble. Remember that unless you show him the dangers of the vice, he
will surely get the fever. It is just as sure as it is that he will be
tempted to steal and to lie. You will observe him shooting marbles for
gain. Then, craps. Then he will be playing cards for money. Then he will
get interested in the penny-slot devices that are to be found in the
cigar and candy stores. He will keep a sharp lookout for prize packages.
He will take a chance in every lottery that he hears of, including those
that are usually conducted in church fairs. Next, he will hear of faro,
roulette and other games of chance, and soon he will find his way into a
regular gambling den. He will probably lose, the first time, and then he
will save up, and go again to recover his losses. If he loses again he
will have all the more reason to go again, to get square. If he should
win the first time, he will get the fever anyway, and he will at once
see visions of an easy fortune ahead. Either way, he will stick to it,
and to stick to it means ruin. He will need more money than you will
give him, and he will be tempted to get money by dishonest means. If he
does not steal, he will perhaps take something from the house and sell
it in order to get money with which to gamble. If he cannot get that
something in your home, he may be tempted to get it from some other
home. He will sell his toys. He will go without shoes and spend the
money at gambling. If he cannot get money, he will run away and earn it.
He will forget all your teachings and do anything to get money. And,
when once he gets into one of those gilded palaces of the devil, where
big stakes are played for, where everything is bright, elegant and
alluring, where one man is seen to make a fortune in a night, which
sometimes happens, and where sumptuous tables are spread with all the
luxuries and dainties of the season for the delight of the patrons,
where wine and cigars are freely given to both winner and loser--then
bid goodbye to your boy, for he is lost. The chances are that he will
never get over it. The fascination will be too much for him. He will
surely go again. Win or lose, he will look forward to the day when he
can try his luck with the great Goddess of Chance. The yawning jaws of
the tiger are ever open for fresh victims such as he, and if he gives
them a chance they will inevitably close down on him. If he loses at
first, he will begin to study "systems" to beat the game. He will spend
sleepless nights studying how to win out. If he finds that, with all his
studying, he still cannot retrieve his losses, he will try other forms
of gambling, such as horse racing, but all with the same result. He is
bound to lose in the end. But, the strange thing is, that you cannot
make him believe this. Every man seems to have an inborn notion that he
is different from everybody else; that he is, by some freak of nature, a
marked man to win; that if he keeps it up long enough luck must change;
that he above all others has been picked out by Dame Fortune to win;
that it is only a question of time when luck will again smile upon him.
So, he keeps it up, chasing the will o' the wisp, following the rainbow
to find the proverbial pots of gold that are said to lie at the other
end. History proves all this. The road to ruin is straight and clear. It
is easy to follow. Walking is good. It is well lighted. The mirage of
Fortune looms up big at the other end which seems just a little farther
on. He may get weary and discouraged, at times, but Hope and Promise
beckon him on. He sees his possessions vanishing, as he plods on, he
sees his reputation and character leaving him, but he believes that
these can easily be restored when he arrives at his destination. But he
never arrives. He falls by the wayside. He dies, mourned by few, shunned
by many, discouraged, desolate, homeless, friendless, forsaken--a
worthless wreck.

Among the hundreds of thousands of gamblers, you can count the few
prosperous ones on your fingers. Whether it be stock-market gamblers,
race track gamblers, card gamblers, or what-not, the universal law is
that they all must lose in the end. Every once in a while you read of
some famous once-rich gambler who has just died poor and forsaken,
fortune gone. The few successful ones are successful only for a short
time. And the chances of your boy being one of the successful ones is
about equal to his chances of becoming the king of England. The odds
are all against it. In playing against the dealer, or bookmaker, or
"house," the percentage is large against him. If by chance he should
win, there are two chances to one that the gambler will get it all back
and more too, at the next sitting. People say, "I will try it once more,
and I am sure to win this time, and if I do I will quit the game
forever." But the forever never comes. If they win, they will soon come
to an understanding with themselves that they will try it just once
more, to win just a little more, then stop. If they lose, they soon
agree with themselves that they will try it just once more to get back
what they lost. In either case they are bound to get back to the gaming
table, and the gamblers all know this. Hence, when the professional
gambler sees a winner leave his place, he does not frown; he only
smiles, because he knows that the winner will soon be back to drop his
winnings plus a little more.

And what are we to do with this common enemy of mankind? Are we to sit
down and sigh, and say, "Well, people will gamble anyway, and if they
are fools enough to throw away their money that way, let them do it"; or
are we to bend our energies to suppress it? Are we to allow gambling
houses to exist in our midst, thus inviting our young men to become
victims? Are we to allow lotteries and petty gambling devices
everywhere as we do now? Are our churches to encourage the vice at their
fairs in order to make money to _redeem_ the world? No, we must stamp it
out wherever we find it.

_Wedding Bells_

     Wedlock, indeed, hath oft compared been
     To public feasts, where meet a public rout,
     Where they that are without would fain go in,
     And they that are within would fain go out.
                                        _Sir John Davies._

Let us listen, for a moment, to the merry jingle of the wedding bells,
as they echo through the corridors of the Hall of Time. What is a
wedding, and a marriage, and why? What object was sought, in the
beginning, when custom demanded a marriage ceremony before cohabitation?
Why has that ancient custom followed man to every far corner of the
globe, and why do all peoples resent any effort to destroy that custom?
Why so many different forms of ceremony, what do they mean, and why do
they differ so?

Bolingbroke says that marriage was instituted because it was necessary
that parents should know their own respective offspring; and that, as
the mother can have no doubt that she is the mother, so a man should
have all the assurance possible that he is the father: hence the
marriage contract, and the various moral and civil rights, duties and
obligations which follow as corollaries.

Monogamy was the original law of marriage, but in Genesis we are told
that Lamech took unto himself two wives. The Jews, in common with other
Oriental peoples, married when they were very young, but the Talmudists
forbade marriage by a male under thirteen years and a day. There was not
much ceremony, in the early days, except the removal of the bride from
her father's house to that of the bridegroom, called "taking a wife,"
and in primitive ages this was done by seizure and force. The only
"ceremony" took place on the preceding day, when the marriage had been
agreed upon in advance, and consisted of a formal elaborate bath by the
bride in the presence of her female companions. In later times, marriage
ceremonies gradually became very elaborate, and have generally remained
so and became more so ever since, in all parts of the world. Abraham
appears to have the honor of having secured the first divorce in
history, for we are told he sent Hagar and her child away from him. In
Deuteronomy XXIV, it is stated that a man had the power to dispose of a
faithless wife by writing her bill of divorcement, giving it into her
hand and sending her out of his house. When a man died, without issue,
his brother had first claim upon the widow, and she could not marry
another till the brother had formally rejected her. One peculiarity of
the ancients was, that they assumed that the impending wedding of a
couple had a very depressing effect, and it was consequently the custom
for all friends and neighbors to take means to cheer up the doomed ones
by all sorts of boisterous amusements. Married life was looked upon as a
business, and perhaps a perilous one.

Cecrops seems to have been the first to introduce among the Athenians
the formal marriage ceremony with all its solemn and binding
obligations. The ancient Greeks early decided that marriage was a
private as well as a public necessity, and the Spartans treated celibacy
as a crime. Lycurgus made laws so that those who married too late, or
unsuitably, or not at all, could be treated like ordinary criminals, and
not only was it unrespectable to be a bachelor, but it was dangerous.
Plato preached that a man should consider the welfare of his country
rather than his own pleasure, and that if he did not marry before he was
thirty-five he should be punished severely. The Spartans advocated
marriage for the reason that they wanted more children born to the
state, and when a married woman gave birth to no children she was made
to cohabit with another man. The Spartan King, Archidamus, fell in love
with and married a very little woman, which so incensed the people that
they fined him: they did not believe in marriage for love, but in
marriage for big, sturdy offspring. Often, fathers would choose brides
for their sons, and husbands for their daughters, who had never seen
each other, and compel them to marry. In Greece, until Aristotle put a
stop to it, the custom of buying wives was common.

By the Romans, as well as by the Jews and Greeks, marriage was deemed an
imperative duty; and parents were reprehended if they did not obtain
husbands for their daughters by the time they were twenty-five. The
Roman law recognized monogamy only, and polygamy was prohibited in the
whole empire. Hence, the former became practically the rule in all
Christiandom, and was introduced into the canon law of the Eastern and
Western churches. During the time of Augustus, bachelorhood became
fashionable, and to check the evil, as well as to lessen the alarming
number of divorces, which were also getting fashionable, Augustus
imposed a wife tax on all who persisted in the luxury of celibacy.

The superstition that some days and months are unlucky or lucky for
weddings seems to have originated with the Romans, May and February
being thought unpropitious, while June was particularly favorable to
happy marriages. These beliefs were based on things which cannot
possibly concern people of other climes and religions, and, like all
superstitions, are unfounded and absurd.

We know very little of the marriage affairs of the ancient Egyptians,
but we do know that they were not restricted to any number of wives. In
modern Egypt, a woman can never be seen by her future husband till after
she has been married, and she is always veiled. A similar custom
prevailed in ancient Morocco, the bride being first painted and stained,
and then carried to the house of her husband-to-be, where she was
formally introduced to him. He was satisfied, however, that she would
suit him, for he had previously sent some of his female relatives to
inspect her at the bath. The Mahomedans of Barbary do not buy their
wives, like the Turks, but have portions with them. They retain in their
marriage rites many ceremonies in use by the ancient Goths and Vandals.
The married women must not show their faces, even to their fathers. The
Moors of West Barbary have practically the same customs as the
Mahomedans and the Moroccoans the groom never seeing the bride till he
is introduced to her in the bridal chamber. The modern Arabians, since
they have conformed to the Koran, marry as many wives as they please,
and buy them as they do slaves. Among the Bedouins, polygamy is allowed,
but generally a Bedouin has only one wife, who is often taken for an
agreed term, usually short,--which sounds something like the "trial
marriage" plan recently suggested by a now-famous American lady. The
wedding consists in the cutting of the throat of a young lamb, by the
bridegroom, the ceremony being completed the moment the blood falls upon
the ground. Among the Medes, reciprocal polygamy was in use, and a man
was not respectable unless he had at least seven wives, nor a woman
unless she had five husbands. In Persia, living people were sometimes
married to the dead, and often to their nearest relations. In the
seventeenth century, the nobility might have as many wives as they
pleased, but the poor commonality were limited to seven: and they might
part with them at discretion.

Trial marriages were also in vogue in Persia, and seldom was a marriage
contract made for life. A new wife was a common luxury. Persian
etiquette demands that before the master of the house no person must
pronounce the name of the wife, but rather refer to her as "How is the
daughter of (naming her mother or father)?"

The Chinese believe that marriages are decreed by heaven, and that those
who have been connected in a previous existence become united in this.
Men are allowed to keep several concubines, but they are entirely
dependent on the legitimate wife, who is always reckoned the most
honorable. The Chinese marry their children when they are very young,
sometimes as soon as they are born.

In Japan, polygamy and fornication are allowed, and fathers sell or hire
out their daughters with legal formalities for limited terms. In Finland
it was the custom for a young woman to wear suspended at her girdle the
sheath of a knife, as a sign that she was single and wanted a husband.
Any young man who was enamored of her, obtained a knife in the shape of
the sheath, and slyly slipped it in the latter, and if the maiden
favored the proposal, she would keep the knife, otherwise she would
return it.

In another part of Finland, a young couple were allowed to sleep
together, partly, if not completely dressed, for two weeks, which
custom, called bundling or tarrying, was common in Wales and the New
England States, and is supposed not to have resulted in immoral

In Scotland, the custom has long prevailed of lifting the bride over the
threshold of her new home, which custom is probably derived from the
Romans. The threshold, in many countries, is thought to be a sacred
limit or boundary, and is the subject of much superstition. In the Isle
of Man, a superstition prevails that it is very lucky to carry salt in
the pocket, and the natives always do so when they marry. They also have
the international custom of throwing an old shoe after the bridegroom as
he left his home, and also one or more after the bride as she left her
home. In Wales the old-time weddings were characterized by several
curious customs, such as Bundlings, Chainings, Sandings, Huntings and
Tithings. In Britain, before Caesar's invasion, an indiscriminate (or
but slightly restricted) intermixture of the sexes was the practice, and
polygamy prevailed; and it was not uncommon for several brothers to have
only one wife among them, paternity being determined by resemblance.

The foregoing facts and customs do not show the evolution of marriage,
because in some countries the same forms and customs prevail to-day that
prevailed six thousand years ago. As civilization advances, however, we
find that the tendency is toward a more rigid enforcement of the
marriage contract, and strictly against polygamy. The sanctity of the
home and respect for marriage vows have not only passed into the statute
law of civilized nations, but they have become proverbial with most all
of the enlightened people. It must also be observed, however, that at
the present time there seems to be a tendency in this country to make
marriage more difficult and divorce more easy.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "What's What in America" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ 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.