“For always in thine eyes, O Liberty!
Shines that high light whereby the world is saved;
And though thou slay us, we will trust in thee.”
On Picket Duty.
George Chainey’s “Infidel Pulpit” now comes to us under the title, “This World.” It presents a very handsome appearance, and we are glad to hear that it is achieving an abundant success.
William W. Crapo, who represents the first congressional district of Massachusetts in the national house of representatives, is soon to report, in his capacity of chairman of the committee on banking and currency, a bill draughted by himself extending the national banking system for another twenty years. Mr. Crapo is popular among his neighbors, and enjoys the reputation of being an honest man. He may mean well now, but by this action he will constitute himself the champion of the most gigantic swindle ever perpetrated upon tin American people. He is said to have his eye upon the governorship of Massachusetts, and the Crapo “boom” set in some time ago. He is evidently shrewd enough to see that capital makes our governors, and is bidding high. It usually makes no difference to us who is governor, but if Mr. Crappo runs for the office, we confess that we should enjoy seeing Uncle Benjamin Butler beat him right out of his boots.
In another column of this issue is given our estimate of the life and character of an earnest fellow-worker recently taken from the ranks forever. It is written from our own standpoint, as it should be. But how far one who accepts the task of conducting an actual funeral ceremony is justified in flying in the face of the dearest beliefs of the deceased is another question, which we are driven to consider by the action of W. J. Colville, the Spiritualist priest chosen to say the parting words over Laura Kendrick’s coffin. He began the exercises by reading selections from the Bible which he know to be in direct conflict with the teachings of her life. “Blessed are the dead who die in Christ Jesus,” he began; “The Lord is my shepherd,” he continued; and so on to the end. Laura Kendrick did not die in Christ Jesus, and would have rebelled at the very thought. She died in her own glorious self. If, beyond the veil which separates us from the future, there is a judgment day when the damned are separated from the saved, Laura Kendrick, unescorted by any mediator, will walk straight, erect, and fearlessly into the presence of the great white throne there to receive her sentence, confident in the power of her own virtues to achieve her own salvation. Nor was the Lord her shepherd. Her rôle through life was that of a shepherdess. She belonged to no flock, but tended many. And if, the other side the grave, there are green pastures and still waters, our word for it she will discover them unaided, and load countless others to enjoy their benefits. Mr. Colville, by reading these passages, outraged her memory and insulted her friends, and nothing but the proprieties of the occasion saved him from being confronted with at least one rebuffing protest on the spot. He cannot plead ignorance; he knew her too well for that. We can view his conduct only as a feeble imitation cf the cowardly efforts long practised by the Christian church to capture the infidel dead.
Our European Letter.
[From Liberty’s Special Correspondent.]
London, January 1, 1882. — Whenever, in the trying midnight hours, doubt seizes me and I despair of ever seeing the victorious realization of the ideas for which we have abandoned everything,— home, family, fortune, social position,— then I look over to Russia, where the spectacle afforded is sufficient to at once disperse the nightmares of the most pessimistic. If ever history shall be written by other than minds corrupted by the influence of their social surroundings, the famous three hundred of Thermopylae and the ten thousand of Xenophon will be looked upon as examples of courage, self-sacrifice, and sublimity a hundred-fold less imposing than those afforded by the men and women who brave death and — what is more — a living sepulchre in the icy steppes of Siberia, not for themselves, not for their own aggrandizement, bus for others unknown to them, for the wretched masses whom they love and refuse to exploit after the manner of the bourgeoisie. One hundred and twenty thousand have been sent to Siberia during the last three years! Thirty-seven have been hanged! And yet each day contributes to our ranks double the number thus taken from as.
You probably have beard the rumor that Ignatieff’s position has been much shaken on account of the various signs of life recently exhibited by our party. Put it down as a fabrication. Ignatieff stands firmer than ever, for he is the only man who is willing to continue the policy of adherence to governing on purely Asiatic principles, which the czar regards as the only cure for the growing spirit of dissatisfaction and rebellion.
Even the last remnants of the appearance of justice have now been abolished. All trials hereafter are to be held in strictest secrecy, newspapers are forbidden even to mention the fact of a trial or the names of the accused, and executions are to be accomplished in the presence of no witnesses. All newspapers except the organs of the government are suppressed, and the icy silence of death reigns throughout the vast dominions of Alexander III.
Tchernichevsky’s place of exile has now been changed for the fourth time. You will remember that at the International Literary Congress at Vienna it was moved to petition the czar for the release of the unfortunate romancier. The czar acceded to the demand officially, but give orders the same day for the removal of the exile to the utmost extreme of northern Siberia, facing the ever-frozen sea, where he has been given into the custody of some savage Exquimaux, even Russian cossacks being unable to endure the climate. He himself, even when free, is completely dead for our purposes, as only his body survives.
In Germany social politics, since the Pyrrhus-victory of the elections, has experienced a little lull, though you may prepare to hear news shortly showing it to have been but the lull before the storm. The popular vote cast by the socialists in Germany was two hundred thousand less than at the election of 1878. I do not follow the custom of all parties by counting all the votes not cast as ours. I should be glad to know that even five per cent of them were due to the policy of deliberate abstention. Bebel was defeated for the fourth time, in Mainz, too, where Liebknecht withdrew in his favor, and where thereby a constituency already won for the Social Democrats has been lost again. It is said that Bruno Geiser, Liebknecht’s son-in-law, will resign his seat for Chemnitz in order to make room for Bebel.
It is a natural law that, once started down an inclined plane, the rapidity of the fall increases in a geometrical ratio. A few days ago, in a public debate in the Reichstag, Hasenclever, a Social Democrat, revealed the fact that Hohm, a member of the revolutionary party, was a delegate to the London congress. Hohm is a married man with five children dependent upon him, and, in consequence of this infamous denunciation, will be completely ruined. Penkert, another valiant member of our party, has been arrested, through the denunciation of these same men, at Vienna.
The European newspapers have been circulating alarming reports about the state of Karl Marx’s health. I can inform you that, though having been very deeply affected by the death or his wife a few weeks ago, he has completely recovered from the shock, and is once more able to continue his subterranean warfare against the Anarchists.
Appeal of the Nihilists.
We have been engaged for several years in the murderous struggle going on in Russia between the government on one side and on the other the men of spirit who have sworn an oath to deliver their country from the despotism which is crushing it.
From day to day the struggle takes on greater proportions and the number of victims consequently increases. The scaffold, the galleys, banishment, and exile by administrative measures seek their prey in all classes of Russian society. The beneficiaries of fortune, as well as the working people and the peasantry; fall under the blows of governmental persecution, and among the latter how many laborers who were the sole support of their families! Shall these victims of the struggle for liberty be viewed with less interest than the widows and orphans left by wars instituted by States? Are the miseries and misfortunes engendered by this struggle less entitled to our sympathies? For a long time the groups tried to relieve these ever-increasing sufferings; but, few in number and deficient in organization, the committees were unable to perform this duty in a manner at all satisfactory.
There has now been established in Russia a Society of the Red Cross of the Will of the People, concentrating in itself the activity of all the groups of this class which preceded it. Its name explains the special object of its work. Just as, on the battle-field, the nurses and doctors of the Red Cross of Geneva pick up the fallen and dress their wounds, so on this blood-stained land of Russia the new Society proposes to care for those wounded in the warfare now being waged in Russia in the name of the Will of the People, and to rush to the aid, without distinction of party or profession of faith, of all those who have suffered in the struggle for liberty of speech, thought, and human development.
It appeals to the sympathies of foreigners as well us to those of the Russians themselves, and counts on the support of all who take to heart the sufferings engendered by the struggles of liberty, in whatever country they present themselves, and who are ready to extend a helping hand to the self-sacrificing, whatever their nationality. To this end the central committee of the Society has appointed two persons to organize a foreign section and receive the sums contributed to the work. These delegates are citizeness Vera Sassulitch and citizen Pierre Lavroff. In conformity to the end which the Society has in view these delegates propose:
1. To make direct appeal for subscriptions by circulating numbered lists, stamped and signed by the delegates, on which shall be registered the sums given by the donors. The latter are requested to deposit their contributions only in the hands of the delegates or of the persons supplied by them: with the aforesaid subscription lists, or at the offices of such journals as shall open a subscription in behalf of the Society.
2. To solicit the cooperation of journals friendly to our cause by inviting them to likewise open subscriptions for the benefit of the Society and to transmit to the delegates the sums thus collected.
3. To call, from time to time, in the principal centres where the Society exercises its activity, meetings of all its members residing in foreign lands. Every parson known to the delegates as having contributed to the work of the Society, either by subscription or personal effort, may attend these meetings, take part in the discussions which they occasion, and obtain such information as can be imparted without prejudice to the Society’s action.
4. To publish in the newspapers reports of the sums received and the manner of their employment.
5. To name, in case of necessity and for countries where there is no delegate, persons of trust, whose signature shall carry in those countries a weight equal to that of the delegates themselves.
Citizens, in addressing this appeal to you, we count on your devotion to the cause of liberty. The sufferings endured by our friends in Russia deserve the profound appreciation of all men of heart. Come to their aid, and thus give proof of that solidarity without which the cause of humanity can never triumph.
December 27, 1881.
“A free man is one who enjoys the use of his reason and his faculties; who is neither blinded by passion, not hindered or driven by oppression, not deceived by erroneous opinions.” — Proudhon.
A Precious Pair of Pious Politicians.
Boston has a postmaster. His name is Tobey,— E. S. Tobey. He is a pious and holy man. For many years he has been a stalwart pillar of the Church. Of late years, since his official appointment, he has also been a not insignificant prop of the State. That Church and State in this country are separated more in theory than in fact thinking people generally understand. That political advancement treads close upon the heels of religious profession we have often noticed. That this fact is the explanation of Postmaster Tobey’s appointment to office we have always more than suspected. But we had never supposed that he would have the assurance, not only to publicly acknowledge his little game, but to boast of it and hold it up as a shining example to the rising generation. Nevertheless, that is just what he has done. About a fortnight ago a short paragraph in a Boston morning paper caught our eye, which briefly outlined a speech made the evening before by Postmaster Tobey before a Bethel Sunday School. This speech reminded us so strongly of a celebrated Sunday School oration said to have been delivered in the wilds of the West by United States Senator Abner Dilworthy that we asked a reporter, who heard Mr. Tobey, to write it out for us. He has done so, in words which he vouches for as substantially accurate. His manuscript furnished so remarkable a confirmation of our suspicions of plagiarism that we decided to print the two speeches side by side for our readers to compare for themselves. Accordingly, here they are:
Remarks of Postmaster E. S. Tobey, at the Bethel in Boston, before the First Baptist Mariners’ Sunday School, on the occasion of its forty-second anniversary, Sunday evening, January 8. Reported from memory by a professional reporter, who was present.
At the time the war of the rebellion broke out I had the honor to be the president of the Young Men’s Christian Association of Boston. Soon a plan was devised for calling a convention to take measures to provide for the dare of sick and wounded soldiers. I confess I did not think well of the plan, but I waived my own better judgment, hoping that, after an, the scheme might prove to be a good one, and wishing to do what I could to help along any good cause. I went to the convention in New York, was chosen one of Its vice-presidents, and in that capacity went to Philadelphia to aid in the good work, and from there to Washington, becoming acquainted with great men on all sides; and from there I went among the army, was introduced to General Grant, and as the result of that, without any solicitation on my part, I was appointed to the official position I now hold. All this honor and emolument unsolicited by me, is the result of my endeavor to do good,— in short, the result of my good act in taking pert in that convention. No one could have foretold this result, but it only serves to confirm what I have told you, that every good deed is sure to receive its reward, sooner or later.
Remarks of United States Senator Abner Dilvtorthy, during his canvass for re-election, before the Sunday School of the village church at Cattleville. Reported by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in their work called “The Glided Age.”
“Now, my dear little friends, sit up straight and pretty,— there, that’s it,— and give me your attention and let me tell you about a poor little Sunday School scholar I once knew. He lived in the far west, and his parents were poor. They could not give him a costly education, but they were good and wise and they sent him to the Sunday School. He loved the Sunday School. I hope you love your Sunday School — ah, I see by your faces that you do! That is right.
“Well, this poor little boy was always in his place when the bell rang, and he always know his lesson; for his teachers wanted him to learn and he loved his teachers dearly. Always love your teachers, my children, for they love you more than you can know, now. He would not let bad boys persuade him to go to play on Sunday. There was one little bad boy who was always trying to persuade him, but he never could.
“So this poor little boy grew up to he a man, and had to go out in the world, far from home and friends to earn his living. Temptations lay all about him, and sometimes he was about to yield, but he would think of some precious lesson he learned in his Sunday School a long time ago, and that would save him. By and by he was elected to the legislature. Then he did everything he could for Sunday Schools. He got laws passed for them; he got Sunday Schools established wherever he could.
“And by and by the people made him governor — and he said it was all owing to the Sunday School.
“After a while the people elected him a Representative to the Congress of the United States, and he grew very famous. — Now temptations as sailed him on every hand. People tried to get him to drink wine, to dance, to go to theatres; they even tried to buy his vote; but no, the memory of his Sunday School saved him from all harm; be remembered the fate of the bad little boy who used to try to get him to play on Sunday, and who grew up and became a drunkard and was hanged. He remembered that, and was glad he never yielded and played on Sunday.
“Well, at last, what do you think happened? Why the people gave him a towering, illustrious position, a grand, imposing position. And what do you think it was? What should you say it was, children? It was Senator of the United States. That poor little boy that loved his Sunday School became that man. That man stands before you! All that he is, he owes to the Sunday School.
“My precious children, love your parents, love your teachers, love your Sunday Scbjol, be pious, be obedient, be honest, be diligent, and then you will succeed in life and be honored of all men. Above all things, my children, be honest. Above all things be pure-minded as the snow. Let us join in prayer.”
When Senator Dilworthy departed from Cattleville, he left three dozen boys behind him arranging campaign of life whose objective point was the United States Senate.
When he arrived at the State capital at midnight Mr. Noble came and held a three hours’ conference with him, and then as he was about leaving said:
“I’ve worked hard, and I’ve got them at last. Six of them haven’t got quite backbone enough to show around and come right out for you on the first ballot to-morrow, but they’re going to vote against you on the first for the sake of appearances, and then come out for you all in a body on the second — I’ve fixed all that! By supper time to-morrow you’ll be re-elected. You can go to bed and sleep easy on that.”
After Mr. Noble was gone, the Senator said:
“Well, to bring about a complexion of things like this was worth coming West for.”
As we pondered over these singular orations and the lessons to be drawn from them, we were involuntarily reminded of another instance of official promotion almost as remarkable. It is needless, of course, to say that we refer to the career of Sir Joseph Porter, K. C. B. And the thought occurred to us that it would be the rankest injustice for his well-earned fame to go down to posterity recorded and enshrined in the immortal verse of “Pinafore,” if the deeds and achievements of Postmaster Tobey were to remain unhonored and unsung. So we resolved to invoke the Muse,— with what result our readers now may judge:
E. Sanctimonious Tobey to the Youthful Mariners.
When I will an led, I readily learned
How the scales of popular prejudice turned;
That a sleek demeanor and pious tones
To secular success were stepping-stones.
So I shaped my course by such points as these,
And trimmed my sails for a worldly breeze.
[Chorus of Admiring Mariners.]
He steered so close to the wind, d’ye see,
That he’s now postmaster of a big cit-tee.
So I cultivated a saintly air,
“Arena in meeting” and “led in prayer,”
And the blood of the Lamb I utilized,
For it kept me pretty well advertised.
It was not strange I soon found my way
To tho head of the B. Y. M. C. A.
He made himself so solid with the saints, d’ye see,
That he’s now postmaster of a big cit-tee.
With cunning hand I began to mix
My piety up with my politics,
And always figured on the party slate
As a highly moral candidate.
The wires pulled easily, greased with grace,
And hoisted me into a good, fat place.
He oiled the machine with santi-tee.
And he’s now postmaster of big cit-tee.
There’s nothing so helps to win success
As a standard reputation for godliness;
For cheek and cont together, you’ll find,
Have a very strong hold on the public mind.
And it may be possible, if you try,
To become such it goodly, goody, good man as I.
Let us cultivate a holy hypocri-see,
And federal officeholders we all may be.
Guiteau, the Fraud-Spoiler.
I What may become of Guiteau is in itself a matter of little consequence. He represents a very low type of humanity. Although he took of the leading figure-head of an unscrupulous conspiracy of political rogues, this, were he sane, would detract nothing from the cowardice and unjustifiability of the act, for which we have a detestation more sincere than that professed by the editorial and clerical hypocrites who have shed so many tears over the lamented president.
But, readily as we concede the atrocity of Guiteau’s deed, the taking of one man’s life by another without just cause,— that and nothing more,— we, nevertheless, are convinced that humanity owes Guiteau a debt of gratitude for a rare service which it will sometime be better able to appreciate. That service consists in his astonishing efficacy as a fraud-spoiler. Guiteau is the first man in the record of great trials who ever had a fair whack in open court at judicial liars and hirelings on the bench, legal thieves at the bar, and learned professional quacks and usurpers generally.
How well he has done his work it is needless to say. He sealed Beecher’s lecherous lips with one stroke. He demolished the minor legal and political upstarts with one slap. At his rejoinders the learned “experts” soon sickened of chewing their own words and attempting to demonstrate a knowledge of Guiteau’s mind on July 2 while the prisoner proved to them that they did not know their own minds for five consecutive minutes when testifying.
When a correct report of this trial is published, and read with a view to its “true inwardness,” it will prove a greater source of enlightenment than all the celebrated state trials ever recorded. It has already opened the eyes of thousands of the American public to the hollow humbuggery of professional hierarchs. It has done more to cheapen the status of titled frauds on judicial benches, in medical colleges, and in guilded offices generally than anything that has transpired during the century. It has stripped the mask from scores of representative pretenders, and shown the public that underneath their diplomas, learned titles, and scholarly uniforms the substance of even common sense is wanting. Of that part of Guiteau’s levelling career which covers the cowardly taking of the life of a fellow-man we share the common impulse of detestation, though not forgetting that the State which assumes the right to take his life is no less a murderer than he,— yea, more so,— since the State cannot put forward the plea of insanity. But Guiteau’s career as a leveller of professional fraud and a cheapener of their assumptions is simply splendid. He has proved a formidable “bear” in the expert market, and a few more such trials as his would send down professional stocks, fees, and salaries with a bound. A court of law is very much like its stater machine, the church. During service the accused party on trial, who by right ought to have most to say, is debarred in favor of the fee-takers. Happily, Guiteau has been a memorable exception, and he has taken magnificent advantage of his opportunities for usefulness. In this regard we think that no small portion of the American public would be willing to tender him a vote of thanks.
Liberty has lost an apostle,— one of her most tried and true defenders, one of her most courageous soldiers, one of her most ardent advocates, one of her most devoted martyrs. Early in the evening of Wednesday, January 11, 1882, after a ten days’ prostration by a paralytic stroke, in Boston, the city which she loved above all others, Laura Kendrick breathed her last. Hers was a life, hers is a character, fit to be treated by the combined genius of the foremost of biographers and the foremost of novelists. In approaching them Liberty’s pen seems almost powerless. But it would be base ingratitude in a journal aiming to represent a cause which owes so much to her, if to her memory it should fail to pay the heartfelt tribute of a farewell word, however feebly spoken. Briefly, then, what was this life that is gone? what is this character that remains?
Laura Kendrick was born in Paris of English parents forty-nine years ago. Her father occupied a high position in the British navy; her mother belonged to the British nobility. She lived in Paris until the age of eight, reared amid all the advantages of wealth, comfort, culture, and refinement, and speaking only the French language. These eight years, similar in very few respects to any portion of her after-life, left a marked impress upon it. At their close her family took up their residence in Canada, bringing her across the ocean with them. Here she first acquired the English tongue and became assimilated to the English race. She was a strange, dreamy, imaginative, reverent child,— submissive, yet wayward; a family phenomenon, wondered at by all, but dearly loved. Coupled with her waywardness, which was born, not of perversity, but of conviction, her nature, though prone to fun and gaiety, had in it a marked element of serious romanticism. At the age of fourteen circumstances which cannot be related here called upon her for a decision which this combination of characteristics controlled, and the result was a separation from her relatives, which pride made permanent. Thrown on her own resources, she soon found her way to the United States, where, at first earning her living by her needle, she later became the wife of Harvey McAlpine, who had just abandoned his profession of clergyman of the English church in Canada for that of the law, and who afterwards became district attorney at Port Huron, Michigan, where they lived in happiness for many years. During thin period occurred that turning-point of her life without which it would have been of no interest to Liberty, for then and there it was that modern spiritualism wrenched her, as it has so many others, from a thoughtless acceptance of the dogmas of Christianity, and, by its innovating tendency rather than by any rationality of its own, brought her face to face with the tremendous problems upon which the interest of radicalism centres. The phenomena that made her its convert came through her own mediumship. What they were, under what circumstances they were produced, and how much they actually proved we cannot undertake to say; they were, at any rate, sufficient to convince her of the reality of a future life and the possibility of communication with those who have entered it. Whatever may be thought of the theory and phenomena of spiritualism,— and, considered in themselves, we certainly hold them in very small esteem,— every one who knew Laura Kendrick must admit the absolutely unquestionable sincerity of her acceptance thereof. Like all earnest recipients of a new gospel, she burned with zeal to spread it. The opportunity was not only brought, but forced upon her by a sad experience. Financial difficulties drove her husband to suicide, and she took the field as a lecturer. Here her public life began. And as we have already outlined that portion of her private life which was principally instrumental in the formation of her character, we shall refer but casually to the rest of it, since it does not concern the world. She rose rapidly into tho highest rank of spiritualist lecturers, developing a power of oratory capable, under pressure of appropriate circumstance, of piercing to depths of human feeling such as we have never heard sounded by the lips of any other woman. Increasing experience in the advocacy of spiritualism gradually taught her that, if it was to be of real value, it must become a religion of this world as well as of the next, and from the time that she first fully realized this she gave her principal attention to the cause of the suffering and downtrodden. No appeal from violated Liberty ever addressed itself to her in vain. Her responses thereto have been heard by hundreds of thousands from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast, and the radical seed that she has sown has borne abundant fruit. Shortly after the war she went to California, where she started Sunday evening lectures in Maguire’s Opera House at San Francisco, which at once became exceedingly popular. Their novelty contributed not a little to their success, no female orator at that time having been heard in that part of the country. Through these lectures she exerted no small influence on public sentiment, and they became one of the institutions of the city. She eloquently pleaded the cause of oppressed womanhood, of the fleeced laborer, of the maltreated criminal. The San Francisco “Chronicle” pronounced her “the acknowledged leading champion of radicalism on the Pacific coast.” Those were the days of her highest prosperity. Money flowed freely into her treasury, and was as freely disbursed among the poor and the persecuted. She took no thought for the morrow, little dreaming that her devotion to truth would one day lose her the bulk of her supporters. Such a fate, however, was close at hand for her. In 1872 the famous free-love agitation was attracting the attention of the country. Mrs. Woodhull, its leader, had become the heroine of the New York wing of the woman suffragists, and had been chosen president of the spiritualists’ national body. Her praises were being sounded far and wide by prominent radicals. In the fail of that year she launched the Beecher scandal, and her pseudo-friends vanished like smoke. It was a severe test, and only a few stood it. Of these, one was Laura Kendrick, who had returned to the East a short time before. Heedless of consequences, she jumped into the breach, espoused Mrs. Woodhull and her cause believing in both, visited her in prison, carried her food, and, wherever she went, lifted her eloquent voice in behalf of the woman against whom nearly all religious, social, and political forces had united. Then began the fatal period of adversity which drove her to the grave. From that day her fortunes waned. The spiritualists, regardless of their debt to her, were the first to abandon her. Finally — unkindest cut of all — Mrs. Woodhull herself, whose duplicity she had least expected and deserved, turned and attacked her. But she struggled on valiantly, hopefully, never abating one jot or title of the truth. In 1874 she returned to San Francisco, where the labor agitation was just coming to the front. She plunged into it, body and soul. Another ruinous, glorious step. More friends fell off. The Pittsburg riots broke out, and she, with others, initiated the famous “sand-lot” meetings, which the foul-mouthed demagogue, Kearney, afterwards captured and debased. The cry went up that “the Chinese must go.” The persecuted became persecutors. She, ever faithful, championed the Chinese. This was not pleasing to the agitators, but she maintained her ground and struggled on. In 1878 she came back to the East,— to her beloved Boston. The anti-Comstock agitation was at its height. She arrived just as Mr. E. H. Heywood was about to be tried for mailing “Cupid’s Yokes.” At once she became a leader in the struggle. It seemed as if she was fated, during her later years, to run straight into the teeth of every social storm and bear the brunt of it. Mr. Heywood was sentenced and imprisoned. She went to Washington, and by her infinite tact and persuasive tongue procured his pardon from the president. Her reward for this deed of nobility and mercy was chiefly contumely and ostracism. And still she struggled on. But her sensitive nature was beginning to succumb under the heavy load of poverty, persecution, and slander. Disease began its ravages. She grew weaker and weaker. But never, to the very end, did she fail to answer any call if it was possible to maintain her feet. In 1880 she suffered an apoplectic attack and in 1881 a paralytic stroke, the latter being repeated but a few days ago with fatal effect. She lingered for ten days in an unconscious state, and then sank peacefully into her eternal sleep.
The central, predominant, towering characteristic of this brave woman’s nature was her life-long fidelity to sincere conviction. At whatever cost she stood for the truth as she saw it. The power did not exist that could make her retreat one inch Her slender body was ruled by an indomitable will that worked for righteousness. Next in importance came her singular purity. In thought and act her life was utterly clean. Many have been the attempts to stain her reputation, but her character remain as spotless as the freshly-fallen snow. She combined the refinement of aristocracy with the spirit of democracy. Given to violent likes and dislikes, she was tolerant of all, bore no malice, and was incapable of treasuring up ill-will. An almost unerring judge of human nature, she was always careful to revise her first judgment, if necessary, by subsequent experience. Her endurance was phenomenal. While able to improve prosperity to its utmost, she could bear up under adversity with a resistance seemingly out of all proportion to her strength. Her philanthropy was of the broadest, truest sort, taking in and aiding all who suffered before stopping to ask why they suffered. She had a quick temper, but a genial, sunny temperament. Hers was a tropical nature physically and morally, ill-adapted to cast winds of any sort. This, combined with her perfect manners, easy bearing, entire self-possession, unobtrusive modesty, and delightful conversation, made her a charming companion socially. She had her faults, of course, but they were petty ones, not worth considering now.
She has gone, we said above, to her eternal sleep. But her work lives after her, immortal in its beneficent influence, certain to go on forever. Many friends of Liberty owe their first radical impulse to the stimulation of her eloquence and example. She lives also in the grateful and loving memory of thousands who knew her privately, and in the hearts of her mourning husband and children and not a few grief-stricken friends. One of the latter, who dined with her just before her last sickness, writes to us: “I felt that day, when she left the table, she was going to her grave. Poor, aspiring souls that we all are, flickering and disappearing! A very noble woman, of whom the world was not worthy!”
Whilhelm’s Bouncing Boy.
The Emperor Wilhelm of Germany, better known among his subjects as “der alle Hengst,” has concluded at the ripe age of eighty-five that the modern drift of constitutional liberty is all wrong, and will soon lead his royal son to the regency with the notions of Charles I and Louis XIV in his hands wherewith to guide and rule young Germany.
If we mistake not, this bouncing boy will have a big job on his hands before the socialists get through with him. Already they have captured half the army, and, while Bismarck is at his wits’ end to conciliate the laboring masses), the mercantile and educated classes feel insulted at his protective schemes and absolutist tendencies. As if to maliciously overflow the cup of bitterness, Wilhelm now publishes his “rescript,” affirming the maxims of the old monarchists of the Middle Ages.
Well may the blind and infatuated royal cranks tremble at the approach of the day when these newly educated soldier-socialists shall refuse to shoot their fellow proletaires in the streets. In one hand the soldier holds the bayonet, on which is poised the last argument of kings; in the other, the socialistic manifesto disguised under cover of a patent medicine advertisement for the sure cure of the “king’s evil.” The bayonet will yet succumb to the king’s evil, and then where will be Wilhelm’s bouncing boy with the maxims of the Stuarts pasted upon the throne?
The German emperor, in putting himself on the same plane with the czar, similarly endangers his life. He may possibly succeed in making his ministers and officers alone responsible to him, but every royal imitator of the czar will find himself seriously liable, when it is too late, to be responsible to the first brave man who can reach him with a bomb of dynamite. Wilhelm’s bouncing boy had better bethink himself of these things before the old man dies.
The “Affirmations” of Free Religion.
Listening from time to time to the orators of Free Religion and reading occasionally the Free Religious journals,— or journal, perhaps we should say,— one discovers a certain assumption, put forward with a somewhat orthodox disregard of that much-vaunted Christian grace known as “humility,” to the effect that the true Free Religious liberal is not a merely negative creature, full of all manner of denial, but a person of truly positive and affirmative characteristics; in brief, that the small number of Free Religionists are easily distinguished from the vast herd of so-called liberals who have broken out of the old Evangelical enclosure by this simple sign: the former are builders; they no longer pass their unquiet hours in tearing down the tottering faith of the fathers; on the contrary, they consecrate their intellectual and religious energies all to the service of a new free religious civilization, of which the chief corner-stone is none other than that same spotless morality their Christian brethren have so long denounced as of no more worth than so many “filthy rags:” the latter,— the Tom, Dick, and Harry class,— which comes forth pell-mell, heaven knows how or when, from the four winds,— are simply and only destroyers; they lay waste, or would if they could, all that the ages, with infinite toil and sacrifice, have constructed, leaving but barren earth and howling wilderness to tell of their mighty deeds; they have no outlook into the future, showing them the fair and grand creations of a stately and imposing civilization; they are only intent on tearing down, tearing down, tearing down; they seem to say, “This is our mission, after us the devil.”
The words are ours, but the spirit that inspires them, as we said, is borrowed from the Free Religious teachers. It is the Free Religious estimate of liberal values. Our esteemed contemporary, the “Index,” is fond of often laying out the liberal its dots of differentiating color. It classifies and reclassifies, ever making up its new slate according to its conception of moral pennyweights, or the avoirdupois of spiritual or intellectual culture. And, of course, in strictest regard for that inherited Christian “humility” to which we have alluded, it magnifies the importance of that select and not numerous class of most irreproachable men and women whose sole decorous organ it is. All of which is, doubtless, as it should be, since there is not the slightest suspicion to be cast over its profound and utter sincerity.
Yet, all the same, in the interest of our common humanity, it would be quite defensible, in whomsoever might essay the task, to puncture, at least, with a cambric needle, the swelling bubble of this Free Religious positivism to which the finger of the “Index” so often and so lovingly points. And the simple defence would be that the aforesaid globular apparition is inflated with somewhat on which hungry human nature positively can not feed and long survive.
True, we are not greatly alarmed in view of any rapid spread of this rainbow-hued heresy, and doubt not it will collapse in due season of its own vacuous accord; but there are, as we know, a goodly number of most excellent and noble-minded people who have been led astray by the fascinations of its polished speech and the subdued glamour of its aestheticism, as well as by the claim to superior position amid the up-building forces of this our so needy and patiently-waiting world.
Therefore we speak. For their sakes,— if haply our words may reach ears that hear,— we gently bid them turn their eyes and behold the delusion.
What, then, we ask, is there to support the Free Religious claim to a positive or affirmative attitude?
To waste no words, we bluntly put our questions.
Free Religion no longer gives its time to denying, let us say: (1) the existence of the orthodox deity; (2) the atonement, or mission of Christ; (3) the future life of rewards and punishments; (4) the reality of one incarnate devil, who stole into Paradise and destroyed the bliss of our first parents, and since has been going about as a lion roaring and seeking whom he might devour.
Well, in the place of this, and of much more we might here restate, what does Free Religion affirm?
Does it affirm God in any shape? What affirmation stands instead of the rejected Christi’ What does it say affirmatively of the future life? And how does it dispose of that somewhat extended area of territory so long undisputedly occupied by his Satanic majesty, whom Milton was wont to describe as being in his own conceit “all but less than he whom thunder hath made greater”?
To put these questions is sufficient. Everybody knows Free Religion not only does not attempt to replace these old affirmations with new affirmatives; it glories, instead, in the profession that its constituent parts are all at sea in regard to them, drifting hither and thither at their own free will.
But now, by rapid movement, we pass to the ground Free Religion will claim it has occupied with a most determinedly affirmative state of mind,— to wit, to the ground of man’s moral life here upon earth. It has made the “earthward pilgrimage,” and planted itself strongly in the ethic realities of our present existence. In other word, it has reduced religion to a practical basis, linking it inseparably with world’s morals.
Well, far be it from us to deny that here is happy thought,— one which should find a place in the book and volume of everybody’s brain and heart. But the vital question is, has it done what it thinks it done?
One of the pet phrases of its organ has for some time been, “for supernatural, Christian morality we would substitute natural, scientific morality.” Strain your eyes now, good friend, whoever you are, and tell us just how far this process of substitution has proceeded. Awaiting your response, we fill time with our own report. Not a solitary new affirmative moral dogma has Free Religion reared. Possibly we are blinded and can not see, but to our honest vision there appears not one grand moral affirmation Free Religion has vouchsafed to stand its own peculiar property amid the roar and bustle of “denial” with which it is claimed the liberal air has been filled.
This is the decisive point at which we arrive. Has free Religion affirmed anything whatsoever in its own name as one of the new up-building forces of this our modern time? To our mind this is the answer which must come from fact and truth, “No, not one thing.”
Do we say this gleefully? No, by no means; but sorrowfully, yet not so much for the world’s sake, as for the sake and of the souls of the friends we count organized seriously and solemnly under the Free Religion banner.
The proof of what we say is not far or hard to seek. But the limits or our space now forbid more than the statement which follows: In every important case where Free Religion make a united affirmation, it is close to be observed that the Christian world makes the very same; that, therefore, Free Religion is affirming an old force and not a new one. Not that it must necessarily not affirm a thing because Christian do yet so affirm. Let no one mistake that for charge we bring. Its boast is that it is especially affirming new forces of higher civilization than any yet attained. But when we look for those new forces, they do not, by any affirmation Free Religion makes, put in an appearance.
Now, on the contrary, be it observed, on every new issue upon which mankind is to-day ethically divided, Free Religion is silent. The members of the body, for the most part, cling to the old, conservative side of the living problems that confront the world. Their affirmations are all for what has been, for what is, and for what ought to be.
This is the gist of what we propose to set forth in the next issue of Liberty.
Guiteau has shown one symptom of sanity. In the speech which Judge Cox infamously prevented him from delivering to the jury he quoted in full on editorial on “The Guiteau Experts,” which had already been pronounced legally sound by the leading lawyer of New England, and which one of the foremost physicians of Massachusetts had characterized as “the best thing on expert testimony that he had ever seen.”
We are glad to welcome so prominent, influential, and able a man as the editor of the New York “Sun” to the ranks of the Anarchists. Mr. Dana recently has said in his paper, over his own signature, that the only civil service reform that will ever amount to anything will be that which shall get rid of the offices.
Don’t keep Liberty to yourself, share it with others!
Leonard E. Read: Accent On The Right: To Frederic Bastiat (1801–1850), who sought for truth rather than outcome and never witnessed the fruits his labor bore. Obedience to conscience was his first rule; we witness the results.
Leonard E. Read: Anything That’s Peaceful: Many favor peace but not many favor the things that make for peace. — Thomas à Kempis
Leonard E. Read: Awake for Freedom’s Sake: Finally, share with others. Forget about “reforming” them! The more we share, the more we learn. This is in the interest of self and freedom!
Leonard E. Read: Castles in the Air: If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; there is where they should be. Now put foundations under them. — Henry David Thoreau
Libertarian Anarchy: Against the State: Political philosophy is dominated by a myth, the myth of the necessity of the state. The state is considered necessary for the provision of many things, but primarily for peace and security. In this provocative book, Gerard Casey argues that social order can be spontaneously generated, that such spontaneous order is the norm in human society and that deviations from the ordered norms can be dealt with without recourse to the coercive power of the state.
Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers: Murray Rothbard: Murray Rothbard (1926–1995) was an economist, historian, philosopher, and legal theoretician. His work was unified by a passionate and resolute commitment to a libertarianism that may be characterized as ‘anarcho-capitalism’ and which implied a belief that even the legal system may be provided privately without the need for a coercive collective authority. Hence, anarcho-capitalists envisage a society where the traditional role of government is wholly subsumed by private, profit-making enterprises and all social relationships are ultimately founded upon consent.