“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.”
Cotton Mather’s Missionary Labors.
By Dr. Simeon Palmer.
Author of “A Good Word for the Devil.”
Who would be superstition’s foe,
Walk o’er these barren hills with me
To where there stands a gallows-tree,
And view with me a scene of woe,
The saddest that our annals know.
What are these crowds assembled here,
And why do curses fill the air?
Four victims bound, both feet and hands,
And one of them, a mother, stands
Upon the scaffold! Heed the prayer
Of a soul wrung with agony;
Fated to bear, as we are told,
Her tortured daughter, six years old,
Unconscious swear her life away.
Some legend old, some nursery rhyme,
Or memory of a cradle song,
When o’er her babe the mother hang,—
This artless witness on the stand—
The highest judges in the land
Distort until it grows a crime.
In her unutterable woe,
With the black cap upon her brow,
She begs for but one breath of prayer
Of Boston’s favorite minister:
His rampant hate he won’t forego,
And leaves his victim to despair.
Than God, who doth not overrule
Crimes that so wreck a human soul,
The gallows is more merciful!
But there’s a murmur; see, below,
That bowed old man with locks of snow,
Tottering on crutches; look at him!
With fourscore years his eyes are dim!
They raise him to the scaffold’s deck!
Thank God, he’s blind, and does not know
A noose is dangling from the beam.
He moves his lips as in a dream;
God pity him, if it be prayer!
What would the hangman at his neck?
Alas, he clips those white locks, see!
At evening, as the sun goes down,
A shadow falls on Salem town,—
Five corpses and the gallows-tree.
As Cotton Mather rode away
Upon his horse, he heard men say:
“He saved the Church of Christ to-day!”
Another Nut for Ivan Panin to Crack.
To the Editor of Liberty:
In connection with M. Ivan Panin’s statement that Anarchistic ideas had no effect on the Russian movement, it appears strange to read, in the report against Bakounine issued by the sommittee appointed to investigate him at the La Haye congress, that the “true” — the Marxite — International never penetrated into Russia; that the movement there was organised by Netschareff under the direction of Bakounine, the latter having artfully chosen a name — Alliance Universelle — for his association which in Russian would be rendered by the same words used in translating Association Internationale. The committee denies explicitly that the International can be held responsible for either the sentiments or the acts of the Russian party, and lays the whole “guilt” on Bakounine and Netschareff, both of whom are declared to be agents provocateurs, the stock charge against active workers. Now, after Netschareff has been a victim to the cruelty of the government of the holy Czar for years, the same people have the impudence to turn round and claim him as one of their martyrs. Cuno, the crusher of “egoisms,” was the chairman of the committee to which I refer.
John F. Kelly.
Hoboken, N. J., June 5, 1884.
On Picket Duty.
Mr. Vanderbilt frankly admits that he is an incubus on society. “I make a first-rate loafer, and I must say I like being one,” he says. But the workers will get tired of supporting Mr. Vanderbilt and his coloafers some day.
No one should be deterred from reading Edgeworth’s essay on “Organic Ideas,” printed on another page, by the technical character of parts of it. It is a very witty and utterly unanswerable assault upon the theory that this universe was created and is governed by a being of beneficence.
If any demonstration of the fact that this is a government of thieves, by thieves, for thieves, were needed, it was given last month when the treasury officials held a conference with a view of devising some means of relief for the panic-stricken brokers of Wall street, and the Secretary proposed to go into the market and use forty millions of the people’s money to buy bonds at a premium.
Liberty is glad to know and chronicle the fact that the Fowler & Wells Company has in press a new work by William Hanson of New York, in which that keen reasoner in the field of economics answers Henry George’s “Progress and Poverty.” Familiarity with Mr. Hanson’s previous writings convinces us that he will rub the glitter off the fallacies of the California economist, after which there will be nothing left.
For the instruction of those who hold that property is a natural right and will not cease with the abolition of authority, I take pleasure in quoting from two eminent expounders of constitutional law. Judge T. M. Cooky says: “That is property which is recognized as such by the law, and nothing else is or can be.” And then he quotes Bentham: “Property and law are born and must die together. Before the laws, there was no property; take away the laws, all property ceased.” That is precisely what Liberty says, and she proposes to take away the laws.
I am about to publish, in one pamphlet, Elisée Reclus’s “An Anarchist on Anarchy” and E. Vaughan’s “Criminal Record of Elisée Reclus,” concluded in the present issue. It will be sold at ten cents per copy, and orders should be sent in at once. Every one who has read these articles in Liberty will desire to possess them in more permanent and compact form, and doubtless many copies will be wanted for distribution. I commend Vaughan’s account of Reclus’s life to the editor of the Providence “Press,” who recently said in his paper that “it is a pity that such men as Elisée Reclus cannot be promptly shot.”
Rev. Dr. Storrs of Brooklyn, in a recent interview, said: “If the Democrats nominate Governor Cleveland, I think I shall vote for him. I don’t remember whether I voted for him for governor or not. I think I voted for Folger.” Oh! that pearl of great price, the ballot! The palladium of our liberties which our foremost citizens cannot remember from one year to another on what side they wielded! Imagine, if you can, John Brown forgetting whether he fought at Harper’s Ferry to free the negro or enslave him, and perhaps you will form some idea of the vast difference between the vitality of an efficient conflict for right and the lifeless formality of a petty electoral squabble.
The editor of the “Boston Herald” quotes Liberty’s charge that in his libel upon Charles O’Conor he was guilty of “a dirty, diabolical, damnable lie,” but takes precious good care that his readers shall not see the refutation of the lie which warranted my words. Instead of doing this act of justice, he chides me for “losing temper.” I decline to accept any lessons in deportment from the editor of the “Herald.” A man like him, who knows no enthusiasm for truth, but discusses all things from the chilling standpoint of his own purse and reputation, can never appreciate the usefulness of a little righteous wrath.
Liberty looks at the political campaign now beginning very much as she would at a dog fight, and any sympathies excited in her by this struggle of thieves for spoils are necessarily of a low order, Between parties there is no choice. They are equal in greed and in dishonesty. Between the candidates there is a just perceptible difference. Of the men talked of for the presidency some are better than others, though not much. Butler, for instance, is a better man than Blaine; for Blaine is wholly selfish, while Butler is but partially selfish, and has, I believe, within his breast some genuine spark of love of fair play and of humanity. But both of these men, upon the whole, are evil geniuses. Both aim to rise to what the world considers glory at that world’s expense. Each wishes a big army; each wishes a big navy; each would like nothing better than to plunge this nation into foreign war; neither of them has the slightest.conception of justice, or even knows that there is such a thing; each is absolutely ignorant and regardless of the rights of the individual; to each might is right, and government the be-all and end-all of society. As for Cleveland, Bayard, and the others of that ilk, they are flaccid creatures of circumstance, whom men of the type of Butler and Blaine, or Gould and Cyrus Field and Vanderbilt, when they cannot or do not wish to seize the reins of power themselves, put forward as their tools. Their character consists of a dense substratum of stupidity laid over with the veneer of a superficial honesty which enables them, though essentially weak and despicable, to win the respect and applause of this shallow-pated world. There is, indeed, one man among the politicians who, if he were in the White House, might possibly do a little toward striking down the legal barriers between man and his prosperity, and certainly would erect no new ones. That man is Samuel J. Tilden. Those monopolists, the Anti-monopolists and Greenbackers, who do not know a monopoly when they see it, think that Mr. Tilden is a friend of monopoly. But he is not. He is a friend of liberty and competition, which the Anti-Monopolists and Greenhackers wish to outrage and violate. To be sure, he has been shrewd enough to reap many of the fruits of monopoly, and is by no means an ideal man. But, besides a politician he is, as Charles O’Conor was, something of a student and philosopher. He knows that human progress has been and ever will be along the road of Liberty, and in the White House it would be his aim to make the journey easier. Just as Butler is two-thirds a State Socialist, so Tilden is two-thirds an Anarchist. Therefore, so far as Liberty entertains any hope at all regarding politics, it is that the Democrats, despite his declination, may nominate and reelect Tilden to the presidency. But now as always it is the duty of Anarchists to vote not at all.
The Criminal Record of Elisée Reclus.
By E. Vaughan.
Continued from No. 44.
The wretch — I still mean Elisée Reclus — whose talent and notoriety enabled him to gain the highest positions, made common cause with the wretched against the bloated, with the exploited against the exploiters.
After the war of 1870, during which he was hypocritical enough to do his duty valiantly, he naturally found himself mingled with the Communalist movement. Throwing off all shame, on March 25, 1871, he offered the Thiers, MacMahons, and Galliffets the supreme insult of appealing, in the “Cri du Peuple,” to their sentiments of humanity, fraternity, and reconciliation.
On the fifth of April following he fell into the hands of the soldiers of order at Chatillon. For seven months he was detained at Brest. There, instead of devoting his time to asking pardon and making his mea culpá by beating the breasts of his accomplices, he formed the mad notion of teaching mathematics to his fellow-prisoners.
But the hour of punishment drew nigh. On November 15 Elisée Reclus was condemned to transportation by the seventh Council of war sitting at Saint-Germain.
Thereby an unlooked-for scandal was created. The most illustrious savants of the entire world intervened. Such men as Darwin, Williamson, &c., addressed to the little Thiers a collective letter.
“We dare to think,” they said, “that the life of a man like Elisée Reclus, whose services in the cause of literature and science seem to us but a promise of other and greater services yet,—we dare to think that this life belongs not only to the country which gave it birth, but to the entire world, and that, in thus silencing such a man or sending him to languish far from the centres of civilization, France would only mutilate herself and lessen her legitimate influence upon the world.”
Thiers (Adolphe), whom one infamy more or less was not calculated to frighten (on the contrary!), did not dare nevertheless to refuse such a petition, and commuted the sentence of Elisée Reclus to banishment.
I will show you in a second article how little gratitude was shown by this recipient of mercy. By which the Lyons court will find its work all done.
I thought I had said enough in my first article to call the attention of the magistracy to the crimes of Kropotkine’s accomplice, and I expected to see him condemned, were it only in default, to imprisonment or hard labor for a respectable number of years.
This satisfaction has been refused me. That is ho reason why I should lose courage. In pointing out, without insisting too strongly, the peril in which so hardened a disturber as Elisée Reclus places society, I fulfilled an imperative but painful duty. Though one were actuated by the best intentions in the world, the profession of informer, is not exactly the most enviable of professions. Nevertheless, I am going to resume my thankless task, even though, a new Cassandra, I see my warnings perpetually ignored.
They have condemned the accomplices of Elisée Reclus for connection with an International Association, with the demonstration of whose existence they have supposed that they could dispense. It exists, no doubt, since the irremovable magistrates say so; nevertheless, to us profane beings, to whom the Holy Ghost refuses its light, a slight material proof would have been preferable to this affirmation.
But, once more, why not have included Elisée Reclus in the prosecutions? The evidence would have been overwhelming against him, for Elisée Reclus is internationalism incarnate in a great man.
As early as 1868 he published, thanks to the complicity of the firm of Hachette & Co., a superb work entitled “The Earth.”
It was and is yet the most beautiful picture ever drawn of the phenomena of the globe’s life. A critic who is an authority has given his appreciation of it in these words: “This work puts a mine of interesting information within the reach of all. It awakens our curiosity, kindles within us the desire of personal investigation. In calling our attention to the phenomena and changes which one may follow and observe without difficulty, at least in part, he invites us to undertake for ourselves the direct study of nature, to penetrate further into the sanctuary of this science whose revelations are an invigorating light.”
All this is very true; but that which is no less so is that already there appears, in the author of these two fine and valuable volumes, the determination to consider at once all points of the globe instead of confining himself, wisely and particularly, to the study, for instance, of that portion of it which gave him birth.
Elisée Reclus, aggravating his offenses, wrote at the beginning of his work: “I can say it with the feeling of duty done; to preserve my clearness of vision and honesty of thought I have traversed the world as a free man, I have contemplated nature with a look at once candid and proud, remembering that the ancient Freya was at the same time the goddess of the earth and of liberty.”
“The Earth,” magnificently published and illustrated, was, it must be confessed, immediately translated into several languages, and established the reputation of its author. This success, the more dangerous because deserved, resulted in carrying to its paroxysm the international monomania of Elisée Reclus.
Scarcely restored, by the kindness of the little Thiers, to the comforts of an exile’s life, he undertook a work before which any other man would have recoiled . I mean that “Universal Geography: A History of the Earth and its Inhabitants,” the eighth volume of which has just appeared, and which will remain one of the most important books of our century.
Here again the complicity of Messrs. Hachette & Co. is flagrant; they neglect nothing to propagate the substance of the offense. Looked at in the right light, are they not, after all, the guilty principals? For, indeed, if they had not taken it upon themselves . . . . . . . but let that pass.
It would be impossible for me, be it understood, to devote to the “Universal Geography” of Reclus the profound study of which it is worthy. Ten articles like this would not be enough. I will confine myself, then, to a summary indication of its principal features.
Elisée Reclus, who, as an Anarchist, does nothing as other people do, not even in geography, does not confine himself, like his predecessors, to describing the physical aspect of the various portions of the globe: from a historical, biological, and, above all, sociological standpoint, he describes the men who inhabit it and the institutions which they have created. He makes us witnesses of the formation of societies whose political transformations he explains to us. He makes us trace out race-relationsbips, initiates us into the origin and growth of language, and all in a marvellous and entrancing style, at once colored and sobor, showing that Elisée Reclus is no less a littérateur than a scientist.
Here is the language of the author in the introduction to his first volume: “The publication of a universal geography may seem a bold enterprise, but it is justified by the great progress recently made and still going on in the scientific conquest of the planet.
“The countries which have long been the domain of civilized man have allowed the penetration of a great portion of their mysteries; vast regions, which the European had never visited before, have been added to the known world and the very laws which all terrestrial phenomena obey have been scrutinized with more rigorous precision. The acquisitions of science are too great and numerous to allow the introduction of a summary themself into any old work, even one of the highest value, such as that of the illustrious Malte-Brun.
“A new period must have new books.”
And farther on, giving an idea of what he intends to do, Elisée Reclus adds: “Conventional geography, which consists in giving longitudes and latitudes, in enumerating cities, villages, political and administrative divisions, will have but a secondary place in work; the atlases, dictionaries, and official documents furnish all desirable information in this branch of geographical science.”
Finally he ends with these eloquent and generous words:
“At least I can promise my readers careful work, honest judgments, and respect for the truth. That it is which permits me to confidently invite them to study with me this beneficent earth which bears us all and upon which it would be so pleasant to live as brothers.”
An abominable programme, is it not? And I will show you that it was only too rigorously followed.
It was not arbitrarily that Elisée Reclus chose Southern Europe as the starting-point of his patient and profound studies. It is in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean that he places, and rightly, the cradle of European civilization. Concerning that part of the globe we have twenty centuries of uninterrupted history aud documents. No other offers with equal certainty, for so long a series of years, a view of the relation between the earth and its inhabitants.
Searching for the origins of European peoples, Elisée Reclus remarks that very few political frontiers are at the same time lines of separation between races and tongues. “Founded as it is upon the right of war and the rivalry of ambitions,” he writes, “European equilibrium is necessarily unstable. While on the one hand it separates by violence peoples made to live the same political life, elsewhere it associates by force those who feel no ties of natural affinity; it tries to blend in one nation oppressors and oppressed, whom the memories of bloody struggles and massacres separate.”
Farther on he adds: “True equilibrium will not be established until all the peoples of the continent shall be able to decide their own destinies for themselves, disengage themselves from every pretended right of conquest, and freely associate themselves with their neighbors for the management of common interests.”
Given these premises and the vast plan which he had mapped out, could Elisée Reclus avoid establishing the existence of the human afflictions to which, with more or less equity and good will, it would be so easy to put an end?
Studying Turkey, for instance, could he help getting indignant in describing the way in which taxes are collected there? In that country certain collectors of tithes oblige the cultivators to heap up along their fields the whole products of their harvest until the agents of the Treasury have abstracted every tenth sheaf. Often half the crop is lost without profit to any one, before the government collects its tithe.
The Slavonic, Albanian, or Bulgarian peasant keeps the soil in a good productive state only in spite of his masters, who seem to take pains to disgust him with all effort and all labor.
In Italy Elisée Reclus saw that the scourge by which millions of cultivators are crushed is poverty.
“Deprived of the lands which belong to them, uncertain of the wages to come to them, the peasants of the Abruzzi and of Molise have remained serfs, although legally free. They belong to the master just as in the good old times......The peasants live in frightful dens, which the air reaches only in a polluted state. All the diseases caused by lack of food are common, and the mortality of children is large . . . . . . Ignorance, the usual companion of poverty, is still very dense in all the provinces of the Peninsula.”
Do you wonder, then, O innocent bourgeois! that there are Socialists, Anarchists, rebels in short, in Italy?
In Spain, although progress is beginning to make itself felt there and labor is more respected than formerly, the Treasury, in spite of financial fictions, is in a state of permanent bankruptcy. In the country of the Cid public instruction is very much behindhand, while, on the other hand, the art of bull-fighting is still held in high honor.
The second volume is entirely devoted to France. The author shows that, although the nation since February 21, 1875, has been a regularly constituted republic, the institutions of the country are largely monarchical in origin and spirit.
Next taking up Switzerland (Central Europe, third volume), which has become, in proportion to its size, one of the most flourishing countries in Europe, he finds in the mountain pasture-lands either almenden — that is, common lands held by a town or village — or domains belonging to associations.
Material proofs that this individual property upon which we have based our institutions is not one of those holy principles without which a people cannot live.
In his fourth volume Elisée Reclus deals with Northwestern Europe, notably with England, which in many respects is still a feudal country.
He shows us in Ireland entire populations killed before their time by insufficiency of food and the impossibility of good hygiene.
The fifth volume is devoted to Scandinavian and Russian Europe. It is by no means the least saddening. We see there peasants, those of Saratow in 1873 for instance, obliged even in periods of famine to sell their wheat in order to pay their taxes. In the spring they are too poor to repurchase of others, and then they literally die of hunger.
The sixth volume gives us a masterly description of Russian Asia. It is at the end of this volume that complicity with Kropotkine is declared with extraordinary impudence.
Elisée Reclus, in fact, confesses that our friend has revived in his behalf the memories of his geological explorations in Oriental Siberia and Manchuria; he has given him his notes, and indicated the relative value of the articles printed in the Russian scientific journals.
Yet Kropotkine has been sentenced only to five years’ imprisonment and ten years’ police supervision! Truly, M. Devés’s judges show an indulgence which borders on weakness.
The seventh volume is devoted to Oriental Asia; the eighth, and so far the last, deals with India and Indo-China. I have reviewed it elsewhere.
I shall have said all when I add that each of the volumes of the “Universal Geography” contains no less than a thousand quarto pages, and is illustrated with hundreds of maps in black and colors and with a large number of views and plans designed by our beet and most conscientious artists.
Can the man of science and heart who shows that in all the countries of the world the situation of the most numerous classes of society is so intolerable counsel those who suffer thereby to tolerate it? Can he help wishing with all his heart and hastening with all his strength the advent of a better social organisation?
Condemn, then, Elisée Reclus and his accomplices, myself included, Messrs. judges. Without suspecting it, you are aiding in the overthrow of the odious institutions which you pretend to sustain, and the revolutionary socialists have no more powerful auxiliaries than yourselves!
What’s To Be Done?
By N. G. Tchernychewsky.
Translated by Benj. R. Tucker.
Continued from No. 44.
His ambition was aroused as well as his desires. Julie’s phrase, “I doubt very much whether she accepts you,” excited him still more. “What! she will not accept me, with such a uniform and such a house! I will prove to you, Frenchwoman, that she will accept me; yes, she shall accept me!”
There was still another influence that tended to inflame Storechnikoff’s passion: his mother would certainly oppose the marriage, and in this she represented the opinion of society. Now, heretofore Storechnikoff had feared his mother; but evidently this dependence was a burden to him. And the thought, “I do not fear her, I have a character of my own,” was very well calculated to flatter the ambition of a man as devoid of character as he.
He was also urged on by the desire to advance a little in his career through the influence of his wife.
And to all this it must be added that Storechnikoff could not present himself before Vérotchka in his former role, and he desired so much to see her!
In short, he dreamed of the marriage more and more every day, and a week afterwards, on Sunday, while Maria Alexevna, after attending mass, was considering how she could best coax him back, he presented himself and formulated his request. Vérotchka remaining in her room, he had to address himself to Maria Alexevna, who answered that for her part the marriage would be a great honor, but that as an affectionate mother she wished to consult her daughter, and that he might return the next morning to get his answer.
“What an excellent daughter we have!” said Maria Alexevna to her husband a moment later. “How well she knew how to take him! And I who, not knowing how to reëntice him, thought that all was to begin over again! I even thought it a hopeless affair. But she, my Verka, did not spoil matters; she conducted them with perfect strategy. Good girl!”
“It is thus that the Lord inspires children,” said Pavel Konstantinytch.
He rarely played a part in the family life. But Maria Alexevna was a strict observer of traditions, and in a case like this, of conveying to her daughter the proposition that had been made, she hastened to give her husband the role of honor which by right belongs to the head of the family and the master.
Pavel Konstantinytch and Maria Alexevna installed themselves upon the divan, the only place solemn enough for such a purpose, and sent Matroena to ask Mademoiselle to be good enough to come to them.
“Véra,” began Pavel Konstantinytch, “Mikhail Ivanytch does us a great honor: he asks your hand. We have answered him that, as affectionate parents, we did not wish to coerce you, but that for our part we were pleased with his suit. Like the obedient and wise daughter that we have always found you to be, trust to our experience: we have never dared to ask of God such a suitor. Do you accept him, Véra?”
“No,” said Vérotchka.
“What do I hear, Véra?” cried Pavel Konstantinytch (the thing was so clear that he could fall into a rage without asking his wife’s advice).
“Are you mad or an idiot? Just dare to repeat what you said, detestable rag that you are!” cried Maria Alexevna, beside herself and her fists raised over her daughter.
“Calm yourself, Mamma,” said Vérotchka, rising also. “If you touch me, I will leave the house; if you shut me up, I will throw myself out of the window. I knew how you would receive my refusal, and I have considered well all that I have to do. Seat yourself, and be tranquil, or I go.
Maria Alexevna sat down again. “What stupidity!” she thought; “we did not lock the outer door. It takes but a second to push the bolt back. This mad creature will go, as she says, and no one will stop her.”
“I will not be his wife,” repeated the young girl, and without my consent the marriage cannot take place.”
“Véra, you are mad,” insisted the mother with a stifled voice.
“Is it possible? What shall we say to him tomorrow?” added the father.
“It is not your fault; it is I who refuse.”
The scene lasted nearly two hours. Maria Alexevna, furious, cried, and twenty times raised her tightly clenched fists: but at each outbreak Vérotchka said:
“Do not rise, or I go.”
Thus they disputed without coming to any conclusion, when the entrance of Matroena to ask if it was time to serve dinner — the cake having been in the oven too long already — put an end to it all.
“Reflect until evening, Véra, there is yet time; reconsider your determination; it, would be unspeakable foolishness.”
Then Maria Alexevna said something in Matroena’s ear.
“Mamma, you are trying to set some trap for me, to take the key from my chamber door, or something of that sort. Do nothing of the kind: it would be worse.”
Again Maria Alexevna yielded.
“Do not do it,” she said, addressing the cook. “This jade is a wild beast. Oh! if it were not that he wants her for her face, I would tear it to pieces. But if I touch her, she is capable of self-mutilation. Oh, wretch! Oh, serpent! If I could!”
They dined without saying a word, After dinner Vérotehka went back to her room. Pavel Konstantinytch lay down, according to his habit, to sleep a little; but he did not succeed, for hardly had he begun to doze when Matroena informed him that the servant of the mistress of the house had come to ask him to call upon her instantly.
Matroena trembled like a leaf.
And why should she not tremble? Had she not, without loss of time, told the wife of the mistress’s cook of the suit of Mikhail Ivanytch? The latter had complained to the second waiting-maid of the secrets that were kept from her. The second servant had protested her innocence: if she had known anything, she would have said so; she had no secrets, she told everything. The cook’s wife then made apologies; but the second servant ran straight to the first servant and told her the great news.
“Is it possible?” cried the latter. “As I did not know it, then Madame does not; he has concealed his course from his mother.” And she ran to warn Anna Petrovna.
See what a fuss Matroena had caused.
“O my wicked tongue!” said she, angrily. “Fine things are going to happen to me now! Maria Alexevna will make inquiries.”
But the affair took such a turn that Maria Alexevna forgot to look for the origin of the indiscretion.
Anna Petrovna sighed and groaned; twice she fainted before her first waiting-maid. That showed that she was deeply afflicted. She sent in search of her son.
“Can what I have heard, Michel, be true?” she said to him in French in a voice at once broken and furious.
“What have you heard, Mamma?”
“That you have made a proposition of marriage to that . . . . . to that . . . to that . . . . . to the daughter of our steward.”
“It is true, Mamma.”
“Without asking your mother’s advice?”
“I intended to wait, before asking your consent, until I had received hers.”
“You ought to know, it seems to me. that it is easie to obtain her consent than mine.”
“Mamma, it is now allowable to first ask the consent of the young girl and then speak to the parents.”
“That is allowable, for you? Perhaps for you it is also allowable that sons of good family should marry a . . . . . one knows not what, and that mothers should give their consent!”
“Mamma, she is not a one knows not what; when you know her, you will approve my choice.”
“When I know her! I shall never know her! Approve your choice! I forbid you to think of it any longer! I forbid you, do you understand?”
“Mamma, this parental absolutism is now somewhat out of date; I am not a little boy, to be led by the end of the nose. I know what I am about.”
“Ah!” cried Anna Petrovna, closing her eyes.
Though to Maria Alexevna, Julie, and Vérotchka, Mikhail Ivanytch seemed stupid and irresolute, it was because they were women of mind and character: but here, so far as mind was concerned, the weapons were equal, and if, in point of character, the balance was in favor of the mother, the son had quite another advantage. Hitherto he had feared his mother from habit; but he had as good a memory as hers. They both knew that he, Mikhail Ivanytch, was the real proprietor of the establishment. This explains why Anna Petrovna, instead of coming straight to the decisive words, Iforbid you, availed herself of expedients and prolonged the conversation. But Mikhail Ivanytch had already gone so far that he could not recall.
“I assure you, Mamma, that you could not have a better daughter.”
“Monster! Assassin of your mother!”
“Mamma, let us talk in cold blood. Sooner or later I must marry; now, a married man has more expenses than a bachelor. I could, if I chose, marry such a woman that all the revenues of the house would hardly be enough for us. If, on the contrary, I marry this girl, you will have a dutiful daughter, and you can live with us as in the past.”
“Be silent, monster! Leave me!”
“Mamma, do not get angry, I beg of you; it is not my fault.”
“You marry a plebeian, a servant, and it is not your fault!”
“Now, Mamma, I leave you without further solicitation, for I cannot suffer her to be thus characterized in my presence.”
Anna Petrovna fainted, and Michel went away, quite content at having come off so well in this first skirmish, which in affairs of this sort is the most important.
When her son had gone, Anna Petrovna hastened to come out of her fainting fit. The situation was serious; her son was escaping her. In reply to “I forbid you,” he had explained that the house belonged to him. After calming herself a little, she called her servant and confided her sorrow to her; the latter, who shared the contempt of her mistress for the steward’s daughter, advised her to bring her influence to bear upon the parents. And that is why Anna Petrovna had just sent for her steward.
“Hitherto I have been very well satisfied with you, Pavel Konstantinytch, but intrigues, in which, I hope, you have no part, may set us seriously at variance.”
“Your excellency, it is none of my doing, God is my witness.”
“I already knew that Michel was paying court to your daughter. I did not prevent it, for a young man needs distraction. I am indulgent toward the follies of youth. But I will not allow the degradation of my family. How did your daughter come to entertain such hopes?”
“Your excellency, she has never entertained them. She is a respectful girl; we have brought her up in obedience.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“She will never dare to thwart your will.”
Anna Petrovna could not believe her ears. Was it possible? She could, then, relieve herself so easily!
“Listen to my will. I cannot consent to so strange, I should say so unfitting, a marriage.”
“We feel that, your excellency, and Vérotchka feels it too. These are her own words: ‘I dare not, for fear of offending her excellency.’”
“How did all this happen?”
“It happened in this wise, your excellency: Mikhail Ivanytch condescended to express his intentions to my wife, and my wife told him that she could not give him a reply before tomorrow morning. Now, my wife and I intended to speak to you first. But we did not dare to dirturb your excellency at so late an hour. After the departure of Mikhail Ivanytch, we said as much to Vérotchka, who answered that she was of our opinion and that the thing was not to be thought of.”
“Your daughter is, then, a prudent and honest girl?”
“Why, certainly, your excellency, she is a dutiful daughter!”
“I am very glad that we can remain friends. I wish to reward you instantly. The large room on the second floor, facing on the street and now occupied by the tailor, will soon be vacant?”
“In three days, your excellency.”
“Take it yourself, and you may spend up to a hundred roubles to put it in good order. Further, I add two hundred and forty roubles a year to your salary.”
“Deign to let me kiss your hand, your excellency.”
“Pshaw, pshaw! Tatiana!” The servant came running in.
“Bring me my blue velvet cloak. I make your wife a present of it. It cost one hundred and fifty roubles [it really cost only seventy-five], and I have worn it only twice [she had worn it more than twenty times]. This is for your daughter [Anna Petrovna handed the steward a small watch such as ladies carry]; I paid three hundred roubles for it [she paid one hundred and twenty]. You see, I know how to reward, and I shall always remember you, always! Do not forget that I am indulgent toward the foibles of the young.”
When the steward had gone, Anna Petrovna again called Tatiana.
“Ask Mikhail Ivanytch to come and talk with me. . . . . But no, I will go myself instead.” She feared that the ambassadress would tell her son’s servant, and the servant her son, what had happened. She wished to have the pleasure of crushing her son’s spirit with this unexpected nevrs. She found Mikhail Ivanytch lying down and twirling his moustache, not without some inward satisfaction.
“What brings her here? I have no preventive of fainting fits,” thought he, en seeing his mother enter. But he saw in her countenance an expression of disdainful triumph.
She took a seat and said:
“Sit up, Mikhail Ivanytch, and we will talk.”
She looked at him a long time, with a smile upon her lips. At last she said slowly:
“I am very happy, Mikhail Ivanytch: guess at what.”
“I do not know what to think, Mamma; your look is so strange.”
“You will see that it is not strange at all; look closely and you will divine, perhaps.”
A prolonged silence followed this fresh thrust of sarcasm. The son lost himself in conjectures; the mother delighted in her triumph.
“You cannot guess; I will tell you. It is very simple and very natural; if you had had a particle of elevated feeling, you would have guessed. Your mistress,” — in the previous conversation Anna Petrovna had maneuvred; now it was no longer necessary, the enemy being disarmed,— “your mistress,—do not reply, Mikhail Ivanytch, yon have loudly asserted on all sides yourself that she is your mistress,— your mistress, this creature of base extraction, base education, base conduct, this even contemptible creature” . . . .
“Mamma, my ear cannot tolerate such expressions applied to a young girl who is to be my wife.”
“I would not have used them if I had had any idea that she could be your wife. I did so with the view of explaining to you that that will not occur and of telling you at the same time why it will not occur. Let me finish, then. Afterwards you can reproach me, if you like, for the expressions which I have used, supposing that you still believe them out of place. But meantime let me finish. I wish to say to you that your mistress, this creature without name or education, devoid of sentiment, has herself comprehended the utter impropriety of your designs. Is not that enough to cover you with shame?”
“What? What do you say? Finish!”
“You do not let me. I meant to say that even this creature — do you understand? even this creature! — comprehended and appreciated my feelings, and, after learning from her mother that you had made a proposition for her hand, she sent her father to tell me that she would never rise against my will and would not dishonor our family with her degraded name.”
“Mamma, you deceive me.”
“Fortunately for you and for me, I tell only the exact truth. She says that” . . . . .
But Mikhail Ivanytch was no longer in the room; he was putting on his cloak to go out.
“Hold him, Petre, hold him!” cried Anna Petrovna.
Petre opened his eyes wide at hearing so extraordinary an order. Meanwhile Mikhail Ivanytch rapidly descended the staircase.
“Well?” said Maria Alexevna, when her husband reentered.
“All goes well, all goes well, little mother! She knew already, and said to me : ‘How dare you?’ and I told her; ‘We do not dare, your excellency, and Vérotchka has already refused him.”
“What? What? You were stupid enough to say that, are that you are?”
“Maria Alexevna” . . . .
“Ass! Rascal! You have killed me, murdered me, you old stupid! There’s one for you! [the husband received a blow.] And there’s another! [the husband received a blow on the other cheek]. Wait. I will teach you, you old imbecile!” And she seized him by the hair and polled him into the room. The lesson lasted sufficiently long, for Storechnikoff, reaching the room after the long pauses of his mother and the information which she gave him between them, found Maria Alexevna still actively engaged in her work of education.
“Why did you not close the door, you imbecile? A pretty state we are found in! Are you not ashamed, you old he-goat?” That was all that Maria Alexevna found to say.
“Where is Véra Pavlovna? I wish to see her directly. Is it true that she refuses me?” said Storechnikoff.
These circumstances were so embarrassing that Maria Alexevna could do nothing but desist. Precisely like Napoleon after the battle of Waterloo, when he perceived himself lost through the incapacity of Marshal Grouchy, though really the fault was his own, so Maria Alexevna believed her husband the author of the evil. Napoleon, too, struggled with tenacity, did marvels, and ended only with these words: “I abdicate; do what you will.”
“It it true that you refuse me, Véra Pavlovna?”
“I leave it to you, could I do otherwise than refuse you?”
“Véra Pavlovna, I have outraged you in a cowardly manner; I am guilty; but your refusal kills me.” And again he began his supplications.
Vérotchka listened for some minutes; then, to end the painful interview, she said:
“Mikhail Ivanytch, your entreaties are useless. You will never get my consent.”
“At least grant me one favor. You still feel very keenly how deeply I outraged you. Do not give me a reply to-day; let me have time to become worthy of your pardon! I seem to you despicable, but wait a little: I wish to become better and more worthy; aid me, do not repel me, grant me time. I will obey you in all things! Perhaps at last you will find me worthy of pardon”
“I pity you; I see the sincerity of your love [it is not love, Vérotchka; it is a mixture of something low with something painful; one may be very unhappy and deeply mortified by a woman’s refusal without really loving her; love is quite another thing,— but Vérotchka is still ignorant regarding these things, and she is moved],— you wish me to postpone my answer; so be it, then! But I warn you that the postponement will end in nothing; I shall never give you any other reply than that which I have given you to-day.”
“I will become worthy of another answer; you save me!”
He seized her hand and kissed it rapturously.
Maria Alexevna entered the room, and in her enthusiasm blessed her dear children without the traditional formalities,— that is, without Pavel Konstantinytch; then she called her husband to bless them once more with proper solemnity. But Storechnikoff dampened her enthusiasm by explaining to her that Véra Pavlovna, though she had not consented, at least had not definitely refused, and that she had postponed her answer.
This was not altogether glorious, but after all, compared with the situation of a moment before, it was a step taken.
Consequently Storechnikoff: went back to his house with an air of triumph, and Anna Petrovna had no resource left but fainting.
Maria Alexevna did not know exactly what to think of Vérotchka, who talked and seemed to act exactly against her mother’s intentions, and who, after all, surmounted difficulties before which Maria Alexevna hereelf was powerless. Judging from the progress of affairs, it was clear that Vérotchka’s wishes were the same as her mother’s; only her plan of action was better laid and, above all, more effective. Yet, if this were the case, why did she not say to her mother: “Mamma, we have the same end in view; be tranquil.” Was she so out of sorts with her mother that she wished to have nothing to do with her? This postponement, it was clear to Maria Alexevna, simply signified that her daughter wished to excite Storechnikoff’s love and make it strong enough to break down the resistance of Anna Petrovna.
“She is certainly even shrewder than I,” concluded Maria Alexevna after much reflection. But all that she saw and heard tended to prove the contrary.
“What, then, would have to be done,” said she to herself, “if Véra really should not wish to be Storechnikoff’s wife? She is so wild a beast that one does not know how to subdue her. Yes, it is altogether probable that this conceited creature does not wish Storechnikoff for a husband; in fact, it is indisputable.”
For Maria Alexevna had too much common sense to be long deceived by artificial suppositions representing Vérotchka as an intriguer.
“All the same, one knows not what may happen, for the devil only knows what she has in her head; but, if she should marry Storechnikoff, she would control both son and mother. There is nothing to do, then, but wait. This spirited girl may come to a decision after a while, . . . . and we may aid her to it, but prudently, be it understood.”
For the moment, at any rate, the only course was to wait, and so Maria Alexevna waited.
It was, moreover, very pleasant, this thought, which her common sense would not let her accept, that Vérotchka knew how to maneuvre in order to bring about her marriage; and everything except the young girl’s words and actions supported this idea.
The suitor was as gentle as a lamb. His mother struggled for three weeks; then the son got the upper hand from the fact that he was the proprietor, and Anna Petrovna began to grow docile; she expressed a desire to make Vérotchka’s acquaintance. The latter did not go to see her. Maria Alexevna thought at first that, in Vérotchka’s place, she would have acted more wisely by going; but after a little reflection she saw that it was better not to go. “Oh! she is a shrewd rogue!”
A fortnight later Anna Petrovna came to the steward’s herself, her pretext being to see if the new room was well arranged. Her manner was cold and her amiability biting; after enduring two or three of her caustic sentences, Vérotchka went to her room. While her daughter remained, Maria Alexevna did not think she was pursuing the best course; she thought that sarcasm should have been answered with sarcasm; but when Vérotchka withdrew, Maria Alexevna instantly concluded: “Yes, it was better to withdraw; leave her to her son, let him be the one to reprimand her; that is the best way.”
Two weeks afterwards Anna Petrovna came again, this time without putting forward any pretext; she simply said that she had come to make a call; ana nothing sarcastic did she say in Vérotchka’s presence,
Such was the situation. The suitor made presents to Vérotchka through Maria Alexevna, and these presents very certainly remained in the latter’s hands, as did Anna Petrovna’s watch; always excepting the gifts of little value, which Maria Alexevna faithfully delivered to her daughter as articles which had been deposited with her and not redeemed; for it was necessary that the suitor should see some of these articles on his sweetheart. And, indeed, he did see them, and was convinced that Vérotchka was disposed to consent; otherwise she would not have accepted his gifts; but why, then, was she so slow about it? Perhaps she was waiting until Anna Petrovna should be thoroughly softened; this thought was whispered in his ear by Maria Alexevna. And he continued to break in his mother, as he would a saddle-horse, an occupation which was not without charm for him. Thus Vérotchka was left at rest, and everything was done to please her. This watch-dog kindness was repugnant to her; she tried to be with her mother as little as possible. The mother, on the other hand, no longer dared to enter her daughter’s room, and when Vérotchka stayed there a large portion of the day, she was entirely undisturbed. Sometimes she allowed Mikhail Ivanytch to come and talk with her.
Then he was as obedient as a grandchild. She commanded him to read and he read with much zeal, as if he was preparing for an examination; he did not reap much profit from his reading, but nevertheless he reaped a little; she tried to aid him by conversation; conversation was much more intelligible to him books, and thus he made some progress, slow, very slow, but real. He began by treating his mother a little better than before: instead of breaking her in like a saddle-horse, he preferred to hold her by the bridle.
Thus things went on for two or three months. All was quiet, but only because of a truce agreed upon with the tempest liable to break forth again any day, Vérotchka viewed the future with a shrinking heart: some day or other would not Mikhail Ivanytch or Maria Alexevna press her to a decision? For their impatience would not put up long with this state of things.
[To be continued.]
“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.
An Indispensable Accident.
The persistent way in which Greenbaekers dodge argument on the money question is very tiresome to a reasoning mortal. Let an Anarchist give a Green-backer his idea of a good currency in the issue of which no government has any part, and it is ten to one that he will answer: “Oh, that’s not money. It isn’t legal tender. Money is that thing which the supreme law of the land declares to be legal tender for debts in the country where that law is supreme.”
Brick Pomeroy made such an answer to Stephen Pearl Andrews recently, and appeared to think that he had said something final. Now, in the first place, this definition is not correct, for that is money which performs the functions of money, no matter who issues it. But oven if it were correct, of what earthly consequence could it be? Names are nothing. Who cares whether the Anarchistic currency be called money or something else? Would it make exchange easy? Would it make production active? Would it measure prices accurately? Would it distribute wealth honestly? Those are the questions to be asked concerning it; not whether it meets the arbitrary definition adopted by a given school. A system of finance capable of supplying a currency satisfying the above requirements is a solution of what is generally known as the money question, and Green-backers may as well quit now as later trying to blind people to this fact by paltry quibbling with words.
But after thus rebuking Brick Pomeroy’s evasion of Mr. Andrews, something needs to be said in amendment of Mr. Andrews’s position as stated by him in an admirable article on “The Nature of Money” published in the New York “Truth Seeker” of March 8, 1884. Mr. Andrews divides the properties of money into essentials, incidentals, and accidentals. The essential properties of money, he says,— those in the absence of which it is not money whatever else it may have, and in the possession of which it is money whatever else it may lack,— are those of measuring mutual estimates in an exchange, recording a commercial transaction, and inspiring confidence in a promise which it makes. All other properties of money Mr. Andrews considers either incidental or accidental, and among the accidental properties he mentions the security or “collateral” which may back up and guarantee money.
Now, as an analysis made for the purpose of arriving at a definition, this is entirely right. No exception can be taken to it. But it is seriously to be feared that nearly every person who reads it will infer that, because security or “collateral” is an accidental feature of money, it is an unimportant and wellnigh useless one. And that is where the reader will make a great mistake. It is true that money is money, with or without security, but it cannot be a perfect or reliable money in the absence of security; nay, it cannot be a money worth considering in this age. The advance from barter to unsecured money is a much shorter and less important step logically than that from unsecured money to secured money. The rude vessel in which primitive men first managed to float upon the water very likely had all the essentials of a boat, but it was much nearer to no boat at all than it was to the stanch, swift, and sumptuous Cunarder that now speeds its way across the Atlantio in a week, It was a boat, sure enough; but not a boat in which a very timid or even moderately cautious man would care to risk his life in more than five feet of water beyond swimming distance from the shore. It had all the essentials, but it lacked a great many accidentals. Among them, for instance, a compass. A compass is not an essential of a boat, but it is an essential of satisfactory navigation. So security is not an essential of money, but it is an essential of steady production and stable commerce. A boat without a compass is almost sure to strike upon the rocks. Likewise money without security is almost sure to precipitate the people using it into general bankruptcy. When products can be had for the writing of promises and the idea gets abroad that such promises are good money whether kept or not, the promisors are very likely to stop producing; and, if the process goes on long enough, it will be found at the end that there are plenty of promises with which to buy, but that there is nothing left to be bought, and that it will require an infinite number of promises to buy an infinitesimal amount of nothing. If, however, people find that their promises will not be accepted unless accompanied by evidence of an intention and ability to keep them, and if this evidence is kept definitely before all through some system of organized credit, the promisors will actively bestir themselves to create the meana of keeping their promises, and the free circulation of these promises, far from checking production, will vastly stimulate it, the result being, not bankruptcy, but universal wealth. A money thus secured is fit for civilized people. Any other money, though it have all the essentials, belongs to barbarians, and is hardly fit to buy the Indian’s dug-out.
A Shadow in the Path.
To the Editor of Liberty:
In reading your article, “Anarchy in Alaska,” I was in hopes I should learn how government could be abolished without being shortly reproduced. But I confess myself disappointed. Lieutenant Ray, whom you quote, was giving such a rose-colored account of the Alaskans that I thought nothing but its correctness remained to be settled; when, lo, I read that he saw “a husband box his wife’s ears for supposed infidelity.” I suppose that you will agree with me that the husband had no business to do that. But he did; though “neither tribe appears to have any marriage ceremony.” Small as the incident is, it throws me back upon the old dilemma. It is not “the idea of authority,” as you say, but unruly passion which is the cause of all injustice. Without law people can be jealous, and, being jealous, can box ears and break necks, even as under a system of law they can inflict other penalties for “supposed infidelity,” — nay, the system of law has the advantage in the comparison, for law requires the “offence” to be proved, which lawlessness does not. Men having these unruly passions cannot stay free, for they will fight till the strongest establishes “authority;” which is not the cause, but the result, as proved by your own example, of his own low passions and high abilities. How these evils are to be remedied, except by the “bourgeois Balm of Gilead, Education,” or by the still slower process of breeding a better race, I know not. Can you tell?
Eau Claire, Wisconsin, June 1, 1884.
It is strange that most men will stumble over shadows in the path, and declare that they have found insurmountable obstacles to progress and cannot possibly go on; but who has ever discussed socialistic questions without observing such phenomena? I gave Lieutenant Ray’s description of an Anarchistic society, existing in Alaska among ignorant, untaught barbarians, simply to show that absence of authority does not mean social chaos and disorder; and because an Alaskan boxed his wife’s ears for doing that which civilized, government-controlled white men frequently punish with murder, Mr. James despairs of ever achieving social order through Anarchy. The facts that these Alaskans do not rob each other, do not fight, live peaceably, and enjoy the fruits of their own labor seem to be of no importance to Mr. James. A man boxed his wife’s ears, and therefore the law of authority is better than the natural laws of human relations, and it is useless to attempt to destroy respect for governments. In other words, Mr. James would maintain a system which enables the few to rob the many, involves wholesale murder and social cannibalism, causes poverty and wealth, breeds crime and builds prisons, for the sake of informing that Alaskan through legislative enactment that he must not box his wife’s ears. We have a condition of society which is bad and altogether wrong and which makes men bad. The unruly passions of man, his worst traits and vices, are stimulated, fostered, and exaggerated by the rule of authority and property, and the breeding of a better race under such conditions is an impossibility. Liberty shows us how to adjust the social balance and establish a condition of society which shall discourage avarice, remove the vicious stimulus, and make the breeding of a better race not only possible but inevitable; but because Liberty does not prove that in the absence of authority all men shall be Christ-like in disposition and utterly devoid of temper and other weaknesses of human nature, the mole-hill mountaineers ruefully shake their heads, declare Liberty a chimera, and refuse to accept any improvement that falls short of absolute perfection. There is a world full of injustice, poverty, misery, and crime seething and whirling around them, but they see only an Alaskan boxing the ears of his unfaithful wife. For answer to the questions concerning education, I refer Mr. James to the article headed “The Cause of Crime” in Liberty of May 31.
Among the Daisies.
I have just returned from a performance known as “Commencement,” an annual batch served by an ancient and honorable bureau of stultification called Brown University.
This yearly farce takes place as per decree of venerable custom in an aboriginal soft-shell Baptist church, whose every timber is seasoned with the traditions of the fathers and whose abiding demi-god is Dr. Wayland — he who out of the fullness of his biblical lore did stone the anti-slavery prophets, declaring that both holy writ and national constitution made human slavery a thing not to be molested by profane hands.
The audience ranged from petrified antediluvian conservatism in the front seats of honor down to the revolutionary Anarchist represented by myself, and it is a fair estimate to say that three-fourths of the whole assemblage was made up of half-hatched young damsels set in starch, laces, spring bonnets, and other accompaniments of learning. Charming indeed were the dainty white jupons of the daisy-decked maidens in contrast with the long and solemn academic petticoats of the graduating youths, while the tiny chapeau nestled on the top of Miss Pugg’s back hair seemed to relieve that spacious mortarboard on the President’s learned pate which custom has designated an Oxford hat.
But to my theme. Having learned through the programme that one of these robed graduating striplings was to orate on “The Development of the Individual,” I stowed myself away in a corner of the gallery amid the perfumes of the daisies in the forlorn hope that perchance some phenomenal youth with the natural seeds of rebellion in him had slipped the academic halter and might let himself out a little. My hopes were not a little inspired by a knowledge of the fact that three of the professors of Brown are reading Liberty “on the sly”; and should just the right boy have slipped a copy out of the professor of rhetoric’s tail pocket, who knows, thought I, what treason may be hurled among the daisies?
Upon the announcement of the President the youth was brought forth,— a goodly, beardless representative of classic Brown robed in sombre academic toga. He opened his sweet lips, but, alas! the sound of his voice did not reach me. At first I ascribed it to the profusion of daisies about me, though a change of base did not much relieve the situation. But caught up in the inspiration of the moment the mystery suddenly flashed upon me with saving light, through the mediumship of an old gentleman who stood beside me. Seeing my anxious endeavors to catch the sentences, he whispered gently in my ear: “The boy’s hair is parted in the middle, and that splits the sound.”
Snatching this bit of hoary intuition, I moved farther down the gallery, and fortunately the speaker, warmed by his subject, had opened his bellows for louder talk. All unawares and unprepared, I suddenly received the following impassioned broadside right between the eyes: “The Communist and the Anarchist, those twin pests of society, may prate of the rights of individuals, but God has planted Church and State in society for the very purpose of fostering and developing the Individual and moulding his fallible conceits to the sovereign will of the collective whole.”
I will not swear that I have penned the literal text of this sublime period, for I was too staggered to pull myself together for its exact transmission to paper. I hastily retreated for fresh air through the scented daisies and crackling starch of white petticoats, and was soon safe on terra firma, a wiser if not a better man.
Alas, degenerate Brown, my poor alma mater! with all thy trumpery and learning and prayers, thou canst not hatch out even one rebel a year in this living age of progress. The day is yet coming when such men as thy once petted but now despised and rebellious son, E. H. Heywood, will be all that shall remain to persuade posterity that thou ever hadst an honest and honorable use in a world groaning with injustice, where college learning, invariably yoked with the oppressor, skulked by on the other side.
Liberty and Wealth.
Labor under Its Own Vine and Fig Tree.
Smith saw nothing new or startling in the social problem as stated at the conclusion of the preceding chapter.
“It’s as old as the Christian Gospel, at least,” said he. “The angels sang ‘peace on earth’ at the birth of our Saviour. What a transformation Christian preaching has wrought in eighteen hundred years!”
“Yes, goodness knows,” exclaimed the wife, “there’s been enough of preaching to have made seven worlds over. But I never heard a Christian preacher that didn’t smooth over whatever besetting sin his rich parishioners indulged in. Of course, that’s where his bread and butter comes.”
“They’re not all that way.”
Smith said this in a deprecating way as though he would be quite satisfied to avoid this and all other little tilts with his better half. Either he scorned to argue with a woman in the presence of others, or he knew by experience that Mrs. Smith had a way of attacking the weak point in his remarks, and was disinclined to encourage her in the practice. She, however, could not knit without thinking, nor think without an occasional outburst. In conversing with Smith one had to encounter a man with iron-clad opinions, which he had received ready-made. For himself he had done no thinking. He was, in fact, born on the premises, and had rever moved off, or indulged himself even in the most harmless excursion. Mrs. Smith was not so equipped. She had a more original mind, and was disposed to see things through her own spectacles. “My grandmother’s don’t fit me; but John says he can as well in grandfather’s as in his own.” Smith’s business had forced him into the use of “specs” at an early age. This was one reason why he wished to get out of it, and become a millionaire.
I found, on returning to Smith’s to learn what progress he had made, that Mrs. Smith had been studying the several propositions I had left with them more attentively than her husband.
“I think,” said she, “that they have a sound ring. I think the pinch comes on the sixth. ‘To make the interests of all to co-operate with and assist each other, instead of clashing with and contradicting each other.’ How are you going to do it?”
“Easy enough,” said Smith, “or it would be easy enough if the laboring class would take rational views of the situation. They’ve only to allow capital and labor to work harmoniously; as you say, assist one another.”
“You are making yourself more stupid than ever,” retorted Mrs. Smith. “Labor allow! Labor has only to submit,— submit or starve. What is the purpose of capital? Plunder. I heard you not long since raging fearfully over the idea of some Frenchman —”
“Proudhon, you mean?”
“Yes, that was the name. You were enraged at his idea, quoted in the ‘Herald,’ that property was robbery. I see what he meant, and believe it’s true as gospel. Property, that is, capital, is robbery. What is the capitalist at? His whole aim is to keep his help poor. Why? Because that is the way he gets rich.”
“But doesn’t he use his capital? Give them employment? What was their situation? They were starving. He takes his capital from other investments, puts it into a new business, says to the hundred idle and starving wretches about: ‘Here, go to work.’ He puts bread into their mouths, and clothes on their backs, and you call it plunder, do you? Oh, you see, sir, my wife is worse than you are. She’s been studying your six propositions of peace, harmony, co-operation, withdrawal of discord, and so on and so on, with a sure millennium coming speedily, and this is the result: Every man who employs help is a robber. If he had said: ‘I’ve enough to satisfy my needs to the end of my life; I’ll sit under my own vine and fig tree and enjoy myself,’ and left his fellows about him to starve, why, he’d have been a model man and no robber. Wonderful new views! Ha, ha, ha! What is the world coming to?”
“You see,” said Mrs. Smith, “that is the way my husband raves. He will run on for an hour in the same fashion, never suspecting everybody else is not as stupid as himself.”
“Thank you,” said Smith.
“I say stupid, because he skims over the subject.” “And gets the cream,” cried Smith, with the inimitable smile of satisfaction.
“A child could answer him. He thinks he’s getting cream, but he’s only taking the scum off a pan of chalk and water. Hence I say stupid. I went over this whole subject with him, yesterday. But he says himself he’s an old dog and you can’t learn him new tricks.
“‘Now,’ I said yesterday, ‘there’s nothing meaner than affecting a charity when you’re filling your own pocket.’ And that’s just the game this wonderful philanthropist with capital is playing. He could sit under his own vine and fig tree, could he? How long? Won’t the vine and the tree need tending? If he sits there and leaves nature to herself, he’ll soon be overrun with weeds. His vines and fig trees are vines and fig trees because human labor has made them so, and human labor’s got to keep them so The man can’t sit. He’s got to work,— eat his bread in the sweat of his brow,— unless he has a few idle and starving neighbors. Then he can say, ‘See here! I’m no hog. Come and do my work, and I’ll see you don’t starve.’ Now he can sit under his own vine and fig tree. Labor will support capital and all capital’s children. Yes, the whole family can sit under their own vine and fig tree, and plant new vines and new fig trees, and employ other idlers and keep them from starvation. And this can go on till Paradise opens,— in another world,— if labor will look at it reasonably and not disturb the harmony capital has established and is disposed to abide by forever.”
“I don’t see why it should not,” said Smith, with emphasis.
“Simply because labor wants a vine and fig tree itself.”
“Let it save up enough to make a start for itself.”
“Turn itself into capital?”
“Of course, of course; why not?”
“And sit under its own vine and fig tree?”
“And there shall be no more labor,— only capital?”
“Why, if it should come to that, yes. That is, if it be possible for capital to sit under its vine and fig tree, and have no demand for labor; but, you say, it can’t; and it’s true. The fig tree, so to speak, will turn to weeds. Labor is required to keep it productive. But you, as I have been seeing all along, have made one seemingly trifling mistake; but the mere mention of it will upset your whole theory.”
“Now we approach a catastrophe,” said Mrs. Smith, quietly. “Go on, my dear.”
“Your dear has only to say that you have assumed that the man with capital who employs men without capital to help him keep his vine and fig tree in good producing condition is not himself also a laborer. He plans, superintends, studies ways and means, takes all the responsibility; his brain is always at work, and he is awake and troubled, more than likely, when they are asleep. Talk about his sitting! Why, he is always on his feet, and does more work than any three of them. A man with ten, twenty, fifty men at work for him has no time to idle away, I can tell you. That’s your mistake in hiking for granted that the capitalist who keeps his capital active and employs his fellow men can himself be an idler..”
Smith concluded triumphantly. You could see it was his opinion that he had crushed his wife. So he settled back in his chair with the air of one who thought nothing further could be said.
The wife, however, was not crushed. She was about to speak, when I interposed to say I was glad Smith had used the term capitalist instead of capital.
“He was driven to,” exclaimed Mrs Smith. “You see that was just where I was bringing him. I agree with you. At this point capitalist is the better word. John was forced to use it to save his eloquence from confusion. I had only taken up his remark that the laboring class should allow labor and capital to work together harmoniously, and have brought him to this.
“1. Capital could sit under its own vine and fig tree and snap its fingers at labor. But no; out of the goodness of its heart it said to labor, ‘Come and work in my vineyard.’
“2. When I show him that capital can’t sit still and snap its fingers at labor, but is dependent on labor for its preservation, he turns and says that capital doesn’t sit still, but is up and doing,— is itself a laborer. Instead, however, of saying capital labors, he says the capitalist labors. He puts in a plea for brain-labor, which, of course, I allow. The capitalist labors in planning and superintending the business.
“Let me see if I can remember how I stated the case to myself yesterday. It was something like this:
“Must be used, taken care of, or it will perish utterly.
“Nothing can do this but labor.
“If the capitalist, or owner, cannot care for it alone, he must summon others to help him. Twenty-nine others, say; himself making thirty.
“Now, whereas the capital without the aid of the twenty-nine, to say the best for it, would have remained as it was, but, with their help, has increased thirty fold, what proportion of this increase belongs to the capitalist and what to the laborers?
“If each man employed in securing this increase did the same amount of work, why would it not be just for each to claim his one-thirtieth?
“But capitalist does as much work as six others. Doubt it, but, for the argument, grant it.
“Then let him take one-fifth of the increase, and divide the remainder equally among the others.
“Here is equity, equality, fraternity. The salvation of the capitalist, who has provided himself with opportunity to work to advantage. He has saved what he had and added thereto by his own toil. It is also the salvation of the twenty-nine who have been enabled to save somewhat of the wealth they have produced.
“A mutual benefit, without charity, on strictly business principles.
“Why shall I not now quote your proposition VI?
“‘To make the interests of all to co-operate with and assist each other, instead of clashing with and counteracting each other.’
“What now have we?
“Labor under its own vine and fig tree!”
(To be continued.)
Correlating the Materialist with the Spiritualist Hypotheses.
The germinal substance, or punctum saliens, of any given animal or plant eludes the eye, though armed with the microscope; not precisely front its smallness — but from its apparently amorphous character. Its potential evolution is divined only by knowledge of its medium, i.e., of the collective organism in which it originated; elephant, mouse, man, rose, violet, etc., and following up this clue, we arrive at the ancient axiom: All that is of the earth is conformable to the earth. This vague phrase contains the sense of earth-life, soil-life, and the dependency of individuate life on its collective matrix. The differences which strike one’s senses are effects, the potential causes of which are organic ideas. So it is again, in that secondary series of formations which occur within the sphere of a given organism. I am not aware that microscopists of to-day dissent from the statements of Beale, Lebert, and other histologists of twenty or thirty years ago. viz., that to determine whether a certain particle is a pus corpuscle or lymph corpuscle, and if pus, whether benign or malignant, we must know whence it came and the condition of that part. Of course, I allow here for the more recent discovery of foreign organisms, such as the bacilli of tubercle or anthrax in particular forms of malignant disease. With regard to another malignant disease, cancer, microscopists were positive that they had discerned the characteristic cell, and this, which the late eminent histologist, Paul Broca, showed me under his own microscope in Paris, is of a form so curious and remarkable as not to be easily confounded with others; yet Velpeau proved that it is quite unreliable for diagnosis, not to be found in many cancers whose malignity was finally verified, while others have found it in tumors which proved to be benignant. Here then again, it is the sphere, the medium, the collective life, which controls the particular form of local evolution. Whether it be the elementary germ of an organism, of a special tissue, or of a morbid product, which is in question, the materialist may remark that its organic idea is invariably associated with sensible matter. The spiritualist may remark: it is not the matter, but the form and the power that imports; the form is indiscernible, while the potency is latent, yet the event proves both in evolution. Ignoring the Paleyan mechanical supposition of a Deus ex machina for creation, spiritualism holds to the vis insita, the invisible modeler of forms, the intelligence of evolution, the Organic Idea. For cancer and other malignant diseases, this may trace back to a constitutional diathesis whose sensible signs are valueless without the discriminative coordination of reason.
For the tissues of an organ, or the organs of a body, the model traces back to a general type common to the species, and this model is the modeler, a living force.
For an organism, or the species which it exemplifies, the modeling principle traces back, beyond simple heredity, to organic ideas inherent to its characteristic sphere.
The dynamic intelligence evinced in the evolution by organic types, of their phenomenal organisms contrasts with animal or human intelligence, in that our mental faculties correspond to definiteness of structure, to the number of frontal convolutions and the depth of their vesicular cortex, whereas the organic type force is potent over undefined matter, the nebulous jelly of those organisms which it (itself invisible) initiates, either conformably to precedents, or deviating from them under local and spherical influences, and yet with faithful tendency, maintained through generations, to atavism, or identical reproduction of primitive forms. This intelligent and plastic energy, owning dependency on local sphere, traces back from organism to soil and climate, and from particled emanations to collective terra-solar origins never alien to matter, yet essentially dynamic. Sic itur ad astra.
The organic idea is a child of the same family as spontaneous evolution, which, though controverted, with regard to dust-germs, by the careful experiments of Pasteur, Tyndall, and others, has been attested in a higher sense by those of Messrs. Cross and Weekes with the gentle and long-continued action of the galvanic current on metallic solutions in repose.
Academic orthodoxy (supplemental to the clerical) was of course very much exercised and scandalized about these heretical acari; but, after many years of discussion and repetition of the experiments, we find Messrs. Beard and Rockwell, who, in their historical section of electrical therapeutics, have, in the way of fish to fry, not the first spontaneous minnow, recording the facts as classical in the evolution of this branch of science. Thoroughly sifted by observation and experiment in the focus of medical curiosity, excited by the practical advances and useful applications of germ pathology in wine and blood, by Pasteur, Kock, Davaine, Klein, and many other microscopists,— we find the distinction between those classes of microphytes which, by inoculation, cause and reproduce given forms of disease, and the other class, putrefactive, which initiate nothing, but are always developed in the blood as coincidents and coefficients of the septicaemic process after inoculation of putrescent poisons, freed from germs by a prolonged baking heat. While the former are attached by their spheres to the doctrine of omne vivam ex ovo, the latter protest in behalf of spontaneous evolution under the general formula — Such as the sphere, so will be the life that comes to inhabit it.
This subject possessed for me only the passing interest of a topic in scientific literature, until it came home to me quite unexpectedly, in the difficulty of indoctrinating a ribbon of soil before my door with my personal fancy for a sward of sweet vernal grass and certain flowers. I found that this soil had tastes and a will of its own, to which after months of fruitless weeding and watering, and sowing year after year seeds large and small, from Henderson’s, Dreer’s, Thornburn’s, and Vick’s, I finally surrendered.
This garden strip I had trenched and enriched with the cream of the virgin forest round me. The carbonaceous powder scooped out of decayed stumps, leaf-mould, and the droppings of my goats and kine, all nourished exclusively in the same virgin forest, contributed to form its soil. From this soil sprang neither what grew in the forest, nor what I bad sown. Only a little of the grass came up and lived a little while by dint of constant attention, and so of several varieties of strawberry, one of which, per contra, quickly made itself at home, overran my grounds, and holds its own, even against the rankest sedge grass, bearing large fruit, where no other can live at all. Of the new growths, apparently spontaneous, wherever I manured, the most remarkable is purslane, the distinctive character of which could not fail to strike the eye in ten years of daily passage through the woods, if any of it grew there. For years I had but three neighbors within miles, and these recent settlers like myself, with woods between us, and whose cattle, like mine, fed only in these woods, with corn and cottonseed in winter. Purslane had small chance to grow in our little gardens, and if it did, the cattle had no access to it. Such observations, general, on a large scale, unvarying in their testimony, seem to me as conclusive as the crucial experiments of Pasteur or Tyndall in the dust field.
With regard to the purslane, moreover, there is not, as with the grave worm, the least chance for the hypothesis of a modification of type by sphere. Neither Darwinian icons nor analogous species had anything to do with it. The evolution is prompt, within a few weeks from the modification of the soil by culture, just as if the seed bad been sown there; yet how could the seed get there? For birds the local food range was the same as for the cattle, and abundant. They had social and economical reasons for staying at home, and, besides, I never saw one peck at purslane, when I let it grow in constant view. Plants due to such an origin would be disseminated, whereas purslane always and exclusively grows in the spots richly manured.
The observations of Van Mons, grandfather of so many fine Pears, depose in the same sense, though bearing more directly on spontaneous organic evolutions of species from the soil, when undisturbed in normal terra-solar conditions. Of the spontaneous pear tree, he says: — La racine trace dans la sots ou elle est repliée,”— which is not clear to me; but the practical point is that he discerns a different form of root between the seedling and the spontaneous growth. Let botanists answer. Non mihi vanitas componere lites. Another curious thing that turned my thoughts toward the creative genius of the soil is Indian bread. I often turned np this substance during the first tillage of the clearing, but since then I never meet with it. It seems to be formed only in soils long undisturbed. It has no apparent plant organs, and is an analogue, I suppose, of the truffle, which I have never seen growing or complete, I tried planting the skins of rinds of my Indian bread, but nothing came of it.
Man is such a busybody that he gives himself very little chance to observe what would happen in Nature without his intervention.
I confess with Richard Owen, F.R.S., that, in pretending to the honors of a Simian ancestry, there are certain points about the skull and contents, where there is room to stick a?; but I thank my genealogists all the same for clearing away the chevaux de frise of prejudice which separated the organic from the inorganic forces, and so parted the child from his terra-solar parents.
Spontaneous Evolution and Ethical Purpose.
As a doctrine, spontaneous evolution is probably as old as the faculty of reasoning on the evidence of the senses. In modern literature, Harriet Beecher Stowe announced it by the mouth of little Topsy. When asked who made her, she answered: “I specks I growed.” Metagenesis, known to the comparative physiologist in the normal evolution of certain insect species, has received new interpretations and a wider field of play, unsettling the previously accepted boundaries of a few species, end suggesting, though not proving, permanent transmutations according with sphere, without break in the continuity of successive generations. In this sense is the conversion, reported to have iteen effected in her aquarium by a French lady in Mexico, of the breathing organ of the axolotl from the aquatic to the aerial type of structure and function.
Whatever eventually becomes of the hypothesis now taught as the theory of evolution, it will have kindled a prairie fire of opinion, in which rite old theology is getting well roasted.
Whether the origin of organic forms, or only their modifications to the actual types, be in question, the really important point is their manifestation of intelligent tendency towards the useful and the beautiful, the increment of life’s enjoyment. If Nature deserve credit for beneficent purpose, notwithstanding frequent failures and miscarriages, this hypothesis of purpose inevitably opens tbe question whether the intelligence and sentiment revealed are integrant of the specific or individuate life,— of the Rose, of the Lily, for instance,— or whether these plants are organic works of art, manifesting the genius of one or many artists, as do our paintings and statues. In a coarse way, the gardener is an artist of organic fabrics. Beyond, as well as within the limits of his administration, and even that of man, the vegetal power may perhaps own the plastic guidance of beings invisible to us, and whom, if we named, we might call fairies. The transcendent culture of flowers, their endowment with graceful forms, splendid colors, sweet aromas, seems a congenial occupation for young ladies who survive their bodies, and in which their spritely beaux may often aid them. Dulce est desipere in loco. There is no lack of evident purpose in Nature. To be sure, there are purposes and purposes. The difficulty is, there seem to be too many of them for consistency of purpose. This difficulty is ethical. We want to see the moral of them. E.g., the tic, whose refined senses spontaneously and unerringly guide it to the juiciest and tend crest folds of my skin and where it is most difficult to seize and detach it, would be both stupid and ungrateful to deny a special providence for it in the existence of the human and bovine species. I make theology a present of this argument; it is a clincher; it will stick and hold on till the last stick of timber is cut in these woods. The flea, the mosquito, the louse, with their specific endowments and providential pasture, ought all to be of exemplary piety.
But the hyperbolic curve of the ideal never consents with tbe actual, always flies off at a tangent with fact, and some pessimist tics question God’s supreme goodness in giving man finger nails! Such heresies justify thumb-screws and the stake. My lamp bears witness to them.
At the opposite extreme of the scale in parasitic animality, good King David of leonine piety tells us how “the young lions roar after their prey and seek their meat from God.” “That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.”
How good Jay Gould and Vanderbilt must feel in such religious associations,— they who, for the social body, combine the tic and flea with the lion; who gorged with its blood — money — show the sagacity and tenacity of the tic, the omnipresent nimbleness of the idea in transfers by exchange, evading revolutionary squails, and a portentous voracity that dwarfs into innocence the whole feral army, from the eagle to the shrike, and from the lion to the skunk! Oh! how they love their neighbor (’s goods)!!!
Are these thy works, O Lord, parent of good?
Almighty, thine, this universal frame?
Oh, yes, the fittest shall survive. The survival shows the fitness of them; otherwise we might not have suspected it. This is the beauty of reasoning in a circle. The dictionary has been an embarrassment to sound orthodoxy. Children form whimsical and heretical ideas of the meaning of such words as infinite wisdom and goodness, especially when these are unstintingly allied with infinite power. It is urgent to destroy the old dictionaries and to modify Sunday school teaching to the effect of defining these vague terms so that they shall convey to the mind the qualitative virtues of a general scrimmage. Struggle for existence in Nature. Such is the fact; now go baptize the factors accordingly. Brahmin wit and logic, in its Banyan hospitals for animals, where beggars are fed to feed fleas, shows great natural intelligence of the disciplines employed by supreme wisdom and goodness in the education of man, and which reconciles benignity towards the flea with humiliation of the paria caste below the point of effervescent rebellion. Order in Church and State! Honor to the Tiger, the Flea, and the Cholera microbe! The particular crow I have to pick with Nature, Duty & Co., is the distribution of sympathies at cross purposes. My perverse intelligence has never been able to reconcile beneficent wisdom, in the disciplines of human education to fit the soul for heaven and harmony, with that spiritual arrangement, by which, as a general rule, John loves Mary, who loves Thomas, who loves Betsey. who loves Peter, who loves Margaret, who loves Samuel, who loves nobody but himself, and so on, in saeculd saeculorum. This capricious distribution of sympathies, which seems to mock at marriage, would do credit to Tari, the malicious goddess of the Khonds, for whose altars handsome youths are fattened. From the height of my morality I protest against it as betraying love to orgigamy. Maria del Occidente reproaches it thus in her musical candence:
“And as the dove from far Palmyra flying
To where her native founts of Antloch gloam,
Weary, exhausted, fainting, panting, dying,
Lights sadly at the desert’s bitter stream;
So many a soul o’er life’s dread desert faring.
Love’s pure congenial stream unfound, unquaffed,
Suffers, recoils, then thirsty and despairing
Of what it sought, descends and sips the nearest draught.”
And then with what exquisite irony Society takes Nature at her word, and religiously reinforences orgigamic tendencies by its barriers of caste, of faiths, of fortunes, &c., thus reducing to extreme improbability the meeting of counterpart character among the nobler types, and keeping them apart, when they do meet! The next time I happen to create and stock a world, I propose, in the interests of morality, to assort characters more with a view to that reciprocity of feeling which forms the ideal of our marriage custom. Marry the fact with the form, the ideal with the real, and the custom will need no legislation to protect it.
The quintessence of morality which points these pious aspirations is my feeling of the urgency that, instead of imagining Gods, we should, in fact, create and superpose on Nature that ideal of wisdom and goodness which is inmost to us, never mind how it came there. The ideal function of Man in Nature is to create God. Depolarise this word, if you can, and make of it a synonym with Harmony,— with the serial unison of varieties in organic completeness.
 M. Davalne had proved (Comptes Rendus de l’Académie Francaise) the uniformly and promptly fatal results of inoculation with non-specific putrid blood in quantities of the one-thousandth of a drop, or a third decimal attenuation. Herr Rosenberger, after repeating these experiments, showed like results from a cubic centimetre of putrid fluid, which had been heated to 140° centigrade during two hours, then injected, with aseptic precautions. Quickly afterwards, the microbes characteristic of putrefaction were discerned in the living blood, and appeared to be as numerous at in animals poisoned by inoculation with uncooked putrid fluids. Analogous facts of spontaneous evolution are declared by Dr. Bastian of London, viz., the development of life in rich nitrogenous fluids, in hermetically seated glass tubes, after heating to 302° Fahrenheit.
Mr. Wakeman’s Recipe for Law-making.
“Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious”
To the populace of Gods succeeds Yahveh; to Yahveh, Jesus, Buddha, and the Grand Lama. Coming nearer home, a political sprawl supersedes the psychologic, and the vanguard of mind, under banners of progress, prostrate themselves before the old clothes of the last century. To the populace of Gods now succeeds the Divine Populace,— Tahag, Rahag, and Bohoobtail,— enshrined in the temple of promiscuous suffrage; while the chivalrous T.B.W., editor of “Man,” inspired by Mother Ann Lee or the charms of the Virgin Mary, finds salvation awaiting the equal divinity of Bridget and Gretchen and Vic. (Not the darling diminutive for Vice, but Victoria, never mind which of them.) To the manifest destiny of this bipopular sovereignty, there is but one slight objection,— it must come in too late for the present election and selection of the loaves and fishes.
So git out de way, old Dan Tucker,
You’s too late to come to supper.
The ideal government, that harmony resulting from “anarchy plus the street constable,” so preferable to “despotism tempered by assassination;” that rapid progress facilitated by gearing the cart before the horse, and the car of the State before the co-operative township; that linear certitude of direction, obtained by gearing horses all around the cart, each with an ear of corn fastened in front of his nose; all the loveliness, in short, of being repretented,— wait upon the ballot, can all be had by voting, antd, if two negatives are equivalent to an affirmative, how much more must twenty million ignorance be equivalent to knowledge, so many follies to wisdom, so many superstitions to religion, so many selfishnesses to love of the neighbor! Music proves it, you know, by the harmony of discords, but even music can never reach that sweet dominion over Nature and Humanity to which savages and cabbages yield a soft assent, until its notes are distributed by the ballot, and the audience elects the chords by universal suffrage.
The reason’s plain, for Charon’s angry barge
Running full tilt ’gainst the subjunctive mood,
Beckoned to a porpoise, and gave the nod,
To fatten padlocks on Antarctic food.
In making wine, the fruit is not always sweet enongh for an effective fermentation. In making laws, the legislators are not always wise enough for a fruitful elaboration. To overcome the difficulty add in the vat, to one ton of half ripe trash, another of the same quality; add in congress, and first at the polls, as much feminine silliness and spite as we already have of the masculine article, and Q.E.D., Liberty and Order. The fermentation of ideas is rapidly completed, and the wine of social happiness gladdens the heart of Humanity.
(Private Secretary of the firm, Jay Gould, Vanderbilt, U.S. Grant & Co.)
No Free Trade Without Free Money.
The contributor to the “Essex Statesman” who wrote the following some months ago gets down to bottom truth on the tariff question:
There is something outside of the vexed question of Protection vs. Free Trade which has such intimate relation to it that to leave it out of the consideration is to fail in all calculations regarding it. Let us stop and ask why it is that Europe can manufacture so many things so much cheaper than we do that they can be imported at such rates as to destroy their production here? The first answer to this important question is that the European goods are the result of pauper labor. Analysis of this answer has proven it insufficient. It does not sustain the objection, since the rates of general wages recieved in England maintain the laborers quite as well as the same maintain the laborers in this country.
But this answer, though insufficient, points us in the right direction. It is in the costs attending manufacturing. Dismiss the wages question and the cost of raw material, and the cost of capital alone remains. And here we find the solution. Capital invested in manufacturing in this country in one form or another pays from twelve to twenty per cent. per annum interest, while that similarly invested in England pays two and a half per cent. per annum. And yet Free Traders never raise the question of interest, while it is all there is of their theory, since free trade is impossible of a country which maintains a money despotism.
Make money as cheap in this country as it is in England, and we can over-reach them in almost every kind of manufactured goods, while, if we were to make money free from cost, we could pay England off in her own coin, since we could manufacture all our raw material and undersell her in her own markets, which would compel her to resort to protection, which she would probably do, overlooking, as we have done, the vital point,— the money question.
Let our government inaugurate the free money system, and within twenty years the results flowing from it would be dethrone every monarch in Europe; they subsist from the interest levied upon us. Make money free and plenty, and the tariff question will be at once and forever settled.
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.