“For always in thine eyes, O Liberty!
Shines that high light whereby the world is saved;
And though thou slay us, we will trust in thee.”
On Picket Duty.
That blind partisan, Senator Edmunds, by the introduction of his anti-explosives bill, has inaugurated a policy which, if persisted in, will surely make dynamite as important a factor in American as it is already in European politics.
A very silly pamphlet is one entitled “Slaughter the Innocents, and the Irish Crime in America,” written by Charles O. Donnovan, A. M., barrister-at-law. That the writer penetrates about as far beneath the surface as lawyers usually do may be inferred from his warning to the Irish against the example of the Nihilists, whom he styles the “Gorillas of Russia,” describing them as cutting off Alexander II. in the “sublime” work of emancipation which he began by freeing the serfs before dynamite was discovered.
An exceptionally well-informed and (on other subjets) fair-minded Englishman excitedly exclaimed, in discussing the London explosions with me, that, if these things kept on, he hoped “England would make Ireland a waste.” And in the very next breath he told me that I ought to be ashamed of myself for “defending these scoundrelly dynamiters who satisfied their revenge by destroying and endangering the lives of innocent people.” This same tender-hearted individual thinks that it would be better for the world were the Mahdi’s entire army to be wiped out than that General Gordon should be killed. It is astonishing to think of the number of people whose sensibilities undergo the most exquisite torture at the idea of one policeman dying from a dynamite explosion and who will discuss with the most utter sang froid the horrible possibilities of officially-declared war. All these people, whether they know it or not, are still tainted with the doctrine that “the king can do no wrong.”
The thanks of Liberty and all its friends are due to Senator Riddleberger of Virginia for the manly front that he presented, by speech and vote, without the support of a single fellow-senator, against the adoption of Senator Bayard’s sycophantic resolution of indignation at the dynamiters and sympathy with England. His vote, given in undaunted resistance to the sixty-three recreants to the principle that gave birth to this nation who voted for the resolution, will live in history and make his memory glorious, even though the reputation which he bears as a tricky politician should never be wiped out. To think, too, of this voice and vote for Liberty coming from Virginia to plant a blow between the eyes of Northern tools of despotism by reminding them, in plain terms of glowing eulogy, of John Brown at Harper’s Ferry! O shade of Patrick Henry! I fancy I can see you now pointing with pride at this your younger brother from the Old Dominion, while the ghosts of old Sam Adams and James Otis cover their faces with shame at the disgrace brought by George F. Hoar upon the Old Bay State. Will General Pat Collins redeem the fair fame of Massachusetts? For before my readers see these words that wily young aspirant for political preferment will probably have an opportunity in the house of representatives to justify the claim made for him by his friends that he is the foremost champion of Irish-Americans. I am watching to see what mettle he is made of.
One of the most unique and vivid word-pictures that I have seen for a long time is drawn by James Red path in the last number of “John Swinton’s Paper,” entitled “Two Hundred Million Acres, or, The Long, Long March of a Royal Spook.” The fanciful writer imagines the spirit of King Henry the Second to have been released from his body by an Irish patriot’s bow on his landing in Ireland in 1171 and sentenced by Brian Borrn and eleven other members of an Irish spectral jury to never find repose until it had spent just one minute on each acre of a territory ten times the size of Ireland,— that is, of the exact area that has been given away during the last twenty years to American corporations by our Republican or Democratic congresses. Mr. Redpath finds that, under these conditions and walking twelve hours a day, King Henry’s Ghost, alter making the most eventful journey on record down through the centuries that have since elapsed, would in this year 1885 still have to walk the earth for fifty-two years more, or until 1937, before attaining its promised rest; in other words, that it would take this royal tramp and land-robber seven hundred and sixty-six years to walk, one minute to the acre, over the two hundred million acres that have been stolen from the laborers of America. Think of it, workingmen! And remember that but a few days ago, away off in Oklahoma, the United States massed its troops to evict a little band of four hundred desperate settlers who, having “squatted” upon a small portion of this territory, were disposed to resist all attempts to oust them from the little homes which their own toil had made for them!
This month witnesses the appearance in Paris of two monthly reviews of socialism. One, the “Revue Socialiste,” edited by B. Malon, a collectivist and partial disciple of Marx, will appear on the fifteenth of every month. The first number, already at, band, contains an introductory announcement by the editor; articles on “The Economic Crisis” by G. Rouanet, “Transformism and Socialism” by L. Dramard, and “Economic Evolution in Belgium” by L. Bertrand; a poem, “The Gods of the Forest,” by Eugene Pottier; and several critical departments. Each number will have nearly one hundred large pages, and the subscription price is twelve francs a year. Subscriptions should be sent to “Ernest Vaughan, 12, Rue du Croissant, Paris.” The other, “La Question Sociale,” edited by Argyriades, is to appear on the first of every month,, though I have not yet received the first number, which is to contain a poem, “The Social Question,” by Eugene Pottier; articles on “The Industries of Paris” by A. Goule, “A Legend to be Destroyed” by Lefrancais, “Struggle Against Nature” by Jehan la Vagre, “Collectivism or Communism” by Argyriades, “The State the Father of the Family” by L. V. Meunier, and “Causes of Brigandage in Italy” by Gasparone; a poem, “Gambetta,” by Gaillard fils; and correspondence from various countries. The subscription price is four francs a year, each number having thirty-two pages. Subscriptions should be sent to “Citoyen Argyriades, Administrateur de la ‘Question Sociale,’ 52, Rue Monge, Paris.” Each of these reviews promises to be a free parliament in which all schools of socialism may find full and fair hearing. The same promise is made in the prospectus of still a third monthly review, announced to appear at Brussels on the twentieth of every month, entitled “La Societe Nouvelle.” It advertises a long list of contributors, among them Elisée Reclus, Henry George, Hyndmann, and Liebknecht. This, in numbers of from sixty to seventy-two pages, will cost eight francs a year, which may be sent to “10, Rue des Minimes, Brussels, Belgium.” I welcome all these signs of intellectual activity.
It is glorious news that comes to us from England; sad enough if it were unnecessary, sad enough that it should be necessary, but, having been made necessary by its victims, none the less joyful and glorious. The dynamite policy is now definitely adopted in England, and must be vigorously pushed until it has produced the desired effect of abolishing all the repressive legislation that denies the freedom of agitation and discussion which alone can result in the final settlement of social questions and make the Revolution a fixed fact. When and where that freedom prevails, the use of dynamite or any form of physical force can never have the sanction of Liberty; when and where it does not prevail, force must be sanctioned for the time being, for nothing else can be done. For a while Russia enjoyed the unenviable distinction of being almost the only country where terrorism was advisable, but it has now come to pass that there is scarcely a country in Europe where there is any alternative. I am very much afraid that the same will be true of America before many months pass. This being the condition of affairs, an explosion that should blow every atom of the English Parliamentary Buildings into the Thames River ought to be as gratifying to every lover of Liberty as the fall of the Bastille in 1789. For my part, I should as soon think of apologizing for one as the other. My only criticism upon the Irish dynamiters is that they are not proceeding to the best advantage. It does comparatively little good to blow up property which the people have to pay for and replace. Lives should be the object of attack,— the lives, not of the innocent, but of the most clearly and prominently guilty. Why, by endangering the lives of innocent people, alienate the sympathy of many who would appreciate and applaud a prompt visitation of death upon a Gladstone immediately after the passage of a Coercion Act or upon a William Vernon Harcourt when such a law as his Anti-Explosives Act is put in force? How much better and wiser and more effective in this respect the course of the Russian and German Terrorists! Witness, for instance, the telling promptness with which the German police commissioner, Rumpff, was found dead upon his doorstep the other day just after he had accomplished the death sentence of the brave Reinsdorf and his Anarchistic comrades. I commend this relentless directness to the Irish dynamiters. Meanwhile, it is very certain that the explosions of last Saturday will cause legislators everywhere to sit much less easily in their seats, for which unquestionable blessing let us be duly thankful.
A Female Nihilist
Author of “Underground Russia”
Continued from No. 57.
The romance of her life commenced during her stay in St. Petersburg after her escape. She was one of the so-called “Amazons,” and was one of the most fanatical. She ardently preached against love and advocated celibacy, holding that with so many young men and young girls of the present day love was a clog upon revolutionary activity. She kept her vow for several years, but was vanquished by the invincible. There was at that time in St. Petersburg a certain Nicholas Morosoff, a young poet and brave fellow, handsome, and fascinating as his poetic dreams. He was of a graceful figure, tall as a young pine-tree, with a fine head, an abundance of curly hair, and a pair of chestnut eyes, which soothed, like a whisper of love, and sent forth glances that shone like diamonds in the dark whenever a touch of enthusiasm moved him.
The bold “Amazon” and the young poet met, and their fate was decided. I will not tell of the delirium and transports through which they passed. Their love was like some delicate and sensitive plant, which must not be rudely touched. It was a spontaneous and irresistible feeling. They did not perceive it until they were madly enamored of each other. They became husband and wife. It was said of them that, when they were together, inexorable Fate had no heart to touch them, and that its cruel hand became a paternal one, which warded off the blows that threatened them. And, indeed, all their misfortunes happened to them when they were apart.
This was the incident, which did much to give rises to the saying.
In November, 1879, Olga fell into the hands of the police. It should he explained that, when these succeed in arresting a Nihilist, they always leave in the apartments of the captured person a few men to take into custody any one who may come to see that person. In our language, this is called a trap. Owing to the Russian habit of arranging everything at home and not in the cafés, as in Europe, the Nihilists are often compelled to go to each other’s houses, and thus these traps become fatal. In order to diminish the risk, safety signals are generally placed in the windows, and are taken away at the first sound of the police. But, owing to the negligence of the Nihilists themselves, accustomed as they are to danger, and so occupied that they sometimes have not time to eat a mouthful all day long, the absence of these signals is often disregarded, or attributed to some combination of circumstances,— the difficulty, or perhaps the topographical impossibility, of placing signals in many apartments in such a manner that they can be seen from a distance. This measure of public security frequently, therefore, does not answer its purpose, and a good half of all the Nihilists who have fallen into the hands of the Government have been caught in these very traps. A precisely similar misfortune happened to Olga, and the worst of it was that it was in the house of Alexander Kviatkovsky, one of the Terrorist leaders, where the police found a perfect magazine of dynamite, bombs, and similar things, together with a plan of the Winter palace, which, after the explosion there, led to his capital conviction. As may readily be believed, the police would regard with anything but favorable eyes every one who came to the house of such a man.
Directly she entered, Olga was immediately seized by two policemen, in order to prevent her from defending herself. She, however, displayed not the slightest desire to do so. She feigned surprise, astonishment, and invented there and then the story that she had come to see some dressmakers (who had, in fact, their names on a door-plate below, and occupied the upper floor) for the purpose of ordering something, but had mistaken the door; that she did not know what they wanted with her, and wished to return to her husband, etc.; the usual subterfuges to which the police are accustomed to turn a deaf ear. But Olga played her part so well that the pristav, or head of the police of the district, was really inclined to believe her. He told her that anyhow, if she did not wish to be immediately taken to prison, she must give her name and conduct him to her own house. Olga gave the first name which came into her mind, which naturally enough was not that under which she was residing in the capital, but as to her place of residence she declared, with every demonstration of profound despair, that sin could not, and would not, take him there or say where it was. The pristav insisted, and, upon her reiterated refusal, observed to the poor simple thing that her obstinacy was not only prejudicial to her, but even useless, as, knowing her name, he would have no difficulty in sending some one to the Adressni Stol and obtaining her address. Struck by this unanswerable argument, Olga said she would take him to her house.
No sooner had she descended into the street, accompanied by the pristav and some of his subalterns, than Olga met a friend, Madame Maria A., who was going to Kviatkovsky’s, where a meeting of Terrorists had actually been fixed for that very day. It was to this chance meeting that the Terrorists owed their escape from the very grave danger which threatened them; for the windows of Kviatkovsky’s rooms were so placed that it was impossible to see any signals there from the street.
Naturally enough the two friends made no sign to indicate that they were acquainted with each other, but Madame Maria A., on seeing Olga with the police, ran in all haste to inform her friends of the arrest of their companion, about which there could be no doubt.
The first to be warned was Nicholas Morosoff, as the police in a short time would undoubtedly go to his house and make the customary search. Olga felt certain that this was precisely what her friend would do, and therefore her sole object now was to delay her custodians so as to give Morosoff time to “clear” his rooms (that is to say, destroy or take away papers and everything compromising), and to get away himself. It was this that she was anxious about, for he had been accused by the traitor Goldenberg of having taken part in the mining work connected with the Moscow attempt, and by the Russian law was liable to the penalty of death.
Greatly emboldened by this lucky meeting with her friend, Olga, without saying a word, conducted the police to the Ismailovsky Polk, one of the quarters of the town most remote from the place of her arrest, which was in the Nevsky district. They found the street and the house indicated to them. They entered and summoned the dvornik (doorkeeper), who has to he present at every search made. Then came the inevitable explanation. The dvornik said that he did not know the lady, and that she did not lodge in that house.
Upon hearing this statement, Olga covered her face with her hands, and gave way to despair. She sobbingly admitted that she had deceived them from fear of her husband, who was very harsh, that she had not given her real name and address, and wound up by begging them to let her go home.
“What’s the use of all this, madam?” exclaimed the pristav. “Don’t you see that you are doing yourself harm by these tricks? I’ll forgive you this time, because of your inexperience, but take care that you don’t do it again, and lead us at once to your house or otherwise you will repent it.”
After much hesitation, Olga resolved to obey the injunctions of the pristav. She gave her name, and said she lived in one of the lanes of Vasili Ostrov.
It took an hour to reach the place. At last they arrived at the house indicated. Here precisely the same scene with the dvornik was repeated. Then the pristav lost all patience, and wanted to take her away to prison at once, without making a search in her house. Upon hearing the pristav’s harsh announcement, Olga flung herself into an arm-chair and had a violent attack of hysterics. They fetched some water and sprinkled her face with it to revive her. When she hail somewhat recovered, the pristav ordered her to rise and go at once to the prison of the district. Her hysterical attack recommenced. But the pristav would stand no more nonsense, and told her to get up, or otherwise he would have her taken away in a cab by main force.
The despair of the poor lady was at its height.
“Listen!” she exclaimed; “I will tell you everything now.”
And she began the story of her life and marriage. She was the daughter of a rustic, and she named the province and the village. Up to the age of sixteen she remained with her father and looked after the sheep. But one day an engineer, her future husband, who was at work upon a branch line of railway came to stop in the house. He fell in love with her, took her to town, and placed her with his aunt, and had teachers to educate her, as she was illiterate and knew nothing. Then he married her, and they lived very happily together for four years; but he had since become discontented, rough, irritable, and she feared that he loved her no longer; but she loved him as much as ever, as she owed everything to him, and could not be ungrateful. Then she said that he would he dreadfully angry with her, and would perhaps drive her away if she went to the house in charge of the police; that it would be a scandal; that he would think she had stolen something; and so on.
All this, and much more of the same kind, with endless details and repetitious, did Olga narrate; interrupting her story from time to time by sighs, exclamations, and tears. She wept in very truth, and her tears fell copiously, as she assured me when she laughingly described this scene to me afterwards. I thought at the time that she would have made a very good actress.
The pristav, though impatient, continued to listen. He was vexed at the idea of returning with empty hands, and he hoped this time at all events her story would lead to something. Then, too, he had not the slightest suspicion, and would have taken his oath that the woman he had arrested was a poor, simple creature, who had fallen into his hands without having done anything whatever, as so frequently happens in Russia, where houses are searched on the slightest suspicion. When Olga had finished her story, the pristav began to console her. He said that her husband would certainly pardon her when he heard her explanation; that the same thing might happen to anyone; and so on. Olga resisted for a while, and asked the pristav to promise that he would assure her husband she had done nothing wrong; and more to the same effect. The pristav promised everything, in order to bring the matter to an end, and this time Olga proceeded towards her real residence. She had gained three, hours and a half; for her arrest took place about two o’clock, and she did not reach her own home until about half past five. She had no doubt that Morosoff had got away, and, after having “cleared” the rooms, had thrice as much time as he required for the operation.
Having ascended the stairs, accompanied by the dvorniks and the police, she rang the bell. The door opened and she entered, first the ante-chamber, then the sitting-room. There a terrible surprise awaited her. Morosoff in person was seated at a table, in his dressing-gown, with a pencil in his hand and a pen in his ear. Olga fell into hysterics. This time they were real, not simulated.
How was it that he had remained in the house?
The lady previously mentioned had not failed to hasten at once and inform Morosoff, whom she lound at home with three or four friends. At the announcement of the arrest of Olga they all had but one idea,— that of remaining where they were, of arming themselves, and of awaiting her arrival, in order to rescue her by main force. But Morosoff energetically opposed this proposal. He said, and rightly said, that it presented more dangers than advantages, for the police being in numbers and reinforced by the dvorniks of the house, who were all a species of police agents of inferior grade, the attempt at the best would result in the liberation of one person at the cost of several others. His view prevailed, and the plan, which was more generous than prudent, was abandoned. The rooms were at once “cleared” with the utmost rapidity, so that the fate of the person arrested, which was sure to be a hard one and was now inevitable, should not be rendered more grievous. When all was ready and they were about to leave, Morosoff staggered his friends by acquainting them with the plan he had thought of. He would remain in the house alone and await, the arrival of the police. They thought he had lost his senses: for everybody knew, and no one better than himself, that, with the terrible accusation hanging over his head, if once arrested, it would be all over with him. But he said he hoped it would not come to that,— nay, he expected to get dear off with Olga, and in any case would share her fate. They would escape or perish together. His friends heard him announce this determination with mingled feelings of grief, astonishment, and admiration. Neither entreaties nor remonstrances could shake his determination. He was firm, and remained at home after saying farewell to his friends, who took leave of him as of a man on the point of death.
He had drawn up his plan, which by the suggestion of some mysterious instinct perfectly harmonized with that of Olga, although they had never in any way arranged the matter. He also had determined to feign innocence, and had arranged everything in such a manner as to make it seem as though he were the most peaceful of citizens. As he lived under the false passport of an engineer, he covered his table with a heap of plans of various dimensions, and, having put on his dressing-gown and slippers, set diligently to work to copy one while awaiting the arrival of his unwelcome guests.
It was in this guise and engaged in this innocent occupation that he was surprised by the police. The scene which followed may easily be imagined, Olga flung her arms round his neck, and poured forth a stream of broken words, exclamations, excuses, and complaints of these men who had arrested her because she wished to call upon her milliner. In the midst, however, of these exclamations, she whispered in his ear, “Have you not been warned?”
“Yes,” he replied in the same manner, “everything is in order. Don’t be alarmed.”
Meanwhile he played the, part, of an affectionate husband mortified by this scandal. Alter a little scolding and then a little consolation, he turned to the pristav and asked him for an explanation, as he could not quite understand what had happened from the disconnected words of his wife. The pristav politely told the whole story. The engineer appeared greatly surprised and grieved, and could not refrain from somewhat bitterly censuring his wife for her unpardonable imprudence. The pristav, who was evidently reassured by the aspect of the husband and of the whole household, declared nevertheless that he must make a search.
“I hope yon will excuse me, sir,” he added, “but I am obliged to do it.; it is my duty.”
“I willingly submit to the law,” nobly replied the engineer.
Thereupon he pointed to the room, so as to indicate that the pristav was free to search it thoroughly, and having lit a candle with his own hand, for at that hour in St. Petersburg it was already dark, he quietly opened the door of the adjoining room, which was his own little place.
The search was made. Certainly not a single scrap of paper was found, written or printed, which smelt of Nihilism.
“By rights I ought to take the lady to prison,” said the pristav, when he had finished his search, “especially as her previous behavior was anything but what it ought to have bean; but I won’t do that. I will simply keep you under arrest here until your passports have been verified. You see, sir,” he added, “we police officers are not quite so bad as the Nihilists make us out.”
“There are always honest men in every occupation,” replied the engineer with a gracious bow.
More compliments of the same kind, which I need not repeat, were exchanged between them, and the pristav went away with most of his men, well impressed with such a polite and pleasant reception. He left, however, a guard in the kitchen, with strict injunctions not to lose sight of the host and hostess, until further orders.
Morosoff and Olga were alone. The first act of the comedy they had improvised had met with complete success. But the storm was far from having blown over. The verification of their passports would show that they were false. The inevitable consequence would be a warrant for their arrest, which might be issued at any moment if the verification were made by means of the telegraph. The sentinel, rigid, motionless, with his sword by his side and his revolver in his belt, was seated in the kitchen, which was at the back, exactly opposite the outer door, so that it was impossible to approach the door without being seen by him. For several hours they racked their brains and discussed, in a low voice, various plans of escape. To free themselves by main force was not to be thought of. No arms had been left in the plaee, for they had been purposely taken away. Yet, without weapons, how could they grapple with this big, sturdy fellow, armed as he was? They hoped that, as the hours passed on, he would fall asleep. But this hope was not realised. When, at about half-past ten, Morosoff, under pretext of going to his little room, which was used for various domestic purposes, passed near the kitchen, he saw the man still at his post, with his eyes wide open, attentive and vigilant as at first. Yet when Morosoff returned, Olga would have declared that the way was quite clear and that they bad nothing to do but to leave, so beaming were his eyes. He had, in fact, found what he wanted,— a plan simple and safe the little room opened into the small corridor which served as a sort of ante-chamber, and its door flanked that of the kitchen. In returning to the sitting-room, Morosoff observed that, when the door of the little room was wide open, it completely shut out the view of the kitchen, and consequently hid from the policeman the outer door, and also that of the sitting-room. It would be possible, therefore, at a given moment, to pass through the antechamber without being seen by the sentinel. But this could not be done unless someone came and opened the door of the little room. Neither Olga nor Morosoff could do this, for if, under some pretext, they opened it, they would of course have to leave it open. This would immediately arouse suspicion, and the policeman would run after them and catch them, perhaps before they had descended the staircase. Could they trust the landlady? The temptation to do so was great. If she consented to assist them, success might be considered certain. But if she refused! Who could guarantee that, from fear of being punisned as an accomplice, she would not go and reveal everything to the police? Of course she did not suspect in the least what kind of people her lodgers were.
Nothing, therefore, was said to her, but they hoped nevertheless to have her unconscious assistance, and it was upon that Morosoff had based his plan. About eleven o’clock she went into the little room where the pump was placed, to get the water to fill the kitchen cistern for next day’s consumption. As the room was very small, she generally left one of two pails in the corridor, while she filled the other with water, and, of course, was thus obliged to leave the door open. Everything thus depended upon the position in which she placed her pail. An inch or two on one side or the other would decide their fate; for it was only when the door of the little room was wide open that it shut out the view of the kitchen and concealed the end of the ante-chamber. If not wide open, part of the outer door could be seen. There remained half an hour before the decisive moment, which both employed in preparing for flight. Their wraps were hanging up in the wardrobe of the ante-chamber. They had, therefore, to put on what they had with them in the sitting-room. Morosoff put on a light summer overcoat. Olga threw over her shoulders a woolen scarf, to protect her somewhat from the cold. In order to deaden as much as possible the sounds of their hasty footsteps, which might arouse the attention of the sentinel in the profound silence of the night, both of them put on their goloshes, which, being elastic, made but little noise. They had to put them on next to their stockings, although it was not particularly agreeable at that season, for they were in their slippers, their shoes having been purposely sent into the kitchen to be cleaned for the following day, in order to remove all suspicion respecting their intentions.
Everything being prepared, they remained in readiness, listening to every sound made by the landlady. At last came the clanging of empty pails. She went to the little room, threw open the door, and began her work. The moment had arrived. Morosoff cast a hasty glance. Oh, horror! The empty pail scarcely projected beyond the threshold, and the door was a very acute angle, so that even from the door of the sitting-room where they were part of the interior of the kitchen could be seen. He turned towards Olga, who was standing behind him holding her breath, and made an energetic sign in the negative. A few minutes passed, which seemed like hours, The pumping ceased; the pail was full. She was about to place it on the floor. Both stretched their necks and advanced a step, being unable to control the anxiety and suspense. This time the heavy pail banged against the door and forced it back on its hinges, a stream of water being spilt. The view of the kitchen was completely shut out, but another disaster had occurred. Overbalanced by the heavy weight, the landlady had come half out into the corridor. “She has seen us,” whispered Morosoff, falling back pale as death. “No,” replied Olga, excitedly; and she was right. The landlady disappeared into the little room, and a moment afterwards recommenced her clattering work.
Without losing a moment, without even turning round, Morosoff gave the signal to his companion by a firm grip of the hand, and both issued forth, hastily passed through the corridor, softly opened the door, and found themselves upon the landing of the staircase. With cautious steps they descended, and were in the street, ill-clad but very light of heart. A quarter of an hour afterwards they were in a house where they were being anxiously awaited by their friends, who welcomed them with a joy more easy to imagine than to describe.
In their own abode their flight was not discovered until late into the morning, when the landlady came to do the room.
Such was the adventure, narrated exactly as it happened, which contributed, as I have said, to give rise to the saying that these two were invincible when together. When the police became aware of the escape of the supposed engineer and his wife, they saw at once that they had been outwitted. The pristav, who had been so thoroughly taken in, had a terrible time of it, and proceeded with the utmost eagerness to make investigations somewhat behindhand. The verification of the passports of course showed that they were false. the two fugitives were therefore “illegal” people, but the police wished to know, at all events, who they were, and to discover this was not very difficult, for both had already been in the hands of the police, who, therefore, were in possession of their photographs. The landlady and the dvornik recognized them among a hundred shown to them by the gendarmes. A comparison with the description of them, also preserved in the archives of the gendarmerie, left no doubt of their identity. It was in this manner the police found out what big fish they had stupidly allowed to escape from their net, as may be seen by reading the report of the trial of Sciriaeff and his companions. With extreme but somewhat tardy zeal, the gendarmes ransacked every place in search, of them. They had their trouble for nothing. A Nihilist who thoroughly determines to conceal himself can never be found. He falls into the hands of the police only when he returns to active life.
When the search for them began to relax, Olga and Morosoff quitted their place of concealment and resumed their positions in the ranks. Some months afterwards they went abroad in order to legitimatise their union, so that if some day they were arrested it might be recognized by the police. They crossed the frontier of Roumania unmolested, stopped there some time, and having arranged their private affairs went to reside for a while at Geneva, where Morosoff wished to finish a work of some length upon the Russian revolutionary movement. Here Olga gave birth to a daughter, and for awhile it seemed that all the strength of her anient and exceptional disposition would concentrate itself in maternal love. She did not appear to care for anything. She seemed even to forget her husband in her exclusive devotion to the little one. There was something almost wild in the intensity of her love.
Four months passed, and Morosoff, obeying the call of duty, chafing at inactivity, and eager for the struggle, returned to Russia. Olga could not follow him with her baby at the breast, and, oppressed by a mournful presentiment, allowed him to depart alone.
A fortnight after he was arrested.
On hearing this terrible news, Olga did not swoon, she did not wring her hands, she did not even shed a single tear. She stifled her grief. A single, irresistible, and supreme idea pervaded her — to fly to him; to save him at all costs; by money, by craft, by the dagger, by poison, even at the risk of her own life so that she could but save him.
And the child? That poor little weak and delicate creature, who needed all her maternal care to support its feeble life? What could she do with the poor innocent babe, already almost an orphan?
She could not take it with her. She must leave it behind.
Terrible was the night which the poor mother passed with her child before setting out. Who can depict the indescribable anguish of her heart, with the horrible alternative placed before her of forsaking her child to save the man she loved, or of forsaking him to save the little one. On the one side was maternal feeling; on the other her ideal, her convictions, her devotion to the cause which he steadfastly served. She did not hesitate for a moment. She must go. On the morning of the day fixed she took leave of all her friends, shut herself up alone with her child, and remained with it for some minutes to bid it farewell. When she issued forth, her face was pale as death and wet with tears.
She set out. She moved heaven and earth to save her husband. Twenty times was she within an ace of being arrested. But it was impossible for her efforts to avail. As implicated in the attempt against the life of the Emperor, he was confined in the fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul; and there is no escape from there. She did not relax her efforts, but stubbornly and doggedly continued them, and all this while was in agony if she did riot constantly hear about her child. If the letters were delayed a day or two, her anguish would not be restrained. The child was ever present in her mind. One day she took compassion on a little puppy, still blind, which she found upon a heap of rubbish, where it had been thrown. “My friends laugh at me,” she wrote, “but I love it because its little feeble cries remind me of those of my child.”
Meanwhile the child died. For a whole month no one bad the courage to tell the sad news. But at last the silence had to be broken.
Olga herself was arrested a few weeks afterwards.
Such is the story, the true story, of Olga Liubatovitch. Of Olga Liubatovitch, do I say? No — of hundreds and hundreds of others. I should not have related it had it not been so.
Then and Now.
A Lecture on the Rise and Fall of Authority.
Boston, January 23, 2085.
My Dear Louise:
A few evenings ago I had the pleasure of listening to a lecture by Mr. De Domain before the students of Harvard College. The subject was “The Rise and Fall of Authority.” I have written out what I think will give you a fair idea of his argument. Mr. De Demain is a very animated, correct speaker, not eloquent, but earnest.
“When civilization first began to dawn on mankind, authority had its birth. When civilization had fully dawned upon mankind, authority met its death.” These were Mr. De Domain’s opening sentences. He continued: “I will not say that this birth was unnatural. Everything being a part of nature, everything must be natural. But because nature is such a tremendous thing and so incomprehensible in many of its phases is no reason why man should not criticise. Nature, outside of man, is blind, unthinking, unknowing. It is moved to action by the force within it, and it acts. Man is the only sell-conscious part of nature. It has no other intelligent guiding hand. Man is the greatest thing in nature, so far as man is able to judge. Nature constructs him, develops him, and controls him. But nature’s action on man reflects and gives new action to nature. Briefly, man is nature’s eye. Surely he has a right to criticise.”
In continuing this line of thought Mr. De Demain got a trifle too metaphysical, and I did not take notes for a while. I began when he began as follows:
“Authority set about to construct itself a temple. It took for a site the morass of ignorance,— which then and for thousands of years after was a very large site,— and threw into it nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand human creatures. This was for the foundation. Upon this was reared the structure in which dwelt the kings and princes and statesmen and priests and usurers. It was truly a most magnificent temple, hut the only thing between it and the obliterating mud was a living, squirming mass of human beings.
“Occasionally tremors ran through this mass, shaking the temple, tumbling down some of its sacred images, breaking its little graven gods, and leaving wide cracks here and there to be plastered up. Every tremor weakened the structure still more, and marred its magnificence. Now and then a spire would fall and a statue tumble from its niche.
“Still, those who inhabited the decaying edifice found it very comfortable, very pleasant. All who once sojourned within its walls, although these were somewhat marred and cracked, were very anxious to remain forever. And what wonder! It was either a dweller in comfort within or a straggler in the mud without and underneath.
“Shrewd men were those who lived within the temple. They watched carefully the changes in the foundation, and repaired and reconstructed their house that it might withstand the upheavals that shook it.
“For centuries these human beings in the mud thought it a great privilege that they were allowed to exist at all. But after a while the mud dried up somewhat and gave the people a footing. They began to realize that the weight of the temple bore heavily upon them. They rubbed the mud from their eyes, and the need for authority seemed not such a pressing need after all. At last the unintelligent tremors that had weakened the oppressive structure developed into an intelligent quake that toppled over the temple and laid it in a mass of ruins, a wreck too complete to admit of reconstruction. Its debris was scattered and trampled in the now fast-drying mud.”
After Mr. De Demain had finished his lecture, I asked him if it were not true that the people, whom he had represented as wallowing in the mud, built the temple of authority and kept it in repair.
“No,” said he, “the” great majority of the people had nothing whatever to do with either, although in some countries at some times they even give the idea that they had. The history of humanity shows that the tendency of the by far greater part of the people has been against authority. Can you name a people, at all progressive, of whom this is not true? The moment a people began to grow intellectually they began a warfare ago! 1st authority,— not to abolish authority, but to weaken its power. When this power became reduced to the minimum, the natural tendency of humanity sugested entire abolition. A little mere progress more widely extended and Anarchy became an established fact.
“So long as humanity continues to progress so long will the tendency be against authority. If humanity ever reaches a point beyond which there can be no progress, then will come retrogression, and humanity as a whole will, for the first time in the history of the world, tend toward authority. That day may come, but there is no evidence that it must come. The world may cease to develop, the universe may grow old and barren, but man’s brain may still continue to expand I believe that it will continue to grow so long as this planet of oars holds together. There are no signs yet of a tendency toward authority. The State is dead and there is no wish to revive it. It is remembered only as a great evil that has been conquered,— something that was a part of the barbarism of the past. If you will, it was a garment which has been outgrown, although I think a strait-jacket which was never needed would be a more fitting simile.”
In a few days Mr. De Demain is to tell me something about, supply and demand. I think it may interest you.
“A free man is one who enjoys the use of his reason and his faculties; who is neither blinded by passion, nor hindered or driven by oppression, nor deceived by erroneous opinions.” — Proudhon.
Why Labor Papers Die Young.
For the past twenty-five years I have seen one labor paper after another spring into existence, and, after a desperate struggle for patronage, go down in disgust and despair. I could count such by the bushel. In almost every case some poor fellow, enthused by the burning wrongs of the servile classes, has put in his time, his heart, his brains, and his means, and, after a frantic and hopeless cry for support, has either retreated, sold out to the enemy, or gone down in utter ruin. The only labor papers that find it possible to live are the special organs of particular trades supported by the regular Trade Union funds and morally and mentally narrowed down to the merely selfish interests of their clans.
For a time the “Irish World” seemed to hold forth the promise of a largely circulated journal floating successfully on its merits as a land and labor organ; but this once grand champion of labor’s wrongs has at last ignominiously skulked away from its old issues and practically gone over body and soul to the enemy, declaring over the signature of the degenerate Ford that it is now “primarily a political paper.”
The last example of a drowning labor champion, all ready to go down for the third and last time, is John Swinton. Brim full of humanitarian impulses, Swinton cherished the pet idea of leaving as a legacy to labor a model labor newspaper. He sacrificed in this behalf the most lucrative newspaper situation in America, and was willing to sink the bulk of the earnings of a lifetime in the cause. The load is steadily dragging him into the almshouse, and labor refuses to come to the rescue. I pity the genial and noble-hearted Swinton, but history is only repeating itself. The hard fact is that working people stolidly refuse to support a more labor paper, no matter how ably conducted.
And I beg forgiveness for the remark that I do not much blame working people for refusing to support mere labor papers of the ordinary stamp. What consolation has the poor slave of toil and sorrow in merely reading of his abuse and degradation from week to week? Bulky headings inform him of “Hell’s Mills” in the East,“Living Tombs” in the West, “Black Holes of Calcutta” in the South, and “Prison Dens” in the North. Yet all the mental and moral pith that can be squeezed out of the labor editor is the blind-man’s-buff cry of “Organize! Organize! Organize!” or a suicidal appeal to the ballot-box, itself the bottom trick that fortifies these evils against radical revolt
The saving truth that John Swinton and others have yet to find out is that there is in reality no such thing as the “Labor Question,” so-called, and the paper that stands on this partial ground has no logical basis of propaganda to start with. The capitalist with perfect right might call the issue involved The Capital Question, the merchant might call it The Trade Question, or the professional loafer The Dead Beat Question. Behind and beyond all these partial “Questions” are the radical questions of fundamental individual right, which are the elements proper of the problem of correct social adjustment. All these elements finally converge into the one great problem of Liberty, which extends equal balances to all, and no more recognizes a mere “Labor Question” as fundamental than it does a capitalist or a loafer question.
Labor is a slave because it is born a social cripple and is kept a cripple by this same ballot-box trick to which reformers of the John Swinton order are constantly appealing. To organize for emancipation while supporting the governmental conspiracy which arrogates to itself the power to say, Thus far shalt thou go and no farther! is a kind of Jack-in-the-box performance which will continue to feed and amuse politicians till the incoming Anarchistic tide heads it off.
When Liberty was first published, Henry George is said to have taken it into his fingers, and, expanding his “unearned increment” of cheek, laughed heartily at the insane vaporings of Tucker and “that Individualist crowd.” Yet we still live and are gaining ground rapidly, while the subscription lists of Liberty are largely seasoned with patronage from the best and deepest thinkers on two continents And yet we boldly and inexorably demand the abolition of the State as the first condition of Labor’s emancipation. How many labor papers will yet have to die the old inevitable death before this stale fool’s play with despotism gives way to something that has the promise and potency of life in it?
Meanwhile, I say to Labor, Organize! Organize! Organize! but organize with your backs towards the ballot-boxes, for all seeming emancipation through politics is illusory and costs far more than it is worth.
Bed Rock Mud.
Although one stands in the presence of the tired and wan-faced masses of humanity, he cannot help smiling at the frantic attempts of the newspapers and a certain class of business men to impress upon the people in general, and the retail tradesmen in particular, the idea that we have reached hard pan, and that, consequently trade must improve. Allowing that this hard pan has been struck, it does not follow that we shall be able to build upon it a structure of prosperity that will stand. “Hard pan” has been struck several times before, but somehow after a time the financial edifices builded upon it have been swept away as though the foundation were nothing more than ordinary mud. Four years ago we struck this same bed rock of depression. Business was in a pretty bad way, to be sure, and there were thousands of idle workmen. Idle workmen soon get lean, and, like that lean Cassius, they think too much. As Caesar said, “such men are dangerous.” The robbers or, if you please, employers began to appreciate this fact, and breathed into the lungs of the dying business system of the country. There was a temporary revival; then a relapse. Can the death-struck thing be again revivified?
We are told that we have struck bed rock again, and that we must build anew. But we are to build in the same old way. The same old rules of financial architecture are to be followed. Can we expect a more substantial structure?
Well, if they do not starve thereby, Anarchists have no cause to complain of business depression. The oftener this business bed rock is struck, the oftener the people get a good look at it. After seeing it two or three times more, they will see that this “hard pan” is nothing but mud, after all, and that no structure can ever stand firmly upon it.
There is a bed rock though, firm, safe, solid, and Liberty and its friends are showing the people who are wallowing about in the hard-pan mud of the scheming men of today where that bed rock is. It may be easily reached, and may be soon reached if mills continue to shut down.
Revolutionary ideas work rapidly into a man’s system if taken on an empty stomach.
The State Afraid of Sanity.
President Grevy says he will liberate Louise Michel If she shall be declared insane. Only sane persons are dangerous to the state.
Contributions from the Enemy.
The Catholic Church is pushing for its pro-rata share of the school taxes to be applied in the parish schools to religious instruction, carrying sectism into the public school system. Irrespective of its known policy of encroachment, proselytism, and domination, this claim is justly based on the acknowledged correlation between “taxation and representation,” besides being supported by its unparalleled efforts In behalf of education in the United States. Actually this church supports 2,500 parochial schools, with 500,000 pupils, 599 academics, 87 colleges, and 22 ecclesiastical seminaries, besides the sacerdotal institutions peculiar to its various religions orders respectively.
The Catholic Church, like the Russian Government, educates for its own purposes, to make intelligent tools, ecclesiastic in the one case, military in the other, but each with a single eye to its own domination. A plastic ignorance moulded and hardened into prejudice passes for conservative science, and will bear any amount of polish and fioriture. Architecture and music have already entered into Church membership, and if Literature has shown some refractory symptoms, these enn hardly he serious in a weakling that is not ashamed to worship Carlyle. With the arts for its allies, government for its lever, and identified with Capitalism, which needs it for the more effective subjugation of Labor, the Church can afford to leave Science out in the cold by economic excommunication. The superiority of Faith to Reason is proved by roast beef and plum pudding. Concurrently with the claim formalized by its Baltimore convention of last November, the Catholic Church has much sympathy from Protestants, not only personally, but as a matter of general policy in combining against Infidel influence.
Now, one of two issues: either they will carry their point, and in so doing identify the United States Government with the clerical policy, which must predispose the so-called liberals to Anarchism; or, if they fail and lose hope of success, this will turn their church against the Government, and essaying its imperium in imperio, it will casually coincide with the Anarchist policy. Of course the Church is essentially antipodal to Anarchism in principle, but practically our leading work is the subversion of that monster fungus, the United States Government; and we may fraternize pro tem. with all who share this aspiration.
The logic of principles in their practical evolution compels all governments to return to their original despotism, and in so doing cements the kindred authorities of State and Church in their primitive theocracy. Deserters from either by the way must fall into rank with us Anarchists, who alone in this world dare to confront the very principle of Authority with that of Liberty.
All the little Protestant snakes, that pretended to liberty, each to exploit superstition on its own account, now, since the sunrise of absolute Liberty, are compelled by their parent principle, Authority, to crawl down again into the belly of Catholicism. This consummation is facilitated by the expatriation of the Papacy from Rome. Events, serving its cause far beyond its own wisdom or will, emancipate its pretension to universal sway from the jealousy which an organization of Italian privilege had occasioned, and which had alienated England by political interests. Popes will yet welcome those lessons of spread-eagleism with which Father Hecker sought to enlighten the dull sense of Pio Nono. Between Uncle Sam and the Catholic dynasty, the marriage bans have been proclaimed, the wedding feast prepared. They will blend in a true conjugal harmony, and it soon will be evident to all thinkers that republican institutions with universal suffrage, the female included, are eminently auspicious to the exploitations of Power.
Rid of the Political Superstition.
To the Editor of Liberty.
If you should find time to read the enclosed slip from the “Grange Visitor,” you will see that Liberty has knocked the government idea out of my head.
Farmington, Michigan, December 21,1884.
Whoever says that nature gave man the right of authority and woman the grace of obedience should receive the rebuke that Garrison gave the advocate of slavery in these words; I will not argue with the man who says slavery is right, but I will denounce him as a villain.” There is, however, an objection to woman suffrage that is not an insult to woman. This “barrel campaign” has furnished sufficient evidence that politics are terribly corrupt.
“Exactly,” says my friend, “we need woman in the political field in order to purify politics.”
I used to think that was good, sound sense, for I used to be a woman suffragist, but now it sounds as absurd as it would to say that, if a boat half full of men going over Niagara Falls could be filled up with women, that would save the boat and crew. According to history a republic is but the prelude to the empire. Now, we do not gather grapes of thorns nor figs of thistles, nor prosperity, fraternity, and peace from republics or empires. If the better half of humanity are to step in and help the “worser” half tight it out on that line, it will not only take all summer, hut it will take to all eternity to reach the halfway house on the road to the millennium. Matthew Arnold says “the majority is wrong, the remnant is right.” It follows that we are to accept the wrong as our standard of right. The defeated party promises loyal support to the rule of the victorious party. The prohibitionists have just counted noses with the rummies, and though a red nose counts no more than a white one, they have been beaten out of sight and are pledged to support rum rule, at least till another election. Ought intelligent women to envy them their position? And yet a great many women say they want to vote only on one subject and that is temperance.
The majority that could do no wrong because it swept away slavery rebuked Fremont for striving to do that very thing; they said they would save slavery if they could, and still save the Union, but they were compelled to debstroy slavery in order to save the Union. That is a matter of history, and so is this. They established a privileged class of money loaners, and furnished them hundred-cent dollars at thirty-five cents or there-about. They gave most of the best public lands to railroad corporations, and established various monopolies, enabling the monopolists to build residences costing millions of dollars, while not a few poor men’s homes have been sold to satisfy the relentless mortgage. In ancient republics the rich candidate bought first his nomination and then his election, till finally he dispensed with both nomination and election, bought the good will of the army, and then be was the emperor. And we are travelling in the same road as fast as time can move. Men are on the wrong track, and that is the only good reason why women had better not take the same track.
The Recent Election.
Although the political abscess has not pointed in Blaine as the most typical exponent of that constitutional disease, capitalism in the congressional saddle, the impending Revolution has more than one string to its bow, and I have no fears but that the Democrats will pull it taught enough. Financial feudalism, proclaimed by Charles Fourier at the beginning of this century as the manifest destiny of civilisation, is upon us. It seems to have given itself a sort of premature coronation at the banquet given by the two hundred millionaires to Blaine October 30, which the “World” aptly termed Belshazzar’s feast. The realist millionaire, Butler, would have been too much like a rival power in the ghoulish eyes of those illustrious vultures. Blaine is a purer ideal of their appetites, an apter and more plastic class tool, and not to be suspected of inclining, like Butler, to effect, through State Socialism, a contact of extremes with the Labor interest. During the next administration, Capitalism, unchecked in its despotic madness, will continue to polarize oppositely the Trades Unions, organs developed by necessity, not for the sterile business of supporting strikes, but for that fraternal discipline of labor to which the strikes are accessory. The physiological line of demarcation is being drawn between the destructive process, the imposthume of capitalism, and the constructive process of cooperation. This must be made sensible in view of a final issue, whether that be the crushing of resistance and unconditional surrender to capital in a social suppuration, or the victory of Labor and the subordination of capital to the life of a more vigorous society. Had Butler been sincere in his conversion to the Labor interest, he held in his hands a high trump, a means of probable success, in the sacrifice of a fortune estimated as equal to the purchase money of Louisiana by Jefferson. What an impression on the toiling millions would have been made by a genius which, shaking off the mire of sordid routine, had abandoned to Labor the profits amassed by it! Suppose this Croesus entering as joint stock partners in his factories and farms each workman, by a share proportional to his past contribution of effort, and (reserving a family competence) the residue of this plunder invested, not in vulgar electioneering, but in new organizations of cooperative labor!
A Vindication of Natural Society:
A View of the Miseries and Evils Arising to Mankind from Every Species of Artificial Society, in a Letter to Lord —————.
By Edmund Burke
Continued from No. 57.
I need not excuse myself to your Lordship, nor, I think, to any honest man, for the zeal I have shown in this cause; for it is an honest zeal, and in a good cause. I have detended natural religion against a confederacy of atheists and divines. I now plead for natural society against politicians, and for natural reason against all three. When the world is in a filter temper than it is at present to hear truth, or when I shall be more indifferent about its temper, my thoughts may become more public. In the mean time, let them repose in my own bosom, and in the bosoms of such men as are fit to be initiated into the sober mysteries of truth and reason. My antagonists have already done as much as I could desire. Parties in religion and politics make sufficient discoveries concerning each other to give a sober man a proper caution against them all. The monarchic and aristocratical and popular partisans have been jointly laying their axes to the root of all government, and have in their turns proved each other absurd and inconvenient. In vain you tell me that artificial government is good, but that I fall out only with the abuse. The thing! the thing itself is the abuse! Observe, my Lord, I pray you, that grand error upon which all artificial legislative power is founded. It was observed that men had ungovernable passions, which made it necessary to guard against the violence they might offer to each other. They appointed governors over them for this reason! But a worse and more perplexing difficulty arises, how to be defended against the governors? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? In vain they change front a single person to a few. These few have the passions of the one; and they unite to strengthen themselves, and to secure the gratification of their lawless passions at the expense of the general good. In vain do we fly to the many. The case is worse; their passions are less under the government of reason, they are augmented by the contagion, and defended against all attacks by their multitude.
I have purposely avoided the mention of the mixed form of government, for reasons that will be very obvious to your Lordship. But my caution can avail me but little. You will not fail to urge it against me in favor of political society. You will not fail to show how the errors of the several simple modes are corrected by a mixture of all of them, and a proper balance of the several powers in such a state. I confess, my Lord, that this has been long a darling mistake of my own; and that of all the sacrifices I have made to truth this has been by far the greatest. When I confess that I think this notion a mistake, I know to whom I am speaking, for I am satisfied that reasons are like liquors, and there are some of such a nature as none but strong heads can bear. There are few with whom I can communicate so freely as with Pope. But Pope cannot bear every truth. He has a timidity which hinders the full exertion of his faculties, almost as effectually as bigotry cramps those of the general herd of mankind. But whoever is a genuine follower of Truth keeps his eye steady upon his guide, indifferent whither he is led, provided that site is the leader. And, my Lord, if it may be properly considered, it were infinitely better to remain possessed by the whole legion of vulgar mistakes than to reject some and at the same time to retain a fondness for others altogether as absurd and irrational. The first has at least a consistency that makes a man, however erroneously, uniform at least; but the latter way of proceeding is such an inconsistent chimera and jumble of philosophy and vulgar prejudice that hardly anything more ridiculous can be conceived. Let us, therefore, freely, and without fear or prejudice, examine this last contrivance of policy; and, without considering how near the quick our instruments may come, let us search it to the bottom.
First, then, all men are agreed that this junction of regal, aristocratic, and popular power must form a very complex, nice, and intricate machine, which, being composed of such a variety of parts, with such opposite tendencies and movements it must be liable on every accident to be disordered. To speak without metaphor, such a government must be liable to frequent cabals, tumults, and revolutions from its very constitution. These are undoubtedly as ill effects as can happen in a society; for, in such a case, the closeness acquired by community, instead of serving for mutual defence, serves only to increase the danger. Such a system is like a city, where trades that require constant fires are much exercised, where the houses are built of combustible materials, and where they stand extremely close.
In the second place, the several constituent parts, having their distinct rights and these many of them so necessary to be determined with exactness, are yet so indeterminate in their nature that it becomes a new and constant source of debate and contusion. Hence it is that, whilst the business of government should be carrying on, the question is, who has a right to exercise this or that function of it, or what men have power to keep their offices in any function? Whilst this contest continues, and whilst the balance in any sort continues, it has never any remission; all manner of abuses and villainies in officers remain unpunished; the greatest frauds and robberies in the public revenues are committed in defiance of justice; and abuser grow by time and impunity into customs, until they prescribe against the laws, and grow too inveterate often to admit a cure, unless such as may be as bad as the disease.
Thirdly, the several parts of this species of government, though united, preserve the spirit which each form has separately. Kings are ambitious; the nobility haughty; and the populace tumultuous and ungovernable. Each party, however in appearance peaceable, carries on a design upon the others; and it is owing to this that in all questions, whether concerning foreign or domestic affairs, the whole generally turns more upon some party-matter than upon the nature of the thing itself; whether such a step will diminish or augment the power of the crown, or how far the privileges of the subject are likely to be extended or restricted by it. And these questions are constantly resolved without any consideration of the merits of the cause, merely as the parties who uphold these jarring interests may chance to prevail; and as they prevail, the balance is overset, now upon one side, now upon the other. The government is, one day, arbitrary power in a single person; another, a juygling confederacy of a few to cheat the prince and enslave the people; and the third, a frantic and unmanageable democracy. The great instrument of all these changes, and what infuses a peculiar venom into all of them, is party. It is of no consequence what the principles of any party, or what their pretensions, are; the spirit which actuates all parties is the same,— the spirit of ambition, of self-interest, of oppression, and treachery. This spirit entirely reverses all the principles which a benevolent nature has erected within us; all honesty, all equal justice, and even the ties of natural society, the natural affections. In a word, my Lord, we have all seen, and, if any outward considerations were worthy the lasting concern of a wise man, we have some of us felt, such oppression from party government as no other tyranny can parallel. We behold daily the most important rights,— rights upon which all the others depend,— we behold these rights determined in the last resort without the least attention even to the appearance or color of justice; we behold this without emotion, because we have grown up in the constant view of such practices; and we are not surprised to hear a man requested to be a knave and a traitor with as much indifference as if the most, ordinary favor were asked; and we hear this request refused, not because it is a most unjust and unreasonable desire, but that this worthy has already engaged his injustice to another. These and many more points I am far from spreading to their full extent. You are sensible that I do not put forth half my strength; and you cannot be at a loss for the reason. A man is allowed sufficient freedom of thought, provided he knows how to choose his subject properly. You may criticise freely upon the Chinese constitution, and observe with as much severity us you please upon the absurd tricks or destructive bigotry of the bonzees. But the scene is changed as you come homeward, and atheism or treason may he the names given in Britain to what would be reason and truth if asserted of China. I submit to the condition, and, though I have a notorious advantage before me, I waive the pursuit. For else, my Lord, it is very obvious what a picture might be drawn of the excesses of party even in our own nation. I could show that the same faction has, in one reign, promoted popular seditions, and, in the next, been a patron of tyranny; I could show that they have all of them betrayed the public safety at all times, and have very frequently with equal perfidy made a market of their own cause and their own associates; I could show how vehemently they have contended for names, and how silently they have passed over things of the last importance; and I could demonstrate that they have had the opportunity of doing all this mischief, nay, that they themselves had their origin and growth from that complex form of government which we are wisely taught to look upon as so groat a blessing. Revolve, my Lord, our history from the conquest. We scarce ever had a prince, who by fraud or violence had not made some infringement on the constitution. We scarce ever had a parliament which know, when it attempted to set limits to the royal authority, how to set limits to its own. Evils we have had continually calling for reformation, and reformations more grievous than any evils. Our boasted liberty sometimes trodden down, sometimes giddily set up, and ever precariously fluctuating and unsettled; it has only been kept alive by the blasts of continual feuds, wars, and conspiracies. In no country in Europe has the scaffold so often blushed with the blood of its nobility. Confiscations, banishments, attainders, executions, make a large part of the history of such of our families as are not utterly extinguished by them. Formerly, indeed, things had a more ferocious appearance than they have at this day. In these early and unrefined ages the jarring parts of a certain chaotic constitution supported their several pretensions by the sword. Experience and policy have since taught other methods.
At nane res agitur tenui pulmone rubetae.
But how far corruption, venality, the contempt of honor, the oblivion of all duty to our country, and the most abandoned public prostitution are preferable to the more glaring and violent effects of faction I will not presume to determine. Sure I am that they are very great evils.
I have done with the forms of government. During the course of my enquiry you may have observed a very material difference between my manner of reasoning and that which is in use amongst the abettors of artificial society. They form their plans upon what seems most eligible to their imaginations for the ordering of mankind. I discover the mistakes in those plans from the real known consequences which have resulted from them. They have enlisted reason to fight against itself and employ its whole force to prove that it is an insufficient guide to them in the conduct of their lives. But, unhappily for us, in proportion as we have deviated from the plain rule of our nature, and turned our reason against itself, in that proportion have we increased the follies and miseries of mankind. The more deeply we penetrate into the labyrinth of art, the further we find ourselves from those ends for which we entered it. This has happened in almost every species of artificial society and in all times. We found, or we thought we found, an inconvenience in having every man the judge of his own cause; therefore, judges were set up, at first with discretionary powers. But it was soon found a miserable slavery to have our lives and properties precarious, and hanging upon the arbitrary determination of any one man or set of men. We fled to laws as a remedy for this evil. By these we persuaded ourselves we might know with some certainty upon what ground we stood. But Io! differences arose upon the sense, and interpretation of these laws. Thus we were brought back to our old incertitude. New laws were made to expound the old; and new difficulties arose upon the new laws; as words multiplied, opportunities of cavilling upon them also. Then recourse was had to notes, comments, glosses, reports, responsa prudentum, learned readings: eagle stood against eagle; authority was set up against authority. Some were allured by the modern, others reverenced the ancient. The new were more enlightened, the old were more venerable. Some adopted the comment, others stuck to the text. The confusion increased, the mist thickened, until it could be discovered no longer what was allowed or forbidden, what things were in property, and what common. In this uncertainty (uncertain even to the professors, an Egyptian darkness to the rest of mankind) the contending parties felt themselves more effectually ruined by the delay than they could have been by the injustice of any decision. Our inheritances have become a prize for disputation; and disputes and litigations have become an inheritance.
The professors of artificial law have always walked hand in hand with the professors of artificial theology. As their end, in confounding the reason of man and abridging his natural freedom, is exactly the same, they have adjusted the means to that end in a way entirely similar. The divine thunders out his anathemas with more noise and terror against the breach of one of his positive institutions, or the neglect of some of his trivial forms, than against the neglect or breach of those duties and commandments of natural religion which by these forms and institutions he pretends to enforce. The lawyer has his forms, and his positive institutions too and he adheres to them with a veneration altogether as religious. The worst cause cannot be so prejudicial to the litigant as his advocate’s or attorney’s ignorance or neglect of these forms. A law-suit is like an ill-managed dispute, in which the first object is soon out of sight, and the parties end upon a matter wholly foreign to that on which they began. In a law-suit the question is, who has a right to a certain house or farm? And this question is daily determined, not upon the evidence of the right, but upon the observance or neglect of some form of words in use with the gentlemen of the robe, about which there is even amongst themselves such a disagreement that the most experienced veterans in the profession can never be positively assured that they are not mistaken.
Let us expostulate with these learned sages, these priests of the sacred temple of justice. Are we judges of our own property? By no means. You, then, who are initiated into the mysteries of the blindfold goddess, inform me whether I have a right to eat the bread I have earned by the hazard of my life or the sweat of my brow? The grave doctor answers me in the affirmative; the reverend serjeant replies in the negative; the learned barrister reasons upon one side and upon the other, and concludes nothing. What shall I do? An antagonist starts up and presses me hard I enter the field, and retain these three persons to defend my cause. My cause, which two farmers from the plough could have decided in half an hour, takes the court twenty years. I am, however, at the end of my labor, and have, in reward for all my toil and vexation, a judgment in my favor. But hold! a sagacious commander, in the adversary’s army, has found a flaw in the proceeding. My triumph is turned into mourning. I have used or instead of and. or some mistake, small in appearance, but dreadful in its consequences, and have the whole of my success quashed in a writ of error. I remove my suit; I shift from court to court; I fly from equity to law, and from law to equity; equal uncertainty attends me everywhere; and a mistake in which I had no share decides at once upon my liberty and property, sending me from the court to a prison and adjudging my family to beggary and famine. I am innocent, gentlemen, of the darkness and uncertainty of your science. I never darkened it with absurd and contradictory notions, nor confounded it with chicane and sophistry. You have excluded me from any share in the conduct of my own cause; the science was too deep for me; I acknowledged it; but it was too deep even for yourselves; you have made the way so intricate that you are yourselves lost in it; you err, and you punish me for your errors.
The delay of the law is, your Lordship will tell me, a trite topic, and which of its abuses have not been too severely felt not to be complained of? A man’s property is to serve for the purposes of his support; and, therefore, to delay a determination concerning that is the worst in justice, because it cuts off the very end and purpose for which I applied to the judicature for relief. Quite contrary in the case of a man’s life; there the determination can hardly be too much protracted. Mistakes in this case are as often fallen into as in any other; and, if the judgment is sudden, the mistakes are the most irretrievable of all others. Of this the gentlemen of the robe are themselves sensible, and they have brought it into a maxim. De morte hominis nulla est cunctacio longa. But what could have induced them to reverse the rules, and to contradict that reason which dictated them, I am utterly unable to guess. A point concerning property, which ought, for the reasons I just mentioned, to bo most speedily decided, frequently exercises the wit of successions of lawyers for many generations. Mulla virum volvens durando saecula vincit. But the question concerning a man’s life, that great question in which no delay ought to be counted tedious, is commonly determined in twenty-four hours at the utmost. It is not to be wondered at that injustice and absurdity should be inseparable companions.
Ask of politicians the ends for which laws were originally designed, and they will answer that the laws were designed as a protection for the poor and weak against the oppression of the rich and powerful. But surely no pretence can be so ridiculous; a man might as well tell me he has taken off my load, because he has changed the burden. If the poor man is not able to support his suit according to the vexatious and expensive manner established in civilised countries, has not the rich as great an advantage over him as the strong has over the weak in a state of nature? But we will not place the state of nature, which is the reign of God, in competition with political society, which is the absurd usurpation of man. In a state of nature it is true that a man of superior force may beat or rob me; but then it is true that I am at full liberty to defend myself, or make reprisal by surprise or by cunning, or by any other way in which I may be superior to him. But in political society a rich man may rob me in another way. I cannot defend myself; for money is the only weapon with which we are allowed to fight. And if I attempt to avenge myself, the whole force of that society is ready to complete my ruin.
A good parson once said that where mystery begins religion ends. Cannot I say as truly at least of human laws that where mystery begins justice ends? It is hard to say whether the doctors of law or divinity have made the greater advances in the lucrative business of mystery. The lawyers, as well as the theologians, have erected another reason besides natural reason, and the result has been another justice besides natural justice. They have so bewildered the world and themselves in unmeaning forms and ceremonies, and so perplexed the plainest matters with metaphysical jargon, that it carries the highest danger to a man out of that profession to make the least step without their advice and assistance. Thus, by confining to themselves the knowledge of the foundation of all men’s lives and properties, they have reduced all mankind into the most abject and servile dependence. We are tenants at the will of these gentlemen for everything; and a metaphysical quibble is to decide whether the greatest villain breathing shall meet his deserts or escape with impunity, or whether the best man in the society shall not be reduced to the lowest and most despicable condition it affords. In a word, my Lord, the injustice, delay, puerility, false refinement, and affected mystery of the law are such that many who live under it come to admire and envy the expedition, simplicity, and equality of arbitrary judgments. I need insist the less on this article to your Lordship as you have frequently lamented the miseries derived to us from artficial law; and your candor is the more to he admired und applauded in this, as your Lordship’s noble house has derived its wealth and its honor from that profession.
(To be concluded.)
What’s To Be Done?
By N. G. Tchernychewsky.
Translated by Benj. R. Tucker.
Continued from No. 57.
As long as the actress remained upon the stage Nastennka was very well situated; the actress was full of delicacy, and the young Krukoff set a high value upon her place; to find another like it would have been difficult; so she devoted herself to her mistress, who, seeing this, showed her the more kindness. The servant therefore lived very tranquilly, and there was little or no development of her disease. But the actress married, abandoned the stage, and went to live in her husband’s family. There, as Véra Pavlovna already knew, the actress’s father-in-law made advances to her servant. The latter was in no danger of seduction, but a family quarrel broke out. The whilom actress began to blame the old man, and he began to get angry. Nastennka, not wishing to be the cause of a family quarrel and living besides a less peaceful life than before threw up her situation.
That occurred about two years after her separation from Kirsanoff. During all that time they had not seen each other. At first he visited her again; but the joy of the interview had such an in jurious effect upon her that he obtained her permission, in consideration of her own interest, to stay away thereafter.
She tried to live as a servant in two or three other families, but everywhere she found so many incompatibilities that it was preferable to become a seamstress; it was as well to condemn herself to the rapid development of the disease which was bound to develop in any case as a result of her too stirring life: it was better to submit herself to the same destiny as a result of labor alone, unaccompanied by any disagreeable features. A year of sewing finished the young Krukoff. When she entered Véra Pavlovna’s shop, Lopoukhoff, who was the doctor, did his best to slacken the progress of the consumption. He did much,— that is, much considering the difficulty of the case, his success being really insignificant,— but the end approached.
Up to the last moment the young girl remained under the influence of the delusion common to all consumptives, believing that her disease had not yet made very much progress; therefore she forced herself to avoid Kirsanoff that she might not aggravate her situation. Nevertheless for two months she had been pressing Lopoukhoff with questions; how much time had she yet to live?
Why she desired to know this she did not say, and Lopoukhoff did not believe he had a right to tell her that the crisis was approaching, seeing in her questions nothing more than the ordinary attachment to life. He often tried to calm her, but in vain. She merely restrained her desire to realize that which could make her end a happy one; she saw herself that she had not long to live and her feelings were in harmony with this thought; but, the doctor assuring her that she ought still to take care of herself, and she knowing that she ought to place more confidence in him than in herself, she obeyed him and did not seek to see Kirsanoff again.
This doubt could not have lasted long; in proportion as the end grew nearer, the more questions the young consumptive would have asked, and either she would have confessed the motive that led her to seek the truth, or else either Lopoukhoff or Véra Pavlovna would have divined it, and the termination precipitated by Kirsanoff’s visit to the shop would have been reached two or three weeks later.
“How happy I am! how happy I am! I was getting ready to go to see you, Sachennka!” said the young Krukoff enthusiastically, when she had ushered him into her room.
“I am no less happy, Nastennka; this time we shall not separate; come home with me,” said Kirsanoff, influenced by a feeling of compassionate love.
After these words he said to himself: “How could I have said that? It is probable that she does not yet suspect the proximity of the crisis.”
As for the young girl, either she did not at first understand the real meaning of Kirsanoff’s words, or she understood them, but, her thoughts being elsewhere, paid no attention to their significance her joy at finding her lover again drowning her sorrow at her approaching end. However that may be she rejoieed and said: “How good you are! You still love me as in the old days.”
But when he went away she wept a little; then only did she comprehend or realize that she comprehended: “It would be useless to take care of yourself now; you are incurable; at least, then, let your end be happy.”
And indeed she was happy; he did not leave her a moment except in the hours that he was obliged to spend at the hospital and the Academy. Thus she lived about a month longer, and all this time they were together; and how many accounts there were to give, accounts of all that each had felt after the separation, and still more memories of their former life together, and how many amusements they enjoyed in common! He hired a barouche, and every evening they went into the suburbs of St. Petersburg and contemplated them. Nature is so dear to man that even this pitiful, contemptible, artificial nature in the suburbs of St. Petersburg, which cost tens of millions of roubles, is admired. They read, played cards and loto, and she even began to learn to play chess, as if there were no lack of time.
Véra Pavlovna went many times to spend the evening with them, even late at night after their return from their drive, and still oftener she went in the morning to amuse Nastennka when she was left alone. During their long tete-a-tetes the latter could only say over and over again: “How good Sachennka is, how tender he is, and how he loves me!”
Four months have passed. The care that he had had to bestow upon Nastennka and the memory of the poor girl had absorbed Kirsanoff. It seemed to him now that his love for Véra Pavlovna was thoroughly conquered; he did not avoid her when during her visits to the young Krukoff she met him and talked with him, nor afterwards when she tried to distract him. Indeed, as long as he felt any fear of his feelings toward Véra Pavlovna, he cheeked them, but now he felt no more than a friendly gratitude toward her proportional to the service she had done him.
But — the reader knows already in advance the meaning of this “but,” as he always will know in advance what is going to happen in the course of the story — but it is needless to say that the feeling of Kirsanoff toward the young Krukoff, at the time of their second coming together, was not analogous to that of her toward him. He no longer loved her; he was only well disposed toward her, as one is toward a woman whom he has loved. His old love for her had been no more than a youth’s desire to love some one, no matter whom. It is needless to say that Nastennka was never fitted for him, for they were not equals in intellectual development. When he grew to be more than a youth, he could do no more than pity her; he could be kind to her for memory’s and compassion’s sake, and that was all. His sorrow at having lost her disappeared very quickly, after all. But after this sorrow had really disappeared, he believed that he still felt it. When he finally realized that he felt it no longer, and that it was only a memory, he saw that his relations with V6ra éavlovna had assumed a fatal character.
Véra Pavlovna tried to divert him from his thoughts, and he allowed her to do so, believing himself incapable of succumbing, or, rather, not even believing that he felt a lover’s passion for her. During the two or three months that followed he passed almost every evening at the Lopoukhoffs’, or else accompanied Véra Pavlovna in her walks often Lopoukhoff was with them, but oftener they went alone. That was all, bet that was too much, not only for him, but for her also.
How now did Véra Pavlovna pass her days? Until evening, just as before. But at six o’clock? Formerly at that hour she went alone to the shop, or else remained alone in her room and worked; now, if she needed to be at the shop in the evening, Kirsanoff was told the night before, and he appeared to escort her. During the walk, not a long one by the way, they usually talked about the shop, for Kirsanoff was her most active co-worker, While she was busy in distributing the work, he also had much to do. Is it not something to answer the questions and fulfil the commissions of thirty young girls? No one better than he knew how to get through it. Besides, he remained to talk with the children, some of the young girls also participating in the conversations, which were very instructive and very diversified. They talked, for example, of the beauty of the Arabian tales, “The Thousand and One Nights,” — he related several of them,— and of white elephants, which are esteemed so much in India, just as there are many men among us who love white cats; half of his hearers regarded this preference as stupid: white elephants, white cats, and white horses are only albinos, a sickly species which it was easy to see that they regarded as weaker than those of darker color. The other half of his hearers defended white cats. “Do you know nothing of the life of Mrs. Beecher Stowe, of whose novel you have told us ?” asked one of the larger questioners. Kirsanoff knows nothing now, but he will find out about her, for that interests him also; at present he can tell them something about Howard, a person of thes me stamp as Mrs. Beecher Stowe. The time was taken up now by Kirsanoff’s stories, now by discussions, and however the make-up of his audience might vary so far as the young girls were concerned, as far so the children were concerned it was alwavs the same. But Véra Pavlovna has finished her business, and she returns to the house with him to take tea.
In these days Vera Pavlovna and Dmitry Serguéitch are together much more than formerly. All three while away an hour or two every evening with music: Dmitry Serguéitch plays, Véra Pavlovna sings, Kirsanoff listens; sometimes Kirsanoff plays, and then Dmitry Serguéiteh and his wife sing. Sometimes Véra Pavlovna hurries back from the shop in order to have time to dress for the opera, which they now attend, half the time all three together and the rest of the time only Kirsanoff and Véra Pavlovna. Moreover, the Lopoukhofts now have more visitors than they did. Formerly, leaving out the very young people (are these visitors? they are only neuveux), the Mertzaloff’s were almost the only ones that came, while now the Lopoukhofts have ties of friendship with two or three good families of their own stamp. The Mertzaloff’s and two other families decided to take turns in giving weekly little evening parties to the members of their circle, at which they danced. They numbered as many as eight couples. Lopoukhoff without Kirsanoff scarcely ever went to the opera or to visit the families of their acquaintance, but Kirsanoff often took Véra Pavlovna alone. Lopoukhoff said that he preferred to wrap himself in his great coat and stretch out upon his divan. So the three spent only half of the evenings together, and even when the Lopoukhoffs had no caller except Kirsanoff, the divan often attracted Lopoukhoff from the parlor, where the piano was now kept. But this retreat did not save Dmitry Sergiuéitch; a quarter of an hour later, or at most a half an hour, Kirsanoff and Véra Pavlovna left the piano and came to the divan; and before long Véra Pavlovna would even half lie down upon the divan without crowding Lopoukhoff too much, the divan being large, and then for greater comfort the young woman would even throw her arm about her husband.
Three months passed away.
Idyls are not in fashion now, and I even do not like them,— that is, personally, as I do not like walking or asparagus; there are many things that I do not like; a man cannot like all dishes or all sorts of amusements; but yet I know that these things are very fine things judging not by my personal taste, but by the taste of another; that they are to the taste or would be to the taste of a much greater number of men than those who, like myself, prefer chess to promenades and sour cabbage with hempseed oil* to asparagus; I even know that the majority, who do not share my taste for chess and sour cabbage with hempseed oil, have no worse tastes than mine: so I say: Let there be as much promenading as possible in the world, and let sour cabbage with hempseed oil disappear almost entirely, remaining only as an antique rarity for the few originals like myself!
I know likewise that to the immense majority of men, who are no worse than I, happiness must have an idyllic character, and consequently I say: Let the idyl predominate over all other modes of life. For the few originals, who are not amateurs, there shall be other methods of enjoyment. But the majority of men have no desire for idyllic life, which does not mean that they shun it: they shun it as the fox in the fable shuns the grapes. It seems to them that the idyl is inaccessible, so they have invented the excuse that it should not be in fashion. But it is utterly absurd that the idyl should be inaccessible: the idyl is not only a good thing for almost all men but also a possible, very possible thing, as I could easily show. Not possible, however, for one or for ten individuals exclusively, but for everybody through the practice of solidarity.
Italian opera also was an impossible thing for five or six persons, but for the whole of St. Petersburg nothing is easier, as everybody sees and clearly understands. The “Complete Works of N. V. Gogol,” published in Moscow in 1861, ** were no less impossible for eight or ten persons, but for the entire public nothing is easier and cheaper, as every one knows. But until Italian opera existed for the whole city, the most passionate lovers of music had to put up with the most ordinary concerts; and until the second part of the “Dead Souls” was printed for the entire public, the few Gogol enthusiasts were obliged to expend much effort in taking a manuscript copy. Manuscript is incomparably inferior to a printed book, an ordinary concert is a very poor thing in comparison with Italian opera, but the manuscript and the ordinary concert have nevertheless their value.
If any one had come to ask Kirsanoff’s advice about such a situation as that in which he found himself when he came to himself, and he had been an utter stranger to all the persons involved he would have answered:
“It is too late to remedy the evil by flight; I do not know how events will shape themselves, but to you the same danger presents itself whether - you go or stay. As for those about whose tranquillity you are disturbed, perhaps the greater danger to them would result from your departure.”
It is needless to say that Kirsanoff would have thus advised a man like himself or like Lopoukhoff, a man of firm character and invincible integrity. With any other men it is useless to discuss such matters, because other men in such cases always act basely and dishonestly: they would have dishonored the woman and themselves, and then would have gone to all their acquaintances to whine or to boast, seeking always their own enjoyment, either by posing as virtuous or by indulging in the pleasures of love. Of such people neither Lopoukhoff nor Kirsanoff cared to ask how really noble natures ought to act. But in saying to a man of the same stamp as himself that to fly was perhaps even worse than to remain Kirsanoff would have been right. There would have been implied in this advice: “I know how you would conduct yourself if you remained. The thing to be done is not to betray your feeling, since it is only on that condition that you can remain without becoming a dishonest man. The point is to disturb as little as possible the tranquillity of the woman whose life is calm. That she should not be troubled at all has already become impossible. The feeling in opposition to her present relations probably — but why probably? it would be more accurate to say undoubtedly — has already arisen in her, only she has not yet perceived it. Whether or not it will manifest itself soon without any provocation on your part no one can tell, whereas your departure would be a provocation. Consequently your departure would only accelerate the thing you wish to avoid”
Only Kirsanoff viewed the question not as if it concerned a stranger, but as personal to himself. He imagined that to go was more difficult than to stay; sentiment urged him to the latter course; therefore in staying would he not be yielding to sentiment, surrendering himself to the seduction of his inspirations? What security could he have that neither by word or look would he manifest his feelings and arouse in her a consciousness of her situation? Therefore the safer way would be to go. In one’s own affairs it is extremely difficult to realize how far the mind is seduced by the sophistries of passion, honesty telling you to set contrary to your inclination and thereby stand a greater chance of acting in a manly fashion. That is the translation of the language of theory into every-day language; now, the theory to which Kirsanoff held considers the great words “honesty,” “nobility,” etc., as equivocal and obscure, and Kirsanoff, using his own terminology, would have expressed himself thus: “Every man is an egoist, and I am no exception to the rule; the question now is to firm out which would be better for me, to go or to stay. By going I stifle in myself a special sentiment; by staying I run the risk of revolting the sentiment of my own dignity by a stupid word or look inspired by this special sentiment.
[To be continued.]
* An ordinary dish among Russian peasants.
** The first complete edition of Gogol’s works.
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.