Vol. IX.
<No. 15.>


“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.”

John Hay.

A Hardened Criminal.

The Philadelphia “Press” of Sunday, November 27, printed the following article under a display head and elaborately illustrated. The article was written by Samuel Williams Cooper, a member of the Philadelphia bar and a subscriber to Liberty, and my attention was called to it by another member of the Philadelphia bar, also a subscriber to Liberty, who sent me the clipping with this comment: “It is somewhat interesting to find the readiness of a typical example of the ‘monopolistic press’ to publish without excision or alteration an article so clearly Anarchic in tendency.”

“My dear fellow,” said Mr. Convention to his friend, Mr. Law, “you may talk about there being too many laws, and the science of individualism, until you are tired. You know as well as I do that, were it not for our laws, chaos would ensue. All this talk about pitying the poor criminal is bosh; the true remedy for the ills of society is a stricter enforcement of the laws we already have. If I were in control, I would soon show you a better state of things. I would clap everyone in jail who ventured to break the smallest law.”

“But, Con,” said his friend, “in a very short time you would have the whole of society locked up. All men are criminals in some way, under the present laws. It is only by the disregard and non-enforcement of them that we are enabled to live in even comparative comfort. If the laws were executed in all cases of breach, many very nice people would go to jail for the terms of their natural lives.”

“Why, I have never broken any laws, and I am an average citizen. I do not pretend to be better, and I hope I am no worse, than my fellows. I try to live in peace with my neighbors, and to make people around me as happy as I can. It is true, I am not over strict in my views of life, but in that I am like most others. I do just what they do, but it is nonsense to talk about all people being criminals. You, as a lawyer, say that, I fear, as an excuse for your labors in the Court of Quarter Sessions.”

The two men were old friends, and, it being a holiday, Mr. Law had been asked by Mr. Convention to spend the day with him. The discussion had arisen over the breakfast table.

Presently the lawyer leaned over and asked his friend to let him look at the decoration which the latter wore in the buttonhole of his coat. He examined it a moment, and then passed it back.

“Sorry, old fellow,” he said. “It is very early in the day for a man with your views to get into trouble, but you have already committed a crime. The law says that any man who wears a button or badge of the Grand Army without being a member of it commits a misdemeanor, and is liable to a fine of $100.”

“But this button was my father’s, and I wear it as a keepsake. The poor old man was very proud of it.”

“Can’t help that. The law makes no exceptions.”

“Oh, well, you can’t call such an act as that a crime. It’s nonsense to say so.”

“I don’t say so; it is the law.”

“Well, come down the street with me, will you? I have several things I want to attend to this morning.”

The two started out together. When on the street, Con threw down upon the pavement an envelope which he had crumpled up in his bands.

“Don’t do that,” said his friend, “that is against the laws of the city of Philadelphia. We will have to fine you $5 for that offence.”

“Oh, get out!” Con answered. “I suppose you will tell me the next thing that I have no right to pull down this poster which some scoundrelly bill-board fiend has put up on that fence?” and he tore off from the fence surrounding the lot next to his house a picture of a hideous monster, advertised as being on exhibition.

“Do you own that lot or rent it? No? Well, then it will, under the law, cost you exactly $100 to tear down that bill. There is a statute against prating bills and one against tearing them down. You will come in under the latter, which says that any one tearing down any show-bill, placard, programme, poster, or other advertisement on any rail, fence, bill-board, or other structure located on any public highway is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

“But it is an outrage to put up such disgusting, morbid pictures. It is enough to corrupt the taste and morals of the whole community.”

“Sorry that the law does not distinguish. My dear fellow, you are getting on fast today. Three laws broken already, and not yet nine o’clock. Where, oh where, will you be by bedtime?”

“Oh, such laws! To thunder with the State that lays down such asinine rules.”

“Dear, dear! There you have done it. Two at once. You have broken the laws by swearing, and you have made an attempt to disturb the tranquillity of the State, which is sedition. We will say a fine of $200 and two years in jail for that.”

At this moment Mr. Convention’s large bull dog jumped the fence surrounding his cottage and attacked a setter dog quietly walking beside a young girl who was passing by. She tried to prevent the fight which was imminent, but the dog bit at her savagely, holding her dress in its teeth. Mr. Convention grasped his heavy cane, and, taking the brute by the collar, administered to him a terrible beating. The poor animal howled with pain, and finally, being freed, limped away. After the affray was over, Mr. Law laughed.

“The sentence of the court,” he said, “is that on the first indictment — that of ‘keeping a ferocious dog’ — you pay a fine of $100 and be imprisoned in the county jail for one year; on the second — that of ‘cruelly beating a domestic animal’ — you pay a fine of $200 and go down for a further term of twelve months.”

“I am afraid,” said Con, “that, when that lawsuit of mine comes up, the lawyer on the other side may introduce evidence to prove my bad character when I am called as a witness. By the way, there goes Jack Williams now; he is one of their principal witnesses, I understand. I am going to ask him about the case.”

He crossed over the street to speak to Jack, while his friend waited for him. Presently he returned.

“I guess I fixed him. He is an old friend of mine, and he really knows nothing about the case. I told him he had better tell the other lawyer so. He said he would. We parted great friends, and I asked him to come over to dinner.”

“That little talk may cost you $500 fine and one year in jail, my dear boy. That is the penalty for ‘dissuading a witness from testifying’.”

“But he don’t know anything!”

“That is for the court to decide, not the opposite party in the suit.”

“Well, all I can say is, you and your laws make me tired.”

“I didn’t make them. I swore, when I was admitted to the bar, that I would enforce them, but then I was told that law was a rule of action prescribed by a superior power. Now, I think I am a power superior to the rules of days of ignorance, or those statutes made by men such as usually compose our legislatures at the present day. As an individualist, my laws for myself are the ones I think my oath really referred to. You know there are two kinds of law. One is the common law, which consists of rules, established upon decisions given by judges centuries ago, in an age of superstition and ignorance, many of them utterly worthless and even criminal, as rules for the guidance of an enlightened people amid the conditions brought about by gigantic inventions and the enormous business operations of the present day.

“While the world generally progresses by a system of evolution and an adjustment to the changed conditions, our common law requires the judges, also by their solemn oaths, to decide, not what ought to be the law now, but what was the law years ago. It is true that once in a long while the old law becomes so vile and repugnant to mankind that even the judges feel that something must be done. They then solemnly overrule the old vicious ideas of years gone by. Thus witchcraft is no longer punished.

“The second kind of law is called statute law, and this might not be inappropriately designated as uncommon law. It consists of rules laid down by a body called the Legislature, composed in very large part of men familiar with the science of log-rolling and professors of individualism, and will make anything a crime so long as it seems likely to be a good thing for them. If you have ever had any experience with these law-givers, you will know what a very small minority give any careful attention to the question of the rights or wrongs of the subject.”

“Well, there does seem to be some sense in what you say. Now come into the post office with me; I want to get my mail. I sent to Boston some days ago for two copies of a photograph of ‘The Fall of Babylon,’ the celebrated picture which has created such a stir abroad. You have heard of it, no doubt? I expect the photographs by today’s mail.”

Mr. Convention took his mail from his box, and went to the desk at the side of the office with his friend, and opened quite a large package which proved to contain the pictures he had spoken of. The friends together admired the beauty of the work, and then Con placed one of the photos in a new wrapper and mailed it to one of his friends. He also, at the same time, mailed a postal card to one of his tenants, asking him to come down and pay his rent.

“You have now,” said Mr. Law, “probably committed four of the most serious offences you will be guilty of today. You have broken the laws of both the United States and this State. The United States authorities have lately decided that that picture is obscene, and have refused to pass it through the custom house. Now, taking an obscene picture from the mail is punishable by a tine of $500 to $10,000 and imprisonment for one to ten years, and the same penalty is annexed to mailing a copy of it. The State law says that to exhibit or show any obscene or indecent boos, magazine, pamphlet, newspaper, story-paper, writing, paper, picture, cards, drawing, or photograph may be punished by a tine of $500 and one year in jail. You are also liable for having mailed the postal card containing a dunning demand. We will say for these united offences you may be fined $12,000 and put in jail for twenty-two years. A good deal of expense and severity for ten minutes with art, eh?”

His friend did not reply at once, as he was busy reading a letter he had just taken out of its envelope. Presently he turned to Mr. Law.

“You know my brother Jim,” he said. “He has his mail sent to my box. The poor devil is down on his luck, and very morose, you know, and owes a good many people. I get the dunning letters that are sent to him, and just tear them up. This is one of them,” and he threw it in the gutter.

“You are very kind-hearted, Con, but I regret to tell you it may cost you dear. Any person who takes any letter from the mail with a design to obstruct the correspondence or pry into the business secrets of another, or secretes, embezzles, or destroys the same, is liable to a fine of $500 and imprisonment for one year.”

“I really don’t see why you go on with this con-founded bother about the laws. Can’t a fellow do anything without getting into jail?”

“Dying is the only protection I know of,” said his legal friend; “and even then his body may be taken in the patrol wagon to the Morgue.”

“I am almost afraid to ask you to go into this jewelry store with me,” said Con, after a period of silence, while they walked down the street. “Looking into a showcase is a crime, no doubt.”

In the store, the man behind the counter handed Mr. Convention a United States ten-dollar gold piece, one side of which was polished and a design engraved thereon, showing two hands clasped and the word “Faith” above and a date below.

“That is a little token for my wife on the anniversary of our wedding day, which comes off next week,” said Con, as he handed it to his friend. “Don’t you like it?”

“It is charming; but I should be cautious how you give it to your wife.”


“Anyone who defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, scales, or lightens any gold piece of the United States is liable to a fine of $2000 and two years’ imprisonment. Your good wife might get sent down for carrying such a thing as this. From what I have seen of you today, you are such a terrible criminal that it doesn’t much matter if you carry it; but I would save your wife from disgrace. I knew you had some faults, but when you told me this morning so vehemently your views as to criminals and punishment, I had no idea you were such a bad man. It is really awful. I shall have to ask you to free me from your acquaintance if this keep up.”

“Stop your fooling and shut up,” his friend said, angrily.

The criminal was not guilty of any further offence for some hours, and in the meantime the two had reached the large house-furnishing store of Mr. Convention, who wanted to stop there for a little while and talk over some business scheme with his manager.

“We have invented a scheme,” he said to his friend, “for collecting our old accounts. You know we have a large number of small debtors. Well, I am going to set apart a certain number of prizes from $500 down to $10, and tickets, entitling the holder to a chance, are to be given to all who pay up their back debts before a certain day. This will make a great many people pay who are not responsible legally, and I can readily afford the prizes from the money I get in.”

Mr. Law said nothing at the time, save that he thought it was a very good idea. But after the scheme bad been decided on and the advertisement sent out in the mail to the newspapers, he said:

“There is one little point I should like to call your attention to. There is an act of Assembly in this State which says that any merchant who shall offer, give, or sell tickets, checks, or tokens to a customer, entitling him to receive money or other thing of value, shall be liable to a fine of from $10 to $100 and an imprisonment of one year. You will also be liable for the same term under the lottery act, and, since you have mailed the letters referring to the scheme, you are liable under the United States postal laws to be fined $1000 and go to jail for two years more.”

“Why,” said Con, “then I suppose I am also liable for the circular I sent out this morning in regard to our Sunday-school fair. We are going to have the usual grab bags, fishing ponds, and chances for a big Bible.”

“Certainly you are guilty,” said Mr. Law. “In fact, I fear you may also be convicted of sacrilege in offering chances on the Bible; but I may be able to get you off on that count.”

They were interrupted in their criminality by the entrance of an old friend of both, — Mr. Horsey, a club man of means and leisure whose name was an indication of his favorite sport. After the usual greeting, he said:

“I stopped in, Con, to see if you would subscribe for a purse we are getting up at the Country Club for a little friendly race among the members. We have made the subscription $25 each.”

“Certainly,” said Con, and drew his check for the amount.

“You will come in, too, Law? Won’t you?” Horsey said.

“Not I! I don’t want to be indicted as a common nuisance.”

“What do you mean by that?” Horsey said.

“There is a statute here which provides that any one who gets up a race to be run by horses, for a purse or thing of value, and the contrivers, authors, or abettors of the same, shall be liable to indictment for maintaining a common nuisance. I don’t want to be fined $100 and go to jail for a year.”

“Say, Horsey,” said Con, “this is the way it has been all the morning. I have found out that I am a criminal of the deepest dye.” And he related some of the morning’s adventures.

“Oh, well,” said Horsey, “those laws ain’t so bad, you know. They are made for the poor people; they don’t bother us. You see how our big clubs are carried on. We sell liquor on Sunday, we gamble, or play pool for drinks or money, and very often we are taken out at early morning hours full as goats; but any policeman who raided us would find himself down in quod for assault and other crimes, mighty quick. We have to have these laws to keep the poor people in order, you know; they don’t apply to us. I have a great respect for the law myself. By the way, Con, do you ever shoot with a rifle now?”

“No,” said Con, “but I practise with a pistol in the back yard. Have you seen this new model?” and he took from his hip pocket a handsome revolver. “See me pick off that man across the street,” he said, pointing the weapon at a passer-by. “It’s not loaded there is no danger.”

“But, my dear fellow, there is danger,” said Mr. Law. “Danger of arrest. ‘Carrying a concealed deadly weapon,’ $500 fine and one year; ‘playfully pointing a fire arm,’ $1000 and one year.”

“But I thought there was something in the Constitution which says a man may carry arms in defence of himself and the State.”

“So there is; but you must get a license to do so from the city. Our Constitution takes a back seat when it comes into contact with our city laws. It also guarantees that men shall not be subjected to seizures and searches without warrant; and yet the idea now seems to be that a warrant of arrest against one person is sufficient to cover the whole neighborhood in which he resides, and the patrol wagons take down people by the hundreds who have committed no crime and against whom there is no warrant.”

The three men started up the street together. Presently they came upon a police officer, who was trying to take a drunken man to the station house. By way of amusement the custodian, as happens in such cases, tapped the resisting offender with his club until the blood ran freely. Con ran up to him.

“Here, you,” the officer said; “help me with this loafer.”

“What! help you to beat the poor fellow, in his condition, into a jelly. Not much! I will take your number, though, and report you. You officers seem to think that an intoxicated man is to be beaten to death, but I think you ought to help a man in such an unfortunate condition. If you don’t stop it, I will stop you,” and Con shook his fiat under the officer’s nose.

It might have gone hard with him, but for the fact that at this moment the sergeant of the district came up, and, as Mr. Law knew him quite well, matters were amicably settled.

“Three more crimes to your credit, my boy,” the lawyer said. “‘Refusal to assist an officer to make an arrest,’ ‘assault,’ and ‘pugilistic challenge’.”

“I didn’t assault anyone.”

“Yes, you did. Shaking your flat under a man’s nose is an assault. If you had bit him, it would have been both assault and battery.”

Mr. Horsey had accepted Con’s invitation to go home with him to dinner and have a game of cards in the evening. Mr. Sermon, the local clergyman, was there. The experiences of the day were forgotten for a time, and it was not until the minister spoke of the account of a lynching, which he had read in the evening paper, that the subject of the punishment for crime came up.

“We hear too much of this sentimental talk,” said the good man, “about pitying the poor criminal. What we want is enforcement of the law. Severe punishment meted out to all criminals would soon stop the increase of crime.”

Con laughed and then told his reverence the events of the day. “I think,” he said, “Law has the best of the position.”

“Well, I don’t see that I have ever committed any crime,” said Mr. Sermon.

“How about the aiding and abetting those raffles at our church fairs?” Con said.

“Well, I am not responsible for that, am I?”

The conversation finally turned on religion. Both Con and his pastor were very advanced Unitarians.

“The sooner we get rid of dogma the sooner will the world get better,” said Mr. Sermon finally. “All these beliefs in miracles of any kind only serve to deaden the minds with superstition. What we want is to teach that Christ was a good man.”

“That is what I believe,” said Con.

“It’s a horrible thing,” said Mr. Law, “to hear a clergyman blaspheme,” and he smiled.

“What do you mean by that?” said Mr. Sermon, flushing.

“Why, you ‘deny the miraculous birth and divinity of Jesus Christ,’ and you certainly may be said to ‘speak loosely and profanely of the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures of Truth,’ and this, under our laws, is blasphemy and punishable by fine and imprisonment.”

“Oh! we don’t care for those nonsensical old laws of days gone by.”

“But, my dear sir, who is to judge as to how old a law must be before we can say we don’t care for it? Some enactments of our Legislature within a few years past are, to my thinking, far’ worse than that old law about blasphemy of many years ago. Am I entitled to disregard those laws because I think them nonsensical? Does not the whole thing reduce itself to the question of the personal view of right and wrong after all? If so, don’t you think it rather hard-hearted not to have pity for the poor criminal, since it is so difficult for even the wisest of us to tell when a law is so ancient that it should not be obeyed. You can see from Con’s experience today that our lives must be spent in the most intimate relations with those who only differ from the ones in jail by reason of their good fortune in not being caught.”

“What would you do?”

“I cannot say now just what is the best method. Of one thing I am certain, that every one should understand the fact that to put people in the present form of jails, brand them with felon marks, educate them for crime, and then turn them loose on society again, only increases the evils. I believe with Emerson, who says: ‘We want more kindness. Our distrust is very expensive. The money we spend for courts and prisons is very ill laid out. We make by distrust the thief, burglar, and incendiary, and by our court and jail we keep him so.’ We spend millions of dollars a year in maintaining a vast machinery into which a very large percentage of humanity are ground, and are either turned out far worse criminals than when they went in, or else insane or corpses.”

During the evening several men came in, and, when Mr. Sermon left, the party adjourned to Con’s study for a “little game.” Con got out the cards and arranged the table and chips. One of the men had brought his son with him, — a man so far as looks went, but not yet of legal age. Con had a sporting paper with a picture of the great prize fight in it, and he gave it to the boy to look at.

“You have not finished your day of crime yet, I see,” said Mr. Law. “You have gotten up a game of hazard and furnished cards and chips, which will cost you about $5000 and one year in jail. Then you have violated a late statute which says: ‘Any person who shall show to any minor any book, pamphlet, magazine, newspaper, or other printed paper devoted to the publication or principally made up of criminal news, police reports, or accounts of criminal deeds, or pictures and stories of bloodshed, lust, or crime, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $500 and undergo an imprisonment not exceeding two years’.”

“Think what fearful criminals the barbers are under this act,” said Con. “Yet I notice their most refined customers generally quarrel over who is entitled to the sporting papers first. It seems to me under that act of Assembly that almost all the newspapers in the land might be included.”

After a time some lunch was brought in for the card-players, and Con took up a piece of bread and said:

“After all the Crimea of which I have been guilty to-day, I suppose you will tell me that I am a criminal when I eat this bread.”

“Did you buy it from the baker?”


“By the loaf?”


“Then you certainly are virtually a criminal when you eat that bread. There was an act passed in 1797 by the Assembly of Pennsylvania which provided for the arrest and conviction of such bakers as sold bread by the loaf instead of by the pound, and, as you have encouraged the baker to violate this law, we must consider you as a particeps criminis, or accessory after the fact. There is one thing about it, however; you can get square with the law by being truly lawful and refusing to pay for the bread after you have bought it. Where the law annexes a penalty for an act no recovery can be had for goods that pass under it. Some years ago a poor baker sued a man for something over $100 worth of bread which he had sold by the loaf. Our Supreme Court decided that he could not recover for it.”

“But nobody has ever heard of selling bread in any other way than by the loaf for the last fifty or one hundred years.”

“That is one of the beauties of the law. It goes right on without any reference to changed conditions, and this is always pointed to as being one of its proudest characterizations.”

“Well, say, is it lawful for me to sleep?”

“If, as we are told by some philosophers, you mean the sleep of the just, I should say ‘no’ for you. But, if, as we are told by prison records, the notorious criminals sleep soundest of all people, then ‘yes,’ for I have footed up your crimes, and I find that for your day’s pleasure on this holiday you are liable to fines amounting to over $25,000 and imprisonment for over sixty years. We will leave the ‘hard labor’ off the sentence, in consideration of the fact that you ‘didn’t know it was loaded’.”

“Do you know where I can get some explosive dynamite cartridges?”


“Well, I want to throw a bomb.”

“In abolishing rent and interest, the last vestiges of old-time slavery, the Revolution abolishes at one stroke the sword of the executioner, the seal of the magistrate, the club of the policeman, the gunge of the exciseman, the erasing-knife of the department clerk, all those insignia of Politics, which young Liberty grinds beneath her heel.” — Proudhon.

The appearance in the editorial column of articles over other signatures than the editor’s initial indicates that the editor approves their central purpose and general tenor, though he does not hold himself responsible for every phrase or word. But the appearance in other parts of the paper of articles by the same or other writers by no means indicates that he disapproves them in any respect, such disposition of them being governed largely by motives of convenience.

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The editor of the Omaha “Tocsin,” to whose extraordinary expositions of the doctrine of equal liberty Mr. Yarros lately drew attention, rewards Mr. Yarros with an indirect approval of his political attitude by rising to remark that “the non-voting Anarchist is penny-wise and pound foolish.’” He maintains this charge by pointing out that, though San Francisco is west of Omaha, the best and quickest route from Omaha to San Francisco leads in other directions than west. “He is very stupid,” says the editor, “who will try to reach the goal by a bee-line shoot through air and mountains.” This argument seems like an old acquaintance. I am sure I have met it before. Suppose I presume on my familiarity with it, and take the liberty of reducing it to a syllogism. Major: It is unwise to travel through mountains. Minor: In all straight roads there are mountains. Conclusion: Therefore it is unwise to travel by straight roads. In this syllogistic form the fallacy comes to the surface. It appears in the minor. The assumption that in all straight roads there are mountains is a very violent one. The editor of the “Tocsin” evidently is not a traveled man; else he would know that in some straight roads there are no mountains. The wild West is a big institution, but it does not sample the whole world. I could show this editor some straight roads that are as level as a parlor floor, as well as some circuitous roads that are rather more than undulating. I am far from maintaining, however, that the non-political road to Anarchy is a city boulevard. It has some very steep hills and some very deep ruts, and, like Jordan, it is “a hard road to travel.” But if the traveller keeps forging ahead, he will “get there.” But the circuitous road of politics meets Himalayan peaks at every turn. Moreover, it is not only circuitous, it is circular. The Anarchistic traveller goes round and round and never “gets there.” Anarchy lies altogether outside the area which this road circumscribes. The editor of the “Tocsin” should beware of analogies.

It is probable that the prohibition of immigration, or its regulation nearly to the point of prohibition, will be a fact in this country before many months. The Republican executive has hypocritically taken advantage of the cholera scare to insert an entering wedge, and doubtless the Democrats will drive it home with their legislative hammer, greatly to the delight, I presume, of Comrades Walker and Yarros. But I now refer to the matter simply to call attention to a political curiosity. Just as we are beginning to legislate against immigration, Europe is beginning to legislate against emigration. What we are bound to refuse the transatlantic countries are determined to keep. We are complaining of being deluged with the scum of the earth, and the effete monarchies are complaining that the loss of this very element is depriving them of the most desirable part of their population. We are howling against the continual inpour of “diseased and dirty persons, paupers, criminals, and Anarchists,” while Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark are in a state of great alarm over the “increasing departure for America of the productive and efficient, the young and the healthy of both sexes.” There is clearly a lie here somewhere, and there is no doubt in my mind that we are the liars. The truth is that we are ashamed to confess our fear of the newcomers’ superiority, and so we brand them as inferiors and outcasts to excuse ourselves for preventing them from doing the very thing that our ancestors did a few hundred years ago. The most discouraging feature of this contemptible tyranny is the fact that the responsibility for it rests chiefly upon the fool, Labor, instead of upon the knave, Capital.

One of Liberty’s subscribers desires to know why I printed the paragraph in No. 246 headed “An Easy Question,” which he characterizes as “rot.” He apparently thinks it a “chestnut” also, for he informs me that he read “Gil Blas” through in French when he was twelve years old. If my friend had maintained in his riper years that commendable acquaintance with French literature which he began in the days of his youth, he would know that I reprinted the objectionable paragraph, not from Le Sage’s masterpiece, but from its namesake, one of the foremost daily newspapers of Paris. So much in vindication of its freshness. But what is its value? I am asked. The question is astonishing. Its value consists in it exposure of the hollowness and hypocrisy of our “monogamic” marriage system, by biting satire on the lips of a member of the class most favorably situated to know that monogamy is perhaps a greater rarity in Paris and New York than in Constantinople. Such is the philosophy of the paragraph from “Gil Blas.” Does my critic find it objectionable? I hope not. To what in the paragraph, then, does he object? To its wit? Is it possible that Liberty has a subscriber among those disagreeable persons who think that the sexual question should invariably be approached with a face as long as that which Mrs. Grundy habitually wears in the presence of company? If so, he has come to the wrong shop.

Henry George has written a book to convict Herbert Spencer of intellectual dishonesty. Now he should write another to clear himself of the same charge, of which he stands convicted by J. W. Sullivan and by his course in editing the “Standard,” in the columns of which he printed all the silly objections to his theory and triumphantly disposed of them, at the same time systematically excluding all the weighty objections and neglecting to notice them. Even if Mr. George is right regarding Mr. Spencer, it is a case of Satan rebuking sin. Still, I am not one of those who regard sin as less sinful because Satan rebukes it, or the kettle as white because the pot calls it black. So, when Mr. George’s book reaches this office, we will hear what he has to say. One thing is sure. Though Spencer be proved a sinner, his name will be remembered, while that of George would be forgotten, even if he were a saint. Mr. George is not “in it”; Mr. Spencer emphatically is.

The Dawning of Sovereignty.

[La Justice]

Little Johnny has been whipped.

The next day, without saying a word, he goes ever to the lawyer’s office across the street and boldly enters into the presence of the lawyer.

“Well, my little friend, what do you want?”

“I want to get a divorce from Papa and Mamma.”

Liberty’s Agents.

New York. — Justus H. Schwab, 50 First Street.

Boston. — A. H. Simpson, 202 Huntington Ave.

Philadelphia. — Henry Heyne, Corner of Tenth and Market Streets.

Detroit. — Herman Reif. 94 Gratiot Ave.

Chicago. — Geo. A. Schilling, 85 Washington Street.

Denver. — Charles Greenhalgh, 1646 Arapahoe St., Room 27

Canton, O. — Standard News Co.

London, England. — A. Tarn, 124 Temple Chambers; C. Attersoll, 44 Ellington Street, Barnsbury.

Melbourne, Australia. — D. A. Andrade, 213 Russell Street.

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Liberty’s Library

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.