The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Arena, by Various

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Title: The Arena
       Volume 4, No. 23, October, 1891

Author: Various

Editor: B. O. Flower

Release Date: December 10, 2007 [EBook #23802]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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OCTOBER, 1891.


October, 1891
James Russell Lowell
Healing Through Mind
Mr. and Mrs. Herne
Some Weak Spots in the French Republic
Leaderless Mobs
Madame Blavatsky at Adyar
Emancipation by Nationalism
Recollections of Old Play-Bills
The Microscope from a Medical Point of View
A Grain of Gold
Religious Intolerance To-day
Social Conditions under Louis XV.


James Russell Lowell (signed J. R. Lowell)



With loving breath of all the winds, his name

Is blown about the world; but to his friends

A sweeter secret hides behind his fame,

And love steals shyly through the loud acclaim

To murmur a God bless you! and there ends.

When Longfellow had reached his sixtieth year, James Russell Lowell, then in his splendid prime, sent him those lines as a birthday greeting. Lowell, since then, received in his turn many similar tributes of affection, but none that seemed to speak so promptly from the heart as those touching words of love to an old friend. To himself they might well have been applied in all truthfulness and sincerity. Of the famous group of New England singers, that gave strength and reality to American letters, but three names survived until the other day, when, perhaps the greatest of them all passed away. Whittier and Holmes remain, but Lowell, the younger of the three, and from whom so much was still expected, is no more to gladden, to delight, to enrich, and to instruct the age in which he occupied so eminent a place. Bryant was the first to go, and then Longfellow was called. Emerson followed soon after, and now it is Lowell’s hand which has dropped forever the pen. At first his illness did not cause much uneasiness, but those near him soon began to observe indications of the great change that was going on. At the last, dissolution was not slow in coming, and death relieved the 514patient of his sufferings in the early hours of Wednesday, August 12th. Practically, however, it was conceded that his life-work had been completed a few months ago, when his publishers presented the reading world with his writings in ten sumptuous volumes, six containing the prose works, and the other four the poems and satires. He was, with the single exception of Matthew Arnold, the foremost critic of his time. Everything he said was well said. The jewels abounded on all sides. His adroitness, his fancy, his insight, his perfect good-humor, and his rare scholarship and delicate art, emphasize themselves on every page of his books. His political and literary addresses were models of what those things should be. They were often graceful and epigrammatic, but always sterling in their value and full of thought. Long ago he established his claim to the title of poet, and as the years went by, his muse grew stronger, richer, fresher, and more original. As an English critic, writing pleasantly of him and his work, in the London Spectator said lately: “His books are delightful reading, with no monotony except a monotony of brilliance which an occasional lapse into dulness would almost diversify.”

James Russell Lowell was descended from a notable ancestry. His father was a clergyman, the pastor of the West Church in Boston. His mother was a woman of fine mind, a great lover of poetry, and mistress of several languages. From her, undoubtedly, the gifted son inherited his taste for belles-lettres and foreign tongues. He was born at Cambridge, Mass., on the 22d of February, 1819, and named after his father’s maternal grandfather, Judge James Russell. After spending a few years at the town school, under Mr. William Wells, a famous teacher in his day, he entered Harvard University, and in 1838 was graduated. He wrote the class poem of the year, and took up the study of law. But the latter he soon relinquished for letters. His first book was a small collection of verse entitled “A Year’s Life.” It gave indication of what followed. There were traces of real poetry in the volume, and none who read it doubted the poet’s future success in his courtship of the muse. In 1843 he tried magazine publishing, his partner in the venture being Robert Carter. Three numbers only of The Pioneer, a Literary and Critical515 Magazine, were published, and though it contained contributions by Hawthorne, Lowell, Poe, Dwight, Neal, Mrs. Browning, and Parsons, it failed to make its way, and the young editor prudently withdrew it. In the next year he published the “Legend of Brittany, Miscellaneous Poems and Sonnets.” A marked advance in his art was immediately noticed. His lyrical strength, his passion, his terse vocabulary, his exquisite fancy and tenderness illumed every page, giving it dignity and color. The legend reminded the reader of an Old World poem, and “Prometheus” too, might have been written abroad. “Rhœcus” was cast in the Greek mold, and told the story, very beautifully and very artistically, of the wood-nymph and the bee. But there were other poems in the collection, such as “To Perdita Singing,” “The Heritage,” and “The Forlorn,” which at once caught the ear of lovers of true melody. A volume of prose essays succeeded this book. It was entitled “Conversations on some of the Old Poets,” and when Mr. Lowell became Mr. Longfellow’s successor in the chair of modern languages and belles-lettres at Harvard, much of this material was used in his lectures to the students. But later on, we will concern ourselves more directly with the author’s prose.

In December, 1844, Mr. Lowell espoused Miss Maria White, of Watertown. She was a lady of gentle character, and a poet of singular grace. The marriage was a most happy one, and it was to her that many of the love poems of Lowell were inscribed. Once he wrote:—

“A lily thou wast when I saw thee first,

A lily-bud not opened quite,

That hourly grew more pure and white,

By morning, and noon-tide, and evening nursed:

In all of Nature thou had’st thy share;

Thou wast waited on

By the wind and sun;

The rain and the dew for thee took care;

It seemed thou never could’st be more fair.”

She died on the 27th of October, 1853, the day that a child was born to Mr. Longfellow. The latter’s touching and perfect poem, “The Two Angels,” refers to this death and birth:—

“‘T was at thy door, O friend! and not at mine,

The angel with the amaranthine wreath,

Pausing, descended, and with voice divine,

Whispered a word that had a sound like death.


Then fell upon the house a sudden gloom,

A shadow on those features fair and thin;

And softly, from that hushed and darkened room,

Two angels issued, where but one went in.

All is of God! If He but wave His hand,

The mists collect, the rain falls thick and loud,

Till with a smile of light on sea and land,

Lo! He looks back from the departing cloud.”

A privately printed volume of Mrs. Lowell’s poems appeared a year or two after her death. Mr. Lowell’s second wife was Miss Frances Dunlap, of Portland, Maine, whom he married in September, 1857. She died in February, 1885.

Mr. Lowell was ever pronounced in his hatred of wrong, and naturally enough he was found on the side of Garrison, Wendell Phillips, and Whittier, in their great battle against that huge blot on civilization, slavery in America. He spoke and wrote in behalf of the abolitionists at a time when the anti-slavery men were openly despised as heartily in the North as they were feared and detested in the South. He wrote with a pen which never faltered, and satire, irony, and fierce invective accomplished their work with a will, and moved many a heart, almost despairing, to renewed energy.

“The Vision of Sir Launfal” was published in 1848, and it will be read as long as men and women admire tales of chivalry and the stirring stories of King Arthur’s court. Tennyson’s “Idyls” will keep his fame alive, and Lowell’s Sir Launfal, which tells of the search for the Holy Grail, the cup from which Christ drank when he partook of the last supper with his disciples, will also have a place among the best of the Arthurian legends. It is said that Mr. Lowell wrote this strong poem in forty-eight hours, during which he hardly slept or ate. Stedman calls it “a landscape poem,” a term amply justified. It contains many quotable extracts, such as, “And what is so rare as a day in June,” “Down swept the chill wind from the mountain peak, from the snow five thousand summers old,” and “Earth gets its price for what earth gives us.” We are constantly meeting these in the magazines and in the newspapers. The vision did much to bring about a larger recognition of the author’s powers as a poet of the first order. He had to wait some time to gain this, and in that respect he resembled Robert517 Browning, at first so obscure, at last compelling approval from all.

The field of American literature, as it existed in 1848, was surveyed by Lowell in his happiest manner, as a satirist, in that clever production, by a wonderful Quiz, A Fable for Critics, “Set forth in October, the 31st day, in the year ‘48, G. P. Putnam, Broadway.” For some time the authorship remained a secret, though there were many shrewd guesses as to the paternity of the biting shafts of wit and delicately baited hooks. It was written mainly for the author’s own amusement, and with no thought of publication. Daily instalments of the poem were sent off, as soon as written, to a friend of the poet, Mr. Charles F. Briggs, of New York, who found the lines so irresistibly good, that he begged permission to hand them over to Putnam’s for publication. This, however, Mr. Lowell declined to do, until he found that the repeated urging of his friend would not be stayed. Then he consented to anonymous publication. The secret was kept, until, as the author himself tells us, “several persons laid claim to its authorship.” No poem has been oftener quoted than the fable. It is full of audacious things. The authors of the day, and their peculiar characteristics (Lowell himself not being spared in the least), are held up to admiring audiences with all their sins and foibles exposed to the public gaze. It was intended to have “a sting in his tale,” this “frail, slender thing, rhymey-winged,” and it had it decidedly. Some of the authors lampooned took the matter up, in downright sober earnest, and objected to the seat in the pillory which they were forced to occupy unwillingly. But they forgave the satirist, as the days went by, and they realized that, after all, the fun was harmless, nobody was hurt actually, and all were treated alike by the ready knife of the fabler. But what could they say to a man who thus wrote of himself?—

“There is Lowell, who’s striving Parnassus to climb

With a whole bale of isms tied together with rhyme,

He might get on alone, spite of brambles and boulders,

But he can’t with that bundle he has on his shoulders.

The top of the hill he will ne’er come nigh reaching

Till he learns the distinction ‘twixt singing and preaching;

His lyre has some chords that would ring pretty well,

But he’d rather by half make a drum of the shell,

And rattle away till he’s old as Methusalem,

At the head of a march to the last new Jerusalem.”


Apart from the humorous aspect of the fable, there is, certainly, a good deal of sound criticism in the piece. It may be brief, it may be inadequate, it may be blunt, but for all that it is truthful, and decidedly just, as far as it goes. Bryant, who was called cold, took umbrage at the portrait drawn of him. But his verse has all the cold glitter of the Greek bards, despite the fact that he is America’s greatest poet of nature, and some of his songs are both sympathetic and sweet, such as the “Lines to a Water-fowl,” “The Flood of Years,” “The Little People of the Snow,” and “Thanatopsis.”

But now we come to the book which gave Mr. Lowell his strongest place in American letters, and revealed his remarkable powers as a humorist, satirist, and thinker. We have him in this work, at his very best. The vein had never been thoroughly worked before. The Yankee of Haliburton appeared ten years earlier than the creations of Lowell. But Sam Slick was a totally different person from Hosea Biglow and Birdofredum Sawin. Slick was a very interesting man, and he has his place in fiction. His sayings and doings are still read, and his wise saws continue to be pondered over. But the Biglow type seems to our mind, more complete, more rounded, more perfect, more true, indeed, to nature. The art is well proportioned all through, and the author justifies Bungay’s assumption, that he had attained the rank of Butler, whose satire heads the list of all such productions. Butler, however, Lowell really surpassed. The movement is swift, and there is an individuality about the whole performance, which stamps it undeniably as a masterpiece. The down-east dialect is managed with consummate skill, the character-drawing is superlatively fine, and the sentiments uttered, ringing like a bell, carry conviction. The invasion of Mexico was a distasteful thing to many people because it was felt that that war was dishonorable, and undertaken solely for the benefit of the slaveholder, who was looking out for new premises, where he might ply his calling, and continue the awful trade of bondage, and his dealings in flesh and blood. Mr. Lowell’s heart was steeled against that expedition, and the first series of his Biglow papers, introduced to the world by the Reverend Homer Wilbur, showed how deeply earnest he was, and how terribly rigorous he could be, when the scalpel had to be used. The first knowledge that the 519reading world had of the curious, ingenuous, and quaint Hosea, was the communication which his father, Ezekiel Biglow, sent to the Boston Courier, covering a poem in the Yankee dialect, by the hand of the young down-easter. It at once commanded notice. The idea was so new, the homely truths were so well put, the language in print was so unusual, and the “hits” were so well aimed, that the critics were baffled. The public took hold immediately, and it soon spread that a strong and bold pen was helping the reformers in their unpopular struggle. The blows were struck relentlessly, but men and women laughed through their indignation. There were some who rebelled at the coarseness of the satire, but all recognized that the author, whoever he might be, was a scholar, a man of thought, and a genuine philanthropist, who could not be put down. Volunteers were wanted, and Boston was asked to raise her quota. But Hosea Biglow, in his charmingly scornful way said:—

“Thrash away, you’ll hev to rattle

On them kittle-drums o’ yourn,—

‘Taint a knowin’ kind o’ cattle

Thet is ketched with mouldy corn.

Put in stiff, you fifer feller,

Let folks see how spry you be,—

Guess you’ll toot till you are yaller

‘Fore you git ahold o’ me!”

The parson adds a note, sprinkled with Latin and Greek sentences, as is his wont. The letters from the first page to the last, in the collected papers, are amazingly clever. The reverend gentleman who edits the series is a type himself, full of pedantic and pedagogic learning, anxious always to show off his knowledge of the classics, and solemn and serious ever as a veritable owl. His notes and introductions, and scrappy Latin and Greek, are among the most admirable things in the book. Their humor is delicious, and the mock criticisms and opinions of the press, offered by Wilbur on the work of his young friend, and his magnificent seriousness, which constantly shows itself, give a zest to the performance, which lingers long on the mind. The third letter contains the often-quoted poem, “What Mr. Robinson Thinks.”

“Gineral C. is a dreffle smart man:

He’s ben on all sides that give place or pelf;


But consistency still wuz a part of his plan,—

He’s ben true to one party,—an’ thet is himself:—

So John P.

Robinson, he

Sez he shall vote for Gineral C.

 . . . . . . . . .

Parson Wilbur sez he never heerd in his life

That th’ Apostles rigged out in their swaller tail coats,

An’ marched round in front of a drum an’ a fife,

To get some on ‘em office, an’ some on ‘em votes;

But John P.

Robinson, he

Says they didn’t know everything down in Judee.”

Despite the sometimes harsh criticism which the Biglow papers evoked, Mr. Lowell kept on sending them out at regular intervals, knowing that every blow struck was a blow in the cause of right, and every attack was an attack on the meannesses of the time. The flexible dialect seemed to add honesty to the poet’s invective. The satire was oftentimes savage enough, but the vehicle by which it was conveyed, carried it off. There was danger that Lowell might exceed his limit, but the excess so nearly reached, never came. The papers aroused the whole country, said Whittier, and did as much to free the slave, almost, as Grant’s guns. In one of the numbers, Mr. Lowell produced, quite by accident, as it were, his celebrated poem of “The Courtin’.” This was in the second series, begun in the Atlantic Monthly, of which he was, in 1857, one of the founders, and editor. This series was written during the time of the American Civil War, and the object was to ridicule the revolt of the Southern States, and show up the demon of secession in its true colors. Birdofredum Sawin, now a secessionist, writes to Hosea Biglow, and the poem is, of course, introduced as usual, by the parson. The humor is more grim and sardonic, for the war was a stern reality, and Mr. Lowell felt the need of making his work tell with all the force that he could put into it. In response to a request for enough “copy” to fill out a certain editorial page, Lowell wrote rapidly down the verses which became, at a bound, so popular. He added, from time to time, other lines. This is the story of the Yankee courtship of Zekle and Huldy:—

“The very room, coz she was in,

Seemed warm f’om floor to ceilin’,


An’ she looked full ez rosy agin

Ez the apples she was peelin’.

 . . . . . .    

He kin’ o’ l’itered on the mat,

Some doubtfle o’ the sekle,

His heart kep’ goin’ pity-pat,

But hern went pity Zekle.

An’ yit she gin her chair a jerk

As though she wished him furder,

An’ on her apples kep’ to work,

Parin’ away like murder.

‘You want to see my pa, I s’pose?’

‘Wall,—no—I come dasignin’—’

‘To see my ma? She’s sprinklin’ clo’s

Agin to-morrer’s i’nin.’

To say why gals acts so or so,

Or don’t ‘ould be prosumin’,

Mebby to mean yes an’ say no

Comes natural to women.

He stood a spell on one foot fust,

Then stood a spell on t’other,

An’ on which one he felt the wust

He couldn’t ha’ told ye nuther.

Says he, ‘I’d better call agin;’

Says she, ‘Think likely, mister;’

Thet last word pricked him like a pin,

An’—wall, he up an’ kist her.

When ma bimeby upon ‘em slips,

Huldy sot pale ez ashes,

All kin’ o’ smily roun’ the lips

An’ teary roun’ the lashes.

For she was jes’ the quiet kind

Whose natures never vary,

Like streams that keep a summer wind

Snow-hid in Janooary.

The blood clost roun’ her heart felt glued

Too tight for all expressin’,

Till mother see how matters stood,

An’ gin ‘em both her blessin’.

Then her red come back like the tide

Down to the Bay o’ Fundy,

An’ all I know is they war cried

In meetin’ come nex’ Sunday.”

During the war, Great Britain sided principally with the South. This the North resented, and the Trent affair only 522added fuel to the flame. It was in one of the Biglow papers that Mr. Lowell spoke to England, voicing the sentiments and feelings of the Northern people. That poem was called “Jonathan to John,” and it made a great impression on two continents. It was full of the keenest irony, and though bitter, there was enough common sense in it, to make men read it, and think. It closes thus patriotically:—

“Shall it be love, or hate, John?

It’s you thet’s to decide;

Ain’t your bonds held by Fate, John,

Like all the world’s beside?’

Ole Uncle S. sez he, ‘I guess

Wise men forgive,’ sez he,

‘But not forgit; an’ some time yit

Thet truth may strike J. B.,

Ez wal ez you an’ me!’

‘God means to make this land, John,

Clear, then, from sea to sea.

Believe an’ understand, John,

The wuth o’ bein’ free.’

Ole Uncle S. sez he, ‘I guess,

God’s price is high,’ sez he;

‘But nothin’ else than wut He sells

Wears long, an’ thet J. B.

May larn, like you an’ me!’”

The work concludes with notes, a glossary of Yankee terms, and a copious index. The chapter which tells of the death of Parson Wilbur is one of the most exquisite things that Lowell has done in prose. The reader who has followed the fortunes of the Reverend Homer, is profoundly touched by the reflection that he will see him no more. He had grown to be a real personage, and long association with him had made him a friend. On this point, Mr. Underwood relates an incident, which is worth quoting here:—

“The thought of grief for the death of an imaginary person is not quite so absurd as it might appear. One day, while the great novel of ‘The Newcomes’ was in course of publication, Lowell, who was then in London, met Thackeray on the street. The novelist was serious in manner, and his looks and voice told of weariness and affliction. He saw the kindly inquiry in the poet’s eyes, and said, ‘Come into Evan’s and I’ll tell you all about it. I have killed the Colonel.’”

So they walked in and took a table in a remote corner, and then Thackeray, drawing the fresh sheets of manuscript 523from his breast pocket, read through that exquisitely touching chapter which records the death of Colonel Newcome. When he came to the final Adsum, the tears which had been swelling his lids for some time trickled down upon his face, and the last word was almost an inarticulate sob.

The volume “Under the Willows,” which contains the poems written at intervals during ten or a dozen years, includes such well-remembered favorites as “The First Snowfall,” for an autograph “A Winter Evening Hymn to My Fire,” “The Dead House” (wonderfully beautiful it is), “The Darkened Mind,” “In the Twilight,” and the vigorous “Villa Franca” so full of moral strength. It appeared in 1869. Mr. Lowell’s pen was always busy about this time and earlier. He was a regular contributor to the Atlantic in prose and verse. He was lecturing to his students and helping Longfellow with his matchless translation of Dante, besides having other irons in the fire.

It is admitted that the greatest poem of the Civil War was, by all odds, Mr. Lowell’s noble commemoration ode. In that blood-red struggle several of his kinsmen were slain, among them Gen. C. R. Lowell, Lieut. I. I. Lowell, and Lieutenant Putnam, all nephews. His ode which was written in 1865, and recited July 21, at the Harvard commemoration services, is dedicated “To the ever sweet and shining memory of the ninety-three sons of Harvard College, who have died for their country in the war of nationality.” It is, in every way, a great effort, and the historic occasion which called it forth will not be forgotten. The audience assembled to listen to it was very large. No hall could hold the company, and so the ringing words were spoken in the open air. Meade, the hero of Gettysburg, stood at one side, and near him were Story, poet and sculptor, fresh from Rome, and General Devens, afterwards judge, and fellows of Lowell’s own class at college. The most distinguished people of the Commonwealth lent their presence to the scene. There was a hushed silence while Lowell spoke, and when he uttered the last grand words of his ode, every heart was full, and the old wounds bled afresh, for hardly one of that vast throng had escaped the badge of mourning, for a son, or brother, or father, lost in that war.


“Bow down, dear land, for thou hast found release!

Thy God, in these distempered days,

Hath taught thee the sure wisdom of His ways,

And through thine enemies hath wrought thy peace!

Bow down in prayer and praise!

No poorest in thy borders but may now

Lift to the juster skies a man’s enfranchised brow.

O Beautiful! My Country! ours once more!

Smoothing thy gold of war-disheveled hair

O’er such sweet brows as never other wore,

And letting thy set lips,

Freed from wrath’s pale eclipse,

The rosy edges of their smile lay bare.

What words divine of lover or of poet

Could tell our love and make thee know it,

Among the nations bright beyond compare?

What were our lives without thee?

What all our lives to save thee?

We reck not what we gave thee;

We will not dare to doubt thee,

But ask whatever else, and we will dare.

“The Cathedral,” dedicated most felicitously to the late James T. Fields, the author publisher, written in 1869, was published early in the following year in the Atlantic Monthly, and immediately won the applause of the more thoughtful reader. It is a poem of great grandeur, suggestive in the highest degree and rich in description and literary finish. Three memorial odes, one read at the one hundredth anniversary of the fight at Concord Bridge, one under the old elm, and one for the Fourth of July, 1876, followed. The Concord ode appears to be the more striking and brilliant of the three, but all are satisfactory specimens, measured by the standard which governs the lyric.

“Heartsease and Rue,” is the graceful title of Mr. Lowell’s last volume of verse. A good many of his personal poems are included in the collection, such as his charming epistle to George William Curtis, the elegant author of “Prue and I,” one of the sweetest books ever written, inscribed to Mrs. Henry W. Longfellow, in memory of the happy hours at our castles in Spain; the magnificent apostrophe to Agassiz; the birthday offering to Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes; the lines to Whittier on his seventy-fifth birthday; the verses on receiving a copy of Mr. Austin Dobson’s “Old World Idyls,” and Fitz Adam’s story, playful, humorous, and idyllic.


In his young days, Mr. Lowell wrote much for the newspapers and serials. To the Dial, the organ of the transcendentalists, he contributed frequently, and his poems and prose will be found scattered through the pages of The Democratic Review, The North American Review, of which he ultimately became editor, The Massachusetts Quarterly Review, and the Boston Courier. His prose was well received by scholars. It is terse and strong, and whatever position history may assign to him as a poet there can never be any question about his place among the ablest essayists of his century. “Fireside Travels,” the first of the brilliant series of prose works that we have, attract by their singular grace and graciousness. The picture of Cambridge thirty years ago, is full of charming reminiscences that must be very dear to Cambridge men and women. “The Moosehead Journal,” and “Leaves from the Journal in Italy, Happily Turned,” are rich in local color. “Among My Books,” and “My Study Windows,” the addresses on literary and political topics, and the really able paper on Democracy, which proved a formidable answer to his critics, fill out the list of Mr. Lowell’s prose contributions. The literary essays are especially well done. Keats tinged his poetry when he was quite a young man. He never lost taste of Endymion or the Grecian urn, and his estimate of the poet, whose “name was writ in water,” is in excellent form and full of sympathy. Wordsworth, too, he read and re-read with fresh delight, and it is interesting to compare his views of the lake poet with those of Matthew Arnold. The older poets, such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Spenser, Milton, Dryden, and Pope in English, and Dante in Italian, find in Mr. Lowell a penetrating and helpful critic. His analyses are made with rare skill and nice discrimination. He is never hasty in giving expression to his opinion, and every view that he gives utterance to, exhibits the process by which it reached its development. The thought grows under his hand, apparently. The paper on Pope, with whose writings he was familiar at an early age, is a most valuable one, being especially rich in allusion and in quality. He finds something new to say about the bard of Avon, and says it in a way which emphasizes its originality. Indeed, every essay is a strong presentation of what Lowell had in his mind at the time. He is not content to confine his 526observation to the name before him. He enlarges always the scope of his paper, and runs afield, picking up here and there citations, and illustrating his points, by copious drafts on literature, history, scenery, and episode. He was well equipped for his task, and his wealth of knowledge, his fine scholarly taste, his remarkable grasp of everything that he undertook, his extensive reading, all within call, added to a captivating style, imparted to his writings the tone which no other essayist contemporary with him, save Matthew Arnold, was able to achieve. Thoreau and Emerson are adequately treated, and the library of old authors is a capital digest, which all may read with profit. The paper on Carlyle, which is more than a mere review of the old historian’s “Frederick the Great,” is a noble bit of writing, sympathetic in touch, and striking as a portrait. It was written in 1866. And then there are papers in the volumes on Lessing, Swinburne’s Tragedies, Rousseau, and the Sentimentalists, and Josiah Quincy, which bring out Mr. Lowell’s critical acumen even stronger. Every one who has read anything during the last fifteen years or so, must remember that bright Atlantic essay on “A Certain Condescension in Foreigners.” It is Mr. Lowell’s serenest vein, hitting right and left skilful blows, and asserting constantly his lofty Americanism. The essay was needed. A lesson had to be given, and no better hands could have imparted it. Mr. Lowell was a master of form in literary composition,—that is in his prose, for he has been caught napping, occasionally, in his poetry,—and his difficulty was slight in choosing his words.

As a speaker he was successful. His addresses before noted gatherings in Britain and elsewhere are highly artistic. In Westminster Abbey he pronounced two, one on Dean Stanley, and the other on Coleridge, which, though brief, could scarcely be excelled, so perfect, so admirable, so dignified are they. The same may be said of the addresses on General Garfield, Fielding, Wordsworth, and Don Quixote. Mr. Lowell on such occasions always acquitted himself gracefully. He had few gestures, his voice was sweet, and the beauty of his language, his geniality, and courteous manner drew every one towards him. He was a great student, and preacher, and teacher of reform. He was in favor of the copyright law, and did his utmost to bring it 527about. He worked hard to secure tariff reform, and a pet idea of his was the reformation of the American civil service system. On all these subjects he spoke and wrote to the people with sincerity and earnestness. When aroused he could be eloquent, and even in later life, sometimes, some of the fire of the early days when he fought the slaveholders and the oppressors, would burst out with its old time energy. He was ever outspoken and fearless, regardless, apparently, of consequences, so long as his cause was just.

As professor of belles-lettres at Harvard University, he had ample opportunity for cultivating his literary studies, and though he continued to take a lively interest always in the political changes and upheavals constantly going on about him, he never applied for office. In politics he was a Republican. His party offered him the mission to Russia, but he declined the honor. During the Hayes administration, however, when his old classmate, General Devens, had a seat in the Cabinet, the government was more successful with him. He was tendered the post of Minister to Spain. This was in 1877, and he accepted it, somewhat half-heartedly, to be sure, for he had misgivings about leaving his lovely home at Elmwood, the house he was born in, the pride and glory of his life, the locale of many of his poems, the historic relic of royalist days. And then again, he did not care to leave the then unbroken circle of friends, for Dr. Holmes, John Holmes, Agassiz, Longfellow, Norton, Fields, John Bartlett, Whipple, Hale, James Freeman Clarke, and others of the famous Saturday club, he saw almost every day. And then, yet again, there was the whist club, how could he leave that? But he was overcome, and he went to Spain, and began, among the grandees and dons, his diplomatic career. His fame had preceded him, and he knew the language and literature of Cervantes well. It was not long before he became the friend of all with whom he came into contact. But no great diplomatic work engaged his attention, for there was none to do. The Queen Mercedes died, during his term, much beloved, and Mr. Lowell wrote in her memory one of his most chaste and beautiful sonnets:—

“Hers all that earth could promise or bestow,—

Youth, Beauty, Love, a crown, the beckoning years,

Lids never wet, unless with joyous tears,

A life remote from every sordid woe,

And by a nation’s swelled to lordlier flow.


What lurking-place, thought we, for doubts or fears,

When, the day’s swan, she swam along the cheers

Of the Acalá, five happy months ago?

The guns were shouting Io Hymen then

That, on her birthday, now denounce her doom;

The same white steeds that tossed their scorn of men

To-day as proudly drag her to the tomb.

Grim jest of fate! yet who dare call it blind,

Knowing what life is, what our humankind?”

In 1880, he was transferred to London, as “his excellency, the ambassador of American literature to the court of Shakespeare,” as a writer in the Spectator deliciously put it. He had a good field to work in, but, as the duties were light, he had ample time on his hands. He went about everywhere, the idol of all, the most engaging of men. Naturally, his tastes led him among scholars who in their turn made much of him. He was asked frequently to speak or deliver addresses and he always responded with tact. The universities of Oxford and Cambridge conferred on him their highest honors and the ancient Scottish University of Saint Andrew elected him rector,—a rare compliment, Emerson only being the other citizen of the United States so marked out for academic distinction. Some of his compatriots hinted that his English life was making him un-American. Others more openly asserted that the United States minister was fast losing the republic feelings which he took from America, and was becoming a British Conservative. The reply to those innuendoes and charges will be found in his spirited address on Democracy, which proves undeniably his sturdy faith in American institutions, American principles, and American manhood. Mr. Lowell maintained to the letter the political and national views which had long guided his career. His admirable temper and agreeable manner won the hearts of the people, but no effort was made to win him away from his allegiance, nor would he have permitted it had it been tried. In addition to being a great man and a well-informed statesman, he was a gentleman of culture and refinement. His gentleness and amiability may have been misconstrued by some, but be that as it may, the fact remains, he never showed weakness in the discharge of his diplomatic duties. He represented the United States in the fullest sense of the term. In 1885, he returned to America, Mr. E. J. Phelps taking his place, under President Cleveland. Though a Republican, Mr.529 Lowell differed from his party on the presidential candidate question. He favored the election of the Democrat nominee. Had he been in America during the campaign, he would have been found with Mr. George William Curtis, and his friends, opposing the return of Mr. Blaine. From 1885 to the date of his death, he added little to the volume of his literary work. He spent part of his time in England, and part in the United States. A poem, a brief paper, or an address or two, came from his pen, at irregular intervals. He edited a complete edition of his writings in ten volumes, and left behind him an unfinished biography of Hawthorne, which he was preparing for the American Men of Letters Series.




Truth may be considered as a rounded unit. Truths have various and unequal values, but each has its peculiar place, and if it be missing or distorted, the loss is not only local but general. Unity is made up of variety, and therein is completeness. Any honest search after truth is profitable, for thereby is made manifest the Kingdom of the Real.

During the fifteen years just past, but more especially within the last third of that period, a widespread interest has been developed in the question: Can disease be healed through mental treatment? If so, under what conditions and subject to what limitations? Has mental healing a philosophical and scientific basis, or is it variously composed of quackery, superstition, and assumption? In the simplest terms, how much truth does it contain? Any candid inquirer will admit that even if a minimum of its claims can be established, the world needs it. If it can be of service in lessening or mitigating the appalling aggregation of human suffering, disease, and woe, it should receive not only recognition, but a cordial welcome.

At the outset, it is proper to state that I have no professional nor pecuniary interest in any method of healing. The evolution of truth is my only object. To this end, critical and impartial investigation is necessary. While a personal experience of great practical benefit first aroused my interest in the subject, I have cultivated conservatism and incredulity in forming opinions, which are made up from a careful investigation of its literature, its philosophy, and its practical demonstrations.

The first point noticeable is the peculiar attitude of popular sentiment toward this movement. The unreasonable prejudice which has been displayed, and the flippant condemnation that it has generally received in advance of any investigation, illy befit the boasted impartiality and liberality of the closing decade of the nineteenth 531century. When the “Fatherhood of God” and the “Brotherhood of Man” are so much on men’s lips, and when the spirit of altruism is supposed to be at the floodtide, here is what claims to be the essential quality of them all denied even a hearing. The testimony of hundreds of clergymen, philanthropists, Christians, and humanitarians, is classed as “delusion,” and the experience of thousands who have received demonstrations in their own persons [information of which is accessible to any candid investigator], is passed by as an idle tale. It furnishes material for satire to the writer for the religious weekly, and a prolific butt for jokes to the paragrapher of the daily journal. The news of its failures is spread broadcast in bold head-lines by the sensational press. The fact that other kinds of treatment denominated “regular” also fail, seems never to be thought of. The mental healer, regardless of his success, is looked upon as an enthusiast, or worse, and even the citizen who modestly accepts the theory of possible mind-healing, is regarded as credulous and visionary by those who pride themselves upon their practicality. Why does this prejudice exist, when advancement in physical science uniformly meets with a friendly reception?

Perhaps the most important reason why “there is no room in the inn” for truth of the higher realm, is the prevailing materialism. Our western civilization prides itself upon its practicality; but externality would better define it. We forget that immaterial forces rule not only the invisible but the visible universe. Things to look real to us must be cognizant to the physical senses. Matter, whether in the vegetable, animal, or human organism, is moulded, shaped, and its quality determined by unseen forces back of and higher than itself.

We rely upon the drug, because we can feel, taste, see, and smell it. We are color-blind to invisible potency of a higher order, and practically conclude that it is nonexistent.

One reason for the prevailing adverse prejudice is that this new thought disturbs the foundation-stones of existing and time-honored systems and creeds. The literalism and externality of formulated theology are rebuked by the simplicity of the spiritual and internal forces which are here brought to light. The barrenness of intellectual scholasticism 532is in sharp contrast with the overflowing love and simple transparency which reveal the image of God in every man, and as an incidental result, possible health and harmony.

History ever repeats itself in the uniform suspicion with which advanced thought has been received by existing institutions. It seems difficult to learn the lesson, that the human apprehension of truth is ever expanding, while creeds are but “arrested developments, frozen into fixed forms.” As might be inferred, the clergy and the religious press, as a rule, are distrustful of this advance, and see little that is good in it. It is fair to admit that this disposition is often due more to misunderstanding, than to intentional injustice.

Another cause for its unwelcome reception is that it distrusts the dominant medical systems. All honor to the multitude of noble and brave men who from the old standpoint have battled with disease, and who have ever been on the alert to utilize every possible balm, in order to restore disordered humanity. But systems are tenacious of life in proportion as they are hoary with age. They mould men to their own shape; to break with them is difficult: tradition, pride, professional honor, and loyalty, and often social and pecuniary status, are all like strong cords, which bind even great men to their conventional grooves.

A further ground for the general unbelief is found in the peculiarities of the apostles and exponents of the new departure. A division into schools and cliques, the out-cropping of personality, exclusiveness, and internal criticism, statements of doctrine in forms likely to be misunderstood, and a technical phraseology have, in a measure, prevented a free and full understanding of principles, which are really simple and transparent.

Popular distrust is also awakened by the fact that, as a rule, mental healers have not regularly studied pathology, nor even anatomy. But it will be seen that if the principle of mental causation for disease is once admitted, mentality rather than physiology should furnish the field for operations. In order to heal, the mind of the patient must be brought into unison with that of the practitioner, and therefore, the latter must wash his own mind clean of spectres and even of studies of disease, and fill it to overflowing with ideals of health and harmony.


Another reason for misapprehension is the fact that mind healing is not demonstrable by argument. It is not intellectually apprehended. It concerns the inner man and can only be grasped by the deeper vision of intuitional and spiritual sense. It is like a cyclorama, the beauty of which is all inside. An outside view is no view at all.

Is there a necessity for some radical reinforcement to conventional instrumentalities to aid us in our warfare with human ills? Is it desirable to find some new vantage ground, and some more effective weapons? There can be but one answer. While surgery has been making rapid strides toward the position of an exact science, confidence in materia medica is on the wane. The surgeon is only a marvellously skilful mechanic who adjusts the parts, and then the divine, recuperative forces vitalize and complete his work. He only makes the figures, while the principle solves the problem. The adaptability of drugs to heal disease is becoming a matter of doubt, even among many who have not yet studied deeper causation. Materia medica lacks the exact elements of a science. The just preponderance for good or ill of any drug upon the human system is an unsolved problem, and will so remain. The fact that a fresh remedy seems to work well while it is much talked about, and then gradually appears to lose its efficacy, suggests that it is the atmosphere of general belief in the medicine, and not the medicine itself that accomplishes the visible result. It is well known that bread pills sometimes prove to be a powerful cathartic, even from individual belief; but general belief would be necessary in order to make them always reliable. General beliefs often have a very slight original basis, but gradually grow until their cumulative power is enormous. If scientific, the same remedies once adopted should remain; but instead, there is a continual transition. Fashions and fads are not significant of exact science. Elixirs of life, lymphs, and other specifics have their short run, and then join the endless procession to the rear. Many lives are sacrificed in experiments, but no criticism is made because the treatment is administered by those who are within the limits of the “regular” profession. After centuries of professional research, in order to perfect the “art of healing,” diseases have steadily grown more subtle and numerous. Combinations, distillations, extracts, and decoctions of almost every known material substance have 534been experimented with, in order to discover their true bearing upon that ever-receding ideal, the banishment of disease. If materia medica were a science, disease should be in a process of extermination. It does not look as if this were expected, for doctors with diplomas are multiplying in a much greater ratio than the population, and already we have more than three times the proportionate quota of Germany. As our material civilization recedes from nature and grows more artificial, diseases, doctors, and remedies multiply. What can be more beautiful and perfect than the human eye; yet how commonly this organ requires artificial aid. The human senses are losing their tone, and if present tendencies continue, it seems almost as if the future man would be not only bald, but toothless and eyeless, unless he receives an entire artificial equipment. Only when internal, divine forces come to be relied upon, rather than outside reinforcement, will deterioration cease.

Scores of the most eminent physicians, who have risen above the trammels of system, have vigorously expressed themselves regarding the utterly unreliable character of the drug system. Emerson affirmed that “The best part of health is a fine disposition.” Said Plato, “You ought not to attempt to cure the body without the soul.” A distinguished doctor of to-day remarked, “Of the nature of disease, and from whence it comes, we still know nothing, but thanks to chemistry we have new supplies of ammunition. For every drug of our fathers, we have now a hundred. We have iodides, chlorides, and bromides without number; sulphates, nitrates, hydrochlorates, and prussiates beyond count. But we do not believe in heroic doses. We give but little medicine at a time and change it often.” With such supplies of “ammunition,” people within range are liable to get hit.

A mere sketch of the rise and progress of the mind-healing movement may be proper before considering its philosophy. Its novelty having worn off, it is perhaps less prominent as a current topic than formerly, but its progress, though quiet, has been remarkable during the past five years. Careful estimates by those in the best position to judge place the number of those who accept its leading principles, in the United States, at over a million. Owing to the distrust of public opinion, a large majority hold their views quietly but none the less firmly. But a small fraction of its adherents 535are identified with its organizations, and yet within the limits of one school [those distinctively known as Christian Scientists], there are about thirty organized churches, and also one hundred and twenty societies which maintain regular Sunday services, though not yet having church organization. There are also between forty and fifty dispensaries and reading rooms, and a rapidly increasing literature, both of standard works and periodicals. One of the other schools, distinctively known as Mind Cure, has also a large number of organizations similar in character. The number of regularly graduated practitioners cannot be accurately estimated, but they are numbered by the thousand. Of the million more or less of believers in the principles of mind healing, it may be admitted that perhaps a large majority, in the event of severe acute illness, would still make some use of old remedies, or would combine both where circumstances would allow. Life-long habits are tenacious; to defy the force of public opinion, the importunity of friends and the overwhelming aggregation of surrounding belief, is a trying ordeal. Until public opinion softens, mental healing in its purity will be mainly employed in chronic troubles, or at least for those which are not of a sudden and acute nature. Mind healers would differ in acute cases, as to how far those who have had no previous growth of trust in unseen forces should be left to those alone. In the present stage of progress in mind healing, there should be nothing which would require anyone to dispense with reasonable nursing nor with common sense. Some things which are ideally and abstractly true, can only be fully realized in the future, and it is not well to prematurely use them before the conditions are fully ripened.

All new innovations, no matter how much needed, have had to pass through a period when “they were everywhere spoken against.” The time is not distant when personal liberty in respect to choice in one’s method of healing may be enjoyed without unpleasant criticism or notoriety.

The more important schools which agree in the one cardinal principle of healing through mind, designate their respective systems as Christian Science, Mind Cure, and Christian Metaphysics. These terms, in common use, are somewhat interchangeable. There are also those who combine mind healing with Theosophy, and still others who differ in non-essentials.536 What is distinctively known as “Faith Cure” has little in common with those before named. Its theory is that disease is healed by special interposition in answer to prayer. None of the other systems accept anything as special, but believe in the universality and continuity of orderly law.

There are many leaders, authors, and workers in this movement, who are eminent; but as principles are more important than personality, their names need not be enumerated.

Why did this movement originate among women, and why have so large a proportion of its exponents belonged to the so-called weaker sex? Because the intuitional and spiritual senses of women are keener than those of men, and mental healing is not the result of profound reasoning. It is the seeming “weak things of the world which confound the strong.” Men are largely immersed in intellectual and formulated systems, and when the time was ripe for new light and attainment in spiritual evolution to dawn upon humanity, it might have been expected that its first delicate rays would be detected by woman.

The one great principle which underlies all mind healing is contained in the assumption that all primary causation relating to the human organism is mental or spiritual. The mind, which is the real man, is the cause, and the body the result. The mind is the expressor, and the body the expression. The inner life forces build the body, and not the body the life forces. The thought forms the brain, and not the brain the thought. The physical man is but the printed page, or external manifestation, of the intrinsic man which is higher and back of him.

Materia medica deals with effects rather than primary causes. It seeks to modify the expression, which can only be done through the expressor. It is axiomatic that to change results we deal with causes. This principle is so widely recognized that it is seen in an endless variety of phases, even among barbarous and half-civilized races. The charms and incantations used for healing among Indian tribes have this significance. With all their barbarism they are near to nature and keen in locating causation. With nothing more than a superstitious basis, charms, incantations, dances, images, ceremonies, and shrines have a wonderful influence for healing. They divert the mind from the ailment, 537and stimulate a strong faith which awakens the recuperative forces to action, and thus cause a rapid recovery.

A traveller in Algiers relates the following conversation he had with a Moorish woman of high class: “When ill do you go to the doctor?” he asked. “Oh, no; we go to the Marabout; he writes a few words from the Koran on a piece of paper, which we chew and swallow, with a little water from the sacred well at the Mosque. We need no more and soon recover.”

If a skilful exercise of baseless superstition upon mind can be so efficacious, what results are possible by a judicious use of the truth? Mental causation is abundantly proved by the well-known effects of fear, anger, envy, anxiety, and other passions and emotions, upon the physical organism. Acute fear will paralyze the nerve centres, and sometimes turn the hair white in a single night. A mother’s milk can be poisoned by a fit of anger. An eminent writer, Dr. Tuke, enumerates as among the direct products of fear, insanity, idiocy, paralysis of various muscles and organs, profuse perspiration, cholerina, jaundice, sudden decay of teeth, fatal anæmia, skin diseases, erysipelas, and eczema. Passion, sinful thought, avarice, envy, jealousy, selfishness, all press for external bodily expression. Even false philosophies, false theology, and false conceptions of God make their unwholesome influence felt in every bodily tissue. By infallible law, mental states are mirrored upon the body, but because the process is complex and gradual, we fail to observe the connection. Mind translates itself into flesh and blood.

What must be the physical result upon humanity of thousands of years of chronic fearing, sinning, selfishness, anxiety, and unnumbered other morbid conditions? These are all the time pulling down the cells and tissues, which only divine, harmonious, and wholesome thought can build up. Is it surprising that no one is perfectly healthy? If man were not linked to God, and unconsciously receiving an inflow of recuperative vital force, the multitudinous destroyers would soon disintegrate his physical organism. Can the building forces be strengthened, stimulated, and made more harmonious and divine? Yes, through mind. The mind surely but unconsciously pervades every physical tissue with its vital influence, and is present in every function; throbbing in the heart, breathing in the lungs, and weaving 538its own quality into nutrition, assimilation, sensation, and motion.

A conscious fear of any particular disease is not necessary to induce it. The accumulated strands of the unconscious fear of generations have been twisted into the warp and woof of our mentality, and we find ourselves on the plane of reciprocity with disease. Our door is open to receive it. What is disease? A mental spectre, which to material vision has terrible proportions. A kingly tyrant, crowned by our own beliefs. It has exactly that power which our fears, theories, and acceptances have conferred upon it. It is not an objective entity, but our sensuous beliefs have galvanized it into life. “As a man thinketh, so is he.” Realism to us may be conferred upon the most absolute non-entity, if we give it large thought space, and fear it. As a condition, disease is existent; but not as a God-created entity, in and of itself. It appears veritable to us, because we have unconsciously identified the Ego with the body.

The material standpoint is false. We are immaterial; not bodies, but spirits—even here and now. Having lost spiritual consciousness, we practically,—though not theoretically,—feel that we are bodies. To grasp our divine selfhood and steadily hold it, disarms fear and all its allies, and promotes recuperation and harmony. When the intrinsic man dethrones the false and sensuous claimant, and asserts his divine birthright of wholeness [holiness] the body as a correspondence falls into line and gradually expresses health on its own plane. Normally and logically, that which is higher should rule the lower. The body, instead of being the unrelenting despot, then becomes the docile and useful servant. In its subordinate position, where it rightfully belongs, it grows beautiful and harmonious. Men live mainly in their bodily sensations. Such living, though apparently real, is a false sense of life. There is a profound significance in the scriptural injunction, “Take no thought for your body.” The dyspeptic thinks of his stomach, and the more he has it in mind the more abnormally sensitive it becomes. The sound man has no knowledge of such an organ, except as a matter of theory. The body, when watched, petted, and idolized, soon assumes the character of a usurper and tyrant. Retribution is sure and inherent under such conditions.


A change of environment often cures, simply because novelty diverts thought which before has been centered upon the body. The improvement, however, is often credited to better climate, water, or air. Human pride seeks for its causation without rather than within. Secondary causation is really effect, though not often so diagnosed. The draft occasions the cold, but it gets its deadly qualities from cumulative belief and fear. Who has not seen persons in which this bondage and sensitiveness have become so intense that even a breath of God’s pure air alarms them. In this way a great mass of secondary causation has been invested with power for evil, and mistaken for that which is primary. Noting the tremendous power of grown-up accumulations of false belief, we may glance at the modus operandi of mental healing.

There are two distinct lines of treatment which may effect a cure; one by intelligent and persistent self-discipline and culture, and the other through the efforts of another person called a healer. Often there is a combination of both. The power does not lie in the personality of the healer, nor in the exercise of his will-power. Neither hypnotism nor mesmeric control are elements in true mind-healing. The healer, in reality, is but an interpreter and teacher. The divine recuperative forces which exist, but are latent, are awakened and called into action. The patient is like a discordant instrument containing great capabilities, only waiting to respond in unison to active harmony. His distorted thought must be elevated and harmonized, so that he will see things in their true perspective. The healer gently guides him up into the “mount of transfiguration,” where he feels the glow of the divine image within, and sees that wholeness is already his, and will be made manifest as he recognizes it. A successful healer must be an overflowing fountain of love and good-will. He is but a conduit through which flows the divine repletion. He makes ideal conditions present. He steadily holds a mental image of his patient as already whole, and silently appeals to the unconscious mind of the invalid, to induce him to accept the same view. The patient’s mental background is like a sensitive plate, upon which will gradually appear outlines of health as they are positively presented. Improved views of his own condition spring up from within, and seem to him to be original. As 540they grow into expression in the outer man, his cure is complete.

Do failures occur? Undoubtedly, and often. Even infallible principles can have but imperfect application because of local limitations. The failure of a particular field of grain does not disprove the universal principle of vegetable growth. The imperfection of the healer, and the lack of receptivity in the patient, are local limitations. There are sudden cures, but as a rule recovery will be in the nature of a progressive growth. Lack of immediate results often causes disappointment, and leads to an abandonment of the treatment before the seed has had time to take root. The healer is the sower, and the patient’s unconscious mind is the soil. Often rubbish must be cleared away before any fertile spot is found. The cure must come from within. Sometimes the patient is cherishing some secret sin, or giving place to trains of thought colored with envy, jealousy, avarice, or selfishness. These are all positive obstacles to both mental and physical improvement, for thoughts are real things. The patient must actively co-operate with the healer, and make himself transparent to the truth. That which is misshapen has to grow symmetrical. Even if the mind could be instantly permeated with the belief of health, the body will need a little time to completely change its expression. Should these limitations discourage anyone? Not in the least, but rather the reverse. The fact that the cure is in the nature of a growth, is evidence that it is normal and permanent, rather than magical or capricious. Limitations are present, but they can be surmounted.

The phenomenon of pain, so commonly regarded as an evil, is only a warning voice to summon our consciousness from its resting-place in the damp, morgue-like basement of our being, to the higher apartments, where sunshine and harmony are ever present. It is beneficent when its message is heeded, for it is thereby transformed into blessing. Our resistance to it, and misunderstanding of its significance, prevent that possible transformation. The process of cure through mind, though in itself a steady growth, often appears to the consciousness of the patient as vibratory and uneven.

Many could heal themselves without the aid of another, if they appreciated the tremendous power for good of concentrated 541mental delineation of the ideal. By such exercises of mind, a wholesome environment can be built up, even if at first the process seems almost mechanical. But instead of such self-building, out of an infinitude of divine material, the average man is inclined to vacate the control of his being, put his body into the keeping of his doctor, and his soul [himself] into the care of his priest or pastor.

Efficiency for self-treatment is increased as the power of abstraction is cultivated. Hold a firm consciousness of the spiritual self, and of the fact that the material form is only expression made visible. Firmly deny the validity of adverse sensuous evidence, and at length it will disappear. Silently but persistently affirm health, harmony, and the divine image. Give out good thought, for thoughts are real gifts. In proportion as you pour out, the divine repletion pours in. Look upon the physical self as only a false claimant for the Ego. Hold only the good in your field of vision, and let disease and evil fade out to their native nothingness, from lack of standing-room. Even a warfare against evils as objective realities, tends to make them more realistic. At convenient seasons, bar out the external world, and rivet the mind tenaciously to the loftiest ideals and aspirations, and for the time being forget that you possess a body. Oh, victim of nervous prostration and insomnia, test these principles and see if they are not superior to anodynes, opiates, bromides, and chorals, and be assured that they leave no sting behind. The great boon which they bestow is not limited to nervous and mental disorders; its virtue penetrates to the outermost physical limits.

The whole atmosphere of race thought in which we live is sensuous. This vast unconscious influence must be overcome. The mental healer is like one rowing against the current of a mighty river. Humanity is “bound in one bundle,” and it is with difficulty that a few can advance much faster than the rythmical step of the mass. Even the Great Exemplar in some places could not do many mighty works because of surrounding unbelief.

Man is peering into the dust for new supplies of life, which are stored around and above him. Is it not time that he should make a serious effort to throw off the galling yoke of cruel though intangible masters, and achieve freedom and emancipation?


Turning to the religious aspect of mental healing, it is seen to be in harmony with revelation, and also with the highest spiritual ideal in all religions. While rebuking scholastic and dogmatic systems on the one hand, and pseudo-scientific materialism on the other, it vitalizes and makes practical the principles of the Sermon on the Mount. The healing of to-day is the same in kind, though not equal in degree to that of the primitive church. It is in accord with spiritual law, which is ever uniformly the same under like conditions. The miracles of the Apostolic Age were real as transactions, but their miraculous hue was in the materialistic vision of the observers. Healing is the outward and practical attestation of the power and genuineness of spiritual religion, and ought not to have dropped out of the Church. The divine commission to preach the gospel and heal the sick, never rightly could have been severed in twain, because they are only different sides of one Whole. By what authority is one part declared binding through ages and the other ignored? Who will assert that God is changeable, so that any divinely bestowed boon to one age could be withdrawn from a subsequent one? The direct assurance of the Christ, that “these signs shall follow them that believe,” is perpetual in its scope, because “them that believe” are limited to no age, race, or condition. As ecclesiasticism and materialism crept into the early church, and personal ambitions and worldly policies sapped its vitality, spiritual transparency and brotherly love faded out, and with them went the power—or rather the recognition of the power—to heal.

Wonderful works are not limited alone to those who accept the Christian religion; but in proportion as other systems recognize the supremacy of the spiritual element, and catch even a partial glow of “that true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” their intrinsic qualities will be made outwardly manifest. A right conception of God, as infinite present Good, strongly aids in producing the expression of health. “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” An abiding concept of such truth directly promotes trust, harmony, healing. Seeming ills are not God-created powers, but human perversions and reflected images of subjective states. As a higher and spiritual standpoint is gained, apparent evils dissolve, and then in bold relief is seen the fair proportions of the Kingdom of the Real.





In May last, in a small hall in Boston, on a stage of planking, hung with drapery, was produced one of the most radical plays from a native author ever performed in America. Mr. and Mrs. James A. Herne, unable to obtain a hearing in the theatres for their play, which had been endorsed by some of the best known literary men of the day, were forced to hire a hall, and produce Margaret Fleming bare of all mechanical illusion, and shorn of all its scenic and atmospheric effects. Everybody, even their friends, prophesied disaster. In such surroundings failure seemed certain. But a few who knew the play and its authors better, felt confident that there was a public for them. It was a notable event, and the fame of Margaret Fleming is still on its travels across the dramatic world.

There were two reasons for this result, the magnificent art of Mrs. Herne, which “created illusion by its utter simplicity and absolute truth to life,” and second, because the play was, in fact, as one critic said, “an epoch-marking play.” It could afford to dispense with canvas, bunch-lights, machinery, as it dispensed with conventional plot and epithet, and as its actors discarded declamation and mere noise.

The phenomenal success of Mr. and Mrs. Herne brought them prominently before the literary public. Interest became very strong in them as persons as well as artists, and from an intimate personal acquaintance with them both, I have been asked to give this brief sketch of their work previous to Margaret Fleming, for epoch-marking as it was, it was only a logical latest outcome of the work the Hernes have been doing for the last ten years.

Mr. Herne is a man of large experience, having been on the stage for thirty years. He has been through all the legitimate lines. He has been a member of a stock company, manager of theatres, and author and manager of several plays of his own, previous to the writing of Margaret544 Fleming. His first real attempt at writing was Hearts of Oak. The home scenes, and notably the famous dinner scene, which became such a feature, showed the direction of his power. This play, produced about twelve years ago with Mrs. Herne as “Crystal,” was their first attempt to handle humble American life, and was very successful.

Mr. Herne’s next venture was an ambitious one. It was the writing of a play based upon the American Revolution. In the spring of ‘86 he produced at the Boston Theatre The Minute Men, where it was received with immense enthusiasm. It was somewhat conventional in plot, but in all its scenes of home life was true and fine. The central figures were Reuben (a backwoodsman), and Dorothy, his adopted daughter. Whatever concerned these two characters was keyed to the note of life. Like all Mr. Herne’s acting, Reuben was utterly unconscious of himself. He went about as a backwoodsman naturally does, without posturing or swagger. With the sweetness and quaintness of Sam Lawson, he had the comfortable aspect of a well-fed Pennsylvania Quaker.

Mrs. Herne’s Dorothy was a fitting companion piece, faultlessly true, and sweet, and natural. Her spontaneous laugh is as infectiously gleeful as Joe Jefferson’s chuckle. Those who have never seen her in this part can hardly realize how fine a comedienne she really is.

Mr. Herne’s next play was simpler, stronger, and better, though less picturesque. Drifting Apart was based upon the commonest of life’s tragedies—the home of a drunkard. It is the most effective of sermons, without one word of preaching. The drifting apart of husband and wife through the husband’s “failin’” is set forth with unexampled concreteness, and yet there is no introduction of horror. We understand it all by the sufferings of the wife, with whom we alternately hope and despair. I copy here what I wrote of it at the time when I knew neither Mr. and Mrs. Herne, nor any other of their plays.

The second act in this play for tenderness and truth has not been surpassed in any American play. A daring thing exquisitely done was that holiest of confidences between husband and wife. The vast audience sat hushed as death before that touching, almost sacred scene, as they do when sitting before some great tragedy.

What does this mean, if not that our dramatists have been too distrustful of the public? They have gone round the earth in search of 545material for plays, not knowing that the most moving of all life is that which lies closest at hand, after all.

Mrs. Herne’s acting of Mary Miller was my first realization of the compelling power of truth. It was so utterly opposed to the “tragedy of the legitimate.” Here was tragedy that appalled and fascinated like the great fact of living. No noise, no contortions of face or limbs, yet somehow I was made to feel the dumb, inarticulate, interior agony of a mother. Never before had such acting faced me across the footlights. The fourth act was like one of Millet’s paintings, with that mysterious quality of reserve—the quality of life again.

In this play, as in Hearts of Oak, there was no villain and no plot. The scene was laid in a fishing village near Gloucester. I can do no better than to give you a taste of the quaint second act.

It is Christmas eve and Jack and Mary have been married a year. Jack is preparing to go out. Mary is secretly disturbed over his going but hides it. “Mother” sits by the fire knitting. Mary is sewing by the window.

Jack. Say, Mary! D’you know, I can shave myself better’n any barber thet ever honed a razor?

Mary. I always told you you could, Jack, if you’d only try.

Jack. Feel my face now—ain’t it as smooth as any baby’s?

Mary. (Feeling his face.) Yes, Jack, as smooth as any old baby’s.

Jack. Oh! say, look here now, thet ain’t fair; a feller don’t know nothin’ till he’s forty, does he, mother? Old baby’s! (sitting on the arm of Mary’s chair) I ain’t too old to love you, Mary, that’s one thing. I’ve loved you ever since you was knee-high to a grasshopper. I rocked you in y’r cradle—I’m blessed if I didn’t make the cradle you was rocked in, didn’t I, mother?

Mother. Yes, Jack, an’ d’ye remember what yeh made it out of?

Jack. A herrin’ box. (General laugh.)

Mary. (Tenderly.) I married the man I love, Jack.

Jack. Honest?

Mary. Honest.

Jack. (Kissing her.) Then what’n thunder you want to talk about a feller’s gettin’ old for? Where’s my clean shirt? Say, mother, don’t you t’ hang up them stockin’s.

Mary. Oh! Jack, what nonsense.

Jack. No nonsense at all about it. Christmas is Christmas. It only comes once a year an’ I’m goin’ to have th’ stockin’s hung up. So for fear you’d forgit ‘em I’ll hang ‘em up myself.

. . . . . . . . . .

Mary. Please, Jack, give me those stockings.

Jack. Now it ain’t no use, little woman. Them stockin’s is a-goin’ up. Mother, you give me three pins.

Mary. Don’t you give him any pins, mother. Suppose the neighbors should come in and see those stockings hangin’ up.


Jack. Let ‘em come in, I don’t care a continental cuss. Why, Mary, everybody wears stockin’s nowadays, everybody that can afford to. I want the neighbors to see ‘em, then they’ll know we’ve got stockin’s. (Holding up the three stockings.) Got one apiece anyhow.

Mother. Oh, Jack, Jack! you’ll never be anything but a great overgrown boy, if you live to be a hundred (goes off).

Mary. (Tenderly.) Jack!

Jack. Hey?

Mary. (Putting her arms about his neck.) Did you never think that perhaps next Christmas there might be another stocking, just a tiny one, to hang in the chimney corner?

Jack. Why, Mary, there’s tears in your eyes. (Goes to wipe her eyes with the work she has in her hands; it is a baby’s dress.) Bless my soul! What’s this, Mary?

Mary. (Falteringly.) Do you remember Bella and John in “Our Mutual Friend” that I read to you?

Jack. Yes. Warn’t they glorious?

Mary. Well, these are sails, Jack, sails for the little ship that’s coming across the water for you and me.

Mr. Herne as Reuben Foxglove in "The Minute Men." See page 544. Mr. Herne as Reuben Foxglove in "The Minute Men." See page 544.

I quote a few lines from another scene.

Christmas morning. Hester and Silas, some young friends, have come in to take breakfast. All are seated at the table with much bustle and laughter. Lish Mead, Mary’s foster father, pokes his head in the door.

Lish Mead. Wish you Merry Christmas.

All. (Hilariously.) Merry Christmas! Come in.


Lish. Can’t less some on ye hol’s th’ door open.

Silas. I’ll hold it, Lish. (Lish enters, hauling a warehouse truck on which is a barrel of flour and a large hamper.)

Lish. Mister Seward wanted I should hand ye these with his complements.

Mary. Oh, how kind of Mr. Seward, and how good of you to bring ‘em.

Jack. Set down here, Lish, and have a bite o’ breakfast.

Lish. (Taking off mittens, cap, comforter, etc.) Whatcher got? Chicking? Waal, that’s good ‘nough. (Seats himself at table.) Say, Jack, d’ you know, you left a goose a-layin’ on Jim Adamses bar las’ night? I was goin’ to fetch it along but Jim said you gin it to him, swore you made him a present on it.

Mother. Jack Hepburn, did you give that goose—

Mary. (Interrupting her.) Have a cup of coffee, mother.

Lish. Jack, have you got the time o’ day? (Chuckles.) Here’s y’r new Waterbury. The boys wanted I should fetch her ‘round; ye went off las’ night without her.

Jack. Ye can take her back again; I don’t want her.

Mary. O Jack!

Jack. No, Mary, I don’t. I wish the durned ol’ Waterbury ‘d never been born.

Mary. The boys meant well, Jack; I wouldn’t send back their present.

Jack. All right, Mary, if you say so, I’ll take her. There’s one thing sure, every time I wind her up she’ll put me in mind how durn near I come to losin’ the best little wife in the whole world.

This play brought me to know Mr. and Mrs. Herne. It needed but an hour’s talk to convince me that I had met two of the most intellectual artists in the dramatic profession, and also to learn how great were the obstacles which lay in the way of producing a real play, each year adding to the insuperableness of the barriers. Mr. Herne was at that time (two years ago) working upon a new play, in some respects, notably in its theme, finer than Drifting Apart. It was the result of several summers spent on the coast of Maine, and is called Shore-Acres. The story is mainly that of two brothers, Nathaniel and Martin Berry, who own a fine “shore-acre” tract near a booming summer resort. An enterprising grocer in the little village gets Martin interested in booms and suggests that they form a company and cut the shore-acre tract up into lots and sell to summer residents.

Martin comes with the scheme to Nathaniel.

Martin. I’d like t’ talk to yeh, an’ I d’ know’s I’ll hev a better chance.

Uncle Nat. I d’ know’s yeh will.

Martin. (Hesitates, picks up a stick and whittles.) Mr. Blake’s ben here.

Uncle Nat. (Picks up a straw and chews it.) Hez ‘e?


Mrs. Herne as Dorothy Foxglove in "The Minute Men." See page 544. Mrs. Herne as Dorothy Foxglove in "The Minute Men." See page 544.

Martin. Yes. He ‘lows thet we’d ought to cut the farm up inter buildin’ lots.

Uncle Nat. Dooze ‘e?

Martin. Yes. He says there’s a boom a-comin’ here, an’ thet the lan’s too valu’ble to work.

Uncle Nat. I want t’ know ‘f he dooze. Where d’s he talk o’ beginnin’?

Martin. Out there at the nothe eend o’ the shore pint?

Uncle Nat. Yeh don’t mean up yander? (Pointing with his thumb over his shoulder.)


Martin. (Slowly.) Y-e-s.

Uncle Nat. Dooze ‘e calkalate t’ take in the knoll thet looks out t’ Al’gator Reef?

Martin. I reck’n he dooze.

Uncle Nat. Did yeh tell him thet mother’s berried there?

Martin. He knows thet ‘s well ‘s you do. (Sulkily.)

Uncle Nat. What’s he calkalate t’ do with mother?

Martin. He advises puttin’ her in a cimitry up to Bangor.

Uncle Nat. She’d never sleep comfort’ble in no cimitry, mother wouldn’t.

Martin. He says thet’s the choice lot o’ the hull pass’ll.

Uncle Nat. Then who’s got so good a right to it as mother hez? It was all her’n once. Thet’s the only piece she ast t’ keep. Yeh don’t begrutch it to her, do yeh, Martin?

Martin. I don’t begrutch her nothin’, only he says folks hain’t a-goin’ to pay fancy prices ‘thout they hev ther pick.

Uncle Nat. D’ye think any fancy price hed ought to buy mother’s grave?

Mrs. Herne as Mary Miller. "Here was tragedy that
appalled and fascinated like the great fact of living." "Drifting
Apart." Act IV. See page 545. Mrs. Herne as Mary Miller. "Here was tragedy that appalled and fascinated like the great fact of living." "Drifting Apart." Act IV. See page 545.


Martin. Yeh seem to kinder shameface me fer thinkin’ o’ partin’ with it.

Uncle Nat. Didn’t mean to. Law sakes! who’m I thet I should set my face agin improvemints, I’d like t’ know? Go ahead, an’ sell, ‘n build, an’ git rich, an’ move t’ Bangor, unly don’t sell thet! Leave me jes’ thet leetle patch, an’ I’ll stay an’ take keer th’ light, keep the grass cut over yander, an’ sort o’ watch eout fer things gin’rally….

Ann. Sakes alive! Martin Berry, bean’t you a-comin’ to your dinner t’day? Come, Nathan’l, y’r dinner’ll be stun cold. I say yer dinner’ll be stun cold. ‘T won’t be fit f’r a hawg t’eat.

Little Mildred. (Going to Nat, looks up into his face.) He’s cryin’, momma.

This estrangement, and the results that flow from it, form the simple basis of Shore-Acres, a play full of character studies, and permeated by that peculiar flavor of sea and farm, which the New England coast abounds with. The theme is the best and truest of all Mr. Herne’s plays of humble life.

Mr. and Mrs. Herne have lived for twelve years in Ashmont, a suburb of Boston. They have a comfortable and tasteful home, with three children, Julie, Crystal, and Dorothy [aged ten, eight, and five], to give them welcome when they come back from their seasons on the road. Mr. Herne is very domestic and lives a very simple and quiet life. And he enjoys his pretty home as only a man can whose life is spent so largely in fatiguing travel. He is fond of the fields which lie near his home, and very many are the long walks we have taken together. He is very fond of wild flowers, especially daisies and clover blossoms, and in their season is never without a bunch of them upon his desk. Books are all about him. He writes at a flat-top desk in the room he calls his, but his terrific orders to be left alone are calmly ignored by the three children who invade this “study,” and throw themselves upon him at the slightest provocation. He is much tyrannized over by Dorothy, whose dolls he is forced to mend, no matter what other apparently important work is going forward.

Mr. and Mrs. Herne in "Drifting Apart." Act II. See page 545. Mr. and Mrs. Herne in "Drifting Apart." Act II. See page 545.

Mrs. Herne is a woman of extraordinary powers, both of acquired knowledge and natural insight, and her suggestions and criticisms have been of the greatest value to her husband in his writing, and she had large part in the inception as well as in the production of Margaret Fleming. Her knowledge of life and books, like that of her husband, is self-acquired, but I have met few people in any walk of life 551with the same wide and thorough range of thought. In their home oft-quoted volumes of Spencer, Darwin, Fiske, Carlyle, Ibsen, Valdes, Howells, give evidence that they not only keep abreast but ahead of the current thought of the day. Spencer is their philosopher, and Howells is their novelist, but Dickens and Scott have large space on their shelves. All this does not prevent Mr. Herne from being an incorrigible joker, and a wonderfully funny story-teller. All dialects come instantly and surely to his tongue. The 552sources of his power as a dramatist are evident in his keen observation and retentive memory. Mrs. Herne’s poet is Sidney Lanier, and she knows his principal poems by heart. “Sunrise” is her especial delight. But to see her radiant with intellectual enthusiasm, one has but to start a discussion of the nebular hypothesis, or to touch upon the atomic theory, or doubt the inconceivability of matter. She is perfectly oblivious to space and time if she can get someone to discuss Flammarion’s supersensuous world of force, Mr. George’s theory of land-holding, or Spencer’s law of progress.

Mr. and Mrs. Herne in "Drifting Apart." Act III. See page 545. Mr. and Mrs. Herne in "Drifting Apart." Act III. See page 545.

Her enthusiasms bear fruit not only in her own phenomenal 553development, but in her power over others, both as an artist and friend. Wherever she goes she carries the magnetic influence of one who lives and thinks on high planes. Her earnestness is tremendous.

They are both individualists in the sense of being for the highest and purest type of man, and the elimination of governmental control. “Truth, Liberty, and Justice,” form the motto over their door. Mr. Herne has won great distinction as a powerful and ready advocate of the single tax theory, and they are both personal valued friends of Mr. George. It is Ibsen’s individualism as well as his truth that appeals so strongly to both Mr. and Mrs. Herne. They are in deadly earnest like Ibsen, and Margaret Fleming sprang directly from their radicalism on the woman question. The home of these extraordinary people is a charged battery radiating the most advanced thought. As one friend said: “No one ever leaves this house as he came. We all go away with something new and vital to think about.”

I give these personal impressions in order that those who saw them in Margaret Fleming may know that its power was certainly a reflection of the high thought and purity of moral conviction and life which Mr. and Mrs. Herne brought to its production and its performance. It voices their love of truth in art, and freedom in life, and specifically their position on the woman question.

The story of Margaret Fleming is briefly:—

Philip Fleming is a fairly successful business man in a town near Boston. He has a devoted wife, a child just reaching its first year’s birthday. The first scene develops the situation by a conversation between Fleming and his family physician. Fleming offers a cigar which Dr. Larkin refuses.

Philip. You used to respect my cigars. (Laughing.)

Doctor. I used to respect you….

Philip. Why not, for heaven’s sake?

Doctor. Because you’ve no more moral nature than Joe Fletcher has.

Philip. Oh! come now, Doctor, that’s rather—

Doctor. (Looking sternly at him.) At two o’clock last night, Lena Schmidt gave birth to a child.

Philip. (His eyes meet those of the Doctor, then drop to the floor.) How in God’s name did they come to send for you?

. . . . . . . . .

Doctor. I don’t believe she’ll ever leave that bed alive.


Philip. Well, I’ve done all I can to—

Doctor. Yeh have, eh?

Philip. She’s had all the money she needed…. If she’d a’ done as I wanted her to, this never’d a’ happened. I tried to get her away six months ago, but she wouldn’t go. She was as obstinate as a mule.

Doctor. Strange that she should want to be near you, aint it? If she’d got tired of you and wanted to go, you wouldn’t have let her.

Philip. (With a sickly smile.) You must think I’m—

Doctor. I don’t think anything about it. I know just what such animals as you are.

Philip. Why, I haven’t seen her for a—

Doctor. Haven’ t yeh! well, then, suppose you go and see her to-day.

Philip. (Alarmed.) No, I won’t. I can’t do that!

Doctor. You will do just that.

Philip. (Showing temper.) I won’t go near her.

Doctor. (Quietly.) Yes, you will. She sha’n’t lie there and die like a dog.

Philip. You wouldn’t dare—to tell—

Doctor. I want you to go and see this girl! (They face each other.) Will yeh or won’t yeh?

Philip. (After a pause subdued.) What d’ ye want me to say to her?

Fleming had been unfaithful to his wife at the time when he should have been most devoted. The next two scenes show us Margaret in her lovely home with 555the baby crowing about her. Fleming, with the easy shift of such natures, has thrown off his depression, and is in good spirits the following morning. Dr. Larkin calls to warn Fleming that he had better take Margaret away at once. She has trouble with her eyes which a nervous shock might intensify. He promises to do so, but the act closes with Margaret’s departure to visit Lena Schmidt, who has sent for her. The third act takes place in Mrs. Burton’s cottage, where the girl is dying. Dr. Larkin enters, finds Mrs. Burton holding the babe in her arms. I quote the conversation as a fine example of its truth and suggestion.

Mr. Herne as Joe Fletcher in "Margaret Fleming." Act I.
"Can't I sell ye a bath sponge?" See page 553. Mr. Herne as Joe Fletcher in "Margaret Fleming." Act I. "Can't I sell ye a bath sponge?" See page 553.

Mrs. Burton. O Doctor! I didn’t hear ye knawk. Did I keep y’ waitin’?

Doctor. No. How’re the sick folks?

Mrs. Burton. Haven’t y’ seen Dr. Taylor! Didn’t he tell yeh?

Doctor. Haven’t seen him. I suppose you mean—

Mrs. Burton. Yes.

Doctor. Humph! When’d she die?

Mrs. B. ‘Bout half an hour ago.

Doctor. I had two calls on my way here. When did the change come?


Mrs. B. Ther’ wa’n’t no change t’ speak ‘f. About two hours ago, she et a nice cup o’ grule, and asked me to fix the pillers so’s her head ‘d be higher. I done it. Then she asked f’r a pensul ‘n paper, an’ she writ f’r quite some time. After that she shet her eyes an’ I thought she was asleep. She never moved till the Doctor come, then she opened her eyes ‘n smiled at him. He asked how she felt, an’ she gave a l-o-n-g sigh—an’ that was all there was to it.

. . . . . . . . .

Mrs Herne as Margaret Fleming. Act II. See page 554. Mrs Herne as Margaret Fleming. Act II. See page 554.

Margaret comes in and Dr. Larkin, horrified, tries in vain to get her to return. Maria, the dead girl’s sister, comes out of the bedroom, with a letter in her hand, and with barbaric ferocity turns upon Margaret. A scene of great dramatic power follows, and under the stress of her suffering, Margaret goes blind. It all ends in the flight of Fleming, and the destruction of their home. Several years later a chain of events brings wife and husband together in the office of the Boston Inspector of Police. Joe Fletcher, a street pedler, and husband of Maria, the sister of Lena Schmidt, was the means of bringing them together again. Fleming runs across Joe on the557 Common, and Joe takes him to see Maria. Margaret has found Maria and her child, which Maria had taken. Philip’s altercation with Maria brings them into the police office. After explanations, the inspector turns to the husband and wife, and voicing conventional morality, advises them to patch it up. “When you want me, ring that bell,” he says, and leaves them alone. There is a hush of suspense, and then Fleming, seeing the work he had wrought in the blind face before him, speaks.

Philip. Margaret!

Margaret. Well!

Philip. This is terrible

Marg. You heard the inspector. He calls it a “common case.”

Philip. Yes. I was wondering whether he meant that or only said it.

Marg. I guess he meant it, Philip. We’ll be crowded out of his thoughts before he goes to bed to-night.

. . . . . . . . .

Marg. Ah, well, it’s done now, and—

Philip. Yes, it’s done. For four years I’ve been like an escaped prisoner that wanted to give himself up and dreaded the punishment. I’m captured at last, and without hope or fear,—I was going to say without shame,—I ask you, my judge, to pronounce my sentence.

Marg. That’s a terrible thing to ask me to do, Philip…. (She hesitates.)

Philip. Of course you’ll get a divorce?

Marg. Don’t let us have any more ceremonies, Philip…. I gave myself to you when you asked me to. We were married in my mother’s little home. Do you remember what a bright, beautiful morning it was?

Philip. Yes.

Marg. That was seven years ago. To-day we’re here!

. . . . . . . . .

I am calm. My eyes have simply been turned in upon myself for four years. I see clearer than I used to.

Philip. Suppose I could come to you some day and say, Margaret, I’m now an honest man. Would you live with me again?

Marg. The wife-heart has gone out of me, Philip.

Philip. I’ll wait, Margaret. Perhaps it may come back again. Who knows?

. . . . . . . . .

Philip. Is it degrading to forgive?

Marg. No; but it is to condone. Suppose I had broken faith with you?

Philip. Ah, Margaret!

Marg. I know! But suppose I had? Why should a wife bear the whole stigma of infidelity? Isn’t it just as revolting in a husband?…

. . . . . . . . .

Then can’t you see that it is simply impossible for me to live with you again? Philip. That’s my sentence…. We’ll be friends?


Marg. Yes, friends. We’ll respect each other as friends. We never could as man and wife.

As they clasp hands, something latent, organic rushes over her. She masters it, puts his hand aside: “Ring that bell!”

Mr. Herne and his daughter Dorothy as Joe and little
Lena on the Common. See page 557. Mr. Herne and his daughter Dorothy as Joe and little Lena on the Common. See page 557.

Played as Mrs. Herne plays it, this act is the supreme climax toward which the action moves from the first. It is her knowledge of its significance, her belief in its justice, and her faith in its beneficence that makes her 559reading so intellectually powerful and penetrating. She seems to be all of the woman, and something of the seer, as she stands there as Margaret whose blindness has somehow given her inward light, and conviction, and strength. She seemed to be speaking for all womankind, whose sorrowful history we are only just beginning to read truthfully. It is no wonder that Mrs. Herne appealed with such power to the thinking women of Boston. Never before has their case been so stated in America.

One of the most noticeable and gratifying results of Mr. and Mrs. Herne’s performance was the forced abandonment by the critics of conventional standards of criticism. Every thoughtful word, even by those most severe, was made from the realist’s standpoint. It forced a comparison with life and that was a distinct gain.

Margaret. Act V. "It is simply impossible for me to
live with you again.... Ring that bell." See page 557. Margaret. Act V. "It is simply impossible for me to live with you again…. Ring that bell." See page 557.

The critics got at last the point of view of those who praise an imperfect play simply for its honesty of purpose, and its 560tendency. My own criticism of Margaret Fleming is that it lacks the simplicity of life. It has too much of plot. Things converge too much, and here and there things happen. Measured by the standard of truth it fails at two or three points in its construction, though its treatment is markedly direct and honest. Measured by any play on the American stage, it stands above them all in purpose, in execution, in power, and is worthy to stand for the new drama. It was exposed to the severest test, and came out of it triumphantly. What the effect will be upon the American drama, it would be hard to say. Certainly whether great or small, that influence will be toward progress, an influence that is altogether good.

Already it has precipitated the discussion of an independent American theatre, where plays of advanced thought and native atmosphere can be produced. It has given courage to many who (being in the minority) had given up the idea of ever having a play after their ideal. It has cleared the air and showed the way out of the cul de sac into which monopoly seemed to have driven plays and players. It demonstrated that a small theatre makes the production of literary plays possible, and the whole field is opening to the American dramatist. The fact that the lovers of truth and art are in the minority, no longer cuts a figure. The small theatre makes a theatre for the minority not only possible, but inevitable.

In the immediate advance in truth, both in acting and play-writing, Mr. and Mrs. Herne are likely to have large part. The work which they have already done entitles them not only to respect, but to gratitude. They have been working for many years to discredit effectism in acting, and to bring truth into the American drama. They have set a high mark, as all will testify who saw the work in Chickering Hall. Now let who can, go higher.




Last autumn the third French republic completed the second decade of its checkered existence, and has thus proved itself to be the most long-lived government which France has known since the advent of the great Revolution a century ago. No previous government has been able to stand eighteen years, so that the present republic has outstripped all its predecessors, whether republican, imperial, or monarchical, leaving even the most fortunate of them two or three years behind, and bidding fair to increase the distance indefinitely. Its longevity has been greater than the first and second republics taken together, which covered a period of a little over sixteen years; while if we combine the existence of all three republics, equal to about thirty-six years, we again find that no other regime has shown such prolonged vitality,—the two empires having lived for only twenty-eight years, and the two monarchies for about thirty-three and a half years.

But the early years of the third republic—from 1870 to 1879—like the declining period of the first and second republics, were more monarchical than republican. And again, there are so many weakening influences in the present institutions of France, that the decisive conclusions which might otherwise be drawn from the foregoing considerations need, I regret to say, to be considerably qualified. Previous to the election to the presidency of M. Grévy, in 1879, the government was happily styled “a republic without republicans.” But since that date the same party—the republican—has had supreme control. Practically, therefore, the third republic has been in operation about twelve years, and has, therefore, still to pass that dangerous turning-point in the history of French governments, the twentieth year.


I now come to the consideration of some of the more serious causes of lack of faith in the duration of the present regime. But it should be pointed out right here at the start that many of these blemishes, most all of them in fact, have characterized every government in France, so that they are not peculiarly republican; and I hasten to add that my object in pointing them out, in analyzing them and dwelling on them, is not for the purpose of belittling or ridiculing the estimable government now controlling the destinies of France. As an American and a republican who has observed contemporary French history on the spot since 1874, who has been an eye witness of many of the crucial episodes of this critical period, who has known personally several of the leading actors and who wishes well for the present institutions, I take up this subject not so much in order to find fault with what is, as to endeavor to discover how far these imperfections and weaknesses endanger the existence of a form of government in which all Americans take such a lively and sincere interest. Nowhere else in the civilized world, not even in France itself, would the fall of the third republic cause such deep regret as in the United States. Hence it is that we desire to know what likelihood there is of such a disaster being brought about, in the hope that by calling attention to the dangers, we may, perhaps, do something to prevent such a lamentable catastrophe.

The greatest peril that has threatened the republic since its foundation in 1870, was the recent Boulanger adventure. Though this rather addle-brained general is now quite dead politically, the causes which gave him strength and nearly plunged France once more into a chaos whence would probably have issued a tyranny of some sort, still exist and are continually on the point of cropping out again. The principal one of them is the lack of union among republicans. Just as the republic owed its final triumph to the circumstance that the royalists and imperialists could not coalesce during the years immediately following 1870, so Boulanger, backed by these same royalists and imperialists, nearly won the day two years ago, almost wholly because the republicans were divided among themselves. Union among republicans is scarcely less necessary to-day than it was during 563the dark days of Marshal MacMahon’s presidency and the threatened Boulangist coup d’etat.

Since the republicans have had control of the two houses, the minority, especially in the chamber of deputies, has been very strong, the Right to-day numbering about one hundred and seventy deputies, and the Boulangists about thirty more, making a grand total of two hundred in a membership of less than six hundred. That is to say, the Opposition, mustering more than a third of the chamber. And when it is borne in mind that this minority is not simply a constitutional Opposition, that its advent to power would mean the eventual overthrow of the republic, we perceive how radically different such an Opposition is from that found in the parliament of other countries, where whether the outs come in or the ins go out, no vital change occurs in the nature of the government.

The existence of this recklessly revolutionary minority and the fickleness of republican union are the chief causes of ministerial instability, one of the worst features of the present regime. The ministry has changed so often during the last twenty years, that many republicans have been led to doubt the advantages of the English parliamentary system, and have turned their eyes toward its modification in the United States, where the existence of the Cabinet is independent of a vote of the House. It was this admiration of the American system which led M. Naquet and M. Andrieux—once prominent republican deputies, and the former still a member of the Chamber—to espouse Boulangism, and the general obtained not a little of his popular strength from his oft-repeated assertion that he would put an end to ministerial instability. That this evil is not exaggerated, though the proposed remedy would probably have been worse than the disease, is shown by the most casual glance at French cabinet history since the fall of the second empire.

Since September 4, 1870, up to the present day, there have been no less than twenty-eight different ministries, which makes, on an average, a new ministry about every nine months. There were three ministries in each of the years 1873 and 1877, while in 1876, 1879, 1882, 1883, 1886, and 1887, there were two each. The longest ministry was the second, presided over by M. Jules Ferry, which lasted from February 21, 1883, to April 6, 1885, or a few 564weeks over two years. Gambetta’s famous ministry—called in derision “le grand ministère“—lasted two months and a half. M. de Freycinet, the present prime minister, has been in power four times since 1879, the first time for nine months, the second for six months, the third for eleven months, and the fourth since March of last year. Among the shortest ministries were those of M. Dufaure, from May 18 to May 25, 1873; General de Rochebouet, from November 23 to December 13, 1877, and M. Fallières from January 29 to February 21, 1883.

The persistency with which the reactionists refuse to recognize the legal government of France, is another source of weakness in the present institutions. When M. Carnot gives a reception at the Elysée Palace you never see a deputy or a Senator of the Right advancing to salute the president and his wife, and when he offers a grand state dinner to parliament, he does not invite members outside of the republican party because he would run the risk of receiving a curt regret.[1] What is true of M. Carnot and the Elysée holds good also for all the ministers and other high functionaries: they are left severely alone by Monarchists and Bonapartists alike.

This sulking in the tent on the part of the reactionists has in it something worse than their simple absence from all official social ceremonies. The talents, experience, and patriotism of this élite are almost wholly lost to the country, and to the government. From the ministries, the judiciary, the foreign embassies, the prefectures, and the rectorships of the universities, they are necessarily excluded. The ancient nobility of the old regime with its wealth and traditions, and the younger nobility of the first and second empires; the blue blood bourgeoisée, especially of the provinces, and the aristocratic ladies of all classes, turn their backs, almost without exception, on the new order of things, and sigh for court and king or emperor.

In the provinces this detestation of the republic sometimes becomes ludicrous. In Montpelier, for instance, “polite 565circles” absolutely boycott the republican official world. The prefect has a palatial residence but does not dare to throw open his salons, for none of “the first families” would respond to his invitation. When the mayor of the city, before whom all marriages must be performed, is invited to the reception at the house, none of the reactionary coterie will have a word with him and none of their young men will dance with his daughter. I have heard similar stories from Pan, Castres, and Albi, and doubtless the same thing is true of many other cities. But royalists and Bonapartists would not feel too much out of place in the French republic, for it is astonishing, at least to an American, to see how many monarchical customs have been preserved by the present government. And this brings me to the consideration of a new source of weakness of the republic. I refer to its unrepublican features. A few examples will explain what I mean.

The “military household” is one of the imperial institutions which the third republic accepted and continued. The first president, however, did not revive it. “M. Thiers never had a military household,” M. Barthélémy Saint Hilaire, his private secretary and fidus achates writes me; “however, in order to honor the army, he had two orderlies.” But when Marshal MacMahon became president in 1873, it was only natural that he should surround himself with soldiers. At first the “Cabinet of the Presidency” consisted of three officials, one of them being a colonel. In 1875 this cabinet had grown to five members, two of them colonels, and one an artillery officer. In 1879 the “Cabinet of the Presidency” was reduced to two members with a colonel at its head, but was supplemented with a “military household”—the first appearance of this institution under the third republic—consisting of six officers, so that Marshal MacMahon had seven officers in all as his immediate attendants.

At this point M. Grévy enters the Elysée. He throws out the military member of the Cabinet of the Presidency, but increases by one his military household, so that there were as many officers at the Elysée under the lawyer president as under the marshal president. Nor has M. Carnot, the engineer president, departed from the example set by his two predecessors.


When I asked M. Barthélémy Saint Hilaire the explanation of this custom, he answered: “Our kings were always provided with a military household, in which marine officers also figured. It is doubtless this precedent which has surrounded civilian republicans with a body of officers. The custom is due less to necessity than to a desire to show respect for the army and navy.”

This same military parade is seen at the senate and chamber. During a sitting of either of these bodies a company of infantry is kept under arms in a room adjoining the legislative hall, and when the president of either house enters the building, he advances between two files of soldiers presenting arms, and is escorted to his chair by the commanding officer.

This military element in the present government is as unnecessary as it is dangerous and pernicious. It is dangerous because it might be turned by an ambitious president against the very constitution he has taken an oath to defend. Two instances of this danger are afforded by the action of Napoleon I. on the 18th Soumaire and by that of Napoleon III. on the 2d of December, 1852. It is pernicious because it keeps alive in France that love for military display, and that thirst for conquest, which have been the curse of the country since the days of Louis XIV.

Another one of these monarchical growths which still flourishes under the republic is the excessive reverence and even awe which the public shows to its high officials. When President Carnot appears anywhere, his reception scarcely differs from that shown to Emperor William in the course of his numerous journeys. The president is allowed six hundred thousand francs for “entertaining and travelling,” and his balls and dinners at the Elysée, and especially his official tours through the country smack of royalty to an extraordinary degree. A year ago I had an opportunity at Montpelier to study one of these official visits in all its details, and I was astonished at the royal aspect of the whole affair. The conferring of decorations, the dispensing of money to deserving charities, the cut and dried speeches of the president and the mayors, the military honors,—all this is far removed from that “Jeffersonian simplicity” which Americans at least associate with a republic.


One of the most noticeable characteristics of these tours is the excessive manner in which “the republic” is kept to the fore. In his speeches while “swinging around the circle” President Carnot is continually informing expectant mayors and delighted citizens that “the government of the republic” is watching over their every interest, and he then hastens to thank them for the enthusiastic welcome which they have given to “the republic” in his humble person. The phylloxera has destroyed the vineyards of this or that region, but “the republican minister of agriculture” is successfully extirpating the injurious insect. The new schoolhouses of another city owe their magnificence “to the deep solicitude of the republic for the education of the masses,” while the recently constructed bridge over the river is the work of “the engineers of the republic.” In a word, the farmer and his crops, the mechanic and his house-rent, the schoolmaster and his salary, the wine growers and their plaster, the day laborers and their hours of work, and of course the politicians and their constituents, if the former be republicans, are, according to presidential oratory, the special care of the republic.

Nor is it President Carnot alone who thus proclaims the extraordinary virtues of the ever watchful republic. The ministers, who are continually indulging in brief tours into the provinces, doing en petit what M. Carnot does en grand, are even more assiduous than the president (because their political position is less secure,) in sounding on all occasions the praises of the republic.

Nor is this ringing of the changes on the word republic confined to the oratory of presidential and ministerial junketings. The obtrusion is brought about in many other ways. Thus M. Carnot is always spoken of in the newspapers and elsewhere as “the president of the republic.” M. Waddington at London is “the ambassador of the republic.” The district attorney is “the attorney of the republic.” An official bust of the republic is given the place of honor on the walls of the town council chamber, the public schoolroom, and the courtroom. A new bridge will have carved on its arches the monogram R. F. (République Française) while the same familiar letters stare at you from the fronts of all the public buildings erected since 1870.


The practice is impolitic, to say the least. We have already seen how large and powerful is the body of enemies of the present institutions. It is a mistake thus to force them to admit, at every turn, that they are being governed by a regime which they detest. At a sitting of the Chamber of Deputies, the Minister of Foreign Affairs declares that “the government of the republic,” not France, is negotiating this or that matter. The Minister of the Interior is called upon to explain some rather high-handed measure against obstreperous agitators, and he informs the deputies that “the republic” will not permit laws to be broken with impunity. The Minister of Public Instruction presents a bill for the reorganization of the university system, and in his speech in its support dwells on “the solicitude of the republic for the education of the masses,” thus exciting the opposition of a third of the members of the Chamber. Some of the stormiest and most disgraceful scenes that have occurred in the Chamber of Deputies during the past twenty years are traceable to this foolish parading of the word republic. The republican party could cut the ground from under the feet of their opponents, and bring over thousands of fresh recruits to the new institutions if they would only speak less of the republic and more of France.[2]

Another grave error of the republic is its break with the Catholic Church. I have no space here to place the blame where it belongs. I wish simply to point out the lamentable fact that the whole powerful organization of Rome is arrayed against the present government of France. The danger from this source cannot be exaggerated. It has made the whole body of women enemies of the republic, and “a government which has the women against it is lost,” says Laboulaye. And if Cardinal Lavigerie and the Pope are, at the eleventh hour, coming around to the republic, is it to be wondered at that the Radicals declare that the Church is changing front for the purpose of capturing rather than supporting the republic?


Attacking the purse is quite as grave a mistake as attacking the religion of the thrifty, economical, and provident Frenchman. The financial policy of the republic is unpopular. The annual deficit and the increasing taxation are crying evils even more difficult to handle than are religious troubles, while conservative republican statesmen, like Senator Barthélémy Saint Hilaire, tell me that the national debt keeps on increasing at such a rate that the bankruptcy of France seems sure in the more or less distant future. The present tendency towards a high protective tariff is an attempt to bring money into the national treasury, and thus relieve the peasant and manufacturer not only from foreign competition, but from the disagreeable claims of the tax-gatherer.

The Alsace Lorraine imbroglio must, of course, be mentioned in any list of the dangers threatening the French republic. But it is not so dangerous as might appear at first blush, for, although it is quite true that a war with Germany, especially if it should terminate disastrously, would shake the republic to its foundations, and perhaps topple it to the ground, this same Alsace-Lorraine difficulty is, in home affairs, almost the only question in whose consideration all parties unite on the common ground of patriotism. A republican orator is sure to win the applause of the Right when he refers in eloquent terms to the “Lost Provinces,” “about which,” as Gambetta said, “a Frenchman should always think but say nothing.”

My picture is full of dark colors. But I do not think that I have exaggerated the faults and weaknesses of the third republic. But it should be borne in mind that in this brief paper I have dealt alone on the faults and weaknesses. If I were to go farther and examine the merits and strong points of the present government of France, I could easily prove that notwithstanding these faults and weaknesses, it is highly probable that the various royal and imperial pretenders, their children and their children’s children, will, live and die without ever being able to set up again in France the throne of the Capets or that of the Bonapartes.




Office-holding politicians who have heretofore led the people, are leading them now, until we, the hapless voters, find ourselves confronted with the following so-called issues, or rather absurdities:—

Protection with reciprocity—Republicanism.

Free trade with incidental protection—Democracy.

The Democratic ex-President and the Republican President are in perfect agreement on the question of remonetizing silver and many sub-leaders and able party newspapers on both sides are in accord with these two successors of Washington, and the sub-lieutenants pass the word around, “Do not discuss the silver question, it is an immaterial issue.”

These are the anomalous conditions of American politics stated in all seriousness as they appear to a layman.

A professional politician, even the man who hopes for future office, understands that real issues are things to be avoided, because he would rather placate than antagonize, and he needs friends and supporters, both in the nominating convention and at the polls; and he is in his best form when he can campaign without a real issue and help select his adversaries “in buckram and Kendall green” to have it out with, on the stump. He knows that a plump, simple issue would reach the average voter’s comprehension, and compel him to a simple “yes” or “no” that might blast his hopes, destroy this happy equilibrium of voting parties, and the trade of politics might actually go out of fashion. Pricked by his fears of all real issues, he becomes a genius in inventing handy apparent ones that are usually glittering nothings—impalpable shadows about which he can talk so learnedly by the life-time, and say nothing and mean nothing. So rapidly has this expert developed in our land of politics that one man shouts, “I am for tweedle-dum” and the other answers defiantly back, “I am for tweedle-dee,” and the “campaign of education” is on, the jockeys mounted, 571the race begins, and as the cloud of dust rises, “the greasy caps” fill the air. “Spotted Free Trade” is ridden by the “Old Flag”; “Revenue Only” by the “Screaming Eagle,” and the excited voter stakes his future hopes on “Flag” or “Eagle,” most probably as did his father before him.

It seems this is the wretched outcome of the hundred years of American education in politics—making of every man not only a sovereign, but a possible candidate for President. What is it all but a roaring farce? If we could forget that this is real government coupled with all the pains and penalties which are the heritage of ignorance, and not mere child’s play, then even serious intelligence might smile though commiserating the follies of grown men. Have we finally reached the condition tending toward national political dementia, or is there no meaning whatever attached any longer to the name of statesman?

Let us look a little further into the absurdities over which American statesmen are so vehemently wrangling. Our government assumes the old time function of all governments to make and regulate the currency or money for the transaction of business—a mere convenience for the measure of values in buying and selling—in another way a thing performing functions similar to the yard-stick in measuring, and the great statesmen are wrangling over the problem of what particular material that convenience shall be made. And our nation, through Congress and the President, is ever tinkering, changing, altering, and reversing regulations concerning this “value measurer”—this convenient representative of property, and the basis of all commerce, gold, silver, copper, nickel, and paper to-day, and on this basis contracts and multitudinous transactions are based; then apparently that confusion and ruin may follow, an act of Congress may be passed to-morrow changing the whole thing by demonetizing one or remonetizing the other; and the government finally opens a junk-shop, and is engaged actively in the “second-hand” trade, or is in sharp competition with the rag-picker. And our great political educators fall to wrangling about a proposition, that could be paralleled only by some phenomenal crank beating up recruits for a new party upon a platform that all yard-sticks must be made of hickory wood, and he shall be deemed a counterfeiter who dares to use any other, and the length of the yard-stick 572must be flexible so that “a yard shall always contain a yard’s worth of cloth.” The children open a play store, and there the legal tender for all goods is pins, where the size of the pin or the exact composition it is made of are never considered. There is, to my mind, no question but the children should teach our great statesmen some of the fundamentals of common sense. These are specimens of the economic problems evolved from our hundred years of voting experiment—the ripened fruit of self-government. Books and papers are filled with discussions of whether both gold and silver should be legal tender for debts or only gold. And the rank sophistries that mark the flood-tide of a campaign discussion either of this or the problem of taxation are surely to be considered among the curiosities of our civilization. Just why men should range themselves on respective party lines on these questions and shut their eyes to evils that are eating their way to the heart of government and that unchecked must end in common ruin, passes comprehension.

The organization of a powerful party machinery with the authority to discipline recalcitrant or discordant members is a natural outgrowth of our universal voting. The active politicians and place hunters will control the machine, and when office, and place are made glittering prizes, then comes the inevitable scramble, the selfishness, trampling the weak by the strong, corruption, chicanery, the unspeakable crimes, and finally the Pandora’s box is opened, and the swarming evils darken the heavens. Inferior men with greatest cunning and least scruples soon push their way to the front; all sight of good government is eventually lost, the Washingtons and Jeffersons in time disappear with a constantly increasing ratio from public life, and the end is the great Leaderless Mob and bloody chaos. Even at best our politicians and party publications sing in unison, all struggling to the same end, victory at the polls and the elimination, as far as possible, of real issues. Their quadrennial platforms are ever coming nearer and nearer together—not omitting a plank expressing “profound sympathy” with the poor, persecuted people of some part of the Old World. A large majority of the Democracy are openly in favor of free trade and free silver, while the average “favorite son” is only in favor of “reform” in tariff, and hence you can find 573men in favor of a prohibitory tariff calling themselves Democrats; while many of the lay members of the Republican party are the earnest advocates of free trade and free silver. If our statesmen do not use words to conceal ideas, then there is no question but that the rank and file, those caring nothing about the offices personally, are in advance of their leaders and party publications. Unfortunately the average voter studies the science of politics—good government,—only when thumb-screwed by bad legislation. When happy and revelling in plenty, this cunning thrift of politicians is good enough “statesmanship” for pretty much all of us; then we can really admire the brightness of the great “Magnetic” when he says, “Boys, I am a model high tarriffite, and in favor of reciprocity;” even the vitriolic ravings of the iridescent—sparkling phrases without ideas, torchlight jeremaids about the poor Southern negro, are all brilliant statesmanship; so long as the waters are smooth and prosperous, plenty is coming to everybody. But when the pinch of misgovernment comes in the form of the gaunt wolf then the people rise up, and without a “statesman” to lead, without a newspaper to educate, but with a holy wrath, crush out these official puppets. For at least sixteen years the unbiased intelligence of the Democratic party (not politicians) has been urging party leaders to take the bold stand for free trade. During the same time the Republican voters have urged their leaders to declare for “protection for protection’s sake.”

In 1888 the Republican Convention boldly challenged Democrats to the open issue of protection absolute versus free trade. The best voters on the other side were eager to pick up this gauge of battle, but their leaders, covert protectionists, and makeshift office seekers, bade them nay, and a Democratic “stump speech” in that campaign was a curiosity. Part first would demonstrate the infamy of all “protection” taxes; part second would demonstrate that the orator was in favor of “protection” to a certain degree. Thus handicapped, the Democratic office seekers fought out the long campaign and lost as they deserved. Happily for the country, because that victory convinced every Republican in the land, except the man of Maine, that the people wanted prohibitory tariffs, all foreign commerce destroyed, and that they honestly believed there was such a thing as “home 574markets” to be regulated by statute. And the “three Bow Street tailors in Congress” proceeded in all sincerity to carry out what they, in their simplicity, judged to be the instruction given by the people at the polls. The “great secretary” alone of the “smart” men of the land, understood the people in the ‘88 election better; he, it seems, well understood that “protection” carried to prohibition was the yawning grave of any party responsible for it without providing some loop-hole of escape in the burial ceremony, and this unequalled politician in the nick of time startled the country with the cry of “Reciprocity”—spotted free trade. His messmates turned upon him with objurgations deep, yet he had saved them from themselves, by the bold dash of a “plumed knight.” Had he been in the Kansas senator’s place, Kansas would have been again cajoled and humbugged into silence, and possibly have given an increase on its 82,000 Republican majority.

Mr. Blaine was constantly defeated in his ambition to be President. General Harrison was successful and fills the place that ex-officio makes him leader. He is nominally the party captain, while in truth there is more real power in one hand of his armor bearer than there is in the loins of the Executive. Now the author of the bill increasing taxes thinks he is on the road to the White House by campaigning Ohio on the beauties of protection—with reciprocity or “free trade in spots” left out entirely,—Blaine’s happiest invention and the only thing that will save “the Napoleon” if saved at all, from crushing defeat this Fall in his own State. The Democrats have put up against him Governor Campbell with the plankless platform of the “McKinley bill,” and an internal discussion on the silver question. Thus the two parties of that great State are marshalling in battle array their lines under banners that might be labelled “Tweedle-dum” and “Tweedle-dee.” The last Democratic President was a product of the long successes of the Republican party and its mistakes, chief among which was the covert act demonetizing silver in 1873. It brought its train of wrong and disaster to our nation; while the people were unconscious of the cause, yet they could feel the pangs, and results ripened in 1884 in the election of the Buffalo mayor. As President and as ex-President he is the natural party leader, but he has endorsed the monstrous act of 1873 575in regard to silver, the very mistake that chiefly made him President, and now should that bar forever the door of the White House to his re-entry therein, the result would not be one of the seven wonders of the world.

These happenings, so fresh and patent, remind one of the sworn testimony of an eminent general of the late war before the Senatorial Committee in describing the battle of Gettysburg: “After the lines are formed and fighting commences all is confusion and hap-hazard.” Apparently there is no science in statesmanship, and our politics are but a ruthless trampling on the simple maxims of political economy. These were the forces that secretly working through the patient years of misrule and folly caused to bloom and fruit in a night, this stalwart tribe of rural statesmen who so remorselessly struck down the Republican party in its State of largest majority, and so disfigured the fortunes of the master polytechnic orator. A hayseed sprouted and grown in a night like unto Jack’s beanstalk, and without leaders—all concert action mere incidents, the people marched to the polls in Kansas and amazed the world and themselves. The leaderless mobs met other leaderless mobs—that proved to be mere skeletons of organizations led and composed chiefly of wrangling, quarrelling, purposeless, and nearly idealess politicians. The leaderless mob was in profound earnest while the “statesmen” as usual were merely masquerading, with no other weapons of defence against attacks save that of Samson’s when he fought the Philistines—all jaw.

Politicians discuss with amazing brilliancy their beautiful issue of a little higher tariffs or a little lower tariffs, while the people bluntly talk of protection to the full, or absolute free trade. Politicians really enjoy having made gold the only money, and then talk learnedly about the government buying so much metal monthly and coining it, so that silver will be both money and not money, while the people talk about free silver or gold only.

These are the conditions existing on the only two national questions now under consideration. To a layman’s mind neither of them should have ever been made a national question at all. And men called “great statesmen” who have pushed aside all real economic questions worthy of consideration among civilized men, and forced these figments forward, are neither statesmen nor safe politicians. Look 576at them! Their discussion of tariffs is whether we must have higher or lower taxes per se. Their contentions on the money question are simply the vicious acts of Congress that are the same as if we should pass laws every two years changing the length of our yard-sticks. These are the great issues breeding our wonderful race of “great statesmen”—the mountain labored and the little mouse came forth.

There are vital questions that should, especially in our experimental voting government, be ever present to all our people for investigation and permanent settlement, to wit:—

How to turn back this stream of paternalism in government—the monster criminal, the murderer of the dead nations and civilizations, the river of woe flowing forever round the world.

How to make the best of governments by ever-lowering taxes?

How to perfect a “civil service” by burdening officials, lessening fees and salaries, abolishing patronage, and sealing salaries below the pay of similar private employ?

How to better education and thereby check this stream of “learned ignorance”?

How to reach the consummation of the best government because the least governed?

How to reform our judiciary until justice between men shall be nearly instantaneous and the next cheapest thing to air and water?

How to save the weak (the majority) from the strong and selfish?

How to be the freest and therefore the best people that have ever lived?

How to prevent crime and suffering by removing causes?

How to destroy this struggle for government employ, this passion to be a public parasite and live off of others’ toil?

How to make and regulate nearly all government institutions upon the principle of our postal system—self-supporting by the voluntary tax from those who use its powers or its offices?

How to eradicate all this flunkeyism that makes idols of office-holders—mere fetiches producing a species of the lowest order of hero-worship—a nation of snobs who can meanly admire mean things?


How to call out statesmen and abolish demagogues?

How to understand that real statesmen repeal and never enact?

How to prevent governments from inflicting upon the innocents unspeakable wrongs, under the monstrous plea that the few must suffer for the good of the many?

These and similar questions that are as deep as life itself, and that should come even to our little children in their romps and plays, the same as they learn to avoid the pit, or to fear a vicious dog, are the vital problems of mankind. These are questions essential to the preservation of life, and touching the progress of civilization; the natural economic problems that real statesmen should set before the people. Intelligent study and voting upon these and similar questions would give us real statesmen for present demagogues.

The average American is always more than satisfied with his perfect surroundings so long as he can point out his advantages over the wretched victims of paternalism in Europe. This is both a low and ignorant self-laudation. Of course, wretched though you may be, you are incomparably better off than the miserables of cruel Russia, because our national government could not possibly be as outrageous as is of necessity that of the Czar. It has taken many centuries to evolve such a monster cuttle-fish as the Russian government that has fastened its tentacles upon its millions of people, and is slowly crushing out their lives. This is but government paternalism full and ripe. Who shall say that if paternalism in this country goes on as it is to-day, growing and strengthening, the time is not coming when we no longer can boast over the people of the God-forsaken land? Mankind is much the same to-day and forever; so is government paternalism; once a foothold gained, it can only be washed out in blood. The Russians have been giving over their souls and their lives to their national fetich which has accepted their patriotic and contrite offerings, and is now leisurely devouring them. The ancient migrating barbarian when he camped at night, got his supper by cutting it out of the hams of the ox that had all day borne him and his load on the weary journey—he had to have his supper, and just so it is with Russian government. Just so it will be in any government when it is 578impossible longer for the Leaderless Mob to spring into existence and into power.

Therefore, rural statesmen, all hail! Grant it that one of your political measures is rank imbecility, your acts in exposing the essential knavery of our phenomenal humbugs are beautiful and full of goodness and wisdom. And your worst, in the face of all jibes, is so incomparably superior to those of the “great statesmen” that they may be esteemed actually respectable. When the two parties had become Leaderless Mobs, because even their fictions or absurd issues had reached a common point, then arose the people in the might of their Leaderless Mob, and turned the river into the Augean stables. Who is it anyhow of the “magnetic” tribe that may cast the first stone at the “haystack”? They simply broke party shackles and struck boldly for justice,—blindly it may be—as well it should be, because they could not well hit amiss. In this scramble and hurly-burly where is the “statesman” who can point to any similar act of his own in behalf of his fellow-man? Their most arrant follies at least are not mean compared to the “issues” as made up by our “great statesmen” of a little higher tax, or a little lower tax, or a frequent change in the money standard of the country.

It is time for intelligent men to tire of all this burlesque of politics and this solemn joke of calling it “great statesmanship,” that is breeding these ungainly toadies—squat and warty. A country is great only as her political institutions are good and wise—not merely when it is strong in numbers, large in acres, and swarming with politicians and parasites that are worshipped as great and good statesmen. That is not the kind of greatness of country that I hanker for very seriously. I would wish a better education for our children than we have had—one that would cure them of this disease of ignorance in politics, worship of demagogy and admiration of that cheap and nasty politics that is our national disease, and that is making on our body politic abhorrent warts and angry sores. The mistaken fanatics who are striving to put “God in the Constitution” are not to blame; they are the offspring of this growing paternalism, this fetich worship, this public education by these relays of “great statesmen.”




When Madame Blavatsky was on her way to found the Theosophical Society in India, I met her in London, at the house of an American family,—devout spiritualists. She had a reputation for picking up teapots from under her chair, and our hostess seemed somewhat disappointed that she did not accord me some miracle. Although nothing unusual occurred, Madame Blavatsky was herself sufficiently phenomenal to make the evening interesting. She was not then, 1878, so huge as she afterwards became, and was rather attractive. She was humorous, entertaining, affable; she had the air of a woman who had tried every experience,—the last person I should have suspected of interest in spiritual or other philosophy. We next heard of her as the high priestess of a new cult in India. Rumors reached London, where I was residing, that this new religion was spreading among the Hindus, giving much trouble to the missionaries, and that Madame Blavatsky was suspected of being in the pay of the Russian government. That way of meeting the new movement was silenced by threats of prosecuting any who should make personal charges against the leaders of Theosophy. It was presently reported that Madame Blavatsky had made converts of A. P. Sinnett, editor of the Pioneer of India, and Mr. Allan Hume, formerly connected with the Indian government. Presently Mr. Sinnett came to London, and gave us lectures in drawing-rooms on Theosophy. He expatiated on the wonders performed by Madame Blavatsky with the aid of certain “Mahatmas,” who by secret knowledge, had gained powers of prolonged existence, and of appearing in their “astral” forms at vast distances from their retreat in the Himalayas.

As I was contemplating a journey round the world, which would bring me to India, I asked Mr. Sinnett, in private conversation, whether I could make a pilgrimage to the abode of these mighty Mahatmas, and converse with them. “Do 580you mean?” he asked, “as you now converse with me?”—“Yes.”—“No.”—“Why not?”—“Oh, it would take too long to explain.” Thereafter I tried to find out something that would aid a practical investigation from Mr. Sinnett’s books, but found them uninstructive and sensational. In the autumn of the same year, I was in Australia, and found there a good deal of excitement about Theosophy. At Sydney, where spiritualists and secularists had formed a curious alliance, Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott were mentioned as grand personages,—she a countess, he a famous warrior of the United States army. The marvels they wrought were of only English size in Australia, but on the approach to India they loomed up in oriental magnitude. Madame had only to walk in any garden to pick brooches from flowers, and find rupees at will, like the fabled tree that yielded whatever was asked of it.

At length I reached the headquarters of Theosophy, at Adyar, some fifteen miles out of Madras, and not far from St. Thomé, where the doubting disciple left his footprints blood-stained on the spot of his martyrdom. Entering Madame’s park I passed the pasteboard carcasses of two blue elephants which had stood at the gateway on the occasion of a recent Theosophist anniversary. Through the large and leafy park, luxuriant with palm and mango, I drove up to the handsome mansion, with a growing suspicion that too much had been said of the sacrifices made by the New York journalist and the medium in founding their new religion. While awaiting Madame’s appearance, I sat in the veranda, on a cushioned sofa of fine Indian work, beside a table holding the newest books and magazines, receiving an impression of the charms with which self-sacrifice has been invested since the days of poor St. Thomas. Presently I was approached by a young Hindu, dreamy and picturesque, who said Madame Blavatsky would soon be with me. Next there advanced a youth who almost seemed an apparition; he proved to be a “lay chela,” and his snowy garment gave a saintly look to his delicate beauty. He sweetly apologized for not taking my offered hand, saying he was forbidden by his “Guru” (Mahatma) to shake hands, this being one of the conditions of his farther development.

Madame Blavatsky gave me a cordial welcome. She sent off my carriage, and urged me to pass the night. She had 581already been informed by our friend, Professor Smith, of Sydney University, that I was coming, and regretted Colonel Olcott’s absence. Her dress was the white gown, without belt, which makes a noon costume of Russian ladies in summer. Her manner was easy, her talk witty, and she disarmed prejudice by her impulsive candor. In addition to the two Hindus already mentioned, others joined us, among these Norendranath Sen, editor of the Indian Mirror, and relative of the Brahmo apostle Keshub Chunder Sen. All of them spoke good English. Another person present was W. T. Brown, an educated young Scotchman, and Dr. Hartmann, of Colorado. These young men, the Hindus especially, were eager to relate their marvellous experiences in receiving from the distant Mahatmas immediate answers to their letters. The letters, it was explained, were placed “in the shrine,” and I at once proposed to write a note, referring to some matter known to myself alone, in order to carry home evidence of the existence and knowledge of the Mahatmas.

“What a pity!” broke in Madame Blavatsky, who had not participated in the conversation, “only three days ago I was told by my Guru that the shrine must not be used for letters any more!”

“It has generally been my luck,” I said, perhaps betraying vexation. “For thirty years I have been unwearied in trying to test alleged phenomena, but have always happened to be a little too late or a little too early. I was assured that it would be otherwise here!”

The young Hindus had eagerly approved my proposal to test the Mahatma, and had evidently heard nothing of the prohibition. Madame Blavatsky, who betrayed no embarrassment whatever, presently arose, invited me to accompany her, and led me to a secluded room. Here she shut the door, lit a cigarette, offered me one, and sat serenely awaiting my next move. I told her that I had a sincere purpose in coming. Some of my valued friends were deeply interested in Theosophy. If extraordinary events were really occurring, none could be more ready to acknowledge them than myself. I had a congregation in London, and we were not afraid to recognize new facts if verified. “Now,” I said, “what do these rumors mean? I hear of your lifting teapots from beneath your chair, summoning lost jewels, conversing with Mahatmas a thousand miles away.”


“Your questions shall be answered,” said Madame Blavatsky. “You are a public teacher and ought to know the truth. It is glamour; people think they see what they do not see. That is the whole of it.”

I could not repress some homage to the sagacity of this unwitnessed confession. Forewarned that I was coming, Madame had received from her Guru a convenient prohibition against further use of the shrine as a post-office; and now, by one clever stroke, she altogether forestalled an inconvenient investigation. Obstruction to experiments, or evasion, would have been such confession as I could use. Failure to obtain phenomena that could be verified might subtly awaken skepticism in the simple-hearted Hindus around her. But this secret confession, which might be repudiated if necessary, raised my whole siege at once.[3] And the confession itself, while it admitted the unreality of the miracles, left a marvel,—namely, her power to cause the hallucinations. I remembered the legend of Glam, from whom came our word “glamour,” and had a droll feeling of being defeated, like Grettir, in the moment of his victory over that moonshine-giant. As says the Saga, “even as Glam fell a cloud was driven from the moon, and Glam said, Exceedingly eager hast thou sought to meet me, Grettir, but no wonder will it be deemed, though thou gettest no good hap of me.” Even so it proved lately, when I told my friend, Anne Besant, that Madame Blavatsky had admitted it was glamour. She reminded me of the power still left unexplained, to cast the glamour.

The remaining hours of my visit at Adyar were occupied with study of the subjects of Madame’s hypnotic powers,—as I supposed them to be. The young Hindus, with their refined faces and symbolical draperies, conveyed an impression of being like the magical mangoes which the jugglers evoke, looking at them from time to time to see how they are growing. There were phases of chelahood, with precise terms for each. I was invited to visit the shrine. It was in a small room, and stood against the wall, reaching nearly to the ceiling. It was decorated with mystical emblems and figures, 583and a breath of incense came when the doors were opened. The Hindus prostrated themselves on the floor, and hid their faces; it was explained as their oriental custom, but it is certainly favorable to Thaumaturgy. Two days afterwards I was told, being then at sea, that while we visited the shrine a mysterious bell had sounded. No such incident was mentioned at the time, and I felt quite sure that Madame Blavatsky and myself were the only persons present whose testimony would be trustworthy. The interior of the shrine was inlaid with metal work. There were various figures, Buddha being in the centre, and framed “portraits” of Mahatmas Koothoomi and Moria. Each portrait was about seven inches high, and if drawn, as I understood, by astral art, it may be hoped the process will remain occult. Koothoomi, who somewhat resembled an old London portrait I have of Rammohun Roy, holds a small barrel-shaped praying-machine on his head.

A considerable company surrounded the dinner table, and included one or two whom I had not seen. Madame Blavatsky was a genial hostess. When a disciple told some miraculous experience she would turn to me and say, “Now think of that!” She ate little, but smoked a cigarette during the repast. Late in the evening, as I insisted on leaving, she ordered her carriage for me, and promised me an astral apparition of herself after I should reach London. I did not find in Madame Blavatsky the coarseness of which I had heard, and suspect it is mainly due to a prejudice against ladies smoking.

Our ship between Madras and Calcutta was a floating epitome of the world. There were missionaries contending with pundits, and world travellers lazily amused by discussions involving the eternal welfare of the human race. But the disputes had a hollow and perfunctory sound, and the cultured Englishmen stood apart. Mozoomdar, of the Brahmo-Somaj, preached us an ordinary Unitarian sermon. In private he expressed to me a horror of Madame Blavatsky, but he did not appear to me possessed of such religious enthusiasm as Norendranath Sen, whom I had met at Adyar. The latter reproved me for wishing to see Madame Blavatsky’s wonders, instead of recognizing in Theosophy a movement that was saving India from being dragged into revolting dogmas called Christianity, its superstitions, discords, inhumanities. Even 584admitting that some delusions, or impositions, have been connected with the movement, they would pass away if liberal men did not make so much of them, and would help to develop Theosophy into a religion related to the devout and poetic genius of the oriental world. The words of this thoughtful Hindu impressed me much. I need only look about me on the ship to recognize the fact that the West is overturning the deities and altars of the East, but has no religion to give these instinctive worshippers. The scholarly English Church would appear to have become conscious of this, and is leaving the work of propagandism to vulgar and ignorant sects. There seems to be nothing offered the young Hindus graduated in the universities of India except a repulsive “Salvationism” on the one hand, and a cold Agnosticism on the other. I had conversed with a company of students at Madras, and found them hardly able to understand the interest with which I followed the processions of “idols” about the streets, such things being looked on by them much as a march of the Salvation Army might be regarded by Oxonians. They had little interest in Christianity, but some of them spoke reverently of Buddha, and probably Theosophy has done something to revive in India love for that long banished teacher.

On the whole, I found the little company in their beautiful retreat at Adyar becoming more and more picturesque in the distance. It seems a hard, precipitous fall from visions of Indra’s paradise to a materialistic world of predatory evolution. The youth at Adyar, dreaming of Mahatmas in mystical mountains, and evolving a natural supernaturalism, may be dwelling amid illusions; but, as Shakespeare tells us, our little life is rounded with a sleep,—a dreamland. If Madame Blavatsky had recovered Prospero’s buried wand, and amid the dry and dusty realism of our time raised for her followers a realm of faërie, beguiling them from scenes of falling temples and fading heavens, were it not cruel to break her wand, even though it be glamour? I remember at Concord, in my youth, a little controversy in which miracles were critically handled, some ladies present being distressed. Emerson had remained silent, and on our way home said, “After all it appears doubtful whether, when children are enjoying a play, one must tell them the scene is paint and pasteboard, and the fairy’s jewels but glass.”


So I bore away from Adyar a slight sprinkle of Madame Blavatsky’s moonshine. But it was rudely dispelled in Calcutta and Bombay, where the priestess had worn out her welcome by attempts at fraud. One of these instances was related by Mr. J. D. Broughton, a gentleman connected with the Indian government, to whom I carried a letter of introduction. Unwilling to accept any such fact without verification, I afterwards corresponded with those cognizant of the facts, and have before me now their letters establishing the statements of the following from Mr. Broughton.

“I was in Calcutta, and a friend was staying with me, Mr. H. Blanford, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and head of the Meteorological Department,—a practical man, not, I think, disposed to judge wrongly one way or the other. We both know Mrs. Gordon [a spiritualist] the lady to whom Mr. Eglinton [a spiritualist medium of London] wrote—or says he wrote—from the Vega, while at sea; and I am on friendly terms with her, as is Mr. Blanford to the best of my belief. She called at my house a day or two after the Vega had left Colombo, and produced a letter, an envelope, and two or three cards. The letter was from Mr. Eglinton. It was not in the envelope, but was attached to it by a string in the corner, which was passed through the corner of the cards. These cards had writing upon them, which we were told was the writing of Madame Blavatsky, then at Poona. The writing on the cards referred to the contents of the letter. The envelope had three crosses on the back of it. Mrs. Gordon stated that these letters had been brought to her the day before by what are called astral means, having been conveyed from the Vega, then on the way from Colombo to Aden, first to Poona, and then from Poona to her residence in Housah, a suburb of Calcutta. I have not the slightest doubt that Mrs. Gordon firmly believed this, and I am under the impression that she believes it still. Mr. Blanford and I, however, ventured to ask a few questions as to the circumstances under which the letters made their appearance at Housah, and the replies led us to form an opinion that the lady might have been imposed upon. The circumstances, which were, I believe, considered to amount to strong proof in favor of the astral theory, were published in a paper called Psychic Notes, in Calcutta.

“I wrote to my wife [who had travelled on the Vega to England] and sent this account to her. She replied that Mr. Eglinton had brought a letter to her [during the voyage] to be marked,—that it had a cross upon it, and that she had been asked to mark another or others, and that she did so, crossing the first cross.


“I will add that when my wife left Calcutta I accompanied her in a steam launch, and she embarked on board the Vega at Diamond Harbor. I was the bearer of a letter to Mr. Eglinton. It was given to me for him by Mrs. Gordon, I think, but I won’t be positive. I had known Mr. Eglinton; he was in the habit, when in Calcutta, of giving exhibitions of his powers in private houses, for a fee. He came to our house in this way, but nothing occurred; I think he considered it a failure.”

Mrs. Broughton writes that she was with her friend Mrs. Eddis when Eglinton brought the letter. Both ladies observed that the letter which Koothoomi was to convey across the sea contained no allusion to anything that had occurred since they left—nothing that might not have been written before they started. Instead of marking the envelope, for identification, in the way Eglinton suggested, she made his cross into an asterisk. But the envelope published in India to prove the power of Koothoomi was marked, as Eglinton had requested, with three separate crosses. All efforts to obtain explanation of the difference between the marks on the letter sent and the letter received were vain. In reply to my question Mr. Sinnett said, “All I can tell you now is that Mrs. Broughton acted very badly.” I was present when the Hon. Mrs. Pitt Rivers pressed Colonel Olcott for an explanation. He replied, “The tone of your question suggests collusion between the Theosophists of India and Mr. Eglinton. To such a charge I am, of course, dumb.” It was the only prudent answer he could make.

This incident lowered my idea of Madame Blavatsky’s powers. It was not clever to rest so much on the pliability of a “society lady” with whom she was unacquainted. I presently found that at Bombay she had failed in several performances, but was shielded by a theosophistical argument that mere jugglers never fail.[4] There was a pretty general feeling in Calcutta and Bombay that no glamour or magnetic mystery was needed for Madame Blavatsky’s thaumaturgy, which would soon collapse in Madras as elsewhere. Nearly the first thing I heard after reaching London (1884) was of that collapse. Mr. and Mrs. Coulomb, the former a 587skilled mechanic, had confessed at Madras that they had all along been assisting Madame Blavatsky in frauds; elaborate contrivances were discovered behind the shrine, and compromising letters written by the high priestess were produced. Madame Blavatsky declared that the contrivances were put in the shrine to ruin her; but Coulomb could have done that by a small mechanism, whereas the arrangements were extensive and expensive, requiring such time as must have assured detection, and money which he had not. The letters, mainly efforts to prevent the Coulombs from revealing the frauds, were pronounced forgeries; but no expert reading them can fail to perceive that to forge them would require a genius far beyond even that of Madame Blavatsky. The letters are brilliant, and Mrs. Coulomb is sometimes worsted in them. Mrs. Coulomb, after her confession, wrote me a long letter, which shows no trace of the style or ability disclosed in the Blavatsky letters. However, it was a sufficient confession that the Theosophists receded from a proposal to test all these things, including the handwriting of the letters, before a law court, for which the Coulombs were eager. The result was that Madame Blavatsky left India and established herself in London.

At the very time that I was at Adyar, and despite a certain repugnance to “occultism,” sympathetically appreciating the serene harmony of the Theosophists in their beautiful retreat amid the palms, the place was turbid with discord, Madame Blavatsky at one end of the table and the Coulombs at the other were even then in mortal combat. I have often marvelled at the self-possession of the woman under the suspended sword that presently fell.

The most curious thing about this turbaned Spiritualism is its development of the Koothoomi myth. I asked Sir W. W. Hunter, Gazetteer-General of India, and other orientalists, about the name of this alleged Mahatma, or Rabat, and they declared Koothoomi to be without analogies in any Hindu tongue, ancient or modern. I was assured on good authority that the name was originally “Cotthume,” and a mere mixture of Ol-cott and Hume, Madame Blavatsky’s principal adherents. Out of Madame’s jest was evolved this incredible being, who performed the part allotted to the aboriginal “John King” in America. Sumangala, chief priest of the Buddhist world, though not unfriendly to588 Theosophy, told me that it was a belief among them that there had been Rahats in the early world. I gathered from him and others that they are thought of as Enoch, Seth, Elias, etc., are in Christendom. The Coulomb story is that a pasteboard doll, with half-shrouded head, superimposed on the shoulders of Mr. Coulomb, himself orientally draped, moved about in the dusk at Adyar when an “astral” apparition was wanted. In an accession of conscience, Mrs. Coulomb, who is a Catholic, smashed the effigy. She says she had not cared much so long as Hindus only were cheated, because they believed such things anyway, but she could not stand it when European gentlemen and ladies were subjects of the imposture. Perhaps it was because of this moral “strike” that Koothoomi was not tried on me.

What will be the future of Theosophy? Its age of miracles has passed, and is more likely to be repudiated than renewed. It may easily be held that even if Madame Blavatsky was sometimes tempted, in the absence of her potent Guru, to satisfy the demand for signs and wonders with devices, she performed wonders not so explicable. In one of Madame Blavatsky’s letters to Mrs. Coulomb, she says, defiantly, “I have a thousand strings to my bow, and God Himself could not open the eyes of those who believe in me.” Elsewhere she quotes a letter she (Blavatsky) has from Colonel Olcott, saying: “If Madame Coulomb, who has undeniably helped you in some phenomena, for she told this to me herself, were to proclaim it on the top of the roof, it would change nothing in my knowledge, and that of Dr. Hartmann, Brown, Sinnett, Hume, and so many others, in the appreciation of Theosophy and their veneration for the brothers. You alone would suffer. For even if you yourself were to tell me that the Mahatmas do not exist, and that you have tricked in every phenomenon produced by you, I would answer you that you lie, for we know the Mahatmas, and know that you cannot—no more than a fly on the moon—have produced certain of the best of your phenomena.” It should be stated here that, in the whole correspondence revealed by Mrs. Coulomb, Colonel Olcott appears as the dupe of Madame Blavatsky, and in no case accessory to imposture unless by an amazing credulity.

We may assume that Colonel Olcott will continue his propaganda, and it remains only to consider what vitality 589there is in Theosophy, apart from its “occultism,” and what competency its leader has for such work. I gathered up in India a number of Colonel Olcott’s addresses, circulated in cheap form, and find them much like “The Veiled Isis” ascribed to Madame Blavatsky. They contain a medley of Buddhist, Brahmanic, and Zoroastrian traditions, interpreted in a mystical and moral way, the only thing systematic being a Buddhist catechism. This catechism was printed by the favor of a Singhalese lady, and approved, for use in schools, by the Buddhist high priest Sumangala. Colonel Olcott’s theosophy on the negative side aims to combine all oriental religions against Christianity. He has not “any belief in, or connection with, Christianity in any form whatsoever.” (Theosophy and Buddhism, p. 2.) But he maintains the oriental philosophies, and to some extent the mythologies, of eras corresponding to the discredited biblical doctrines and legends. It is not, indeed, a literal restoration; but no esoteric interpretation can make it very different from an attempt to rationalize for Europeans ancient Druidism, or for Americans Aztec fables and symbolism. This kind of revival appeals in a certain way to the Rajahs whom English rule has reduced to antiquarian curiosities; they too are survivals from primitive religious and social systems. Colonel Olcott had patrons among the Rajahs who used to send elephants to meet him, and entertain him in their palaces. But young India is not going that way. English freedom and English colleges have emancipated Hindu youth, and they look upon the cruel idolatry under which their fathers groaned as Colonel Olcott does on the Puritanism he fiercely denounces.

But if Colonel Olcott should give up his Rajahs and elephants, and fix his headquarters in Ceylon, there would be, I believe, fair prospect of a fruitful alliance of Theosophy with Buddhism. In this island, now the centre of the Buddhist world, I found Madame Blavatsky comparatively unimportant, the great personage being Colonel Olcott. The Buddhists are a mild, speculative, unambitious people, easily overborne by the aggressive missionaries, and were without any leader to defend their rights before Olcott came. He came to their rescue in a case where their procession was attacked by Catholics, while enshrining relics of Buddha,—the Catholics thinking it a mockery of their own processions. Colonel Olcott appealed to the government and obtained redress. The Catholics (Portuguese)590 presently found some holy well, pointed out, I believe, by a vision, where ailing pilgrims were said to be healed,—among these a number of Buddhists who were deserting their temples. Colonel Olcott announced that he would try and heal sufferers in the name of Buddha, and it is said his success quite eclipsed the holy well. Several eminent Buddhists told me that he had healed members of their families. He is a robust man, of powerful will, and in these days of hypnotism his influence over the most passive of people may appear less wonderful to us than to them. No Christian was found willing to meet him in debate. By lectures, in which Ingersollism blends with Arnold’s “Light of Asia,” the Colonel brought about a sort of Buddhist revival. The Singhalese saw the Theosophists as wise men from the West, bringing frankincense and myrrh to the cradle of their prophet. Although their high priest, Sumangala, expressed disbelief in the Mahatmas, he valued the services of Colonel Olcott. He was especially moved by a request from this American for his permission to administer the pansala to another American. The ceremony took place at Madras. The two Americans, amid a crowd of witnesses, went through formulas unheard there since the ancient banishment of the Buddhists. “I take refuge in Buddha! I take refuge in religion! I take refuge in Truth!” The Colorado doctor (Hartmann) pledged observance of the Five Precepts (pansala): abstinence from theft, lying, taking life, intoxicating drink, adultery. All of this has profoundly impressed the Buddhist world, but that is a world of humble people. It remains to be seen whether Theosophy, which has hitherto shown an affection for titles in India and London, is willing to take its place beside Buddha under his Bo tree, and share the lowliness of his followers. This may be rather hard after the rapid success of Theosophy in India, where in four years from its foundation (1879) it counted seventy-seven flourishing branches; but these are withering away under the Blavatsky scandals, and if Theosophy is to live it must “take refuge in Buddha!”




The usually very liberal and skeptical Reverend Minot J. Savage has become astonishingly, and it may be prematurely, certain on one subject. In The Arena for August (p. 321) he declares that, “Nationalism, freely chosen, would be the murder of liberty, and social suicide.” To which the usually impartial editor cries Amen, thus:—

“I most heartily and cordially endorse Mr. Savage’s position.” For this sudden and decisive foreclosure of the future and of The Arena upon Nationalism the world was not prepared. We enter a protest and an appeal! Able “Gladiators are ready to fight for it,” with aid and sympathy from the leading reformers—the world over. The contest has hardly begun. A Bunker Hill or a Bull Run does not end the war.

He who opened an Arena must keep it open, and like “the God of battles” wait for the best cause to win.

Suppose it be found, as we propose to begin to show here and now, that Nationalism, under the laws of Sociology, is not the murder, but in fact and theory, the only condition of liberty, and the only way out from social suicide,—what then? Would it not have been better for The Arena to have been kept open, as if by the aforesaid Deity, with a level head and a stiff and silent upper lip?

For the Reverend and exultant Mr. Savage his exasperating situation is his excuse. For, with the inbred and lethal instinct of a Theolog he was put upon the trail of a brother Theolog to bring in his scalp. To return without some scalp would be a disgrace. But on coming up with his reverend brother Bellamy, instead of finding him ready for fight or “treed, like Capt. Scott’s coon,” he finds him already down and explaining in the blandest style: That, whereas, “this difficulty” was a secular one, not at all theological, but quite within the bounds of “the Knowable,” there was really no necessity for one brother to scalp the other, although both 592were clergymen. He even proposed ways by which the manifest benefit of both, and of all, could be secured if they should hunt together, being sure to go no further than such benefit justified. But an accommodation was just what the Reverend Savage was not out to find. Shaking his war feathers, he says, “You are too fair,—I must kill you, or something, though it may be ‘cruelty to animals.’ Stop,—I sniff ‘paternalism’! It must be you or yours!” And without waiting for an answer he bangs away at that old skunk which hasn’t a friend on this side of the world. Then, inflamed by smell of powder, blood, or something worse, he goes it wild, mistakes even the good social domestic animals for wild beasts, and his reverend friend as their protector. His slaughter of these purely imaginary enemies is accompanied by a self-approving wit, which only exhales when, as Mephisto says, the Parson and Comedian are happily combined, and inspire each other. But, alas! neither prayers nor laughter can settle the industrial and political difficulties of our day. They may do, and are doing, much to prevent such settlement, which must come from people who do not live in another world, and therefore are not free to ignore or to make a joke of this. There is hope, therefore, when our reverend friend “ties his legs,” and in his said article settles down to steady numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4. For by them, we can at least get hold of him, and all points in his prior antics can be thereunder disposed of.

He delivers his first fire, thus:—

“1. The world began in Socialism. In the barbaric period the tribe was all, the individual nothing. Every step of human progress has kept pace with the rise of the individual.”

Most true! But that is half of the truth. If you had told the other half your article could not have been written, for it would have been answered beforehand from a to z. The other half is: That the rise of the individual has always been because of, and the result of, the concomitant and ever-increasing Socialism. The two have ever gone, and must ever go, hand in hand. Integration is the inevitable counterpart of individuation.

This is the fundamental law of history and Sociology, recognized the world over, as much as the law of gravitation. To blink it, is to go wild or blind. This is the law of progress upon which all human affairs expand, and there is 593scarcely a difference in wording it. For instance, in the last book out on “Economics,”—that of Prof. George Gunton, he says (p. 22): “Progress is an integrating differentiation. Only that differentiation is progressive which results in new integrations and greater complexity of social relations.” Comte’s, and Fiske’s, and Herbert Spencer’s statements of the same law are the same in substance, but too well known to quote here. So Professor Huxley in his “Administrative Nihilism,” Henry George in “Social Problems,” and indeed pretty much everybody who touches the subject, except Mr. Savage. He, however, has the grace to admit that “The world began in Socialism,”—and, by the law referred to, it will continue in an ever-enlarging, integrating Socialism, till the rise of “the complete individual” will result. Yes, man’s origin was social; from the “Social Anthropoids,”—says Professor Huxley; and to omit the continuance of this social fact and law in sociology is worse than talking pre-Copernican astronomy. That should be left to our metaphysical anarchists, who chatter as if man was a solitarily created “Adam,” defying the social “compact” of Rousseau, or dickering as to the terms upon which he will “come in.”

From Henry C. Carey’s noble work, “Social Science,” Americans should have heard, if not read, enough of this law of enlarging integration never to forget it, or to let those address them who have. He illustrates it not only by human history, but by the fundamental law of biology from Oken, Goethe, and the evolutionists generally. This application has been continued by them to the present day; the last instance I noticed is that of Prof. Ernst Hæckel, translated in Dr. Paul Carus’ late work, “The Soul of Man.” This law measures the progress of organisms from the homogeneous jelly-fish to the complex elephant or man; from the savage tribe to the Roman Empire, or the future “Federation of Mankind and Parliament of the World.” Integration is the mother, nurse, and protector of the individual.

In history and politics this law stands, however expressed or applied, as the door which opens to the mental vision, the river of human evolution and progress,—a sight grander far than Niagara. Those who see not this fact, law, vision!—are socially blind.

In industrial and economic evolution the same law of progress holds. The tribal homogeneous industry, when 594one man did work at everything, became heterogeneous, special, and complex, as society enlarged and advanced into higher integrations, and as the life of the individual became more and more advanced through Fetichism, Polytheism, Monotheism, to our modern inception of Humanism.

Do you stop this lecture to say that all this is a truism—a “chestnut”?

Yes, but everybody who talks against Nationalism forgets it. So follow a step farther.

“People will buy where they can buy the cheapest.” But the cheapest can only result from the highest integration of capital, machinery, labor, intellect, and means of wholesale production. Thus industrial integration and progressive civilization, where the people can have the means of a higher life, are indispensable parts and complements of each other. But the result and the difficulty is, that while the people get their travel, oil, sugar, and necessities of life cheaper and better than ever, they become the dependents, wage-slaves, and political and social underlings of the industrial Feudal System which that integration of transporting and producing monopolies builds up. For, those who can and do combine to control the conditions of the people’s life and welfare have the people and their Republic in their power. Under the integration of the Roman Empire and Papacy the “Republic” was continued, but as a name only.

The lesson of history is, that Republics and Liberty always go down when the necessary integrations of civilization and progress, military or other, pass from the control of the people. In a word monopoly in war, politics, industry, or in any form of integration, has been the murder of Liberty, ending in social suicide. Nationalism proposes to prevent this murder and suicide under the law above stated, thus: Whenever the necessary transportation and production are integrated into monopolies beyond the power of competition to control them, then the people must control and operate them, or become the dependents of those who do. Such is the difficulty, the danger, and the remedy, concisely stated. Critics like Mr. Savage can only reply: “The difficulty does not exist; the remedy is worse than the disease; there is a better remedy.” But Mr. Savage admits the difficulty. In an evasive way he says, “the industrial condition of the world is not all that one could wish.” But he has no remedy, and concludes by 595saying the remedy proposed would kill the patient sooner than the disease. This is the diagnosis of an ostrich who tries to escape by burying his head in the sand. It simply abandons the patient and there is no solution, no health in that. Let our lecture proceed and see if there is not a scientific remedy.

“Capital is the condition of production and the controlling factor of modern civilization.” Those who control it are the masters of the world. The contest of the monopolists of this capital with the workers and producers, that is, the people, is a burning fever which can only end by the healthy triumph of the people. There is not a railroad, mine, or factory, where this is not the daily issue upon which an internecine war is being waged or smothered. In literature, religion, politics, economics, ethics, everything turns upon the relations of these contending parties, from the Pope’s Encyclical to the Platform of the People’s Party. When we speak of our age, as the age of iron, silver, gold, or of steam, electricity, intellect!—we simply say it is the age of integrated capital, material and mental. To destroy this capital is impossible, and if possible would be the suicide of civilization.

The question then urges upon us in every direction: Shall the people become the slaves of this capital, or its masters? The watchman on the towers of our Boston Zion who fails to see the gathering storm clouds seems strangely out of place, when we recall 1775 and 1861. Nationalism says, the “Conflict is irrepressible,” between labor and individualized capital; and that the conflict will be fatal to liberty, unless a remedy is found under the law of our national evolution. This remedy that law gives as follows: That the people must defend their liberties and “the rise of the individual,” against this industrial despotism of money kings, railroad barons, political bosses, etc., better than they defended themselves against the foreign tyrants in 1775, or the slaveocrats of 1861,—to-wit, by organizing an army for their peaceful protection and safety—A free Army of Industry—before an army for war shall be needed, and as its preventive.

But this name, “Army of Industry,” fills our peaceful Mr. Savage with horror—a remedy worse than the disease? For thus he lets off his second charge:—

“2. Military Socialism, such as Mr. Edward Bellamy advocates, would be only another name for universal despotism, in which the individual, if not an officer, would only count 596one in the ranks. It would be the paradise of officialism on the one hand, and helpless subordination on the other.”

Mr. Savage has been taking novels and poetry literally, and has gone into a fright at a ghost raised by his own excited imagination; or else, he makes an objection out of a figure of speech because hard up for a real one. Who does not see that an “industrial army” has nothing to do with a military army, or a military despotism, except to prevent both. There is no war, military compulsion, or “military” at all, in the army of peace. The word “army” is short poetry for the order, economy, punctuality, and reliable co-operation and co, not sub-ordination of the public administration of industries. Remember that we are in America, where this administration will be quite different from that proposed in Europe where the Revolution of 1776 was not, and where “government” is one of divine right, authority, and force, and covers the all of life from the cradle to the grave.

Nationalism is purely an American product, to be exercised as a popular benefit, and having no mainspring or motive power but that. It is the co-operation and co-ordination of equal partners, and while by a figure of speech fraternalism might be used to describe it, paternalism can never be properly so used. When Mr. Savage says, or implies otherwise, he is simply imposing upon, or trading upon an ignorance he ought to correct. He must know that the attempt to load up American Nationalism with European despotism, Paternalism, or even Socialism, is to bear false witness against his neighbor.

Before writing on this subject, he must have become acquainted with the late writings of Prof. Richard T. Ely, and The New Nation of Edward Bellamy, whose standing motto is: “The industrial system of a nation, as well as its political system, ought to be a government of the people, by the people, for the people.” And further it says (Aug. 1, p. 426): “This step necessarily implies that under the proposed national industrial system, the nation should be no respecter of persons in its industrial relations with its members, but that the law should be, as already it is in its political, judicial, and military organization,—from all equally; to all equally.” Equality, Fraternity, Liberty, are the words.

Pages with similar import can be cited from every exponent of Nationalism. It all means that our “government” will not be of force or of authoritarianism, but simply public 597conveniences and needs regularly secured, without being farmed out by franchise laws to monopolistic corporations for their benefit.

Notice further, that the extension of this government—action of the people is not to do nor to extend to everything nor to anything, but to the material needs and industries of the people, beginning with those natural monopolies like railroads and telegraphs, ending with trusts, etc., which have passed beyond competition. This simple limit makes the cry of “universal despotism” absurd. The tyranny and robbery of the few is simply abolished by the people, in equitably resuming the franchise granted by them, and doing the work for all cheaper and better. There is no tyranny to the few in this; and as to the many or all,—the tyranny of having things you want done for you is laughable. Our anarchists invariably submit to the tyranny of our free nationalized Brooklyn Bridge instead of swimming the river, or using the ferry company, as they are at full liberty to do. We had a hard fight to get this bridge, for it displaced monopolies. When the other monopolies, we have referred to, are displaced by the people, there will be the same wonder that their tyrannies and exactions were ever submitted to. We have found, and will find, that that government is the best which serves and administers the most, for it will cost and restrain the least. The government that serves and protects the people will not need to compel them. Now its main business is to hold them down while they are being robbed.

But, says Mr. Savage, these advantages would be attended by a frightful “paradise of officialism”—a helpless subordination—in which “the individual if not an officer would only count one!” We cannot appreciate the horror of having more of “a paradise” about officialism than we have in our present corrupt, inconstant, and servile system of political Bossism, even if the individual could only “count one.” But Mr. Savage does know, or ought to know, that the very first step of Nationalism is to nationalize our “politics,” so as to restore the initiative of political action to the people, and render the abuses to which he refers impossible. He seems to suppose that Nationalism is to be executed by Tammany Hall! Indeed, his capital as an opponent of Nationalism consists in loading it up with European paternalism and American political corruption, both of which it was invented 598to render impossible. Suppose the “politics” of New York were nationalized so that the City should no longer be a mere annex of Tammany Hall, but so that every citizen might “count one,” under legal provisions for the vote and expression of the people without regard to party or boss—who would be wronged? Politics must be annexed to our government by such legal provisions, instead of being left to boss monopoly or mobocracy. There is no freedom possible without a common law and order to ensure and protect it. The trouble is now that all of our politics are outside of any law or order. “Count one!” Even that is now impossible. We don’t count at all, no more than if we lived in Russia. But how many does Mr. Savage want an individual to count? His idea of political freedom seems to be that of our old “free” Fire Department, which was a monopoly entirely “voluntary.” It gave us a fire and free fight nearly every night, developed its “Big Six” Tweed into a “statesman,” and consolidated Tammany Hall into the model political “combine” of the world—as a monopoly. The custom is to dispose of the offices of the people as profitably as it can with safety, and to divide the proceeds for the benefit of the combine. One of our purest and best judges publishes his last contribution as $10,000, besides his other election expenses. This is the model to which the State and Nation must conform, for such is the condition of success. Under that plan Governor Hill manages the State of New York, and President Harrison, through “Boss” Platt, has just removed Collector Erhardt from the New York custom house, under the imperative necessity of the same method.

As long as our Government is run by partisan politics, outside of law, there is no other alternative but this way or defeat. The pretence, under this method, of civil service reform or fair tenure is sheer hypocrisy. The Tammany method is the only condition of success, and every practical politician knows it and adopts it. Nationalism proposes the only remedy. It would remove every department from political control, and restore the political initiative to the people by requiring their common action under general laws for that purpose, and suppressing as criminal the Boss conspiracy system, which causes the counting of less than one by anyone. Do you say it cannot be done? Well! look at that Fire Department. The indignation of “the State”599 finally replaced it by a paid civil service, “nationalized” department. Since then our fire affairs have run cheaply, effectively, smoothly, though in a most trying environment. Fires seldom occur, and seldom extend beyond the building in which they occur. The old abuses, political and other, have stopped. The men, appointed and promoted for merit, are highly respected and secured against causeless removal, accident, sickness, and old age. “Helpless subordination” ended by an appeal to the law which gave prompt redress. The heads of the departments and the officers count one and the attempt to count more would be an assumption not submitted to for a moment, for no one needs to submit. Extend this method mutatis mutandis over our Cities, States, and Nation, and also over legalized political election departments for the whole people,—and the nail will be hit on the head! The last nail in the coffin of party monopoly and corruption.

To excuse himself from not aiding this reform Mr. Savage cries, visionary, unpracticable! Thus he says:—

“3. Nobody is ready to talk definitely about any other kind of Nationalism [“Military Socialism” meaning], for nobody has outlined any working method. If it is only what everybody freely wishes done,—and this seems to be the Rev. Francis Bellamy’s idea—then, it is hard to distinguish it from individualism. At any rate it is not yet clear enough to be clearly discussed.”

All this shows Mr. Savage to be strangely misinformed. The Rev. Francis Bellamy is right. Every impartial person does want the kind of Nationalism Nationalists are after, as soon as their minds are disabused of this foolish talk about military despotism, and helpless subordination, etc., for every one can see that it works for the liberty, equality, and welfare of all.

Misinformed, is the word for Mr. Savage. For if he had kept but one eye on this world, as Humboldt said every well regulated chameleon and priest is in the habit of doing, he would have known that every word of this “No. 3,” above quoted, is exactly wrong: To wit: The other kind of Nationalism, which is not military despotism, has not only been definitely talked about but definitely put in practice, not only in the New York Fire Department, but in our schools, roads, canals, waterworks, post-office, and in many other ways the world over! And never (“hardly ever”) has monopoly been able to recover its chance to tyrannize and rob!


“No definite talk”! Yet our present Postmaster-General is asking Congress for the postal telegraph; and the Interstate Commerce Law is to be made practical to head off the People’s Party? Let Mr. Savage pick up the very same August ARENA which contains his article, and read the clear and definite articles of C. Wood Davis, “Should the Nation own the Railways?” and of R. B. Hassell, on “Money at Cost,” and then tell the Editor with a straight face that they are not “clear enough to be clearly discussed!” The facts, laws, and arguments are definitely there, and clearly discussed. Why have we not the discerning eyes and impartial brains of Mr. Savage to read them?

We ask Mr. Savage to bring such eyes and brains to bear, and we defy him to show any other plan by which the fatal monopolies, which are natural or beyond competition, can be usefully and safely checked, controlled, or destroyed. The attempts to do this by legal prosecutions have notoriously failed. How to replace monopolies and yet increase the benefits they have conferred is the question of our age, and Nationalism answers it. Mr. Savage, as we have shown, admits the difficulty. We are entitled then to a practical answer, or to silence. Ridicule, however witty, is neither answer nor remedy.

But instead of silence we have his amusing “fourth and lastly,” thus:—

“4. Nationalism, as commonly understood, could mean nothing else but the tyranny of the commonplace.”

The way in which Nationalism is commonly understood or misunderstood, is not the question; but how is it correctly understood,—that is the concern of every fair mind. When thus understood it seems to be just what Mr. Savage wants. For he agrees with Mr. Bellamy that if “it is only what everybody freely wishes done,” then it would be his “individualism” and all right. Thus he approves of democracy; for, he says, “it only looks after certain public affairs, while the main part of the life of the individual is free.” This is Nationalism to a dot! Yet he strangely concludes: “That Nationalism, freely chosen, would be the murder of Liberty, and social suicide.” But if “freely chosen” will it not be the same as his individualism? and what everybody wants,—and so all right? Such would be his democracy certainly, but then how can this Nationalism also “freely chosen” commit murder and suicide, 601and both at once? Strange! That certainly would not be the tyranny of the commonplace.

Neither would Nationalism in any correct sense be such tyranny; and for these reasons:—

1. Government would for the first time in the history of the world, evolve beyond paternalism. It would be industrial cooperative administration, for the equal benefit of all, protection of the liberty of all, and such defence and restraint only as these main objects require. Government would thus be the material foundation upon which liberty, originality, and the original—the uncommonplace—could stand and be protected. The key to liberty is the “separation of the temporal and spiritual powers;” but Nationalism does even more than that. It limits Government to the provision of the common needs of all, and then protects all, in the enjoyment of their “uncommon-place.” Read for instance the remarkable article of Oscar Wilde on “The Soul of Man under Socialism.” He expresses the feeling of the artists and poets of the world. They want Nationalism so that originality and free healthy development may at last have a chance,—and an audience. What the people need in order to become an audience is the same thing that originality needs, emancipation from drudgery and from the dependence of parasitism.

2. This emancipation can come only from the great saving of time and of waste by Nationalism; and the division of labor by which it will enable each to follow the occupation to which he is inclined, and to which he will be the best prepared by nature and education. Man is an active animal, and the condition of life is that of some work. Now the work is imposed by the tyranny of man and circumstances; then it will be rather a matter of choice. In the order instead of the anarchy of industry there will be some relief. To use the grand prophecy of Fourier:—

“When the series distributes the harmonies,

The attractions will determine the destinies.”

Given a material foundation for man and his education, so that he may have the mental and material means of acting his part, and continuing his development, then the individual will have inherited an environment in which life will be worth living, and which only the favored inherit now. Civilization will certainly have ever new demands in order to equate its 602ever changing conditions; and ambition, heroism, and originality will simply rise to newer and higher fields. The idea that the temporal state will not continue to encourage and protect liberty, genius, and originality is most absurd. That has been its general course against the sects and monopolists of religion and opinion which have ever been the persecutors. Mr. Savage throws down a queer jumble of names, viz.: “Homer, Virgil, Isaiah, Jesus, Dante, Shakespeare, Angelo, Copernicus, Galileo, Goethe, Luther, Servetus, Newton, Darwin, Spencer, and Galvani,”—and says, “consider them,” where would they have been before the “governing board” of Nationalism? We consider and answer: every one of them would have been free, and protected and encouraged in the exercise of his highest gifts.

Even under such defective government as then existed, each had its aid and support, and each was persecuted by the monopolistic sects and factions sure to get authority in the absence of some general temporal control, which is absolutely necessary for the purpose of protecting freedom of thought, of expression, and of action. From Homer’s chieftain, Virgil’s emperor, Goethe’s duke, on to the end of the list, we owe all they have done for us to the temporal governments of their time, with a possible exception of Spencer, more apparent than real. Even the Roman Pilate (if we are to take the reports?) let Jesus have a freedom to tramp and preach in Palestine that would not be allowed in Boston for a day, and then stood by him, and when compelled, by the unnationalized nature of his office, to give up to the Anthony Comstocks and the priestly Monopolists and Pharisees of that day, he nobly said, “I find no fault in him,” and publicly washed his hands of the whole bloody affair. So was it with Servetus. Temporal, much less a nationalized, Switzerland would have rescued him from the clutches of the Calvinistic monopoly of Geneva. “Toleration?” repeats Mr. Savage tauntingly. We reply, yes! We want a general temporal government which will protect liberty, and ensure that every priest, sect, fanatic, and phase of thought and opinion shall tolerate every other. This Nationalism only can do.

We insist, and have for years, that the government monopolies of opinions, morals, and force, farmed out to amateur societies of Comstocks and Pinkertons, should be withdrawn. If necessary to public safety, let power be exercised only by 603the government directly responsible to the people. It is this attempt to govern by monopolies in the interest of sects or industrial classes that gave rise to every one of the abuses to which the editor of The Arena has well called attention as “outrages of government.” They are only outrages of government by monopolies for monopolies, and which it is the fundamental condition and mission of Nationalism to end forever. In all these cases, and in every case, the advocates and apologists of Anarchy, or of Laissez-faire must not mistake their position, they are inevitably the allies of the oppressor. The integration of special classes, sects, and interests, is the natural law making “toleration” more and more impossible. The integral integration, then, of all for the equal support, and for the equal protection of all, in mutual harmony and progress, is the only condition of our liberty, peace, and safety. No rule in Arithmetic is plainer than this law of Sociology, and Nationalism is its expression.




In offering to the public my recollections of old play-bills I cannot be said to be travelling over familiar ground. For it is worthy of remark that while many bygone periods of theatrical history have found their chroniclers, their panegyrists, their enthusiastic remembrances, the space filled by the events of the Boston stage of 1852 to the present day has remained without a comprehensive survey, without a careful retrospect of its many notable and brilliant illustrations. To supply this void, to endeavor at once to preserve the memories of past grandeurs (already fading with the generation who enjoyed them), and to furnish to the younger portion of theatre-goers some conception of what the stage has been in its “palmy days,” I have employed my leisure in putting together this history of old play-bills. The changes which have overspread modern society, vast and manifold as they are admitted to be, are, perhaps, nowhere more perceptible than in the region known as the theatrical world. To one who has formed a link in that chain which formerly connected the higher ranks of society with the taste for dramatic art—with the cultivation of the beautiful and imaginative in both opera and drama—to such a one the contemplation of the altered relations now between the patrons of the drama and the ministers of art suggest many comparisons. The first stage performance I ever witnessed will not easily be forgotten. It took place in the Boston Museum in 1850; the plays were “Speed the Plough,” and a local drama (now happily banished from the stage) called “Rosina Meadows.” Thomas Comer, who was leader of the Museum orchestra, a gentleman, actor, and musician, took me under his charge and seated me in the orchestra near the bass-drum and cymbals, where I remained until the end of the performance. The time flew in unalloyed delight until the fatal green curtain shut out all hope of 605future enjoyment. William Warren, W. H. Sedley Smith, Louis Mestayer, J. A. Smith, Adelaide Phillips, Louisa Gann, who became the wife of Wulf Fries, the celebrated ‘cello player, residing in Boston, Mrs. Judah and Mr. and Mrs. Thoman, all of whom are dead with the exception of J. A. Smith, who is now an inmate of the Forrest Home in Holmesburg, Penn., and Mrs. Thoman, who was a charming actress, and for several seasons a great favorite with the Museum patrons. She was divorced from Thoman and became the wife of a Mr. Saunders, a lawyer residing in San Francisco, who died some years since. Mrs. Saunders is now living in the above city in retirement, and through the kindness of her cousin, Joseph Jefferson, is enjoying the ease of a genteel competence.

William Warren and Adelaide Phillips were the first performers who ever made a lasting impression upon me. William Warren, great as an artist and as a man. With pleasure do I pause from the record of events to present a description of the illustrious actor. He has now passed away, and to future generations the faithful description of one who delighted their fathers, and who can never be replaced, will surely prove welcome. He made his first appearance in Boston at the Howard Athenæum, Oct. 5, 1846, as Sir Lucius O’Trigger in the “Rivals” (the same character that W. J. Florence is now personating with the Jefferson combination). Mr. Warren remained at the Athenæum but one season, and during that time commanded the admiration of his audiences. Mr. Charles W. Hunt, a very good actor, had held the position of comedian at the Boston Museum for several seasons, but owing to some misunderstanding, left the establishment. Mr. Warren was engaged to fill the vacancy, and on the night of the 23d of August, 1847, he made his first appearance on the stage of the Museum as Billy Lackaday in the old comedy of “Sweethearts and Wives,” and as Gregory Grizzle in the farce of “My Young Wife and Old Umbrella,” and from that time, with the exception of one year’s recession (1864-5) to the termination of the season of 1882-3, was a member of the Museum company. Thirty-six years is a long test applied to modern performers, and he that could pass such an ordeal of time, must possess merits of the very highest order, such as could supersede the call for novelty, and make void the fickleness of general applause.606 All this Warren effected. The public, so far from being wearied at the long-continued cry of Warren, elevated him, if possible, into greater favoritism yearly. But his place is not to be supplied. No other actor can half compensate his loss. Independent of his faculties as an actor, so great a lover was he of his art that he would undertake with delight a character far beneath his ability. Other actors will not condescend to do this or else fear to let themselves down by doing so. Warren had no timidities about assuming a lesser part, nor did he deem it condescension. Artists of questionable greatness may deem it a degradation to personate any save a leading part. Warren felt that he did not let himself down, he raised the character to his own elevation. From this it follows that no great actor within my recollection had undertaken such a variety of characters. He was found in every possible grade of representation. His acting forms a pleasant landing place in my memory. As I wander backward, no other actor has ever so completely exemplified my idea of what a genuine comedian ought to be. He gained the highest honors that could be bestowed upon him in Boston, and established his claim to be considered one of the most chaste and finished of American actors. From Sir Peter Teazle to John Peter Pillicoddy, from Jesse Rural to Slasher, from Haversack to Box and Cox, he was equally great and efficient. I have heard it remarked that the late W. Rufus Blake stood without a rival as Jesse Rural, while Henry Placide was the best of Sir Peter Teazles. Never having witnessed the performances of those gentlemen, I am unable to speak of their merits, as older writers have sounded their praises for a generation. Saturday, Oct. 28, 1882, was the fiftieth anniversary of Mr. Warren’s adoption of the stage. The entertainment consisted of an afternoon and evening performance. The “Heir at Law,” constituted the bill for the day performance, and “School for Scandal,” was given in the evening. It was impossible indeed for the arrangements to be more perfectly accomplished. The character of the audiences was even more gratifying than its numbers. Never had been such an assemblage in any theatre. A great number of elderly persons, both men and women, interspersed with the younger people, gave a beautiful shading to the amphitheatre picture, as it was seen from the boxes. It was a tribute of respect to one who had been so long the pride of607 Boston. As a matter of record I give the complete cast of the plays:—

Heir at Law.

Dr. PanglossWm. Warren
Dick DoulasChas. Barron
Zekiel HomespunGeorge Wilson
Daniel DoulasA. Hudson
KenrickJas. Nolan
SteadfastJ. Burrows
Henry MorelandJ. B. Mason
JohnFred Ham
WaiterJ. S. Maffitt, Jr.
Cicely HomespunAnnie Clarke
Deborah DoulasMrs. J. R. Vincent
Caroline DormerNorah Bartlett

School for Scandal.

Sir Peter TeazleWilliam Warren
Charles SurfaceChas. Barron
Joseph SurfaceGeo. Parks
Sir Oliver SurfaceA. Hudson
Sir BenjaminJ. B. Mason
CrabtreeGeo. Wilson
MosesWm. Seymour
CarelessGeo. C. Boniface, Jr.
RowleyJ. Burrows
TripJ. Nolan
SnakeF. Ham
Sir HarryJ. S. Maffit, Jr.
Servant to JosephA. R. Whytal
Servant to Lady SneerwellGeo. Cohill
Lady TeazleAnnie Clarke
Mrs. CandourMrs. Vincent
MarionNorah Bartlett
Lady SneerwellKate Ryan

Mr. Warren remained at the Museum during the entire season, and made his last appearance on any stage as old Eccles in “Caste,” in May, 1883. From that time to the day of his death, which sad event occurred Sept. 21, 1888, Mr. Warren made Boston his home, residing at No. 2 Bulfinch Place, the residence of Amelia Fisher, where he had lived since the departure of his cousin, Mrs. Thoman, for California, in 1854. Mr. Warren left property to the value of a quarter of a million dollars. He made no public bequests, but bequeathed his entire estate to his relatives. Who is there in Boston that has not heard of Miss Amelia Fisher, the “dear old lady” of Bulfinch Place, where she has lived so many years, and at whose hospitable board so many have been welcomed? Miss Fisher, accompanied by her sisters608 Jane, afterwards Mrs. Vernon, who was for many years the “first old woman” of the New York stage, and Clara, afterwards Mrs. Gaspard Maeder, married in America in 1827, and made her début at the Park Theatre, N. Y., singing a duet, “When a Little Farm We Keep,” with William Chapman. Miss Fisher was for several seasons attached to the Tremont Theatre in Boston, and although possessing respectable abilities both as singer and actress, never attained the prominent place in the profession accorded to her more talented sisters. Miss Fisher retired from the stage in 1841, and for some years was a teacher of dancing in Boston. For over thirty-seven years Miss Fisher has entertained at her home a swarm of dramatic celebrities. Here Mr. and Mrs. James W. Wallack, Charles Couldock, Peter Richings and his daughter Caroline, Mrs. John Hoey, and Fanny Morant, dined together where, in later days, Joseph Jefferson, George Honey (the celebrated English comedian), Ada Rehan, Annie Pixley, Mr. and Mrs. McKee Rankin, and Mr. and Mrs. Byron, ate their supper in the old kitchen, and were merry with wit and song. Since the death of Mr. Warren, Miss Fisher has not enjoyed good health, although her hospitable board is still surrounded by her friends and guests.

With the name of Adelaide Phillips there are many dear associations. When at seven or eight years of age I went to see her at the Boston Museum, the days she began to sing in “Cinderella” and the “Children of Cyprus.” How the old days rise up before me now. She was then in the spring of life, fresh, bright, and serene as a morning in May, perfect in form, her hands and her arms peculiarly graceful, and charming in her whole appearance. She seemed to speak and sing without effort or art. All was nature and harmony. Miss Phillips was a great favorite in Boston where she made her début at the Tremont Theatre in January, 1842, in the play of “Old and Young,” personating five characters, and introducing songs and dances. Although very youthful, she displayed great aptness and evinced remarkable musical talent. On the 25th of September, 1843, she first appeared on the boards of the Boston Museum, which then stood at the corner of Tremont and Bromfield Streets, where the Horticultural Hall now stands. The character which she assumed was Little Pickle in the “Spoiled Child.” At the opening of the present Museum, Nov. 2, 1846, Miss Phillips 609was attached to the company as actress-danseuse, and doing all the musical work necessary in the plays of that time. She was a most attractive member of the company, and as Morgiana (Forty Thieves), Lucy Bertram (Guy Mannering), Fairy of the Oak (Enchanted Beauty) was greatly admired. Her first decided success was as Cinderella. She was now about eighteen years of age, and the tones of her voice were rich and pure. She did not aim at “stage effect,” and her singing and acting were exquisite. At that time, 1850-51, Jenny Lind was in Boston. Miss Phillips was introduced and sang to her, and her singing was so brilliant, so ringing, so finished, that her hearer was astonished, and uttered exclamations of delight. The noble-hearted Jenny sent her a check for a thousand dollars, and a letter recommending Emanuel Garcia, who had been her own teacher, as the best instructor, and amid all the triumphs of her professional career, the affection and kindness which was showered upon her by Mlle. Lind, and her Boston friends, who came forward to show their willingness to aid Miss Phillips, was never effaced from her mind. After remaining abroad several years, she returned to Boston, appearing at the Boston Theatre Dec. 3, 1855, as Count Belino, in the opera of the “Devil’s Bridge,” supported by the popular favorite, Mrs. John Wood. She first appeared here in Italian opera a year later as Azucena in “Il Trovatore,” Madame La Grange being the Leonora. In this opera Miss Phillips was heard with great effect and never were her talents as an actress more conspicuously displayed. At the conclusion of the performance, the favorite singer received an ovation, applause rang through the theatre; the emotion which was evinced by her friends and admirers was evidently shared by herself. The character of Azucena remained a favorite one with Miss Phillips to the last. The characters in which she excelled were Maffio Orsini (Lucrezia Borgia), Rosina (Barber of Seville), and Leonora (Favorita). In 1879, she joined the Ideal Opera Company, and carried into it her vocal and dramatic culture. She continued with this company until December, 1881, when she made her last appearance on any stage in Cincinnati. Her last appearance in Boston was at the Museum, the home of her earlier triumphs, in the role of Fatinitza, a few months before her departure for the West in 1880. Ill health compelled her to 610relinquish all her engagements, and on the 12th of August, 1882, accompanied by her sister-in-law, Mrs. Adrian Phillips, who was the Arvilla in the early days of the Museum, sailed for Paris. After a few days’ rest in that city, they reached Carlsbad, and took apartments at Konig’s Villa, a pension for invalids. A few weeks thus passed until suddenly, on Oct. 3, 1882, the change came, and Adelaide Phillips was gone. The death of this gifted and good woman produced a painful sensation in Boston, and, indeed, all over the country she was deeply regretted. In private life she was amiable and kind-hearted, ever ready to assist the distressed. By her family and friends she was idolized, by the public she was respected for the purity of her life, and admired for her talents. Herewith I give a copy of the “bill” of Miss Phillips’ last benefit at the Museum, prior to her departure for Europe.


Farewell Benefit of Miss Adelaide Phillips.

Re-engagement of the eminent artists, Mr. Charles
and Mrs. Barrett.

Friday Evening, June 27, 1851.

The Honeymoon.

Duke AranzaC. D. Pitt
RolandoL. Mestayer
JacquesW. Warren
LampedoJ. W. Thoman
CountJ. A. Smith
BalthazarJ. L. Monroe
LopezG. H. Finn
CampilloA. Bradley
LupezS. F. Palmer
JulianaMrs. Barrett
VolanteMrs. Thoman
ZamoraMiss Adelaide Phillips
In which she will sing “Ah, What Full Delight,” from the opera of the “Bohemian Girl.”
HostessMiss Rees

Fancy dance  —  Miss Arvilla.
Comic dance  —  Masters Adrian and Fred Phillips.

Conclude with

The Swiss Cottage.

Corporal MaxL. Mestayer
Nat. TickW. Warren
LisetteMiss Adelaide Phillips
In which she will sing “France, I Adore Thee,” and “Liberty for Me.”


A great attraction in Boston, way back in the fifties, was Anna Cora Mowatt. Her engagements were always very successful, the theatre being crowded with fashionable and intelligent audiences. Mrs. Mowatt was not a great actress. Delicacy was her most marked characteristic. “A subdued earnestness of manner, a soft musical voice, a winning witchery of enunciation, and indeed an almost perfect combination of beauty, grace, and refinement fitted her for a class of characters in which other actresses were incapable of excelling.” Mrs. Mowatt was born at Bordeaux, France, during the temporary residence there of her parents about 1820. She married very young, and for a short time enjoyed every luxury that wealth could purchase. Her husband’s bankruptcy drove her to the stage, where she made her first appearance at the Park Theatre as Pauline, in “Lady of Lyons,” June 13, 1845. Her engagements here in Boston were played at the Howard Athenæum, then under the management of Mr. Wyzeman Marshall, who still lives, and can be seen upon the principal streets of Boston almost daily. The “houses” were very large, tickets being sold at public auction. At the termination of her engagement she was serenaded at the hotel, and throughout the country she met with the same flattering reception. Mrs. Mowatt’s favorite roles were Viola, Rosalind, and Parthenia, characters now fresh in the public mind, made so by Miss Julia Marlowe. Mrs. Mowatt made her last appearance on the stage at Niblo’s Theatre, N. Y., on the 3d of June, 1854. On the 7th of that month she became the wife of W. F. Ritchie. Mrs. Ritchie died in Paris a few years since, where she was much regretted by the social circle of which she was the admired star.

In 1852, at the National Theatre, which was situated on Portland Street, Charlotte Cushman commenced her farewell to the stage in the tragedy of “Romeo and Juliet.” Charlotte Cushman was now at the summit of her art. She was universally allowed to be the greatest tragedienne of the day. And this recognition was due to her fine genius. She owed nothing to artifice or meretricious attraction. Nothing was left to chance, for the indomitable spirit and zealousness with which she had sustained herself under adverse circumstances had done not a little to elevate her in the regard of her countrymen and admirers. This was the first of a series 612of “farewell engagements,” inaugurated by Miss Cushman, and continued to her real and positive farewell in 1875.

I have always had an objection to ladies personating Romeo, but I waived that feeling in favor of Miss Cushman. Her personation of Romeo was beautiful and even pathetic. The passionate grief of young Montague in the third act was subdued by a tearful pathos. Nothing could surpass her reading of the character: it was a triumph, and in a word it would be difficult to conceive anything more grand than this impersonation. It is difficult to conceive a character more highly dramatic or more impassioned than that of Lady Macbeth. The conflicts, emotions, and power of the ambitious queen were portrayed with a truth, a grandeur of effect, unequalled since by any actress. Miss Cushman’s impersonation of Meg Merriles was one of the finest illustrations of originality the stage ever witnessed. There was no effort to resemble the character. She entered the stage the character itself, transposed into the situation, excited by hope and fear, breathing the life and the spirit of the being she represented. In my opinion, when Charlotte Cushman died, so did Meg Merriles, and it will be many a day before the old gipsy queen will produce that indescribable effect upon an audience, as in the days of Cushman. At the Boston Theatre, June 2, 1858, Miss Cushman as Romeo, her farewell to the stage. At the same theatre, in 1860, another farewell, Miss Cushman as Romeo, who with the aid of Mrs. Barrow as Juliet, John Gilbert as Friar Laurence, and Mrs. John Gilbert as the nurse, made up a very strong cast. Here, at the Howard Athenæum in 1861, then under the management of that talented actor (who, by the way, was the best Hamlet I ever saw,) Edgar L. Davenport, Miss Cushman was announced April 11, 1861, positively her last night in Boston, when Romeo and Juliet was given with a remarkable cast. E. L. Davenport was the Mercutio, John Gilbert the Friar, John McCullough, Tybalt, Frank Hardenbergh, Prince Esculus, Dan Setchell, Peter, W. J. Le Moyne, Capulet, Miss Josephine Orton (a very brilliant actress, and now the wife of Benj. E. Woolf, of the Saturday Evening Gazette), Juliet, Mrs. John Gilbert as the nurse (she had no superior in this role), and Charlotte Cushman as Romeo, truly a fine array of talent, all of whom have passed away with the exception of Miss Orton and Mr. Le613 Moyne. This was Miss Cushman’s last performance of Romeo in Boston. In the spring of 1875, Miss Cushman played another farewell engagement, which proved in truth a reality. It was at the Globe Theatre, and Saturday, May 15, 1875, was announced as Miss Cushman’s farewell to the stage. Macbeth was the play, with Miss Cushman as Lady Macbeth. As an event worth remembering, I give the complete cast:—

MacbethD. W. Waller
MacduffG. B. Waldron
BanquoChas. Fyffe
MalcolmLin Harris
DuncanJames Dunn
PhysicianC. Pierson
Drunken PorterE. Coleman
RosseS. Clarke
SeyterG. Conner
SergeantJohn Connor
DonaldbainMiss Wilkes
1st WitchE. Coleman
2d WitchMrs. A. Hayes
3d WitchJ. H. Connor
GentlewomanMiss Athena

A most inefficient company, exceedingly weak in the masculine department, while the actresses were barely tolerable. The highest anticipations of a brilliant engagement had been indulged in by the management, and bitter was their disappointment, and great the chagrin of Miss Cushman to find that this “positively farewell engagement” failed to create anything of a furore. The public had been so often deceived by these announcements, that they failed to respond to the box office. In this special performance of “Macbeth,” Miss Cushman was hailed with prolonged acclamations. Old admirers were there who still recollected her when she was the greatest ornament of the stage. Younger ones assembled to catch the last rays of a genius which had filled Europe and America with its splendor. The former sought this memory of days gone by, the latter came to pay deference to the verdict of a previous generation. At the close of the performance Miss Cushman was called to the footlights, there to receive the tribute due to her name and fame from the not over large audience. The spectacle was interesting, yet it was melancholy, not to say painful, to all who could feel with true artistic sympathy. Her last appearance was soon forgotten in the turmoil of dramatic events, but her 614name still gleams with traditional lustre in the annals of dramatic fame. Miss Cushman never again appeared in Boston, for on the 18th day of February, 1876, she breathed her last at the Parker House, Boston. Her funeral took place at King’s Chapel, in presence of a large concourse of people, and her body rests in Mount Auburn. Miss Cushman was a very wealthy woman, but her generosities were not numerous; even the little Cushman school, named in her honor, was forgotten in her will. Her relatives (nephews and nieces) reside, I believe, in Newport, R. I., and are the sole possessors of her large estate. I omitted to mention that Charlotte Cushman’s last appearance in public was as a reader in Easton, Penn., June 2, 1875.




When the microscope was first invented, it was regarded as a mere accessory, a plaything, an unnecessary addition, and an imposition upon the medical profession and upon the public in general. But since 1840, when the European oculists and scientists began to make microscopical researches and investigations, not only in the medical profession, but also in botanical and geological studies, etc., and since 1870, when, throughout the civilized world, the microscope came into general use in chemical analysis and other studies, it ceased to be considered an accessory, and is now regarded as an extremely necessary apparatus, especially in minute examinations and investigations; also in the advancement of every branch of science and art.

Had Galen, Celsus, Hippocrates, and the other great scientists of old, known the use of the microscope, they would have made no such grave blunders as in the advocation of the theory that the arteries of the human body contain and carry air during life, instead of oxygenized blood only. They were of the erroneous opinion that the blood stayed in the extremities, not to nourish and sustain the tissues, but simply to act as a humor in lubricating the same (tissues).

Then, again, had it not been for the microscope, the great English surgeon and physician, James Paget, would not have discovered that deadly parasite, the trichina-spiralis, which had already slaughtered thousands upon thousands of human beings. And yet the existence of trichina-spiralis may be dated as far back as the time of Moses, who even then advocated prohibition of the use of pork as a food, and who considered pork not only an unwholesome food, but dangerous and even poisonous.

The microscope is certainly the best friend that a scientist can have. A physician without a microscope is like a man 616without eyes: he is uncertain and unprotected and must be considered incompetent, simply because he cannot arrive at a correct and positive conclusion in diagnosing and prognosing his case.

The value of the microscope cannot be overestimated, at least in the examination of the sputa of a human being, and thus being able to state positively whether or not the man is suffering from consumption (Tuberculosis). How important it is to be able to state with certainty at an early date whether or not the patient is suffering from cancer of the stomach, by examining the vomits microscopically.

The microscope is composed of a simply constructed horse-shoe or tripod base with a column, tube, reflector, and lenses of different magnifying powers, ranging from one to five thousand diameters. It is a most extraordinary and at the same time a most simple apparatus, an invaluable instrument, whose use any person with a little skill can learn in a few hours’ practice.

Much has already been published of late years concerning the microscope applied in a medico-legal sense (examinations). This surely is a very broad field and much remains for future observation and investigation. Everything that concerns medical examinations in a legal sense or legal examinations in a medical sense can be facilitated and accurately determined by the use of the microscope. For instance, let me call your attention to the world-renowned “Cronin” case of Chicago, in which the medical experts demonstrated to a certainty that the blood, hair, and brain matter found in the Coulson cottage and sewer drop were those of a human being. And what was still more remarkable they demonstrated by the microscope accurately and positively that the hair and blood found in the cottage and fatal trunk were those of the late Dr. Cronin, only in a modified condition.

Without a doubt the microscope is the most advantageous and most efficacious apparatus that a scientist has ever invented and constructed. It is an especially powerful factor in enlightening complex and difficult cases concerning medico-legal examinations, where the combined efforts of an attorney and an expert microscopist are required. Within the last decade, scientists have demonstrated to a certainty the possibility of distinguishing old and dried human blood 617spots, whether on clothing, wood, iron, or any other object, from those of animal blood. Scientists, especially pathologists and histologists, have demonstrated the great value of the microscope in distinguishing not only the skin, blood, hair, and brain matter, but also the excretions and secretions of the human body from those of animals.

Again, the microscope applied in medico-legal practice, particularly in malpractice suits, suits for damages, those requiring the detection of adulteration of food or drink, is of the greatest importance. It is not less valuable in determining the purity of an article, especially whether or not the food or drink has spoiled or undergone fermentation, and in detecting the accumulation and development of microorganisms such as germs, bacilli, etc. Prominent among these uses are of course the detection of oleomargarine, the adulteration of drugs, liquors, milk, groceries, sausages, etc.

The utilization of the microscope as a factor in the solution of legal difficulties is as interesting as it is valuable, and in that connection I wish to cite a few lines from an exhaustive paper read by the Hon. Geo. E. Fell, M. D., F. R. M. S., before the American Society of Microscopists, relating to the “Examination of Legal Documents with the Microscope.”

“This subject is of practical importance, in which the value of the microscope has again and again been demonstrated. On several occasions have we been enabled to clear the path for justice to ferret out the work of the contract falsifier, and shield the innocent from the unjust accusations of interested rogues. The range of observations in investigations of written documents with the microscope is a broad one. We may begin with the characteristics of the paper upon which the writing is made, which may enable us to ascertain many facts of importance; for instance, a great similarity might indicate, with associated facts, that the documents were prepared at about the same time. A marked dissimilarity might also have an important bearing upon the case. The difference of the paper may exist in the character of the fibres composing it, the finish of the paper whether rough or smooth, the thickness, modifying the transmissibility of light, the color, all of which may be ascertained with the microscope.

“The ink used in the writing may then be examined. If 618additions have been made to the document within a reasonable time of its making, microscopic examination will in all probability demonstrate the difference by keeping the following facts in view: Some inks in drying assume a dull, or shining surface; if in sufficient quantity, the surface may become cracked, presenting, when magnified, an appearance quite similar, but of a different color, to that of the dried bottom of a clayey pond after the sun has baked it for a few days. The manner in which the ink is distributed upon the paper, whether it forms an even border, or spreads out to some extent, is a factor which may be also noted. The color of the ink by transmitted or reflected illumination is also a very important factor. This in one case which I had in hand proved of great importance and demonstrated the addition of certain words which completely annulled the value of the document in a case involving several thousand dollars. And in a certain case where the lines of a certain document were written over with the idea of entirely covering the first written words, the different colors of the inks could not be concealed from the magnified image as seen under reasonably low powers of the microscope.”

The value of the microscope in this field of research is so great and the facts elicited by it so vital, I wish to emphasize its practical utility as strongly as possible. Of course the principal object in such an examination of written or printed documents is the erasures or additions; then the coloring of different inks applied and the mode of their execution. As to erasures, this can be accomplished in two ways, either by the use of a penknife or by a chemical preparation. The former is the one most commonly resorted to, and is effected in the following manner. With a well sharpened knife blade the surface of the paper is carefully scraped until all objectionable lettering and wording appear to the naked eye to have been effaced; but under a microscopical examination the impression made by the strokes of the pen may easily be detected, while the different colors of the inks are still plainly visible under the microscope.

The second method is by the application of a chemical preparation by which the ink is made soluble and is then easily removed from the paper by means of a blotter or absorbent cotton. Of course this method is also an imperfect one and the letters can easily be traced by close observation.619 When a chemical preparation has been used for erasing purposes, I find that in most cases it leaves a stain and also that the fibres of the paper are more or less destroyed by the chemical used; thus always leaving evidence that the document has been tampered with.

George E. Fell in his excellent paper says: “The eye of the individual making the erasures is certainly not sufficient, and even with the aid of a hand magnifier, the object might not be effectually accomplished. We will find that the detection of an erasure made by the knife is a very simple matter and may be detected by the novice. An investigation may be made by simply holding the document before a strong light and this is usually all that is necessary to demonstrate the existence of an erasure of any consequence.

“This is, however, a very different matter from making out the outlines of a word or detecting the general arrangement of the fibres of the paper, so as to be able to state whether writing has been executed on certain parts of the document; and again, when we enter into the minutiæ of the subject, we will find that the compound microscope will give us results not to be obtained by the simple hand magnifier.”

On several occasions I have had the opportunity for demonstrating with the microscope additions made to certain documents, two of which were wills (testaments); these additions were made in the following manner:—First an erasure was made and then the additional matter written over the erasure. With the microscope I could at once detect the erasure beneath the addition; also the different colors of the inks. Then, and this is the most important result of the microscopical examination, by close observation, I could discern the strokes of the pen in the original lettering as well as those of the additional lettering, and finally the general mode of their execution.

In regard to the examination of legal documents, United States currency, printed and written matter, mutilated documents, including forgeries, etc., from a legal point of view (as to their genuineness), it will suffice to say that the principal features are, as already stated, first, the detection of erasures and additions; second, the comparison of the colors of the different inks used in the original and in the additional lettering, and finally the mode of their execution. This includes of course a careful observation of the original 620writing as to the general and comparative expression. In the observation of the characteristics of the letters constituting the document, I will call attention especially to the shading and general formation of the letters, that is, the stroke of the pen either in a downward or upward movement. This comparison includes both capital and small letters and even punctuation.

All these things, as well as the grammatical and orthographical relationship and comparative differentiations, must be taken into consideration in order to enable the microscopical examiner to give a positive opinion.

A microscopical examination of paper documents, such as wills, notes, checks, etc., as to whether or not they have been mutilated or forged, is certainly the most reliable test, and by far the easiest and simplest method of determining the authenticity or spuriousness of a document. An expert microscopist and observer can at once arrive at a correct and positive conclusion as to the genuineness of an autograph.

The use of the microscope in the examination of United States currency is invaluable, and I believe the only perfectly reliable test for distinguishing counterfeit currency from the genuine bills. In this examination the following observations are necessary, to the last of which I wish to call special attention: First, the quality of the paper used; second, the general execution and finish of the bill; third, the ink used for the printed reading matter as well as for the autograph; fourth, the two red lines; these lines in a genuine bill are produced by two red silk threads woven into the paper, and running lengthwise of the bill. In a counterfeit bill these lines are not of silk thread, but are simply two lines drawn with red ink. This is the crowning test in the detection of counterfeit currency, and I have no doubt that the same tests will hold good in the examination of foreign currency.




Everybody said he would go to the bad; everybody expected it of him. Whether it was the fulfilment of the promise, “As thy faith so be it,” or whether he felt any conscientious obligation resting upon him not to disappoint public expectation, nobody knows. Nobody was surprised, however, when news went over the town that Jim Royal was going to the penitentiary.

Going to “the pen” at sixteen years of age. Nobody thought of that. Moreover, the old Tennessee prison contains scores of boys under sixteen, for that matter; and if they do not work satisfactorily, the lessees of the prison have made no complaint of them; therefore, they do work satisfactorily; for the lessees are not likely to pay the State for the privilege of feeding worthless hands. But as for vagabond Jim, if anybody thought of him at all, it was something after this wise:

“Safe place. Keep him out of mischief. Protect other people’s boys. Bad influence, Jim’s. Town’s scourge. Bad mother before him. Questionable father. Made to work.”

Now there were two considerations in this category, concerning which the public opinion was exactly correct. More so, indeed, than public opinion is usually known to be. Namely: Jim would “be made to work.” No doubt about that. There were straps for the obstreperous, the water-pump for the sullen, the pool for the belligerent, the lash for the lazy, and for the rebellious—the shotgun.

Oh, yes; Jim would be made to work. The town was quite right about that.

The other consideration, although not altogether so important, was a trifle more interesting. Jim’s “questionable father”!

It was his mother’s fault that public interest (?) was not gratified. And it never forgave the poor outcast for leaving 622the world with that seal of secrecy still unbroken. The heart broke, but not the seal. They cast her off utterly when, poor girl-mother, she stubbornly refused to reveal the name of her betrayer. To them there was nothing heroic in the answer, “Because my life is ruined, shall I ruin his?”

So they treasured it against her in her grave, and against her son after her, in his grave too, that living, loathsome sepulchre, the State prison.

But they had surmised a good deal regarding Jim’s paternal parentage. They searched for resemblances, birthmarks, peculiarities of feature, owning that nature always set her brand upon the bastard, and that the features, as well as the iniquities of the father, are always visited upon the illegitimate. If this be the case, Jim must have come of some strange blood. And yet, knowing him and his history, some might have traced the poor mother in the boy, although of that mother he knew very little. He had been told—oh, yes, he had been told—that she was found in a garret one December morning with a vagabond baby nursing at her dead breast. And old Nancy Piatt, the only one who ever seemed to dislike talking to the lad about it, had told him that she was “a pretty corpse, as pretty as the grave ever held,” and that the dead lips wore a smile, those dead lips that never would, and never could, give up their pitiful secret. Poor lips; death had granted that which life denied them—a smile. Stubbornness, the town gossips called the woman’s silence. In other circumstances it would have answered to the higher term of fidelity, or, perhaps, heroism. Jim was very like his mother, old Nancy said, despite Dame Nature’s habit of branding. Surely Nancy ought to be authority, for when the boy was left, at two months old, on the town, old Nancy Piatt, a drunken old crone, who washed the clothes of the rich all the week, and drank her earnings Saturday evenings, was the only one who offered to “take the cub” whom the authorities were ready to give away.

A sorry chance had Jim, although he never realized that. At ten he could drink as much liquor as Nancy herself, and outswear the ablest lawyer in the town. At twelve he could pick a lock better than a blacksmith, and was known as one of the most cunning sneak thieves in the place. At fourteen he beat a little boy of eight unmercifully. (Did anybody 623expect old Nancy to tell him that was the crown crime of cowardice?)

Then someone suspected Nancy of a crime. One of those nameless crimes concerning which the law is very jealous, not considering the slander prevented, the “good name preserved,” and the disgrace averted. All in high circles, and all set in the scale against a useless little baby,—a wicked little illegitimate baby, that is so heartless as to be born, and thereby bring a world of trouble upon wealthy and respectable people.

That old Nancy—for handsome considerations—had made away with the selfish baby, Jim knew as well as anybody. And when he was offered quite as handsome a sum to tell all he knew about it, his reply was to plant his fist in the eye of the man who had made the offer. Not that he cared for the cause the babe’s coming had disgraced. He only meant to stand by old Nance, and not all the money in the county’s coffers could have forced his lips to speak that which would hurt her. He was afterward arrested and brought before the magistrate, together with Nance, and swore, not by the calendared saints,—he hadn’t made their acquaintance,—but by “George,” by “Gum,” by “Gosh,” and even by God himself that he knew nothing at all about the matter. They knew he was lying, but there was no way to prove it, as he attempted no dodge. He was merely ignorant. Nance hadn’t asked him to do this; she knew he would do it if necessary. She had not attempted to win his love, his confidence, or his gratitude. Perhaps she believed, in her blind way, that these things are born, not won, like respect, and honor, and admiration. He was fifteen when this happened. At sixteen Nance died from the effects of a blow from a policeman’s club while trying to arrest her. Two weeks later the policeman died from the effects of a blow from Jim’s club while trying to protect old Nance. Two months later the prison door closed on Jim, and the town took breath again in a long, relieved sigh of “Safe at last!” As if vagabond Jim’s salvation had lain a weight for sixteen years upon their consciences.

It was certainly the face of a hardened creature that followed the sheriff to the railroad station that June morning. June, sweet, old love-laden, rose-burdened June. Of all the year to give up one’s freedom in June. And how many 624years before he would breathe the free, rose-haunted air of another June. Twenty. Why, the twentieth century would be dawning before he would be free again. Would his face be any the less hard at the expiration of his term? The penitentiary isn’t a hotbed of virtue, and Jim wasn’t wax. Nobody wasted any hopes on him,—except the lessees, who, finding him able-bodied, young, and healthy, sent him to the Branch prison to dig coal.

There an old gray-bearded warden offered a plea for his youth, and a protest against the associations of the Branch, and was promptly reminded that the Tennessee State prison was not a reformatory institute, but that it had been leased as a financial speculation, which was expected to yield at least ten per cent. on the money invested by the lessees.

So Jim went to the coal mines in the mountains, leaving his life, his poor, puny sixteen years of dust and degradation, behind him. If there was anything of brightness, any softening memory, any tender touch of the human—dream touches are they to the castaway—which Jim carried with him, it was the memory of old Nance, drunken, filthy, murderous old Nance, and the face of the gray-bearded warden who had lifted his voice in his behalf.

It was noon of a day in June, early in the eighties, that Jim trudged across the coal-sprinkled ridge upon which rose the great gray, weather-beaten, rat-infested fence, which was dignified by the name of stockade. To go out of life into a dungeon like that, and at noon of a day in June. That Jim made no sign was accredited to his hardness of heart. That, having registered and heard an official sneer at the name, Jim Royal, and having passed through the hands of the barber, and being duly entered at last among the State’s hired help, and dropped down on his ill-smelling bunk, a rat came and gnawed his ear, and the vermin crawled unmolested over him, and still he gave no sign, was set down to the account of his laziness.

“He won’t be vicious,” the warden said, “he is too lazy,” and he thought yearningly of the raw-hide lash hanging in the office. That the stupor might be the result of weariness had never once suggested itself. If it had, why still there was the lash. The lessees’ ten per cent. must be gotten out of that herd in the stockade, even if it should be necessary to beat it out.


But when, the next morning, Jim fell into his place as brisk as any, the warden began to waver between the lash and the pool. If he did not need the one, he was fairly seen to require the other. All of them needed some one, may be two, of the prison’s medicines, and the warden made a special point of spying out the diseases of new arrivals, and applying the remedy as soon as possible. It told them, more plainly than words, precisely the manner of treatment they were to expect in case of any appearance of any of the several moral diseases with which all convicts, young, old, rich, or poor, were supposed to be afflicted.

Therefore, the warden “had his eye on Jim.” And when the gang started from the stockade across the black, coal-dusted mountains, to the blacker mine beneath, he called to the new arrival, draining the last of some sloppy coffee from a dingy tin cup at the greasy, board table of the shed room that served for dining-room, and laundry, during the week, and for chapel on Sundays.

“Come here, sir; what’s your name, sir? At least what one did you leave on the book out there?”

“The only one I’ve got,” said Jim. “The clerk down there made it to spell Royal.”

“Royal.” A sneer curled the lips of the official. “Here Black”—to the guard,—“add this royal renegade to your company. Here, you fellow, fall into line here, and be quick about it.”

To Jim, accustomed from the day his dead mother’s nipple had been taken from his toothless gums to having his own free will, the surly command came like a threat. He hesitated.

“Will you come, you bit of carrion, or shall I fetch you?”

Jim stood like a young lion at bay. His hands unconsciously drew up into fists; one foot moved forward; the prisoners stood in wondering groups, some recalling the day, five, ten, fifteen, aye, even fifty years before, when they, too, had thought of defence. They, too, had stood at bay. But they had learned the folly of it, and they knew Jim would learn too; but still they half hoped he would get in that one blow before the lesson began.

Such fists! such strength! And he came on like a young tiger, his eyes ablaze, his nostrils quivering, his arm poised, his full chest expanding, perfectly aware the officer was feeling 626for the pistol at his belt, when, quick and noiseless, a small hand, white and delicate as a woman’s, reached out and drew the clenched fist down; a soft voice, softened by despair, said: “It isn’t any use; they’ll down you at last, and you only make it harder.”

It was all done so quickly, the guards around had not had time “to draw,” else the rebellious one had received the reward of rebellion.

The warden replaced his pistol, with a curse upon it for not obeying his effort to draw it. The young convict had ceased hostilities, and stood submissive by the side of his unknown friend. He had not once glanced at him, but something in his voice had controlled and subdued his passion.

“Away with him,” cried the officer. “To the pump, and afterward to the pool. Get the straps ready there. We’ll show our royal friend who is master here.”

Again came an idea of resistance, but the same small hand was laid upon his arm.

“My friend, it isn’t any use. I tried it all. Go on and be punished. It is part of life here. You receive it whether merited or not.”

They dragged him off, strapped him, hand and foot, and writhing, foaming, like the untamed wild beast that he was, they thrust him under the great prison pump.

“That will cool his royal blood,” laughed a guard, as the fearful force of the cold current beating upon his shaven head knocked him senseless.

Drenched and beaten, utterly exhausted, he lay like a limp rag, until three men had spent their strength upon the pump. Then to the pool they dragged him, and “ducked” him three times into the dark, stagnant water. Then back to the warden who asked if he “thought he had enough.”

“Not enough to make me take your jaw,” was the foolish answer.

“The lash,” said the warden, and the miserable, half-drowned creature was taken away to be beaten “into subjection.”

The guard overlooked the punishment. A stout, burly convict was required to perform it. He would have refused, being in like strait, only that he knew the uselessness. He had been there a long time, forty years, and according to his sentence would be there for fifty more. He had picked up 627a little scripture at the prison Sunday school, so that when he lifted the whip above the back they had made bare for it, he whispered, by way of apology:—

“And one Simon, a Cyrenian, him they compelled to bear the cross.”

But Jim didn’t understand even if he had heard. All he heard was that low, patient voice calling him “friend.”

In the afternoon he was sent down to the mines, subdued, but not conquered. Every evil passion of his nature had been aroused, and would never slumber again.

After that first day’s experience he seemed indeed a wild beast. He fought among the prisoners, rebelled against the rules of the prison, would have nothing to do with any but the worst of the men, shirked his work until he had to be strapped and beaten, in short, made a record that had never been surpassed by any previous man on the prison record.

Yet, when there was danger of any kind, he was the first there. One morning there was an explosion in the mine, and more than a score of prisoners were in danger of being suffocated before help could reach them. Indeed everybody was afraid to venture in that black hole from which the hot, sulphurous gases were pouring. Everybody but Jim. Even the warden had to admit Jim’s courage. “He aint afraid of the devil,” he declared, when he saw the boy jump into an empty coal car, call to the mule to “git up,” and disappear in the gas and smoke with the empty cars rumbling behind him. It was a long time before he came out, but he brought ten insensible convicts in his first haul. The lessees recommended him for that, and promised to make it good sometime if he kept on at that rate.

Another time there was a fire. The rumbling old rat-hole was threatened with destruction, and with it three hundred and seventy-five of the State’s charges. The men glared like beasts through the cracks of the tottering stockade. Liberty, it would come surely in some form. The fire was confined for a time to the wing where the hospital was. But when it mounted in a great blood-dappled sheet of flame to the top of an old rotten tower above the main building, where the prisoners were huddled, it became evident that all must go unless the old tower could be torn away. Up the uneven, rickety wall went Jim, nimble as a squirrel. Crack! crack! fell the dead boards, then with a clang and 628clamor, down rolled the old bell from its perch, carrying with it the last of the burning tower.

Jim climbed down as sullen as ever. He didn’t care to save the old shanty, or to win any praise from anybody. He was simply not afraid, and his courage would not permit him to do other than what he did.

Nobody cared for him specially, although the soft-voiced man with the small, womanish hands spoke to him often, and always kindly. Jim never forgot that he had called him friend. The memory of it stayed with him, like the kiss of a first love that lingers long after love is dead. Most of the men were afraid of him, so fierce was his temper, and so easily aroused. Even the warden had learned that he could not tame him. The strap, the lash, the pool, the pump, had been applied times without number. The warden was still “looking around” for the time to apply the last resource, the shotgun. It was pretty sure to come, for the boy was entirely “unscrupulous.”

Summer set in again. Again June came, and tried to bloom even on the coal-tracked mountain about the mine. Somewhere up back among the pine and shadows the wild roses were blooming, and the grapes. Their odors came down to the men as they tramped across the hot, bare, coal-strewn way between the stockade and the mines.

With the coming of June came a number of strangers to the mountain. They always came in the warm season, but they quartered themselves over in the town, beyond the stockade, and the stench, and filth, and crime found there.

Only one, a young man, a minister who had been expelled from the church in the city where he had preached, found his way to the prison. He went out one Sunday afternoon, and asked permission to preach to the convicts. It was freely granted. Such wild heresy! Such odd, eccentric ideas! Such flights of oratory! Such fiery brands tossed into the old tabernacles of religious belief! Such blows upon the old batteries of narrowness and impossibility! They had never heard anything like it. Had he preached thus anywhere else he would have been promptly silenced. But a lot of convicts was not an audience likely to be injured by the too free circulating of the doctrine he advocated. What if he should convince them that eternal punishment was a myth, and an insult flung in the face of the Creator? A slur 629upon His justice, and a lie to His divine goodness? What if he snapped his finger at a lake of brimstone and of eternal fire? And his wild ravings about an inconsistent Being, accepted as the head of all wisdom, and tenderness,—and mercy, and at the same time as the perfection of all cruelty and injustice, in that He creates only to destroy,—what if the seed scattered should take root? What if those old sin-blackened souls should comfort themselves with the new doctrine, the idea that no good can be lost? God cannot be God and destroy any good thing. It is wicked, it is devilish to kill that which is good. God cannot be wicked and be the good God, the kind All-Father, at the same time. Nor has He created any so vile as to be without some one virtue. In the dust of the evil He has not failed to drop one grain of gold to glisten, and to make glad the dull waste of life. The grain is there, planted by God’s hand, in every soul. It was in their souls, poor, old, sin-covered, forsaken souls, toiling up to the light through those begrimed walls among the filth, and dust, and mould. Not one of them but was God’s work, and bore His grain of gold. None would be lost, not one. What matter if the prison registrar’s table of deaths did record so many, Found dead! Drowned! Killed! Shot! Blank! Blank! Blank! Meaning they disappeared, nobody knows how or when.

It was a strange, sweet hope to them, that came in that wild sermon of a bishop-silenced young heretic. They thought about it a good deal, and began, some of them whose terms were to expire with life, to dig down into the rust and mire with the spade of conscience for the hidden grain.

The minister was at the stockade often, cheering, sympathizing, and always comforting the convicts with the certainty of eternal love, and the folly of eternal punishment. One day he stumbled upon a man who was being strapped and prepared for punishment at the pump. His face was sullen, and there were splotches of blood on his clothes, and he limped when he attempted to walk. Still there was something in the old, young face, that neither cruelty nor threats could kill. They might turn on the icy water, and exhaust themselves with lashing him, but that stoic determination would not yield. They might murder him, but from his fixed, dead eyes, it would glare at them, that same heroic, 630immovable something that had shone in the staring eyes of his dead mother.

No visitors were allowed in that part of the prison, so the minister held back until, fearing the limp figure under the pump would be beaten to death by the cruel pour of water upon his head, he stepped forward to interfere.

“In God’s name, I beg you stop,” he cried, his hand uplifted, his eyes full of tears. “Your punishment is beastly. What has the fellow done? Is someone murdered?”

“Someone ought to be,” sullenly replied the man at the pump-handle. “And someone might be if this sneaking rascal was the only hope of preventing it.”

There had been a plot among the convicts to batter down the shaky old stockade, and break for freedom. They had secured a gun and some ammunition, where, no one could tell, and the plot had well-nigh succeeded. The guard on the wall had been killed, three men had escaped, and the prison bloodhounds were lying in the kennel with their throats cut.

Already the governor of the State had telegraphed freedom to the convicts not in the scheme who would give the names of those engaged in it. Even the leader’s name; for that freedom was offered, pardon unconditional.

Something let fall discovered to the warden that Jim, while not in, was familiar with the whole history of the insurrection. The offer of freedom had no further effect upon him than a careless refusal to comply with the terms set forth. But when force was suggested, he set his lips in that old way that belonged to his mother, and said nothing. Three days they gave him to “knock under.” But the only change noticeable during that time was a more decided sullenness, a look in the cold, gray eyes that meant death rather than yielding.

Once the soft-voiced young man who had put out his hand in his defence the day of his arrival at the stockade, and had afterward called him “friend,” the only time he had ever heard the word addressed to himself, once he came over where Jim sat cleaning the warden’s boots, and motioned him.

Jim shook his head, and went on blacking the big boots. But when the young convict drew nearer, and tried to take his hand, he drew back, and struck at him viciously with the blacking brush.


“Git out, will you! And don’t come a-fooling with this brush, lest you want your d—n head broke.”

He had seen a guard spying upon them at a half open door in the rear of the young convict. At Jim’s outburst of temper the guard entered.

“Come away from him, Solly,” he said, “the surly beast is as like as not to knock your brains out.”

The convict turned to obey, but the glance he got of Jim’s face carried a full explanation. The temper was affected to keep down suspicion. After that came the punishment at the pump, the merciless beating, and then, all things proving unavailing, he was put in the dungeon to have the “truth starved out of him.”

After three days he was brought out, faint, pale, ready to die at every step, but with that same immovable something shining in his eyes, and his lips still set in the old way that he had of his mother.

His hands were manacled, and an iron chain clanked about his feet as he dragged them wearily one after the other. For three days he had tasted no food, except a rat that he had caught in the dungeon. He ate it raw, like a dog, and searched eagerly for another. Just as he had found it, and skinned it with the help of his teeth, the guard peered through the grating, and seeing what he was doing, entered, and put handcuffs upon him, after first removing the raw flesh to a point where he could see, but not touch it. And there it lay, torturing him while he starved. And there it lay until it became carrion, and tortured him again. And then they had dragged him out again, out under the blue sky, where the trees—the old sweet-smelling pines—were waving their purple plumes upon the distant mountains, and the wild grape filled the air with perfume, and the wild roses were pink as childhood’s sweet, young dreams, and over all was bended the blue heaven. And heaven spread before him, heaven; behind him lay hell, fifteen years of it less one. And they gave him choice again betwixt the two. They even crammed a bit of moral in the offer. “It was right,” they said, “to tell on those who had broken the prison regulations, mere justice to the lessees.” Right! too late to talk to him of right. He glanced once at the pines, going farther away, whiffed at the pleasant odor of the grape blooms, waved his hand to the 632roses, in farewell, perhaps, lifted his face to the blue heaven—he had never looked heavenward before in all his wretched years,—then, wearing that same old look of his mother’s, he turned, without a word, and re-entered the prison.

Back to the pump, the lash, and at last to the dungeon.

But he no longer dreaded it. It was the Sabbath, and the shackles had been removed, but he was too weary to notice the rat that came out and sat peering at him, nibbling at his wet prison clothes, and his feet and hands. Even the carrion did not disturb any more. The scent of the wild grape blooms was still in his nostrils. And when the day wore on, and the two o’clock bell sounded, calling the men to Sunday school, he started up with a cry of “Here.” He had thought the bell a voice at the dungeon door, and fancied that it said, “friend!”

He dropped back, with a smile on his lips. Could old Nance have peeped in at that moment she would have pronounced him very like his mother with that smile, and that stanch old heroism shining in his wide, dead eyes.

. . . . . . . . . . .

Down in the office the registrar entered upon the death list:

“James Royal—Natural death.”

Natural? then God help the unnatural.

“The worst one ever fell into our hands,” the warden told the minster as he came out of the chapel with the soft-voiced friend of the dead man’s. “Not a spark of good in him, parson. Jim Royal knocks your theory all to pieces.”

But the friend had been telling the minister a story. And as he passed out at the rattling stockade gate, he, too, glanced up at the blue sky. His doubts were gone, if there had been any, his faith was planted in God’s eternal goodness.

“Can such die?” he mused, “such faithfulness, such magnificent courage, such glorious fidelity? Is it possible that such can pass away into eternal torment?”

The soft wind touched his cheek and bore heavenward the prayer he breathed:—

“Forbid it, Almighty God.”




The decision recently handed down by Judge Hammond, of the United States District Court, in the celebrated case of R. M. King, is rich in lessons of vital importance to thoughtful minds at the present time of unrest, when conservatism is seeking on every hand, even under the cloak of radical movements, to secure statutes and legal constructions of laws which may at an early day be used to fetter thought, crush liberty, and throttle the vanguard of progress. Briefly stated, the important facts in the case in question are as follows: Mr. King is an honest, hard-working farmer. He is charged with no breach of morals; in fact, it appears that he is a remarkably upright man. But he is a Seventh Day Adventist; that is, he does not hold the same religious views as the majority in his State. He stands in the same relation to his countrymen as that occupied by the early disciples of Christ to Roman society when Nero undertook to punish Christians by kindling nightly human fires for the delectation of conservative or majority thought. He is of the minority, even as the Huguenots were in the minority when the Church tortured, racked, and burned them for the glory of God and the good of humanity. He is of the minority, as was Roger Williams when, in 1635, the popular and conventional thought of Salem banished him. Mr. King is not an infidel or even a doubter. On the contrary he is ardently religious, being a zealous and conscientious member of a sect of Christians noted for their piety and faith. The Adventists, of whom he is an honored member, it must be remembered, hold somewhat peculiar views about the second advent of Christ. They believe they find in the Bible commands making it obligatory upon them to keep holy the seventh day of the week, or the Hebrew Sabbath, instead of Sunday, the holiday and rest day observed by most Christian denominations. Now it was shown in the trial that, conforming to his belief, Mr. King strictly observed the Sabbath on Saturday, but being a poor farmer he could not afford to rest two days each week, or over one hundred days in the year, and, therefore, after having kept the Sabbath he plowed in his field on Sunday. This aroused the pious indignation of the narrow-minded and bigoted members of the community who profess to follow that great Leader who taught us to judge not, to resist not evil, and to do unto others as we would have others do unto us. These Christians (?) who, unfortunately for the cause of justice and religious liberty, are in the majority in Tennessee, had this conscientious, God-fearing man arrested as a common felon, and convicted of the heinous crime (?) of Sabbath-breaking by plowing on Sunday. He appealed to the Supreme Court, and the 634sentence was affirmed. Then the Adventists and the National Secular Association took up the case. Hon. Don M. Dickinson was engaged as counsel, and the case was taken to the Federal Court last November on a writ of habeas corpus, the contention being that the conviction was contrary to the bill of rights of Tennessee and the Constitution of the United States, and that the defendant was held prisoner by the sheriff without due process of law. The application was argued several months ago, and Judge Hammond has had it under advisement until recently, when his decision was given in which the defendant was remanded back to the custody of the sheriff to pay the fine or serve the time according to the sentence. This decision holds that malice, religious or otherwise, may dictate a prosecution, but if the law has been violated this fact does not shield the law-breaker. Neither do the courts require that there shall be some moral obloquy to support a given law before enforcing it, and it is not necessary to maintain that to violate the Sunday observance customs shall be of itself immoral to make it criminal in the eyes of the law.

Suggestive, indeed, are the lessons of this great judicial crime against liberty, justice, and God. In the first place it illustrates the fact which must long since have become apparent to thinking men that the guarantee of the Constitution of the United States, which, more than aught else, has made this Republic the flower of all preceding nations, is yearly becoming less and less regarded by the small men and narrow minds who interpret law and who, instead of showing how unconstitutional any law is which violates the great charter of right, yield to the present craze for Governmental Paternalism, paying no more heed to our Constitution than if it was the ukase of a Czar. In numerous instances during the past decade has this solemn fact been emphasized, until it is evident that with the reaction toward Paternalism and centralization has come the old time spirit of intolerance and moral obloquy on the part of the governing powers which has been one of the chief curses of the ages, entailing indescribable misery on the noblest and best, and holding in subjection the vanguard of progress, which always has been and always will be the minority, regarded by the majority as dangerous innovators or disseminators of false theories and doctrines. In my article on Socialism I noted the case of Mr. King, observing that:—

He in no way deserves the shameful imprisonment he is suffering; yet the prejudice of the majority sustains the infamous law that makes criminals of the innocent and takes not into consideration the rights of the minority. And what is more, the religious press is so dominated by bigotry and ancient prejudice that it is blind alike to the Golden Rule and the inexorable demands of justice. If in any State the Adventists, the Hebrews, or any other people who believed in observing Saturday instead of Sunday should happen to predominate, and they undertook to throw Christians into dungeons, and after branding them criminals should send them to the penitentiary for working on Saturday, indignation would blaze forth throughout Christendom against the great 635injustice, the wrong against the liberty of the rights of the citizen. The only difference is that poor Mr. King is in the minority; he is the type of those who always have been and always will be made to suffer when the government is strong enough to persecute all who do not accept what is considered truth and right by the majority.

In replying to my paper Mr. Bellamy thus flippantly dismissed this case: “Of this it may be remarked that had it happened two centuries ago it would have been symptomatic; to-day it is a curiosity.” It will be observed that in order to minify the dangers of Paternalism, Mr. Bellamy entirely ignored the point I had italicized, viz.: the Christian sentiment of society was not outraged and what was more, “the religious press was so dominated by bigotry and ancient prejudice that it was blind alike to the Golden Rule and the inexorable demands of justice.” To-day we are told that this great judicial crime is a curiosity, although the religious bigotry of the majority has been upheld by the lower, the federal, and supreme courts, while the religious press has, with rare exceptions, sanctioned the persecution or ignored the case.

In vain the long-cherished idea that this country was to pass down the cycle of time known as the land of freedom; that it was to be forever the asylum for religious liberty and the cradle of progress, unless the sober thought of our people be at once aroused to stem the rising tide of Governmentalism and the steady encroachment of religious organizations and despotic foreign thought.

Comparatively few of the leading secular journals[6] have deemed this outrage sufficiently important to call for editorial comment, notwithstanding it marks the establishing of a precedent which must inevitably work great misery to innocent people at the hands of religious fanatics, unless there is a sufficient agitation to cause the repeal of many iniquitous laws which are a menace to the rightful freedom of citizens as long as they remain on the statute books.


To the superficial observer who, as guests of royalty, loitered through the sunny days which marked the closing years of Louis XV., France presented the aspect of a gay, thoughtless, happy, butterfly nation, whose government on the whole satisfied the requirements of the rich and 636powerful, and was sustained by the strong arm of the army on the one hand and the impregnable influence of the Church on the other. Small heed was to be given to the pamphleteers, whose brilliant satire, biting sarcasm, and pointed logic afforded amusement at the Louvre, rather than struck dismay to the hearts of those who fondly believed that the Church still held in thrall the brain of the masses, and that as for centuries the people had been content with slavery and vassalage, it was absurd to imagine they had now come to man’s estate, had, Phœnix-like, arisen from the ashes of old-time sullen obedience or ignorant content, into the tumultuous atmosphere of intellectual activity. It is true, some far-seeing brains beheld the coming storm and warned the king, urging him to either suppress the philosophers, or concede to the masses a greater meed of justice, but their views were scouted by the ruling or conventional thought of the court, and life at the Louvre continued a merry whirl of carnal and selfish delight. The morning brought the chases, and evening the banquet, the theatre, or the ball; while at intervals grand polytechnic exhibitions delighted the populace, being given, probably, in the vain hope that they would satisfy the rising discontent, much as the gladiatorial shows satisfied, while they still further brutalized, the degraded populace of ancient Rome, making possible the toleration of such colossal iniquity as marked the decline of the Empire. Such, then, was the aspect of court life, while above the social and political horizon were gathering clouds which prophesied the greatest cataclysm civilization had witnessed. The wilful short-sightedness, the supreme indifference to the principles of justice, liberty, and fraternity; the conspicuous absence of the spirit of humanity, which characterized those who might have averted the coming baptism of blood, was the legitimate result of the anæsthetizing of the soul of the Court and aristocracy with the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. The divine spark had disappeared. The spiritual nature had given way to the sensual. Ambition and pleasure were enthroned in the seats of justice and humanity. Selfishness was the keynote of aristocratic life. And with this fact kept in view, the short-sightedness of royalty in the presence of the rising tide of intelligent discontent is by no means strange. Indifferent to the fate of the masses in any struggle that might be precipitated, guided by none of the higher impulses of life, and possessing implicit confidence in the impregnability of that triple bulwark of conservatism, the army, the police, and the Church, the ruling party of French aristocracy drifted down the stream garlanded with roses, revelling in wine and music, abandoning itself to pleasure on life’s lowest plane.


To the student of social conditions, who might have been a guest of the philosopher Rousseau, the picture photographed on the mental retina would have been far different. Above he would have beheld the round of selfish, thoughtless gaiety, in which the images and intrigues of Madame Dubarry and Marie Antoinette, of Choiseul and Rohan, of Louis and Richelieu, were strangely mingled and distorted by exaggeration, as they sifted down from the Court through several layers of brains until they reached the world of the newly awakened laborer. Below him would have yawned, in all its hideousness, the blackness of the pit, the social cellar into which he would have seen thousands and scores of thousands of his fellow-men crowded or driven by want, misfortune, or the avarice of the more powerful, and from which so few who once fall ever rose to the noble estate of true manhood and womanhood. Around him he would have noted still another world, more interesting and yet more terrible in its ferocity and power than those above and below—the realm of the common people—the sphere of the masses—the current which passed over the darkest dregs and bore on its surface the scum. In this world the strange and interesting phenomenon would have met his eye of a newly awakened brain, an intellect which after ages of semi-unconsciousness, had, in a surprisingly short time, been aroused by the intellectual brilliancy of thinkers who had flooded a nation with new ideas, who had kindled the fires of justice, who had spoken in the ear of all the people the doctrine of the essential brotherhood of man, the kinship of the throne and the shop, the idler in the palace and the idler in the cellar; the cormorant who dined off the labor of others at Lucerne, and the low-browed outcasts occupied in the same way but pursuing different methods, in the social sewer. And he would have noticed an unusual activity in this working world; secret meetings were being held on every hand. The great philosophical works of Rousseau breathing a new hope and a larger life into the soul of every reader, and the withering satire of Voltaire falling against the battlements of the church and the throne—these were the text-books and watchword of the new revolution. Tens of thousands of men who a few years before had accepted unquestioningly the assurance of the priests and obeyed as children the decrees of Royalty, were now thinking as never before on justice and equity, were students and intelligent expounders of the master brains which blossomed forth on every hand, in spite of priest and police. Heresy and liberty, justice and freedom, progress and equity had joined hands; conventionalism was doomed. The cry for justice went up from every hand to the crown and the aristocracy, only to come back with a mocking laugh or a royal restrictive decree. Thus the flame was fanned. The noble teaching of the great apostles of light and justice which illuminated the brains of the people and at first filled their hearts with holy love and wonderful tenderness, making them ready to accept and only desirous of receiving that measure of justice and consideration to 638which they knew they were entitled, later changed to feelings of hate and desire for revenge which ever grows as mushrooms in the average mind when justice is denied and oppression bears down more relentlessly at each complaint that comes from the oppressed. It is a law of life on the lower plane that selfishness, indifference, and heartlessness coming from above are photographed upon the sensitive intellect of the struggling minds below, which vainly ask for justice, only to return in time intensified a hundred-fold—selfishness becomes active and is complemented by an insane desire to destroy. Indifference calls forth unbridled ferocity. Heartlessness awakens sentiments of cruelty and brutality as relentless and destructive as the cyclone.

The social sewer or cellar of Paris at this time presented as interesting and suggestive a study as the toiling world above. Here were thousands of human beings dwelling in the atmosphere of crime and brutality, hungry, cold, and well-nigh hopelessly vicious by virtue of want, association, and environment, and ready for, if not eagerly anticipating any social upheaval which would afford them an opportunity to plunder and pillage. This world presented then, as it ever must, the saddest and most hopeless spectacle in the kaleidoscope of life. There were scores of thousands in this social sewer and new recruits coming daily. The avarice and extravagance of the Court pressed upon the great stratum of middle life, which in time bore down upon the lower sphere with crushing weight, while many of its numbers, weary of the eternal struggle, relaxed their hold on respectability and fell into the pit of crime and moral death. The inhabitants of this realm presented a picture of ferocity and despair, which must necessarily prove a frightful element in a revolution. The social cellar was only waiting for the signal when its hideous throat would belch forth death as surely as cannon or mortar ever hurled the life-destroying bomb. Such was life in France in the world of the wealthy and the world of want; while Louis drank Dubarry’s health; while Marie Antoinette longed for her childhood home, and the Dauphin busied himself with geography, lock-making, and clock-repairing.

When Louis XV. died the scum had so thoroughly poisoned the great current of life in France that it is probable that even had there been far wiser heads at the helm of State than Louis XVI. and his councillor they would have found it difficult, if not impossible, to prevent a bloody reckoning, for the love of peace and reverence for justice, the cool judgment and mature wisdom which swayed the popular mind at an early day was well-nigh drowned in the rising tide of angry discontent and intense hate. A settled conviction pervaded the soul of the masses that the hour had come when might should make right the age-long wrongs of the people; and when an idea of this character possesses the rank and file of a nation it is almost impossible even by a liberal policy to avert a bloody issue.

I have dwelt upon this striking passage of history because it bristles 639with suggestive lessons and warning notes to the great Republic at the present time, and because the grave evils, which are as symptomatic to-day as were the signs of the times portentous in the reign of the easy-going, sensual Louis, are being met by those who have it in their power to avert a social catastrophe in precisely the same short-sighted spirit as characterized the conservative aristocracy when it denied the existence of the universal discontent among the masses and flippantly dismissed the angry muttering of the coming storm as merely the expression of a few shallow-brained malcontents. To-day we find the same brutal indifference and selfishness as was so conspicuous at the Louvre in 1770, exhibited by our mushroom aristocracy of the dollar, composed of those who form and control the great monopolies, syndicates, trusts, and combines, which are so cruelly oppressing the many that the few may grow many times millionnaires; together with the great railway magnates, who have through watering stock on the one hand, and plundering the commonwealth of farmers by exorbitant freights on the other, dishonestly amassed colossal fortunes. And that still more baleful communion which forms such an important part of America’s shoddy aristocracy, the Wall Street gamblers, they who rule “the street,” paralyzing healthy business, causing panics at will, and annually sweeping to the wall, to ruin and to death numbers of victims who have been lured into their snares by deceptive reports industriously circulated and extensively published by paid agents of these same brigands of the commercial world.

This mushroom plutocracy, whose representatives hold colossal fortunes acquired rather than earned, practically rule our business interests by virtue of the enormous opportunities afforded by their great wealth. And year by year are they increasing the rising tide of indignation in the hearts of millions of hard-working men and women, by grinding down more and still more hopelessly the multitude dependent on them, whom they can reduce to starvation if they rebel. Another element, which, viewed from the plane of justice and equity may be rightly termed criminal, is the popular and conservative economist who caters to the plutocracy and with brazen effrontery denies facts susceptible of proof, while he denounces every reformer who seeks to expose the iniquities of the present. This course is precisely a repetition of the policy of those who minified the real danger and misrepresented the grave facts to the Court of France, at a time when an honest, truthful representation might have averted the most terrible revolution in the annals of civilization. Only a short time since a popular economic writer denounced a Boston clergyman for unveiling the horrors of the sweating system in the modern Athens. He could not deny the truth of the sickening facts described, but termed the minister a member of one of the “most dangerous class” of citizens, merely because he spoke the truth with a view to bettering the condition of society’s exiles.

At a recent meeting of the Rhode Island weavers, a distinguished and popular conservative economic writer addressed the hard struggling workingmen. During his remarks he sought to make them blindly and contentedly accept their lot by saying in honeyed tones: “Why, my dear friends, the production of the country only furnishes $200 a head annually, and it is hard to make it go around. It is only by hard pinching and careful economy that we can make it do so;” while almost within gunshot of the speaker rose the palaces of America’s millionnaires, at Newport, 640where gigantic fortunes are annually squandered with lavish hands; where Mr. McAllister and his butterfly coterie of wealthy gourmands eat, drink, and dance away the summer, and illustrate how these children of idleness and wealth have to “pinch and planto make their shareof the $200 go around,” of which the distinguished conservative economist spoke. If the masses of our people were unable to read or write, if they had been accustomed to centuries of oppression, a policy so glaringly unjust and disingenuous might succeed for a time. But with conditions as they are, the persistent crying of peace when there is no peace, and attempting to juggle with facts is more than foolish, it is criminal. One who does not regularly read the labor and agricultural press of this country is incapable of forming an intelligent idea of the nature or extent of the discontent at the present time. Then again, beyond this commonwealth of struggling toilers rises another commonwealth, the frightful condition of which no careful student can ignore. I refer to society’s exiles, or the contingent of the social cellar. This element grows more powerful with each year. It is not securing justice at the hands of civilization and must some day be reckoned with.

In every agitation, every crusade against wrong, every battle for humanity, every contest for a broader sweep of justice, conventional critics have arrayed themselves on the side of the evil conditions, and denounced as dangerous agitators those who have sought to arouse the higher impulses of the people to right the crying wrongs of the hour. The treatment of Garrison and Phillips by this class in Boston, even in the shadow of the Cradle of Liberty, during the anti-slavery agitation, is of sufficiently recent date to emphasize this point, which has been paralleled in every important agitation for a higher civilization and a more just condition. To ignore the serious social unrest of the present, and the bitter cry of the weak for justice, is to follow the fatal precedent set by the French government. To deny the reality of the wrongs complained of, or lightly dismiss them as our popular economists are doing, is to pursue the ostrich policy with the certainty of being overtaken by the results of the evil which might have been averted. It matters not whether our “eminent” authorities are ignorant of the true social condition in city and country life to-day, or are wickedly juggling with truth in order to curry favor with plutocracy and conservatism, the fact remains that they are deceiving their masters as courtiers have often deceived thrones at moments when deception meant ruin. The duty of the hour is to turn on the light, to compel the thoughtful among our wealthy and powerful people to know the truth as it is, and to seek such a just and equitable revolution as will save a baptism of blood. The day for prophesying smooth things is past; we are face to face with problems and conditions which will not brook dishonest treatment. The exigencies of the present hour demand that we frankly face the social problems as they are and honestly discuss them in all their bearings. That we call to witness the impressive lessons of history and if possible, avert the repetition of the cataclysms of the past by prompt measures, marked by wisdom and justice. It is not too late to prevent a revolution of force if wealth and power will heed the cry of want and weakness; if justice, courage, and duty supplant self-interest and indifference in the hearts of those who see and feel the rising tide of angry discontent. To-day if we would demonstrate that a century of civilization and free government has lifted us to a higher ethical level than humanity had attained a hundred years ago, we must face conditions as they are and promptly adopt measures that will secure such a meed of justice for the weak as shall take from his heart the bitterness of injustice and establish a feeling of common brotherhood and good-will.


  1. There is a slight modification to be made in this statement. When the Bureaux of the two Chambers are invited either by the President of the Republic, the President of the Senate, or the President of the Chamber, no distinction is made in regard to politics, and on these occasions the members of the Right condescend to break bread with the republicans. I should explain that the Bureaux are composed of a president, four vice-presidents, and eight secretaries, chosen each session by the senators and deputies. Two of the secretaryships are given by courtesy to the Right. Return to text

  2. When, during the Seize Mai crisis, MacMahon’s message adjourning the sittings for a month was read to the Chamber, the republicans protested with repeated cries of “Vive la République!” to which the Right responded with “Vive la France!” A month later, when the decree dissolving the Chamber was laid before the Chamber, the republicans shouted: “Vive la République! Vive la Paix!” and the Right answered with “Vive la France! Vive le Maréchal!” When it was announced in full Congress that M. Grévy had been elected President, and again when M. Carnot’s name was proclaimed in the same way, the republicans once more hurrahed for a form of government, while their opponents posed as the defenders of the country and the nation. Return to text

  3. Although this interview is here printed for the first time, I mentioned it to some of Madame Blavatsky’s friends so that she might have an opportunity of giving her version. I am told that she said she gave me an answer as directed by her Guru. I must conclude therefore that unless the Gurus are all glamour, they must be raised by their superhuman merits above the obligations of truth. Return to text

  4. Commissioner Grant was awakened by a telegram and requested to look for a cigarette in a certain part of the Prince of Wales’ statue, in Bombay; he went and found nothing. Mrs. Coulomb now says she was Madame B——‘s confederate, and that she was afraid of being taken up as a lunatic if she climbed to the unicorn’s horn where the cigarette was to be placed. So she said the rain must have washed it away. Madame Blavatsky showed mental weakness in not considering the difficulties, and her fondness for cigarettes made her set them too high in dignity as well as position Return to text

  5. Copyright by Charles H. Pattee. Return to text

  6. Among the few papers which have denounced this judicial crime are the New York Commercial Advertiser and the St. Louis Republic. The former journal observes: “It seems that the glorious clause of the Constitution can give no protection to men who conscientiously believe they should literally observe the Fourth Commandment…. It seems that when a State seeks to enforce religious duty all consciences must bow before it. That is to say, if, for example, the Catholics of Louisiana were to pass a law that no man should taste meat on Friday, the act would be no infringement of religious liberty.

    There can be but one opinion upon this decision among all liberal-minded men. It is odious sophistry, unworthy of the age in which we live. And under it an American citizen has been condemned to spend the rest of his days in a dungeon unless he shall stoop to deny the dictates of his own conscience and dishonor his own manhood.

    The Republic in an editorial of August second says: “Not being able to leave his crops unworked for two days in the week, Mr. King ploughed them on Sunday, after having kept the Sabbath the day before. He was arrested under the Sunday law, and in order to make it effective against him it was alleged that his work on his own farm on Sunday created a public nuisance. On this entirely untenable ground he has been harassed from court to court. He was a poor man, but he has been supported by the friends of religious liberty. Mr. King has been greatly wronged, but his only remedy at law is under the law and Constitution of Tennessee. It appears that for the present his remedy is denied him, and this being the case he has no better recourse than to submit to the oppression and go to prison—to the convict camp, if it suits the convenience of his persecutors to send him there.” Return to text

Transcriber’s Notes:

Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully as possible, including obsolete and variant spellings and other inconsistencies. The transcriber made the following changes to the text to correct obvious errors by the publisher:

  1. p. 589, “Samangala” changed to “Sumangala”
  2. p. 603, “Lassez-faire” changed to “Laissez-faire”
  3. p. 607, Both “J. S. Moffitt, Jr.” and “J. S. Moffit, Jr.” appear on page 607.
  4. p. 622, “nothng” changed to “nothing”
  5. p. 632, “Even he carrion” changed to “Even the carrion”
  6. p. 633, “Sabbath or” changed to “Sabbath on”

Also, several occurrences of mismatched quotes remain as published.

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