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Title: The Unpopular Review Vol. I
       January-June 1914

Author: Various

Editor: Henry Holt

Release Date: February 15, 2015 [EBook #48268]

Language: English

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Copyright, 1913, 1914,



No. 1. JANUARY-MARCH, 1914

The New Irrepressible ConflictThe Editor1
The Majority JuggernautFabian Franklin22
The Democrat ReflectsGrant Showerman34
The New MoralityPaul Elmer More47
Professor Bergson and Psychical ResearchThe Editor63
Two Neglected VirtuesF. J. Mather, Jr.112
The Unfermented CabinetE. S. Martin124
A Needed Unpopular ReformH. B. Brougham133
Our Tobacco: Its CostHenry W. Farnam145
Our Alcohol: Its UseClayton Hamilton163
The MicrobophobiacGrant Showerman175
The Standing Incentives to WarDavid Starr Jordan185
The Machinery for PeaceH. B. Brougham200
En Casserole: Tobacco and Alcohol—Answering Big Questions—Decency and the Stage—What's the Matter with our Colleges? (Vernon L. Kellogg)—Proportionate News (F. J. Mather, Jr.)—Simplified Spelling 212

No. 2. APRIL-JUNE, 1914

The Soul of CapitalismAlvin S. Johnson227
A Sociological NightmareW. P. Trent245
Social Untruth and the Social UnrestFabian Franklin252
Natural AristocracyPaul Elmer More272
The Right to be AmusedF. J. Mather, Jr.297
How Woman Suffrage has WorkedH. B. Brougham307
The Baby and the BeeVernon L. Kellogg333
The Case for Pigeon-HolesGrant Showerman343
The Greeks on Religion and MoralsEmily J. Putnam358
Our Sublime Faith in SchoolingCalvin Thomas375
The Barbarian InvasionWarner Fite389
Trust-Busting as a National PastimeHenry R. Seager406
Our Government Subvention to LiteratureCharles W. Burrows415
En Casserole: Special to our Readers—A Specimen of "Uplift" Legislation—A Model of Divinatory Criticism (Calvin Thomas)—Some Deserving "Climbers"—Simplified Spelling 431

[Pg 1]

The Unpopular Review
VOL. 1 JANUARY, 1914 NO. 1


We call it new. Yet there is nothing new under the sun—which statement, like most proverbs, is but a half truth.

The world has always been full of irrepressible conflicts, and will be as long as life is worth living in it—and longer. There was one between centrifugal and centripetal force, at the very start (assuming a start), when the star dust began to whirl, and all that have been since have been but differentiations from it. Old ones are between sex-instinct and monogamy, between license and order, or call it liberty and authority if you please, or freedom and slavery. Sex-instinct, license, liberty, freedom are centrifugal; monogamy, order, authority, even slavery, are centripetal. The conflict between freedom and slavery gave rise to the phrase The Irrepressible Conflict. It came through Seward at the time of the Civil War.

That Irrepressible Conflict has been succeeded by one which we have called new, but which, though in a comparatively quiescent state, is older than Jack Cade or even than Cleon. It took its start in the fact that in human evolution, from the pithecanthropos up, some of us have not got along as fast as others. Primitively, the conflict began by those in front enslaving those behind—the minority enslaving the majority. But that built Athens; and with it, civilization—as we regard it. (This starting point is selected somewhat arbitrarily, but most starting points must be.) It now looks, though, as if the boot were getting on the other leg—the majority trying to enslave the minority; and if they do before humanity is much farther evolved, what Athens started will stop.[Pg 2] But probably the result of the conflict will not be as bad as that. Something like it has happened at times, however—say when Southern Europe was rolled over by Northern Europe, and when the Paris that had breeches was rolled over by the Paris that had none; and possibly something like it began when Americans that had three thousand dollars a year and found work for the rest of the people, and paid wages, and bought the produce of the soil, and made commerce and finance and the best in statecraft and science and letters and the arts—when in two instances these men were legislated away from powers and immunities granted to others.

Of all human conditions, the difference among men in capacities, and consequently in possessions, is perhaps the most troublesome; and yet it is because of that very condition, that most men have done most of the things that raised them from the lowest savagery. The progress of the world, as a whole, has depended upon the superior man leading the way, and upon the mass of men working to keep up with him. Of course we in our wisdom can ask why it was necessary to evolve men at different rates, thus imposing upon most of us the pains of inferiority and envy, and the strains of emulation. We don't know, but so it is. Life is full of such paradoxes, way down to the existence side by side of free will and necessity; and the only effective way of life is to devote to each of the opposing conditions the best action our little intellects can direct, without wasting them over vain efforts at reconciliations that are beyond us.

Although the wage-earner of to-day is better off than the kings of yore in every particular except that there are more men for him to envy, that particular is a constant source of unhappiness to him, and is rapidly making him a constant source of unhappiness to everybody else. The man behind is getting more and more in conflict with the man in front. Until lately the disturbances have been local and spasmodic. Now they have become nation-wide and world-wide; and until evolution has got so near[Pg 3] its goal of equilibration that the differences between men are much less than now, and the sympathies much greater, the conflict will be irrepressible.

The differences from which it springs were, as is well known, much less among the ancestors who shaped our government than they are among ourselves. Leaving out the slaves who did nothing in that work, the population was nearer homogeneous in wealth and race than it is now, and the differences were not so great as to cause much conflict. There was virtually no proletariat. In those days it took character to emigrate to these shores: in these days, it almost seems to take character not to. The nation consisted then almost entirely of farmers and land-owners, and there continued some sort of basis for all the talk of equality, until the proletariat "tasted blood" in the greenbacks issued as a war measure. The impression brought by them into the minds of the ignorant, and fostered by the demagogues, was that to make everybody rich, it was only necessary to print more. This delusion dropped into the minds of the first proletariat in the world which had long enjoyed common-school education, and in that soil it grew rapidly, and whenever put down in one form, it has arisen in another. When people were satisfied that the millennium could not be brought about by greenbacks, they felt certain, under the instruction of that eminent financier our present Secretary-of-State, that it could be brought about by silver. When they got through playing with that delusion, they were entirely ready to welcome a flood of other delusions which had found their principal sources in Europe among men denied the electoral franchise. Up to that time the toy of political equality had kept the American proletariat sufficiently amused to prevent their paying much attention to the socialism, anarchism and similar "isms" which had agitated the same classes abroad. But the essential conditions had all the while been the same here, and the assassination of McKinley illustrated that the great republic was at last as far along in a certain sort of "progress" as the older civilizations. It was the direct consequence of the crazy doctrines preached all the way from Emma[Pg 4] Goldman up to some of the most "progressive" of the college professors.

But however discouraging the situation among the wage-earners may be, it is perhaps better than one of ox-like content. The average man is beginning to have ideals—not very high ideals; most of them concern merely his back and his belly; but there are a few which find vent in the orchestras and dramatic efforts at the settlements and village halls; and in the bandstands on the village greens, horrible as generally are the noises made in them. But these awakening ideals also appear in the boycotts among the Danbury hatters, in the vandalisms of the I. W. W., in the Los Angeles dynamiting, and in murders among the Chicago teamsters and Pennsylvania miners, as well as in the assassination of McKinley.

Then there is an intermediate showing of them, neither in art nor in physical force, but in the opinions behind the force, in all sorts of schemes toward the material basis of enlarged life. The people seek short cuts across the gulf, and follow like sheep those who promise them what they want. Just as Jack Cade promised them that every pint pot should hold a quart, so Bryan promised them, virtually, that silver should be as good as gold, and Roosevelt virtually promised them that all judges should be afraid to decide against them in industrial conflicts. True, he explains all that away in the Hibbert Journal. But the people he harangues do not read the Hibbert Journal, and he is astute enough to know it.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Irrepressible Conflict is where it is not between two sides wanting the same dollars, but between the real and the ideal. Nearly all the schemes are ideal, eminently desirable, but utterly impossible in any state of human nature that we know or can clearly foresee. Yet they appeal to the sympathies of all, and therefore mislead the judgments of many. We wish we felt as certain as we do of sunrise that in the present stage of American evolution democratic government[Pg 5] is not one of these ideals; but we cannot. The American people has just passed its first two measures of distinct and unqualified class legislation, and has been running wild after the two greatest demagogues in history. But fortunately as they both promise substantially the same things—"steal each other's clothes," they tend to neutralize each other.

The sources of the most pronounced conflict between facts and ideals are that ordinarily a man cannot have more than he creates and conserves; that the desire to will torture those who create and conserve little, as long as they have to look upon others who create and conserve much; and that, as long as the difference lasts, those who have little will want to get hold of what is held by those who have much. The things that all men want, but few men have. Those who have not, envy and often hate those who have. Of late this disposition has been greatly intensified by the multitude of rapid fortunes from the new control of Nature and from the trusts, and the parvenu ostentation accompanying them. It makes a difference whether princely state surrounds the king's son, or one's own pal of yesterday.

Worst of all, so many of these fortunes have been obtained wrongfully that they intensify the impression that all fortunes above the average have.

Now the fundamental question in this conflict is: to whom does that money rightfully belong? Among wise people who are not economists, the width and profundity of the ignorance on this point tends to dissipate the current skepticism regarding the miraculous.

The fortunes wrongfully acquired are exceptional and abnormal. Nearly all comfortable fortunes come from legitimate industry. Within a generation the economists have got the question of to whom they rightfully belong, into the qualitative stage of settlement. The quantitative stage is a much nicer and more complicated problem, and varies more with different cases. Possibly the first germ of the solution appeared a generation ago in a sentence in Marshall's "Economics of Industry."

[Pg 6]

It was: "The earnings of management of a manufacturer represent the value of the addition which his work makes to the total product of capital and industry." The same holds true of a farmer, miner, transporter, merchant or anybody else who directs industry. It is more easily recognized in the case of the inventor. Francis A. Walker took up this theme and gradually demonstrated that so far from the employer's profits being wrung out of the wage-earner, they are generally greatest where wages are highest, and proceed from devices and economies effected by the employer, and would not exist without them. This is being constantly illustrated by some employers succeeding where others have failed, and failing where others have succeeded. In support of the general thesis Walker says: "Discussions in Economics and Statistics," (Vol. I., pp. 367-75):

"Looking at the better employers of whatever grade ... we note that they pay wages, as a rule, equal to those paid by those employers who realize no profits, or even sustain a loss; and that, indeed, if regularity of employment be taken, as it should be, into account, the employers of the former class pay really higher wages than the latter class. We note, further, that the successful men of business pay as high prices for materials and as high rates of interest for the use of capital, if the scale of their transactions and the greater security of payment be taken, as it should be, into account.

"Whence, then, comes the surplus which is left in the hands of the higher grades of employers, after the payment of wages, the purchase of materials and supplies, the repair and renewal of machinery and plant? I answer, This surplus, in the case of any employer, represents that which he is able to produce over and above what an employer of the lowest industrial grade can produce with equal amounts of labor and capital. In other words, this surplus is of his own creation, produced wholly by that business ability which raises him above and distinguishes him from, the employers of what may be called the no-profits class.

"... The excess of produce which we are contemplating comes from directing force to its proper object by the simplest and shortest ways; from saving all unnecessary waste of materials and machinery; from boldly incurring the expense—the often[Pg 7] large expense—of improved processes and appliances, while closely scrutinizing outgo and practicing a thousand petty economies in unessential matters; from meeting the demands of the market most aptly and instantly; and, lastly, from exercising a sound judgment as to the time of sale and the terms of payment. It is on account of the wide range among the employers of labor, in the matter of ability to meet these exacting conditions of business success, that we have the phenomenon, in every community and in every trade, in whatever state of the market, of some employers realizing no profits at all, while others are making fair profits; others, again, large profits; others, still, colossal profits. Side by side, in the same business, with equal command of capital, with equal opportunities, one man is gradually sinking a fortune, while another is doubling or trebling his accumulations....

"If this be correct, we see how mistaken is that opinion too often entertained by the wages class, which regards the successful employers of labor—men who realize large fortunes in manufactures or trade—as having in some way injured or robbed them....

"In this view, profits constitute no part of the price of goods, and are obtained through no deduction from the wages of labor. On the contrary, they are the creation of those who receive them, each employer's profits representing that which he has produced over and above what the employers of the lowest industrial grade have been able to produce with equal amounts of labor and capital."

All this is now accepted doctrine among those entitled to opinions, but as already intimated, the ignorance of it among even people of good general intelligence is astounding, while the laboring classes and their leaders shut their eyes to it. No man of inferior fortune likes to admit, as this principle asks him to, that the inferiority is in himself. And small blame to him for his reluctance.

Yet to state what is usually and normally the source of wealth, is not to claim that individual wealth never has any other source, or to deny that it is often increased by taking an undue advantage of inferior capacity, and by monopoly and sundry other forms of disguised robbery. But that wealth is generally the result of pillage, and not of invention, good management and other good forces, is[Pg 8] probably the worst and most destructive fallacy ever preached.

This destructive fallacy has seriously exaggerated the estimates of the injustices and robberies on the part of employers; and in the attempt to curb them, it has been busy for many years in impeding good management, and has cost Labor terribly in unjustifiable strikes. This, however, is by no means saying that there are no justifiable strikes. They are inevitably a part of the present irrepressible conflict, but its bitterness and cruelties are largely fed by a general feeling that wealth generally has been accumulated at the expense of the poor, when the truth is that generally, though not always, it has been accumulated to their profit.

Yet it is far from plain how the man who tugs and sweats should justly have little, while the man who does not tug and sweat should justly have much. The man who tugs and sweats saw his own hands make, or extract from the earth or the forests or the fields, or transport or exchange what the other man has, and no one saw the hands of the man who has it, do anything. Naturally, then, the man who has it not, thinks that the man who has it, stole it—that it belongs to the man who handled it. And he is going to take it.

But he is not going to take it by force: robbery he feels to be wrong. He is going to take it "by due process of law"—by his vote: the law has given him a vote, and the law is justice itself. As he is in various ways permitted to vote away other people's possessions to his own use, he takes it for granted that he has a moral as well as a legal right to do so to any extent, and is full of schemes to that end. But the law has also given the other man the property and the means of holding onto it. Here is another outcrop of the Irrepressible Conflict: the law is in conflict with itself. The conflict must be reconciled: the man who wants the property must elect legislators and judges who will change the law so the other man cannot get the property away from the man who makes it with his own hands, and cannot hold on to what he has already got of it.

[Pg 9]

At the outset, and to a certain extent, he is right: for to a certain extent the principle of the greatest good of the greatest number is unquestionably in conflict with the principle suum cuique. The problem in each case is to draw the line between these opposing forces.

Most of the expenses for public education, museums, parks, public concerts, and even making, lighting and policing streets, and of the courts and jails, have long been paid by taxpayers mainly for the benefit of non-taxpayers, and no one wishes these expenses stopped. To the education in the common schools are now being added medical supervision, care of the eyes, dentistry, lunches, transportation to and fro. These things are not done for the children of the people who pay most of the money for them.

In still other ways, however, the poor man is increasing through law his facilities for using the accumulations of the rich man. As already indicated, we are just entering upon a system of income taxation where there is not a pretence of making the poor man pay, or even the man of moderately comfortable means; the poor man has had numerous statutes passed relieving from the penalties of the common law, his conspiracies to cripple the rich man's business if the poor man's demands are not granted; and he has lately had wage-earners and farmers exempted from the prosecutions under a fund for punishing conspiracies in restraint of trade. How far can we continue along the same road before we shall find legislation exempting the man in need, or even fancied need, from any constraint against taking what he wants wherever he can find it? That legislation has now entered upon that road seems obvious. Where is it going to stop, and what is going to stop it?

Are wage-earners and farmers going to be more definitely arrayed against the rest of the community? We incline to think not, because the farmer, as a rule, has property to protect, and although this legislation is in favor of his annual income, it cannot go much farther—especially in distributing favors elsewhere—without attacking his accumulations. Moreover it seems impossible[Pg 10] that there should be a long continuance of the present degree of oblivion to the desirability of having every man feel his interest in government, through some degree of the pinch of taxation.

Any considerable increase of the recent legislation, would of course lead to the diminution of capital, both through expenditure and through discouragement of accumulation. It would also diminish the activity of those who are able to handle capital profitably, and the consequent effect on wages would perhaps in time become apparent to even the order of intellect behind the legislation.

How far can it go without drying up the springs of charity? There is already free talk of saving income taxes out of charities.

Such legislation is certainly nursing antagonisms, and whether the spread of general intelligence can be expected to be rapid enough to prevent serious harm, is doubtful. It even sometimes appears a question whether the conflict can be settled without more serious bloodshed. Fortunately neither side has yet as much to complain of as one side had in the revolutions which cost Charles I and Louis XVI their heads; and it is doubtful whether either side has the power or coherence or disposition to drive it to arms—whether the existing sentiment in any civilized nation is longer such as to make such a consummation possible. Times are growing more peaceful. Not only has the biggest army in the world for nearly half a century been the biggest engine of peace; not only has a permanent international courthouse been built among the fortresses, after several temporary ones had already done good service; but when the brotherhood of locomotive engineers gets into conflict with their employers, instead of settling it in the freight yards with torches and brickbats, both sides go to the Waldorf-Astoria and have a judicial proceeding. For a centrifugal explosion, they substitute a centripetal adjustment. And the brawn supplies its share of the brains to do it.

The fundamental question is, of course, whether before serious harm has been done, the differences in men's fortunes which, as said at the outset, largely mean differences[Pg 11] in men's powers, can be sufficiently decreased to leave room for little conflict.

One answer is that the equalization is already taking place at a rate that few people realize. Amid the poor, the impression that the rich are growing richer and the poor poorer, is quite general, and of course is fostered by the demagogues who make their living out of the discontent—out of the justifiable discontent less perhaps than out of the unjustifiable. Worse still, perhaps, the educated whose sympathies lead them to instruct the ignorant, are to a shameful degree ignorant of the truth in this regard, and, it must be feared, of the facts of the economic situation generally: somehow the softness of heart which actuates many such well-meaning people seems often to accompany a softness of head which recoils from all hard facts that would narrow the field where they delight to exercise their sympathies.

Nobody will question the progress of the average man from status to contract—from slavery, serfdom, feudal dependence, to wage-earning; but since the time of Marx, the claim of rich richer, and poor poorer has been general—among the ignorant rich as well as the ignorant poor. Nevertheless abundant authorities prove the exact contrary.

In the "poor poorer" part of the assertion, there was undeniably much truth during the early part of the nineteenth century, especially before industry became adjusted to the new machinery, and before the rise of the trades unions and the overthrow of the laissez-faire policy in legislation. But after those changes, there was a rapid advance in wages, shortening of hours, and reduction in the price of commodities. So great was the change that even Marx himself, who had done more than any other man to spread the "increasing misery" theory, abandoned it in an address delivered in 1864. Yet he so little understood the force of admissions that he then made, that he let the elaborate a priori demonstration of the theory which he had already built up, stand in his "Capital," which he did not publish till 1867.[1] But the[Pg 12] admissions of 1864 did not end in theory. Facts began to accumulate to confirm it. Early in the twentieth century the changed conditions had attracted attention, and there were gathered many data which proved that rapid betterment had taken place in the condition of wage-earners.

We have space for but a few of the facts, and they are not all up to date. Of the results of the Census of 1910 which bear on this subject, very few are yet published. Most of those of the Census of 1900 were not published till 1907, and it is only up to about that time that many data are at the moment available. But we hope before long to present a careful study of the conditions up to the present time. Meanwhile, it is pleasant to note the following:

In the United States wages in manufacturing industries averaged $247 in 1850, $427 in 1899, and $519 in 1909. And of course other industries could not fall very far below manufactures.

The cost of living did not begin to show any such advance. Dun's tables show that the yearly cost of living per capita in 1860, before the civil war, was $16.87 more than in 1905. For the sixteen years 1880 to 1895, inclusive, the average yearly cost was $101.65. For the ten years 1896 to 1905, inclusive, the average was $81.52, $20.13 less than for the earlier period. There has been a sharp advance since 1905, but taking the whole period from 1850 to the present time, nothing to compare with the advance in wages.

Although the recent class legislation in favor of the labor trusts also included any possible farmer trust, the farmer appears to have progressed with the wage-earner. His products have lately materially advanced in price, and the abstract of the Census of 1910 says (p. 295):

The total value of the land and buildings of the 1,006,511 farms shown for 1910 was $6,330,000,000, and the amount of debt was $1,726,000,000, or 27.3 per cent. of the value. The corresponding proportion in 1890, as shown in the reports, was 35.5 per cent., and to make this figure strictly comparable it would presumably have to be increased slightly. There was[Pg 13] thus during the 20 years a marked diminution in the relative importance of mortgage debt ... but the average owner's equity per farm increased from $2,220 to $4,574, or more than doubled.

Wholesale clothing dealers report a great increase in average size and quality of clothes demanded, which shows that the people are better fed and exercised and better off. Over all highly civilized countries the consumption of food has been increasing faster than population. This cannot mean that the rich eat and drink more; for they ate and drank all they wanted before: so it must prove that the proportion of those who can eat and drink freely is increasing.

Moreover, hours of labor have been decreasing without any diminution of production. The United States Labor Bureau reports for 1913 show that the average wage-earner is working shorter hours than ever before, that he is receiving more pay for the short-hour week than he formerly received for the long-hour week, and that the increase in his average wage in most industries has been so great that its purchasing power has risen, notwithstanding the increase in prices of many commodities.

As to the "rich richer" fallacy: in Massachusetts for the period 1829-31 the probated estates under $5,000 were 85.6 per cent. of the whole, in the period 1889-91 they had fallen to 69.5 of the whole. It is nevertheless true that a few of the rich are richer than men have been before, and in the case of an increasing proportion of them, it has been for the good of all of us.

In Great Britain from 1840 to 1890, the number of estates subject to succession tax increased twice as fast as population, while the average amount per estate had not increased at all.

In France from 1853 to 1883 wages advanced some sixty per cent., and in the principal occupations of women (outside of domestic service), they nearly doubled.

Mr. W. H. Mallock, after an elaborate investigation in the British Census reports, the details of which are given in his "Classes and Masses," states the following conclusions: "The poor" (except those who have nothing[Pg 14] at all) "are getting richer; the rich, on an average, getting poorer ... and of all classes in the community, the middle class is growing the fastest." Since 1830 the population has increased "in the proportion of 27 to 35; the increase of the section in question [the middle class] was in the proportion of 27 to 84." "The middle class has increased numerically in the proportion of 3 to 10; the rich class has increased only in the proportion of 3 to 8." In 1881, there were seven thousand windowless cabins occupied by families in Scotland; by 1891, these had "almost disappeared; the one-roomed dwellings with windows have decreased 25 per cent.; the two-roomed dwellings have increased by 8 per cent., and the three-roomed and four-roomed dwellings by 17 per cent."

In 1815 there were 100,000 paupers in London. At the rate of increase of population in 1875, there should have been 300,000. There actually were less than 100,000, while from 1871 to 1908 the percentage of population "relieved" fell from 31 to 22.

In Germany, income-tax statistics prove the same thing. In Prussia, from 1876 to 1888, Dr. Soetbeer (quoted by Professor Mayo-Smith) finds that the proportion of income-tax payers with their families, to the whole population, had increased about 22 per cent., that is from 2.3 per cent. of the population to 2.8 per cent., and that the classes which had increased at the most rapid rate were those with incomes of over $500. And although the most rapid increase of all had been in the class with incomes of over $25,000, the average incomes of that class had decreased.

We regret that more recent figures than some we have given cannot be had in time for the present article, but as already said, we hope before long to present the results of a special study backed by the forthcoming census bulletin, and attempting to weigh judicially the confusing factor introduced into the situation by that part of the rise in prices due to the unprecedented increase in the supply of gold. Were it not for that extraneous circumstance, the showing for the wage-earner's advance would be even greater.

The very recent and probably temporary rise in prices is principally attributed to the unprecedented production of[Pg 15] gold, the rush away from the farms to the cities, the rise in wages, and certain wastes in labor. In some trades wages have been forced to a height which, acting on the prices of products, has in many particulars nullified the advance in wages. All raising of wages by limiting labor instead of increasing product, by increasing friction instead of efficiency, by getting more than one's own instead of making one's own larger, must raise prices. So, to put it more in detail, must all such adventitious tricks as limiting apprentices; limiting each laborer's speed to that of the slowest; limiting the kinds of things a man can reasonably do—in short, all limiting of labor below its best efficiency by men or masters, masters remembering of course that to best efficiency reasonable rest, food and other good conditions are essential. So must all making of work by putting onto a job more labor than can accomplish it economically, as by calling a painter, a carpenter and a plumber to do a little job that any one of them could complete alone, and destroying good old product to make a call for new. Under ordinary conditions there will always be work enough for everybody without these efforts to create work artificially, and the extraordinary conditions where there is not enough, are only multiplied and intensified by such efforts.

But despite these influences contributory to the rise of prices in recent years, the improvements in the wage-earner's lot that had been noted for over half a century, have on the whole continued to the present time.

All the forms of industrial conflict are but manifestations of Nature's striving for equilibration—the goal of all evolution; and only with a nearer equilibration of men's fortunes will there be peace. How can it be brought about?

Will a victory of the socialists bring it? Yes, if, by premature action, you make a desert and call it peace, or if you wait until the civic virtues are so far developed that selections at the polls will be as unbiassed and discriminating as those of Nature. But if that time is approaching, it is with leaden feet; and to act as if it had arrived would only delay it. Our steps must be cautious and tentative.[Pg 16] That the frightful wastes of both competition and monopoly should be avoided by state management of all industries or even to any great extent by state control, is a far-off ideal—so far-off that men wise enough to be successful are slow to express opinions about it. Beside this ideal, as beside the ideal of the land directly providing the government revenue, stalks, as the extreme fallacy generally stalks beside the truth, the false ideal of the government management or the land tax producing enough revenue to take care of everybody, and doing it, leaving to no one the saving duty of taking care of himself.

The steps already taken toward that ideal, it may perhaps be worth while to glance at. Outside of government's fundamental functions—the maintenance of order and justice—it has also managed the post-office, the coast and geological surveys, the currency, the census, the public schools, the streets, and the care of the sick and incapable. Some highly centralized and highly civilized governments have added the railways, but the privately owned ones, with all their shortcomings, are better; government telegraph service has been cheapened at the expense of the taxpayers, and government telephone service has been abominable. All this has been non-competitive work. There is not yet any sign that government could make a success of competitive industries. All the indications are the other way. Governments have so far been too slow to invent or even adopt improvements, especially where they involve scrapping old plant; and so far, government has generally been an extravagant and wasteful employer.

Unlike many other conflicts, the new Irrepressible Conflict can never be settled by violence: for violence cannot remove that difference in the capacities of men from which the conflict arises. Violence, even violence disguised under votes, may spasmodically lessen the natural differences in property, but they will reappear as long as there are differences in productive capacity, and society secures to the individual a reasonable share of his production. In this and all cases, advantageous exchange[Pg 17] of course is productive of additional value; and there is a less frequent exchange which tends not to mutual increase of fortune, but to increased difference in fortune. Should society ever go so far as to take from the inventor, the capital-saver, the work-finder, the work-manager and the exchanger their share of the products which, without them, would not exist, and which are shared in by all, production would fall off, probably below the starvation point.

If, then, the conflict cannot be fought out, how is peace to be attained, even the limited degree of peace enjoyed before the modern unrest? Simply by reducing to a negligible point the difference in the productive powers of men—in their intelligence, energy and reliability; and this by leveling up, not by leveling down, as some of the trades unions, from noble but mistaken motives, attempt.

"Simply!" The general proposition is simple enough, but there are many perplexities of detail. One inheres in the definition of "productive powers." Probably it will serve to call them the capacities of furnishing satisfactions; and to include in satisfactions those produced for oneself as well as those exchanged. In this sense the impecunious philosopher has high productive powers—often so high that he would not exchange them for those of the captain of industry, and he does not often feel discontent enough to make him a very active factor in the Irrepressible Conflict. He does sometimes, though, especially when he feels the pinch of his narrow financial income compared with that of the producer of more material satisfactions. As he is usually a man of gentle make-up, the effect of his narrow income is increased by sympathy with the unfortunate, and sometimes these combined influences send out mighty queer doctrine from professorial chairs. Such phenomena, however, do not controvert the general proposition that the satisfactions of the spirit are to be included among those upon whose more equal production depends the disappearance of the conflict that must be till then irrepressible.

There is no way to peace, then, other than increasing the productive power of the less productive man. Sharing with him material goods, except to tide over emergencies[Pg 18] that his powers cannot meet, won't do the trick at all, as has been abundantly proved, from the English poor laws down, and as is going to be proved again before some of our recent "progressive" legislation has run its course.

This is far from saying, however, that legislation really progressive in this direction is impossible. We for our part, however, do not see as much hope in legislation as in improvement in knowledge and understanding and disposition among people generally. That great improvement in disposition may be near at hand, seems indicated by recent experiences among the most revolutionary and suggestive in human annals. The recent meeting at Gettysburg, not to speak of the minor earlier ones at Lookout Mountain and elsewhere, indicates an advance in human nature so immense that it has not been realized. Not the least significant thing it demonstrated, is the vast decrease in the necessity of wasting thousands of lives and billions of treasure to settle differences of opinion.

As this is now so startlingly indicated regarding the Irrepressible Conflict which culminated at Gettysburg, and which could be settled by force, is there not even much more reason to hope for a settlement not very remote, by methods of reason, of our new Irrepressible Conflict, which cannot be settled by force?

But even if the outcroppings of the conflict are so soon settled, the fundamental conflict will persist as long as the difference in men is so great, and that difference is the most important thing to be dealt with by all lovers of peace and humanity. The only way to cancel it is for the men in front to help those behind, and for those behind to help themselves—to everything that does not belong to somebody else.

But those in front are entitled to have their judgments followed where they are not plainly tainted by self-interest, and it will pay them to keep self-interest out of their judgments so far as self-preservation does not demand it. But how much self-preservation can properly cover, is a difficult question, and space permits little more than the suggestion of it. Shall a man's self rightly be[Pg 19] a wearer of but one suit of clothes, an occupant of a hut, an eater of the plainest food, and an entertainer of no guests: or shall his self rightly be clothed beautifully and suitably for all occasions, occupy a house that shall be a pleasure to gaze upon, consume the food essential to both the greatest refinement and the greatest efficiency, dispense a generous hospitality, broaden his mind and develop his taste so that he can enlighten and inspire others, encourage letters and the arts, and have leisure to devote to charities, education and the common good? There are plenty of illustrations that a man may preserve a self as large as this—as large as Goethe's or Marcus Aurelius's—and yet issue no advice unworthy of the respect of smaller men, and be of an advantage to the race beside which the cost of maintaining such a self is nothing.

If most men cannot have the things just enumerated, and if many of those who have them abuse them, is it best that none should have them? That all should have them is, in the present stage of human development, impossible. If all the wealth of the United States were divided equally among us, we would have but a little over $1,300 apiece,[2] and much of it would be wasted at once, and no conceivable laws would prevent what might be left, being in a very short time as unevenly distributed as now. The only glimpse we can see of a time of even fortunes, is of a time of even capacities; and the only rational way we can see to such a time is through helping each other: every other experiment toward it has proved illusive.

The principal roots of the difficulty are generalized as ignorance and incompetence. The ignorance has already been strongly, though very blunderingly, attacked in the public schools, but not much more blunderingly perhaps than in the universities. It is a strange paradox that education, though the special care of the educated, should be among the most backward of the arts, yet so the highest-educated are the first to admit it to be. We are making hopeful progress in it, though, and are rapidly developing[Pg 20] it to care for incompetence not only in mind but in body and disposition.

Then in the struggles of wage-earners and wage-payers, the principle of arbitration is certainly making rapid inroads on the practice of violence. The settlement of the recent great railroad controversies was by deliberative assemblies, not by mobs.

The farther lessening of the difference in material possessions by leveling down on one side as well as leveling up on the other, has lately become a very real and active question. While the inventor has seldom realized his share of production, and while the average director of industry has seldom realized more than his, undoubtedly extortionists and monopolists have rolled up fortunes out of all proportion to their deserts; and the regulation of these, though not doing much to fill up the differences, will do more to relieve the spirit of discontent.

It will be interesting to see how much of the share now going to the employer can go to the employee without stopping the employer's functions of finder, organizer and director of profitable work. We cannot intelligently foresee conditions in which these functions on his part will not be absolutely essential to the progress of society. The functions, however, are being more and more performed, even under the trusts, by men rising from the ranks; and even the men remaining in the ranks are probably performing more and more of those same functions, though some of the short-sighted policies of the unions are obstructing them.

And the unions themselves, despite policies not yet outgrown, have unquestionably done much to raise the wage-earners' fortunes, and are probably, with more experience and wider outlook, to do vastly more. But not until they get beyond the policy of holding their own best men back, will they enter on their full career, and then their least effective men will most benefit. Moreover, the wisest and most effective men are those most ready to learn from criticism, and when the unions realize it, they will have another avenue to usefulness. They will be helped to realize it, however, by more[Pg 21] patience, candor and disinterestedness on the part of the critics. So far, everybody is bellicose, as first at Gettysburg. Cannot both sides to the present Irrepressible Conflict better anticipate a conciliatory disposition than did those heroes of fifty years ago?

When we can always carry the Irrepressible Conflict into courts and arbitrations and, as Godkin said, substitute for the shock of battle, the shock of trained intellects, peace will be in sight.

Its first essential is always a clear understanding. There are lies somewhere in every human conflict. Probably the most pitiful and pernicious of all lies is that all men are equal. The only remedy is to make it true.

[Pg 22]


During the past five years the agitation in favor of so modifying our governmental system as to remove all those barriers which stand between the will of the majority and its immediate execution has attained formidable dimensions. That the defects which American government has exhibited in many directions have been so serious and so persistent as to furnish great justification for this agitation no candid observer can deny. In both of the two ways upon which advocates of the initiative and referendum lay so much stress, our representative institutions have indeed sadly failed of being ideally representative. Venality of individual legislators, or the control of whole bodies of them by corrupt bosses, has resulted in innumerable instances of special legislation for the benefit of powerful private interests and contrary to the interests of the people. And it must be admitted that apart from any question of venality or corruption there has often been a degree of inertia in the enactment of enlightened and progressive legislation which cannot be ascribed to legitimate conservatism, but must be set down either to the unfitness of legislatures for their responsibilities or to obstacles which an extreme interpretation of constitutional restraints has unnecessarily put in its way.

Nor can it be denied that the referendum and the initiative have intrinsic value as remedies adapted to the counteracting of these two evils respectively. Given a legislature owned by special interests, or controlled by a boss, its power to give away valuable franchises or otherwise to squander the people's inheritance can be held in check by the requirement that upon proper demand such action shall be rendered subject to a veto by the people at large. And if, owing to the intricacies of party organization or to other circumstances, a legislature is stubbornly obstructive, the initiation of legislation by means of popular petition undeniably offers an instrument for the overcoming of such inertia. Were it true that the control of[Pg 23] legislatures by private interests is on the increase, or even showing no sign of diminution; were it true that legislation for social betterment is making little or no headway; were it true that our courts show no disposition to realize that a more liberal interpretation of constitutional provisions is demanded by the changed conditions of our time; it would probably be admitted by all except a few irreconcilables that, however serious might be the objections to the remedies proposed, their adoption appears to be almost dictated by that kind of imperious necessity that knows no law.

As a matter of fact the diametrical opposite of these things is what, upon a large survey of the state of the whole country, is unmistakably evident. It is doubtful whether one can point anywhere to a legislature owned as the Pennsylvania legislature used to be owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Maryland legislature by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the New Hampshire legislature by the Boston and Maine Railroad. Child labor laws and workmen's compensation laws are being enacted and strengthened in state after state, very much after the fashion in which the Australian ballot laws were being passed in state after state a quarter of a century ago. And as for our courts, the Supreme Court of the United States, once regarded as the very stronghold of extreme constitutionalism, has been steadily setting an example of liberal construction; while such a decision as that of the New York Court of Appeals in the Ives case is pointed to on all hands as being rather in the nature of a survival of a past attitude of mind than typical of the present temper of the courts of last resort in our leading states.

Nevertheless, enough remains, and more than enough, to constitute a serious grievance. The progress that has been made towards the removal of scandalous practices or exasperating impotence is not sufficient to justify complacency. But it is sufficient to dispose of that plea of desperate necessity to which advocates of the "rule of the people" are so prone to resort as over-riding all other considerations. Indeed, the state of mind of these advocates is in no small measure an illustration of that remarkable[Pg 24] psychological phenomenon to which Herbert Spencer has drawn attention as marking the progress of reform agitations—that their excitement usually becomes most intense when the object to which they are directed has been almost attained. A dozen years ago it might plausibly have been urged that in our existing representative institutions effective control of public service corporations was impossible; but the railroad-rate legislation of the national Congress and the institution of Public Service Commissions in state after state have been accomplished without a jar. A few years ago it was still the fashion to speak of the United States Constitution as virtually incapable of amendment, this belief being based on the fact that, apart from the amendments brought about by the Civil War, none had been adopted since the early days of the republic. The adoption of the sixteenth and seventeenth amendments in rapid succession has disposed of that notion for good and all; and yet it is only now that a proposal to substitute an easy and rapid method of amendment in place of that now provided in the Constitution has been brought forward and urged. Indeed, it is hardly too much to say that to-day's impatience with our existing governmental system, to-day's readiness to welcome short-cut remedies, is attributable rather to exasperation with the difficulties and evils of yesterday than to the conditions of to-day or the prospects of to-morrow.

Into the merits and defects of the various proposals for "direct rule of the people" it is not the purpose of this brief paper to enter in detail. Many valid considerations have been urged in their favor, and many sound objections have been advanced against them. Speaking generally, these arguments relate to the question of the honesty, intelligence, and efficiency of legislation as it has been, or is likely to be, affected by the change in question. Advocates of the new order have pointed to the well-known deficiencies of our legislatures as they are. Its opponents have given instances of errors, and of the misleading of voters, under the initiative system. In the main, however, since experience—in spite of Switzerland's long, but sparing, use of the method—has as yet been but of the[Pg 25] slightest extent, serious writers on both sides have dwelt chiefly on the inherent tendency of the system. That it cannot cover the whole province of legislation both sides are fully agreed; and objectors lay chief stress on the inevitable tendency of the initiative-and-referendum system to reduce the importance and dignity of legislatures and consequently to end all hope of raising the quality of their membership, while advocates of the system set great store by the educative value of the exercise of direct legislative judgment upon the whole body of the citizenship.

There is, however, one consideration, and that perhaps the most vital of all, which appears to have been strangely neglected. Every-day efficiency, even every-day right-mindedness, is not the only thing about which there is occasion for solicitude. It seems usually to be forgotten on both sides of the discussion that there occur every now and then, in the history of a nation, questions of a crucial nature upon the right or wrong decision of which rest momentous and enduring consequences. Such questions, under the traditions of representative government as they have grown up in the course of ages, are fought out in a very different way from that which marks the ordinary routine of legislation and government. They are not settled by an instantaneous show of hands. What may take place in England if it shall come to be governed by a single chamber and under a closure system which makes parliamentary obstruction impossible, no man can say; but up to the present time nothing like this kind of unlimited rule by majority vote in a parliamentary body has existed either in that country or in our own. There has always been in both a possibility of resistance, in one form or another, to the immediate desire of a majority of the people's representatives; and this has profoundly affected the course of history upon those matters which are of most vital moment.

The difference between questions of this type and the ordinary subjects of every-day legislation is more than a mere difference of degree. It is not only that they are more momentous; they are different in kind, in that their decision involves a result which, humanly speaking, is[Pg 26] irreversible. Nothing is more common than to say that if an act of the people should prove to be a mistake, they will correct that mistake. But there are mistakes that cannot be corrected. If the question of union or disunion had been put to the touch of a majority vote, and had been decided in favor of disunion, the result of that one day's voting would, in all human probability, have been a permanent severance of this nation into two mutually alien parts. Since the Civil War there has been one great issue which, though in a wholly different way, quite as distinctly illustrates the irrevocable character which the decision of a public question may have. It might be no calamity for this country to live, either temporarily or permanently, under a silver standard. But the truly vital point in the silver question which occupied the attention of the nation for twenty years was not that of the silver standard as such, but of the repudiation and currency-debasement involved in substituting the silver dollar, at the ratio of sixteen to one, for the gold dollar as the monetary unit. Had this substitution been effected, the repudiation and debasement would have taken place; and a subsequent return to the gold standard would not in the slightest degree have redressed the wrong. Under the existing system of government there was opportunity for obstruction, for compromise, for the effective influence of a few strong minds and a few powerful personalities. Under the "direct rule of the people" the whole matter might have been settled at a stroke; and it is by no means improbable that it would have been so settled, at some stage or other of the struggle, in favor of the silver standard. For it must be remembered that the very existence of this possibility would have stimulated in an incalculable degree the efforts of the silver agitators; and nothing is more probable than that during the years of depression, distress, and discontent that followed upon the panic of 1893, a moment would have been found when the popular cry of "more money" would have swept the country.

That questions not less fundamental, and the decision of which is not less irrevocable, are destined to arise in the future it should be unnecessary to argue. Never, in this[Pg 27] country at least, has the atmosphere been so charged with issues affecting the very bases of the economic and social order. These issues are for the most part vague and undefined, but their gravity and sweep is none the less apparent. But if an illustration were needed of a more specific nature, and one which relates to a question partly of the past and partly of the future, such an illustration lies ready to hand. The agitation against the right of private property in land which was started forty years ago by Henry George's "Progress and Poverty" has only within the last few years become a serious factor in practical politics. The shape which it assumes in the actual proposals urged for immediate adoption is that of a mere reduction of the tax now levied on buildings and the placing of a corresponding additional tax on land. But the earnest advocates of this step and its earnest opponents alike rest their case on the animating purpose behind it. That purpose flows from the conviction, which its leading advocates often find it politic to keep in the background but which they seldom disavow, that the owners of land have no rights which, in the eye of justice, the rest of the community is bound to respect. The fiery zeal that shines through the pages of "Progress and Poverty" is animated by this conviction on the one hand, and on the other by the unhesitating belief that under the regime of private property in land human wretchedness must continually increase, while its abolition would carry with it the extinction of poverty. Henry George did not balk at the word confiscation. Indeed it is precisely the assertion of the right to confiscate land which, apart from the eloquent and plausible presentation, constituted the distinctive character of George's work. John Stuart Mill had long advocated the interception by the state of the "unearned increment" of the future, but firmly held that expropriation of landowners without compensation is morally indefensible. Henry George, in spite of his profound reverence for Mill, dismissed this judgment of the great liberal economist and philosopher with undisguised contempt. After quoting a certain passage from Mill, George exclaims:

[Pg 28]

In the name of the Prophet—figs! If the land of any country belong to the people of that country, what right, in morality and justice, have the individuals called landowners to the rent? If the land belong to the people, why in the name of morality and justice should the people pay its salable value for their own?

But while Henry George was convinced that outright confiscation would be perfectly just, he proposed to accomplish the substance of confiscation without introducing its form. "Confiscation," he said, "would involve a needless shock to present customs and habits of thought;" and the method he proposed for achieving his end was "to abolish all taxation save that upon land values." But he made no pretence whatever of there being any difference in substance between the two things. It was of the essence of his plan that the single tax should be tantamount to confiscation. The mere placing of the present entire burden of taxation upon the landowners would be far from sufficing for his purpose; and he expressly counted on what he regarded as the inevitable and rapid growth of the land tax, when once his principle was acknowledged, to such dimensions as to swallow up the entire rental value of land. Not the mere expenses of government as we are now familiar with them, but all the outlay for social and individual betterment which the entire revenue now attaching to the ownership of land could supply was to be available for the public good. The idea of his program was epigrammatically, but sufficiently accurately, conveyed in a motto that was prominent in his campaign for mayor of New York: "No taxes at all, and a pension for everybody."

Now it requires no extraordinary effort of the fancy to imagine what would be the natural course of such an agitation as this under a system of government in which the idea of the direct rule of the people had become thoroughly established; and by "thoroughly established" we must understand, in the case of our own country, the dominance of that idea in the nation as well as in the separate States. If in those conditions a doctrine like that of Henry George were put forward, and commanded the devotion of a band of earnest and able men, the form which its propaganda would take would, in the nature of things,[Pg 29] be wholly different from that which we have actually witnessed. The goal towards which all effort would be directed would be the obtaining of a popular majority for some single proposal, the adoption of which would insure the fulfilment of the great purpose. The preoccupation of the nation with other issues that divide parties or factions would be no hindrance. In order to bring the question up for immediate decision by popular vote, all that would be necessary would be the satisfaction of some minimum requirement laid down in the initiative system; a minimum requirement which, be it noted, under the principle of "direct rule," has for its only raison d'être the practical need of avoiding an intolerable multiplication of election questions. With this minimum satisfied, the champions of the change would advance to the charge year after year, fired with the consciousness that the gaining of a popular majority at the very next election would end once for all the iniquitous institution by which mankind has been robbed of its birthright, and make poverty and wretchedness a thing of the past.

But, it may be objected, is there after all any essential difference between this process and that which goes on under the traditional representative system, when it is truly representative? If the people are really convinced that land ownership is robbery, and that they should resume what they hold to be their own, are they not able, and ought they not to be able, to obtain their wish through the legislative assembly which represents them? The answer is that under the representative system as we know it—and quite as much at its best as at its worst—the influence of the wishes of the electorate upon the representative body is not uniform and mechanical. Representatives are elected not upon one issue, but upon many, and it is always a question how definite the popular "mandate" has been upon any one of them. From this alone it follows that there is a large, though indefinite, region in which a representative may feel free to act according to the dictates of his own individual judgment. In the case of any question involving a fundamental and momentous change, it is necessary that the mandate be extremely[Pg 30] clear before it can be regarded by intelligent and conscientious legislators as binding upon them; and to accomplish this the strength of the feeling among the people in favor of the measure must be shown in ways far more emphatic, far more conclusive of a firm and fixed desire, than the mere existence of a majority vote. The issue must virtually raise itself to a prominence and intensity commensurate with its importance. It must find its way not merely to a position in which, when people are challenged to say yes or no, a few more say yes than say no, but to a position in which it dominates other issues and is seen to represent the deliberate and imperative desire of the people. And when we add to this the constitutional checks that have thus far obtained both in England and in this country, together with the legitimate possibilities of parliamentary obstruction, we see how profound is the difference between the representative system and that of direct rule. It may almost be likened to the difference between a living organism, endowed with the power of discrimination and judgment, and a crude mechanical contrivance. In the one case, a great issue has to go through an ordeal fitted to its nature; in the other, it is put into the hopper along with the veriest trifles of every-day business, and its fate is settled by the same monotonous turn of the wheel.

The difference which I have been endeavoring to bring out is not identical either with the difference between conservatism and progressiveness or the difference between carefulness and looseness in legislation. Much has been said both for and against "direct rule" as related to these qualities; it has been contended that direct legislation is more conservative and less conservative, more prone to error and less prone to error, than legislation by representative assemblies. But what is usually held in view, on both sides, is the course of what I have been referring to as every-day legislation. Important, however, as the question may be in relation to such matters, the transcendent issue involved in the question of direct rule of the people is how it would operate in those supreme trials which the nation is sure to be called upon in the future,[Pg 31] as it has been in the past, to undergo. The cardinal objection that I find to it is not that it is radical or that it is careless, but that it is intrinsically incapable of making that vital distinction which should be made between these grand issues and the ordinary questions of legislative routine. And no merely mechanical modification would overcome this difficulty. The influences which, upon great occasions, have been brought into play to stay the flood of immediate popular desire perform a function for which no automatic device can serve as a substitute. These influences are sometimes noble, as in Cleveland's adamantine resistance to currency debasement, or in the act of the seven Republican Senators who, at tragic cost to themselves, voted against the conviction of Andrew Johnson; sometimes ignoble, as in the gigantic campaign fund raised by Mark Hanna in 1896; sometimes not specially to be marked with any moral label, but embodying the weight naturally accorded, in any system except that of the absolute and mechanical rule of the majority, to intellectual ability and personal force as such. Under the system of direct rule of the people, all possibility of such interposition would be swept away. Union or disunion, currency debasement or currency integrity, land confiscation or the observance of the rights of property—issues like these could be brought before the people with the same facility as a measure authorizing the purchase of a toll-road or defining the duties of a sheriff; and their fate would be decided by the same simple yes or no of the majority.

Opponents of direct rule are more or less in the habit of speaking of it as the rule of the mob. Its advocates have no trouble in disposing of this characterization by pointing out that the distinguishing mark of a mob is disorder or lawlessness, while the process of taking a vote of the people, on measures even more than on men, is eminently orderly and regular. The phrase is open to objection; taken literally, it cannot be defended. But in all probability what those who use it really mean, more or less distinctly, is something very like what has been dwelt on in this paper. What they have in mind is not the turbulence[Pg 32] of the mob, but its brute power, its inaccessibility to complex considerations, its incapacity for taking counsel or modifying its purpose, the dumb finality of its acts. A system under which the highest questions of fundamental public policy were submitted to the peremptory decision of a majority vote at the polls would be so vitally different from the system of representative government as we have known it that, allowance made for the picturesque exaggeration of the figure, the likening of it to mob rule is by no means without excuse.

There are of course many advocates of the initiative and referendum who qualify their support in various ways; and, so far as that goes, there are many opponents who admit that, within proper limitations, these methods may be desirable. With all this I am not concerned. The real force behind the general movement—including not only direct legislation but also the recall of judges and the nullification of judicial decisions by popular vote—is the dogma of the inherent rightfulness of the unlimited rule of the majority. In the collection of papers on the subject issued by the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the leading place is given to a paper by Senator Bourne, of Oregon. Of any hesitation as to the application of the direct legislation method to the irreversible decision of fundamental questions, he shows not the faintest trace. On the contrary, it is precisely to questions of the highest moment, to the decision of issues of great sweep and significance, that he regards the application of the direct vote as peculiarly just and desirable. "It is not proposed," he says, "that the people shall act directly in all the intricate details of legislation." The great function of the initiative is in the field of ideas: "Under the initiative any man can secure the submission of his ideas to a vote of all the people, provided eight per cent. of the people sign a petition asking that the measure he proposes be so submitted." That any such question, so submitted, will be decided as it should be, Senator Bourne not only does not doubt, but apparently does not imagine that anybody else can be so perverse as to doubt. "The people of a state will never vote against their own interests, hence they will never[Pg 33] vote to adopt a law unless it proposes a change for the improvement of the general welfare." No sign of consciousness that there may be a difference between the interests of the majority and the interests of the whole people, between immediate interests and permanent interests, between apparent interests and real interests; still less of any possible conflict between interests—as that word is commonly understood—and the abiding principles of justice or of honor. The 300,000 are certain to be right if the count of noses against them is but 290,000. To be sure, no rational man can actually believe this; and there is little doubt that Senator Bourne would repudiate such an interpretation of his words. But there is equally little doubt as to the position he would fall back upon. "The chief function"—this is the declaration with which he opens his discussion—"the chief function of the initiative and referendum is to restore the absolute sovereignty of the people." The idea that the sovereignty of the people means absolute and unrestricted rule over the whole people according to the immediate will and pleasure of fifty-one per cent. of the people—a crude error whose almost unchallenged currency among the "progressives" of our day is one of the most remarkable psychological phenomena of our time—lies at the bottom of the whole direct-rule propaganda.

[Pg 34]


The Democrat was disillusioned, but he really was a democrat. He had been cradled and taught in the atmosphere of democracy, and was possessed by lifelong conviction of the righteousness of the democratic ideal. For a long time, too—until he had come to know more of the actual business of democracy—he had never questioned democratic practice. He was young and innocent.

But the scales had fallen from his eyes; the enlightened vision of manhood's years had disclosed in democracy a multitude of undemocratic things of whose existence in his youthful days he had not even dreamed. The preceptors of his boyhood had never told him—or his hopeful heart had not let him understand—that men had to struggle against other men to preserve even that equality to which they were born; that justice, even in the courts, could be, in the very nature of things, nothing more than an approximation, and that, among men of the world in general, it was often might that made right; that there were ways of depriving men of the ballot, in spite of enactments; that laws could be made by the will of minorities, or of single individuals. Even town-meetings could sometimes be undemocratic, and his ears were startled by those who declared that, in the nation's life at large, there was nothing left of democracy but seeming.

His faith in men had suffered the same rude shocks as his faith in democracy—quite naturally, for neither faith stood alone. He had come to see that the sordidness of human beings reached heights and depths which his youth, slow to believe and slower to perceive, had never imagined. Surely, the love of money was the root of all evil—or of nearly all. The heated oratory of the campaign was mostly inspired by love of money or place. The patriotic sentiment that so abounded in the press was mostly gush, the news was colored, and the whole belonged to men with axes to grind. Yes, the press, that boasted educator of the people, of whose wondrous achievement and[Pg 35] potentiality—yes, and whose freedom—he and his schoolfellows had written and declaimed, was sometimes bought. Votes at the polls and in legislative halls were sometimes bought. Contracts with the government were sometimes bought. Expert scientific opinion was sometimes bought. War scares were manufactured for a purpose. Great industries could use intimidation to secure a party the votes of their employees. There was no form of meanness in life high or low that could not find ready a hand for its undertaking. Cities were sinks of rottenness and suffering because it paid their democratic administrators to have them so. The greed of men could force other men to live and beget their children in unhealthful, degrading environment, birth into which was birth into slavery and disease of body and soul. "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" was a mockery to tens of thousands.

And all this took place under a democracy—a government which he had been taught was the most equitable on earth, the refuge of the poor and the oppressed, who sailed into the haven where Liberty was Enlightening the World to enter the Land of Promise where all their tears should be wiped away! And the worst of it was, that those who talked most loudly of the democratic ideal were those most eager to profit at its expense. If he could have laid it all to the rich or the aristocratic, it would not have been so bad; but he couldn't. The poor were by nature as greedy and unjust as the rich, and showed themselves as bad in practice when they had the chance, and the democrat turned tyrant as soon as it suited his purse or ambition. It was dismaying. The contrast between the actual workings of democracy and the ideal his innocence had worshipped was so enormous that he sometimes doubted whether they had anything at all in common.

But in time dismay, and even surprise, had worn away, and he recovered equanimity. He was disillusioned, but still a democrat. At the same time he learned of the weakness of his idol, he learned of the weakness of human nature. He knew that the evils he lamented were due much more to human weakness than to the[Pg 36] form of government under which the evils occurred. With a philosopher of his own land, he agreed that no form of government was so good as not to work ill in the hands of the bad, and none so bad as not to work well in the hands of the good. Henceforth, if he must worry, let it be about men.

Thus it was that the Democrat, from being a partisan, became a Spectator. Democracy—or what was called that—was amusing: it was so human—so human in its faults, so human in its self-deception. He was moved to smiles at the spectacle of a nation of individuals all wisely thinking themselves intelligent voters, patriots, and capable managers of their country's affairs.

Was it, after all, a democracy? The Democrat possessed the none too common art of looking behind mere words, and contemplating Things as They Are. He was reading his magazine one evening—it contained one of those comforting political science essays, entitled "Whither Are We Drifting?"—when the notion seized on him to find some better name for the government under which he lived. So he laid aside the essay, and let his thoughts run.

Elimination seemed to appeal as a method. He made a whimsical beginning: it wasn't a timocracy; however much the love of honor flourished, it seemed agreed that it was not that which ruled the nation. That the government wasn't an ochlocracy he also felt sure; for, in spite of the rule of mobs, in labor troubles, lynchings, institutions of learning, and weddings in high life, he well knew that the real authority of the land lay in fewer hands.

Was it, then, an aristocracy? That could not be, for no one was better than anyone else. In matters of personal worth there was no superlative; there was not even a comparative. At least, there was no surer path to defeat at the polls than for a candidate to be called "better," to say nothing of "best."

Whether it was a theocracy hardly needed consideration. True, the coin of the realm recorded the nation's Trust in God, and God was frequently quoted as being heartily in favor of a variety of political projects; but on the whole the[Pg 37] Democrat was convinced that the function of the inscription was decorative, and felt that any proposal to entrust God alone with the affairs of the nation would create a mighty upheaval in politics and commerce, and be followed by a period of depression. He couldn't really see that God had much part in the actual government, though he would not go so far as Epicurus, and say that He cared nothing about what men were doing. He felt more like agreeing with the Hebrew who conceived God as laughing men to derision. And besides, to say that the government was at present a theocracy would place the Democrat in the position of an adverse critic of the Almighty, which was as much as to say that he himself was better than the Almighty; and that would be undemocratic.

On the whole, those who called the government an oligarchy seemed to be getting more near to reality; for at certain crises it became quite clear that a few men determined the measures of government. And yet, the individuals of the group were not always the same, but varied according to the interests involved; and they were not an openly constituted and declared body, elected by the people. To be sure, they operated through legislators, but they themselves were more often than not far removed from open political life. To call the real government a plutocracy, its governing agents plutocrats, and their instruments the legislators, seemed reasonable enough. It was humiliating, it seemed the fact that the great democracy was ruled, not by itself, but by a Thing.

However, the rule of money, that is, financial self-interest, was not really a form of government; it was only an influence, and one that might work good as well as ill. It underlay, more or less, all governments, not only modern, but ancient as well, and had to, in the nature of things, so long as property existed and prosperity meant increase. What else did the phenomenon of economic history-writing signify but the appreciation of this fact?

The Democrat concluded to let the government under which he lived stand as a democracy. The term might not be absolutely sufficient, but it covered the case as well as[Pg 38] any. At any rate, whatever the reality, the government was cast in the democratic mold: every man had a vote, and was sovereign over it, and could sell it, or throw it away, or even make use of it, as he chose; and he was represented, or at least thought he was, by someone whom he elected, or thought he elected; and was heeded when he clamored his desires or his indignation, provided it didn't interfere too much with what his representative was induced to conceive to be the interests of "the people."

And there were also other manifestations of the democratic ideal which really distinguished the government under which he lived from that of many other nations. There was democracy in education. The public set out to educate all its sons and daughters, from kindergarten to college Commencement. The day was past when education was only for gentlemen's sons; the children of the people, rich and poor, blue-blooded and flat-footed, male and female, brainy and brainless, came to college, and within its walls there was no connection, it was said, between honors and money or place. Students dressed from the same clothes-shop, yelled the same college yell, bought their apparatus at a co-operative store, ate at the same boarding-house, took the same examinations, often subserving the cause of democracy by evading aristocratic tyranny in the person of the faculty and making democratic use of their neighbors' learning, and asked no questions about each other's finances or forbears—except, of course, the fraternity and sorority students, who had tria nomina and were the exceptions to prove the rule.

And not only were the college rolls and records indicative of democracy, but there was a democracy of subjects to study. You had free election: one subject was as good as another, one course as valuable as another. So long as you had the required number of credits, the character of the credits made no difference: an hour contained sixty minutes, and no hour set up to be better than its fellows. A college education was defined as "something of everything for everybody," and the definition was especially applicable to the education of the State Universities, those great examples of learning in action. In them anyone[Pg 39] might study anything at any time under any instructor under any conditions and in any place—for you could study in absence, and by correspondence, and hypnotism, and Christian Science. And when you got through, whatever your method or matter or capacity or docility or imbecility, you were labelled A. B., and were as good as any other A. B., and had a fortune assured—until you found out that the great democratic world thought A. B. no better than D. F., or any other combination of letters, or no letters at all.

Yes, and there was democracy of religion as well as of education. Ministers wore plain clothes, avoided religion in conversation, greeted everyone with the loudness which in some way had become confused with cordiality, romped with children, attended kissing parties, and used slang in sermons. Men believed anything, or nothing; it was a free country, a free age. Any religion, or any interpretation of it, was as good as any other, so long as you really believed it. You could pray kneeling, or standing, or sitting, or walking, or jumping—as you chose. You could interpret your creed literally, or symbolically, or allegorically, or pragmatically. You could devote your church edifice to God, or you could make it a meeting-house for the people, and use it for socials, athletics, kindergarten, lyceum, vaudeville, soup kitchens, rummage sales, teachers' institutes—and when all these religious activities grew too extensive for it, you could sell it to the liveryman or the storage company or the movie-man. What were churches for, if not for the people?

There was democracy in art, too—especially in literature. Poets wrote in what vein and in what meter they chose, at what length, with what attention to rhyme and rhythm, with what preparation or equipment they chose. They bowed before no laws, ancient or modern. If they made use of the great names in poetry, it was to justify their own vagaries. They not only pleaded Tennyson for Tennysonian liberties, but took what additional license they chose on the ground of personal liberty. Didn't Homer nod? Of course; and, taking advantage of the example, they slept the sleep of the unworrying. Poets[Pg 40] could write in prose, and prose authors dress their commonplace thoughts in verse. In oratory and the novel, matter was all, form nothing. Men were content if their readers could get their meaning; the compelling power of style and accurate expression were qualities for which they were unwilling to pay the price of long and patient preparation. Olympus, Helicon, and Arcadia had become the paradise of anarchists, to say nothing of democrats. Who cared now when Zeus's ambrosial locks were shaken in wrath, or Apollo slammed his baton down in a rage? Who were they, to set up to be better than others?

And, as for painters and sculptors, and architects and musicians, who should presume to tyrannize over them by requiring standards of style or subject? If an architect chose to construct a High School that looked like a prison or a warehouse, why shouldn't he? After all, what was the High School but the people's college, and what was its purpose if not to fit the sons and daughters of the commonwealth for life, and why should it be built in the Tudor style, or in any other style? What the people needed was usefulness, not style. And if a musician wished to compose an overture imitative of all the noises that accompanied the Retreat from Moscow, including French and Russian profanity, or if a painter preferred to paint a drunken prostitute rather than Diana or a Daughter of the Revolution, why shouldn't he? It was a free country, a democratic age, and it was time art entered into the service of the people.

And there was democracy of manners, too, and of dress. Democracy had grown so used to insisting on clothes not making the man, that distinction in dress had long been a rarity, and men were no longer constrained to live up to the garb they wore. You could wear a white vest without obligation to keep it clean, and you could appear with silk hat and long coat without being suspected of religion or literature. Men made the clothes now: the process was reversed; they made them by the wholesale, every season, and if you weren't satisfied with a good democratic costume—i. e., the one imposed by the despotic democratic fashion of the season—and had your[Pg 41] clothing made to adorn, why, you were an aristocrat.

And if clothes didn't oblige, neither did noblesse, that other aristocratic bugbear, oblige. Gentlemen? Family? Why, everyone was a gentleman, from pugilist to preacher. Who said so? Why, who but the gentleman himself? It was a free country, and a man had a right to be a gentleman if he chose, didn't he? Just what a gentleman was, to be sure, no one seemed able to say; but no one failed to lay claim to the title, or to pull off his coat and prove the justice of his claim if you denied it. Surely there was no greater proof of the beneficent power of democracy than that it made all men gentlemen, and all women ladies.

And there was democracy in the home as well. The American husband was so democratic that he bettered the apostolic instruction which told wives to be obedient to their husbands. You might have thought that it read the reverse. And children—the children of democratic America were famous the world over for their unquestioning assumption of knowledge and authority, for their assurance and aggressiveness; for their easy contradiction of their parents, who were intimidated by the pedagogical direction never to let your child fear you. Travellers returned from Europe and reported no Hans and Giovannino who made wide the mouth and thrust out the tongue in the streets of aristocracy. Since the time of the bald-headed prophet and the two and forty she-bears, it had been natural for youth to presume on its superiority, but it was only the spirit of democracy which seemed to encourage the presumption.

But why not? If democracy meant equality, why not be consistent? If all men—black and white, good and bad, rich and poor, wise and foolish—were to be made equal, why not all women with them? Women were surely members of the commonwealth. And why not all children? Hadn't Spencer said so? Children were members of the commonwealth, too. And why not the beasts, wild and tame, who were also part and parcel of the population of the country? Why stop merely with men?

[Pg 42]

Yes, the Democrat concluded, his country was best described as a democracy, even though the few ruled over the many in matters of substance, and the many ruled over the few in art and manners, and both were tyrants. He remembered Plato's definition—Plato the blasphemer—and it seemed applicable to his own time: "Democracy, a charming form of government, full of variety and diversity, and dispensing equality to equals and unequals alike." It was marvellous how men believed in their equality with other men, what self-confidence they possessed, and what assurance came to them from the oft repeated word liberty. "This is a free country, and I'm just as good as you" could be said by anyone, and was said by everyone, and as a result his back was a little stiffer and his head a degree or two more erect. Foreigners learned to say it before they learned to speak the language. The very animals seemed to understand it; it was Plato over again: "And the horses and asses had come to have a way of marching along with all the rights and dignities of free men; and they would run at anybody whom they met in the street if he did not get out of their way: and all things were just ready to burst with liberty."

The Democrat, you see, through his habit of looking at Things as They Are, had come to possess a lively sense of the ridiculous side of democracy—its inconsistencies, its unconscious enjoyment of words, its silly self-deception and placid self-satisfaction.

Now that you have seen the workings of his mind, you will easily understand, too, how the expression of his thoughts might provoke those who were always on the lookout for the red rag of aristocracy. And the fact is, that on occasion he did express his thoughts with great frankness and no little vehemence; and, as no one likes to be told his faults by even a friendly critic, he often brought the angry hornets of democracy about his ears.

Yes, and by your smiling you seem to say that he deserved it. And yet I assure you now, as I did in the beginning, that he was really a democrat. You must not mistake realization of the faults of democracy in operation for hostility to democracy itself. He had seen something of[Pg 43] life in aristocratic countries, and was thankful above all things that there was something in the atmosphere of his own land which had the effect of making men look up. This virtue alone covered a multitude of the sins of democracy. There was something in his country more than the mere form of democratic society. Whether men got their rights or not, they knew they had rights, and anyone who wanted to make them consent to injustice had at least to take the trouble of giving it the appearance of justice. And not only were they possessed of a lively sense of their own rights, but the air was full of talk about other people's having their rights. Generosity and benevolence were abroad in the land. It was, to be sure, something of the sort of Sidney Smith's benevolence—the feeling which A experienced when he thought B ought to do something to relieve C's necessities; but even that kind was better than none. It was vastly important whether large classes of human beings acquiesced in being regarded as cattle—as they seemed to in the Old World—or not.

But if he had a vivid sense of the desirability of the democratic ideal, he had just as vivid a sense of the dangers of democratic practice. It was not difficult to see that the universal talk about making all men equal, vapid as it might be, was having an effect which could but make the judicious grieve. It was pulling excellence from her lofty seat to set her on a level with mediocrity. Democracy aimed at equality. But equality on a high plane was impossible. Certain men—most men—could not rise to a high plane, or would not. Those therefore who could climb were not to keep on climbing, but to remain at the lower level, or return from the heights, or assist those who were at the lowest of all. Not all could reach the mountain top; therefore let those who were able to make the ascent engage in assisting the great majority to attain the middle space of the incline. Not all could take a college degree; therefore let the college degree be brought within the reach of all. Not all could be gentlemen; therefore reconstruct and democratize the definition of the gentleman. In scholarship, religion, manners, in literature, in all the arts—in everything except the art of making[Pg 44] money—democracy seemed in danger of fostering the mediocre, and discouraging the excellent. In its effort for breadth, it was encouraging shallowness. It might be that for the poorest, the meanest, and the stupidest, democracy meant individualism and opportunity; but for the brightest and most ambitious, it seemed to partake of the nature of tyranny. The main idea in Plato's Republic was the sacrifice of the individual to the whole. In the Modern Republic it seemed something like the sacrifice of the best to the good, the leveling down of the highest as well as the raising up of the lowest. Certain kinds of talent and effort were in great danger of neglect—the kind of talent and effort which had made nations live in history. If there was anything in the record of the past, if civilization was not on the wrong track, and if literature and religion and the arts were indeed the supremely worth while, it seemed plain that the encouragement of uniformity beyond limits was a crime against the race. The atoms of Democritus, streaming forever downward in parallel lines, would never have accomplished a world. It needed an Epicurus and a Lucretius to recognize that they must have swerved from their deadly course of uniformity. It took friction and collision to beget a universe. The democratic passion for freedom and equality and uniformity once fully realized, what deadness and monotony! And as for the boasted educating power of responsibility, there was as little chance for it in the frictionless machine of perfect democracy as under despotism itself.

Democracy certainly did savor of the machine; just as the object of machinery was to insure a uniform product without personal handling of each individual piece, so the object of democracy seemed to be in such wise to regulate the affairs of men that justice would be automatic.

The fact was, human laziness occupied great space in the foundations of the democratic spirit. There were other qualities also, of course. There was misapprehension. The democratic poor imagined ideal possession on the part of those more prosperous than themselves, and the democratic rich imagined the extreme of unpossession on the part of those poorer than themselves; and both forgot, or[Pg 45] had never discovered, what Horace knew two thousand years ago, that the poor man was seasick in the hired skiff the same as the rich man in his private trireme. And there was the spirit of restlessness—the everlasting desire of the human animal for new things, and his perennial ignorance of the fact that a change of sky did not necessarily mean a change of heart. And of course there was human sympathy, the greatest of them all.

But the place of human laziness was great. Men shrank from responsibility; uniformity and automatic justice appealed to them. Democracy was a labor-saving device. The meting out of justice by and to individuals was difficult, and took time, and, what was worse, thought. It was much easier to legislate a form of equality, and have done with it—to press a button, have a uniform product, and not bother with hand-made goods.

Not that equality and uniformity were undesirable. The trouble with the popular democratic ideal consisted only in its exaggeration. The democracy of the enthusiastic multitude was an extreme. Aristocracy went to the extreme of inequality and diversity, and democracy went to the extreme of equality and uniformity. Both extremes were vicious; for vices are only exaggerated virtues. And vices are easier than virtue, extremes easier than the golden mean. To proceed on the assumption that all men could be treated as free and equal was easier by far than to recognize and study their inequalities and limitations, and to attempt the best for each individual; but the result was only a vicious approximation.

Let democracy recognize that there were two sides to the shield. The Democrat sympathized with the ignorant and needy, and believed that the more fortunate should make cheerful sacrifice to help them rise. As for himself, he would regulate his conduct among men on the basis of worth, not wealth or blood,

scilicet uni æquus virtuti atque eius amicis,

and stand ready to obey unselfishly any measure for the common good, however undesirable from his particular point of view. If, however, he demanded sacrifice on the part of the more fortunate in the interest of the masses, he[Pg 46] demanded no less the spirit of sacrifice on the part of the masses for the sake of such of their fellows as gave evidence of superior worth. A democracy should be a great family, in which the sons of promise were gladly helped on their way to honor and usefulness, even at the cost of deprivation and suffering on the part of the rest of the household—as in many an actual family which performed such sacrifice, and rejoiced in it—and by the sacrifice added to its own glory and strength. It should give all its sons and daughters the greatest possible opportunity of self-realization, but never fail to recognize that some selves were more worth realization than others. Whatever was levelled, let it not be intellect or character.

After all, government was a means, not an end. The end was character—individual and national. A form of government was good or bad as it succeeded or failed to produce that depth and breadth of individual and collective spirit which marked great eras in history—such a spirit as that which made possible the Parthenon or the North Portal of the Erechtheum; or turned back the Armada; or inspired the Italian Risorgimento; or crystallized into the dramas of Shakespeare or Sophocles; or formed the soul of other periods when men were actuated by passionate desire for the common good and common glory, for time and eternity. The momentary good of the individual—his comfort or enjoyment—was a worthy ideal only in so far as it contributed to character. Without elevation of the ideals of the individual citizen, there could be no great leaders; without great leaders there was no vision, and the people perished.

So it appears that the Democrat's ideal society was somewhere between that of Plato, who thought that, until the union of political power and philosophy in the same person could be effected, there would be no relief, and that in which the Democrat lived, where men were chosen lawmakers and rulers ostensibly because they were good fellows, or at least none of your damned aristocrats.

[Pg 47]


Some ten or twelve years ago a certain young woman, then fresh from the hands of an esteemed but erratic professor of English literature, wrote a novel the plot of which was roughly as follows. A college graduate suddenly finds himself the inheritor of a shoe factory in a New England town. Filled with the benevolent ideas absorbed in the academic contemplation of economics, he undertakes to introduce profit-sharing with his employees and otherwise to conduct his business for the benefit of the community. So far, good. But hard times follow, and his competitors by lowering wages and reducing labor are able to undersell him. Now there is in his control a considerable sum of money which a widow had entrusted to his father to invest for her, and the question arises whether he shall shut down his mills and inflict suffering upon his men, or shall divert this trust fund to his business and so try to tide over the period of stress. He yields to his sympathies and virtually embezzles the trust fund; but fails nevertheless, and with his own loss brings ruin upon the widow. The story was called "The Burden of Christopher," with the implication that the hero was a bearer of Christ in his misfortune, and the author indicates pretty clearly her sentiment that in surrendering his personal integrity for the expected good of his working people he was following the higher of two conflicting codes of ethics.

The book no doubt has gone its own way to the "limbo large and broad," where the heroes of ancient fiction wander with

Embryoes and idiots, eremits and friars;

but it made a lasting impression on one reader at least, as the first popular presentation to come under his notice of a theory which now confronts him wherever he turns his eyes. There has, in fact, been an astonishing divulgation[Pg 48] in the past decade of what is called, with magnificent audacity, the New Morality.

Perhaps the most honored teacher of this code is the mistress of Hull House, who by her devoted life and her services to the people of Chicago in various times of need has won the right to speak with a certain authority for the striving generation of the day. And in one of her books, the "Newer Ideals of Peace," Miss Addams tells of an actual occurrence and infers a moral which points in the same direction as the novel of "Christopher." A family of five children is left motherless. The father, a drunkard, disappears, and the household is left to the care of a feeble old grandmother. Thereupon work is found for the oldest boy, "a fine, manly little fellow" of twelve, who feels keenly "his obligation to care for the family"; but after a time he becomes "listless and indifferent," and at sixteen turns to professional tramping. "It was through such bitter lessons as these," observes Miss Addams, "we learned that good intentions and the charitable impulse do not always work for righteousness." As the story is told there is a plain implication that to find work for a boy under such circumstances is "cruel and disastrous" (her own comment), and that society, and not his own nature, was responsible for his relapse. One would suppose that scarcely an honest workman, or prosperous merchant, or successful professional man had ever taken up the burden of life in youth or childhood. Certainly, hardship and physical waste often result from the demands of life, but there is not a single word in Miss Addams's account to indicate that she has felt the higher need for the future citizen of developing in him a sensitiveness to the peculiar duties that confront him, or has reflected on the moral evil that might have been done the boy if he had been relieved of his natural obligations and his family had been supported by society. "Our democracy," as she says with approval, "is making inroads upon the family, the oldest of human institutions."

This is not an isolated case in Miss Addams's works, nor does it in any wise misrepresent her. In another book, "The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets," the thesis is[Pg 49] maintained and reiterated, that crime is for the most part merely the result of repressing a wholesome "love for excitement" and "desire for adventure." In the year 1909 "there were arrested and brought into court [in Chicago] fifteen thousand young people under the age of twenty, who had failed to keep even the common law of the land. Most of these young people had broken the law in their blundering efforts to find adventure." The inference to be drawn here and throughout the book is that one need only relieve the youth of the land from the necessity of "assuming responsibility prematurely," affording them meanwhile abundant amusement, and the instincts of lawlessness and the pursuit of criminal pleasure will vanish, or almost vanish, of themselves—as if there were no Harry Thaws, and the sons of the rich were all virtuous.

But it must not be supposed that Hull House occupies a place of lonely isolation as the fountain of these ideas. From every self-authorized centre of civic virtue in which a type-writer is at work, the stream proceeds. The very presses groan, as we used to say when those machines were still in the mythological stage, at their labor of supplying the world with the new intellectual pabulum. At this moment there lies before the writer of this article a pile of books, all recently published, which are devoted more or less specifically to the subject, and from all of which, if he had courage to go through them, he might cull abundant examples and quotations. He was, indeed, about to enter this "hollow cave, amid the thickest woods," when, an unvaliant knight, he heard the warning of the lady Una:

Yea but (quoth she) the perill of this place
I better wot then you, though now too late
To wish you backe returne with foule disgrace,
Yet wisedome warnes, whilest foot is in the gate,
To stay the steppe, ere forced to retrate.

We have in fact to deal with the consummation of a long and deep-seated revolution, and there is no better way to understand the true character of the movement than by turning aside a moment to glance at its historical sources. The attempt to find a new basis of conduct, as we[Pg 50] see it exemplified in the works of Miss Jane Addams and a host of other modern writers, is in fact only one aspect of the slow drift from mediæval religion to humanitarianism. For a thousand years, and well into the second thousand, the ethical feeling of Christian Europe may be said to have taken its color from the saying, "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"—which in extreme cases was interpreted as if it read, If he reform the whole world; and on the other, kindred saying, "Sell all that thou hast and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me"—in which the command of charity was held to be not so much for the benefit of the poor as for the liberation of the giver's own soul from the powers of this world. Such was the law, and its binding force was confirmed by the conception of a final day of wrath when the souls of men should stand before a merciless tribunal and be judged to everlasting joy or everlasting torment. The vivid reality of the fear that haunted men, at least in their moments of reflection, may be understood from the vivid horrors of such a picture as Michael Angelo's "Last Judgment," or from the meditations of one of the most genial of English cavaliers. In his little treatise on "Man in Darkness"—appropriate title—Henry Vaughan puts the frank question to himself:

And what madness then is it, for the enjoying of one minute's pleasure for the satisfaction of our sensual corrupt appetite, to lie forever in a bed of burning brass, in the lake of eternal and unquenchable fire? "Suppose," saith the same writer [Drexelius], "that this whole globe of earth were nothing else but a huge mass or mountain of sand, and that a little wren came but once in every thousand years to fetch away but one grain of that huge heap; what an innumerable number of years would be spent before that world of sand could be so fetched away! And yet, alas! when the damned have lain in that fiery lake so many years as all those would amount to, they are no nearer coming out than the first hour they entered in."

No doubt practice and precept were at variance then, as to a certain extent they are at all times, and there were many texts in the Bible which might be taken to mitigate[Pg 51] the harsher commands; but such in its purest, highest form was the law, and in the more sensitive minds this conception of the soul naked before a judging God must have created a tremendous anxiety in practice. Morality was obedience and integrity and scorn of the world for an ideal of inner righteousness; it created a sense of individual responsibility for every word and deed; and, say what we will, there was something magnificent in this contempt of the reckoning of other men for that eternal fame which

... lives and speaks aloft by those pure eyes,
And perfect witness of all-judging Jove.

But there was also in this law something repellent and even monstrous. Who has not shuddered with amazement at the inscription which Dante set over the portal of Hell: E 'L PRIMO AMORE? Was it Love that prepared those winding coils of torture to enclose for endless time the vast majority of mankind? Was it even justice to make the everlasting doom of a soul depend on its grasp of truth in these few years spent in a world of shadows and illusions? There is something repulsively irrational in the notion of an unchanging eternity suspended on the action of a moment of time—ex hoc momento pendet æternitas. It should seem to be unthinkable, if it had not actually been thought. As a matter of fact the rigor and crudity of this doctrine had been mitigated in the Middle Ages by the interposition between man and God of the very human institution of the Church with its substitution of temporal penances and pardons, and an interposed Purgatory in place of the terrible paradox of irrevocable judgment. It remained for the Reformation and particularly for the Calvinistic Puritans to tear away those veils of compromise and bring man face to face with the awful abstraction he had created. The result was for a while a great hardening and strengthening of character, salutary indeed after what may be called the almost hypocritical compromise of Catholicism; but in the end human nature could not endure the rigidity of its own logic, and in revolting turned, not to another compromise, but to questioning of the very hypothesis of its faith.

[Pg 52]

The inevitable reaction from the intolerable logic of the Protestants was Deism, in which God was stript altogether of his judicial and moral attributes and reduced to a kind of immanent, all-benevolent force in nature. "But now comes a modern Sage," says Warburton of Bolingbroke, "... who tells us 'that they made the Basis of Religion far too wide; that men have no further concern with God than TO BELIEVE THAT HE IS, which his physical Attributes make fully manifest; but, that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him, Religion doth not require us to believe, since this depends on God's MORAL ATTRIBUTES, of which we have no conception.'" But such a position was manifestly untenable, for it left no place for the undeniable existence of evil in this world and life. From the unaccountable distribution of wrong and suffering the divine had argued the certainty of adjustment in a future state; the deist had flown in the face of facts by retaining the belief in a benevolent Providence while taking from it the power of supernatural retribution; the atheist was more logical, he denied the existence of Providence altogether and turned the universe over to chance or blind law. Such was the progress of thought from Baxter to Bolingbroke and from Bolingbroke to Hume.

The positive consequences of this evolution are written large in the literature of the eighteenth century. With the idea of an avenging deity and a supernatural test there disappeared also the sense of deep personal responsibility; the very notion of a radical and fundamental difference between good and evil was lost. The evil that is apparent in character comes to be regarded merely as the result of the restraining and thwarting institutions of society as these exist—why, no one could explain. Envy and jealousy and greed and the sheer ambition of power, all those traits, which were summed up in the single Greek word pleonexia, the desire to have more, are not inherent in the human heart, but are artificially introduced by the possession of property and a false civilization. Change these institutions or release the individual entirely from restrictions, and his nature will recoil spontaneously to its natural state of virtue. He needs only follow the impulse[Pg 53] of his instinctive emotions to be sound and good. And as a man feels of himself, so he feels of others. There is no real distinction between the good and the evil, but all are naturally good, and the superficial variations we see are caused by the greater or less freedom of development. Hence we should condemn no man, even as we do not condemn ourselves. There is no place for sharp judgment, and the laws which impose penalties and restrictions, and set up false discriminations between the innocent and the criminal, are subject to suspicion, and should be made as flexible as possible. In place of judgment we are to regard all mankind with sympathy, feeling with them a sort of emotional solidarity, the one great virtue, in which are included, or rather sunk, all the law and the prophets. In fine, we have arrived at humanitarianism; humanity has become God.

It was the great work of the eighteenth century, beginning in England and developing in France, to formulate this change, and indoctrinate with it the mind of the unthinking masses. Here is not the place to follow the development in detail, and those who care to see its outcome may be referred to the keen and unjustly neglected chapters in La Harpe's "Lycée" on the philosophes. To those, indeed, who are acquainted with the philosophical writings that preceded and introduced the French Revolution, the epithet "new" as it is attached to our present-day morality may seem a bit presumptuous, for it would be difficult to find a single fundamental idea in current literature on this subject which could not be closely paralleled by a quotation from Rousseau, or Diderot, or Helvétius, or one of their compeers. Thus, in our exaltation of sympathy above judgment, and of the unrestrained emotions generally as the final rule of character, we are but following Diderot's philosophy of the heart: "Les passions amorties dégradent les hommes extraordinaires"; and when we read in Ellen Key, and a host of other feminist liberators, the apotheosis of love as higher than any divine or human obligations, we are but meeting again with Toussaint's religion a little disguised: "On aime de même Dieu et sa maîtresse." Our revolt from constitutional law as a[Pg 54] power imposed by the slower reflection of men upon their own immediate desires and opinions, is essentially the same as the restlessness consecrated by the French économistes in the phrase, "le despotisme légal." And, to return whence we began, the economics of Hull House flow only too easily from Helvétius' definition of virtue as "le désir du bien public," and from his more specific statement: "The integrity which is related to an individual or to a small society is not the true integrity; integrity considered in relation to the public is the only kind that really deserves and generally obtains the name."

Miss Addams herself has been disturbed by these reminiscences. Thus she quotes from one of the older humanitarians a characteristic saying: "The love of those whom a man does not know is quite as elemental a sentiment as the love of those whom a man does know," and repudiates it as vague and impractical beside the New Morality. She ought to know, and may be right; yet it is not easy to see wherein her own ethics are any less vague, when she deplores the act of a boy who goes to work for his starving grandmother because in doing so he is unfitting himself for future service to society. And as for effectiveness, it might seem that the French Revolution was a practical result fairly equivalent in magnitude to what has been achieved by our college settlements. But Miss Addams is by no means peculiar in this assumption of originality. Nothing is more notable in the Humanitarian literature of the day than the feeling that our own age is severed from the past, and opens an entirely new epoch in history. "The race has now crossed the great divide of human history!" exclaims an hysterical doctor of divinity in a book just published. "The tendency of the long past has been toward diversity, that of the longer future will be toward oneness. The change in this stream of tendency is not a temporary deviation from its age-long course—a new bend in the river. It is an actual reversal of the current, which beyond a peradventure will prove permanent." To this ecstatic watcher, the sudden reversal took place at no remote date, but yesterday; and by a thousand other watchers the same miracle is vociferously heralded.[Pg 55] Beyond a peradventure! Not a little of this flattering assumption is due to the blind and passionate hope of the human heart clamoring against the voice of experience from similar and different movements in the past, which have somehow failed to renovate the world. So many prophets before now have cried out, looking at the ever-flowing current of time, and having faith in some Thessalian magic:

Cessavere vices rerum.
... Amnisque cucurrit
Non qua pronus erat.

So often they have been disappointed; but at last we have seen—beyond a peradventure. If the vicissitudes of fate have not ceased, yet at least we have learned to look with complacency on the very law of mutation, from which the eyes of men had hitherto turned away in bewildered horror, at last the stream has turned back upon its sources, and change itself is carrying us no longer towards diversity, but towards the consummation of a divine oneness.

But it would equally be an error to insist too dogmatically on the continuity of the present-day movement with that of the eighteenth century, for, after all, "the world do move." It is true for one thing that for a hundred years or thereabout there was a partial reaction against the doctrines of the philosophes, during which time the terrors of the Revolution lay like a warning nightmare in the imagination of the more thoughtful men. A hundred years is a long period for the memory to bridge, particularly in a time when the historical sense has been weakened. Superficially, too, the application of the theory is in some respects different from what it was; the law of social sympathy has been developed into different conceptions of Socialism, and we have devised fresh schemes for giving efficacy to the immediate will of the people. Even deeper is the change that has come over the attitude of religious organizations towards the movement. In the age of the Revolution the Church, both Catholic and Protestant, was still strongly entrenched in the old beliefs, and offered a violent resistance to the substitutions of[Pg 56] humanitarianism for responsibility to itself and to a God. Now this last barrier has been almost swept away. Indeed, not the least remarkable feature of this literature is the number of clergymen who are contributing to it, with their constant appeal to the New Morality as the test of faith. Open one of these books before us—let us take "The Christian Reconstruction of Modern Life," for the promise of its title—and you will be pretty likely to come upon such a passage as this: "Faith's fellowship with Jesus is one with the realization of our fellowship in humanity"; or, on another page: "If the fundamental of the true philosophy cannot be found by common men, what advantage in any man's finding it? If life's secret, direction, and power ... is not attainable by the lowliest, then a man of this age, living in the social passion of our time, is forced to be indifferent to that which would be the monopoly of a few gifted souls." If such a social passion means anything, it means the reconstruction of life to the level of the gutter. It is the modern sham righteousness which would have called from Jesus the same utter scorn as that which he poured upon the Pharisaical cant of his own day. Yet it is not in religious books alone that you will meet with this sort of irreligion. For one sermon you will hear on the obligation of the individual soul to its maker and judge, and on the need of regeneration and the beauty of holiness, you will hear a score on the relation of a man to his fellows and on the virtue of social sympathy. In effect, the first and great commandment, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind," has been almost forgotten for the second, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Worship in the temple is no longer a call to contrition and repentance, but an organized flattery of our human nature, and the theological seminary is fast becoming a special school for investigating poverty and spreading agnosticism. In this sense, or degree, that humanitarianism is no longer opposed by organized religion, but has itself usurped the place of religion, the New Morality may really justify its name.

What are the results of this glorification of humanity?[Pg 57] What does the New Morality mean in life and conduct? Well, of such matters it is wise to speak cautiously. The actual morals of an age are an extremely complicated and elusive network of facts, and it is only too easy to generalize from incomplete observation. On the other hand we must guard against allowing ourselves to be deceived by the fallacy everywhere heard, that, because the preacher has always, even from the remotest record of Egypt, bewailed his own times as degenerate, therefore no age has fallen off in morality from its predecessor. Such an argument is a complete non-sequitur; there have been periods of degeneration, and there may yet be. As for our own age, only a fool would dogmatize; we can only balance and surmise. And in the first place a certain good must almost certainly be placed to the credit of humanitarianism. It has softened us and made us quicker to respond to the sufferings of others; the direct and frightful cruelty that runs through the annals of history like a crimson line has been largely eliminated from civilization, and with it a good deal of the brutality of human nature. We sometimes hear the present age compared with the later Roman Republic and the Empire, and in some respects speciously, but the callousness of the great Romans to human misery and their hardness are almost unthinkable to-day. Consider a sentence or two from Appian: "The head and hand of Cicero were suspended for a long time from the rostra in the forum where formerly he had been accustomed to make public speeches, and more people came together to behold this spectacle than had previously come to listen to him. It is said that even at his meals Antony placed the head of Cicero before his table, until he became satiated with the horrid sight." Such an episode scarcely stands out from the hideous story of the Civil Wars; to the modern reader it brings a feeling almost of physical sickness. So much we seem to have gained, and the change in this respect even from our own seventeenth century shows that the credit is due in no small part to the general trend of humanitarianism.

But in other directions the progress is not so clear. Statistics are always treacherous witnesses, but so far as[Pg 58] we can believe them and interpret them we can at best draw no comfort from the prevalence of crime and prostitution and divorce and insanity and suicide. At least, whatever may be the cause of this inner canker of society, our social passion seems to be powerless to cure it. Some might even argue that the preaching of any doctrine which minimizes personal responsibility is likely to increase the evil. Certainly a teacher who, like Miss Jane Addams, virtually attributes the lawless and criminal acts of our city hoodlums to the wholesome desire of adventure which the laws unrighteously repress, would appear to be encouraging the destructive and sensual proclivities which are too common in human nature, young and old. Nor are the ways of honesty made clear by a well-known humanitarian judge of Denver, who refused to punish a boy for stealing a Sunday-School teacher's pocketbook, for the two good reasons, as his honor explained in a public address, "that the boy was not responsible, and, secondly, that there were bigger thieves in the pews upstairs." So, too, a respectable woman of New York who asks whether it may not be a greater wrong for a girl to submit to the slavery of low wages than to sell herself on the street, is manifestly not helping the tempted to resist. She is even doing what she can with her words to confuse the very bounds of moral and physical evil.

There is, in fact, a terrible confusion hidden in the New Morality, an ulcerous evil that is ever working inward. Sympathy, creating the desire for even-handed justice, is in itself an excellent motive of conduct, and the stronger it grows, the better the world shall be. But sympathy, spoken with the word "social" prefixed, as it commonly is on the platforms of the day, begins to take on a dangerous connotation. And "social sympathy" erected into a theory which leaves out of account the responsibility of the individual, and seeks to throw the blame of evil on the laws and on society, though it may effect desirable reforms here and there in institutions, is bound to leave the individual weakened in his powers of resistance against the temptations which can never be eliminated from[Pg 59] human life. The whole effect of calling sympathy justice, and putting it in the place of judgment, is to relax the fibre of character, and nourish the passions at the expense of reason and the will. And undoubtedly the conviction is every day gaining ground among cool observers of our life that the manners and morals of the people are beginning to suffer from this relaxation in many insidious ways apart from acts which come into the cognizance of the courts. The sensuality of the prevailing music and dancing, the plays that stir the country as organs of moral regeneration, the exaggeration of sex in the clothing seen on the street, are but symptoms more or less ominous to our mind as we do or do not connect them with the regnant theory of ethics. And in the end this form of social sympathy may itself quite conceivably bring back the brutality and cruelty from which it seems to have delivered us. The Roman who gloated over the head of his and the people's enemy lived two thousand years ago, and we think such bloodthirstiness is no longer possible in public life. Yet not much more than a century ago the preaching of social sympathy could send a Lebon and his kind over France with an insatiable lust for killing, complicated with Sadism, while at home the leader of the Government of the most civilized country of Europe was justifying such a régime on the pious principle that, "when the sovereign people exercises its power, we can only bow before it; in all it does all is virtue and truth, and no excess, error, or crime is possible." The animal is not dead within us, but only asleep. If you think he has been really conquered, read what he has been doing in Congo and the Putomayo Indians, or among the redeemers of the Balkan states. Or if you wish to get a glimpse of what he may yet do under the spur of social sympathy, consider the callous indifference shown by the labor unions to the revelation, if it deserves the name, of the system of dynamiting and murder employed in the service of "class-consciousness." These things are to be taken into account, not as bugbears, for society at large is no doubt sound at heart and will arouse itself at last against its false teachers, but as symptoms to warn and prepare.

[Pg 60]

To some few the only way out of what seems a state of moral blindness is through a return to an acknowledgment of the responsibility of the individual soul to its maker and inflexible judge. They may be right. Who can tell what reversal of belief may lie before us or what religious revolution may be preparing in the heart of infidelity? But for the present, at least, that supernatural control has lost its general efficacy, and even from the pulpit has only a slight and intermittent appeal. Nor does such a loss appear without its compensations, when we consider the harshness of mediæval theology or the obliquities of superstition that seem to be inherent in the purest of religions. Meanwhile, the troubled individual, whatever his scepticism may be, need not be withheld from confirming his moral faith by turning from the perverted doctrine of the "Enlightenment" and its recrudescence in modern humanitarianism, to the larger and higher philosophy which existed long before the materialism of the eighteenth century, and before the earlier anthropomorphism, and which persisted unchanged, though often half-concealed, through those ages, and still persists as a kind of shamefast inheritance of truth. It is not necessary to go to ancient books to recover that faith. Let a man cease for a moment to look so strenuously upon what is right for his neighbors. Let him shut out the voices of the world, and disregard the stream of informing books which pour upon him from the modern press, as the "floud of poyson" was spewed upon Spenser's Knight from "Errours den":

Her fruitful cursed spawne of serpents small.

Let him retire into himself, and in the silence of such recollection examine his own motives and the sources of his self-approval and discontent. He will discover there in that dialogue with himself, if his abstraction is complete and sincere, that his nature is not simple and single, but dual, and the consequences to him in his judgment of life and in his conduct will be of incalculable importance. He will learn, with a conviction which no science or philosophy falsely so-called can shake, that beside the passions[Pg 61] and wandering desires and blind impulses and the cravings for pleasure and the prod of sensations, there is something within him and a part of him, rather in some way his truer self, which controls and checks and knows and pronounces judgment, unmoved amid all motion, unchanged amid continual change, of everlasting validity above the shifting valuations of the moment. He may not be able to express this insight in terms that will satisfy his own reason or will convince others, but if his insight is true, he will not waver in loyalty to it, though he may sin against it times without number in spoken word and impulsive deed. Rather his loyalty will be confirmed by experience. For he will discover that there is a happiness of the soul which is not the same as the pleasure of fulfilled desires, whether these be for good or for ill, a happiness which is not dependent upon the results of this or that choice among our desires, but upon the very act itself of choice and self-control, and which grows with the habit of staying the throng of besetting and inflicting impulses always until the judicial fiat has been pronounced. It is thus that happiness is the final test of morality, bringing with it a sense of responsibility to the supernatural command within the soul of the man himself, as binding as the laws of religion, and based on no disputable revelation or outer authority. Such a morality is neither old nor new, and stands above the varying customs of society. It is not determined essentially by the relation of a man to his fellows or by their approval, but by the consciousness of rightness in the man's own breast,—in a word, by character. Its works are temperance, truth, honesty, trustworthiness, fortitude, magnanimity, elevation; and its crown is joy.

Then, under the guidance of this intuition, a man may turn his eyes upon the world with no fear of being swayed by the ephemeral winds of doctrine. Despite the clamor of the hour he will know that the obligation to society is not the primal law, and is not the source of personal integrity, but is secondary to personal integrity. He will believe that social justice is in itself desirable, but he will hold that it is far more important to preach first the[Pg 62] responsibility of each man to himself for his own character. He will admit that equality of opportunity is an ideal to be aimed at, but he will think this a small thing in comparison with the universality of duty. In his attitude towards mankind he will not deny the claims of sympathy, but he will listen first to the voice of judgment:

Away with charity that soothes a lie,
And thrusts the truth with scorn and anger by.

He will be sensitive to the vast injustices of life, and its widespread sorrows, but he will not be seduced by that compassion into the hypocrisy of saying that "the love of those whom a man does not know is quite as elemental a sentiment as the love of those whom a man does know."

[Pg 63]


When, some months since, M. Bergson delivered his inaugural address as President of the Society for Psychical Research, the circumstance was considered of enough importance to justify many cablegrams in the American papers, and much editorial comment. Had the address not been in French, it probably would have been reproduced here. Yet the event was not exceptional enough for that feature to explain the attention of the press. Men to be named in the same breath with Professor Bergson, for instance Professor William James and Mr. Arthur Balfour, had already been presidents of the Society. Therefore the importance attached to M. Bergson's acceptance of the presidency may indicate not merely an interest in his views of the subjects attacked by the Society, but a growing interest in the subjects themselves—perhaps an interest that may lead such of our readers as have not already studied them, to welcome some account of both. The information is doubly worth giving, as there is such a wide belief that the Society is but a group of cranks, while in fact it has always included some of the best minds of the age. This account, however, despite the disproportionate space we venture to allot to it, can give but a pitifully inadequate idea of the Society's work, and has been prepared mainly on the chance that it may lead a few readers to seek adequate knowledge elsewhere.

There is also a better reason for attention to the subject. No argument is needed to convince thinking people that this age stands in peculiar need of a revival, from some source, of that interest in the mysteries surrounding our little experience, without which no age has been really great.

The work hardly seemed worth doing at all unless on the present scale. If any reader begrudges the space, we can pretty safely promise that the subject will not call for so large a proportion in future [Editor].

[Pg 64]

In 1882 a group of friends who had been meeting occasionally at Cambridge for the discussion of mysterious phenomena, formed the Society for Psychical Research, and took rooms in London. The best known of the early members were Professor (now Sir William) Barrett, Professor Henry Sidgwick, Frederick W. H. Myers, Fellow of Cambridge, Arthur J. Balfour, Richard Holt Hutton (Editor of The Spectator); Professor Balfour Stewart, Hensleigh Wedgwood, Lord Houghton and Archbishop Trench. They were soon joined by, among others, Professor (now Sir William) Crookes, Alfred Russel Wallace, Lord Raleigh, Ruskin, Tennyson, William James, Edmund Gurney, Richard Hodgson, Frank Podmore, Professor (now Sir Oliver) Lodge, and Professor Schiller.

The Society's Proceedings now fill twenty-six octavo volumes, and it has also published a Journal for its members which has reached fifteen large twelvemo volumes.

All were originally published in "parts," of which, in all but two or three cases, several composed a volume. Any portion of the material can be obtained from the Society's American agents, the W. B. Clarke Co. of Boston.

The topic first reported on by the society was thought-transference. Experiments were made with cards, words, pictures and all sorts of objects. The Society published scores, possibly hundreds, of pairs of drawings, one of each pair having been made by a person not seeing the original, who had copied it closely enough to be recognized, in consequence of willing to copy it, and being similarly willed by another person drawing or gazing at it. Some of the duplicates would have been very fair performances even if the originals had been in sight.

The conviction before existing that all sorts of impressions could be conveyed at the will of a hypnotist, was abundantly confirmed, and a strong conviction was aroused in some minds, and it seems to be increasing, that all transference of thought without visible means has a hypnotic element, and is much more frequent than yet generally recognized.

Pictures were of course conveyed as subjective visions,[Pg 65] and the Society began very early to collect and classify accounts of visions of all kinds, applying rigid canons of verification.

In 1886 the Society published a collection of "Phantasms of the Living" compiled by Gurney, Myers and Podmore. Seven hundred cases were thought sufficiently verified to be worth including.

This work was severely criticised by Mr. Charles Pearce in the Proceedings of a short-lived American society, and he was there answered by Mr. Gurney.

Gurney died while preparing a work on Phantasms of the Dead. His material was put in shape by Myers, and published in the Proceedings of the Society, Vol. V, pp. 403f. "Phantasms of the Living" is now out of print but much of its material is obtainable in Journal I and the Reports of the Literary Committee in the early volumes of the Proceedings.

Space does not admit of enough citation and discussion from these works to be of value. It may be said in general, however, that with one class of partial exceptions, there is hardly any ghost story that one has ever heard of which does not find its parallel here, confirmed by excellent witnesses and often by considerable supplementary investigation. The partial exceptions are the stories of freezing horror which, the evidence now suggests, would appear to have little, if any, basis in actual experience, but to be mainly the products of imagination—often of deliberate imagination laboring for dramatic effect. The authenticated phenomena are generally of gentle and innocuous character—appearance of dying friends, etc. There are some apparently of troubled souls, but hardly ever of malevolent ones.

The vast majority of the experiences have taken place in bed, and therefore are presumably dreams, and there is much reason to believe that the others come in some sort of a dream state, the whole business probably being associated, as before indicated, with telepathy, and telepathy probably being associated with hypnotism, not always voluntary or conscious.

The experiences are apparently of sight, sound, touch—all[Pg 66] the senses. And yet in connection with visions, there have been few changes in objective Nature to account for them.

Much regarding hypnotism was published in the early volumes, but that subject is now so much a part of the knowledge of the medical world, and even the world in general, that we will not enlarge upon it here.

As there have "always" been stories of visions and hypnotic control, so there have been stories of objects moved by human beings without the exercise of muscular force, and indeed without contact. Years before the foundation of the S. P. R., the present writer saw a conclusive illustration of the first. It was an exhibition of something to which it might be well to transfer the name of zoömagnetism, which was originally suggested by Dr. Liebault for the force assumed to act in hypnotism. That assumption is now abandoned. For the effects of the force—the manifestations to the senses, the name telekinesis is accepted by the Society.

This zoömagnetic force with telekinetic effects seems quite plainly a mode of the cosmic energy. Putting it forth generally leaves the agent much exhausted, although very strangely in one of the best accounts, in Pr. S. P. R. VII, 175f. by Professor Alexander, of the University of Rio Janiero, regarding his neighbors the Davis children's performance, he says that they were not fatigued. This seems like a denial of the persistence of force. But there may be a force manifested by the human system and yet not generated in it (or appropriated by it from food and air), but merely passing through it, as some classes of thoughts are held by some students to be entirely independent of human origination. If so, there are two modes of force as yet uncorrelated with our knowledge, which produce telekinetic effects: for there is certainly one which exhausts human energies. (See Pr. VI, VII, IX, XII.)

Perhaps a more certain correlation of the zoömagnetic force with the modes of force already well correlated, is that, if the evidence collected by the S. P. R. is reliable,[Pg 67] it is, like them, mutable into the production of light—including the alleged magnetic aura, even around persons—sound, electricity and the other modes of force already well known. (See Pr. IV, VIII, IX, XI.) These modes possibly include that which moves the dowser's rod. But as we know of no case where a dowser has manifested any of the more definitely correlated modes of zoömagnetic force, the chance of dowsing being one is small. Much information regarding dowsing, which convinced several eminent scientists—Sir William Barrett among them, is published by the Society in Pr. II, XIII, XV. Moreover, there is evidence (Jour. IX, Pr. XV), so far as it goes, that the zoömagnetic force can resist heat, not only in the Fijian "fire walk," but in London drawing-rooms in the person of the medium Home, but in him alone—that it has enabled him and many others to counteract the effects of gravity upon their own persons; and to "materialize," that is to produce on the senses of other people, possibly by hypnotizing several at once, without the aid of matter as we know it, the impressions of light, sound, resistance and pressure which ordinarily indicate the presence of the living human body, when no such object in the ordinary sense is actually present. (For all this see Jour. VI, Pr. VI, IX.)

The Society investigated the display of these phenomena by many agents, among them the notorious Eusapia Palladino. Her working in the dark and with a "cabinet" and other apparatus favorable for fraud, was of course against her, but it seems the unescapable conclusion that of her phenomena some were genuine—and some fraudulent. With unintelligent and uneducated mediums, the doctrine "falsus in uno falsus in omnibus" does not hold: for such mediums, often, sometimes involuntarily, eke out the lion's skin with the fox's.

The records of the Society contain much evidence of a connection between telekinetic power and the telepsychic power of conveying thought already described. Perhaps Mrs. Piper is the only well known medium not manifesting both. The two powers are shown together in tipping[Pg 68] furniture or producing sounds or lights to signal yes and no; and while the alphabet is being enunciated, to mark letters so as to spell out significant words and sentences. There is strong reason to believe that the intelligence in these indications has been generally that of the operator, often acting involuntarily and entirely honestly, and sometimes, especially in the case of "planchette," that of some other person present, acting telepathically through the operator. (Pr. VII, IX, XI.)

Of course there has not been the slightest necessity of attributing any of these queer manifestations of zoömagnetism to "spirits," and, despite one or two exceptions (notably the late Stainton Moses), the members of the Society for Psychical Research have not so attributed them. But the average man has attributed all mysterious things to spirits, ever since the primitive times when everything was mysterious.

Unfortunately, two of the most remarkable mediums, perhaps the most remarkable, Foster and Home, were too early to come directly under the investigation of the S. P. R. as a body; but fortunately Sir William Crookes did come into association with Home in the early Seventies before the foundation of the Society, tested his zoömagnetism many times in the laboratory, with entirely satisfactory results, and later gave the Society the results of his observations, which were published in Journals VI and IX, and Pr. VI, IX and XV. Of course his testimony to a laboratory experiment is the last word, but many of his accounts of social sittings with Home stagger belief, and tempt an impression that there must have been hypnosis somewhere. But the Proceedings contain considerable collateral evidence. And Myers and Sir William Barrett applied "the higher criticism" to Home's autobiography and his wife's accounts of him, and published the results, which were favorable, in Jour. IV, VI.

But while the evidence for the things already recounted here was pouring in, there came evidence too strong to be thrown aside without examination, of things harder to attribute to any incarnate power.

[Pg 69]

Home's accordeon, we are told by no less an authority than Sir William Crookes, and by several others (Pr. Vol. VI), was often played intelligently and beautifully without the apparent agency of human hands; and the inspirational writing which in earlier times had come from overwrought religious mystics, began to appear from people who were by no means overwrought or mystical, or even religious, though the most noted of them was. This was the Rev. W. Stainton Moses, the first remarkable medium who associated freely with the members of the Society. It is alleged that he manifested movement of objects without contact, lights, sounds in both the air and material objects, levitation and materialization—all the modes of zoömagnetism except resistance to heat—assuming that to be one of them. His molecular telekineses indicated intelligence.

Myers says (Pr. IX, 250f.):

"In 1882 he aided in the foundation of the Society for Psychical Research; but he left that body in 1886, on account of its attitude towards Spiritualism, which he regarded as unduly critical.... Many members of the Society held an intellectual position widely differing from that of Mr. Moses, and although his own published records were of a kind not easily credible, no suspicion as to his personal probity and veracity was ever, so far as I know, either expressed or entertained.

"... [Moses] was very reticent about exhibiting his powers, and consequently almost the only records are his own and those of his physician, Dr. Stanhope Speer, Mrs. Speer, and their son, Mr. Charlton T. Speer, Associate of the Royal Academy of Music—all persons of undoubted capacity and probity.... Dr. Speer's cast of mind was thoroughly materialistic, and it is remarkable that his interest in Mr. Moses' phenomena was from first to last of a purely scientific, as contrasted with an emotional or religious nature."

There are half a dozen other good witnesses, however.

Despite Moses' telepsychic telekineses, his principal alleged communications with the spirit world were by automatic (we prefer to call it heteromatic) writing. Of this he left twenty-four note books. The writings in these were in several different hands and bore the marks of as many[Pg 70] different characters, that were never mixed up. They signed the names, Imperator, Rector, Doctor, etc., and declared their earthly selves to have been various eminent persons in the remote past.

We shall find later that after Moses' death, his alleged spirit gave an entirely different set of names for the earthly originals of these alleged personalities. Myers, having seen all the heteromatic writing, tacitly endorses Moses' statements regarding its visible qualities. Moses continues:

"By degrees I found that many spirits who were unable to influence my hand themselves sought the aid of a spirit 'Rector' [a gentleman whom we shall meet often. Editor of this article], who was apparently able to write more freely and with less strain on me;

He says that they differed from him and criticised him severely, but ultimately converted him to a higher faith than the Anglicanism he had previously preached.

Myers comments (Pr. XI, 69):

"The tone of the spirits towards Mr. Moses himself is habitually courteous and respectful. But occasionally they have some criticism which pierces to the quick, and which goes far to explain to me Mr. Moses's unwillingness to have the books fully inspected during his lifetime."

We have no space for any of this script, and it probably would not tend much to edification if we had. After a good deal of reading and pondering, I find the proportion of Moses' self in all these proceedings looming in my apprehension larger and larger. The benefits he got from them look to me like that portion—how large a portion I am not saying—of the benefits of prayer which are independent of external results, and consist in the effect upon character of intense absorption in an inspiring subject.

Myers testifies that Moses' heteromatic writing announced the death of a friend of Myers before it could have been known by other means, and that the writing closely resembled hers. Moses himself declares, and many fairly judicious people believed him, that among other[Pg 71] marvels, the writing told him, in advance of any other possible agency, of the death of President Garfield, and of a suicide in London under a steam roller. The latter statement has several confirmatory witnesses.

The account of Moses is given here, not so much because of himself, as to prepare for later appearances of Imperator, Rector, Doctor & Co., which will be of more interest.

In America there was of course not leisure enough to continue the Am. S. P. R., which had been started a couple of years after the English one, and it was merged with the English Society, becoming a "branch." In 1887 Dr. Richard Hodgson, who had been lecturing at Cambridge, was sent over as secretary to take charge of it, and soon began a set of experiences which immeasurably surpass all others in connection with the subject.

In 1886, Professor William James had found a remarkable medium in Mrs. Piper, a New England woman of average position and education, and Dr. Hodgson devoted himself to her phenomena. In trance she spoke as a self-alleged French physician who called himself Dr. Jean Phinuit Schliville, and who professed to be in the other world in association with friends of people who came to sit with Mrs. Piper. Dr. Phinuit professed to give messages from them, and to deliver the sitters' messages to them. The only thing apparently unprecedented in these proceedings was the consistently dramatic character of Dr. Phinuit himself, and the verisimilitude, varying but often astounding, between the utterances, dramatic characterizations and recollections of the alleged message senders, and the persons as known in life.

Mrs. Piper's career with Dr. Phinuit was an inheritance by her from a Dr. Cocke, who was controlled by a Dr. Finney. Dr. Cocke was an "inspirational healer" and in 1884 Mrs. Piper went to consult him about some physical ailment. A circle was being held, and she joined it. On a second visit she experienced a sensation as of a blinding flash, and then fainted, and on recovering began to talk in trance as somebody else.

[Pg 72]

Hodgson says (Pr. VIII, 46f.):

"She was said to have been controlled by an Indian girl who gave the name 'Chlorine,' and to have given a remarkable test to a stranger who was present. She had several more sittings with Mr. Cocke, and was again controlled, apparently on each occasion by 'Chlorine.'

This name is evidently pitched upon on account of its euphony and apparent femininity, by some consciousness—we can't tell whose, perhaps Mrs. Piper's subliminal (whatever that may mean)—unaware of the meaning of the word, which I hardly need tell the reader usually refers to a rather fetid gas. Hodgson continues:

"She was also ostensibly controlled at occasional times by Mrs. Siddons, Bach, Longfellow, Commodore Vanderbilt, and Loretta Ponchini. It was said that 'Mrs. Siddons' recited a scene from Macbeth, Longfellow was said to have written some verses, and Loretta Ponchini (who purported to be an Italian girl) to have made some drawings....

"Dr. Phinuit only came at first to give medical advice. He 'didn't care to come for other matters,' as he thought them 'too trivial.'

"Finally Sebastian Bach said they were going to concentrate all their powers on Phinuit, and he became ultimately the chief control.

"Mr. Piper says that there is no question but that it is the same Phinuit or personality who controls Dr. Cocke, no matter how their names are spelt."

All this seems clap-trap, but wait.

The questions regarding Phinuit are different from those regarding most of the other controls in the Society's records: for, with the exception of the Imperator group, they, in ordinary life, were generally known, personally or historically, to the sitters; while Phinuit has loomed upon the world as free from origins as Melchizedek, and some people think, despite his lack of priestly ways, with as important a mission. But he has alleged a lot of origins that, so far, cannot be traced. Even, however, if they never can be, the fact would not prove that he never existed.

[Pg 73]

After a while the communications began to be occasionally in writing, and at times the voice would be speaking as Phinuit, and the hand writing as somebody else. There was at least one occasion (Pr. XIII, 293) when Phinuit was joking with a lot of young girls, and the hand writing on other subjects with Dr. Hodgson.

The records of the S. P. R. contain the most contradictory accounts of Phinuit's character and attainments. Several habitual sitters are very fond of him. He and Sir Oliver Lodge were intimate friends, and while I have had but one conversation with him, I find reading him as delightful as reading Falstaff. Yet Professor Shaler calls him a preposterous scoundrel, as was Falstaff; but I can't find serious dishonesty in Phinuit.

Professor William James, who went to school in French Switzerland, and was entirely at home in French, says Phinuit knew none. Other sitters agree with him. Mr. Rogers Rich, who was equally at home in the language, says he and Phinuit talked French together a good deal, to Mr. Rich's entire satisfaction. Other sitters indicate the same. Mrs. Piper knew no French. Mr. Rich and many sitters, including Sir Oliver Lodge, in whose family Dr. Phinuit practiced extensively, found benefit in his prescriptions; he successfully gave one treatment which seems to the lay mind the opposite of reasonable, and yet I myself found prompt relief through a similar one given by an eminent New York physician. Nevertheless there are those who call Phinuit a shameless quack. While in the Pr. S. P. R. there are several prescriptions by him in correct technical language, there are also several statements that he does not know the ordinary terms of the pharmacopeia.

The following particulars are taken from a report on Mrs. Piper's trance which Hodgson made to the S. P. R. in 1892 published in Vol. VIII of their Proceedings. Although the messages generally went through Dr. Phinuit, sometimes the alleged personages themselves took control and carried on conversations with their friends through the vocal organs and gestures of Mrs. Piper. The voices of the controls varied with the alleged personalities.

[Pg 74]

R. Hodgson. First Sitting. May 4th, 1887. (Pr. VIII, 60.)

[From notes made on return to my rooms immediately after the sitting.]

"Phinuit began, after the usual introduction, by describing [correctly] members of my family....

"Phinuit mentioned the name 'Fred.' ... 'He says you went to school together. He goes on jumping-frogs, and laughs.... He had convulsive movements before his death, struggles. He went off in a sort of spasm.... [My cousin Fred far excelled any other person that I have seen in the games of leap-frog, fly the garter, etc.... He injured his spine in a gymnasium ... lingered for a fortnight, with occasional spasmodic convulsions, in one of which he died.] Phinuit described a lady, in general terms, dark hair, dark eyes, slim figure, etc., and said she was much closer to me than any other person: that she 'died slowly.' ... She had two rings; one was buried with her body; the other ought to have gone to you. The second part of her first name is—sie.' [True, with the exception of the statement about the rings, which may or may not be true.... No ring ever passed between the lady and myself.... After trying in vain to 'hear distinctly' the first part of the name, Phinuit gave up the attempt, and asked me what the first name was. I told him. I shall refer to it afterwards as 'Q.']"

All this could well have been involuntary telepathy from Hodgson to the medium. But again, wait.

At Hodgson's second sitting, November 18th, 1887, Phinuit referred to the beautiful teeth of "Q." and Hodgson says: "'Q.'s' teeth were not beautiful."

Here is something better (Pr. VIII):

"5, Boylston-place, March 6th, 1889.

"Mr. Robertson James has just called here on return from a sitting with Mrs. P., during which he was informed by Mrs. P.—entranced—that 'Aunt Kate' had died about 2 or 2.30 in the morning. Aunt Kate was also referred to as Mrs. Walsh.

"Mrs. Walsh has been ill for some time and has been expected during the last few days to die at any hour. This is written before any despatch has been received informing of the death, in presence of the following:—

"Richard Hodgson.
"William James.
"Robertson James.

[Pg 75]

"On reaching home an hour later I found a telegram as follows:—'Aunt Kate passed away a few minutes after midnight.—E. R. Walsh.'

"(Signed) Wm. James.

"Mrs. William James, who accompanied Mr. Robertson James to the sitting on March 6th, writes as follows:—

"18, Garden-street, Cambridge, March 28th, 1889.

"Concerning the sitting mentioned above on March 6th, I may add that the 'control' said, when mentioning that Aunt Kate had died, that I would find 'a letter or telegram' when I got home, saying she was gone.

"Alice H. James."

Now all this seems quite possibly telepathy and coincidence. But how about this?

"July, 1890.

"Early at this sitting I inquired, 'How is Aunt Kate?' The reply was, 'She is poorly.' This reply disappointed me, from its baldness. Nothing more was said about Aunt Kate till towards the close of the sitting, when I again said, 'Can you tell me nothing more about Aunt Kate?' The medium suddenly threw back her head and said in a startled way, 'Why, Aunt Kate's here. All round me I hear voices saying, "Aunt Kate has come."' Then followed the announcement that she had died very early that morning, and on being pressed to give the time, shortly after two was named.

"A. H. J."

And here is a manifestation eight months after Mrs. Walsh's death:

R. Hodgson. November 7th, 1889. (Pr. VIII, 93-4.)

[From a letter written to Professor W. James on the day of the sitting.]

"Mrs. D. and I had sitting to-day at Arlington Heights, and the usurpation by 'Kate Walsh' was extraordinary. The personality seemed very intense, and spoke in effortful whispers.

"'William—William—God bless you.' Sitter: 'Who are you?' 'Kate—Walsh.' (S. 'I know you.') 'Help me—help me——' [Taking (i. e., Mrs. Piper "taking," &c. Ed.) my right hand with her right, and passing it to her left and making me take hold of her left hand.] 'That hand's dead—dead—this one's alive' [i. e., the right]—'help me.'

"The left hand ... was cooler than either of my hands, while the right hand was warmer than either of my hands [the[Pg 76] implication being that Mrs. Piper was possessed by Mrs. Walsh. Ed.]

"I'm alive—I'm alive—Albert's coming over soon. He can't stay—poor boy—poor boy—Albert—Albert—Alfred—Albert—I know you—Alice—Alice—William—Alice——' (S. 'Yes, I know. I'll tell them. You remember me. I stayed with you in New York.') 'Yes, I know. But, oh, I can't remember. I'm so cold—I'm so cold. Oh, help me—help me'—[making tremulous movements of hands]. (S. 'I know. I'll tell them. You remember me; my name's Hodgson.') 'Yes. Mr. Hodgson. Where are the girls? Yes. You had fish for breakfast on the second day, didn't you?' (S. 'I don't remember very well.') 'And the tea—who was it spilt the cup of tea? Was it you or William?' [I think I remember something about the tea, but not very clearly. R. H.] 'You were in the corner room—bedroom—upstairs. Were you cold? Then there was some blancmange—you didn't like that. No. It was cream—Bavarian cream. [Is all this Mrs. Piper, or is it Shakspere, or is it the spirit of a fussy old lady? Ed.] Albert—poor boy; he's coming soon. William—[something about arranging the property]—William—God bless him.'

"The above was much less than was really said. But that was the sort of thing, and nothing à la mode Phinuit at all. It was the most strikingly personal thing I have seen."

This, some commentators want us to believe, was still "another personality" of Mrs. Piper—if Phinuit was. Four in the case of Sallie Beauchamp are well established, and nine in the case of Dr. Wilcox's patient. I wonder how many Dr. Prince would consider a probable number, and at what number the spiritistic hypothesis would begin to appear easier than the divided personality one. All unquestionable cases of secondary personality that I know of do not cross the sex, and are the results of brain injury or disease. Mrs. Piper and most of the mediums are normal people, and do their best when physically at their best.

The following report (Pr. VIII, 126f.) by Mr. T. Rogers Rich, a well known artist of Boston, made from contemporary notes of the sittings, is among the best:

"My first sitting with her was on September 6th, 1888. With little trouble she went into the trance ... and after a moment's silence ... I was startled by the remarkable change[Pg 77] in her voice—an exclamation, a sort of grunt of satisfaction, as if the person had reached his destination and gave vent to his pleasure thereat by this sound, uttered in an unmistakably male voice, but rather husky. I was at once addressed in French with, 'Bonjour, Monsieur, comment vous portez vous?' to which I gave answer in the same language, with which I happen to be perfectly familiar. My answer was responded to with a sort of inquiring grunt, much like the French 'Hein?'.... Nearly all my interviews were begun in the same manner.... I was quite unwell with nervous troubles.... The first thing told me was of a 'great light behind me, a good sign,' &c. Then suddenly all my ills were very clearly and distinctly explained and so thoroughly that I felt certain that Mrs. Piper herself would have hesitated to use such plain language! Prescriptions were given to me...."

"Second Sitting on October 5th.—... The 'Doctor' told me of my niece being frequently 'in my surroundings,' and that she was then at my side. Up to this time I had not heard my name mentioned, so I asked for it from my niece. The 'Doctor' was again puzzled and said, 'What a funny name—wait, I cannot go so fast!' Then my entire name was correctly spelt out but entirely with the French alphabet, each separate letter being clearly pronounced in that language. My niece had been born, lived most of her short life, and died in France. Then the attempt to pronounce my name was amusing—finally calling me 'Thames Rowghearce Reach.' The 'Doctor' never called me after that anything but 'Reach.'"

The spelling of a name "entirely with the French alphabet, each separate letter being clearly pronounced in that language," is a feat that few English-speaking students could accomplish, because the matter is of little consequence, and generally neglected. I have been in France some, and have translated two French books without incurring critical censure that I am aware of, and yet that feat would be far beyond me.

"One day Mrs. Piper pointed to a plain gold ring on my finger and said: 'C'est une alliance, how you call that? A wedding ring, n'est-ce pas?' This was true. Now if Mrs. Piper had learned French at school here [which she did not or anywhere else. Ed.] she would most probably have called this ring 'un anneau de marriage,' and not have given it the technical name 'alliance.'"

[Pg 78]

There are many cases of mediums speaking in languages which they did not know, but which the control, when incarnate, did. Mr. Rich continued:

"Breaking into the run of conversation, the 'Doctor' of a sudden said, 'Hullo, here's Newell!' [pseudonym] (mentioning the name of a friend who had died some months before).... 'Newell' had frequently purported to communicate directly with his mother through Mrs. Piper at previous sittings, but this was the first time that any intimation of his presence was given to me. I was totally unprepared for this, and said, 'Who did you say?' The name was repeated with a strong foreign accent, and in the familiar voice and tone of the 'Doctor.' Then there seemed for a moment to be a mingling of voices as if in dispute, followed by silence and heavy breathing of the medium. All at once I was astonished to hear, in an entirely different tone and in the purest English accent, 'Well, of all persons under the sun, Rogers Rich, what brought you here? I'm glad to see you, old fellow! How is X and Y and Z, and all the boys at the club?' Some names were given which I knew of, but their owners I had never met, and so reminded my friend 'Newell,' who recalled that he followed me in college by some years and that all his acquaintances were younger than I. I remarked an odd movement of the medium while under this influence; she apparently was twirling a mustache, a trick which my friend formerly practised much."

Now if all this drama is telepathy, it certainly is not of the "common or garden variety," and if "Newell" is a secondary personality of Mrs. Piper, it is one of hundreds of instances of that woman having secondary personalities who are men. I have read accounts of a good many undoubted cases of secondary personality, and have yet to read of one where the sex was crossed. Aren't these interpretations growing to look a little absurd? Mr. Rich goes on:

"June 3rd, 1889.—This time I asked to communicate with my friend 'Newell.' ... The 'Doctor' said, 'I'll send for him,' and kept on talking with me for a while. Then he said, 'Here's Newell, and he wants to talk with you "Reach," so I'll go about my business whilst you are talking with him, and will come back again later.' ... My name was called clearly as 'Rogers, old fellow!' without a sign of accent [Remember that 'Phinuit'[Pg 79] always pronounced it with an accent. Ed.] and the same questions put as to how were the 'fellows at the club.' My hand was cordially shaken [by the medium. Ed.], and I remarked the same movement of twisting the mustache, ... When 'Newell' left me there was the usual disturbance in the medium's condition, and then the resumption of the familiar voice, accent and mannerisms of Dr. Phinuit...."

Mr. Rich continues (Pr. VIII, 130):

"I produced a dog's collar. After some handling of it [by the medium] the 'Doctor' recognized it as belonging to a dog which I had once owned. I asked 'If there were dogs where he was?' 'Thousands of them!' and he said he would try to attract the attention of my dog with this collar. In the midst of our conversation he suddenly exclaimed, 'There! I think he knows you are here, for I see [him] coming from away off!' He then described my collie perfectly, and said, 'You call him, Reach,' and I gave my whistle by which I used to call him. 'Here he comes! Oh, how he jumps! There he is now, jumping upon and around you. So glad to see you! Rover! Rover! No—G-rover, Grover! That's his name!' The dog was once called Rover, but his name was changed to Grover in 1884, in honor of the election of Grover Cleveland."

The knowledge here may have been telepathic, but how about the dramatization?

Mrs. Piper's English Sittings of 1889-90 were held under the supervision of Sir Oliver Lodge and Dr. Walter Leaf, and the report of them has an introduction by Myers, and is followed by a statement of impressions of Mrs. Piper by James. All these experts expressed perfect confidence in the honesty of the medium, and that the phenomena were not explicable by any agency yet known to science.

Sir Oliver Lodge says (Pr. VI, 445):

"The details given of my family are just such as one might imagine obtained by a perfect stranger surrounded by the whole of one's relations in a group and able to converse freely but hastily with one after the other; not knowing them and being rather confused with their number and half-understood messages and personalities, and having a special eye to their physical weaknesses and defects. [Phinuit was (?) a doctor. Ed.] A person in a hurry thus trying to tell a stranger as much about[Pg 80] his friends as he could in this way gather, would seem to me to be likely to make much the same kind of communication as was actually made to me."

Here is an episode explaining a nickname that Phinuit habitually applied to Sir Oliver (Pr. VI, 471f.):

"Cousin married, and the gentleman passed out at sea, round the sea.... Hullo, he's got funny buttons, big, bright.... A uniform. He has been a commander, an officer, a leader; not military, but a commander.... [A little further on Phinuit suddenly brings out the word Cap'n in connection with him, but, in a curious and half puzzled way, applies it to me. It remained my Phinuit nickname to the end, though quite inapplicable.] Your mother has got a good picture of him taken a long time ago, pretty good, old-fashioned, but not so bad of him. Yes, pretty good. He looks like that now. He looks younger than he did...."

As in this vision, so it was in one of my own dreams which I suspect was in several respects veridical; and in two other dreams where I cannot trace any veridicity: the persons had grown young.

This recalls Peter Ibbetson's statement that he and his beloved kept themselves about twenty-seven. There are reports that Peter Ibbetson is not all fancy, but even if it were, such reports would be inevitable.

But in another dream which I fully believe to have been veridical, the person had grown older in proportion to the time since "passing over," but there was a peculiar reason for such a manifestation: I fancy that my friend may have wanted to appear to "grow old with me."

There are some things to suggest that if there are post-carnate souls, they can appear as of any age in their experience—and so show their history since separation, to anyone rejoining them.

Edmund Gurney, author of "Phantasms of the Living," and a very active member of the S. P. R. died in 1888. In December, 1889, his ostensible spirit communicated at several sittings with Sir Oliver Lodge through Mrs. Piper. Sir Oliver says (Pr. XXIII, 141f.):

[Pg 81]

"I learned in this way more about the life and thoughts of Edmund Gurney than I had known in his lifetime."

And Mrs. Piper knew less. Then where did it come from? These Gurney sittings are very interesting and suggestive, but we can use our limited space to better advantage.

Here are some characteristic Phinuit Touches (Pr. VI, 484):

"She remembers more than you do. What do you think she says to me? She says, don't swear, doctor; she did, sure as you live....

"Dr.: 'Do you know who Jerry—J—E—R—R—Y—is?' O. L.: 'Yes. Tell him I want to hear from him.' U[ncle] J[erry. Ed.]: 'Tell Robert, [his brother] Jerry still lives. I will be very glad to hear from me. This is my watch. Uncle Jerry—my watch.'...

"P.: 'I say, Captain, your friends have a lot to tell you, they're just clamoring to get at you. Why the devil don't you give them a chance?' O. L.: 'Well, I will next time.' (Watch handled again. It was a repeater, and happened to go off.) P.: 'Hullo, I didn't do that. Jerry did that, to remind you of him. Here, take it away—it goes springing off—it's alive.' ... 'It was Uncle Jerry, the one that had the fall. I'll bring you some more news of him. Give me back his nine-shooter.' (Meaning the watch.)"

Phinuit and the Lodge family and their next-door neighbors, the Thompsons, got to be great friends. Phinuit had given them much good advice, professional and other, and had really been of considerable service to them, even if only through their imaginations.

At the end of their second series of sittings, Feb. 23, 1890, he said:

"Now, all you people come here. Good-by, Susie. Good-by, Ike. Good-by, Nelly. Now, all clear out and let me talk to Marie. (Long conversation of a paternal kind, with thoroughly sensible advice. Then O. L. returned.) Captain, it's not good-by, it's au revoir, and you shall hear of me when I've gone away.' O. L.: 'How can I?' P.: 'Oh, I will tell some gentleman a message and he will write it for me. You'll see.

"Au revoir, au revoir, &c."

[Pg 82]

Hodgson's inclination while writing his report, was to attribute the phenomena to telepathy from the sitter. This might account for a part of the knowledge which the medium displayed, but it did not account for knowledge which the sitter never had, but left such knowledge to be accounted for by the vastly less probable hypothesis of teloteropathy from absent persons, which begins to approach the improbability of spiritism itself. But after the medium's possession of the knowledge is accounted for, the main problem is yet to be approached. Knowledge of a particular circumstance is virtually the same in all minds possessing it. But after a medium, say Mrs. Piper, has obtained an item of knowledge from, let it be granted for argument's sake, the sitter's mind, what makes her emotional attitude regarding it not that of the sitter or of herself, but of some departed friend of the sitter? What makes her rejoice in it or regret it as this departed friend, alone among all intelligences, would? What makes the play of her mind regarding it—suggestion, response, appreciation or depreciation, comment and discussion of all kinds, just what would be that of the departed soul which professes to be speaking through her? And what makes all this occur with a fidelity to the character and situation worthy of the greatest dramatists? And how comes that average New England woman to display that supreme dramatic genius virtually every day for a generation? This is not telepathy or teloteropathy. When Hodgson wrote his first report, he and the researchers generally had not got as far as the questions raised by the dramatic features. But he closed with the following mysterious paragraph:

"The foregoing report is based upon sittings not later than 1891. Mrs. Piper has given some sittings very recently which materially strengthen the evidence for the existence of some faculty that goes beyond thought-transference from the sitters, and which certainly primâ facie appear to render some form of the 'spiritistic' hypothesis more plausible. I hope to discuss these among other results in a later article."

The occasion for this paragraph was made plain in his[Pg 83] next report, issued in 1898, and published in Pr. S. P. R., Vol. XIII.

A young man alluded to in the S. P. R. reports as George Pelham, had died. He was a member of a very prominent English family, and on the distaff side, of an equally prominent family in New York. He had graduated at Harvard and spent some years as a housemate with the Howards (pseudonym) in Boston, though he died in New York, after some later years passed there. He was well known to the present writer, who finds the utterances of his alleged post-carnate self entirely in character. He was of a very philosophic bent, and no mean writer in both prose and verse. Psychical research was by no means his most prominent interest, or Hodgson his most intimate friend, though he had discussed the subject several times with Hodgson, and been introduced by him, under a pseudonym, for a single sitting with Mrs. Piper. For a month after G. P.'s death Hodgson's regular sittings with Mrs. Piper went on without there being any manifestation professing to come from G. P., when Mr. John Hart (pseudonym) who had been much more intimate with G. P. than Hodgson had, was sitting, in Hodgson's presence, with Mrs. Piper, and after Phinuit had announced a "George," an uncle of Mr. Hart, he went on, as Hodgson reports (Pr. XIII, 297f.):

"There is another George who wants to speak to you. How many Georges are there about you any way? [Hodgson continues. Ed.]

"The rest of the sitting, until almost the close, was occupied by statements from G. P., Phinuit acting as intermediary. George Pelham's real name was given in full, also the names, both Christian and surname, of several of his most intimate friends, including the name of the sitter. Moreover, incidents were referred to which were unknown to the sitter or myself. One of the pair of studs which J. H. was wearing was given to Phinuit [i. e. to the medium. Ed.].... '(Who gave them to me?) [Throughout these sittings, the sitters' remarks are in parentheses. Ed.] That's mine. Mother gave you that. (No.) Well, father then, father and mother together. You got those after I passed out. Mother took them. Gave them to father,[Pg 84] and father gave them to you. I want you to keep them. I will them to you.' Mr. Hart notes: 'The studs were sent to me by Mr. Pelham as a remembrance of his son....

"James and Mary [Mr. and Mrs.] Howard [Pseudonyms. Ed.] were mentioned with strongly specific references, and in connection with Mrs. Howard came the name Katharine. 'Tell her, she'll know. I will solve the problems, Katharine.' Mr. Hart notes: 'George, when he had last stayed with [the Howards], had talked frequently with Katharine (a girl of fifteen years of age) upon such subjects as Time, Space, God, Eternity, and pointed out to her how unsatisfactory the commonly accepted solutions were. He added that some time he would solve the problems.' Mr. Hart added that he was entirely unaware of these circumstances. I was myself unaware of them, and was not at that time acquainted with the Howards.

No telepathy then. Phinuit continues:

"'Who's Rogets? [Phinuit tries to spell the real name.] (Spell that again.) [At the first attempt afterwards Phinuit leaves out a letter, then spells it correctly.] Rogers.... Rogers has got a book of mine. (What is he going to do with it?)'

"[Both Hart and G. P. knew Rogers, who at that time had a certain MS. book of G. P. in his possession. The book was found after G. P.'s death and given to Rogers to be edited. G. P. had promised during his lifetime that a particular disposition should be made of this book after his death. This action ... was here, and in subsequent utterances which from their private nature I cannot quote, enjoined emphatically and repeatedly, and had it been at once carried out, as desired by G. P., much subsequent unhappiness and confusion might have been avoided.]

"During the latter part of the sitting, and without any relevance to the remarks immediately before and after, which were quite clear as expressions from G. P. came the words, 'Who's James? Will—William.' [It must be remembered that Phinuit was reporting G. P. throughout.] This was apparently explained by Phinuit's further remarks at the close of the sitting.

"Phinuit: 'Who's Alice? (What do you want me to say to her?) [To R. H.] Alice in spirit. Alice in spirit says it's all over now and tell Alice in the body all is well. Tell Will I'll explain things later on. He [George] calls Alice, too, in the body. I want her to know me, too, Alice and Katharine.... He won't go till you say good-by. [The hand then wrote: George Pelham. Good day (?) John.] ...'

[Pg 85]

"[Alice James, the sister of Professor William James, had recently died in England. The first name of Mrs. James is also Alice. Alice, the sister of Katharine, is the youngest daughter of Mr. Howard and was very fond of G. P.]

"As I have already said, the most personal references made at the sitting cannot be quoted; they were regarded by J. H. as profoundly characteristic of Pelham.

This was followed by the most remarkable experiences of the kind that ever occurred before Hodgson himself passed over to the majority and was ostensibly manifested to his surviving friends through Mrs. Piper and other mediums. G. P. sent for his friends the Howards (pseudonym) with whom he had been a housemate in Boston, for his parents, and for other friends. All of these came, very skeptical regarding the genuineness of the manifestations, but Mr. Howard—an eminent scholar of wide experience of the world, became convinced that he was in converse with the postcarnate intelligence of his old friend; the majority of the relatives, who were of a more orthodox habit than Mr. Howard, were brought at least to a condition of agnosticism on the subject, and the arch-critic Hodgson who had exposed more "spiritualistic" frauds than all other men put together, was turned into a militant spiritualist. G. P. was asked.

"(Can't you tell us something he or your mother has done?) 'I saw her brush my clothes and put them away. I was by her side as she did it. I saw her take my sleeve buttons from a small box and give them to my father. I saw him send them to John Hart. I saw her putting papers, etc., into a tin box.'

"The incident of the 'studs' was mentioned at the sitting of Hart. G. P.'s clothes were brushed and put away, as Mrs. Pelham wrote, not by herself, but by 'the man who had valeted George.'"

This incident is used by Mrs. Sidgwick in Pr. XV, 31, in support of the thesis that a medium's communications are influenced by education and social habits. I am disposed entirely to endorse this. The communications seem to me to come from a blending of the control, the medium, and the sitter. Perhaps this utterance will seem less Delphic as we go on.

[Pg 86]

The following (Pr. XIII, 416f.) does not seem much like telepathy.

"Mrs. Piper [on coming out of the trance. Ed.]: 'There is the man with the beard' [whom she saw in the trance. Ed.] Mrs. Piper then described what she thought was a dream. 'I saw a bright light and a face in it, a gentleman with a beard on his face, and he had a very high forehead and he was writing.' R. H.: 'Would you know it again if you saw it?' Mrs. Piper: 'Oh, yes. I would know it, I think.' R. H.: 'Well, try and recall it....'

"After Mrs. Piper comes out of [a second. Ed.] trance she is shown a collection of thirty-two photographs, nine of them being of men, from which she selects the picture of the person whom she saw when coming out of trance the first time. The photograph that she first picked out was an excellent likeness of G. P. She afterwards picked out another photograph of him. She stated that she never knew the gentleman when living."

Within twenty-four hours of this experience, or some other reported elsewhere, the dream recollection had, like dream recollections generally, faded away: she could not recognize the photograph. We can talk about telopsis here, if we want to, but telopsis of what? Of that photograph? Nonsense! And as strange as anything else about it, is that there is nothing strange about it. In my own dreams I see any number of people I never saw before, just as plainly as I see any number on the street, and if photographs were handed me, as those were to Mrs. Piper, immediately on awaking, I could identify them. This identification is nothing out of the ordinary course of nature, only the wit to see that it is, has but just come.

But with any sitter, Mrs. Piper may have had telepathically just as definite an idea as the sitter has, or she may always have been telepathically impressed in her dream by the post-carnate man himself. Each one of us will have to fumble to his own conviction, if he ever reaches one.

Hodgson continues (Pr. XIII, 321-2):

"It was during this sitting [Dec. 22, 1892] that perhaps the most dramatic incident of the whole series occurred....

"Mr. Howard: 'Tell me something that you and I alone[Pg 87] know, something in our past that you and I alone know.' G. P.: 'Do you doubt me, dear old fellow?' Mr. H.: 'I simply want something—you have failed to answer certain questions that I have asked—now I want you to give me the equivalent of the answers to those questions in your own terms....' G. P.: 'You used to talk to me about....'

"The writing which followed ... contains too much of the personal element in G. P.'s life to be reproduced here. Several statements were read by me, and assented to by Mr. Howard, and then was written 'private' and the hand gently pushed me away. I retired to the other side of the room, and Mr. Howard took my place close to the hand where he could read the writing. He did not, of course, read it aloud, and it was too private for my perusal. The hand, as it reached the end of each sheet, tore it off from the block-book, and thrust it wildly at Mr. Howard, and then continued writing. The circumstances narrated, Mr. Howard informed me, contained precisely the kind of test for which he had asked, and he said that he was 'perfectly satisfied, perfectly.'

"Characteristic also of the living G. P. was the remark made to me later, apparently with reference to the circumstances of the private statements:

"'Thanks, Hodgson, for your kind help and reserved manners, also patience in this difficult matter.'"

All this, I suppose, is mere telepathy or the subliminal self, or divided self, or some other self, of an average New England housewife!

In this report the sittings take up some two hundred pages, and Hodgson devoted about fifty pages to his reasons for accepting the spiritistic hypothesis regarding them. James said: "I know of no more masterly handling anywhere of so unwieldy a mass of material"; and yet he never squarely agreed with Hodgson, though he often says he was tempted to.

Hodgson's reasons cannot be fairly understood without familiarity with the evidence. They are very ingenious and interesting, and would give the most skeptical reader pause, but we have space for only a few generalizations.

"The manifestations of this G. P. communicating have not been of a fitful and spasmodic nature, they have exhibited the marks of a continuous living and persistent personality ...[Pg 88] what change has been discernible is a change not of any process of disintegration, but rather of integration and evolution...."

"That G. P. could get into some closer relation with his father and the Howards than with Miss M. or myself is intelligible; but it is not so obvious why Mrs. Piper's secondary personality should...."

"... The mixtures of truth and error bear no discernible relation to the consciousness of the sitters, but suggest the action of another intelligence groping confusedly among its own remembrances."

"We get all varieties of communication; some of them, purporting to come from persons who when living were much mentally disturbed, suggesting the incoherency of delirium; others of them, purporting to come from persons who have been dead very many years, suggesting a fainter dreaminess [or more remoteness. Ed.]; others purporting to come from persons recently deceased whose minds have been clear, showing a corresponding clearness. My own conclusion ... is forced upon me by experience, and strengthened by various statements of the communicators themselves concerning the causes of confusion."

"Again, that persons just 'deceased' should be extremely confused and unable to communicate directly, or even at all, seems perfectly natural after the shock and wrench of death.

"Of such confusions as I have indicated above I cannot find any satisfactory explanation in 'telepathy from the living,' but they fall into a rational order when related to the personalities of the 'dead.'"

"In cases where we should a priori be led to expect that the communicators would certainly not be confused, or, if they were confused, the confusion would not make much difference, Phinuit was particularly successful. The cases I refer to are those of little children recently deceased."

This seems to me a very strong point. Its force will be realized by most of those who read the Sutton and Thaw sittings in Pr. XIII. Phinuit, the "preposterous old scoundrel," is eminently "the children's friend." Hodgson continues:

"Having tried the hypothesis of telepathy from the living for several years, and the 'spirit' hypothesis also for several years, I have no hesitation in affirming with the most absolute assurance that the 'spirit' hypothesis is justified by its fruits, and the other hypothesis is not."

[Pg 89]

"Since Phinuit's 'departure' [explained below. Ed.] the voice has been used on a few rare occasions only, and almost exclusively by communicators who purported to be relatives of the sitters, and who had used the voice before Phinuit's 'departure.' ... But there never seemed to be any confusion between the personality using the hand, whether this was 'clear' or not, and the personality using the voice."

This consideration and those before associated with it seem to me more for the spiritistic hypothesis than any others which we have met so far.

G. P. soon developed into the Mercury of the spiritistic Pantheon, turned up at almost all sittings, went to seek the friends of the sitters in the "spirit-world," and acted as intermediary for those who were new to the conditions of communication or had not enough of the psychokinetic power which was alleged to be necessary to use them effectively.

It should be noted that during G. P.'s life, telepathy from the sitter had been reluctantly conceded as a defense against the spiritistic hypothesis, but it was not till after his death that teloteropathy from persons at a distance had been conceded; and it was not until 1909—seven years later, that James, one of the most steadfast holders of the conservative fort, in his report on the communications from Hodgson's alleged spirit, in Pr. XXIII, admitted, as among the possible "sources other than R. H.'s surviving spirit for the veridical communications from the Hodgson control," "access to some cosmic reservoir, where the memory of all mundane facts is stored and grouped around personal centers of association."

James had a subtler mind than mine or almost anybody's. Mine is not subtle enough to be very seriously impressed by the difference between "memory of mundane facts stored and grouped around personal centers of association," and a surviving personality; and what difference does impress me, is pretty well filled up when the "personal center" also has "grouped around" it, the initiative, response, repartee and emotional and dramatic elements that, as shown not only by the G. P. control, but,[Pg 90] years later, by the Hodgson control, and by hundreds of others, make a gallery of characters more vivid than those depicted by all the historians. But even claiming them to be historical, as in a sense they are, would not be claiming them to be surviving. Many historical characters have put in that claim through Mrs. Piper and other mediums, and while our greatest psychologist knew as much as anybody about the claims, and seemed somewhat on the road to admitting them to be from surviving personalities, he did not live to go farther than memories "stored and grouped around personal centers of association."

But à bas the "memories"! one is tempted to say; credit them all to telepathy if you will: what are they beside the active and spontaneous emotions and responses?

Meantime in 1892 our old acquaintance Stainton Moses had "passed over," and in 1895 had ostensibly appeared through Mrs. Piper to Professor Newbold of the University of Pennsylvania, and Professor Newbold asked him to bring his friends Imperator, Rector, etc. These high-toned personages—none high-toneder, as John Hay of blessed memory, puts it—nor more bombastic or long-winded, had manifested before only through Moses (for convenience I am using the simple phraseology that would attend their genuineness, but do not mean to convey any opinion), and when they came through Mrs. Piper, they professed to find her in a very bad way because of the "earth-bound" Phinuit, and they professed to remove him to a higher sphere where he would be purified and disinfected and sanctified and turned from a genial sympathetic, humorous and, it must be admitted, occasionally slangy and profane soul, into a prig of purest ray serene. Rector now generally took his place with Mrs. Piper, which he had done to some extent before. The gang was very well satisfied with G. P., however, and he appeared for some years as their valued friend and collaborator, until in 1897 they declared his work done, and his proper place a "higher sphere." He bade his friends here affectionate farewells, but has occasionally sent back messages, and has once or twice spoken[Pg 91] himself. Mind, I am throughout speaking only provisionally; but I would defy any writer to escape the verisimilitude, and even if that were possible, it would involve intolerable verbiage.

Imperator & Co. now proposed to do most of the talking themselves, and they did a frightful amount of it; and occasionally really said something.

Moreover, they took charge of Mrs. Piper and Hodgson too, in their goings and comings and all their ways, dictated their diet and exercise, and even whom they should have at sittings, giving the preference to people of exceptionally high character, and to those in deep distress from loss of friends, and eager to communicate with them.

The present writer and some others are tempted to think that these autocratic personages are products telepathically conveyed to Mrs. Piper from the unconscious imagination of Hodgson and his recollection of Moses' writings, with perhaps a little involuntary dash of Prof. Newbold. But if they are, the imagination is expanded to a degree entirely outside of ordinary experience, and its study must enlarge our conception of the range of human faculty. Whatever they were, if only an allegorized form of faith cure, there is no question about their beneficial effect on the clearness of the sittings, and on the health and happiness of Mrs. Piper and Hodgson.

James says something which goes to the root of the whole business, and which, though it is episodic to the Hodgson narrative, may as well be considered here (Pr. XXIII, 3):

"Dr. Hodgson was disposed to admit the claim to reality of Rector and of the whole Imperator-Band, ... while I have rather favored the idea of their all being dream-creations of Mrs. Piper.... I can see no contradiction between Rector's being on the one hand an improvised creature of this sort, and his being on the other hand the extraordinarily impressive personality which he unquestionably is.... Critical and fastidious sitters have recognized his wisdom, and confess their debt to him as a moral adviser. With all due respect to Mrs. Piper, I feel very sure that her own waking capacity for being[Pg 92] a spiritual adviser, if it were compared with Rector's, would fall greatly behind."

"With all due respect" for Professor James's opinion, I think I do "see [a] contradiction," and I see the contradiction because, with Professor James, "I feel very sure that her own waking capacity for being a spiritual adviser, if it were compared with Rector's, would fall greatly behind." If the Imperator band were merely, as James suggests, "dream creations," ... and if "her own waking capacity ... compared with Rector's, would fall greatly behind," how could she make anything so superior to herself? How can she do better as Rector than she can as herself? The whole scheme seems to me akin to the Du-Prel and Myers scheme of making a man lift himself higher than his head by his own boot-straps; and beside it the spiritistic hypothesis seems simplicity and probability themselves.

The simplest individual, incarnate (or discarnate?), of course manifests himself in a way that the most skillful dramatist could not equal, and it may well be questioned whether it is not more rational to assume that the hundreds of alleged personalities dramatized in the words and gestures of Mrs. Piper are manifestations by the personalities themselves, than that they are creations of some as yet unknown kind of genius residing in some layer of Mrs. Piper's consciousness, and getting its material from fragments among her own memories or by telepathy from those of other living persons, present or remote.

Hodgson closes his report (Pr. XIII, 409):

"It has been stated repeatedly that the 'channel is not yet clear,' that the machine is still in process of repair; and it has been prophesied that I shall myself return eventually to America and spend several years further in the investigation of Mrs. Piper's trance, and that more remarkable evidence of identity will be given than any heretofore obtained."

He did return and continue his beloved work for several years. But the next time we meet him it will be as an alleged denizen of the spirit world, and perhaps his testimony[Pg 93] in that capacity was part of the "more remarkable evidence of identity" promised.

These influences, whatever their fundamental character, having made a saint of Hodgson, as was alleged by a friend who did not believe that the influences were from a post-carnate world, the drama took a new turn on December 20, 1905, in the death which Hodgson had eagerly awaited, and his ostensible reappearances through Mrs. Piper and other mediums. The principal report of them is made by his friends Professor William James, Mrs. Henry Sidgwick, Mr. J. G. Piddington and Sir Oliver Lodge in Pr. XXIII, and occupies some 170 octavo pages, most of them literal reports of sittings. Other manifestations appear in the heteromatic writing of Mrs. Holland (Pr. XX) and elsewhere. Of course but a few entirely inadequate scraps can be given here.

As in the case of G. P., the first appearance did not take place until, on Dec. 28th, a peculiarly close and congenial friend of Hodgson happened to have a sitting—an argument of course for telepathy from the friend, but an equal argument for a genuine communication that had to await a congenial sitter.

To avoid constant circumlocution, I will provisionally write as if Hodgson were really speaking. Indeed, I doubt if I could persistently do otherwise: for the utterances are so natural that all the editors of the Pr. S. P. R. unconsciously fall into that way of expression.

James says (Pr. XXIII, 7) that the first alleged appearance of Hodgson:

"was at Miss Theodate Pope's sitting on Dec. 28th, 1905 [the eighth day after Hodgson's death. Ed.] ... Rector had been writing, when the hand dropped the pencil and worked convulsively several seconds in a very excited manner.

"Miss P.: 'What is the matter?' [The hand, shaking with apparently great excitement, wrote the letter H, ... bearing down so hard on the paper that the point of the pencil was broken. It then wrote 'Hodgson.']

Was all this a "put-up job?" And if so, who put it up, and why?

[Pg 94]

"Miss P.: 'God bless you!' [The hand writes 'I am'—followed by rapid scrawls, as if regulator of machine were out of order.] Miss P.: 'Is this my friend?' [Hand assents by knocking five times on paper-pad.] (Rector): 'Peace, friends, he is here, it was he, but he could not remain, he was so choked. He is doing all in his power to return.... Better wait for a few moments until he breathes freer again.'"

Do spirits require a supply of oxygen, or is the expression metaphorical for something not accurately communicable to our intelligence? It occurs several times. Frequently the "spirits" say they are tired, especially in the transition from the body. The expression "choked" may be purely metaphorical, yet it hardly reinforces the argument for spiritism.

James says (Pr. XXIII, 13f.):

"The R. H. control suddenly wrote: 'Give ring to Margaret back to Margaret.' [Mrs. Lyman's name [pseudonym. Ed.] is not Margaret.] Miss P.: 'Who is Margaret?' R. H.: 'I was with her in summer.' Miss P.: 'All right, but the ring has not been found yet. Can you find out where it is?' R. H.: 'The undertaker got it....'"

"On January 24th, Mrs. Lyman had her first sitting. As soon as Hodgson appeared he wrote: 'The ring. You gave it me on my fiftieth birthday. When they asked I didn't want to say you gave it me.... Two palm-leaves joining each other—Greek. [Here followed an illegible word. The palms truly described the ring, which Mrs. Piper probably had seen; but it bore no Greek inscription....]' Mrs. L.: 'Yes, Dick, where is it now?' R. H.: '... They took it off my finger after I was gone.' Mrs. L.: 'No, they didn't find it on your finger.' R. H.: 'Pocket, it was in my pocket. I'll find it, you shall have it.'

"On January 29th, Mrs. L. had another sitting. The Hodgson control wrote: 'I have been trying to make clear about that ring. It is on my mind all the time. I thought if I could get Margaret B. to get it for me, I would get it to you through her, then no one would understand. I could not tell Miss Pope about you.' [Then a possible attempt to draw a symbol engraved on the ring.] 'No one living knows this but myself and yourself.' [Note the term 'living' as applied to himself. Ed.] Mrs. L.: 'That is true, but what was the motto in the ring?' R. H.: 'All[Pg 95] will be clear to me in time. Do not ask me test questions now....'"

His failure to remember it is one of the most knock-down anti-evidential arguments, but it is equally anti-telepathic. His never speaking of the ring to other friends, the Jameses, and Mr. Dorr, seems very evidential.

Hodgson (or the control, if you prefer, whatever that may mean), kept worrying about the ring through several sittings, and got so far as to imagine that he had seen it on the finger of a man who stole it. It was eventually found in Hodgson's waistcoat pocket. James comments on the case:

"The whole incident lends itself easily to a naturalistic interpretation. Mrs. Piper or her trance-consciousness may possibly have suspected the source of the ring. Mrs. Lyman's manner may have confirmed the suspicion. The manner in which the first misleading reference to 'Margaret' was afterwards explained away may well have been the cunning of a 'control' trying plausibly to cover his tracks and justify his professed identity."

But, please, what is a "control"? And why does one want to be taken for somebody else? Is this explanation "naturalistic"? It seems to my poor wits to grant the whole case, and reminds me of the deniers of telepathy availing themselves of it to explain away spiritism. Or does James mean a control faked by Mrs. Piper? If he had not already grown past that, he gave indications that he had later. He continues:

"The description of the house and of the man to whom he ascribes its [the ring's. Ed.] present possession sounds like vague groping, characteristic also of control-cunning."

But why should there be "control-cunning"? Is it anything like commentator-cunning?

James proceeds without any "cunning:"

"On the other hand, if the hypothesis be seriously entertained that Hodgson's spirit was there in a confused state, using the permanent Piper automatic machinery to communicate through, the whole record is not only plausible but natural. It presents just that mixture of truth and groping which we ought to expect.[Pg 96] Hodgson has the ring 'on his mind' just as Mrs. Lyman has. Like her, he wishes its source not to be bruited abroad. He describes it accurately enough, truly tells of his taking it to the fatal boat-club [He died while playing hand-ball there. Ed.], and of putting it into his waistcoat-pocket there, of the waistcoat being taken from the locker, and vaguely, but not quite erroneously, indicates its present position."

And why should it not be even "quite erroneously"? Nearly all the reasoning I have seen on these matters is vitiated by the entirely gratuitous traditional assumption that if a soul survives death, it enters at once into measureless wisdom. Hodgson (?) and the rest seem pretty much the same sort of people that they were here, and I for one am glad of it.

In the sittings of many others of Hodgson's friends the control showed a similar abundant knowledge of their experiences with Hodgson living, and, most important of all, it seems to me, all of Hodgson's exceptionally marked habits of thought and expression. We have room for but little more. James says (Pr. XXIII, 36):

"Hodgson was distinguished during life by great animal spirits. He was fond of argument, chaff, and repartee, a good deal of a gesticulator, and a great laugher.... Chaff and slang from a spirit have an undignified sound for the reader, but to the interlocutors of the R. H. control they seem invariably to have been elements of verisimilitude."

God save me from a heaven where there is no "chaff and slang"! I should fail to recognize some of my best friends among the loftiest souls who have escaped the flesh, Hodgson not the least. However intense the interest heretofore taken in a future world, I doubt if it has ever been thoroughly healthy, or ever will be before we get our conceptions of that world off stilts. James continues (pp. 37-8):

"This, however, did not exclude very serious talk with the same persons—quite the reverse sometimes, as when one sitter of this class notes: 'Then came words of kindness which were too intimate and personal to be recorded, but which left me so deeply moved that shortly afterwards, at the sitting's close, I[Pg 97] fainted dead away—it had seemed as though he had in all reality been there and speaking to me.'"

If James ran any one of his virtues into the ground, perhaps it was his modesty concerning anything connected with himself. Instance the following introduction and what it introduces:

W. J.'s Sitting. (May 21st, 1906). (Pr. XXIII, 8of.)

"[J.] The evidence is so much the same sort of thing throughout, and makes such insipid reading, that I hesitate to print more of it in full. But I know that many critics insist on having the largest possible amount of verbatim material on which to base their conclusions, so I select a specimen of the R. H. control's utterances when he was less 'strong.' The reader, I fear, will find it long and tedious, but he can skip.

"(R. H. enters, saying:) 'Well, well, well, well! Well, well, well, that is—here I am. Good morning, good morning, Alice.' Mrs. W. J.:'Good morning, Mr. Hodgson.' R. H.: 'I am right here. Well, well, well! I am delighted!' W. J.: 'Hurrah! R. H.! Give us your hand!' R. H.: 'Hurrah, William! God bless you. How are you?' W. J.: 'First rate.' R. H.: 'Well, I am delighted to see you. Well, have you solved those problems yet?' W. J.: 'Which problems do you refer to?' R. H.: 'Did you get my messages?' W. J.: 'I got some messages about your going to convert me.' ... [R. H. had already sent me, through other sitters, messages about my little faith. W. J.] W. J.: 'Yes.' R. H.: 'Well, it has amounted to this,—that I have learned by experience that there is more truth than error in what I have been studying.' W. J.: 'Good!' R. H.: 'I am so delighted to see you to-day that words fail me.' W. J.: 'Well, Hodgson, take your time and don't be nervous.' R. H.: 'No. Well, I think I could ask the same of you! Well, now, tell me,—I am very much interested in what is going on in the society, and Myers and I are also interested in the society over here. You understand that we have to have a medium on this side, while you have a medium on your side, and through the two we communicate with you.' ... W. J.: 'You don't mean Rector?' R. H.: 'No, not at all. It is——do you remember a medium whom we called Prudens?' 'Yes.'"

From one point of view, his not naming G. P. or Rector gives food for skepticism. But why didn't Mrs. Piper do the job consistently, if it was she who did it?

[Pg 98]

"R. H.: 'What I want to know first of all is about the society. I am sorry that it could not go on.' W. J.: 'There was nobody to take your place....' R. H.: 'William, can't you see, don't you understand, and don't you remember how I used to walk up and down before that open fireplace trying to convince you of my experiments?' W. J.: 'Certainly, certainly.' R. H.: 'And you would stand with your hands in your trousers pockets. You got very impatient with me sometimes, and you would wonder if I was correct. I think you are very skeptical.' W. J.: 'Since you have been returning I am much more near to feeling as you felt than ever before.' R. H.: 'Good! Well, that is capital.' W. J.: 'Your "personality" is beginning to make me feel as you felt.' R. H.: 'If you can give up to it, William, and feel the influence of it and the reality of it, it will take away the sting of death.... Now tell me a little bit more about the Society. That will help me keep my thoughts clear. I think, William—are you standing?' W. J.: 'Yes, I am standing.' R. H.: 'Well, can't you sit?' W. J.: 'Yes.' R. H.: 'Well, sit. Let's have a nice talk.'..."

There is nothing "evidential" about the last couple of lines in the scientific sense, but there are several kinds of sense. James continues:

(Pr. XXIII, 109): "The following incident belongs to my wife's and Miss Putnam's sitting of June 12th, 1906:—Mrs. J. said: 'Do you remember what happened in our library one night when you were arguing with Margie [Mrs. J.'s sister]?'—'I had hardly said "remember,"' she notes, 'in asking this question, when the medium's arm was stretched out and the fist shaken threateningly,' then these words came:

"R. H.: 'Yes, I did this in her face. I couldn't help it. She was so impossible to move. It was wrong of me, but I couldn't help it.' [I myself well remember this fist-shaking incident, and how we others laughed over it after Hodgson had taken his leave. What had made him so angry was my sister-in-law's defense of some slate-writing she had seen in California.—W. J.]"

(Pr. XXIII, 112): "On Jan. 30, 1906, Mrs. M. had a sitting. Mrs. M. said:

"'Do you remember our last talk together, at N., and how, in coming home we talked about the work?' (R. H.): 'Yes, yes.' Mrs. M.: 'And I said if we had a hundred thousand dollars—'R. H.: 'Buying Billy!!' Mrs. M.: 'Yes, Dick, that[Pg 99] was it—"buying Billy."' R. H.: 'Buying only Billy?' Mrs. M.: 'Oh no—I wanted Schiller too. How well you remember!'

"Mrs. M., before R. H.'s death, had had dreams of extending the American Branch's operations by getting an endowment, and possibly inducing Prof. Newbold (Billy) and Dr. Schiller to co-operate in work.

This buying Billy and Schiller brought Podmore squarely around, for the first time, I think, from his previous life-long fight against telepathy. He says (Newer Spiritualism, p. 222):

"It is impossible to doubt that we have here proof of a supernormal agency of some kind—either telepathy by the trance intelligence from the sitter or some kind of communication with the dead."

Two pages farther on, however, appears the advocatus diaboli (Op. Cit., p. 224):

"When asked to give the contents of any sealed letters written in his life-time for the express purpose of being read by him after death the two sentences were given: 'There is no death' and 'out of life into life eternal' (p. 102). Whatever Hodgson may have written, it was surely not quite so commonplace as that."

To my gullible apprehension, it seems eminently appropriate.

Among the interesting phenomena investigated by the S. P. R., have been the automatic, or I should prefer to say heteromatic, writing of Mrs. Verrall and Mrs. Holland, which were not made in trance. Vol. XX of the Proceedings is entirely given up to the consideration of it by Mrs. Verrall. She is the wife of a professor in Cambridge, and herself lecturer in Newnham College. The phenomena themselves are of moderate interest beside most of those described in these pages, but their evidential value is high, and their implications most important, and the treatment of them is pervaded by wide scholarship, and is charming. The experiences, however, do not connect with the main Moses—Piper—G. P.—Hodgson—Myers thread on which these brief extracts have naturally strung themselves, and I will not attenuate that thread to make room for this outside strand. I especially commend Mrs. Verrall's volume,[Pg 100] however, to anybody who combines with an interest in Psychical Research, an interest in really "elegant letters."

The following scrap relating to Hodgson is from an account by Miss Johnson (Research officer of the S. P. R.) of Mrs. Holland (pseudonym) (Pr. XXI, 303f.):

"In February, 1905 ... Mrs. Holland found that the automatic writing was beginning to make her feel faint or sleepy. The condition was obviated at the time.... It now began to recur. [This sort of thing is noted in several places as preceding the advent of a new, and especially a strong control. Ed.]

"Mrs. Holland learned of Hodgson's death on January 2, 1906. Her script on Friday, February 9, 1906, 9 P. M., is as follows (Pr. XXI, 304):

"... S j d i b s e I p e h t p o—Only one letter further on—


"They are not haphazard figures read them as letters—....

"K. 57. [a Christian name]—Gray paper—

"I found that in spite of the rather obvious hints....—'Only one letter further on' and 'Not haphazard figures read them as letters,'—Mrs. Holland had not deciphered the initial conundrums. The first letters are formed from the name 'Richard Hodgson' by substituting for each letter of the name the letter following it in the alphabet; the numbers represent the same name by substituting for each letter the number of its place in the alphabet.

"I asked Mrs. Holland if she had ever played at conundrums of this kind. She told me that as a child in the nursery she had played at a 'secret language' made by using either the letter before or the letter after the real one. But she had never practised or thought of using numbers in this way. She noted afterwards: 'When my hand wrote them I thought they were an addition sum and hoped [my subliminal] would add it very correctly and quickly. [My supraliminal] is very poor at figures.'"

Hodgson in life was very fond of these puzzles.

[Pg 101]

All this anticipates a scrap of explanation out of a much longer and more interesting manifestation. Mrs. Holland wrote to Miss Johnson (Pr. XXI, 171f.):

"Any automatic writing that comes to me is nearly always in verse, headed—

"'Believe in what thou canst not see,
Until the vision come to thee.'

"The verses, though often childishly simple in wording and jingling in rhyme, are rarely trivial in subject. I once wrote down fourteen poems in little over an hour.... When I write original verse I do so slowly and carefully, with frequent erasures: automatic verse is always as if swiftly dictated and there are never any erasures. I am always fully conscious, but my hand moves so rapidly that I seldom know what words it is forming.

"... I copy one set of verses.... I wrote it down as quickly as it was possible for my hand to move, and was surprised afterwards to find that it had a definite form of its own. It is exactly as it came to me, not 'polished' or altered in the least.

"'I whom he loved, am a ghost,
Wandering weary and lost.
I dare not dawn on his sight,
(Windblown weary and white)
He would shudder in hopeless fright,
He who loved me the best.
I shun the paths he will go,
Because I should frighten him so.
(Weary and lacking rest).

Two stanzas are omitted from lack of space.

"'Should I beat on the window pane,
He would think it the wind and rain,
If he saw my pale face gleam
He would deem it a stray moonbeam
Or the waft of a passing dream.
No thought for the lonely dead,
Buried away out of sight.
And I go from him veiling my head,(1896)
Windblown weary and white.'

"... Automatic verses do not deal much with facts, but once when I was staying in Italy, in an old palazzo I had never[Pg 102] before seen, the day after my arrival, and before I had been into the garden, the impulse to write came on me, and I yielded to it, without however ceasing to take part in the conversation of two friends who were with me. One of them, who knew about my automatic writing, asked me to read what had come to me. I did so:—

"'Under the orange tree
Who is it lies?
Baby hair that is flaxen fair,
Shines when the dew on the grass is wet,
Under the iris and violet.
'Neath the orange tree
Where the dead leaves be,
Look at the dead child's eyes!'(1901)

"'This is very curious,' said my friend, 'there is a tradition that a child is buried in the garden here, but I know you have never heard it.'"

These heteromatic poems appear to be but extreme illustrations of the "inspiration" that poets have generally claimed for themselves. The author's modest deprecations seem to me unjust to her own.

Mrs. Holland continues (p. 173f.):

"I have said that automatic verses do not deal much with facts, but once, when I was sensitive after illness, I experienced a new form of automatic writing, in the shape of letters which my hand insisted on writing to a newly-made acquaintance.

"The first of these letters began with a pet name I did not know, and was signed with the full name of someone I had never heard of, and who I afterwards learnt had been dead some years. It was clearly impressed upon me for whom the letter was intended, but thinking it due to some unhealthy fancy of my own, I destroyed it. Having done so I was punished by an agonizing headache, and the letter was repeated, till in self-defense I sent it and the succeeding ones to their destination."

This is perhaps the most "evidential" thing I know.

It has been natural to follow the career of Hodgson both incarnate and alleged post-carnate, without interrupting for the post-carnate career of Myers who had died in 1901, four years before Hodgson. Myers was perhaps the[Pg 103] leading English spirit in the S. P. R., and everybody interested in Psychical Research—the skeptical as well as the credulous—was looking with great interest for manifestations professing to come from that spirit in a post-carnate state. As usual, they are a terrible jumble. Myers was not a demonstrative person. He had not, like Hodgson, salient characteristics of manner or expression. In that respect the communicating personality resembles him. His absorbing interests were the S. P. R., poetry, and classical literature. In those respects, too, the personality resembles him.

Mr. George Dorr of Boston got from the Myers control, through Mrs. Piper, a large mass of classical lore which Mr. Dorr asserts he never could have possessed himself, and which certainly Mrs. Piper never did (Pr. XXIV).

Myers' appearances, though of great interest to students, do not make as good general reading as G. P.'s and Hodgson's, and we will make space for only one.

On September 16, 1903, nearly three years after Myers' death and his first alleged appearance through Mrs. Thompson, there was apparently the first appearance of a Myers control through Mrs. Holland. Myers, as his control intimates later, wrote, like Hodgson, for evidential purposes in cryptic ways that the heteromatist probably never would have deliberately used. The writing was, says Miss Johnson (Pr. XXI, 178):

"On two sides of a half-sheet of paper; the first side begins with the initial 'F.,' and the second ends with the initial 'M.'; the whole passage is divided into four short sections, the first three ending respectively in '17/,' '/1' and '/01.' January 17th, 1901, was the date of Mr. Myers's death, mentioned in Human Personality; but the simple device of separating these initials and items from one another was completely effective in its apparent object. I read the passage a good many times before I saw what they meant and I found that the meaning had entirely escaped Mrs. Holland's notice."

This refers to the script containing the notorious stanza (Pr. XXI, 192) which excited the derision of the Philistine world of both continents, and disturbed not a small portion of the enlightened world:

[Pg 104]

"Friend while on earth with knowledge slight
I had the living power to write
Death tutored now in things of might
I yearn to you and cannot write."

Why the stanza excited so much adverse comment I cannot clearly make out: for what is it but a demonstration of what it claims, "I ... cannot write," unless it be also a demonstration that the tired shade, or befogged subliminal, or impotent group of world-soul elements, or what you please, could not criticise either?

It is worth remarking, by the way, that the Myers control, despite this and some other complaints of inefficiency, generally professed, as do the controls generally, to be in a condition of great happiness.

A word should be said of the very instructive and tedious subject of Cross-Correspondence, which has lately attracted more attention from the S. P. R. than any other topic.

If Mrs. Verrall in London and Mrs. Holland in India both, at about the same time, write heteromatically about a subject that they both understand, that is probably coincidence; but if both write about it when but one of them understands it, that is probably teloteropathy; and if both write about it when neither understands it, and each of their respective writings is apparently nonsense, but both make sense when put together, the only obvious hypothesis is that both were inspired by a third mind. The term Cross-Correspondence has been reserved for such a phenomenon. There are many famous ones—famous in a small circle, if that's not too Hibernian. The subject is entirely too complex for any treatment in our space. The reader is referred to Pr. XVIII, XX, XXI, XXII, XXIV and XXV.

The critics generally agree upon two points as the strongest against the spiritistic hypothesis. They were not enough for Myers, Hodgson and Sir Oliver Lodge, but they were strongest in suspending the judgment of James, Newbold and others of eminence.

The first is that Myers and Miss Wilde, of Holyoke,[Pg 105] Mass., left sealed letters, the contents of which they purposed to announce should they be able to do so in a post-carnate life. The words ostensibly given by them through Mrs. Piper bore no relation to those found in the envelopes. Apologists offer in explanation that the memories are much confused by death, and means of communication at best very poor. There are many other cases where there is no apparent need of such apology: that there should be need of it in perhaps the most crucial cases of all, is itself suspicious. Farther, the apologists say that while it is well, and may be in the System of Things, that we should have enough communication with the world beyond to give souls aspiring that way, hope enough to keep their aspirations alive, it would not be well, and apparently is not in the System of Things, that we should have such certainty as to interfere with our living our lives here "for all we are worth"; and in support of this contention are cited the useless and worse than useless lives that, in spite of many cases far to the contrary, have been led in direct consequence of assumed certainty of a future life.

Hodgson was supposed to have left some sealed letters with intentions like those of Myers and Miss Wilde, but no such letters have been found. His control, however, gave some sentences alleged to be in them which are quoted some pages back.

The other hard nut in the S. P. R. records which resists the spiritistic hypothesis, is that Moses living told Myers that the Imperator gang gave certain well known names as borne by them on earth, and that Moses post-carnate (?) gave Professor Newbold an entirely different set of names for the same individualities. Of course the apologies for the envelope failures can be tried on this case, whether they fit it or not. And there is also the ampler, though perhaps less adequate one, that the whole Imperator business looks like a complex telepathic freak of the imaginations of Moses, Mrs. Piper, Professor Newbold, Hodgson and God knows how many others.

But a proof that the spiritistic hypothesis will not fit these cases, is no proof that it will not fit the cases of G. P., Hodgson, Gurney, Myers and hosts of others who[Pg 106] were known to the witnesses, and whose post-carnate manifestations tally with their incarnate ones, and yet with occasional and, so far, unexplainable lapses and inconsistencies.

Perhaps the best opinion of the investigators who have not reached the faith of Myers, Hodgson and Lodge, is that while failure of the sealed letters, and the Moses inconsistencies, are unanswerable on the negative side, there are other circumstances equally unanswerable on the positive side—especially the cumulative weight of the evidence, and the dramatic renderings which apparently would be impossible from any source but the characters themselves; that the contradictions or paradoxes are merely like many others in the borderland of our knowledge: for instance, that between free will and determinism; and that the only rational attitude is a suspense of opinion until more evidence accumulates. This was the attitude of James, who served a term as President of the S. P. R., and contributed voluminously to its Proceedings.

But, however we may interpret the phenomena, or if we do not interpret them at all, we cannot shut our eyes to the fact that they point to modes of Force and reaches of Mind vastly wider than before suspected, and promising well to repay farther investigation. To some they may also suggest a recovery from the scrap-heap of abandoned things, and an appropriation to new uses, of that sadly battered and misapplied old virtue known as Faith.

And now we will give the attitude of the latest of James' successors, so far as it can be conveyed by a few extracts from the inaugural address of Professor Bergson.

As to his estimate of the labors of the Society: in thanking them for the honor of his election, he said (Pr., Part LXVII, Vol. XXVI, 462-3):

Je ne connais que par des lectures les phénomènes dont la Société s'occupe; je n'ai rien vu, rien observé moi-même. Comment alors avez-vous pu venir me prendre, pour me faire succéder aux grands savants, aux penseurs éminents qui ont occupé tour à tour le fauteuil présidentiel.... Si j'osais plaisanter sur un pareil sujet, je dirais qu'il y a[Pg 107] eu ici un effet de télépathie ou de clairvoyance, que vous avez senti de loin l'intérêt que je prenais à vos recherches, et que vous m'avez aperçu, à travers les quatre cents kilomètres qui nous séparaient, lisant attentivement vos comptes-rendus, suivant vos travaux avec une ardente curiosité. Ce que vous avez dépensé d'ingéniosité, de pénétration, de patience, de ténacité, à l'exploration de la terra incognita des phénomènes psychiques me paraît en effet admirable. Mais, plus encore ... j'admire le courage qu'il vous a fallu pendant les premières années surtout, pour lutter contre les préventions d'une bonne partie du monde savant et pour braver la raillerie, qui fait peur aux plus intrépides. C'est pourquoi je suis fier—plus fier que je ne saurais le dire—d'avoir été élu président de la Société de recherche psychique. J'ai lu quelque part l'histoire d'un officier subalterne que les hasards de la bataille, la disparition de ses chefs tués ou blessés, avaient appelé à l'honneur de commander le régiment: toute sa vie il y pensa, toute sa vie il en parla, et du souvenir de ces quelques heures son existence entière restait imprégnée. Je suis cet officier subalterne, et toujours je me féliciterai de la chance inattendue qui m'aura mis—non pas pour quelques heures, mais pour quelques mois—à la tête d'un régiment de braves.

He accounted for the indifference long shown by men of science to the phenomena studied by the S. P. R. by the fact that they do not square with the widely accepted theory of parallelism between mental action and brain function. This is of course especially the case with phenomena indicating the mind's survival of the body. He then proceeded to dispose of the doctrine of parallelism (Op. cit., 470-75):

Bref, l'hypothèse d'un parallélisme rigoureux entre le cérébral et le mental paraît éminemment scientifique. D'instinct, la philosophie et la science tendent à écarter ce qui contredirait cette hypothèse ou ce qui serait mal compatible avec elle. Et tel paraît être, à première vue, le cas des faits qui relèvent de la "recherche psychique,"—ou tout au moins le cas de bon nombre d'entre eux....

[Pg 108]

Pour une seule fonction de la pensée, en effet, l'expérience a pu faire croire qu'elle était localisée en un certain point du cerveau: je veux parler de la mémoire, et plus particulièrement de la mémoire des mots. Ni pour le jugement, ni pour le raisonnement, ni pour aucune autre faculté de la pensée proprement dite nous n'avons la moindre raison de supposer qu'elle soit attachée à tels ou tels processus cérébraux déterminés.... Si l'on examine de près tous les faits allégués en faveur d'une exacte correspondance et d'une espèce d'adhérence de la vie mentale à la vie cérébrale (je laisse de côté, cela va sans dire, les sensations et les mouvements, car le cerveau est certainement un organe sensori moteur), on voit que ces faits se réduisent aux phénomènes de mémoire, et que c'est la localisation des aphasies, et cette localisation seule, qui semble apporter à la doctrine paralléliste un commencement de preuve expérimentale.

He says that lesions in the place in the brain already alluded to

"rendent, en réalité, impossible ou difficile l'évocation des souvenirs; elles portent sur le mécanisme du rappel, et sur ce mécanisme seulement. Plus précisément, le rôle du cerveau est ici de faire que l'esprit, quand il a besoin de tel ou tel souvenir, puisse obtenir du corps une certaine attitude ou certains mouvements naissants, qui présentent au souvenir cherché un cadre approprié. Si le cadre est là, le souvenir viendra, de lui-même, s'y insérer. L'organe cérébral prépare le cadre, il ne fournit pas le souvenir.... Dans le travail de la pensée en général, comme dans l'opération de la mémoire, le cerveau nous apparaît comme chargé d'imprimer au corps les mouvements et les attitudes qui jouent ce que l'esprit pense ou ce que les circonstances l'invitent â penser.... Il en connaîtrait tout juste ce qui est exprimable en gestes, attitudes et mouvements du corps, ce que l'état d'âme contient d'action en voie d'accomplissement, ou simplement naissante: le reste lui échapperait.... Les phénomènes cérébraux sont en effet à la vie mentale ce que les gestes du chef d'orchestre sont à la symphonie: ils en dessinent les articulations[Pg 109] motrices, ils ne font pas autre chose. On ne trouverait donc rien des opérations de l'esprit proprement dit à l'intérieur du cerveau....

Orienter notre pensée vers l'action, l'amener à préparer l'acte que les circonstances réclament, voilâ ce pour quoi notre cerveau est fait...."

Then he turns to the strange memories of the dream state, in ordinary sleep, hypnosis and trance:

Bien des faits semblent indiquer que le passé se conserve jusque dans ses moindres détails et qu'il n'y a pas d'oubli réel. Vous vous rappelez ce qu'on raconte des noyés et des pendus qui, revenus à la vie, déclarent avoir eu, en quelques secondes, la vision panoramique de la totalité de leur vie passée....

Mais ce que je dis de la mémoire serait aussi vrai de la perception. Je ne puis entrer ici dans le détail d'une démonstration que j'ai faite autrefois: qu'il me suffise de rappeler que tout devient obscur, et même incompréhensible, si l'on considère les centres cérébraux comme des organes capables de transformer en états conscients des ébranlements matériels, que tout s'éclaircit au contraire si l'on voit simplement dans ces centres (et dans les dispositifs sensoriels auxquels ils sont liés) des instruments de sélection chargés de choisir, dans le champ immense de nos perceptions virtuelles, celles qui devront s'actualiser.... J'estime que nous percevons virtuellement beaucoup plus de choses que nous n'en percevons actuellement, et qu'ici encore le rôle de notre corps est d'écarter du champ de notre conscience tout ce qui ne nous serait d'aucun intérêt pratique, tout ce qui ne se prête pas à notre action.

This implies what is more fully stated elsewhere in M. Bergson's works, and suggested by nearly all the philosophers, that mind pervades the universe, and flows through each organism, according to its constitution, as force and matter do.

He does not go into the paradox (perhaps another of those we have already alluded to) of individuality surviving[Pg 110] as part of the universal mind, but contents himself with saying merely:

Mais si les faits, étudiés sans parti pris, nous amènent au contraire à considérer la vie mentale comme beaucoup plus vaste que la vie cérébrale, la survivance devient si probable que l'obligation de la preuve incombera à celui qui la nie, bien plutôt qu'à celui qui l'affirme; car, ainsi que je le disais ailleurs, "l'unique raison que nous puissions avoir de croire à une extinction de la conscience après la mort est que nous voyons le corps se désorganiser, et cette raison n'a plus de valeur si l'indépendance au moins partielle de la conscience à l'égard du corps est, elle aussi, un fait d'expérience."

Regarding telepathy, he made the following suggestions (Op. cit., 465, 466, 475-6):

Si la télépathie est un fait réel, c'est un fait susceptible de se répéter indéfiniment. Je vais plus loin: si la télépathie est un fait réel, il est fort possible qu'elle opère à chaque instant et chez tout le monde, mais avec trop peu d'intensité pour se faire remarquer, ou en présence d'obstacles qui neutralisent l'effet au moment même où il va se manifester. Nous produisons de l'électricité à tout moment, l'atmosphère est constamment électrisée, nous circulons parmi des courants magnétiques; et pourtant des millions d'hommes ont vécu pendant des milliers d'années sans soupçonner l'existence de l'électricité. Il pourrait en être de même de la télépathie. Mais peu importe. Un point est en tous cas incontestable, c'est que, si la télépathie est réelle, elle est naturelle, et que, le jour où nous en connaîtrions les conditions, il ne nous serait pas plus nécessaire, pour obtenir un effet télépathique, d'attendre une hallucination vraie, que nous n'avons besoin aujourd'hui, quand nous voulons voir l'étincelle électrique, d'attendre que le ciel veuille bien nous en donner le spectacle pendant une scène d'orage....

Pour ma part, quand je repasse dans ma mémoire les résultats de l'admirable enquête poursuivie continuellement par vous pendant plus de trente ans, quand je pense à toutes les précautions que vous avez prises pour éviter[Pg 111] l'erreur, quand je vois comment, dans la plupart des cas que vous avez retenus, le récit de l'hallucination avait été fait à une ou plusieurs personnes, souvent même noté par écrit, avant que l'hallucination eût été reconnue véridique, quand je tiens compte du nombre énorme des faits et surtout de leur ressemblance entre eux, de leur air de famille, de la concordance de tant de témoignages indépendants les uns des autres, tous examinés, contrôlés, soumis à la critique,—je suis porté à croire à la télépathie de même que je crois, par exemple, à la défaite de l'Invincible Armada. Ce n'est pas la certitude mathématique que me donne la démonstration du théorème de Pythagore; ce n'est pas la certitude physique où je suis de la vérité de la loi de la chute des corps; c'est du moins toute la certitude qu'on obtient en matière historique ou judiciaire.

Nos corps sont extérieurs les uns aux autres dans l'espace; et nos consciences, en tant qu'attachées à ces corps, sont extérieures les unes aux autres aussi. Mais si elles ne tiennent au corps que par une partie d'elles-mêmes, on peut conjecturer que, pour le reste, elles ne sont pas aussi nettement séparées. Loin de moi la pensée de considérer la personnalité comme une simple apparence, ou comme une réalité éphémère, ou comme une dépendance de l'activité cérébrale! Mais il est fort possible qu'entre les diverses personnalités s'accomplissent sans cesse des échanges comparables aux phénomènes d'endosmose. Si cette endosmose existe, on peut prévoir que la nature aura pris toutes ses précautions pour en neutraliser l'effet, et que certains mécanismes devront être spécialement chargés de rejeter dans l'inconscient les représentations ainsi provoquées, car elles seraient fort embarrassantes dans la vie de tous les jours. Telle ou telle de ces représentations pourrait cependant, ici encore, passer en contrebande, surtout quand les mécanismes inhibitifs fonctionnent mal; et sur elles encore s'exercerait la "recherche psychique."

[Pg 112]


Two virtues are generally ignored in the systematic books on morals and in the informal admonitions of fathers to sons, yet upon these virtues depends most of the ease, delight and profit which comes to us in human fellowship. Let me illustrate.

There is in the Metropolitan Museum a very handsome funeral slab of a certain bailiff of Sesostris I., Menthu-Weser. This steward prepared his own epitaph with conviction and most carefully. Among many assertions of his own merits the most striking is, "I was one who really listened." Here seems evidence that in Egypt early in the second millennium before Christ the virtues of reticence and tact were valued. Ever since they have had scant enough recognition in the world. In our own days particularly the robust virtues have the preference. We acclaim the square deal. We are socially minded, meaning that we aggressively mind the business of others. Naturally such quiet and unsensational virtues as tact and reticence are gone out of fashion. In a land where all are equals, tact is likely to pass for truckling, or worse for condescension, whereas reticence must perforce be abhorrent to a generation which has trusted to an unlimited publicity the remedying of most earthly ills. Lest we think too hardly of our own generation, let me hasten to repeat that no age has done full justice to these dubious virtues. Holy Writ, to be sure, extols the value of the "word in season," while to the much married Solomon is ascribed the proverbs, "He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life, but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction." But this sinister aspect of loquaciousness is evidently proper to an oriental despotism and not to a free republic. We gain but faint glimpses of our unscheduled virtues from moralist and theologian. The Roman Church, always meticulously analytical of both the virtues and vices, finds no official rubric either for tact or reticence. These capacities,[Pg 113] indispensable stay and safeguard of the confessional, may indeed have been regarded as the trade secret of the clergy, and, as tending to produce too astute a laity, unfit for promulgation. However that be, it is not to the pious manuals that we must go for examples of tactful sayings or happy silences, but to the extra-clerical expressions of such vagrom clerics as Boccaccio and Bandello. From their collections of ready and witty retorts many instances of tact might be selected, but neither of these storytellers can be said conspicuously to illustrate the virtue of reticence.

Reticence in fact is perhaps the most unpopular of virtues. What most people like is loquaciousness and its kindred vice tactlessness. The reticent man is seldom that meritorious thing, a good mixer, and he suffers from the suspicion of moroseness. Open-heartedness, on the contrary, is charitably credited to the habitual chatterer. He is, as the Irish happily say, an easy spoken man, joyously gregarious. A similar credit attaches itself to the habitually tactless person. You know where to find him. He speaks his mind without regard to your sensibilities. At bottom, an expression which a clever French writer has shrewdly remarked always means exceptionally, he is surely amiable, a thoroughly good sort—at bottom. It is significant, however, that reticence and tact may be partially condoned by the possession of great wealth. Only recently a multimillionaire won prominence in his obscure class, and a nickname, merely on his silence, while another who was all things to all men, and to many women, is still remembered as a prince charming whether among sportsmen or statesmen. All of which goes to show that our twin virtues are essentially aristocratic or at least capitalistic, and appraised accordingly. A statesman or politician, being in a democracy a hybrid between the classes and masses, must practice the virtue of tactfulness but by the same token resolutely eschew that of reticence. The political aspirant is heard for his much speaking, and when silent may be said to cease to exist.

Now for such misvaluations there is generally a specious and respectable reason. Indeed one reason will doubtless explain nine-tenths of popular delusions—the habit of[Pg 114] judging not from the long but from the short run. The blurting way is the easiest way of meeting a situation and wins the praise of frankness. It takes time and pains to weigh a situation and adjust one's attitude to that of another, and such considerateness often passes for obliquity. Of course the blurting habit itself is often merely a form of pose; confidence men practice it for good business reasons. The man who overrides you will as often be pursuing a tactic as he cajoles you. Indeed the professionally downright man is often more devious than the tactful person. Battering you with a confusing flow of argument, imposing his will at random, he is precisely the man you do not know where to find. You yield to him in small matters out of weariness and avoid him in great. But at any particular moment he does seem outspoken, and he leaves a general impression of strength and candor. Beyond such false appearances an untrained mind will rarely inquire. The tactful man who watches his opportunity to set his matter agreeably before you, taking you on your best side, is proceeding quite straight-forwardly, but to an impatient or unattentive or irresolute person the processes of tact may well seem both dilatory and crooked. Thus the merely assertive man will usually get undue credit on first hearing while the tactful man generally wins his standing only on prolonged acquaintance. The great painter Delacroix, a fastidious man if there ever was one, used to deplore the ease with which at first meeting persons of a certain persistent aggressiveness took him in.

Talkativeness, like tactlessness, has an undeniable face value that largely disappears on inspection. Ten times a day in casual contacts it might be pleasanter and easier to deal with a chatty person than with a silent one, that is, easier and pleasanter for one to whom time was small object. The commercial traveller is proverbially loquacious, though in the higher ranges of the calling doubtless a businesslike taciturnity prevails. An ex-grocer's clerk has been publishing some amusing confessions in a popular magazine—in our unreticent age confessions singularly abound—and he tells that his sole instructions were "Chin the women." Evidently what was assumed of his[Pg 115] fair customers was rather amenability than intelligence or thrift. In a world where there was little or no intelligence, tact and reticence would be unnecessary virtues, rational persuasion being impossible. In such a world the human compact would imply infinite blundering and unrestrained conversability. Such is still the unwritten law of life among people who have not wholly reached the conscious stage. "Yes, I burnt it," my cook says beamingly with the air of inviting a compliment, carelessness being quite normal in her code.

The trouble with the virtues of reticence and tact—and naturally the ground of their unpopularity—is precisely that they are products not of the heart but of the head. To possess these qualities opens one to the suspicion of being a cold fish. Nobody objects to the warmer and less rationalized virtues. If we accept the convenient and I believe quite psychologically defensible list drawn up by the mediæval schoolmen, we shall find that the standard virtues are almost without exception of the heart. Obviously this is true of the prime theological virtues, Faith, Hope, and Charity. Despite utilitarian interpretations, these remain temperamental qualities. We are born believing, hopeful, and loving, or not. And even such of us as are deficient in these merits by heredity or from policy at least will accord to the entire Pauline triad the tribute of a distant admiration. When we approach the pagan list, Fortitude, Prudence, Temperance and Justice, the virtues begin to make enemies. With Fortitude no one quarrels, for that is an instinctive virtue, an expression largely of ample circulation and steady nerves. It is the only secular virtue that is completely popular. Justice may share such esteem in a measure, for the inclination towards the square deal and a rough sense of its needfulness are deeply seated in the race. Prudence and Temperance, on the contrary, within which larger categories our special virtues of reticence and tact are comprised, have ever been grudgingly practiced and even theoretically disallowed. Humanity has ever boasted a sporting contingent to whom to be prudent and temperate was anathema. The deeply rooted feeling that every young man must sow his wild[Pg 116] oats is the express disavowal of these virtues so far as male youth is concerned. Reticence and tact, then, must be content to share the unpopularity of all the cerebral virtues. The man who is delicately considerate of his neighbor's case must be content to be regarded as a schemer, and he who cautiously weighs his utterances must bear the reproach of ungeniality.

But as soon as a society becomes conscious and complicated, tact and reticence assume high and even indispensable value. No physician who had the confidential ways of a country postmistress would be tolerated. Why is a parvenu stranded in a society which may consist of his inferiors in capacity and morals? Because he has no clear notion of his attitude to his new fellows or of theirs to him and to each other, he lacks the tact for an untried situation. The grace of a reticent observation may gain him time and save him appalling blunders. If his social intelligence be keen, he will adopt such Fabian tactics until some opening in mutual sympathy establishes itself. But this implies reticence. As a matter of fact, he will usually be restive, and will talk at random and constrainedly, being ignorant of what that particular company likes to hear said or left unsaid. His utterances successively betray him and he progressively writes himself down an ass. Nor is his case made better, as humanitarians confidently profess, by kindliness. His heart may be the best in the world and understanding of the minds and manners of new people denied him. His kindliness may condone the spectacle he cuts, but to make his position good wants intelligence which good-heartedness may supplement but not supplant. Nor is his dilemma due, as Socialists will perhaps maintain, merely to the fact that his difference is arrogantly ascribed by snobbishness to personal inferiority. In the same circumstances a far humbler person, a forest-guide or a sailor, will comport himself agreeably and without constraint. Perhaps the close quarters of tent and forecastle conduce to tolerant understanding between very different individuals, and set natural limits to forced or heedless talk.

Between the reticent and the merely taciturn person[Pg 117] there is constant confusion. The silent man may simply be devoid of interests, morose and with nothing to say. A trappist is merely speechless; not reticent. The reticent man has much to say, but for reason says only the part that his judgment approves. He is his own censor. His abstentions are due to a fundamental conviction that many things never need to be said at all, and that most personal difficulties best adjust themselves with fewest words. His attitude evinces respect for certain privacies. His intimate business is not in the show window nor on the bargain counter, and he assumes as much of the personal concerns of his fellows. If there be a human type peculiarly intolerable, it is that which insists on stated explanations of every trifling misunderstanding. There are minds for which no slightest transaction is outlawed and no statute of limitations admitted. What shall that woman say who wastes five minutes explaining why she didn't bow to me yesterday when a real occasion of conference arises? How shall I respect the man who insists on divulging most physiologically the mysteries of his bed and board? How shall I bear that my own humble Lares and Penates be bywords on reckless lips? On the whole the finest gentleman I have ever met was the Japanese Samurai and art critic, the late Okakura Kakuzo. I recall as vividly his courteous and expectant silences as I do his always eloquent and brilliant discourse. Indulgent to the small talk of others, he declined to share it. If he ever gave utterance to a mere prejudice or to any petty personal concern, it was not in my hearing. He appeared to husband himself until the talk should take a wide impersonal range, and then his comment was fervent and illuminating. A noted American poet and critic has somewhat similar habits. His prolonged silences are comfortable, even deferential, his rare speech instinct with sympathetic understanding of men and books and nature. The late John LaFarge who was in congenial society a continuous talker offered an interesting equivalent for reticence in the allusiveness of his touch and in a beautiful perception of the kind of sympathetic response you would have made had you not been better occupied in listening[Pg 118] to him. He had what most free talkers signally lack, perfect tact.

Perhaps the most distressing and alarming feature of our American civilization is the complete lack of any ideal of reticence. Scientists babble for the press, clergymen fan the prurient flame of curiosity after each especially noxious cause célèbre, chorus girls divulge the hygiene of their personal charms, nameless outrage becomes the favorite theme of venal dramatists, young girls make small talk of the pros and cons of marriage and free love, shallow journalists glorify the vices of the city slums, an unprincipled press and an untrained laity freely review the findings of the courts, clever but irresponsible scribblers pillory wholesale our industry and finance—in short we live in an age when to expose anything is the highest good, and to conceal anything passes for a manner of treason. When everything conceivable has been said, boggled and muddled out, a reaction must come. Wearied by the vociferations of the nostrum vendors, the plain man will come to realize that what is read counts little in comparison with what is marked and inwardly digested. In a thoroughly unreticent age we get mere data, much of it false, far too fast. We have yet to learn the elementary lesson of the Stoics, to learn and fix upon that which concerns ourselves. A chief merit of the Pragmatic philosophy, with most of which I cordially disagree, is to have shown that we must bring words and thought to the test of action, and a very simple test of the worth or worthlessness of talk or writing on social matters would be whether the residual impression is a mere perturbation, or titillation, or a firm purpose to do some definite remedial thing. If I am taught to be merely uneasy about the sharp practices of my retail grocer, or more likely of his wholesale grocer, without seeking for tangible relief and redress, my last estate is worse than my first. I merely eat in bitterness of spirit the preservatives and adulterants which otherwise I might have negotiated at the cost of a slight dyspepsia. Where Mr. Roosevelt has most deserved ill of the republic is in fomenting this general atmosphere of suspicion in the people while lodging both the recognition of the criminal and his proper[Pg 119] punishment in some transcendental capacity of his own personality. He is the Dr. Munyon of the diseased body politic, and his power consists largely in continual and breathless reiteration of universal symptoms under which each man may have the grateful illusion of registering his own particular ache. Mr. Roosevelt seems to me a supreme example of the inconveniences, nay danger, of incorrigible and thoroughly well meaning garrulity in a political leader. But Mr. Roosevelt's tact is often as noteworthy as his prolixity, even his indiscretions are calculated or inspired to meet the call of the occasion. Why of X? was his remark when a scholar of international repute was introduced at the White House as "of X University."

The case of Mr. Roosevelt and in a quite different sense that of John LaFarge make me question sometimes what really seems axiomatic that no free talker can be completely tactful. Carlyle, Ruskin, Gladstone seem to illustrate the rule, and even Lowell, as his intimates admit, long retained certain asperities. It seems obvious that one who has never quietly looked into himself and seen clearly, nor studied his fellow man at leisure and accurately, can acquire the art of compatibility. To think otherwise is to assert that the tactful man, poetlike, is born not made. Were this so, cases of tact among young children should be fairly common, and I doubt if the fondest parent could supply any genuine instance. So I feel that such apparent exceptions to the rule as John LaFarge and Mr. Roosevelt would fall into line if one knew the whole story. There must have been a time when both, like the steward, Menthu-Weser, listened much and took keenest note of the ways and moods of other men.

Tact is so readily divined and so difficult of definition that I have avoided what might seem an essayist's plain duty. Yet a tactful reader will not require a pedantic formulation in these matters of common experience. I suppose the basis of tact is a good understanding with one's self, a comprehension of the permanent disposition and passing moods of those with whom one deals, a desire to approach men on their best side, combined with the force and initiative that enable one to act promptly on such[Pg 120] knowledge. Tact may or may not be coupled with expansive kind-heartedness. In such association it gains an added grace. Tact implies at the least a vivid human curiosity hardly distinguishable from sympathy. If it were otherwise there would be no motive for exercising tact in cases which involve no material interest. And I suppose the genuinely tactful person finds his greatest incentives and rewards in emergencies that offer only the satisfaction of a neatly played game. In the whole matter the sense of timeliness is everything. To wait for a softening expression, to suppress a cherished witticism the appositeness of which has passed, to exhaust without insistence a happy vein, to rise sharply to any worthy lure and refuse an unworthy one without offence—such are some of the delightful and legitimate arts of the tactful person. Whether men or women possess these gentle arts in fuller measure would be matter for a separate essay. The impression prevails that women do, indeed the phrase "feminine tact" is quite stereotyped among us. I presume that a scrutiny of the memoirs of the most highly developed society of modern times, the French salons of the old régime, would confirm this judgment. From my own limited experience I can only say that while I have met ten tactful women for one tactful man, the consummate exemplars of this virtue in my acquaintance have been of the so-called sterner sex, and I am inclined to believe that the finest flower of considerateness grows best in the rocky soil of the masculine intelligence. The mere fact that the personal adjustment is more difficult between men with no reconciling tradition of chivalry prevailing may make for finer transactions. Possibly too, the absence of a conventional sex loyalty, a relatively detached and impersonal habit of thought, a somewhat ruthless will to understand, a practice of moving resolutely in difficult affairs, may make the tact of a man when it occurs at all a more precious and complicated product. So at least it strikes one who confessedly knows the world largely through books. I would rather have overheard the talk and silences of David and Jonathan, or for that matter of Charles Eliot Norton and Carlyle, than that of any man and woman or[Pg 121] of any two women recorded by historian or novelist. If, fair reader, this be treason, make the most of it.

To the notion that tact requires both a perceptive and an active part, I must for a moment return. The fact seems to me to explain the oft discussed case of the shy person. In my observation shy people are usually quite delicately perceptive, victims in fact of an almost morbid open-mindedness and sympathy. Where they lack is in prompt decision between diverging courses, in the sense of relativity which brings the right word or silence at the right moment, and precisely and only for that moment's sake. I fancy many shy persons are not egotists, as an impatient and genial world is prone to hold them, but absolutists, expecting of human intercourse a sort of abstract fitness in the light of an eternal aspect which for the really tactful man has no practical existence. In heaven and probably in hell the shy should get along capitally. In the celestial domain active tact would be unnecessary—it would merely trouble the perpetual beatitude; in the nether realm tact would simply mitigate those tense affinities and antipathies which are implied in a future punitive state. The damned, if really tactful folk, would never have to be strictly regimented among their infernal peers with the inevitability which a Dante or a Swedenborg describes. In the sphere of intelligence indeed inevitability has no meaning. Alternatives always exist. A determinist's god cannot be tactful, and if Professors James and Royce have been allured by the idea of a conditioned deity, I fancy it has been largely with the hope of shading the arid conception of omnipotence with one of the most amiable human qualities. It is a compromise which the Christian effects less philosophically in the doctrine of the God-man. Yet the Jesus of the Gospels remains for the philosopher much more of a God than of a man, despite the efforts of orthodox and skeptical criticism to elucidate the historic figure. His sayings transcend tact, and the Jews, eminently a negotiating, compromising and tactful race, bore true report when they said "He speaks as never man spake."

Such serious and remote but I trust illuminating aspects[Pg 122] of our topic may merely be glanced at. In closing I may note that while the finest exhibitions of tact arise between individuals or in small groups, there is also a collective type of tact which must be mastered by the artist, the actor, and the orator. St. Paul manifested it in the highest degree when he addressed the curious Babists, Vedantists, Christian Scientists, Spiritualists, Vitalists, Relativists, and Materialists (my Greek has lapsed so I offer modern equivalents) of Athens as men "pre-eminently religious." And it is characteristic of the touch and go quality of every sort of tact that nothing much moved the loiterers on Mars Hill except the Apostle's beginning. Need I add that tact itself loyally obeys the law of measure and occasion which it imposes on its subservient material? The high exercise of tact requires high occasions. Of this sort was John Hancock's grim and enlightening jest in the Continental Congress on all hanging together lest they all hang separately. It took perhaps a singularly tactless personality to husband this supreme and isolated flash for a lifetime until the right occasion should occur. Merely one among countless examples of Lincoln's tact was his solicitous inquiry as to the brand of Grant's whiskey when a meddler brought gossip of the great General's potations. Charles II's famous apology for unconscionable delay in dying is frequently cited as a consummate example of tact. To me it seems merely witty, containing as it does a hint that the attendants had let something of impatience or weariness transpire.

It is the negative part of tact always to save at least two faces—leaving neither party to a transaction discomforted. The most solemn example of entire tactlessness within my knowledge was perpetrated by a very learned man, the by no means inconspicuous father of a far more famous son, Dr. John Rubens. During a prolonged absence of that rather unsatisfactory husband, William of Orange, Dr. John deeply engaged the volatile affections of Queen Anna. When the affair was uncovered he wrote to the Prince a letter of apology, the tenor of which was that such infelicities had been the common lot of monarchs, as history showed, and the present mishap was the[Pg 123] more tolerable that he himself, Dr. John Rubens, was a man of parts and station, a Doctor of Laws from no mean university, and at court the equal of a baron. It does not appear that such plain intimation that the queen might have erred with some base fellow, perhaps a mere Bachelor of Arts, in any way comforted the taciturn Prince. When Dr. Rubens left prison it was not because of this letter but through the importunity of a singularly loyal wife. To emphasize the relativity of tact let me cite a family anecdote, the appositeness of which must condone a certain lack of reticence in its telling. My father once in conducting a defence before a magistrate, by directing a single crucial question to the plaintiff put him overtly in the wrong, and noting the judge's involuntary nod of assent, rested the case, promptly obtaining a favorable verdict. As regards the judge this was perfect tact, but not as regards the client. He rightly expected a more ample parade of professional skill and probably still grudges the fee.

How much needless travail and fuss a truly reticent and tactful man might spare himself and his neighbors—privacies profaned, trifling misunderstandings magnified, maimed reputations, distracted aims, thwarted accomplishment! Upon all this I could still enlarge, but I am already rebuked by the ambiguously smiling shade of Samuel Butler of "Erewhon" who remarks in his "Notebooks:"

"No man should try even to allude to the greater part of what he sees in his subject, and there is hardly a limit to what he may omit. What is required is that he shall say what he elects to say discreetly, that he shall be quick to see the gist of a matter, and give it pithily without either prolixity or stint of words."

[Pg 124]


Mr. Bunn of Bloomington, Illinois, has put into a book the story how in 1860 he went up to Mr. Lincoln's room in the State House of Illinois, and met Salmon P. Chase of Ohio, just coming down. Mr. Bunn said to Mr. Lincoln:

"You don't want to put that man into your cabinet."

"Why do you say that?"

"Because he thinks he is a great deal bigger than you are."

"Well, do you know of any other men who think they are bigger than I am?"

"I do not know that I do. Why do you ask?"

"Because I want to put them all in my cabinet!"

Perhaps that was the principle that President Wilson went on when he invited Mr. Bryan to be secretary of state. The objection of prudent on-lookers to Mr. Bryan as a member of Mr. Wilson's cabinet was very much Mr. Bunn's objection to Chase. But Lincoln took Chase, and also Seward and Stanton to whom the same objection applied, and Wilson took Bryan.

That argued confidence in something. Maybe it was a confidence in some qualities and convictions of Mr. Bryan; in his sincerity, and his loyalty to some aims that Mr. Wilson wished his administration to express. Or it might have been a token of Mr. Wilson's confidence in himself and his political intentions. But in the case of no other cabinet officer did that sort of confidence find that sort of expression. Not one of the rest of them would be picked out as a man who thought himself a bigger man than Wilson. Except perhaps Mr. Lane, they were all fairly green hands with almost everything to learn about the business of conducting the federal government. Mr. Redfield and Mr. Burleson had been in Congress, but none of them had ever been a conspicuous figure in national politics.

They were not inexperienced men. Mr. McAdoo had[Pg 125] had experience as a practicing lawyer and as president of the company that financed, built, and operated the first tube under the Hudson River. Mr. McReynolds had been assistant attorney-general, and had been long retained afterwards by the Department of Justice in matters relating to enforcement of the anti-trust law, especially in the prosecution of the tobacco cases. He was known and respected as a competent lawyer. Mr. Garrison had been a newspaper reporter and had held a judicial office in New Jersey. Dr. Houston was a specialist in economics, had been president of two universities, and came to Washington fresh from the work of reorganizing and developing the important Washington University of St. Louis. Mr. Daniels had once been chief clerk of the Department of the Interior, and afterwards a successful newspaper editor and publisher in North Carolina and a member of the Democratic national committee. Mr. Lane, drafted from the Interstate Commerce Commission, was a man of excellent ability, had had a very valuable experience in governmental concerns, and was probably the best equipped for his new work of any of the President's official family. And Mr. Burleson and Mr. Redfield, as said, had been members of Congress. But not one of these gentlemen was in the enjoyment of a national renown. Mr. Bryan had all of that that there was in the new cabinet. Indeed Mr. Bryan had dominated the party so long and so little to the liking of the older leaders of the Democrats, that, except in the South, few other of the abler politicians of the party had been able to keep in the public sight. Everybody knew Judge Parker, but he, though a loyal Democrat, was not conclusively consecrated to the cause of the New Freedom, and it was not expected that he would be in the Cabinet. Governor Harmon was well known and perhaps more available, but, so far as known, he was not invited. Mr. Underwood, with the work of making a new tariff law cut out for him, was indispensable in his place as leader of the House, and could not be disturbed. Mr. Clark, the speaker, was in a like case, too well off where he was, to be moved. So the new cabinet was nearly all new timber, and not only new but fairly green. The President, it[Pg 126] seemed, new himself to the business of directing government, had assembled a group of assistants that seemed all to be in a like case, and they would all start in together to learn their new business.

It worried some observers to see such untried hands on the levers of government. "The Unfermented Cabinet" Mr. Bryan's notions of diplomatic dinners have led some of them to call it, and a great deal of space has been given up in the public prints since March to its processes of fermentation. Observers have watched them with great curiosity, also with amusement, also at times with anxiety. It has been a matter of importance to the country what sort of a council the fermentation would produce; what manner of men these councillors and assistants of the President would turn out to be, and with how much efficiency they would finally adjust themselves to their important duties. There were forecasts a-plenty; frequent prophecies in particular of the speedy separation of Mr. Bryan from the official family. There have been wild cries to the President from newspapers claiming to be influential, to discharge this or that one,—Mr. McReynolds because of an apparent error of judgment about a prosecution in California; Mr. McAdoo for something else; Mr. Bryan for official inefficiency and unofficial activity; others for other reasons. But the cabinet still holds together as it began, and is still apparently harmonious, and its fermentation still goes on.

The underlying idea about the fermentation has been that when it had accomplished its work, the novelties of method and deportment peculiar to Mr. Wilson's administration would fade out, his heads of Departments would behave more and more like their predecessors, and the business of government would gradually conform to the conventions that obtained when the new hands took hold. Now the country has been kept so busy watching its new President that it has not been able to give more than a broken attention to his secretaries, and only the more obstreperous of them have been much under scrutiny. But it has been impossible to overlook Mr. Bryan, and it cannot be said that in his case there is yet any sign that[Pg 127] fermentation is producing the expected result. He has been all along, and continues up to latest advices to be, impressively different from anyone who ever sat before in the chief seat in the State Department. No one before him set grape juice before ambassadors at his dinner-table; no one before him went out on the lecture platform to supplement his official salary, thereby combining a particularly ostentatious form of money-getting with the duties of the leading place in the cabinet. Secretary Bryan has been very widely and enthusiastically criticised for these departures from tradition, but that does not seem to have troubled him in the least. Why should it? For nearly twenty years he has been an object of criticism for about two-thirds of his countrymen and has flourished under it because the other third liked him. To about two-thirds of the Democratic party he was acceptable as a candidate. To the other third and to the Republicans he was not acceptable and therefore he could never be elected President. But a third of the voters and the people they represent count up to thirty millions of people, and that is a good many. It is a valuable following for a politician, a very valuable collection for a lecturer. To the thirty million, ambassadors are a good deal of a joke, and they are amused to have grape juice set before these dignitaries. More than that some of them are gratified because they consider grape juice a moral beverage, and consider it exemplary to offer it to exalted personages who ought to want it, though they don't. And doubtless a great many people are delighted to welcome Mr. Bryan on the lecture platform. They like that sort of intercourse with a high officer of government. Is it not their government? Is it not their secretary? And he is a fine performer too! Clap! clap! come their echoing palms together and freely drop their dollars into the hat. Why, to be sure, should Mr. Bryan forsake the practices that please all the thirty million friends to whose favor he owes his present preferment, to please fastidious persons who never have believed in him and never will?

It is not to be denied that Mr. Bryan has nerve. There are those who complain because President Wilson has[Pg 128] not admonished him to be more modish in his deportment. But President Wilson has been very busy, and has needed the help of Mr. Bryan and his thirty million admirers, and apparently has had it. There is concurrence of report that Mr. Bryan has been very loyal and very useful to the administration. A man with thirty million friends can be quite helpful to a President, or can be quite troublesome. To leave such a person to follow, under the law, the promptings of his own spirit in matters of taste, seems no more than a reasonable discretion.

And there is another view that may be taken of Mr. Bryan's Chautauqua orations. He likes to talk to the people. He does it very successfully. His ability to do it had been the chief source of his strength. The great newspapers of the country are pretty generally hostile to him. If he has something to say, his preference for saying it with his own voice rather than to have it filtered through more or less hostile newspapers, may be understood. Our newspapers have not, collectively, a high reputation for giving accurate reports of the public utterances of public men. Any contemporary politician who has a loud enough voice and sufficient physical energy in using it to make him in any measure independent of newspapers will have considerable, intelligent public sympathy in his reliance on his own gifts, and a desire to keep them exercised.

But there is something more than Mr. Bryan's thirty million (estimated) friends to keep the President harmonious with him. He is very considerably harmonious in spirit and political desires with the President. They have a very inclusive identity of general purpose. Mr. Bryan is as heartily in favor of the New Freedom as Mr. Wilson is. That is a kind of political religion in which both of them have profound faith. What truly religious people differ about, as a general thing, is not the controlling facts of their faith, but less essential matters; side issues, and very often errors. Catholics and Protestants have always agreed as to the main and really important facts of Christianity, but they have fought ferociously about processes, mechanisms and details. Free silver was a detail of politics. Mr. Bryan led his faction into the wilderness about[Pg 129] that. Government ownership of railroads is another detail; state insurance of bank deposits is another. Mr. Bryan has an unsurpassed gift of getting it wrong on his details, but in his great general aim to keep the great body of people free from domination by the strong hands he is probably sound and sincere. It must be that that has saved him alive. He is a bold man with a large voice and the habit of domination. He hates bosses who are in politics for purposes of plunder; he hates all the agencies that seem to him to purpose to monopolize the people's heritage—trusts because he thinks they want to monopolize business, "Wall Street" because he thinks it wants to monopolize money, Ryan and Tammany because he thinks they want to monopolize and commercialize politics. Of course Mr. Bryan is interested in Bryan, and is heartily for that statesman, but he seems also to be quite heartily for human liberty, the rights of man, peace in the world, and the greatest happiness of the most people. It really looks as if he cared so much for these perennial enthusiasms as to be willing if they cannot come through himself, to help them come through someone else. And it looks as though he thought they might come considerably through Mr. Wilson, and was working to make them do it. Mr. Bryan's ethics are good enough. It is his economics that have made the trouble. He behaves as if at last he had found someone who could show him how to do what he wanted done. He seems to see in Mr. Wilson a man who is moving in the direction he wants to go and knows the road. He never before had leadership of that kind offered to him. All the other eminent Democratic guides whom he has been invited to support have seemed to him to be merely persons who knew the road to something he wished to avoid.

Confidence is a great harmonizer. If you think a man is going your way and knows the road better than you do, it is no great hardship to go along with him. The chief result that has come to notice of the fermentation, so far, in President Wilson's cabinet is an impression of profound confidence of the cabinet in the President. So far as heard from, they all seem to feel that he is going their way and[Pg 130] either knows the road or can find it. It will be recalled that at Princeton Mr. Wilson was not so successful in winning the confidence of his advisers. That was because a certain proportion of them were not going his way. It has come to be recognized that he is of no use to anybody who is not going in the same general direction as he is. He will stop and talk; will persuade if he can; will wait if necessary, but he seems to have a prejudice against deviation that reminds one of Christian in the Pilgrim's Progress. You may pave a road with gold bricks; grade it, smooth it, dust it; it will never look attractive to Mr. Wilson unless it leads where he wants to go. That is the impression he makes,—an impression of a stubborn man very tenacious of purposes very well thought out. One laughs to think of the heads that are still sore with trying to butt him out of his course at Princeton; of his rapid extrication of his interests from political ties the most intimate and useful, that threatened to give an impression that his feet were intangled! One laughs to think of the World a few months ago using its editorial megaphone to order him to discharge three members of his cabinet. It is doubtful if the World would be so ready with that kind of suggestion to-day.

Nine months of fermentation have left the cabinet considerably clarified. We begin to think of it less as an aggregation of individuals, and more as a team bent on putting over certain definite accomplishments in government. It seems united in spirit; a team of willing workers under a captain in whom they have not only confidence, but pride. It was expected that Mr. Wilson would be hard to work with. It was expected that his defect as an executive officer would be an inability to enlist the sympathy of his colleagues and subordinates. People said he had no magnetism, that he was over suspicious and distrustful: that he would not dare to tie up to anyone, and that no one would dare to tie up to him. But, so far, these expectations do not find much support; in fact, so far as anybody knows, his cabinet is an unusually happy family. Men are working with tireless devotion to make his administration succeed. They are doing so not so much because[Pg 131] they like the man (though they do like him) as because they like the cause. They follow him, support him, help him, advise him, defer to his judgment, because he has impressed them with the notion that he knows what he is about, and is equal to what he undertakes and that under his leadership certain definite improvements in the social and economic apparatus of our country may be accomplished.

Soldiers love a general not because of how he parts his hair, but because he can win battles. President Wilson has produced the impression that he can win battles. It is that that interests him; not the buttons on his coat, nor to have the people holler when they see him. He cannot win any battle without plenty of help. How does he get the help? Is it by close attention to details of deportment?

Not at all. His deportment is agreeable so far as known, but it does not seem to be his chief concern.

Is it by extreme solicitude to avoid small mistakes and ingratiate all influential persons?

No. He makes his share of small mistakes and sometimes scandalizes the influential, but it does not seem to matter.

He gets help because he seems to be worth helping; because he gives his mind not to the retention of power, but to the use of it in accomplishing what he was chosen to accomplish. He has signed a tariff bill. That was one great battle won. He had to have splendid support to win it, but he got the support. Has he rested on that victory? Not a minute. Now it is the currency bill and it will be that until he signs a currency bill that will satisfy the country. Then it will be the trusts, and the Lord knows what.

But it is safe to bet that Mr. Wilson also knows what. He has thought out a great many problems of government. He will always know of things that ought to be done to improve the life of the people, and he will always have a program for doing the next thing on his list, and will always push it as hard as seems to him practicable and, probably, much harder than will seem expedient to most observers. He has shown himself to be a great driving force, and the[Pg 132] kind of one that gains ground because of the forces that he can carry with him. What he is after will always be as clear as he can make it, and it will be important, and those that are for it will be confident that they will get it if they win, and those that are against it will know what they are against. There is a good prospect for clean political and economic issues in this country for some time to come; issues about which people will have to think, and on which they will divide. The question is going to be how much improvement the country can stand in a given time. The patient is on the operating table. No doubt he needs to have a good deal done, but if his pulse begins to sink, off he will have to come, and wait until he gets stronger. Otherwise the disposition is to make a new man of him and do it now.

And so, small matters are not going to make so much difference as they might if less important changes were imminent. It may be true that the trousers of all the cabinet bag at the knees, but nobody cares much. Mr. Bryan may talk in the Chautauqua circuit, and do lots of other unusual things, Mr. McAdoo's department may make mistakes in its income-tax circulars, Mr. Daniels may behave at times too much like Mr. Daniels, Mr. McReynolds's young men may show a too voluble zeal in prosecution, but it will be a mistake to expand occurrences of that size into evidences of administrative failure. Cromwell had a wart on his nose, but still was esteemed an efficient man. His trousers would undoubtedly have bagged at the knees if he had worn trousers, but his statue stands at last by the Parliament House in London.

President Wilson's administration is likely to win or lose on wagers of considerable size. It may be a good administration or it may be a bad one, but there is no sign or symptom that it is going to be a piker.

[Pg 133]


The American people in their frugal rural days enjoyed their freedom, knew all their neighbors, and governed themselves simply and directly. They knew personally the men they elected. Now bosses govern them, and the men they elect are unknown to the voters. The republic is rich, the people are many. Still possessed of that spirit of liberty which Edmund Burke noted as characteristic of the American colonists, and still reaching for complete self-government, they have grasped too much, and have lost their grip on what is essential. They have seen the setting up of secret oligarchies in all the chief cities and states. The head of the most considerable of these oligarchies, regnant save in times of extraordinary protest and agitation, is virtually king of a tributary city and state, whose population is over thrice that of the original thirteen Colonies, whose public expenditures are three hundred millions of dollars yearly, and whose wealth amounts to twenty-five billions. He and his associates, too, partake of this fierce American spirit, in the sense that they are strong individualists. And they are captains of a peculiar industry.

The fathers foresaw this danger to the republic. Judah Hammond says that Washington, before the close of his second term, "rebuked self-creative societies from an apprehension that their ultimate tendency would be hostile to the public tranquillity." The members of the Society of Tammany, who were then celebrating its eighth birthday, "supposed their institution to be included in the reproof, and they almost all forsook it." But the organization's founder, William Mooney, and a few with him, made Aaron Burr their leader, and he and his friend Matthew L. Davis forged it and tempered it into an instrument of perpetual and public plunder.

It was inevitable that there should be "self-creative societies" in the United States devoted to the political preferment and personal emolument of their members. It[Pg 134] accorded with the genius of a people who wished, above all things, individually to be let alone in their lives, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Vast natural possessions must be explored and exploited. The victorious new nation was engaged in ravaging a bountiful land and in despoiling its savage possessors. To the spirit of liberty which its citizens inherited as Englishmen and as sons of dissidence and protestantism, was added a contagion of wildness from their redskin foes. The "Burrites" paraded in Indian garb, danced, and used savage ceremonies. The climate, changeable and stimulating, and the conditions of the time, charged with the possibilities of material and political conquest, had bred desperate leaders differing from the patriots who headed the societies of the Revolution. These leaders naturally opposed the party of Alexander Hamilton, with its suggestions of a responsible, centralized, and controlling government. The Society of old Tamenund welcomed Aaron Burr into its wigwam after he slew Hamilton. It shielded its founder, Mooney, after he was convicted for stealing "wampum," or "trifles for Mrs. Mooney," from New York City's supplies. It acclaimed Benjamin Romaine as its Grand Sachem, after his removal in 1806 from the City Controllership for malfeasance. Abraham Stagg, political ancestor of Charles F. Murphy, continued to get the contracts for paving the city's streets after his conviction, in 1808, of concealing accounts as Collector of Assessments. Tammany's braves assaulted the City Hall in 1815 and removed the Mayor, DeWitt Clinton, who was the honest and better prototype of William Sulzer; but Clinton later repelled their attack on him as Governor. Under Matthew Davis they had early perfected their mode of raiding the primaries that they might consequently raid the City Treasury, and in 1800 their manipulations actually resulted in the election of President Jefferson. Their councils were so crafty that by 1816 they were ruling New York by a committee of fourteen chieftains. In his excellent history of Tammany Hall, Gustavus Myers says:

Substantially, fourteen men were acting for over five thousand Republican voters, and eight members of the fourteen composed[Pg 135] a majority. Yet the system had all the pretence of a pure democracy; the wards were called upon to elect delegates; the latter chose candidates and made party rules; and the "great popular meeting" accepted or rejected nominees; it all seemed to spring directly from the people.

Thus early was formed the perfect and predatory "system" which typifies the oligarchies that have acquired control of the American states and cities. Their forays and assaults have been continuous through more than a century. Now and then a warrior, chief, or Sachem has been captured with his booty and punished. Such were the cases of the treasury stealings by Ruggles Hubbard and John L. Broome in 1817; of Jacob Barker and his fellow Sachems in the bank frauds of 1826; of the procurement of legislative charters by bribery in 1834, involving Peter Betts and Luke Metcalfe; of the lobbying by Samuel Swartout for the Harlem Railroad in 1835, and his defalcations in 1838; of the Manhattan Bank's lendings to Tammany leaders in 1840; of the gambler Rynders and the Empire Club scandal in 1844; of the sales of nominations under Fernando Wood in 1846, and the Council of the "Forty Thieves" in 1851; of the extortions for ferry leases and railroad franchises in 1854; of the election frauds of 1857, and so on, down to the monumental thieveries of "Boss" Tweed and his "ring," exposed in 1871, the death of "Honest" John Kelly in 1886, the rise of Richard Croker in 1890, who testified that he worked "for his pocket all the time," and to Murphy, who in 1913 displayed the supreme power of Tammany by bringing about the removal of William Sulzer from the Governorship for disobeying the "invisible government." These exposures merely punctuate a long history of sustained and systematic plunder, for a parallel with which we must go back to the times of the Medici and the oligarchy they reared above the fabric of the Florentine republic.

But the rule of thieves, corruptionists, and "machine" men, which must be acknowledged as nearly universal in the United States, a rule which makes it impossible for the people to select their own candidates for office, and usually dictates the elections, is strangely the price the public pays[Pg 136] for social and economic freedom. It was the intent of the founders that the people should control their own government. The founders made it as nearly a pure democracy as they dared. The charters of American cities and the constitutions of the states reveal long lists of elective offices. The statutes define strictly the duties of officials; their terms are made short, and through the multitude of offices, important and petty, it is clear that one purpose runs to make each directly answerable to the voters. In every quadrennial cycle the voters of New York City engage in the election of over five hundred incumbents of offices, state and municipal. Tickets with candidates for thirty offices in a single election are of normal length, and between the rival candidates on four or five such tickets each voter is expected intelligently to make his selection. If he makes it intelligently, the officials elected will be fit; if he understands their duties, and can spare time to watch their conduct while he observes the behavior of several score other officials whose terms have not yet expired, he can punish those who are unfaithful, and reward those who show themselves worthy of public trust. But to carry on an efficient government in this way, most of the voters would have to leave their private pursuits, abandon the opportunities of a great and rich country, and give their minds chiefly to the complex administrations of all the public offices. Will they do it? Can they?

The voters, the least and most intelligent of them, all know that it is impracticable to leave their private pursuits, to which they devote time and energy unsparingly, and attend in this way to the government. The very method the people have provided to secure the offices under their direct control defeats its purpose by the amount of work and study it entails. No owner of a large business establishment would pretend that he could judge the qualifications of all his employees and know their work, yet this ability to assure good service in the great business establishment of government, is presumed in every voter. The presumption is as distinguished for its foolishness as for its age. It has not been well founded in a century, during which time it has been repeatedly proved false.[Pg 137] Most elections go by default. Excepting in the cases of a few conspicuous candidates, about whom the public can make itself informed, and in small communities where everyone knows his neighbor and the men in petty offices, the electorate obeys mechanically the dictates of political leaders.

The notion of having most offices elective, originated, of course, in the practice of the old New England town meetings. But as the towns grew into cities, and these increased in population, the public works expanded, public interests and activities became complex, and the number of offices and instruments of government was multiplied, each with its peculiar responsibilities. The private concerns of the voters, likewise, acquired a complexity that made extra demands on their attention, and the trades and professions became specialized. The people could no longer rule themselves by any method resembling that of the town meeting. As they developed their unexampled opportunities, their eyes were diverted from the multitude of public offices, and the plunderers came in.

The politicians were devoted. They dedicated the time the voters could not spare to holding together the complicated public machinery. The people could not very well go to the primaries; that should be the business of the bosses, their bread and butter. They do their work at least zealously. They are called traitors and plunderers, many hate them, but perforce everybody tolerates them, and the states and cities under the present system cannot do without them. Their low organizations, their dives and groggeries, their gangs of "floaters" and intimidators of voters, their levyings of tribute, their control of men in high places, their sales of power and patronage, and their gigantic thefts and corruption show only in its perverse working that fierce individualistic spirit which is in freer play here and now among all ranks of men, and in all pursuits, than elsewhere in the world during the course of human history.

To say that the influence of such men, self-constituted governors of the public for their own private interest, has been pernicious beyond their immediate stealings and[Pg 138] "honest graft," would be saying too little. The people in their local governments, which are closer to their lives and in the aggregate more important than the national government, have not had the equal protection of the laws. Under the bosses, legislatures were for sale, and sold. The corporations got their public franchises by bribery. Vast insurance funds were juggled in speculation. The necessaries of life were monopolized. Wholesale adulteration of foods and medicines was permitted. Refrigerated meats were kept for higher prices until ptomaines were produced. Unsafe buildings were erected. The boss, in whose power was the enforcement of laws, could instruct the aldermen or the legislators not to appropriate money for their enforcement. He could bargain for the passage of unwise or oppressive statutes, and he could instruct judges, appointed to their candidacies by him, how to interpret them. Had his influence extended only to the heads of lawless trusts, it might have been less dangerous than it was and is. But it was pervasive, it infected the common people. They saw the laws unequally administered, and a general contempt for law was bred. Dr. Fritz Reichmann, Superintendent of Weights and Measures at Albany, recently calculated that petty tradesmen cheated New York's consumers with short measures by at least $10,000,000 yearly. Raids upon the small groceries and shops of Greater New York during a reform administration, disclosed false weights and measures in the majority of them. Here was evidence that the fabric of the body politic had been warped and wrenched from the standards of individual rectitude.

Fortunately, signs are not lacking of what has been called a great moral awakening. Taking advantage of the Federal system at Washington, which is based upon the theory that the boss shall be selected by the people and placed in the Presidency by them, appointing heads of all the subordinate offices, the people have through the Presidents caused the dissolution of great monopolies, and have made the business of captaining industries by unfair means disreputable. The industrial captains are no longer satisfied with their material gains. They want the respect[Pg 139] of their fellows. They are reforming their bad companies or forsaking them, and are devoting their wealth to public ends. One of the states has greatly aided in this change, and its example is instructive. New Jersey, the "home of the trusts," notorious throughout the world for its fathering of monopolies, is in all but its legislature a "short ballot" state. The legislators are elected at large by counties; the ballot is long in the thickly populated urban counties, and the unfair representation of the rural counties unites with the city bosses to control the law-making power, usually, also, dictating the nominations for Governor. But the Governorship of New Jersey is practically the only office to be filled by the people's vote. Like the President at Washington the Governor appoints his own cabinet and the rest of the state's executive and judicial officers. New Jersey's pre-eminence as the home of the trusts was gained after the nomination of Governor after Governor by the bosses.

In the Fall of 1910 New Jersey's bosses overreached themselves. Ex-Senator James Smith and his nephew "Jim" Nugent, chairman of the Democratic State Committee, saw an opportunity to defeat the Republicans, who were in power, by the nomination of Woodrow Wilson, then President of Princeton University. The New Jersey Democracy adopted a platform which bore the impress of Mr. Wilson's style and principles, and it gave to a great citizen a great opportunity for service. He at once proclaimed his independence of his political creators. He said that if elected Governor he would act as leader of his party. He became, in fact, a leader among many able Governors in a series of harmonious reforms for which the inspiration came from within the States. But ex-Governor Pennypacker of Pennsylvania, who was a creature of the boss system, accused Mr. Wilson of becoming the "most arrogant boss of them all when he got to be Governor." James Smith, shorn of his power, remarked:

New Jersey is unlike any other State in the Union. It elects very few of its officials. Nearly all of them are named by the Governor. He has about two hundred appointees, whose salaries range from $2,000 to $15,000 a year. Among these[Pg 140] appointees are Judges, and other places that carry a great deal of influence with them. The method gives the Governor a chance to build up a system—which is something which I believe I was charged with having, and of which I have recently been deprived.

No more significant utterance had been made in a century of American politics. Governor Wilson rose immediately to the full stature of his powers. He carried out his platform pledges, appealing to public opinion in the passage through a hostile legislature of laws reforming the conduct of elections, making employers liable for the injuries of workmen, restricting campaign expenses and requiring that they be published before elections, creating a public utilities commission, regulating the cold storage of foods, permitting cities to adopt governments by the short ballot, and preventing the grant of charters to monopolistic companies. He drove through a body of reform legislation such as had never been seen on New Jersey's statute books, eclipsing the record of a generation. He defeated Boss Smith's candidacy for re-election to the United States Senate, both because he was a boss and because as one of the "Senators from Havemeyer" in 1894, Smith had betrayed the principles of the Wilson tariff bill and President Cleveland's program for tariff reduction. Wilson became a "veto Governor," disposing of 150 bills invading home rule, or reckless of debts, which were dumped on him in the closing days of his first legislative session, and which were carelessly drawn. And he fulfilled his pledge to comply with the Civil Service rules in making all appointments. His acceptance of the National Democratic nomination to the Presidency in 1912 resulted in his becoming the head of a "short ballot" nation.

President Wilson, like many of his predecessors at the National capital, is vindicating the principle of the short ballot. The state bosses have often invaded the Federal legislature and government, but in comparison with their control of state machines they have never got very far. The national party machines are made up of local fragments. But their nominating machinery, which has such an inevitable and disastrous influence on local elections,[Pg 141] is concentrated upon the three offices of President, Senator, and Representative, all of which are of primary concern to the voters. The national candidates must conform to higher standards than local candidates, because they are few, conspicuous, and known of all their constituencies. In this fact may be seen the controlling reason why, while the local governments have everywhere been taken by the bosses from the hands of the people, the Federal system is still theirs.

Despite the brilliant and recent example of New Jersey, handicapped as she is by a long-ballot legislature organized on the bi-cameral principle, and despite the continuing example of successive administrations at Washington, it is nevertheless hard for the alarmed electorates of the states to give up their old direct-election, town-meeting ideals. The representative system has failed, they say. They should see that it has failed because of its weight of machinery, necessitated by the number of elective offices. But the tendency is marked toward discarding the representative principle at the primaries, and making it the duty of the people to nominate as well as elect directly to the many offices. That adds to the work of each voter, which is already, and confessedly, too great. Tear down representative government; away with the system of electing delegates at the primaries; let us nominate as well as vote for each candidate ourselves—that is the principle of the direct primary bills which have acquired the force of statutes in the western states, and are being agitated in the east. It is but natural that the people should be enraged at the manipulation of primaries by the politicians. To do away with delegates and conventions is their first impulse. Certainly the delegates elected, and the conventions held, are injurious to good government. But the principle of representation by the best qualified men of the electorate is not impaired. The establishment of the direct primary makes necessary two campaigns instead of one, necessitates a new equipment of political machinery, and doubles the distraction of the people by the many offices they must fill. They do not yet see that fewer and more responsible offices would bring abler candidates into the[Pg 142] field, that public opinion might be concentrated upon their choosing by delegates in conventions, and on their intelligent election at the polls.

The constitutional amendment submitted last Fall to the voters of Ohio, providing fewer elective offices and centering in the Executive the power of appointment to all lesser posts, was opposed on the ground that it would take authority from the people. Governor Cox was accused of trying to be king. He might well have pointed to Washington, which has had its "kingship" since the foundation of the republic. Governor Glynn of New York, who needed advice and counsel after the impeached Sulzer left the capitol, held cabinet meetings with the Secretary of State, the Attorney-General, Comptroller, State Treasurer, and State Engineer and Surveyor. Unlike President Wilson's cabinet, these men had been appointed, not by the Chief Executive, but by the party machines, whose leaders foresaw that they would be voted blindly into office. Officials whom the public did not know had the spending of millions in party patronage. To them the new Governor was constrained to look for support. In theory the Chief Executive, he had to work through agents who might be hostile to his purposes. Through such officers Mr. Murphy had extended his power throughout the state, and his contractors were beneficiaries of the millions wasted upon ill-constructed highways and canals.

How to dispense with the cumbersome political machinery that has oppressed the local elections as the needs of the increasing population became more complex, is a chief problem of these times. The bosses have, indeed, prepared the way for its solution. It is necessary for the people to recognize that the bosses' unofficial work should be placed in the hands of responsible executive officials, and thus changed from its private ends to public uses. The unskilled committees of citizens formed during times of public agitation and revolt may occasionally defeat the machines of more skilled politicians, but their triumphs are short-lived, and the reform administrations are often unsatisfactory. Public spirit abounds, it grapples with[Pg 143] enormous difficulties. The chief difficulty now is in a lack of apprehension of the chief source of the public's troubles.

The smaller cities are leading in the fundamental reform. Nearly three hundred of them have adopted the short ballot in charters that confer government by commission. Each of the commissioners, usually five in number, focuses public attention on his headship of a municipal department, and the five make most or all of the appointments. The states, likewise, are beginning to follow the lead of New Jersey. Ohio has granted its cities the option of government by commissioners, and has started to prune the list of state elective offices. California is heading in the same direction, for it has made appointive its state printer, three railroad commissioners, and clerk of the supreme court. In New York it is sought to make the Governor's "cabinet" appointive, as well as the state judiciary, which compares ill with the judiciary of other states, such as New Jersey and Massachusetts, where the judges are appointed by the Governor. The Supreme Court of the United States, whose judges are appointed by the President for life, has won the respect of high juridical authorities for its ability, probity, and learning, in which it endures comparison with the greatest European courts of last resort. A reduction of the legislatures into single bodies has been advocated, notably by Governor Hodges of Kansas. The legislatures with two chambers have not worked to the ends of deliberation, but the contrary. The progress of measures has been obscured in them until the closing days of their sessions, when there are "jammed through" questionable acts that have never met the public gaze until their enactment. New York has its legislative members apportioned by districts, which, if reduced to fifty for a single chamber, would be approved by advocates of the short ballot. Deliberation might then be had by requiring a certain interval of time between introduction of bills and their final passage, after revision by skilled drafters. The county governments, also, need overhauling, relegating the sheriffs, county clerks, registers, surrogates, and district attorneys to the appointive[Pg 144] lists. As for the cities, the tendency is to fix responsibility in the Mayor or a commission.

The multiplied elective offices have come by evolution. As the needs of the body politic increased more of them were created, with developed and specialized functions. They were made elective because the people were jealous of their own control, anxious to select their representatives, and to make them responsive to their will. The people are now more eager and persistent in their purpose of having a really representative government than at any previous time in the national history. They occasionally seize control of their complex machinery, and for a time succeed in running it. But they are beginning to see that the levers they throw must be fewer, though more powerful. Gradually, by the reluctant assent of legislatures submitting to the force of public opinion well led, or more rapidly and comprehensively in constitutional conventions guided by the enlightened and patriotic wills of public-spirited revisers, the change to a government of a few elected executives with large appointive powers will be wrought. The unchartered freedom of the private oligarchies will yield to the restraints imposed by the people through their instructed heads.

[Pg 145]


The erudite Dr. Burton in his Anatomy of Melancholy refers to the plant nicotiana as "divine, rare, superexcellent tobacco which goes far beyond all the panaceas, potable gold, and philosophers' stones." It is the purpose of this article to study the social cost and the social advantage of this divine commodity in the United States, for the purpose of framing a rough and necessarily incomplete balance sheet, which will bring into juxtaposition the credit and the debit items. Such a balance sheet can obviously not aspire to accuracy in every detail. Many items cannot be expressed in figures at all. For those which can be translated into dollars and cents we cannot always get perfectly reliable statistics. In many cases we must resort to estimates. Fortunately the most important data are those for which the figures are most trustworthy, and, as regards the others, it will not be altogether fruitless to enumerate them, even though we may not be able to give their value in legal tender.


1. The importance of tobacco in our national budget is shown by the latest census figures, according to which it ranks eleventh among the industries of the country, with respect to the value of the product. Our manufactured tobacco was worth at the factory in 1909, $416,695,000. It thus outranked bread and other bakery products, women's clothing, copper, malt liquors, automobiles, petroleum, and distilled liquors. It was but about a third less important than manufactures of cotton. Its value was more than twice as great as that of distilled liquors.[3] These figures do not, of course, tell us how much the people now spend on tobacco. They represent the value of the product at the factory four years ago. They do not include such items as transportation, middlemen's profit,[Pg 146] advertising, etc., which enter into the retail price. Nor do they include the large amount spent upon imported tobacco.

A careful statistician, Professor William B. Bailey, of Yale, published, nearly two years ago, some figures showing that the people of the United States spent at that time in a single year about $1,100,000,000 on tobacco. As the receipts from the internal revenue tax on tobacco have increased by about fourteen per cent. in the last two years, it seems fair to assume that the general consumption has increased by this amount. Fourteen per cent. of $1,100,000,000 would be $154,000,000. It seems, therefore, conservative to state that at the present time the people are spending at least $1,200,000,000 for the pleasure of smoking and chewing. As a check upon these figures, the author has made two independent estimates each by a different process, and their results confirm the figures given above. It should be noted, moreover, that this estimate applies only to the direct purchase of tobacco. It does not include the accessories of smoking, such as matches, pipes, receptacles for holding tobacco, cuspidors, etc. In the fiscal year 1911-12, we imported pipes and smokers' articles valued at $1,478,000, in addition to what we produced at home. The difficulty of securing estimates on these accessories is so great that no attempt has been made to include them. If they could be included, the amount which tobacco users spend for their particular pleasure would undoubtedly foot up a great deal more than $1,200,000,000 a year at the present time.

The significance of these figures can best be appreciated, if we compare them with other items in our national budget. To put the matter concretely, "tobacco takers" spend in a single year twice the amount spent by the entire country on railroad travel[4] and about three times the amount which it spends on its common school system; they pay out annually about three times the entire cost of the Panama Canal; they destroy directly about three[Pg 147] times as much property as was destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake. Their smokes and chews cost them just about twice what it costs to maintain the government of the United States, including the interest on the public debt. Our smokers could in a year and a half pay off the entire bonded debt of our states, cities, and counties, as it was in 1902, and in an additional nine months the entire interest-bearing debt of the United States, if they were willing to exercise the self-denial which was exercised a few years ago by the Persian people.[5]

Here are also a few comparisons with foreign countries. A well-known international jurist not long ago put together, as an argument against war, the figures showing the expenditure of the leading nations of the world on their army and navy. The list included Germany, Russia, France, Great Britain, and Japan. The figures for 1910 footed up $1,217,000,000 or approximately the amount devoted to tobacco by the people of the United States in a single year.[6] Our smokers impose upon the resources of the country a burden larger than the war indemnity which Germany exacted of France after a humiliating defeat in 1871; they spend about six times what it costs the German Empire to maintain its elaborate and comprehensive system of workingmen's insurance.[7]

2. The cost of smoking to the country is by no means limited to its costs to the smoker. Chief among its indirect burdens is the incineration of property other than tobacco leaves, and the destruction of innocent lives which it exacts as its annual toll from non-smokers. We have had some tragic illustrations of this in recent years. The Triangle shirtwaist fire in New York City in 1910 not only burned up valuable property but caused a cruel loss of life. Over one hundred and forty workers were sacrificed in this case to a cigarette.

[Pg 148]

In the winter of 1912 occurred the destruction of the Equitable Building, "caused by the careless tossing of a match into a waste paper basket in the Savarin restaurant which occupied quarters in the basement. This match had doubtless been used to light a cigar or cigarette."[8] The waste of time caused by this fire in addition to the actual destruction of the structure must have been enormous, if one thinks of the loss of the records of the great corporations which occupied the building, and of the inconvenience and delays suffered by stockholders and policy holders and other persons who had business relations with them. The fire which destroyed a part of the state capitol at Albany, including a vast number of books and manuscripts, was in all probability caused by a smoker, though the evidence is not quite as conclusive as in the case of the Triangle shirtwaist factory and the Equitable Building. Powell Evans says regarding this fire: "The financial loss is $6,000,000. The loss of documents and records is priceless." And yet to estimate the total social loss we should add to the pecuniary value of the building and its contents, the waste of time and labor inflicted upon a large number of innocent students who desired to use the library, but were unable to do so. All of the readers of the summary of legislation, e. g., were seriously embarrassed, since this fire delayed the issue of this publication by a couple of years.

These cases are referred to, because they were peculiarly dramatic and are still fresh in the memory of newspaper readers. But it would be a mistake to assume that they represent anything exceptional or phenomenal, like an earthquake or a tornado. Smoking is a chronic and regular cause of fires, perfectly familiar to those whose profession requires them to risk their lives in fighting them, a cause as susceptible of statistical treatment as the mortality from tuberculosis or typhoid. Unfortunately our statistics on this subject are very meagre, and efforts to secure figures from insurance men, who would be expected to have a direct interest in ascertaining the facts, have been surprisingly discouraging. Through the prompt courtesy of[Pg 149] the officials concerned, however, the reports of several state fire marshals and of the fire commissioners of several large cities have been secured, and are summarized below.

These statistics make no claim to completeness. In the nature of things, the causes of many fires cannot be ascertained, and, even where they are stated in a printed report, they are not always easy to interpret. For the particular subject under discussion it is especially hard to know what percentage of the fires caused by carelessness with matches should be charged to smokers. The common use of electric lights in cities, as well as of permanent fires for cooking and heating, makes it altogether reasonable to suppose that a very large percentage of the matches used serve the purposes of smokers. Observation of the habits of smokers indicates that a still larger percentage of fires caused by the careless use of matches is attributable to them. To avoid exaggeration, however, it has been thought best not to assume that all of the fires caused by carelessness with matches should be charged to smokers. Hence two columns are printed, one showing the fires due to matches (exclusive of matches in the hands of children and matches supposed to be ignited by rats or mice), the other showing the fires which are caused directly by cigars, cigarette stumps, smoking in bed, etc. The column giving the total number of fires for which causes are assigned is made by deducting from the total number of fire alarms the cases of false alarms, double alarms, etc., and the cases in which the cause was either not ascertained, or so vaguely stated as to be meaningless.

Causes of Fires as Given in Latest Reports

City or State Total Fires accounted for Percentage
due to
due to
New York City 10,330 12.3 15.7 28
New York State (Outside of Greater New York)  5,599  5.2  8.8 14.0
Philadelphia  2,784  5.0 25.5 30.5
Boston  3,443 15.6[9]
Newark  1,108  9.8 20.8 30.6
New Haven    681  7.9  5.6 13.5

[Pg 150]

It would be futile with our present knowledge to try to construct any general average showing what percentage of fires in the country at large can fairly be charged to smokers. In some of the western states and cities in particular, the records are obviously incomplete as in the report of the state fire marshal of Illinois, which gives less than half as many fires for the city of Chicago during the year 1912 as were reported by the city fire marshal for the same period. And it is only fair to say that in some of these western sections of the country the percentage is much smaller than in the cities given above. One fact is, however, incontestable, and that is that smokers are recognized in all of the reports received as at least one of the important causes of fires and are sometimes, as in New York City, the most important single cause. This is clearly shown in the following extract from the report of the fire department for the year 1912:

Principal Causes of Fire

Matches, carelessness with1,629
Cigars, cigarettes, etc., carelessness with1,273
Gas, illuminating, carelessness in the use of gaslights, ranges, radiators, etc.849
Bonfires, brush fires, igniting fences, etc.849
Stoves, stovepipes, furnaces, steampipes, heat from844
Chimney fires and sparks from chimneys784
Children playing with matches or with fire657
Candles, tapers, etc., carelessness with500
Total number of fires15,633
Not ascertained—suspicious506
Not fully ascertained4,797
Total not ascertained causes5,303
Number of fires, causes ascertained10,330

It also seems safe to say that in the large cities of the East, where it may be assumed that the records are more accurate than in the country at large, the percentages agree closely enough to justify the estimate made by Fire Commissioner Johnson of New York City that 15 to 20% of our fires are caused by the careless throwing away of lighted matches, cigars and cigarettes.[10]

The late chief of the fire department of New York,[Pg 151] Mr. E. F. Croker, writes: "I am certain that an examination of the fire losses in our cities and towns, the loss of life as well as property, which has been caused by the cigarette habit would be found appalling. The paper and light tobacco used in cigarettes holds fire for some time, usually until the entire remnant which has been thrown away has been consumed. The majority of cigarette smokers are careless in the disposition of these remnants, and usually throw or drop them wherever they may be." So great is the menace of the smoker to property and life that New York has passed a law forbidding smoking in factories. Under this law, as interpreted by the corporation counsel, "the smoking of a pipe, cigar or cigarette in or about a factory using or containing inflammable material, is a public nuisance within the meaning of Section 1530 of the Penal Law, which provides: 'a public nuisance is a crime against the order and economy of the State,'" etc.[11]

The figures of fire losses given above apply to cities and dwellings. But tobacco is also the cause of many forest fires. The state forester of Massachusetts estimates that smokers are responsible for more forest fires in that state than any other single agency. The number which could be directly and positively traced to them in the single year 1908 was 111, involving a loss of $33,000. But it is clear that it is peculiarly difficult to trace the causes of forest fires on account of the fact that smokers throw down their matches or cigarette stubs, or cigar stubs, and pass on, quite unconscious of the damage which follows in their wake. "That the careless smoker, who persists in the habit when in woodlands or traversing the country during a dry time, whether at work or play, is the greatest menace to future forestry, it is believed there is little question."[12]

In Connecticut the state forester reports that, out of 116 fires, of which the cause was ascertained in 1912, 25 were due to smokers. Regarding the 58 fires attributed to "Fishermen," "Hunters," "Matches," and "Strollers,"[Pg 152] he says: "It is evident that most of these fires were due to carelessness in handling matches, throwing down cigar butts, etc., or leaving fires unextinguished."[13] The loss of life due to smokers' fire must be enormous, but this is all that can be safely said in the absence of reliable statistics.

The responsibility of the smoker is not limited to the destruction of property and of life. If he causes a certain percentage of fires, he must also be held accountable for his share of the cost of maintaining our fire departments, of the injuries suffered by firemen in performing their duties, of the cost of fire prevention, and of the cost of insurance.

A careful report made by the United States Geological Survey a few years ago estimated the annual loss and expense due to fires in the United States in the year 1907, including fire protection and insurance, as over $456,000,000. If smokers cause but 10% of this they cost us $45,000,000 under this item alone. If they cause 20%, as they obviously do in some places and as they are estimated to do by Commissioner Johnson, the cost under this item is $90,000,000, and the figures have undoubtedly increased since the government report was made six years ago.

3. In studying the effect of any expenditure upon society, we must take into account the diversion of social activity from one line of production to another. The consumer is the ultimate director of national production. If he elects to drink whiskey, instead of buying bread for his children, this means that the country produces more whiskey and less bread. If rich men elect to take large tracts of arable land for game preserves, they prevent that land from being used to raise food for the people. Likewise, if smokers elect to spend a certain part of their income upon tobacco, they determine that a certain area of land shall be devoted to the cultivation of this plant, which would otherwise be devoted to the cultivation of vegetables, or to dairy farming, or to raising whatever commodities their money would otherwise have been spent for. The amount of land thus preëmpted for the preserves of tobacco users in the United States is very large.[Pg 153] It amounted in 1912 to no less than 1,225,800 acres or over one-sixth of the area devoted to raising vegetables. The value of the tobacco product was $104,302,856, or one-quarter of the value of all vegetables including potatoes. This must play no small part in maintaining the high cost of living in the United States.[14] Tobacco culture, moreover, tends, as is well known, to exhaust the soil and thus to rob future generations, unless fertility is artificially maintained at great expense.

4. The demands made by smokers upon public conveyances increase materially the capital required to equip railroads and other means of communication. Smokers are never charged an extra fare for the inconvenience and expense which they cause, although special cars or parts of cars are provided for their use. On some of the smaller railroads, where the traffic is light and a single car would be ample to carry all of the passengers desiring to take a certain train, the train regularly includes a smoking car, thus adding 100 per cent. to the car accommodations required without adding to revenue. On the more crowded trains and on roads with heavier traffic, the space wasted is naturally not so great. But there is always some additional investment required, for which the railroads get no return. There were 47,095 passenger cars in the United States in 1910. Assuming that only 10% are for smokers, 4,709 cars are necessitated by the smoking habit; assuming an average cost of $15,000 per car, over $71,000,000 of capital, on which interest and depreciation have to be charged, must be invested, in order to serve smokers. And yet smokers are treated in our parlor cars as a privileged class, for, while ordinary travellers are entitled to but one seat, smokers get two seats for one ticket. Not infrequently a smoker will engage a seat in a parlor car and leave it empty during the greater part of his trip. He uses the additional seat provided gratuitously for him in the smoking section of the car, or in a special smoking car, while a delicate woman or an invalid, who fain would occupy and gladly pay for his seat, is debarred from doing so.

5. The cost of keeping the world clean must be[Pg 154] enormously enhanced by smokers, though there is no political arithmetic which will give us any figures on the subject. Anyone who will take but a casual glance at the floors of railway stations, smoking cars, hotels, clubs, and other places of public resort will realize how much disagreeable work in the way of cleaning up the smoker forces society to do for him.

6. The effect of tobacco upon the health is an important item in the cost of the habit to the country, though one which can obviously not be expressed in figures. Dr. von Frankl Hochwart, the eminent nerve specialist, has written an article dealing only with the nervous diseases of smokers, and though this paper was read at a meeting of neurologists and eight physicians took part in the discussion, not one of them expressed dissent on any essential point.[15]

This distinguished authority based his statements on the study of 1,500 of his own patients who were heavy nicotinists. After eliminating all of the other poisons or diseases which might have affected these cases, he reached the general conclusion that, among smokers in general, about one-third complained of troubles which they attributed to tobacco. These symptoms were particularly strong in the case of heavy smokers, of whom half showed bad effects, lasting sometimes for a considerable time. The troubles were especially noticeable in the case of cigarette smokers. The most common complaints were palpitation of the heart and general nervousness, but a large number of other nervous affections were diagnosed as specifically attributable to nicotine, such as loss of memory, meningitis, aphasia, deafness, and dyspepsia.

Particularly striking was the unconscious evidence which was given to the public at the time of the attack upon the life of Ex-President Roosevelt in October, 1912, when his physicians used the following expression in a public bulletin: "We find him in magnificent physical condition due to his regular physical exercise, his habitual abstinence from tobacco and liquor."

[Pg 155]

The manufacture of tobacco is generally regarded as an unhealthy occupation, and many assert that it tends to produce miscarriage in the case of women.[16] Some, like Sir Thomas Oliver, think the evidence on this point not conclusive. But this eminent English authority holds that tobacco is bad for the health of English soldiers and speaks of it under the head of occupational diseases.[17] "Tobacco especially," he says, "I believe to be a cause of heart trouble among soldiers, though many authorities doubt it. I have known a man who was anxious to be invalided out of the army produce the most marked cardiac symptoms by the surreptitious use of strong cake tobacco." "Smokers' cancer" is a term familiar to physicians. It is not necessary to discuss at length the effects of tobacco on health in an article dealing mainly with the economic and social phases of the question. Suffice it to point out the fact of its harmfulness, leaving to physicians the consideration of the mode and extent of nicotine morbidity.[18]

7. That tobacco is bad for the mental development of children is so commonly conceded by teachers that the Boy Scouts organization has as one of its main purposes the discouragement of the cigarette habit among boys. General Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts, is said to have gone through the campaign in West Africa without smoking and to have escaped fever when thousands of others were attacked by it.[19] The attitude of the Boy Scouts is seen in the following resolution, passed November, 1912, by a large conference of scout commissioners held in New York City: "Resolved, That the local councils of the Boy Scouts of America recommend that all scout masters and other officials while in uniform or on duty refrain from the use of tobacco in any form as being detrimental to the general aim of our movement in the development of healthful habits of life in the growing boy." In the state of Wisconsin, a movement[Pg 156] has been inaugurated to discountenance smoking on the part of all persons, teachers or pupils, connected with the high schools.[20]

8. That tobacco causes a considerable loss of time must be obvious to anyone who has observed the habits of the smoker. Not only is a certain amount of every day devoted to this occupation, but personal experience shows that this loss is not confined to those who smoke. It is now a very common thing for people to smoke at committee meetings, and it seems to the writer that the proceedings always become slower and less brisk when the dope of tobacco smoke fills the air.

9. Tobacco often seems to have a distinct effect in weakening the social sense. This is a statement which cannot be buttressed by statistics, but in such a matter we can put a good deal of reliance on the testimony of smokers whose prejudices would naturally be on the other side. The editor of the Outlook says: "Of late years men who smoke without any regard to the comfort of others have so greatly increased in numbers that it is not surprising that an organization has been formed to limit smoking."[21] A more striking piece of evidence, because obviously unconscious, is that which is given by a well-known English author, Mr. G. K. Chesterton. A friend of his had been dining with a man who was both a teetotaler and a non-smoker. In relating the story he says: "It ended with the guest asking the host if he might smoke, and receiving a stern reply in the negative. My friend (I am happy to say) immediately lit his pipe and vanished in smoke. Having sufficiently and properly perfumed all the curtains and carpets with smoke, he purged the house of its smoker."[22] Note the parenthesis "I am happy to say." Here is a well-known author who is willing to publicly claim that it is proper and right for a guest to knowingly and intentionally commit a nuisance in his host's house in the matter of tobacco. "Senatorial courtesy," dominant as it is in the matter of[Pg 157] appointments to office, gives way before tobacco, and a senator, whose health is seriously affected by tobacco smoke, has appealed in vain to his fellow statesmen to spare him this infliction in the executive sessions of the senate.

The Triangle shirtwaist fire in New York made so slight an impression on smokers, that, when in July, 1913, the inspectors visited the same premises, they found the elevator boy smoking a cigarette and the proprietor of a factory in the same building smoking a cigar, in violation of a law passed in consequence of this very fire. It would be a mistake to regard the New York factory owners who have recently been fined for violating the anti-smoking law as peculiarly obtuse and unimaginative. They are simply examples of the fact, familiar enough to non-smokers, that the nicotine habit tends to make smokers indifferent to the social effects of smoking. There is nothing paradoxical in saying that a habit which is often associated with sociability leads to anti-social conduct. The same is true of the alcohol habit, the opium habit, and indeed of all similar habits. Even the lady-like tea habit may have anti-social effects, if it so dominates the life that a person will neglect an engagement or a duty rather than lose the pleasure of the afternoon cup.

10. That tobacco affects the will power, and therefore national efficiency, was recognized years ago by the genial "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table," who said: "I think self-narcotization and self-alcoholization are rather ignoble substitutes for undisturbed self-consciousness and an unfettered self-control."[23] And again he says, "I have seen the green leaf of early promise grown brown before its time, under such nicotian regimen, and thought the umbered meerschaum dearly bought at the cost of a brain enfeebled and a will enslaved."[24]


Having now considered what tobacco costs the United States let us endeavor to ascertain what it does for the United States.

[Pg 158]

1. The first and most tangible item to be put on the credit side is taxation. In the year 1911-12, the amount paid by tobacco users towards the support of the government was as follows:

Internal revenue tax$70,590,151
Customs duties25,572,000

We may estimate the figures for 1912-13 as about $105,000,000. Thus it is clear that the tobacco habit is a means by which the government is able to secure a large contribution, albeit an involuntary one, from the users.

2. The typical and commonly recognized advantage of tobacco is in the satisfaction of a certain craving and the production of a certain enjoyment which may be briefly designated by the medical term euphoria. This gratification is apparently not an entirely simple sensation, if we may credit the testimony of smokers, nor is it uniform in all persons. Some claim that tobacco quiets the nerves and therefore makes them more peaceably inclined, more ready to effect compromises in a dispute, and altogether more sociable. Others on the other hand, claim that it stimulates the mind and enables them to do better intellectual work.

In all cases the effect is personal, not social, and the evidence with regard to it is entirely subjective. Thus the claim that tobacco stimulates a person's brain, rests upon his own testimony. There is no reason to believe that the effect of nicotine on literary output can be detected by others, and the many cases in which smokers have deliberately given up the habit and yet continued to do their brain work with no diminution of effectiveness, create a strong presumption against attaching much weight to the subjective testimony on the subject. Equally indefinite and even less susceptible of objective measurement is the feeling of gratification or enjoyment which comes from the taste of the weed, and the narcotic effect of the nicotine. There is reason to suspect, however, that its comforting effects are often exaggerated. In such a case we[Pg 159] shall avoid a prejudiced opinion, if we take the testimony of those whose interests favor the use of tobacco. The following statement occurs in an advertisement distributed by a tobacco company: "How have your cigars tasted for the last two weeks? Haven't you a mouthful of crumbled cigar now? Do you like a cigar that tasted like a dried cornstalk? Do you enjoy having a cankered tongue and a tender throat?" "You are smoking cigars, aren't you? Your throat tickles, your head is 'swimmy' in the morning, you have to steady your hand to sign a check, your stenographer hates you and your wife breathes a sigh of relief when you leave in the morning." This is not from the tract of an anti-tobacco society, but reflects unconsciously the opinion of the sellers of a certain brand of Havana cigars regarding the effects produced by other brands, in other words, by those which are in most common use by persons who cannot afford the more expensive grades. Indeed, it seems very probable that in many cases smoking is done, not because of the real enjoyment which comes from the practice, but because it has become a habit which the nicotinist cannot break himself of.

These facts point to the conclusion that while a part of what tobacco users spend is contributed by them towards the support of the government, and therefore should be credited to their account, the only clear and definite advantage is their euphoria, the purely subjective feeling of satisfaction which is indefinite and vague, and which there is reason to think is often exaggerated.

Our balance sheet, based upon this discussion might thus be formulated as follows:

Madam Nicotine in acct. with the People of the United States


1.To amount spent on tobacco and accessories,$1,200,000,000
less taxes, say105,000,000
[Pg 160]2.Fire loss,a. Towns,$45,000,000 to $90,000,000
""b. Forests,
""c. Loss of life in fires,
3.Preëmption of arable land,1,200,000 acres,
4.Extra expense for R. R. equipment, hauling, etc.
5.Expense of keeping the country clean,
7.Retarding education of children,
8.Waste of time,
9.Weakening of social sense,
10.Weakening of will power,


Smokers' Euphoria,

In this balance sheet the item profit and loss is intentionally omitted. To include it would give this study the form of an argument instead of the simple statement of facts which it is intended to be. Every reader must, therefore, decide for himself on which side of the account the balance should be inserted, and doubtless many will decide this question, as they decide so many other questions, according to their personal inclinations. The smoker will be convinced that the enjoyment which he gets out of tobacco is worth all that the habit costs the community. The non-smoker, on the other hand, will feel that the non-smoking majority pay altogether too much for the pleasure of the smoking minority. Neither point of view interests the writer, and he will have spent his time in vain, if he has not made it clear that he has endeavored to construct a social balance sheet. The only question to decide, therefore, is whether the value of tobacco to society is worth what society pays for it in direct expenditure as well as in the destruction of property, lives, health, etc.

Certain other familiar topics are also omitted, not because they are lacking in interest or importance, but because the author believes in the maxim ne sutor supra crepidam and, being an economist, has limited himself to strictly economic and tangible topics. The field of ethics, e. g., is not entered, though some of the social and economic facts which are brought out may supply the moralist[Pg 161] with useful data. Nor is the subject of manners considered, though courtesy may be regarded, in the words of an English statesman, as "a national asset." History too, is untouched, though tobacco first led to the introduction of slavery into Virginia and, therefore, has played an important part in our political and social evolution.

The main purpose of the article is to give tobacco its proper perspective. Many people, e. g., who are familiar with the significance of our drink bill do not realize that the amount annually spent on tobacco is about three-quarters of the amount spent on intoxicating beverages of all kinds.[25] The national war budget is always the subject of much criticism, and yet the appropriations for our army and navy are less than one-fourth what we spend annually on tobacco. For years the power of the government has been exerted to keep down the railroad rates, until it is claimed that the roads cannot pay the wages demanded by the men and give the public the service which it expects without an increase in charges. And yet an addition of but 25% to passenger fares would mean but about one-eighth of what the tobacco users spend without a thought, and would afford the railroads a welcome relief.

In estimating any social burden, account must be taken not only of its magnitude in a single year, but also of its persistency. One peculiarity of the tobacco habit is that, while it is often difficult to acquire, it is still more difficult to shake off. Indeed, in most cases the will is as much bound as if the smoker had signed, sealed, and delivered a mortgage on his own personality. This is well understood by the tobacco trust, which is giving away cigarettes to the people of China in the confidence that, once the habit has been acquired, the trust can collect its annual tribute, almost as surely as if it had conquered the country in war. Thus, it is not unfair to capitalize the annual expenditure on tobacco and to say that our country carries a direct interest charge of some $1,200,000,000 on a social mortgage, of which about $105,000,000 is in favor[Pg 162] of the treasury, the balance in favor of the tobacco interests, in addition to the heavy personal and social burdens specified in our balance sheet. The direct charge alone represents the interest at 5% on $24,000,000,000 or over twenty-four times the interest-bearing public debt of the United States. No wonder the tobacco dealers are happy. And no wonder that shrewd old Dr. Burton, after saying what he could in favor of tobacco, in the words quoted at the beginning of this article, adds in conclusion: "A good vomit, I confess, a virtuous herb, if it be well qualified, opportunely taken, and medicinally used; but as it is commonly abused by most men, which take it as tinkers do ale, 'tis a plague, a mischief, a violent purger of goods, lands, health, hellish, devilish and damned tobacco, the ruin and overthrow of body and soul."

[Pg 163]


It has long been more or less proverbial that Americans cannot drink without getting drunk; and yet the Americans are not counted an intemperate people, because probably a smaller proportion of them drink than of any other great nation. And it may not be altogether fanciful to suggest that it is also because the word intemperate is not applied to the absence of temperance in cases where people do not drink at all. And yet, in etymology and common sense, a man on the negative side of a temperate use of alcohol is as intemperate as a man on the positive side.

Those who deny that any use of alcohol is desirable run counter to the vast preponderance of all recorded opinion and sentiment—even as eloquently expressed in poetry and song. They may nevertheless be right, as were those who, not so long ago, were in the minority regarding war. But this minority opposed a fact unescapable in the then condition of human nature; and the present minority regarding alcohol are opposing a fact unescapable in the present condition of human nature. Whatever may be best for the future, it is undeniable that at the present time men will drink alcohol, and the only practical questions concern the circumstances most apt to make their drinking of it innocuous, and even beneficial, if there is any warrant for the widespread and time-honored opinion that, like every other thing claimed to be good, alcohol is good only when used under certain circumstances and in certain measure.

The temperance of the continental peoples, with their light wines, is a commonplace. The English native supply of alcoholic beverages is more like ours, and the climatic conditions more, on the whole, like those of our most thickly populated regions. Probably a much larger proportion of the English people "drink" than of our people, and they probably do it with results better, or at worst, less disastrous than those to such of our people as do it at all. A contrary impression, however, is widespread[Pg 164] in consequence of confusing England with Scotland. But the conditions and the results are very different.

So are those of England as compared with ours, and it may be well to compare the mood and manner of their drinking with ours. Society must always frown upon the morose and solitary drinker—the man who drinks merely for the purpose of injecting alcohol into his system. Drinking should be regarded only as a means, not as an end. It is not good in and for itself; it is good only as an aid toward loftier things. The great virtue of drinking, granting it virtue, is that it may ease the perilous and delicate ascent to human intercourse, or, to change the metaphor, alcohol is the best of social lubricants. Other things equal, it is easier to get acquainted with a man who does not scorn the temperate wine, than with one who does. With the latter, a ready element of mutuality is absent, and you have to beat about for some simple and casual means of give and take. But an incidental compotation, though it is accused, not unjustly, of being dangerous to the weak, to the normal and preponderant proportion of humanity, serves as a letter of introduction; and "What will you have?" is but the first question in that mystic catechism which may lead to "What gifts of sympathy and kindliness may we exchange?"

The justification for drinking of course asserts itself most clearly at home around the hospitable board, or in the comfortable corner of the club, where conversation is paramount, and an occasional sip serves merely as a comma or semi-colon in the talk. Under such ideal conditions, wine eases the fluency of conversation, brightens the wit, humanizes the humor, and mystically charms away that native diffidence which is a bar to confidence and sympathy. One does not readily deal lies to one's host at dinner over a glass of wine; and our little shifts and poses, our false evasions and our falser modesties, melt away to the limbo of things forgotten when we exchange a friendly high-ball at the club. But unfortunately a very small proportion of the whole community can afford good wine at dinner, and hardly a larger number can enjoy the amenities of a club. For social drinking the vast majority[Pg 165] of men must frequent the public bars, and adventure on a chat with whoever is about. It follows that the atmosphere of the public bars must exert an inevitable influence over most of the men who drink at all. A man is moulded by the clubs that he frequents; the public bar is the only available club for the small tradesman and the manual laborer, the homeless and the friendless and the poor; and the great saloon-frequenting class must necessarily become inoculated with the social tone of the saloons that they frequent. If one reeks with foul language, its patrons will become imbued with the habit of profanity; but if its atmosphere be genial and genteel, its patrons will maintain, or else adopt, the amenities of more graceful intercourse. The social influence of the public bar is subtle and insinuating in its effect upon the individual and unavoidable in its effect upon the whole community; it may be an influence for evil or for good; it may even ultimately save or damn a nation. There arises from this circumstance a weighty problem, which demands more careful consideration from our sociologists than it has yet received.

The proposition, simply stated, is just this: Whatever serves to lift the tone of social drinking serves strongly to refine the nation; and whatever tends to debase the tone of drinking in saloons and public-houses tends to degrade the social atmosphere of the community at large. It follows that one of the easiest and most effective ways to clean up the slums of any of our cities would be to exercise a sympathetic and paternal supervision over their saloons. Some such idea as this was in the mind of the late Bishop Potter of New York when he inaugurated the so-called Subway Tavern.

At the present time the average American saloon, particularly in our southern and middle western states, is a vile place, and exerts a pernicious influence over the largest class of the community. As a result, a strong movement has been instituted to abolish the saloon. The states that have adopted prohibition have done it not so much with the idea that social drinking in itself is bad, as with the idea that the average saloon is bad, and that prohibition is the only means of undermining the influence of[Pg 166] the average saloon. But might it not be wiser to realize that the saloon might be made an instrument for good, and not for evil, if, instead of being abolished, it should be tactfully reformed? A decent and respectable saloon may radiate decency and respectability throughout its neighborhood; and men who learn to drink genially and temperately with their fellows are not likely to descend to vulgar rowdyism in other ways of intercourse, or, still worse, to "booze" at home. After hours, many, probably most, workingmen will drink; we surely have no human right to decree that they shall not; but we may exercise the human grace of helping them to drink socially and decently instead of alone and vilely. At present the rudeness of our average saloon spreads like a contagious disease to the homes of all the men who breathe its evil air. If we could make our saloons less vulgar and more clubable, if we could lift the tone of public drinking among our less fortunate classes, we should spread abroad a sense of the amenities, a wholesome social feeling, and a glimmer of the finer graces of gentility.

There is much virtue in this "if"; and it must not be supposed that the condition it suggests is unattainable except in the idle dreams of an idealist. We have before us an example of precisely what we need, in the average English public-house. The world-engirdling empery of England is vested in the wholesomeness and sturdiness of her middle and lower classes; and if you need evidence to convince you that England is still dauntless and undefeatable among the nations, you have only to observe these classes in their clubs,—the ordinary English public taverns. In Salisbury, for instance, there is a venerable hostelry that is called the "Haunch of Venison." I do not hesitate to advertise it by its actual name; for it deserves and demands a visit from every American whose interest in the solitary contemplation of cathedral architecture has not made him forget that man is, first of all, a social being. If he will proceed almost any evening to the tiny smoking-room upon the second floor (ducking his head beneath the mediæval rafters if he be above the middle height), and will join casually in the conversation of[Pg 167] the company he meets there, he will discover something about the social possibilities of the public tavern that he has never learned at home. The company consists of small tradesmen of the town who have bolted up their shutters and gathered for a genial glass or two of "bitter" before resigning to the night. The talk deals earnestly with politics; protection and free trade are weighed logically one against the other, the measures of Mr. Lloyd-George are discussed in the spirit more of the economist than of the partisan, the German menace is given its meed of attention, and the boy scout movement is explained to the visitor from overseas. A round of drinks is ordered quietly; and the American is asked about the tariff and the growth of monopolies in his own country, the rate of wages and the cost of living, and the policies of Mr. Roosevelt. Then the visitor assumes the part of host, and shifts the talk to English architecture, touching upon old houses in the neighborhood, the timber rafters of the room in which the company is gathered, the excavations at Old Sarum, the mood of Stonehenge underneath the setting sun, and the high-aspiring composition of the great cathedral. The proprietor of the tavern has looked in, spoken to nearly everybody by name, and offered another round of drinks with the compliments of the house. His charming wife joins the talk without embarrassment to anyone, and becomes a sort of sister to the company. So the evening proceeds, until at the closing hour of eleven the company disperses with hand-shakings and good wishes for the night.

And remember that this is a public-house, in the market-place of a little city, open to anyone who wishes to spend two-pence for a glass of ale. It is not a hotel; it is not aristocratic; you will not find the name of it in Baedeker; it is just an ordinary bar that gleams a welcome to the lax-jointed laborer in the street. And the "Haunch of Venison" at Salisbury is not to be considered as unique, but is rather to be taken as typical of the English public-house. In Canterbury, for example, there is a bar-room, the name of which I dare not mention lest I increase unduly the annual historic pilgrimage to that cathedral[Pg 168] capital; but I am willing to say for the benefit of future American investigators that it may be entered either from the Parade or from the little square adjacent to the ancient gate of the cathedral precincts where the monument to Marlowe is erected. From the main entrance, in the Parade, you proceed through a bar-room to a cosy little smoking-room beyond. There is a goodly company of young clerks and salesmen and minor officials of the town, interested in cricket, the growing of hops, the suffragette movement, the state of business, and the proposals to reform the House of Lords. But I have led you thither mainly that you may meet the daughter of the proprietor, who trips in with a tray of drinks and sandwiches. She is a glowing girl of seventeen, exceedingly alive, pretty and witty, jolly and jocose. She has rather an Italian look, with black eyes and black and billowy hair, and is dressed in the deep blue that Raphael loved. She knows everyone by name, except yourself, to whom she is speedily introduced. She greets you with a deft remark and a delicious gurgle of young laughter. When she leaves the room, it is as if Puck or Peter Pan had darted away to tree-tops. You recall the harmony of her nicely modulated speech and rich contralto laughter; and you are not surprised when a young tradesman tells you that she has been studying singing for eight months in London and is already a favorite at local concerts. Again she romps into the little room, and the sense of life enlarges. She has brought her mother this time, who wishes to meet the newcomer to that nightly company; and at once you are reminded of Whitman's saying about women,—"The young are beautiful: but the old are more beautiful than the young." The mother reveals the same abundance of essential energy, but softened, modulated, and matured. Her face is a sweet memory of years that were: it has lost that impudence of smiling and tossing the chin at what is yet to be. But then the daughter laughs again and overwhelms you with the joy of youth. And this is a place that you came upon by chance, seeking a whiskey and soda!... How different, how wonderfully different, from the casual American saloon!

[Pg 169]

The main reason for the difference in tone between the American saloon and the English public-house is that the latter is hallowed by the familiar presence of women. In England the male bartender is practically unknown, and drinks are served almost universally by bar-maids. It is part of the inalienable birthright of women that they can always set the social tone of any business that they engage in, and without effort can compel the men with whom they come in contact to ascend or to descend to meet them on the level they have set. In New York, for instance, the same man who is flippant with the manicure-lady is respectful to the woman usher in the opera-house: instinctively, and without conscious consideration, he meets any business-woman in the mood that she expects of him. To the women and not to the men is it granted to control the tone of any association between the sexes: bad women can debase a business, good women can uplift it, whereas the men with whom they are engaged would of themselves be powerless to lower or to elevate its tone. The way in which stenographers and shop-girls are treated depends on the stenographers and shop-girls much more than on the men with whom their occupation throws them. This, as everybody knows, is a law of human nature. In England, custom has, for many generations, decreed that women shall control the tone of social drinking in the public bars; and it must be registered to the credit of the host of honorable women who have served as bar-maids that the tone of public drinking in England has been lifted to a level that has not been attained in any other country.

Of English bars and bar-maids I think that I may speak with a certain authority. In the course of four visits to England during the last decade, I have traveled over nearly all the country; I have slept in every county in England except two, and wandered from town to town with an insatiable interest; and since I care more about people than about any other feature of the panoramic world, I have rarely in my rambles let slip an opportunity to pass an evening in a public-house and listen to the chat. To attempt a similar experience in America would be to discard it with disgust after three or four wasted evenings;[Pg 170] but in the bars of England there is nearly always someone who is worthy to repay the task of seeking.

Of English bar-maids as a class I may say with certainty that they are almost uniformly chaste and—in the literal sense of that reverent adjective—respectable. Most of them are mature women,—the average age, I should say, being rather above thirty than below it; many of them are married; they have seen much of men and know how to keep all sorts and conditions in their proper places and in the proper mood. Yet they exercise this high command without any affectation of austerity. They are easily affable and pleasantly familiar with all who come. Many of them are endowed with a genuine and contagious jollity,—a merriment that is not assumed but which has arisen naturally from continuous converse with men of many humors. Their business introduces them to all the world; you step in from the street and know them; they talk with you frankly from the start, without any preliminary dodges and retreatings: and yet no one abuses their easy familiarity. They are addressed with deference as "Miss"; and the casual loiterer from the street takes leave of them as if he were saying good-evening to a hostess. In my entire experience of English bars—setting aside only a few in the tragic East End of London—I have never heard an obscene story told, and I have never heard the name of God taken in vain. The conversation is necessarily refined, out of respect for the women who stand within hearing. Furthermore, because the bars are tended by women, there is an accepted rule in every public-house of any standing that no drink shall ever be served to any customer who is at all intoxicated. A drunkard who would resent a refusal from a man accepts it without rudeness from a girl; and the result of this system is that (barring the slums, for whose degradation alcohol is not alone responsible) you can ramble from one end of England to the other without finding a drunken person in a single bar.

But you will notice at once a tragic change if you cross the border into Scotland. In Scotland, bars are tended by men, as in America; and their social tone is immeasurably lower than that which is maintained in England.[Pg 171] They are noisy and riotous; the common conversation is heavily underscored with profanities and obscenities; and drunkenness is so prevalent as to seem an habitual detail. Of course, other causes than the absence of bar-maids contribute to the foulness of the Scottish public-houses. The austere and irksome law which makes it impossible to buy a drink after ten o'clock on any week-day evening and shuts up every bar in the country throughout the whole of the unbearable Scottish Sunday leads, naturally, to excessive and sodden drinking. It is tragic, on a Saturday evening in Edinburgh or Glasgow, to watch the hampered laborer and tradesman swilling liquor against the ticking of the clock in a rash attempt to swallow enough before the terminal hour of ten to carry them through the intolerable Sabbath. This is a dark picture, for which the fanatical austerity of the Scottish law must, in the main, be held responsible. It would be impossible to imagine English bar-maids in such a setting; and yet one cannot help wondering whether they might not alleviate that sodden atmosphere if they could be introduced in Scotland.

And similarly, one wonders what would happen if we should introduce them in America. The tone of our saloons is now prevailingly so low that it seems likely that if bar-maids were employed sporadically here and there they would be met with insults and be obliged either to resign or else to debase themselves. To our shame it must be said that, as a nation, we do not know how to treat women when we encounter them suddenly in what is to us an unaccustomed situation. The English, because they are many centuries older than we are, evince a traditional respect for women of all classes and in all circumstances that to us is not native and instinctive. The waitresses in our cheap restaurants are usually vulgar and we treat them vulgarly. It would doubtless take us a long time to educate ourselves up to bar-maids of the English type; but if we could successfully adopt the English custom, we should go far toward solving the problem of the American saloon, and should relegate the question of prohibition to the lumber-room of issues that are dead.

Thus far I have spoken only of the ordinary run of[Pg 172] English bar-maids,—the affable and wholesome type that you may encounter everywhere. But those who linger in the memory are the exceptional among them, who have made the bar-rooms over which they have presided memorable among the really worthy places which one has discovered in the world. The English bar-maid of the better class creates an atmosphere of hospitable homeliness—in the historic sense of that sweetly connotative word—which is a boon to everyone who comes within its influence. You have arrived in a certain city after dark, a stranger in a strange environment; you have wandered about the moon-silvered solitude of the hushed cathedral close, wondering at a majesty half glimpsed and half imagined; you have mingled with the chattering multitude in the market-place, profoundly lonely among many who knew and cared about each other; and at last, in a hospitable bar-room, you meet without formality a woman who is glad to talk with you and who mystically, for an easy half an hour, makes you feel at home. How much of good may subtly be effected by a system that makes the homeless feel at home I leave the reader to imagine. Surely whatever soothes away the loneliness of the lonely may serve as a specific against the darker moods and a preventive of vice and even crime.

To the untraveled American, who knows only the saloons of his own country, it may seem incredible that a common bar-room should ever feel like home. But there is a passage in Ruskin which poetically explains this possibility. In his second lecture in "Sesame and Lilies," he has been saying that a true woman, wherever she goes, carries with her the sense of home; and he adds, with a fine poetic flourish:—

The stars only may be over her head; the glow-worm in the night-cold grass may be the only fire at her foot: but home is yet wherever she is; and for a noble woman it stretches far round her, better than ceiled with cedar or painted with vermilion, shedding its quiet light far, for those who else were homeless.

Even if Ruskin in this passage, as all too often in his writings, may be accused of an excess of sentiment [one[Pg 173] wonders, for instance, if he has ever actually slept upon "the night-cold grass" and arisen without rheumatism to write eloquent prose about it], we may yet discern beneath his ecstasy of phrasing the existence of a solid and indisputable truth. Merely to meet a woman who personifies the sense of homeliness is to feel yourself at home.

And this comfortable sense of homeliness you may find in many an English bar-maid. If you wish to investigate upon your own account, you might try Bolland's Restaurant in Chester, or the Yates Wine Cellar in Manchester, or the Nelson in Gloucester, or the Crown in Salisbury, or—but I am not writing a guide-book to the bars of England, and, besides, every traveler is likely to fare best if he is left to his own devices. Of all the English bar-maids I have known, one (as is but natural) recurs preeminent in my recollections. I think that I shall tell you her name, because so many poems echo in it; but I shall not tell you more precisely where she may be found than to say that she is one of many who serve drinks in the bar of one of the great hotels that are clustered near Trafalgar Square. I think it was I who discovered Eileen; but I introduced her very soon to several of my friends in London, and thereafter (forsaking the clubs to which we had formerly reverted for a talk and a night-cap after the theatre) we formed a habit of gathering at midnight to meet Eileen and to chat amicably within the range of her most hospitable smile until the bar closed at half past twelve. Assuredly, in that alien metropolis, she made us feel at home; and we escaped out of the cacophonous reverberation of the Strand into the quietude of her presence like men who relax to slippered ease within the halo of a hearth. "She had a weary little way with her that made you think of quiet, intimate things,"—as one of us said at the outset of one of the many sonnets she inspired. There is a sweet weariness that reminds you of lullabying mothers and the drooping eyelids of little children drifting into dreams; and this was, I think, the essence of her. Her voice was like the soothing of a cool hand upon a tired brow. She was very simple in her dark dress and dark hair; and there was something[Pg 174] maiden-motherly in her smile. You saw her most clearly when her frank eyes looked directly at you and deepened with a gleam of gentleness, and her lips parted tenderly to answer to the light within her eyes. Her hand, when she gave it to you in good-night, was like a memory of her voice; it had the same softness as of a whisper, it suggested the same sense of insuperable peace. I grew to know her very well, and could tell you her history if I would,—how she was brought up in the country, one of many children; how, when her sisters married and she did not (because the men who came were none of them the right one), she had to earn her living and began as a bar-maid in a railway station in the Midlands; how she came up to London and grew to be (though this she won't admit) a light in her particular occupation; of the long hours and the scanty leisure of her labor; of the compensation in the occasional people who come in and make an hour live with talk that is illumined and sincere, and in the occasional half-holiday rambles with a married sister over Hampstead Heath; of what is worth while in such a life and what is not; and of how it is that the eyes, though weary, can still sincerely smile with that glow as of a fireside, and the voice will evermore grow gentler through the years.

But my purpose is merely to help you to estimate her effect on us, who used to gather from the four quarters of London at the midnight hour for the sense of being near her; and, more generally, to estimate the effect of many women like Eileen, set in a position of publicity, upon the community at large. To gather for a social glass in such an atmosphere is to justify the best that poetry has claimed for the fruit of the vine. As Browning's Andrea del Sarto stated,—"So such things should be."

[Pg 175]


There was once upon a time a man who underwent a severe and prolonged attack of Microbophobia. You may not find the term in the dictionaries, nor in the medical lexicons; but, as it is quite possible that there are a variety of things in heaven and earth not yet dreamt of in the lexicons, there is really no justification for denying the existence of microbophobia on that ground. And as to the name itself, there is hydrophobia, and photophobia, and Anglophobia—so why not microbophobia?

Microbophobia is a disease of advanced civilization, of recent origin, and infectious. Its victims are to be found among the married rather than the unmarried, in the city rather than in the country, and among the cultured rather than the uncultured. In a word, the disease rages most in college and university communities, but is also pronounced in high school, grade school, and kindergarten spheres of influence. As all these, however, are in close connection with colleges and universities, microbophobia may be said to belong to institutions of higher learning.

Microbophobia rarely succeeds in engrafting itself onto healthy organisms. No one in perfectly sound mental, physical, and spiritual health need fear its attacks. Its host is almost always in a state of depletion at the time of colonization, and the point of attack invariably the sensus communis, an organ situated in that part of the anatomy usually known as the cranial cavity.

Its symptoms—

But the history of the case shall tell you of the symptoms.

The subject was a professor. It seems that he had laid the foundations of the disease in his college days by exposing himself to bacillus scientificus, and contracting a case of methoditis scientifica, again an ailment whose attack is directed at the sensus communis, and whose ravages are greatest among the learned, especially those whose work necessitates intimate contact with symbols, chemicals, ancient[Pg 176] manuscripts, and other odorous and dusty material. Its victims usually betray their condition by rushing about insisting that any and all the business of life is susceptible of the same orderly disposition as the material of their laboratories.

This explains how it was so easy for microbophobia to get firm hold of the professor in after days. After taking the degree of doctor of philosophy, he was called to a university chair, where, being still in a state of impaired vitality, he suffered from a recrudescence of methoditis, which left him so weak that without resistance he fell a prey to microbophobia in the very first year, the immediate cause of infection being without doubt his association with various of his faculty brethren who were in the school of medicine, or worked in the bacteriological laboratory and lectured on sanitation, or served on the university committee of hygiene. All of these men, he afterward learned, were in various stages of the disease—though all considered themselves in perfect health.

For one of the worst things about microbophobia is that the victim has no suspicion of the real nature of his ailment; more than that, he falls a prey to the strange hallucination that it is his environment, and not himself, which is the seat of infection, and consequently will not listen to diagnosis. Individuals have been known to advance in the malady until the sensus communis was all but absolutely gone, without realizing the gravity of their condition.

The professor might have gone on for some time; for, though he was in the grip of the disease, he had not yet begun to suffer, owing to a good constitution inherited from sound progenitors who were not university bred. But an event occurred which hastened the progress of his malady. He married.

Now, marrying is ordinarily a good thing for the sensus communis. Many sufferers of both sexes have found it a most efficacious remedy for the ailments of that rather uncertain organ. But it so happened that the professor's alliance was with a member of the Woman's Club, who was also college bred, a possessor of the degree of Mistress of[Pg 177] Home Economics, and, unfortunately, already infected with microbophobia, and visibly impaired in health. Some of his bachelor friends had warned him that conditions in that part of town were notorious, but he laughed at them, and said that a little fumigation was the worst that could happen.

The gravest fears of the professor's friends, however, were soon realized. They saw him begin to sink before their eyes. In his low state of vitality, he was soon hopelessly in the clutches of the dread malady. Even if he had not been vitally reduced, his case would have been desperate, for his wife continued to expose herself week after week at the club. And besides, she took several Health Journals, all of which came from infected centers, and which not only she, but the professor himself, handled with all the carelessness of immunes. The professor read at first because he was amused, but it was not long before he, as well as his wife, hovered with almost religious devotion over the column headed Sanitas Sanitatum, by Doctor Septic Septington, which he ought to have known was swarming with bacillus microbophobicus.

The ravages of the disease in both of them were frightful to behold. The professor's case developed with especial rapidity, so that in a few months both were in the same stage.

Stage? Yes, the stages of this disease are very clearly marked. In the first stage, you are attacked by a noticeable degree of thirst for knowledge about microbes; you read and talk about them constantly, and attend lectures on them at the university and the club.

This is a mild stage. You are for the most part amused, and only occasionally entertain the strange hallucinations which afterward come to possess you so thoroughly. Just to quiet your conscience, however, you adopt a few precautions—such as the use of bottled spring water, and the increase of your interest in the appearance and personal habits of the dairyman. This stage is termed microbophobia intellectualis. The professor and his wife early passed through it, with no serious results.

The second stage is more grave. You insist on a[Pg 178] certificate from your dairyman, visit his barns, have the milk examined by your friend in the university laboratory, and finally, to be absolutely sure, pasteurize it. The drinking water you begin to filter and boil, you withdraw your patronage from the Chinese laundryman because you have heard of the dreadful way he sprinkles the linen, and you take an active interest in the enforcement of the anti-salivation ordinance and the encouragement of the bubble-cup campaign.

It is at this point that Dread, the most characteristic manifestation of the malady, begins to assume really noticeable proportions. You dread going out to dinner, for example, because you are afraid that the water and milk on your friend's table will not be properly sterilized. You don't like to abstain from both, and you don't like to attract attention by taking a bottle of boiled water or milk with you. The result is, that you avoid going out at all, and when you are compelled to go, you take a double dose of microbicide. You dread the effects of the public school system, with all its opportunities for the distribution of microbes. Your dread extends even to the communion, and so grows on you that you omit the sacrament because of the common cup—or, if you are a Foot-washing Baptist, because of the common basin. The second stage is denominated microbophobia alarmans.

The professor and his wife were uncomfortable enough in this stage, but in the third they really suffered, though of course with cheerful resignation; for were they not enduring their hardships in the interest of science and for the good of mankind? The third stage is known to science as microbophobia parentum; in popular parlance, the baby stage. Its symptoms are most pronounced in the female. The first thing you do in this stage is to order Madame di Ana's Daily, "The Mother-Maker," together with her two fine volumes on "The Mistakes of Mothers," and "Microbes in the Home." You also join the Mothers' Club, and take your husband to the open meetings. You make him cut off his beard, because you have read how it looks under the microscope—and he will kiss the baby. You boil not only the drinking water, but the water for[Pg 179] the baby's bath, and the water you wash your hands in before you take him up; and you insist on the sterilization of all the baby's linen, and all the nurse's apparel. You are determined that the child shall be brought up scientifically, and not be exposed to the risks you ran in your childhood. Having read that mothers are subject to excitement, and that excitement is bad for the fountain source of baby's sustenance, you substitute a bottle; and you use pasteurized milk scientifically compounded with other ingredients which nature forgot to employ in her chemistry; and warm it in a sterilized glass jar, set in sterilized water in a sterilized pan in a room which is disinfected twice a day, and you test it with a sterilized thermometer. You keep on hand a bath of boiling water in which you sterilize at frequent intervals all the usual playthings—nipples, rubber rings, rattles, etc.; and you make due provision for the little fingers which seem so bent on going into the little mouth.

In this stage you also avoid shaking hands, never allow yourself to touch a door knob barehanded, and leave off drawing books from the library, determined to be neither a borrower nor a lender of books or anything else; and, even though your church has deferred to scientific suggestion and introduced individual communion cups, you still shrink from the sacrament because the bread, too, is not individualized, and you are not sure about the linen which covered it, or the silver which contained the grape juice, or the person who picked the grapes, or the feet by which the juice was trodden out.

The fourth stage is known as microbophobic moscophobia, which is the pathological term describing the fear of flies as carriers of infection. You get new screens, interrupt the housemaid every half hour with orders to see whether there are more flies to be found, cover the baby and yourself with netting when you nap, have a cement pit made for the garbage can, and repaper or repaint your interiors—that is, the interiors of your house—every six months. You read, too, that mosquitoes carry yellow fever in the West Indies, and malaria in Italy—distant places, indeed; but still, why shouldn't mosquitoes fly[Pg 180] across the sea and land and light on the baby, or yourself? So you screen the household by day as well as by night, and avoid evenings out and picnics in the shade.

In the latter part of this stage you also change your religion on account of the communion service, have your letters disinfected, leave off kissing the baby, steer to windward of rug-beaters and street sweepers, hold your breath as you pass dogs and cats, eat nothing not cooked, drink nothing not boiled, carry a bottle of microbicide in your pocket, dream that the earth is full of microbes as the waters cover the sea, and that the hand of every one of them is lifted against you, and have cold sweats at night and cold feet by day. You realize that you are uncomfortable, but the real cause of it never occurs to you: you attribute your condition to the uncleanliness of your environment, and to your willingness to sacrifice your own comfort to the cause of scientific sanitation.

By this time, too, your sense of humor, never very robust, has decayed, atrophied, and disappeared. Your fat, good-humored, unscientific neighbor calls out from his back porch as you come out to yours to get the milk bottle: "Dangerous stuff, that there! They say they's forty-three million four hundred an' ninety-nine thousand two hundred an' seventeen microbes in a half a drop of it"—and you don't laugh, any more than you laugh when you advise your professor friend to disinfect the contents of his pay envelope, and he replies, "Don't worry—there's no microbe could ever live on my salary!"

In the fifth stage you begin to be physically as well as spiritually uncomfortable. In the eloquent words of the old hymn, you are a prey to "fightings without and fears within." What with the insufficiency of your means to meet the demands of disinfection, and what with the difficulty of getting properly prepared food even if you have the money, and what with the continual strain of anxiety lest you entertain a microbe unawares, you grow thin and nervous. Of course you continue to lay it to microbes, and double your precautions—and worry more, and starve more. If you are not rescued, you finally pass into delirium microbophobicum, which is as[Pg 181] much more awful than delirium tremens as microbes are smaller and more insidious and wiser than serpents.

The professor and his wife entered upon the fifth stage, and were alarmingly near the last extreme. If this were a subject for levity, and not for high seriousness, I should be tempted to parody the essayist on Man, and say:

Lo, the poor professor, whose untutored mind
Saw microbes in the clouds, and heard them in the wind.

But they were saved. One night the professor's wife dreamed that a monster centipedal microbe slowly let himself down from the ceiling, and enveloped her in his hundred long wriggling legs. She awoke screaming, to find herself enmeshed in the mosquito bar.

The next day they called another doctor. Hitherto, their doctors themselves had been infected, though neither they nor their patients knew it. But this time they were more fortunate; Dr. Goodenough had been attacked by the disease, had made a brilliant recovery, and consequently was immune.

He listened to the history of their cases, gave them a thorough examination, using his new instrument, the cranioscope—of course more for the purpose of inspiring confidence in his patients than to find out anything; for he well knew what ailed them.

"Don't be alarmed," he finally said. "You really are in a bad state; but I give you my word for it that you will recover. I find your sensus communis all but disappeared. A little more excitement like that of last night, and you might have a hemorrhage—and there you are! Now put yourself entirely in my hands, or I'll not answer for the consequences."

He reached for his prescription blank, and after a few moments handed them a bit of unintelligible writing—the sort that only doctors and their druggist partners can interpret. As I happen to be in the secret, I may tell you that the prescription called for three fluid ounces of city water, not distilled, with two drops of aniline, a drop of nux vomica, a lump of sugar, and a teaspoonful[Pg 182] of whiskey, and that the druggist charged them a dollar and seventy-five cents.

"Begin taking immediately," said the doctor impressively. "Take two drops and a half in a half glass of boiled water every three hours from six a. m. to nine p. m. And you must go into the country to-morrow morning, and spend your whole vacation there.... Leave orders for your magazines and journals of all kinds to be held here, tell your friends they are to write you under no circumstances, and don't dare to come back to town on any errand whatsoever. Cut loose from everything! Delay is dangerous, and might be fatal."

The professor and his wife didn't dare to disobey. The doctor was a vigorous and imposing personality, and he had terrified them. They didn't know what a sensus communis was, even though the professor was a Latinist; the doctor had disguised the term by using the English pronunciation, and imagination contributed the usual amount to the impressiveness of his words.

So they packed up all their pasteurizers and sterilizers and disinfectors and bottles and screens and other antiseptic paraphernalia, and drove into the country to a farm fifteen miles away from any car-line or railroad, where there was no telephone or other connection with the scene of their unhappiness.

They hadn't got out of sight of the town before they began to feel differently. No one but a college professor knows how big his institution seems while he is within its precincts, and how small and insignificant when he is out of sight of it. The tension left their bodies and minds, and a balmy sense of repose and freedom succeeded.

But they felt a shock when, just as their carriage disappeared from view over the hill on its return, they saw two dogs and a half dozen cats on the porch of the farmhouse, noticed that the well was not more than ninety feet from the pigpen, whereas all the journals said it should be one hundred, and became sensible of the drowsy murmur of swarms of flies about the kitchen door, attracted thither by a barrel which was wide open—and smelled!

That was not all, however. Fortune seemed against[Pg 183] them. It was bad enough for themselves, though they could sterilize their drinking water and pasteurize their milk, and exercise many other of their wonted precautions; but when it came to the baby, they were almost powerless. Watch him as they would, he was continually getting into unhygienic predicaments of the most dreadful description. Before they even entered the house, he had grasped one dog by the tail, and been thrown down by the other, as a mere mark of welcome; and when he got up, crying, in the instinctive effort to console himself of course he resorted to the habit of sucking his fingers, and put into his mouth two of those on the hand which had grasped the tail. The next moment, too, he was licked all over the nose and mouth by the repentant dog that had knocked him off his feet. Horrors!

And then the cats followed him into the house, and rubbed against his legs and licked his fingers, while he gave little screams of delight at the novel sensation. At supper, he toddled to the table in advance of the rest, and before his mother realized his intentions, had an unsterilized spoon in his mouth; and after supper he succeeded in browbeating the baby of the house, who was a month or so younger, and more timid than his experienced guest from the city, into giving up his gum.

The professor and his wife were horrified, but helpless. He went on in that way for a week. They simply could not keep track of him. He drank out of the horse-trough, dabbled in the puddles, consorted with pigs and chickens, shared his bread with the dogs and his milk with the cats, picked up crumbs from the dining-room sweepings, looked upon half rotten, muddy, and fly-specked apples found on the lawn as the greatest of prizes, and reveled in delight with old scraps of rags and hats and shoes which he, with the little country comrade under his leadership, resurrected from the most unlikely and unsanitary places.

The frightened and powerless parents read up again on the periods of incubation of all the microbes mentioned in the books. They could at least be ready with plans to meet whatever came, and cope with it at the earliest possible moment.

[Pg 184]

But it didn't come. At the end of two weeks nothing had happened. The child slept well and ate all he could get, and was in the best of spirits. At the end of three weeks he had gained four pounds. It was in direct and flagrant violation of all reason and all science, and thoroughly incomprehensible; but what could you do?

After much marvelling at the failure of science, however, they concluded to make a virtue of what was plainly a necessity, and gave the baby the freedom of the farm. And more than that; after a decent period of worrying, they too began to tread the primrose path, and let the little child lead them. They drank unsterilized milk and unboiled water, threw all precaution to the winds, rough-and-tumbled with the boys and dogs on the lawn, napped under the trees unprotected from flies and mosquitoes, ate apples with the skins and all, and without even washing them, went fishing in the creek a mile away up the marsh, and when overcome by blazing thirst drank of the water in the stream, played peg and got their mouths full of dirt, drew pictures for the children on the slate and erased them in the old familiar way—and did all the other reckless things they had done in their own childhood, when the microbe had not yet made a stir in the world, when delirium tremens was still the worst example of pathological misfortune, and nervous prostration had not yet spread to the masses.

When they returned to the city, clothed and in their right minds, they brought with them the half emptied medicine bottle, and charged smiling Dr. Goodenough with duplicity. He charged them

Well, we shall not say what he charged them. Whatever it was, they engaged him for the next baby, and were grateful to him ever afterward. And as for microbes, before having to do with them in the future, they resolved to let them come at least half way.

[Pg 185]


Each civilized nation protects itself from war by being ready at any moment to fight any other nation. Each other nation is supposed to be charged with the spirit of aggression, and it is supposed that that spirit can be allayed only by steadily increasing the risks involved in attack.

The modern War System has grown up unconsciously, by way of using war as a protection against war. The principle is that of fighting the devil with fire. As each nation, Great Britain beginning it, has increased its fighting material so as to assure its superiority over all rivals, so has each rival doubled its own armament with the same impossible ambition. All this has increased until the greatest security against war lies in the absolutely ruinous cost with which war is prosecuted.

The average man in England, France and Germany still believes, with more or less insistence, that patriotism goes with armor plate. The fact that there exists no enemy who wishes to attack, or cares to attack, or hopes to attack, or could afford to attack, or would gain anything whatever by attack, counts for little in this discussion. It is always best to be on the safe side, and the money it costs is cheap insurance against burning seaports and plundered banks. The enemy will strike when he dares, but not against an odds of 2 to 1 or even 5 to 3. As the enemy swells his equipment to correspond, each nation is therefore certainly in immediate and imminent danger; its safety lies in more armed men and armored ships; and in each nation all resources of borrowing, taxation, and conscription must be strained, that the enemy may continue to realize that the odds are still against him.

To the observer on the outside, all this rests on a series of chimeras, the product for the most part of men financially interested in the war system itself. The war scares, the wars of talk but not of action, which sweep over Europe, would be ridiculous but for their baleful consequences.

[Pg 186]

And now we come to the secret springs of all this. The elements of the War System are not only armies and navies, but also war traders, armament builders, money lenders, the recipients of special privileges, the corrupt portion of the press, and all others drawn into its service by choice, by interest, or by necessity.

About war scares and war equipment, matters inherent in the War System, centre the grossest exhibitions of human greed. Those who scent from afar "the cadaverous odor of lucre" have for the most part furnished war's dominant motive.

The cost of it all, the war and the War System, is spread over the whole world. It is felt by you and by me and by everyone, in the rising price of all articles of necessity. The world, to the degree in which it is civilized, has become an economic unit. Whatever wastes its substance here or there, robs your pocket and mine.

It is among officers of the army and navy, especially those retired from active service, that we find the most ardent apologists for war. To this end they are trained, and in Europe alone they find justification for particular wars, as well as arguments for war in general as a means of securing peace. They can be counted on for scares or warnings in every case when petty differences arise.

Nowhere does the military class seem to have any thought or care for ways or means. Economic preparations, the saving of money, or even the ability to borrow it, counts for nothing with the militarist, to whom the need to avert war by war outweighs all other considerations.

There have been in all countries many noble exceptions to this point of view, great soldiers who have confessed with General Sherman, that they are "sick and tired of war," its "moonshine" glories and its cruel realities. There are in the service of every great nation generals and admirals whom every lover of peace is proud to honor. But the rank and file are creatures of the system, and as such their influence is felt on the side of war and waste. The advocates of "peace by preponderance," of peace through risk, of peace through assured victory, must be counted on the side of war.

[Pg 187]

The character of the service journals in every nation shows this to be true. Presumably these periodicals meet the demands made on them, and each and every one, so far as I know, is a purveyor of war scares, an advocate of expenditure, and an agency in behalf of the war system and all of its ramifications.

But the central force of the War System does not lie with the war makers but with the great war traders. We may never underrate a power which has such "big money" behind it. The manufacturers of war implements the world over form, through "interlocking directorates" and through other means, a gigantic coöperating international trust, perhaps the most powerful, because certainly the most profitable, organization of its kind in the world. It is the more efficient and the more dangerous because, alone among great trusts, it has a privileged character as the exponent of the highest patriotism, of the great fundamental duty of "National Defense."

The methods of organization of the syndicates for war, and of their influence on national expenditures, have been lately set forth in detail in two remarkable papers, the one by George Herbert Perris of London, entitled "The War Traders," the other by Francis Delaisi of Paris, entitled "Le Patriotisme des Plaques Blindées," (the Patriotism of Armored Plates).

Mr. Perris tells us of the affairs of the great British companies—the Armstrong-Whitworth Corporation, the Vickers, the John Brown, the Cammell-Laird and the Coventry Arms Company, with their allies, tentacles and satellites feeding the patriotism, under many flags, of nearly half the globe. Delaisi's memoir tells of the Krupps and other concerns in Germany, and of the Creusots and similar armament trusts in France.

The capital invested in all the British firms amounts to about $250,000,000, the dividends ranging each year from 7-1/2% to 15% of the capital stock. In this industry, ten per cent. is a satisfactory return, counting stockholders, employees, soldiers and pensioners. Mr. Perris claims that "it is probable that 1,500,000 adult able-bodied men, one[Pg 188] in six of the occupied adult males in the United Kingdom, shares to some extent in the 73,000,000 pounds ($365,000,000) a year which 'National Defense' now costs us." Besides the minor outgoes which form a sort of bribe money to the general public, the distribution of dividends affects a smaller but most influential class. In the share lists of the Armstrong-Whitworth company, Mr. Perris finds the names of 60 noblemen or noble families, 15 baronets, 20 knights, 8 members of parliament, 20 officers of army or navy, and 8 journalists. Shareholding in the war syndicates and membership in the naval league go together. But rich and poor are alike affected by the large returns. "Militarism is strong in England because Lazarus gets some poor pickings from the feast of Dives."

These great companies especially promote the patriotism of Great Britain, but they are controlled by no narrow nativism. Under other flags the same people develop the same noble sentiments. These British corporations, individually or coöperating, maintain three ship building companies in Canada: hence the recent movement for a Canadian navy, to be built in Canadian Yards. They have five tentacles or subsidiary companies in Italy, (Pozzuoli, Ansaldo, Odero, Terni, and Orlando), one in Spain (Ferrol), one in Portugal, and one in Japan. "Time was when Englishmen bled for Portugal; now our old-time ally must bleed for us." The relations of these British trusts with similar groups in other countries are most close and friendly. In the "Harvey United Steel Company" (wound up in 1911), we find them in international combination with the Bethlehem Steel Plant in Pennsylvania, the Creusot company in France, and the Essen and Dillingen concerns in Germany, with a similar international combination of supporting banks. "In forty years," observes Perris, "all the Peace Societies have not succeeded in effecting such a Franco-German reconciliation as this. In the share list (of this company) Mr. Newbold found the names of one British general and two major generals, and behind these were the shadowy figures of a vast host of princes, peers, ministers of the Crown, soldiers, sailors and[Pg 189] clerics. A veritable Brotherhood in Arms! I cannot believe that the Harvey United Steel Company is really dead. Somewhere it surely has had a glorious resurrection! Under some metamorphoses it lives and works to prove the pettiness of national prejudice and the ease of forgetting such sores as Alsace-Lorraine, when men have learned the golden wisdom of 'good business.'"

A needed accessory of such good business is a series of commercial agents, "the strong silent men," who frequent every court of Europe. Incidental to their work of making sales, is to create a market. This is done by means of the recurrent war scares. A third element of importance is the reiteration of the constant fact that only the latest inventions can serve in war, and that all former purchases should be "scrapped" as rapidly as possible. Were it not for the scrapping process, the world's market for implements of destruction would be speedily glutted. The machinery of war has reached such marvelous perfection and such an acme of cost that the work of a day may bankrupt a whole nation. The issue of a campaign may be decided by the control of a single murderous invention. Thus science has been called into the service of war, to a degree that inspires the hope that, by carrying its risks to madness, it makes war virtually impossible. But meanwhile the expenses go on.

And under such influences half the people of England, let us say—professors, business men, manufacturers, workingmen, heads of colleges, and dignitaries of the church, with nine-tenths of the army and navy, are agents, conscious or unconscious, of the British armament trust. The greater the stock of weapons, the newer and more varied the instruments of physical defense, the more pitiful and more persistent are the fears of invasion. A most striking example of the collective cowardice of a great but over-armed nation, made up of men individually brave, is found in the fear to open a tunnel under the British Channel. Every need of commerce, of travel, of the friendliness with France, demands the removal of a most unpleasant and expensive obstacle. Nowhere in the world is there tolerated another such stumbling block in the[Pg 190] way of a gigantic traffic, as that of the present system of crossing the English Channel. And yet half of England cries out against the simple remedy, lest, having over-powered Northern France, the German hordes should come pouring into Dover, before the watchman at the portcullis should have time to drop the gates.

The triumph of the war trades in Germany has been even more rapid and complete than in Great Britain. By the system of interlocking directorates, the house of Krupp is in alliance with all centres of German finance. The army, the aristocracy, the ministry, the armament syndicates, are all bound together in that mailed-fist coöperation in which the power of Germany seems to lie. The King of Prussia himself inherited from his august grandfather stock in the Krupp concern to the amount of five million of thalers, an investment now estimated at about $12,000,000.

The House of Krupp by various means has placed itself at the summit of German war patriotism, and it has made most thrifty use of its opportunities. It employs 250,000 persons, 60,000 of these on salary; 5,000 engineers. It maintains, according to Delaisi, a great hotel, the Essenerhof, "l'Auberge de la Mort," in which are entertained most royally all emissaries of all nations who come as purchasing agents of tools of death. Its specialty is "National Defense," and "Defense not Defiance" is said to be the "international code signal."

In France "armor plate patriotism" is sustained by the same methods, and in part by the same money. The leading industries bear the names of Creusot, Homicourt, and Châtillon-Commentry. A special feature of the French system, not unknown to the others, is its free use of representatives of the army and navy. Some twenty admirals and generals have left the public service for the better paid work of selling guns and ships. This transfer of allegiance is said to be "perfectly legal," but it is also dangerous to the morale of the public service. And it is to these men that we owe most of the militant revival of French war patriotism, which had lain dormant from the time of the "Affaire Dreyfus," to that of the "Affaire Agadir."

[Pg 191]

As to the war-syndicates in the United States, little that is definite is on record. Like conditions produce like results. The Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Daniels, reports the existence of a combination among the three chief producers of armor plate in America, the Midvale, Bethlehem, and Carnegie Companies. He is reported as saying: "When this administration came into office, we found that the Navy was apparently, or, so we were assured, hopelessly, at the mercy of the three big steel corporations, who submitted practically identical bids for armor forgings and other materials, and then divided the work between them to suit themselves." As a result of this condition, the Secretary rejected their bids, and by going outside, recorded a saving of $500,000 on the battleship in question.

Behind the war traders, stand their allies, the finance houses who lend money for the war system. These are not bankers, rather pawnbrokers, dealing in the credit of nations for a certain per cent., according to the straits in which the borrower finds himself. The banking system of London avoids this class of risks. Paris is now the centre of the system, and it is usually stipulated with every foreign war loan that the materials it covers should be bought in Paris. In earlier times, before the great nations had borrowed to the limit, the heads of these finance houses as "Masters of Europe" exerted great personal influence, permitting or forbidding wars. Of recent years this personal power has greatly dwindled, as joint stock companies of greater capital and more or less impersonal management, have largely taken their place. The present influence of the money-lenders is against war, but in favor of the war system. Minor wars it permits or even encourages, but these have their risks. The second Balkan war, unforeseen and undesired, is said to have entailed a loss of some $30,000,000 to the Paris backers of Bulgaria.

Interlocking with the finance houses are the great exploiting corporations of the world, operating mostly in the backward nations of the tropics. These "interests" are often all-powerful in foreign affairs. They are frequently able to control the operations of the foreign offices to such[Pg 192] a degree that the foreign policy of a great nation is often but the expression of their will. The desire for colonial expansion, the "mirage of the map," is a reflection of these interests, and most "imperial wars" have been undertaken for their benefit. Abundant illustrations may be had from the recent history of each of the leading nations. Civil wars in the tropics, as a rule, have their origin in conflicting interests of people remote from the field of battle.

Another factor supporting the war system is the hereditary aristocracy, waning in influence, but still powerful through its control of money, of the army, and of the Church. The profession of arms is almost the only one not unworthy of the caste of nobleman. The military constitutes the right arm of aristocracy; the state church, the left; while the monarch stands as the visible head. The leaders of official religion are, with many and honorable exceptions, upholders of the war system, and apologists for the "God of Battles." The dissenting churches, having no alliance with privilege, are almost as unanimously on the side of peace.

With all this, and working toward the same end, is the false education which the war system has unconsciously produced. For generations it has obstructed sound teaching of history, of patriotism, of morals, of religion. It is only after reaching manhood, if at all, that we realize that Thackeray's "redcoat bully in his boots" has not been the maker of England's greatness. In the schools of all nations, the man of violence is the hero—the man on horse-back, the man who bears the flag, even if in defiance of justice and order.

We have been taught that nations grow strong through war, and that through war they achieve their destiny. Each man who falls in battle on any side, in any cause, is a patriot hero, giving his life for fatherland and for religion. Each boy learns that his own nation was in the right in every quarrel, that in every battle it was victorious against great odds, or else defeated through base treachery.

For the war system as it exists to-day, first and finally[Pg 193] responsible are the people who pay for it, the common man in the nations concerned. The government belongs to him. It is his own fault if it does not. It cannot go far ahead of him, and it never lags much behind. When it is laggard, the fault still rests with him. He has neglected to look after the machinery of government, and it has been turned against him. This is the case in Germany and in Russia, where the government represents only part of the people. In these nations, the man belongs to the state. In the more democratic nations, the state belongs to the man, who has therefore the more pressing responsibility.

And this man on the street, the unit of the nation, whether noble or commoner, whether educated or illiterate, overlooks one fundamental fact. The other nations of Europe are made up of men about like himself. What he thinks, they think; what he hopes, they hope. If he has no designs of aggression, neither have they. If he is "hungry for peace," so are they. If he finds his taxes distressing, so do they. If he is one of a majority favoring more cordial relations between states, they belong to a like majority. If he is one of a minority who would do away with the war system, there is a similar minority which will meet him half way. If he is a workman, his problems are those of all other workmen; if he harbors no evil designs of a war of invasion, neither do his fellow-workmen across the border. If he is swept off his feet by a burst of martial music and resounding patriotism, so are they, and it is just as easy for them to recover as it is for him. If he is scared by the reckless talk of pangermanists across the channel, or of chauvinists on the Paris Boulevards, or of panslavists in St. Petersburg, or of jingoes in London or New York, let him remember that he finds just such people at home, wherever his home may be—just as many, just as noisy, and possessed of just as little permanent influence. The force of mere noise grows less and less, year by year, in each of the "settled nations." If you are convinced that other nations need have no fear of your jingoes, by the same token you need not fear theirs.

[Pg 194]

The War System is making this great, rich, resourceful world a bankrupt concern in the hands of its creditors. The nations of the earth still owe some 40 billions of dollars in gold for the wars of the last 100 years, from Waterloo to Adrianople. But one nation of all the number (our own) has made any progress whatever in paying its share of this debt. The tendency is ever to borrow more, up to and beyond the limit of credit. The interest is paid, perhaps by borrowing, but there is no haste about the principal. Except for war, no nation on earth would ever need to borrow a dollar.

And this interest money of a billion and a quarter every year is only an incident in the cost of the War System—about a fourth of its annual expense, even in what we call times of peace. Under the armed peace of the War System, a kind of frustrate war goes on, an antagonism the more repulsive because no one has the slightest idea what it is all about. This antagonism is simply part of the system, and the system itself is only organized cowardice, for it is perfectly well known that not one of the great nations has any design to attack any other. Only the poor crude Balkan people have taken the War System seriously. Because they have done so, and interfered with trade, they are now under the ban of Europe, as they lie supine on the floor of the arena.

The War System has exhausted its own resources. The great nations have no money with which to fight, and no stomach for fighting. The concert of Europe is content with the suppression of discords among its own players. And the reason for this is clearly indicated in the words of Mr. H. Bell of Lloyds Bank in London. He calls the attention of bankers to "the great spectre which will rise up in future before the monied classes when they are invited to lend their money for warlike purposes. There is going to be very clearly written in the handwriting on the wall the word 'Repudiation.' The peoples of Europe will say: 'We know we ought to pay our interest. We know we ought to pay our debt, but we cannot. We are human beings, we must live; we are overtaxed; we cannot get enough to clothe ourselves; we cannot get enough to eat.[Pg 195] We can get no profit from our work!' The men who find money for purposes of war will not get their money back again."—(H. Bell. Remarks before the Institute of Bankers, Jan. 17, 1912.)

War cripples the nation physically by cutting off without posterity its strongest and boldest men. The key of national strength in the future is found in the good parentage of to-day. The basis of national greatness is indicated in the principles of Eugenics. To be well born is the first step to an effective life. "Like the seed is the harvest." This is the law of heredity. It applies to races of men as well as to breeds of horses or of sheep. No nation has ever fallen from leadership, intellectual or physical, save through breeding from inferior stock. The causes of all decline may be sought among these three factors, emigration, immigration, war. Rome fell when her streets swarmed with the sons of slaves, scullions, sutlers, adventurers, men who were not Romans. When, after her wars, internal and external, "Only cowards remained, and from their brood came forth the new generations." The culture of Greece passed away when war had obliterated the Greeks. "Send forth the best ye breed" and you will breed from the second best. First best, second best, third best and fourth among the yeomanry of Europe have been swallowed up in war in the "Obscene seas of slaughter" over which Europe has gloried and gloated through all these deluded ages.

The decline in the physique of the average man in France has been usually cited in evidence of this tendency. But the same causes have produced like effects in every warlike nation, and the decline in stature is one of the least important of the results of reversal of selection. These changes are just as marked in England and Scotland, as in France, and they are not wanting in Germany. The loss of dash and initiative is one of these results. Havelock Ellis observes: "The reckless Englishmen who boldly sailed out from their little island to fight the Spanish Armada were long ago exterminated; an admirably prudent and cautious race has been left alive." Better[Pg 196] men would make better history. Braver men would not cower at the war scares of to-day. Men of character and initiative would not wallow in the London slums. The sons of those war could not use, swell the records of pauperism. It is not the strength of the strong but the weakness of the weak that invites and perpetuates paternalism and tyranny, two names for the same thing. "Slaves may have wrongs, but only free men have rights."

Another count against the War System, not unrelated to this, is its pollution of the blood of the race. The "White Slave Traffic" goes with the "Conscription Act," both outgrowths of the War System. Army movement and barrack life have been leading, though not exclusive, causes of the widespread diffusion of infectious diseases, one of the most alarming features of civilization to-day.

Another count against war, as yet scarcely realized, is found in the vandalisms by which it has destroyed so much of worth as well as of intellectual importance in the art and the architecture of the past. War respects nothing. It was German bombs which burned the library at Strassburg. The devastation of the art world is chargeable to war. As I write this there rise before me the paintings in the gallery at Munich, of the twenty-one cities of Greece, from Sparta to Corinth, from Eleusis to Salamis, not as they are now, largely fishing hamlets by the blue Ægean Sea, not as they were in the days of the glory of Greece—but as ruined arches and broken columns, half buried in the ashes of war, the war which blotted out Greece from the world history.

It is plain that sooner or later such a system must come to an end. The influences that have abolished cannibalism, slavery, and religious persecution must in the end do away with international war. It seems also clear that this result will not be obtained primarily in any direct way by official action. The administrators of nations must follow public opinion rather than create it. Where public opinion demanded the burning of witches, the officials had only to see that it was done decently and in order. At the most,[Pg 197] they could only limit the number to be consumed on any one occasion.

What is our line of attack on the War System?

For the suppression of war we must have a public opinion. And this opinion must not rest only on the fact that war is brutal and hideous. That is only half the struggle. There are many good men to whom the brutal is also the heroic, and still others to whom evil methods are condoned by success. We must further convince the world, that is, the common man, the man on the street, that modern war attacks his pocket.

The modern phases of the Peace Movement differ from the earlier ones in being educational rather than emotional. The early workers were convinced that war was wicked and unholy, and with this they were usually content to rest their case.

With the same conviction as to the immorality of war, in the bottom of his heart, the modern worker tries to find the facts. What is the historical evolution of war? What are its effects, economic, biological, moral? What can be found as a national substitute? And side by side with the study of war and war problems, rises the fabric of international law. We may not say that the modern method is more righteous than the earlier, or even more effective. But the treatment of the subject from all its various points of view, and not mainly from that of morals and religion, reaches a much wider audience and has a more immediate effect upon public opinion.

It is an immediate purpose of the Peace Movement to make war a last resort, not the first one, in times of international differences. To this and every agency which tends to postpone action and give the blood time to cool, must contribute.

In civil life, there has been through the ages, a steady movement from violence to law, from the ordeal of private combat to the arbitration of the courts. In like fashion, we would extend and strengthen the parallel tendency among nations. Already arbitration is everywhere welcomed as a means of composing differences.[Pg 198] Conciliation goes before arbitration and is a factor of equal importance. The very existence of an Arbitral Tribunal before which differences may be brought, itself insures that most differences will be adjusted without its agency. If war is really the last resort, very few nations will ever come to it, and the War System will decline through neglect, as of obvious uselessness.

But so long as the War System is in full force, there is always danger of war. So great an agency can never be fully under control. Its existence insures the presence of a powerful group of men, anxious to test its powerful machinery and impatient of civil authority. The War System is designed for war, defensive of course, but it is a maxim of war, as of football, that the best defense is to be the first to score.

As to the Arbitration treaties and the hundreds of disputes which have been settled for all time by the tribunals at The Hague, no verdict thus obtained has yet been rejected or opposed, and none is likely to be. The public opinion of the world would be as wholly opposed to the repudiation of an adverse verdict as it would be to the repudiation of a national debt. The verdict and the debt involve the same sanction of national honor.

The discussion as to the need of an international police to enforce decisions made at The Hague, is therefore wide of the mark as there can be no occasion for the use of force in such a connection.

It is becoming more and more evident in Europe that the greatest single asset of the Peace Movement is the success of the republic of America.

America is opposed to the War System. There is a much larger percentage of pacifists in the United States than in any other of the larger nations. For one thing, it is relatively easy to be a peace man in a republic. No criticism or obloquy attaches to it. But in Europe, the direction of least resistance is to follow the wake of the War System.

In spite of the unhallowed sums we have carelessly spent to build up a War System, we have none. We shall never have any. Should we pass under its yoke we should cease to be America. Even our admirals and generals do[Pg 199] not belong to the War System. They are civilians in spirit, sometimes in disguise, but permeated with ideas of law and justice, a condition far removed from that of the professional war maker of the continent of Europe.

The impression of America as a great factor in international conciliation receives impetus with the celebration of the hundred years of Anglo-Saxon peace, with its lesson of the unguarded and therefore perfectly defended 4,000 miles of Canadian frontier. This impression has been strongly emphasized by the admirable skill by which President Wilson has up to the time of this writing, honorably avoided war with Mexico, a war which was considered inevitable in most political circles in Europe. While on the one hand the United States cannot have the secret treaty, the cherished tool of the War System since the days of Machiavelli, and while Democracy is a form of government fitted for minding one's own business, and for nothing else, it is recognized that the United States must and should take the lead in conciliation and in arbitration, as she is now taking the lead in furnishing means for a world-wide survey of the War System, and for the resultant propaganda for its abrogation.

[Pg 200]


It is understandable that Germany and Great Britain should consider their armies, their battleships, dreadnoughts, super-dreadnoughts, and invincibles as constituting the chief machinery for peace. In celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of his accession to the imperial throne the Kaiser was hailed as "the true and central factor of the past peaceful policy of Germany." These were Lord Blyth's words, in recognizing the avowed policy of the Emperor to preserve peace through the utmost practicable preparation for war; and ex-President Taft, who would refer to arbitrators even questions of national honor, spoke of this apologist of arming for conflict between nations as the "greatest single individual force in the practical maintenance of the peace of the world." The Kaiser's silver jubilee was the signal for unstinted acknowledgment by the leading men of the world that His Majesty's policy had preserved the peace of the German Empire for a generation. In its exterior relations Germany had looked too terrible to encounter, and the romantic, warlike spirit that distinguishes the Teuton had found vent in the service of preparation. The young Germans, both aristocratic and bourgeois, were encouraged by every means to train, to show, to be martial, but not to fight. And it will be recalled that Germany refused to discuss the limiting of armaments at The Hague only because the Conference was not empowered to deal finally with it.

In response to the Czar's call, delegations of twenty-six Powers attended in 1899 the First Hague Conference; forty-three Powers were represented at the Second Conference in 1909. These gatherings formulated the world's opinion against many of the evils of war. Their agreements expressly forbade international bloodshed except between the actual fighting forces. They made it unlawful to sack cities, to take or destroy private property on land, or to menace the peace and safety of non-combatants.[Pg 201] Those who observe that the nations have not yet agreed to do away with war overlook the fact that the non-combatant millions within belligerent nations may not be molested in lives or property, save that they must bear the war's financial burdens. With respect to most of the civilized dwellers of earth the sword is forever sheathed. Among the fighters, too, wounds are quickly bound, and quarter is expected and given.

The machinery of peace governing this world society is not complete. It provides a way of peaceful settlement of disputes by arbitration. It lacks a court such as that whose decisions, backed by police and the more potent sentiment of the people, guard the king's peace in civilized communities. But arbitration has done much to keep the peace of nations. The experience of the United States is in point. Up to the time of the Second Hague Conference Mr. John Bassett Moore finds records of more than sixty arbitrations, the tribunals sitting with overlapping terms of years that aggregate a hundred and twenty-five—exceeding in number the years of this nation's life. The total cost of these tribunals was doubtless much more than would have been the expense of an actual court kept always in session.

Before The Hague Conferences, the American Government had already been participating in what was tantamount to a permanent tribunal of arbitration. The questions adjusted were of every class, not merely pecuniary claims, but questions affecting what are called "vital interests and national honor." The case of the Creole, for instance, brought the United States and Great Britain close to war, and later, in 1842, nearly caused a rupture of the conferences between Daniel Webster and Lord Ashburton—a rupture which would almost inevitably have led to hostilities. The case came before a tribunal of arbitration in 1853, and was so quietly disposed of that the public paid no attention to the award. Then there was the negotiation of the Alabama Claims by Hamilton Fish. Lord John Russell answered our proposal to Great Britain, that it involved the honor of Her Majesty's Government, of which it alone was guardian, and the claims were not[Pg 202] subject to arbitration. After being examined and critically formulated, they were eight years later submitted to the tribunal at Geneva, and settled. Mr. Roosevelt, opposing President Taft's treaties of arbitration with Great Britain and France, objected that they would embrace "questions of vital interest and honor." Perhaps he had not studied the cases of the Creole and the Alabama.

The values involved in American arbitral proceedings have been enormous. More than a thousand claims were adjusted in cases of the United States against Mexico in 1868, and a thousand more counterclaims of Mexico were disposed of under one commission, the total amount involved being well over half a billion dollars. And the arbitral awards of the tribunals in which America participated have in every case been final. Not one of the awards to which the United States has been a party but was carried into effect by both Governments concurrently. In rare cases new facts discovered have reopened the proceedings, but on such occasions the parties proceeded to end them in a spirit of justice and equity.

It was to nations trained in self-restraint that the Russian Emperor addressed his rescript of August 24, 1898, recognizing the fact that the preservation of peace had been put forward as the object of international policy. More terrible engines of destruction were being wrought, and the intellectual and physical strength of the nations, with their labor and capital, were diverted from their natural uses and wasted. Economic crises threatened the world because of war preparations, the while sentiment against war's devastation found concrete embodiment in arbitrated disputes. A conference was proposed to limit armaments, to prevent armed conflicts, and to mitigate the atrocities of war. The twenty-six nations that met at The Hague on May 18, following, codified the international laws of war and peace already existing. Delegates of the forty-three nations that met in the Second Conference on June 15, 1907, amended and strengthened these codes, added to them, and appointed the meeting of the Third Conference, to be held in 1915.

[Pg 203]

In the first two Conferences the rights and duties of neutrals were defined, the employment of force for the recovery of contract debts was renounced, and it was laid down that the "right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited." The bombardment of undefended towns was prohibited, together with the discharge of projectiles from balloons, the use of bullets that expand or flatten in the human body, the poisoning of wells, pillage, violation of "family honor," confiscation of private property, the laying of automatic contact mines that do not become speedily harmless, the seizing of submarine cables, destruction of monuments and works of art, and interference with religious customs. The killing treacherously of individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army or of those who have surrendered was outlawed and it was forbidden to make improper use of a flag of truce, or of the national or military colors of the enemy, or of the Red Cross badges.

The progress in these agreements reached by the Second Conference is notable, in that it forbade that the rights and acts of a member of the hostile nation be abolished, suspended, or regarded as inadmissible in a court of law; that a belligerent compel a man to fight against his own country, even though he were in the belligerent's service before the war broke out, or to force the inhabitants of seized territory to give information about the army of the other belligerent, or about its means of defense. While all appliances for transmission of news and for transport, whether by land, sea, or air, may be seized, together with depots of arms and all munitions of war—even if belonging to private individuals—they must be restored when peace is made, with due award of damages. The inhabitants of a territory are to be regarded as belligerents only if they "carry arms openly," and that is to be the test of their belligerency. Besides all this, the rights of prisoners of war are sedulously guarded.

This code, relating to the laws and customs of war, received what many critics of the Conferences regard as an undue amount of attention; it was even charged that, in effect, it legitimatized war. It did quite the contrary.[Pg 204] Francis Lieber drew up for President Lincoln in the second year of the American civil war rules, which Lincoln ratified and promulgated in the famous General Orders No. 100—the first code regulating the conduct of armies in the field. The international convention drawn by the Brussels Conference of 1874, had its origin, as acknowledged by its President, Baron Jomini, in these rules of Lieber and of President Lincoln. To the United States honor is due, not for legitimatizing war between nations, but for beginning to restrict its operations to the actual fighters and their works of attack and defense. At The Hague the work of the Brussels Conference became in turn a basis for reaffirming this principle, and for restricting more closely the field of combat.

Moreover, the principles of the Geneva Red Cross Convention were adapted to naval war. Machinery for rescue and treatment of the sick, wounded, and shipwrecked men of the world's navies was provided.

An International Prize Court was established, which, in the opinion of Elihu Root, should later develop into the court of justice for the nations. The only obstacle to ratifying the convention for this court was swept away by the code of laws of naval war embodied in the Declaration of London, and drawn in February, 1909, by delegates of the European Powers and the United States. The liability to capture of the merchant ships of belligerents throws their commerce largely into the hands of neutrals. Efforts to prevent neutrals from trading with the enemy follow. Then blockades, searches, and seizure of contraband goods stir up strife with other nations, and give occasion for general war. The American war of 1812 with Great Britain resulted from such causes, the effects of which, again, the two nations barely escaped during our Civil War; and the sinking of British merchantmen by Russia during its war with Japan provoked strong resentment. Excepting two questions, those respecting the conversion of merchant ships into warships on the high seas, and as to whether the nationality or the domicile of the owner shall be considered in determining "enemy property," the London declaration embodies clear and definite[Pg 205] rules on which the International Court of Prize may render just decisions.

The measures for restricting the field of actual war were accompanied at The Hague by the erection of machinery for the pacific settlement of international disputes. That was work of prevention, and it was in four parts.

In the first part the contracting Powers agree to "use their best efforts to insure the pacific settlement of international differences."

The second provides that proffers of good offices and mediation by a third State, never shall be regarded as unfriendly. Throughout the Turko-Italian and Turko-Balkan Wars, and during the Inter-Balkan conflict, the European Powers acted as mediators under this provision, and smoothed the way to peace.

The third part provided for international commissions of inquiry, such as were comprehended in President Taft's proposed treaties of arbitration with Great Britain and France, and Secretary Bryan's proposed treaties with the Central American republics and with the Powers of Europe and Asia. The intent of these commissions is to investigate the causes of complaint and publish them, trusting to international public opinion to accomplish a just settlement. This machinery worked to bring about the voluntary payment by Russia of $300,000 damages for the destruction of British fishing boats, fired on mistakenly by Admiral Rozhdestvensky in his ill-fated expedition against Japan. Again, the report of a commission on the French steamer Tavignano, seized by the Italian torpedo boat Fulmine during the Turko-Italian War, and concerning the attack on the Tunisian mahones Kamouna and Gaulois, was accepted July 23, 1912, and referred for the final solution of equities to The Hague Court of Arbitration.

This court—the fourth instrumentality—is composed of three distinct bodies; namely, the Permanent Administrative Council, the International Bureau, and the Court of Arbitration proper. The Permanent Council is made up of the diplomatic envoys of the signatory Powers[Pg 206] accredited to the Netherlands, besides the Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs, and was constituted after its ratification by nine of the Powers. The Council is permanent in the sense that its members are always at The Hague; it controls the International Bureau, appointing its staff and methods of administration, and reporting the proceedings of the court to the signatory Powers.

The International Bureau receives all the documents and stipulations in disputed cases, where arbitration is agreed upon and referred to The Hague, acting as a board of registry. It places its staff at the disposal of tribunals of arbitration, and occasionally of those not constituted at The Hague, and its expenses are paid by the Powers.

The Court of Arbitration proper is really an "eligible list" of individuals, "of recognized competence in questions of international law, enjoying the highest moral reputation," designated by the forty-four Powers signatory to the convention. Their terms are six years, renewable, not over four members appointed by a Power. Their jurisdiction extends over all cases submitted to them, but sometimes the parties agree to a special tribunal not selected from the list. Two names may be selected from the list of arbitrators by each of the Powers in dispute, and the amended convention of 1907 provides that only one of these can be its envoy or chosen from its nominees to the Court of Arbitration. The four arbitrators thus selected themselves choose a fifth as umpire, or, if the votes of the four are equally divided, the choice of umpire is intrusted to a third Power to be agreed upon. If there is failure to agree upon a third Power, each party to the controversy makes a separate choice of a Power, and the two thus selected will try to appoint the umpire. But if they, in turn, fail to agree, each shall within two months' time present two candidates from the general list, excluding those selected by the disputants or of their nations; by lot among these, the umpire is finally elected.

The work of the Third Conference, besides adding to the statute law of war, will largely concern the regulations governing the Court of Arbitration. Since it was constituted[Pg 207] in April, 1901, this court has passed judgment in fourteen important cases without having established needed rules of practice. It is not decided whether the cases and counter-cases shall be presented with argument, or merely with statements of the facts, the conclusions sought, and the proofs. The practice is both ways. The thirty-five articles relating to "arbitral procedure" fail to prescribe rules, leaving this task to the tribunal in each case. As a result the terms of procedure in the Casablanca dispute, for instance, which were decided hastily to avert a threatened war, were brief and vague, and they left the discretion of the tribunal uncontrolled. The order of oral debate is not determined chiefly because a disputant is touchy about being classed as plaintiff or defendant. Clear rulings on points of practice are not made when presented, although the agents and counsel are entitled by the rules to "present orally to the tribunal all the arguments they may consider expedient in defense of their case." Yet opportunity to argue a motion is sometimes not afforded when the motion is made, and an argument presented later would be out of place. It would aid procedure to have arguments presented and rulings made as the points come up. Finally, the informal discussions between court and counsel frequently hinder the straightforward presentation of a case.

But the chief defect of these arbitral tribunals, as in all others—for practice has not reached the perfection of choosing disinterested judges belonging to nations not concerned in the controversy—lies in their temptation to compromise. Gallatin, in the Northeastern Boundary case with Great Britain, remarked that the arbitrator "has always a bias to split the difference." The Casablanca case, the decision of which really did avert war, and more than any, so far, justifies the establishment of the world court, depended on law and fact, but was compromised. Dr. Heinrich Lammasch, a distinguished member of several Hague tribunals, speaks of the "preponderatingly diplomatic character" of this decision. Other decisions have been criticised for the same reason, notably those of the North Atlantic Fisheries and the Orinoco[Pg 208] Steamship. Compromise, while of value, is the function of diplomacy or mediation, and the cases referred to The Hague are admittedly those which diplomacy cannot adjust. The remedy is by direct agreement to exclude from the tribunal judges who sit as diplomatic agents of their governments. A beginning in this direction is in Secretary Bryan's plan for commissions of inquiry, consisting of five members, three of whom should be chosen from other countries than those in dispute. But these would be merely committees. The defect of Mr. Bryan's plan, and the great lack of the Hague Court of Arbitration, is that the agreements to refer cases in dispute are purely voluntary; the one thing for friends of peace to work for, of course, is to make it as easy for differing nations as for differing men to hale each other into court, and as impossible to refer their differences to force.

The International Court of Prize has already come nearer to this ideal than the Court of Arbitration. It is a regular court of justice. Its judges are not arbitrators, they receive a fixed compensation, their jurisdiction in cases of appeal from the national prize courts relating to captured merchant ships and cargoes, is compulsory. In absence of treaty provisions between the states in dispute, the convention adopted by the Second Hague Conference reads, "the court shall apply the rules of international law; if no generally recognized rule exists, the court shall give judgment in accordance with the general principles of justice and equity." Before ratifying the convention, Great Britain in 1908 called a conference in London of the chief naval Powers, which codified the laws of naval war, covering blockades, contraband, service ill-becoming neutrals, destruction of neutral prizes, transfer to a neutral flag, hostile character, convoy, resistance to search, and compensation. Here a whole category of cases is at once removed from the judgment of biased minds.

The existing Court of Arbitration may be resorted to increasingly as a means of diplomatic conciliation; but by its side and above it should rise, in the opinion of all authorities on international law, a Supreme Court of Arbitral Justice, not diplomatic but judicial, that will render[Pg 209] its decisions rigorously according to the declared law and the evidence. The Second Conference at The Hague approved a convention for the establishment of such a court. The United States has proposed to the Powers that the Prize Court be invested with the functions and jurisdiction of a Court of Arbitral Justice. The practical difficulty met at The Hague was in the appointing of permanent Judges. Forty-four, one for each state including The Netherlands, would be too many. A court of but fifteen Judges was recognized as desirable. Such a court could not be chosen from forty-four nations, and the delegates were in a quandary. The arguments were irrefragable, of course, that a small, independent body of magistrates selected in advance is needed to settle controversies between nations as they arise, and as a court of appeal from the decisions of temporary tribunals. Such a tribunal might well become a court of first as well as of last resort, because of the difficulties and delays usually experienced in making up the mixed arbitral commissions from the eligible list of the Court of Arbitration. The alternative recourse is especially needed when the imminence of war requires a speedy reference, as in the Casablanca case. For these reasons the convention was drawn and approved, leaving to the Third Conference the task of constituting the court. Ernest Nys, a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and Counselor of the Court of Appeals of Brussels, urging the necessity of such a tribunal, makes the point that its members should not be chosen to represent any countries, as such, but rather in a way to assure that the different systems of law and procedure, as well as the principal languages of the world, might be represented. By this means the world peace may be permanently established. Organized justice will succeed arbitration, guaranteeing to individuals and states the security of their rights and institutions, precisely as the "king's peace" had come to guarantee them within the limits of each sovereignty.

In this review of the instruments making for peace by conciliation and law, the arguments for war have not been[Pg 210] ignored. If at The Hague in 1915 the Powers should decide to nationalize the private industries that supply armaments and engines of war, the artificial stimulus given to those industries and the exploitation of new appliances for war would cease; manufacturers would no longer oppose the limitation of armaments, which every nation desires. Complete preparation for war did not prevent the Balkan States and Turkey, not yet emerged from the civilization of the Middle Ages, from coming to the death grip with each other. It was different with those nations whose Council of Ambassadors, sitting in London, and watching the kaleidoscopic changes in the Balkans, became by the statesmanlike influence of Earl Grey, a clearing house, through which the affairs of the six chief Powers were adjusted to a harmonious ending. It is noteworthy that in the more than forty years of Europe following the close of the Franco-Prussian war—perhaps as good as a cycle of Cathay—those six Powers, though armed for provocation, have by such careful negotiations remained at peace. But making the allowance due to this remarkable abstention from war, to which must be added the hundred years of peace between the United States and Great Britain, the inherent appeal of war to the imagination and emotions of mankind must still be recognized.

War's mutilations have never roused aught but horror, its waste of men and treasure are deplored. But the spirit of strife, of daring, and of heroism remains in human breasts. If war is outworn, if bloodshed and sacrifice of lives are to cease between civilized states, as they have long ceased within those states, it must be that better means have been found to satisfy the profound human need of expression and of conquest. The German Emperor, while keeping up the medieval pageantry of arms, has welded his nation into a militant power of industry and science. Their arts are not ignoble, their industries are not monotonous, but have taken on the aspect of imperial enterprise and daring. Their scientists are rescuing mankind from disease and freeing it from menial labors, while their merchants and traders are modernizing the orient, setting examples of method and discipline,[Pg 211] incidentally, to their rivals in the civilized nations. It is by such means that civilization need no longer rear itself on human slavery; the very beasts of burden have been freed, and man has seized control of nature's forces. By them he is borne through cities, manners, climates, councils, governments, more swiftly than Ulysses went, and beyond the paths of all the western stars.

More distant horizons of science have been opened. The transmutation of the elements, but recently announced, is expected to realize more than the dreams of the alchemist. If we are to believe Professor Soddy, who with Sir William Ramsay obtained in 1903 the first direct proof that radioactive processes are veritable transmutations, this discovery in its consequences should "absolutely revolutionize the whole condition of existence." For of all processes, this alone accounts for the wealth of energy dissipated so prodigally throughout the universe over apparently endless periods of time. Once means are found to accelerate the transmuting rate of radioactive atoms, Professor Soddy believes the same means will suffice to break up the other elements now unchanging, releasing energy which man may harness a "million times greater than any at present utilized." In his masterly address in 1908 before the American Society of International Law, Elihu Root traced the development of the international spirit by the use of human inventions conquering space and time. Clans, communities, nationalities have lost their early function, and frontiers and territorial possessions are changing their political significance. Terrestrial pioneering is not ended, the continents are rediscovering each other in new relations.

Much has been done to open new channels for the play of men's energies away from war. War has had its uses to break up the old order, to let loose new and unknown forces in society, to set men free from tradition. That was the great work of the Crusades. Chivalry and knighthood are still needed, but of a new order. The martyrs for aerial navigation are the type. The machinery for peace that has been set up in the new palace at The Hague will not confine the adventurous spirit of mankind.

[Pg 212]


Tobacco and Alcohol

As to tobacco, since reading the article on it in this number, this Review has really thought more seriously than ever before about (not of) giving up smoking. But many doctors here and in Europe have told us to keep on, and but one has told us to stop. How is it with you? We wonder whether life with tobacco can seem to those who know only life without it, as bad as life without it seems to those who have known life with it! Perhaps each class should experiment in the other's field.

As to the outlay for mere pleasure, and the destruction of life involved, we wonder how those caused by tobacco would compare with those caused by travel—short trips as well as long, by carriage, automobile, vessel—and aeroplane? Our contributor has seen these paragraphs, and he says, very much to our edification and entertainment:

"It is a relief to know that the tobacco article is not going to interfere with the pleasure which 'This Review' derives from smoking. But the writer confesses to a little surprise at the precocity of an infant which in its first year has acquired the nicotine habit to such an extent as to lead it to consult several physicians on the subject."

[It is many years since, but we remember that in at least two cases, the prescription was volunteered. Ed.]

"As for the expense caused by driving for pleasure, our statistics do not give us a conclusive answer, but they at least supply us with an outside figure, for Uncle Sam in counting his horses at the time of the last census distinguished between those on farms and those elsewhere. It is fair to assume that the great bulk of the horses used for pleasure are in the second class, and that they constitute a comparatively small fraction of that class. Now horses not on farms numbered 3,182,789 in 1910, and were valued at $422,204,393. In other words, a third of what smokers spend for tobacco would enable them to buy up all of the horses in a big class, only a fraction of which is used for[Pg 213] pleasure, and an equal amount would probably suffice for their keep.

"In the case of automobiles, it is still more difficult to distinguish between those used for pleasure and those used for directly productive or public purposes. However, the object of the article was to call attention not so much to gross figures of expenditure, as to the indirect burden imposed by smokers upon the community at large. The automobilist who is willing to run down innocent wayfarers rather than curb his craze for speed is in the same class with the smoker who so smokes as to destroy property and life. Indeed the two are often identical, and it was no mere accident that led the Massachusetts Forestry Association to depict upon its poster designed to stop forest fires, a party of smoking automobilists bowling along and leaving a trail of fire behind them. If the 'Review' can devise some painless way of eliminating both the reckless smoker and the reckless joy-rider from the landscape, it will kill two undesirable birds with one stone."

And as to alcohol. Well! There's Horace and Schiller and the feast of Cana, and the whiskey Lincoln wanted for his other generals, and lots of other people and facts.

But as to bar-maids, we are bound to say that since the graceful tribute to them on earlier pages was in type, there has been placed in our hands evidence of a crusade against their employment in England, and of its abolition by law in South Australia. See the Memoir of Margaret Ethel Macdonald. London, 1913.

For all we know, the preponderance of argument may be against the substitution of women for men as barkeepers; but we suspect that at least it would diminish the shooting at and by barkeepers, in New York.

And another thing we think we do know—that in these progressive days, it would be hard to find any pursuit in which women are engaged, where there is not agitation to improve it off the face of the earth. Their old-fashioned pursuits of wife and mother have lately been specially honored by such agitation.

[Pg 214]

Answering Big Questions

A contemporary that we have always very highly "esteemed" (we believe that is the correct term, but we are new in the profession) is now proceeding to fill us with awe. It announces that it is going to circulate privately among its friends, a series of brochures that "will answer big questions." We wish we could do that; but our cotemporary has already engaged the only editor we know of who can. For our poor part, we are apt to encounter in any country grocery some question too big for us to answer. But the answers our esteemed cotemporary is going to send out may occasionally help us in telling how a big question that we don't profess to be able to answer, looks to us. We have already had some help of this kind from the editor in question: on many subjects his glowing imagination has thrown such high lights that we have found places of shadow before unsuspected.

The matter reminds us of Horace Greeley's proposition to issue "for the people," a series of pamphlets for five cents each, to contain only "the pure truth." He did not say where he was going to get it.

Decency and the Stage

In the present agitation regarding decency on the stage, it is probably safe to assume that the proponents for license or liberty or freedom or whatever they call it, admit that there are some necessary acts and places which should not be represented on the stage. Now would it not clarify discussion if the said proponents were to draw the line between such inadmissible matters and those that should be admitted? We have never happened to see such a line drawn.

What Is the Matter with the American Colleges

Everybody in every one of them seems to know that something is the matter, but nobody in any seems to know just what, much less, then, a remedy for whatever it is.

[Pg 215]

Some say it is the suppression of the individual, the glorification of the average. Others say it is college yelling and athletics. Yet others, that it is vocationalizing and the deadly practical. Still others call it the proletariat of the doctorate, the fad of the faculties for immature or imitation research.

Can it be that it is all these things and several more, particularly all those that exist in contrasted pairs, such as discipline and required work according to the standard of the mean, and at the same time, elective studies and the freedom of the city? Or simultaneous college yells and doctor's dissertations. And can it be that all these grow out of a single actual condition which is common to all American higher education, and which compels it to be "lower" at the same time that it is "higher"? For in the present organization of practically every American college and university that condition actually does exist.

It exists by virtue of the fact of the housing in the same dormitories and fraternity houses, and mixing in the same class rooms and laboratories, and providing with the same teachers and deans, and ruling by the same regulations and gum-shoe committees, of dependent preparatory students and independent advanced students.

Our high schools stop short of finishing the preparation of students for University work. Our universities assume part of the high school function along with their own. The German Gymnasium and French lycée include the equivalents of the American college Freshmen and part of the Sophomores. They finish up the drill and discipline stage of education. The Continental university begins and carries on the stage of intelligent and self-chosen and independent work. But in the American universities there must be discipline, college yells, drill in routine and elementary work, classes handled on the basis of averages, and teachers of the Gymnasium and lycée type, existing side by side with recognition and encouragement of the individual freedom of bent, disregard of credit hours and assigned tasks, and scholarly professors and investigators of real university type.

The outcome is that the drill teachers are made[Pg 216] pseudo-investigators; the investigators made unwilling drill teachers. The students are invited to soar, and at the same time ordered to march in ranks. Preparatory school rules are made for the sake of the Freshmen, which the Seniors have to obey. Freedom of choice in study is offered because of the Seniors and graduates, to the utter demoralization of the Freshmen.

Because of this impossible juxtaposition of discipline and freedom, drill and inspiration, the American university feels sick. It knows very well that something is the matter with it. It has to be all things to all students, and is, in fact, too little of a real thing to any of them.

Wanted: Proportionate News

The most noteworthy difference between European and American Journalism, as regards news, is the prominence we give to what is technically called the news of the day. Let a great liner be sunk or saved and all the newspapers, even the most conservative, print page on page of repetitious story or comment, playing on the emotions from every point of view. No European paper would feature even the most affecting news on any such scale. Doubtless our American practice is a natural enough tribute from the editors to the mobility of our sympathies, not to say the flightiness of our minds. What the enthralled reader does not realize is that to provide him with the completely modulated thrill of the day scores of important items of routine news have been curtailed to meaningless epitome or wholly suppressed. For several days that duty of daily chronicle which a good newspaper ordinarily performs is intermitted. The most important debates of a congressional year will receive bare notice so long as a heroic Marconi operator is in the public eye. The greatest of foreign statesmen or authors might die in the glorious interim and receive the barest notice; a revolution in Persia would yield to a factory fire on the East Side.

Now something of this disproportion is necessary. No paper could live in America which scrupulously treated[Pg 217] news according to its abstract importance regardless of the reader's cravings. Yet a journal that respects itself has a function of daily chronicle that should under no circumstances be suspended. A really good newspaper ought to be valuable material for the historian, and our best newspaper will several times in every twelvemonth leave him badly in the lurch. For a week he will find admirable reports of say the discussion of a very important measure like the currency bill, and then suddenly the Volturno und kein Ende. Just about the time when mail letters were beginning to tell a certain amount of truth about the Messina earthquake, the telegraphic reports of which were egregious inventions of distant improvisers, The Republic was saved through the intrepidity of Jack Binns. A correspondent who had been on the ground at Messina and remained in close touch with the rescuers and refugees received the sufficient answer with regard to additional earthquake facts "Jack Binns has killed Messina." Here is obviously both a good and a bad reason. There was every reason for celebrating at length the pluck and loyalty of Jack Binns, and no reason for curtailing the record of one of the greatest disasters registered in history.

The first duty of a good newspaper is to the more important routine news. It is a duty that every American journal neglects at times quite scandalously. The old fashion of relegating striking news of the day to an extra had much to commend it. Abuse of the extra by the yellow press has pretty well killed the practice among the conservative papers. Possibly a discreet revival of the legitimate extra might help matters. But what is really needed is a juster sense of proportion and a clearer conception of duty among editors. With a little insight and much courage a managing editor might make himself the controller of the "news of the day," rather than its mere conduit. In the long run his paper would more than gain in steady prestige what it lost in occasional flurries of sensational success.

[Pg 218]

Simplified Spelling

Rather than bother our readers and distract their attention from what we have to say, we print in the orthographic forms we are all accustomed to. But we realize that many of these forms are inconsistent and irrational—more so in English than in any other civilized language—and that the difficulty of learning them wastes the time and tissue of our children, and obstructs among foreigners the spread of English to its natural position of a world language, with the blessings that its attaining that position would bring in peace and commerce.

Our orthography is, of course, an evolution. It began with picture symbols, and some of these were gradually changed into the letters of our alphabet. But the signs have always been later than the sounds, and we never had enough of the former to express the niceties of the latter. Therefore imperfections and inconsistencies in any new system proposed should not be fatal against it, if it is enough of an advance on the existing system, and a better advance than any other proposed. The orthography of the future will undoubtedly be eclectic from many proposals, and probably, like the present orthography, from many involuntary and unreasoned practices.

The English Simplified Spelling Society, which contains the leading British authorities, has gone on the principle that it is not worth while to recommend any changes short of a comprehensive scheme for the whole language, and has recommended an approximate one. Nothing more than approximation is possible.

The American Simplified Spelling Board, sustained by Mr. Carnegie, which corresponds in authority with the English society, has not attempted a comprehensive system, but for the worst extravagances and inconsistencies has simply recommended a number of remedies, especially such forms as tho, thru, and the following changes in final syllables—saving all silent e's, including the one in ed; the me in gramme, and programme; the ue in final gue; the te in final ette; also the substitution of t for d final, when so pronounced.

[Pg 219]

As is well known, several of the remedial forms are already in considerable use, especially in advertising and other writing where no appreciable demands are made on the understanding or emotions.

From here until we giv notis on a later page, we wil uze som of those forms and a few more—all of which may be not too radical for present use in informal riting, as abuv mentioned, and may be regarded as transitional toward an ideal system. It woud undoutedly be easier to teach children a comprehensiv and consistent sistem than the existing caos minus varius uncorrected partial remedies, as illustrated in the present riting. The authoritys ar agreed that children woud lern a consistent sistem years qicker than the present lac of sistem, and having lernd the consistent sistem, woud pic up the forms they find in newspapers and existing bouks without conscius effort. Then of course a generation familiar with a goud sistem woud soon be suppleid with literature in it. But a rising generation cannot be taut such a sistem before the elders ar convinst of its utility.

We wish to promote such a conviction as far as we can, but no won without experience can begin to realize the difficultys, in fact the impossibility, of presenting new forms with absolute consistency. Words really sound differently in som connections than in others; and habit asserts itself in spite of reson. In half a dozen revisions of these paragrafs, inconsistencys hav bin found every time, and som undoutedly remain. But such inconsistencys ar not permanently inherent in the reform, and shoud not prejudis it. Habits of pronunciation disagree, and even if they did not, perfect discrimination coud not be attaind even with an alfabet twice as large as our present one; and if absolute discrimination wer attaind, it woud sune be nullified by an accent in som new popular song, or from som new popular orator. The only way to keep spelling abrest of language is for lexicografers to cut luse from precedent, and closely follo the actual pronunciation of[Pg 220] their own times. William D. Whitney used to say that if they had always don that, filological sience woud be much farther advanst.

A special cause of inconsistency is the tendency to preserv what is not very bad, and to make changes as slight as reson wil permit, but when no slight change wil do the tric, to make the change as goud as possibl. But see what somtimes coms. The w in write is utterly useless. Take it off, and we have a fairly good word rite. But the gh in right is also useless—not pronounst, as is the ch in the cognate German recht. If we get rid of it, however, we have rit, which rimes with fit. Now take it all in all, the best way to lengthen that i is to dubl it, just as in silabls closed with a consonant we alreddy somtimes dubl the vowel—the e in seen, the o in door. This is not necessary in open silabls. The S. S. S. proposes we shal dubl the a in faather, and the u in tuun (tune). Then if we dubl the i, we hav a uniform sistem with the long vowels. This givs us riit. But then the processes we hav just been thru land us with rite and riit for the same sound.

Of course to represent a sound in more than won way brings perplexity to spellers. Yet several ways are resonabl to let stand until a new generation can be educated to the best. This is a not unresonabl concession to habit, and is not nearly so bad as to let a simbol represent more than one sound, as in the two sounds for tear, and the vowel sounds in door and poor.

But we must also take into account what Skeat rightly says—that the simbol for a sound should not be distributed in two places; and therefore rite is not so good as riit. But the e at the end of a closed silabl to lengthen the vowel, is so intrencht in the language that it woud be doutful policy to attack it yet in words fairly fit to stand, e. g., fate, mate, bite, mote, lute. So the transition policy we recommend is to let all fairly goud forms stand, but where a form is to bad to stand, change it into the best possibl, as right into riit, even at the price of such an inconsistency as leaving rite from write, because rite is more workabl, tho riit woud be theoretically better. Som such inconsistencys ar inevitabl, as we cannot start fresh, but[Pg 221] must evolv from an existing inconsistent—very inconsistent—orthografy.

In spelling, as in matters perhaps more important (tho the importance of rational spelling is vastly grater than generally realized), it is wel to recognize the ideal, but to try to advocate at any time only what is workabl at that time.

Now we proceed tu a much clooser approximashon tu an ideal for owr children, so far az it appeerz practicabl with the prezzent alfabet. It wil at first seem a very funny ideal. All such approximashonz wil differ, and wil hav tu fiit it owt, and this wun wil seem at first tu be caos and oold niit, but allmoost enny wun ov them, tu a miind withowt an alien training—tu a chiild's miind, woud be moor orderly and luminus than owr prezzent sistem, or rathther lac ov sistem.

The rezonz for the niu formz which ar not obvius wil be explaind alfabetically after the text.

Moost ov the formz we giv ar recommended by the S. S. B. and the S. S. S. But thair ar itemz on which theze bodyz ar not yet agreed, even among themselvz; yet thair laborz hav reecht the point whair individualz shoud taak hoold and subject the formz thay beleev in tu the strugl for existens and the survival ov the fittest.

The grait difficultyz ar in indicating the vowelz with owr prezzent alfabet, which givz, for instans, oonly the wun simbol a for at leest ait sowndz, and probably moor not generaly discriminated, and the wun simbol e for at leest fiiv, i for three, o for foor, and dubld for foor moor, and u for fiiv.

The short vowelz ar dispoozd ov with comparativ eez: for in a silabl cloozd with a consonant, the vowel iz uzualy short, e. g., bad, bed, did, cod, cub, but unfortunaitly not all short vowelz hav thair silablz cloozd. In Saxon dissilablz, owr ancestorz generaly did clooz the first silabl when it woz short, by repeeting the vowel beginning the folloing silabl, e. g., gabble, filling, fizzle. But the practis ov cloozing in this way woz generaly restricted tu dissilabls, az the pronunsiashon ov polisilabls iz apt tu indicait itself,[Pg 222] and economy iz wurth considering. In wurdz directly from the Latin, az thair iz les differens ov axent between the silabls, the clozing ov the first silabl az abuv descriibd, iz not yuzual. It woud probably be wel tu introduus it, however. If, for instans, the first silabl wer cloozd in viggor, we shoud not hav such contradicshonz az vigor and vizor siid by siid.

Az tu the long sowndz, the oonly way tu reprezent them, whair thay ar not determind by pozishon at the end ov an oopen silabl, iz (az allreddy illustrated) by combining the letrz with different letrz, az we now combiin in gain, real, mine, soar, rule: evidently gan, rel, min, sor, rul, woud not anser the purpus. We hav tu maik theez combinashonz becawz the genius ov owr rais duz not seem tu favor adding letrz tu owr alfabet, inazmuch az we hav allreddy dropt tu valuabl wunz reprezenting respectivly th and dh.

It certanly woud be best, az allreddy propoozd, tu dubl eech vowel for its long sownd, az we allreddy du in deem and door. But we hav no exampl ov dubl a, i, or u (except in tu or three forren wurdz liik bazaar, and ov coors, owr utterly exentric w), but the S. S. S. recommendz uu insted ov the oo in coon, and dubl a in faather, which we accept. We do not need to dubl the a befoor r final in monosilabls becawz it haz the ah sownd befoor r exept when the a follooz a w sownd, iither in w itself or in cw exprest az q, e. g. in war (wawr) or quart (qawrt). The foorgoing givz dubl vowelz for all but i, and we propooz them thair. This iz a compleet sistem baasd on a principl.

Now for sum explanashonz.

abuv = above. The e final propperly maiks the o long, and iz entirely owt ov plais heer and in love, shove, etc. The sownd ov the o iz propperly a u sownd, az in but, and iz wun ov several cases whair we absurdly yuuz o tu express u sowndz.

allreddy = already. The silabl al propperly riims with gal, Hal, pal, Sal—rather a riotus set ov silabls, but thay ar whot running down the alfabet givz. And the silabl read propperly riims with bead, and shoud be spelt here red, but redy shoud riim with needy, so we[Pg 223] proviid an addishonal consonant, in the mood ov owr ancestorz, az allreddy explaind. This iz at the sacrifis ov economy, but the reformd sistemz hav uthther economyz, espeshally in the terminal ed, tu compensait. See allso prezzent and confiuzd.

allso = also. See allreddy.

allwaiz = always. The S. S. S. recommendz ai for the long a sownd az in pair. See allreddy.

bin = been, which propperly riimz with seen.

confiuuzd = confused. Withowt the i, propperly pronownst confoozd. Moorover we wawnt tu get rid ov the apparent silabl at the end ov such wurdz, not oonly tu economiiz the yuusles e, but allso becawz forrenerz tend to pronowns the ed az a silabl.

coors = course and coarse. oo az in door iz the best simbol for long o, az ee iz the best simbol for long e. The ou simbol we reserv for such wurdz az coud, shoud, woud. The temptashon tu maik coors riim with Boors, iz ov the devvil: for Boors iz abominably spelt. It shoud be Buurz; and furze shoud be spelt withowt the e. Thair iz no serius objecshon tu making coors serv for both course and coarse: thair ar allreddy menny cases whaar wun wurd meenz several thingz.

determind = determined. Mined can propperly be pronownst oonly with a long i, and the silabl or wurd mind, with a short i. Allso see confiuuzd.

devvil = devil, which with dubl propriety riimz with evil.

duz = does, which propperly riimz with goes.

grait = great, which propperly riimz with beat.

havving = having, which propperly riimz with saving.

impruuvd = improved. Tu reprezent a u sownd with o iz absurd. Allso see confiuuzd.

litl = little. Thair iz so litl vowel sownd in the last silabl ov this and menny uthther wurdz as tu be hardly wurth expressing, and thair ar menny difficultyz in duing it.

maid = made. Thair iz no objecshun to this from owr allreddy havving a wurd maid. See allwaiz, also coors.

menny = many, which propperly and suggestivly riimz with zany.

no = know: the S. S. B. touk off the w, but after chainging[Pg 224] knock into noc, bawkt at this k. We ar a litl moor venchursum. The o iz long by pozishon at the end ov an oopen silabl.

nu = knew. See no.

oonly = only, which woud propperly riim with sonly if thair wer such a wurd for filial. The S. S. S. recommendz oe for the long o sownd, but oo iz betr, and we rigl it in az an inishal after the manner of eels.

owr = our, which propperly riimz with iither pour or tour. The vowel sownd in our iz that in owl.

practis = practice. In practiced we pronowns the ed az t, and thairfor shoud spel it so. But if we maid it practict, the c woud be hard. Chainging the c to s in the parent wurd givs us practist, which iz wel simboliizd.

prezzent = present, which propperly riimz with decent.

pronowns = pronounce. See practis.

pronownst = pronounced. See practis.

propper = proper, which propperly riimz with toper. See allreddy, allso litl.

purpus = purpose. Pose propperly riimz with nose.

reecht = reached. See practis.

riit = right. The gh wurdz hav that simbol cognait with the German guttural ch az in recht, tho we du not pronowns it. But rit woud riim with bit.

scollar = scholar. Booth Societyz omit the h in ch hard. But that woud leev scolar, riiming with molar. See allreddy, allso litl.

scuul = school. Dubl o iz abiuuzd in being maid tu reprezent a u sownd. See oonly.

silabl = syllable. We du not keep the dubl l, becawz this iz a polisilabl: see p. 221 neer bottom. In spelling, children and forrenerz, and not thay aloon, ar puzzld between i and y. The S. S. B. haz wiizly reservd y for terminals, and we beleev in it for inishals allso whair thay ar combiind with uthther vowelz. See yuse and yuzed. Also see litl.

simbol = symbol. See silabl.

simboliizd = symbolized. See silabl. Moorover, if we wer tu drop the e from simbolized tu prevent forrenerz[Pg 225] pronownsing the apparent last silabl, thay woud be in dainger of maiking the ending riim with whot we hav spelt az fizzed and woud now spel az fizd. For this rezon we need the iizd simbols. See simplifiid.

simplifiid = simplified. The ie freequently in English and allwaiz in German haz the long e sownd, and in English iz alwaiz confiuuzd with the long e sownd in receiv, etc. Rezerving ii for the long i duz away with that confiuzhon. Tu du away with the confiuzhon between such wurdz az believe and receive, the S. S. B. allreddy reservz ie, and the S. S. S., ee, which we follo.

sownd = sound. See coors and owr.

thair = their, see allwaiz.

thay = they. Not thai becawz y iz betr than i booth az inishal and terminal.

tu = too, to and two. The absurdity of reprezenting a u sownd by o is obvius. We don't need tu dubl the u, becauz the silabl iz oopen.

uthther = other. This iz a stumper. The inishal sownd iz the u in but. The th propperly reprezents a singl consonant sownd. Owr Saxon ancestorz had a singl letr for it which we did badly in throing away. That letr the Anglo-Saxons freqently yuuzd tu clooz a silabl (see p. 221) az in siððan, since, and after thay began tu yuuz th insted ov the ð, thay freqently yuuzd th for the saam purpus, until its cumbrusnes thru it owt. We stil yuuz the ð in filological publicashonz, tho often allso the Greek θ. If we must yuuz th, for consistency's saak it shoud be repeeted in uthther, bruthther, muthther, etc.

Fortunaitly thair ar oonly a scoor ov such wurdz. We riit of thair spelling partly az a curiosity that may be interesting, and partly tu sho the dezirability ov getting bac owr oold letrz. Macaulay's scuulboy nu, if owrz duzn't, that the Greeks wer ahed ov us over tu thowzand yeerz ago, in havving not oonly a singl simbol for th, but a long e and a short e, and a long o and a short o.

whot = what, which propperly riimz with bat.

woz or wuz = was, which propperly riimz with gas.

[Pg 226]

wun = one, which propperly riimz with tone.

wurd = word, which propperly riimz with cord. Its vowel is pronownst with a u sownd, which it iz absurd tu reprezent by o.

wurs = worse, which propperly riimz with horse. We woud hardly pronowns horse az we pronowns hearse, tho the latter iz allso abominabl: for ea propperly reprezents the sownd in dear. The riit way tu spel hearse iz hurs, and the riit way tu spel her's iz hur'z.

wuz or woz = was, which propperly riimz with gas.

yuus or yuuz = use. See confiuuzd. Use iz pronownst both uze and use. Uze iz a betr way to spel the wurd which we rongly spel ooze. Tu yuuz an o for a u sownd iz bad enuf, and tu yuuz tu ov them iz wurs—dubly fit for fools.

We may venture upon another (annuthther?) spelling lesson in the next number, especially if owr reederz giv enny siin ov wawnting it; and it may anser sum qeschonz raazd in this lesson. And we may even go so far az tu prezent a fiu miild innovashonz in owr text, az haz bin heroically don by the Educational Review, The Independent and sum uthther periodicalz ov standing.

We woud liik to hieer from owr reedrz on the subject.

Press of T. Morey & Son, Greenfield, Mass.

[Pg 227]

The Unpopular Review
VOL. 1 APRIL-JUNE, 1914 NO. 2



There is no such thing as capitalism, say the conservatives. It is an empty sound, a curse in the name of a false god, directed by the revolutionaries against the world of things as they are, as they always have been and always shall be. Capitalism is a reality, say the radicals. It is the appropriate designation of the current system—a vulgar, hideous system, a brute mechanism set in motion by the energy of blind greed, a mechanism through which human values and human lives are thrust, to emerge smudged and flat and dead. The soul of capitalism? Pernicious paradox!

Capitalism is no less a reality than was feudalism. The capitalist employer is the most prominent figure in the modern state, just as the knight was the most prominent figure in the mediæval. But the order of knights did not of itself constitute feudalism: equally characteristic was the class of serfs. In a fundamental sense the system consisted in the mutual relation between knight and serf. Capitalism, in like manner, implies a class of employers and a reciprocal and conditioning class of workers, but as a system it consists in the mutual relation of these classes. The conscious existence of the members of both classes is shaped, or at least colored, by the capitalistic relation. Not in the same way, however; for capitalism induces one set of reactions in the minds of the employing[Pg 228] class, and another set of reactions in the minds of the employed. But these diverse reactions are equally the product of capitalism, its inevitable concomitants, its psychical essence.

Capitalism is, to be sure, not the whole of modern life; nor was feudalism the whole of the life of the Middle Ages. In the feudal state there were classes that were not, strictly speaking, under feudal law. Such were the clergy, the merchants and artisans of the towns, the freemen of the villages. Moreover, there were individuals who rose superior to the system, such as the great feudatories, who often assumed a regal freedom from the narrow feudal rules. There were also elements that proved incapable of assimilation, aliens, outlaws, mendicants. But the popular mind, with its inveterate bent towards order and uniformity, generalized the relation beyond the range of its proper application. To the worldly bishop, even the Pope was a great feudatory; to the beggar's apprentice, his master was a species of knight. So at the present time there are numerous elements that are incongruous with capitalism. The independent worker and the small merchant, the professional classes, the artists and the politicians, are not properly governed by capitalistic rules. The great magnates of the industrial world have won for themselves a measure of immunity from the laws that govern the conduct of the typical capitalist-employer. But the predominance of the capitalistic system is evidenced by the fact that all these non-assimilable forms are being translated into capitalistic terms. A farm is no longer a "holding," it is an "investment" or a "job." A political magnate is a "boss" and his supporters are "workers"; the political machine itself is "invested capital." The buildings of church or school are, with increasing frequency, described as "plant." We are beginning to hear of "efficiency control" of college curricula; of the "unit costs" of saving souls. Our most exalted dignitary is "the people's hired man"; and the late King Humbert[Pg 229] of Italy was wont to speak of assassination as a "trade risk."

With due allowance for the whimsical quality of some of the instances cited above, we must yet admit that they indicate a general tendency to translate all current experience into capitalistic terms. Such instances are but indications of the collective conviction that capitalism is the most significant fact in modern life. Why then do our conservatives insist upon rejecting the term, upon denying the very content of the concept? Chiefly because those who have depicted capitalism have sketched it in black crayon, instead of painting it in the rosy hues of romance.

To speak of capitalism as endowed with a soul, is indeed a paradox. But the conception of soul is itself paradoxical. The man of science dispenses with it in so far as he can. All that compels us rationally to posit the existence of soul, is its works, good and evil. The hypothesis of a human soul has been forced upon us by the fact that there is in the action of man an element that transcends the needs and purposes of the body, an element that we often see growing into such commanding importance that it reduces the body to the rank of mere instrument. Capitalism, too, appears to subserve purposes that transcend its proper ends. To what end, in profit-making, is the destruction of personality, the corruption of the sentiment of humanity, that the Socialists attribute to capitalism? To the Socialists themselves capitalism appears endowed with a soul, to whose purposes capital's immediate processes are merely instrumental. Only, the soul is one of unmixed evil.


Capitalism, like every other social system, implies a class that rules and a class that is controlled. The ruling class—pace those political theorists who refuse to know[Pg 230] that a ruling class exists—is composed of the capitalist employers. And how do the capitalist employers differ from any others of the masters that the world has known? Not merely in that they possess accumulations and pay wages in money. These are incidental facts. What is essential is that the capitalist employers, in so far as they are truly such, are controlled in all their active dealings by the principle of commercialization.

And commercialization is a psychical phenomenon. It is the substitution, in economic conduct, of a process of calculation for a process of feeling and will. The antithesis between the two processes has long been recognized by practical men, under the form of the contrast between "business" and "sentiment." That much maligned abstraction of the economists, "the economic man," is nothing but the capitalistic entrepreneur, reacting as he must to a competitive situation. What the orthodox economists failed to observe is that so-called "economic conduct" is class conduct. It is confined to the merchants and manufacturers of a competitive régime, whose daily life consists in the manipulation of exchange values. Employers who enjoy a monopoly, independent laborers, and even the typical wage earners of capitalism, may—indeed, must—permit their actions to be governed by other motives, as well as by that of profit. But the capitalist employer in a competitive trade is quickly taught by bitter experience that it is not his function to judge and choose. His business is to calculate; and the less non-economic principles of action interfere with his decisions, the more certain he is of success. All elements essential to his business present themselves in the guise of exchange values. All magnitudes, thus, are commensurate: you compare one with the other and choose the greater. Intelligence is required for the ascertaining of relative magnitudes. But the calculation once made, action is determined. Whether you are a man of strong will or weak will, of active feelings or passive, you do not hesitate[Pg 231] when, in effect, a dollar is offered you in exchange for fifty cents.

It is cool intelligence, not dominant personality, that, under a purely capitalistic system, determines the distribution of the seats of power. The capitalist employers are our ruling class, but of all classes that have ever held power, they least resemble personal rulers. They calculate, but conditions beyond their control determine. And, to be most successful, they must divest their calculations of all elements that are irrelevant to profit making. If I am a capitalist employer, operating under conditions of keen competition, I buy no more readily from an honest man than from a rogue, provided the rogue can give good title to the things he sells. I hire men, Teutons or Slavs or Latins, white, black or yellow, with a sole view to their effectiveness for purposes of profit. I may have private opinions on religion or politics or morals; on the use of alcohol or opium or tobacco. But unless I can relate such manifestations of virtues or vices to the point of profit, I must suppress these opinions, in my active dealings with men. It follows, then, that in all that concerns the capitalist employer, in all that concerns his essential rulership, he is a respecter of the liberties of men.

No one, it is true, is a capitalist employer, pure and simple. In his social life, every one is likely to retain some of his age-old prejudices, and to seek to enforce age-old oppressions. As a business man, no one would be so foolish as to refuse to sit in the same board of directors with any other capable business man, Hellene or βάρβαρος. In his club life, on the other hand, many a business man affects a patrician exclusiveness. The most Christian business man does not refuse to deal freely with atheists, but very likely he refuses to admit them to his house. As a mine operator I should employ negroes as skilled or unskilled laborers, as foremen or bosses, if such employment were favorable to financial results. I might none the less, as a citizen, attempt to exclude them from public[Pg 232] office. In business hours, the exercise of personal, political or religious oppression is penalized by technical inefficiency and pecuniary loss. Out of business hours, however, every man tends still to revert to the aboriginal state of manhood, narrow, illiberal, obstinate, oppressive.

Capitalism, furthermore, is far from having attained complete dominance, even in business affairs. Personal whim, as a co-determinant of action, is not obsolete, but merely obsolescent. The president of a great manufacturing corporation of the Middle West detests cigarettes, and has promulgated the rule that no men whose fingers are cigarette stained shall be added to his staff. Mr. Henry Ford intends to confine the benefits of employment in his mills to men who are "worthy," that is, to men who conform to certain standards of conduct that are good in their employer's eyes. There are employers who will not tolerate in their shops the presence of Socialists; others who have engaged in a crusade to exterminate "knockers." In all such cases of essentially personal discrimination an attempt is made, however, to justify it on abstract grounds of efficiency. Cigarette smokers, loose livers, Socialists and "knockers" are poor workmen, assert these employers. The assertion, we all know, is far from being universally true. In so far as it is false, however, it is a gracious falsehood in the light of the spirit of capitalism. It is a concession to the principle that pecuniary considerations alone justify an invasion of personal liberty.

Discrimination on personal grounds is, moreover, so exceptional as to count as amiable eccentricity. It is recognized as a handicap, which can be overcome only by striking superiority in other directions. Mr. Ford may watch over the private conduct of his employees, because he is able to pay much higher wages than anyone else. The manufacturing concern to which reference has been made may discriminate against able workmen with cigarette stained fingers, because it is efficiently organized, and enjoys a monopoly position. Such[Pg 233] instances are necessarily rare, and are interesting only as a contrast to the businesses controlled strictly by the spirit of capitalism.

Personal oppression may still be exercised within business hours: but it represents an added cost, readily determined by scientific management. The machinery for its suppression is in motion; it cannot forever survive. There is no equally effective machinery for the elimination of the personal oppression that emerges out of business hours. In one's business calculations, one regards a social prejudice, even if it is directed against oneself, as irrelevant to practical action, so long as it finds expression only beyond the realm of business. A persistent slanderer of alien races finds no difficulty in raising a loan from a foreign banker, provided that the security he offers is good. No element of revenge in the relations between Parisian banks and German customers has appeared since the Zabern incident. Indirectly, however, the social influence of capitalistic toleration is very considerable. One who has an alien partner may continue to cherish the heroic myth of Anglo-Saxon superiority, but it will be through desire for consistency, not out of conviction. International financial forays upon weak nations, like the late Six Power loan, have the effect of weakening many a national prejudice. National, racial and religious prejudices retain their pristine vitality only where capitalism has not yet reached a high state of development. It is in Russia and Rumania, economically backward states, not in England and America, the most capitalistic of all, that the policy of expelling heterogeneous elements flourishes. It is in the Old South, still in a precapitalistic stage, that the social gulf between the races is widest. It is on the Pacific Coast, whose whole volume of capitalistic industry could be overmatched by that of a city like Newark, that detestation of an alien race rises to the rank of a political issue.

[Pg 234]


Toleration and its counterpart, personal liberty, these are the first constituents of the soul of capitalism. Capitalistic toleration, it is true, originates in interest, and is limited by interest. If capitalism admonishes me to tolerate atheism in my foreman, so long as it does not interfere with his efficiency, it equally admonishes me to extirpate excessive piety in his person, if, for example, intervals of ecstatic contemplation divert his attention from my interests. Morally such toleration is vastly inferior to that which is founded upon a broad sentiment of humanity and a recognition of the presumption involved in the prescribing of rules to one's fellow man. But ethical toleration can find lodgment only in the breasts of the chosen few. "Neither do I condemn thee." Of all the miracles, is not this expression of toleration the greatest? Millions upon millions have repeated the sentiment devoutly; but to how few has it become a rule of life!

Capitalistic toleration, on the other hand, is a sentiment not too refined for the most vulgar souls. Indeed, its appeal is probably strongest to the very most vulgar; certainly, to the most selfish. A high-minded employer may seek to bring up his working-folk in the way they should go—that is, his own conception of the Way. It is the greedy materialist who says: "What do I care how my workmen eat and drink and play, what they read, how they vote, worship and marry? It's all one to me, so they deliver the goods." Ethical toleration selects for its votaries the few and the unselfish; capitalistic toleration selects the many and the selfish. And it is for this reason that the liberty based upon capitalistic toleration is the broadest and most substantial of all. "City air makes free," says the proverb. Not because the city is the abode of choice souls, but because the city is capitalistic.

The struggle for religious liberty, it may be said, antedates[Pg 235] capitalism. This is not wholly true; the hot beds of religious liberalism in early modern times were the cities, already becoming capitalistic. The Independents and Quakers of England, the Huguenots of France, the Calvinists of Holland, the Lutherans of Germany, represented a germinating capitalism. If the spirit of capitalism was not yet highly evolved, neither were the liberties sought broadly conceived. The Charter and their own valiant spirits won for the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay freedom to worship God. But there was no freedom, in Massachusetts Bay, to go forth from the Puritan settlement and dance around a maypole. Precapitalistic freedom meant only the removal of specific oppressions, sometimes grave, sometimes trivial, imposed by the constituted authorities. From the natural human disposition to interfere in one another's affairs, to standardize humanity, to excise variations above and below the normal, there never was any freedom, except upon the lawless frontier, until capitalism appeared upon the earth.

A class freedom! say the Socialists, and a hollow one! That the Socialists are permitted to go up and down upon the earth, teaching doctrines that they themselves proclaim to be subversive of the interests of those whom they designate as the ruling class, is sufficient evidence that the freedom is not properly described as hollow. If Karl Marx had appeared in the days of Charles the Great to teach doctrines equally subversive of the existing order, he would have found short shrift indeed. That it is a class freedom is, however, true, in a sense. The capitalist employer, who deals with many men in the course of his business, must learn to tolerate many personal idiosyncracies, and must in turn be met with toleration by many. The forced repetition of acts of toleration tends to mold the temperament of the capitalist employers as a class, and to establish among them a large measure of personal freedom. This repetition is lacking in the experience of the worker. Dealing with one employer alone, or with[Pg 236] only a few employers in infrequent succession, the laborer is less likely to appreciate the significance of the toleration he enjoys, or to learn from the business process itself the need of toleration towards others.

Nevertheless, under capitalism the laborer does undoubtedly make gains in personal liberty which he could not have made under earlier systems. We know what the Spartans did with the Helots who varied above the type of servile manhood. They assassinated them. We know what the Romans did with slaves who thought too manfully. They crucified them. In the long ages of serfdom in Western Europe, what was the natural fate of the serf who held his head too high? The commonplace facts of his torturings were seldom regarded worthy of mention in the Chronicles. Within the last century, however, men have been beaten to death in Europe for daring to maintain their preferences in mating against the wishes of their lords.

Class liberty? Does it mean nothing to the Republican mechanic in Birmingham, Alabama, that a Democratic employer would be universally regarded as a fool for concerning himself with the politics of his men? Does it mean nothing to the Roman Catholic workman that he may live for years in a Protestant community without once encountering discrimination against him on account of religion? Those who affirm that the liberty of capitalism, even in its overflow to the working class, is hollow and meaningless, can never have permitted their study or their imagination to sound very thoroughly the depths of human injury and wretchedness.

So much, however, must be granted: that the liberty afforded the worker by capitalism has its offsets. If the employer no longer regards himself as justified in ordering the private life of his workman, neither does he feel responsible for protecting the workman against the distress accompanying sickness or superannuation, or even commercial disorder. The worker has paid for his freedom[Pg 237] with increased insecurity of his lot. But that the freedom has been bought too dear, would be hard to maintain. Let us suppose that a landowner organizes his possessions upon a feudal plan, and invites working families to come and serve him, yielding implicit obedience to him in all personal matters as well as in matters pertaining to the technique of production. In return for their ungrudging services, let him guarantee them a sufficiency of food, rough clothing, and rude housing, together with rights to maintenance in disability and old age. How many workers will make haste to attach themselves to him? Where workers have tasted of capitalistic freedom, it is safe to say that none would accept the offered privileges.


If capitalism had offered the working class nothing but the crumbs of middle class liberty, the diatribes of the revolutionaries would be not without justification. For admittedly, liberty has been gained in far greater measure by the capitalist employer than by the workman. But capitalism has done vastly more for labor than this. It has given rise to that most interesting and important of all modern social phenomena, the solidarity of labor. As an active, working concept, the fraternity of labor is just as certainly a product of capitalism as is social toleration. The latter is the soul of capitalism, as it manifests itself in the class of employers, the former, as it manifests itself in the class of employees.

To this statement a Socialist will at once take exception. The sentiment of brotherhood, the Socialists claim, originates in the common experiences of poverty and hard labor. But the men at the passages of the Jordan who slew one another over the pronunciation of Shibboleth were doubtless manual workers, and were certainly poor. The merciless strife between Saxon and Celt in England was primarily between men who were all poor and workers.[Pg 238] The participants in the Sicilian vendettas, in the Scottish clan struggles, in the Kentucky feuds, might well be honored with the title proletariat, by virtue of poverty and laboriousness of life. Fraternity is too luxurious a plant to bloom upon a barren soil of universal labor and poverty. Every one who reads the documents of middle nineteenth century America is aware of the uncompromising hostility of the American workingman toward the distressed Irish seeking an escape from famine. Later, there is abundant evidence of working class contempt and hostility directed toward the immigrating workmen from Germany and Scandinavia. Twenty years ago it was the Dago that experienced the inhospitality of the workingmen toward their alien brothers; today it is the Wapp—the collectivity of unfortunates of uncouth ways and unimaginable speech that seek refuge here from the poverty and oppression of southeastern Europe. No middle class worshipper of a family tree rooted in the old colonies can hold the Wapp in more profound detestation than do many of our recent arrivals. "Zese tam fools [the Wapps], zey ruins zis tam counthry."

It is the attitude of the unions, we are told, that in the North represents the chief obstacle to the progress of the negro away from the menial services and the unskilled employments. It was the working class that forced, first Chinese, and later Japanese exclusion. It is working class politics that demands a white Australia, and vexes the British Empire over the question of emigration from India. "Workingmen are brothers," say the Socialists. Not by birth and native instincts. Not by virtue of community in labor and poverty. If there is such a thing as a fraternity of labor, it is begotten of capitalism.

An active sentiment of brotherhood, does, unquestionably, spring up under capitalism. Differences of race and religion dwindled to insignificance among the coal miners in the great strike of 1904. The Lawrence and Paterson strikes, and the strike in the copper country,[Pg 239] have offered abundant evidence of the growing strength of the feeling of working class solidarity. It would be difficult to cite a single recent strike in which men and women of traditionally hostile races and creeds have not coöperated with the utmost harmony and good will.

No one will deny that the more conscious the workers are of the pressure of capitalism, the more rapidly does the feeling of solidarity develop. This is the moral gain that is afforded by labor disputes. It is a gain which is not to be had without its cost, in the disorganization of industry, the impoverishment of multitudes of working families, the destruction of life and property, and the loosing upon society of evil passions. Is the gain worth its cost? In the opinion of many observers of our social movement, the cost is tremendous, but few of these observers attempt to strike a balance between cost and gain. This is because they have failed to recognize working class solidarity as a significant step in moral progress.

The development of solidarity among American workingmen is proceeding rapidly; in other countries its progress is not less manifest. This is true despite the fact that the problem of creating harmony between hostile races and religions is more serious where uninterrupted continuity on the same soil renders easy the survival of ancient prejudices. The hostility between Czech and German, between Magyar and Slav, is mitigated when the representatives of these warring races work side by side in the same factory, oppressed by the same factory regulations, impoverished by the same crises. Evidence is accumulating, to prove that the internationalism of labor is becoming a reality. It may not be true that French workingmen are already so utterly averse to the idea of shooting down their German brethren as the Socialistic literature and the spokesmen of Socialist and Labor parties would have us believe. But there is very much more than a fervent hope in working class anti-militarism. If French and German workmen might at[Pg 240] present fail to refuse to kill one another in war, the time is perhaps not far distant when the outcome of an international war may be rendered problematical through the extension of working class solidarity.

For the working class, solidarity is producing results quite analogous to those produced in the class of capitalistic employers by the pursuit of profit. Solidarity is unthinkable without a measure of toleration. The American trade unionist learns to tolerate the alien origin, the broken speech and uncouth manner, the strange religion, and the unexpected outlook upon life, of the foreign workman who must either become a brother unionist and faithful ally, or a scab and an enemy. And out of this toleration is created a sphere of personal freedom from social encroachment such as no workman of an earlier epoch ever enjoyed. Fraternity and liberty, these are the positive acquisitions won by labor out of the very oppression of capitalism. Of the revolutionary trinity only equality remains beyond the visible horizon. And even equality may be brought nearer, if not realized, through the further perfecting of working class liberty and fraternity.


Capitalism is material, gross, ugly. Yes, but it has a soul—toleration, liberty, fraternity. And this, like most souls, is not so much in being as in becoming. It is only in the most highly capitalistic centers that even business has partly freed itself from elements of personal oppression. There is no state nor city in which the fraternity of labor is more than an emerging fact. Under capitalism, workingmen are brothers, but there is still a vast deal of the Cain and Abel in their feelings toward one another. Remove the pressure of capitalism at this instant, and the lessons of fraternity would quickly be forgotten. Relax the profit motive, and mankind would again stand forth in its pristine narrowness and bigotry and cruelty.[Pg 241] Conceive for a moment that the United States were now under Socialistic management. With what spirit should we greet the oppressed of other lands, fleeing to us for refuge? We should probably judge of the problem in terms of dividend and divisor: so much food, so many mouths; let not the number of mouths be increased. To be sure, there is an economic fallacy lurking in this syllogism; but when has an economic fallacy ever been crushed except by weight of a brute class interest? Our workingmen are brothers of those of England and France and Germany, under the pressure of cosmopolitan capitalism. But the natural attitude of a group of Socialistic nations toward one another will be a coveting of one another's rich mines and fertile provinces. At least such will be the natural attitude until fraternity, imposed by capitalism, has descended from men's lips and entered into their blood.

There is a wise saying in Karl Marx's Critique of Political Economy (Preface): "No social order ever disappears before all the productive forces for which there is room in it have been developed; and new higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society." What Marx said of the material embodiment of capitalism, we can apply to its soul. Capitalism is growing toward liberty and fraternity. But the immense distance we must traverse before this goal can be attained is evidence of the vitality that remains in the system. Were capitalism to be abolished today, the hard-won gains of the last two centuries would vanish. But by this very fact it is proved that capitalism cannot be abolished today.


In its present stage of development capitalism, every one admits, is ugly. Haste and vandalism have characterized the work of constructing it. It is like the wall of[Pg 242] Athens, rough stone upon hewn memorial tablets to the dead, upon the trunks and limbs of statues of gods and men and beasts. The feast of Our Lady of Carmel was beautiful in Palermo; transplanted to New York, it is grotesque. There was dignity in the demeanor of the Lithuanian on his native soil: in the anthracite towns, the Lithuanian is a mortar-disfigured torso, thrown heedlessly into the courses of a rubble wall. All the mixing up of peoples, of customs, of ideals, that an incipient capitalism implies, produces a conglomerate that is inevitably ugly.

And quite apart from the ugliness of discordant combinations, there is an ugliness originating in the very virtues of capitalism. As we have seen, it is the tendency of capitalism to leave human nature free in all that transcends the narrow limits of the process of profit making. And this would be well if, as the optimists assure us, human nature were uniformly beautiful. Those of us, however, who are not committed to dogmatic optimism know that if some part of human nature is most beautiful when unrestrained and unadorned, another part is most seemly when well laced with stays of custom, well draped in garments of convention. At any rate, in the initial phase of the capitalistic liberation of human nature, which we are now experiencing, it is an open question whether our eyes are not more frequently offended than regaled.

It is in the field of material objects, however, that the contrasts between present capitalism and the earlier order are most clearly visible. Time was when the man who built a house granted to the whole community a voice in determining its design. And the community permitted variation from type, but only a moderate, well regulated variation. Thus were the walled cities of the Middle Ages governed by a harmony of construction, which gave to each dwelling, at the very least, a beauty of use and wont. Today in America the builder is free. If he chooses to dwell in a Greek temple or a Gothic chapel or a Chinese[Pg 243] pagoda, there is no one to dissuade him. No one, except perhaps an architect whose plans have been rejected or a good citizen at large, ex-officio adviser of an unheeding world.

In the economic field human conduct is narrowly ruled and restricted by capitalism; but in the non-economic field—the greater and more significant part of life—the good and the evil, the beautiful and the ugly, are set free by capitalism, to struggle for existence. Capitalism offers no direct pecuniary rewards for virtue and beauty. Nor, however, does it impose any penalties upon them. Did any earlier order of society impose such penalties? To be sure. Let us recall the contempt for the arts on the part of militaristic Rome, the pride in illiteracy of the glittering mediæval knight. Capitalism does not require a merchant or a banker to become a connoisseur of art. Nor does it require him to apologize for any such variation from typical instincts.

If good and evil must thus strive in a fair field, neither rewarded nor penalized economically, what will be the outcome? The evil will prevail, say those who—strangely enough—describe themselves as idealists. Most of us refuse to engage in prophecies. But so much is clear: the good and the beautiful that may prevail under a thorough-going capitalism must be better and more beautiful than the values of old time. Capitalistic freedom demands that there must be greater variety and wealth of beauty than an earlier order required; capitalistic fraternity demands that charity and toleration must extend beyond the bounds of class and race. Unless the art and the practical ethics of perfected capitalism represent an advance in universality, they will be thrust aside as meaningless and worthless.

It is, to be sure, more difficult to establish fixed values upon a broad basis of human life than upon a narrow one. More difficult were the problems that confronted Euripides the Pan-Hellene, than Sophocles the Athenian.[Pg 244] There is a contrast in technical perfection, between the work of Balzac the Frenchman, and Daudet the adoptive Parisian; between that of Kipling the imperialist, and Bridges the Englander; between that of Ibsen the cosmopolitan, and Björnson the Norwegian. But in all these instances the loss in classical perfection is vastly overbalanced by the gain in human worth. There were poets and dramatists in Scandinavia before the days of Holberg. They had an elaborate canon, all the rules of which were violated by Holberg's iconoclastic cosmopolitanism. What has become of the works of Holberg's predecessors? No one can read them. But Holberg was never so widely read and honored as today.

A broader and more liberal humanity than the world has known before—such, after all, is the evolving soul of capitalism. This does not indicate, however, that capitalism will last forever, or deserves immortality. There comes a time when the most responsive body becomes a clog upon the soul, and should accordingly be buried. The body of capitalism is none too responsive; therefore we may be certain that it must, in the end, be discarded. What the succeeding order will be, no man can forecast. But it will not be one of unbridled individualism; for a spirit of fraternity, transcending that imposed by capitalism, will carry the principle of coöperation to lengths beyond present dreams. And it will not be Socialism; for the spirit of toleration and freedom, now only germinating, will have attained to its full efflorescence in institutions that guarantee a range of personal development not compatible with the well-regimented scheme of a Socialistic state. Capitalism will disappear; but can we doubt that it will be honored in history as a most significant stage in the progress of the human soul towards liberty?

[Pg 245]


Τὰ μῶρα γὰρ πάντ' ἐστὶν Αφροδίτη βροτοῖς.
Eur. Troad. 989.

The wise Hecuba accused the frail Helen of throwing upon Aphrodite blame which really belonged to no one but Helen herself. Can it be that, now the whole world has turned sociologist, many of us are guilty of throwing upon poor society blame that ought solely to attach to us as would-be students of society? When emancipated spirits give utterance to their views with regard to the iniquities of the man-ruled world of the past, and describe the ideal eugenic world of the future, in which woman is to be man's superior, and the family a new thing under heaven, one wonders how far the nature of the views and the character of the vision are determined by the deficiencies, and how far by the exceptional endowments, mental and moral, of the critic and prophet. When economists cross their scientific hearts, and assure us on their honor as impartial students that, however much they may regret to announce its speedy demise, the monogamous family is a doomed institution, one is tempted to ask whether a few shrivelling leaves of a brief season would be reliable authorities with regard to the condition of a large tree at its roots. To anyone who inquires whether a metaphor or an analogy is an argument, we will say that we have known political economists who spoke of themselves and their work in terms indistinguishable from those employed by students of the so-called physical sciences.

We are free to confess that these perhaps inconsequential remarks proceed from a middle aged person who is not a sociologist, or an economist, or even an adept in the New History. That we make any remarks at all is due[Pg 246] to the fact that, as our title perhaps indicates, a little too much sociological diet has induced in us a condition analogous to nightmare. When a small boy of our acquaintance, in a family not yet extinct, is afflicted with this disorder, he invariably screams out lustily and runs to his mother. Following his example as nearly as manners and circumstances permit, we vent our feelings in The Unpopular Review.

"But who forces you, in this free country, to feed upon sociological diet?" This hypothetical question from a hypothetical reader admits of an easy reply. It is impossible to earn one's living pent up in a barricaded study, reading Greek; and outside of such a fastness, how can one escape the amateur sociologist? He intrudes himself into your most select circle at your club. He, or she, sends you through the mail notices of "thon's" books and lectures. He preaches at you if you go to church, and you make him an excuse for staying away. He assails your ears at college commencements. He makes the Congressional Record duller. He solicits your vote for this and that candidate, on the ground that they are advocates of a new freedom, or exponents of a progressive social and political movement, or, at the very least, stanch friends of the people. He writes editorials and letters in your morning and evening newspapers, and articles in your favorite magazine. He punishes you for your weakness in attending a public dinner. He—or rather she—airs his—or rather her—most advanced ideas when you are just beginning to sip your afternoon cup of tea, and you are fortunate if, in your disgust, you do not play havoc with the china of your hostess. Avoid sociological diet in the year of our Lord one thousand, nine hundred and fourteen? It was far easier to avoid the Plague in the year sixteen hundred and sixty-five.

We admit frankly that the amateur sociologist is not the only person our weak nerves dread. We avoid a Pragmatist and a New Realist almost as assiduously, and[Pg 247] with but slightly more success. Latter-day novelists, poets, statesmen, and educators, "uplift-men" in general, and advocates of scientific efficiency in particular, preachers of social service who blandly assume both that society wants their services and that they have services to render, when what is chiefly apparent is their own need of education—these and other sons of thunder too numerous to mention have given us many a bad quarter of an hour. But it is the amateur sociologist alone who is able to give us a nightmare.

We confess that such was not always the case. We entered one of the first classes ever taught in this country in what was then called the Science of Society. We listened with amused interest, possibly with profit, to the remarks, interspersed with puns, which the erudite professor allowed himself to make on the subject of marriage as an institution. Later we read ponderous books on this topic and kindred ones, and we even plumed ourselves upon our advocacy of woman suffrage and our practical interest in organized philanthropy. Political economy and history were not neglected by us, and so we rounded out the last century cherishing the delusion that we were somewhat progressive. Alas, we were primitive enough to spell it with a small "p." And now, but a few short years later, we are wailing in or about a Sociological Nightmare! Is it that, in the natural course of things, we have merely become conservative, have been caught up with, and passed, by a more radical generation, and are taking out on them, regardless of justice and of shifting metaphors, a spite caused by our own weakness of mental digestion?

Perhaps so, perhaps not. Thus far we have not flung even the tiniest of stones at the important study known as Sociology, nor have we meant to hit any of its serious students. The banner under which we enlisted as the humblest of privates, we still salute, and as the army of workers marches on, we, droppers-out yet loyal, raise our[Pg 248] feeble cheer. But behold! we are caught in a frantic mob of camp-followers, and we struggle in vain to extricate ourselves. And what a mob it is! Men and women who call themselves "Progressives" without being able to read a pedometer; anarchists who, with less sense than bulls, mistake a red flag for a new Gospel; propagandists of peace who have no respect for rest; advocates of nostrums who actually resent being called quacks; women who rejoice in being "hikers;" philanthropists who are doing their foolish best to make the under dog a mad one; lecturers who convert their lungs into cash; fashionable women who open their drawing-rooms to cranks, and their heads to whims;—but why attempt an impossible description? It seems better to fall back upon Matthew Arnold's more decorous expression of his feelings, in Bacchanalia; or, the New Age:—

Thundering and bursting
In torrents, and waves,
Carolling and shouting,
Over tombs, amid graves,
See! on the cumbered plain
Clearing a stage,
Scattering the past about,
Comes the new age.
Bards make new poems,
Thinkers new schools,
Statesmen new systems,
Critics new rules.
All things begin again;
Life is their prize;
Earth with their deeds they fill,
Fill with their cries.

Have we, then, got at the root of the matter? Tired out with "strenuosity," fatigued with American "progress," dinned with lectures, conferences, civic forums, and all the other modes of vociferous self-expression dear to this Age of Talk, are we, like the poet, the poet who, be[Pg 249] it remembered, wrote of Sophocles that he "saw life steadily, and saw it whole," are we really longing for an impossible golden reign of universal silence, and, in despair of obtaining it, railing at what happens for the moment to be the most noisy object within our dyspeptic range of hearing—the amateur sociologist?

We are not sure that this is not the case, but why should we undertake to analyze our own feelings? The main point is that we feel them; the next point, almost as important to ourselves, is that we want to express them. And who that is past fifty is not warranted in indulging in mild objurgations when it is possible to overhear at a dinner party, as the dominant note of an eager conversation between a lady and a gentleman, that latest intruder into the limited vocabulary of fashionable life, the ugly word "prostitute"! No one placed in so astounding a situation would stop to reflect that, if he had overheard such a conversation—save the mark!—two centuries ago, the dominant word would have been, most assuredly, both shorter and uglier. Not for us at least such cold philological comfort in the presence of our arch-enemy, the amateur sociologist. Here we have caught him in the innermost recess of civilization, caught him at our very dinner table—a more loathsome and dangerous foe than the Satan-Toad squat at the ear of sleeping Eve!

For where in all Creation's round
Can now a sleeping Eve be found?

They are all awake—God bless them and save them!—awake and listening to the amateur sociologist, or else to the sociological dramatist, which is every whit as bad, or worse. They are awake and forming drama-leagues, attending lectures for political education, giving suffrage teas and balls, flocking to conventions, marching under banners and "hiking" in squads, grabbing at slippery presidents, writing their pretty fingers off, converting the[Pg 250] tenets of the New Morality into lullabies, in short, following a modern Pied Piper—into what?

We are brought up with a shock before the blank wall of our own question, and we are out of our nightmare. This world, even if in this particular year of grace it does seem to be overstocked with sociologists, is a pleasanter place to inhabit than a Hades tenanted by gibbering ghosts. It is possible to advocate equal franchise and to help along other causes in which one may believe without mistaking one's heels for one's head, difficult though this may be in these dancing days. We suspect that a suffrage ball in New York is in many ways a less objectionable affair than a London masquerade of the early eighteenth century given under the direction of the long forgotten John James Heidegger. It is fairly certain that in the same city at the same period "Orator Henley" was as convinced of his own omniscience as any sociologist or political economist who discusses the future of the family or white slavery before a woman's club. Every age must cherish its pet variation of the standing illusion of the race—that for our day and generation we are wiser than our ancestors were for theirs. Who would not run after a good thing, and what better things are there to run after than schemes for human regeneration, even if we frequently find that our rainbow has not led us to a pot of gold? Have we not been assured on good authority that out of the clash of opinions truth emerges? Is it not the prime article of our democratic creed that the vox populi is the vox dei, and, even if the vox populi speaks with an unmistakably sociological twang, is it not our duty, at the risk of being labelled "undesirable citizens," to imagine, nay, to believe and aver, that we are listening to the dulcet harmonies of heaven? What if that gruff old person, Dr. Samuel Johnson, would, were he alive, assert in his most stentorian tones that our strenuous democratic optimism is the vulgarest and the shallowest philosophy ever permitted by a too indulgent Providence to[Pg 251] flourish under the sun! Is not the grumpy Doctor safely buried, and common sense along with him?

But this is no way to shake off the effects of a nightmare. Let us conclude in an humbler, more supplicatory strain. Will not our gifted reformers, for a while at least, forbear to announce that they have converted ethics into a science, and education into a highway to Paradise? Will not our politicians admit between their speeches, that people who question or censure their latest panaceas are, on the whole, exemplary and fairly intelligent citizens, who in no other respect than their momentary recalcitrancy seem to be fit candidates for a jail or an asylum? Will not exponents of New History, New Philosophy, and New Literature give a slightly larger portion of their time to reading what a not altogether benighted past managed to accomplish in those departments of human knowledge, speculation, and imaginative creation? Will not suffragists and anti-suffragists call a short truce for the purpose of admitting that, if a sense of humor and a spirit of tolerance are totally banished from our devoted country, the lot of future generations—if there are to be any—will be somewhat parlous? Finally, will not the ladies and gentlemen who are tearfully or gleefully forecasting the doom of the monogamous family, occasionally condescend to glance at Homer's description of the parting of Hector from Andromache and Astyanax, or at one of Raphael's Madonnas with the Christ-Child, with the intent of asking themselves whether in human evolution there are not other forces at work than those dubbed economic? Let but these good men and women consider without impatience their petitioner's modest requests, and he will wish them Godspeed in their commendable if arduous and often thankless task of regenerating the human race.

[Pg 252]


"The Author's object," said Dickens in the original preface to Nicholas Nickleby, "in calling public attention to the system would be very imperfectly fulfilled, if he did not state now, in his own person, emphatically and earnestly, that Mr. Squeers and his school are faint and feeble pictures of an existing reality, purposely subdued and kept down, lest they should be deemed impossible." In his preface to the later editions, he speaks of the race of Yorkshire schoolmasters in the past tense. "Though it has not yet finally disappeared," he says, "it is dwindling daily. A long day's work remains to be done about us in the way of education, Heaven knows; but great improvements and facilities towards the attainment of a good one have been furnished, of late years, to those who can afford to pay for it."

But if, in his pursuit of this object, Dickens had drawn an exaggerated picture of Dotheboys Hall—even if he had depicted as representative of a type that which was, in point of fact, merely an individual and abnormal instance of an evil which in general was far less extreme—the only objection to such a course would have been the general objection to any form of untruth; unless, indeed, we were to add that manifest misrepresentation of this kind is less likely than a truthful presentation of the case to be effective for its object. Dickens was driving with all his might and main at a monstrous blot on English civilization, a hideous inhumanity and cruelty, to which hundreds of English children were subjected by heartless parents or guardians, and by brutal, sordid, and ignorant schoolmasters. And if in his zeal to wipe out that blot and to end that monstrous inhumanity he had over-stepped the bounds of legitimate portrayal, there are few who would not say that the offense was altogether[Pg 253] pardonable. Yet he felt it necessary to assure the world that he had not done this; and in his preface he not only makes the general denial of such exaggeration quoted above, but points explicitly to the observations made by himself, and the records of courts of law, which form the basis of his exposure.

When we say that even if Dickens had grossly exaggerated the character of the Yorkshire schools there would have been no great harm in it, we have in mind two points of contrast between the task on which he was engaged and the spirit of his time, on the one hand, and the general objective of present-day reform movements and the spirit of our time, on the other. Upon the desirability of putting an end to Dotheboys Halls, if they were but one tenth as evil as they are represented to us in Nicholas Nickleby, there can be no difference of opinion among decent human beings. The question of degree may be of scientific or historical interest, it can have no practical bearing on the decision to be reached. An overstatement of the case may intensify our emotions, it can hardly mislead our judgment. To know that such a state of things exists is to desire its extinction; such a thing as the balancing of gain against loss, of immediate benefit against collateral or ulterior injury, does not enter into the question at all. Very different is the case with regard to most of the problems that are enlisting the interest of those who to-day are striving for the betterment of social conditions. There is hardly one of these problems which does not have wide ramifications connecting it with the whole economic and social system. In hardly one of them is it possible to say: Here is a flagrant wrong whose existence no rightminded person can tolerate, whose immediate removal is a clear duty, about whose extinction we need not hesitate for a moment on the score of any evil which may accompany the good. And this complexity of the problems places the question of exaggeration, or misrepresentation, or false perspective, upon an essentially different footing.[Pg 254] As soon as the question of cost—the question of what sacrifices, or what dangers, or what ulterior evil effects, may be involved—enters into the situation, the question of degree becomes of vital moment. To represent a given evil as a vast affliction when in reality it is confined within narrow bounds, to represent it as hideous, morally or materially, without just basis, is in these cases much more than a mere violation of the abstract requirements of truth. These issues turn fundamentally on the weighing of the good to be gained against the sacrifices or dangers which the proposal involves. And the reformer who, however excellent his purposes, grossly magnifies the evil deceives and misleads the public just as a merchant does who weighs with false scales, or a gambler who plays with loaded dice.

So much for the nature of the specific questions at issue. But there is a contrast far more important still, which turns upon the spirit of the time. In our day no serious attack can be made upon any particular evil in any way connected with the existing economic order, without being regarded by great multitudes as part of a general indictment against that order. At the center of the socialist movement there is now, as there has been at any time in the past half-century, a body of convinced believers in the inherent unfitness of the existing order to serve man's material and moral needs, and in the feasibility of a new order which shall replace it to the infinite improvement and elevation of mankind. But the growth of socialistic and semi-socialistic sentiment which has been going on at so extraordinarily rapid a rate during the past decade, especially in this country, is due in only a relatively small measure to the making of doctrinal converts. The growth has been in the main, or at least primarily, not at the center, but on the fringe, of the socialist body. It has come about, above all, through that unprecedented stimulation of humanitarian interest and humanitarian endeavor in connection with the problems of[Pg 255] the poor which is in itself a just cause both for pride and satisfaction in our generation. Between this humanitarian activity, directed toward various specific forms of social betterment, and that kind of discontent with the existing order which lies at the basis of socialism, there is at once a sharp contrast and an intimate connection. The socialist—at least the socialist as he has traditionally been—makes it the first tenet of his practical doctrine that social-betterment endeavors are not only vain, but mischievous. He holds that they tend to patch up a system which is hopelessly evil, and to reconcile to its continuance those who, if they were not thus deluded, would see that the only remedy lies in its extinction. In reality, however, the worker for social-betterment schemes, while helping to make the existing order sounder with one hand, is constantly giving powerful aid to the socialists with the other. For it is part of his task to concentrate public attention upon evils which would otherwise remain unnoticed in the background; and it is safe to say that in the impression made by these agitations upon multitudes of sensitive natures lies the chief source of that enormous recruiting of the forces making towards socialism which we have been witnessing. In so far as this result is the natural accompaniment of the unfolding of a truthful picture of society, it must be accepted as an inevitable fact. Even so, it might be deplored that a development so momentous should in so large a measure turn on the state of mind of persons unequipped with such mental qualities, and such intellectual training, as would fit them duly to weigh the defects against the virtues of the existing order, and duly to consider the objections to the proposed remedy as well as its allurements. But, as the matter stands, what is actually being furnished to these susceptible minds and hearts is in large measure a mass of distorted representations of the truth. The falsity of the picture is often a matter of direct exaggeration or misstatement, oftener it is a matter of false perspective,[Pg 256] chiefly taking the form of making a part pass virtually for the whole. But however it is brought about, we have continually before us the spectacle of numbers of well-meaning persons, through careless exaggeration or distortion of the truth, misleading multitudes of young and ardent spirits into a readiness to throw overboard the fundamental institutions of society.

Children of Strife. A Dramatic Story of Rich and Poor in New York. Such is the title of a novel that is appearing in the Delineator, an old-established journal of large circulation, devoted primarily to fashions, housekeeping matters, and the like. It is very specially "featured." Its first chapter is ushered in with this notice, conspicuously printed in large type below the title: "Special Request: Great things may hinge upon this novel. Just how great will depend upon your reception of it. It is thrilling fiction but back of it is something else. Will you watch for that something, keeping each instalment by you for reference?" Those who dutifully follow this last injunction will begin by keeping by them for reference a picture of the ways of business that is extremely interesting. Chapter I is entitled "The Corporation." Its opening scene is in the private office of a flourishing capitalist. Many little touches are given to heighten the stage effect, but the real point of interest concerns the giving out of a contract relating to the construction of a twenty-one story building. Griffiths, the capitalist, holds an impromptu meeting of the construction company, the other directors being office dummies; the question to be decided is whether steel columns or cast-iron columns are to be used:

"What's the difference in cost?" asked Mr. Griffiths, shortly, casting a cursory glance over the items.

"If we use the iron we'll save about eighteen thousand dollars," the secretary replied, "but the architect says we'll be taking a risk."

[Pg 257]

"How much of a risk?" Mr. Griffiths retorted quickly. "Doesn't Littleton think the building will stand up?"

"He thinks so," Williams rejoined deprecatingly. "There are houses on both sides. He thinks it'll stand up. It ought to."

"Well," said Mr. Griffiths, pushing back his chair. "Nothing venture, nothing have. Eh, Williams?"

Williams smiled a perfunctory smile in response to his employer's little jest.

"Let's get to work," went on Mr. Griffiths. "Call the roll. All present—full board. (Note that.) We waive reading the minutes of the last meeting, and there are no reports. Mr. Flynt offers the following resolution: Resolved, That the secretary be and hereby is empowered to accept and ratify the contract heretofore drawn up with Peck & Simpson, for iron columns (By the way, Williams, White is the chief inspector for that district. You can handle him, eh?), and to execute the same on behalf of the Company. All in favor say 'Aye;' contrary minded, 'No.'" The chair canvassed the vote and reported that a majority of votes were in favor of the resolution. It was so voted. "That's all. Meeting adjourned. Good morning."

What happens in Chapter III will surprise nobody. Griffiths' little daughter is with her father in his luxurious library, absorbed in a story-book, both of them enveloped in a delicious silence. But the silence is suddenly broken by a curious and startling sound:

The sound had suggested a sliding, the collapse of something; it was like the falling in of a gigantic house of cards. Fascinated, Ruth's eyes sought her father's face. It was transformed, livid; his hands clutched his chair—clutched it so convulsively that, plump though they were, the veins stood out on them in purple knots.

"The building," he whispered with bloodless lips. "It's gone."

The sliding stopped momentarily; the very air seemed to stay still in an awful hush of expectation; then it caught up a new sound—a sound that far exceeded the sliding in horror; a sound to freeze the blood, even the warm, quick blood of a child; a sound big with every emotion ever evoked by the voice of any tenor who ever has sung—the inarticulate protest of men about to be smothered—the wail of human beings caught in a trap, like rats.

[Pg 258]

Now, it would of course be preposterous to regard a cheap melodramatic novel in a fashion magazine as a subject for serious criticism; and it would be equally absurd to make the policy of such a magazine, taken in itself, an occasion for solemn moralizing or rebuke. But in publishing this rubbish, the Delineator is a magazine of fashion in more senses than one; it is but following, according to its lights, a fashion current in much higher circles of "uplift" literature. That this grotesque presentation of the ways of business appears, and is given all possible prominence and emphasis, not in a journal devoted to reform but in one which seeks its circulation among the women of the average "bourgeois" home, is precisely what gives significance to a piece of fiction otherwise too insignificant to mention. Evidently the editor of this magazine imagines, rightly or wrongly, that the state of mind prevailing among his readers is such as to make a thing of this kind go. They have become so accustomed to a diet of sensationalism and exaggeration, he may well reason, that they will never stop to inquire whether the building of collapsible skyscrapers is a common practice—whether indeed such a thing has ever happened at all—or in any other way to question the truth of a portrait evidently designed to represent a large part of the capitalist class. To ask whether either writer or editor really believes the picture to be true—to hark back to Dickens's solemn assurance of the truthfulness of his indictments against the evils he attacked—is the most that need be said on the subject, to anyone accustomed to sober or responsible thinking. But among the millions of defenceless people—young, half-educated, well-intentioned, untrained to serious thought—to whom such stuff is being fed every day, there is a vast number that are misled by it into a false view of the world, and into a state of mind that is most unwholesome and deplorable.

What is thus dealt out in popular fiction, what was for[Pg 259] a time to be seen filling the pages of nearly every popular magazine professedly as plain fact, is met with in a hundred forms in the daily newspapers—even those of a good type—and in the outgivings of many excellent persons, and many worthy associations, engaged in social-betterment work. A very few instances must suffice for illustration.

"The outstanding infamy of certain of our modern industries is the linking to the belts of factories and mills of two million children." This statement, and variants of it which pile up the agony now in one direction now in another, we find continually cropping up in the high places of social reform. The quotation is from an address made a year ago by William B. Patterson, secretary of the commission on social service of the Philadelphia Federation of Churches. He was speaking before the first annual Progressive Conference of Pennsylvania, and presumably his object was to show the dire need of the Progressive movement for the remedy of a stupendous evil. But we turn to an article on child labor in the United States by Dr. Jacob S. Raisin, a Troy rabbi, printed very prominently in the Knickerbocker Press, for a more vivid realization of this gigantic horror. Here are some extracts from the article:

Two million children are virtually enslaved in our cotton mills, coal mines and sweat-shops over the breadth and length of our country—two million little ones!

At the same time that thousands of children in our city enjoyed their Christmas vacation and rejoiced over their newly acquired presents, two million children of the same tender age, of the same Caucasian race and citizens of the same prosperous land, were pining away in the dark subterranean caves of the coal mines in the east, in the dangerous cotton mills and tobacco factories of the south and the sweat-shops everywhere.

Two million souls are annually sacrificed to commerce and to greed. Parents do not get sufficient to keep the souls and bodies of their little ones together. Mothers must leave their suckling babes to seek for their livelihood, and these infants,[Pg 260] in turn, if they survive until they are six, must begin the battle of life on their own account.

The United States Census of 1910 gives the total number of mine-workers under sixteen years of age in 1909 as 8,151, of whom 3,117 were working below ground and 5,034 above ground. The number of wage-earners under sixteen years of age in manufacturing industries is stated as 161,493; and it is shown that the percentage of workers under sixteen to the whole number of workers in these industries fell from 3.4 per cent. in 1899 to 2.9 per cent. in 1904 and 2.4 per cent. in 1909. Figures concerning sweat-shops are not given.

What we have before us, therefore, is a gross overstatement, on the face of it; after making all possible allowance for false returns of age in the census, it is evident that, merely as a matter of the surface figures, the case is enormously exaggerated. But this is not all. The impression is always sought to be conveyed that these two millions are, in large part at least little children; whereas even of the (say) two hundred thousand workers under sixteen who are actually "linked to the belts of factories and mills," and of the (say) four thousand who are laboring "in the dark subterranean caves of the coal mines," it is obvious that only a small fraction can be under fourteen. That there ought not to be a single one may be true enough; but unless we are to throw reason overboard altogether, we must make a distinction between a question concerning a few hundreds, or a few thousands, of little children, and one concerning two million. And these very agitators do recognize the distinction; else why make all this noise about the figures? Driven into a corner, they would doubtless fall back on the iniquity of having even a single child in all the land deprived of its birthright of happiness; but in the meanwhile they work the two million for all it is worth. As for the violation of the Ninth Commandment, the true Progressive, whether Christian or Jew, presumably finds in the principles of the[Pg 261] New Morality ample exemption from any acute pangs of conscience on that score.

In the early part of the year 1910, the Consumers' League of New York obtained permission from the American Magazine to reprint as a leaflet a little article of two pages which had appeared in the January number of that periodical under the title Some Dangers from High Prices. The article which the excellent persons who conduct the work of that League considered so important a document was devoted in the first place to a very precise account of what had happened in a certain restaurant with which the writer was familiar, and which was frequented in part by shop-girls; and secondly to the issuing of a most solemn and tragic warning as to what this country was threatened with as a consequence of the situation which this happening indicated. This is the experience:

Five and six years ago I used to go to a restaurant which fed about three hundred shop-girls a day.... I used to write down what they could get for 15 cents. Here are three dishes each of which then cost 15 cents. Two eggs on toast, with bread; a nice little meat pie, hot and appetizing; chicken on toast with a rice border. The chicken was all dark meat, to be sure, but it was meat and the rice border was generous. In short, in that restaurant six years ago there was for 15 cents honest nourishment fitted to build up an honest constitution such as the trunk class of America ought to have. And in the long run those girls chose the nourishing food. Two years ago a change came. I noticed a habit of lunching off a potato salad. I soon saw the reason. The little meat pie had moved up to 25 cents, the chicken on toast to 30 cents. Potato salad, one of the girls told me, was the only "interesting" thing left for 15 cents. Going there last September I said to one of the waitresses:

"What are these girls eating now?"

"Ah," she sighed, "it is dreadful! They ought not to pay more than 15 cents; so many of them just have griddle cakes, or sweets and coffee. They can have two cream cakes and coffee or an eclair and coffee for 15 cents."

Please notice the sliding scale of nourishment therein displayed in six short years. From chicken on toast with a wholesome[Pg 262] rice border to potato salad and from potato salad to an eclair and coffee. One can fairly see the nourishment ooze out! It is only fair to add, however, that the manager told me that they were losing their shop-girls somewhat: they were going where there were no waitresses, where they served themselves at counters. There one could get real nourishment for 20 cents.

Upon the basis of this interesting little story, and of the loose talk of "a dealer in milk" with whom she had conversed, the writer finds that there is a "canker at the heart of our prosperity," that "our great, prosperous country is at the parting of the ways." "A little more," she warns us, "and you will have the trunk class of America an underfed class, being slowly but surely forced down in the social scale." And so forth.

Now it is nothing that such an article should have appeared in a popular magazine; nor is it perhaps a matter worth finding fault with that the managers of an important humanitarian organization, which is in many ways doing excellent work, should have had so little critical judgment as to regard as an exceptionally important contribution to public discussion what is so manifestly the mere expression of one person's superficial observations and impressions. What does give significance to the Consumers' League's performance is that it demonstrates an indifference to facts—a lack of the sense of responsibility for the essential veracity of anything to which one gives one's name and which one actively disseminates among the public—that would be amazing were it not unfortunately so common. In half an hour, any officer of the Consumers' League could have discovered that in New York "honest nourishment" of precisely the kind referred to in the American article was to be obtained for fifteen cents in any one of hundreds of clean, roomy, cheerful restaurants—not "where they served themselves at counters," but with good waiting by a fine type of waitresses. At the time the leaflet was issued, there had been no rise of prices at all in this class of restaurants in[Pg 263] New York; since then there has been a rise in some of them, affecting certain dishes; but in no case, I believe, has the rise been more than that from fifteen to twenty cents. The great rise in food prices has taken place in the four years since January, 1910; and yet to this day one can get, in any one of the scores of handsome popular restaurants scattered all over the business section of New York, a nourishing meat or egg luncheon, well served, for fifteen or twenty cents, according to choice.

This may seem very homely matter, beneath the dignity of a quarterly Review. But the homeliness, or insignificance, is only on the surface. The thing I am concerned with is not the bread and meat I am talking about, but the state of mind of a class of men and women considerable in point of mere numbers and tremendously important in their influence on the political and social currents of the time. With a responsibility resting on them a thousandfold greater than any that belonged to reformers like Dickens—a thousandfold greater both because the problems they touch are incomparably more complex and because the consequences of their agitation spread out immeasurably beyond the particular problems they touch—with this responsibility for truthful representation upon them, how far are they from that realization of it which is so solemnly avowed by the author of Nicholas Nickleby! And in this matter of the luncheon, small as it may seem in itself, the moral obtrudes itself with peculiar distinctness. For here everything turns absolutely on degree. If the shop-girl can get to-day for twenty cents the luncheon she could formerly get for fifteen, the whole terror disappears; for five cents a day is thirty cents a week, and surely it is not out of the question that there has been a rise of wages sufficient to cover this difference. Yet these good people evidently think it no harm to give out a solemn warning of national degeneration and ruin, based on figures which a few minutes' inquiry would have compelled them to reject, and on an[Pg 264] allegation of fact as to the actual fare of working girls which a half-day's tour of the restaurants of New York would have shown to have no substantial basis. That the rise of prices has been hard on working people, that if it takes place without compensating rise of wages it must have serious consequences, is true enough; but between this and the sort of thing we have been discussing there is precisely the difference that there is between reason and unreason, between responsibility and recklessness.

To prove that exaggeration and distortion and misleading presentation abound in the reform literature of our time is not the purpose of this paper; even if fifty examples were adduced, it would prove nothing. What I am endeavoring to do is to cite a very few illustrations, which I believe that intelligent readers will recognize as typical, and to bring out their significance as bearing on a widespread state of mind. In this regard, the next instance is peculiarly instructive. In the Atlantic Monthly for March, 1910, there is an article by E. A. Ross, entitled The Suppression of Important News. The Atlantic is not a "muckraking" magazine, and the writer is not a "muckraker;" he is a man of national note, and a professor in the Department of Economics in the University of Wisconsin. Much that he says about the shortcomings of newspapers is true; but the article gives a preposterously false impression of the conduct of the press of this country as a whole. However, I do not ask the readers of this Review to take my word for this; neither can I enter upon what would be the very considerable task of proving my assertion. I wish only to call attention to a single short paragraph in Prof. Ross's article:

The party system is a "sacred cow." When a county district court declared that the Initiative and Referendum amendment to the Oregon Constitution was invalid, the item was spread broadcast. But when later the Supreme Court of Oregon[Pg 265] reversed that decision, the fact was too trivial to be put on the wires.

Now, if this means anything, it means that it is the policy of the Associated Press, in regard to such a matter as the Initiative and Referendum system in Oregon, to endeavor to conceal from the American public the fact that the attempt to overthrow it in the courts of the State had failed. To characterize such a notion as silly would be to place it on far too high a plane. That a person of Prof. Ross's training, and position in the country, should find it possible to believe such a thing is melancholy to think of; and, what is more to the purpose, it betrays a state of mind that is fraught with all manner of evil possibilities. For it is a state of mind in which probability, that indispensable guide of sane thinking, is dismissed from its place; in which whatever seems to point toward a preconceived thesis is accepted without scrutiny and carefully treasured up, and whatever points the other way gets scant attention; in which the sense of the true proportions of things is hopelessly lost. What the actual facts were about the transmission of that news from Oregon makes no difference; the failure "to put it on the wires," which Professor Ross alleges, may possibly have taken place. But no intelligent human being waits to find out whether Beiliss actually did or did not murder a child in order to reject with scorn and contempt the idea that the blood of murdered Christian children forms part in the ritual of the Jewish Passover; we need no evidence on the subject—it is disposed of by its intrinsic absurdity. That Prof. Ross should have failed to see the intrinsic absurdity of such a notion of the newspaper press of the United States as is implied in the paragraph above quoted—that others who talk about the suppression of news should betray similar want of sane perception—is, to my mind, one of the most significant illustrations of the general phenomenon that I am discussing.

[Pg 266]

If these illustrations have served to bring out some of the chief aspects of the state of mind which underlies the exaggeration that disfigures the reform agitations of our time, the purpose for which they have been cited has been fulfilled. As evidence of the fact that such exaggeration is widely current they of course amount to nothing; nor, as I have already said, would the piling up of a large number of examples have any probative force. There is a great deal of sober and responsible writing in reform quarters, and there is a great deal of the opposite kind. It would be idle to attempt to form any estimate of the ratio between the one kind and the other. But every reader must recognize that the type of thing which I have been discussing is abundant, and that it plays an important part in influencing the opinions of large bodies of well-meaning people. It may not be amiss, however, to make brief mention of a few more examples illustrating various phases of the phenomenon.

In the report of the first of a series of lectures on sex hygiene recently given to fathers and mothers in the public school buildings of Chicago, we find the lecturer saying: "The American mothers are unable to nurse their children for the necessary nine months. This is the cause of all the infant mortality we hear so much about." And it is to the economic conditions of "the last fifty years" that this deplorable state of things is ascribed. Now persons who are conversant with mortality statistics, either at first hand or through the columns of the newspapers, know that while it is true that "we hear so much about" infant mortality, what we hear is not that it is increasing but that it is declining—declining in the City of New York especially, at a rate so steady and so rapid as would have been pronounced incredible a quarter of a century ago. But the mothers who were drinking in the lecturer's words were led to believe that our modern society is responsible for an ever-increasing slaughter of the innocents. Nor is this an isolated case, either in regard to[Pg 267] the particular subject concerned, or to questions of social welfare generally. The mere fact that the evil of avoidable infant mortality is dwelt upon in our time as never before was taken by this lecturer—and has been taken by others—as meaning that that evil is growing ever worse; whereas the real reason of its prominence is precisely that it is now for the first time being hopefully and successfully attacked by comprehensive and systematic efforts. And this substitution of the assertion that an evil is growing worse for the mere fact that it exists, so far from being uncommon, is met with in connection with almost every branch of social-betterment agitation.

One of the most striking manifestations of this was furnished by Alfred Russel Wallace in his book, Social Environment and Moral Progress, which appeared shortly before his death. "It is not too much to say," he declares, "that our whole system of society is rotten from top to bottom, and the social environment as a whole, in relation to our possibilities and claims, is the worst that the world has ever seen." In support of this assertion the book as a whole does nothing but present in eloquent language various deplorable features of our existing civilization; apparently the idea that in order to justify his conclusion comparison with former states of the world is essential hardly crosses Mr. Wallace's mind. That it did obtrude itself in a measure appears, however, from the devotion of one little chapter to the subject of "Indications of Increasing Moral Degradation." These indications are three in number; and not only are they pitifully inadequate for the support of his statement, but his interpretation of the statistics cited, in regard to the matter to which he gives most prominence, can be easily shown to be utterly superficial and inconclusive. The three matters to which the statistics relate are deaths from alcoholism, suicide, and deaths of infants soon after birth. The increase of deaths from alcoholism in the past half-century is given the leading place. This increase has[Pg 268] been, roughly, 25 per million inhabitants—from 40 per million annually to 65 per million annually; and it does not occur to Mr. Wallace that modern advances in medicine and sanitation may account for far more than 25 drunkards per million inhabitants who in former times would have been carried off by all sorts of diseases but who now survive long enough to die of "alcoholism." The temper of the man of science wholly fails to assert itself in the weighing of facts which his zeal as a reformer impels him to view in the light of a preconceived judgment.

Some recent phenomena in the field of public discussion in our country have shown on a large scale the kind of loose thinking in regard to facts which is at the bottom of the exaggerating spirit. When the McNamara dynamitings were revealed, a wave of excitement swept off their feet a large part of our whole humanitarian army. They had been so filled with the idea that we are living in a strange and awful time, that this series of crimes, committed in secret by members of a single trade union, was acclaimed as something new under the sun, a fearful sign and portent. The tremendous railroad riots and burnings of 1877; the anarchist troubles at Chicago, culminating in the Haymarket massacre; the widespread and ominous railroad labor struggle of 1894, which took on an aspect bordering upon civil war—all these things were forgotten, and it was solemnly asserted that we were confronted with a crisis quite without precedent or parallel, which demanded a new and radical examination of the very foundations of the social order. The swift spread over the country a year ago of the notion that starvation wages for women were, if not the sole, at least incomparably the chief, cause of female vice and degradation, was a somewhat similar phenomenon. One that at first sight presents no resemblance to it, but which strikes me as a peculiarly interesting manifestation of the same thing, is to be found in the domain of ordinary politics. A leading[Pg 269] feature of the Progressive crusade was the identification of the "reactionaries"—the business world and the conservative newspaper press—with bossism and the corruption of politics generally. Mr. Roosevelt continually talked as though there were a cynical alliance between all the leading New York newspapers on the one hand, and Murphy and Barnes and the whole system of political corruption on the other; and doubtless there were millions of good people who completely forgot not only that a large proportion of these papers had persistently fought for civil service reform and tariff reform and election reform, but that they were waging an uncompromising war against the whole brood of bosses, whether Republican or Democratic, for many years during which Mr. Roosevelt was an excellent friend of Quay, got along very fairly with Platt, and did not find it in his heart even to lift a finger against the unspeakable Addicks.

Now all these various forms of exaggeration, distortion and misrepresentation converge in our time upon one object, contribute toward one common effect. Whatever be the purpose held in view by any particular reformer or exhorter, however far from his desire it may be to foment dangerous unrest or to promote a revolutionary propaganda, every extravagant picture that he draws of the depravity or the wretchedness of our time inevitably does produce these effects, and that upon a large scale. There are a great number of people of all ages, and especially of young people, who, without having thought deeply upon the problems of society, feel about them very deeply indeed. Many of them attest the sincerity of their interest by useful and noble work; the world has certainly never seen anything like so widespread a devotion of the energies of young men and women among the fortunate classes to the betterment of the lot of the unfortunate. A far greater number, without devoting themselves to such work, are stirred by the same emotions of sympathy and[Pg 270] good-will. Upon these minds and hearts the depiction of evils associated with the existing economic order produces more than a mere transient pang of distress or regret. What is wrong in the world they do not merely deplore; they wish to set it right. And if the wrong is so pervasive, the evil so deep-seated, the depravity so general, as these manifold presentments make it out, what more natural than that they should sum up the whole case in the conviction that the existing order of society is a failure, and be ready to welcome almost any experiment that holds out the promise of something better?

It is for this reason, above all others, that he who recklessly or thoughtlessly distorts or exaggerates the facts of our time assumes a grievous responsibility. Even in regard to each particular question, the element of degree may be of vital consequence: what measures ought to be taken, what objections ought to be weighed, what collateral consequences ought to be ignored, in regard to such a matter as the minimum wage, or unemployment insurance, or child labor, may depend essentially both upon the present extent of the evil and upon the influences already acting upon it. But it is the larger question that is most deeply involved, the question whether the institutions and traditions which have been slowly built up by ages of human effort and trial and struggle are to be thrown aside as worthless. To the reformer bent upon his own specific purpose it may seem a venial offense to depict poverty as increasing, when it is really diminishing, so long as there is poverty; to represent the press of the country in general as deliberately suppressing ordinary news of public affairs, so long as there are some newspapers which suppress some kinds of news; to talk of two millions of children linked to the belts of factories and mills or pining underground in mines, so long as there is child labor; to speak of avoidable infant mortality as an evil peculiar to our time though the reverse is the truth, so long as there is infant mortality which is avoidable.[Pg 271] But between seeing these things as they are and seeing them as they are not, the difference is not trifling, but fundamental. For upon that difference turns the whole issue between conservative improvement and reckless innovation. The world is full of persons who are eager enough to prove all things, but who seem to forget the other half of the injunction. If we apply the probe carelessly, if we report what we find untruthfully, how can we hope to hold fast that which is good?

[Pg 272]


One evening not long since, in a certain New York club of authors and scholars, the conversation turned, as it is so accustomed to turn, on the politics of the day; and we were astonished when one of the circle, a distinguished student of sociology well-known for his radical opinions, said with conviction and emphasis that we were talking of little things and that the one great question of the day was whether a democratic society could develop a natural aristocracy. By chance I had with me that night an excellent new book on The Political Philosophy of Burke, by Prof. John MacCunn, late of the University of Liverpool, and as we left the club I showed it to one of my fellow writers with a word of commendation. "Ah," he said, handing it back unopened, "Burke! he's dead, isn't he?" Well, Burke, I dare say, is dead for us, as so many other great memories have perished, and Lord Morley (plain John Morley then, a fairly practical statesman) was indulging in the usual illusion of the biographer when, just twenty-five years ago, he closed his luminous volume with the prophecy that "the historic method, fitting in with certain dominant conceptions in the region of natural science, is bringing men round to a way of looking at society for which Burke's maxims are exactly suited; and it seems probable that he will be more frequently and more seriously referred to within the next twenty years than he has been within the whole of the last eighty." The historic method has an odd way of discrediting the authority of history, and certainly in the lustrum since Lord Morley's predicted score of years the world of Lloyd George and Mr. Roosevelt has not been referring abundantly to Burke's maxims. Yet, with the words of my radical sociological friend in my ears,[Pg 273] I could not help reflecting on the coincidence that Professor MacCunn, a writer thoroughly imbued with modern ideas, should have led the whole of Burke's political philosophy up to the same question of natural aristocracy. "For Burke's feet," he says, "were never on surer ground than when, as we have seen, he argued that a civil society, by the very conditions of social struggle and growth, must needs evolve 'a natural aristocracy, without which there is no nation.'" And then, being sufficiently trained in the historic method, he proceeds to show how Burke entirely missed the real problem that faces society to-day in its effort to create such a leadership—as if human nature had first sprung into existence with the Reform Bill.

Of the urgency of the problem a reflective man will scarcely doubt. The only thing, in fact, that might lead him to question its urgency is its hoary antiquity. Plato wrestled with it when he undertook to outline the ideal republic, and many of his pages on the range of government through its five forms—aristocracy, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, and tyranny—sound as if he had been reading yesterday's newspapers of London and New York. In the orgy of misrule that brought Athens to humiliation in the last years of the Peloponnesian war he had seen oligarchs and democrats tearing at each other's throats like mad dogs; he had seen the disastrous triumph of the democratic party, and, knowing its instability, he had composed the long dialogue of The Republic to show how, if possible, it might be saved from impending tyranny. He wrote, so far as the public was concerned, in a spirit of despair, almost as if foreseeing the domination of an Alexander and the cold despotism of Rome; and in that saddened scepticism he was thinking more of holding up the aristocratic principle of balance and restraint before the happier individual soul, and establishing the idea of justice for any pious seeker of the future, than of creating an actual commonwealth. Yet, however[Pg 274] his application of the law of the individual to the machinery of politics may appear at times fantastic, his argument never really gets far from the everlasting questions of government.

The oligarchy which he knew and described was what we should rather call a plutocracy. He had in mind a State in which, "instead of loving contention and honor [as under a timocracy], men become lovers of money and business, and they praise and admire the rich man and confer office upon him, but despise the poor man." "And such a State," he adds, "will necessarily be not one but two States, one of the poor, the other of the rich, who are living in the same place and always plotting against each other." And when in such a society the disposers of wealth proceed from privilege to insolence and folly, and on their side the many have lost the sense of reverence and at the same time have become aware of the sheer power of numbers, then the plutocratic State is converted to the true democracy, the unbridled sway of the majority. The change is like that which comes to a rich young man who, forgetting the discipline of necessity, passes into the libertinism of indulgence. He will hearken to no word of advice; and if anyone tells him there is a distinction among pleasures, that some are the satisfaction of gross and ignoble desires and others are the satisfaction of good and useful desires, he shakes his head in superiority, and swears that all pleasures are alike. So the oligarchical faction loses its power and position; and the democracy in its turn follows the same path, despising the constraint of authority and the guidance of experience, caught by the lure of indiscriminate pleasure. "The father comes down to the level of the son, being afraid of his children, and the son is on a level with his father, having no shame or fear of his parents.... So the schoolmaster fears and flatters his scholars, and the scholars despise their masters and tutors; and, in general, young and old are alike, the young competing with the old in speech and action, and[Pg 275] the old men condescending to the young in their gay and easy manners, from dread of being thought morose and dictatorial."

Then arises the problem which confronted the State in Plato's day, as it did in Burke's, and which may not seem entirely irrelevant to the watcher of to-day: How shall the people be saved from themselves? How, indeed? To Plato, who beheld the future as in a vision, the actual historic answer was a gloomy picture of the change from license to tyranny. His account of the impending fall can never lose its fresh interest:—

When a democracy which is thirsting for freedom has evil cup-bearers presiding over the feast, then, unless her rulers are very amenable and give a plentiful draft, she calls them to account and punishes them, and says that they are cursed oligarchs. And loyal citizens are insultingly termed by her slaves who hug their chains; she would have subjects who are like rulers, and rulers who are like subjects: these are the men whom she praises and honors both in private and public.

By degrees the anarchy finds a way into private houses, and ends by getting among the animals and infecting them. Nor must I forget to tell of the liberty and equality of the two sexes in relation to each other. And I must add that no one who does not know would believe, how much greater is the liberty which the animals who are under the dominion of man have in a democracy than in any other State: for truly, the she-dogs, as the proverb says, are as good as their she-mistresses, and the horses and asses have a way of marching along with all the rights and dignities of freemen; and they will run at anybody who comes in their way if he does not leave the road clear for them: and all things are just ready to burst with liberty.

The ruin of oligarchy is the ruin of democracy; the same desire magnified and intensified by liberty overmasters democracy—the truth being that the excessive increase of anything often causes a reaction in the opposite direction; and this is the case not only in the seasons and in vegetable and animal life, but above all in forms of government. The excess of liberty, whether in States or individuals, seems only to pass into excess of slavery. And so tyranny naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme form of liberty.

[Pg 276]

Then come impeachments and judgments and trials of one another. The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness. This is he who begins to make a party against the rich. After a while he is driven out, but comes back, in spite of his enemies, a tyrant full grown. Then comes the famous request for a body-guard—"Let not the people's friend," as they say, "be lost to them." (Jowett, condensed.)

One escape from this fatal declension Plato saw—that, by the working of the inner law of self-restraint or by some divine interposition, the people should, before it was too late, be turned to hearken to their natural leaders, and the State should thus develop from anarchy into a true aristocracy. The question, then or at any time, is not whether there shall be leaders, but of what character these leaders shall be. There was the brawling tribe of demagogues and sycophants in the Athenian democracy, as there have been at other times of licentious upheaval. And the character of these men is always the same: they lead by flattery and by clamorous justification of the passing wave of desire. The aristocratic leaders whom Plato had in mind, and whom, for the confusion of posterity, he called philosophers, were of the very opposite sort, being men who should guide by imposing their authority and experience on the impulsive emotions of the multitude. They should be politicians who might dare the displeasure of the people, as Burke dared his constituents at Bristol: "The very attempt towards pleasing everybody discovers a temper always flashy, and often false and insincere.... I am to look, indeed, to your opinions; but to such opinions as you and I must have five years hence." They should be philosophers like John Stuart Mill, who, facing the electors of Westminster and being asked whether he had ever said the English workingmen were "generally liars," replied simply, "I did." Such were to be the aristocrats of Plato's State, men of simple and rational desires, lords of their[Pg 277] own souls, and so masters of others. Nor should they govern for their own smaller profit. For, as Socrates says, "it is not to the injury of the servant that we think he ought to be governed, but because it behooves each of us to be governed by the divine wisdom, having that power within us if possible, or, if that be impossible, then by an external authority, so that we may all, following the same guidance, be brought into likeness one to another and into good will."

There is something at once strange and familiar in this political discussion, now more than two thousand years old. To it Plato brought all his wisdom, sometimes not disdaining sophistry, trying to show by what kind of education and by what arts of persuasion and illusion a natural aristocracy could be imposed and maintained. It was pretty much the same problem that confronted Burke at the time of the French Revolution, inspiring his earlier writings on that event with incomparable eloquence, and stinging him in the end almost to a frenzy of despair. Burke did not come to the question with so clear an intuition as the Greek, and in some ways his Reflections, despite their modern dress, are more remote from us than is Plato's Republic, because he dealt less with the universal aspects of human nature. And in so far as his practical reason was colored by the peculiar circumstances of his own day, it has lost in direct application to the needs of another age. But he is not dead, despite my literary friend; wisdom is of longer life than the generations of mankind, and there is scarcely another book of modern times so full of political wisdom as Burke's Reflections.

And we must note, in the first place, that to Burke, as to Plato, it never occurred to think that society, even under the most lawless anarchy, could exist without leaders. "Power," he knew, "of some kind or other, will survive the shock in which manners and opinions perish." He knew too, and declared, that in the end he who made himself master of the army would overbear all other[Pg 278] influences; but meanwhile he beheld the State of France under the sway of demagogues who were preparing the people for a carnival of blood and cruelty, and all his eloquence was exerted, and with extraordinary effect, to avert from his own country this plague of revolution. The philosophes, who had prepared the dogmas of popular flattery for the mouths of a Marat and a Robespierre, had intensified in Burke the natural British distrust of all application of abstract reasoning to government and the affairs of life; and he felt a profound aversion for those who would "lay down metaphysic propositions which infer universal consequences," and would then "limit logic by despotism." Being thus barred from belief in a true philosophy, by his experience of the false, yet having himself a mind that grasped at general principles, he turned to "the happy effect of following nature, which is wisdom without reflection, and above it." In that "discipline of nature" he looked for the genuine guidance of society, and one of the memorable passages of his works is that in which he describes the character of those who, themselves under this control, should be for others "men of light and leading":—

A true natural aristocracy is not a separate interest in the State, or separable from it. It is an essential integrant part of any large body rightly constituted. It is formed out of a class of legitimate presumptions, which, taken as generalities, must be admitted for actual truths. To be bred in a place of estimation; to see nothing low and sordid from one's infancy; to be taught to respect one's self; to be habituated to the censorial inspection of the public eye; to look early to public opinion; to stand upon such elevated ground as to be enabled to take a large view of the widespread and infinitely diversified combinations of men and affairs in a large society; to have leisure to read, to reflect, to converse; to be enabled to draw the court and attention of the wise and learned wherever they are to be found;—to be habituated in armies to command and to obey; to be taught to despise danger in the pursuit of honor and duty; to be formed to the greatest degree of vigilance, foresight, and circumspection, in a state of things in which no fault is committed with[Pg 279] impunity, and the slightest mistakes draw on the most ruinous consequences;—to be led to a guarded and regulated conduct, from a sense that you are considered as an instructor of your fellow-citizens in their highest concerns, and that you act as a reconciler between God and man;—to be employed as an administrator of law and justice, and to be thereby amongst the first benefactors to mankind;—to be a professor of high science, or of liberal and ingenuous art;—to be amongst rich traders, who from their success are presumed to have sharp and vigorous understandings, and to possess the virtues of diligence, order, constancy, and regularity, and to have cultivated an habitual regard to commutative justice—these are the circumstances of men, that form what I should call a natural aristocracy, without which there is no nation.

Not many, even among the wisest of our own generation, would fail to respond favorably to that glowing picture of nature's aristocrats, but when we come to the means by which Burke would assure the existence and supremacy of such a class, it is different. Despite some tincture of the so-called "enlightenment," which few men of that age could entirely escape, Burke had a deep distrust of the restive, self-seeking nature of mankind, and as a restraint upon it he would magnify the passive as opposed to the active power of what is really the same human nature. This passive instinct he called "prejudice"—the unreasoning and unquestioning attachment to the family and "the little platoon we belong to in society," from which our affection, coincident always with a feeling of contented obligation, is gradually enlarged to take in the peculiar institutions of our country; "prejudice renders a man's virtues his habits, ... through just prejudice his duty becomes a part of his nature." Prejudice is thus the binding force which works from below upwards; the corresponding force which moves from above is "prescription"—the possession of rights and authority which have been confirmed by custom. In other words, Burke believed that the only practical way of ensuring a natural aristocracy was by the acceptance of a prescriptive[Pg 280] oligarchy; in the long run and after account had been taken of all exceptions—and he was in no wise a blind worshipper of the Whig families which then governed England—he believed that the men of light and leading would already be found among, or by reason of their preëminence would be assumed into, the class of those whose views were broadened by the inherited possession of privilege and honors.

He so believed because it seemed to him that prejudice and prescription were in harmony with the methods of universal nature. Sudden change was abhorrent to him, and in every chapter of history he read that the only sound social development was that which corresponded to the slow and regular growth of a plant, deep-rooted in the soil and drawing its nourishment from ancient concealed sources. Saltus non facit natura. In such a plan prejudice was the ally of the powers of time, opposing to all visionary hopes a sense of duty to the solid existing reality, and compelling upstart theory to prove itself by winning through long resistance. And with the force of time stood the kindred force of order and subordination personified in privilege. "A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together," would be Burke's standard of a statesman; "everything else is vulgar in the conception, perilous in the execution." In passages of a singular elevation he combines the ideas of Hobbes on the social contract with those of Hooker on the sweep of divine universal law, harmonizing them with the newer conception of evolutionary growth. "Each contract of each particular State," he says, "is but a clause in the great primeval contract of eternal society, linking the lower with the higher natures, connecting the visible and invisible world, according to a fixed compact sanctioned by the inviolable oath which holds all physical and all moral natures, each in their appointed place." And thus, too, "our political system is placed in a just correspondence and symmetry with the order of the world, and with[Pg 281] the mode of existence decreed to a permanent body composed of transitory parts; wherein, by the disposition of a stupendous wisdom, moulding together the great mysterious incorporation of the human race, the whole, at one time, is never old, or middle-aged, or young, but, in a condition of unchangeable constancy, moves on through the varied tenor of perpetual decay, fall, renovation, and progression. Thus, by preserving the method of nature, in the conduct of the State, in what we improve, we are never wholly new; in what we retain, we are never wholly obsolete."

If we look below these ideas of prejudice and privilege, time and subordination, for their one animating principle, we shall find it, I think, in the dominance of the faculty of the imagination. Nor did this imaginative substructure lying beneath all of Burke's writings and speeches, from the early essay on the Sublime and Beautiful to his latest outpourings on the French Revolution, escape the animadversion of his enemies. Tom Paine made good use of this trait in The Rights of Man, which he issued as an answer to the Reflections. "The age of chivalry is gone," Burke had exclaimed at the close of his famous tirade on the fall of Marie Antoinette. "Now all is changed. All the pleasing illusions, which made power gentle, and obedience liberal, which harmonized the different shades of life, and which, by a bland assimilation, incorporated into politics the sentiments which beautify and soften private society, are to be dissolved by this new conquering empire of light and reason. All the decent drapery of life is to be rudely torn off. All the superadded ideas, furnished from the wardrobe of a moral imagination...." To this Paine retorted with terrible incision. Ridiculing the lamentation over the French Queen as a mere sentimental rhapsody, he catches up Burke's very words with malign cunning: "Not one glance of compassion, not one commiserating reflection, that I can find throughout his book, has he bestowed on those who lingered out the most[Pg 282] wretched of lives, a life without hope in the most miserable of prisons. It is painful to behold a man employing his talents to corrupt himself. Nature has been kinder to Mr. Burke than he has been to her. He is not affected by the reality of distress touching his heart, but by the showy resemblance of it striking his imagination. He pities the plumage, but forgets the dying bird."

Now there is an element of truth in Paine's charge, but there is distortion also. To say that Burke had no thought for the oppressed and the miserable is a wanton slander, disproved by abundant passages in the very Reflections and by his whole career. "If it should come to the last extremity," he had once avowed in Parliament, with no fear of contradiction, "and to a contest of blood, God forbid! God forbid!—my part is taken; I would take my fate with the poor, and low, and feeble." But it is the fact nevertheless, construe it how one will, that in the ordinary course of things Burke's ideas of government were moulded and his sentiment towards life was colored by the vivid industry of his imagination, and that he thought the world at large controlled by the same power. I doubt if analysis can reach a deeper distinction between the whole class of minds to which Burke belongs, and that to which Paine belongs, than is afforded by this difference in the range and texture of the imagination.

And in this Burke had with him the instinct of his people, while in a way transcending it; for a good deal of what we regard as the British character depends on just the excess of imagination over a rather dull sensibility and sluggish intelligence. This, if we look into it, is what Bagehot signalized as the saving dulness of England, and what Walpole meant by attributing to "the good sense [note the contrast of sense and sensibility] of the English that they have not painted better." It was this same quality that inspired Burke's great comparison of the French excitability with the British stolidity: "Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field[Pg 283] ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field." In its higher working, when sensibility and intelligence are also magnified, the imagination, no doubt, is the source of the loftier English poetry and eloquence, but in the lower range, which we are now considering, it is rather a slow, yet powerful and endearing, visualization of what is known and familiar; it is the beginning of distrust for innovation and of that prejudice for existing circumstances and actual relations which Burke exalted as the mother of content. And with content it produces a kind of egotistic satisfaction in the pomps and privileges which pass before the eye, giving to the humble a participation in things wherein they have no material share. In the baser nature this evokes a trait which we condemn as snobbishness; in the higher it results in a fine magnanimity: "He feels no ennobling principle in his own heart, who wishes to level all the artificial institutions which have been adopted for giving a body to opinion and permanence to fugitive esteem. It is a sour, malignant, envious disposition, without taste for the reality, or for any image or representation of virtue, that sees with joy the unmerited fall of what had long flourished in splendor and in honor." Thus, too, the imagination is an accomplice of time, as well as of the law of subordination; indeed, its deepest and noblest function lies in its power of carrying what was once seen and known as a living portion and factor of the present, and there is no surer test of the quality of a man's mind than the degree in which he feels the long-remembered past as one of the vital and immediate laws of his being. So it is that the imagination is the chief creator and sustainer of the great memorial institutions of society, such as the Crown and the Church and the other pageantries of state, which are the very embodiment of prescription, as it were the soul of tradition[Pg 284] taking form and awful authority among the living. How deeply Burke felt this prescriptive right of the imagination, no one need be told; nor is it necessary to quote in full the familiar passages in which he likens the British monarchy, with its bulwark of nobility, to "the proud keep of Windsor, rising in the majesty of proportion, and girt with the double belt of its kindred and coeval towers," or calls on the Church to "exalt her mitred front in courts and parliaments." There is the true Burke; he knew, as Paine knew, that the support of these institutions was in their symbolic sway over the imaginations of men, and that, with this defence undermined, they would crumble away beneath the aggressive passions of the present, or would remain as mere bloodless vanities. He thought that the real value of life was in its meaning to the imagination, and he was not ashamed to avow that the fall and tragedy of kings, because they bore in their person the destiny of ancient institutions, stirred him more profoundly than the sufferings of ordinary men.

It is perfectly easy for a keen and narrow intelligence to ridicule Burke's trust in the imagination, but as a matter of fact there is nothing more practical than a clear recognition of its vast domain in human affairs—it was Napoleon Bonaparte who said that "imagination rules the world." Burke is not dead; his pages are an inexhaustible storehouse of inspiration and wisdom. But it is true nevertheless, that his ideas never quite freed themselves from their matrix, and that in his arguments the essential is involved in the contingent. Though he saw clearly enough the imperfections of the actual union of a prescriptive and a natural aristocracy, he was not able, with all his insight, to conceive the existence of the latter alone and by virtue of its own rights. He cried out that the age of chivalry was gone; he saw that the age of prescription, however it might be propped up for a time, was also doomed, not only in France but in his England as well, and with that away there was nothing for his imagination[Pg 285] but an utter blank. As a consequence the problem of government for us to-day in its fundamental aspects is really closer to the exposition of the Greek philosopher two thousand years ago, than to that of the modern English statesman. We have the naked question to answer: How shall a society, newly shaking itself free from a disguised plutocratic régime, be guided to suffer the persuasion of a natural aristocracy which has none of the insignia of an old prescription to impose its authority? Shall the true justice prevail, which by a right discrimination would confer power and influence in accordance with inner distinction; or shall that so-called justice prevail—for no man acknowledges open injustice—which recommends itself as equality of opportunity, but in practice, by confusing the distinctions of age, sex, and character, comes at last to the brutal doctrine that might makes right, whether that might be the material strength of money or the jealous tyranny of numbers?

Leaders there will be, as there always have been. Leaders there are now, of each class, and we know their names. We still call the baser sort a demagogue, and his definition is still what it was among those who invented the term: "a flatterer of the people." Or, if that description seems too vague, you will recognize him as one who unites in himself enormous physical and mental activity, yet who employs his extraordinary talents in no serious way for the comfort and sustenance of the higher life of the imagination, but for running about restlessly and filling the public mind with stentorian alarms. He is one who proclaims ostentatiously that the first aim of government "must always be the possession by the average citizen of the right kind of character," and then, in his own person, gives an example of identifying character with passion by betraying a friend and malignantly misinterpreting his words, as soon as that friend may be decried for balking the popular will—and balking the path of the decrier's ambition. He is one who has[Pg 286] been honored as the leader of a great political party, and then, as soon as he is dethroned from its leadership, denounces that same party as the tool of privilege and the source of corruption. He is one who in proclaiming the principles of his new party, has constantly on his lips the magical word "justice," which he defines by the specious phrase "equality of opportunity," yet in the end identifies justice with the removal of all checks from government so that the desire of the majority may be immediately carried out, whether right or wrong. For "it is impossible to invent constitutional devices which will prevent the popular will from being effective for wrong without also preventing it from being effective for right. The only safe course to follow in this great American democracy is to provide for making the popular judgment really effective."

To this end our exemplary demagogue would take away every obstacle between the opinion of the moment and the enactment of that opinion into law. Hence the initiative and referendum.

Above the legislators is the Constitution, devised in order that legislation upon any particular question may be made to conform essentially with what has been laid down on deliberation as the wisest general course of government. It is a check upon hasty action, and implies a certain distrust of the popular judgment at any moment when passion or delusion may be at play. Therefore our demagogue will denounce reverence for the Constitution as a fetich. Blithely ignoring the fact that Constitution-making and remaking is one of the pastimes of some States, and that even the Federal Constitution can be amended with none too great difficulty when the opinion of the people is really formed (as in the recent case of the election of senators), he will earnestly call upon the Constitutional Convention of Ohio "to provide in this Constitution means which will enable the people readily to amend it if at any point it works injustice"; and then, as[Pg 287] if that provision were not sufficient to relax its mortmain, he will virtually abrogate its function of imposing any check whatsoever by adding "means which will permit the people themselves by popular vote, after due deliberation and discussion, but finally and without appeal, to settle what the proper construction of any constitutional point is"; and this construction is to be made, not legally, that is by an attempt to get at the actual meaning of the language used, but in accordance with the current notion of what is right.

But the full venom of his attack will be directed against the courts, because in them is impersonated the final sovereignty of unimpassioned judgment over the fluctuations of sentiment, and with it the last check upon the operations of the demagogue. The interpretation of the law in accordance with the conditions of life is to rest with the people. If necessary they are to have the power of recalling the judge who is recalcitrant to their views, and at the least they are to have opportunity to reverse any decision of the courts which seems to them wrong. In this way he thinks to ensure "an independent judiciary"! To enforce the need of the recall he accuses the courts of "refusing to permit the people of the States to exercise their right as a free people." Thereupon he cites what he calls a "typical" case in New York, in which the judges declared a workingmen's compensation act unconstitutional. "In other words, they insisted that the Constitution had permanently cursed our people with impotence to right wrong and had perpetuated a cruel iniquity." This tirade, followed by the most inflammatory appeals to the emotions, was uttered in 1912; at the very time when he was inveighing against the courts for perpetuating iniquity, the machinery was in train for amending the Constitution, and in less than two years that permanent curse was removed by the passage of a constitutional law in full favor of the workingman. Such is the despotism of facts. And ever through these vituperative charges runs[Pg 288] the high note of flattery: "If the American people are not fit for popular government, and if they should of right be the servants and not the masters of the men whom they themselves put in office!"

The demagogue paints himself. In a word you may know him by this single trait: he is one who, in the pursuit of the so-called rights of humanity, has a supreme contempt for those

Unconcerning things, matters of fact;

one who, by means of an hypnotic loquaciousness, is constantly persuading the people that they have only to follow their first impulsive emotions to be right and safe, and that as a consequence every institution should be swept away which in their wiser, calmer moments they have created as a bulwark against their own more variable nature. To complete the picture we need to contrast with it Burke's portrait of the men of light and leading, with his sober statement of the law of liberty: "Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites; in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity; in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption; in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." Or we may go further back and look upon Plato's portrait of the guides who have earned the right to persuade others to temperance by the diligent exercise of that virtue in their own lives.

But the most notable example of demagoguery to-day is not a man, though he be clothed with thunder, but an[Pg 289] institution. There are newspapers and magazines, reaching millions of readers, which have reduced the art to a perfect system. Their method is as simple as it is effective: always appeal to the emotion of the hour, and present it in terms which will justify its excess. Thus, in times when there is no wave of international envy disturbing the popular mind, our journal will print edifying editorials on brotherly love, and laud the people as the great source of peace among nations. But let some racial dispute arise, as in the months preceding our Spanish war or the Italian raid on Africa, and this same journal will day after day use its editorial columns to inflame national hatred—and increase its circulation. On days when no sensational event has occurred, it will indulge in the prettiest sentimental sermons on the home and on family felicities. Nothing so moral; it will even plead in lacrimose type against the evil of allowing babies to lie in perambulators with their eyes exposed to the sun. But let the popular mind be excited by some crime of lust, and the same journal will forget the sweet obligations of home and wife—

That silly old morality,
That, as these links were knit, our love should be—

and will deck out the loathsome debauchery of a murderer and his trull as the spiritual history of two young souls finding themselves in the pure air of passion; or some sordid liaison will be virtually lifted above marriage by the terms "affinity" or "heart-wife." And always, meanwhile, the people are to be soothed out of a sense of responsibility for errors and corruption by the skilfully maintained suggestion of a little group of men entirely removed from the feelings and motives of ordinary humanity, sitting somewhere in secret conclave, plotting, plotting, to pervert the government. Our public crimes are never our own, but are the result of conspiracy.

These are the agencies that, in varying forms, have been[Pg 290] at work in many ages. Only now we have formulated them into a noble maxim, which you will hear daily resounding in the pulpit and the press and in the street: "The cure of democracy is more democracy." It is a lie, and we know it is a lie. We know that this cry of the demagogue has invariably in the past led to anarchy and to despotism; and we know that to-day, were these forces unopposed, as happily they are not unopposed, the same result would occur—

Our liberty reversed and charters gone,
And we made servants to Opinion.

The remedy for the evils of license is not in the elimination of popular restraint, but precisely in bringing the people to respect and follow their right leaders. The cure of democracy is not more democracy, but better democracy.

Nor is such a cure dependent primarily on the appearance, in a community, of men capable of the light: for these the world always has, and these we too have in abundance; it depends rather on so relating these select natures to the community that they shall be also men of leading. The danger is lest, in a State which bestows influence and honors on its demagogues, the citizens of more refined intelligence, those true philosophers who have discourse of reason, and have won the difficult citadel of their own souls, should withdraw from public affairs and retire into that citadel, as it were into an ivory tower. The harm wrought by such a condition is twofold: it deprives the better minds of the larger sustenance of popular sympathy, producing among them a kind of intellectual préciosité and a languid interest in art as a refuge from life instead of an integral part of life; and, on the other hand, it tends to leave the mass of society a prey to the brutalized emotions of indiscriminate pleasure-seeking. In such a State distinction becomes the sorry badge of isolation. The need is to provide for a natural aristocracy.

[Pg 291]

Now it must be clearly understood that in advocating such a measure, at least under the conditions that actually prevail to-day, there is involved no futile intention of abrogating democracy, in so far as democracy means government by and of the people. A natural aristocracy does not demand the restoration of inherited privilege or a relapse into the crude dominion of money; it is not synonymous with oligarchy or plutocracy. It calls rather for some machinery or some social consciousness which shall ensure the selection from among the community at large of the truly "best," and the bestowal on them of "power"; it is the true consummation of democracy. And, again, it must be said emphatically that this is not an academic question, dealing with unreal distinctions. No one supposes that the "best" are a sharply defined class, moving about among their fellows with a visible halo above them, and a smile of beatific superiority on their faces. Society is not made of such classifications, and governments have always been of a more or less mixed character. A natural aristocracy signifies rather a tendency than a conclusion; and in such a sense it was taken, no doubt, by my sociological friend of radical ideas who pronounced it the great practical problem of the day.

The first requisite for solving this problem is that those who are designed by nature, so to speak, to form an aristocracy should come to an understanding of their own belief. There is a question to be faced boldly: What is the true aim of society? Does justice consist primarily in leveling the distribution of powers and benefits, or in proportioning them to the scale of character and intelligence? Is the main purpose of the machinery of government to raise the material welfare of the masses, or to create advantages for the upward striving of the exceptional? Is the state of humanity to be estimated by numbers, or is it a true saying of the old stoic poet: humanum paucis vivit genus? Shall our interest in mankind begin at the bottom and progress upward, or begin at the top[Pg 292] and progress downward? To those who feel that the time has come for a reversion from certain present tendencies, the answer to this question cannot be doubtful. Before anything else is done we must purge our minds of the current cant of humanitarianism. This does not mean that we are to deny the individual appeals of pity, and introduce a wolfish egotism into human relations. On the contrary it is just the preaching of false humanitarian doctrines that practically results in weakening the response to rightful obligations and "turning men's duties into doubts," and thus throws the prizes of life to the hard grasping materialist and the coarse talker. In the end the happiness of the people also, in the wider sense, depends on the common recognition of the law of just subordination. But, whatever the ultimate effect of this sort may be, the need now is to counterbalance the excess of emotional humanitarianism, with an injection of the truth—even the contemptuous truth. Let us, in the name of a long-suffering God, put some bounds to the flood of talk about the wages of the bricklayer and the trainman, and talk a little more about the income of the artist and teacher and public censor who have taste and strength of character to remain in opposition to the tide. Let us have less cant about the great educative value of the theatre for the people and less humbug about the virtues of the nauseous problem play, and more consideration of what is clean and nourishing food for the larger minds. Let us forget for a while our absorbing desire to fit the schools to train boys for the shop and the counting-room, and concern ourselves more effectively with the dwindling of those disciplinary studies which lift men out of the crowd. Let us, in fine, not number ourselves among the traitors to their class who invidiæ metu non audeant dicere.

One hears a vast deal these days about class consciousness, and it is undoubtedly a potent social instrument. Why should there not be an outspoken class consciousness among those who are in the advance of civilization as well[Pg 293] as among those who are in the rear? Such a compact of mutual sympathy and encouragement would draw the man of enlightenment out of his sterile seclusion, and make him efficient; it would strengthen the sense of obligation among those who hesitate to take sides, and would turn many despondent votaries of fatalism and many amateur dabblers in reform to a realization of the deeper needs of the day. Nor is this an appeal to idle sentiment. Much is said about the power of the masses and the irresistible spread of revolutionary ideas from the lower ranks upward. The facts of history point in quite the other direction. It was not the plebs who destroyed the Roman republic, but the corrupt factions of the Senate, and the treachery of such patricians as Catiline and Julius Cæsar. In like manner the French Revolution would never have had a beginning but for the teaching of the philosophers and the prevalence of equalitarian fallacies among the privileged classes themselves. The Vicomtesse de Noailles spoke from knowledge when she said: "La philosophie n'avait pas d'apôtres plus bienveillants que les grands seigneurs. L'horreur des abus, le mépris des distinctions héréditaires, tous ces sentiments dont les classes inférieures se sont emparées dans leur intérêt, ont dû leur premier éclat à l'enthousiasme des grands." And so to-day the real strength of socialistic doctrines is not in the discontent of the workingmen, but in the faint-hearted submission of those who by the natural division of society belong to the class that has everything to lose by revolution, and in the sentimental adherence of dilettante reformers. The real danger is after all not so much from the self-exposed demagogues as from the ignorant tamperers with explosive material. It is not so much from the loathsome machinations of the yellow press, dangerous as they are, as from the journals that are supposed to stand for higher things, yet in their interest in some particular reform, support whole-heartedly candidates who flirt with schemes subversive of property and constitutional[Pg 294] checks; in their zeal for the brotherhood of man, deal loosely with facts; and in their clamor for some specious extension of the franchise, neglect the finer claims of justice. These men and these journals, betrayers of the trust, are the real menace. Without their aid and abetment there may be rumblings of discontent, wholesome enough as warnings against a selfish stagnation, but there can be no concerted drive of society towards radical revolution. For radical forces are by their nature incapable of any persistent harmony of action, and have only the semblance of cohesion from a constraining fear or hatred. The dynamic source of revolution must be in the perversion of those at the top, and anarchy comes with their defalcation. Against such perils when they show themselves, the proper safeguard is the arousing of a counter class consciousness.

It is a sound theorem of President Lowell's that popular government "may be said to consist of the control of political affairs by public opinion." Now there is to-day a vast organization for manipulating public opinion in favor of the workingman, and for deluding it in the interest of those who grow fat by pandering in the name of emancipation to the baser emotions of mankind; but of organization among those who suffer from the vulgarizing trend of democracy there is little or none. As a consequence we see the conditions of life growing year by year harder for those whose labor is not concerned immediately with the direction of material forces or with the supply of sensational pleasure; they are ground, so to speak, between the upper and the nether millstone. Perhaps organization is not the word to describe accurately what is desired among those who are fast becoming the silent members of society, for it implies a sharper discrimination into grades of taste and character than exists in nature; but there is nothing chimerical in looking for a certain conscious solidarity at the core of the aristocratical class (using "aristocratical" always in the Platonic sense),[Pg 295] with a looser cohesion at the edges. Let that class become frankly convinced that the true aim of a State is, as in the magnificent theory of Aristotle, to make possible the high friendship of those who have raised themselves to a vision of the Supreme Good, let them adopt means to confirm one another in that faith, and their influence will spread outward through society, and leaven the whole range of public opinion.

The instrument by which this control of public opinion is effected is primarily the imagination; and here we meet with a real difficulty. It was the advantage of such a union of aristocracy and inherited oligarchy as Burke advocated that it gave something visible and definite for the imagination to work upon, whereas the democratic aristocracy of character must always be comparatively vague. But we are not left wholly without the means of giving to the imagination a certain sureness of range, while remaining within the forms of popular government. The opportunity is in the hands of our higher institutions of learning, and it is towards recalling these to their duty that the first efforts of reform should be directed. It is not my intention here to enter into the precise nature of this reform, for the subject is so large as to demand a separate essay. In brief, the need is to restore to their predominance in the curriculum those studies that train the imagination, not, be it said, the imagination in its purely æsthetic function, though that aspect of it also has been sadly neglected, but the imagination in its power of grasping in a single firm vision, so to speak, the long course of human history, and of distinguishing what is essential therein from what is ephemeral. The enormous preponderance of studies that deal with the immediate questions of economics and government, inevitably results in isolating the student from the great inheritance of the past; the frequent habit of dragging him through the slums of sociology, instead of making him at home in the society of the noble dead, debauches his mind with a[Pg 296] flabby, or inflames it with a fanatic, humanitarianism. He comes out of college, if he has learnt anything, a nouveau intellectuel, bearing the same relation to the man of genuine education as the nouveau riche to the man of inherited manners; he is narrow and unbalanced, a prey to the prevailing passion of the hour, with no feeling for the majestic claims of that within us which is unchanged from the beginning. In place of this excessive contemporaneity we shall give a larger share of time and honor to the hoarded lessons of antiquity. There is truth in the Hobbian maxim that "imagination and memory are but one thing"; by their union in education alone shall a man acquire the uninvidious equivalent in character of those broadening influences which came to the oligarch through prescription—he is moulded indeed into the true aristocrat. And with the assertion of what may be called an inner prescription he will find among those over whom he is set as leader and guide a measure of respect which springs from something in the human breast more stable and honorable and more conformable to reason than the mere stolidity of an unreflecting prejudice. For, when everything is said, there could be no civilized society were it not that deep in our hearts, beneath all the turbulences of greed and vanity, abides the instinct of obedience to what is noble and of good repute. It awaits only the clear call from above.

[Pg 297]


Recent ideas of social justice have been marked by a vast extension of the category of human rights. While these new rights are most various they may all be covered by the general principle that wages may be of right more than what the wage taker earns for his employer, and that in all exchanges of any sort between the poor and the rich the poor has the right to take more than he gives. To follow the applications of this new doctrine of rights would be instructive. We should find that an employer is financially responsible for accidents occurring through an employee's recklessness. If my gardener gets drunk and drowns himself in the cistern, I must pay roundly to his estate. Nor have I the satisfaction, if it be such, of regarding this contribution as a compulsory beneficence. It is my gardener's right. The odd part is that if I, being a professor, get drunk and drown myself in the campus fountain, the corporation is in no way bound to assuage my widow's financial need. If the corporation should, by way of embalming my memory, grant her a pension, it would be a case not of her rights but of their charity. This perfectly possible instance reveals an odd reversal of all earlier doctrines of rights. It used to be supposed that rights increased with capacity. Now the more incapable a person may be, the more completely the state invests him with rights. Ability and power must be carefully hemmed in with duties. Weakness on the contrary is freed from duties and must be privileged.

Into what moral gulf we are thus cheerfully staggering it would be a high public service to inquire. But my theme is not so ambitious. I wish merely to suggest in a particular instance the somewhat woeful reaction of this[Pg 298] new doctrine of rights upon a certain class of the weak—to wit, ill balanced and discontented women. I have witnessed many cases of personal unhappiness among women, some of domestic shipwreck, owing to a wife's moral confusion, some of women hounded by unreasonable discontent into public careers for which they have no capacity, and perhaps the most pitiful cases of all, women pursued by an aimless restiveness which finds no stated expression, but colors atrociously their every act. Peace and clear thinking wither as those women pass. They are mostly victims of a false theory that a woman has the innate right to be amused, and that for such amusement she need not pay. It will be seen that I have described what foreign neurologists call la maladie Américaine. And as a matter of fact the fallacy that a right to be amused exists, is more prevalent in America than elsewhere. Let us admit that Mrs. Wharton's Undine Spragg is overdrawn, she still retains high symbolic value. As Americans we may doubt her in parts, but we cannot disown her as a whole. She is the bright archangel of the dogma that while a woman must be amused, she need not pay.

At the outset we must discriminate sharply the right to be amused, from the ordinary pursuit of pleasure. The most reckless or voluptuous programme of life assumes in contrast a certain dignity and morality, from the fact that the pleasure seeker is prepared to take all risks and pay all prices. That is the man's code the world over, and in most countries it has imposed itself upon the community generally. It is a poor code enough as compared with self control and social service, but at least it has glimmerings of generosity and justice. The strong at all times have managed to live pretty satisfactorily by it. The weak have not suffered unduly under the rule of he who breaks must pay. Quite apart from the Epicurean programme, all sensible people work on a theory of reciprocity in service and in pleasure. I can't expect[Pg 299] nice people to seek me unless I now and then seek them. If I am habitually silent or merely garrulous, I have no claim upon the good talker; he will properly flee my approach. So for the person who is not amusing there can be no right to be amused, and if he succeeds nevertheless in extorting amusement from the world, it is at somebody else's expense, and at the cost of his own soul.

What I frequently see in the faces of women, and especially in the faces of young girls of the wealthy classes, is as distressing to me as mysterious. It has been my rare good fortune to live among serene and companionable women, women whose graciousness has been rooted in character. Accordingly I am mystified by the hungry defiant faces I see about me wherever women congregate. They seem to be playing a part, to be desperately seeking something which they are getting in insufficient measure. They have the air of being ready to resent a slight while stubbornly maintaining a right. They are too intent. There is no ease in them and no fragrance. Now if these observations were of recent date or suddenly made, it would be prudent to set them down to the score of middle age and a growing disinclination from general society. It would be pleasant to believe that I am merely become old fashioned, mistaking Paris modes for inner characteristics, and particular cosmetic arts which the young girls of my youth happened not to employ, for a sign of degeneracy. Whereas, it may still be a true heart, the beating of which one observes too plainly at opera or dance, and rouge tinges nothing but the skin. So I would fain believe that the readiness with which our women assume the stigmata of the Paris half-world, is without significance. "The Ladies! God bless them!" it would be pleasant to end this ungracious discourse with the familiar toast. But the toast itself no longer is pledged with the old unction, and the modern woman is too intelligent to be satisfied with stale and perfunctory oblations. She knows that not all is well with her, and welcomes the probe. The[Pg 300] satirists of our womenkind would starve but for women readers. I who am no satirist, but a simple observer of life, shall have my best reading from women, or shall go unread.

That defiant hungry look on our young girls' faces, so different from the shyness and wistfulness one generally notes in Europe, what is its ground? A complete answer would mean the writing of a considerable chapter of our history. One would trace the course of happy laborious partnerships in pioneer times, to the establishment of wealth, and the institution of a peculiar American cult of womanhood. This cult found expression in eloquent cant phrases. "Every American woman is a queen in her own household" was a favorite article of the liturgy. More economically expressive was the phrase "able to support a wife," a wife obviously being regarded as a luxury of the more expensive order. Along with the cult went a resolute practice of keeping all business or political cares from the women of the family. Such reticence as to the real issues of living, such exclusion from the usual means of education, was the lot of the American woman from early in the last century. She was, in another favorite liturgical phrase, exclusively, "The ornament of the home." Naturally her education was to consist wholly of accomplishments. Money poured into her hands and out. Whence it came, and the difficulty of getting it, were scrupulously concealed from her. To be a good provider was the cardinal masculine merit. For the husband the money grubbing realities; for the wife the decorative appearances. Very soon it became a tacit convention that, already separated in all ordinary business relations, husband and wife should be separated also in their pleasures. He was too dull or too tired for society, but from his fireside or club chair took a remotely conjugal satisfaction in the report of her brilliancy and social successes: for after all he was subsidizing her career. To be the husband of a very successful woman was like[Pg 301] being the background angel for a theatrical star. It implied association and interest, but nothing like intimacy. Being reduced to a scintillant parasitic role, the American woman, to do her justice, played it pretty well. The literature and general discussions of the sixties and seventies abound in her laudation, while the American man is either charitably ignored or briefly commended for his self effacing virtues and unlimited generosity as a provider. It was in this black walnut era, which corresponds exactly with the high point of the cult of the American woman, that she became a familiar apparition in the hotels of Europe. Ostensibly she was cultivating some accomplishment, or, less specifically, her soul. In response to an abnormal social position she developed peculiar capacities. She devoured wholesale miscellaneous ill assorted information, and gave it back with interest. She acquired a brittle fluent manner of talk, but her idea of conversation was to be vivacious and assertive and above all merely to keep things going. She created a social atmosphere in which no thoughtful, unaggressive person could live. The American husband withdrew more securely into his social nonentity, while his place was taken by nondescript foreigners or by light footed and joyous young native male beings who also had the gift of keeping things up. These radiant young males for the most part flourished only for a space. In turn they became occulted husbands and tolerated good providers.

The women were less fortunate. To be an American woman was an inexorable career that once undertaken could not be abandoned. A few escaped by marrying into the simple human conditions prevailing among the European aristocracy, some American queens were dethroned through failure of the exchequer, a few succumbed to an increasing group of children; these were the fortunate exceptions. Most of them continued the hopeless task of building up a satisfactory life without including[Pg 302] the ordinary responsibilities and loyalties. Naturally the cardinal maxim of a life largely empty of real interests and devoted to self exploitation along social lines, was the right to be amused. That is what, by and large, the good looking American woman is taught to regard as her most peculiar and precious right. That is the meaning of the hungry and defiant faces of our young girls. They are the last logical stage in the American notion of womanhood. They are anxiously asserting a right which the world by no means always allows—the right to be amused.

Let me restore a perhaps tottering reputation for humor by admitting that the picture just sketched is somewhat overdrawn. There was sometimes a certain unity in grotesquely sundered families. The organizing and management of a household in days before the apartment hotel, the telephone, and the department store, involved an irreducible minimum of steadying duties. The cult of the American woman often produced a sense of noblesse oblige, not very logical but efficacious. The queen could in the better sense do no wrong. Then there were always happy backwaters of society where the family was still an alliance, and mutual understanding was the rule. What justifies me in blackening the picture, is the fact that the dogma of the right to be amused is as strong as ever, and more disastrous in its results. Few duties and educational offsets help the modern girl to see life clearly and see it whole. Increasingly detached from all imposed responsibilities, she is more in danger of regarding the world as her playground and other men and women as her toys. The inevitable weakness of her position is that she has little to give. Her beauty and the charm of her sex, a certain restless vivacity, are often her sole current coin. It is a currency subject to rapid depreciation. After girlhood she frequently is not amusing, has nothing to give for the amusement become necessary to her. Establishing no stable and self respecting relations, she flies about in search of new excitements. Isms and ologies[Pg 303] claim her passing fealty. Messiahs alternate with neurologists. To the problems of life she brings the mind of a spoiled child. If she marries well, she may at least conduct satisfactorily an expensive will-o'-the-wisp existence. For amusement by this sort is very exactly graded by its expensiveness. Large motor cars or yachts, opera boxes, public dining and dancing—these are the surest evidence that one's right to be amused is duly conceded by one's husband and by the world. Whatever satisfactions the married butterfly commands are largely denied to her unwedded sister. I know of no more pitiful spectacle than that of women in the forties still conducting with a child's mentality the occupations of girlhood. These constitute the supporting public for all the charlatanisms—social, political, and religious.

Of course I am aware that all babies are born with the right to be amused—a right which child specialists have valiantly but vainly striven to abridge. In the case of a male baby that right is pretty soon abridged by the rough and tumble and give and take of school and games. The sense that he must be amused is soon knocked out of a normal boy. In a young man whatever may survive of it yields to the somewhat grim business of earning a living. In a rich and unoccupied young man, the problem of amusement is very much that of the woman, with the marked difference, however, that only a very perverse young man imagines that amusement is due him, or can be had on other terms than his paying for it. In comparison with this wholesome process of gradual enlightenment, how little is done for the education of a girl! Compare with the unconditioned freedom of a well to do American maiden, that stern subjection to the complicated interest of a clan which is the lot of an English girl, or better, the rational preparation for marriage and motherhood which every well born French girl receives. To submit, to play a social part, to discount pleasure in favor of duty, this is the very air girls breathe in the older[Pg 304] civilizations. A study or a mere observation of the women of Europe and America will leave no doubt as to where the balance of happiness lies. The boasted freedom of the American woman is often her sorrow, and her joy is escape from freedom into some kind of service.

This is a trite story. Robert Grant, Edith Wharton, Robert Herrick have expended the greatest artistry on the ungrateful theme of the egocentric American woman. More blatantly, David Graham Phillips, Upton Sinclair, and Owen Johnson have belabored the unfortunate creature. I venture to move matter so thoroughly familiar, only in the hope of setting it in something like historic perspective, and of pointing out remedial tendencies. And first of all, while this is primarily a woman's problem, it is emphatically of man's making. It would be a most curious and interesting historical study to ascertain just when and precisely how, the American notion of women as a luxury and ornament came into being. Until the quite recent revulsion against the theory, it passed for a beautiful expression of the innate chivalry of the American man. It is possible that it is indeed a product of that peculiar inept sentimentality—of that impotence in the field of the emotions—which frequently accompanies a life too narrowly devoted to business. In affairs involving the intelligence of the heart, there is notoriously no fool comparable with a certain type of millionaire. An unkinder view of this chivalric delusion of the American man as regards his womankind, is that it is not a delusion at all but a Machiavellian policy. He is overconcentrated in work, and socially inert. He bribes his women in order to be let alone. He dangles vanities before them in order to avoid a manly sharing of his life. The Undine Spraggs and her sisters in fiction are prone to take this view when they go to the rare pains of general reflection. Probably a mixture of the two motives would supply the real cause. Our forefathers did idolize their women, and doubtless wished to procure them happiness without first taking[Pg 305] the trouble to learn where a woman's happiness really lies. Our forefathers were also over busy men, and willing to pay handsomely for immunity from ungrateful social duties. They may have quite honestly desired to simplify what is a delicate and complicated personal adjustment, but in so doing they ignored that broad community of interest which is the vitalizing principle of any successful marriage. The present iconoclasm concerning our once idolized women will do very little good until it be clearly perceived that what is very much the misfortune of the American woman is also very much the fault of the American man. When he begins to realize that he is not merely a provider or patron, but in the fullest sense a partner, the old sentimentalisms will give way to reality and common sense.

Meanwhile much is happening to make our women more capable of genuine partnership. The projection of millions of women from sheltered homes into business has been a rude process and fraught with evils, but it has given to these women some vision of the world of affairs. Much of our recent humanitarian endeavor has been hysterical and half-baked, but it has also left a considerable residuum of genuine new experience and wisdom. Suffragist and socialist agitation has wavered between gushing sentimentalisms and benighted fanaticisms, but it has also been an educational process, revealing, to hundreds of thousands of women even if in a hectic light, the real figure of the world. A great deal that is still raw in these fermentations may eventuate in clearer ideas of social justice and personal wisdom. In a very true sense much of the revolt of women has been an unconscious protest against the theory of man as paymaster general. When men understand that women cannot live by frocks and functions alone, however generously provided, but want companionship, less will be heard about feminism and more about humanity.

Meanwhile it is the duty of parents to disabuse their[Pg 306] female offspring as to the existence of a right to be amused. To be amused is at best a privilege conditional upon one's desire to prove amusing to others. Amusement is necessary, but less necessary than it seems, and always has to be paid for fairly. It seems as if such ideas could be instilled into children, substituting a general morality and sense of fair play, for the old pseudo-chivalric notion of sex privilege. There was more to come of this argument when I was summoned to the telephone to command any one of a half a dozen little playmates to come and see my eight year old daughter. She is temporarily unoccupied and needs to be amused. When she is a little older she shall read this article. Fiat justitia! But stop! When I consider her with many women of my acquaintance, I am amazed that so much sweetness and efficiency have after all survived so much false doctrine and so many unfair kindnesses. The stock is good, if much of the thinking and training has been bad. Quite sincerely I toast the Ladies, if not with the old sentimental unction, at least with the profound conviction that they are worthy of more substantial guerdon than can ever be compacted from mere profits, dividends, and coupons. I will be more of a companion to her who has ever been that to me, and more of a comrade too for the little girl who wants to be amused.

[Pg 307]


That the results of applied woman suffrage may stand out the more clearly, it will be expedient to show, first, the results achieved in behalf of woman without its help. All are agreed that during the sixty-five years that have elapsed since the suffragists, led by Lucretia Mott, posted their "Declaration of Sentiments" at Seneca Falls, N. Y., in 1848, woman has gained certain rights and privileges. That Declaration contained a bitter indictment by woman of man who had "oppressed her on all sides." He had made her, if married, "in the eye of the law, civilly dead," having taken from her "all right in property, even to the wages she earns." He had made her "morally an irresponsible;" she could commit many crimes with impunity, "provided they be done in the presence of her husband, he becoming to all intents and purposes her master—the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty and to administer chastisement." He had so framed the laws of divorce as to what should be the proper causes, and, in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children should be given, "as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of women—the law in all cases going upon the false supposition of the supremacy of man, and giving all power into his hands."

The married woman having no rights, the single woman was "taxed to support a Government which recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it." Man had "monopolized nearly all the profitable employments;" and from those woman was permitted to follow, "she receives but a scanty remuneration." Man had closed to woman "all the avenues to wealth and distinction which he considers most honorable to himself: as a teacher of theology, in medicine, or law, she is not known." Moreover,[Pg 308] man had "denied to her the facilities for obtaining a thorough education, all colleges being closed against her." In the Church, too, she was subordinated, and apostolic authority was invoked "for her exclusion from the ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of the Church." Men acted by a different code of morals from women, "by which moral delinquencies which exclude women from society are not only tolerated, but deemed of little account in men." By such means, the indictment declared, man had discriminated against woman, endeavoring in every way he could to "destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her lead a dependent and abject life." And because of these things the drawers of the indictment demanded for women "immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of the United States."

It was first of all as voters that the women should gain the rights denied them. Deprivation of the vote was the fundamental evil. The first item of their grievances named the ballot as their "inalienable right." It was primarily because this had been wrested away, the Declaration said, that man had been able to oppress woman on all sides.

But it needs only the restatement of the original suffragist grievances to show how completely woman has been emancipated since they were formulated, and chiefly without the vote. Nowhere in the United States is the married woman, in the eyes of the law, civilly dead. Nowhere is she bereft of the right in property and wages. In that year 1848 when the "Declaration of Sentiments" was drafted, New York State, still withholding the franchise from woman, expressly permitted married women to hold property for their sole and separate use. By a law of 1861, married women in New York received power to control property, including wages, and authority to will property was given them in 1867. By 1887 the property[Pg 309] rights of married women in this State were more complete than those of their husbands, who could not convey real estate without their wives' consent. Woman now has a right of action for injuries to person or property, and she is liable for her own wrongful acts; that is, she is no longer "morally an irresponsible." Women are joint guardians with their husbands of their minor children, and, in case of divorce, the custody of the children is decreed reasonably to the innocent party without discrimination as to sex. The laws of divorce and separation, too, though differing widely in the several States, are impartial, applying equally to men and women. New York's women taxpayers have the right to vote on questions of local taxation in all towns and villages, and they are eligible to nearly all political offices, and to various positions of trust and responsibility. Moreover, all the professions are open to them.

In these respects, the case of New York is fairly typical of all the States in the Union, whether suffragist or non-suffragist. As for men's monopolizing "nearly all the profitable employments," the Federal census of 1900 showed that women were engaged in 295 out of the 303 masculine occupations. The original complaint that they were not admitted to men's pursuits on equal terms with men has changed to a demand for laws which shall discriminate in favor of women in industry because of their weaker physique. Only in Massachusetts, Indiana, and Nebraska, however, three male-suffrage States, have laws been passed prohibiting night work for women in factories and machine shops. The eight-hour law for women in California was enacted before they had the suffrage there, but it still exempts the great canning industry of that State from its operation, and it does not prohibit night work. The doubtful minimum wage act, and the maternity act for the protection of women were first copied from anti-feminist Europe by male-suffragist Massachusetts. Massachusetts, also, is generally credited[Pg 310] by child labor experts and by woman suffragists with having the best child labor law in the Union, applied in her great textile industries. It would seem, therefore, that the added complaint of the latter-day suffragists of lack of discrimination in favor of working women may be satisfied without resort by them to the ballot.

The facilities for acquiring a thorough education are now in no State denied to woman. In the argument of Mrs. A. J. George to the woman suffrage committee of the Federal Senate on April 19, 1913, this anti-suffragist authority noted the fact that there are "to-day more institutions which grant degrees to women in this country than there are institutions which grant degrees to men." The foundation of Vassar, of Wellesley, of Smith, of Mount Holyoke, was "in no way connected with the suffrage movement," while the opening of the Harvard examinations to women and the opening of the graduate departments of Yale University to women were due to the activities of men and women who were avowed anti-suffragists. In the universal granting of this great privilege to woman, therefore, the ballot was not used or needed.

The grievance that woman is subordinated in the Church was one that, by its nature, could not be settled by the suffrage, since in this country Church and State are irrevocably separate. As a matter of fact, however, woman has steadily gained rights and privileges in most denominations of the Protestant Church, including admission to the ministry and public participation in their affairs. For example, Dr. Anna Shaw, the President of the National Woman's Suffrage Association, is a clergywoman. As in religion, so in morals. The legal prohibitions of immorality are in most cases the same for both men and women; it is only outside the domain of legislation and within the sphere of social custom that divergencies appear, and here the discrimination is exercised notoriously by woman against her erring sisters.

[Pg 311]

Up to this point results achieved and practicable without the suffrage seem to argue strongly against a continuance of the propaganda to obtain the elective franchise for the redress of aggrieved womankind. Clothed with full rights in property and earnings, held morally accountable for her acts, made joint guardian with her husband over her children, welcomed to an equal competition with men in business, industry, and the professions, after ample opportunities given for acquiring a higher education and special training, to what further extent can the exercise of the voting power by woman improve her status? The grievances set forth in the "Declaration of Sentiments" of 1848 present the "whole case for woman as comprehensively as it ever has been stated since," according to an official statement of the National Woman Suffrage Association; the document's resolutions comprised "practically every demand that ever afterwards was made for women." The civil and legal rights besought therein have been so fully recognized that the anti-suffragists, numbering many public-spirited women who have battled zealously for these rights, now contend that womanhood suffrage is not needed.

Their suffragist opponents will not be gainsaid. While the condition of woman and her children has been mitigated, much remains to do, they say, and the more quickly by the ballot. For example, while eighteen States, comprising nearly one-half the population of the Union—41,231,000, to be exact—enjoy the benefit of joint guardianship laws, and in twenty-seven more States the surviving mother is made sole guardian of her children with the same powers exercised by the father in his lifetime, six States remain—Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and Maryland, with a combined population of 9,104,000—in which the father has power to bequeath the guardianship to a stranger and away from the mother. To be sure, in this ninth of the population of the country the custom ignores the common law; husbands uniformly[Pg 312] leave the guardianship of children to their wives, and the mother shares authority over them with the father. But here is a field for corrective legal action. The question is whether, if women had the vote, this would be the swiftest and most direct means of bringing about the reform demanded. A suffragist writer has said: "It took the mothers of Massachusetts fifty-five years to get an equal guardianship law, but after the women obtained the ballot in Colorado the very next Legislature enacted one." She forgot that New York's joint guardianship law was passed a year before the Colorado statute. Mrs. George W. Townsend of Buffalo, who as head of the Woman's Educational and Industrial Union was active in urging the passage of the joint guardianship laws in both States, says of the one in New York:

Our Union was especially careful that the Suffrage Association should not know of the Union's effort until after the law was passed. I remember that a prominent suffragist called to see me as soon as she heard of it, and said, "How did you accomplish this great good, and not let us know?" And I answered, "Because we did not let you know." I think I was justified in saying that, because many men in both houses were so opposed to woman suffrage that they would not have voted for our bills. The guardianship bill was passed without a negative vote in either house.

The work was done in a systematic manner. Circulars giving full information in regard to laws in other States, and as to what we desired to accomplish, and reasons therefor, were sent to every legislator. There was no lobbying, and, in fact, it was not necessary for me to go to Albany at all.

It should be noted in this connection that in Wyoming, while it is not among the "benighted" states that permit the father to will the guardianship of his children away from the mother, the women have had an equal voice in the State Government for more than half a century without making fathers and mothers joint guardians of their children. It is not clear, therefore, that joint guardianship[Pg 313] laws have been passed the more quickly by reason of woman suffrage.

But other tests should be applied. The new complaints of woman that have arisen since the Declaration of 1848 deal largely with her condition in the industries which men have thrown open to her. Has the suffrage enabled her more quickly to ameliorate this condition? Around this point the strife rages between the "pros" and the "antis." Miss Minnie Bronson, who was employed from 1907 to 1909 by the Federal Bureau of Labor to investigate the conditions of labor of women and children, and who acted as the Special Agent of the Bureau to report on the strike of shirtwaist makers in 1910 has prepared a statement for the Massachusetts Association Opposed to the Further Extension of Suffrage to Women embodying a comparison of the laws for the protection of wage-earning women in the various States of the Union. Miss Bronson's contentions have been deemed of sufficient importance to merit a reply, with an introduction by Jane Addams, written by the two best qualified woman suffragist authorities on women in the industries, Miss Edith Abbott of Hull House, Chicago, and Professor Sophonisba P. Breckinridge of the University of Chicago. The allegations of Miss Bronson and the specific replies of her opponents thereto are marshaled below:

"Anti" Contentions Suffragist Replies
A suffragist addressing the women shirtwaist strikers in New York declared that if the women engaged in this industry had had the ballot such a strike as theirs would be unnecessary. The speaker would have been surprised to learn that 40 per cent, of the strikers were men, 36 per cent, were women under 21 years, and 6 per cent. were women [Pg 314]workers of voting age who had not been in this country long enough to gain a residence. When we say that if women had a vote there would be an end of child labor, and that young girls would work shorter hours, this does not mean that we think the children in the mills and factories and workshops are going to be allowed to vote. In England conditions improved for all workingmen when some workmen got the vote; in this country when some women get the vote conditions for all workingwomen will improve.
Laws governing the labor of women are constantly improved, not because women have the ballot or want it, but because women are entering more and more into the industrial life of the country. In forty-four states the laws for safeguarding wage-earning women are better and more comprehensive than the laws for the safeguarding of wage-earning men. Moreover, a comparison of the labor laws of the various states shows that there are more and better laws for the protection of women wage-earners in the non-suffrage states than in states where women have the ballot. Any fair-minded person need only recall the long series of statutes enacted in all the leading industrial states, covering nearly three-fourths of a century, as a result of workmen's efforts to get through laws a larger measure of justice than they could obtain through their attempts to bargain with individual employers. This legislation, although it may in a few cases protect the workingwoman as well as the workingman, represents the results of long years of earnest struggle by workingmen with votes to improve their condition. Miss Bronson ignores this, laying stress on the fact that some states have a few special provisions to protect wage-earning women from exploitation likely to injure health and endanger their children's health.
In thirty-four states laws have been passed limiting the hours of labor in which a woman may be employed. Three of the four woman suffrage states where women have voted long enough to affect legislation have no such law, and the 54-hour law in Utah was not enacted until 1911, fifteen years after woman suffrage became operative there. No suffragist would deny that protective legislation has been obtained in states where women do not vote. It is well known that most of this legislation was obtained through the laborious efforts of suffragists.
No argument that protective legislation does not exist in some of the states in which women have the ballot is valid which ignores the special [Pg 315]needs of these states. Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Utah are all mining and agricultural states and have very few wage-earning women who are employed in factories. Massachusetts had 152,713 women in "manufacturing and mechanical pursuits" when the last United States Census of Occupations was taken; Idaho had only 681. A similar contrast might be drawn for any of the other states: thus, Wyoming had 501 women in industrial occupations while New York in the same year had 136,788.
Thirty-nine states compel employers in stores, factories, shops, etc., to provide seats for female employés. Nine states have no such laws, and one of the nine states is a suffrage state. The one suffrage state, Idaho, that fails to provide seats for saleswomen had 153 saleswomen in all at a time when Massachusetts had 11,985, Illinois, 12,149, and New York, 30,858. In most of the thirty-nine states where voteless women have secured these laws, they have never received the means of enforcing them. The protective laws protect no one.
In forty-two states, the territory of Alaska, and the District of Columbia, the earnings of a married woman are secured to her absolutely, and cannot be required by law, as can the earnings of a married man, for the support of the family, nor are they liable for her husband's debts. Six states do not so provide, and one is a suffrage state. No reply.
[Pg 316]Sixteen states regulate the employment of women at night, and specifically state the hours between which women may not be employed. These laws were all enacted under male suffrage. In these sixteen states are all those that prohibit night work for girls who are minors, but who are over 16 and therefore not protected by child labor laws. Night work for women is not prohibited in Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, for the same reason that the workingmen of Nebraska have not passed a law protecting seamen.
Twenty-four states, only one a suffrage state, restrict the number of hours of employment for women, both by the day and week, thus causing one day of rest in seven. The suffrage states of Washington and California, while limiting women's work to forty-eight hours a week, passed both laws while under male suffrage. The same legislature of California that granted equal suffrage passed the eight-hour law for women. Massachusetts has passed a 54-hour a week law for women as the culmination of forty years of effort by indirect influence to improve conditions for women in industry. Utah in 1911 passed a nine-hour law for women after less than two years of effort by its advocates. The first legislature of which they asked it gave it to women with votes. Of the non-suffrage states not one has an eight-hour law for women, and only five have nine-hour laws.
Eliminating the manufacturing states of the east, which have the most and best remedial laws for women, the suffrage states of Idaho and Wyoming do not limit the hours a woman may be employed, while the neighboring male-suffrage states of Oklahoma, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Nebraska [Pg 317]regulate the hours by law, and Nebraska prohibits the employment of women at night in all manufacturing mechanical, or mercantile establishments, and in hotels, and restaurants, and limits the number of hours per week, thereby insuring one day of rest. The Nebraska law provides for a ten-hour day and a sixty-hour week and does not prohibit Sunday labor. Nebraska, in company with a large number of other states, has a law prohibiting Sunday labor, which applies to both men and women.
The fact that Colorado has no Sunday labor law argues as much against suffrage for men as for women, since the men in the large metal-working establishments are chiefly affected by absence of Sunday laws. Anyway, such laws are rarely enforced.
An eight-hour law for women was enacted in Colorado in 1903, a very inadequate law, for it was restricted in its application to women who must stand at work, and exempted the great majority of women employed in that state in the "seated trades" of ready-made clothing, dress-making, millinery and like occupations, and in candy-making, box-making, and cigar-making. The law was pronounced unconstitutional in 1907 by the Supreme Court of Colorado, although state courts and the Federal Supreme Court have upheld similar laws in neighboring male-suffrage states. Not until 1912, nineteen years after woman suffrage came into Colorado, was a law finally secured limiting the hours of women at work. The eight-hour day of the Colorado law, made for the majority of workingwomen of Colorado a forty-eight-hour week, in contrast with the 60-hour week in the neighboring states of Oklahoma, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Nebraska. It is little short of ridiculous to discuss these laws as if they were all genuinely protective through proper enforcement. The last census of occupations showed but 65 women and girls in Colorado employed in candy-making, 11 in box-making, and 30 in cigar-making, in contrast to 1,184 saleswomen, 762 waitresses, 1,599 in hand and steam laundries,—all in the standing trades.
Laws not enacted under woman suffrage are those in Massachusetts prohibiting employers from deducting the wages of women when time is lost because machinery has broken down, and prohibiting the employment of women for [Pg 318]a fixed period before and after childbirth; the law in Delaware and Louisiana exempting the wages of women from execution, and laws in California, Illinois, and Washington, providing that no person shall on account of sex be disqualified from entering upon or pursuing any lawful business, vocation, or profession. The Massachusetts law relating to broken-down machinery was passed to correct peculiar abuses in the textile industries. This law was not needed in suffrage states. In a few states the courts took the position that since women were not voters they could not become practicing lawyers; corrective statutes were passed. No such law would be needed in a state where women do participate in the Government.
A suffragist says that in Massachusetts the average pay of a female teacher is only one-third that of a male teacher, and in almost all the states it is unequal, whereas Wyoming and Utah give equal pay for equal work. Where teachers are doing the same grade of work no such percentage as three to one obtains in Massachusetts. Female teachers do not in the majority of cases receive the same pay as men for the work of the same grade; but here the law of supply and demand is paramount. The women teachers of New York City receive equal pay with men teachers, granted by a male-suffrage legislature. The doctrine of the inflexibility and almost sacred character of supply and demand is outworn. The supply of child labor has been greatly reduced in many states, and is entirely cut off in others by means of protective legislation; in still other states the demand for child labor has greatly decreased as the result of inconvenient protective child labor laws and the demand for labor of men and women has correspondingly increased. To get equal pay the women teachers in New York City had to put in six years of hard and exhausting work by "indirect influence" while in the suffrage states the same result has come about almost automatically.

In this conflicting testimony it does not appear that the complaint of Lucretia Mott and her sister suffragists in 1848 that woman had been oppressed on all sides is valid to-day. Both Miss Bronson and her suffragist opponents agree that woman in industry has been protected, not oppressed. It is admitted that this is not a[Pg 319] result of the exercise of the ballot by woman. It is unfortunate, of course, that the suffrage states are in the agricultural and mining stages of civilization, and cannot show how formidable the women's vote might be in correcting the oppressive man-made laws. It is a little deplorable, too, that the women in the male-suffrage states should have spent so much of their time proving that protective laws might be gotten by the despised indirect methods. Dr. Abbott and Professor Breckinridge have perceived this tactical error, and they note it in these words:

American women would probably have got the vote long ago if they had followed the present English method of making suffrage a paramount issue, first, last, and all the time. Instead of this, Miss Jane Addams in Illinois, Mrs. Florence Kelley in New York, and a host of other ardent suffragists have labored with the greatest devotion and self-sacrifice to secure protective legislation for women and children. How much effort they have put into it, how much time and energy it has cost, only those who have been closely associated with them know. It should not be forgotten that, as the result of their experience, they say that the ballot is the swiftest and surest way to bring about the reforms which are asked by and for the women workers of the country.

But how can that last sentence be verified? Was it not explicitly admitted that the suffrage states, by reason of their mining and agricultural status, have had little occasion to reform the laws for women workers, and that the reforms have all been worked out in the east? The male workers under male suffrage have done this for themselves, and incidentally for the women workers among them. Of course, there are fewer woman bread-winners, the proportion being five men to one woman. But women share equally in the benefits of labor legislation, besides being specially protected. The unions have even succeeded in leveling up a little the scale of women's wages, thus measurably meeting the complaint of 1848[Pg 320] that in her employments woman "receives but a scanty remuneration." And despite the equal pay laws for teachers in the suffrage states the average pay for women teachers is much below that of men teachers. Dr. Helen M. Sumner, the suffragist writer of the book Equal Suffrage says: "Taking public employment as a whole, women in Colorado receive considerably less remuneration than men;" and "the wages of men and women in all fields of industry are governed by economic conditions." Dr. Sumner's tables show that the pay of women in Colorado has never been quite half as much as the pay of men; while the average weekly wage of women in that state is 97 cents higher than the average in the United States, the average weekly pay of men is $3.62 higher than for the United States as a whole. Dr. Sumner frankly acknowledges that the suffrage has probably nothing to do with the wages of either men or women.

As for hours of work, the contention of the suffragists that the 54-hour a week law in Massachusetts was "the culmination of forty years of effort by indirect influence to improve conditions for women in industry," while Utah granted such a law after less than two years of effort by its suffragist advocates, merits the comment that the forty years, or one-eighth that time, were not consumed in agitating for this specific bit of legislation. The struggle for the law limiting hours of women's work in Massachusetts lasted a little longer than in Utah, chiefly because Utah is an agricultural state where manufacturers have less at stake in the passage of such a restrictive measure. It is not probable that the legislators of Utah blenched and yielded this point through fear of the women's vote, or that any but humanitarian motives dictated the legislation in either state.

Considerations of humanity, indeed, and not politics, seem to animate the legislative programs for the protection of women and children in most states, whether male suffragist or equal suffragist. Pennsylvania, for example,[Pg 321] is one of the black states on the suffragist maps, because it has never extended the franchise to woman, even for the election of school committees. If the woman's vote is requisite, we should see the protective laws of Pennsylvania far behind those of Colorado. Colorado has had equal suffrage since 1893, and of all the woman suffragist states, conditions there are most nearly like those in the male suffragist East. For comparison, I draw on two unchallenged documents, one prepared by Mary C. Bradford and published by the Colorado Equal Suffrage Association—with some additions by Elinor Byrns and Helen Ranlett, printed in The New York Evening Post of Nov. 10, 1913—summarizing the protective laws for women and children passed in that state from 1893 to 1912; the other, a statement of similar laws in force in Pennsylvania in 1912, put forth by the Pennsylvania Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage:

Colorado Pennsylvania
Establishing a state home for dependent children, three of the five members of the board of control to be women. A juvenile court with houses of detention in each county with population over 100,000; probation officers in counties with population over 25,000. Dependent, delinquent, and incorrigible children fully provided for by State Juvenile court and probation officer system. Child placed in care of parents, probation officers, industrial school, or a charitable association as the Court sees best. Houses of detention in every city of first and second class, managed by board of five members, two of them women.
Requiring three of the six members of the county visitors to be women. Visitation periodically by State Board of Charities and Board of Visitors of all agencies having custody of delinquent or dependent children.
Making mother joint guardian of children with the father. If husband unfit, wife has same rights over child as father [Pg 322]would have had. If wife helps support child, she has equal rights with husband; judges decide fitness of parents where question of it arises.
Raising the age of protection for girls to eighteen years. Age of consent or protestation, sixteen years.
One female physician in each state hospital or asylum with female inmates; provision for women members of board of visitors of lunatic asylums; female attendants, paid by counties or poor districts, for all insane female persons in transit; police matron in Philadelphia county prison.
Establishing parental and truant schools; a state industrial home for girls, three of the five members of board of control to be women. Provision for institutions and societies for delinquent and dependent children, also for Houses of Refuge in Philadelphia and Western Pennsylvania; complete system of industrial schools, besides industrial education in public school system; provision for maintenance of children committed to industrial schools. Women eligible as one of two overseers of the poor in each county.
Making Colorado humane society a state bureau for child and animal protection.
Compulsory education for children, between 8 and 16, except those who are ill, or are taught at home, and those over 14 who have completed the eighth grade, or whose parents need their help and support, and those children who [Pg 323]must support themselves. [Are not some of these exemptions loopholes in the law? Ed.] Providing for examination of eyes, ears, teeth, and lungs of school children.
Humane societies throughout the state for child and animal protection.
Compulsory education for all children of school age. Parents and guardians failing to comply with school attendance law are punishable for a criminal offense.
Making father and mother joint heirs of deceased child. Father and mother hold by entireties, with right of survivorship, real and personal properties of intestate child.
Establishing state traveling library; library commission to consist of five women from the State Federation of Women's Clubs. A free library commission created, and provisions made for free libraries throughout the state in cities of first, second and third classes and in boroughs, together with public school libraries, a state public library, and law libraries throughout the state.
Employing children under 14 in mill, factory, or underground works punishable by imprisonment and fine. Children of 16 and under forbidden to work more than six hours a day and not after 8 P. M. in any mill, factory, store, or other occupation that may be deemed unhealthful. Model child labor law passed 1912, "one of the very best in the world." Illiterate workers under 16 must go to night school. From 14 to 16 maximum is 54 hours a week, 9 hours a day. No minor under 14, and no illiterate minor under 18, shall be employed in a factory, workshop, store, mercantile establishment, and so on. Minors under 18 shall not be employed about blast furnaces, tanneries, electric wires, elevators, railroads, vessels, or explosives. Minors over 14 who can read and write can be employed only in establishments having proper sanitation, and in which power machinery is not used, or if used is safeguarded. No minor under 16 shall be employed unless employer keeps employment certificates and complete lists of minors so employed.
Meal hours of employed children regulated, as well as meal hours of all other employés.
[Pg 324]Male minors under 16 and females under 18 forbidden employment between 9 P. M. and 6 A. M.
No woman shall work more than eight hours a day at work requiring her to be on her feet; that is, in manufacturing, mechanical, or mercantile establishments, laundries, hotels, and restaurants. Seats provided for women employed in any establishment.
Sixty-hour-week and twelve-hour-day maximum for women and for minors under 16.
Provisions for suitable wash and dressing rooms and lavatories for men and women in all establishments.
Employment of females prohibited in coal mines or coke offices except as clerks. Employment of women in and about mines or coal manufactories forbidden; women and male minors under 16 forbidden employment in mines; women and male minors under 14 forbidden to be employed on outside structures of mines, except for clerical work.
Requiring joint signature of husband and wife to every chattel mortgage, sale of household goods, or mortgage of a homestead. Homestead, whether husband's or wife's, cannot be sold without the consent of both. No assignment of wages by husband is valid without wife's consent. Chattel mortgages do not exist. Earnings of a married woman, whether as wages for labor, salary, property, business or otherwise, are her own, inure to her separate benefit and are not subject to levy by her husband. Wife must consent to conveyance of real estate by husband in order to bar her dower, and a mortgage requires her consent.
Criminal offense to contribute to delinquency of a child; law raising the delinquency age for girls. Criminal offense to contribute to delinquency of a child; penalty of not more than $500 or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.
Making it a misdemeanor to fail to support aged or infirm parents. Provisions for support of every poor, blind, lame, and impotent person unable to [Pg 325]work, by his or her relatives, either children, grandchildren, parents, or grandparents; provisions for support of the wife's relatives, either children, grandchildren, parents or grandparents, who are poor, blind, lame, impotent, or unable to maintain themselves.
Abolishing the system of binding out girls committed to the industrial school. Separate industrial school for girls created. Provisions for binding out minors maintained by charitable institutions, asylums, or corporations, to suitable persons, without prejudicing rights of such institutions over the child.
The husband must support his wife and children under 16 (legitimate or illegitimate); non-support is made an extraditable offense. Parents liable for support of children in State institutions. If husband neglects or deserts wife, she can have independent rights of trade by filing a petition and securing a certificate from the court. Her property is then her own absolutely and exempt from all claims of husband or his creditors. Statute requires husband to support wife, and family; desertion a misdemeanor.
All policies of life insurance or annuities on the life of any person for benefit of wife or children or dependent relative are vested full and clear from all claims of creditors of such person.
Improved employers' liability law passed in 1912. Assumption of risk abolished except where remedying defect is employe's chief duty. Employers' Liability act of 1907 allows recovery from employer for injuries of employé, doing away with the "fellow-servant" rule as a defense.
A married woman has same right as unmarried person to [Pg 326]acquire and dispose of property real and personal, with entire freedom of contract; but she may not mortgage or convey real property unless husband joins, and may not become indorser or surety for another.
Dower and curtesy abolished; neither husband nor wife may will away more than half of his or her property without the other's consent; wife's will validated. The widow of an intestate who leaves issue has one-third of the realty for life and one-third of the personalty absolutely. If without issue, the widow has $5,000 worth of real or personal estate, besides the widow's exemption of $300. If estate exceeds $5,000, she has one-half the remainder for life, and one-half the remaining personalty absolutely.
Four deputy factory inspectors are required, one of them a woman. Five of the thirty-nine deputy factory inspectors must be women.
Law providing for the care of the feeble minded. School for the Mute and Blind is declared to be an educational institution. Institutions for care and treatment of feeble minded and insane maintained throughout and by the state. Institutions for care and treatment of the deaf, dumb, blind, consumptive, epileptic, aged, indigent, orphan, pauper, and so on, maintained throughout and by the state, counties or municipalities.

While minor differences exist in this comparison, the picture as a whole does not show that the legislation protective of women and children in Colorado is greatly, if at all, in advance of that in the male-suffrage state of Pennsylvania. The American Vigilance Association calls Pennsylvania's laws on "white slavery" and disorderly[Pg 327] houses "good," and Colorado's only "fair." Colorado created in 1913 a Minimum Wage Commission, thus coming abreast of male-suffrage Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania lacks such a commission. But a law establishing a minimum wage is open to the objection that it throws out of employment all who are incapable of earning that wage. It does not protect them in industry, it simply throws them upon the streets, thence to find their way into jails and poorhouses. Designed as a protective measure, it has yet to vindicate that purpose, and it seems to be adopted irrespective of the votes of women. Aside from this it seems clear that if there is any essential difference between the protective legislation of Colorado and Pennsylvania, it must lie in the degree with which the women's votes compel enforcement of the laws.

But just how effective do the suffragists themselves feel the women's vote to be in securing redress for their injuries? Do they trust it? Their chief grievance is the deprivation of the suffrage. The American Woman Suffrage Association says of this, nevertheless, that while woman must have the ballot on every other question, she cannot be trusted to wield it in deciding this most vital question of legal privilege; that only an electorate of men is qualified to decide it. The association is convinced that every improvement in woman's position thus far has been secured "not by a general demand from the majority of women, but by the arguments, entreaties and 'continual coming' of a persistent few." In the association's Brief History of the suffrage movement it contends that the beneficial changes of the last half century in the laws, written and unwritten, relating to women have necessarily come by the influence of a few men and women. "Not one of them would have been made to this day if it had been necessary to wait until the majority of women asked for it," the association says. But that is an argument against the extension of the suffrage, which works only by majorities!

[Pg 328]

It is a valid argument, and it has historical facts in its support. Massachusetts in 1895 granted woman the right to vote on the question whether the municipal suffrage should be extended without distinction of sex. The suffragists made a vigorous campaign in that state. Only 4 per cent. of the women cared to go to the polls and record an affirmative vote. When human grievances have become intolerable, men have been willing to shed blood for their redress. This grievance of the suffragists cannot be very widespread or keenly felt, when they fail to persuade the women even to signify their protest.

She that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much. Mrs. George, speaking for the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, has presented to the woman suffrage committee of the Federal Senate the record of seventeen years' voting for school committees by the women of Massachusetts. During that time the registration showed but 4.8 per cent. of all the women of the state who were qualified to register and vote, and 2.1 per cent., less than one-half of them, actually got to the polls. Mrs. George obtained from the town clerk of Dedham, Mass., the official list of male and female voters in that town from 1889 to 1912, which shows a steadily diminishing female vote from 154 in 1889 to 1 in 1903; since 1903 not one of the fifty to seventy women registered in Dedham has remembered to go to the polls on Election Day.

If women cannot be expected to look after the interests of their children's schooling, how can they be expected to be faithful in the general field of politics? The Massachusetts State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage has compiled the total vote cast in the Presidential election of 1912 in the six woman suffrage States of California, Colorado, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho, and Utah—1,521,590 out of a total possible vote of 3,200,152—showing that only 47-1/2 per cent. of men and women in those states cared to go to the polls for the most interesting of all elections; comparing this with the 1,587,984 male[Pg 329] votes cast out of a possible 2,295,119 votes—69 per cent. of the total—in the six non-suffrage western states of Kansas, Nebraska, Oregon, Nevada, South Dakota, and Missouri. Now if 69 per cent. of the men voted in the woman suffrage states in 1912, then only 17.8 per cent. of the women voters in those states actually cast their ballots. At any rate, it is certain that the extension of suffrage to women results in a notable decrease of the actual voting strength of the electorate, as compared with the more healthy interest in voting shown by the electorates of the non-suffrage states. In that same Presidential election of 1912, Secretary of State Jordan of California reports that 802,000 men and but 180,000 women registered to vote—over 93 per cent. of the men, and a trifle over 27 per cent. of the women who were qualified to register and vote. In the election in Pasadena on March 20, 1913, deciding bond issues, some of them for parks and playgrounds, only 4,672 men and women cast ballots out of a voting population of 16,324; in Los Angeles four days later, the Citizens' Committee's vigorous campaign advocating the carrying of certain propositions and defeat of others ended in a vote of 31,000 men and women, while 130,000 qualified voters of both sexes stayed away. Although 45,665 women registered out of 121,000 women qualified to register and vote in San Francisco's local option election in 1913, the votes of only 15,087, both men and women, were cast in favor of the amendment. In all the elections of which there are records of men and women voting, the women manifest less interest both in registering and in voting than the men.

This fact has its vital bearing on the question of law enforcement. If elected officials fail to enforce the law, the only corrective is the ballot. Dr. Abbott and Professor Breckinridge, answering Miss Bronson's statement that thirty-nine states compel employers in stores, factories, and shops to provide seats for female employés, say that in most of the states where voteless women have[Pg 330] got such laws they have never had the means of enforcing them. But if the extension of the elective franchise to the women of these states should mean the lowering of the total vote from 69 per cent. to but 47-1/2 per cent. of the possible vote, what prospect is there that the laws will be better enforced under woman suffrage? Judge Ben B. Lindsey of Colorado, himself a suffragist by propinquity, testified in 1910 that his battle with "the Beast" and "the System" in that state was begun without the help of the women leaders who at national meetings had been telling how much the women had done for the juvenile court in Denver. They dared not help him, Judge Lindsey said, and women like Mary C. Bradford and Mrs. Lafferty, a member of the Legislature, "took the platform against me and supported the System." He added:

If anyone believes that woman's suffrage is a panacea for all the evils of our political life, he does not know what those evils are. The women are as free of the power of the Beast as the men are, and no freer.... In a typical American community such as ours, where the Beast rules, the women are as helpless as the rest of us.... Their leaders in politics are politicians; when they get their nominations from corporation machines they do the work of the corporations; and there is almost no way under the Beast to get a party nomination except from a corporation machine. Women in politics are human beings; they are not "ministering angels" of an ethereal ideality; and they are unable to free us, because they are not free themselves.

Mrs. Nora Blatch DeForest has tried to show by tables that woman's voting benefits women and children in the passage of laws fixing the "age of consent" for girls; in fixing the age under which the consent of parent or guardian is necessary for marriage; the age below which employment of children in factories is prohibited; the maximum length of a day's work for children, and the hours within which women may work in factories. The tabulation includes the more recent suffrage states of Arizona,[Pg 331] California, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington, in which most of the beneficial laws enumerated were passed under male suffrage. In them and in Utah—excepting the four other suffrage states where there are no limiting laws for women's work—the average day's labor for women is 9.2 hours in the ten suffrage states as against 9.9 hours in the nineteen partial suffrage states, and 10.1 hours in the nineteen non-suffrage states. The maximum day's work for a child is 8.6 hours in the suffrage states, 9 hours in the partial suffrage states, and 9.5 hours in the non-suffrage states, while the ages for prohibited child labor are 14.3 years, 14.1 years, and 13.3 years, respectively. In the same order, the ages at which the consent of parent or guardian is required for marriage of young women are 18.9 years, 19.3 years, and 19.1 years, respectively, and the ages at which girls may consent to their own ruin are 17.5 years, 16.6 years, and 15 years in the three groups of states.

Now, if populations be considered in these three groups, instead of political divisions merely, it will be found that only 5,193,116 people in the suffrage states of California, Colorado, Idaho, and Kansas are under the law which fixes the ideal "age of consent" at 18; that 6,229,263 people are under this beneficent law in the non-suffrage states of Florida, Missouri, and Tennessee, and 17,161,100 people have passed this law in the partial suffrage states of Delaware, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, and Wisconsin; it should be observed, too, that the women voters in the partial suffrage states—less than 5 per cent. of those women vote, by the way—have nothing to do with electing the men who passed this and the other laws discussed by Mrs. DeForest. Like proportions of population hold with respect to all the laws passed in the three classes of states; taking the best law in each case, it may be shown that more people have it under male suffrage than under equal suffrage.

Thus far this article must seem disappointing to sincere[Pg 332] suffragists for it reads like an "anti" document. In the length and breadth of this Union there are no distinctive results of woman suffrage where it has been granted in part or in whole.

But there are abundant results of the feminist movement. In agitating for the ballot Lucretia Mott and her fellow and sister suffragists builded better than they knew. In not following the English method of making suffrage a paramount issue "first, last, and all the time," they and the latter-day suffragists have rapidly brought to pass the feminist reforms, including the extension of the suffrage to women. They have not played the shrew like the English militants, and they are making greater headway than the militants. In this country the redress of woman's grievances has come ante hoc and cum hoc—not post hoc, and hardly ever propter hoc—with respect to woman's suffrage. The cases of California and Washington, the male-elected legislatures of which gave to women workers eight-hour laws at the same time they granted them the suffrage, are fairly typical; "indirect influence" accomplished both results.

Whether the vote in woman's hands may ultimately be better utilized; whether she may use it to aid in freeing the men voters from their thraldom to long ballots and the bosses, with the result of giving both sexes the direct influence on their government that they both lack—that is a question quite beyond the scope of this article.

[Pg 333]


The baby lay in her carriage looking up at the over-hanging soft green leaves and white flowers of a lilac bush. A light wind came rather chilly from the north, despite the day of blue sky and flooding sunshine, and so the carriage had been wheeled a little around a south corner of the house, and left there. Baby was alone with her thumbs and fingers, her big wide eyes and the warm sunshine and her busy little brain. She was a baby of early mental development. Her parents thought her in the way to be a genius.

In the white flowers among the soft green leaves of the lilac bush busy worker bees foraged. They worked actively in the warm sunshine, some lapping up with long tongues of marvelous complexity the nectar from the open flowerets, while others loaded their thighs with the sticky yellowish pollen. They came and went between the flowers and their distant hive, each one doing its own work unaided and unhindered and even apparently unnoticed by any other.

The baby watched them with big wide eyes, uncomprehending, for nature study had not yet come into her curriculum. She liked their activity though, and more than once put up her tiny hands uncertainly as if to feel or grasp them.

Suddenly one of the bees, with the pollen baskets on its thighs filled to overflowing, dropped down on to the knitted afghan that covered the baby's body below the arms. It staggered about a moment, buzzed its wings violently without being able to fly, and then resignedly stood still with legs outspread and wings occasionally gently vibrating. The baby's eyes, soon tired of staring up into the too bright sky, turned their attention to her[Pg 334] wriggling thumbs, and, a moment after, discovered the tired bee. She put out one hand suddenly toward it.

"Excuse me," said the bee, "but I wouldn't touch me if I were you."

"Why?" asked the baby, "shall I hurt you?"

"No, but I should have to hurt you," answered the bee gently.

"You? You little thing hurt me? That's rather absurd, isn't it?"

"Much littler things than I can hurt much bigger things than you," said the bee, sententiously. "But, really, don't you know what I am, and what I can do?"

"No, pardon me for my stupid ignorance, but I do not. I seem to have seen a picture in one of my father's books that resembles you; but it was labelled Apis mellifica, and that told me very little."

"Oh! yes, that was me," proudly replied the bee. "That is what I am called in books. But outdoors here my name is Bee, Honeybee."

"Thank you, Bee. And my name is Baby. I also have another name; in fact several other names. But I rather prefer Baby. It relieves me of much responsibility, and gives me certain powers that my other names fail to carry with them. May I ask if you read much?"

"I do not read at all," answered the bee, "I do not need to," it added. "I know all that I need to know when I am born."

"You mean that you do not have to study, to study books, long rows of books, in order to know how to live?" asked the baby in surprise. "If so then it is no wonder that my father writes about you as he does; that he says you are the example for us all; and that you and your cousins the, er, Formicidae...."

"Oh, the ants, yes. That we are ...?"

"That you are the true successes among all the animals because your knowledge has led you to establish the perfect society, and to become the only true communists[Pg 335] among them all. He says that your life should be the guide for ours; that when we human beings can thoroughly adopt your ways we shall have solved all our problems."

"How wonderfully you talk!" interrupted the bee. "I suppose that comes from reading. You do read a lot, I suppose?"

"Well, I am making a beginning, yes," answered the baby with a sigh. "But it is discouraging sometimes. Here I've only just got through the Encyclopedia Britannica and now they have turned out a new edition. But I get a great deal of my knowledge of life from hearing my father and mother talk; and my nurse, she is a very superior person, too."

"Your father writes books? He is a literary man, then?" asked the bee.

"Oh, no; not at all. He is a scientific man. He writes books only because he has such important things to tell the people."

"And he writes about me and my cousins the ants? He tells the people that they should live as we do? Well, that is encouraging. To tell the truth, some of us have rather envied you humans. We have wanted to be like you."

"Oh, that is silly. Anyway, to be like us in our present stage of evolution."

"In your present stage of, of—I am afraid I don't quite understand," said the bee, rubbing one antenna over its face in a rather bewildered way.

"Oh, like us as we are now. We are in a dreadful way just now. We used to have a very good conceit of ourselves. We were even happy. But that was because we were so ignorant of our true condition. We know better now, thanks to my father and some other observant and thoughtful men. They have seen how miserable we are and they are telling everybody about it. That is necessary, you know, in order to change it. They are writing about it in the newspapers, in the magazines, in little[Pg 336] books, in big books. Our business, our politics, our government, our society, our religion, our very line of evolution; all wrong. At the bottom of it all there is one great trouble; we are too much interested in ourselves as individuals. We want things for ourselves. We should, of course, only want things for the people of the future. We should live for the race, not the individual; just as you do, you know."

"Why, that's funny! We complain of just the opposite. We don't see why we shouldn't have some good things for ourselves, and not do everything all the time for future bees. Even they won't have a good time for they will have to work for still more future bees."

"But think of the race; the wonderful race to come!" burst in the baby.

"Ah, yes, I suppose. But pardon me, please, I am a little dizzy with all this. You know I dropped down here to die; but I have been so much interested in what you said. However, I am afraid I really must die in a few minutes; and if I don't seem to be particularly bright just now you will understand and excuse me, won't you?" And the bee settled down a little lower on her stiffly outstretched legs, and vibrated both antennae gently as if to take a few last smells of the lilac-fragrant air.

"Why, this is terrible! You poor dear bee. Dying! And you talk of it as if it were nothing! Isn't there something we can do? I will call somebody. All I have to do is to scream once, and somebody will come in a hurry."

"Oh, please don't trouble yourself at all. Dying is of no importance whatever with us, you know. In fact if I am old enough or worn out enough to be weak I have no right to wish to live longer, and it would be wrong for anyone to help me. That is part of our perfect communism, you know. We only live for each other and for the race. And if we are weak or sick—but you know, of course, from hearing your father explain it."

The baby was silent for a moment. Her big, wide eyes,[Pg 337] strained even wider now by horror and pity, were fastened on the bee, while it held its own head up as bravely as it could to look steadily into the baby's face. The bee and the baby had someway become friends. Both felt it. And they were silent together, but understanding each other, as friends can.

The baby spoke first. "Dear Bee, if I can't do anything to save you, is there anything I can do"—and a tear rolled down into her mouth—"after?"

"Thank you; you are surprisingly good. Do you really want to do something? Well, if you could someway arrange to see that my load of pollen"—and it moved its two laden hind legs slightly—"gets to the hive, it would be a great favor to me."

"Why, that is dreadful again! You are only thinking of the others. I mean can't I do something just for you, alone?"

The bee did not answer. Her hind legs slid down and out until they were nearly flat on the afghan. Suddenly the baby's face lighted. And with an extraordinary and extremely precocious display of energy and precision of movement—thus beautifully proving the words of that lamented philosopher who said that we ordinarily draw on only about half our resources—she twisted herself around so that her hands could reach the bee, and put them out directly to it.

"Now don't hurt me, the way you said you could," she whispered, "for I am going to help you." And she lifted the bee gently in one hand and with the long sharp nail of the tiny fore finger of the other—a nail the nurse had neglected for several days—she deftly pried the pollen masses off the bee's legs. Then she gently put it down again and twisted back into place, smiling happily.

"There," she said, "that will relieve you of the weight of those horrid great pollen loads. It will help you, I am sure."

It certainly did help the bee. It stood up much higher[Pg 338] on its legs than before. It even made a few feeble steps nearer the baby's face. But it did not say anything for a full minute, and when it did speak its voice betrayed its very strong feeling. Its antennae quivered, and its wings lifted and fell spasmodically. It was a much moved bee.

"This is very wonderful; the influence you have over me, Baby," it said. "I ought, by all our tradition and knowledge, to have stung you. I ought to sting every live thing that touches me that doesn't have the nest odor. And you haven't. But you do have a very pleasing smell, someway. Is that the odor of goodness?"

"Why, no, I suppose it's just the bathed baby odor," said the baby. "I had my bath only half an hour ago and was put out here to go to sleep. Only usually I don't go to sleep. Sometimes I lie and think, and sometimes I just lie and feel good."

"And then I shouldn't at all have let you take off my pollen loads," went on the bee, musingly. "If I should be found by any bees after I am dead without any pollen on my legs or nectar in my honey stomach they would think very badly of me indeed. That is," it added a little bitterly, "if they should think anything about me at all. But I can't feel as badly as I ought to, someway. I really feel a great deal better with those loads off. And I thank you for being so good to me."

"I feel much better, too," said the baby, with a beautiful smile and sweet little gurgle. "Better because you are better, and better because I made you better. I don't think either my bath or my bottle makes me feel better. You dear bee, I wish I could always help you."

"Thank you, Baby. If I were really going to live much longer I should always remember your smell, and come to you if I were in trouble."

"Ah," cried the baby, with her eyes dancing, "then you have learned something. You didn't know everything when you were born, after all. I expect it is not too wise to get all one's knowledge from one's ancestors. Probably[Pg 339] the world changes, and new things come into it, and one needs to be ready to learn. Now we humans are much newer things than you bees, and there are new things in our lives. That's why my father's science, which explains everything by the old things, has always seemed to me to leave something out of account. What does your father think about it?"

The bee lifted its antennae in surprise. Not having eyelids to open nor eyebrows to lift, a surprised bee can only lift its antennae.

"Why, of course, I don't know what my father thinks. I don't know my father. I haven't even seen him. Or if I have seen him with the others in the hive, I haven't known which one was he. I only know he was one of the strongest and best flying bees in the hive or he would never have been able to marry my mother."

The baby, whose eyes had opened very wide as the bee first began to speak, soon recovered herself, for she remembered what her father had written in the report of one of his committees, the Committee on Eugenics, she thought it was. She had read parts of it one day when the nurse had left her for an hour in her father's study.

"Oh, yes, I had forgotten. Only the biggest and strongest bees can be the fathers of the future bees. And that's about all your father does, isn't it; just be your father."

"Yes, we kill them off after mother begins bearing us," answered the bee simply.

"Gracious, what a dreadful thing to do!"

"Why, not at all. They are all pretty old then. And we strong young bees can do the work much better. In fact they couldn't do the work at all. They would only be extra mouths to bring food for, and extra bodies to give space to in the hive. It is far better for the race to get them out of the way," said the bee.

"But your mother; you know her, don't you? And you don't kill her, I hope?" said the baby anxiously.

[Pg 340]

"Well, I do know her, but she doesn't know me. You see when one does nothing but bear children, and has twenty or thirty thousand of them, and more, all very much alike, she couldn't expect to be much interested in any one of them, or even to know them apart. She only bears us; the nurses take care of us from the moment we are born until we are able to take care of ourselves. We don't kill our mother, anyway as long as she is vigorous and not too old, for it is very economical to have a few carefully selected, tested mothers produce all the children. But doesn't your father write about all of that in his book that tells people how to live like us?"

Baby was silent for a little while; then answered thoughtfully. "Why, yes; I had forgotten for the moment. He does have most of it in. But I think not that about killing off the fathers so soon. I'd hate to think of killing my father. He is such good fun sometimes; besides being no end of good to me all the time. He is especially good, I think, because I am not very strong, you know. I guess I shan't ever be able to walk. It's my back or something. Nobody tells me much, but I have heard them talk. And then always father comes and kisses me; and he cries a little."

The bee looked earnestly up into the baby's face. "It seems to me," it said after a moment, "that your father isn't very consistent. If you can never walk, he ought to kill you now, hadn't he? Excuse me, I didn't mean to say anything dreadful, but isn't that what the welfare of your race demands? Only strong well people to live; especially the women, the mothers of the race?"

The baby had recovered from her start at the bee's first words, and kept silent, evidently very thoughtful. Then a slow smile came over her face.

"I guess it's just because my father is a human being and not a bee or any other lower animal that he isn't consistent. Excuse me, but you know we have to call them that from our point of view. We are animals; science[Pg 341] is right about that. And we do animal things. But there are so many different animal things. Not all animals are alike, are they? There are big differences between you and a starfish, aren't there; or just a stupid polyp that can only shut up and open like a plant, and eat, and bud off little polyps and jellyfishes. And probably there are big differences between a man and, well, even a bee or an ant. It's the scientific fashion just now to be awfully economical about explanations. What will explain a polyp is tried on the bees; and what explains the successful life of the bees and ants is made to do for human beings. I sometimes think my father's training is too much for his head. I know it contradicts his heart. Do you know, though, he isn't so inconsistent as he seems. For he says to mother that, weak as I am, I may sometime do more for the world than the strongest washerwoman that ever bore ten children. He says," and the baby dropped her voice to a soft whisper, "that I may write a beautiful poem or a great book that teaches faith and love, and do the world a lot of good by it. And mother says that whether I write it or not, I am a poem of beauty and a book that teaches love. So I suppose that is why father is so inconsistent about—about killing me, you know."

Just then a step sounded from the path around the corner.

"Oh, that is the nurse," cried the baby. "She will take me in. And she is so stupid; she won't let me have you in the house."

"Oh, well, anyway I have to be dying so soon now," said the bee, also a little sadly. "I am sorry that I can never see you again. It has all been so interesting. And you have taught me some things, and besides, and more than all, you have been good to me. I—I think you are going to be worth while to your race. I think you are already. You are worth while to all of us; to the whole world. You have given me ten minutes of happy living. Could you do just one little thing more for me? Will you[Pg 342] drop me down under the lilac bush, so I can have our flowers, that we both like so well, over me when I am dead?" And one antenna rubbed slowly over one of the bee's eyes, as if this approach to humanness had engendered the impossible, a bee's tear.

The baby twisted her infirm little body about again, stretched out her hands, and gently lifted the bee. "Good-bye, dear Bee," she whispered; "Good-bye, dear Baby," answered the bee. Then the baby carried the bee to her lips, and kissed it.

At that very moment the nurse leaned over the carriage with an indulgent smile on her face, which changed swiftly to horrified dismay as she saw the bee at baby's lips. She cried aloud, while baby with a quick flirt of little hands lightly tossed the bee under the lilac. As the nurse saw the tears streaming down the baby's face she believed her worst fears realized, and catching the child to her bosom, she ran into the house saying over and over:

"Did a bad bee sting my itty bitty sweetie angel?" And as she ran she was amazed to hear among the baby's sobs what sounded like a spoken word repeated again and again. Baby really seemed to be saying, "No, No, No, No!"

[Pg 343]


The gigantic desk at which the Essayist was seated displayed row on row of pigeon-holes, and above them all was a big white card, on which appeared, in distinct black letters:

Saturday, January 31, 1914

7.30 a. m......12.30 p. m..........Pigeon-holes
12.30 p. m......3.00 p. m..........Miscellany
3.00 p. m......

but the rest of the day need not concern us.

The Essayist had been reared in a stronghold of Method—a home where the dishes were never left over and the tools were always returned to their places, where the children always went to Sunday School and never stopped to think that they didn't enjoy it, and their elders always went to prayer-meeting and never missed church—in a word, where everybody was always doing everything never and always, and nobody ever doing anything sometimes.

Thus it came to pass that the Madness of Method followed, or rather pursued, him all his days, and his existence was filled with devices for the facilitation of the business of life. The big desk was one of these devices. It had a hundred and twenty pigeon-holes, and their labelling, especially in the rows that were to receive classified ideas, was a triumph of invention. He had had trouble with ideas. They got wrongly assorted, or lost, got away over night, flew at him in parabolic curves and never came back, or flitted about his head and would not submit to scrutiny, and otherwise flouted him. He would have no more of it.

Just now he was contemplating with a glow of satisfaction[Pg 344] not only his own particular pigeon-holes, but Pigeon-holes Universal. Blessings on the soul of that primitive man, the first really deserving to be called ancestor of the human race, who noticed that some things were like other things—that the world about him was not a mere agglomeration of endless individual objects and phenomena! What an impulse to the setting in order of the world's business, for example, and what relief to himself, when the Lucretian father of astronomy and history settled to the satisfaction of himself and his hairy fellows that the same sun they saw sink behind the hills at night would appear again next morning:

And when the sun and light of day had gone,
With wailings loud they did not roam the fields,
Crying for it among the shades of night,
But quiet lay, in slumber sepulchred,
Until the sun, with rosy torch, should come,
And bring his light into the heaven again.

Hence the pigeon-holing of day and night, of moon and stars, of seasons and years, "seed-time and harvest, heat and hoary frost," of all the possibilities of life and achievement. Incomparable benefaction!

And what ineffable relief—his thoughts ran on—when men began to realize that some human beings were like others not only in form, but in feeling; that it was not necessary to scan each individual act of your neighbor in order to form a basis for each of your own acts, but that some details of conduct were semper, ubique, ab omnibus! What a gain to be able to classify men into friends and enemies, to set apart by themselves the common good and the common bane, to be aware of correspondences of action and emotion, to judge of the future by the past! What an advance on the high road leading to stability of expectation and all its fruitful consequences!

And when men began to apply the principle of pigeon-holing to the actual business of life, what economy of[Pg 345] time and of energy! Civilization itself, with its multitudinous associations of human beings in common effort, was a big desk with pigeon-holes. Man had noticed, and was fast approaching the peak of perfection, while the races of wild, wide-wandering beasts, ignorant both of the blessings and of the very conception of pigeon-holing, still lived their hard and coarse existence among the acorn-bearing groves,

Of common welfare had no thought, nor knew
The use of law and custom among men.

With all its intelligence, effort, and boldness, what would the human race not achieve! What had it not achieved already! The Essayist's enthusiasm was kindled as he thought of the past and present wonders of classification and organization—of races, nations, parties, unions, communities, families; of the marvels of social, educational, political, industrial, and military coöperation; of the religions and philosophies of history; of classified and recorded knowledge. He thought of the arts, sciences, law, and the crafts, with everything about them all printed in books and deposited in libraries, where anyone might read and learn. What high and rapid building, what numerous and rushing trains, what capacious liners and freighters, what ease and quickness of communication, what mingling of nations, what universalization of ideas! What wise use of means, and what efficiency! In education alone, scores of thousands of children in his own land, large and small, rich and poor, various in blood, quality, and color, were at that moment being instructed by common methods with common money in common ideas and ideals—the homogeneous fine flour of American citizenship ground in one great mill of omnicapacious hopper.

He looked next into the future, and there saw glorious visions. For pigeon-holing was not only progress, but cumulative progress. The greatest of its many virtues[Pg 346] was that the more it was perfected, the more time there was to make it still more perfect. Pigeon-holing begat organization; organization begat leisure; leisure begat contemplation; contemplation begat wisdom; wisdom begat action; action begat progress; progress meant advance in civilization; and civilization meant more and better pigeon-holing. The chain was endless.

Yes, pigeon-holing meant cumulative progress, and the cumulative process had never been so rapid, nor given so much promise, as just now. The world had never before possessed so many appliances to facilitate the pigeon-holing of men and things and movements. There had always been enormous losses in efficiency. Now, however, nothing was being lost or wasted, as in the days when System had been a less jealous goddess; now, everything which men found out was being accurately recorded or neatly tied up, or carefully deposited, or put into the general circulation of life universal, or otherwise conserved.

And not only was everything conserved, but production itself, thanks to pigeon-holing, was far more rapid now than ever before. The march of civilization was quickening to double time. Pigeon-holing and Efficiency were the two great features of the age, and walked, or rather rushed, hand in hand. The more pigeon-holing, the more efficiency; the more efficiency, the more time saved; the more time saved, the more pigeon-holes; and so on, with ever increasing momentum, in saecula saeculorum amen. From the labor unions that maintained walking delegates and boycotts, to the great trusts that were responsible for high-priced beef and long-packed eggs and pure-food inspectors, everyone was working with the greatest possible speed and efficiency, and everything was being pigeon-holed to the utmost perfection. It was the age of time-tables and interest-tables, cash registers, and adding machines; steam shovels, steam seeders, harvesters, and threshers; cyclometers, pedometers, and taxicabs; type-writing[Pg 347] and linotyping and photography; telephones and automobiles and book reviews; technical schools and teachers' courses, education by correspondence, books on etiquette and how-to-enjoy-the-arts, piano-players and phonographs; library cataloguers, Who's Whos, encyclopedias, and blanks-to-be-filled-out-and-returned-at-once; world languages, one-class steamers, democracy, cosmopolitanism, and peace conferences; tinned foods, department stores, and women's clubs; reference Bibles, dictionaries of handy quotations, hints on diet, menus for the month, short cuts to culture, wireless telegraphy, big guns and big business, joy riding, air-ships, simplified spellings, and a universal A.B. degree.

Let us not be surprised if the Essayist grew a trifle delirious. Progress is a thing of enthusiasm, and its devotees are easily wrought upon by the frenzy of the god.

What was to be the glorious goal of this cumulative progress? The Essayist's thoughts took on aërial daring. In the realm of knowledge, for example—what an inspiring vision! He had often thought of the pity of it—that scholars through the ages had consumed their lives in effort that was largely in vain: laboriously amassing the knowledge possessed by their predecessors, only to die and leave it as scant as when they had received it.

But that was in the olden time. Now, with the art of printing democratized, with specialization firmly established, with all the wonderful book-keeping and card-cataloguing that characterized intellectual activities, with the willingness of scholars to study and record everything, and of libraries to purchase and preserve everything, for fear of losing anything, with all the learning of the past immediately at hand, and with all the means and appliances available for its rapid utilization, why might scholarship not aspire to reach the absolute heights of knowledge? Might it not be possible now for the scholar to receive the torch of learning fully ablaze, and to run the race that was set before him without the necessity of[Pg 348] stopping to renew or even trim it—for him to make, so to speak, more effective dashes at the pole of learning—or to build to the very heaven the intellectual Tower of Babel, whose downfall would not be so easily possible now as in an age when men had not been alive to the need of linguistic pigeon-holes?

But intellect was not the greatest thing in the world. Might not the ever increasing skill in pigeon-holing lead before long to a definition of religion, the cessation of doctrinal quarrels, and the sinking of all differences in a common ideal of administration, conduct, and even belief? Yes; might it not lead to the final obliteration of national and racial, and even social, distinctions? Might it not lead, and at no distant date, not only to democracy and social equality, but to universal democracy—when the war-drum throbbed no longer, etc.?

Having thus in imagination surveyed the glories of pigeon-holing, the Essayist seized upon his pen, and rapidly set his thoughts to paper, not omitting to make liberal use of the pigeon-holes before him whenever he adumbrated quotations with which he thought his page might be embellished.

The task finished, he glanced at the clock. The forenoon was only half spent. Looking over his sheets, too, he observed that his essay was only half the length an intelligent and good-natured reader ought to endure.

This was just as he would have it, for he had begun with the definite intention of appearing both for and against pigeon-holes. There was time enough left to make his work symmetrical by presenting the other side, and to append a conveniently stated conclusion. He knew from the editors that readers in general disliked nothing quite so much as being left to make up their own minds.

So he took up the pen again.

What! After all that rhapsodizing, not a believer in pigeon-holes?

[Pg 349]

Not so bad as that. He was a believer, but not a blind believer. The fact is, he had a lively sense of the limitations of pigeon-holing. He had arrived at familiarity with both its virtues and its defects through personal experience. He had dealt in pigeon-holes himself, had made them, used them, and had been in them, and for years had been growing more and more conscious that the use of them was a difficult and delicate matter.

Earlier in life, it had not been so. He still remembered vividly the time when all men were easily classifiable—into good and bad, Christian and heathen, saved and unsaved, rich and poor, wise and foolish, as easily as into black and white, or fat and lean; when all nations except the United States, and all governments except democracy, were inferior. He remembered the surprise with which he had heard for the first time that there was a difference between prohibition and temperance, that there were many forms of intemperance besides drunkenness, that English government had many points of superiority over American. He had always supposed that with those questions it was as with slavery in the mind of Charles Sumner: "Gentlemen, to this slavery question there can be no other side."

He also recalled the ferment started in his mind by a much respected teacher's remark that all truth was relative, not absolute: whether a man was good depended on what you meant by goodness; whether two and two made four depended on whether one and one made two; grammar and spelling were after all only fashions, and things that appeared in print might not be true; not even the dictionary was absolute, and the Bible was not inspired in every letter and punctuation mark.

All this shook the ground under his feet, and it took some time to recover. That about the Bible and the dictionary was especially confounding. He reeled to and fro, and staggered like a drunken man, and was at his wit's end.

[Pg 350]

You will call him stupid. He was. Most pigeon-holers are, to tell the truth. He was like them in being so busy with virtuous action that he found but little time for thought. He used the pigeon-holes customary in his neighborhood, without questioning the correctness of content or label.

But in time he came to realize that there was religion outside of sects and that there were many believers who were unconscious unbelievers, that men might be honest and still dishonorable, that a great deal of the most pernicious lying in the world was done without the utterance of a syllable, that the guiltless were often criminal and the criminal guiltless, that many democrats were really aristocrats, many fools really wise, many a rich man poor and many a poor man rich, many a learned man ignorant, many pessimists really optimists, and many optimists really stumbling-blocks to progress.

By the Saturday morning on which we catch sight of him, he had come to have a wholesome distrust of the pigeon-holes of others; and whenever he took a specimen from his own, he submitted it to fresh examination, tolerating pigeon-holes at all only under perpetual protest against men's careless use of them.

For there were multitudinous differences between things to all appearances absolutely alike. It was impossible to classify even the inanimate without some sort of violence. Even the products of the die and the press showed variation, however infinitesimal; and as for Nature, in her realm there were no two things alike. Plants, animals, persons, mountains, valleys, and streams—unending variety was the rule. The two faces most alike in all the world proved widely different on close examination, and the points of difference between the persons who owned them were infinite.

And not only that. Not only were all individual things really different from all other things, but each individual thing seemed different to different persons. Pigeon-holing[Pg 351] implied pigeon-holers, and no two pigeon-holers were alike. Like the artists in Plato, they saw the same thing from different angles: "I mean, that you may look at a bed from different points of view, obliquely or directly, or from any other point of view, and the bed will appear different, but there is no difference in reality." The same man appeared better or worse, according to the standards of his judge; the same rain was good or bad, according to the health or the purpose of the person under the umbrella. One man's meat was another man's poison. No two men ever formulated the same definition of a thing, let alone an abstraction; and if definitions agreed in words, the words themselves meant different things to their authors. The Essayist thought of the desperate pass of Philosophy, patiently waiting while her disciples fruitlessly endeavored to define each other's definitions. Lucky for life that living did not hang on wisdom of that sort!

Yes, more than that; no thing—at least, no living thing—had ever been seen twice in exactly the same aspect by the same person. Not only did the object change from second to second, under the outward impulse of sun and wind and rain and the inner impulse of expanding cell, but the beholder himself was absolutely identical at no two moments. He might change his physical position, or be subject to any of the thousand mutations that sweep over the human spirit like waves of shadow over the wheat. Everything was in the state of flux. Becoming, not Being, was the order of all things. And more, each reacted not only upon its fellow, but upon everything else. The shifting of an atom affected every other atom in the universe. Withdraw a drop of water from the ocean, and there was immediate readjustment of all the waters that covered the earth. Withdraw a member from human society, or change him by ever so little—in health, so that he ate more; in stature, so that he wore more; in morals, so that he acted differently—and the whole fabric suffered modification. Nothing could be lost,[Pg 352] nothing changed, without impairing in some sort the universal order. Nothing could be duplicated.

And so in the world of ideas. There was no item of truth not connected with and dependent upon all other truth. Let an individual idea in the ocean of a man's ideas suffer modification, and there was instant readjustment of all his other ideas, and of his emotions, and of his actions; and, under their impulse, of the actions, emotions, and ideas of all other individuals. Truth was one great, unified whole, never yet beheld, save in partial vision, by the human mind. To know one item in all its connections was to possess all knowledge. For the botanist who knew completely the flower, the mystery of the universe was solved.

What folly, then, to look for perfect pigeon-holing, when no two atoms could be found alike, to say nothing of the motions of the human spirit,

Swift as a shadow, short as any dream.

And what injustice and cruelty might it be guilty of, did its devotees become too rapt in their enthusiasm!

What injustice had they not been guilty of, in the past! What violence done to nature and to man! What forcings together and what tearings asunder! What attenuations and amputations on Procrustean beds! What heart-burnings they had caused, what hatred and what strife! What wars on sea and land, what slaughter, what laying waste, what famine, disease, and hardship, what bereavement, what languishings in prison, what falling of men from high estates, what oppression, what rackings and twistings and manglings of limbs, what persecutions and executions and excommunications and banishments, what sunderings of nations and communities, what separations of persons really congenial who would have been friends if left to themselves, what disorders—all sprung from men's desire to force their fellows into their own social[Pg 353] and religious pigeon-holes! And ideas—what struggling and bleeding and screaming of them at being forced by brutal hands into narrow and stifling cells with other ideas in mutual hot resentment. History was filled with the heartless compulsion of men and things and ideas into groups where they rebelled against going.

Nor were persecutions and strife confined to the past. The injustices of pigeon-holing were rampant in the Essayist's own enlightened time. The old-time sets of pigeon-holes might no longer be used to such deadly purpose, but there were others that bade fair to take their place. The pigeon-holes of religion were less insisted on, but the pigeon-holes of science gave promise of another tyranny hardly less unendurable. The two prime factors in tyranny—arrogant authority and superstitious multitude—were already clearly to be seen. The tyranny of aristocratic pigeon-holing seemed past, but its place was being taken by the hardly less outrageous tyranny of democracy's pigeon-holes. In a world that boasted of producing the greatest equality known to human kind, there were more classifiers and more class feeling than men had ever known before. The pigeon-holes were different, but they were there, and their partitions as impenetrable as ever.

The very consciousness that they were in different compartments kept men from attempting to understand each other, let alone their real differences; more, it made them hostile, and even aggressive. What philosopher, from Thales to the latest enemy of Pragmatism, what dogmatist, from the Stoic to the latest ridiculer of Christian Science, what political critic, from Aristophanes to the anarchist of yesterday, ever tried or was willing to understand his opponent, and did not wilfully misrepresent in order to confute him? Longfellow was right when he said that the South should come to see the North, the North go to see the South, and then the war would be over. Let men forsake their pigeon-holes and meet face to face, and many a problem of religion, philosophy,[Pg 354] sociology, industry, and pedagogy would cease to be a problem—and many an official and professorial chair would be vacant.

But for the most part, either from their own impulse or from compulsion, men remained in their pigeon-holes. Many a man who had voluntarily emerged found his fellows unwilling to stir to meet him, or even take note of his having come forth. Many a man could not get out, if he would, and spent his life beating against the partitions, clamoring loudly and unheeded for redistribution on the ground of a thousand facts.

In vain! The malefactor and the magdalen could be rescued from their pigeon-holes only by a miracle, were they ever so repentant and filled with good works. The world had disposed of them, ceased to consider them, forgotten them—even though it was a loser as well as a tyrant. What service had been lost to the State by the pigeon-holing of party—talent and patriotism denied a sphere of usefulness because of being among the minority! What willing hearts lost to religion because of the pigeon-holes of creed and denomination! And there were men who were misjudged and abused all their lives long, living sacrifices to some accident of pigeon-holing, and to the neglect which was its usual consequence. Give a dog a bad name, and hang him.

Away with pigeon-holing then, as violent, tyrannical, and oppressive, a foe to individuality of men and ideas, and an obstacle to real progress! Away with curbs and yardsticks and tapes and molds and stamps and presses and dies, and all manner of interference with nature and her methods of expansion! Let nature, and especially human nature, realize itself, like any plant or flower! Fired by imagination, the Essayist started up, glowering at his desk and thinking of the axe. He had not yet attained, you see, to the full measure of Scientific Calm, and was in a fair way to usurp the functions of judge, jury, and sheriff, as well as attorney.

[Pg 355]

But he sat back again, and reflected. No pigeon-holes at all? What heresy, thus to fly in the face of his own practice, and of evolution! Imagine it—for men to eat only when hungry, to plan a costume for every dinner out, to have no office hours and no fixed prices, no churches and no schools, no coined money, no uniforms in parades, and no parades, no laws to regulate conduct in the large, no street numbers, no marks by which to detect a book agent or a mine promoter before answering the door-bell, no catalogues, no voting-machines, no diplomas, no marriage-bond, no social and religious ties at all! Why, what was that but anarchy?

Of course it was anarchy, and the Essayist knew it all the time. You must remember that he had set out to present both sides of the case. If he was a bit carried away by his own pleading, that is not a bad fault in the advocate.

And now he was ready to assume also the role of judge, and to charge the jury—by which I mean, of course, the readers of The Unpopular.

Being a Horatian, he summed up in favor of the Golden Mean, and recommended pigeon-holing to the favorable consideration of the jury. It had its proper use, and it had its misuse. There was harmless pigeon-holing, where you reduced to order dead and material things, or classified living entities on the basis of essentials. So long as you did no great violence, and were ready to entertain motions for reconsideration, it was desirable for the sake of economy in time and energy to use pigeon-holes, even at some cost. In other words, if you were to enjoy the benefits of civilization, or, indeed, to possess it at all, you must introduce into the anarchy of perfect individualism a greater or less degree of the artificiality of collectivism.

But there was a limit beyond which neither individual man nor society in the aggregate should go.

A limit, Your Honor? And pray, who was to establish the limit? That was not so easy. Clearly, no man could[Pg 356] establish the limit for another man. Each man must determine for himself; and society must determine for its self, by means of that most mysterious of all consciousnesses, the universal consciousness.

In other words, pigeon-holing was the creation of no rule; it was an Art. The masterpiece was an individual product, a resolution of many forces. And civilization, so closely dependent upon pigeon-holing, was an Art, not a science—no, not even a social science. Let those who looked to save society by invention and application of rules alone consider well their ways. No anarchist was farther removed than they from the truth that should make men free.

In still other words, it was the Golden Mean which society, as well as the individual, should strive for. And this was no easy Panacea. The Golden Mean meant struggle—a struggle constant and eternal—to maintain an equilibrium. You had to watch unceasingly your balances, and to shift and reshift your weights—without intermittence, and forever. The devotion called for was so great that it took the inspiration of religious ideals to insure it. Human society was a Gothic cathedral—a unified and beautiful structure, but one whose complex members exerted everlasting pressure each on each, and must not long be left to themselves. To measure, and hew, and build, was not all. The pile could not be finished at once and forever. Let the architect relax his watchfulness, and decaying members soon would spoil the symmetry of the noble lines, or even precipitate the whole in awful ruin.

And here was where lay most of the trouble with pigeon-holing, past and present. Man was lazy. It was not wholly the enlightened desire for progress which had inspired him to pigeon-holing, and was continuing to inspire. Dislike of work, and selfishness, and vanity, all played a part as well, and not a small one.

It was so reposeful to dispose of things in the large—to[Pg 357] educate by the hundred thousand, to rest in the arms of creed, to stand at the lever of a great machine, to have your tailor plan your suits and the cook or the newspaper your meals, to have a dozen pigeon-holes into which you conveniently popped new acquaintances and had them off your mind forever. It was so much easier to force men to accept your own beliefs and plans than to take the trouble to acquaint yourself with theirs. It was so much more satisfying and final to follow mere logic and go to the end of the process than always to be engaged in that most laborious of tasks—thinking and forming judgments. To write a volume embodying all the facts was much easier than to write an essay presenting the essentials and their interpretation. A perfectly democratic or a perfectly absolute government was far less difficult to plan than the ideal commonwealth. It was much easier to act on insufficient premises than to travail with thought and find that after all there was no ground for action. It was easier to be an ignoramus or a pedant than a real scholar, a dogmatist or an atheist than a good preacher, a lecturer on education than a teacher, a slouch or a dandy than a well dressed man, a persecutor or a humanitarian than a saver of souls, a despot or an anarchist than a shepherd of the people, a censor or an abettor than a monitor and adviser, a total abstainer or a drunkard than a temperate man, a conservative or a radical than a patriot, a boor or a fop than a gentleman. It was easier to be a beast, or not to be at all, than to be a MAN.

The Essayist looked at the clock. It was twelve-thirty. Once more he had successfully pigeon-holed the hours of his morning.

[Pg 358]



If any lesson can be learned from history, which historians tell us is not the case, it would seem to be that what we call "goodness" is on the whole ineradicable. By goodness the race survives. Every one of us, struggle as he may, is constrained in his degree to be less bad than he might be. Many of us confess freely that we do not know why this is so. We do not know whether there is a moral law. If there is a moral law, we do not know whether its origin is transcendental and arbitrary, biological and definitely ascertainable, or social and fluctuating. Moreover we do not so much as know whether we are free agents, choosing continually between good and evil, or automata, feeling, to be sure, the stress of conflicting forces, but bound mathematically to follow the line of their compromise. We are of course comfortably able to ignore all these considerations in our everyday trains of thought. Just as the schoolboy learns to say parrotwise that the sun sits still and swings us round, though he sees him every evening descend to rest in New Jersey like a tired commuter; and just as the uncompromising idealist behaves exactly like the man who believes in the knowable reality of the world; so the most convinced determinist must act from morning to night as though he were a free agent, and must judge his fellowmen as though they too were choosers. Moreover almost all of us adopt instinctively some concrete reason for the choices we assume we are making. These reasons being inevitably partial and ludicrously incommensurate with the cosmic results that we hang upon them, are constantly in process of giving way under the strain. The so-called "religious" reasons land us in the position of having to give an[Pg 359] immoral basis for morality. Either they involve the doctrine of a future life, and so vitiate the moral impulse with egoism at its source, or, with a diminished confidence in the sureness of reward, which is all to the good, they tend to perpetuate affirmations that have lost their meaning, which is all to the bad. It seems to have been on the whole a misfortune that religion and morality, which historically and logically have neither more nor less to do with each other than marriage and love, should have become profoundly associated in Europe in the last two thousand years. The most pressing duty of the moralist—and every man is a moralist—is to dissolve the merger, and there are circumstances connected with its origin which may lessen our estimate of the inconvenience involved in the dissolution. The mythology, cult, doctrine, exegesis and ethics of Christianity are considerably more Greek than Hebraic in origin, and the Greeks in their prime had excellent ways of their own of dealing with all these matters. They managed to be profoundly religious while avoiding the two pits into which the Hebrews fell, first, the confounding of myth with history, and, second, the erection of morals on a supernatural, jural and egoistic basis. Let us then consider the Greeks.


The most remarkable fact in connection with the religion of the Greeks is its attitude towards the use of the reason. Of all the religions known to us this exercised the least restrictive power over the minds of those who entertained it. Over their conduct in matters of ritual it did of course exercise power both restrictive and positive, but the reason it left free. Greek religion is therefore recalcitrant to M. Reinach's definition of religion in general as "a sum of scruples which impede the free exercise of our faculties." All that was obligatory was ritual; there was no confession of faith, the priests did not form a[Pg 360] class with vested interests to maintain. The absence of dogma from a religion will not recommend it to everybody, but those who regard that as a fortunate circumstance will grant that the credit rests not with the religion itself but with the people who hold it. Just as any state can have as many paupers as it cares to pay for, so any body of religionists can have as many dogmas as it chooses to encourage. Greek religion began like any other with its terrors, its taboos and its magic. If it did not tie up its adherents hand and foot, as other primitive religions have done, that was due to the psychological idiosyncracy of the Greeks. When their time of expansion was over they became the patients and the agents of dogma, but in connection with a foreign religion. It might have been expected from the history of native religions in Greece, that the strong influence of Greek thought on early Christianity would have been anti-dogmatic. On the contrary, practically the whole dogmatic structure of the fathers, though Oriental in spirit, is Greek in form. The tradition of free thought could not stand before St. Paul, and Greek religion, which for fifteen hundred years had given the world a lesson in the true function and status of mythology, lent itself in its decay to the creation of a system which, in the hands of races of very different temperament, became dogma. But though Greek religion began with magic and ended with dogma, it very early rendered the one harmless, and never submitted to the other in connection with a native cult.

For the primitive Greek, as for the primitive Hebrew, the Latin, the Maori, the Melanesian, the American Indian, the world was full of a mysterious force, unaccountable, able either to curse or to bless; and man's very existence depended on his ability to learn the laws of this power's action, to direct it if possible, and if not, to placate it. As man proceeds along the well-worn path to animism, the force comes to be thought of as wielded by will and intelligence like his own. But he never leaves it[Pg 361] behind him. After the gods are born, he worships them in terms of it. From his earliest ritualistic act, to the contemporary sacrament of the Christian church, holy water for instance has been the means of salvation. For unnumbered ages ritual has remained unchanged, but its psychology has changed. What is everywhere performed today with hope, originated everywhere in the dark past with fear.

The Eleusinian mysteries sprang doubtless from as primitive beginnings as any Greek ritual of which we have knowledge. Nevertheless they are free from many of the marks of primitive ritual. They show no cannibalism, probably no totemism, certainly no orgiastic excesses. If animal sacrifice was practised in the precincts, no blood was spilt in the hall of the mysteries. Moreover there was originally nothing either mystic or mysterious about them, in our sense. But a god came to be associated with them, a newcomer to Greece, who brought mystery and mysticism in his train, a god whose mission was to emotionalize religion. Dionysus, of Thracian origin, was, to begin with, a vegetation-power, the son of the earth-goddess. The vine with its strange psychic powers became the plant oftenest associated with him, but the plane and the pine were also his, and if he was Dionysus-the-Grape at Philippi, he was Dionysus-the-Ivy at Acharnania. Remnants of strong magic, compelling the earth to fertility, were present in his rites. Like other vegetation-powers he had a dark side; he suffered death and resurrection, and was powerful in the world of the dead. In the history of culture the ritual of Dionysus has a distinguished place as the putative father of tragedy. In the history of religion that ritual is chiefly remarkable for having brought into Greece, together with all the phenomena of auto-suggestion, a conception that was to have a portentous sequel, the conception of a sacramental meal consisting of the body and blood of the god himself, by partaking of which the communicant shared the divine[Pg 362] nature. The whole aim of the Dionysiac method in its native Thrace was hypnosis; the wild Bacchic dance, the tossing of the head, the frantic clash of the tambourine, the harrowing cry of wind-instruments, the waving of torches in the night, the use of stimulants or narcotics, and finally the rending and devouring of the still quivering flesh of the animal which incarnated the god, were all means of so altering the psychic states of the participant that he was no longer conscious of the operation of his own will, but was filled with the god,—enthusiastic. The practical aim of the induced ecstasy was doubtless originally the acquisition of divine power for magical purposes. As the savage eats his brave enemy to acquire his bravery, so the early agrarian eats the vegetation-god to acquire his power of making things grow. But in classical times the phenomena of enthusiasm had taken on a significance that overshadowed the claims of vegetation-magic. Among a people temperamentally self-restrained, nothing is more curious than the psychology of self-abandonment. If we must select one aspect of the godhead as most expressive of the Greek mind, that aspect will unquestionably be Apollo, lucid, rational, self-possessed and civilized. The gulf between the two doctrines, between Apollo's "never too much" and Dionysus' exhortation to let yourself go, would have constituted heresy and schism in a dogmatic age.

But the Greek, seeing how true and how indispensable both are, made shift to bridge the gulf by the set of opinions associated with the name of Orpheus. The state of our knowledge of the origins of Orphism may be illustrated by the fact that Maass says Orpheus was a god and indigenous in Greece, Miss Harrison believes him to have been a man, probably a native of Crete whence he made his way to Greece by way of Thrace, while Reinach declares he was a fox-totem of the Bassarids. Fortunately it does not greatly matter. What is really important, not only for Hellenism but for Christianity, is the spirit[Pg 363] of his doctrine, of which we can recover, not it is true, anything like expository teaching, but the traces of the color it laid on almost every fabric of Greek thought. No image could more justly picture it than the faded remnants of paint found on the remains of Greek buildings and sculptures. It is pretty nearly impossible to our imagination to tolerate the vision of a temple or a statue clad otherwise than in its original whiteness or in the beautiful tones bestowed by time and rust. And similarly the forms of Greek spiritual expression show to the soul's eye as logical, pure and monotone. But just as surely as the houses of the gods were painted gaudily with red and blue and green, as surely as their hair was ruddy and their cheeks glowing, so surely was their worship touched and tinted with the emotion that transcends and defies reason.

Orphism took up and developed the mystic elements of the Dionysiac cult, giving them a higher spiritual content and a more restrained expression. It was a scheme of salvation, based on the hope of life after death. The central fact of religious experience was communion with the god; by eating his body and drinking his blood the worshipper partook of his nature, of which immortality was an attribute. "To become Bacchus" was the aim of the partaker of the sacrament. But whereas the old Thracian ritual surrendered the worshipper to the god by means of drunkenness and frenzy, the new ritual induced ecstasy by the equally efficacious use of fasting, silence and quiet suggestion. Orphism though of foreign origin became a genuine Greek religion, and was the last. It was never adopted by the state, but remained in the hands of private congregations. Through these it permeated Greece. Thinkers and poets and the plain people were reached by its different methods of appeal. If we sum up its most striking characteristics, we cannot fail to see how strong was its influence on the world-religion that was to succeed it. Orphism took up the beliefs of paganism, and adapted them to its own ends. It gave[Pg 364] them fresh life through its doctrine of the immortality of the soul. It taught that the soul after death rests for a time in a state of probation, and is finally, according to the works done in the body, either admitted to felicity or punished by reincarnation. Final felicity was to be obtained by ceremonial purity of life, reached through the use of sacraments necessary to salvation, and the chief of these sacraments was the symbolic and memorial partaking of the body and blood of a god slain by his enemies. By the proper use of sacraments, the living could improve the condition of the dead; unscrupulous priests sometimes traded on the simplicity of ignorant worshippers, and engaged for money to perform rites that should free the transgressor from the consequences of his transgression, whether he were alive or dead. The cult of Orpheus therefore summarizes an enormous range of human history. From the Mountain Mother of the Cretan seals and her son, through the patriarchal reign of Zeus, to Mary and the son of Mary, it follows certain apparently unchanging requirements of the soul.

The ceremony of the Eleusinia was a magnificent pageant, the culmination of the religious year. It was a strong appeal to eye and ear, and to the psychologie de la foule. It was probably accompanied neither by dogmatic exhortation nor by any appeal to the intellect. Aristotle analyzed the method in a sentence: "The initiated do not learn anything; rather they feel certain emotions, and are put into a certain frame of mind." This frame of mind was a hopeful one for this life and the next. On the supernatural side, the mystic felt that he was sure of the good-will of the great powers of the underworld, having done them honor, eaten of their food and enrolled himself as their friend and follower. On the natural side, he had felt the benefit—on which all ritual is based—of performing, in unison with others, after preparation both bodily and mental, and with the moving accompaniments of beautiful and impressive sights and sounds, certain[Pg 365] acts entirely apart from the ordinary routine of life, and venerable with the usage of the past. But it is to be noted that although the door was open for communication between religion and morals, the original conception of purity was formal and ceremonial, a survival of magic. We may picture Greek morals as standing with one foot on a religious, the other on a social basis; but if, as in the usual posture of Greek sculpture, the weight of the body is thrown chiefly on one foot, that is the social one. When foreign cults began to make their way into Greece, they generally followed the form of the mystery. Isis, Serapis and Mithras, oriental in origin but Hellenized in ritual, were centers for religions of the personal, mystic and consolatory type. All these oriental cults brought with them a tendency to take literally what the Greeks had taken loosely, and Mithraism brought a high development of the tendency to base morality on the egoistic motive.

Bearing in mind the wide prevalence of these and similar rites on the shores of the Mediterranean during the first century of our era, we are in a position to understand a situation which Archdeacon Cheetham and Dr. Hatch discussed fifteen years ago. In apostolic times the Christian sacraments were of the most informal character possible. A man could be baptized at any time in any place by anyone. "Lo, here is water; what hindereth me to be baptized?" For the years immediately succeeding the apostolic, we have no evidence, and by the time evidence begins again, a great change is visible. Baptism no longer follows at once on conversion, but is preceded by a probationary term, as was initiation. It can no longer be performed anywhere at any time, but only in the great churches and at one of the great festivals, generally Easter-even or Pentecost. Similarly, once in the year, on the 16th of Boedromion, the candidates for initiation used to go down to the sea in a body to be purified by immersion. And baptism is no longer a simple thing done in the sight of all men but a mystery—so Justin[Pg 366] Martyr calls it—and the officiant is a "mystagogos." The baptized are now called "initiate," the unbaptized "uninitiate." Before the Lord's supper, the priest now asks, as the mystagogos used to ask, "Is there anyone who has a quarrel with any?" And until infant baptism removed the distinction, the "uninitiate" were directed to withdraw before the consummation of the mystery, as for unnumbered ages they had been bidden to withdraw from the crowning rites of the Eleusinia. It is clear that the founders of Christian mysticism, Clement for instance and Dionysius the Areopagite, did consciously all in their power to emphasize the resemblances between the new and the old. Gregory of Nyssa calls baptism "the mystic bath," Athanasius calls unction "the mystic oil," Gregory of Nazianzen calls the elements "mystic food." Secret formulas, the idea of which comes from the mysteries, are called by the old name, "what must not be spoken." Clement speaks the technical language of the mysteries. "O truly sacred mysteries! O stainless light! My way is lighted with torches, and I survey the heavens and God! I am become holy while I am being initiated! The Lord is my hierophant!"

During the last ten years the researches of Reitzensteim and Cumont have corrected the first impression that the influence of mystic cult and language was late and self-conscious. The very origin of the Christian sacraments, the very theology of Saint Paul, are now believed by many scholars to reflect the Hermitic and Gnostic versions of the mysteries.


The doctrine of the early church underwent as great a modification as its cult. The studies of Hatch were directed by the reflection expressed in the first paragraph of his Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages on the Christian Church. "It is impossible for anyone, whether he be a[Pg 367] student of history or no, to fail to notice a difference of both form and content between the Sermon on the Mount and the Nicene Creed. The Sermon on the Mount is the promulgation of a new law of conduct; it assumes beliefs rather than formulates them; the theological conceptions which underlie it belong to the ethical rather than the speculative side of theology; metaphysics are wholly absent. The Nicene Creed is a statement partly of historical facts and partly of dogmatic inferences; the metaphysical terms which it contains would probably have been unintelligible to the first disciples; ethics have no place in it. The one belongs to a world of Syrian peasants, the other to a world of Greek philosophers." The simple first formula of the creed dealt with matters of fact only, "Jesus Christ and him crucified." At the end of the second century it included various philosophical ideas, the creation of the world out of nothing, the Word, the revelation of the Creator to the world, of the Word or Son to the Father and of both to men. The Word—the logos of Heraclitus and Philo—threatened to supplant the Messiah, and originated the endless and bitter controversies of the early church about the Trinity and the Incarnation. Christian scholars take pleasure and apparently pride in deriving the philosophical and ontological elements of their faith from the Greeks. Dr. Caird says, "In this case we can see that conquered Greece laid spiritual fetters on its victor. Greece provided Christianity with the weapons of culture which enabled it to subdue the minds of its opponents, but at the same time it did much to determine the main bias and direction of the religious consciousness which was established by its means. It gave its own form to the life and doctrines of the Church."

The very word "faith" changed its meaning under Greek influence. When the Hebrews spoke of having faith in Jehovah they meant that they had confidence in his character and good intentions. They used the word as[Pg 368] people used it when they said that they had faith in Mr. Gladstone. Of course the formula assumed the existence of Jehovah, as of Mr. Gladstone, but that was supposed to be an object of knowledge, not of faith. The disciples again meant by faith the knowledge, direct or based on direct evidence, of certain historical facts. It was the Greeks, with their reliance on the processes of reason, who developed the doctrine that since the reflective action of the mind is at least as authoritative as the reports of the senses, the results of its cogitations are the objects of positive knowledge and faith is the evidence of things not seen. In a word the reasoned monotheism of the Greeks, originating, as far as we are concerned, with Plato, afforded a dialectic basis for the naive monotheism of the Hebrews. A passage from the writings of Hippolytus, of the third Christian century, puts the matter clearly before us: "The one God, the first and sole and universal Maker and Lord, had nothing coaeval with him, ... but he was one, alone by himself.... This supreme and only God begets Reason first, having formed the thought of him, not reason as a spoken word, but as an internal mental process of the universe.... The cause of the things that came into being was the Reason, bearing in himself the active will of Him who begat him ... so that when the Father bade the world come into being, the Reason brought each thing to perfection thus pleasing God." Obviously persons interested in tracing the pedigree of the God of Hippolytus will do well to turn not to Genesis but to Plato's Timaeus.

The fact that the Greek philosophers were the real fathers of the church, that the theological systems which have played so dominating a social and political role in Europe are rooted in the speculations of the great pagans, is a tribute to the power of Hellas. But the circumstances under which that power was exerted were unfavorable. It is interesting to consider what might have been the religious history of our civilisation if Christianity had[Pg 369] appeared while the Greek was still not only mythopoeic but mythocrates, still the master of his creation; if Socrates, for instance, perhaps the only religious teacher in history who could have dominated Saint Paul, had been the apostle to the gentiles, and if the great dynamic power of Christianity had been attached to the mechanism of Greek thought at its best. The Greek thought of early Christian times had become stereotyped; it is often characterized as sterile, but no adjective could be less apt in view of the mass and power of the doctrines that sprang from it. And stereotyped as it was, it was still flexible in comparison with its Christian offspring. The history of the word "dogma" is an instructive one. Beginning with a modest connotation, since it meant only "my impression," it stiffened gradually as accumulated authority adhered to it, yet even to the last in pre-Christian usage it meant simply a doctrine which one might take or leave. The union of the Christian notion of divine authority with the Greek notion of hard and fast definition made ruinous combination, and gave birth to the Christian belief that it is sometimes necessary to put a man to the torture or to the death to correct his ideas.


Christian exegesis also is of Greek origin, but Greek exegesis sprang in the first place from a rationalistic motive. The first case of allegorical interpretation of the scriptures of which we know occurred in the sixth century before Christ, and was an attempt to moralize one of the most scandalous passages in Homer, the battle of the gods in the twentieth book of the Iliad. Reason and morality had already combined at that time to acknowledge a uniform course of action in nature, and to make the gods the guardians of this uniformity. What could be said therefore of a hand-to-hand scrimmage between the guardians of the order of the world? Why, it could be[Pg 370] said, and Theagenes of Rhegium said it, that the gods represented inimical natural powers or inimical passions of the mind. "Against Hephaestos stood the great deep-eddying river whom gods call Zanthos and men Scamandros." Naturally, since fire and water cannot dwell together in unity. Science adopted this attractive way of dealing with scripture. Diogenes of Apollonia, who devoted his life to the effort to reconcile every system to every other, declared that Homer used the myths to propagate scientific truth. Antisthenes and the Cynics—a preaching order—developed the method to the full. When Christianity was making its way into a Hellenized world, the principle was established that the written word might have three meanings, the obvious one, the inferential ethical meaning and the symbolic meaning. This principle was eagerly adopted by educated Jews, and applied to their own scriptures. "The application," says Hatch, "fulfilled a double purpose. It enabled educated Jews on the one hand to reconcile their own adoption of Greek philosophy with their continued adhesion to their ancestral religion, and on the other hand to show to the educated Greeks with whom they associated, and whom they frequently tried to convert, that their literature was neither barbarous nor unmeaning nor immoral." Christian exegesis naturally adopted the same method in order to find Christianity everywhere, not only in the Pentateuch but in Homer. And it was inevitably applied to the New Testament, for the time came when the story of the life of Christ needed as much squaring with theology as the old traditions of the Hebrews. Irenaeus says, for instance, that "when Simeon took the young child in his arms and said Nunc dimittis, he was a picture of the Demiurge who had learned his own change of place on the coming of the Saviour, and who gave thanks to the infinite depth." As the pope said later to Father Tom, "the figgers of spache are the pillars of the church."

Plato had deprecated the symbolic method. He causes[Pg 371] Socrates to say, à propos of the story of Boreas and Oreithyia, "If I disbelieved it as the philosophers do, I should not be unreasonable: then I might say, talking like a philosopher, that Oreithyia was a girl who was caught by a strong wind and carried off while playing on the cliffs yonder; but it would take a long and laborious and not very happy lifetime to deal with all such questions; and for my own part I cannot investigate them until, as the Delphian precept bids me, I first know myself." Plato's own method of exegesis consists quite simply of expurgation. "The chaining of Hera, and the flinging forth of Hephaistos by his father, and all the fightings of gods which Homer has described, we shall not admit into our state, whether with allegories or without them." To this method also Christian exegesis owed a great debt. Plato's famous short way with Homer and the other poets, his rejection of all myths that do not tend to edification, and that detract from the goodness of the gods, showed the fathers how to deal with what scandalized them in the Hebrew scriptures. Anyone who reads the last pages of the second book of Plato's Republic will see whence Clement took his cue when he wrote: "Far be it from us to believe that the Master of the universe, the Maker of heaven and earth, 'tempts' men as though he did not know—for who then does foreknow? and if he 'repents,' who is perfect in thought and firm in judgment? and if he 'hardens' men's hearts, who makes them wise? and if he 'blinds' them, who makes them to see? and if he desires a 'fruitful hill,' whose then are all things? and if he wants the savor of sacrifices, who is it that needeth nothing? and if he delights in lamps, who is it that set the stars in heaven?"


But many feel that all these phenomena—cult, doctrine and exegesis, important as they are in the composition of Christianity, are still not the essential matter.[Pg 372] Essential Christianity is a state of mind and a rule of life, and its basis is generally held to be the principles of the Sermon on the Mount. But while a great many people assent theoretically to the Sermon on the Mount, no one has ever put it in practice in its entirety and all the time. So-called Christian society is not organized on the lines of the Sermon on the Mount. It is not organized on the principle of self-abnegation tending to self-perfection, but on the principle of the development of the individual as a unit of society, with duties laid upon him by his relation to society, and rights guaranteed him by the society he supports. Our ethics are not conceived as founded on laws god-given and final, but as evolved by the growth of society, and subject to endless and progressive change. Where the interest of society requires that the desires of the bee shall be subordinated to the welfare of the hive, Christian ethics is often called in as an ally; but if it were fully in control, society as now organized would disintegrate. The ethics in which we live and move is that of Roman law, and Roman law is to a considerable extent a practical version of the ethics of the Stoics. Moreover the ethics of the Christian church is based on the doctrine of Ambrose, bishop of Milan, and the doctrine of Ambrose is based on Cicero de Officiis, and Cicero's book is based on the works of Panaetius the Greek stoic of the second century before Christ. Socrates and Plato had long ago bidden men to love their enemies, to take no heed for the morrow, to die rather than do wrong, and to hold their goods in common. The fathers were astounded by the Christlike utterances of these pagans, and cried in admiration that they were Christians before Christianity. When the old scholiast read how Plato's Socrates said that "there is no good thing which is not the gift of the gods," he wrote on his margin: "Every good gift and every perfect gift cometh from above." The anti-national character of Christianity, its determination to ignore frontiers, was anticipated in the Stoic and Cynic movements. The[Pg 373] world was full of missionaries, and the itinerant Cynic preacher was very near to the Christian. Epictetus, who exhorted men to remember that they were sons of God, and to make their lives worthy of their divine parentage gives us a picture of the true Cynic apostle. That he may be free to deliver his message to his fellowmen the true Cynic goes as naked, homeless, and houseless, as a Christian apostle. Like the Christian he goes without wife, child and friends, if only he may thereby bring others to a knowledge of themselves and of God. We know of actual cases where Cynics became Christians, and Christians became Cynics, without any very great ado. It was, however, the Stoic system, embedded in Roman institutions, that conquered the world.


It is clear that the Greeks are largely responsible for bringing religion in Europe to the present impasse, where many people seriously hold that if we cease to affirm the incredible and the unproven, morals will suffer, and that a boy had better believe in hell when he is entrusted with his first latch-key. But it is the Greek also who can get us out. Whatever worthy sense we attach to the word "religious," the Greeks illustrate it. Their extraordinary moral earnestness is obscured for us only by the variety of their appeals to our attention. But they never from first to last allowed religion to swallow morals. They first of men perceived and declared that morals are man-made and are constantly to be altered by man; that the state exists to secure the noblest life for the citizens; that therefore social science, by definition, (says Aristotle) deals with right conduct. Plato was deeply interested in all the problems of religion, and alive to all the religious implications of the mysterious universe in which we live; but he worked out in his masterpiece—The Republic—a complete account of the social origin and sanction of ethics. And[Pg 374] as for his theology, "the father and maker of all this universe," said he, "is past finding out; and even if we found him, to tell of him to all men would be impossible."

Contemporary writers on religion are trying, thus far unsuccessfully, to agree on a definition of their subject. But while no one can define religion, everyone feels what it is. No society that we know of has been without it, and there is no reason to suppose that it will ever disappear. Both religion and morals are apparently social products, both are, as far as we can see, indestructible, and both have suffered cruelly from too close a union. And when they recover their independence, the religious emotion, like the other emotions, must be governed by morals.

[Pg 375]



Is it not sublime? Really there appears to be no limit to the demands that are made on our schools and colleges. They are supposed to ground the rising generation in the principles and practise of good citizenship, in morality, and to some extent in religion; to develop the power to think (an endlessly difficult matter), the ability to enjoy nature and art, the desire to be useful; to instil habits of industry, self-control and wholesome living; and withal to impart memoriter a mass of miscellaneous book-knowledge such as can be tested by examination. Of late, too, we hear more and more that the schools should fit the young for some specific business in life—for a job, that is. In short we look to the schools to inculcate all the possible virtues of mind and character, and at the same time to turn out what the newest jargon calls efficient social units. And then there are special problems, more acute in some places than in others, such as the induction of alien children into the mysteries of the English language and American ways.

Now all that makes a pretty big task. It is safe to say that an army of Pestalozzis, Arnolds and Horace Manns, if we could command their services and give them all the money they might ask for, would never perform it to our entire satisfaction. Here and there we should find loose ends of failure. What wonder, then, if the schoolma'am, mostly an ordinary sort of well-meaning mortal, who is the victim of routine and must do her appointed work under hopeless conditions of "mass-treatment"—what wonder if many people are saying that the schoolma'am does not seem to measure up to her mission? It is not[Pg 376] altogether strange that she is being overtaken by the fate of Hamlet, whose tragic calamity it was, according to Goethe, to be obliged to shoulder a burden that was too heavy for him. In reading educational literature, one is sometimes reminded of those tribal gods from whom all things are demanded, and whom it is therefore proper to scold or to flog if anything goes wrong. For illustration let me quote a recent deliverance culled from a newspaper. It is by a man of some distinction, whose name I do not give because the language is probably nothing but a reporter's paraphrase. In speaking to an audience on "the fundamental trouble with conditions and the cause of the unrest today," the gentleman is said to have laid it all to "our national educational system, which is teaching the youth of our land to be consumers instead of producers, and only to acquire instead of to serve."

There we have it in a nutshell. It is the schools which are really to blame for the manifold ills that so many people are talking about. If we only had the right kind of schools—teaching the right things in the right way—our whole sea of troubles would quickly turn into pleasant arable land. Historical pundits are just now much interested in what is called the economic interpretation of history; that is, the theory that the whole history of man, including his religions and philosophies and ethnic movements, his flowerings of art, his Periclean and Augustan Ages, his Protestant Reformations and French Revolutions—has been determined primarily by economic conditions. And now, behold, the economic conditions themselves are the work of the schoolma'am. Verily, das Ewigweibliche zieht uns hinan with a vengeance!

The newest thing is to have the schools cure the ancient ills that grow out of the pressure of sex—a subject that of late seems to claim more than its fair share of the limelight. The Paris dressmakers, accustomed for ages to attire women very seductively for evening exhibition,[Pg 377] suddenly take to attiring them rather less seductively for the street. And lo, the Puritan eye is shocked. There are visions of social ruin à la Sodom and Gomorrah. Coincidently the theaters, newspapers and wofsmiths (Mr. Howells' word, wof meaning work-of-fiction), go in for the public washing of dirty linen, the existence and dirtiness of which have been known for some thousands of years. At the same time a new race of "sociologists" seek to alarm us by stirring up the foul pool of social vice and talking about it as if the filth were a thing of the day before yesterday. Result: a pretty general demand that the schools teach sex hygiene and physiology, in order that the boys and girls may be warned betimes of the dangers that lie in wait for them. I am not arguing that children should not be told the truth about these things. I am merely animadverting on the growing tendency to put everything on the schools.


The natural and intended inference from what precedes is that we demand too much of the schools—more than any schools could possibly do and do well. The result is that they are often blamed unreasonably, and that reasonable criticism is apt to be resented as unjust. There is wide-spread complaint of shortcomings—some even speak of the "failure" of popular education,—but the teachers reply with perfect truth that they are doing the best they can. The truth is, however, that there is more or less floundering due to multiplicity of aims, dispersion of effort, and the lack of a simple dominating principle by which to gage the relative importance of things. It is time for educationists to take sober thought and decide, if they can, what is on the whole the most valuable among the possible results of good schooling. If we could somehow reach a working agreement on that point, the path of wisdom would be tolerably clear: we should require our[Pg 378] schools to drive hard at the particular thing deemed most essential, no matter how many smatterings might have to be thrown overboard. It were better for the nation to lose somewhat of its sublime faith in schooling, if by expecting less it might get a surer and more valuable return on its enormous investment. The best of teachers, in kindergarten, high school or university, can never give the best that is in him unless he has a fairly definite idea of what it is all for. Only then can he see the main issue in its proper relation to the side-issues of his routine. Let us then attack this question with holy boldness—somewhat in the spirit of a prudent householder considering what one thing would be best worth saving if his house should take fire.

If we look for the fundamental charter of popular education in these United States we shall find it, if anywhere, in the famous Ordinance of 1787, one memorable passage of which runs thus: "Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged." This formulation, which sees the purpose of education in the promotion of good government and the general happiness, may still be accepted. One might balk, perhaps, at the word "happiness," which to the modern mind is apt to connote a more or less passive contentment with one's lot. If the fathers ever thought that popular education was going to produce general contentment, they miscalculated. Its normal effect is the exact opposite. A wholesome discontent is the beginning of progress toward better things. It is vain to preach or teach contentment to the man who sees a chance to better his lot or who feels that he is being kept down by conditions that can in any wise be remedied. We have learned that class struggle of one kind or another is inherent in human society; and where there is class struggle there will be discontent. Today, then, one might prefer the word "welfare," which is not only compatible[Pg 379] with discontent, but in great degree actually grows out of it.

The subject-matter of education was to be religion, morality and knowledge. Let us consider the impressive triad in the reverse order.

It is patent enough, and must have been patent to the fathers, that, so far as good government and the general welfare are concerned, there is no inherent virtue in mere knowledge. Knowledge got from books and teachers may be socially inert, or it may be positively harmful. Everything depends on the use to which it is put. It is true that, having regard to the long run, we may rest securely on the proposition that the more men know—really know in an accurate way—the better off they will be, and the more likely to secure good government. The advancement of science—taking the word in its very broadest sense—is certainly an ideal that deserves our warmest allegiance. It is thus vastly important in any system of education, to keep open to talent a career from the humblest hovel to the high places of distinction and service.

But there are not many—not one in ten thousand—to whom it is given to increase knowledge in a way to affect government and the general welfare, which must always be largely concerned with the short run and with the preservation of a stable order amid the conflicts of classes, opinions and interests. And in this domain, as was remarked above, there is no inherent virtue in knowledge. What is learned in school may be put to bad use and become a social curse. Some knowledge of chemistry figures in the mental outfit of every dynamiter and adulterator of foods. A knowledge of law or medicine may be used to defeat as well as to promote the ends of justice. Indeed, a large part of our worst trouble comes now from "educated" men and women who prostitute their knowledge to anti-social purposes.

And then there is another reason why the schools should[Pg 380] not conceive it to be their highest mission to impart book-knowledge, or to train the mind, as the phrase runs. That reason is that they do not and can not really train the mind, when operating on a large number of pupils at the same time by the method of "recitation." What gets trained in that way is at best the memory; and when the pupil leaves school—at whatever stage of progress—he soon forgets what he has learned, unless he has constant occasion to use it. The result is that the most of the knowledge laboriously acquired in school and college soon becomes quite inert for the purposes of good government and the general welfare. Now it may be necessary, indeed it is necessary, in a progressive school system, to spend a good deal of time over knowledges that are destined soon to be forgotten. But that essential thing that we are searching for, that which the schools are to regard as the vitally important thing, must clearly be something that the pupil is going to need and to use all the time, no matter when his schooldays come to an end.

Next in our triad comes morality. If any one chooses to insist at this point that there can be no morality without religion, let him wait a moment or go off and debate the subject with a metaphysician. In the common use of words morality may be and is independent of religion, and our question here is whether the inculcation of it can possibly be the thing we are looking for, namely the chief end of schooling. Hardly, the wise will say, if the word is to be taken in its usual sense. For it is distinctly a low-caste word. People commonly speak of "mere morality" as if the thing by itself did not amount to much. One recalls the remark of Emerson to the effect that this is very much as if one should say, "Poor God with nobody to help him." Still, the fact remains that the word connotes something rather ordinary. This is why Lord Haldane in a recent address preferred to avoid it and to commend the German Sittlichkeit, as a more soulful term. One notices, too, that thoughtful teachers who feel the[Pg 381] weakness of a schooling that lays all the stress on memory-work such as can be tested by examination, are apt, when they wish to suggest something higher and larger, to use some such phrase as "character-building" rather than "moral training."

In short, the connotations of the word "morality" are such as to put it out of the running as a name for a high educational ideal; and a high ideal we must of course have. It suggests hardly more than what Mr. Roosevelt is wont to call "decent living;" and decent living is not a matter that can very well be progressively unfolded, idealized and realized. For a pupil coming from a family where decent living is the rule, and associating with mates of whom the same is true, it is not much to live decently. There is almost nothing for him to learn. This is no doubt why it is generally assumed, and in the main quite correctly, that in a normally wholesome environment morality will take care of itself or come as a by-product of school experience, the teacher having nothing in particular to do except to look after the occasional transgressor.

But now suppose we put in place of mere morality, the perfection of the social mind. Suppose we say that the central purpose of popular education ought to be the development of a sensitive social conscience enlightened to the limits of opportunity. To put it a little differently: suppose we could agree that the best possible result of education is a mind trained and habituated to think in terms of social obligation, and to act accordingly. We should then have, at any rate, something that is high enough and big enough for anybody; something that is capable of progressive realization from the kindergarten to the university and thereafter; something, in fine, that would reach out from the humblest ego to the utmost periphery of human existence.

Thirdly, religion. Let it be granted at the outset that for an immense number of the noblest souls that have[Pg 382] ever lived "Thou God seest me" has been the highest, most inclusive, most compelling incentive to right social conduct, that we know anything about. In practise, however, a great deal depends on the nature of the God that is feared, and still more, perhaps, on whether that God is really and truly feared or only spoken of with conventional respect in token of some ecclesiastical loyalty. Can religion be "taught" in school—any kind of school? Can it be taught, I mean, not as a matter of formal observance and glib recitation, but in its vital essence as a quickening spirit destined to stick fast in the character and be a permanent incentive to right living? It is only in this sense that the "teaching" of religion has any bearing on good government and the general welfare.

The difficulty of teaching religion in this socially effective way is not confined to the secular public schools. It does not grow entirely out of the neutrality of the state, the jealousy of sects and the impossibility of finding a common basis free from any sectarian tinge. It goes deeper than that, and affects also church schools that fly the banner of religion and are conducted for the express purpose of giving prominence to the beliefs and usages of some particular denomination. What can be done to teach religion? Of course the pupil can be exposed to what are called religious influences, and made to breathe what is called a religious atmosphere. He can be required to attend chapel exercises, and to go to church on Sunday; to read the Bible or hear it read; to memorize texts, creeds, hymns and commandments. He can learn church history, and familiarize himself with the arguments and tenets of "our people." But when, as is usually the case, all this precedes any vital personal experience of religion, it is apt presently to float away, along with the Latin and algebra, into the limbo of things once known but no longer usable. The teaching of religion so that it will stick fast, not merely as an ecclesiastical loyalty, but as a[Pg 383] socially regenerative force, is a very difficult matter. Multitudes of parents who are profoundly anxious about the matter, fail in the home, clergymen fail rather notoriously with their own sons and daughters. Can the school be expected to succeed where they are baffled?

But suppose it were understood that the supreme purpose of all education, no matter what banner the schoolhouse or college might fly, is the development of character trained and habituated to think in terms of social obligation, and to act accordingly: should we not then have a formula on which all who really mean well by their fellowmen could unite? For surely the perfection of the social mind—that and nothing else—is the finest flower of the religious spirit.


There are reasons for thinking that such a theory of popular education as has been outlined, and a modified practise based on the theory, are needed at the present time as a measure of social therapeutics. Without joining the prophets of evil who think we are moving swiftly toward a social revolution, one may say in all sobriety that there are signs which look ominous for the future of our democratic experiment. It is not merely that there is wide-spread discontent and a general breaking away from old standards and restraints. All that, which is apt to look so threatening to elderly people, especially if they are not much given to the reading of history, may be nothing but the sign of healthy life and growth. Stable democratic society may consist with almost any amount of discontent, provided it discharges itself by way of legal channels duly provided for the purpose in advance.

But the really menacing symptom of our time, is in a word,—lawlessness. I have not chiefly in mind the shocking and increasing prevalence of outrageous crimes against person and property. That is certainly bad enough. That life and property are not as safe in the United States[Pg 384] as they were a generation ago, and not as safe as they are today in the British Empire, France, Germany, Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries, is surely a fact to give us pause. And yet, in that fact alone there is nothing highly ominous for the future of democracy. In all ages, under all forms of government, there have been murderers, thieves and ravishers, but social order has never been destroyed or even seriously imperiled by them. Society has found ways to protect itself. The statistics of crime vary from decade to decade under the operation of causes that are fairly well understood by experts. An excess at any time can be corrected by known methods if a people sets resolutely about it.

The danger lies rather in a diminishing respect for law as such among large masses of the nominally respectable population. Multitudes have come to look on the will of the community as expressed in law, not as an obligation binding on the conscience, but as a sort of solemn joke—something meant for the other fellow. This cynicism with regard to law has become a veritable cancer of the social body. The matter is difficult to treat statistically, but surely there can be no doubt about it. It is no illusion of perspective, not the nightmare of a pessimist, but simple damning truth, that the law-abiding spirit has of late been losing ground rapidly. The case is not stated too strongly by a recent writer when he says:

In spite of his vulnerability he [the capitalist] is of all citizens the most lawless. He appears to assume that the law will always be enforced by some special personnel whose duty lies that way, while he may evade the law, when convenient, or bring it into contempt, with impunity. The capitalist seems incapable of feeling his responsibility as a member of the governing class, in this respect, and that he is bound to uphold the law that others may do the like.... He therefore looks on the evasion of a law devised for public protection, but inimical to him, as innocent or even meritorious.[26]

Of course there are many honorable exceptions; indeed[Pg 385] this very remark is made by Mr. Adams himself. It may be said too that the influential men who fall as a class under this sweeping indictment can often allege a colorable excuse for their anti-social conduct—as that the law they try to "beat" was devised in ignorance or malice by corrupt politicians. And so they play the game of money against politics, and are not aware of the social menace of their conduct. They subordinate the greater to the less, and know not what they do—any more than the aristocracy and clergy of France knew what they were doing just prior to 1789. They think themselves the salt of the earth. Many of them are more or less zealous church-members, and have had a "religious education." And yet, in playing fast and loose with the law, they are playing with fire in their own cellars. When a ruling class—our government is a qualified plutocracy—loses its sense of responsibility, and takes to violating the law, it takes the surest way to bring all law into contempt. And when the general contempt for law reaches a certain point, then comes anarchy and—the strong man on horse-back to tell us what to do, and shoot us if we don't do it.

The vocation of the croaker is not lightly tolerated by the public opinion of our day. Every one votes him a nuisance. A deep-seated American optimism expects that we shall somehow weather the storms of the future as we have weathered those of the past. The writer of these reflections has the national temperament, but he thinks the time has come to reef sails and trim ship. For law and obedience to law there must be, if society is to cohere and go on its way; and in a democracy lawlessness is not so much a peril as the peril. We must look to our democratic foundations, lest they be undermined while we go on gaily amusing ourselves, piling up money, and assuring each other that everything is all right in the best government the sun ever shone upon. There is need of a vast co-operative effort on the part of all the ethical[Pg 386] forces of society—an effort directed consciously and vigorously to the specific end of checking and turning back the rising tide of lawlessness. There is work for the home, for the church, for the voluntary association; and of course there is work for the school, with which we are here more immediately concerned.


What can the schools do for the better training of the social conscience? (I use the word "training" in the double sense of habituation and enlightenment). It is evident that that question needs more space than can be given to it here. A few words must suffice.

In the first place, teachers can recognize—that is, they can gradually be brought to recognize—that the training of the social conscience is the great work they have to do; that it is more important than anything else. A general recognition of that fact would itself have a highly stimulating effect. It would clarify ideas, furnish criteria of value that would be independent of personal or local whim, divert attention from piddling questions of routine, and so do something to elevate the business of teaching in the public estimation. It is now commonly spoken of as a noble profession, but only a very few really think of it in that light. In the better atmosphere I am thinking of, the teacher would not be a drill-sergeant bossing the details of a mental lock-step, but the physician of the social conscience. And, in harmony with the new drift in medicine, our physician would pin his faith to preventive treatment. He would not be able to avoid some punishment of the wrong-doer, but he would see his highest mission in the development of a sensitive conscience that would inhibit wrong-doing. This means skillful and well-paid teachers for children, not too many pupils to the teacher, and much friendly study of the individual pupil in school and out.

Then again teachers could put into practise far more[Pg 387] generally than has been attempted hitherto, what has been found out by scientific men with regard to the social conscience and the way it works. They could appeal in every possible way to the social instinct, and make use of its well-known rewards and inhibitions. The foundation principle would be to make the penalty for misbehavior take the form, so far as possible, of social disapproval, with consequent suffering in self-esteem. To be effective, a penalty needs to be quick-acting and sure. It should depend as little as possible on the accident of getting caught. If a potential miscreant is taught to fear punishment at the hands of some authority outside of and above his own life, and if then he does wrong, and nothing unpleasant happens, he soon begins to enjoy the game of matching his wits against the law. Pretty soon he is really being schooled in the exciting art of law-breaking. Somehow he must learn to dread the disapproval of his mates and the prick of his own conscience.

Another principle, hardly less fundamental, would be to make the learner see that the rules he is called on to obey, at work or at play, are for the general good, including his own. Of course difficulty would be created by the young anarchist, the imp who refuses to play the game in accordance with the rules, is insensitive to communal opinion, and enjoys the excitement of beating the law. Such a mental twist is generally due to a vicious environment in home or street, where the standards are different from those of the school. How to deal with such cases, when they have reached the advanced stage of criminality, has always been one of the hardest problems of the civilized man, and no very satisfactory solution of it has yet been found. Down to quite recent time, our forbears put their faith in the deterrent effect of harsh and public punishments; and the rod of the schoolmaster kept pace, so to speak, with the stern decrees of the criminal law. It was found not to work very well, a humaner epoch set in, and with that too the schools have kept pace. We have[Pg 388] come to feel that society itself is to blame for the miscreant, because it creates and perpetuates the conditions that make him. Meanwhile society is experiencing the disastrous effects of dealing gently with the criminal, and the schools are breeding up a generation to which anything like stern discipline is on the whole rather repugnant.

The one hopeful idea on the horizon is the idea of prevention. The potential miscreant must be caught and cured in the early stages of his making. It is unfortunately true that even the most enlightened and single-minded efforts of the school will produce but lame results so long as society permits criminals to breed with their kind, and tolerates the economic conditions which create for decently born children a hopelessly bad environment outside the schoolroom. It is for society to remedy these conditions as fast as it can. Meanwhile much would be gained if we could once clearly see, and begin to act on the principle, that the chief end of popular education should be, not a smattering of knowledges, but the development of social-minded character.

[Pg 389]


Ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes
Emollit mores, nec sinit esse feros.

Readers of Thackeray will remember that these are the lines in which Colonel Newcome used regretfully to sing the praises of those arts into which he had been but barely initiated. Of the thousands in the United States who are now annually certified as bachelors of arts, nine-tenths would be unable to translate the passage, and if the passage were translated, fully one-half would see little or nothing in it. When men are asking what is the matter with our colleges, one is tempted to suggest that perhaps this is the matter: that a controlling interest in the academic establishment is made up of those who have no belief that higher education should result in refinement of mind and transformation of character, and no comprehension of what these things would mean; or, in plain terms, that higher education is in the hands of the barbarians.

That our academic population has grown some three or four-fold within a generation, is no indication of a corresponding increase in the number of persons of cultivated intelligence. The growth has been brought about mainly through a change in the tone and purpose of the college course to appeal to those who formerly despised a college education as a useless luxury; so that now we have a large number of college graduates in whose eyes the degree confers no distinction and imposes no responsibility. It may be that the older science was crude and the older scholarship vague. By no means all college students of a generation ago were animated by a love of knowledge. Yet even the idlers, who sought the degree because it was reputable, testified to a general respect[Pg 390] for higher education, and bore witness to the idea that a college graduate was supposed to be a gentleman. No such expectation prevails today; and least of all in the West, where the increase of numbers has been most marked. Today a college education is supposed to be merely useful. Yet at the same time it is felt to be a ground for wonder that so many can pass through the college course with no visible refinement of taste or speech, no clarification of the sense of honor and justice, and no increase in thoughtfulness or in independence of mind—that, in a word, a college graduate is indistinguishable in general society. Some time ago I sat at a hotel table with six commercial travellers and one college graduate, who was also a college professor,—all talking baseball. Sherlock Holmes himself could not have identified the professor. Some time before, I had ventured to propose in a talk to some students that a college degree should impose the obligation of noblesse, and preserve a man from some of the meaner things which might be condoned in the less fortunate. I learned afterwards that the idea was resented as "undemocratic"—yet not by the students: for today it seems to be the college professor who is chiefly contemptuous of liberal culture.

It is rather difficult to see how higher education is to be conceived as "democratic" in the sense of creating no personal distinctions. Only, it should seem, if the gifts of education are purely external and without effect upon mind and character. On the other hand, if democracy is to stand simply for freedom of opportunity, and selection of the best, doubtless few will deny that the college should be open to every youth who shows himself capable of measuring up to the idea of an educated man. But this is another matter. The "democratic" theory of higher education stands for a process of measuring down. The process began when the teachers of science insisted that a student whose course was made up mostly of laboratory practice in natural science should nevertheless be graduated[Pg 391] as a bachelor of arts. One may cheerfully admit the importance of scientific conceptions for general culture: the point is that if scientific training had developed half of the intellectual qualities that were claimed for it, the degree in science should soon have displaced that of bachelor of arts. As it was, the issue was obscured, and under the blessings of the blanket degree, "democracy" has made rapid progress. No form of speech is now too destitute of ideas to be called a science. Leaving aside the last new science of "efficiency," we have a science of cooking and of dressmaking, a science of carpentering (called manual training), a science of commerce, a science of journalism, and a science of football, any of which may now entitle one to credit towards a degree of bachelor of arts—so that no one can now charge that the college degree implies an invidious distinction.

Such is the outcome of "democracy." At first glance the term conveys the pleasing suggestion that our universities attach a high importance to the cultivation of individuality. But the suggestion is misleading. In the academic "democracy" every student, like every dollar, counts for just one "and nobody for more than one," and the only question of importance is how many. Not long ago, while crossing the Rocky Mountains, and listening to the admiration expressed by my fellow-travelers for the impressive engineering and industrial undertakings of that region and the Pacific Coast, I became gradually aware that the conventional mode of describing such an enterprise was to speak of it as "a two-million-dollar plant" or "twenty-million-dollar plant," as the case might be, on the ground, evidently, that no other aspect of the matter could conceivably be interesting. Such barbaric innocence seemed to me diverting until I remembered that this was the point of view and these the same tribe of barbarians as those whose aspirations now control the policies of our institutions of learning. With few exceptions, our academic managers prefer to state their attainments[Pg 392] and their ambitions in terms of an n-million dollar plant, with n-thousand students and n-hundred instructors. And in the interest of bigness any argument is good. Just now the argument is vocational, and college presidents and professors, especially in the state-universities of the West, are fairly falling over one another to prove that they are "practical men," and incidentally to disavow any interest in the promotion of liberal culture. When the fashion changes, as it doubtless will—for it is unlikely that even the agricultural communities are as uncivilised as the appeal that is made to them—the argument will change. Especially instructive from this point of view is the standing appeal for more money to make good a deficit; or to improve the quality of instruction by paying better salaries to the faculty. In the logic of academic administration there appears to be no contradiction between pleading poverty and at the same time using the funds in hand to establish some new department, some advertising feature, such as a summer session, correspondence courses, university extension, or what not, which will attract a more illiterate class of students, scatter the energies of the faculty, lower their teaching efficiency, preserve the deficit, and leave the institution less than ever free to shape its own course or to act as a critic of popular opinion.

Academic authorities are accustomed to explain these seeming inconsistencies by a vague appeal to the obligations of the university to the community. These "social obligations" will repay a careful study. To grasp the idea that is now current in most of the state-universities, one must think of a state-hospital for the insane in which the care of patients is regarded as secondary to the purpose of impressing the people of the state with the evil of insanity, and the need of larger appropriations for the state-hospital. A careful analysis of present academic conceptions of "social obligation" fails to show that such obligation differs in any essential respect from the obligation[Pg 393] of a merchant to procure new customers, and incidentally to take some of them away from his competitors. The merchant's obligation is made humanly intelligible by considerations of profit or prestige. It is rather difficult to grasp the sort of academic prestige that comes from cheapening the college degree. And when we find that even the older and richer institutions show a disposition to sacrifice their academic distinction for the prestige of numbers, it seems simpler to abandon the search for rational motive, and to refer the ambitions of our institutions of learning to the same primitive instinct that prompts one man or woman to outshine his neighbor in the splendor of his diamonds or his dinners, and another in the size of his motor-car.

A sure key to the interpretation of "social obligation" will be found in inter-collegiate athletics. I am speaking here, not of athletic sports as such, nor necessarily of athletic contests between colleges, but of inter-collegiate contests as a matter of public exhibition—"a Roman holiday"—and commercial enterprise. Only a finely drawn distinction saves the college athlete from being classed as a professional. It is true that (as a rule) he does not pay for his living out of the gate-receipts. But the gate-receipts pay for his sport, and the sport covers a good deal of expensive traveling and sojourning at expensive hotels, not to speak of the services of a professional coach, now commonly appointed by the college administration at a salary often higher than that of a full professor. And when we remember that the gate-receipts total many thousands—$50,000 from a single game is not uncommon—and further that such sums are needed to maintain the sport at its present (shall we not say "professional"?) perfection, it is hard to see that amateur sport is not a business enterprise of serious dimensions. The difficulty becomes greater if we define a man's profession to be that which consumes most of his time and attention. This applies especially to football. The very[Pg 394] purpose of the training is to provide that during the season no member of the team shall waste his time or strength on any other purpose. The schedule for practice would be sufficient to demonstrate this point, apart from the testimony of numerous football men, among them men of fair ability and conscientious students. During the season they can do little more than attend their classes and trust to the mercy of the instructor. This mercy they are pretty sure to receive, first, because they have, as a rule, carefully avoided electing the courses of the unmerciful, secondly, because even a rather independent instructor will often prefer to give a football man the grade needed to keep him on the team rather than face a storm of execration from students and colleagues, not to speak of a long argument in the president's office. Such arguments are not uncommon; and a college professor who attaches any importance to the reports published of the high average of scholarship maintained by athletes must be lacking in a sense of humor.

Older apologists for inter-collegiate athletics were accustomed to talk about mens sana in corpore sano. But every one knows now that inter-collegiate athletics are as little related to sound health as inter-collegiate debates to sound logic. Nor does it suffice to point to the need of a safety-valve for the spirits of youth. This argument may pass for some of the Eastern colleges, but the Western student is apt to be a sober and steady, if somewhat unimaginative youth, who looks at college mostly from a business standpoint; and it is fair to say that inter-collegiate sports would have amounted to little in the West if they had not been carefully fostered by the college administration. This is so far true that a youth who happens to be husky and strong can hardly hope to escape the football team except under the imputation of "disloyalty;" and more than one who had hoped to give his time to other things has yielded to the importunities, not so much of his fellow-students as of the faculty sports and[Pg 395] those connected with the administration. In the college community generally, and in the speeches made by the faculty before gatherings of students, the highest tribute is reserved for the athletic heroes. Those who win college honors, or who make Phi Beta Kappa or Sigma Xi, are rarely heard of. The present theory seems to be—and again, the theory, not so much of the students as of the faculty and administration—that the student who wins honors work only for himself, while he who helps win a game does something for the college.

A generation ago the management of athletics was in the hands of the students, and the faculty was content to confine itself to the task of keeping the games within proper limits. But the amount of money involved became too great for undergraduate business methods and, in some cases, for undergraduate honesty. Hence, in one college after another, the administration assumed the direction of athletics in the interest of good management and at the same time, it was claimed, of preserving their amateur character. This claim has been very strangely justified. The result has been rather that in the hands of the administration athletics became an instrument of competition, and for the first time a serious and important business; and in the prosecution of the business along professional lines, the administration has been shown to be, not more scrupulous than the undergraduates, but only more resourceful. Impecunious athletes could now be provided for by scholarships or by places in the library, the college office, or the college book-store. Why, pray, should a student be debarred from the privilege of "working his way through" because he happens to be an athlete? Or why, for this reason, should a president be deprived of the benevolent satisfaction of helping a deserving student out of his own pocket? Or why should a similar privilege be withheld from "loyal" alumni or from disinterested persons who happen to have money on the game? Cases of this kind are matters of common[Pg 396] report in academic circles; and when players are disqualified for professionalism by the inter-collegiate conference, the circumstances point not seldom to complicity on the part of the academic authorities. Among men of the world who are gentlemen, it is thought to be one of the primitive moralities to be a good sport—to play the game on the square and to treat your opponent as a gentleman. Neither of these points seems to be quite intelligible to many of our academic sports. One college president might be named whose speeches at football "rallies" are said to suggest an expedition against savages.

A private citizen who should set up a billiard table in his house, and then earn the cost of it by giving exhibition games for admission fees, would be promptly put down as a professional sport. I have suggested to a number of colleagues that college athletics will never be a gentleman's sport until the gate-receipts are abolished, the professional coach dismissed, and the scope of athletics is limited to what can be supported by private subscription, preferably confined to students. One can readily see how this would improve the morale of athletics. There would be some loss of proficiency, but in matters of sport no gentleman can afford to be too proficient. The usual reply has been, however, "Oh, that would never do." Now of course it would never do. But there is just one reason why, namely, that athletics are today regarded as the most important measure and criterion of academic prestige. They are indeed an abominable nuisance. They absorb the attention of the administration, take up the time of faculty meetings or of governing committees, send traveling about the country students who ought to be at work, and give to the members of the team a public importance which their personality fails to justify. But every institution feels itself bound to make a good showing for fear that a barbarian public, and the rich barbarians among the alumni, will judge that it is lacking[Pg 397] in vitality. The fear is doubtless exaggerated, but such is the rationale of inter-collegiate athletics.

Further light upon the "social obligations" of our colleges and universities will be afforded by a study of the departments of education, or teachers' colleges, which have been established in most of the larger institutions, and which now often receive a greater share of the attention of the administration than any other part of the institution. It is unnecessary to ask whether the history or philosophy of education are important subjects of study. The fact remains that the history of education is about as necessary a preliminary to the practice of teaching, as the history of medicine to the practice of medicine, while any genuine philosophy of education implies a broad basis of ripe culture. Nor may we question the need of a higher standard of general culture for the teachers in the secondary schools. All of this is irrelevant to the department of education. The very last thing named there is the need of broad culture and sound knowledge. On the contrary, the idea is commonly conveyed that a too thorough knowledge of the subject will be bad for the teacher. As I write, there comes to me the published report of a speech by the dean of one of the teachers' colleges, who says that "it is harder for a Phi Beta Kappa to learn to teach than for medium students." Of course the moral is clear: no student who intends to teach, and who hopes to receive an appointment, can afford to waste his time in making a record for excellence of scholarship and breadth of culture, such as would recommend him to Phi Beta Kappa, especially since any deficiencies in these directions can be more than made good by a "professional training" in child-psychology, the science of method, and the social aims of education.

The result of this appeal is to bring to the university a large class of students whose personal ambition does not extend beyond the desire for a comfortable job, and who regard the university, not as an alma mater, but[Pg 398] simply as an emporium from which they may procure a professional outfit; and at the same time to instal in the faculty a set of men whose prevailing point of view is that of the entrepreneur. In all of our universities, from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific, the department of education, with its courses, students, and instructors, is an object of ridicule and malediction on the part of most of the faculty. Even the less fastidious are disposed to resent the presence in the university of a department whose intellectual and cultural status is hardly superior to that of a normal school. There would seem to be only one reason for the importance attached to the department by the administration, namely, the large and steady constituency which it is able to command through the questionable logic of its vocational appeal. For the purpose of enlarging the "plant," nothing better has been yet devised than the plan of offering "professional training" for teachers.

Hardly less significant, however, for a study of the social obligations resting upon our universities is the graduate school. In the West local patriotism demands that every state shall have its state-university, and no institution is a complete university without a graduate school. That several states should combine to form one graduate school of really good quality has, to my knowledge, never been suggested. Meanwhile, to measure the urgency of the need for graduate schools, it will be sufficient to contemplate the kind of men who are awarded fellowships in the graduate schools already well established, in the East or in the West. A dispassionate observer might readily conclude that the capacity of the country for graduate work had been satisfied for a century to come. And he would be the more confirmed in his opinion if he should reflect upon the cost of graduate instruction, the small number of students who attend the graduate courses, and the few who are not subsidized to attend. In his book on University Control Professor Cattell[Pg 399] has called attention to the fact that our graduate schools procure most of their students only by paying them, and to the more significant fact that, with all the inducements offered by scholarships and fellowships, the material is of not more than mediocre quality. Even at Harvard it has been noted that the graduate students were as a class inferior in personal genius and intellectual endowment to the best class of undergraduates. Nor does it seem worth while to increase the stipend. Some years ago one of our college presidents, an artist in inflation, conceived the idea of splitting his fellowships into two; with a scarcely observable change of quality, he obtained two graduate students for the price of one. From all this one would be led to conclude that what is now needed is, not more graduate schools, but a working outfit of really eligible students for those already established.

Since the college faculty is recruited from the graduate school, this means that there is a corresponding lack of eligible material for college professorships. Professor Cattell suggests that the lack of good material for the graduate fellowships is due to the unsatisfactory conditions which, in America, surround the profession of scholar and teacher. Doubtless this is true, but the deeper fact seems to be that cultural conditions in the United States have not yet developed a sufficient number of men with a taste for academic work to fill the places created by a policy of hasty expansion. The result is that a fair number of those composing our college faculties—fully half, one might say, viewing them as a whole,—are men who have no special sense of professional dignity or of professional responsibility; and some of those who write "Professor" before, or "A.B., Ph.D." after their names are all but illiterate. An unselected group of college professors leaves no impression of special culture. Their ordinary conversation conveys no impression of superior insight in matters of politics, or of art, or of social[Pg 400] reform—very probably the subject of conversation is football and the prospects of the team. In any community a group of college professors is likely to represent, not a higher level of culture, but simply a fairly assorted average, a vertical section, so to speak, of the culture of the community. Under normal conditions many of those who now compose our college faculties would probably be teaching in the elementary schools, while others, especially those, now highly esteemed by the administration, who prefer the stir and bustle of traveling and speech-making to the humdrum of study and teaching, would be carrying a case of samples or selling life-insurance. One of the striking things about our college professors is their frequent distaste for quiet occupations. Hence, while it is true that the conditions prevailing in the profession react upon the graduate schools, the reverse is also true. One reason that operates against better salaries for college professors is that so many are now worth no more than they get, while for men of a better quality there is no immediately promising source of supply.

On the other hand, it is obvious that a policy of indiscriminate expansion is committed to the employment of Chinese cheap labor in teaching. To this necessity we owe the elaborate academic hierarchy extending through the grades of fellow, assistant, instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, full professor, to the culminating dignity of "professor and head of the department;" to this we owe the employment of women in the coëducational colleges (who rarely get beyond the grade of instructor); and to this we owe the fact that, even in the oldest and richest of our universities, a great part of the instruction is given by instructors at about a thousand dollars a year. Yet all the while a course by a thousand-dollar instructor yields the same amount of credit towards the degree as a course by a full professor. From the administration's standpoint, however, it is foolish to pay four or five thousand dollars for one man when you can get two or[Pg 401] three for that sum; and especially when your public is of a kind that only a small portion of it will know the difference.

Peculiarly favorable to this policy has been the importation from Germany of the wissenschaftliche Methode and, in particular, of the scientific method of creating a Doctor of Philosophy, based upon the curious Teutonic conception of a "contribution to knowledge." One such contribution is sufficient for a Doctor of Philosophy; the number of them is the measure of a scientific reputation. What is positively needed to constitute a contribution to knowledge, is not altogether clear. It seems quite certain, however, that a contribution to knowledge need not be a contribution to ideas. And a census of the contributions printed by the journals devoted to special departments of knowledge suggests that little more is needed than an industrious description of some region of unexplored fact. It matters little that the fact is insignificant, or that the analysis (if there be analysis) throws no new light upon the principles of science or upon the motives of history or of literature—a fact is still a fact; and a "negative result" in response to an improbable hypothesis is still a "contribution." It is evident that the "scientific method," whatever be its first intention, need not in practice imply the operation of intelligence. And this may help to explain why the "results of science" are occasionally indistinguishable from those of manual labor, and how a man may rank as a scientific authority whose general intelligence would not clearly distinguish him from an ordinary carpenter or bricklayer. All of this, indeed, is implied in the logic of "method." As the purpose of a machine is to be foolproof, so is it the purpose of scientific method to make scientific discovery independent of personal endowment or genius. In the wholesale creation of academic establishments the method plays a particularly important part, since it furnishes a supply of accredited reputations at a relatively moderate cost.

The scientific method represents the introduction of[Pg 402] "democracy" into the fields of science and scholarship. And thus it enables us to explain the paradox, otherwise mystifying, that college professors are the first to teach the student to attach a superior importance to men of affairs; to value a practical experience of things above a clear understanding of them; the intuitions of the plain man, or of the child of nature, above the decisions of reflective judgment; and that they are the first to warn him against allowing plain common sense to be disturbed by the exercise of reason. All of this would be rather perplexing if one were unfamiliar with the democratic theory that a contribution to knowledge implies no exercise of intelligence, and that intellectual discipline works no change in the quality of the man.

When, however, it becomes a question of democracy for the faculty—or, in other words, of a form of academic administration appropriate to the idea of a learned profession—the democrats of this type are apt to be either silent or contemptuous. One of the reasons why academic administration is imperialistic in democratic America, while it is democratic in imperialistic Germany, is that American scholars have no illusions regarding the dignity of their profession. On the other hand, a commercial, or, if you please, scientific, theory of academic organization leads quite naturally to the conception of the college-president as a captain of industry—while a study of the acts of college professors in their corporate capacity as a faculty might easily lead one to believe that most of them are capable only of doing what they are told. But all this is but one manifestation of a deeper reason. For a true basis of comparison, we must turn, not to the German university, but to the German army, and then back again to the citizen soldiery of the United States. On a peace footing, if academic progress be the end in question, there appears to be no reason why a body of academic teachers, presumably men of culture and of experience in academic affairs, should not be able to govern an educational[Pg 403] institution both efficiently and progressively under the presiding direction of one of their number responsible to themselves. Nor may we see why any scholar should be disinclined to interrupt his studies for a term to assume the office. But for an aggressive campaign against the state-treasury, or the pockets of the wealthy, or a raid upon the constituency of a rival institution, such a form of organization would be as little fitted as our National Guard for an invasion of Canada. A campaign of conquest calls for the autocratic powers of a captain of industry.

In institutions of established reputation, the tradition of culture is usually strong enough to demand that the president be a scholar and a man of distinction—though he need not be a conspicuous illustration of the theory that familiarity with the arts emollit mores, nec sinit esse feros. A glance, however, at what is expected of the president in the great majority of colleges and universities will convince one that it is easier for the rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven than for the president to live up to the ideal of a scholar and a gentleman. It will also help to account for the number of strange and even grotesque characters which have figured in the office. Every one has known college presidents whose personality would suggest the politician, the promoter, the theatrical manager, or the quack-doctor—anything rather than the head of an institution of learning. When a professor is elevated to the presidency, he ceases to be a teacher, and becomes an "educator" (with a long o). The duties of the office leave no time, as a rule, either for teaching or for study—for which, doubtless, those who have been "training" for the office are often grateful. The result is that the educational manager is usually far removed from the realities of education. And, indeed, the last thing of which our college presidents are expected to have any personal knowledge is the courses that are given in their institution and the ideas of the instructor who is giving[Pg 404] them. What is chiefly demanded of them is "executive ability," especially that kind of which the chief ingredient is a histrionic capacity for attracting attention.

Thus the duties of the office are only remotely academic. On the side of internal administration, the first duty of the president is to swell the volume of "life" by a paternal encouragement, mingled at times with insistence, of all the organizations representing "student interests"—those athletic, first of all, but then the countless other societies, religious, social, dramatic, musical, terpsichorean, journalistic, forensic, or what not, which give a tone of "vitality" to our academic life (or, as you may choose to put it, make a howling wilderness of the academic halls); and among which the literary society of the older days is the least considered. If college life is to yield material for publicity nothing should be left to the student's spontaneity; on the other hand, the modern college student is apt to blame the administration if he is backward in making friends or fails to make a place for himself among his fellows. On the side of external administration, the duties of the president may be summed up in the two words, money and publicity. To procure the first of these, he is expected to make himself acceptable to men of wealth; or, in the state-university, to the politicians. Those who idealize the independence of the state-university are apt to forget that it has its own seamy side. At the same time, to strengthen his appeal, the college president is expected to create a larger clientele among the public, and, for all these purposes, to organize the alumni into a compact fighting force. This means that he must be half the time traveling and making speeches. The demands upon him for talk alone are usually far in excess of any normal capacity for thinking; and it would be an extraordinary man who, under all these conditions, should preserve a high sincerity or a deeply thoughtful attitude towards life.

All of this is the outcome of an expensive "democracy,"[Pg 405] based, we are told, upon broad conceptions of social responsibility. How far the elevation of society is involved in this democratic program I have tried to make clear. In any case there would seem to be a need for a few institutions of learning with the courage to be aristocratic. An aristocratic college (or university, as the case may be) would necessarily limit the scope of its work, in range of courses and number of students, to what it could do well upon the income at its command. Several of our academic endowments might seem to be already sufficient for maintaining a uniformly high standard of very fair scope. An aristocratic institution of learning would then be represented by an aristocratic faculty, composed of men whose life and teaching rest upon the conviction that exercise of intellect and cultivation of taste produce a finer type of man. With the possible exception of a few of the younger men, an aristocratic faculty would be made up of men worthy of the rank and salary of a full professor. In the aristocratic college or university the competition for students would be replaced by the competition of applicants for entrance; and an institution which preserved its independence by thus deliberately determining the scope of its work would have the choice of the best. Admission to college would then become what it might conceivably be expected to be, an aristocratic privilege. Of course, an aristocratic institution of learning could not hope to make a constant noise in the world. It should none the less be an inspiring and pervasive influence in the direction of a higher tone of thought and morals for all of society.

[Pg 406]


A German economist recently visiting the United States was asked to explain how Germany's policy toward industrial combinations differed from ours. He said the difference that struck him most was that Germany did not go about solving the problem through legislation in the same light-hearted way that we seemed to. Perhaps, he added, this is because the old fashioned view still prevails in Germany that laws once enacted are to be rigidly and impartially enforced. He continued, that beyond amending her corporation law to insure that actual assets should bear a constant relation to nominal capital, to impose personal liability upon promoters and directors for losses due to untrue or misleading information which they might circulate, and to punish severely all forms of unfair competition, Germany had refrained from legislating on the subject. Nothing, he pointed out, like our anti-trust act,—to say nothing of our New Jersey seven-sister laws or our pending federal five-brother bills,—was to be found in German legislation. On the contrary, he asserted, combination agreements fixing prices and controlling outputs are enforced by German courts as readily as any other contracts, and the dissolution of a combination like the Westphalian coal cartell would be regarded not as a matter for public rejoicing, but as a serious blow to national prosperity. He did not maintain that Germany had solved the trust problem, but said that her attitude was well described as one of "watchful waiting."

To American statesmen the policy of Germany must seem weak and pusillanimous to a degree. They have become so habituated to the thought that "the anti-trust act is the magna charta of our business liberties," that attorneys-general and members of Congress vie with one[Pg 407] another in the race to add fresh victims to the list of busted trusts to the credit of the dominant political party. Presidents "point with pride" to the number of prosecutions carried to a successful conclusion during their administrations. If the zeal of the department of justice seems to flag, Congress creates special committees to investigate the steel trust or other suspected combination, and thus a healthful rivalry is maintained which not only keeps the names of the "busters" prominently before the public, but supplies an unending stream of near facts for our newspapers, ever fearless champions of truth and justice.

Exhilarating as is this national pastime of trust-busting, the latest legislative proposals in Congress may well give pause even to the most ardent. Four bills have been seriously put forward which if enacted would make criminal many of the most common practices of American business men. The climax is reached in a clause in one of these measures that specifically makes it a crime for business men "to make any agreement, enter into any arrangement, or arrive at any understanding by which they, directly or indirectly, undertake to prevent a free and unrestricted competition among themselves or among any purchasers or consumers in the sale, production or transportation of any product, article, or commodity." Under this clause California orange growers who join together for the grading, packing and marketing of their fruit would be parties to a criminal conspiracy. Milk farmers who maintain coöperative creameries would be equally culpable. Labor organizations restraining the competition of their members in the sale of their labor are condemned. This bill, if enacted and rigidly enforced would make of business a bellum omnium contra omnes, and bring us back to the atomic stage of our industrial development. That such ill-considered legislation will be enacted is highly improbable, but its serious proposal invites a sober reconsideration of our whole trust policy.

[Pg 408]

The first aspect of the present situation that must strike the impartial observer is the inconsistency of the policy we are adopting toward our railroads and other common carriers. Since 1887 these businesses have been subject to regulation through the Interstate Commerce Commission, justified on the ground that for them competition is not an adequate means of control, and that unless their monopolizing greed is subjected to rigid regulation, the interests of the public must suffer. That these businesses are natural monopolies of organization, that is, businesses that can be most efficiently and economically administered as single or closely combined organizations in each of the localities to which they minister, every economist would agree. Competition in rates among railroads is undesirable because it means costly and destructive rate wars that can only end in rate agreements, tacit or open.

The policy of empowering the Interstate Commerce Commission to fix rates, and thus secure reasonableness and stability, is thus sound public policy. Amendments to the interstate commerce act, giving the commission a similar power over express rates and telegraph and telephone rates, where competition is also absent or self-destructive, have been made or should be made.

But while we are committed to this policy of regulated combination of common carriers, we still apply to them the Sherman act prohibiting combinations! Without any attempt to decide or even discuss whether the combinations into which the railroads have entered (the lease of the Southern Pacific by the Union Pacific, for example) make for economy and efficiency, the Attorney-General feels compelled by the law which he is bound to administer, to search out such combinations and force their dissolution. No well informed railroad man would maintain that any benefit redounded either to the public or to the railroads by forcing the Southern Pacific and the Union Pacific apart. Yet the Attorney-General congratulates himself on the achievement, and public opinion approves[Pg 409] because it is clear that the process was both costly and painful to the railroads themselves. That what is bad for the railroads must be good for the rest of us seems to be the popular logic of the matter.

The most recent triumph of the department of justice, in this field, is the forcing apart of the telephone and telegraph monopolies. That these businesses can best be operated in combination, is obvious to anyone who has given any thought to the character of the services they render. Receiving and delivering telegrams by telephone add greatly to the efficiency of the system, not only because of the saving of time, but because of the multiplication of offices from which either telephone calls or telegrams may be despatched. In many localities the same poles may be used for stringing both kinds of wires. Finally, on the administrative side, the opportunity for saving through concentration of management is considerable. At the same time that the Attorney-General was effecting this divorce, the Postmaster General was urging the advantages not only of having these two businesses combined, but of having both managed by the government in connection with the postal service. As has been well said, if the Postmaster General is right in advocating the operation of both the telegraph and long-distance telephone businesses by the post-office, the Attorney-General cannot be right in thinking the dismemberment of the telegraph-telephone combination was in the line of wise public policy.

It has long been clear to thoughtful citizens that as the policy of regulating natural monopolies is perfected, the policy of prohibiting combination in this field of enterprise should be abandoned. No such amendment of the anti-trust act is, however, included among the trust bills now before Congress! They continue to ignore the distinction between natural monopolies and ordinary businesses, and to force upon both the form of competition; although, as regards the former, the reality has long been notoriously[Pg 410] absent. Under the law as applied by the Supreme Court, it is still criminal for the railroads to enter into rate agreements. That they do enter into such agreements, however, is tacitly recognized even by the Interstate Commerce Commission, in entertaining from them a collective demand for a five per cent increase in rates. No wonder a German visitor is led to remark upon the contrast his country presents, where the old fashioned view still prevails that laws should be enforced!

As combination in the railroad, telegraph and telephone businesses is a perfectly normal economic development, conducing to the public interest rather than opposed to it, so it is far from proven that combinations among manufacturers, such as are freely permitted in Germany, are not often advantageous. The steel industry may be used to illustrate the argument. Here is a branch of business in which concentration and large scale production make for economy, until a scale of operations is attained calling for millions of dollars of capital and thousands of employees. The Carnegie Steel Company, the Jones-Laughlin Steel Company, the Illinois Steel Company, all grew up under highly competitive conditions, and each attained a gigantic size without passing the point where enlarging the scale of operations continued to make for economy in production. But when an industry is of such a character that success necessitates the investment of millions of dollars in each competing aggregation of producing units, a situation is presented where the losses due to unrestrained competition are correspondingly enormous. In times of prosperity, each producing organization expands to realize more fully the economies of large scale production. Iron and coke properties are secured to insure uninterrupted supply of raw materials; transportation facilities are acquired, since the business is so large as to require for its exclusive use fleets of vessels and special railroad carriers; blast furnaces and rolling mills are built in convenient proximity, to permit the conversion[Pg 411] of raw materials into finished products with least expenditure of time and effort. This development is in obedience to the laws of expanding trade. If the industry is to be economically conducted, it must occur, and the public interest demands that it shall occur.

A period of depression now ensues. If each of the competing units pursues its own interest blindly, disregardful of the general good of the trade, each will compete desperately to secure the largest share of the diminished trade. Prices will be recklessly cut. It is better to operate mines and mills at low profits, at no profits, or even at a loss, than to have mines and mills shut down, the properties deteriorate, and the skilled labor force that has been slowly drawn together dispersed far and wide over the country. There is thus no limit short of actual bankruptcy to which the competitors will not find it to their interest to go so long as they remain competitors. But why should they carry their competition to such reckless lengths? Will it not be better for each and for all to produce moderately at low profits until the depression has passed, and conserve all the producing machinery for the time when business will revive, as it surely will revive, and all will again be needed? Is such combination to restrain competition opposed to the interest of the whole community? What useful purpose, after all, is served by forcing large numbers of steel plants into bankruptcy in every period of depression, with the result that the machinery for production becomes quite inadequate to meet the demand when prosperity returns, and prices are forced to levels as unreasonably high as they were unreasonably low during the depression? Instead of having steel either prince or pauper, is it not better to have steel a contented and moderately prosperous citizen at all times? It is contended that this life and death competition makes for more rapid improvement in productive methods, but does it? Under a regime of regulated combination, each producing unit is still under strong pressure to cut down its expenses of[Pg 412] production, and to make its profits by that much larger. Is there any real evidence that improvements in methods have not been introduced as rapidly since the steel trust was organized in 1901, as they were before? In that period the open hearth process has been substituted on a vast scale for the Bessemer process. The Steel Corporation has spent millions of dollars in developing its plants at Gary to the highest efficiency yet known in the industry. Its smaller rivals have been equally active. Although in many lines prices have been steadied, and run-away markets in either direction prevented, there have been as eager efforts to improve on existing methods, and to concentrate production at the points best fitted for it, as there ever were before.

There are, of course, considerations to be urged on the other side. If allowed to combine to prevent disastrously low prices, steel manufacturers will be under temptation to take advantage of the situation by imposing unreasonably high prices. "When producers reach for one another's hands, let consumers guard their throats!" If such combination is to be tolerated, it must be under the restraining influence of a strong federal commission that will enforce publicity, will prevent unfair and oppressive methods toward non-members of the combination, and will be prepared as a last resort to ask Congress for authority to prescribe reasonable prices in exceptional cases, just as the Interstate Commerce Commission has been given authority to regulate in the public interest the charges of common carriers.

The objection most strongly urged against such a policy in high quarters is that it means "regulated monopoly" and that monopoly is intolerable. There are three possible policies which government may apply to business: that of enforced competition, that of regulated competition, and that of regulated monopoly. The bill that we have criticized would enforce competition by penalizing every slightest departure from it in the direction of coöperation.[Pg 413] This is so obviously not in harmony with the coöperative spirit of the day, that the latest pronunciamento from Washington declares in favor not of "enforced" competition but of "regulated" competition. Regulated competition is a policy on which all may seemingly unite, but there is wide difference of opinion as to what it will ultimately lead to. Those who consider regulated monopoly intolerable believe that in all lines of business, provided that small business men are protected from unfair and oppressive methods of competition on the part of their larger rivals, that a reasonable amount of publicity is required, and that artificial methods of bringing about monopoly are prevented, competition will remain a dominant force. They make light of the alleged economies of combination and view the whole trust movement as the offspring of monopolistic greed and the profit-hunger of the promoter and high financier. Those who believe that in other lines of business than the recognized natural monopolies, all embracing combinations would be able to produce more efficiently and therefore sell more cheaply than smaller producing units, think that regulated competition, at least for these lines, must develop in the long run into regulated monopoly. Instead of regarding regulated monopoly as intolerable they view it as natural and inevitable. While they admit that the superiority of large combinations cannot be proved from American experience, since regulated competition is only just beginning to have a fair trial here, they point confidently, in support of their theory, to what is going on in Germany. In view of this diversity of expert opinion, it would seem to be the part of prudence to give regulated competition a fuller trial before going in either for enforced competition, on the one hand, or regulated monopoly, on the other.

As a step toward a wiser solution of the combination problem, than the blind condemnation and prohibition of all combinations, which has thus far dominated American legislation, the proposal to create an Interstate Trade[Pg 414] Commission now before Congress merits the support of all classes. Such a commission could aid materially in the enforcement of the anti-trust act, and should therefore be favored by the trust-busters. It could pass on the plans of business men before they enter upon them, and thus give at least negative aid in avoiding arrangements that might be held unlawful. Finally, it could collect the information necessary to a wise decision between our present policy of prohibiting combinations and the German policy of permitting them, subject to a policy of "watchful waiting" on the part of the government.

It is indicative of the present state of mind of our public men that the very committees of Congress which are considering the creation of such a commission, are considering at the same time measures that would largely prevent it from accomplishing the good that is to be expected from it. It is earnestly to be hoped that Congress may be induced to content itself at this time with creating a competent trade commission. If it is not prepared expressly to exempt from the operation of the anti-trust act the common carriers subject to regulation by the Interstate Commerce Commission, may it at least refrain from making that act odious as well as ridiculous, and leave to the Supreme Court the task, on which it is so well advanced, of giving it an interpretation that is at once clear and reasonable!

[Pg 415]


M. Paul Otlet, the Secretary of the Brussels International Bibliographic Institute, places the total annual book production of the entire globe at approximately 150,000 volumes per annum.

Senor Eduardo Ravarro Salvador, a distinguished Spanish author, has compiled with greatest care statistics of a similar nature which are printed in the Madrid Heraldo, and his estimate quite closely confirms the other, aggregating approximately a little over 160,000 for the year 1911.

A dozen years ago, when book production was smaller than today, Mr. Percy L. Parker, in the New York Independent, gave the total number of books issued by thirteen countries in an average year as 77,250, which would be not as large as the estimates of either Senor Salvador or M. Otlet, but is nevertheless of use in confirming them, and increasing the probability that a mean of the three estimates may be quite substantially near to the truth.

Mr. Joseph B. Gilder, in an article in the New York Times, for January 25, 1914, states that our Ambassador to the Court of St. James, Mr. Page of the publishing firm of Doubleday, Page and Co., said not long before departing for his post, that American men spend less for books than for neckties, and American women less than for the buttons on their frocks. The same article quotes the Boston bookseller, Mr. W. B. Clarke, who is Chairman of the Executive Committee of the American Booksellers Association, as saying that the per capita consumption of books is less than of any other commodity.

Following Mr. Gilder's article, and using the statistics[Pg 416] of the Statesman's Year Book, as to population, and of the World Almanac, as to book production in 1910, we find that in Switzerland there was one book printed for every 872 population; in Japan one to 1,224; in Germany one to 2,075; in France one to 3,809; in Great Britain one to 3,808; and in the United States one to 7,295. In 1911 our showing was not quite so good.

According to statistics prepared for the World Almanac, and to sources indicated above, and others, the number of books issued annually in the United States varies in late years but little either way from 10,000. It would appear that the United States issued roughly only about six per cent of the total, and if we deduct new editions and translations, only about four per cent of the total.

Further, by an examination of these various and varying statistics from the best experts, it is evident that little Switzerland, which is scarcely one-eighteenth the size of our State of Texas, and whose population is less than one-twenty-fifth that of the United States, publishes more than three-quarters as many books per annum as we do; in other words, ten times as many books per million inhabitants per annum are published by Switzerland as by the United States. In fact she leads the world in this particular.

By similar analysis, we find that the Scandinavian countries, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, which in book production are next in rank to Switzerland, have an output of about six times ours. Germany, France, the British Empire, Holland, Italy, Austria greatly surpass us, all running, per million of population, from three and one-half to five times our output. Roumania, with one-thirteenth our population, publishes one-fourth as many books; Japan with slightly more than half our population, publishes four times as many; in other words, eight times as many per million of population; but a large number of these are pamphlets: so instead of publishing in percentages eight times as many, she really issues an average of[Pg 417] between three and four times as many, which makes our showing even then bad enough.

In the density of our ignorance, we sometimes think and speak of Russia as a benighted country, forgetting that in her middle and upper circles, she is vibrant with intellectual and artistic energy. In book production, even though the showing on her side is distorted by the countless millions of her ignorant peasant class, who number about 79 per cent of her population, we find that she produces two and three-quarters times as many books as we do, and has a population only one and two-thirds times larger. In other words, she materially exceeds us in book production.

This leaves us to seek in Spain the only one of the civilized nations of the entire globe that publishes so few books per million of population per annum as we do; and it is questionable whether we are able to hold the lead over even her: for an analysis of the statistics of both Otlet and Salvador places us slightly behind united Spain and Portugal, the figures for the two being given in conjunction. Beneath these there is no lower depth.

Germany produces more books than any other nation in the seven highly creditable classes of educational, arts and sciences, belles lettres, theology, medicine, voyages, and law.

Italy holds first rank in political economy; France in history, poetry and drama; and the United States ties France for first place in one item only, books on sport. That is our best bid for a premier place.

The Publishers' Weekly, the semi-official organ of the book trade, in its issue of Jan. 30, 1904, contains the following statement:

The great decrease in all the more serious departments of literature, as well as in some of the lighter ones, is a curious and unexplainable condition of our book production. Scientific and philosophical writings are as conspicuous through their absence as are the simply amusing books.

[Pg 418]

Moreover, this backward condition of America's book production is a new situation that has existed for a generation only. That this is so, is shown in various ways, but particularly in the parlous condition of the retail bookselling trade. A generation ago, when our population was a little less than one-half what it is today, there were in the United States, it is estimated, between three and four thousand booksellers carrying fairly good stocks of books representative of history, light science, economics, art, biography, travel, poetry, essays, fiction and belles lettres generally.

There are less than fifteen hundred booksellers left, and this number is steadily being diminished through withdrawals from business. Yet on January 9, 1914, the Secretary of the American News Company told the House Committee on Post Office that the country contains nearly a hundred thousand news stands.

Since there were three or four thousand bookstores, not only has the population of the country more than doubled, but the general average of wealth has increased markedly, being quite four times what it was then: so that by good rights the three or more thousand booksellers of that day should have increased three-fold or over, to at least ten thousand, instead of diminishing by more than one-half.

If it be true, as has been repeatedly asserted, that a good bookstore, well stocked and intelligently managed, performs an educational work in any community only slightly, if indeed at all, less important than that done by its schools, colleges, libraries or churches, this deplorable condition of affairs merits serious attention.

The reason for the situation is not far to seek: though not even its existence, let alone its cause, is as generally known as it should be. Yet the cause seems plainly and definitely determinable. To arrive at it, we must turn from book production to another printing-trade industry[Pg 419] that has waxed in the United States as book production has waned. Forty years ago less than ten million copies of periodicals, exclusive of newspapers, were published annually. Today it is estimated that there are published over seven-and-a-half billion, and of this quantity more than one-half gets distribution through the mails. These extra hundreds of millions of periodicals would seem to mean as many tens of millions fewer good books; and that seems to be virtually the sole cause of the disappearance of the books.

On June 23, 1874, there was approved an act of Congress establishing a pound rate of postage on mail matter of the second-class—newspapers and periodicals. At first this rate was three cents a pound for magazines, and two for newspapers. Soon it was lowered to two cents for each, and still later, becoming operative on July 1, 1885, the rate was reduced to only one cent per pound for each. The cost of service rendered then and every year since, is many times that amount: at present it is estimated by various experts and commissions as running from 6-1/2 cents to 12 cents per pound.

The effect of that law is emphatically shown in the following table giving amounts of second-class mail (periodical literature) carried by the Post Office Department at various dates.

For1875(first year law was operative) 40,000,000pounds

At this rate, within less than ten years, if the law is not changed, this output will have increased to more than two billion pounds per annum.

Evidently giving to periodical literature this service[Pg 420] at one cent per pound, $20. per ton, the cost being eight or ten times as much, has been simply a subvention, and a very effective one. Although we publish few books as compared with other civilized nations, we issue more periodicals than all other nations put together, and half as much again: for we publish sixty per cent of the periodical literature of the entire globe.

The United States, according to the report of the Third Assistant Postmaster General for January, 1914, handled in the second-class mail, during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1913, over five thousand million copies of periodicals—more than fifty for each man, woman and child in the United States—enough to make more than 2,600 train loads of ten fully loaded cars per train. And this does not take into consideration the enormous number of copies of daily newspapers and other periodicals which are circulated outside of the mails, by carriers, newsdealers and others.

Underlying this megalosaurus-like development, is the factor that carriage by the government at the nearly free rate of one cent per pound, covers not only the literary product but the advertising material which has been the determining factor in this marvellous increase. At the time the pound-rate law first became operative, magazines were few in number, and contained little advertising and much good literature; but the pound-rate law gave birth to a new kind of magazine issued at less than cost for the revenue to be derived, because of the immense circulation possible under the subvention, from its advertising pages; and their advertising pages generally weigh more and cost the government more to transport, than do their literary pages.

To increase this revenue, circulations were forced by methods that directly violated the law, and these methods are still being used. Premiums were given to an extent that led to an investigation by the Post Office Department,[Pg 421] and it was found (Third Assistant Postmaster General's report, Dec. 1, 1911, p. 39) that in one case four-fifths of the subscribers went for the premium, the publication being worth nothing except as an advertising medium because of its large circulation—a circulation with which, despite the government subvention, literature had nothing to do. Another periodical, weekly and agricultural, forced by premium 122,000 subscriptions out of 143,000; another 41,000 out of 53,000.

There are hundreds of needless growths of this sort. As an instance, there are published in the United States some eighty-six banking periodicals. The Secretary of the American Bankers' Association, when asked how many of these were needed, replied: "From three to six, and the other eighty are 'leg pullers.' They live in great part by sandbagging advertising out of financial interests."

Dr. Talcott Williams, at the session of the American Historical Association at Washington a few years ago, said that one hundred years earlier, the aggregate weight of one copy of each issue of an ordinary city daily for a year was about ten pounds; fifty years later it was twenty-five pounds; twenty-five years later it had become fifty pounds; and when he spoke it was a hundred and twenty-five pounds; while in some instances the Sunday editions alone weigh more than that. How much of it is published to the real advantage of the community?

Upon careful consideration, it seems evident that at first the law diverted the patronage of the reading public from books to the higher-priced and more respectable magazines, those so priced that their sale at the published rate would be possible even if the advertising were a minor consideration; that next, the twenty-five cent issues cut the ground from under these older and higher-priced ones; that then rapidly appeared the fifteen-cent ones, and next the ten-cent ones—all so expensive to make that only[Pg 422] the great volume of advertising rendered the low price possible; and that now the five-cent issues are, in their turn, no less rapidly displacing the ten-cent ones. Swift's doggerel tells the tale:

So, naturalists observe, a flea
Has smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller still to bite 'em;
And so proceed ad infinitum.

While this article has primarily to do with the decadence of our literature, the economic side should not be lost sight of.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1913, the expense account of the Post Office Department amounted to over $260,000,000. The second-class mail supplied nearly two-thirds of the tonnage, and cost more than one-third of the total aggregate of expense, but the revenue paid by its publishers amounted to just under $10,000,000, as against the cost of over $86,000,000.

To make up for the loss thus incurred, the first-class mail—the letter mail, which weighed only about one-fifth as many pounds, had to supply $175,000,000 of revenue from a service costing the government less than $100,000,000. That is to say, the letter mail paid eighteen times as much revenue as the second-class mail, and weighed but one-fifth as much.

There were carried the past year very nearly two billions of postal cards which produced a revenue of nearly $20,000,000. The weight of these was only about 12,000,000 pounds. Twelve million pounds of postal cards therefore produced almost exactly twice as much revenue as one thousand million pounds of publishers' second-class mail.

Averaging all in all, first-class mail costs at most not quite four times as much per pound as second-class mail, and pays eighty-four times as much.

In other words, each time that one of the forty or fifty[Pg 423] million users of the first-class mail puts a two-cent stamp on a letter, one cent pays for the service rendered, and nearly all of the other cent is taken by the Department to give the "special privilege" of service at one-eighth of cost, to less than thirty thousand periodical publishers.

Is it any wonder that new periodicals have begun their career in the United States at the rate of more than ten a day for every day, Sundays and holidays included, of the past fifteen years? Fortunately, however, the death rate is nearly as great as the birth rate; but since those that persist are the selected growths, there is, as we have seen, a tremendous annual increase.

One expert estimates that the total number of books published in the world since the invention of printing is some fifteen millions, and another, more modest, places the figures at between ten and twelve millions. Assuming for each book a first edition of one thousand copies, a somewhat common issue, we should have from ten billion to fifteen billion copies of all. In other words, there are issued in the United States each year from one-half to three-quarters as many copies of periodicals as have ever been published in the first editions of all books ever printed by all the nations of the world.

There can be no deduction made from the general features of the situation other than that the distribution of this one class of merchandise at a practically free rate is nearly the sole reason for this wasteful over-production.

When the pound-rate law was enacted, the distinct purpose was announced that its effect should be educational. The contrary is unmistakably the case. The reading of the ten to twenty minute magazine article or the skimming over of the Sunday paper, seems to have become too often the limit of the intellectual activity of our people of average education.

To carry the Police Gazette at a cent a pound while charging eight times as much for a spelling book or Bible,[Pg 424] and then to claim that the law permitting this discrepancy was enacted in the interests of education, is at least edifying. Archbishop Hare in his bright little volume Guesses at Truth once remarked that a very bad reason was in effect next to a very good one.

Mr. J. N. Larned the very eminent librarian says:

The so-called newspaper which interests itself and which labors to interest its readers in the trivialities and ignoble occurrences of the day—in the prize fights and mean preliminaries of prize fights, the boxing matches, the ball games, the races, the teas, the luncheons, the receptions, the dresses, the goings and comings and private doings of private persons—making the most in all possible ways of all petty things and low things, while treating grave matters with levity and impertinence—with what effect can such a newspaper be read? I do not care to say. If I spoke my mind, I might strike harshly at too many whose reading is confined to such sheets, but I will venture so much remark as this: That I would prefer absolute illiteracy for a son or a daughter of mine, total inability to spell a single printed word, rather than that he or she should be habitually a reader of the common newspaper of America of today, and a reader of nothing better.

According to Census Bulletin No. 57 for 1905, there was spent in the preceding year in the entire country for newspapers the enormous sum of $280,000,000, and for all textbooks for use in both public and private schools, sectarian and non-sectarian, and in all colleges, only some $12,000,000! More than $23 spent for ephemeral literature, much of which debases the literary taste of the community, for each dollar spent for literature whose function was technically educational.

To get a further idea of the literary pabulum that the government subvention is creating for us, let us consider an average magazine of the so-called popular sort. Someone defines it as follows:

"A magazine is a small body of literature, entirely surrounded by advertising. In this respect, it resembles a railroad ham sandwich with the advertising bread cut[Pg 425] very thick and the literary meat in especially thin slices. The situation is well summarized when Dooley says: 'Hinnessy, mon, last night on my way home from wurruk I bought one of them popular magazines expectin' after I had eaten me supper and put on me slippers, and lighted me pipe, to sit down for a quiet avenin's enjoyment looking over the advertisements, and do you know, mon, twinty-five per cent of the dommed thing was just nothing but "litherachoor."'"

The magazine frequently gives great prominence to pictures of actresses—doubtless by favorable arrangements with their managers. With these may appear an article with an alliterative title, showing How Cleveland was Cunningly Conned; How Placid Philadelphia's Putridity was Purged; Why Denver went to the Devil; etc. Then may follow an article explaining how our reporter Wily Willie went under "Jawn Dee's" window and, by making a noise like an extra dividend, secured an interview with him. Then a trifling poem or two, and a long continued dry-as-dust serial story, which serves in some measure as the talcum powder to disinfect, so to speak, the rest. Then may follow a Retraction article, showing that whereas we stated in our latest issue that an emissary of the Standard Oil Co. was responsible for the Chicago Conflagration by sneaking up behind Mrs. O'Leary's cow and sticking a pin into her while she was being milked, we wish to inform our readers that we are now convinced that this was incorrect. Further investigation shows that the Standard Oil Co. was entirely innocent. It was an employee of the Packing House Trust who was guilty of the dastardly deed. Then perhaps will follow a Passionate Personal Appeal from the publisher for subscriptions to about $10,000,000 worth of stock of the Magazine Company. (Send in any sum from $1 up, use the corner coupon.) All of this will be encased in a gaudy, if not neat, cover bearing a design showing a girl's face and some of her form. If you want to see the rest of that, look at the[Pg 426] corset advertisements inside. An old lady lately said that when she read her modern magazine, she felt that she had been to an undress party where the men all came in their "unions" and the women in their "nemos." Then will follow advertisements of soaps, soups, shoes, massage creams and a thousand other articles.

As illustrating another abuse that results from the pound-rate privilege: Let me refer to some periodicals that are light in weight; certain small magazines, for example, weigh but a fraction of an ounce, and the government must distribute many of them in order to secure one cent. We have in our possession a little Farm Journal so light that it takes forty copies to make a pound. As it is published monthly, not until the Post Office has served a subscriber with this journal for three years and four months, will it get as much as a single cent for the entire service.

And the government carries this kind of literature, advertising and all, at one cent a pound—$20 per ton, and charges for books eight cents per pound—$160 per ton, and for the social-letter and business mail, 84 cents per pound, $1680 per ton!!

Bryan's philosophy was sounder than it sometimes has been, when he said:

The Supreme Court has described unjust taxation as larceny in the form of law. If one citizen is compelled by law to pay ten dollars for the support of the government where he ought to only pay five, and under the same law a neighbor is required to pay but five where he should pay ten, the law which causes this inequality simply transfers five dollars from one man's pocket to another's.

Then a law which is each year taking over seventy-five million dollars of net profit, above cost of service, from the ninety-three million people who benefit from letters, in order to give the thirty thousand periodical publishers service for ten million dollars which costs many times that[Pg 427] sum, is certainly not merely petty larceny or grand larceny, but larceny that is absolutely grandiose.

To illustrate: One publishing company, it is reported, made last year a net profit of over two million dollars. Their postage was about $650,000, and it cost the government over $4,500,000 to handle the output. Moreover, more than $11,000,000 of advertising was borne on the pages of those publications, and for it the company also received virtually free distribution.

Had a special privilege as great as this of the second-class mail rate been enjoyed at national expense by any class of citizens other than its publishers, the publishers would not have permitted it to exist a year. Yet the loss has long been well known to post-office officials and members of Congress, though for a time it was kept from the knowledge of the public, because practically the sole means the public has had of obtaining the knowledge, has been through the columns of journals that enjoy the privilege. The North American Review for February, 1908, had a most scathing article by Professor Munroe Smith, entitled The Dogma of Journalistic Inerrancy that illustrated this situation forcibly.

No lobby sent to Washington in furtherance of corrupt legislation has ever been more persistent or dealt less fairly with both legislators and public than the lobby that has worked for retention of the second-class mail rate. Some able editors have been accused of hunting very jealously for other people's pulls while maintaining a pretty heavy one of their own.

And the ceaselessly increasing monthlies of mammoth circulation that so nobly, though with somewhat of iteration, harp upon the graft of our plutocrats, our patent medicine manufacturers, our frenzied financiers, our food trusts, our fraudulent insurance officials—is it possible that none of their diatribes, worthy though they may be, are never to be directed against themselves? Let us hope[Pg 428] that some of these public-spirited citizens so patriotically intent upon ridding a much-suffering land of its various forms of organized rapacity, may be led to see a great light in connection with the one industry of this country that is by law largely relieved from subjection to those competitive forces to which producers and distributors of all other articles are keenly alive.

We may in time realize the truth of Emerson's remark that "though no checks to a new evil appear, the checks exist and will appear." For it is fast becoming notorious that that advertising which is as the breath of life to all those low-priced periodicals, has passed beyond the line of marginal utility, and will not compensate the farther sale of the magazines at less than cost of production.

A generation ago an English-born resident of Australia was homesick. He thought how charming it would be to see gamboling about his place an English rabbit. He imported a pair. The soil and climate proved congenial. They multiplied with enormous rapidity, and recently the Australian government had a standing offer of £25,000 for anybody who would devise some practical method of exterminating the rabbit pest. Another settler, this time a New Zealander of Caledonian birth, recalling to mind the rugged beauty of the Scotch thistle, imported that, and planted it at his doorway. The resultant development was similar. There are hundreds and hundreds of square miles of Scotch thistles in New Zealand. A few years ago, a scientist imported for experimental purposes, the gypsy moth, and caged it in his back yard in one of the suburbs of Boston. A storm of wind and rain wrecked the cage, and some of the moths escaped, with the result that the state of Massachusetts has spent over three million dollars in an effort to exterminate this pest that is devastating its forests and bids fair to extend over the entire United States with a resultant loss of countless millions of dollars.

[Pg 429]

In legislation as in biology, it sometimes seems easier, even with good motives, to spread noxious things than useful ones. Our postal legislation has bred a swarm of periodicals of which the vast majority are but a swarm of pests.

In attacking them "at the source"—the cheap postage by which we ourselves superficially seem to benefit, we are entitled to no credit. On the contrary, while we think our action is in favor of the good literature which we try to serve, we still must own up to selfish motives. The rank growth of worthless periodical literature tends to smother the kind which we and a few of our colleagues are trying to make. We think some of those colleagues are standing in their own light when they advocate the policy which breeds their worthless competitors. Periodicals are like currency: the bad always drives out the good.

The publishers of this Review hope that, without having their motives misconstrued, they can add, from their own experience, a very suggestive illustration of the main contention of the foregoing article. Most of the readers of the Review are familiar with the Home University Library, and some of them have praised it highly. In England it has had a phenomenal success, in America but a very moderate one. The American publishers are constantly being told that in England it is on every railway news stand, and asked why it is not here. The answer is that here the flood of cheap periodicals leaves no room for anything more substantial. The Home University Library appeals to a popular constituency, and there is a tremendous popular demand for it in England, while in America there is none: its circulation here is virtually restricted to the highly educated. The rank and file of American readers have their tastes formed and supplied by the Sunday newspapers and the cheap periodicals. The idea of gathering a library of cheap books on substantial subjects is virtually unknown among them.

[Pg 430]

The worst feature of the whole case is that the enormous demand for inferior stuff limits the field for writers who can produce valuable matter, and consequently checks the development of such writers. It would be as difficult to produce a Home University Library in America as it is to sell it. We have men of the requisite knowledge, but our conditions do not attract them to cultivate the literary art. Few of our scientific men and scholars are writers, many more of those in England are. And as for imaginative literature!

The cheap carriage of our periodicals was avowedly enacted as a government subvention to literature. Why was it not extended to books? In a year's shipments they do not bulk nearly as large as periodicals. Are we forced to the conclusion that at the present stage of evolution, a helpful subvention to literature is beyond the power of a pure democracy? If so, that is one reason for working all the harder to raise the character of that democracy. Would the withdrawal of the subvention be a good beginning?

[Pg 431]


Special to Our Readers

Many of our readers whom we have met have asked: "Why don't you give us the names of your contributors?" and we suppose that many whom we have not had the pleasure of meeting have the same curiosity.

Well, in the first place, we wish our articles to be taken on their merits, and each, so far as practicable, to carry whatever authority the Review as a whole may be able to attain.

Next, among the popular fashions that we do not wish to follow is that of exploiting names.

And finally, to be very candid, we need to profit by whatever discussion may be aroused by speculation regarding the authorship of the contributions.

Three months of anonymity, however, will be enough to secure the first consideration, to lessen the objections inherent in the second, and to give us most of whatever benefit may be realized from the third; and therefore in such lists of contents of previous numbers as are included in our advertising pages, we shall indicate the authors.

Moreover our advertising pages will often include lists of our most frequent contributors, and this may add zest to such guessing at the authorship of contributions as our readers may care to do.

Virtually all our contributors approve the anonymity, perhaps partly because the names of most of them are so well known as to make farther publicity a matter of indifference.

Another question often put to us by friends is: "How are you getting along?"

Well (again), as our title indicates, we entered upon[Pg 432] the enterprise with our eyes wide open to the fact that it could never be popular. Our only hope was that there might be enough people with standards above the popular, to support the undertaking. We still feel justified in entertaining that hope. Of course some ludicrous failures to understand what we are about have been forced upon our attention, but not as many as we expected; and we looked for more letters like the first one following, which, we are surprised and glad to say, is the only one of the kind we have received. All other dissent has been expressed with intelligence and courtesy; and this is the only occasion when our motives have been impugned. We think we can trust our readers to understand why we give the letter, and also the answer which the writer of the letter did not expect us to send. The former seems to us one of the most interesting and instructive contributions it has been our privilege to present, though not exactly for the reasons which make our other contributions worth while. We are glad to repeat, however, that the indications, so far, are that there is less of this sort of thing about than we had supposed.

Here is the letter, in its essentials:

... This number contains some of the most insidious and dangerous fallacies that it has been my fortune to peruse in many years, and that are only intended to craftily instil into the minds of the "rather large class" of people the erroneous doctrines thus covertly inculcated by insinuations and to promote the consequent satisfaction with their comparatively hard lot and the necessity of contentment with their own condition as well as with that of those who are subjects of a more forlorn state.

Now I am going to make a proposition to you that will prove conclusively that your object in publishing that Review is solely for the purpose last above enumerated, as I do not hope that you will accept my proposition; and that the Review is supported by the capital of the men who are a part of the financial oligarchy that is bent on ruining the poorer classes of this country: I will write you an article in opposition to the Irrepressible Conflict and the Juggernaut of the Majority, which[Pg 433] will be written in as good a diction as either of those articles and not more controversial in tone and style than Irrepressible Conflict, and shall expect as much pay for it as either of those two articles secured to their respective authors, or as much as it is worth if those articles were produced by respective members of the said oligarchy; and shall insist, if you refuse to publish it, that it is the substance and doctrine of it that make it unavailable and not the diction and style. I have a right to ask this as the public press which claims to be the leaders of public opinion, are teeming with just such articles as these that I have criticised and are published for the express purpose of leading me and the remainder of the public astray on vital questions affecting the material interests of us all,—in other words, there is a comprehensive and well formed conspiracy among publishers of almost all newspapers and magazines to do as I have said and to refuse to permit the other side to be heard. I do not expect to ever get an answer to this letter but I shall make just such use of the reticence and your silence as my poor judgment teach me is legitimate and proper.

Our answer was:

... The Unpopular Review is entirely the property of its publishers.

It is not a forum for discussion, but a pulpit for the preaching of what we believe to be sound doctrine. As you don't believe our doctrine is sound, probably we would not believe yours is sound: so your challenge to us to put it in our pulpit is of course outside the case. You should send it to somebody of your own way of thinking, or set up a pulpit of your own—into which we certainly should not wish to challenge you to insert anything of ours.

A change of subject may be welcome.

If any of our readers have been expecting an article on Psychical Research in this number, their disappointment at not finding one may be somewhat assuaged by the realization that the article in the first number was of four times the average length. The apparent neglect here however, is not real, but it has been impracticable to get what we wanted. We hope to be more fortunate in the future.

[Pg 434]

A Specimen of "Uplift" Legislation

Since the bull against the comet, there has probably been no assertion of authority as absurd as one recently furnished by our National Government. Yet there was no attention called to it in the debate preceding the passage of the act containing it, and we do not remember seeing any notice of it in the press, although it was immense enough and pitiful enough to justify Iliads.

For years, government—and no government more energetically than President Wilson's—had been hammering away at the trusts, especially those producing petroleum, steel and tobacco. Yet petroleum, steel and tobacco are not necessaries of life, nor have their prices been rising as much as the prices of necessaries of life. These have been rising more than anything else. What has been done about them by the government that has been destroying the trusts in other things? It has simply gone out of its way to specially legalize a trust in these things. In a bill providing money to fight trusts in comparatively non-essential things, Congress specially exempted from prosecution any trust that may be formed by the farmers to raise the price of food. Other trusts claim to lower the prices of their products, and sometimes have done it; but our government has not merely authorized the farmers to form trusts, to raise the price of foods, but has specially authorized them, in the letter of the law, to use methods denied to everybody else but wage-earners; and this at a time when the one problem above all others was how to lower the price of foods, and when the high price was the one burden above all others on the poor.

This piece of imbecility was virtually a "rider" on the trade-union-exemption rider, and was of course "playing politics" to catch support for the principal rider.

[Pg 435]

A Model of Divinatory Criticism

In our efforts to uphold the dignity of letters, of course we intend that each of our contributions shall be as nearly as possible a perfect example from its special field, and ordinarily it would ill become us to suggest the possibility of degrees of perfection. But our readers will, we trust, find justification for our calling special attention to the following model of divinatory criticism.

The fact that it has already passed the ordeal of the Authors' Club, though a trifling derogation from its novelty, is much weightier as a reason for presenting it for the careful consideration of our readers. [Ed.]

The subject is the proper interpretation of a familiar lyric poem, which runs, in the textus receptus, as follows:

Dr. Foster went to Gloucester
In a shower of rain;
He stepped in a puddle up to his middle
And never went there again.

The question is, What does this poem mean? What does it mean, that is, in its intimate and ultimate essence? According to the conventional interpretation these lines are didactic. Their higher import—what we may call their spiritual center of gravity—is believed to reside in a pragmatic moral conveyed, or at least adumbrated, in the last line: "He never went there again." The idea is supposed to be—remember that I am now speaking of the conventional interpretation—that he never went there again because he had learned wisdom by experience—the annoying experience of the puddle. According to this view the dominant note of the poem is not lyrical feeling, but what literary critics are wont to call—usually with a shade of contempt—ethicism. It is supposed to be a sort of psalm of life—pitched to be sure in a minor key, but essentially didactic.

[Pg 436]

I wish to show you that this conventional interpretation is altogether wrong. I shall try to prove that we have to do here, not with a shallow didactic rime, not with a piece of brain-spun ethicism, such as a common poetaster might produce, but with a lyrical ballad of deeply felt tragic import.

I call your attention, in the first place, to the singular ambiguity in that famous last line. "He never went there again." "Never went where?" one instinctively asks. Are we to understand merely that Foster henceforth avoided the particular puddle into which he had stepped, or that he in after time discontinued his visits to Gloucester altogether? This is evidently a question of vital importance, and the poem at first does not seem to answer it at all. In the absence of biographical data extraneous to the text, we can only attack the problem by analytic methods. Let us consider the only two possible hypotheses.

1. That Foster never went to Gloucester again. This supposition is utterly untenable, because it is clearly inconsistent with Foster's character, which can be read from the poem itself with entire certainty. In the first place, he was clearly a doctor of medicine. Had he been a doctor of laws, or letters, or philosophy, there would have been no special urgency in his call to Gloucester, and he would surely have waited until the weather should clear up. Secondly he was a youngish doctor. Had he been an elderly practitioner he would not have gone himself, but would have sent his assistant. Or perhaps he would have telephoned that he would come immediately, and would then have quietly waited for the rain to cease. But our Dr. Foster "went"—went in a shower of rain. From this we see, in the third place, that he was a man of energy, capable of self-abnegation, dominated by a strong sense of professional duty. Now can we suppose that such a man would have renounced forever his practice in Gloucester merely because he had stepped casually into a[Pg 437] puddle in a well meant effort to reach the place? The supposition is an insult to his intelligence and to ours. No doubt the incident of the puddle was humiliating, but we do not read that there were spectators. In the absence of specific evidence to the contrary we must assume that Foster was alone. That being so, a man of his character would surely have extricated himself from his unpleasant dilemma, given vent to his emotions in language suited to the occasion, and gone on his way. It is simply impossible to believe that he can have taken from the puddle such a deep and lasting chagrin that he would have been willing to renounce forevermore his growing practice in Gloucester.

2. We turn now to the other hypothesis, according to which Mater Anser means merely that Foster never again stepped in that particular puddle. This supposition makes the whole poem trivial to the point of banality. Why in the world should any man in his senses deliberately step into a deep puddle a second time? Remember too that it was raining at the time. The puddle did not exist ordinarily, but was a transitory affair due to the freshet. Had Foster chosen to come back the next day, there would have been no puddle there, hence nothing to be afraid of. To assume that a man of Foster's intelligence would have retained through life a morbid dread of a mere depression in the ground where he had once encountered a puddle is contrary to all reason. Evidently we must seek some other interpretation for that mysterious last line, "He never went there again."

And now observe, please, a singular technical defect in a poem which is otherwise technically perfect. I refer to the dubious rime puddle-middle. There has never been a time in the history of the English language, so far as I know, when that was a tolerable rime. If puddle were of French origin and had retained its French ü-sound, "He stepped in a püddle up to his middle" might perhaps pass muster. But puddle is not of French origin. It was this[Pg 438] bad rime, coupled with the anatomical vagueness of the phrase "up to his middle," which led me to conjecture that the textus receptus must be corrupt. It is pretty evident that Mater Anser originally wrote not "middle," but some word which was taken for "middle" by a pestilent scribe. And what word can that possibly have been but "noddle"? Perhaps a captious critic may object that, as a matter of rime, puddle-noddle is not much better than puddle-middle. But remember that in early English o and u were often confused. It is altogether likely that the word which we pronounce puddle was familiar to Mater Anser's dialect as poddle. What she wrote was: He stepped in a poddle up to his noddle.

In the light flashed on the poem by this recension of the text, we penetrate at once the mystery of that last line, "He never went there again," because he never went anywhere again. He perished. His promising career came then and there to an untimely end. We now understand why it is that the career of Dr. Foster subsequent to his memorable expedition to Gloucester has failed to interest the Muse. There was no subsequent career.

I trust I have made it clear that Dr. Foster is the hero of a tragical ballad. He is evidently a being of the same order as Achilles and Siegfried—those dazzling heroes of the Dawn who are destined to run a brilliant career in the pride of their youthful strength, and then to meet with an untimely end. It is true that Achilles and Siegfried are invulnerable, except in one place, and that we hear nothing of Foster's invulnerability. But if you look closely you will find something in his case that is quite analogous. The underlying idea of the invulnerability is always simply this: That the hero is fated to die in one particular way, and in no other. Now it is clear that Foster was fated to die by water. Water was his enemy, his fate. A pious mother had no doubt brought him up to dread and avoid it. When he set out on that last journey he of course took an umbrella, but his precautions did[Pg 439] not end there. In view of the inclement weather he of course felt the need of something to fortify the inner man, but he durst not and did not drink water. He drank something else. Just what it was we are not told, but it was evidently something that made him a little unsteady on his feet. And so, just as in the case of Oedipus, the very precautions that he took to avoid his predestined fate only served to precipitate it.

I conclude by summing up briefly what my interpretation does for the advancement of science.

1. It converts what has been supposed to be a rather trivial didactic rime into a tragical ballad of heart-rending pathos.

2. It removes the one serious technical defect of the poem.

3. It accounts in a natural way for the oblivion which has settled like a pall over the career of Dr. Foster after his visit to Gloucester.

4. It enables us to connect Foster with the great heroes of epic song.

Some Deserving "Climbers"

Language, like society, has to recruit its upper strata from the lower. Here are some recent candidates.

I. The very eminent author of The Baby and the Bee in this number puts into the mouth of one of the characters the word "humans" as an equivalent for human beings. The same use of it has been met elsewhere in quarters of less dignity. Many of our readers must have regretted the absence from the language of a single word equivalent to homo. Is not "human" as a noun worthy of being raised to that dignity?

II. Another new labor-saving locution has already found its way into the Standard Dictionary, and seems worthy of general recognition. The dictionary treats it thus:

[Pg 440]

thon, 1 thon; 2 thon, pron. sing. pl. [thon's, poss.; thon, obj.] that one; he, she, or it; a pronoun of the 3rd person, common gender; a contracted and solidified form of that one, proposed in 1858 by Charles Crozat Converse, of Erie, Pennsylvania, as a substitute in cases where the use of a restrictive pronoun involves either inaccuracy or obscurity, or its non-employment necessitates awkward repetition. The following examples, first as ordinarily written, and afterward with the substitution of the genderless pronoun, illustrate the grammatical deficiencies of the English language in this particular and the proposed method of removal: "If Harry or his wife comes, I will be on hand to meet him or her (or whichever appears)." "Each pupil must learn his or her own lesson." With the substitution of thon; "If Harry or his wife comes, I will be on hand to meet thon (i.e., that one who comes)." "Each pupil must learn thon's lesson (i.e., his or her own)." Compare he'er, him'er, his'er.

III. A third applicant for the cachet is "near," not as a preposition, but as an adjective signifying imitation or ineffective approximation, as, near pearls, near lover, near artist, etc., etc. It would at least often save several syllables, and sometimes save a circumlocution. It seems to have begun rather low down. We don't half like it, and we were surprised to find it as far up as in an article by an eminent professor in our present number. But there it was, and it seems well on the way to full habilitation.

Simplified Spelling

The invitation in the January number for views on Simplified Spelling has brought some interesting letters from both sides. The best objections that we have seen anywhere are the following:

(1) From an eminent professor:

... This point, briefly, is whether the spoken language is the only entity, so to say, to be considered in the case, and the written language merely an effort to represent it, or whether the written language is equally a reality for the purposes of civilization....

[Pg 441]

I have just received a holiday greeting ... reading

Harty Crismas Greetings.
The chain of frendship reaching far
Links days that wer with days that ar.

For him [the sender] all written characters are absolutely nothing but the effort to express spoken sounds, and he puts anything on paper which he thinks will represent the sound he wants most immediately for the reader's intelligence. If he is right, if our written language is nothing but this, there should be no delay in altering it radically.

But is my philological friend right? I think certainly not. Since printing came to take a really large place in civilization, the written word has been a logos—a direct means of representing thought—quite as truly as the spoken. As an agency for communicating thought between absent persons, for preserving thought from one time to another, and even for communicating the knowledge of a foreign tongue to a contemporary learner, the written word actually exceeds the spoken in general importance. And to a very large extent it does this not by representing the sounds of the spoken word, but by representing the idea through an independent convention. When I read the word "choir" I do not think first that it represents the syllable kwiir, and then that the syllable kwiir means a company of singers. Some foreigners who have learned English orally doubtless do go through this process; but those who have learned it primarily by reading, or for reading, do not....

The participle finished has a certain real existence as a language fact, undisturbed by the accident that it is now pronounced finisht.

And this great entity, the written English language, the chief medium of scholarship, literature, history, law, and even business ... is what it is proposed to change. Perhaps it should be done; perhaps the times demand an heroic sacrifice of the organ of scholarly and literary communication and tradition, in the interest of increased efficiency on the part of the average man for whom the language of scholarship and literature is negligible. But we should not mistake the meaning of the effort. It is not the mere effort to do better what we are doing already—writing words so-and-so because they sound so-and-so; for we are already doing nothing of the kind. It is the effort to transfer English from the group where, with modern French and other tongues, it now belongs,—the group of languages[Pg 442] whose history has differentiated a written and a spoken form,—to the group represented by classic Latin and modern Italian, whose (doubtless happier) history has kept the written form a fairly accurate replica of the spoken....

The impression often prevails that those who hesitate to commit themselves to the enticements of the Spelling Board do so merely because the new spellings "look so queer." Of course this very statement is a clumsy and unpenetrating way of expressing the fact that the whole language psychology of a reading generation is disturbed by the efforts in question.

(II) From a lady:

This unspeakable spelling is history-destroying, tradition-annihilating, and puts the veriest hind on a semblance of equality with a person of elegance.

As Nietsche says: "Let us be free from moralic acid"!!

Possibly to some tastes, a neck without a goitre would be more "elegant" than a neck with one—or tho than though.

(III) From a well-known author:

The tendency of our English speech is constantly to "reform" its Orthography! Witness the betterment between the spelling of Chaucer and that of Shakespeare, and between that of Shakespeare and that of the days of Queen Anne! Well then, granting it to be the irresistible tendency of our Orthography to better itself, why not permit it to go on in peace bettering itself? Why assist Fate? Are our awful Spelling Reformers, like the impatient young gentleman in Mr. Stockton's story, appointed to the task of Assisting Fate?

(IV) From a talented author and critic—a lady:

You must allow me, as an old friend of yours and a new friend of the Review's, to protest against the introduction of "reformed spelling" into a literary journal of a high class, which is what we all consider the new venture. To many of us who respect the English language as an inheritance, and are content to leave its simplification to the slow erosion of time, pages like those at the end of the Review give positive pain.

It would indeed be a hardened reformer who would not feel the force of the foregoing objections.

[Pg 443]

To "Why assist Fate?" and "the slow erosion of time" the answer is that the doctrine of laissez faire has had its day, and can hardly be regarded as open for discussion.

On the other side, we have received many letters favoring the reform from the highest philological authorities:

(I) From a Johns Hopkins Professor:

Serious study of the problem becomes the duty of every thoughtful person.

(II) From a Harvard Professor:

A discussion of orthographic possibilities can hardly fail to be enlightening. I do not much like the scheme you tentatively advocate, but anything that reveals existing absurdities and opens up new vistas is useful at this stage.

(III) On the other hand, the Superintendent of Education in one of the Canadian provinces, whose sympathies are naturally British, writes:

"Your simplified spelling appeals to me in preference to that of the S. S. S. of London."

The main differences are illustrated in (the S. S. B. coming first) tiem and tiim for time, doer and door for door, tiping and tipping for tipping.

(IV) A Nova Scotian, president of an important educational institution, writes:

Your article on simplified spelling is a very courageous one—for an American! Probably it has alredy brought upon you the whips and scorns of the conventional journalist. In the Old Country, scholars are accustomd to stand up against professional journalists. Do you think you can do so with your new scheme? I hope so, for it seems to me simple in principle, and, on the whole, a good working basis. One is tempted, of course, to ask why such inconsistencies as:



We accept the aw sound for a before ll, but probably[Pg 444] awl is better than all; and in becauz it should undoubtedly be aw.

As to molar, we propose that a single vowel should always, as generally now, be long at the end of a syllable.

The same correspondent continues:

Again, if long vowels are to be indicated by the doubling of the letter, is there any need of doubling the consonant after a short vowel?

(V) Another correspondent joins in the same charge:

It hardly seems logical to double a vowel to indicate its lengthening and at the same time to double a consonant to indicate the closing of a preceding vowel. It strikes me as rather a clumsy artifice at best, and leads to some very cumbrous forms, of which "annuthther," as you point out, is an extreme instance.

But, as just said, it is not proposed that always "long vowels are to be indicated by doubling of the letter," but only when the syllable is closed by a consonant. See also the second paragraph of the following letter answering a correspondent, which shows some aspects of the question that may be worth presenting to other readers as well:

Thanks for your letter.... I wish all that I get on the subject were equally sensible. At the same time, there are two or three things that call for rejoinder.

When a consonant beginning a second syllable, is repeated at the end of the preceding syllable, to prevent the vowel being counted as long, the consonant is by no means "doubled" in the sense that a vowel is doubled to make it count as long, or as the terminal consonant is doubled in fall, call, etc.

In English spelling probably there cannot be carried out any principle that won't land us somewhere into awkwardnesses almost as great as "annuthther." That particular one, I have no doubt, if ever adopted, would work into smaller dimensions, which of course would have some elements of inconsistency. There is no reason, however, why we should not use the methods which lead to absurdities in that word, in hosts of other words where they don't.

I shall never take any part in an attempt to add characters[Pg 445] to the English language. The only thing in that line it has done since it began taking shape, is to get rid of two very useful ones; and I don't believe it will ever move in the opposite direction. My humble efforts will be concentrated on doing the best practicable with those we have, though I wish Godspeed to everybody who works for consistency and reasonableness, even if he thinks he can introduce a new alphabet.

It is never going to simplify our language to introduce diacritical marks. My little experience with French satisfies me on that subject.

I am glad you agree with me as to dropping the u after q.

I am not sure about using x without a vowel preceding it (e. g. xpense). Theoretically no consonant carries a vowel, but x is pronounced as if there were a short e before it, though, like any other consonant, it will take the color of any vowel.

I don't believe that I am going to be any farther reformed in regard to vowels than oo in door, ee in feel, aa as suggested by the British Society in "faather," uu in "suun" as also suggested by them; and ii in "tiim," as suggested by me and probably by others whom I don't know of. I only wish you would leave your diacritics and new letters, and fight with me for these vowels. There seems to be some hope in such a fight, as the English Society is for all but the ii, and consistent people will naturally work for their accepting ii; and as nobody that I am aware of, in the direction of either body, is with you for new letters and diacritics.

To the same correspondent:

Your letter of the 5th is very suggestive.

I think one trouble between us is that you think it worth while to strive for ideal perfection in spelling. If we attained it, it would not stay put.

You say: "It seems to me simple arithmetic admonishes us that we have to have new characters for the vowel sounds." There are two reasons why we don't. One is that (me judice) there is no use in seeking absolute perfection. Another is that we can do with existing letters as much of the work as we need to.

It may be "important" to "develop an alphabet in which each character stands for a precise sound" but I haven't the slightest idea that the English-speaking people will ever do it.

Of course all existing languages have come because "peoples ... drift so far apart in pronunciation as sooner or later[Pg 446] to become almost unintelligible to each other," but printing and facilities of communication are probably obstructing farther movements in that direction, and I should not be surprised if the present tendency were toward unity.

I am sorry you are one of the reformers who "believe that we should go the whole way, or let things stay as they are." It is not often that any reform goes the whole way, and I suspect that we would be a good deal farther along if people of reforming disposition would be content to go only so far as practicable.

On one side, then, we have habit and sensitive associations, and on the other side the facts which cannot be denied by anyone who is thoughtful and educated (not always synonymous terms) that the anomalies of English spelling not only breed lawlessness in the juvenile mind, increase the difficulties of education, and waste much labor and expense in writing and printing, but also seriously obstruct commerce, diplomacy, and the peace of the world.

No wonder these opposing conditions produce the frame of mind expressed to us by a leading city Superintendent of Schools: "I abominate simplified spelling, but I am in favor of it."

Now between this Scylla and this Charybdis, what is the reasonable course?

We must regard two considerations too often ignored by reformers, though they were insisted on by as great an authority as Spencer. The first is that feeling, more than reason, determines conduct; the other is that everything is so inextricably connected with other things, that raising one is like raising a strand of a net, which involves raising many other strands with it. With this reform are tangled up not only the feelings and habits illustrated in the foregoing quotations, but all existing English literature, including many thousand tons of it in electrotype plates. All these obstruct a sudden reform. Must then the reform be as gradual as that from Chaucer's spelling to ours? Prophecy is dangerous, but we are inclined to think not.

[Pg 447]

We favor simplified spellings, but we don't want our attention diverted by them from anything that we value more, and we don't want to interfere with anybody's Shakspere or Tennyson, any more than we want anybody to interfere with ours. We are glad, however, when we see the sign of a "Fotografer," or an announcement of a "thru" train. We have no doubt that a large and increasing number of people share both these sets of feelings, and they seem to indicate the way out of the dilemma.

Now there's no question of intrinsic beauty between the new forms and the old. Preference for the latter is simply a matter of habit, but habit is stronger than intelligence; and here, with the student, intelligence balks at habit in a paradoxical way. In reading an impassioned passage, he encounters a "thru"; his thoughts are not only diverted to the spelling, but to the years of association he may have with the problems concerning it. For ourselves, the more we study it, if we meet it in literature the more we "abominate" it, with the superintendent already quoted; but the more we see it in advertisements and other indifferent places, the more we are "in favor of it"; and this we think is apt to be the experience of those who really bring their intellects to the problem. Nay, we even think that, in time, the younger portion of the thinking people whose habits favor the old forms, may perhaps come around to the new: for, after writing the most radical of the new forms, as in the last number of the Review, we have been surprised at the way they linger in the memory and seem for a while more habitual than the old forms. This experience makes it seem probable that if, for our children's sake, and for the sake of the great causes already indicated, we were to condemn ourselves for a few weeks, or possibly even a few days, to the better forms, they would become more natural than the worse.

Press of T. Morey & Son, Greenfield, Mass.

[Pg 449]

Vol. I

[Titles of Articles are printed in heavier type. The names of authors of articles are printed in italics.]

Abbot, Miss Edith, 313, 319, 329.

Addams, Jane, 48-50, 54, 319.

Alcohol, 213.

Alcohol, Our: Its Use, 163
—use of the word intemperance, 163
—American drinking habits contrasted with English, 163-174
—social value of drinking, 164
—American public bars, 165
—improving the saloon, 165-166
—English public-houses, 166-174
—influence of women, 169
—the average English bar-maids, 169-170
—drinking in Scotland, 170-171
—effect of bar-maids in America, 171
—sense of home, 172-173
—Eileen, 173-174.

American Magazines, 261.

Anonymity of writers for this Review, 43.

Arbitration, 10, 20.

Aristocracy, Natural, 272
—the one great question of to-day, 272
—Plato and his ideal republic, 273-277
—the natural growth of tyranny out of democracy, 275-276
—the method of escape which Plato saw, 276-277
—the political wisdom of Burke's Reflections, 277
—the need of leaders, 277-279
—Burke's definition of a true natural aristocracy, 278-279
—his ideas of prejudice, privilege, time and subordination, 279-281
—the part of imagination in Burke's ideas of government, 281-282
—Tom Paine's charge, 281-282
—picture of the demagogue, 285-288
—initiative and referendum; amending constitutions, 286
—attack on courts, 287
—Burke's portrait of men of light and leading, 288
—the demagoguery of an institution like the public press, 289
—the cure of democracy not more but better democracy, 290
—our need is to provide for a natural aristocracy, 290
—the cant of humanitarianism; the need of a class consciousness among the advanced, 292-295
—the real strength of socialistic doctrine and the real danger, 293-294
—duty of our higher institutions of learning to train the imagination, 295-296.

Athens, 1.

Atlantic, 264.

"Aunt Kate," as spirit control, 74-76.

Automatic writing. See Heteromatic.

Baby and the Bee, 333.

Barbarian Invasion, The, 389
—higher education is in the hands of barbarians, 389
—college education and college professors to-day, 389-390
—democratic education a process of measuring down, 390-391
—new sciences, 391
—academic managers and their policies, 391-392
—appeals for money and advertising features, 392
—the cant of a university's obligation to the community, 392-393
—inter-collegiate athletics a key to the meaning of social obligations, 393
—amateur sport a business enterprise of college authorities, 393-396
—football, 394
—the argument for athletics as opposed to study, 395
—rich barbarian alumni, 396
—teachers' colleges, their character and relation to the college proper, 397-398
—graduate schools, 398
—material for college professors, 399
—illiteracy, 399
—average quality, 400
—the Ph.D. and his "contribution to knowledge," 401
—the scientific theory of academic organization, 402
—college presidents, 403
—the "educator," 403
[Pg 450]—the howling wilderness of academic halls, 404
—money and publicity, 404
—need of an aristocratic institution of learning, 405
—and of culture and finer manhood in colleges and universities, 405.

Bee. See 'Baby and the Bee.'

Bergson, Henri, as president of Society for Psychical Research, 63, 106-107
—on psychic phenomena, 107-111.

Boss rule, 138.

Bourne, Senator, 32-33.

Bradford, Mary C., 321, 330.

Breckinridge, Prof. Sophonisba P., 313, 319, 329.

Bronson, Miss Minnie, 313, 318, 329.

Brougham, H. B., 'A Needed Unpopular Reform,' 133
—'The Machinery for Peace,' 200
—'How Woman Suffrage Has Worked,' 307.

Bryan, W. J., 3, 4, 5, 124-129.

Burke, Edmund, his political ideas and their present applicability, 272-273, 277-284.

Burrows, Charles W., 'Our Government Subvention to Literature,' 415.

Burton, Dr., on tobacco, 145, 162.

Butler, Samuel, 123.

Cabinet, The Unfermented, 124
—composition of Pres. Wilson's cabinet and experience of its members, 124-125
—public observation and expectations, 126
—Bryan, 126-129
—his Chautauqua lectures, 128
—the cabinet's confidence in the president, 129-130
—its unity, 130
—Wilson's power, 131-132.

Capitalism, The Soul of, 227
—capitalism compared to feudalism, 227-228
—capitalism a predominant and significant fact in modern life, 228-229
—the paradoxical conception of a soul in capitalism, 229
—commercialization; "business" vs. "sentiment," 230
—capitalism a respecter of the liberties of men, 231
—personal prejudices out of business hours still rule, 232
—discrimination in business exceptional; Mr. Henry Ford, 232
—toleration necessitated by business tends to break down national, racial and religious prejudices, 233
—this toleration is interested and not ethical, 234
—yet liberty based on capitalistic toleration is broad and substantial, 234
—precapitalistic liberty, 235
—class liberty, 235
—the laborer's great gains in personal liberty, 236
—capitalism the real source and cause of the fraternity of labor, 237-238
—the natural race antagonisms among laborers, 238
—moral gain of labor disputes, 239
—solidarity in American and in foreign laborers, 239
—anti-militarism in the laboring class, 239
—the soul of capitalism begins to emerge as toleration, liberty and fraternity, 240
—Socialism, 241
—Karl Marx cited, 241
—the initial ugliness of capitalism, 241-242
—the struggle of good and evil in the non-economic field and its outcome, 243
—Holberg, 244
—a broader and more liberal humanity the evolving soul of capitalism, 244.

Cattell, Prof., 399.

Charles II, 122.

Chesterton, G. K., unconscious testimony against tobacco, 156.

Child labor, facts and misrepresentation as to extent, 259-260.

Classification. See Pigeon-Holes.

Climbers, Some Deserving, 439.

Colleges, What is the Matter with the American? 214.
See also 'Barbarian Invasion, The'; Schooling.

Consumers' League, 261-262.

Cost of living, 12, 261-262.

Criticism, A Model of Divinatory, 435.

Crookes, Sir Wm., 64, 68, 69.

Cross-Correspondence, 104.

Decency and the Stage, 214.

DeForest, Mrs. Nora Blatch, 330, 331.

Delaisi, Francis, 187.

Delineator, The, 256, 258.

Demagogues, 4-5
—Roosevelt as an example, 285-288.

Democracy, 34
—what it has done for higher education, 389.

Democrat Reflects, The, 34
—disillusionment, 34, 35
—questionings as to real nature of democracy, 36, 37
—plutocracy, 37
—democracy in education, 38
—in religion and art, 39, 40
—in manners and dress, 40, 41
—in the home, 41
—Plato on democracy, 42
—ridiculous side of the idea, 42
—mediocrity, 43, 44
—democracy as a machine, 44, 45
—character the Supreme end, 46.

"Doctor Foster went to Gloucester," 435.

Dog, in Rich's sitting, 79.

Dorr, George, with Myers control, 103.

[Pg 451]Dowsing, 67.

Drama. See Decency.

Dramatic power of mediums, 82.

Dreams, 65-66, 109.

Drink. See Alcohol.

Education. See Schooling; Colleges; 'Barbarian Invasion, The.'

En Casserole, 212, 431.

Farnam, Henry W., 'Our Tobacco: its Cost,' 145.

Feminism, abundant results of woman's influence in legislation, 332.

Fires resulting from smoking tobacco, 147-152.

Fite, Warner, 'The Barbarian Invasion,' 389.

Football, 394.

Ford, Henry, 232.

Foster, the medium, 68.

Franklin, Fabian, 'The Majority Juggernaut,' 22
—Social Untruth and the Social Unrest,' 252.

Freedom. See Liberty.

George, Henry, 27-28.

George, Mrs. A. J., 310, 328.

Germany, peace policy, 200;
trust legislation, 406.

Ghost stories, 65.

Glynn, Governor, 142.

Government management, 16.

Greeks, The, on Religion and Morals, 358
—relation of religion and morals, 358-359
—the Greek attitude toward reason, 359-360
—its psychological development, 360
—the eleusinian mysteries; Dionysus, 361
—hypnosis, ecstasy, enthusiasm, 362
—orphism and immortality, 362-364
—Aristotle on the Eleusinia, 364
—Oriental cults: Unthraism, 365
—origin of the Christian sacraments and the theology of St. Paul to be found in these mysteries, 365-366
—the doctrine of the early church modified by Greek ideas; the Nicene Creed, 366-367
—"faith," 367
—Hippolytus and Plato, 368
—the influence of Greece on dogma, 368-369
—Christian exegesis also of Greek origin, 369
—its principle, 370
—Plato's exegesis, 371
—the ethics of Christianity as related to Stoicism and Cynicism, 371-373
—religion and morals among the Greeks differentiated, 372
—Plato's Republic, 373
—religion and morality have suffered from too close a union, 374.

Gurney, Edmund, as control, 80.

Hamilton, Clayton, 'Our Alcohol: its Use,' 163.

Hancock, John, 122.

Heteromatic writing, 69-70, 99-104.

Hodgson, Dr. Richard, 64
—first Piper report, 71-79
—second Piper report, 83-90
—argument for spiritism, 87-88
—as control, 93-103.

Holberg, 244.

Holland, Mrs., heteromatic writing, 99-103
—with Hodgson control, 100.

Holt, Henry, 'The New Irrepressible Conflict,' 1
—'Prof. Bergson and the Society for Psychical Research,' 63
—'Tobacco and Alcohol,' 212
—'Answering Big Questions,' 214
—'Decency and the Stage,' 214
—'Simplified Spelling,' 218, 440
—'Special to our Readers,' 431
—'A Specimen of Uplift Legislation,' 434
—'Some Deserving Climbers,' 439.

Home, the medium, 67, 68.

Hours of labor, 13.

"Howard" family and G. P., 84-87.

Hull House. See Addams, Jane.

Humanitarianism, current cant deprecated, 292.

"Humans," 439.

Hypnotism, 65, 109.

Immortality, faith in, possible justification for, 106.

Imperator, 70, 90, 91
—inconsistent names, 105.

Infant mortality, 266.

Intemperance, strict sense of the word, 163.
See also Alcohol.

Interstate Commissions, Commerce and Trade, 408, 413-414.

Irrepressible Conflict, The New, 1
—minority vs. majority, 1
—Seward's Irrepressible Conflict and others, 1-2
—class legislation, 2, 5
—value of the superior man, 2
—growing disturbances from the man behind, 2-3
—greenbacks start a crazy cycle, 3
—Bryan and Silver, 3-4
—ideals of the average man, 4
—Jack Cade, Bryan and Roosevelt, 4
—two greatest demagogues in history, 5
—rightful owners of wealth, 5
—Marshall's "Economics of History," 5-6
—Francis A. Walker on profits of employers, 6-7
—source of wealth, 7-8
—Socialism, 8
[Pg 452]—taxes mainly for the benefit of the non-taxpayers, 9
—arbitration, 10, 20
—progress of the average man, 11-15
—Karl Marx and his "increasing misery" theory, 11
—rising wages, 12-15
—cost of living, 12
—decreasing hours of labor, 13
—government management, 15-16
—the way to peace, 15-21
—improvement in human nature, 18
—mutual help, 18-19
—trade unions, 20, 21
—education and individual improvement, 19-20.

James, Prof. Wm., 64
—finds Mrs. Piper, 71
—with "Aunt Kate," 74-76
—with G. P., 84
—argument on spiritism, 89, 91-92, 93, 94-98
—with Hodgson control, 97-98.

Jerry, uncle of Sir Oliver Lodge, 81.

Jesus Christ, 121.

Johnson, Alvin S., 'The Soul of Capitalism,' 227.

Jordan, David Starr, 'The Standing Incentives to War,' 185.

Journalism, American, 216.

Kakuzo, Okakura, 117.

Kellogg, Vernon L., 'What is the Matter with the American Colleges?' 214
—'The Baby and the Bee,' 333.

Knickerbocker Press, 259.

Labor, antagonisms, 238
—gain of disputes, 239.

LaFarge, John, 117, 119.

Language, some new words, 439.

Larned, J. N., on the newspaper, 424.

Legislation, specimen, 434.

Letters as posthumous evidence of spiritism, 104-106.

Liberty, breadth and strength of that which comes from capitalism, 234
—Puritan and precapitalistic, 235.

Lieber, Francis, 204.

Lincoln, A., anecdote, 124
—tactfulness, 122
—war rules, 204.

Lindsey, Judge Ben. B., 58
—on woman suffrage in Colorado, 330.

Literature, Our Government Subvention to, 415
—book production in the United States compared with that of other countries, 415-417
—decrease of book sellers, 418
—growth of periodicals, 419
—as the effect of a low rate of postage, 419-421
—increase of bulk and circulation in periodicals and newspapers, 420-421
—disproportionate postage rates, 422-423
—number of periodicals, 423
—quality of newspapers, 424
—great disproportion between bad and good literature, 424
—picture of the pabulum in the popular magazine, 425
—injustice of postal rates further illustrated, 426
—profits of a publisher, 427
—facts kept from the public, 427
—lobby, 427
—the Home University Library, 429
—why not carry books cheaply? 430.

Lodge, Sir Oliver, 64, 73, 93;
sitting with Mrs. Piper, 79-81.

MacCunn, Prof. John, 272, 273.

McNamara dynamitings, 268.

Majority Juggernaut, The, 22
—initiative and referendum, 22-23
—cause of existing impatience with governmental methods, 23-24
—direct rule of the people, 24-25
—need of resistance to the immediate desire of the majority in settling certain momentous questions, 25-31
—Henry George and the single tax, 27-28
—difference between representative rule and direct rule, 29-30
—mob rule, 31-32
—Senator Bourne's position, 32-33
—inherent error of the direct-rule propaganda, 32-33.

Martin, E. S., 'The Unfermented Cabinet,' 124.

Marx, Karl, 11, 235, 241.

Materialization, 67.

Mather, F. J., Jr., 'Two Neglected Virtues,' 112
—'Wanted: Proportionate News,' 216
—'The Right to be Amused,' 297.

Microbophobiac, The Story of a, 175.

Morality, Greek, 358.

Morality, The New, 47
—Miss Jane Addams as its exponent, 48
—her works, 48-50, 54
—revolution from mediæval religion to humanitarianism, 49-52
—lessened sense of personal responsibility, 52
—modern social sympathy, 53-59
—change of view in the church, 56
—results of humanitarianism, 56, 57
—confusion of moral standards and relaxation of morals, 58, 59
—remedy, 60
—permanent worth of character and its relation to social justice, 61, 62.

More, Paul Elmer, 'The New Morality,' 47
—'Natural Aristocracy,' 272.

Moses, Rev. W. Stainton, 68, 69-71
—in Newbold sittings, 90.

[Pg 453]Mott, Lucretia, 307, 318, 332.

Murphy, Chas. F., 134, 135, 142.

Myers, F. W. H., 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 99
—as control with Dorr, 103
—with Mrs. Holland, 103-104
—posthumous letter, 105.

"Near," 440.

New Jersey reform, 139-143.

New York City, causes of fires, 150
—numerous elective offices, 136.

Newbold, Prof. J. R., sittings with Mrs. Piper, 90.

Newell, in Rich's Piper Sitting, 78.

News, Wanted: Proportionate, 216.

Newspapers, 421, 424.

Nys, Ernest, 209.

Page, Walter H., 415.

Paine, Tom, on Burke, 281, 282.

Palladino, Eusapia, 67.

Patterson, Wm. B., 259.

Peace, present phase of movement, 197.

Peace, The Machinery for, 200
—peaceful policy of Germany and Great Britain, 200
—the work of the First Hague Conference, 200, 202, 203
—arbitration and American arbitral proceedings previous to the Hague Conferences, 201-202
—Roosevelt's objection, 202
—work of the Second Hague Conference, 200, 202, 203-206
—Francis Lieber, President Lincoln, and the Brussels Conference of 1874, 204
—naval war, 204
—International Prize Court, 204, 208
—Declaration of London, 204
—machinery for pacific settlement of international disputes, 205
—international commissions, 205
—Hague Court of Arbitration, composition, 205-206
—work of the Third Hague Conference in 1915, 206-209
—Casablanca case, 207
—tendency to compromise, 207-208
—Supreme Court of Arbitral Justice, 208-209
—Ernest Nys, 209
—arguments for war, 209-211
—industrial and scientific substitutes for war, 210-211
—Prof. Soddy cited, 211.

"Pelham," George, 83-90, 92, 97, 99
—Mrs. Piper recognizes portrait, 86.

Periodicals. See Literature.

Perris, Geo. H., 187.

Personality, secondary, 76.

Peter Ibbetson, 80.

Phinuit, Dr., 71
—his French, 73-77.

Pigeon-Holes, The Case for, 343
—method, 343
—classification of ideas, 343-344
—value to civilization, 345-346
—method and efficiency, 346
—the machine age, 346-347
—value of system in scholarship and religion, 347-348
—the other side of the case: limitations to the use of system and classifications, 349-354
—men and truths not easily classified, 349
—the multitudinous differences in things, 350
—different points of view, 351
—mutations of the human spirit, 351
—wholeness of truth, 352
—system a violence to nature, 352
—its injustice and tyranny, 353
—an obstacle to progress, 354
—the judicial view of the case, 355-357
—limitations and qualifications in the employment of method, 355
—an art after all, 356
—the Golden Mean and human quality, 356-357.

Piper, Mrs., 67
—sittings with Hodgson, 74-75
—with Rich, 76-79
—with Lodge, 79-81
—Hodgson second report, 83