The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Arena, Volume 4, No. 22, September, 1891

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Title: The Arena, Volume 4, No. 22, September, 1891

Author: Various

Editor: B. O. Flower

Release date: August 27, 2007 [eBook #22419]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Barbara Tozier, Bill Tozier, Richard J. Shiffer
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at






September, 1891
The Newer Heresies
Harvest and Laborers in the Psychical Field
Fashion's Slaves
Un-American Tendencies
Extrinsic Significance of Constitutional Government in Japan
University Extension
Pope Leo on Labor
The Austrian Postal Banking System
Another View of Newman
He Came and Went Again
O Thou Who Sighest for a Broader Field
An Evening at the Corner Grocery



Geo. C. Lorimer. (signed "Yours' Respectfully, Geo. C. Lorimer")



It is a good thing that the Inquisition, Star-chamber, and other compulsory institutions of the dark past have departed from Europe, and have never been tolerated in America. Were it not so, at the present time there would be much excellent work for the rack, the thumbscrew, and the faggot. Heresy is in the air, especially in the northern latitudes of the United States. We inhale it with the morning breezes, it stimulates us to mental activity during the noon hour, and at times stifles us as by the sultry atmosphere of a blistering day. Everywhere it is being discussed, and by every kind of individual, qualified or unqualified for such high contentions. Daily journals, hitherto never remarkable for orthodoxy, have suddenly grown anxious as to the future of the faith; and other journals, that have always antagonized orthodoxy, are, figuratively speaking, rubbing their hands most gleefully and smiling through their editorial columns with a most perceptible "I told you so"; while religious papers, representing as they do, the conservative element in this country, are apparently staggered at the inroads which the so-called higher criticism has made of late. Aged people ominously shake their heads, and striplings of the limp-back Bible type are amazed at the stir which ideas are making in the community, and which threaten to disturb the peace and quiet of their mediocre godliness; and pious women engaged on crazy quilts, in the interest of noble benefactions, stop with punctured and 386bleeding fingers to protest against all departures from ancient doctrinal symbols.

Suspects are numerous, and, as in the days of the worthy Council of Ten in Venice, no prominent person, especially a teacher, is beyond surveillance. If he adventures just a little from the beaten path, even though it may be to gather a thought, which, like a wild field daisy, given by the bounty of the Infinite One for the delight of his creatures, he has found growing on the wind-swept plain of natural religion, honored possibly by heathen seers and philosophers, he is likely to be summoned before the black draped, gloomy councillors and familiars of modern inquisitorial conservatism.

In my opinion there is no real need for the morbid anxiety that now prevails in certain quarters, and surely no serious alarm should be felt for the perpetuity and stability of truth. Truth is truth, and all the bad captains that ever sailed that bark, and all the bad navigators that ever misdirected its course, have never been able to run it on the lee shore, or bring it to final shipwreck, and never can; for over and above all human devices and guidings there is a divine hand that upholds and shields that which, next to his Infinite Self, is the most precious blessing yet conferred upon the human mind.

Let us remember that the heresies of the hour are not of the "damnable sort" which, as Peter declared, deny the Lord who bought us; neither are they mixed with such immoralities as Paul condemns in his letter to the Galatians. And if we may believe that the words of that same apostle have any pertinency in our times, then, when he declares that heresies or schisms must arise among us "that they which are proved may be made manifest," we may confidently expect that out of the present discussions and the "jangling of sweet notes out of tune" some broader thought and some nobler conception of divine teachings, revealed to us in Holy Scripture, will assuredly come to the church and to the world.

I think that the leaders who are solicitous for the ark of God ought to try to characterize the opinions which have given rise, in these latter days, to threatened trials for heterodoxy. It is so easy to say that a man who differs from ourselves is not orthodox, and to avoid an actual and 387exact statement of what we mean; when in fact we deal unjustly with him, and produce a wrong impression on the community at large.

Let us notice the three distinctive and discriminating marks of so-called heresy in evangelical churches, and I think you will be persuaded that it is unwise for us to be alarmists, and imprudent "to breathe out threatenings and slaughters."

It will be observed that the newer heresies do not challenge the truth of Scripture inspiration, only the form and philosophy of such inspiration. The men who are suspected of entertaining erroneous opinions concerning the method of Divine impartation of truth are the strenuous advocates of the moral grandeur, spiritual authority, and faith-sufficiency of the heavenly oracles. They, it is true, deny what has been known as the verbal theory—a theory which owes more to the post-reformers' fear of an infallible pope, than to any real, intelligent cause—but by no recognized council or decree, acknowledged by Protestants, has that mechanical conception ever been made binding on the conscience. Modern scholarship is simply leading us to recognize a more rational criticism than was possible to our fathers; a mode of criticism which almost every Sunday-school teacher, in his humble way, adopts, and which is common, and has been in the most orthodox pulpits for unnumbered years, every man bringing the passage he is discussing to the test of knowledge that he has acquired and, in a sense, to the test even of his reason. I do not say that scholars have uttered the final word upon this great subject, nor is it possible for such a word to be pronounced at the present stage of investigation, but I do insist that we should recognize the authority of enlightenment, and that we should not carelessly brand as heterodox men of eminent attainments, who are merely seeking to guide us to foundations which, in the long run, shall prove absolutely indestructible.

We have to decide whether the Christianity of the immediate future shall be governed supremely by intelligence or ignorance. If ignorance is to rule supreme, then let us found no more universities, nor open any new theological seminaries. Let us not go through the farce of instructing, unless it be merely to insist on the assimilating by students of dogmas that must never be questioned, and from which 388they will swear by the eternities they will never depart, either in spirit or in letter. But, if we believe that education means the quickening of a man's nature so that he will investigate, and if we really believe that God has more light yet to break in upon the world, through the casements and windows of holy scriptures, then, in his Divine Name, let us not be alarmed when, here and there, after infinite weariness and labor, a little ray penetrates the darkness of the ages and promises to give us a noonday view of the origin and influence of God's Word.

It should also be considered that the newer heresies are not primarily defections from Christian doctrine, only from the creeds which assume authoritatively to define such doctrine. Public teachers are being arraigned for their departure from certain standards, such as the Thirty-Nine Articles, the Westminster Confession, and the lugubrious compilation known as the New Hampshire Confession of Faith. These documents, with whatever excellency they may be accredited, were prepared by fallible men—some of them, indeed, exceedingly fallible—who were hardly qualified in their day to define the faith of Christ for the guidance of future ages, and were adopted in most cases by meagre majorities. Why we should suppose their statements are to be regarded as infallible, and why thinkers of our times should be strictly held to their formulas, is something that no one yet has had courage or intelligence sufficient to explain. What right has any body of men to insist on conformity to a creed prepared by beings like themselves, even though it has been venerated for a century or two? Who is Melancthon, and who is Luther, and who are the Westminster divines but "men by whom we have believed"? But are we bound to their word, or are we strictly held to the Word of our common Lord and Divine Teacher? Is Chillingworth's cry, "the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible the religion of Protestants," a mere illusion? It certainly is, and the sacred idea concerning the right of private judgment, if the withered hand of men long dead is to hold the brain of the present in the grasp of death; if we respect ourselves and our avowed belief in the adequacy of Scripture as a rule of faith, then we had better make one huge bonfire of all the antiquated creeds, than denounce the so-called heretics who are, in reality, trying to bring us back to the 389position of the primitive saints who allowed no human word to obscure or darken the divine Word given by revelation.

I think that every candid soul will admit, in addition to what I have stated, that the newer heresies are not revolts from the scriptural high ideal of Christian life, only a noble protest against narrow interpretations of that life. The men who have recently been arraigned before the tribunals of various denominations are eminent for their uprightness, their conscientious candor and tolerance. No word has ever been uttered to their moral detriment; they are, in this blameful age, among the most blameless of its people. They insist, however, that all doctrine should be regarded merely as moulds in which the life should be cast, and are valuable only in so far as they are able to shape the life in pattern of that one career which has excited the admiration of the ages and the adoring wonder of the heavens.

It hardly seems in accord with any just conception of our Master's faith that men and women who are trying to serve God and their generation should be branded with foul names, should be sneered at as reckless and dangerous guides, and as even denying the Lord whom they reverence and worship. Let us be careful. Heterodoxy of conduct is a greater evil than heterodoxy of creed, and I am free to say, though I may not, with my convictions regarding the atonement of Christ, understand how some eminently philanthropic people can enter the golden gates, yet I should hardly myself appreciate a place beyond their threshold if God could not plan, in some way consistent with His honor, to find a radiant seat of glory for them.

I write these things because I am not a heretic. I do not, of course, agree with the fathers, for, like other Scotchmen, I cannot agree with anybody else in the world; but I am perfectly satisfied with my own orthodoxy.

Occasionally I have been startled to find some adventurous soul giving utterance to views, as being novel and hazardous, which I have entertained, without any perturbation of spirit, for nearly twenty years. I was somewhat amused, not long since, on hearing a venerable theological professor, with tears in his eyes, perspiration on his brow, and anguish in his voice, relate how, after a fearful struggle, he had emancipated himself from certain of Calvin's dictums; but while some clergymen present seemed astounded, I remarked at the 390close of the meeting that I had accomplished that feat for myself some quarter of a century agone, and what is more, though I did not say this to him, I did so without any tears, and without any anguish whatever. These personal references are merely to show that in taking up the cause of the newer heretics I am not in any wise biassed by a misdirected mind in their favor.

Let us have freedom. Let us think it out. Let the struggle go on, and let us not, with pallid faces and strident voices, cry out in fear; for the only tribunal that can righteously adjudicate the lightness of human thought is the tribunal, as Schiller has it, of history, which unquestionably is on earth the tribunal of the infinite God. He rules in the world of mind as well as in the globe of matter, and eighteen centuries ought to convince us that truth slowly emerges from warring opinions, conflicting theories, and especially from pathetic longings of the human soul to discover its hidden meanings and its widest and grandest applications. Alas! perhaps our ignorance and intolerance may render it necessary that now, as in the past, the prophets of God must first be stoned to death before we will give heed to their message or commemorate their greatness by the homage of our mind. But seriously, I would advise all who have any regard for their own comfort, happiness, and even self-respect, to have as little to do with this wretched stoning business as possible; for I have never yet been able to discover what satisfaction there can possibly be in helping a dear brother or sister to a martyr's crown at the expense of one's own fairness and kindly charity.




There is no living savant, one may say with little fear of contradiction, who surpasses Mr. A. R. Wallace in generous readiness to esteem at its full worth the work of other men. And one may add that this habit of mind, so attractive in a man of acknowledged eminence, is as a rule not attractive only, but actively serviceable to science; that it stimulates effort, and creates an atmosphere in which good work is zealously done.

Yet there may be cases in which this ready appreciativeness may prove a hindrance to progress rather than a help. If wrongly received, it may lead men who have done little to think that they have done much; it may deter others from embarking on needful tasks which they may suppose to have been already amply performed.

In two papers in The Arena for January and February, 1891, Mr. Wallace dwelt, partly with criticism, and partly with praise, on the work already done by the Society for Psychical Research. To his criticisms I make no demur; they are legitimate and interesting; and indeed where Mr. Wallace's opinions diverge from those which I have myself set forth, I am disposed to think that we are but looking on "the two sides of the shield,"—a shield embossed on either side with devices so marvellous that no man's interpretation can as yet suffice to unriddle them.

But on the other hand, I cannot let pass without protest the sentence (Arena, January, p. 130) in which Mr. Wallace speaks of the thanks due to the Society for Psychical Research, "for having presented the evidence in such a way that the facts to be interpreted are now generally accepted as facts by all who have taken any trouble to inquire into the amount and character of the testimony for them,—the 392opinion of those who have not taken that trouble being altogether worthless." Now in the first place I do not think that all those who have studied our testimony are convinced by it. I received a letter (for instance) not long ago, from a distinguished American, an old friend of mine, who wrote in the most cordial terms to say that out of personal regard for me he had read "Phantasms of the Living" from beginning to end, and that he did not believe a word of it. Our readers' scepticism is perhaps seldom quite so robust; but nevertheless I should say that the attitude of at least half of them is best described by saying not that they accept our evidence ex animo, but that they have not yet exactly managed to see their way to upsetting it.

Nor can I possibly treat as unimportant the attitude of that great majority of savants who have paid no attention at all to the matter. Naturally, their opinion of our evidence does not affect my own opinion thereof, but it decidedly affects my view as to what lines our work ought to follow. Why is it that these men have not studied our Proceedings? It will not do to talk about indolence and prejudice. All men are more or less indolent and prejudiced; but savants as a class are certainly less indolent, and probably less prejudiced, than any other class that one could name. We must not count upon finding our savant "semper vacuum, semper amabilem," any more than Horace found his young ladies always in that condition of affable receptivity. The main reason why so many eminent men neglect our work may be stated in a much less offensive way. The minds of all of us move in certain orbits, from which we are sensibly deflected only by the approach of some new body of adequate mass. Now our "psychical" experiments and observations have plainly not as yet attained sufficient mass to be able to deflect the majority of those great bodies, the luminaries of science, from their accustomed paths through the heavens. Tides, indeed, we do create; there is a refluent washing to and fro of magazine articles about our topic; but we have not yet generated that wholesale perturbation of the scientific system which our facts, if facts they be, must in time inevitably effect.

"Some of the best workers in the Society," says Mr. Wallace again, "still urge that the evidence is very deficient, both in amount and in quality, and that much more must be 393obtained before it can be treated as really conclusive. This view, however," he adds, "appears to me to be an altogether erroneous one." On the contrary, I venture to say, this assertion of the need of more work, and consequently of more workers, is of absolutely primary, absolutely urgent importance. What would have become of the evolution theory itself (if I may use an argumentum ad hominem of no disrespectful kind), what would have become of that theory itself, though urged at first by savants of such surpassing merit, had no one been able to repeat and confirm their observations? And we who are dealing, not with plants and animals which can be held fast and observed, but, for the most part at any rate, with phantasmal sights, subjective impressions,—surely we must feel a tenfold need of the multiplication of centres of experiment and observation, of the formation of fresh bodies of record in every country, and in each year that passes by. No single small group can ever gain leverage enough to divert the world's prevalent modes of thought, unless it is gradually reinforced by fellow-workers enough to make the possible mistakes or possible death of a few persons quite unimportant to the general result.

It has been suggested by Mr. Wallace and by other critics that we have been too exclusively preoccupied with the idea of telepathy, that we have tried to force into that category phenomena which need a different or a further explanation. Considering the complexity of these phenomena there may well be some truth in this criticism, yet we should surely be unwise if we relaxed our insistence on the importance of telepathy, or the transference of thought or feeling from mind to mind without the agency of the recognized organs of sense as the very root and basis both of experiment and of theory as concerning an unseen world. No one, of course, can suppose that the infinitely complex laws of which we are just now obtaining a precursory glimpse and first faint intimation, can possibly be summarized in any single expression. But the prime importance of telepathy lies in the fact that here, at last, is an action of unseen, uncomprehended forces which can be made the subject of actual experiment. Nay, more, the very fact that in this special direction experiment turns out to be possible, is in itself an augury that we are on a true scientific track; for it involves a remarkable coincidence between a theoretical conclusion and a practical discovery.


In the first place, let us try to realize theoretically what is involved in the supposition that any sort of invisible intelligence can become in any way known to us. I speak of the methods of communication only, without reference to the nature of the supposed intelligence, beyond the mere fact of its habitual invisibility. It is plain, I think, that the said intelligence must either so act upon visible matter as to affect our sense-organs in the ordinary way, or else must convey messages to our minds by some director process, not depending on the intervention of our organs of sense.

Now probably no one will assume that the first method will alone be employed. Even those who insist, with Mr. Wallace, on the objectivity of apparitions, do not, I think, maintain that it is only by moving material objects that unseen intelligences affect our minds. Few will doubt that if there be communication from unseen beings at all, it will probably be at least partly in the second of the two modes already specified, that is, that it will reach our minds in some way more intimate and direct than by ordinary sense-perception. But if this be so, then there must be in our minds a certain power of reciprocity. We must be able to receive the message in the same impalpable way in which the unseen intelligence communicates it.

But if we suppose that man possesses this power of receiving direct or telepathic messages from unembodied or invisible intelligences, it is natural to inquire whether he is capable of receiving similar messages from embodied or visible intelligences. If we cannot find that he is thus capable, our belief in the supposed messages from the unseen will be doubly difficult; for we shall have to postulate both the new forms of intelligence and the new mode of intercourse. But if, on the other hand, we can show that the mode of intercourse here needed does already exist, and appears in man's relations with his fellow-men, then the transition to messages from the unseen will be so much the less violent. We shall only be supposing that man can receive from the disembodied a kind of message which he already receives from the embodied, and which has no obvious dependence on a corporeal embodiment. One single proved transmission, direct from mind to mind, of the most trivial fact or percept, will do more to make communion with the unseen scientifically conceivable,—I do not say more to make 395it morally conceivable,—than all the poetry and all the rhetoric which has ever stirred the hearts of men.

Such, on the one side, is my deductive argument from the very conception of communication with unseen intelligences.

And do we, on the other hand, find, by empirical observation of the phenomena around us, anything which indicates the existence of a supernormal perceptivity such as theory would suggest? It is known to readers of the Society for Psychical Research Proceedings that we do find such indications, scattered at first, and appearing unsought-for amid the phenomena of mesmeric or somnambulic states; but now to some slight extent isolated into distinctness, and brought under experimental control.

To some slight extent only, I repeat; for the experiments thus far made, although completely convincing to those who, like myself, have witnessed many of them, under very varied conditions, have nevertheless not yet passed into that desired stage at which one may be able to repeat them before any observer, at any moment. At present they are proved by the same kind of evidence as certain rare pathological phenomena (I do not of course mean that telepathy is itself in any way a morbid product)—phenomena such as those surprising rises and falls of the human temperature which are unpredictable, sporadic, and transitory, and must rest for their evidence on the good faith and accuracy of comparatively few observers.

Yet these telepathic experiments have a very hopeful side. Experience has already shown that the phenomena may be developed at any moment, between quite normal persons, and with no bad effects of any sort whatever. Only we cannot tell except by actual trial, and trial of a patient and careful kind, between which persons, out of all mankind, these telepathic messages can be made to run.

What we desire, then, what we ask of all who sympathize with our efforts, is neither premature praise nor equally premature theorizing, but active co-operation in our endeavor to improve and extend our experiments in thought-transference. We want to get our telepathic transmissions distant, definite, and reproducible.

It is desirable to get them at long distances,—not because it is really more marvellous that thought should thus travel a million miles than that it should travel a millimetre,—but 396for the merely practical reason that at long distances it is easy to avoid two main sources of error, namely, hyperæsthesia, which may be quite unconscious, and fraudulent codes, which may be hard to detect. Most, nay, probably all, of the so-called experiments in thought-transference which have been offered by "thought-readers," etc., from the public platform, have really had nothing at all to do with thought-transference, have depended either on abnormal delicacy of tactile and other sensory perception, or on the adroit use of preconcerted signals. It is only when the observer has complete control of the conditions (which he never has in any public exhibition), that it is worth while to conduct experiments between two persons in the same room.

And even in cases where the good faith—the conscious good faith—of everyone concerned is above suspicion, it must be remembered that there are both unconscious actions and unconscious perceptions which may wholly vitiate an experiment. The rule should be so to arrange the experiment that the percipient cannot profit by unconscious indications; that he cannot (for example) see the expression of the agent's face, or hear the sound of his pencil as he writes down a number to be guessed. Such precautions should be a matter of course; and when they are taken, these experiments near at hand are certainly the easiest and best for private experimenters to begin with, although the desirability of gradually increasing the distance between the persons concerned should always be kept in view.

Let A and P begin their trial, then, in quiet and calm of mind; let A, the agent, sit behind P, the percipient, and not in contact. Let A be provided with a full pack of cards, in which he replaces the card drawn, after each trial, or with a bag of known numbers—say from ten to one hundred—a range convenient for computation—in which bag he replaces and shuffles up the number drawn, after each trial. Let him draw a card (to take cards as our example) say, "Now!" and gaze fixedly at it. Let P keep his mind as blank as possible, and make his guess only when some kind of image of color, suit, or pips, in some way floats into his mind. His first guess only must be counted, and must be received in silence. Let A continue this process for some prearranged number of times, say ten times, and record accurately all the experiments 397made. Let him renew the process, with intervals of hours or days between each batch of trials, until he has some hundreds of results to analyze. Then let him send his results, with description of the conditions under which the trials were made, to Dr. Richard Hodgson, 5 Boylston Place, Boston, Mass. Dr. Hodgson will tell him if it is worth his while to go on, and will advise as to modifications in the form of experiment.

These hints must here suffice as to experiments made close at hand. But experiment, or observation verging into experiment, is often possible at long distances as well. It often happens that some one tells me that he (or she) has so peculiar a sympathy with some given friend that what one of the pair is actually feeling or thinking at a distance is reproduced by the sensation or thought of the other. To such communications my invariable reply is, "Keep a 'psychical' diary. Put down therein at once every incident which you intend to count, if it turns out (so to say) a telepathic success, and no incident which you do not intend to count. Let your friend keep a similar diary, without showing it to you; after a few months let me compare the two diaries with one another."

I am not armed with supernatural, or even with statutory powers; and my informants have for the most part thought that they had obliged me quite enough if they promised to do as I told them. But just as I was beginning to imitate the dictum, "Miracles do not happen," with the dictum, "Psychical diaries are not kept," the lady termed Miss X——, in Proceedings XIV. and XVI., came to furnish an exception, to my rule. I shall not attempt to summarize the "Record of Telepathic and Other Experiences" in Proceedings XVI.; but I trust that it may be the prototype of many similar records, which can be kept the more easily now that this example has been set.

I will give in brief, one American example (to be found at length in S. P. R. Proceedings XVIII.) of well-recorded telepathic transmission. The incident thus transferred is trivial and even ludicrous; the fact of the transference was absolutely useless. But the case is not only none the worse for this; it is all the better. When we are trying to prove that such transmission exists, we want to keep clear, if we can, of emotional complications. If P is brooding over A's 398approaching death, and sees a figure of A, then, even if the hour coincides, we cannot help a suspicion that the brooding may have produced the figure. But few, I think, will explain the following incident as a mere outcome of morbid sentimentality. We owe it to the kindness of Dr. Elliott Coues, who knows both ladies concerned, and happened to call on Mrs. C—— the very day on which that lady received the following letter from her friend, Mrs. B——.

Monday Evening, January 14, 1889.

My Dear Friend,—I know you will be surprised to receive a note from me so soon, but not more so than I was to-day, when you were shown to me clairvoyantly, in a somewhat embarrassed position. I doubt very much if there was any truth in it; nevertheless, will relate it, and leave you to laugh at the idea of it.

I was sitting in my room sewing, this afternoon, about two o'clock, when what should I see but your own dear self; but, heavens! in what a position. Now, I don't want to excite your curiosity too much, or try your patience too long, so will come to the point at once. You were falling up the front steps in the yard. You had on your black skirt and velvet waist, your little straw bonnet, and in your hand were some papers. When you fell, your hat went in one direction and the papers in another. You got up very quickly, put on your bonnet, picked up the papers, and lost no time getting into the house. You did not appear to be hurt, but looked somewhat mortified. It was all so plain to me that I had ten to one notions to dress myself and come over and see if it were true, but finally concluded that a sober, industrious woman like yourself would not be stumbling around at that rate, and thought I'd best not go on a wild goose chase. Now, what do you think of such a vision as that? Is there any possible truth in it? I feel almost ready to scream with laughter whenever I think of it; you did look too funny, spreading yourself out in the front yard. "Great was the fall thereof."

This letter came to us in an envelope addressed: Mrs. E. A. C——, 217 Del. Ave., N. E., Washington, D. C., and with the postmarks, Washington, D. C., Jan. 15, 7 a. m., 1889, and Washington, N. E. C. S., Jan. 15, 8 a. m. Some further letters in the postmarks are illegible.

Now the point is that every detail in this telepathic vision was correct. Mrs. C—— had actually (as she tells me in a letter dated March 7, 1889) fallen in this way, at this place, in the dress described, at 2.41, on January 14. The 399coincidence can hardly have been due to chance. If we suppose that the vision preceded the accident, we shall have an additional marvel, which, however, I do not think that we need here face. "About 2," in a letter of this kind, may quite conceivably have meant 2.41.

The definiteness of the details here reproduced, is all, I think, that we can reasonably desire. But most important, and I fear, most difficult to obtain, of all the qualities of our ideal telepathic experiment, is that of reproducibility. This is, I think, a difficulty which inheres in the very nature of the phenomenon itself. We are mainly concerned here with the powers not of the waking or empirical, but of the submerged or unconscious self. The transference of the telepathic message, though it may be helped by conscious concentration, takes place (as I hold) mainly in strata of our being which lie below the threshold of ordinary consciousness. It seems as though the influence of the percipient's conscious self, at any rate, were merely hurtful to the experiment, so that to get the percipient at his best we have to catch him in a state of original innocence which he cannot long maintain. It too often has happened that so soon as his own curiosity was roused, so soon as he began to speculate on the process which was going on, and to wonder how he caught the impression, so soon did the impression cease to travel, and his unconscious self could send its message upwards no more.

I am disposed to think that for the present it is to hypnotism that we must look for cases where the telepathic message can be sent repeatedly and at will. It is in the rare cases of sommeil à distance, or such cases as those of Mrs. Pinhey, Dr. Héricourt, and Dr. Gley, reported in Vol. II. of Phantasms of the Living, that there has as yet been the nearest approach to that clock-work regularity and repeatability which is the experimental ideal. It is, therefore, on the medical profession that I would urge the importance of watching for cases of this sort, which are likely to be found more frequently as the therapeutic use of hypnotism extends.

I have mentioned several different forms in which these telepathic messages may be observed by careful seekers. I certainly do not assert that the power or agency operative in each of these cases is precisely the same. On the contrary, I think it probable that there are varieties and complexities 400quite beyond our present speculation. But at least these cases fall for us under the same primary or obvious category; they are all cases where a thought, a feeling, an impulse, a picture, has been transferred from one mind to another without the agency of the recognized organs of sense.

There are some, both among friends and among opponents, who are inclined to represent telepathic experiment as a petty thing. "What does it come to," say the opponents, "even though you do get a few silly thoughts or meaningless numbers out of one head into another?" "Enough of telepathy!" say the friends; "go on to something of vaster scope!"

These friends and these opponents are not those who have best realized the import of the telepathic claim. The true, the scientific opposition is of a quite different type. It asserts, not that the alleged discovery is a trifle which may be admitted with a sneer, but that it involves a new departure in science greater than its advocates can probably conceive, or have as yet come near to justify. Brushing aside all our further extensions of theory, they take their stand simply and decidedly against telepathy itself; and wisely so, for if telepathy be once admitted, there is, as seems to me, no logical halting-place until we reach a far-off point which I will not confuse my present argument by attempting to specify.

And over all this far-stretching field there is a harvest of experiment, a harvest of observation, which only needs laborers to cut and carry, to thresh and winnow it. The reality, the extent, the importance of the phenomena which lie around us, unnoted and unexplained, are more fully recognized as each year's work adds at once to our knowledge and to our corresponding consciousness of ignorance. Such recognition, I say, is beginning to spread; but it has thus far brought with it all too little of active co-operation in the work of inquiry, that work which in America Dr. Hodgson, backed by Prof. W. James and Prof. W. S. Langley, pushes forward at once with caution and with energy. Those who wish our work to succeed must in some way help towards its success. No enterprise, I think, could promise more fairly. But we are still at the beginning of that great work and the end is far.




The last session of the International Council of Women discussed no question of greater importance to civilization than that of dress reform. The fact that this world's congress, representing the most thoughtful, conscientious, and broad-minded women of our age, has taken up this subject with a firm determination to accomplish a revolution which shall mean health and happiness to the oncoming generation, is itself a prophecy pregnant with promise of a substantial and enduring reform. It will not be surprising if in the near future it is found that this earnest though somewhat timid discussion marked a distinct step in the world's progress; certainly it was the most significant and authoritative utterance from united womanhood that has yet been made touching a problem which most vitally affects civilization.

To the student of sociology nothing is more perplexing or discouraging than society's persistency in blindly clinging to old standards and outgrown ideals which can no longer be defended by reason; and this is nowhere more marked than in the social world where fashion has successfully defied all true standards of art, principles of common sense, rules of hygiene and what is still more important, the laws of ethics which underlie all stable or enduring civilizations.

At the very threshold of this discussion, I ask the reader to, as far as possible, divest his mind of all prejudice arising from preconceived opinions, and view in a perfectly candid and judicial manner this problem upon which the last word will not be spoken until woman is emancipated. As long as free discussion is tabooed and conservatism finds it possible to dismiss the question with a flippant jest, a ribald joke, or a basely unjust imputation, the old order will stand; partly because woman feels her helplessness and largely because so few people stop to trace cause and effect or patiently reason upon results of the most serious character. Conservatism is 402strongly entrenched in the minds of the millions, and to a certain degree mental lethargy broods over the world. It is true that in woman's sphere to-day mental activity is more marked than in any other age, and the best brains and most thoughtful women of our time are boldly denouncing the bondage of fashion and bravely pleading for such radical reforms in dress as will secure to womanhood health and comfort, while being genuinely artistic and graceful, breathing true refinement and conforming to æsthetic principles rather than the caprice of fashion. To me there is something infinitely pathetic in the brave protests that have from time to time flashed from the outraged sensibilities of those who represent the very flower of American womanhood, when discussing this subject, for running through their almost every utterance is the plaintive note of helplessness, mingled with the consciousness of the justice of the cause for which they plead. The talented and universally respected Mrs. Abba Woolson Gould some years ago thus gave expression to her feelings when writing of the long, heavy, disease-producing skirts of women:

Do what we will with them, they still add enormously to the weight of clothing, prevent cleanliness of attire about the ankles, overheat by their tops the lower portion of the body, impede locomotion, and invite accidents. In short, they are uncomfortable, unhealthy, unsafe, and unmanageable. Convinced of this fact by patient and almost fruitless attempts to remove their objectionable qualities, the earnest dress-reformer is loath to believe that skirts hanging below the knee are not transitory features in woman's attire, as similar features have been in the dress of men, and surely destined to disappear with the tight hour-glass waists and other monstrosities of the present costume.... Any changes the wisest of us can to-day propose are only a mitigation of an evil which can never be done away till women emerge from this vast swaying, undefined, and indefinable mass of drapery into the shape God gave to His human beings.

Mary A. Livermore voices a sad and terrible truth when she observes:

The invalidism of young girls is usually attributed to every cause but the right one; to hard study—co-education—which, it is said, compels overwork that the girl student may keep up with the young men of her class; too much exercise, or lack of rest and quiet at certain periods when nature demands it. All 403the while the physician is silent concerning the glove-fitting, steel-clasped corset, the heavy, dragging skirts, the bands engirding the body, the pinching, deforming boot, and the ruinous social dissipation of fashionable society. These will account for much of the feebleness of young women and girls. For they exhaust nervous force, make freedom of movement a painful impossibility, and frequently shipwreck the young girl before she is out of port.

We have a theory, generally accepted in civilized society, which we never formulate in speech but to which we are very loyal in practical life. This theory, put in plain language, is as follows: God knows how to make boys; and, when He sends a boy into the world, it is safe to allow him to grow to manhood as God made him. He may be too tall or too short, for our notions, too stout or too thin, too light or too dark. Nevertheless, it is right, for God knows how to make boys. But when God sends a girl into the world, it is not safe to allow her to grow to womanhood as He has made her. Some one must take her and improve her figure, and give her the shape in which it is proper for her to grow.

Accordingly, the young girl comes some day from the dressmaker with this demand: "Mme. —— (the dressmaker) says that I am getting into horrid shape, and must have a pair of corsets immediately." The corsets are bought and worn, and the physical deterioration begins.

Miss Frances E. Willard thus touchingly refers to the bondage of fashion:

"But there came a day—alas! the day of my youth—on which I was as literally caught out of the fields and pastures as was ever a young colt; confronted by a long dress that had been made for me, corsets and high-heeled shoes that had been bought, hair-pins and ribbons for my straying locks, and I was told that it simply 'wouldn't answer' to 'run wild' another day. Company from the city was expected; I must be made presentable; 'I had got to look like other folks.'

"That was a long time ago, but I have never known a single physically reasonable day since that sweet May morning, when I cried in vain for longer lease of liberty."

Mrs. Frances E. Russell, whose significant paper read at the Woman's Council elicited universal approbation, in the following extract from her able essay in The Arena sounds a more hopeful note than her illustrious predecessors, for she is nearer the dawn, and the horizon of woman's freedom is broadening:


The fiction that women have no legs is now fully discredited, for in the show windows of the largest dry goods stores stand dummies of the female figure dressed only in the combination undersuit made of wool or silk "tights," covering the whole body, except the head, hands, and feet. By this time everyone must know that woman, like man, is a biped. Can anyone give a good reason why she must lift an unnecessary weight of clothing with every step she takes,—pushing forward folds of restricting drapery and using almost constantly, not only her hands, but her mental power and nervous energy to keep her skirts neat and out of the way of harm to herself and others?

Much discussion has been wasted over the question whether a woman should carry the burden of her voluminous drapery from the shoulders or the hips. Why must she carry this unnecessary weight at all?

Now let us join hands, all lovers of liberty, in earnest co-operation to free American women from the dominion of foreign fashion. Let us, as intelligent women, with the aid and encouragement of all good men, take this important matter into our own hands and provide ourselves with convenient garments; a costume that shall say to all beholders that we are equipped for reasonable service to humanity.

From 1860 to 1865. The era of hoop-skirts.

From 1860 to 1865. The era of hoop-skirts.

Conservative critics have so frequently misrepresented those who have honestly pleaded for dress reform, that it is no longer safe to be frank, and this fact alone has constrained numbers of earnest writers from expressing their sentiments who have felt it their duty to speak in behalf of health, beauty, and common sense; indeed so certain is one to be misrepresented who handles this subject in anything like a reasonable and unconventional manner, and so surely will his views be assailed as improper, owing to the age-long cast of conventional thought, that were it not that this question so intimately affects fundamental, ethical, and hygienic laws, and bears such a vitally important relation to true progress, I frankly admit that I doubt whether I should have the courage to discuss it. But I find it impossible to remain silent, believing as I do most profoundly that the baleful artificial standards so long tolerated must be abolished, that the fetish of the nineteenth century civilization must be overthrown, and that it is all-important that people be thoroughly acquainted with the far-reaching and basic significance of this problem, through courageous and persistent agitation and education, in order that manhood and womanhood 405be brought up to the ethical plane which marks enduring civilization. In the examination of this subject I desire to very briefly notice it from æsthetic, hygienic, and ethical points of view. It is a singular fact that every effort made toward a healthful and common sense reform in woman's apparel has been assailed as inartistic or immoral; while fashions at once disgusting, indecent, destructive to life and health, and degrading to womanhood have been readily sanctioned by conventionalism. This antagonistic attitude toward any movement for an improvement in woman's attire founded on the laws of health, art, comfort, and common sense was characteristically expressed in a recent editorial in a leading Boston daily, wherein the writer solemnly observed:

From 1860 to 1865. The hoop-skirt era. The difficult feat of tying on a bonnet.

From 1860 to 1865. The hoop-skirt era. The difficult feat of tying on a bonnet.

The simple truth is, the great majority of the women appreciate the fact that it is their mission to be beautiful, and the 406dress reformers have never yet devised any garment to assist the women in fulfilling this mission.

The author of the above fairly represents the attitude of conventional thought,—its servility to fashion, its antagonism to reformative moves. The implied falsehood that fashion represents beauty and art, or is the servant of æstheticism has been reiterated so often that thousands have accepted it as truth.

In order to expose its falsity, I have reproduced in this paper plates taken from leading American and English fashion monthlies during the past three decades, in each of which it is noticeable that extremes have been reached. In 1860-65, the hoop-skirt held sway, and the wasp waist was typical of beauty. Then no lady was correctly attired according to the prevailing idea who did not present a spectacle curiously suggestive of a moving circus tent. During this era four or five fashionably dressed women completely filled an ordinary drawing-room; while the sidewalk was often practically monopolized by moving monstrosities, save when in front or behind the formidable swinging cages moved escorts, who with no less servility than American womanhood bowed to the frivolous and criminal caprice of the modern Babylon.

1870 to 1875. The era of the enormous bustle and train of sweeping dimensions.

1870 to 1875. The era of the enormous bustle and train of sweeping dimensions.

1870 to 1875. The era of the enormous bustle and train of sweeping dimensions.

1870 to 1875. The era of the enormous bustle and train of sweeping dimensions.

407But fashion is nothing if not changeable; fancy not art guides her mind. What to-day types beauty, is by her own voice to-morrow voted indecent and absurd. Thus we find in the period extending from 1870 to 1875 an entirely new but none the less ridiculous or injurious extreme prevails. The wonderful swinging cage, the diameter of which at the base often equaled the height of the encased figure, has disappeared, being no longer considered desirable or æsthetic, and in its place we have prodigious bustles and immense trains, by which an astonishing quantity of material is thrown behind the body, suggesting in some instances a toboggan slide, in others the unseemly hump on the back of a camel. This is the era of the enormous bustle and the train of sweeping dimensions.[1]

1870 to 1875: "Suggesting in some instances a toboggan slide; in others, the unseemly hump on the back of a camel."

1870 to 1875: "Suggesting in some instances a toboggan slide; in others, the unseemly hump on the back of a camel."

When we examine the prevailing styles which marked this period, we are struck with amazement at the power exerted by fashion over the intellect and judgment of society. Imagine the shame and humiliation of a woman of fashion, endowed by nature or afflicted by disease with such an unsightly hump on the back as characterized the fashionable toilet of this period!

Toward the end of the seventies, we find another extreme reached, which if possible was more absurd and injurious than those which marked the early days of this decade. This was the period of the tie-back, or narrow skirts and enormous trains. As in 1860 fashion's slaves vied with one another in their effort to cover the largest possible circular space, now their ambitions lay in the direction 408of the opposite extreme:[2] the skirts must be as narrow as possible even though it greatly impeded walking, for as will be readily observed all free use of the lower limbs was out of the question during the reign of the "tie-back."

The reaction in favor of a more sensible dress which followed was of brief duration. During this time, however, the long trains were seldom seen, and thoughtful women began to hope that the arbitrary rule of fashion was over. It was not long, however, before the panier period arrived, and what was popularly known as the pull-back was accepted as the correct style in fashion's world. Of this latter conceit little need be said, for it has so recently passed from view that all remember its peculiarity, which to the ordinary observer seemed to be a settled 409determination on the part of its originators to render walking as difficult and fatiguing as possible, while fully exposing the outline of the wearer's body below the waist at every step. What in '60 or '70 would have been accounted the height of indecency, is in the eighties perfectly proper in the fashionable world. During this time it was not enough to have the skirts very narrow, they must at every step give the outline of the limbs [or as our Minnesota solon would put it, nether limbs], hence we find the pull-backs in which "two shy knees appeared clad in a single trouser."

1878. The period of the tie-back, narrow skirts, and enormous trains.

1878. The period of the tie-back, narrow skirts, and enormous trains.

The tie-backs of 1878 and 1879.

The tie-backs of 1878 and 1879.


The pull-back of 1886.

The pull-back of 1886.

Fashionable walking costume early in the seventies. Woman appreciating the fact "that it is her mission to be beautiful." See page 405.

Fashionable walking costume early in the seventies. Woman appreciating the fact "that it is her mission to be beautiful." See page 405.

Such have been the inconsistencies, incongruities, and absurdities of fashion as illustrated in the past three decades, in view of which one may well ask whether in fashion's eyes women are such paragons of ugliness that these ever-varying styles (introduced, we are seriously informed, to conserve to her beauty,) are absolutely essential, and by what rule of art can we explain the fact that the ponderous hoopskirt was the essential requirement of beauty in the sixties and the enormous bustles demanded in the seventies. The truth is, fashion is supremely indifferent alike to all laws of art and 411beauty, health and life, decency and propriety—a fact that must be patent to any thoughtful person who examines the prevailing styles of a generation. I submit that the wildest extremes to which well-meaning but injudicious dress reformers have gone in the past have been marked by nothing more inartistic than the costume of the reigning belle in 1860. Each successive decade has been marked by an extreme which, surveyed from the vantage ground of the present, is as ridiculously absurd as it has been wanting in beauty Nowhere have the laws of true art been so severely ignored as in the realm of fashion. Yet this view of the problem palls into insignificance when we come to examine the question from the standpoint of health and life.

Fashionable walking costume in the early sixties. Woman appreciating the fact "that it is her mission to be beautiful." See page 405.

Fashionable walking costume in the early sixties. Woman appreciating the fact "that it is her mission to be beautiful." See page 405.

One would think that after thousands of years of sickness and death, with all the advantages of increased education and a broadening intellectual horizon, we would have arrived at such an appreciation of the value of health and the solemn duty we owe to posterity, as to compel this consideration to enter into our thoughts when we adopted styles of dress; yet nowhere is the weakness of our present civilization more marked or its hollowness so visible, even to the superficial thinker, as in the realm of fashion, where every consideration of health and even of life, and all sense of responsibility to future generations are brushed aside as trivialities not to be seriously considered. In vain have physicians and physiologists written, lectured, and demonstrated the fatal results of yielding to fashion. The learned Doctor Trall in writing on this subject wisely observes:

The evil effects of tight-lacing, or of lacing at all, and of binding the clothing around the hips, instead of suspending it from the shoulders, can never be fully realized without a thorough education in anatomy and physiology. And if the illustrations[3]412 here presented should effect the needed reform in fashionable dress, the resulting health and happiness to the human race would be incalculable; for the health of the mothers of each generation determines, in a very large measure, the vital stamina of the next. It is obvious that, if the diameter of the chest, at its lower and broader part, is diminished by lacing, or any other cause, to the extent of one fourth or one half, the lungs B, B, are pressed in towards the heart, A, the lower ribs are drawn together and press on the liver, C, and spleen, E, while the abdominal organs are pressed downward on the pelvic viscera. The stomach, D, is compressed in its transverse diameter; both the stomach, upper intestines, and liver are pressed downward on the kidneys, M, M, and on the lower portions of the bowels [the intestinal tube is denoted by the letters f, j, and k,] while the bowels are crowded down on the uterus, i, and bladder, g. Thus every vital organ is either functionally obstructed or mechanically disordered, and diseases more or less aggravated, the condition of all. In post-mortem examinations the liver has been found deeply indented by the constant and prolonged pressure of the ribs, in consequence of tight-lacing. The brain-organ, protected by a bony inclosure, has not yet been distorted externally by the contrivances of milliners and mantuamakers; but, lacing the chest, by interrupting the circulation of the blood, prevents its free return from the vessel of the brain, and so permanent congestion 413of that organ, with constant liability to headache, vertigo, or worse affections, becomes a "second nature." The vital resources of every person, and all available powers of mind and body, are measurable by the respiration. Precisely as the breathing is lessened, the length of life is shortened; not only this, but life is rendered correspondingly useless and miserable while it does exist. It is impossible for any child, whose mother has diminished her breathing capacity by lacing, to have a sound and vigorous organization. If girls will persist in ruining their vital organs as they grow up to womanhood, and if women will continue this destructive habit, the race must inevitably deteriorate. It may be asserted, therefore, without exaggeration, that not only the welfare of the future generations, but the salvation of the race depends on the correction of this evil habit. The pathological consequences of continued and prolonged pressure on any vital structure are innutrition, congestion, inflammation, and ulceration, resulting in weakness, waste of substance, and destruction of tissue. The normal sensibility of the part is also destroyed. No woman can ever forget the pain she endured when she first applied the corsets; but in time the compressed organs become torpid; the muscles lose their contractile power, and she feels dependent on the mechanical support of the corset. But the mischief is not limited to local weakness and insensibility. The general strength and general sensibility correspond with the breathing capacity. If she has diminished her "breath of life," she has just to that extent destroyed all normal sensibility. She can neither feel nor think normally. But in place of pleasurable sensations and ennobling thoughts, are an indescribable array of aches, pains, weaknesses, irritations, and nameless distresses of body, with dreamy vagaries, fitful impulses, and morbid sentimentalities of mind. And yet another evil is to be mentioned to render the catalogue complete. Every particle of food must be aerated in the lungs before it can be assimilated. It follows, therefore, that no one can be well nourished who has not a full, free, and unimpeded action of the lungs. In the contracted chest, the external measurement is reduced one half; but as the upper portions of the lungs cannot be fully inflated until the lower portions are fully expanded, it follows that the breathing capacity is diminished more than one half. It is wonderful how anyone can endure existence, or long survive, in this devitalized condition; yet, thousands do, and with careful nursing, manage to bring into the world several sickly children. The spinal distortion is one of the ordinary consequences of lacing. No one who laces habitually can have a straight or strong back. The muscles being unbalanced become flabby or contracted, unable to support the trunk of the body erect, and a curvature, usually a 414double curvature, of the spine is the consequence. And if anything were needed to aggravate the spinal curvature, intensify the compression of the internal viscera, and add to the general deformity, it is found in the modern contrivance of stilted gaiters. These are made with heels so high and narrow that locomotion is awkward and painful, the centre of gravity is shifted "to parts unknown," and the head is thrown forwards and the hips projected backwards to maintain perpendicularity.

The internal viscera.

The internal viscera.

Anterior view of thorax in the Venus of Medicis. The same in a fashionable corset-wearing lady of to-day.

Anterior view of thorax in the Venus of Medicis.

The same in a fashionable corset-wearing lady of to-day.

In speaking of the destructiveness to health caused by woman's dress, Prof. Oscar B. Moss, M. D., declares:

Although the corset is the chief source of constraint to the kidneys, liver, stomach, pancreas, and spleen, forcing them upward to encroach upon the diaphragm and compressing the lungs and heart, its evils are rivalled by those resulting from suspending the skirts from the waist and hips, by which means the pelvic organs are forced downward and often permanently displaced. Now, add to these errors a belt drawn snugly around the waist, and we have before us a combination of the most malignant elements of dress which it would be possible to invent.

The waist belt enforces the evils which the corset and skirts inaugurate. Every proposition of anatomy and physiology bearing upon this subject appeals to reason. Did the abdominal organs require for their well-being less room than we find in the economy of nature, less room would have been provided. Nature bestows not grudgingly, neither does she lavish beyond the requirements of perfect health.

The same laws which govern the nutrition of muscles, apply also to the vital organs. Pressure that impedes circulation of blood through them must suppress their functions proportionally. With the lungs, heart, and digestive organs impaired by external devices, which force them into abnormal relations, health is impossible. Every other part of the body—nay, life itself—depends upon the perfection of these organs. The ancients fittingly called them the tripod of life.

Consumption, heart disease, dyspepsia, and the multiform phases of uterine and ovarian diseases are among the natural and frequent consequences of compressing the internal organs. Men could not endure such physical indignities as women inflict upon themselves. Should they attempt to do so, they would not long hold the proud position of "bread winners," which is now theirs by virtue of their more robust qualities.

Street costume. Spring, 1884.

Street costume. Spring, 1884.

Street costume. Summer, 1891. (Compare waist with anterior view of thorax of corset-wearing lady of to-day.) See page 412.

Street costume. Summer, 1891. (Compare waist with anterior view of thorax of corset-wearing lady of to-day.) See page 412.

It is difficult to imagine a slavery more senseless, cruel, or far-reaching in its injurious consequences than that imposed 415by fashion on civilized womanhood during the past generation. Her health has been sacrificed, and in countless instances her life has paid the penalty; while posterity has been dwarfed, maimed, and enervated, and in body, mind, and soul deformed at its behests. In turn every part of her body has been tortured. On her head at fashion's caprice the hair of the dead has been piled. Hats and bonnets, wraps and gowns laden with heavy beads and jet have as seriously impaired her health as they have rendered her miserable; the tight lacing required by the wasp waists has produced generations of invalids and bequeathed to posterity suffering that will not vanish for many decades. By it, as has been pointed out by the authorities cited, every vital organ in the body has been seriously affected. The heart and lungs, by nature protected by a cage of bone, have been abnormally crushed in a space so contracted as to absolutely prohibit the free action upon which health depended; while the downward pressure was necessarily equally injurious to her delicate organism. The tightly drawn corset has proved an unmitigated curse to the living and a legacy of misery and disease to posterity. And this cruel deforming of the most beautiful of God's creations was said to be beautiful simply because 416fashion willed it. Nor was this all; enormous bustles and skirts of prodigious dimension have borne their weight largely upon that part of her body which above all else should be absolutely free from pressure. By this means the most sensitive organs have been ruthlessly subjected to down pressing weights which for exquisite torture and for the absolute certainty of the long train of agony that must result, rival the heartless ingenuity of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages. Beyond this generation of debilitated and invalided mothers, rises a countless posterity robbed of its birthright of health while yet unborn.[4] A possible genius deformed and dwarfed by the weight of a fashionable dress; a brain which might have been brilliant rendered idiotic by the constant pressure of a corset, and the wearisome weight of a "stylish" dress pressing about the hips; a child whose natural capacity might have carried him to the seat of a Webster or into the laboratory of an Edison, condemned to drag a weakly, diseased, or deformed body through life, with mind ever chained to the flesh, through the heartless imposition which fashion imposed on his mother! What thought can be more appalling to a conscientious woman? Yet until a revolution is accomplished and a reign of reason and common sense inaugurated, this crime against the unborn will continue. But some argue the days of these extremes are past.











I answer not past, but they are assuming other forms. Since418 1890 dawned, the evils in some respects have been aggravated; for it must not be forgotten that the daughters of the present decade have, in order to be fashionable, compressed beyond all healthful bounds the flesh of their arms, retarding circulation and inviting pneumonia and other ills. And in order to look stylish, thousands of women wear dress waists so tight that no free movement of the upper body is possible; indeed in numbers of instances ladies are compelled to put their bonnets on before attempting the painful ordeal of getting into their glove-fitting dress waists. Many young women to-day, yielding to the spell of fashion, place the corset next to their flesh, while a still greater number have merely the thinnest possible undershirt between the flesh and the corset, after which they tightly draw the dress waist until it meets. This seems incredible, but it is vouched for by several ladies of my acquaintance, among whom are physicians whose large practice among their sisters gives them peculiar facilities for knowing the absolute facts. Health, posterity, and all the instincts of the higher self are ruthlessly sacrificed to the fickle folly of fashion's criminal caprice. And we must not forget that even now the sweeping train is coming in vogue and correctly attired ladies must consent to carry the germs of death with quantities of filth from the streets of our metropolitan cities into their homes of wealth and refinement. The corset and high-heeled shoes, the two most deadly foes to maternity and posterity, are also seen at the present time, on every hand.

If outraged nature could show the procession of mothers sacrificed on fashion's altar during the past generation, or unveil the suffering and deformity being borne by posterity at the present time, through this slavery, the world would be thrilled with an indescribable horror. Health, comfort, and human life have paid the penalty of a criminal servitude to the modern juggernaut, before whose car millions of our women are bowing in abject servility, knowing full well that at each turn of its wheel new pains or fresh diseases will be inflicted. And what power controls and gives life to this mistress of modern civilization? At whose behest is this crime against reason, life, and posterity perpetrated? The cupidity of the shrewd and unscrupulous and the caprice of the shallow and frivolous.

Vagaries of Fashion. A belle in the eighties.

Vagaries of Fashion. A belle in the eighties.

Vagaries of Fashion. A belle early in the sixties.

Vagaries of Fashion. A belle early in the sixties.

The moral aspect of this subject is even more grave than 419the hygienic. Anything which injures the physical body, whether it be licentiousness, intemperance, gluttony, or vicious modes of dress, is necessarily evil from an ethical point of view. Not simply because the law of our being decrees that whatever drains or destroys the physical vitality must sooner or later sap the vital forces of the brain; but also because anything is ethically destructive which chains the mind to the realm of animality, when, unfettered, it should be unfolding in spiritual strength and glory. Thus it will be readily seen that any article of clothing which presses upon the vitals of the body so as to cause displacement of the delicate organism, or so cumbersome as to cause general fatigue, anything, as is the case with high heels, which throws the body out of its equilibrium, or any article of dress which makes the mind ever conscious of the body by virtue of its uncomfortableness, is injurious from an ethical point of view. This fact which has been so generally overlooked will become more apparent, if for the sake of illustration we suppose for a moment that a plant is endowed with reason and sensation, 420and obeying the general law of its being, and the persuasive and inspiring influence of the sun and rain, is struggling to rise heavenward, and give to the radiant world above its impearled wealth—its gorgeous bloom, its marvellous fragrance and fruit; but by virtue of the bonds of a prison-house below,—a small pot or a rocky encasement, its lifework is thwarted, its bloom, perfume, and fruit, if they come at all, are stunted, limited, and imperfect. For generations woman's condition has been like that of the plant, the wealth of her nature has been dwarfed, the marvellous richness of her life has been marred by the imprisoned conditions of her body, and infinitely more sad and far-reaching have been the baleful consequences upon millions of her offspring, dwarfed, weakly, sickly, enfeebled in body and soul. A mother whose thoughts have voluntarily or involuntarily been held in the atmosphere of the physical nature, necessarily imparts to her child a legacy of animality which, like the corpse of a dead being, clings to the soul throughout its pilgrimage. Terrible as have been fashion's ravages on woman's physical health, the curse which she has exerted when the ethical aspect of the case is entertained, far transcends it.

It is a curious fact that almost all the opposition from women to proposed reforms in woman's dress comes from two extremes in society. Those who do no independent thinking, taking all their thoughts and opinions from the expressed views of the men with whom they associate, and the profoundly earnest and thoughtful, but conservative women of society. The opposition of the former class is merely the echo of husbands, brothers, fathers, and lovers; but the others are moved by conviction, and for this reason their views are worthy of consideration. They fear that any radical change will exert an immoral influence. Their minds are swayed by ancient thought which throughout all ages has cast its baleful shadow over the brain of the world. They are held under the spell of a conservatism which unquestioningly tolerates established institutions and existing orders, but has no confidence in aught that proposes to break with these, even though the new has reason and common sense clearly on its side. Thus time and again fashions have been tolerated, although known to be morally enervating and singularly repulsive to all refined sensibilities; 421while proposals from without for reforms based on the laws of health and beauty have called forth the most determined opposition from this conscientious class, merely because the proposed innovations have not conformed to ideas entertained by virtue of prevailing fashions, and have been therefore regarded immoral. And herein lies an important point to be considered. Anything which is radically unlike prevailing standards or styles to which we have become accustomed will impress most persons as being immodest or indecent. The unusual in dress is usually denounced as immoral because we are all prone to allow our prejudice to obscure our reason and o'ersway our judgment. This point must be recognized before any real reform can be accomplished. When humanity has grown sufficiently wise to reason broadly and view problems on their own merits, aside from preconceived opinion or inherited prejudice, real instead of false standards of morality will prevail, and we shall cease to condemn anything as pernicious simply because it is unusual, radically unlike that to which we have been accustomed or revolutionary in its tendency. Let me make this if possible more apparent by an illustration, because it bears such an important relation to the main issue. If men had for ages worn long flowing robes, completely enveloping their bodies, but on a certain day with one accord exchanged them for a costume similar to that now seen throughout the civilized world, society would experience a distinct shock; immoral, indecent, pernicious, and vulgar would mildly express the sentiment of conventional thought, until the same society had become accustomed to the change. To us at the present time it is difficult to conceive how women of sense and refinement submitted to 422
the swinging-cage paraphernalia of the sixties, or the Grecian bend of a later date. Yet in those days the severely plain skirts of the present would have seemed positively indecent. It has been necessary to dwell on this thought in order to sufficiently remove existing prejudice to enable a fair consideration of the question in its broader aspects. I have also introduced fair examples of prevailing fashions during the past generation and reproductions of Greek, Shakespearian and other simple costumes worn at the present time by the queens of the stage, to show by comparison how infinitely more graceful, beautiful, comfortable, healthful, and by their very elements of comfort and healthfulness, ethically superior, are these costumes to those which conventionalism sanctioned in the sixties, seventies, and eighties. Is there anything immodest, indecent, or suggestive of impropriety in Mary Anderson in the graceful Grecian costume of Parthenia, presented on the preceding page? Of the tens of thousands of people who have witnessed the performances of Madame Modjeska, Miss Anderson, Julia Marlowe, or Margaret Mather in the costumes given in this paper, it is not probable that a perceptible number have seen aught improper or even injuriously suggestive, notwithstanding they are so radically unconventional. Surely no mind accustomed to think broadly and view problems on all sides, and unaccustomed to revel in the sewer of sensualism would see in the attire of these estimable ladies aught but costumes at once graceful, refined, and apparently infinitely more comfortable and healthful than those represented in any of the fashion plates I have reproduced, and which millions of women of good sense have under the stress of conventionalism been compelled to wear. Let us compare Miss Anderson's Grecian costume with the dress of a society belle in the seventies, which required from twenty to thirty yards of material, and when completed and fitted transformed the wearer into a monstrosity with an unsightly hump on the back, and a street cleaner of immense dimensions trailing for several feet in her rear.

From copyrighted photo by Sarony. MARY ANDERSON AS PARTHENIA.

From copyrighted photo by Sarony.


From artistic, hygienic, economical, and ethical points of view, to say nothing of common sense and comfort, is not the simple and beautiful costume of Parthenia incomparably superior to that which marked the second decade of the past generation? Would not woman to-day clothed in close-fitting 424
garments of silk or woollen fabric, with an outer robe or loose dress fashioned something after the order of the ancient Grecian or Roman pattern, be far more beautiful than she is as a slave to fashion's fickle fancy, while the requirements of life, health, and comfort would be fully met? Again, let us compare one of the plates of the sixties with its wonderful expanse of skirt to the simple, graceful attire of Miss Marlowe as Viola in the "Twelfth Night," and laying aside all preconceived opinions (with the influence which we have seen the unusual plays in fashioning our ideas of propriety,) does not our reason and common sense sustain the view that the latter is far more refined, simple, and less vulgarly ostentatious than the inflated garment of the early sixties? Or if we compare the pictures of Modjeska and Miss Marlowe in Shakespearian roles, or that of the former in the neat and graceful gathered gown, and Miss Mather in the simple peasant dress, are they not one and all far more chaste, artistic, sensible, and healthful than the hoop-skirt, bustle, and train, or the tie-back? Do not, however, understand that I advocate the introduction of any of these costumes. It is for woman and woman alone to decide what she will wear, and in this paper I am merely seeking to second the splendid work that has by her been inaugurated, and by speaking as one of the younger men of this decade, to voice what I believe American womanhood will find to be the sentiment of the rising generation, whenever she makes a concerted effort to emancipate herself from the slavery of Parisian fashions. There are many evidences that the hour is ripe for a sensible revolt, and that if the movement is guided by wise and judicious minds it will be a success. Two things seem to me to be of paramount importance.

From copyrighted photo by Falk, N. Y. JULIA MARLOWE.

From copyrighted photo by Falk, N. Y.








(1.) The commission of women acting for the Council should decide definitely upon the nature and extent of changes desired. The ideal costume should be clearly defined and ever present in their mind. But it would be exceedingly unwise to attempt any radical change at once. This has been more than anything the secret of the partial or total failures of the movements of this character in the past. The changes should be gradually made. Every spring and autumn let an advance step be taken, and in order to do this an American fashion commission or bureau should be established, under the auspices of the dress reform committee 426
of the Women's Council, which at stated intervals should issue bulletins and illustrated fashion plates. If the ideal is kept constantly in view, and every season slight changes are made toward the desired garment, the victory will, I believe, be a comparatively easy one, for the splendid common sense of the American women and men will cordially second the movement. Concerted action, a clearly defined ideal toward which to move, and gradual changes—these are points which it seems to me are vitally important. One reason why the most ridiculous and inartistic extremes in fashion have been generally adopted is found in this policy of gradual introduction, a fact which must impress anyone who carefully examines the fashions of the past. First there has been a slight alteration, shortly becoming more pronounced, and with each season it has grown more marked, although perhaps not for four or six years has the extreme been reached. At every step there have been complaints from various quarters, but steadily and persistently has the fashion been pushed until it reached its climax, after which we have had its gradual decline. This was the history of the hoop skirt and the Grecian bend, and has been that of most of the extremes which have marked the past, and we can readily believe that in no other way could womanhood have been insnared by such supreme and criminal folly as has characterized fashion's caprices in unnumbered instances.

From copyrighted photo by Falk, N. Y. MISS MARLOWE AS VIOLA.

From copyrighted photo by Falk, N. Y.


(2.) Another very essential point is the proper education of the girls of to-day, for to them will fall, in its richest fruition, the blessings of this splendid reform if it be properly carried on, and if they be everywhere instructed to set health above fashion, and seek the beauty of Venus de Medici rather than the pseudo beauty of the wretched, deformed invalid, who at the dictates of the modern Babylon has trampled reason and common sense, health and comfort, the happiness of self and the enjoyment of her posterity under foot. Teach the girls to be American; to be independent; to scorn to copy fashion, manners, or habits that come from decaying civilizations, and which outrage all sentiment of refinement, laws of life, or principles of common sense. The American girl is naturally independent and well endowed with reason and common sense. Once shown the wisdom and importance of this American movement, and she will not be slow to cordially embrace it. In many respects 428the hour is most propitious, owing to a combination of causes never before present, among which may be mentioned the growing independence of American womanhood; the enlarged vision that has come to her through the wonderfully diverse occupations and professions which she has recently embraced; the growing consciousness of her ability to succeed in almost every vocation of life. The latitude enjoyed by her in matters of dress in the mountains and seashore resorts; the growth of women's gymnasiums; the emphasis given to hygienic instruction in schools, and the recent quiet introduction of a perfectly comfortable apparel for morning wear, which, strange to say, has originated where one would least expect, among the most fashionable belles of the Empire city.[5] This significant innovation which is reported by the daily press, as becoming quite popular among the young ladies of the wealthy districts of New York, consists of a comfortable blouse worn over knickerbocker trousers. Clad in this comfortable attire, the belles come to breakfast, nor do they subsequently change their dress during the morning if they intend remaining indoors. If a sedate or fastidious caller is announced, a beautiful tea-gown, which is at hand, is slipped into, and the young lady is appropriately clad to suit even conventional requirements. The bicycle and lawn tennis costumes now becoming so popular also exercise a subtile but marked influence in favor of rational dress reform, not only giving young ladies the wonderful comfort and health-giving freedom which for ages have been denied her sex, but also by accustoming them to these radically unconventional costumes.[6]

429Another encouraging sign of the times is the increasing demand on the great and fashionable house of Liberty & Co., of London, for the Greek and other simple costumes by fashionable ladies, who are using them largely for home wear. I have reproduced two recent styles of dresses made by Liberty. All fabrics used are rich, soft, and elegant, and the effect is said to be gratifying to lovers of art, as well as far more healthful and comfortable than the conventional dress. The most important fact, however, is the effect or influence which is sure to follow this breaking away from the ruling fashions in wealthy circles. When conventionalism in dress is fully discredited, practical reform is certain to follow. The knell of the one means the triumph of the other.

Some of Liberty's recent dresses. The Grecian Costume.

Some of Liberty's recent dresses. The Grecian Costume.

Some of Liberty's recent dresses. The Juliet.

Some of Liberty's recent dresses. The Juliet.

Believing as I do that the cycle of woman 430has dawned, and that through her humanity will reach a higher and nobler civilization than the world has yet known, I feel the most profound interest in all that affects her health, comfort, and happiness; for as I have before observed, her exaltation means the elevation of the race. A broader liberty and more liberal meed of justice for her mean a higher civilization, and the solution of weighty and fundamental problems which will never be equitably adjusted until we have brought into political and social life more of the splendid spirit of altruism, which is one of her most conspicuous characteristics. I believe that morality, education, practical reform, and enduring progress wait upon her complete emancipation from the bondage of fashion, prejudice, superstition, and conservatism.




The monarchial conception is that a few are born booted and spurred to ride, and that the many are born saddled and bridled to be ridden. The republican theory is that "Everybody is cleverer than anybody," to quote the epigram attributed to Talleyrand; and that government, in Lincoln's phrase, should be "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

The United States is the only nation in history which has dared to base itself upon an absolute trust in the people.

There have been republics (so-called) ad infinitum and ad nauseam. "Greece," cries one of the foremost of our orators, "had her republics, but they were the republics of one freeman and ten slaves; and the battle of Marathon was fought by slaves unchained from the doorposts of their master's houses. Italy had her republics; they were the republics of wealth and skill and family, limited and aristocratic. Holland had her republic, the republic of guilds and landholders, trusting the helm of state to property and education. The Swiss republics were groups of cousins. And all these which, at their best, held but a million or two within their narrow limits, have gone down in the ocean of time."

The Spanish-American Republics are nondescripts. They owe their existence to pronunciamientos. They are the puppets of successful soldiers, and are administered by generals who follow one another like the ghosts that walked in the vision of "Richard Third," and do not hold office long enough to be photographed. They are based on mongrel races, steeped in ignorance, cramped by superstition, and physically rotten before they get ripe.

Our fathers built a commonwealth on the foundation of manhood. They recognized no other qualification, save for a period of inconsistency, color; which, happily, is now wiped out of the fundamental law, though not entirely out of popular prejudice.


The faith in the people which Jefferson, Sam Adams, and the men of '76 cherished as the distinctive tenet of their political creed, has been justified by results. Their gigantic creation launches into the second decade of its second century, belted with power, aggrandized with El Dorados, the amazement of the world, the "Arabian Nights" translated into every-day reality.

Unfortunately, however, in the face of this unprecedented record of prosperity, certain un-republican tendencies begin to exhibit themselves among us. These may well give thoughtful patriots startled concern.

Half a century ago, before time had been annihilated by the telegraph, and distance abolished by steam, nations were comparatively isolated; and the American most of all. Europe was three thousand miles away. Now-a-days, the old world is next-door neighbor to the new. Saint John's apocalyptic vision is realized; there is "no more sea." It is bridged by steamers, and flashed out of existence by the electric cable. What is the consequence? The consequence is that while Europe borrows many of our ideas, America borrows more of hers. With the increase of travel, the growth of wealth, the enlargement of our leisurely class, there is an aping of English and German habits of thought and modes of life which are utterly repugnant to republican institutions. While Europe should seem to be almost ready to discard baby-house distinctions and the embroidered rags of aristocracy, America, strange to say, appears willing to put on and wear the disreputable finery. We are becoming disagreeably familiar with what Mr. Gladstone characterizes in an inspired phrase, as the classes in contrast with the masses.

This interchange of national customs comes inevitably from the facilitated intercourse of our day, from the intimacy begotten by inter-marriage, by commerce, by travel. But it is sad if we are to borrow more than we lend, and if the balance of trade is to be perpetually against us. We must find or invent a remedy if republicanism is to survive. The widespread alarm felt among our humbler citizens shows how real the danger is. Take, for instance, the growing distrust of universal suffrage manifested by our cultivated classes. Certain journals, the organs of wealth and monopoly; social-science conventions, composed of pert specialists poisoned by caste feeling; even pulpits, which should be 433the guardians and exponents of democracy,—cautiously, tentatively, but as positively as they dare, discuss the propriety of restraining the ballot, and sigh for a property or an educational qualification.

Now, if there be one feature of American republicanism which is supremely characteristic, it is universal suffrage. This interpenetrates our political system as veins run through a block of marble. The patriots and sages who framed our Constitution grouted it with this principle. They believed and declared that it was safe to trust men with self-government. They recognized, of course, the fact that in every community there would be an element of ignorance and inefficiency. But by putting the ballot in every hand they deliberately took bonds of wealth and culture to enlighten this ignorance and train this inefficiency. They enlisted the self-interest of the Commonwealth on the side of popular education. They said, practically, to the well-to-do and to those who had interests at stake: See to it, if you would save your possessions, that you share them with the poorest and the lowest, at least to the extent of lifting them to the level of self-control and self-respect. In fact, this is the meaning of our free schools, of trial by jury, and of the ballot-box. Tocqueville, whose insight into republican institutions was marvellous, distinctly traces our prosperity, in his survey of American democracy, to universal suffrage, with all that it necessitates. So on the other side of the water, when, in 1867, Parliament doubled the English franchise, Robert Lowe leaped to his feet and cried, amid the cheers of the House of Commons: "Now the first interest and duty of every Englishman is to educate the masses." Previously, if the Court of St. James stooped to put intelligence on one side and morality on the other side of the cradle rocked by poverty and vice, it was pity that dictated the gracious act. Now it is self-preservation. Who does not know how much stronger self-interest is than pity as a motive? Who cannot see the far-sighted wisdom of our fathers in thus ingrafting this powerful motive upon the fundamental law?

Moreover, universal suffrage is educational in itself. Responsibility educates. Nothing else does. By throwing the responsibility upon the people they are necessarily lifted, sobered, broadened. Our women do not vote. What is the result? Not one woman in a thousand has any interest in, 434and not one in two thousand has any acquaintance with, political affairs. Their ignorance would be laughable were it not sad. Every father, husband, brother, can testify to the impenetrable ignorance of his feminine belongings concerning matters of public moment. It forms the topic of universal comment in male circles. It is not because women are naturally incapable. It is because having no responsibility they naturally have no interest. Why should a woman inform herself of what does not concern her? Occasionally, some woman, exceptionally placed, or born with a genius for politics, studies and masters state-craft. But exceptions do not invalidate, they prove rules. Women, like men, cannot be expected to take any intelligent interest in affairs that lie outside of their life.

Our men, on the contrary, are politicians down to the infant in the cradle. A boy baby cries, "Mr. Chairman!" as soon as he can talk, and calls the next crib to order. Men know that the maturing of politics, the selection of administrations, the distribution of offices, the adjustment of taxes, are their function. This knowledge whets the edge of interest. The significant fact is that it is not the people who are indifferent to politics. This indifference is found among merchants who are too busy making money to attend to the public weal; among scholars buried alive in their books, with no interest in any question that is not musty; among men of leisure, aping old world aristocracy, and out of touch with democracy; among those who say that all men are equal and are afraid they will be,—never among the people.

The plainer men are the greater is their political interest. Our naturalized citizens, shut out in their native land from all participation in government, and hence appreciating citizenship here, are among the most alert. These are they who crowd the halls during the recurring canvasses, and who are always early at the polls. And is it possible to overrate the instruction they get at meetings where they hear great questions discussed by master minds, when issues are torn open and riddled with light? Thus universal suffrage is itself a normal school, the people's college.

It is often said that, judged by its power to govern great cities, universal suffrage is a failure. This is true. The failure, however, is due to local causes. It does not come from the inherent incapacity of the masses, but is the spawn 435of accidental and removable evils. Chief among these is the corner grog-shop. This is the blazing lighthouse of hell. Here it is that morals and manners are debauched. It is over this counter that what an old poet calls "liquid damnation" is dealt out. If the quid-nuncs, instead of railing at universal suffrage, would combine to help shut that door, republicanism would speedily lose its reproach. The constituency of the grog seller is the ready made tool of the demagogue. A true democracy can only exist on the basis of sobriety. A drunken people cannot be trusted with the dearest rights and most vital possessions of freemen. Better the merciless tyranny of the Czar, or the military despotism of the Kaiser, far better the class rule of England, than the staggering, hiccoughing, bedevilled government of the groggery!

Aside from the great centres of population, the common people are more trustworthy than the corporations, the colleges, or the newspapers. The selfishness, the preoccupation, the anti-republicanism of these, are proverbial. We know that editors are echoes, not leaders, printing what will sell, not what is true. Landor declared that there is a spice of the scoundrel in most literary men. Everybody understands that a corporation's gospel is a good fat dividend. Who would exchange universal suffrage for college suffrage, or corporation suffrage, or newspaper suffrage?

Our danger to-day does not lie in universal suffrage. It lies in the steady encroachments of wealth, in the multiplication of monopolies, in the too rapid growth of fungus millionnaires, in the increasing number of well educated idlers, in the sinister prominence of the saloon in politics, in the tendency of the country to submit to bureaucracy, in the transformation of the national Senate into a club of rich men, housed and fed at the national expense, in the change of the House of Representatives into a huddle of clerks to register the decrees of greedy capital, in the chronic distrust of the people felt among book-educated and professional men; in one word, in the appalling gravitation towards government by "boodle" in the hands of unscrupulous minorities.

The only hope of deliverance lies in the people,—in their honesty, fair play, and decision, No; it is not universal suffrage that has brought disgrace on the country. If the rancor of party spirit, if the dry-rot of legislative corruption, 436if the tyranny of incorporated wealth, if the diabolism of intemperance are to be curbed, it is universal suffrage which must hold the reins. Talk of taking the ballot out of the hand of the poor citizen! As well fling the revolver out of window when the burglar is in the house. One of the keenest critics of American life has said: "Corruption does not so much rot the masses; it poisons Congress. Credit mobilier and money rings are not housed under thatched roofs; they flaunt at the capital." The real scum is the so-called better class. If anybody is to be deprived of a vote, it should be the railroad king, the mill owner, the indifferent trader, and the Europeanized Yankee who spends abroad what his father earned at home, and mistakes Paris for Paradise.

As another illustration of the un-republican trend, observe the obsequious attitude of our government towards monarchs and monarchies. We are to-day cheek by jowl with the despots of Europe. Instead of being the torch bearer of freedom we occupy a position of apology for what we are and of gaping admiration for what they are. When an opportunity offered the other day to recognize the new Republic of Brazil, the toadies at Washington equivocated and postponed. One would suppose that the disappearance of the last monarchy from the new world would have been greeted in the great Republic with the ringing of bells and the blaze of bonfires—would have been answered by a regular Fourth of July outburst. Bless you, no! The Czar was displeased. The Emperor of Germany was in the sulks. Queen Victoria put on mourning. Why should the Dons at Washington be out of fashion?

On the other hand, when Carlos I. was crowned at Lisbon last December, the American Squadron of Evolution was in the harbor, and behold! the officers of the Republic's war-ships paraded side by side with the other flunkies of royalty in honor of the coronation—thus showing that they belonged to the Squadron of Reaction. For so misrepresenting their country they ought to be cashiered. Republicans refusing to recognize a new republic, but hastening to recognize a new king! What a spectacle! Spirits of Otis and Franklin, of Jefferson and Hamilton, what think ye of such democracy as this?

No one would have the United States play the role of a bully, or enact the demagogue. But surely there is a medium 437between that and the despicable inconsistency of unfriendliness towards those of our own political faith, and of lackey serviceableness towards a crowned head. Kings do not hesitate to discourage republicanism everywhere. A republic should not hesitate to encourage it anywhere. Self-respect in such a matter would win the respect of the world by deserving it. But when Americans sell their daughters to European profligates for a title, and pay millions to boot; when republicans in profession become tuft-hunters in practice, and haunt the back stairs of palaces; when the United States government, the eldest born and guardian of democracy, decredits its own political creed and parades in royal processions,—is it not time to cry a halt?

We need in this country a revival of republicanism. There is a tendency to flunkeyism at the bottom of human nature. Most men "dearly love a lord," as Burns affirmed. Hence, a full-fledged aristocrat attracts flunkies as a magnet draws iron filings. Lucian tells of an exhibition in Rome in which monkeys had been trained to play a human part; which they did perfectly, before the beauty and fashion of the city—until a wag, in the midst of the performance, flung a handful of nuts upon the stage, and straightway the actors were monkeys again. Some of our republicans are monkeys in human attire. They get on well enough until the nuts of class distinction are flung among them,—then they are on all fours.

Let us make democracy the fashion. Send devitalized Americans to Coventry. Make an unrepublican word or deed the unpardonable political sin. Do this: or else ship the statue of Liberty Enlightening the World back to France, and ask her to set it in the harbor of Marseilles.

Another of these un-republican tendencies is the current movement for civil service reform. Every thoughtful citizen perceives and laments the evils attendant on the present spoils system. It is the quartering of the conquerors upon the conquered. It makes public office the reward of party service. It loads half a dozen men (the President and his Secretaries) with the responsible but impossible duty of filling hundreds of thousands of offices, on the grab-bag principle.

With the best intentions, the civil service reformers would make a bad matter worse. On their plan, the un-American method of fixed tenure by competitive examination and 438appointment by irresponsible cabals would replace the method of political appointment for party service. Thus they would fasten upon the country a great army of permanent officials. It is out of harmony with our whole system. Every other officer is elected, and for a specified term. Why, even in the ministry, the tendency is to break up the life-pastorate. The largest of our religious denominations has deliberately adopted the principle of rotation. And the other bodies, while nominally retaining the life theory, have practically borrowed the Methodist plan.

No wonder civil service reform is unpopular. It goes to work at the wrong end—works away from instead of towards republicanism. In England, in Germany, where families reign, and where governmental servants might consistently hold office for life, such a system has a warrant—though even there it is found to be obstructive and reactionary. But in a republic, where universal suffrage is the law, nothing more intolerable could be conceived. The idea of creating a class distinct from all other classes, independent of the administration and unaccountable to the voters, fixed and immovable save for causes proven—why, it is, not a step, it is a stride towards absolutism. Such a proposition, like "Hamlet's" case,

"——makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of."

That the civil service needs reform goes without the saying. But the reform should be pushed along consistently republican lines. The proper, the democratic method would be a further and broader application of universal suffrage. Make all the offices elective.

Instead of appointing Custom-House officials and postmasters, elect them. Put the responsibility where it belongs upon the respective communities they serve. Then, men that are locally known and respected would be selected. If the people are capable of electing their own presidents, governors, representatives and judges, surely they might be trusted to elect Custom-House officers and postmasters! Otherwise, our republicanism is a humbug. This would abolish the Washington grab-bag. It would also avoid the creation of a class of life-officials than which nothing could be more dangerous and unsavory.


If our fathers, with no precedents on the file, could announce their sublime faith that all men are endowed by their Creator with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; if they could discard the probate-court idea, and adopt universal suffrage; if, in spite of inconsistencies and imperfections, their conception has flowered in the best, and happiest, and most prosperous nation on the globe,—cannot their children show a faith as serene, a courage as brave? One thing is certain, the European experiment has failed, while ours is a miracle of success—and most successful when most consistently worked out. In such circumstances, shall we exchange this for that, and go back from the nineteenth century to the fourteenth?

When Hume derided his mother's faith, and exhorted her to get rid of her Christian prejudices, she answered: "My son, can you show me anything better?"


Kuma Oishi (signed "Cordially yours, Kuma Oishi")



All students of history are aware that the revolution of 1688 succeeded in consolidating constitutional government in England; that, though toward the middle of the last century it had not yet assumed its present admirable aspect, the English idea of political liberty and religious toleration attracted the attention of Montesquieu and Voltaire, who introduced it to their country; and that, since then, accelerated by the establishment of the federal government in America, and the triumph of the revolutionary principle in France, the theory has spread over the continent with astonishing rapidity.

Now that constitutional government is established in Japan, will she not exercise the same influence over the Asiatic continent as that which England has exercised over the European? To this, three great objections may be raised. I. The pervading conservatism of Asia. II. The prevailing ignorance among the Asiatic nations. III. The doubtfulness as to their adaptability to the representative form of government. We shall try to answer these objections in the above order.

I. If it be argued that the Asiatic people are conspicuously characterized by the conservative spirit, that they seem well satisfied with their present social and political organizations, such as they are, it must be remembered at the same time, that this was also the appearance which the French people presented, before their attention was called to the political superiority of England. "In general," says Lecky, "there runs through the great French literature of the seventeenth century a profound content with the existing order in Church and State, an entire absence of the spirit of disquiet, scepticism, and innovation that leads to organic change."[7]

That the conservative spirit and the seeming contentment of some of the Asiatic nations are not in themselves forces 441strong enough, when the time comes, to dispel the charm, as it were, possessed by the theory of representative government, that in short, conservatism is no match for "progress," as such a movement is popularly called, can be illustrated by the history, not of the European nations alone, but of some Asiatic nations themselves. To the general conservative tendency of Asia, Japan was no exception until about twenty-five years ago. No rational being would have then believed that in the course of a few years, Japan would become one of the most progressive nations on the face of the earth. The revolution of 1867, from which the birth of New Japan is dated, was originally a dispute between the Mikado and the Shogun for the de facto sovereignty, and not the struggle of the lower classes to rise to political eminence. The tottering dynasty of the Shoguns came to an end, not because they were tyrannical, not because the people felt the special need of social amelioration, but because they saw that the Shogunate had been the instrumentality of usurping the imperial authority, while the nominal Emperor was shut up in his palace, and closely watched by the agents of the Shogun. In Japan loyalty and patriotism meant one and the same thing; therefore the people could not long tolerate this state of affairs. They needed only an occasion to deprive the Shogun of his political power, and to restore it to the Emperor. At last the occasion came. The demand of the Western nations to open certain seaports of the country, accompanied by the threats of armed force, compelled the Shogun to yield. But this step proved fatal to him. If the people were opposed to the Shogun's usurpation, they were still more opposed to his new policy, simply because it was new. They were blind to the innumerable advantages that could be derived from international commerce and communication. As a hermit nation, the people looked down upon the foreigners with mingled distrust and disdain. Knowing nothing of the Western civilization they were determined that no "savage strangers" should step upon the "sacred land of gods." To them the admission of the foreigners signified nothing less than unprecedented disgrace and possibly more—a prey to the ambition and treachery of the "foreign devils." The conservative spirit of the people carried them to a pitch of excitement as high as the exactly opposite principle carried the French people during 442the revolution. The Emperor became doubly dear to them, because he was a sovereign de jure, and because he was opposed to the new policy. Thus the revolution which followed owes its triumph to the conservatism of the people. Even with their zealous attachment to the Emperor, and their deep hatred of the Shogun, it is an open question whether events would have taken the same course, if the Mikado had advocated and the Shogun opposed the new policy, so strong was prejudice of the people. No more unfavorable condition and time could have been chosen for the introduction of the European civilization. However, in spite of their abhorrence of the Western people, the Western ideas and customs, in spite of all their efforts to shut them out, the appearance of some formidable men-of-war, floating the flags of different nations, compelled Japan to enter into the terms of treaty with them. Twenty years have passed since then, and within that short period, the nation has undergone a marvellous transformation under the magic touch of progress. It would be telling an old story to enumerate the series of innovations that have been written socially and politically, until the promulgation of the new constitution, in which culminated the national pride of the people. The matter to be noted here is that the European civilization encountered but a few obstacles, notwithstanding its inopportune introduction, and was soon adopted with determined zeal. The like progressive phenomenon on a smaller scale is also recurring in Korea, but of this later.

II. Having thus seen from well known historical examples in Europe and Asia that the conservatism is not in itself a force strong enough to resist progress, which leads to the establishment of constitutional government, let us proceed to meet the second objection, namely: the prevailing ignorance among the Asiatic nations. Here the nature of our inquiry involves three distinct topics. 1. Was the general intelligence of the Japanese people, before they came into contact with the Western civilization, higher than that of the other Asiatic nations? 2. Is there not a peculiar characteristic among the Japanese which impels them to progress? 3. Consequent upon the exposition of these two topics, investigation must also be made as to why the Chinese Empire does not show a similar progressive tendency.

1. Besides being the most dangerous enemy of representative government after its establishment, ignorance is 443most hostile to its establishment. Prima facie, people must possess a certain degree of capacity, mental and moral, to understand what civilization is and what representative government is. The Batta of Sumatra may have their own alphabet, and the Fans of the West Coast may excel in iron work,[8] but even these fall short of the pre-requisites, not intellectually only, but morally also. We cannot conceive of them, seated around a camp-fire, discussing the merits of two chambers system, or defining the rights and duties of a citizen, while their vile lips are stained with the blood of their fellow-man, whose flesh they have just devoured. Not to expatiate further on this self-evident fact, it is certain that the Japanese people were sufficiently intelligent to understand and appreciate the Western ideas, when they were thrust to their notice. Certain, too, that in some branches of æsthetic art, they were somewhat superior to the neighboring nations. But beyond this, thirty years ago, a careful observer could have detected in the Japanese people no conspicuous intellectual attainment, except, of course, such points of dissimilarity as exist between any two nations equally civilized. Japan, Korea, and China had the same system of education and the same "classics," and each was composed of followers of Confucius and believers in Buddhism. True, Japan was then under the feudal system, and China and Korea were and still are under monarchy, but in point of absolutism, their governments were all alike. The greater differentiations were the facts that the Japanese had their own system of religious belief besides, called Shintoism, that the Japanese and the Koreans each had, in addition to the Chinese characters, their own syllables, and that the styles of their dress were different in no small degree. But the former, being a belief, principally concerned with the hereafter, has no more connection than the latter two with the subject of our inquiry, which relates to the intellectual phases of these people only in so far as they influence their political ideas.

2. Nor can we find any peculiar characteristic in the Japanese people, to which we may ascribe their progressive tendency. The only predominant characteristic that we know is their imitative power. This they have remarkably exhibited in their adoption of the Chinese civilization, 444which they modified and made their own, and more remarkably in their recent adoption of the Western civilization. Let us examine what relation this bears to the conservative and the progressive spirit of the people. Mr. Herbert Spencer attributes two motives to imitation, either reverential or competitive.[9] It is with the latter that we are concerned. This, coming as it does from a desire of an imitator to assert his equality with the one imitated, implies the recognition of superiority of the latter, and the acknowledgment of inferiority of the former. Conservatism, in the sense we have been using the term, defies any recognition and acknowledgment of this sort; therefore it defies imitation. In other words, a man does not imitate what he dislikes or scorns, and since conservatism is aversion to, or contempt for, say a new political institution, the imitative trait has no part to play, while that aversion or contempt continues. Evidently, then, the imitative power of the Japanese was not the force which served to make the conservative people progressive; only when conservatism gives way, and admiration for what is new is awakened, can this power assume its full activity.

Were we to admit for the sake of argument that the Japanese people were far superior in intelligence to the other people of Asia, or that they possessed a peculiar characteristic which impelled them to the adoption of the Western civilization, or even both, our position will not be altered, for the progressive idea of Japan has already reached across the sea to the continent of Asia, giving rise to an event in Korea. In December, 1884, the two political factions of that country, one of which was liberal and the other conservative, respectively, representing the Japanese and the Chinese principles, disputed for supremacy. The positive and negative currents, as of electricity, met at the peninsula, and produced a spark of revolution.[10]


Although, unfortunately for Korea, the liberals were vanquished, and its chief leaders were banished from their native country, the significance of the phenomenon does not lose its weight on that account. The tidal wave of progress, once repulsed, is not likely to subside forever. Meantime, it is worth while to notice, that even under the undisputed administration of the victorious conservatives, the nation could not remain aloof from the rest of the world. Besides entering into treaties with some western and eastern nations, Korea is availing herself of the services of European abilities, for the purpose of internal improvement.

3. "But," some one may ask, "if the establishment of constitutional government in Japan is due principally to the inherent excellence of the institution itself, and not to the superior intelligence of the Japanese people, nor yet to their peculiar characteristic, how can the non-progressive tendency of China be accounted for?" The vast extent of her dominion,[11] the immense number of her population,[12] and her almost inexhaustible national resources, all combine to make the question in regard to her future policy a momentous one. With the best form of government, and under the guidance of an able statesman, it is within her power to promote the advancement of whole Asia, and mould the destiny of the world. Yet, to all practical intents and purposes, she is evidently indifferent to the possibility of such a noble mission. Nay, more; she ignores it. She reminds us of an opium smoker. The world is awake, but she reposes in profound slumber, and little does she care what others are doing. The doctrine of Laissez-Faire is the sinew of her policy toward the European states. She lets them alone so long as they let her alone, leaving them to wonder for what she was born. When some one comes and strikes her on the face, she stands up, still half asleep, slowly gathers whatever strength is in her, returns blow for blow, but the moment her enemy disappears torpidity again overtakes her, she relapses into dreamy indifference. Of what is this opium composed that she smokes?

I must not be understood to mean absolute irresistibility of constitutional government. Already I have touched upon one exception, viz: inadequate capacity, mental and moral, 446of people. Instead of excepting Japan from the pervading conservatism of Asia, I am inclined to make causes resisting or retarding the establishment of constitutional government in China exceptions to its irresistibility, side by side with ignorance. Such causes are, doubtless, multitudinous. Nevertheless, a careful observer will be able to single out two principal ones among many others: territorial and intellectual.

We have seen that the average intelligence of the Chinese people is not much inferior, if at all, to that of the Japanese, previous to the revolution. Even those Chinese who come to this country for manual labor, can read and write to some extent. Undoubtedly there is a large number of illiterate and brutal outcasts, who are a standing disgrace to humanity at large, but they can be found in every nation at present. The average intelligence of the middle class in China is, next to Japan, perhaps, the highest among the Asiatic nations. But the greatest evil from which Chinese intellect is suffering is its bombastic antiquarianism. This differs from conservatism, in that it is not the cautious distrust of new institutions for the improvement of the existing ones, but an effort to move backward, and to revive the ancient order of things, which crumbled into dust a thousand years before, from its inadaptability. The goal toward which modern civilization is striving, is the attainment of justice, the security of property and of the lives of individuals. The ideal society of the Chinese is one in which the simplicity of primitive tribes makes the administration of justice unnecessary, in which the possession of property and the protection of lives are unknown. Eulogies are lavished throughout their literature to the peaceful reigns of the primitive kings, when no one locked his house at night, or touched another's article which he happened to find on his way. To them antiquity is adorable instead of venerable. They consider themselves insignificant by the side of their godly ancestors. No doubt the doctrine of Confucius, which the Chinese people endeavor to carry out to a letter, has played a large part in producing this effect. Instead of unfolding the possibilities of the future, he recapitulated the virtues and achievements of the past. I am not attempting to depreciate the inestimable service, which his system of philosophy has rendered toward enhancing the standard of 447rectitude among his disciples. But for him Asia might have sunk into the depths of moral chaos. This much at least must be said in justification of his doctrine, that evidently it was not his intention to reproduce an exact duplicate of the primitive Chinese civilization. "Let each day bring a new order of things," and "A sage's principles change as time," are among the precepts he enunciated. But these aphorisms, upon which the Anglo-Saxons would have laid a great stress, have been set at naught by his followers to the detriment of their own welfare.

This antiquarianism also existed in Japan, before the introduction of the European civilization, but here it had lacked much of its intensity, through its non-originality. The Japanese had no inventive pride, and it was with little reluctance that they abandoned their old theories which they borrowed from China, and adopted new civilization of the West. The Chinese cannot forget that whatever civilization they possess is their own, and that, at one time, theirs was the "Celestial Empire," which gave law, literature, and art to the neighboring nations. Every one knows that all the people still believe their civilization far superior to that of Europe. And since they do not care to compete with the civilization which they regard as inferior, they are striving to model themselves after the features of their own ancient civilization, which, for aught we know, might have been purer because younger, but which, existing in the less developed stage of society, must have been necessarily cruder. They are not aware that a society developed to any extent is a composite organism; that an originally simple cluster of people had grown into a complex community, through double methods, the multiplication of its own offsprings, and its union with another cluster or clusters of people.[13] This gradual growth of a society is followed by a corresponding diversity in the division of labor, thus making the social structure also complex.[14] Whatever else they can do, the Chinese will never realize their ideal of ancient simplicity, with their present complex social structure and system. A human society can either fall backward or progress forward, but it cannot progress backward. In China the active movement for social and political amelioration 448is restrained by the erroneous idea that they will aggravate evils and increase the distance between the present and the past. The unemployed energy of the nation, like an unemployed human muscle, is losing its vitality. Unable to go backward, unwilling to go forward, the nation is at standstill, and its civilization is stagnant with vices of the worst sort, the growth of which is checked by no iron hands of heroic reformers.

Another cause acting against the susceptibility of China to the European civilization is the vastness of her territory. The power of resistance being equal, a force requires longer time to travel larger distance, but when the power of resistance against the force of civilization is much stronger, as in the case of China, in comparison with Japan, the required length of time becomes still greater. The vast and thickly populated Empire of China naturally contains the various aggregates of people, with diverse inclinations and antagonistic interests, which makes their joint effort for any achievement extremely difficult, especially when the central authority is weak. The disadvantages are further multiplied by the difficulty of travelling and communication. On account of these hindrances, the Western civilization has not as yet time to permeate the whole Empire of China, and give the people an impetus for progressive movement. It may be well questioned whether "the fathers" could have succeeded in organizing the federal government, if the colonies were as large, and contained as great a population as the present United States. As it was, several States refused to enter into the confederation at first.[15] Taking into consideration her better facility for communication, and her proximity to the other European powers, perhaps Russia owes to the size of her territory, the successful maintenance of her absolute monarchy as much as China. But here the decisive battle is already impending. At this moment she is trembling with apprehension lest the palace of the Czar be at any moment levelled to its foundation by the terrible explosion of a nihilist's bomb. The more the employment of force is resorted to as the means of suppression, the greater the violence of resistance. It may take the Chinese people generations before they are seized with 449such political fanaticism, but judging from precedents, it is a rational probability that the absolute monarchy of China may yet become the object of furious attack by her now inert and abject populace, apparently in happy ignorance of the nature of sovereign authority, the free and unrestrained exercise of which they may learn to covet too soon.

Ignorance, antiquarianism, and large territory, then, are some principal causes which retard the march of progress. There remains only the third and last objection to be met—the adaptability of the Asiatic people to the representative form of government.

III. If two thousand years of Asiatic despotism has given her people one lesson, that lesson is obedience, and obedience is, according to John Stuart Mill, a quality essential to the people under constitutional government.[16] Not only they must be obeyed, but also they must obey. Law, which is constitutional, commands their obedience, so long as it is not repealed, whether it promotes, or is detrimental to, their welfare. This is especially the case in England, where parliament is supreme and not the constitution, as in the United States, though in both countries vox populi will tell in the end. On the other hand it may be disputed that if long despotism taught the Asiatic people to be subservient to public authorities, it also made them meek and slavish, entirely eradicating the spirit of independence, indispensable to self-governing people. Granted, but how shall this defect be remedied? Because they are too slavish and not sufficiently independent, are they to crawl under absolute despotism for another two thousand years, which would make them all the more slavish, and all the less independent? Slavishness is obedience plus something more. If political liberty were given the Asiatic people, when they had just learned to obey, slavishness would never have become their fault. The very fact of their being slavish proves that despotism should have ceased to exist long before, and should cease now, in order to cure them of this despicable disease. As far as this question is concerned, then, the slavishness of the Asiatic people, instead of being against their adaptability to constitutional government, is for it. In the words of Macaulay, "If men are to wait for liberty until they 450become wise and good in slavery, they may indeed wait forever."[17]

There may be a thousand other infirmities among these people, but most of them doubtless are, or were, found among the highly civilized people of to-day. Every nation can point with pride to some men of admirable achievement, of brilliant genius, of saintly virtues, but that same nation also contains the countless number of inebriates, robbers, and murderers. Differences in environments and in the stage of civilization have contributed much in differentiating the inhabitants of the globe, but we must bear in mind that they are all made by the same hand of the Creator, and are, in general, striving to do good according to the dictates of their conscience. What characterizes civilization is not so much the quality of goodness revealed, as its quantity. Between aborigines and highly advanced people, there exists a wide gulf, but that gulf becomes perceptibly narrower between the so-called semi-civilized and the civilized, much narrower than the word "semi" indicates with the force of scientific exactness. But behind all these arguments, there lays the most fundamental condition of the adaptability, namely: that the people should be desirous of establishing it. No other Asiatic nations beside Japan have expressed their desire to this end, either by words or by action, and therefore they are incapacitated.

This objection would be fatal, if we were advocating that the Asiatic people ought to have constitutional government. But we have not been. We have been arguing that since constitutional government has irresistible attraction to those who can understand what it is, and since it has already been established in Japan, the other Asiatic nations will begin to desire it, notwithstanding their seeming ignorance and conservatism; and because they are adapted for it in all the respects but one, the want of desire to establish it, when that desire is enkindled within their breasts, then a "great democratic revolution," which De Tocqueville said was going on in Europe,[18] and which is still going on there, will also go on in Asia. We may observe in passing, that Sir Henry Maine's arguments against the irresistibility of popular government[19] have no connection with our position, 451being directed against the ultra-democratic tendency of modern times which is beyond the scope of our present discussion.

But will this new institution of Japan possess permanency? Constitutional government has shown in many cases the lack of stability. In France and Spain especially it has been established and overthrown again and again.[20] Can Tei Koku Gi Kai[21] prove itself above such frailty and stand for ages a majestic monument of the people capable of self-government? Or must it pass away in ignominy and gloom through its own weakness, or of the constitution, or of the people, or of all these combined? Hitherto we have been discussing the extrinsic significance of constitutional government in Japan, but this important question introduces us into the field of its intrinsic excellence. To answer the question we must examine the constitution itself in its details, besides tracing the steps which led to its promulgation. Perhaps a volume may be necessary for this most interesting and profitable study. At any rate, the space which we have already occupied renders a further discussion of the subject impossible for the present. But we cannot lay aside our pen without expressing our fondest anticipation, and most earnest desire, that guided by statesmen of genius, and supported by the prudent and patriotic people, this first institution ever founded on the Asiatic soil for the development of political liberty, may be crowned with brilliant success, not only for the sake of Japan, but for the sake of all Asia, whose myriad sons it is her noble duty, as well as privilege, to rescue from the yoke of ever-detestable bondage.




University extension is a movement intended to bring the people at large into closer communion with the college and the university. Though it had a lowly birth in England, it has become a great institution permanently wedded to Oxford and Cambridge. For some years the idea has been growing that our American colleges ought to be doing something in this same line. The world is full of students who are unable to attend the university; some are prevented by family ties, and some by business relations; but mature though they be, there are everywhere real students who are lamenting the fact that they seem forever shut out from the light of knowledge as it is shed abroad from our higher educational institutions. To such are added those young people who have been by circumstances early forced into industrial pursuits, but who are hungry after such training as will enable them to command better situations and better salaries. The success of the Chautauqua movement indicates how many there are that are bent upon improving themselves.

This Chautauqua movement is only an attempt to Americanize university extension. In various ways, however, it fails to perform the full function of the latter institution. While Chautauqua work is carefully planned, it is elementary; the student is left almost entirely to his own, often misdirected, efforts; and there is little or no chance of his coming into personal contact with the experienced educator and specialists. Though the circles have, through lack of direction, sometimes neglected education for entertainment, the organization as a whole has accomplished a wonderful work in the elevation and the instruction of great numbers of people.

University extension, on the other hand, profiting by the experience of Chautauqua, proposes not only to plan courses 453of study, but to direct, supervise, and test the work of its students as well. In doing all this, it employs the lecturer, the syllabus, the class, the travelling library, and the examination. It has adopted methods whereby it can reach people of as varied occupations as those reached by Chautauqua, and it can thus furnish them with information having a positive educational value.

The lecturers are college-bred men or women, and specialists in different lines of educational work. If actively engaged in teaching at some reputable college or university, their chances of success are greater, and the character of their work is of a better grade. It promises well for the future of university extension to record that some of America's most popular and celebrated professors have added to their already heavy duties the burdens of some line of extension teaching. But all college professors are not adapted to this work. The successful extension lecturer must be of a versatile nature—a good lecturer, an earnest student, a practical teacher. It is his duty to interest a mixed, popular audience in an educational subject, and to inspire numbers of his hearers with a determination to enter upon a systematic and thorough course of study. The teacher who can do so must have within him the spirit of the reformer, and the earnestness that will enable him to arouse and to enthuse to action the numbers that are dying of lethargy and ennui. The teacher who can do this has here a field of labor extensive enough for the highest ambition, and may be repaid by a success grander than can be attained in the limited circle of the college or the university.

The work of the lecturer arranges itself into unit courses. The unit course consists of a series of six related lecturers, so arranged that they will cover a definite field of study. Though less comprehensive, the unit course may be compared to a course of study in a college curriculum. As extension students are the busy people of this world, these lectures occur only at intervals of one week, thus giving the student time for the extra reading and study that he is asked to do. A unit course, then, will cover a period of six weeks; and four unit courses, extending over a period of twenty-four weeks, constitute an extension year. It is superfluous to attempt to estimate how much the earnest solitary student may accomplish in a year through the assistance and the impetus thus 454given his efforts. Much, however, depends upon the personal effort of the student, and the syllabus is intended to direct his private study.

The syllabus is much more than a carefully prepared outline of a unit course. It must form a skeleton for the student's diligent work; it must recall and elaborate the points brought out in each lecture; it must give a comprehensive list of reference books upon the course—a bibliography of the subject—with information as to the best editions and as to how to use the books to the best advantage; it must suggest lines of research—comparisons and parallelisms; it must outline for the student paper work with full instructions as to how to write upon the subject; it must, in short, be a sort of teacher, full of methods and of suggestions, supplementing the work of the class.

The class immediately follows the lecture and is conducted by the lecturer himself. It is here that the student comes into the most direct contact with the educator. Just as the lecture is for the popular audience, many of whom seek pleasure rather than information, so the class is preeminently the earnest student's workshop. It is here that he has the privilege of turning questioner and of putting to the lecturer such queries as have puzzled him in his private work. The papers that have been prepared during the week are criticised and discussed, and experienced lecturers claim that some extension students can and do prepare papers which show as deep an insight and as broad an understanding of the subject as are manifested by the ordinary college student. The class then is, from the student point of view, the select portion of the audience, and still it often happens that only a small proportion of this class even can be induced to do systematic and thorough work; they are regarded as the fruit of the lecture and measure the speaker's ability to interest a popular audience.

As an adjunct to class work, the travelling library is proposed. In order to do effective work, the student must have books, and university extension proposes to arrange with public libraries so that the necessary volumes can be furnished the isolated student at a cost little in excess of that of transportation. There is such competition among express companies that there will be little trouble in getting rates of transportation which will render this feature of extension 455teaching practicable. What Mudie's Circulating Library is to England, the extension travelling library may be to America. The result will be to place in the reach of all the best copyrighted books, and to strangle the reprints of worthless publications that are bought only because they are cheap.

Finally there comes the examination. For the assurance of timid and sensitive persons, it may be stated that extension work is optional, and may be carried to any desired stage of completion. The many enter upon the work because it is popular and interesting; and as soon as it assumes the character of study, the class will often dwindle down to a small portion of the audience. The requirements for an examination will weed this remainder until there is found but a handful that will submit to the test. These workers are usually mature, and often prove themselves to be thorough and proficient students. The examination is intended to be a thorough test, and if it proves the work to have been creditably done, a certificate to that effect is awarded.

Any community that arranges for one or more unit courses is termed a local centre. In order to introduce and conduct this plan of work, there must be some kind of a local organization. Often there already exists, even in a small town, some literary club or other society organized for purposes of education or culture. Such societies, if in a thrifty condition, may be utilized for extension purposes. If they prove to be responsible for the expense of one or more unit courses, no further organization is needed; but in towns where no such society exists, a local centre may be formed by the co-operation of a few citizens. A public meeting may be convened or other means taken to elect a local committee consisting of a half dozen members, with at least a chairman, a secretary, and a treasurer as its official board. The first work of the committee is to raise a guarantee fund to cover the expense of one or more unit courses. Responsible persons are willing enough to subscribe to such a fund upon the assurance that it will not be used except in case of a deficiency caused by a limited sale of student or course tickets. Experience in Philadelphia has proved that, ordinarily, enough tickets will be sold to more than cover the expense of the course.


The guarantee fund raised, the local committee is ready to secure the services of a lecturer, and is brought into business connections with the nearest branch, as the next higher stage in the system is denominated. The branch is located at a railroad centre, and in the vicinity of some college or university. For example, the Philadelphia branch is the business centre for the entire region within a radius of fifty miles. It draws its lecturers from the faculties of the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore. The branch acts as the middle man between the college and the local centre. Its functions are to supply a competent corps of lecturers, to systematize the work within its jurisdiction, and to organize new local centres. Already the Philadelphia branch has formed twenty-five local centres, some of which another season will give a full year's work consisting of four unit courses.

Located in Philadelphia in the midst of colleges, this organization is purely national in its aims. It brings with it system out of chaos. While university extension was groping aimlessly about, it came to the attention of one of the leading educators of our country. As provost of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. William Pepper has proved himself to be a man of great executive ability. Comprehending to the fullest extent the future of our educational system, with wonderful foresight, he saw in the extension movement a future far more important than for a mere matter of missionary diversion for certain charitably inclined professors. He at once suggested plans for uniting the efforts of those engaged in the work and of harmonizing them throughout the country. Accordingly Mr. George Henderson was sent to England to study the movement in all of its bearings, and to gain a thorough insight into the English system. Upon his return the American Society was organized with Dr. Pepper as president, and Mr. Henderson as Secretary. But Dr. Pepper, already burdened with the executive duties of a great university, as well as with the labors of an extensive profession, was soon obliged to withdraw from the active presidency, and Dr. Edmund J. James was elected to that office. Such, in brief, is the origin of the National Society.

This American Society comes in as a helpmate to the local centre, the branch, the college, and the university.457 Its functions are distinct and various. Coming forward with the accumulated experience of a quarter century in England, it can enable extension workers in this country to profit thereby. It has employed a corps of practical business men to systematize the work, and to attend to the necessary details; it is publishing a monthly journal called University Extension, for the purpose of gathering and disseminating information regarding the movement; it publishes syllabi and furnishes them to the student and to the public at the lowest possible cost; and employs organizers to help in the formation of local centres, and to get them in working order. It must be recognized at once that no single educational institution can do this general work, and that the American Society, instead of becoming a competitor with the university in extension work, renders it practical for even the smaller colleges to enter this field of usefulness.

In the performance of its functions, then, the National Society must ordinarily deal with the greater centres of organization; still when it is impracticable to form a branch, it may deal directly with the local centre. Nor is its influence bounded by any conventional barriers. It can enter the home where the solitary student sits by his evening lamp, and direct his work. In this home work, of course, the student rarely comes into direct contact with the educator, but through systematized correspondence his work may be directed and finally tested. It can thus be given a true educational value. It must not be ignored that a startling proportion of our great business men are what are termed self-educated. So will it be in the future; but it is far from visionary to believe that university extension will open paths whereby the solitary student need no longer employ an expensive tutor nor waste his time, groping in the labyrinth paths of knowledge, without a thread, at least, to direct his wanderings to pleasanter fields of light and learning.

While this system of study is popular, and has all the glitter of novelty, many insincere persons will enroll their names. Some will seek only entertainment, and will be satisfied with the popular lecture alone. Others, through timidity and lack of self-confidence, may attend the class but will not attempt the paper work or the examination.458 But in every community are scores of earnest, hungry students anxious to learn but knowing not how to get the knowledge that they crave,—mature students settled in homes and in business,—to such university extension offers chances for improvement and refreshing labor that were never known before. Then it is no longer imperative to reside in the vicinity of the university, or to forever remain ignorant of university learning, for wherever a score or more of students may congregate, there can be brought from college halls a master workman to direct the work.

It is easy, then, to realize the scope of the American society. It can stretch its influence into every corner of the country; it can enter every town and city; it can enter even the isolated home. Ordinarily colleges and universities of the country are anxious to work with the National Society, for in this way even the small college becomes a link in this great chain of organization, and the efforts of its faculty may bear fruit, whereas unsystematized work is little better than a failure. By such co-operation the work of extension teaching may have come to have such a positive educational value that its certificates, when awarded by the members of a college faculty, may, in that institution, at least, pass current for a definite amount of the work required for a degree. At Cambridge, England, students from centres that are in affiliation with that institution can thus save one year's residence at the university. Is it, then, visionary to expect as much here?

University extension, however, offers no royal road to learning; it is as yet, as it were, laying the ties for a broad gauge track where only those that have the strength to work their passage may travel. But when operated by the American Society, it is far in advance of the overland or Panama routes of the forty-niners in extension travel. This society seems to have solved the problem, and promises to become the great American University that Washington proposed, Jefferson planned, and scores have, since the founding of our government, prophesied and awaited.




In reading the encyclical letter of Pope Leo XIII. on the condition of labor, one is chiefly struck by his earnest desire for the welfare of all mankind, his clear recognition of the existence of a grave social problem, and the singular want of logic which he exhibits in his attempt to solve it. His views on this subject certainly deserve careful and thoughtful analysis on account of the influence which they are bound to exert in the world, owing to his peculiar position as head of the largest of the Christian churches. They should be read without bias, each argument being given its due weight irrespective of any conclusions but those of common sense and right reason. Unfortunately there is much division of opinion as to the value of the document. Those Catholics who are superstitious give to these opinions of the Pope the force of a revelation from God. And on the other hand there are many so-called liberals who regard these utterances as the words of a crafty old man, ambitious of acquiring wealth, power, and fame in the world for himself and for the hierarchy of his Church. Putting aside all prejudice of either kind, let us examine what Pope Leo says in the light of reason, having faith enough to believe that the interests of true religion cannot suffer in the slightest degree from such an examination.

In his opening sentences the Pope speaks in a tone of regret of the "spirit of revolutionary change" predominant in the nations, and seems to connect it with "a general moral deterioration." He does not appear to have considered that the change may be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, and that the "general moral deterioration" is quite as much due to the efforts of reactionary politicians and churchmen who aim to retain for the classes all the constantly increasing wealth-producing power of the world, keeping the masses down to the same bare level of subsistence 460as formerly, while their capacity for enjoyment has been vastly enlarged through the increased general average of civilization and refinement. This naturally produces on the one side the piled-up accumulations of individuals garnered by the few, an inordinate display of wealth and luxury, and the vices of intemperance and immorality; while on the other, maddened and starving crowds are likely to resort to violence, and the poorer population to indulge whenever they get a chance in the same pleasures as the rich. But with all these disadvantages in the modern economic situation it may fairly be questioned whether the general moral deterioration is as great as in the good old times, the "ages of faith," when the Inquisition flourished along with the Borgias, the droit du seigneur was a recognized custom, and bribery and violence were everywhere prevalent.

"Public institutions and the laws," says Pope Leo, "have repudiated the ancient religion." But is not this repudiation in large part due to the refusal of the ministers of the ancient religion to accommodate themselves to new conditions in the world's history, so that with the growth of modern civilization the world has moved more rapidly than the Church, and the latter has become dissociated from the masses, chiefly owing to the ignorance and intense conservatism of her rulers and their entirely unnecessary distrust of the discoveries of science? Pope Leo admits that this is "an age of greater instruction, of different customs, and of more numerous requirements in daily life," but he cannot divest himself of the trammels of ecclesiasticism which seem to mould his thoughts and lead him to consider it "essential in these times of covetous greed to keep the multitude within the line of duty." With him it is "the multitude" who seem possessed of an insane desire to break out of the line of duty. His theory is like that of the man who accounted for the overcrowding in large cities on the ground that the poor and unfortunate had a strange and uncontrollable propensity for swarming in tenement-houses. He does not give sufficient force to the influence of conditions upon human acts, and apparently is chiefly anxious that "strife should cease," forgetting that until justice be done the worst thing that could happen would be the cessation of strife.

The flattering surroundings and aristocratic training of Pope Leo cannot, however, dull the generous sympathies of 461his heart, or blind his clear vision of "the misery and wretchedness which press so heavily at this moment on the large majority of the very poor." He says: "The condition of the working population is the question of the hour." This will be a rude awakening to those conservative Catholic churchmen who have in recent years been insisting that things as they are were altogether lovely, and that the talk about the misery of the poor was only the exaggeration of a few cunning agitators who wanted to excite the people so that in a general upheaval these agitators themselves might personally profit. Pope Leo's voice of sympathy is heard declaring that there is a social problem, and that "it is shameful and inhuman to treat men like chattels to make money by or to look upon them merely as so much muscle or physical power."

Charity, as Pope Leo frequently understands it, would indeed effect a wonderful amelioration in the world. But it is that charity "which is always ready to sacrifice itself for others' sake" and the chief characteristic of which is the love of justice. It has been degraded in these later years into the sense of alms-giving, so that the Christian pulpits of every denomination have too often thus been preaching charity while ignoring justice.

Is it any wonder the world rebelled? The victories of the Church were won when she possessed the sublime strength of weakness, and when her martyrs and saints in language only matched by that of the radicals of to-day were proclaiming the essential liberty, fraternity, and equality of all men, and denouncing the iniquities of imperial Rome. But when she took the fatuous step, and placed on her own brow the crown of the Cæsars, then she too became conservative, then the words of her popes began to be regulated by policy, then charity became alms-giving, and piety degenerated into ecclesiasticism. Authority was strained until it snapped, and a suffering world revolted from the outrageous assumptions of ecclesiastical power. A return to Christianity is, indeed, needed, but the Church will have quite as much of a journey to go as the world, so far as her methods are concerned.

With regard to the position of the family in the state, Pope Leo is the advocate of freedom as against the interference of public authority in domestic affairs. He admits, however, that the state should interfere in cases of family disturbance462 "to force each party to give the other what is due," herein differing from the philosophical anarchists. He discerns clearly that the interests of labor and of capital are not antagonistic, but what he does not see is that the interests of labor and capital may both be antagonistic to the interests of monopoly, and that until the latter is destroyed the two former will be continually forced into positions of seeming antagonism. He denounces "rapacious usury," and says that it was "more than once condemned by the Church," conveniently overlooking the fact that the usuria, which was condemned, was not only "rapacious" but was all taking of money for the use of money, all interest on loans—a condemnation which, if insisted upon by the Church to-day, would soon empty her sanctuaries. He refers to the "greed of unrestrained competition" but does not grasp the idea that under conditions of justice unrestrained competition would be an advantage, constantly leading men to emulate each other, and becoming a sure guarantee of progress. It is the competition of those who have nothing but their labor, or their brains, or their capital to sell with the owners of vast monopolies who exact from production an ever-increasing toll that needs to be restrained, and this not by abolishing "the custom of working by contract," or by state interference and legislative tinkering, to which the Pope leans in spite of his protests against socialism, but by the abolition of the monopolies or their absorption into the functions of the state.

The Pope is almost a Spencerian in his bias towards individualism, but he forgets that individualism can never be maintained in practice except through the assumption by the state of those monopolies which, if left in private hands, would benefit the few at the expense of the many. True individualism requires equality of opportunity. The instant the idea of monopoly enters, equality of opportunity becomes impossible, and individualism is destroyed. It is through want of seeing this fact that the Pope, in common with most political economists, goes floundering round in a sea of contradictions, now proclaiming principles almost like those of the anarchists, and again favoring extreme socialism, while all the time imagining himself an individualist. Their theories remind one of the labored attempts to explain the solar system by the old Ptolemaic method of epicycles and deferents, when the one simple law of centripetal and centrifugal 463force was enough to account for all the majestic movements of the universe. What other outcome can there be of this want of a regulator in economics—like a governor in machinery—than an endeavor to patch up the machine of humanity, adding a little here, taking off a little there, doing the best that occasion seems to allow, and all the while impressed with a profound and sad conviction that the machine is in a bad way, and certain to smash up, whatever is done? Consequently we have just such weak documents as this encyclical letter, emanating now from an eminent agnostic scientist, now from a millionnaire "philanthropist" and now from the Pope—all conflicting with each other, the first denying that man has any more rights than a rattlesnake, the second lauding a "triumphant democracy" which has not the courage to attack the monopolies through which he has acquired his millions, the third writing a long paper full of pious platitudes and injunctions to the rich to give to the poor, and to the poor to be contented, and then everything will be lovely.

The main portion of the encyclical letter is directed against "socialism," and the Pope's arguments are effective as against what he evidently means by socialism. They are sadly weakened, however, by his want of a logical conception of what constitutes private property. He shows in more than one place that he believes private property to be only the result of human labor, but when he comes to apply his ideas, he admits of its extension to land and other monopolies, without realizing that because such monopolies are not the creation of human labor they cannot therefore be rightfully considered as private property. He is like the man who would divide the human race into men, women, and poets, or in enumerating the New England States would include Boston after having mentioned Massachusetts. His arguments are still further weakened by his evident leaning towards compulsory Sunday rest, and an eight-hour day, trades-unionism, and regulation by church societies, all of which savor of the very socialism which he is combatting.

He argues well, however, against the theory which proposes that the state should administer individual property as common property for the benefit of all. This would be more correctly termed state socialism or, in its extreme form, communism. But the Pope fails to recognize that there is 464such a thing as public property, created by the mere presence of large communities, and which those communities have a perfect right to administer. While endeavoring to uphold the rights of private property, he impugns what Father William Barry called in a recent review article, "The Rights of Public Property." His Holiness' ignorance on this point can be best shown by a quotation:—

"If one man hires out to another his strength or his industry, he does this for the purpose of receiving in return what is necessary for food and living; he thereby expressly proposes to acquire a full and real right, not only to the remuneration, but also to the disposal of that remuneration as he pleases. Thus, if he lives sparingly, saves money, and invests his savings, for greater security, in land, the land in such a case is only his wages in another form; and, consequently, a workingman's little estate thus purchased should be as completely at his own disposal as the wages he receives for his labor."

It would be interesting to know what the Pope would say if the workingman invested his savings in a slave, and whether the Holy Father would consider the slave only the workingman's "wages in another form." Pope Leo certainly never could have intended to state that the mere purchase of a thing was sufficient to convey ownership. Yet that is just what the last sentence quoted amounts to. The justice of the ownership depends entirely upon whether the thing purchased be rightfully capable of ownership, in the first place, and whether it be obtained from the rightful owner, in the second.

"As effects follow their cause," Pope Leo says a little further on, "so it is just and right that the results of labor should belong to him who has labored."

There he strikes the key-note of the right of property upheld alike by the best churchmen and economists in all ages. That is the natural law of labor. It is opposed to the theory of State socialism, and to what many in this country understand by nationalism. If the Pope had adhered to that proposition, he would have been saved from his illogical position. It is undoubtedly true that a man is entitled to that of which he is the producing cause. And in some branches of labor which are more intimately associated with the earth than others, such as agricultural operations, it 465is true that the results of labor, and the improvements made upon land, become physically inseparable from the land itself, so that he who would own what his labor has produced must also have security of tenure, and exclusive possession of "that portion of nature's field which he cultivates."

It is for want of distinguishing carefully between possession and ownership that the Pope falls into his ludicrous economic blunders. This part of his encyclical is absolutely self-contradictory. He is arguing for the securing to the laborer of the fruits of his labor. The workman on land must have ownership of those things he has produced, and hence must have exclusive possession of that part of the earth which he tills. He must have such disposal of it as will enable him by the exertion of his labor to secure a proportionate reward. But this is not ownership. Ownership carries with it something more than this. Once "divide the earth among private owners," as the Pope puts it, and you have this condition of things: that those who do not happen to be among the private owners must compete for the privilege of living on the earth, they must pay a part of the results of their labor for permission to work, and on the other hand the fortunate owners receive something for which they themselves render no labor. It is strange that the Pope did not see the absurdities of his own propositions. He says:—

"Moreover the earth, though divided among private owners, ceases not thereby to minister to the needs of all; for there is no one who does not live on what the land brings forth. Those who do not possess the soil contribute their labor; so that it may be truly said that all human subsistence is derived either from labor on one's own land, or from some laborious industry which is paid for either in the produce of the land itself or in that which is exchanged for what the land brings forth."

Pope Leo is mistaken. All human subsistence is not derived either from labor on one's own land or from some laborious industry. Some human subsistence, as the Pope says, is derived from labor on one's own land. Some human subsistence is derived from laborious industry on the land of others. And—what the Pope seems to ignore—some human subsistence is derived by owning land and letting others work upon it, taking from them part of the fruits of their labor in exchange for the mere permission to labor.466 By no construction can such ownership be classed as a "laborious industry." Yet such owners generally enjoy the very best of "human subsistence."

Nevertheless, a few sentences further on, the Pope naïvely asks: "Is it just that the fruit of a man's sweat and labor should be enjoyed by another?" Had the Pope pondered over that question more profoundly, he might have come to far different conclusions from those which he seems to have reached.

It is unfortunate that the Pope through a desire to uphold the just rights of property should have been led to maintain the privileges of monopoly, and still more unfortunate that so many Catholics will consider his blunder an article of faith and feel it binding upon their consciences to oppose all further efforts to impair private ownership of land by taxation—the only way in which individual possession can be reconciled with the common right of all mankind to the earth.

In one place the Pope seems to doubt the extent to which the principle of private ownership is applicable to land, for he says: "The limits of private possession have been left to be fixed by man's own industry and the laws of individual peoples." But if the laws should tax the monopoly value out of land, then the holder of land would not be able to get any profit out of it except by his own labor. It would be no longer such ownership as exists to-day which allows private owners to confiscate the results of other's labor. The Pope here abandons the unqualified ownership which he elsewhere maintains. It might well be asked if he is prepared to excommunicate the legislators and assessors who, in nearly every civilized country to-day, do tax land, and thus to a certain extent impair ownership. And if the same principle were extended so that the tax would equal the entire rental value there would be no chance for the land monopolist to exploit the earnings of labor. Man's means should not be "drained and exhausted by excessive taxation," as the Pope seems to fear, showing that he has a vague idea of the method by which it is proposed to destroy ownership. But as the rental value to-day is already paid by labor, the proposed plan could not drain or exhaust labor any more than at present, while such a tax falling upon lands held for speculation would cause their abandonment, and thus open new 467fields for labor. Workingmen would then be really "encouraged to look forward to obtaining a share in the land," and that prosperity which the Pope hopes for would result. He seems to be ignorant of the fact that taxing land, unlike a tax upon any product of labor, makes it cheaper and easier to obtain for possession and use.

More than all does he forget that what labor needs is not the protecting arm of Church or State, but equal opportunity and the fullest possible freedom of access to Nature's bounties. He is untrue to himself and talks like the veriest socialist when he says: "Among the purposes of a society should be to try to arrange for a "continuous supply of work at all times and seasons." Bountiful nature in the great storehouse of the earth has provided a "continuous supply of work" for the whole human race for all future ages. Make monopoly, by taxation, loosen her grip upon the earth, and labor would have abundant opportunity for all time to come without the necessity for paternal, socialistic tinkering on the part of either State or Church.




There is a possibility that the plan for the establishment of postal savings banks, so ably advocated by the postmaster-general, may result in a radical change in our entire banking system. The demand for postal savings-banks is so popular that it is not likely that there will be much further delay on the part of Congress in realizing the project. Now it happens that among the new political issues that have arisen, the question of the currency has assumed a most prominent place. There can be no doubt of the intensity of the feeling that has developed against the national banks, which have supplied a large proportion of the circulating medium since the war, and the demand for a currency issued directly by the government, without the intervention of the banks, is growing both in volume and in force.

The sense of the inadequacy of the national banks to the financial necessities of the country is by no means confined to those who, by theory or experience, have been made hostile to them, and regard them as detrimental to our institutions, and as dangerous instruments for the oppression of the common people. It extends to those who recognize that the national banks have been of invaluable service to the country, and are a vast improvement over the banking system that preceded them. Nevertheless they feel that grave defects are showing themselves, and that for the security of the community something better is needed. There is not the confidence on the part of the business community that there should be, and events like the recent occurrences in connection with the Keystone National Bank, in Philadelphia, are not likely to enhance that confidence. One of the most frequent of surmises is as to how many similar cases there may be, and a very commonly heard query is that as to the state of affairs that a general financial 469panic might reveal, with the banks loaded with collateral upon which it would be hardly possible to realize at such a time.

Then there is the moral aspect of the case, so well expressed in an essay[22] by one of the soundest philosophical and political thinkers whom America has known, the late David Atwood Wasson. Said he: "At present the government permits itself to become indirectly,—or, if we speak of the State governments, worse, sometimes, than indirectly,—confederate with those who amass fortunes by making credit precarious, and forcing the hazards of the gaming-table into all the legitimate operations of business. The comptroller of the currency has publicly said that about one half, on an average, of the means of the national banks, in one chief city—institutions, observe, created by government, and charged, in effect, with one of its most distinctive functions, that of supplying a medium of exchange—are loaned to speculators; that is, to men who subsist largely on artificial disturbances of credit, upon corners in the stock market and money market, upon alternations of inflation and stringency, the ups and downs of a disordered constitution. Without going into the matter closely, which is aside from my present purpose, I leave before the reader the main facts of the case: that the system of credit centred in the modern banking system plays a vast and increasing role in our civilization; that while of a utility not easily overstated, it affords peculiar opportunities of fraud and exaction; that aside from these, its unregulated condition is dangerous, resulting in alternations of inflation and depression, like the alternate extremes of fever and ague; that vast and growing combinations exist for producing artificially this disorder; that those institutions which credit has created under the express sanction of government, at once to supply its necessities and hold it healthily in check, are managed only as private property; that much oppression, alike of labor and capital, and also, I fear, much demoralization—which is an interior and worse oppression—are suffered in consequence; and that hitherto our statesmanship wants the studious leisure, and our method of government the stability and precision of operation, which these exigencies demand."


A truer statement of the case never was made, and these words should be well pondered by patriotic citizens.

Probably the reason why the feeling against our present banking system has not yet taken shape in legislation is because no sound constructive measures have been proposed. Faulty as the system is, what is there better that can take its place? is asked, and to this no satisfactory reply has been given. Even though the notes of the national banks should be retired, and currency issued directly from the national treasury should take their place, we must have banking facilities of some kind.

Absolute security of bank deposits is what is desired, and any measure that would secure that end could hardly fail to be joyfully welcomed by the business community, with the exception of the small minority either selfishly interested in present banking corporations, or whose prosperity is derived from operations based upon a state of insecurity. Powerful as these interests are, there is no reason why they should be permitted to stand in the way of the realization of a better condition of affairs, should that prove attainable.

The leading merit of the national banking system comes from the absolute security of its circulating medium, proceeding from the governmental guarantee. Meanwhile the interests of the depositors, in supplying whose convenience the bank derives its business, remain inadequately guarded. Is not some system possible whereby in place of this partial guarantee we may have a complete guarantee, covering both circulating medium and deposit?

Fortunately, with the experiences of other countries furnishing examples so available as they do nowadays, we are not left entirely to our own resources in devising solutions for problems that confront us. We have but to look to Austria for a most successful example of a truly national banking system, that completely meets the demand. When Austria established its postal savings bank, in 1882, a regular check and clearing system was made a feature thereof. This, offering substantially the same convenience as our ordinary private or national banks in this country, together with the additional advantages of absolute security of deposits, and checks good in all parts of the country, has become enormously popular with the mercantile public, so 471that the regular banking department has quite overshadowed the savings department, important as the latter is.

Every post-office in Austria, therefore, has the function of both a savings-bank and a bank of deposit. A permanent deposit of one hundred florins, or forty dollars, is sufficient to make a person a member of the check and clearing department. No limit is placed on the amount that may be deposited, but a single check cannot be drawn for more than ten thousand florins [four thousand dollars]. Interest is paid on deposits at a rate not exceeding two per cent., while the interest on savings may not exceed three per cent. A charge of two kreutzers [eight mills] is made for each entry, together with a commission of one fourth per mille. Another function of the postal bank is the buying and selling of government securities, for which a commission of two per mille is charged, with a commission of one per mille for the cashing of coupons.

It is interesting to learn that two years before the adoption of this system by Austria, a very similar plan was advocated by an able American student of finance, the Hon. L. V. Moulton, of Grand Rapids, Michigan. In his book, "The Science of Money and American Finances," published in 1880, he said: "The government ought to provide a deposit system of absolute safety to depositors for all who choose to avail themselves of it. A system of postal savings-banks somewhat similar to the British should be adopted. The government receiving a deposit, and allowing the depositor to check out at the same or any other office, paying no interest and doing no loaning, receiving the use of the funds while on deposit, as compensation for storage and transportation of funds. No actual transportation would, of course, be required, except to settle balances between offices. This would be the safest possible deposit and most convenient exchange system, and is quite as proper for the government to undertake as the postal or money-order business. As it is, the government coins money and transfers money, but will not take it on storage, which is absurd, and forces the people to deposit with loan and discount concerns, liable to explode at any time and leave them penniless."

Although interest on deposits is paid in Austria, there appears to be no good reason why it should be paid were the system adopted in this country. There is no need of it as an 472inducement, for the absolute security and the greatly increased convenience of the system would be sufficient for that. The present national banks pay no interest on deposits, the facilities afforded being adequate to secure all the deposits needed.

It appears desirable, however, to pay interest on deposits of savings. In the bill prepared by Postmaster-General Wanamaker, it is provided that this shall not exceed 2.4 per cent. This low rate is fixed upon in order that the interest may be considerably less than the average paid by private bankers to depositors. The great obstacle to the establishment of postal savings-banks in this country has been the lack of available means for the investment of the funds, the rapidly decreasing national debt making government bonds out of the question for the purpose. Mr. Wanamaker proposes to overcome this obstacle by loaning the funds to national banks within the State where the deposits are made. The objection to this course lies in the objection to the national banks themselves, as heretofore stated. To give them disposition over such a vast amount—it is estimated that the deposits in the postal savings-banks would soon reach $500,000,000—would be to increase vastly their power for harm.

Mr. Wanamaker's alternative proposition, to utilize the funds in the direction of greater and much needed expenditures for public buildings, particularly post-office structures, is, on the other hand, a sound one. They might also be employed to advantage in providing the means for the much needed extension of the postal service now so widely demanded, as in the adoption of a parcels post equal to that of Germany, England, and other countries, and in nationalizing the telegraph and telephone and incorporating them into the postal department.

The deposits in the proposed check and clearing department would place an enormous amount at the disposal of the government, in addition to the postal savings-bank funds. Paying no interest on these deposits, the government might utilize the money in its own expenditures, and thus to a considerable extent reduce taxation. Or, just as the ordinary banks loan their deposits, the government might loan this money for mortgages on land and on staple products, somewhat as demanded in recent agitations.


A person so eminent in the discussion of these questions as Mr. Edward Atkinson has recently stated, in substance, that, increase the volume of the currency as we may, still it would not be adequate to certain exigencies of regular recurrence, like the annual moving of the crops. He thus practically concedes the justice of the farmers' demand, as formulated in their "sub-treasury project," but he would supply this want through private banking institutions organized expressly to loan money for this purpose.

Such institutions would, however, naturally take advantage of the necessities of the farmers by obtaining the highest rates of interest possible, while the underlying purpose of the other plan would be that of making the loans at the lowest rates consistent with the expense of the transactions. Is it not better, it may be asked, and more in accordance with the principles of true self-help, for the people thus to supply their own financial needs in the cheapest way possible through the instrumentality of their governmental organization, rather than depend upon "private enterprise" organized to take advantage of their necessities for its own profit?

At first glance there might seem to be an objection in the fact that, while the government was lending money at two per cent. it was paying on savings deposits interest possibly as high as 2.4 per cent., which would appear to be an unbusiness-like and unprofitable proceeding. But on striking an average between the sums on which it was paying that rate and the large amounts on which it was paying no interest, but receiving two per cent., it would probably be found that it was getting the whole at a rate considerable less than two per cent.

A more valid objection to the lending of money by the government at a fixed low rate of interest, instead of at whatever rates it might obtain according to the state of the money market, as private banking institutions would do, might be found in the liability that the parties to whom it was loaned might reloan it at higher rates, and thus use the good offices of the government as a means of personal profit. The measure could hardly fail, however, to lower very greatly the general rate of interest in the business world. It would be important, of course, to keep this large sum in circulation, and thus avoid the evils arising 474from hoarding. Its utilization for the regular expenditures of the government would be likely to do this, and the consequent reduction of taxation would be a great public advantage. Although the idea of loaning money at fixed low rates upon certain securities, such as land and staple products, might prove impracticable from various considerations—such, for instance, as the injustice of discriminating in favor of any particular classes in the community, as such a scheme would appear to do—there should be no difficulty in devising some practicable system for using to the advantage of the entire public the extensive funds which thus would be placed at the disposal of the government.

The postal banks would doubtless very largely take the place of present institutions of deposit. To what extent this would be the case, it is, of course, impossible to say. For all ordinary purposes, and for the needs of the average business man, their advantages could not fail to be great. Their effect would probably be to withdraw from the market large sums now available for speculative purposes, and divert them to legitimate uses. The speculative tendency would, therefore, be likely to be discouraged by so much. Necessary limitations might make the postal banks unavailable for those whose financial transactions are conducted on a great scale, and their wants would continue to be met by private institutions, which would offer special inducements to large depositors, just as the trust companies now offer special inducements over the present national banks by paying interest on deposits.




I suppose I should never have felt toward Cardinal John Henry Newman as I do, had I not been once in a certain state of mind. It was my lot, as a divinity student, to feel under the necessity of examining into the grounds of my religious belief. I could not accept what my teachers gave me, simply because it was taught, much as I revered some of them. I had to test, examine, and conclude for myself. I evidently felt the difficulties of belief, as most of my fellow-students did not. At New Haven the main outlines of evangelical orthodoxy, at Cambridge the fundamental ideas of theism, were accepted, as a rule, without serious question. I envied my fellows their assurance; I, too, craved assurance, but I had to get it in my own way, and I was plunged into investigations, and beset by doubts that did not seem to occupy or perplex them. The question was, where could I find a point to start from; not what was the whole truth, but what was the truth I could be immediately sure of,—what was light that I could not question (or, at least, reasonably question)? For, once in possession of that, other things might naturally and logically follow. It seemed to me, that if there was any sure ground for the Christian believer, it was to be found in Christ himself; that if ever a voice from another world had spoken to this, it had been through him. The fundamental problem was, Was his consciousness to be trusted? It was after three years of examination into the origin and trustworthiness of the gospel records, of effort to form a faithful picture of Jesus' mind, of weighing of probabilities as to whether he could have been mistaken, and a decision that he could not have been, and that he was, under God, my appointed Lord, and Saviour, and Judge, as he was that of all men,—it was at this time that I fell in with the writings of Newman, and that he began to exercise a charm over me, 476which, amid all my subsequent changes of thought, I have never been willing to disown.

I felt in the first place that he had a profound sense of the difficulties of faith. There was no evidence that certain questions had ever been open questions to him (such as the being of God and the reality of a revelation), but he seemed to be as keenly aware of the difficulties attending them as if they had been. He believed and yet he knew the other side. Few are the apologists who have dared to say what he has said; few are the unbelievers who could state their case more strongly than he has stated it for them. It was this width of imagination that, for one thing, separated him from the ordinary theologian. One of his precepts to a zealous follower was, "Be sure you grasp fully any view which you seek to combat." Let me illustrate. Newman admitted in so many words that it was a great question whether atheism was not as philosophically consistent with the phenomena of the physical world as the doctrine of a creative and governing power. He allowed Hume's argument against miracles to be valid from a purely scientific aspect of things, and doubted the conclusiveness of the design argument (though not the argument from order) for the being of God. He knew to the full how hard it was to hold one's faith in God in face of all that seems amiss and awry, purposeless, blind, and cruel in the world. He held this faith, he believed there were reasons for it (chiefly in man's conscience), it was the starting-point of his religious system, and yet when he looked out of himself into the world of men, the lie seemed to be given to it and the effect was as confusing, he said, as if it were denied that he was in existence himself. "If I looked into a mirror [these are his words] and did not see my face, I should have the sort of feeling which actually comes upon me when I look into this living, busy world and see no reflex of its Creator.... Were it not for the voice speaking so clearly in my conscience and my heart, I should be an Atheist, or a Pantheist, or a Polytheist.... To consider the world in its length and breadth, its various history, the many races of men, their starts, their fortunes, their mutual alienation, their conflicts; and then their ways, habits, governments, forms of worship, their enterprises, their aimless courses, their random achievements and acquirements, the impotent conclusion of long-standing facts, the tokens so faint and broken 477of a superintending design, the blind evolution of what turn out to be great powers or truths; the progress of things, as if from unreasoning elements, not towards final causes; the greatness and littleness of man, his far-reaching aims, his short duration, the curtain hung over his futurity; the disappointments of life, the defeat of good, the success of evil, the pervading idolatries, the corruptions, the dreary, hopeless irreligion, that condition of the whole race so fearfully yet exactly described in the apostle's words, 'Having no hope and without God in this world'; all this is a vision to dizzy and appall, and inflicts upon the mind a sense of profound mystery which is absolutely beyond human solution." To have one's doubts, one's misgivings, one's own blank confusion portrayed with such appreciation and in such vivid detail by another—how could it fail to powerfully affect me? Surely, I said to myself, whether this man's faith was true or not, he did not hold it because the tremendous obstacles in the way of it had not been brought home to him. Similarly he appreciated the difficulties in connection with revelation itself, as when he said that God "has given us doctrines which are but obscurely gathered from scripture, and a scripture which is but obscurely gathered from history," as when he admitted the real obstacles in the way of the Jews admitting that Jesus was their Messiah.

But I will not linger over this point, and pass on to say that Newman impressed me as one of those few men, in any age, who have an intellectual life of their own. His was no hereditary belief; he had faced the problems of religion for himself. What looks like faith in many cases, he himself said, was a mere hereditary persuasion, not a personal principle, a habit learned in the nursery, which is scattered and disappears like a mist before the light of reason. His own admiration went out evidently to the "bold unworldliness and vigorous independence of mind" shown by one of his early teachers, Thos. Scott; to the type of mind illustrated by an Oxford associate, who had an intellect, he says, "as critical and logical as it was speculative and bold." Whately, he records, had taught him to see with his own eyes and to walk with his own feet; he thought of dedicating his first book to him, in words to the effect that he had not only taught him to think, but to think for himself. It was a first hand dealing with almost all the problems he took up, that478 I had the sense of in reading Newman's pages, however far ahead he was of me in the line of (what seemed then) religious advance.

And because he had thought, he had moved, he had had a history. He started with certain truths (as he supposed them to be), but instead of accepting them mechanically, he thought them out; he studied to see what they implied, what other truths were consistent with them and what were not; in other words, he gradually worked his way out to something like a system, and therein consisted his history. The ordinary idea of Newman (leaving the past tense for the moment) seems to be that he sacrificed his intellect, that out of weariness he threw himself into the Catholic fold. Such may be a true account of some conversions, but it is a pitiable travesty of the facts in the case of Newman. Newman went into the Church because it seemed rational to him to do so; and it is still the great question, whether once assuming certain fundamental ideas held by Protestant and Catholic alike, any other course is rational. The "trouble" with Newman, as with his brother Francis (in some ways also a remarkable man), was simply that, as the London Truth banteringly said, neither was able to swallow the Athanasian creed in a comfortable and prosaic way, as good Britons should; or, as the Saturday Review in all seriousness urged, that he did not hold as his supreme principle pride in the Church of England as such, determination to stand shoulder to shoulder with others "in resisting the foreigner, whether he came from Rome or from Geneva, from Tübingen or from Saint Sulpice"; in other words, that he opened the windows of his mind, instead of keeping them shut; that he set out on living a life of reason instead of one of prejudice; that he determined to seek out and follow the truth on whatever shores that quest should land him.

"Most men in this country," Newman once wrote, "like opinions to be brought to them, rather than to be at the pains to go out and seek for them." But Newman himself was cast in another mould; rationality, consistency, were an imperative craving with him; and feeling that the popular religious creed lacked these things, he went in search of them and started, as it were, on a journey. A memorandum, written down at the age of twenty-eight, speaks of himself as "now in my room in Orell College, slowly advancing, etc., and led 479on by God's hand blindly, not knowing whither He is taking me." His touching verses, beginning "Lead, kindly Light," betray the same feeling. Gloom did encircle him, but in the midst of it there was a light, which he strove and craved to follow. Though mystical, in a certain sense, by temperament, he resolved, he tells us, to be guided, not by his imagination, but by his reason. He had once a strange emotional experience, but when it was over he wished that it should not unduly influence him. "I had to determine its logical value," he says, "and its bearing on my duty." "What are we doing all through life, both as a necessity and as a duty," he wrote many years afterwards, "but unlearning the world's poetry and attaining to its prose? This is our education as boys and as men, in the action of life and in the closet or library; in our affections, in our aims, in our hopes, and in our memories. And in like manner it is the education of our intellect." This is little more than saying that the supreme rule of life is reason, that it is our life-task to bring all the varied motions of our minds into harmony with this ideal. The fact is that he became ultimately persuaded that the Catholic creed was that rational and consistent creed of which he was in search—rational and consistent that is, in the sense of being in harmony with, and an outgrowth of, those fundamental ideas of a God and of a revelation with which he started; and in addressing others after he became a Catholic, he said, "Be convinced in your reason that the Catholic Church is a teacher sent to you from God, and it is enough. I do not wish you to join her till you are."

Yet while he was in search of the truth, while he was on the journey, he excited no little suspicion and distrust. The very thing that lends him charm to those who love to see intellectual movement and development allowed apostles of prejudice and good, but narrow-minded, men to think of him as insidious, leading his disciples on to conclusions to which he designed to bring them, while his purpose was veiled. But, says Froude, who tells us this, and was himself at Oxford in those early days, he was on the contrary "the most transparent of men. He told us what he believed to be true. He did not know where it would carry him. No one who has ever risen to any great height in the world refuses to move till he knows whither he is going." Such are the words of one who, though he felt the spell of Newman, soon 480struck on a different intellectual path. Matthew Arnold, too, experienced the spell. "Who could resist," he says in a lecture on Emerson, "the charm of that spiritual apparition, gliding in the dim afternoon light through the aisles of St. Mary's, rising into the pulpit, and then in the most entrancing of voices, breaking the silence with words and thoughts which were a religious music—subtile, sweet, mournful." To Arnold, he was a man "never to be named by a son of Oxford without sympathy;" and this, though Arnold, too, regarded his solution for the doubts and difficulties which beset men's minds to-day as impossible. Once Charles Kingsley brought against him a charge of intellectual dishonesty and falsity; but, as Mr. Conway remarks, Kingsley's sword broke in his hands and on all sides the demolition which he received in Newman's reply (the Apologia pro Vita Sua) has been regarded as complete. Even the Saturday Review says, "His conversion was transparently honest; no one, save the most contemptible of party scribes, can ever hint a doubt of that." "He deliberately shut his eyes," an "intellectual suicide," "his sympathies and sensibilities were always his ultimate test of right thought and action." Such are the comments of a recent reviewer; but on the morning of the day in which Newman was received into the Catholic Church, he wrote to a friend, "May I have only one tenth part as much faith as I have intellectual conviction where the truth lies! I do not suppose any one can have had such combined reasons pouring in upon him that he is doing right."

But how can Newman have had reasons for his course? we may incredulously ask. And here I revert to my particular state of mind years ago. The question for me was, holding as I did that in Jesus, God had spoken to the world, and that under God he was the Lord, and Saviour, and Judge of men, could I remain standing in such a position? It was a starting-point, but did it not lead somewhere? Holding so much, despite the difficulties, was it not possible that consistently therewith, I must hold more, despite further difficulties? Looking about me among Unitarians, with whom I was then associated, I felt that even this faith had scant acceptance among them. For example, taking a country church for a year, I found that not in a decade or more had there been any additions to the church membership, or even efforts in that 481direction; the church was, practically, simply an assemblage of pew-holders. My own efforts to induce persons to confess Jesus as their Lord, to take his name, to become his avowed follower before the world (i. e. to join his church), were something novel; yet a church, an assembly of followers, was essential to my idea of Christianity,—Jesus having said, "Whoever will confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father who is in heaven," and a king without a kingdom (or right to a kingdom) being in itself absurd. I could not help the foreboding that Unitarianism was not a finality or more than a camp for a night; nay, the question was whether Unitarianism was not doing more to dissipate Christianity, than to build it up in any historical sense of the term.

Moreover, Protestant orthodoxy did not have any firm hold on some fundamental parts and evident implications of the faith I already held, and was struggling to keep. The idea of the Church itself was weak in most Protestant mind; they "spiritualized" it, as they said; but when Jesus spoke of confessing him before men, he evidently laid the foundations of a visible Church. Again, Jesus felt that he spoke with Divine authority, and as he was commissioned, so he commissioned others to stand for him before the world, and to speak in his name. He left them to be his witnesses, to continue his message and his work after he should be gone. He had the power to forgive sins, for example, and he conveyed it to others, solemnly saying that whatever was bound or loosed on earth, should be bound or loosed in heaven. Was it exactly natural, I asked myself, that divine light and guidance and forgiveness should be thus present, as it were, on earth for a few years, and then become entirely a matter of history and antiquarian research? If there was reason for Jesus' commissioning the apostles, was there not equal reason for the apostles commissioning others who should take their places? Protestants said the revelation was in a book; but Jesus never spoke of a book. If something else was authoritative in the apostolic days, what absurdity was there in supposing that something else might be authoritative in later days? And yet, no Protestant church or synod or council ever claimed to be such a living witness of God on the earth. The most zealous Protestants were careful to say that they gave only their human, fallible interpretations of 482the distant revelation; that it was even blasphemous for a man to claim to forgive sins; that the Bible, and the Bible only, was their religion. And yet, the Bible, it was severally claimed, gave the basis to the Presbyterian creed, to the Methodist creed, to, one might say, a hundred creeds, even including the slender one of Unitarians. How certain words of Newman came home to me in the midst of such reflections! "There is an overpowering antecedent improbability in Almighty God's announcing that He has revealed something, and then revealing nothing; there is no antecedent improbability in His revealing it elsewhere than in an inspired volume." I do not mean to say that I was converted by Newman; but I was open to light on that side. I did not shut my mind, as most Protestants seemed to, and I dimly felt, I had a sort of foreboding that, if what I already held was true, reason might be on his side. And it was reason—the demand for a set of views that should be harmonious and consistent—that made me dissatisfied; and so I could give credit to the idea that Newman in his changes, and in his final act, was influenced by reason.

To Newman, the main difficulty of all lay in the being of God. If there was a God, it seemed rational to him that there should be a revelation, taking into account the actual condition of men. If there was a revelation, the Catholic Church presented more signs of being its bearer and custodian than any other body or institution of men. I think if we are disposed to question the rationality of his course, we shall find, if we examine the matter carefully, that it is because we question his postulates, not his reasoning or results. Granted that there is a God, as men ordinarily understand that term, and I think that a revelation is antecedently probable; granted that a revelation has been made, as Protestants (save Unitarians) are agreed, and I think it but reasonable to suppose that some such body as the Catholic Church claims to be should be its bearer and unerring interpreter to men. We are mistaken if we think that Newman devised any short-cut to mental peace, or used any other instrument or method for arriving at his results than we ordinarily employ in sound reasonings of every day. He claimed no intuitions, no vision of theological truth, and he was less arbitrary and fanciful in defending Catholic dogma than I have known "philosophers" to be in defending the being of God and the immortality of 483the soul. He tells us in his Apologia that he believed in a God on a ground of probability, that he believed in Christianity on a probability, and that he believed in Catholicism on a probability, and that these three grounds of probability, distinct from each other in subject-matter, were still, all of them, one and the same in nature of proof, as being probabilities—probabilities of a special kind, a cumulative, a transcendent probability, but still probability.

But did he not by some magical metamorphosis turn these probabilities into a certainty? No; he simply claimed that they were sufficient to produce certitude, which is a different matter. Certitude, he held, was a quality or habit of mind; certainty, a quality of propositions; and probabilities that did not reach to logical certainty might suffice for a mental certitude. We are mentally sure almost every day of many things which could not be demonstratively proved; we are practically as sure of them as if they could be proved; we are ready to act on the basis of them, and that is the test of practical certitude. The word of a friend on a matter of which we are ignorant is an example; we may be as sure of what he tells us as if we had seen it ourselves; yet he may be mistaken; strictly speaking, his word is only probable evidence. But did not Newman substitute faith for reason? Yes, in a sense; but not in a sense in which it is of itself irrational to do so. How much could the reason of any of us tell us of Central Africa? We know of it by testimony, do we not? not by reason. From our own notions alone we could not tell whether it was a desert or a forest; whether it was inhabited or uninhabited; whether full-grown human beings or dwarfs lived there; but a Livingstone, a Du Chaillu, a Stanley, tell us, and we accept their word. The fact is, that trust in testimony is what we daily practise. We learn of what is going on in a neighboring town, of much in our own town, of much in our own house (unless we are there all the time, and in every part of it at the same time) not by reasoning about it, any more than by sight, but by faith in what others tell us. "Why should we be unwilling to go by faith?" asks Newman. "We do all things in this world by faith in the word of others. By faith only we know our positions in the world, our circumstances, our rights and privileges, our fortunes, our parents, our brothers and sisters, our age, our mortality; why should religion be 484an exception? Why should we be willing to use for heavenly objects what we daily use for earthly?" There is really nothing mystical about faith; it is not peculiarly a religious principle, nor is it the ideal way of getting knowledge. As Newman says, "The word of another is in itself a faint evidence compared with that of sight or reason. It is influential only when we cannot do without it."

Now it may be difficult to suppose that God has ever spoken in the world. But if we think He has, it cannot be irrational to take His word and believe it; it cannot be absurd to trust a Divine message, when we are every day trusting human messages. And one thing further. When we trust a friend's report, we do not make our previous ideas of what is probable, a test of how much we shall believe of what he says. If we were already competent to say what happened, we should not go to him for information. Unless it is impossible, or against all the laws of probability, we assent to what he says, however much it may surprise, or startle, or alarm us; if we cannot do this, we have not real trust. But trusting it is irrational "to pick and choose;" to say this we will accept and that we will reject, according as it seems antecedently likely or not. Surely this must be also true of divine testimony. If God, the perfect, the unerring intelligence, speaks, we are at least to give Him the same respect we should show to a fellow-man; we are not to say, "this is credible and I accept it; that is strange, mysterious, and I must reject it." If we knew beforehand what was true, to what end would God give the revelation? And if we do thus sit in judgment, we simply show (unless we are dishonest) that we do not believe that God has spoken. Hence, what is called the submission of reason, which, in the large sense of the word, it is only rational to give, if God has indeed given a message to the world. Protestants so submit to the teachings of the Bible; Catholics do to the teachings of the Church. If God really speaks in either, it is as rational to do so as it is to trust Stanley's reports of the lakes and jungles, the weird forests and strange inhabitants of Central Africa—yes, as much more so as Stanley is a man, and God is God. Most simply and frankly does Newman say, in speaking of early converts, "The Church was their teacher; they did not come to argue, to examine, to pick and choose, but to accept whatever was 485put before them." This attitude of arguing, examining, picking, and choosing in relation to things of which we really know nothing, and can know nothing, in our mortal state (though supposedly God knows and has given a certain amount of light) Newman calls Rationalism; and if God has spoken, surely such Rationalism is irrational. The doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, that one creed is as good as another, and that all is opinion, Newman calls Liberalism; but if God has revealed the truth such Liberalism is false.

In writing of Newman as I have, I have been moved by old attachment and personal veneration. But if I have incidentally contributed to show that a Catholic need not necessarily be either a weak man or a dishonest one, as is sometimes taken for granted among Liberals, I shall not be sorry. My opinion is that Newman differed from the stock Protestantism of his day, largely because he sought out light and sought it with a mind which for eagerness, keenness, subtlety, depth, has rarely been surpassed; that he left the Church of England because it was neither fish nor fowl—and rationality and consistency were not in it; that he went to Rome, because, taking his premises for granted, reason pointed that way. And yet the guarded way in which I have spoken has probably been noticed by my readers. I have not said that reason, abstractly speaking, was on his side, but that starting from his premises his course was reasonable—his premises being those to which most Christians hold. The difference was that he took them seriously and they became living principles, germs of ample growth in his mind, while others held them unthinkingly; that he had the rare power of realizing his ideas, while others took them as mechanically as we often take the stars at night—points of light they are to us and nothing more. But whether his premises were really sound is another question. My mature judgment is that they were not; had I been able to hold my Christian faith as I once held it, could I have resisted the solvents that science, and criticism, and philosophy were bringing to bear upon it, I should have gone I know not where; as it is, I am a Liberal (though not in Newman's sense). The ordinary idea of God I cannot hold, nor does it seem likely that I shall ever hold an idea of God with which the idea of a special revelation would be congruous; and even were the ordinary idea of God a true one, I think that the 486matter-of-fact evidence of a revelation through Jesus is insufficient. Reluctant as I was to admit it, struggle as I might against it, the share of Jesus in the errors and illusions of his time (the sense of which grew upon me) made it impossible for me at last to absolutely trust his consciousness; however great, however sublime a figure he was, it appeared that he belonged after all to our fallible humanity. Hence in my view we were thrown back on ourselves; we may have great and consoling beliefs about life and its purpose, about death and what lies beyond, about the fathomless Power from which we come and on whose bosom we rest; but a revelation we have not; they are beliefs which we ourselves form and do not receive from without. Rationalism, though not in the sense in which Newman used it, becomes the only method; and Liberalism, in the sense that whatever creed one may hold none can claim to be infallible, or of exclusive divine authority, and that good men of different creeds should respect and tolerate one another, becomes at once a necessity and a duty.

Newman has taken his way; other men, let us trust, with the root of piety in them as truly as it was in him, have taken theirs; the ways are far apart—which is truer, time, the future, perhaps the ages alone can tell. But we are bound not to revile him, as he in sober truth never reviled us.




The immigration problem, which I have been discussing in previous numbers of The Arena, cannot be unravelled without considering one important thread which adds to the entanglement. I shall apply to it the term "Inter-migration," a word not found in the dictionary, because it is freshly coined for the purpose. Let me try to define its meaning.

A person is said to migrate when he leaves his native land, seeking a new home in some other country. Around the word emigrant or immigrant hovers always the idea of an exchange of habits, customs, and language of one country with those of another. The immigrant, when he arrives at the place which he has chosen for his new settlement, appears by his dress, his language, his manners, yea, even by his features, a stranger; one who has apparently no right to press himself upon the community; one who must not feel offended if he is mistrusted, until he has shown that his arrival will not prove dangerous to the old settlers. Around the word emigrant hovers the idea of distance; he comes from far-off countries, from a place which cannot be easily reached, or from which information concerning himself cannot be readily obtained. We call a person an immigrant who comes to us from a distance of at least a few thousand miles, and from a country that differs from ours in the forms of government as well as in customs and manners. We would surely not call a person an immigrant who comes from a village of Maine or New Hampshire to Boston, nor even if he should come from the far South or from the extreme West.

Yet, what is the difference? He is a person who has left his native home, who is as much a stranger among us as the one who comes across the ocean. His manners may be as different from ours, his features may show at a glance, whether he is a southerner, a western man, or whether he comes from down east; even his language may be strange 488on account of the peculiar accent which he gives his words, and the idioms which he uses. It may frequently happen that two people, who both think they speak the English language will be unable to understand each other, on account of the difference in dialect. The new-comer may prove to be as much, or even more, of an undesirable element among us, as the one who comes from Ireland or China; his presence in the labor market may tend as well to reduce the rates of wages as if he had come from Hungaria or Bulgaria. There is no denying the fact that a locomotion has taken place, that an individual has transplanted himself from one place to the other, either on account of the urging of his venturesome spirit, or for the sake of finding a better market for his abilities, or driven out by force of adverse conditions. There is little difference whether a person leaves Russia on account of his dissatisfaction with the government, or an arbitrary legislation which deprives him of his opportunities; or whether he leaves a village in Nebraska because he finds he is unable longer to withstand the grinding process of the land sharks, or the sweating system of the factory owners. His intentions are to better his condition; precisely the same as are those of him who crosses the Atlantic. The one will sell his all to pay his passage on the steamer, the other to pay for his railroad ticket, and both will arrive penniless. Yet the one is called an emigrant or immigrant, and the other is not, although the distance from which the latter comes may be the same or even greater than that from which the former hails.

In order to distinguish between these two classes of migration, I call this latter one "Inter-migration," and desire the term to stand for a change of habitation occurring within the boundaries of a land that is under the same government.

Inter-migration, although it has never before reached the development to which it has risen in the present, is not a new form of the migratory habit of peoples. Ancient records tell us that a forced inter-migration has frequently taken place. The conquerors of old, desirous of making one nation out of the many peoples they subdued by their valiant sword, would transplant large numbers of individuals from one province to another distant one, giving their land and their possessions in exchange to settlers, whom they drew 489from some other country. Their scheme, however, rarely succeeded, because the difficulties of a long journey made it impossible for them to transplant a sufficiently large number of people; the masses remained undisturbed, the few new-comers were soon absorbed by them, and the desired change of sentiment was not produced. The moment the government was attacked by a new conqueror, all provinces would at once rise in revolt, and thus hasten the downfall of empires, such as was, for instance, the Persian, before the onslaught of so small an army as that with which Alexander the Great crossed the Hellespont.

The golden era of the Roman Empire, and the prosperity and the culture which then prevailed, were made possible solely through the facilities which were given to inter-migration. Good roads connected the ends and dissected the width and breadth of the great Roman Empire. Travel was well protected. A well-drilled army suppressed highway robbery, and an excellent navy put down piracy. A resident of Gaul could with ease settle in Syria, while the Syrian, if he so desired, could find with ease a home in Gaul. The residents of Brittania and Greece could with comparative ease inter-migrate, and had not the floods of barbarians which deluged the Roman Empire put an end to civilization, and with it the possibilities of inter-migration, we might stand to-day on a much higher round of culture, and our knowledge might have been much greater than it is.

If the inventions of the nineteenth century have made possible emigration to such an extent to-day as never before existed, it has still more facilitated inter-migration. It has almost destroyed the equilibrium between the centripetal and centrifugal forces, giving the advantages to the latter. The facilities of locomotion have made people restless; the times have passed by when grandchildren would live in the same house in which their grandparents lived or when they consider it a hardship and misfortune to move out of such a habitation, or to see it change owners; time has been, when only the adventurer left his native place, and when it was considered dangerous to go into the world, which at that time could be circumscribed by a radius of a few miles; time has been, when people lived for generations in the same house, in the same street, in the same village or town, when even the household furniture became venerable on account of its antiquity 490and the remembrances connected with it. What boy or girl in our day plays around the chair which their great-grandfather used to occupy? To sell one house and move into another; to leave one city and seek settlement in another, is now the rule and not the exception; and it is mainly this inter-migration, stirring up the masses, to which is due our increased prosperity and our progress in all branches of knowledge. Inter-migration keeps us from stagnation; it removes shyness and fear at the sight of a stranger, accustoms us to an intercourse with different people, removes prejudices and superstitions, and facilitates the exchange of thoughts and ideas.

On the other hand, it cannot be denied that intermigration has also its drawbacks; that it will easily flood the labor market so as to screw down wages; it will foster the venturesome spirit, induce people to risk a certainty for an uncertainty, and especially has it tended to draw people from the rural districts to the large cities.

All the complaints heard against immigration, and all the pressure that is brought to bear upon the government to restrict it, do not come from the rural districts, but from the large cities; and it is generally overlooked that the competition, which presses down the compensation for labor to such a degree that the wages earned for hard work are sometimes not sufficient to support one person, and far less a family, is not brought about solely by the immigrant who comes from abroad, but is, to a very great extent, the consequence of inter-migration, of the influx of villagers into the cities. While in country places there is a scarcity of labor, thus in New England, for example, while many farms are vacant, there are people starving in the cities, unable to obtain work. The increase of large cities and of their population is beyond the proportion in which it formerly stood to that of the country. This has aroused the thoughts of many long-headed people, and investigations are being made on every hand, especially because some people are moved by fear that city life will corrupt morality. They take it for granted that country people are virtuous, and that vice finds its domicile only in the large centres of population, and having established these premises, they argue that the tendency of country people to move into cities shows a degeneracy on their part, or that the abnormal growth of cities is a sure 491token of the moral depravity which has taken hold of the people. This, however, is not true. There is as much iniquity in proportion in small communities as in large ones, and not unfrequently wickedness and viciousness are attributed to actions which, after all, are neither wicked nor vicious, but merely strange to one who is not accustomed to them. The tide of inter-migration, which swells the population of the cities, has its natural causes, of which moral corruption is the least.

The philosophers of the individualistic school will take exception, when I name as the first cause of the tendency to leave the village for the city, the fact that the more society becomes organized, the more each individual becomes a part of a system, the easier it is to obtain comfort, and that, having found the proper place, one can more easily excel in that sphere of life. True, a man living in a village may be able to secure for himself, without excessive labor, food that would keep him from starvation, and raiment and fuel to protect him against the inclemency of the weather; but man needs more than bread and meat, a coat and a pair of shoes. There are a thousand other things which bring cheer to him and make his life worth living, that he cannot obtain in rural solitude. He claims a right to these comforts, and tries to obtain them by seeking them where they are to be found. If simple support, which rustic life insures, was preferable to the insecurity of earning a livelihood in the city; if plenty of coarse food and the healthier habitation which the village offers, were sufficient to induce the over-worked, half-starved, and ill-tenanted city laborer to give up for them the other comforts which city life offers him, we should soon behold an exodus from the city to country places, instead of observing the growth of the centres of population. It is the tendency to work in a system and with a system which increases as the human being rises in culture and civilization. This is the magnet which draws people to large cities, and holds them there, despite the many drawbacks which naturally adhere to it.

The facility of locomotion and of transportation have made possible an interchange of commodities which has never been so before. The world has become one marketplace, upon which the commodities are thrown, and in which he who is able to sell an article of the same quality at the 492lowest rate will have most customers. When grain can be produced in large quantities in the West, so that it can be sold at a lower rate in the East than the cost of its production would be there, it is quite natural that the Eastern farmer must go to the wall, and it is no wonder he deserts his farm. The less the raw material can be used in its natural state, and the more our refinement demands a long process of converting it into a commodity, the more does it require systematic, organized, skilled labor to perform that conversion. With sufficient land a few people can raise such an abundance of raw material that the labor of thousands of people will be called for to change it into useful articles. It is the system, the developed social organization, which draws the villager to the city, and as an illustration I shall point to the sudden and unparelleled growth of the city of Berlin.

Twenty-five years ago Berlin was not quite as large in population as is Boston to-day, and its area was much smaller. Berlin is situated in a sandy, sterile country; so to say, in a desert. There is no navigable river to connect it with the ocean, nor are minerals or coal found in its immediate neighborhood. When Berlin was made the seat of the German government, the first result was that thousands of government officials were removed from other places to this city; then the garrison was enlarged. More commodious roads were built to connect the capital with the provinces. This attracted business men, as well as thousands whose services in all branches of life were required. The manufacturer soon followed, and Berlin became in a short time a commercial centre. Leipsic lost its prestige and Nuremberg its renown. The organized net-work of labor makes it possible now for a million and a half of people to live and prosper on that sterile ground. Let Berlin cease to be the capital of Germany, through any unforeseen event, and its population will melt away at once. Like iron filings hanging on a magnet, in which one particle attracts and holds the other, thus are people attracted to and held in places where society, and with it labor, is organized.

Another and weighty reason to account for inter-migration, and especially for the increase of population in cities, is that agriculture, too, has undergone a change. The inventive genius of our age, which keeps on creating labor-saving machinery, has not left this branch of occupation untouched.493 As the mechanic had to go in order to be replaced by the factory owner, thus the small farmer can no longer exist beside a syndicate which will systematically cultivate large tracts of land. The tendency of the time is to apply system also to agricultural pursuits, to take that art out of the sphere of instinct and to transplant it into the sphere of science.

In this paper I have merely sought to bring before the mind of the reader important facts which are usually overlooked in the discussion of the problem under consideration, believing it to be necessary to adduce all the important evidence which bears upon the subject in order that he may form a just and enlightened opinion on a great living question of the first magnitude, as a frank statement of a problem is of far greater value to the honest investigator than any amount of ingenious reasonings from a narrow or distorted point of view.




He was the humblest man in the world. He wore ragged clothing and lived in the filthiest tenement-house in New York. He was unlettered, had never opened a book, and seemed to know little of the ways of men. His hair and beard were long, and like golden silk; his eyes held the blue of infinite space.

When wealthy people passed him they shook their heads and said, "He is demented;" but the poor, who knew him, lowered their voices when he was near and whispered that he belonged to a better world, for in his eyes they saw a strange light of eternal kindness.

"Why are you so good to me?" the poor would ask, marvelling over his tears of sympathy.

"Because I love you," he would answer, "and love is the mother of all that is good. If you will love men as I do your way of life will be strewn with roses from heaven and your vision know no end."

He had never been in a church nor heard one word in the Bible, and yet, with a far-away light in his eyes, he used to talk of immortality and infinite love. "Love is everlasting life," he would say, "love is eternal."

His poor old mother did not understand him, and she was often troubled on his behalf. She used to plead with him to stay with her more and not to give up his life so completely to others.

"Why," she would argue plaintively, "even the great clergymen who preach in the grand churches, and who are said to be the best of men, do not risk their lives and love others as you do. They seldom come here where everybody is so poor." Once he asked her to tell him what the clergymen taught, and when she tried to explain the creeds of the different denominations, he shook his head and turned pale with perplexity and pain.


"I cannot understand," he said sorrowfully. "It all makes my heart ache. It seems to me that the church-members, too, are in the dark. Love is food for the soul and they are starving. People everywhere are dying in crime and pain and no one offers to help them."

One day, after he had been laboring for a week without sufficient food and sleep among the fever-stricken poor, he fell ill, and his mother thought he was about to die. She ran, her gray locks streaming in the wind, to the parsonage of a little church near by and inquired for the minister, but was told by his wife that he had been gone for several weeks to a watering place in the mountains. The old woman ran on further, till she came to a great church whose majestic spire seemed to touch the clouds. A stately rectory was near. Soft music, mingled with merry voices, came out to her through the open doors. Awkwardly and tremblingly she went up the polished marble steps and rang. A servant in livery told her gruffly that his master was dining with his bishop and other distinguished personages, and that she would have to wait.

She replied with a groan that she feared her son was dying. The man went to his master and came back saying, "He cannot see you now."

She sat down in the great hall and tried to pray. Before her hung a costly painting representing Jesus with a child in his arms, a lamb at his side. She smelt the fragrance of flowers, and heard the clinking of wine-glasses, the tinkling of silver and rare china, short speeches and laughter.

"The dean, it seems," she heard the bishop say, "was reproving one of the young clergymen for becoming intoxicated. The young scamp's reply quite took the dean off his feet. 'If I mistake not, sir,' said the young priest, 'the liquor I drank came from your celebrated art-gallery and bar-room.'"

This story was greeted by hearty laughter, and then the old woman heard the bishop giving a description of a new yacht which he had just bought. By and by the rector came out. His cheeks were slightly flushed, his manner betrayed impatience."

"Well," said he to her, "what is it? I am very busy."

"I am afraid my son is dying," she said timidly, abashed by the splendor of his dress and abrupt manner. "I thought some minister ought to see him."


"Where do you attend church?" he asked, looking down at her tattered attire.

"I do not go to any," she faltered.

"I have as much as I can attend to in my own parish," he frowned; "besides my bishop is here as my guest; there is a young theological student with me who will go." And he went back to the dining-room and sent a young man out to her.

"Show me the way," said the student, and he shrugged his shoulders, and blushed because the footman seemed to comprehend the situation.

Without a word she led him through the squalid streets to the house, and up the narrow stairs to her miserable room. The sick man lay alone on a hard couch.

"What can I do for you?" asked the visitor.

A look of hope came into the pallid features of the one addressed. His voice was low and eager when he replied:—

"A poor woman downstairs has fallen and broken her spine. I fear she is without attention, I was trying to reach her when I fell ill. Perhaps you will go to see her; I need nothing."

"His mind is wandering," said the student, turning to the mother. "He could not comprehend anything I might read or say now. He needs medical treatment. You should apply to the public charities." And he went away, brushing the sleeve of his coat which had caught a cobweb.

At her son's request the mother went below. Presently she returned with the information that the injured woman's needs had been attended to. Then she got a Bible and began to read to him for the first time in life. When she had read a few passages he asked her what it was, and she replied:—

"They say it is the Word of God, and that it shows us how to live."

When she was reading of the life of Christ he listened with a profound look of perplexity on his pale face. But when she pronounced the words, "Love thy neighbor as thyself," he uttered an exclamation of surprise, and sat up in his bed.

"I have spoken those words before!" he cried, "but in a different language. It was in another life which seems like a dream. I lived long, long ago, in a far-away land. I had 497another mother there, Mary was her name, and a good father whom the people called Joseph. I lived there as I do here, but the world mocked me because I tried to teach them to love one another—they could not understand. They put me to death. They made a cross, and hung me on it, on a hill in the direction of the setting sun from Jerusalem. A multitude gathered to see me die."

Amazed at his radiant and transformed countenance, which held in it the light of eternity, she fell down before him crying:—

"My Lord! My Master!"

He lifted her up, his weakness gone.

"Rise," said he gently. "Call me not 'Master,' for I am but the son of God, as you are His daughter. The Father of us all, in His love, is not better than the humblest of His children."

She was going out to cry aloud in the streets that Jesus, the son of God, had come to earth, but he prevented her.

"Speak not of me to them," he said softly; "they could not understand; it would be even as it was before."

That very day he went about according to his humble wont, among the poor and the miserable, spreading joy and comfort everywhere. Wan-faced courtesans, with death and hate in their eyes, despairing thieves, murderers, and would-be suicides, listened to his words of hope and began life anew. He went to the houses of the wealthy and plead in the behalf of suffering men and women, misguided children, and mistreated animals, but was called a tramp and sent away.

One day his mother lead him to the corpse of a dead friend. "Make him live again," she whispered.

He looked down at the dead and smiled infinitely. He took a flower from a vase, and put it into the hand that was cold. "This is the birthday of our friend," he said. "Should I wish to alter the work of my Father, in whose eyes all things are perfect? Our friend is this day delivered from the womb of earthly travail."

One bright morning she came and laid herself at his feet.

"I have heard strange things to-day," she said, "things I have not learned before because I am so ignorant. They say that all the great and good churches in Christendom have grown up upon the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth."


"Nazareth," he repeated dreamily, "I lived in Nazareth."

"They worship him that was crucified on Calvary; ah! they would listen to you now, my Master. You have lived in their memories for centuries. Hear, the bells are ringing. It is the Sabbath, the Lord's day!"

"My Father's day has neither beginning nor end."

"Come, go with me," went on the woman eagerly, "we shall hear them praise your name."

"I will go with you," said he, a strange look in his eyes.

She ran from the room and presently came back with a suit of new clothes which she had borrowed from a dealer: Her face was aglow with pride and joy as she spread them before him.

"What are they for?" he asked in gentle surprise.

"For you," she said, "that you may go into the house of the Lord robed as—as others are."

A blended look of wonder and pain passed over his face.

"The spirit of the man is not clothed with the wool of the sheep that was slain," he said gently. "I will go as I am, and fear naught in my Father's presence."

She led him down several streets till they reached a grand thoroughfare. Along this they went side by side, jostled by the fashionable throng, till they came to a stately church. Going up the broad stone steps they entered the great Gothic doors. A group of men in the vestibule laughed at his long hair and ragged attire. Elegantly dressed ushers were seating the people as they entered. They did not speak to the woman and her son, but smiled at one another, and passed some jests in undertones. After awhile one of them drew near, and said to her:—

"Have you not made a mistake, my good woman? This is St. —— Church. St. ——'s is the next below."

Tears were in her eyes as she led her son away. By and by they came to another edifice. In a niche in the stone wall near the entrance was the figure of Jesus on a cross. He paused and looked at it for several minutes, murmuring, "Strange! Strange!"

In the vestibule she was so awed by the imposing interior of the structure and the fashionable congregation, that she drew him to one side.

"Perhaps we had better stand here," she whispered. "We seem to be unlike the rest. We shall not be in the 499way out here, and through the door we can see and hear the service."

He made no answer. He was looking at a grand window on which stood a representation of Jesus, in a stream of light from heaven, bearing the words, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." "Strange, very strange!" she heard him whisper, and tears were in his eyes.

No one offered to give them seats, and they remained standing in the vestibule against a wall. A grand organ began to peal out the music of Gounod's Saint Cecilia Mass. Presently it died down; there was a short pause, then, like the rising of a musical storm came the subdued voices of the choristers from the closed vestry. The door was gradually opened, and the music swelled out into the church. The crucifer, a beautiful lad, attired in a blood-red cassock and a white, lace-trimmed cotta, entered. Behind him, chanting, came a long train of choir-boys, followed by two acolytes who swung by chains of brass censers from which rose clouds of fragrant smoke. Two priests brought up the rear; one, the celebrant of the Holy Communion, was magnificently garbed. He wore a trailing black cassock of richest silk, and over it a short lawn cotta trimmed with priceless lace, an enormous cloth-of-gold cope on the back of which blazed a cross wrought in jewels. About his neck he had a white stole, over an arm a snowy maniple, upon his head a priestly beretta.

"Is it not beautiful?" asked the poor woman of her son. But he did not hear her. His eyes, blinded by tears of infinite sorrow, were resting on the white statue of the Virgin near the snowy altar of marble, on which burnt a constellation of tapers and candles around the red lamp of the "Holy Presence."

His breast heaved; a sob escaped him, and his head sank upon his chest.

"And they do this in the name of love," he said, as if in prayer. "They make an idol of my memory while my brothers and sisters are dying for the lack of love and kindness. They do all this to praise me whom they have so little understood. O God, my Father, let this trial pass, or make me as you are that I may, this time, set them right, for I suffer past endurance."

The short sermon ended. The celebration of Mass began. The wafer and the wine were consecrated. The priest raised 500the wafer before the eyes of the congregation and said, "This is my body," and all heads bowed low.

"At the very instant you hear the bell strike," whispered a man to a boy near the mother and son, "at that very instant the Saviour will be there—listen!"

"Father, forgive them," the woman heard her son say, and she followed him out of the church. They had reached the street when three strokes from a silver bell was heard.

A few minutes later, as they were passing through a squalid street on the way home, they came to a little church. He read her wishes in her face, and they went in. A man approached and showed them to a back seat. On a platform a preacher was striding to and fro shouting, singing snatches of hymns, and praying. In his excitement he would fall on his knees and raise his hands heavenward; again he would spring up and beat himself with his hands, and violently kick the floor, preaching, singing, and praying alternately.

"Save yourselves from the eternal wrath of an angry God!" he cried. "I tell you that hell is yawning for you; the burning breath of countless devils is about you. Christ died to save you; will you not trust in him? Now is the only time; to-morrow it may be too late!"

After awhile the congregation began to sing a hymn, and the preacher went on: "Come forward all who want the prayers of the church. Come now, and embrace salvation!" And men, women, and children trembling with fear, and weeping and groaning, went to the altar and threw themselves on their knees.

The poor woman looked at her son. His face was pale and set as with the agony of death. She glanced over the congregation. People sat there wrestling with the greatest problem of their lives, their faces white, their eyes dilated. Others were smiling as if highly amused at the preacher's actions. Members of ritualistic churches, who had come out of curiosity, were frowning contemptuously, and congratulating themselves on the dignity of their own form of worship.

"I must go," said the son to his mother. "I must be with those that need me. Here they teach that the Eternal Father hates His children. If only they knew Him they would not be afraid."


He never entered a church again. He continued his life as he had begun it, teaching human love and gentleness to all he knew. Once he was trying to save a half-demented drunkard from being beaten by an inhuman policeman, and was put into prison. While he was there his mother died, and when he was released, his health was broken.

A week passed in which he could get no food to eat. He was starving. One moonlit night he rose and staggered out to search for bread, suffering indescribable tortures. His voice had gone. He stood on the corner of a street, and mutely held out his hands to passers-by, but they paid no heed to him. Along the street he tottered till he came to a brightly lighted building. A church was holding a festival. Beautiful women in the height of fashion, children in the daintiest of dresses, were promenading about. He looked in at the door, and when he saw the long tables filled with eatables, his eyes gleamed with the desire of a famished animal. He staggered across the threshold, but was stopped by the door-keeper. "Ticket," said the man. The outcast did not understand, he could see nothing but the food within. A policeman stepped forward and laid his hand on his arm.

"This is no place for you," he said roughly. "You have no money, move on!"

"He looks hungry, wait!" said a little girl, who was pinning some flowers on the lapel of a young minister's coat, and she ran to a table and brought a piece of bread to the starving man. He hugged it in his arms, and tottered out into the night, chuckling to himself in joy. A square where trees and flowers grew was before him. He entered it, and sank on to a bench near a fountain. He looked at the bread, and a savage content captured his features. He was about to break it when a man arose from a seat across a walk, and came and sat down beside him, eyeing the food covetously. He touched the thin hand that held it, and the two men looked into each other's eyes.

"I am starving," said the breadless one. "I have no means. I belong to a family who have descended from kings; I cannot beg. I thought you looked as if you did not want it. I am dying."

The other clutched the food tightly in both his hands for an instant. A look of ferocious desire wrung his face, and 502he raised it to his lips. Then a divine smile dawned in his eyes, and he proffered it to the other. The man took it eagerly, and slipped into the darkness, that he might eat it unseen. As he turned away the head of the giver sank slowly to his breast.

Brightly lighted streets stretched away in several directions. A procession of men and women bearing banners and beating drums and tambourines passed along, singing hymns, and pausing now and then to kneel on the cobblestones to pray or to urge the little clusters of idlers to join them in their march to safety. Above the wondrous stars and moon were shining as they had shone at the dawn of eternal thought. They shone on the Vatican at Rome, the imperial cradle of saints; on the comfortable homes of ministers in the church; on the "palaces" of gentle-blooded bishops; on assemblages of men who were wrangling over creeds; on gatherings where earnest searchers after truth were being tried for heresy; on prisons where inmates of dark, silent cells were praying for a gleam of light, for but the voice of an insect to keep madness from their tortured brains; on millions of suffering human beings—on the cold, dead form of one who understood naught but love.




O thou who sighest for a broader field

Wherein to sow the seeds of truth and right,

Who fain a nobler, wider power wouldst wield

O'er human souls that languish for the light;

Search well the realm that even now is thine!

Canst not thou in some far-off corner find

A heart, sin-bound, as tree with sapping vine,

That waiteth help its burdens to unbind?

Some human plant, perchance beneath thine eyes,

Pierced through by hidden thorns of idle fears;

Or, drooping low for need of light from skies

Obscured by doubt-clouds, raining poison tears?

Some bruisèd soul the balm of love would heal?

Some timid spirit faith would courage give?

Or maimèd brother who, though brave and leal,

Still needeth thee to rightly walk and live?

Oh, while one soul thou find'st that hath not known

The fullest help thy soul hath power to give,

Sigh not for fields still broader than thine own,

But, steadfast, in thine own more broadly live!





Colonel Peavy had just begun the rubber with Judge Gordon of Cerro-Gordo County. They were seated in Robie's grocery, behind the rusty old cannon stove, the checker-board spread out on their knees. The Colonel was grinning in great glee, wringing his bony yellow hands in nervous excitement, in strong contrast to the stolid calm of the fat Judge.

The Colonel had won the last game by a large margin, and was sure he had his opponent's "dodges" well in hand. It was early in the evening, and the grocery was comparatively empty. Robie was figuring at a desk, and old Judge Brown stood in legal gravity warming his legs at the red-hot stove, and swaying gently back and forth in speechless content. It was a tough night outside, one of the toughest for years. The frost had completely shut the window panes as with thick blankets of snow. The streets were silent.

"I don't know," said the Judge, reflectively, to Robie, breaking the silence in his rasping, judicial bass, "I don't know as there has been such a night as this since the night of February 2d, '59, that was the night James Kirk went under—Honorable Kirk, you remember,—knew him well. Brilliant fellow, ornament to western bar. But whiskey downed him. It'll beat the oldest man—I wonder where the boys all are to-night? Don't seem to be anyone stirring on the street. Aint frightened out by the cold?"

"Shouldn't wonder." Robie was busy at his desk, and not in humor for conversation on reminiscent lines. The two old war-dogs at the board had settled down to one of those long, silent struggles, which ensue when two "champions" meet. In the silence which followed, the Judge was looking 505attentively at the back of the Colonel, and thinking that the old thief was getting about down to skin and bone. He turned with a yawn to Robie, saying:—

"This cold weather must take hold of the old Colonel terribly, he's so damnably thin and bald, you know,—bald as a babe. The fact is, the old Colonel aint long for this world, anyway; think so, Hank?" Robie making no reply, the Judge relapsed into silence for a while, watching the cat (perilously walking along the edge of the upper shelf) and listening to the occasional hurrying footsteps outside. "I don't know when I've seen the windows closed up so, Hank; go down to thirty below to-night; devilish strong wind blowing, too; tough night on the prairies, Hank."

"You bet," replied Hank, briefly. The Colonel was plainly getting excited. His razor-like back curved sharper than ever as he peered into the intricacies of the board to spy the trap which the fat Judge had set for him. At this point the squeal of boots on the icy walk outside paused, and a moment later Amos Ridings entered, with whiskers covered with ice, and looking like a huge bear in his buffalo coat.

"By Josephus! it's cold," he roared, as he took off his gloves and began to warm his face and hands at the fire.

"Is it?" asked the Judge, comfortably, rising on his tiptoes, only to fall back into his usual attitude, legal legs well spread, shoulders thrown back.

"You bet it is!" replied Amos. "I'd'know when I've felt the cold more'n I have t'-day. It's jest snifty; doubles me up like a jack-knife, Judge. How d' you stand it?"

"Tollerble, tollerble, Amos. But we're agein', we aint what we were once. Cold takes hold of us."

"That's a fact," answered Amos to the retrospective musings of the Judge. "Time was you an' me would go t' singing-school or sleigh-riding with the girls on a night like this and never notice it."

"Yes, sir; yes, sir!" said the Judge with a sigh. It was a little uncertain in Robie's mind whether the Judge was regretting the lost ability to stand the cold, or the lost pleasure of riding with the girls.

"Great days, those, gentlemen! Lived in Vermont then. Hot-blooded—lungs like an ox. I remember, Sallie Dearborn and I used to go a-foot to singing school down the valley four miles. But now, wouldn't go riding to-night with 506the handsomest woman in America, and the best cutter in Rock River."

"Oh! you've got both feet in the grave up t' the ankles, anyway," said Robie from his desk, but the Judge immovably gazed at the upper shelf on the other side of the room where the boilers, and pans, and washboards were stored.

"The Judge is a little on the sentimental order to-night," said Amos.

"Hold on, Colonel! hold on. You've got 'o jump. He! he!" roared Gordon from the checker-board. "That's right, that's right!" he ended, as the Colonel complied reluctantly.

"Sock it to the old cuss," commented Amos. "What I was going to say," he resumed, rolling down the collar of his coat, "was, that when my wife helped me bundle up t' night, she said I was gitt'n' t' be an old granny. We are agein', Judge, the's no denyin' it. We're both gray as Norway rats now. An' speaking of us ageing reminds me,—have y' noticed how bald the old Kyernel's gitt'n'?"

"I have, Amos," answered the Judge, mournfully. "The old man's head is showing age, showing age! Getting thin up there, aint it?" The old Colonel bent to his work without reply, and even when Amos said, judicially, after long scrutiny, "Yes, he'll soon be as bald as a plate," he only lifted one yellow, freckled, bony hand, and brushed his carroty growth of hair across the spot under discussion. Gordon shook his fat paunch in silent laughter, nearly displacing the board.

"I was just telling Robie," pursued Brown, still retaining his reminiscent intonation, "that this storm takes the cake over anything—"

At this point Steve Roach and another fellow entered. Steve was Ridings' hired hand, a herculean fellow, with a drawl, and a liability for taking offence quite as remarkable.

"Say! gents, I'm no spring rooster, but this jest gits away with anything in line of cold I ever see."

While this communication was being received in ruminative silence, Steve was holding his ears in his hand and gazing at the intent champions at the board. There they sat; the old Judge panting and wheezing in his excitement, for he was planning a great "snap" on the Colonel, whose red and freckled nose almost touched the board. It was a 507solemn battle hour. The wind howled mournfully outside, the timbers of the stove creaked in the cold, and the huge cannon stove roared in steady bass.

"Speaking about ears," said Steve, after a silence, "dumned if I'd like t' be quite s' bare 'round the ears as Kernel there. I wonder if any o' you fellers has noticed how the ol' feller's lost hair this last summer. He's gittin' bald, they's no coverin' it up—gittin' bald as a plate."

"You're right, Stephen," said the Judge, as he gravely took his stand behind his brother advocate, and studied, with the eye of an adept, the field of battle. "We were noticing it when you came in. It's a sad thing, but it must be admitted."

"It's the Kyernel's brains wearin' up through his hair, I take it," commented Amos, as he helped himself to a handful of peanuts out of a bag behind the counter. "Say, Steve, did y' stuff up that hole in front of ol' Barney?"

A shout was heard outside, and then a rush against the door, and immediately two young fellows burst in, followed by a fierce gust of snow. One was Professor Knapp, the other Editor Foster, of the Morning Call.

"Well, gents, how's this for high?" said Foster in a peculiar tone of voice, at which all began to smile. He was a slender fellow with close-clipped, assertive red hair. "In this company we now have the majesty of the law, the power of the press, and the underpinning of the American civilization all represented. Hello! There are a couple of old roosters with their heads together. Gordon, my old enemy, how are you?"

Gordon waved him off with a smile and a wheeze. "Don't bother me now. I've got 'im. I'm laying f'r the old dog. Whist!"

"Got nothing!" snarled the Colonel. "You try that on if you want to. Just swing that man in there if you think it's healthy for him. Just as like as not, you'll slip up on that little trick."

"Ha! Say you so, old True Penny? The Kunnel has met a foeman worthy of his steel," said Foster in great glee, as he bent above the Colonel. "I know. How do I know?" quotha. "By the curve on the Kunnel's back. The size of the parabola described by that backbone accurately gauges his adversary's skill. But, by the way, gentlemen, 508have you—but that's a nice point, and I refer all nice points to Professor Knapp. Professor, is it in good taste to make remarks concerning the dress or features of another?"

"Certainly not," answered Knapp, a handsome young fellow with a yellow mustache.

"Not when the person is an esteemed public character, like the Colonel here? What I was about to remark, if it had been proper, was that the old fellow is getting wofully bald. He'll soon be bald as an egg."

"Say!" asked the Colonel, "I want to know how long you're going to keep this thing up. Somebody's dumned sure t' get hurt soon."

"There, there! Colonel," said Brown soothingly, "don't get excited, you'll lose the rubber. Don't mind 'em. Keep cool."

"Yes, keep cool, Kunnel, it's only our solicitude for your welfare," chipped in Foster. Then addressing the crowd in a general sort of way he speculated, "Curious how a man, a plain American citizen like Colonel Peavy, wins a place in the innermost affections of a whole people."

"That's so!" murmured the rest. "He can't grow bald without deep sympathy from his fellow-citizens." The old Colonel glared in speechless wrath.

"Say! gents," pleaded Gordon, "let up on the old man for the present. He's going to need all of himself if he gets out o' the trap he's in now." He waved his fat hand over the Colonel's head, and smiled blandly at the crowd hugging the stove.

"My head may be bald," grated the old man with a death's-head grin, indescribably ferocious, "but it's got brains enough in it to 'skunk' any man in this crowd three games out o' five."

"The ol' man rather gits the laugh on y' there, gents," called Robie from the back side of the counter. "I haint seen the old skeesix play better'n he did last night in years."

"Not since his return from Canada, after the war, I reckon," said Amos from the kerosene barrel.

"Hold on, Amos," put in the Judge warningly, "that's out-lawed. Talking about being bald and the war reminds me of the night Walters and I— By the way, where is Walters to-night?"

"Sick," put in the Colonel, straightening up exultantly. "I waxed him three straight games last night. You won't 509see him again till spring. Skunked him once, and beat him twice."

"Oh git out."

"Hear the old seed twitter!"

"Did you ever notice, gentlemen, how lying and baldness go together?" queried Foster reflectively.

"No! Do they?"

"Invariably. I've known many colossal liars, and they were all as bald as apples."

The Colonel was getting nervous, and was so slow that even Gordon (who could sit and stare at the board a full half hour without moving) began to be impatient.

"Come! Colonel, marshal your forces a little more promptly. If you're going at me echelon, sound y'r bugle; I'm ready."

"Don't worry," answered the Colonel, in his calmest nasal, "I'll accommodate you with all the fight you want."

"Did it ever occur to you," began the Judge again, addressing the crowd generally, as he moved back to the stove and lit another cigar, "did it ever occur to you that it is a little singular a man should get bald on the top of his head first? Curious fact. So accustomed to it we no longer wonder at it. Now see the Colonel there. Quite a growth of hair on his clap-boarding, as it were, but devilish thin on his roof."

Here the Colonel looked up and tried to say something, but the Judge went on imperturbably.

"Now I take it that it's strictly providential that a man gets bald on top of his head first, because if he must get bald it is best to get bald where it can be covered up."

"By jinks, that's a fact!" said the rest in high admiration of the Judge's ratiocination. Steve was specially pleased, and drawing a neck-yoke from a barrel standing near, pounded the floor vigorously.

"Talking about being bald," put in Foster, "reminds me of a scheme of mine, which is to send no one out to fight Indians but bald men. Think how powerless they'd—"

The talk now drifted off to Indians, politics, and religion, edged round to the war when the grave Judge was telling Ridings and Robie just how "Kilpatrick charged along the Granny White Turnpike," and on a sheet of wrapping paper was showing where Major John Dilrigg fell. "I was 510on his left about thirty yards, when I saw him throw up his hand—"

Foster in a low voice was telling something to the Professor, and two or three others, which made them whoop with uncontrollable merriment, when the roaring voice of big Sam Walters was heard outside, and a moment later he rolled into the room, filling it with his noise. Lottridge, the watchmaker, and Erlberg, the German baker, came in with him.

"Hello, hello, hello! All here, are yeh?"

"All here waiting for you—and the turnkey," said Foster.

"Well, here I am. Always on hand like a sore thumb in huskin' season. What's goin' on here? A game, hey? Hello, Gordon, it's you, is it? Colonel, I owe you several for last night. But what the devil yo' got your cap on fur, Colonel? Aint it warm enough here for yeh?"

The desperate Colonel who had snatched up his cap when he heard Walters coming, grinned painfully, pulling his straggly red and white beard nervously. The strain was beginning to tell on his iron nerves. He removed the cap, and with a few muttered words went back to the game, but there was a dangerous gleam in his fishy blue eyes, and the grizzled tufts of red hair above his eyes lowered threateningly. A man who is getting swamped in a game of checkers is not in a mood to bear pleasantly any remarks on his bald head.

"Oh! don't take it off, Colonel," went on his tormentor hospitably. "When a man gets as old as you are, he's privileged to wear his cap. I wonder if any of you fellers have noticed how the Colonel is shedding his hair."

The old man leaped up, scattering the men on the checker-board which flew up and struck Judge Gordon in the face, knocking him off his stool. The old Colonel was ashy pale, and his eyes glared out from under his huge brow like sapphires lit by flame. His spare form clothed in a seedy Prince Albert frock towered with a singular dignity. His features worked convulsively a moment, and then he burst forth like the explosion of a safety valve:—

"Shuttup, dumyeh!"

And then the crowd whooped, roared, and rolled on the counters and barrels, and roared and whooped again. They 511stamped and yelled, and ran around like fiends, kicking the boxes and banging the coal-scuttle in a perfect pandemonium of mirth, leaving the old man standing there helpless in his wrath, mad enough to shoot. Steve was just preparing to seize the old man from behind, when Judge Gordon, struggling to his feet among the spittoons, cried out, in the voice of a Colonel of Fourth of July militia:—


Silence was restored, and all stood around in expectant attitudes to hear the Judge's explanation. He squared his elbows, shoved up his sleeves, puffed out his fat cheeks, moistened his lips, and began pompously:—


"You've hit it; that's us," said some of the crowd in applause.

"Gentlemen of Rock River, when in the course of human events, rumor had blow'd to my ears the history of the checker-playing of Rock River, and when I had waxed Cerro-Gordo, and Claiborne, and Mower, then, when I say to my ears was borne the clash of resounding arms in Rock River, the emporium of Rock County, then did I yearn for more worlds to conquer, and behold, I buckled on my armor and I am here."

"Behold, he is here," said Foster, in confirmation of the statement. "Good for you, Judge, git breath and go for us some more."

"Hurrah for the Judge," etc.

"I came seekin' whom I might devour like a raging lion. I sought foemen worthy of my steel. I leaped into the arena and blew my challenge to the four quarters of Rock—"

"Good f'r you, settemupagin! Go it, you old balloon," they all applauded.

"Knowing my prowess I sought a fair fout and no favors. I met the enemy and he was mine. Champion after champion went down before me like—went down like—Ahem! went down before me like grass before the mighty cyclone of the Andes."

"Listen to the old blow-hard," said Steve.

"Put him out," said the speaker, imperturbably. "Gentlemen, have I the floor?"

"You have," replied Brown, "but come to the point. The Colonel is anxious to begin shooting." The Colonel, 512who began to suspect himself victimized, stood wondering what under heaven they were going to do next!

"I'm a gitt'n' there," said the orator with a broad and sunny condescension.

"I found your champions an' laid 'em low. I waxed Walters, and then I tackled the Colonel. I tried the echelon, the 'general advanced,' then the 'give away' and 'flank' movements. But the Colonel was there. Till this last game it was a fair field and no favor. And now, gentlemen of Rock, I desire t' state to my deeply respected opponent, that he is still champion of Rock, and I'm not sure but of Northern Iowa."

"Three cheers for the Kunnel!"

And while they were being given the Colonel's brows relaxed, and the champion of Cerro-Gordo continued earnestly:—

"And now I wish to state to Colonel the solemn fact that I had nothing to do with the job put up on him to-night. I scorn to use such means in a battle. Colonel, you may be as bald as an apple, or an egg, yes, or a plate, but you can play more checkers than any man I ever met, more checkers than any other man on God's green footstool.—With one-single, lone exception—myself."

At this moment, somebody hit the dead-beat from Cerro-Gordo with a decayed apple, and as the crowd shouted and groaned Robie turned down the lights on the tumult. The old Colonel seized the opportunity for putting a handful of salt down Walters' neck, and slipped out of the door like a ghost. As the crowd swarmed out on the icy walk, Editor Foster yelled:—

"Gents! let me give you a pointer. Keep your eye peeled for the next edition of the Rock River Morning Call." And the bitter wind swept away the answering shouts of the gang.


  1. During this period the ingenuity of man came to woman's rescue, by the invention of an interesting, and, judging by its popularity, exceedingly serviceable contrivance known as a dress elevator, which enabled ladies to instantly elevate their enormous trains when they came to a particularly muddy and filthy crossing. Return to text

  2. It was in the midst of the period of the tie-backs that Harper's Bazar published two striking cartoons illustrating the poem given below. One represented a poor man's wife, "The slave of toil," and was pathetically powerful in its fidelity to truth; the other, drawn by the powerful Nast, represented a society lady of the day attired in the reigning tie-back, measuring at the hips a little more than double the width a short distance below the knees. This slave was chained to fashion's column.


    You think there is little of kinship between them?

    Perhaps not in blood, yet there's likeness of soul;

    And in bondage 'tis patent to all who have seen them

    That both are fast held under iron control.

    The simpering girl, with her airs and her graces,

    Is sister at heart to the hard-working drudge;

    Two types of to-day, as they stand in their places;

    Whose lot is the sadder I leave you to judge.

    One chained to the block is the victim of Fashion;

    Her object in life to be perfectly dressed;

    Too silly for reason, too shallow for passion,

    She passes her days 'neath a tyrant's behest.

    Thus pinioned and fettered, and warily moving,

    Lest looping should fail her, or band come apart:

    What room is there left her for thinking or loving?

    What noble ambition can enter her heart?

    And one, the worn wife of a grizzled old farmer;

    She kneads the great loaves for the "men-folks" to eat.

    In the wheat-fields the green blades are springing like armor;

    Afar in the forests the flowers are sweet.

    She lifts not her eyes. Within kitchen walls narrow

    Her life is pent up. The most hopeless of slaves,

    Though weary and jaded in sinew and marrow,

    She never complains. Women rest in their graves.

    Twin victims, for which have we tenderest pity—

    For mother and wife toiling on till she dies,

    Or the frivolous butterfly child of the city,

    All blind to the glory of earth and of skies?

    Is it fate, or ill fortune, hath woven about you

    Strong meshes which ye are too helpless to break?

    Shall we scornfully wonder, or angrily flout you,

    Or strive from their torpor your minds to awake?

    Yet, Venus of old, with your queenly derision,

    How you would disdain the belle's tawdry array!

    Free footsteps untrammelled, cool hand of decision,

    Sweet laugh like bells pealing, were yours in the day

    When you reigned over men by the might of your beauty;

    No fetters were o'er you in body or brain;

    The world would bow down in the gladness of duty

    Could you but awake in your splendor again.

    And, Pallas and Venus, if now you were holding

    A talk over womanhood, what would you say,

    The words of wise counsel while you were unfolding,

    If some one should show you these pictures to-day?

    I dream of your faces: divinest compassion

    Would yearn the poor toiler to pity and save;

    And your largeness of scorn would descend on the fashion

    Which binds, unresisting, the idler a slave. Return to text

  3. I have reproduced the admirable cuts found in Dr. Trall's physiology, as they were essential to the understanding of the text quoted, and also because they convey more vividly than words the injury necessarily sustained by those who persist in outraging nature and violating the laws of their being by improper dress. Return to text

  4. In discussing the solemn duty mothers owe to their offspring, Mrs. Annie Jenness Miller sensibly observes:—

    Are women ignorant of the mischief they do to their offspring, or are they indifferent to consequences? Has the true maternal love become extinct, in this age of advanced civilization, that women ignore all the laws of nature while anticipating the glory of motherhood? We know not; yet we often see what causes a thrill of pity in our soul for the future of the child yet unborn: a mother laced within stiff bones and steel, while the very instincts of being cry out against the sin of it. Surely every child has a right to be well born! Wealth may be a grand inheritance, but health is a better one, as any poor suffering creature will testify, whose misery the most expensive doctors have been called upon to alleviate without avail. And how can a child be well born unless its parents observe the laws of life bearing upon the birth and rearing of children? It is impossible. If a mother will so clothe herself that the vitality which properly belongs to her baby becomes exhausted and destroyed, the child is robbed, as a natural consequence, and perhaps the weakened, puny, distorted, fretful little creature, who is innocent of the cause of its own sufferings, will live to become a curse to the world instead of the blessing that it would have been had rational conditions been observed before its birth.

    Tight corsets grudgingly loosened a quarter of an inch at a time, heavy skirts, and all the evil conditions we are so familiar with, are still retained as the months pass, bringing ever nearer what should be the very happiest hour of woman's existence—that in which she is to be intrusted with the keeping, training, and guidance of a new human soul. Perhaps her baby comes into the world dead or deformed, perhaps deprived of certain of its faculties; or it may be that it possesses life and all of its special senses and organs in such a diminished degree that the whole of its future becomes a pain rather than a joy, while its miserable, puny structure remains a lasting reproach to its parents as long as they live. Return to text

  5. In speaking of this practical dress reform on the part of the belles of New York, the Boston Daily Globe recently observed editorially: The great question now agitating the fashionable women of Fifth Avenue is: "Do you wear knickerbockers?"

    Stripped of all apologetic circumlocution, "knickerbockers" are simply loose, easy trousers, above which is worn a becoming blouse waist, and thus attired, the belles of New York come down to breakfast. Nor are the trousers subsequently removed while the ladies are about the house, unless some conservative caller is announced, when a stylish tea-gown can be jumped into in a second, and the lady is in faultless female costume.

    That women should be handicapped in their locomotion in their own homes is simply a relic of oriental slavery and prudery, and the revolt against it is sensible and wholesome. That they have come to stay is evident, while improved costumes for shop girls, and other women engaged in business every day in the year, are certain to follow in the order of progress.—Boston Globe.

    It might be well also for the council to recommend the formation of societies in each community where social or society gatherings of those interested might be held at stated intervals, at which all members would appear in dresses made with special regard to health, comfort, and beauty, and in which all garments would conform to the general ideal recommended by the council. Return to text

  6. As the paper is being set up my attention has been attracted to a remarkably sensible signed editorial in the Boston Sunday Globe, of July 26, by the brilliant writer and sensible thinker, Adelaide A. Claftin, from which I extract the following:

    Bishop Coxe's fulmination against the riding of bicycles by women has attracted considerable attention, but to the student of social movements it is not strange that Bishop Coxe should object. The real oddity is that scarcely anybody else, apparently, has objected.

    That young girls from the best families should within a short time have betaken themselves to whirling through the public thoroughfares, like so many boys, is certainly a new departure from all old fashioned canons of feminine decorum, at least as startling as many that have brought down all sorts of thunderbolts from pulpit and press. Had it been a prerequisite that an amendment to the United States Constitution, or even a statute of a State Legislature should be obtained, the girls would doubtless have had to wait many a weary year.

    It is not long since another church dignitary, Dr. Morgan Dix, objected to the entrance of girls into universities, because it was not "proper for young women to be exposed to the gaze of young men, many of whom were less bent upon learning than upon amusement."

    However little she may realize it, every girl who rides her steel horse is a vivid illustration of one of the greatest waves of progress of this century, the advancement of women in freedom and opportunity.

    A wise physician once said that the opinion that a good woman should stay closely at home had killed more women than any other one cause. In the days of our grandmothers the suggestion of regular gymnastic training or athletics for girls would have been received with horror. It was hardly proper for a woman to have any knowledge of the construction of her physical system.

    It is a curious historical fact that the first women lecturers upon physiology were women's rights women, and viewed by the majority of people as dangerous to female modesty, while the Ladies' Physiological Institute in Boston was at first much disapproved of by the clergy. So long, too, as old-fashioned "stays" (laced up sometimes by the aid of equally old-fashioned bed-posts) remained in vogue, neither physiology nor athletics stood much chance with women.

    But the often derided dress reformer has had her way, to a great extent. Bathing dresses, gymnastic and tennis suits which would have frightened an eighteenth century dame into one of her favorite fainting fits.

    Meanwhile the girls have mounted their bicycles. Bless you, my children; what endless vistas of good times are before you! What glorious landscape views and ocean moonrises, what freedom, what fresh, airy delight in young life and strength!

    Already one young doctor has departed with his bride on a wedding tour to Texas, each upon a bicycle. Other strange affairs will no doubt take place. By and by the bishops will see no more irreverence in bidding Godspeed to girls starting on a journey to California upon bicycles than to girls departing to Europe on a steamship. Return to text

  7. Lecky's History of England, Vol. V., p. 301. Return to text

  8. Peschel's, "The Races of Man," p. 163. Return to text

  9. "His Principle of Sociology," Vol. II., p. 209. Return to text

  10. There was another agitation in Korea in 1882, but this was a mere uprising of the mob against the Japanese staying in that country, and not of grave political importance. For the details of both these events, the reader is referred to "A Korean Coup D' Etat," an entertaining article by Perceval Lowell, Atlantic Monthly, November, 1886. This poverty-stricken country, with an imbecile sovereign at the helm of state, and with no organized array, is practically under the control of the Chinese government, though nominally she is independent. Some European powers, who seem to consider that the greatness of a nation is commensurate with its success in its territorial aggrandizement are casting eyes at her, in vain let us hope, for the sake of Korea. While the influence of China is so predominant, she cannot accomplish much. A coup d' état might be needed a few times more, before she can become an independent nation in the fullest sense of the words. At any rate, her prospect is dubious enough at present. Return to text

  11. About 4,179,559 sq. miles.—The Statesman's Yearbook, 1891. Return to text

  12. About 404,180,000.—Ibid. Return to text

  13. Spencer's "Principle of Sociology," Vol. II., pp. 436-458. Return to text

  14. Ibid, pp. 459-472. Return to text

  15. New York, Virginia, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. Bryce's The American Commonwealth, Vol. I., p. 32. Return to text

  16. His Representative Government, pp. 85, 86. Return to text

  17. His Essay on Milton. Return to text

  18. His Democracy in America, Vol. I., p. 2. Return to text

  19. His Popular Government, pp. 70-74. Return to text

  20. Ibid, pp. 17, 18. Return to text

  21. Literally, "The Deliverative Assembly of the Empire," being the comprehensive name for the two legislative chambers of Japan, corresponding to Parliament of England or Congress of the United States. Return to text

  22. "The New Type of Oppression," in "Essays: Religious, Social, Political." Lee & Shepard, Boston. Return to text

Transcriber's Note

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

  1. p. 412, "tranverse" changed to "transverse"

Several occurrences of mismatched quotes remain as published.

Also, the illustrations may be shown on a slightly different page than where originally published. Pages 422, 424, and 426 contained full page images and as such have no text associated with them, thus giving the appearance that those pages are missing.