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The Country for the Gold Standard.
HERE was only one interpretation to put upon the wonderful success of the new government loan which was offered in February last. It meant that the people of this country were determined to preserve its credit against all assaults. They were asked to pay gold for a loan of one hundred million dollars, the object of the loan being to enable the Government to maintain the gold standard. They responded by offering nearly six hundred million dollars of gold for that purpose, and at far better rates for the Government than previous loans had commanded. The offers to do this were confined to no section, but came from all parts of the country, mainly from banks and other institutions which represent the hoarded earnings of the people. All these said to the National government: « We believe in your policy of maintaining the gold standard, and we will give you five and six times the amount of gold you want for that purpose. We are determined that this country shall not pass to the silver standard, for that would mean illimitable disaster to its credit, its commerce, its business, and its industry, and to all its people.» So eager were the people to sustain the country's credit that they not only paid in the twenty per cent. required for a first instalment, but nearly or quite three times that amount; and when the date for the second instalment arrived over ninety per cent. of the entire amount was paid in, although there were two periods, of ten days each, which might pass before the final two instalments of twenty per cent. each needed to be paid.
In view of this inspiring demonstration of patriotic spirit, it is needless to pay further attention to the claims of the free-silver champions that they have the people behind them. They received the news of the loan's success in silence, realizing fully what it meant. Nobody knew better than they did that failure to place the loan on a popular basis would have given a powerful stimulus to the free-silver cause. They would have construed it as a verdict by the country against the gold standard. They cannot successfully dispute the meaning of the verdict because it went against them. We do not believe that the verdict represented any sudden change of opinion on this subject. The people have always been sound on the money question, far more so than the politicians who have pretended to be their leaders. The controlling class in this country is the business class, the men who are engaged in affairs which require the constant use of money. They know that there is only one kind of money that is worth having for their purposes, and that is the best money. Every man who buys or sells, borrows or lends, enters into contracts or bargains, or ventures into enterprises of any kind involving the use of money, knows that unless the value of that money is so stable that it will be worth as much next month or next year or ten years hence as it is to-day, it is virtually useless for his purposes. Doubt
about it paralyzes all transactions with it save those which are the absolute necessity of a hand-to-mouth existence. This being the case, how preposterous it is for our politicians to imagine for a moment that the people of the country are going to permit their own business, to say nothing of their country's credit, to be ruined!
A distinguished financier called his fellow-financiers and business acquaintances together when the last loan was proposed, and said to them: « We must unite to save the credit of the Government and the gold standard, or go to smash with them.» The business interests of the whole country took the same view, and served notice upon the enemies of the country's credit and financial stability that they would not permit them to succeed in their plans. We believe there has been no time since the silver delusion began its disturbing and harmful career in which the country would not have given a similar response had the question been placed squarely before the people. The moral to Presidential candidates and President-makers is: stop underrating the intelligence and morality and patriotism of the people, and appeal to those qualities rather than to their ignorance. The votes which decide National elections in this country come from the men who represent its commercial, financial, and business interests. When they come to make up their minds about candidates, they will not give their support to any man whose position on the financial question is doubtful. They must have in the President's chair a man whom they know will not give his consent to any measure which impairs the standard of value. Self-preservation, if nothing else, compels them to this course. The clamor of politicians, and the claptrap noises of a campaign, do not dull their senses on this point. More than ever will that be the case this year, since there is really no pressing issue before the country except that of a sound currency and sound financial system. Every business man in the land is looking eagerly for a candidate who can be trusted on this point; and in the looseness of party ties which everywhere exists, he will give his vote to the party which has the wisdom and patriotism to place such a candidate in the field. We are not a nation of idlers, but workers-a people with homes and vested interests and hard-earned savings. The business interests of such a country comprise a large majority of the population, and woe to the Presidential candidate who thinks he can safely ignore them.
The Growing Impudence of the Bosses.
IT would be a great gain for good politics in this country if we could separate our bosses completely from our political parties, and keep them in a separate political rogues' gallery of their own. They have no right to the party names under which they conduct their operations, for they have no sympathy for or interest in the principles of government which lie at the foundation of great
parties; and they would work in one party as readily as in another, their affiliation being determined by the amount of personal advantage to themselves. They are really political freebooters, using party names as cloaks for their reprehensible practices. They are usually selfconstituted, and are merely tolerated by the parties to which they ally themselves because of their following and their supposed power. If the parties were to repudiate them, and refuse them admission to their conventions and councils, they could not exist. Deprived of the sheltering name of a great party, they would have to carry on their business openly, to avow the methods and purposes which they practise, and this would ruin them. No boss could retain his power by declaring to the world that he purposed to build up a great political machine by selling offices to the highest bidder, by collecting blackmail from corporations and individuals as the price of immunity from hostile legislation, and by passing laws which would rob the public for the benefit of himself and his followers. Yet this has been and is the occupation of some of our most powerful bosses. Several of them have acquired great wealth by means of it, and have flaunted their riches in the faces of the very people whom they have robbed. Not content with that, they have, from time to time, issued addresses through the press to the same people, informing them that they should be grateful for the excellent government which their robbers have given them. Other bosses, taking the blackmail which they have collected, use it, in the primaries and nominating conventions, to secure the selection for office of men whom they can control; and when these have been chosen by the people to legislative and other positions, the bosses turn about, and say to the people: «You are our servants, not we yours. We will give you the kind of laws and the kind of public service which suit us best. As for those of you who are reformers and think it your business to draft reform legislation, you are wasting your time. We shall not pay the slightest attention either to your measures or to your protests. We possess the government, and we intend to run it to suit ourselves.» Still other bosses, who have succeeded in advancing themselves to high office by corrupt and dishonest methods which have 'been so notorious as to constitute national scandals, have not hesitated to offer themselves as candidates for the highest office in the gift of the people-the Presidency of the United States.
Impudence of these colossal proportions, we repeat, would not be possible were not the bosses able to shield themselves behind party names. They are the most damaging members any party can have, for the scandals which their doings bring upon it are the most frequent causes of its defeats. The people are compelled to defeat the party in order to overthrow the boss, and they do this whenever his conduct becomes particularly offensive. He works at all times for the injury of his party, for he fights desperately against every attempt of its reputable members to reform it; and when he cannot defeat them in any other way, he unites forces with the boss of the opposite party, and the two together carry the day. In fact, the bosses of all parties reveal their common piratical character by uniting for the defeat of every reform movement which shows signs of succeeding. Any boss will always help the rival boss to win
when he sees there is danger of his own party winning a reform victory, for he knows that the success of reform men and reform principles means the end of his power.
A boss is, in fact, the most expensive attachment a great party can have. The more impudent he is the more does he detract from the moral force of his party, and weaken the public confidence in it. When he forces himself into a position of controlling absolutely all branches of a State government, because the party to which he belongs has possession of them, issuing quite openly his orders about legislation, and making no secret of the fact that he is really assuming to be the dictator of the State, he invites for his party the popular indignation and odium which his performances are certain to arouse. When, in the name of his party, he defies the moral sentiment of the country by offering himself as a candidate for the office of President, he does his utmost to bring that party into contempt. There is not a particle of doubt that the people despise bosses, and will condemn and repudiate them whenever they can get the opportunity to do so. Time and again they have defeated boss-named candidates, and they can be depended upon to do so in future. So well aware of this are the delegates to our State and National conventions, that they are usually very unwilling to nominate for important office men who are known to be the favorites of a boss.
There is ample reason for this popular distrust. The boss is the worst enemy of popular government, for the chief object of his labors is to steal away from the people their right to govern themselves. He poisons popular government at its fountainhead, in the primaries and nominating conventions, by foisting his tools into public offices. Having got possession of the offices, he uses them for barter and sale, for extortion and blackmail, taking into his own hands all the functions of government for his own enrichment and that of his corrupt and corrupting machine. Formerly our bosses carried on their operations mainly in secret. We knew who they were, and what their business was, but they allowed us to see very little of their methods. Now they give their orders to their tools in office more or less openly, declare through the press what their plans and purposes are, and without concealment summon their official servants to come to them for direction and counsel. They declare openly what their plans are in regard to presidential nominations, «pack » the State delegations to National conventions in accordance with those plans, and even offer themselves as candidates. The greatness of their success has turned their heads, and they reason that a public which has tolerated so much from them will revolt at nothing which audacity and impudence may suggest.
That they are inviting disaster, complete and overwhelming, we do not for a moment doubt. Every boss that we have had has run his career in a very brief time. The American people are not fools. They are slow to anger, but when their wrath is aroused there is no escape for those against whom it is directed. Tweed said, when his bossdom tumbled about his head and the penitentiary doors yawned before him, «There are some elections in which money has no influence.»> So will it be with Tweed's successors, all of whom have his dull moral sense, and all of whom, with certain modern im
provements, use his methods for filching power from the people. Their impudence is hastening the day of wrath, and the political party which wishes to escape all share in that wrath had best have as little to do with them as possible, and needs, above all, to avoid even the appearance of following their counsel.
The Mischief of the A. P. A.
THE bigot is generally devoid of that saving sense of humor which greatly helps to make life worth living. If it were not so those secret societies, like the so-called American Protective Association, which are engaged in a deadly warfare against all that is most significant and precious in American institutions, would not insist on parading themselves as « the patriotic orders.» Strange patriotism is this, which begins by denying the first tenet of American liberty,-freedom to worship God,—and proposes to punish religious beliefs which it does not share by depriving those who hold them, not only of their political rights, but, if possible, of the means of livelihood. The very enormity of the sworn purposes of these orders seems to be what gives them their opportunity; for the majority of honorable men find themselves incapable of believing that such purposes can be cherished by civilized human beings, and therefore fail to make any effective resistance to them. Thus they have the field to themselves; and with scarcely a protest, they creep in and intrench themselves in one community after another, gathering together a large mass of the ignorant and intolerant, and by their secret methods and their compact military organization making themselves a power in the local elections. Many communities have awakened when it was too late to find the grip of these secret orders firmly fastened upon their municipal machinery. There should be no need of warning intelligent citizens against the dangers of such organizations. They are the deadly enemies of democratic institutions. There may be business which can be legitimately carried on behind closed doors, but the public business is not of this nature. The attempt to control our politics in this way is an amazing usurpation of power; yet the subversion of republican government which has thus been accomplished in many localities has excited but little comment. On this question the great majority of newspapers are dumb, while thousands of Protestant ministers are helping on the fatal work. Some resistance, indeed, has been made to this domination in a few instances: Massachusetts, in the persons of Senator Hoar and the late Governor Greenhalge, has furnished a commendable example, but very few conspicuous politicians have ventured to challenge the secret power.
The political success of this conspiracy is due, of course, to the machine politicians. A secret organization whose vote can be controlled almost absolutely, whose official head can promise to throw it bodily into either side of the scale, does not need to have a very large membership in order that it may dictate nearly all the nominations of one or the other of the two parties. If twenty or even ten per cent. of the voters of a community can be handled in this way, one of the parties will be sure to give their leaders nearly everything they ask for. Ambitious minor politicians will make haste to join the society, there will be candidates enough in its member
ship to fill all the offices, and for a time the party which secures its alliance is sure to elect its candidates. In this way, in many communities, the control of one or the other of the parties has passed aimost entirely into the hands of the «patriotic » orders.
The mischief of this movement has lately begun to reveal itself at the National capital. The defeat of the appropriation for Indian schools, because most of these schools are under the care of Roman Catholics, is due to these societies, and it is to their hostility that we owe the shameful proposal to exclude from the National gallery of statuary the effigy of the great pioneer and discoverer Father Marquette. With respect to the schools, they avail themselves of a sentiment which widely prevails, and which is reasonable enough, but which, in this case, is greatly overstrained, with the result of depriving the Indian pupils of educational privileges. The spirit of the organization is exhibited also in the semi-official announcement that Senator Hawley of Connecticut is to be denied a reëlection because of the part he took in securing the promotion to a generalship of Colonel Coppinger, whose fault is that he is a Roman Catholic. Not only are Roman Catholics to be refused permission to take part in the defense of their country, but those who decline to ostracize them must themselves be ostracized.
The Père Marquette incident is such an illustration of bigotry as ought to bring a blush to the cheek of every American. That the great French priest was a brave and noble man can be disputed by nobody; that his work among the Indians was one of beautiful devotion is not a matter of controversy; that to him was largely due the discovery of the upper Mississippi River, and the opening of the great Northwest to civilization, is the testimony of history. Yet simply because he was a Roman Catholic priest the «patriotic » orders would deny the State which is most closely associated with his beneficent activity the right of celebrating his services to the nation.
The inopportuneness of this recrudescence of bigotry is not the least of its mischievous features. At the very time when all the truly conservative forces of the country are needed to fight for its life against the civic treason of its politicians and the greed of its spoilers, these organizations are raising false issues to befog the ignorant and mislead the unthinking. But this is not all. No intelligent observer of events in the United States within the last five years can fail to be aware of the contest for supremacy that has been going on between the progressive and the reactionary elements of the Roman Catholic communion, or to note what a signal advance has been made thereby in the liberalizing and Americanizing of that historic institution. We do not share its creed, but it would be wickedly provincial not to wish that it may contribute its greatest influence toward the uplifting of mankind and toward the support of the free institutions of the country, rejecting all political alliances as fatal to its highest usefulness. It is remarkable that, just as its wisest leaders have apparently succeeded in cutting it loose from certain degrading political affiliations in the State of New York, its opponents have entered upon the very course they denounce.
To the student of current politics the operations of this new political force present an interesting problem.
To what extent will it be able to dictate the Presidential nominations? Will its adhesion to either party prove a gain or a loss? Will the party managers court it or shun it? Will its influence be offset by the open, unpartizan, and patriotic political activity of the Christian Endeavor movement? The exigencies of the next election always press upon the mind of the partizan leader, and the hope of securing the solid support of such a formidable contingent will powerfully affect his imagination. But it should not require any exceptional far-sightedness to discern the ruin which must overtake any party, in a free government, that identifies its fortunes with these patriotic » orders. Such principles and purposes as their oaths reveal cannot be harbored by any political organization without forfeiting the confidence of the people.
A Model Forestry Commission.
THE readers of THE CENTURY are familiar with the various efforts that from time to time have been made during the last seven years to arouse members of Congress and the public to the peril of neglecting the National forests. The indifference of our lawmakers to the
preservation of our largest and most valuable agricultural crop has been phenomenal-the only bright spot in the dark record being the system of forest reservation advocated in these pages, and authorized by act of Congress, March 3, 1891. Under this law 17,000,000 acres of forest land of high altitude have been set aside by Presidents Harrison and Cleveland as reservoirs of timber and of water; but the enemies of the reservation policy have succeeded in defeating all measures looking to the proper defense and use of these lands, while the sheep-herders of the West go on in their depredations, unawed by the paper bullets of the brain » fulminated against them by the Secretary of the Interior, who is powerless to call to his support a single soldier of the United States army. Even as we write a vigorous organization of the sheep-herders of Oregon is besieging the Secretary to consent to give up three fourths of the great Cascade Forest Reserve in that State. To yield to them would not only be against the immediate interests of Oregon, but would be a reversal of the beneficent policy of two administrations for which there would be no adequate reason, and would be a positive enactment of the principle, «After us the deluge,» heretofore negatively shown in our legislative inaction.
But at last the whole policy of the Government has been turned in the right direction. By the official initiative of the Secretary of the Interior, the Honorable Hoke Smith, a National investigation has just been set on foot, which, by the sheer force of its authoritativeness, must compel legislative attention. By the constitution of the National Academy of Science it becomes the duty of this body to undertake the investigation of any scientific problem upon the request of the head of a department of the Gov
I Among the articles on this subject printed in THe Century during the last seven years, are these: How to Preserve the Forests, June, 1889; The Treasures of the Yosemite," August, 1990; Features of the Proposed Yosemite National Park,» September, 1890; Amateur Management of the Yosemite Scenery,» October, 1890; Forestry in America,» November, 1890; Trees in America, December, 1890; "The Pressing Need of Forest Reservation in the Sierra, June, 1892; « A Memorable Advance in Forest Preservation, April, 1893; Our New National Forest Reserves, September, 1893; The Forest Reserves and the
ernment, and such a request for the study of the subject of forestry Secretary Smith has made of the president of the academy, Professor Wolcott Gibbs, who has responded in a spirit commensurate with the importance of the Secretary's wise and patriotic action. In his acceptance of the task President Gibbs says:
It is needless to remind you that the matter you refer to the Academy is important and difficult. No subject upon which the Academy has been asked before by the Government for advice compares with it in scope, and it is the opinion of thoughtful men that no other economic problem confronting the Government of the United States equals in importance that offered by the present condition and future fate of the forests of western North America.
The forests in the Public Domain extend through 18 degrees of longitude and 20 degrees of latitude; they vary in density, composition, and sylvicultural condition from the most prolific in the world, outside the tropics, to the most meager. In some parts of the country they are valuable as sources of timber-supply which can be made permanent; in others, while producing no timber of importance, they are not less valuable for their influence upon the supply of water available for the inhabitants of regions dependent on irrigation for their means of subsistence. The character of the topography, and the climate of most of the region now embraced in the Public Domain, increase the tributed rainfall checks the growth of forests, while difficulty of the problem. Scanty and unequally dishigh mountain-ranges make them essential to regulate the flow of mountain streams.
You have done the Academy the honor of asking it to recommend a plan for the general treatment of the forest-covered portions of the Public Domain. That its report may be valuable as a basis for future legislation, it must consider:
1. The question of the ultimate ownership of the forests now belonging to the Government; that is, what portions of the forest on the Public Domain shall Government control into private hands. be allowed to pass, either in part or entirely, from
2. How shall the Government forests be administered so that the inhabitants of adjacent regions may draw fecting their permanency. their necessary forest supplies from them without af
3. What provision is possible and necessary to sehonest management of the forests of the Public Domain, cure for the Government a continuous, intelligent, and including those in the reservations already made, or which may be made in the future.
This admirable statement of the scope of the work is accompanied by the appointment of a commission of experts to undertake the investigation which, in character and in range of scientific knowledge of the sort that qualifies for a given task, has seldom, if ever, been equaled in the record of governmental work. The members are: Professor Charles S. Sargent of Harvard, chairman; Professor Wolcott Gibbs, ex-officio; Alexander Agassiz; Professor W. H. Brewer of Yale; General Henry L. Abbott, U. S. A. (retired); Arnold Hague of the Geological Survey; and Gifford Pinchot, practical forester.
These gentlemen, serving without pay, will proceed to make a scientific and practical study of the public forests from every point of view, and on the ground, and
Army, January, 1894; "Forestry Legislation in Europe, April, 1894; "The Depletion of American Forests," May, 1894; Congress and the Forestry Question, November, 1894; A Plan to Save the Forests," February, 1895; The Need of a National Forest Commission," February, 1895; The West and her Vanishing Forests, May, 1895; "Reforesting Michigan Lands," July, 1895; Hope for the Forests," September, 1895; The Plight of the Arid West,» February, 1896; Plain Words to Californians,» April, 1896.
their report and their recommendations, whatever they may be in detail, cannot fail to carry such weight with the press and the public that it will be as impossible to go back to the old policy of neglect as to reenact literary piracy, or the toleration of lotteries, or any other outworn system of robbing the many for the benefit of the few.
We regard the establishment of this commission as a landmark of national progress. While of extraordinary value to the whole country, it will prove, particularly, the salvation of the West from those who would sacrifice its entire future to the greed of the immediate moment.
Recent American Sculpture :
DANIEL CHESTER FRENCH'S O'REILLY GROUP. (SEE PAGE 89.) [ISTORY does not become ancient so fast but that many people will remember the coming and the going of John Boyle O'Reilly. He has been dead only half a dozen years, and it was so late as 1869 that he first landed in America. He came as an escaped Fenian after three years of confinement in English prisons and a final transportation to Australia. On his arrival here he took out naturalization papers, began lecturing, and soon became a reporter for the « Pilot.» In 1876 he became the editor and manager of the «Pilot,» and remained so until the time of his death. In addition to his political writings he addressed himself to the Muse. The Irish Americans of New England accepted him as a leader, and when he died a memorial committee was appointed for the purpose of erecting « a statue or other monument to John Boyle O'Reilly.» The sculptor chosen for the work was Daniel Chester French, and the group for the base of the monument shown in the illustration is the first result of Mr. French's labor.
The monument (to be erected in a small triangular park in the Back Bay district of Boston) is to take the form of a granite monolith of Celtic design. There will be a bronze bust of O'Reilly on the front of the shaft and this group of three figures in bronze at the back. It was fitting that the monument should show the features of the man in the bust, and symbolize the dominant qualities of the man's life in the group. As was abundantly shown in his verse, O'Reilly had his tender and sympathetic side. He had a love for the shepherd's pipe and the arts of peace; and this Mr. French has effectively represented by the figure of the genius of Poetry. He had also his sterner side, a nature quick to passion and resentful of wrong; and this Mr. French has represented by the strong figure of the soldier-the genius of Patriotism. Between the two sits the figure of Erin, the mother for whom he fought and sang. The two natures seem to support and console her: each has offered something to the leaves that lie in her lap; and as she sits sadly tranquil, forming the wreath of glory from shamrock, laurel, and oak, she seems to be thinking with pride of the deeds he has done in her name, and of the love that he in common with other sons has borne her. The figures are types, not portraits, and they lean toward an expression of the Irish type in the Erin and in the Patriotism; but in other respects they are classic, yet with something too much of individualism and modern
spirit about them to be called either Greek or Italian. The Poetry, modestly offering a laurel leaf for the wreath, has a face of tender sadness which the light and shade seem to emphasize, and in pose is restfully relaxed, slightly leaning against the mother as though in sympathy. The lines of the figure, and the sweep of the wing which repeats the outer curve of the body and leg, are exceedingly graceful, and the lyre of Apollo, held in the left hand, relieves while it accents the rhythm of the lines. The figure of Patriotism is something of a contrast. The costume is that of a Roman or a Celtic warrior, the left hand clutches the flag, and slung at the back by a strap is the shield. The whole figure is heroic, strongly muscled, iron-like of frame, and stern of visage, as befits the soldier. The lines are shorter, rougher, more angular than in the Poetry, and instead of the soft relaxation of the gentler genius we have the half-strung rigidity of the guardsman ready to spring into action at a moment's notice. It is not a restless, but an alert figure-one that holds the oak leaf in the right hand easily enough but has something suggestive of nervous strength in the grasp of the left hand upon the flag. The Patriotism seems expressive of restraint; the Poetry indicates repose.
The entire group forms a pyramidal, balanced composition, and while the figures at the sides relieve each other, they also form the diagonal lines, and help support the pyramid of which the Erin is the center and the apex. She is seated erect upon a raised platform, and has a footstool or bench under her feet. The figure is massive, and is clad in a robe of heavy woven stuff that emphasizes the strength of the body by its breadth of treatment. The arms, bust, shoulders, and head are of corresponding proportions, and in their modeling give the feeling of structure and substance. The very largeness of the figure is impressive, and helps the dignity and majesty of the pose. The head is covered and the face is partly shadowed by a gracefully turned headcloth, which not only lends to the evenness of the composition by sustaining the large proportions of the body, but produces an admirable effect of light and shade upon the face. Little of the Greek is to be seen in the features: the cheek-bones are too high, the jaw is too square, the mouth too large, the nose too heavy, for the ideal classic proportions; but the ruggedness and boldness of the features create the heroic type. It is a face of great nobility, tinged by sadness, it is true, and yet with something of pride in the sorrow. Sorrow is shown, but