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TOPICS OF THE TIME
The Country for the Gold Standard.
about it paralyzes all transactions with it save those
which are the absolute necessity of a hand-to-mouth THERE "HERE was only one interpretation to put upon the existence. This being the case, how preposterous it is
wonderful success of the new government loan which for our politicians to imagine for a moment that the was offered in February last. It meant that the people people of the country are going to permit their own of this country were determined to preserve its credit business, to say nothing of their country's credit, to be against all assaults. They were asked to pay gold for ruined! a loan of one hundred million dollars, the object of the A distinguished financier called his fellow-financiers loan being to enable the Government to maintain the and business acquaintances together when the last gold standard. They responded by offering nearly six loan was proposed, and said to them: «We must unite to hundred million dollars of gold for that purpose, and at save the credit of the Government and the gold stanfar better rates for the Government than previous loans dard, or go to smash with them. The business interests had commanded. The offers to do this were confined to of the whole country took the same view, and served no section, but came from all parts of the country, notice upon the enemies of the country's credit and finanmainly from banks and other institutions which repre- cial stability that they would not permit them to succeed sent the hoarded earnings of the people. All these said in their plans. We believe there has been no time since to the National government: « We believe in your policy the silver delusion began its disturbing and harmful of maintaining the gold standard, and we will give you career in which the country would not have given a five and six times the amount of gold you want for that similar response had the question been placed squarely purpose. We are determined that this country shall not before the people. The moral to Presidential candidates pass to the silver standard, for that would mean illimit- and President-makers is: stop underrating the intelliable disaster to its credit, its commerce, its business, gence and morality and patriotism of the people, and apand its industry, and to all its people.) So eager were peal to those qualities rather than to their ignorance. the people to sustain the country's credit that they not The votes which decide National elections in this country only paid in the twenty per cent. required for a first in- come from the men who represent its commercial, finanstalment, but nearly or quite three times that amount; cial, and business interests. When they come to make and when the date for the second instalment arrived over up their minds about candidates, they will not give their ninety per cent. of the entire amount was paid in, al- support to any man whose position on the financial questhough there were two periods, of ten days each, which tion is doubtful. They must have in the President's chair might pass before the final two instalments of twenty a man whom they know will not give his consent to any per cent. each needed to be paid.
measure which impairs the standard of value. Self-preIn view of this inspiring demonstration of patriotic servation, if nothing else, compels them to this course. spirit, it is needless to pay further attention to the The clamor of politicians, and the claptrap noises of a claims of the free-silver champions that they have campaign, do not dull their senses on this point. More the people behind them. They received the news of than ever will that be the case this year, since there is the loan's success in silence, realizing fully what it really no pressing issue before the country except that meant. Nobody knew better than they did that failure of a sound currency and sound financial system. Every to place the loan on a popular basis would have given business man in the land is looking eagerly for a cana powerful stimulus to the free-silver cause. They didate who can be trusted on this point; and in the would have construed it as a verdict by the country looseness of party ties which everywhere exists, he will against the gold standard. They cannot successfully give his vote to the party which has the wisdom and dispute the meaning of the verdict because it went patriotism to place such a candidate in the field. We against them. We do not believe that the verdict repre- are not a nation of idlers, but workers--a people with sented any sudden change of opinion on this subject. homes and vested interests and hard-earned savings. The The people have always been sound on the money ques- business interests of such a country comprise a large tion, far more so than the politicians who have pretended majority of the population, and woe to the Presidential to be their leaders. The controlling class in this country candidate who thinks he can safely ignore them. is the business class, the men who are engaged in affairs which require the constant use of money. They know
The Growing Impudence of the Bosses. that there is only one kind of money that is worth having for their purposes, and that is the best money. Every It would be a great gain for good politics in this counman who buys or sells, borrows or lends, enters into con- try if we could separate our bosses completely from our tracts or bargains, or ventures into enterprises of any political parties, and keep them in a separate political kind involving the use of money, knows that unless rogues' gallery of their own. They have no right to the value of that money is so stable that it will be worth as party names under which they conduct their operations, much next month or next year or ten years hence as it for they have no sympathy for or interest in the prinis to-day, it is virtually useless for his purposes. Doubt ciples of government which lie at the foundation of great
parties; and they would work in one party as readily as when he sees there is danger of his own party winning in another, their affiliation being determined by the a reform victory, for he knows that the success of reamount of personal advantage to themselves. They are form men and reform principles means the end of his really political freebooters, using party names as cloaks power. for their reprehensible practices. They are usually self- A boss is, in fact, the most expensive attachment a constituted, and are merely tolerated by the parties to great party can have. The more impudent he is the more which they ally themselves because of their following does he detract from the moral force of his party, and and their supposed power. If the parties were to repu- weaken the public confidence in it. When he forces himdiate them, and refuse them admission to their conven- self into a position of controlling absolutely all branches tions and councils, they could not exist. Deprived of the of a State government, because the party to which he sheltering name of a great party, they would have to belongs has possession of them, issuing quite openly his carry on their business openly, to avow the methods and orders about legislation, and making no secret of the purposes which they practise, and this would ruin them. fact that he is really assuming to be the dictator of the
No boss could retain his power by declaring to the State, he invites for his party the popular indignation world that he purposed to build up a great political ma- and odium which his performances are certain to arouse. chine by selling offices to the highest bidder, by collect- When, in the name of his party, he defies the moral sening blackmail from corporations and individuals as the timent of the country by offering himself as a candidate price of immunity from hostile legislation, and by pass- for the office of President, he does his utmost to bring ing laws which would rob the public for the benefit of that party into contempt. There is not a particle of himself and his followers. Yet this has been and is the doubt that the people despise bosses, and will condemn occupation of some of our most powerful bosses. Sev- and repudiate them whenever they can get the opporeral of them have acquired great wealth by means of it, tunity to do so. Time and again they have defeated and have flaunted their riches in the faces of the very boss-named candidates, and they can be depended upon people whom they have robbed. Not content with that, to do so in future. So well aware of this are the delethey have, from time to time, issued addresses through gates to our State and National conventions, that they the press to the same people, informing them that they are usually very unwilling to nominate for important should be grateful for the excellent government which office men who are known to be the favorites of a boss. their robbers have given them. Other bosses, taking There is ample reason for this popular distrust. The the blackmail which they have collected, use it, in the boss is the worst enemy of popular government, for primaries and nominating conventions, to secure the the chief object of his labors is to steal away from selection for office of men whom they can control; and the people their right to govern themselves. He poisons when these have been chosen by the people to legisla- popular government at its fountainhead, in the primaries tive and other positions, the bosses turn about, and say and nominating conventions, by foisting his tools into to the people: a You are our servants, not we yours. We public offices. Having got possession of the offices, he will give you the kind of laws and the kind of public uses them for barter and sale, for extortion and blackservice which suit us best. As for those of you who mail, taking into his own hands all the functions of govare reformers and think it your business to draft re- ernment for his own enrichment and that of his corrupt form legislation, you are wasting your time. We shall and corrupting machine. Formerly our bosses carried on not pay the slightest attention either to your measures their operations mainly in secret. We knew who they or to your protests. We possess the government, and we were, and what their business was, but they allowed us intend to run it to suit ourselves. Still other bosses, to see very little of their methods. Now they give their who have succeeded in advancing themselves to high orders to their tools in office more or less openly, declare office by corrupt and dishonest methods which have through the press what their plans and purposes are, and * been so notorious as to constitute national scandals, without concealment summon their official servants to have not hesitated to offer themselves as candidates for come to them for direction and counsel. They declare the highest office in the gift of the people, the Presi- openly what their plans are in regard to presidential dency of the United States.
nominations, « pack» the State delegations to National Impudence of these colossal proportions, we repeat, conventions in accordance with those plans, and even would not be possible were not the bosses able to shield offer themselves as candidates. The greatness of their themselves behind party names. They are the most success has turned their heads, and they reason that a damaging members any party can have, for the scandals public which has tolerated so much from them will rewhich their doings bring upon it are the most frequent volt at nothing which audacity and impudence may causes of its defeats. The people are compelled to de- suggest. feat the party in order to overthrow the boss, and they That they are inviting disaster, complete and overdo this whenever his conduct becomes particularly offen- whelming, we do not for a moment doubt. Every boss sive. He works at all times for the injury of his party, that we have had has run his career in a very brief for he fights desperately against every attempt of its time. The American people are not fools. They are reputable members to reform it; and when he cannot de- slow to anger, but when their wrath is aroused there is feat them in any other way, he unites forces with the no escape for those against whom it is directed. Tweed boss of the opposite party, and the two together carry said, when his bossdom tumbled about his head and the the day. In fact, the bosses of all parties reveal their penitentiary doors yawned before him, « There are some common piratical character by uniting for the defeat of elections in which money has no influence. So will it every reform movement which shows signs of succeed- be with Tweed's successors, all of whom have his dull ing. Any boss will always help the rival boss to win moral sense, and all of whom, with certain modern improvements, use his methods for filching power from the ship to fill all the offices, and for a time the party which people. Their impudence is hastening the day of wrath, secures its alliance is sure to elect its candidates. In and the political party which wishes to escape all share this way, in many communities, the control of one or the in that wrath had best have as little to do with them other of the parties has passed aimost entirely into the as possible, and needs, above all, to avoid even the ap- hands of the « patriotic » orders. pearance of following their counsel.
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 The Mischief of the A. P. A.
schools are under the care of Roman Catholics, is due to The bigot is generally devoid of that saving sense of these societies, and it is to their hostility that we owe the humor which greatly helps to make life worth living. If shameful proposal to exclude from the Nationalgallery of it were not so those secret societies, like the so-called statuary the effigy of the great pioneer and discoverer American Protective Association, which are engaged in Father Marquette. With respect to the schools, they avail a deadly warfare against all that is most significant and themselves of a sentiment which widely prevails, and precious in American institutions, would not insist on which is reasonable enough, but which, in this case, is parading themselves as « the patriotic orders.) Strange greatly overstrained, with the result of depriving the patriotism is this, which begins by denying the first tenet Indian pupils of educational privileges. The spirit of the of American liberty,-freedom toworshipGod, -and pro- organization is exhibited also in the semi-official anposes to punish religious beliefs which it does not share nouncement that Senator Hawley of Connecticut is to by depriving those who hold them, not only of their be denied a reëlection because of the part he took in political rights, but, if possible, of the means of liveli- securing the promotion to a generalship of Colonel hood. The very enormity of the sworn purposes of these Coppinger, whose fault is that he is a Roman Cathoorders seems to be what gives them their opportunity; lic. Not only are Roman Catholics to be refused perfor the majority of honorable men find themselves in- mission to take part in the defense of their country, capable of believing that such purposes can be cherished but those who decline to ostracize them must themby civilized human beings, and therefore fail to make any selves be ostracized. effective resistance to them. Thus they have the field to The Père Marquette incident is such an illustration themselves; and with scarcely a protest, they creep in of bigotry as ought to bring a blush to the cheek of and intrench themselves in one community after an- every American. That the great French priest was other, gathering together a large mass of the ignorant a brave and noble man can be disputed by nobody; and intolerant, and by their secret methods and their that his work among the Indians was one of beautiful compact military organization making themselves a devotion is not a matter of controversy; that to him was power in the local elections. Many communities have largely due the discovery of the upper Mississippi River, awakened when it was too late to find the grip of these and the opening of the great Northwest to civilization, secret orders firmly fastened upon their municipal ma- is the testimony of history. Yet simply because he was chinery. There should be no need of warning intelligent a Roman Catholic priest the « patriotic » orders would citizens against the dangers of such organizations. They deny the State which is most closely associated with are the deadly enemies of democratic institutions. There his beneficent activity the right of celebrating his servmay be business which can be legitimately carried on ices to the nation. behind closed doors, but the public business is not of this The inopportuneness of this recrudescence of bigotry nature. The attempt to control our politics in this way is not the least of its mischievous features. At the very is an amazing usurpation of power; yet the subversion time when all the truly conservative forces of the counof republican government which has thus been accom- try are needed to fight for its life against the civic plished in many localities has excited but little com- treason of its politicians and the greed of its spoilers, ment. On this question the great majority of newspapers these organizations are raising false issues to befog the are dumb, while thousands of Protestant ministers are ignorant and mislead the unthinking. But this is not helping on the fatal work. Some resistance, indeed, has all. No intelligent observer of events in the United been made to this domination in a few instances: Massa- States within the last five years can fail to be aware of chusetts, in the persons of Senator Hoar and the late the contest for supremacy that has been going on beGovernor Greenhalge, has furnished a commendable ex- tween the progressive and the reactionary elements of ample, but very few conspicuous politicians have ven- the Roman Catholic communion, or to note what a signal tured to challenge the secret power.
advance has been made thereby in the liberalizing and The political success of this conspiracy is due, of Americanizing of that historic institution. We do not course, to the machine politicians. A secret organization share its creed, but it would be wickedly provincial not whose vote can be controlled almost absolutely, whose to wish that it may contribute its greatest influence toofficial head can promise to throw it bodily into either ward the uplifting of mankind and toward the support of side of the scale, does not need to have a very large the free institutions of the country, rejecting all political membership in order that it may dictate nearly all the alliances as fatal to its highest usefulness. It is remarknominations of one or the other of the two parties. If able that, just as its wisest leaders have apparently suctwenty or even ten per cent. of the voters of a commu- ceeded in cutting it loose from certain degrading nity can be handled in this way, one of the parties will be political affiliations in the State of New York, its opposure to give their leaders nearly everything they ask for. nents have entered upon the very course they denounce. Ambitious minor politicians will make haste to join the To the student of current politics the operations of society, there will be candidates enough in its member- this new political force present an interesting problem. To what extent will it be able to dictate the Presidential ernment, and such a request for the study of the subject nominations? Will its adhesion to either party prove a of forestry Secretary Smith has made of the president of gain or a loss? Will the party managers court it or shun the academy, Professor Wolcott Gibbs, who has reit? Will its influence be offset by the open, unpartizan, sponded in a spirit commensurate with the importance and patriotic political activity of the Christian Endeavor of the Secretary's wise and patriotic action. In his acmovement? The exigencies of the next election always ceptance of the task President Gibbs says: press upon the mind of the partizan leader, and the hope of securing the solid support of such a formidable con
It is needless to remind you that the matter you re
fer to the Academy is important and difficult. No subtingent will powerfully affect his imagination. But it ject upon which the Academy has been asked before by should not require any exceptional far-sightedness to the Government for advice compares with it in scope, discern the ruin which must overtake any party, in a
and it is the opinion of thoughtful men that no other free government, that identifies its fortunes with these United States equals in importance that offered by the
economic problem confronting the Government of the patriotic » orders. Such principles and purposes as present condition and future fate of the forests of
western North America. their oaths reveal cannot be harbored by any political
The forests in the Public Domain extend through organization without forfeiting the confidence of the 18 degrees of longitude and 20 degrees of latitude; people.
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 A Model Forestry Commission.
country they are valuable as sources of timber-supply
which can be made permanent; in others, while proThe readers of THE CENTURY are familiar with the vari- ducing no timber of importance, they are not less ous efforts that from time to time have been made dur- valuable for their influence upon the supply of water ing the last seven years to arouse members of Congress irrigation for their means of subsistence. The character
available for the inhabitants of regions dependent on and the public to the peril of neglecting the National of the topography, and the climate of most of the reforests. The indifference of our lawmakers to the gion now embraced in the Public Domain, increase the preservation of our largest and most valuable agricul- tributed rainfall Checks the growth of forests, while
difficulty of the problem. Scanty and unequally distural crop has been phenomenal-the only bright spot in high mountain-ranges make them essential to regulate the dark record being the system of forest reservation the flow of mountain streams. advocated in these pages, and authorized by act of
You have done the Academy the honor of asking it
to recommend a plan for the general treatment of the Congress, March 3, 1891. Under this law 17,000,000 forest-covered portions of the Public Domain. That acres of forest land of high altitude have been set aside its report may be valuable as a basis for future legisby Presidents Harrison and Cleveland as reservoirs of lation, it must consider :
1. The question of the ultimate ownership of the timber and of water; but the enemies of the reservation forests now belonging to the Government; that is, policy have succeeded in defeating all measures looking what portions of the forest on the Public Domain shall to the proper defense and use of these lands, while the Government control into private hands.
be allowed to pass, either in part or entirely, from sheep-herders of the West go on in their depredations, 2. How shall the Government forests be administered unawed by the « paper bullets of the brain » fulminated so that the inhabitants of adjacent regions may draw against them by the Secretary of the Interior, who is fecting their permanency.
their necessary forest supplies from them without afpowerless to call to his support a single soldier of the 3. What provision is possible and necessary to seUnited States army. Even as we write a vigorous organ- honest management of the forests of the Public Domain,
cure for the Government a continuous, intelligent, and ization of the sheep-herders of Oregon is besieging the including those in the reservations already made, or Secretary to consent to give up three fourths of the great which may be made in the future. Cascade Forest Reserve in that State. To yield to them would not only be against the immediate interests of This admirable statement of the scope of the work is Oregon, but would be a reversal of the beneficent policy accompanied by the appointment of a commission of exof two administrations for which there would be no ade- perts to undertake the investigation which, in characquate reason, and would be a positive enactment of the ter and in range of scientific knowledge of the sort that principle, « After us the deluge,» heretofore negatively qualifies for a given task, has seldom, if ever, been shown in our legislative inaction.
equaled in the record of governmental work. The memBut at last the whole policy of the Government has been bers are: Professor Charles S. Sargent of Harvard, turned in the right direction. By the official initiative of chairman; Professor Wolcott Gibbs, ex-officio; Alexthe Secretary of the Interior, the Honorable Hoke Smith, a ander Agassiz; Professor W. H. Brewer of Yale; GenNational investigation has just been set on foot, which, by eral Henry L. Abbott, U. S. A. (retired); Arnold Hague the sheer force of its authoritativeness, must compel of the Geological Survey; and Gifford Pinchot, practical legislative attention. By the constitution of the National forester. Academy of Science it becomes the duty of this body to These gentlemen, serving without pay, will proceed undertake the investigation of any scientific problem to make a scientific and practical study of the public upon the request of the head of a department of the Gov- forests from every point of view, and on the ground, and
1 Among the articles on this subject printed in THE CENTURY Army, January, 1894 ; “Forestry Legislation in Europe, April, during the last seven years, are these : How to Preserve the 1894 ; « The Depletion of American Forests, May, 1894; «ConForests," June, 1889; « The Treasures of the Yosemite, August, gress and the Forestry Question," November, 1894 ; "A Plan to 1941); « Features of the Proposed Yosemite National Park, Sep. Save the Forests,) February, 1895 ; « The Need of a National temter, 1890 ; Amateur Management of the Yosemite Scenery,» Forest Cominission,) February, 1895 ; ( The West and her l'anishOctober, 1890; «Forestry in America,) November, 1890 ; « Trees ing Forests,” May, 1895 ; « Reforesting Michigan Lands, July, in America, December, 1890 ; « The Pressing Need of Forest 1895 ; « Hope for the Forests, ") September, 1895 ; « The Plight of Erwervation in the Sierra, June, 1892 ; « A Memorable Advance the Arid West,) February, 1896 ; «Plain Words to Californians, in Forest Preservation, Ápril, 1893 ; « Our New National Forest April, 1896. Reserves, September, 1893; « The Forest Reserves and the
their report and their recommendations, whatever they We regard the establishment of this commission as a may be in detail, cannot fail to carry such weight with landmark of national progress. While of extraordinary the press and the public that it will be as impossible to value to the whole country, it will prove, particularly, go back to the old policy of neglect as to reënact literary the salvation of the West from those who would sacripiracy, or the toleration of lotteries, or any other outworn fice its entire future to the greed of the immediate system of robbing the many for the benefit of the few. moment.
Recent American Sculpture :
spirit about them to be called either Greek or Italian. DANIEL CHESTER FRENCH's O'REILLY GROUP.
(sEE PAGE 89.) The Poetry, modestly offering a laurel leaf for the HT (ISTORY does not become ancient so fast but that wreath, has a face of tender sadness which the light
many people will remember the coming and the go- and shade seem to emphasize, and in pose is restfully ing of John Boyle O'Reilly. He has been dead only half relaxed, slightly leaning against the mother as though a dozen years, and it was so late as 1869 that he first in sympathy. The lines of the figure, and the sweep landed in America. He came as an escaped Fenian after of the wing which repeats the outer curve of the body three years of confinement in English prisons and a final and leg, are exceedingly graceful, and the lyre of transportation to Australia. On his arrival here he took Apollo, held in the left hand, relieves while it accents out naturalization papers, began lecturing, and soon be- the rhythm of the lines. The figure of Patriotism is came a reporter for the « Pilot. In 1876 he became the something of a contrast. The costume is that of a editor and manager of the « Pilot,» and remained so Roman or a Celtic warrior, the left hand clutches the until the time of his death. In addition to his political flag, and slung at the back by a strap is the shield. The writings he addressed himself to the Muse. The Irish whole figure is heroic, strongly muscled, iron-like of Americans of New England accepted him as a leader, frame, and stern of visage, as befits the soldier. The and when he died a memorial committee was appointed for lines are shorter, rougher, more angular than in the the purpose of erecting « a statue or other monument to Poetry, and instead of the soft relaxation of the gentler John Boyle O'Reilly.” The sculptor chosen for the work genius we have the half-strung rigidity of the guardswas Daniel Chester French, and the group for the base man ready to spring into action at a moment's notice. of the monument shown in the illustration is the first re- It is not a restless, but an alert figure-one that holds sult of Mr. French's labor.
the oak leaf in the right hand easily enough but has The monument (to be erected in a small triangular something suggestive of nervous strength in the grasp park in the Back Bay district of Boston) is to take the of the left hand upon the flag. The Patriotism seems form of a granite monolith of Celtic design. There will expressive of restraint; the Poetry indicates repose. be a bronze bust of O'Reilly on the front of the shaft and The entire group forms a pyramidal, balanced compothis group of three figures in bronze at the back. It was sition, and while the figures at the sides relieve each fitting that the monument should show the features of other, they also form the diagonal lines, and help supthe man in the bust, and symbolize the dominant quali- port the pyramid of which the Erin is the center and ties of the man's life in the group. As was abundantly the apex. She is seated erect upon a raised platform, and shown in his verse, O'Reilly had his tender and sympa- has a footstool or bench under her feet. The figure is thetic side. He had a love for the shepherd's pipe and massive, and is clad in a robe of heavy woven stuff that the arts of peace; and this Mr. French has effectively emphasizes the strength of the body by its breadth of represented by the figure of the genius of Poetry. He treatment. The arms, bust, shoulders, and head are of had also his sterner side, a nature quick to passion and corresponding proportions, and in their modeling give resentful of wrong; and this Mr. French has repre- the feeling of structure and substance. The very largesented by the strong figure of the soldier-the genius ness of the figure is impressive, and helps the dignity of Patriotism. Between the two sits the figure of Erin, and majesty of the pose. The head is covered and the the mother for whom he fought and sang. The two na- face is partly shadowed by a gracefully turned headtures seem to support and console her: each has offered cloth, which not only lends to the evenness of the comsomething to the leaves that lie in her lap; and as she position by sustaining the large proportions of the body, sits sadly tranquil, forming the wreath of glory from but produces an admirable effect of light and shade upon shamrock, laurel, and oak, she seems to be thinking with the face. Little of the Greek is to be seen in the features: pride of the deeds he has done in her name, and of the the cheek-bones are too high, the jaw is too square, the love that he in common with other sons has borne her. mouth too large, the nose too heavy, for the ideal classic
The figures are types, not portraits, and they lean to- proportions; but the ruggedness and boldness of the ward an expression of the Irish type in the Erin and in features create the heroic type. It is a face of great the Patriotism; but in other respects they are classic, yet nobility, tinged by sadness, it is true, and yet with with something too much of individualism and modern something of pride in the sorrow. Sorrow is shown, but