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THE VALLEY OF CHILDISH THINGS, AND OTHER EMBLEMS.

cover your mistake at a glance, and point it out so clearly to posterity that you'll be the laughing-stock of all succeeding generations of architects. Which do you choose?»

«Oh, well,» said the architect, «if it comes to that, you know-as long as it suits my clients as it is, I really don't see the use of making such a fuss.»

VIII.

A MAN once married a charming young person who agreed with him on every question. At first they were very happy, for the man thought his wife the most interesting companion he had ever met, and they spent their days telling each other what wonderful people they were. But by and by the man began to find his wife rather tiresome. Wherever he went she insisted upon going; whatever he did, she was sure to tell him that it would have been better to do the opposite; and moreover, it gradually dawned upon him that his friends had never thought so highly of her as he did. Having made this discovery, he naturally felt justified in regarding himself as the aggrieved party; she took the same view of her situation, and their life was one of incessant recrimination.

Finally, after years spent in violent quarrels and short-lived reconciliations, the man grew weary, and decided to divorce his wife. He engaged an able lawyer, who assured him that he would have no difficulty in obtaining a divorce; but to his surprise, the judge refused to grant it.

«But- said the man, and he began to recapitulate his injuries.

"That's all very true,» said the judge, «and nothing would be easier than for you to obtain a divorce if you had only married another person.»>

469

possessed of ample means and numerous poor relatives, he might have indulged a variety of tastes and even a few virtues; but since. there is no occupation that does not bring a few cares in its train, this gentleman resolutely refrained from doing anything.

He ceased to visit his old mother, who lived in the country, because it made him nervous to catch the train; he subscribed to no charities because it was a bother to write the checks; he received no visits because he did not wish to be under the obligation of returning them; he invited no guests to stay with him, for fear of being bored before they left; he gave no presents because it was so troublesome to choose them; finally, he even gave up asking his friends to dine because it was such a nuisance to tell the cook that they were coming.

This gentleman took an honest pride in his complete detachment from the trivial importunities of life, and was never tired of ridiculing those who complained of the weight of. their responsibilities, justly remarking that if they really wished to be their own masters they had only to follow his example.

One day, however, one of his servants carelessly left the front door open, and Death walked in unannounced, and begged the gentleman to come along as quickly as possible, as there were a good many more people to be called for that afternoon.

«But I can't,» cried the gentleman, in dismay. «I really can't, you know. I-why, I've asked some people to dine with me this evening.»

That's a little too much,» said Death. And the devil carried the gentleman off in a big black bag.

X.

« What do you mean by another person?» THERE was once a man who had seen the asked the man in astonishment. Parthenon, and he wished to build his god a temple like it.

« Well,» replied the judge, «it appears that you inadvertently married yourself; that is a union no court has the power to dissolve.»>

«Oh,» said the man; and he was secretly glad, for in his heart he was already longing to make it up again with his wife.

IX.

THERE was once a gentleman who greatly disliked to assume any responsibility. Being

But he was not a skilful man, and, try as he would, he could produce only a mud hut thatched with straw; and he sat down and wept because he could not build a temple for his god.

But one who passed by said to him:

«There are two worse plights than yours. One is to have no god; the other is to build a mud hut and mistake it for the Parthenon.>>

Edith Wharton.

TOPICS OF THE TIME

NOTHI

The Folly of Bimetallism.

OTHING could be of more service to the country in the forthcoming Presidential campaign than to have both great National parties declare unequivocally in their platforms in favor of the gold standard of value. That would go a long way toward settling the policy of the next National administration in advance. It would take the question out of the campaign as a subject of discussion between the two parties, and would give the country the assurance that, no matter which party should win in the election, there would be no danger of free-silver legislation. Thus this threatened obstacle to the return of prosperity would be removed.

Of course such a desirable effect as this can be produced only in case both parties are unequivocal in their declarations. If one be more explicit than the other, then this issue is certain to take and hold first place in the campaign. On that point there can be no doubt. We have referred in former articles in this place to the many signs that have been revealed during the last few months which indicate the sentiment of the people upon this subject. They showed their determination to uphold the gold standard when they oversubscribed the last issue of bonds, and they showed it subsequently in the way in which they induced so many of the State political conventions to put the word "gold» into their platforms. By far the greater majority of the conventions held by both parties, up to the date of this writing, have declared emphatically, and without evasion or equivocation, in favor of the gold standard and against free-silver coinage. To realize the full significance of this it should be borne in mind that the phrase "gold standard » has not appeared in any political platform for many years-not since the worship of silver as a National fetish became popular. The people have recovered from that delusion, and are forcing the politicians to take note of their recovery.

This being the case, it is obvious that the party which fails to commit itself squarely to the gold standard will be certain to encounter formidable popular opposition in the campaign. The shrewdest politicians in both parties take this view, saying that not only the industrial and commercial interests of the country, but the wage-earners and the farmers are now so keenly alive to the merits of the gold standard that they are determined to have no further trifling with the subject. They are weary beyond endurance of the long-continued doubt about our currency system, and are resolved to put an end to it now. Other questions can wait, but this must be settled without further delay.

of the last few months. The politicians and platformmakers have felt the necessity of adding to such profession a pledge of belief in the gold standard as the only safe currency basis pending the advent of bimetallism. This foreshadows the early withdrawal of bimetallism as a panacea for our financial ills, and that will be a long step forward. It is folly to talk about international agreement upon it as possible, for there is not the slightest hope of such a thing. England would never consent to it, if other countries should, and without her consent agreement is impossible. Her financial condition to-day, which is justly the admiration of the world, offers a most convincing demonstration of the supreme wisdom of the gold standard. She has stood inflexibly upon it, through all financial storms, and the consequence is that she does the banking business of the world, and exhibits a degree of national prosperity that cannot be equaled in any other country. Her treasury was never so full, her savings and other bank deposits were never so large, her securities never commanded so high a price, her revenue receipts far exceed expenditures. To say that, under such conditions as these, she will consent to change her standard of value is a manifest absurdity. The talk about international bimetallism as a possibility is, therefore, no less an absurdity, and must soon be abandoned.

With bimetallism out of the case, the only question is whether we shall have the gold or the silver standard. We must have one or the other, and nobody who has followed the course of public sentiment during the last year can believe that the people will consent to accept silver. Neither will they consent to have any doubt about it. There are certain great facts about the two standards which have become firmly lodged in the public mind. One is that gold is the best money known to man, and that every man who does business, or works for wages, or has anything to sell, wants none but the best money with which to transact his business or in which to receive his payment. Another fact is that if you have the gold standard you have silver in use also, but if you have the silver standard gold will not remain with you; for there is not a free-silver coinage country in the world to-day which is not on an exclusive silver basis. Another fact is that, if you have the silver standard, all values-savings bank deposits, life insurance policies, pensions, rents, annuities, wages, railway earnings-all will drop from a dollar to fifty cents at one stroke. In the face of facts like these it is a libel on the national intelligence to say that the American people will consent to depart from the gold standard. Nobody who possesses anything wishes for such a departure. The bankrupts and paupers of the country may wish it, but did anybody ever hear of a nation adapting its financial system to the wishes of those elements of

Profession of faith in bimetallism, whenever this can be accomplished by international agreement,» is no longer regarded as satisfactory evidence of sound-money views. This is one of the most significant developments its population? This country to-day is the paradise of

the laboring man. He receives higher wages than are paid in any other country, higher than are paid in silverstandard countries. Does he wish to receive them in silver rather than in gold? Ask him, and see what response he makes. He stands with the merchant, the manufacturer, and the prosperous farmer in saying that the best money is not too good for him. It is only the man who has nothing and who earns nothing who is in favor of second-rate money; for he thinks that he may possibly be able to get some of that, though, as a matter of fact, it will be as far beyond his reach as the best money, for unless he has something to give in exchange for it none of it will flow into his pockets. The common sense of the American people has asserted itself on this question, and the party or candidate that ventures to ignore this fact will regret the mistake before the present campaign is ended.

President Cleveland's Emancipation Proclamation. THE President's order of May last, bringing within civil-service regulations virtually all the Federal employees before excluded from their operation, was really a new emancipation proclamation. It completed the work of freeing the political slaves, whose serfdom had been begun by Andrew Jackson over sixty years before. Thus one Democratic President has undone the evil wrought by another Democratic President. Jackson placed the Federal service in politics, making all its positions the perquisites of politicians-the bribes which were paid for political activity and support. What President Cleveland has done has been to put the service back where it was when Jackson looted it; that is, make its employees once more the servants of the people rather than the creatures and servants of the politicians. The American people owe the President a debt of gratitude for this act, which will be more and more appreciated as time advances. He has been the unswerving friend of the reform, and has done more for it than all other Presidents combined.

Henceforth the 85,200 employees in the Federal service are as absolutely removed from the control of the politicians as are the employees of a bank or a great commercial house. They are certain to hold their positions as long as they perform their duties acceptably. When vacancies occur, every citizen of the United States will have equal chance with every other to get one of them. The examinations will be free to everybody, and the fittest applicants are sure to win; nobody's influence or pull» will be of the slightest value to an applicant. Republicans and Democrats will have equally good chances for succeeding, no matter what the politics of the administration in power may be. This is one of the most thoroughly American aspects of civil-service reform. When political influences decided the matter, only the candidates of one political party could hope to get into the government service. If one party were in power for a long period, all the young men of the opposite party were excluded from the service. Henceforth the best man is sure to win, no matter what his politics may be. Surely there could be nothing more thoroughly American in spirit than that-nothing more democratic. In every way the change is in the interest of the people. Not only do all the young men and women of

the country have equal chance to obtain positions, but the Government is assured of far better service than was possible under the old system, and consequently the people have the benefit of a more economical administration. The business of the Government will be carried on now in precisely the same way as private business is. No private business could live in the way in which our public business was conducted under the old spoils system; that is, with a complete change of employees every four years, the new ones, like the old, being all more or less incompetent; for they were recruited from the professional political class, which was made up largely of persons who had been either too idle or too shiftless or too unprincipled to fit themselves for regular business or professional life. Instead of drawing from all the people for the best material, the old system drew from a small class composed largely of men notoriously unfit.

Next to the people, the chief beneficiaries of the new order of things will be Senators and Representatives and members of the Cabinet. These will no longer be compelled to sacrifice the greater part of their time to hearing applications for office and getting places for political workers. They can say to all comers that they have no power whatever in the premises any more than an ordinary private citizen has, and the result will be that they will be able to devote more time to the public' business. We have no doubt that at heart the great majority of Senators and Representatives will rejoice over the new situation, for it was one of the most annoying delusions of the old system that any, even the most astute politician could use it in such a way as to give satisfaction to his followers. It was impossible to give all applicants what they desired, and the result in most cases was that the number of enemies made exceeded the number of friends.

But the best effect of all is that it brings us back to a proper conception of what public office is. This was well expressed in a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, wherein it was said, «Public offices are created for the purpose of effecting the ends for which government has been instituted, which are the common good, and not the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.» The boss or spoils view is precisely the opposite of this. That treats public office as part of the available campaign funds of a boss, to be used for the purchase of votes, as bribes for support in the campaign and at the polls. A worse and more debasing form of slavery than a public office, won and held on such terms, could not be conceived. The incumbent knows that just as soon as his boss goes out of power, out he must go from his office. As the manner in which he performs his duties has nothing whatever to do with his retention in office, he pays slight attention to his work, and seeks only to retain the favor of the boss while the latter continues in power. To call such a system as this American, and to say, as the spoilsmen do, that the new system is unAmerican because it creates an office-holding class, is perhaps the supreme instance of boss impudence; yet for a long time many persons were deceived by it.

We are certain, however, that President Cleveland's act is thoroughly in accord with public sentiment at present. Nothing has been clearer for the last few years than that the people have been disgusted with the

scramble for office that has followed the advent of a new President in Washington. They have been longing for Presidential action which should put an end to this National disgrace forever. In March, 1897, when the next President shall take office, there will be nothing for the spoils men to collect about and scramble for except the fourth-class post-offices, the consulships, and foreign missions, mainly only those offices which are filled by the President with the consent of the Senate. It will not be many years, we are confident, before all the post-offices and the consular service will be brought within the same regulations, for this reform is certain to go forward. Its chief advancing influence is the improved service which it secures for the people. That makes converts wherever it is seen. It used to be said that if the offices were not treated as spoils for the victors, nobody would do the necessary political work to carry elections, and there would be danger that these would go by default. Nobody seems to anticipate any peril of this kind at present, and certainly no one familiar with our professional working politicians will deny that if they, with their bosses at their head, were to leave politics in disgust, their departure would be a cause for National thanksgiving.

The chief work of reformers now ought to be to extend the national system to state officers, so that throughout the union all public servants shall become the servants of the people. That is the surest way to break down the power of the bosses, for without spoils they will find it impossible to perpetuate their machines.

Fears for Democracy.

EVERY great change in the political and social order of the world is closely followed by a revulsion of feeling and of opinion. Hope has hardly turned to elation when it begins to give place to despondency; the era of enthusiasm is succeeded by a period of criticism. The reform for which men have been longing is, in their belief, to undo all the evils of the older world; and in the list of those evils they comprehend not only such as are caused by the existing system, but other ills for which imperfect human nature is really responsible. When the new system is fairly established, it is discovered that most of the political and social vices of the former age have reappeared, more or less modified in their form, but substantially unchanged in character. In the period of disillusion that ensues, the old order seems fairer than it was, and what has been gained is underrated. Then comes the critic who, with injustice as great as that of the reformers, holds the new order responsible for all that is amiss-not only for its own peculiar sins of commission or omission, but for all the hereditary sins of the race.

The political fact which gives its stamp to the nineteenth century is the triumph of democracy. Now democracy signifies nothing in itself but the equal distribution, without regard to class, of the power to make laws and to control their enforcement. It is the most effective safeguard yet discovered against the oppression of an unorganized majority of the weak by an organized minority of the strong. Ideal monarchy may discharge this duty; by basing the throne on the whole people, it may prevent class rule; but historical mon

archy has usually meant class rule. It meant this in the France of the Bourbons; it means this to-day in the Russia of the Romanoffs. Democracy is historically a reaction against class rule rather than against kingly rule. Its first demand and its dearest desire is political and legal equality. But from the beginning of the democratic movement the leaders have promised, and their followers have expected, other things. Democracy was to put an end to governmental extravagance and corruption. The monarch, reaping where he had not sown, might fling the treasures of the nation to courtiers and courtezans; his officers, accountable to him alone, might divert millions from the national treasury; but the plain people, who paid the taxes, would exercise another sort of thrift and watchfulness. Democracy, it was sometimes maintained, would put an end to governmental paternalism. The king, regarding his kingdom as his patrimony, might seek to develop its resources by constant surveillance and interference; the plain people would see to it that governmental functions were restricted to the most necessary common ends, and that the freest play was given to individual energy and intelligence. Democracy, finally, was everywhere to assure liberty-not merely political liberty, which means the right of every man to a share of governmental power; nor merely economic liberty, which means the right of every man to seek his fortune in any honest way; but civil, religious, and social liberty as well, since no man will desire to coerce his fellow, as long as his fellow minds his own business. Such unjustifiable coercion could suggest itself only to a jure divino despot.

With the establishment of democratic government has come the recognition that democracy alone does not secure all these ends. It does not make men unselfish or reasonable or even honest. It secures the realization, in the long run, of the will of the majority, but it does not insure the wisdom of that will. It does not protect the minority against the majority; an unchecked majority may exercise a degree of tyranny over a dissentient minority from which a czar would shrink. For a number of years European writers have been calling attention to these and other defects of democratic government. A French deputy, M. Frary, declared, some twenty years ago, in his «Manuel du Demagogue,» that democracy does not care for liberty, but only for equality. Sir Henry Maine made the same assertion in his «Popular Government.>> Mr. Lecky repeats it in his recent work on «Democracy and Liberty.» Maine declared that the tendency of democracy is socialistic; it facilitates the plundering of the rich by the poor. Lecky, too, views with some alarm the tendency of democratic communities toward progressive taxation of incomes and inheritances. Both Maine and Lecky lay much stress upon the corruptness of the French and the American governmental service. Lecky distrusts the impartiality of our elective judiciary. Both of these critics recognize abstractly that monarchic and oligarchic governments have been corrupt, and that monarchic governments, at least, have shown strong tendencies toward state socialism; but neither seems to realize that oligarchic government has often been a system of legalized plunder, or that the most highly developed socialism in history was that of the Roman empire in the fourth century; and each of them lapses into forms of

expression that seem to imply a peculiar responsibility on the part of democracy for the corruptness of some of its officials, for the desire of some of its citizens to make other citizens pay disproportionate taxes, and for the tendency of many citizens to regulate other men's business instead of minding their own. Both critics seem at times to forget that these weaknesses are not peculiar to any single age or form of government. Frary is more discriminating. He maintains that the modern demagogue, who wins by flattery the favor of the sovereign people and abuses their confidence for his selfish ends, is simply the seventeenth-century courtier in nineteenth-century costume; and while he recognizes the inclination of French democracy to state socialism, he rightly attributes it to a faith in «l'état providence» inherited from the Bourbon régime.

Mr. Lecky, like most conservative Englishmen of the present time, has a great admiration for our written constitutions, and especially for the protection they afford to personal liberty and to property. But neither he nor any other Englishman, unless it be Mr. Bryce, has fully grasped the peculiarity which chiefly distinguishes our system of government from that of Europe -from that of republican France as well as from that of monarchic Prussia. The difference lies in the extent to which we are accustomed to look to private initiative and private association for work that in Europe is commonly done by government. Society attains its ends in all countries partly by government and partly through liberty, but in no other country is the field of governmental action so closely circumscribed and the field of liberty so little limited as in the United States. This is still true in spite of the tendency of some of our latterday legislators to exalt their office, and in spite of the tendency of our courts to give undue extension to the conception of the police power.» It behooves us to see that it remains true. Democracy does not entail, as some of our foreign critics seem to think, a special risk of overgovernment; but we must not delude ourselves into thinking that democracy alone gives any safeguard against it.

The Attempt to Revive Intellectual Piracy. ONE would have thought that any prudent man, with the slightest regard for his reputation, might have detected in the long agitation for international copyright which culminated in the act of 1891, the existence, among the classes that direct American public opinion, of a widespread impatience with the form of robbery known as intellectual piracy. Whatever extenuation there may have been for such offenses, the offenders as a body are doubtless ashamed of the old record. But there seem to be a few persons, chiefly among the publishers of music and of engravings, who betray a rash willingness to stand once more in the public pillory. This willingness is likely to be gratified, for we much mistake the temper of the cultivated people of the country if, five years after a new and honorable record has been made on this subject, they will be content to go back in any detail to the old disgraceful state of affairs. Indeed, the passage of the Treloar bill would be a greater disgrace, since it would involve actually taking away property rights that exist, instead of refusing to confer those which ought to exist.

VOL. LII.-60.

The main proposition of the copyright bill of Mr. Treloar, a representative from Missouri, and himself recently, if not still, a publisher of music, is to rewrite the law of 1891, so that the condition of manufacture in the United States, which, in order to obtain from Congress any copyright reform whatever, was made to apply to books, chromos, lithographs, and photographs, shall now, when no such emergency exists, be extended to music, engravings, cuts, prints, etc. This is advocated ostensibly in the interest of the American workman, who, in all the years of agitation before 1891, did not raise a voice to demand it, and who in this matter is so nearly non-existent as to be, even in the matter of votes, a negligible quantity. It is really advocated in the interest of publishers of music and engravings, who hope, by making an impossible or onerous condition, to prevent composers, both American and foreign, from taking out copyrights, and thus to throw into the «public domain,» which now contains every note of music published before July 1, 1891, the further reinforcement of a large body of contemporary work. The obvious result would be the enrichment of such publishers, some of whom have already made fortunes on the unremunerated product of other men's brains. These, and these alone, are to be the beneficiaries of the proposed class legislation.

Now at whose expense is this bounty to be bestowed? First, of all foreign composers and artists; secondly, of all American composers and artists; thirdly, of the American public; and fourthly, of the entire system of international copyright, which under the present act has been laboriously built up with nine countries of Europe, to wit: Great Britain and her colonies, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Against the proposal protests have been sent to Congress by the Manuscript Society of New York, representing the musical profession, and by over two hundred individual composers and musicians; by the Fine Arts Federation, representing ten societies of artists, of which six are of a National character in distribution of membership, and by the American Copyright League, representing the writers of the country. Why are not these protests conclusive? If any American industry is to be built up, why not that of producing music and art, instead of that of distributing them? Are not these civilizing influences more valuable to the country than the building up of a few colossal fortunes? The producers, moreover, are not asking special privileges; only the continued freedom of the present law to get the return which they may for their work.

But suppose that Congress, for a false idea of consistency, were willing to sacrifice the producer to the distributor, will it also sacrifice the privileges which the present law gives to Americans in the nine countries of Europe above enumerated? Or is anybody so foolish as to suppose that the passage of the Treloar Bill would not cause prompt reprisals by foreign countries? Will they be shrewd about pork and wool, and not about art and music? Are they not already restive under the inequality of what they give as compared with what they get through our present law? Excellent as it is in most respects, it is in some undeniably a source of hardship, and in the case of countries of a different tongue it is chiefly useful to their citizens by reason of the ideal

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