Puslapio vaizdai

evil of the former does not lie in the fact that unfit men are frequently selected for important positions, and paid large salaries for work which they do not do. The nation could raise a sum equal to the total of all salaries of its officials and give it to other nations, without being heavily weighed down by the effort. New York City was not impoverished by being plundered by the Tweed Ring to the extent of nearly $100,000,000. Far greater evils than the waste of money are anticipated from the existence of corruption in the Government. The corruption must work downward. The people might endure being plundered, if they could be plundered without being corrupted. But this is impossible. they are plundered in this country it is by their own consent.


It might at first seem difficult to obtain their consent, and so it would be, if it were not for the existence of certain fetiches in the popular mind. One of these, to which Mr. Lea calls attention in the Forum, is party spirit. It may be more difficult to play upon men than upon a pipe, but here is a key with which wonders can be accomplished by a skilful player. We have a remarkable instance in the present House of Representatives. In order In order to control the nation, a State, or a city, all a man need do is get control of the dominant party machine,- not that this is an easy thing to do, but the fact that it has frequently been done proves that it is not impossible.

An important subsidiary is bribery. There is in all States, and especially in cities, a large and, it seems, constantly increasing purchasable vote. Carlyle found in the character of the organizations bidding for votes an excuse for the sale.

Why should an indigent discerning freeman give his vote without bribes? Let us rather honor the poor man that he does discern clearly wherein lies, for him, the true kernel of the matter. What is it to the ragged, grimy Freeman whether Aristides Rigmarole, Esq., of the Destructive, or the Hon. Alcides Dolittle, of the Conservative

party, be sent to Parliament? Destructive or Conservative, what will either of them destroy or conserve of vital movement to this Freeman? Has he found either of them to care at bottom a sixpence for him or his interests, or those of his class, or of his cause, or of any class or cause that is of much value to God or man? Rigmarole and Dolittle have alike cared for themselves hitherto; and for their own clique, and self-conceited crotchets. Neither Rigmarole nor Dolittle will accomplish any good or any evil for this grimy Freeman, like giving him a five-pound note, or refusing to give it to him. It will be smoothest to vote according to value received. That is the veritable fact; and he indigent, like others that are are not indigent, acts conformably thereto.

Bribery, however, has a much wider extension than the direct purchase of votes. Trading municipal or State votes for national in a presidential campaign must be classed under this head. Inducing a class of people to contribute money and influence by the promise of legislation favorable to the class is a peculiarly vicious form. Pension legislation may be used for this purpose. Any man who is influenced by any consideration other than what seems to him the interest of the community, approaches the condition of one who sells his vote. The Australian ballot, restricting immigration, and modifying our naturalization laws, all combined, seem very inadequate to remedy the evil.

England is the ideal of the civil-service reformer. Probably there is less corruption in politics there than here, and the civil service is better administered. But it cannot be admitted that England does not suffer from trying to do by governmental agency what could be done better by other agencies. It is no small objection that the nation is obliged to pay more for getting work badly done than would be necessary to get more work well done. Then there is apparently at least as much eagerness "to serve the State" as we complain of here, not perhaps such a periodical rush for offices, but, since the introduction of competitive examinations, great numbers prepare themselves

for them, looking forward to a respectable career, and thus there is a constant pressure for increasing the number of State officials. On the theory of the Home Market Club, this might be regarded as a good thing, on the ground that it would increase the "home market for home products," but on any other grounds it must be recognized as wasteful. Again, the better working of administrative machinery in England may be a co-operating cause for her greater readiness (puce Mr. Bryce) to interfere with industry. Two examples must suffice, for which I am indebted to Mr. Lawrence Lowell's Political Essays. 1. "In England there is a statute (Factory and Workshop Act, 1883) which provides not only that the owner of a white-lead factory shall furnish hot and cold water, soap, towels, brushes, separate rooms for meals, and acidulated drinks, but also subjects to a fine any person employed who refuses to make use of these things. It is safe to assert that the liberty of the free American has never been so far infringed as to compel him to use hot water and soap if he did not want to do so." 2. A statute of 1887 empowers local sanitary authorities, when in their opinion agricultural allotments are needed for laborers and cannot be obtained at a reasonable rent, to buy, hire, or take land on paying

compensation therefor," under certain conditions, and let it to laborers. Of a similar nature is the Irish Land Purchase bill, introduced by Mr. Balfour, which expropriates landlords and gives them a compensation fixed by the government. The evidence collected by Herbert Spencer is amply sufficient to show that English administration has not become efficient, although it has been "taken out of politics," and although positions are granted upon competitive examination and promotions depend upon merit.

The example of England, then, shows us us that civil-service reform is ludicrously inadequate as a cure for our political ills; but even this seems more than we are capable of at present. Nations, like individuals, are liable to enter upon wrong courses, and neither will commonly reform until after having experienced the consequences of error. The only objection to the political reforms that are popularly advocated is that they would be of so little avail, even supposing them to be accomplished. The only way, apparently, that a nation can be convinced of the unwisdom of trying to make its regulating system do the work of its sustaining system is by making the trial and observing the effects, and even then it is not sure to remember.


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Carpenter's Mental Physiology,

Published by D. Appleton & Co. at $3.00.

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The Constitution of the United States





This little book should be in the hands of every one. It is designed to help the American, German, and Frenchman to master the every-day language of the others.

"The translations have been carefully made and revised by experts in the languages; and the author, producing a superior work and placing it in the hands of Americans, Germans, and Frenchmen, has done them a great service. There is no production in the history of the civilized world so simple and yet so grand as the Constitution of the United States. A study of it cannot be other than elevating, and the translations are given in two of the most copious and finished languages of the world." The New York School Journal.

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Edited by Rev. Sir G. W. COX, Bart., M. A., and by C. SANKEY, M. A.

Beesly's Gracchi, Marius, and Sulla.

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Cape's Roman Empire of the Second Century, or the Age of the Antonines.

Cox's Greeks and Persians.

Curteis's Rise of the Macedonian Empire.

Ihne's Rome, to its Capture by the Gauls.
Merivale's Roman Triumvirates.


Edited by C. COLBECK, M. A.

Church's Beginning of the Middle Ages.

Creighton's Age of Elizabeth.

Gairdner's Houses of Lancaster and York.

Gardiner's First Two Stuarts and the Puritan Revolution, 1603-1660.

Ludlow's War of American Independence, 1775-1783.

Morris's Age of Anne.

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