Puslapio vaizdai

of his repre


members on each occasion. The method we should as soon think of fighting over of proportional representation was the arrangement of the parts of a machine. adopted, and the voter might also write We know nowadays that such things go upon his voting paper in a specially on best within laws as life goes on bemarked space the name of any

tween earth and sky. And so it is that sentatives that he wished to recall. A government gathers now for a day or so ruler was recallable by as many votes as in each year under the sunshine of Bristhe quota by which he had been elected, sago when the asphodel is in flower and and the original members by as many does little more than bless the work of votes in any constituency as the returning its committees. And even these commitquotas in the first election. Upon these tees are less originative and more expresconditions the council submitted itself sive of the general thought than they were very cheerfully to the suffrages of the at first. It becomes difficult to mark out world. None of its members was the particular directive personalities of called, and its fifty new associates, which the world. Continually we are less perincluded twenty-seven that it had seen fit sonal.

sonal. Every good thought contributes to recommend, were of an altogether too now,


every able brain falls within miscellaneous quality to disturb the broad that informal and dispersed kingship trend of its policy.

which gathers together into one purpose But already by that time the work of the energies of the race. the council was drawing to an end. It was concerned not so much for the con

VIII tinuation of its construction as for the preservation of its accomplished work It is doubtful if we shall ever see again a from the dramatic instincts of the poli- phase of human existence in which “politician.

tics," that is to say, a partizan interferThe life of the race becomes, indeed, ence with the ruling sanities of the world, more and more independent of the formal will be the dominant interest among serigovernment. The council in its opening ous men. We seem to have entered upon phase was heroic in spirit: a dragon-slay- an entirely new phase in history in which ing body, it slashed out of existence a vast contention, as distinguished from rivalry, knotted tangle of obsolete ideas and has almost abruptly ceased to be the usual clumsy and jealous proprietorships; by a occupation, and has become at most a subnoble system of institutional precautions dued and hidden and discredited thing. it secured freedom of inquiry, freedom of Contentious professions cease to be an criticism, free communications, a common honorable employment for men.

The basis of education and understanding, and peace between nations is also a peace befreedom from economic oppression. With tween individuals. We live in a world that its creative task was accomplished. that comes of age. Man the warrior, It became more and more an established man the lawyer, and all the bickering security and less and less an active inter- aspects of life, pass into obscurity; the vention. There is nothing in our time grave dreamers, man the curious learner, to correspond with the continual petty and man the creative artist come forward making and entangling of laws in an at- to replace these barbaric aspects of exmosphere of contention that is perhaps the istence by a less ignoble adventure. most perplexing aspect of constitutional history in the nineteenth century. In that

THE NATURAL INSTINCT OF MAN age they seem to have been perpetually making laws when we should alter regulations. The work of change which we THERE is no natural life of man. He is delegate to these scientific committees of and always has been a sheath of varied specific general direction that have the and even incompatible possibilities, a special knowledge needed, and which are palimpsest of inherited dispositions. It themselves dominated by the broad intel- was the habit of many writers in the early lectual process of the community, was in twentieth century to speak of competition those days inextricably mixed up with and the narrow, private life of trade and legislation. They fought over the details; saving and suspicious isolation as though



such things were in some exceptional way respects quite filthy. Only people in comproper to the human constitution, and as plete despair of anything better could though openness of mind and a preference have lived in them; but to each is attached for achievement over possession were ab- a ridiculous little rectangle of land called normal and rather unsubstantial quali- "the garden,” containing usually a prop ties. How wrong that was the history of for drying clothes, a loathsome box of ofthe decades immediately following the fal, the dust-bin, full of egg-shells, cinestablishment of the world republic wit- ders, and such-like refuse. It is possible nesses. Once the world was released from to trace in nearly every one of these garthe hardening insecurities of a needless dens some effort to make.

Here is a poor struggle for life that was collectively little plank summer-house, here it is a planless and individually absorbing, it be- "fountain of bricks and oyster-shells," came apparent that there was in the vast here a “rockery," here "workshop." mass of people a long-smothered passion And in the houses everywhere there are to make things. The world broke out

The world broke out pitiful little decorations, clumsy models, into making, and at irst mainly into feeble drawings. These efforts are alesthetic making. This phase of history, most incredibly inept; like the drawings which has been not inaptly termed the of blindfolded men, they are only one "efflorescence,” is still to a large extent shade less harrowing to a sympathetic obwith us. The majority of our population server than the scratchings one finds upon consists of artists, and the bulk of activity the walls of old prisons; but there they in the world lies no longer with necessi- are, witnessing to the poor buried instincts ties, but with their elaboration, decora- that struggled up toward the light. That tion, and refinement. There has been an god of joyous expression our poor fathers evident change in the quality of this mak- ignorantly sought our freedom has deing during recent years. It becomes more

clared to us. purposeful than it was, losing something In the old days the common ambition of its first elegance and prettiness and of every simple soul was to possess a litgaining in intensity; but this is a change tle property, a patch of land, a house unrather of hue than of nature. That comes controlled by others, an “independence," with a deepening philosophy and a sounder as the English used to put it. And what education. For the first joyous exercises made this desire for freedom and prosof fancy we perceive now the deliberation perity so strong was very evidently the of a more constructive imagination. There dream of self-expression, of doing someis a natural order in these things, and art thing with it, of playing with it, of makcomes before science as the satisfaction of ing a personal delightfulness, a distincmore elemental needs must come before tiveness. Property was never more than art, and as play and pleasure come in a a means to an end, or avarice more than human life before the development of a a perversion. Men owned in order to do settled purpose.

freely. Now that every one has his own For thousands of years this gathering apartments and his own privacy secure, impulse to creative work must have strug- this disposition to own has found its regled in man against the limitations im- lease in a new direction. Men study and posed upon him by his social ineptitude. save and strive that they may leave behind It was a long-smoldering fire that Alamed them a series of panels in some public out at last in all these things. The evi- arcade, a row of carven figures along a dence of a pathetic, perpetually thwarted terrace, a grove, a pavilion. Or they give urgency to make something is one of the themselves to the penetration of some still most touching aspects of the relics and opaque riddle in phenomena, as once men records of immediate ancestors. gave themselves to the accumulation of There exists still in the death area about riches. The work that was

once the the London bombs a region of deserted whole substance of social existence for small homes that furnish the most illumi- most men spent all their lives in earning nating comment on the old state of affairs. a living-is now no more than was the These homes are entirely horrible, uni- burden upon one of those old climbers form, square, squat, hideously propor- who carried knapsacks of provisions on tioned, uncomfortable, dingy, and in some their backs in order that they might ascend


mountains. It matters little to the easy portion of a life and another upon a recharities of our emancipated time that ligious,conversion was a standing exammost people have made their labor con- ple of the versatile possibilities of human tribution produce neither new beauty nature. nor new wisdom, but are simply busy The catastrophe of the atomic bombs about those pleasant activities and enjoy- which shook men out of cities and busiments that reassure them that they are nesses and economic relations, shook them alive. They help, it may be, by reception, also out of their old established habits of and they hinder nothing.

thought, and out of the lightly held beliefs and prejudices that came down to

them from the past. IX

The moral shock of the atomic bombs Now all this phase of gigantic change in had been a profound one, and for a while the contours and appearances of human the cunning side of the human animal was life which is going on about us-a change overpowered. Men thought twice before as rapid and as wonderful as the swift they sought mean advantages in the face of ripening of adolescence to manhood after the unusual eagerness to realize new aspithe barbaric boyish years, is correlated rations, and when at last the weeds revived with moral and mental changes at least again and “claims" began to sprout, they as unprecedented. It is not as if old sprouted upon the stony soil of law-courts things were going out of life and new reformed, of laws that pointed to the futhings coming in; it is rather that the ture instead of the past, and under the altered circumstances of men are making blazing sunshine of a transforming world. an appeal to elements in his nature that have hitherto been suppressed, and check- A NEw literature, a new interpretation ing tendencies that have hitherto been of history, is springing into existence; a overstimulated and overdeveloped. He has new teaching is already in the schools, a not so much grown and altered his essen- new faith in the hearts of the young. tial being as turned new aspects to the I see the crystal cup of human knowlight. Such turnings round into a new ledge perpetually brimming. I see the attitude the world has seen on a less ex- fires of human thought rise from ten thoutensive scale before. The Highlanders of sand altars of research, and flare out into the seventeenth century, for example,

example, the wilderness of space. I see the time were cruel and bloodthirsty robbers; in when men will no longer be content with the nineteenth their descendants were this little conquered planet. conspicuously trusty and honorable men. I know not by what devices, by what There was not a people in western Eu- miracle of patience, the method will be rope in the early twentieth century that won, but I know that they will go out seemed capable of hideous massacres, and into the deeps. I can see those first pionone that had not been guilty of them neers, the little craft dwindle up into the within the previous two centuries. The sky, glittering, twinkling, a speck swalfree, frank, kindly, gentle life of the pros-. lowed up at last by the quivering blue. perous classes in any European country They may be lost, but other men will folbefore the years of the last wars were in low them in this eternal adventure of a different world of thought and feeling mankind. from that of the dingy, suspicious, secre

Look at the sun blazing there among tive, and uncharitable existence of the re- the peaks, too blinding almost for our spectable poor, or the constant personal eyes. See how he touches the mountainviolence, the squalor, and the naïve pas- tops and how they dissolve into fire at his sions of the lowest stratum. Yet there touch. Some day, I tell you, he will burn was no real differences of blood and in- as we please and spin at our command. herent quality between these worlds; He will be our servant, our convenience, their differences were all in circumstances, our instrument. He will be the fire besuggestion, and habits of mind. And turn- fore our door, the light of our first home ing to more individual instances, the con- as we spread out our power and our blood stantly observed difference between one farther and farther amidst the stars.

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COD sifted a whole nation that He lives. Holding themselves to be instru

might send choice grain into the ments for the fulfilment of some larger wilderness." So thought the seventeenth purpose, men of this type make their mark century of the migration to Massachusetts upon the world. The fathers dedicate Bay in the evil years of Charles I; but themselves to establishing godliness in the what are we to think of it? There is to- community.

community. Their posterity Ay to arms day so little sympathy with that remote, in behalf of the principle of "No taxation narrow New England theocracy that it is without representation.” Their posterity, well to state again in living terms what in turn, war upon the liquor traffic, slavpart the coming of the best of the Eng- ery, or imperialism. As surely as one lish Puritans bore in building up the quarter of us are still of the blood of the American people.

twenty thousand Puritans who sought the As history-makers, those who will suf- wilderness between 1618 and 1640, so fer loss and exile rather than give up an surely are there ideals not yet risen above ideal that has somehow taken hold of the horizon that will inflame Americans them are well nigh as unlike ordinary folk in the generations to come. as if they had dropped from Mars. In The Dutch settled New Amsterdam every generation those who are capable from practical motives, although some of of heroic devotion to any ideal what- them were Walloons fleeing oppression in soever are only a remnant. Nine persons the Spanish Netherlands. Gain prompted out of ten incline to the line of least re- the peopling of Virginia, and that colony sistance or of greatest profit, and will · received its share of human chaff. The no more sacrifice themselves for an ideal Council of Virginia early complained that than lead will turn to a magnet.

“it hurteth to suffer Parents to disburden That the ideal should be final is of themselves of lascivious sonnes, masters of small consequence. It matters little bad servants and wives of ill husbands, whether it is a religious tenet, a mode of and so clogge the business with such an worship, a method of life, or a state of idle crue, as did thrust themselves in the society. The essential thing is that it last voiage, that will rather starve for stands apart from the appetites, passions, hunger, than lay their hands to labor." and petty aims that govern most of us. In 1637 the collector of the port of LonThose who will face panther and toma- don averred that “most of those that go hawk for the sake of their ideal are not to thither ordinarily have no habitation be swayed by the sordid motives and fitful and are better out than within the kingpassions that lord it over commonplace dom.” After the execution of Charles I, a number of Royalist families removed to England happily escaped these "sevenVirginia rather than brook the rule of

year passengers,” because she would pay Cromwell. This influx of the well-to-do little for them and because she had no registers itself in an abrupt increase in the tobacco to serve as a profitable return size of the land-grants and in a sudden cargo. It is estimated that between 1750 rise in the number of slaves. From this and 1770 twenty thousand British conperiod one meets with the names of Ran- victs were exported to Maryland alone, dolph, Madison, Monroe, Mason, Mar- so that even the schoolmasters there were shall, Washington, and many others that mostly of this stripe. The colonies bithave become household words. On the terly resented such cargoes, but their selfwhole, however, the exodus of noble protective measures were regularly dis"Cavaliers" to Virginia is a myth; for it allowed by the home government. Ameris now generally admitted that the aris- ican scholars are coming to accept the tocracy of eighteenth-century Virginia British estimate that about 50,000 consprang chiefly from “members of the coun- victs were marketed on this side. try gentry, merchants and tradesmen and It is astonishing how quickly this "yeltheir sons and relatives, and occasionally a low streak” in the population faded. No minister, a physician, a lawyer, or a cap- doubt the worst felons were promptly tain in the merchant service,” Aeeing po- hanged, so that those transported were litical troubles at home or tempted by the such as excited the compassion of the court fortunes to be made in tobacco.

in an age that recognized nearly three Less promising was the broad substra- hundred capital offenses. Then, too, the tum that sustained the prosperity of the bulk were probably the unfortunate, or colony. For fifty years indentured ser- the victims of bad surroundings, rather vants were coming in at a rate from a than born malefactors. Under the regenthousand to sixteen hundred a year. No erative stimulus of opportunity, many perdoubt many an enterprising wight of the sons reformed and became good citizens. English or Irish laboring-class sold him A like purification of sewage by free land self for a term into the tobacco-fields in was later witnessed in Australia. The inorder to come within reach of beckoning corrigible, when they did not slip back to Opportunity; but we know, too, that the their old haunts, forsook the tide-water slums and alleys were raked for material belt to lead half-savage lives in the wilto fatten the plantations. Hard-hearted

Hard-hearted derness. Here they slew one another or men sold dependent kinsfolk to serve in were strung up by “regulators," so that the colonies. Kidnappers smuggled over they bred their kind less freely than the boys and girls gathered from the streets honest. Thus bad strains tended to run of London and Bristol. About 1670, no out, and in the making of our people the fewer than ten thousand persons were criminals had no share corresponding to "spirited" from England in one year. The their original numbers. Blended with Government was slow to strike at the in- the dregs from the rest of the population, famous traffic, for, as was urged in Parlia- the convicts who were lazy and shiftless ment, “the plantations cannot be main- rather than criminal became progenitors tained without a considerable number of of the “poor whites," "crackers,” and white servants.”

"sandhillers” that still cumber the poorer Dr. Johnson deemed the Americans“ lands of the southern Appalachians. race of convicts," who “ought to be content with anything we allow them short of

THE FRENCH HUGUENOTS hanging." In the first century of the colonies, gallows'-birds were often given PROBABLY no stock ever came here so the option of servitude in the "planta- gifted and prepotent as the French Huguetions." Some prayed to be hanged in- nots. Though only a few thousand, all stead. In 1717 the British Government told, their descendants furnished 589 of entered on the policy of penal transpor- the fourteen thousand and more Ameritation, and thenceforth discharged certain cans deemed worthy of a place in “Appleclasses of felons upon the colonies until tons' Cyclopedia of American Biography." the Revolution made it necessary to shunt In 1790 only one half of one per cent. of the muddy stream to Botany Bay. New

New our people bore a French name; yet this


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