« PreviousContinue »
the councils, no power to hold real estate, no representation in the legislature of such rights as might remain to them, in what do persons thus situated differ from the subjects of an absolute despotism? They do differ in one, and that a most material circumstance.
Under the absolute government of a single person, whose will is the sole law, all above him are at least equal. It is some comfort to a man, if it be a slave, at least to feel and know that it is the common lot. The subjects of a single master are peers in servitude. Of all the forms of oppression, the most unbearable to human thought, yet the most irresponsible, insolent and irresistible, is the tyranny of an exclusively privileged class. Reason and experience, fact and theory, speculation and practice, agree in this, that the tyranny of caste over caste is the most corrupting to those above, the most crushing and intolerable to the heart and soul of those below, of any of the corrupting and crushing forms of tyranny heretofore known among men.
Our ancestors, therefore, did not mean to divide American society into horizontal strata by a boundary line of religion and of blood, with those who had happened to be born in another part of the earth, and those of the Catholic religion, no matter where born, (these being of a faith, so accursed that not even American birth and education can purify the taint) safely stowed away below, while the favorites of heaven, the protestants elect, securely seated on top, booted, spurred and mounted on the backs of the degraded class, might rule and ride, a dominant and regnant party, armed with exclusive rights of office and of suffrage-in other words, with power absolute and irresistible, save by arms.
They believed that a republic, founded upon the most perfect equality of rights among those subjected to its laws and government, was not only the most just and free, the most productive of happiness and improvement, the best calculated to develop the faculties, intellectual and moral, the most favorable to science and to virtue, but also that it was the most permanent and secure, whether from external force or from internal disorder. They believed in liberty sincerely, devoutly, without hypocrisy or doubt, as the fountain of all good things, as that which gives to the individual dignity and courage, to
the state strength and grandeur, safety and permanence. Without it, in their judgment, there could be no patriotism, no love of country.
A state which reposes in the honest love of its citizens, a love founded in the private interest which each individual has in its preservation, is safer without revenue or arms, surrounded by a rampart of hearts, than an oppressive, unjust and unequal government, with all the guards and garrisons, the bayonets and fortresses which money, wrung by force from an unwilling and enslaved people, can build or buy.
Make the foreigner a citizen, and he enters upon the practical enjoyment of all the rights of other men. He is incorporated with the State, and feels himself a part of it. He loves it as his country in peace, he defends it with honor in war. Keep him a foreigner, and he hates you, as all those of a degraded caste loathe what is above them. He is a domestic enemy, ripe for revolution. If your enemy be his former master, and he fights for you in war, he fights with a halter round his neck. Captivity dooms him to the death of a felon. Your flag is not his flag, it does not cover him. In a land of liberty, he is a slave; in the home of his choice, he is a stranger; in peace, he has no civil rights; in war no hope of honor.
Without representation, our ancestors believed that there could be no civil liberty without an entire, total and permanent separation of the ecclesiastical state from the political, of the church from the civil government, of religion from the temporal power of the priest, no matter of what faith, and his dogmas, from the laws and the magistracy, there could be no religious liberty.
Our ancestors were not heathens or infidels. Devoted and Christian men, they believed that in founding a state without a religion, and in establishing perfect toleration, they were in fact establishing Christianity, and providing for the purity of the church and the extension of the gospel, according to its own free genius and the precepts of its founder.
Never yet has Christianity leaned upon the arm of human government and force for support, that it has not been tainted and defiled by the alliance. Engaged in the struggle for wealth and power, embroiled in the passion and turmoil of earthly strife and mundane politics, the church abdicating her office,
abandons her trust, and finally quits the conflict, with her holy vestments stained and polluted, her divine lineaments erased, and her just and appropriate influence overthrown.
The political weakness of the church constitutes its moral strength and grandeur.
Seeking no participation in the temporal power, coveting not the treasures of this world, she comes, with a more commanding voice to soothe the passion in which she does not share, to arbitrate in the strifes to which she is no party.
EORGE MADDEN MARTIN, the daughter of Francis and Ann Louise McKenzie Madden, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, May 3, 1866. She is of Scotch and Irish descent-the first through her South Carolina mother, the second through her father. She was a sensitive child-imaginative, impressionable, conscientious-qualities still hers in a rare degree. Owing to delicate health, her education was desultory—a month or two at a time in the public schools. Perhaps her most fruitful impressions were fixed by these detached school periods, interrupted by trips to the far South in search of health; each new teacher and school experience stood out by itself instead of making the continuous record usual to childhood. The result is shown in her best work.
So interesting is Mrs. Martin's personality, her Boswell has to resist many temptations. Perhaps she most resembles a fine violin, responsive to the lightest touch, but even in discordance giving out a true tone. Her face has been described as having "no features and all expression." She is fair-skinned, blue-eyed, sunny-haired, tall but delicately built. She has a superfluity of nervous energy, and lives on her nerves. Fond of society, and always charming, she can go long and far. In both appearance and mind she offers perplexing diversities. Hers is one of the most complex natures possible to be imagined. If she were simple she never could have portrayed simplicity as she has in Emmy Lou and Letitia, her two best characters. Perhaps the keynote of her character may be found in her ever-present desire to be surrounded by an atmosphere of happiness. From a desire to make her friends happy and have things "go smoothly," she is ready on the instant to sacrifice her own comfort or predilections. She makes and keeps many friends.
In 1892 she married Mr. Atwood R. Martin, an officer in a trust company of Louisville, a man of marked literary taste and critical ability. Three years after her marriage Mrs. Martin published her first story. The Youth's Companion, that discerning critic and friend to young authors, saw in "The Story of Don Soldier" the promise since made good.
Mrs. Martin's style is an anomaly-unmistakable, insistent rather