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knowledge of them. What he wants is apparently comprehended the scandals of success, and success to him means the the extraordinary session of 1893, nor the capture of the offices—the spoils—for him- graver scandals that accompanied the self and for his party. Under his leader passage of the Tariff act of 1894. He ship a party which was established for the still regarded the constitution of the purpose of defending or advancing a cause United States Senate as one of the hapor a principle of government becomes piest of human conceptions. But the degraded to a faction intent on individ- American citizen who takes an intelligent ual or factional gain. The boss is gener- interest in his country's politics, and who ally a coarse vulgarian, who will not hesi- has the courage and the wisdom to adtate to adopt any method, however vile, mit the import of notorious facts, realizes that may seem to him best adapted to his that the Senate is no longer composed purpose, and therefore he has corrupted of the ablest men of the country, and the very source of our political power, that it no longer satisfies the predictions and, as Mr. Godkin has pointed out in a that were made concerning it by Hamrecent essay on the “ Real Problems of ilton and his fellow-contributors to the Democracy,” he has taken advantage of Federalist. On the contrary, they know the failure of the founders of our gov
that it bas fallen a victim to the power ernment to foresee all the weaknesses of wealth, and to the ambition of those to be developed by time and by increase who have gained great riches to decof population and wealth, and, especial- orate their career by membership in the ly, he has turned to his own profit the body that is still supposed in Liberal Euneglect of the State to make the task of rope to constitute the foremost legislative nomination its own affair. So it has chamber in the world. It is painful to come to pass that the boss makes the dwell upon the degradation of an institunominations, and as each party is con- tion which for many years stood as the trolled by a boss, it follows, whichever most striking monument to the sagacity party wins, that the men who are chosen of the framers of the Constitution, but if to office are not men who have really the evils to be cured are not to be spoken been selected by the voters, the election of, the disease by which the body politic itself being but a choice between evils. is afflicted is certain to prove fatal. In theory we have a representative gov- The boss and his politics have made ernment, the offices and legislatures of the Senate what it is, and have brought which are held and filled by men whose the business of legislation at Washington constitutional duty is to the whole com- almost to the level of the pawn-shop. The munity over which they temporarily ex- powers and resources of the government ercise jurisdiction, but in reality in recent are employed for the advancement of years the functions of government have private interests and the increase of pribeen performed in many of our States by vate fortunes. Corruption has set in, and the creatures of the boss, under bis dic- the danger of decay is present. Money tation and for his benefit.
is now exerting an undue influence in all As the boss governs for his own profitour various governments—in the nation, and for the advantage of those who are in the State, and in our municipalities. faithful to him and who help him to Government is carried on as a commercial control nominating conventions and elec- affair, and it is for this reason, as well as tions, he sells legislation, and he sees to for the gratification of the natural desire it that the law-makers whom he leads are for distinction, that men of wealth—but men who will not object to the consum- without knowledge of public questions or mation of the sales. Therefore many le capacity to understand them—seek politgislative bodies in this country have be- ical honors and the included pecuniary come corrupt; and there is hardly one such power, which the boss system aids them to body whose reputation has not been taint- attain. There seems also to have resulted ed by scandalous rumors. The loss of from the kind of politics with which we character by our legislative bodies is best are afflicted a depravation of the whole illustrated by the condition of the United electoral body. It is difficult to explain States Senate. Until within recent years on any other theory certain phenomena this body was regarded by all writers on which are fast becoming symptoms of a government as a model legislature, and chronic moral disease. The enemies of Mr. Lecky, writing only in 1896, had not the democratic form of government have certainly the right, in their contention fere with matters that ought to be left to that it is a failure, to demand what else is the regulating power of nature.
Morethe meaning of the repeated successes at over, our representative form of governthe polls of men who cynically insist that 'ment bas bred a species of politician who they are engaged in the business of poli- retains his place and discredits the govtics for “what there is in it for them,” ernment by encouraging the tendency to and who answer, when they are request- interfere with the natural law for his ed to devote some of their efforts to the own advancement and profit. The evils general good, or to refrain at least from that he has been the means of fastening constant assault upon the general good, upon all democratic communities are due that they “are not in politics for their to the perversion of the democratic form health.” The indifference of corrupt of government, and not to its just operamen to the opinion of good citizens has a tion. · The mass of bad legislation by deeper significance, a much more alarm- which we are afflicted is due to the ining meaning, than is to be found in the tense passion for legislation which poscontemplation of their own bad charac- sessed democratic peoples as soon as modters. It means that the politicians are ern democracy was established, and which not afraid to defy the opinion of good will possess them until they learn, perhaps citizens, because, thus far at least, the by experiences even harder than they people who are supposed to be the mas- have yet undergone, that laws oftener ters in a democratic government, and inoculate the body politic with disease who sometimes have endeavored to exer- than cure it. But, in spite of its pervercise the sovereign power, have not yet sion, democracy has wrought infinitely seen fit to overthrow the boss and to more good to the world than all the other smash the machine which has made him governments which human strength and what he is; and so long as the bosses can brutality, or human wisdom and cupidicontrol the nominations of the two great ty, have ever forced upon or devised for parties, as they are fond of calling them- mankind. In the first place it has estabselves, so long will corrupt politicians lished the rule of law, of the law which enjoy immunity from punishment. The is made by the people directly or by their politician knows wherein lies his own representatives. There is no country in safety and the security of his career. It Europe, except Russia and Turkey, that is not in loyalty to his country, in fidelity is not, theoretically at least, ruled by law, to his oath of office, in devotion to the and there are no people who are thus public interests. That such loyalty, fidel- ruled who do not feel that the rule of the ity, and devotion, when they are joined to constitution and statute - book is better ability and preparation for the intelligent than the rule of a despot. In our own performance of public tasks, are the traits country.we have the rule of the law made of character that distinguish statesmen, by the people, and however great may have is an old-fashioned notion that prevailed been the failure of the representatives of when the theory that we had a constitu- the people who are charged with the duty tional and representative government in of making statute law, the democracy itthis country was not only held, but lived self has made comparatively few mistakes up to. These qualities of intellect and in the enactment of fundamental or concharacter have now been succeeded by stitutional law. Modern life is the outa baser quality—that of servility to the come of political institutions under which boss. The modern politician is reasona- the people have been free to take advanbly sure of his reward, at least of secur- tage of their abilities and opportunities. ing his nomination, if he does faithfully If it be true that literature and art have whatever the “old man" orders.
not reached the highest point in our new I am conscious of having painted a democracies, both here and under the dark picture of the present condition of democratic form established in older nademocracy, and if it were to stand alone tions, they have flourished and have it would be a most discouraging picture. grown in the grace of truthfulness, and it But it is only half the truth, and there is is furthermore true that education is more another story to tell which is full of hope general because of democracy, because of and encouragement. The condition of the insistence of the people who rule to democracy, so far as we have considered fit themselves to rule. In our own deit, is largely due to its attempt to inter- mocracy, which, as I have already said, is
the democracy which can be studied with abound, who, in mind, in character, in the most profit, for it approaches a true manners, and in appearance, the results democracy more nearly than the govern- of time and of generations of high and exment of any other important country inceptional breeding, move far apart from the world, education is almost universal, the mass of their fellow men and woand illiteracy is here a badge of shame, But we have accomplished somewhile, as our most recent critic will recall thing better than the social distinction of from his studies of the eighteenth cen- a few thousands of individuals; we have tury, it was once a mark of fine breeding. lifted up the race to a plane higher than The increase of education and enlighten- it ever attained before the foundation of ment has been accompanied by an enor- our republic, and in this respect the inmous material progress.
The economic fluence of the republic has been felt development of our modern civilization throughout the civilized world, until now may be truly said to have accompanied the degradation of the people that was the growth of the democratic form of gov. general in the eighteenth century is slowernment. Personal liberty and the pro- ly disappearing everywhere.
The contection of property and rights by the trast between our own people and those law have stimulated inventive genius, of Europe, even those of England, is and have fostered commercial and indus- still, however, a striking illustration of trial enterprises as royal grants of mo- the elevating power of the assurance that nopolies never did. When the law said each American feels, not only of his that the whim of no man should enter equality before the law, for the Englishthe humblest cabin in the land to deprive man certainly feels that, but of his its occupants of the fruits of their toil, equality of power in the control of the hope took the place of dull acquiescence, government and in the making and adand the community felt the impulse of ministration of its laws. Our critics say new workers eager for their own, and in- that we are ill-mannered, and that sercidentally and inevitably for its advan- vices to which we are entitled, and which tage. The awakening of the world to a we have the right to command, are often new life, to a life in which every man insolently rendered, and are hurled at us might have a share, to whose orderly as if they were favors grudgingly given. progress every man might be a contribu- It is to be regretted that there is much tor, resulted in the elevation of the whole truth in this criticism. But, whatever race, so that the average man is not only may be said about the manners prevailing better than he was in the last cen- in a democracy, the most insolent cartury, he is better than all but the very conductor and hackman in America is best of the privileged classes who lived a much more pleasing person than an on the favor of kings, and on whom obsequious retail tradesman of a Eurothe right of oppression was bestowed by pean capital. We know, at least, that the royal decree.
But it is not the bet- son of the insolent American is likely to tering of the average man that alone be better than the father, and that the characterizes the life of democracy. Not son of the European tradesman is likely only have art and letters continued to to inherit the business, the social position, flourish here and in the older countries the ignorance, and the genuflections of that have become democracies, but it is his ancestors. also to be said that the literature of a true Not only have the material and physidemocracy has never been decadent, and cal conditions of the people been greatly that the great poets of the world, with improved since the establishment of a rare exceptions, have been inspired by the democracy, but the intellectual and moral intellectual activity of the people of their life of the civilized world is on a higher times; that our common humanity is the plane. There are decadents in every captheme of epics, and that the false ro- ital of Europe, and they have their imitamance and the polished verse of cynicism, tors in some of the commercial centres of despair, and immorality are the native our own country among the idle and unflowers of corrupting courts and their fortunate rich. Nordau can find illusvicious idlers. Mr. Matthew Arnold told trations for his philosophy of despair us that we lacked distinction, and he was throughout the world. But the stream right if he meant that in our democratic of social life under democracy is being society those men and women do not constantly renewed from new and pure sources, and the great heart of the world, has constructed his machine so perfectly which beats with the pulsations of its la- that the public have grown indifferent or bor and its achievements, is sounder than have no opportunity to express their opinit ever was. We may be passing through ions in the nominating assembly, while a period that is comparatively poor, and the choice at the polls is a choice between sometimes depressing, in literary achieve- bosses. There are many evidences, howment, but the gains made by science are ever, that the people are beginning to almost startling even in this epoch, when revolt against the boss and his meththe daily work of the laboratory ac- ods. There is a tendency, which has been complishes results that would have been most strongly manifested in the State of deemed impossible a generation ago. New York, and in national elections, to
The great test of the soundness of a punish the party that is in by voting for government is, as I have said, the hap- the candidates of the party that is out, piness and comfort of the people who so that the pendulum of office swings back live under its rule. If we apply that and forth between the two leading organrule to our own government what do we izations. This oscillation between evils find? Notwithstanding the evils that ex- is not a happy solution of our problem, ist, the lives and property of the citizens but, in the nature of things, it cannot are secure. Not only is there respect for continue. The result must be either the property, but there is a wide distribution regeneration of existing parties, or their of it among the people, and in this we abandonment by men of principle and inlave a bulwark against socialism and telligence. There is another sign of hope anarchy, and a guarantee of domestic and promise in the increased interest that peace such as no country in Europe pos- is being taken in politics by men of edusesses. We have, moreover, in a written cation. It must be remembered that while constitution and a supreme court, strong
our form of government is still young, defences against the hasty adoption of the evils that have developed from it are strange theories by the legislative branch still younger; that not many years have of the government. Thus far the people passed since the boss and his ignorant have felt the pressure of the general gov- followers drove the able and instructed ernment very lightly, and it depends upon men of the country out of public employtheir intelligence and vigilance whether ment. It might have been taken for this happy state of affairs shall continue. granted that the men of thought and acThough many of us object to some of the tion, the men of mind and reading, the methods of taxation that obtain, and al- men of character, the leaders in our social, though the whole system of gathering professional, and business life, would not public revenues is confessedly crude and be content to remain always out of politunscientific, taxes here are lighter than ical life, would not always be willing to they are anywhere else. Not only has refrain from participation in the kind of the material comfort of the people been employment that is most interesting to an increased, but democracy has made for active intelligence, would not always subuniversal peace. It is true, also, that mit to the oppression and persecutions of whatever wrong has been done by a per- the demagogue and his mob. Already it version of our institutions, that whatever is evident that the educated men of the tortuous direction has been given to them country, the men who come out of the by craft and corruption, our public evils colleges and universities, are preparing to are due to successful playing upon the fol- contend for their natural supremacy in lies and ignorance or on the indifference the State, and it is not true of a democof the people. And herein lies the hope racy that the average man, and therefore of recovery. When the king falls a vic- the ignorant man, must lead. History tim to the wiles of a scheming courtier, it and experience teach us that when the is likely to be by reason of his own cor- people can be induced to listen, when they ruption; but the people are deceived, not realize that their interests are at stake, it corrupted. The soundness and purity of is the instructed and able men whom they American domestic and social life fur- gladly follow. nish abundant evidence of this. It may It is not the ignorant man, nor the avbe that men who are frankly corrupt are erage man, who, under proper conditions, elected to office again and again, but in will lead, but it is the average man who almost every case it is because the boss must always be satisfied with what government actually does. He must not be that are not essential to mere government. astonished and, therefore, outraged by Before they do this they must appreciate strange devices, and his government must the unwisdom of seeking individual hapnot assume so many functions that he piness through law. Democracy must cannot criticise it intelligently. If dem- learn that government is not the highest ocratic government is too complicated of human achievements. It is the indiand its assumed functions too difficult, dis- vidual working alone, unhampered by obcouragement and indifference follow, and trusive law, who attains to the heights of then comes the opportunity of the boss. human excellence, and the best governThe larger evils of the democracy will ment will therefore be that which leaves never be overcome until the people—the the citizen most free to achieve the best rulers-voluntarily abnegate all powers that is within his power.
A QUESTION OF COURAGE.
BY WILLIAM MOLENNAN.
THE Confederate forces in Tennessee fellow of about twenty-three was intro
had kuown more than one change of duced, who presented himself as a volcommander during the first months of unteer. 1862, when I was attached to the staff, "I should apologize for coming withand at the time of my story we were hold- out letters, sir, but perhaps my name, ing Corinth as our base under General Louis Charles Marigny, one of the MaBeaurivage. He was a creole of French rignys of Bayou Teche, may not be undescent, easily traced in feature, and even known to you." in language; for though his English was He had just the suspicion of a French perfect, in times of excitement I have more accent that had survived from remote anthan once heard him break forth into cestors; he was of average height, bore French, which sounded as impressive as himself like a true soldier, looked a genit was rapid. In the field he was mag- tleman, while the tone of his voice and nificent in his dash and courage, and in his manner were simply charming. quarters as courteous and genial as if war “Mr. Marigny, I am delighted, charmwere but a school for manners. His staff ed, sir, that you should come with the best was unusually brilliant; for, apart from of all introductions - yourself," Durant his military skill and personal prowess exclaimed, heartily, won in a moment by as a leader, his social standing was such the frankness of the appeal. “Let me that a position on his staff was as eagerly introduce you to Colonel Stewart, Mr. sought for as on that of the commander- Marigny,” and in five minutes we were in-chief.
chatting together as if we had known After the two days' desperate fighting each other for years. about Shiloh Church, we had been check- Our new volunteer differed radically ed by the Union gunboats opposite Pitts- from most recruits of his class. He made burg Landing, and had again fallen back no boast of patriotism, and, above all, had on Corinth; with the exception of slight no theories of warfare or strategy, which engagements, mere skirmishing compared went far to strengthen our first impreswith the heavy work before and after, sion. both armies rested awhile from the strug- "You are beginning at the right end, gle, strengthening meantime every avail. Mr. Marigny," laughed Durant. "I am able point and laying out plans for the generally afraid of you planters: you pending campaign. The enthusiasm over have been so used to giving orders all our successful attack had the effect of your lives that taking them is apt to sending in shoals of new recruits, who prove a bit trying. Do you think you were heartily welcomed, as our losses had can stand it?” been severe.
“But, sir, I am here to learn, to take
in all you may choose to let me learn, One morning, as I was sitting in the and I'll do my best to take my orders at tent of Durant, chief of the staff, a young the same time."