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to the worst, our raw militia is numerous enough to overwhelm their regulars, well paid and well drilled as they are. They have destroyed the business of hundreds for one that they have favored. For every millionaire they have made ten thousand paupers, and the injured parties lack no gall to make oppression bitter.
The people, certainly, got one immense advantage over the carrying corporations when they adopted the seventeenth article of the Constitution. That concedes to us all the rights we ask, puts the flag of the commonwealth into our hands and consecrates our warfare. The malign influence that heretofore has palsied the legislative arm cannot last forever. We will continue to elect representatives again and again, and every man shall swear upon the Gospel of God that he will do us the full and perfect justice which the Constitution commands. At last we will rouse the "conscience of a majority, screw their courage to the sticking place, and get the appropriate legislation” which we need so sorely.
Whenever a majority in both houses becomes independent enough to throw off the chains which now bind them to the service of monopoly; when frequent repetitions of the oath to obey the Constitution shall impress its obligation upon their hearts; when admonition and reproof from within and without a line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little »-shall have taught them that fidelity to the rights of the people is a higher virtue than subserviency to the mere interests of a corrupt corporation; when the seventeenth article shall have been read and reread in their hearing often enough to make them understand the import of its plain and simple words, then, without further delay and with no more paltry excuses, they will give us legislation appropriate, just, and effective. A tolerably clear perception of their duty, coupled with a sincere desire to do it, will enable them to catch the shortest and easiest way. All trifling with the subject will cease at once; all modes of evading this great point will go out of fashion; no contrivance will be resorted to of ways not to do it while professing to be in favor of it; our common sense will not be insulted by the offer of a civil remedy to each individual for public offenses which affect the whole body of the people and diminish the security of all men's rights at once. The legislative vision, relieved from the moral strabismus which makes it crooked now, will see straight through the folly of trying to correct the general evil except by the one appropriate means of regular punishment at the suit of the State. Does this seem harsh? Certainly not more severe than any other criminal law on our statute book which applies to railway managers as well as to everybody else. They need not suffer the penalty unless they commit the crime; and they will not commit the crime if you make a just penalty the legal consequence. Pass a proper law to-day and they will be as honest as you are to-morrow. Every one of them can be trusted to keep clear of acts which may take him to the penitentiary. They have been guilty in their past lives, and will continue in evil doing for some time to come because the present state of your laws assures them that they shall go “unwhipped of justice.” But threaten then with a moderate term of imprisonment and a reasonable fine, and they will no more rob a shipper on the railroad than they will pick your pocket at a prayer meeting. Your law will do its work without a single prosecution. Thus you could, if you would, effect a perfect reform, and yet not hurt a hair on any head _"a consummation most devoutly to be wished.”
But it is not to be expected that such good will come imme. diately. Nearly ten years ago the legislature was commanded to carry out the beneficent measure of the Constitution. For nine years that illustrious body was a dumb impediment to the course of justice — all its faculties paralyzed by some inscrutable influence — dead — devoid of sense and motion, as if its only function was to "lie in cold obstruction and to rot.” At last, when it was wakened up by the present governor, and reminded of the seventeenth article, it opened its mouth and spoke as one who did not know whether he was sworn to oppose the Constitution or to obey it. Some members have shown their utter hostility to it, some have been willing to defend small portions of it, and one Senator discovered that it was all equally sacred. But his plan meets no favor. Still, we need not despair. The people and the Constitution, mutually supporting one another, will be triumphant yet. Meanwhile let all the railroad rings rejoice. This is their day; ours is to come.
THE CAPITOL AT WASHINGTON.
Photogravure after a Recent Photograph by C. M. Bell.
HE capitol at Washington, where many of the most remarkable SR speeches of the Nineteenth Century have been delivered, was A founded in 1793, completed after the original desigus in 1830 and afterwards enlarged to double its original area. It now has a total North and South length of seven hundred and fifty-one feet. It is not surpassed in stately effect by any parliament house in the world.