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of that city, edited by Mr. Henry Watterson, said of him:
"Mr. William J. Bryan has come to Kentucky, and Kentuckians have taken his measure. He is a boy orator. He is a dishonest dodger. He is a daring adventurer. He is a political fakir. He is not of the material of which the people of the United States have ever made a President, nor is he even of the material of which any party has ever before made a candidate."
Popular preachers harangued their congregations on the despicable character and the evil purposes of Mr. Bryan. In Brooklyn, the Rev. Cortlandt Myers, in a sermon, said of the Chicago platform: "That platform was made in hell!"* The Rev. Dr. C. H. Parkhurst in New York spoke of the silver movement as inimical to credit, and an attempt, "deliberate and hot-blooded, to destroy what little of it still remains. I dare, in God's pulpit, to brand such attempts as accursed and treasonable!" Mr. Thomas Dixon, Jr., cried aloud to a New York congregation that Mr. Bryan was "a mouthing, slobbering demagogue whose patriotism is all in his jaw-bone!" From these citations it will be seen that the violence of language which in the Populist orators had so amused the people of the East, was now fully matched by the ranting of the gold men. Even some of the Catholic clergy were induced to speak in opposition to Mr. Bryan's cause, though of course they did so in terms of moderation and decorum. Governor Culberson of Texas had written to Prince Bismarck a letter asking for an expression of opinion as to the merits of bimetallism as against gold monometallism. The ex-Chancellor replied from Friedrichsruhe, under date of August 24, 1896, to the effect that he had always personally had a preference for bimetallism, "without considering myself infallible over against experts on the subject." He added:
"The United States are commercially freer in their movements than any single one of the *September 13, 1896. Report in Brooklyn Eagle. Report in New York
September 27, 1896. Tribune.
#October 4, 1896. World.
Report in New York
European nations; and if North America should find it compatible with its interests to take an independent step in the direction of bimetallism, I do believe it would have an appreciable influence upon the establishment of an international agreement and the conjunction of the European States."
The silver orators made much of this letter, and Archbishop Ireland of St. Paul took occasion to refer to it in a statement which he made in answer to a request from a number of prominent merchants and bankers. The Archbishop
"Herr von Bismarck counselled the United States to go ahead and make the experiment all alone. Yes, and some Americans quote his advice as an authority. The sly old fox would, indeed, be pleased to see America make the experiment and go to the bottom of the sea."*
It was not, however, upon newspaper discussion, or platform oratory, or the influence of the clergy that the Republican managers placed their main reliance. The whole vast machinery of commerce, of business and of finance was set in motion to create a general impression that Mr. Bryan's success would mean disaster to every section of the American people. As the month of November drew near, capitalists resorted to the very effective device of giving large orders to manufacturers, on condition that these orders were to be executed only in case of Mr. McKinley's election. In this way notice was served upon the artisans that if they voted for Mr. Bryan they would be voting to deprive themselves of work. The great insurance companies of New York and New England, which held mortgages upon farms in the Western States, notified the mortgageors that, if Mr. McKinley were elected, the mortgages would be extended for a period of five years at a low rate of interest. At the end of the week preceding the election, many employers of labour, in paying off their workmen, gave them notice that they could not return to
*Letter of October 2, 1896. See the leading journals of that date.
work in the event of Mr. Bryan's success.* The city banks brought to bear upon their country correspondents such powerful pressure as they could readily exercise; and these correspondents transmitted that pressure to their depositors. In fact, the myriad influences which Mr. Hanna understood so well were all directed with astonishing effectiveness to the single end of defeating Mr. Bryan at any cost. These means were doubtless more certain in their operation than the mere use of money; yet money, too, was spent with a profusion hitherto unknown even in American political campaigns. A member of the Republican Committee subsequently admitted that the campaign expenses of his party in 1896 amounted to not less than $25,000 a day from August 1st until the eve of the election. This money came from capitalists and business men in general, and even from fiduciary institutions.†
Yet the result of an election so bitterly contested as was that of 1896 can scarcely be decided by the use of money or by influences more insidious and no less discreditable. How did the cause for which Mr. Bryan so brilliantly contended commend itself to the sober judgment of intelligent Americans? In what way did the majority of these men sum up their verdict at the close of the campaign? Let us run over the main contentions of the silver party and then endeavour to point out alike their weakness and their strength. Until 1873, either gold and silver bullion could be taken by any one to the mints of the United States to be coined into standard dollars at a ratio of 16 to 1 (exactly 15.988 to 1). By
*See, for example, the news columns of the Wilmington (Delaware) News for November 3, 1896; and a letter published by an acute observer of American conditions, in the St. James Gazette (London), November 6, 1896.
Some light was thrown upon the sources of this fund when, in October, 1905, the investigations of a committee of the New York Legislature brought out the fact that Mr. John A. McCall, President of the New York Life Insurance Company, had ordered the sum of $50,000 paid to the Republican National Committee, and this without the knowledge or consent of his board of directors or of his financial committee. The Mutual Life Insurance Company of the same city contributed, in the same secret way, the sum of $15,000.
1873, however, the immense production of silver had cheapened the market value of that metal, so that the old ratio of coinage was no longer an exact one. The price of silver was continually falling and fluctuating; and hence, as early as 1870, President Grant's Secretary of the Treasury had drafted a bill to demonetise the silver dollar and establishing the single gold standard for the United States. This bill was passed by the Senate in 1871, and two years later, in 1873, it was passed by both Houses and became law. It had been before Congress for nearly three years, and it had met with scarcely any opposition. Presently, the world's annual production of gold diminished so that the value of the gold dollar appreciated, while the supply of that metal shrank in proportion to the growth of the population, thus causing what some described as a "contraction of the circulating medium." This brought several results to pass. Prices, being measured in terms of gold, continually fell, while debts contracted under the other system were now payable in dollars of a greater intrinsic value than before. It soon began to be asserted that the Act of 1873 had been passed by a conspiracy of the capitalists, who had smuggled it through Congress by craft and stealth. It was spoken of as "the crime of 1873," and was cited as an example of the wickedness of the financiers. Of course, the facts as just given show that the charge was false. In one of the later debates in the Senate, Mr. Stewart of Nevada, after violently denouncing the "crime of 1873," was put to confusion by Senator Sherman, who showed by the record that Mr. Stewart had himself both spoken and voted for the "crime." In fact, all the Senators from California, Oregon and Nevada had supported the demonetising Act.
Nevertheless, it had unquestionably worked a hardship to the debtor class. throughout the country, just as did the resumption of specie payments in 1879.* Yet this hardship was in reality due to natural causes-to a decrease in the world's gold supply. What Mr. Bryan proposed to do, was to expand the currency by opening the mints once more to free silver coinage at the old ratio. He believed that this
*See THE BOOKMAN for July, p. 478.
would at once increase the volume of money in circulation, raise prices, and perform an act of simple justice to the debtor class. That is, he believed that an act of legislation could at once effectually correct an inequitable condition which was the result of purely natural causes. That he was perfectly right in his diagnosis of the financial situation few will now deny. But that his proposed remedy was perilous in the extreme remains the opinion of the ablest students of financial problems. The dangers which it seemed to threaten finally rallied to the support of Mr. McKinley, that mass of thoughtful citizens who in effect always hold the balance of political power. Mr. Bryan's definition of a debtor class was, in fact, too limited to be convincing. His thought was mainly of the farmers of the West who had mortgaged their lands to Eastern creditors. But the true debtor class was a much larger one than this. To it in reality belonged every person who had deposited his savings in a bank, or who had taken out a policy of life insurance, or who had made any small investment as a provision against old age or illness. These persons dreaded the possibility of receiving in place of their hard-earned money some form of depreciated currency; and they did not draw any fine distinction between the so-called "fiat paper money" of the old Greenback Party and the fiat silver money of the new Democracy. And so, in the end, the prudence, or caution, or timidity of this large class turned the scale against the party of free silver.*
The excitement which marked this whole extraordinary contest increased in its intensity until the very end. An imposing demonstration in New York City. signalised the close of the campaign on the Saturday before election day. More than 150,000 voters marched up Broadway, under a forest of flags and vivid decorations, which covered nearly every building on the way. Thousands of them were men who had never, perhaps, taken part
*For a brief criticism of both the gold and the silver arguments from the standpoint of one who accepted neither as convincing, see Fonda, Honest Money, ch. viii. (New York, 1895).
in a political parade before. Lawyers, merchants, clergymen, bankers, university professors, authors-all marched shoulder to shoulder, cheering lustily for "sound money" and incidentally for the Republican candidates. The demonstration had no great political significance, for New York was known to be safely Republican; yet the outpouring was one of the most picturesque as well as one of the most impressive incidents in a contest that was full of life and colour.
The election was unexpectedly decisive. Before midnight on November 3d, it was known that Mr. Bryan had been defeated and that he would receive in the Electoral College only 176 votes to 271 for Mr. McKinley. He had carried all the Southern States except West Virginia; and had also received the votes of Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, while California and Kentucky had each given him one electoral vote. But the solid opposition of the East, the Northwest and the Middle West had overborne his loyal following in the more thinly settled mining States.* Yet Mr. Bryan had given the Republican Party a shock of extreme severity. The extent of its fright may be measured by the ferocity with which its newspaper organs referred to Mr. Bryan even after the election. The following passage from the New York Tribune is sufficiently illustrative to deserve citation:
"The thing was conceived in iniquity and was brought forth in sin. It had its origin in a malicious conspiracy against the honour and integrity of the nation. It gained such monstrous growth as it enjoyed from an assiduous culture of the basest passions of the least worthy members of the community. It has been defeated and destroyed because right is right and God is God. Its nominal head was worthy of the cause. Nominal, because the wretched, rattle-pated boy, posing in vapid vanity and mouthing resounding rottenness, was not the real leader of that league of hell. He was only a puppet in the blood-imbued
*In the popular vote, Mr. McKinley received 7,111,607 votes, and Mr. Bryan, 6,509,052,-a majority for Mr. McKinley of 602,555. General Palmer, the candidate of the Gold Democrats, received 134,645 votes.
hands of Altgeld, the anarchist, and Debs, the revolutionist, and other desperadoes of that stripe. But he was a willing puppet, Bryan was, willing and eager. Not one of his masters was more apt than he at lies and forgeries and blasphemies and all the nameless iniquities of that campaign against the Ten Commandments. He goes down with the cause, and must abide with it in the history of infamy. He had less provocation than Benedict Arnold, less intellectual force than Aaron Burr, less manliness and courage than Jefferson Davis. He was the rival of them all in deliberate wickedness, and treason to the Republic. His name belongs with theirs, neither the most brilliant nor the most hateful in the list. Good riddance to it all, to conspiracy and conspirators, and to the foul menace of repudiation and anarchy against the honour and life of the Republic."
Mr. Bryan himself set an example of dignity and generous feeling which his newspaper assailants might well have tried to emulate. No sooner was the result of the election a certainty than he telegraphed to his successful rival a message of cordial congratulation, to which Mr. McKinley at once replied in terms of equal courtesy and personal good will.
Thus ended the most eventful political
NINE BOOKS OF THE MONTH
as distinguished from a philosophical one. The keynote of the whole is given. by the author himself when he says: "Facts are what we alone consider in this history, without giving weight to the opinions that may have been based on only one that can logically be pursued in those facts." Such a plan indeed is the writing the history of a country whose records, like those of India, must be drawn mainly from royal inscriptions, rich though the literature and the art may be in revealing the thought and the life of the people. The present volume is the third in a series of six, of which the first three, treating of the history of Egypt from the first dynasty to the fall of the native Pharaohs, have been writ
I. A HISTORY OF EGYPT
II. THE RELIGION OF THE ANCIENT
III. PRIMITIVE ART IN EGYPT
Of these three works,* the first and the third are of exceptional interest to students of Egyptology. The book by Petrie, in particular, may be said to be almost a model of a presentative history
*A History of Egypt from the XIXth to the XXXth Dynasties. By W. M. Flinders Petrie. Illustrated. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
The Religion of the Ancient Egyptians. By Georg Steindorff. New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons.
struggle which the people of the United States had witnessed since that which ended in the first election of Abraham Lincoln. Looking back upon it with a true perception of its significance, one finds in it the temporary failure of a noble cause through a faulty adaptation of means to end. For the underlying issue was not that of the money question at all. The money question, in fact, served only to obscure the underlying issue and to postpone its ultimate decision. The people of the West, and in fact the people of the whole country, were suffering from the innumerable abuses which the lawlessness of corporate wealth had brought upon them. Unwisely they sought a remedy through an attempt to establish an unsound economic principle. The result was their defeat, and for a time the defeat of the cause for which they were contending. The way to deliverance was not to be opened to them through the door of the national finances. Mr. Bryan resembled a champion who rushes forth to meet a powerful antagonist, and who has armed himself with a sword of which the blade is flawed. At the very crisis of the combat, his weapon was shattered in his grasp, and the victory was given to his adversary.
Primitive Art in Egypt. By Jean Capart.
Illustrated. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott
ten by Professor Petrie, while Ptolemaic Egypt is to be entrusted to Professor Mahaffy, Roman Egypt to Professor Milne, and Arabic Egypt to Professor Stanley Lane Poole. The volume under consideration deals with the period of the decline of the Pharaohs. There are, indeed, great names, such as Sety I., Ramessu II., and Ramessu III., but the glories of the nineteenth and twentieth dynasties are gradually lost in a medley of internecine quarrels, soon to be submerged beneath the flood of foreign invaders. This epoch, however, is of special interest to the student of the Bible. A song of triumph dating from the reign of Merenptah (1234-14 B. C.) gives the only mention of the Jews thus far known to exist on Egyptian monuments: "The people of Israel is laid waste their crops are not, Kharu (Palestine) has become as a widow by Egypt." This silence regarding the Jews in Egypt renders it somewhat doubtful whether they were really as important in the land of Egypt as their inveterate megalomania has led them to suppose. The value of the work is distinctly enhanced by the complete lists of monuments and officials prefixed to the account of each individual reign.
An equal mead of praise cannot be bestowed on Professor Steindorff's Religion of the Ancient Egyptians. This book contains a series of five lectures delivered in the spring of 1904 as the fifth course of "The American Lectures on the History of Religions." To compare it with Wiedemann's Religion of the Ancient Egyptians would be, perhaps, unfair, in view of the different conditions under which the two books were written, but when the American series is placed side by side with the "Hibbert Lectures" of England, the contrast is by no means to the advantage of the former. It would be impossible to gain anything like a clear idea of individual Egyptian deities from Steindorff's book, which is, perhaps necessarily, sketchy and somewhat superficial. The first chapter deals with the religion in the earliest period, and a clear distinction is drawn between the popular faith and the hieraticism which was later grafted upon it. In those early times there was no uniform
Egyptian religion, but as among the Sabæans, Phoenicians, and other Semites, each locality had its special "lord" or "lady." The Egyptian religion seems to have been originally a nature-cult, reverence being paid to stones, trees, pillars, and, most of all, animals. In such a mixture of animism and totemism there is nothing specifically Egyptian, for similar religious phenomena may be found in the cults of the Semites, Greeks and Alaskans. In Egypt, however, the retention of the totem-god, even in the fully developed period of the religion, was somewhat unusual, as when Thot bore the head of an ibis, or Bast that of a cat. A similar survival may be traced in the worship of the Apis-bull, perhaps a deity of fertility. Nature-worship, on the other hand, is seen in the reverence paid to Horus as the sun-god. The latter deity, under the name of Re-Horus, was, indeed, elevated to the rank of supreme deity by Amenophis IV., who called the god Aton the "solar disc." This was the single heresy of the Egyptian religion, and its speedy suppression by the successors of Amenophis speaks volumes for the power of the priesthood. Interesting chapters are also devoted by the author to the Egyptian views of the future life, to their temples and ceremonies, and to external influences on the Egyptian cult. Thus the Apis-cult survived in the Israelitic calf-worship, but Steindorff's view that the Judeo-Christian concept of the resurrection of the body is Egyptian in origin seems scarcely probable. This teaching is generally regarded as post-exilic, and is more plausibly supposed to be borrowed from Persia.
Of far wider interest is the work of Jean Capart on Primitive Art in Egypt, for it appeals, with its wealth of illustration and its sober judgment, to all who concern themselves in any wise with the civilisation of primitive man. The most important chapters are those on personal adornment, ornamental and decorative art, and sculpture and painting. Throughout the book the author manifests a thorough knowledge of ethnology, especially of the African. Particularly wise is his emphasis on the fact that primitive "art" is utilitarian in origin, herein following the example of