by Thomas Carlyle

But as yet struggles the twelfth hour of the Night.  Birds of
darkness are on the wing; spectres uproar; the dead walk; the
living dream.  Thou, Eternal Providence, wilt make the Day
dawn!—JEAN PAUL.

Then said his Lordship, "Well.  God mend all!"—"Nay, by God,
Donald, we must help him to mend it!" said the other.—RUSHWORTH
(Sir David Ramsay and Lord Rea, in 1630).



[February 1, 1850.] NO. I.  THE PRESENT TIME.

The Present Time, youngest-born of Eternity, child and heir of
all the Past Times with their good and evil, and parent of all
the Future, is ever a "New Era" to the thinking man; and comes
with new questions and significance, however commonplace it look: 
to know it, and what it bids us do, is ever the sum of
knowledge for all of us.  This new Day, sent us out of Heaven,
this also has its heavenly omens;—amid the bustling trivialities
and loud empty noises, its silent monitions, which if we cannot
read and obey, it will not be well with us!  No;—nor is there
any sin more fearfully avenged on men and Nations than that same,
which indeed includes and presupposes all manner of sins:  the
sin which our old pious fathers called "judicial
blindness;"—which we, with our light habits, may still call
misinterpretation of the Time that now is; disloyalty to its real
meanings and monitions, stupid disregard of these, stupid
adherence active or passive to the counterfeits and mere current
semblances of these. This is true of all times and days.

But in the days that are now passing over us, even fools are
arrested to ask the meaning of them; few of the generations of
men have seen more impressive days.  Days of endless calamity,
disruption, dislocation, confusion worse confounded:  if they are
not days of endless hope too, then they are days of utter
despair.  For it is not a small hope that will suffice, the ruin
being clearly, either in action or in prospect, universal.  There
must be a new world, if there is to be any world at all! That
human things in our Europe can ever return to the old sorry
routine, and proceed with any steadiness or continuance there;
this small hope is not now a tenable one.  These days of
universal death must be days of universal new-birth, if the ruin
is not to be total and final!  It is a Time to make the dullest
man consider; and ask himself, Whence he came? Whither he is
bound?—A veritable "New Era," to the foolish as well as to the wise.

Not long ago, the world saw, with thoughtless joy which might
have been very thoughtful joy, a real miracle not heretofore
considered possible or conceivable in the world,—a Reforming
Pope.  A simple pious creature, a good country-priest, invested
unexpectedly with the tiara, takes up the New Testament, declares
that this henceforth shall be his rule of governing. No more
finesse, chicanery, hypocrisy, or false or foul dealing of any
kind:  God's truth shall be spoken, God's justice shall be done,
on the throne called of St. Peter:  an honest Pope, Papa, or
Father of Christendom, shall preside there.  And such a throne of
St. Peter; and such a Christendom, for an honest Papa to preside
in!  The European populations everywhere hailed the omen; with
shouting and rejoicing leading articles and tar-barrels; thinking
people listened with astonishment,—not with sorrow if they were
faithful or wise; with awe rather as at the heralding of death,
and with a joy as of victory beyond death!  Something pious,
grand and as if awful in that joy, revealing once more the
Presence of a Divine Justice in this world.  For, to such men it
was very clear how this poor devoted Pope would prosper, with his
New Testament in his band.  An alarming business, that of
governing in the throne of St. Peter by the rule of veracity!  By
the rule of veracity, the so-called throne of St. Peter was
openly declared, above three hundred years, ago, to be a falsity,
a huge mistake, a pestilent dead carcass, which this Sun was
weary of.  More than three hundred years ago, the throne of St.
Peter received peremptory judicial notice to quit; authentic
order, registered in Heaven's chancery and since legible in the
hearts of all brave men, to take itself away,—to begone, and let
us have no more to do with it and its delusions and impious
deliriums;—and it has been sitting every day since, it may
depend upon it, at its own peril withal, and will have to pay
exact damages yet for every day it has so sat.  Law of veracity? 
What this Popedom had to do by the law of veracity, was to give
up its own foul galvanic life, an offence to gods and men;
honestly to die, and get itself buried.

Far from this was the thing the poor Pope undertook in regard to
it;—and yet, on the whole, it was essentially this too. 
"Reforming Pope?" said one of our acquaintance, often in those
weeks, "Was there ever such a miracle? About to break up that
huge imposthume too, by 'curing' it?  Turgot and Necker were
nothing to this.  God is great; and when a scandal is to end,
brings some devoted man to take charge of it in hope, not in
despair!"—But cannot he reform? asked many simple persons;—to
whom our friend in grim banter would reply:  "Reform a
Popedom,—hardly.  A wretched old kettle, ruined from top to
bottom, and consisting mainly now of foul grime and rust: 
stop the holes of it, as your antecessors have been doing, with
temporary putty, it may hang together yet a while; begin to
hammer at it, solder at it, to what you call mend and rectify
it,—it will fall to sherds, as sure as rust is rust; go all into
nameless dissolution,—and the fat in the fire will be a thing
worth looking at, poor Pope!"—So accordingly it has proved.  The
poor Pope, amid felicitations and tar-barrels of various kinds,
went on joyfully for a season:  but he had awakened, he as no
other man could do, the sleeping elements; mothers of the
whirlwinds, conflagrations, earthquakes.  Questions not very
soluble at present, were even sages and heroes set to solve them,
began everywhere with new emphasis to be asked.  Questions which
all official men wished, and almost hoped, to postpone till
Doomsday.  Doomsday itself had come; that was the terrible

For, sure enough, if once the law of veracity be acknowledged as
the rule for human things, there will not anywhere be want of
work for the reformer; in very few places do human things adhere
quite closely to that law!  Here was the Papa of Christendom
proclaiming that such was actually the case;—whereupon all over
Christendom such results as we have seen.  The Sicilians, I
think, were the first notable body that set about applying this
new strange rule sanctioned by the general Father; they said to
themselves, We do not by the law of veracity belong to Naples and
these Neapolitan Officials; we will, by favor of Heaven and the
Pope, be free of these.  Fighting ensued; insurrection, fiercely
maintained in the Sicilian Cities; with much bloodshed, much
tumult and loud noise, vociferation extending through all
newspapers and countries.  The effect of this, carried abroad by
newspapers and rumor, was great in all places; greatest perhaps
in Paris, which for sixty years past has been the City of
Insurrections.  The French People had plumed themselves on being,
whatever else they were not, at least the chosen "soldiers of
liberty," who took the lead of all creatures in that pursuit, at
least; and had become, as their orators, editors and litterateurs
diligently taught them, a People whose bayonets were sacred, a
kind of Messiah People, saving a blind world in its own despite,
and earning for themselves a terrestrial and even celestial glory
very considerable indeed.  And here were the wretched
down-trodden populations of Sicily risen to rival them, and
threatening to take the trade out of their hand.

No doubt of it, this hearing continually of the very Pope's glory
as a Reformer, of the very Sicilians fighting divinely for
liberty behind barricades,—must have bitterly aggravated the
feeling of every Frenchman, as he looked around him, at home, on
a Louis-Philippism which had become the scorn of all the world. 
"Ichabod; is the glory departing from us? Under the sun is
nothing baser, by all accounts and evidences, than the system of
repression and corruption, of shameless dishonesty and unbelief
in anything but human baseness, that we now live under.  The
Italians, the very Pope, have become apostles of liberty, and
France is—what is France!"—We know what France suddenly became
in the end of February next; and by a clear enough genealogy, we
can trace a considerable share in that event to the good simple
Pope with the New Testament in his hand.  An outbreak, or at
least a radical change and even inversion of affairs hardly to be
achieved without an outbreak, everybody felt was inevitable in
France:  but it had been universally expected that France would
as usual take the initiative in that matter; and had there been
no reforming Pope, no insurrectionary Sicily, France had
certainly not broken out then and so, but only afterwards and
otherwise.  The French explosion, not anticipated by the
cunningest men there on the spot scrutinizing it, burst up
unlimited, complete, defying computation or control.

Close following which, as if by sympathetic subterranean
electricities, all Europe exploded, boundless, uncontrollable;
and we had the year 1848, one of the most singular, disastrous,
amazing, and, on the whole, humiliating years the European world
ever saw.  Not since the irruption of the Northern Barbarians has
there been the like.  Everywhere immeasurable Democracy rose
monstrous, loud, blatant, inarticulate as the voice of Chaos. 
Everywhere the Official holy-of-holies was scandalously laid bare
to dogs and the profane:—Enter, all the world, see what kind of
Official holy it is. Kings everywhere, and reigning persons,
stared in sudden horror, the voice of the whole world bellowing
in their ear, "Begone, ye imbecile hypocrites, histrios not
heroes!  Off with you, off!" and, what was peculiar and notable
in this year for the first time, the Kings all made haste to go,
as if exclaiming, "We are poor histrios, we sure enough;—did
you want heroes?  Don't kill us; we couldn't help it!"  Not one
of them turned round, and stood upon his Kingship, as upon a
right he could afford to die for, or to risk his skin upon; by no
manner of means.  That, I say, is the alarming peculiarity at
present.  Democracy, on this new occasion, finds all Kings
conscious that they are but Play-actors.  The miserable mortals,
enacting their High Life Below Stairs, with faith only that this
Universe may perhaps be all a phantasm and hypocrisis,—the
truculent Constable of the Destinies suddenly enters: 
"Scandalous Phantasms, what do you here? Are 'solemnly
constituted Impostors' the proper Kings of men?  Did you think
the Life of Man was a grimacing dance of apes?  To be led always
by the squeak of your paltry fiddle?  Ye miserable, this Universe
is not an upholstery Puppet-play, but a terrible God's Fact; and
you, I think,—had not you better begone!"  They fled
precipitately, some of them with what we may call an exquisite
ignominy,—in terror of the treadmill or worse.  And everywhere
the people, or the populace, take their own government upon
themselves; and open "kinglessness," what we call anarchy,—how
happy if it be anarchy plus a street-constable!—is everywhere
the order of the day.  Such was the history, from Baltic to
Mediterranean, in Italy, France, Prussia, Austria, from end to
end of Europe, in those March days of 1848. Since the destruction
of the old Roman Empire by inroad of the Northern Barbarians, I
have known nothing similar.

And so, then, there remained no King in Europe; no King except
the Public Haranguer, haranguing on barrel-head, in leading
article; or getting himself aggregated into a National Parliament
to harangue.  And for about four months all France, and to a
great degree all Europe, rough-ridden by every species of
delirium, except happily the murderous for most part, was a
weltering mob, presided over by M. de Lamartine, at the
Hotel-de-Ville; a most eloquent fair-spoken literary gentleman,
whom thoughtless persons took for a prophet, priest and
heaven-sent evangelist, and whom a wise Yankee friend of mine
discerned to be properly "the first stump-orator in the world,
standing too on the highest stump,—for the time."  A sorrowful
spectacle to men of reflection, during the time he lasted, that
poor M. de Lamartine; with nothing in him but melodious wind and
soft sawder, which he and others took for something divine and
not diabolic!  Sad enough; the eloquent latest impersonation of
Chaos-come-again; able to talk for itself, and declare
persuasively that it is Cosmos!  However, you have but to wait a
little, in such cases; all balloons do and must give up their gas
in the pressure of things, and are collapsed in a sufficiently
wretched manner before long.

And so in City after City, street-barricades are piled, and
truculent, more or less murderous insurrection begins; populace
after populace rises, King after King capitulates or absconds;
and from end to end of Europe Democracy has blazed up explosive,
much higher, more irresistible and less resisted than ever
before; testifying too sadly on what a bottomless volcano, or
universal powder-mine of most inflammable mutinous chaotic
elements, separated from us by a thin earth-rind, Society with
all its arrangements and acquirements everywhere, in the present
epoch, rests!  The kind of persons who excite or give signal to
such revolutions—students, young men of letters, advocates,
editors, hot inexperienced enthusiasts, or fierce and justly
bankrupt desperadoes, acting everywhere on the discontent of the
millions and blowing it into flame,—might give rise to
reflections as to the character of our epoch.  Never till now did
young men, and almost children, take such a command in human
affairs.  A changed time since the word Senior (Seigneur, or
Elder) was first devised to signify "lord," or superior;—as in
all languages of men we find it to have been!  Not an honorable
document this either, as to the spiritual condition of our epoch.
In times when men love wisdom, the old man will ever be
venerable, and be venerated, and reckoned noble:  in times that
love something else than wisdom, and indeed have little or no
wisdom, and see little or none to love, the old man will cease to
be venerated; and looking more closely, also, you will find that
in fact he has ceased to be venerable, and has begun to be
contemptible; a foolish boy still, a boy without the graces,
generosities and opulent strength of young boys.  In these days,
what of lordship or leadership is still to be done, the youth
must do it, not the mature or aged man; the mature man, hardened
into sceptical egoism, knows no monition but that of his own
frigid cautious, avarices, mean timidities; and can lead
no-whither towards an object that even seems noble.  But to

This mad state of matters will of course before long allay
itself, as it has everywhere begun to do; the ordinary
necessities of men's daily existence cannot comport with it, and
these, whatever else is cast aside, will have their way.  Some
remounting—very temporary remounting—of the old machine, under
new colors and altered forms, will probably ensue soon in most
countries:  the old histrionic Kings will be admitted back under
conditions, under "Constitutions," with national Parliaments, or
the like fashionable adjuncts; and everywhere the old daily life
will try to begin again.  But there is now no hope that such
arrangements can be permanent; that they can be other than poor
temporary makeshifts, which, if they try to fancy and make
themselves permanent, will be displaced by new explosions
recurring more speedily than last time.  In such baleful
oscillation, afloat as amid raging bottomless eddies and
conflicting sea-currents, not steadfast as on fixed foundations,
must European Society continue swaying, now disastrously
tumbling, then painfully readjusting itself, at ever shorter
intervals,—till once the new rock-basis does come to light,
and the weltering deluges of mutiny, and of need to mutiny, abate

For universal Democracy, whatever we may think of it, has
declared itself as an inevitable fact of the days in which we
live; and he who has any chance to instruct, or lead, in his
days, must begin by admitting that: new street-barricades, and
new anarchies, still more scandalous if still less sanguinary,
must return and again return, till governing persons everywhere
know and admit that.  Democracy, it may be said everywhere, is
here:—for sixty years now, ever since the grand or First
French Revolution, that fact has been terribly announced to all
the world; in message after message, some of them very terrible
indeed; and now at last all the world ought really to believe it. 
That the world does believe it; that even Kings now as good as
believe it, and know, or with just terror surmise, that they are
but temporary phantasm Play-actors, and that Democracy is the
grand, alarming, imminent and indisputable Reality:  this, among
the scandalous phases we witnessed in the last two years, is a
phasis full of hope:  a sign that we are advancing closer and
closer to the very Problem itself, which it will behoove us to
solve or die; that all fighting and campaigning and coalitioning
in regard to the existence of the Problem, is hopeless and
superfluous henceforth.  The gods have appointed it so; no Pitt,
nor body of Pitts or mortal creatures can appoint it otherwise. 
Democracy, sure enough, is here; one knows not how long it will
keep hidden underground even in Russia;—and here in England,
though we object to it resolutely in the form of
street-barricades and insurrectionary pikes, and decidedly will
not open doors to it on those terms, the tramp of its million
feet is on all streets and thoroughfares, the sound of its
bewildered thousand-fold voice is in all writings and speakings,
in all thinkings and modes and activities of men:  the soul that
does not now, with hope or terror, discern it, is not the one we
address on this occasion.

What is Democracy; this huge inevitable Product of the
Destinies, which is everywhere the portion of our Europe in these
latter days?  There lies the question for us.  Whence comes it,
this universal big black Democracy; whither tends it; what is the
meaning of it?  A meaning it must have, or it would not be here. 
If we can find the right meaning of it, we may, wisely
submitting or wisely resisting and controlling, still hope to
live in the midst of it; if we cannot find the right meaning, if
we find only the wrong or no meaning in it, to live will not be
possible!—The whole social wisdom of the Present Time is
summoned, in the name of the Giver of Wisdom, to make clear to
itself, and lay deeply to heart with an eye to strenuous valiant
practice and effort, what the meaning of this universal revolt of
the European Populations, which calls itself Democracy, and
decides to continue permanent, may be.

Certainly it is a drama full of action, event fast following
event; in which curiosity finds endless scope, and there are
interests at stake, enough to rivet the attention of all men,
simple and wise.  Whereat the idle multitude lift up their
voices, gratulating, celebrating sky-high; in rhyme and prose
announcement, more than plentiful, that now the New Era, and
long-expected Year One of Perfect Human Felicity has come. 
Glorious and immortal people, sublime French citizens, heroic
barricades; triumph of civil and religious liberty—O Heaven! one
of the inevitablest private miseries, to an earnest man in such
circumstances, is this multitudinous efflux of oratory and
psalmody, from the universal foolish human throat; drowning for
the moment all reflection whatsoever, except the sorrowful one
that you are fallen in an evil, heavy-laden, long-eared age, and
must resignedly bear your part in the same.  The front wall of
your wretched old crazy dwelling, long denounced by you to no
purpose, having at last fairly folded itself over, and fallen
prostrate into the street, the floors, as may happen, will still
hang on by the mere beam-ends, and coherency of old carpentry,
though in a sloping direction, and depend there till certain poor
rusty nails and worm-eaten dovetailings give way:—but is it
cheering, in such circumstances, that the whole household burst
forth into celebrating the new joys of light and ventilation,
liberty and picturesqueness of position, and thank God that now
they have got a house to their mind?  My dear household, cease
singing and psalmodying; lay aside your fiddles, take out your
work-implements, if you have any; for I can say with confidence
the laws of gravitation are still active, and rusty nails,
worm-eaten dovetailings, and secret coherency of old carpentry,
are not the best basis for a household!—In the lanes of Irish
cities, I have heard say, the wretched people are sometimes found
living, and perilously boiling their potatoes, on such
swing-floors and inclined planes hanging on by the joist-ends;
but I did not hear that they sang very much in celebration of
such lodging.  No, they slid gently about, sat near the back
wall, and perilously boiled their potatoes, in silence for most

High shouts of exultation, in every dialect, by every vehicle of
speech and writing, rise from far and near over this last avatar
of Democracy in 1848: and yet, to wise minds, the first aspect it
presents seems rather to be one of boundless misery and sorrow. 
What can be more miserable than this universal hunting out of the
high dignitaries, solemn functionaries, and potent, grave and
reverend signiors of the world; this stormful rising-up of the
inarticulate dumb masses everywhere, against those who pretended
to be speaking for them and guiding them?  These guides, then,
were mere blind men only pretending to see?  These rulers were
not ruling at all; they had merely got on the attributes and
clothes of rulers, and were surreptitiously drawing the wages,
while the work remained undone?  The Kings were Sham-Kings,
play-acting as at Drury Lane;—and what were the people withal
that took them for real?

It is probably the hugest disclosure of falsity in human
things that was ever at one time made.  These reverend
Dignitaries that sat amid their far-shining symbols and
long-sounding long-admitted professions, were mere Impostors,
then?  Not a true thing they were doing, but a false thing.  The
story they told men was a cunningly devised fable; the gospels
they preached to them were not an account of man's real position
in this world, but an incoherent fabrication, of dead ghosts and
unborn shadows, of traditions, cants, indolences, cowardices,—a
falsity of falsities, which at last ceases to stick together. 
Wilfully and against their will, these high units of mankind were
cheats, then; and the low millions who believed in them were
dupes,—a kind of inverse cheats, too, or they would not have
believed in them so long.  A universal Bankruptcy of
Imposture; that may be the brief definition of it.  Imposture
everywhere declared once more to be contrary to Nature; nobody
will change its word into an act any farther:—fallen insolvent;
unable to keep its head up by these false pretences, or make its
pot boil any more for the present!  A more scandalous phenomenon,
wide as Europe, never afflicted the face of the sun. Bankruptcy
everywhere; foul ignominy, and the abomination of desolation, in
all high places:  odious to look upon, as the carnage of a
battle-field on the morrow morning;—a massacre not of the
innocents; we cannot call it a massacre of the innocents; but a
universal tumbling of Impostors and of Impostures into the

Such a spectacle, can we call it joyful?  There is a joy in it,
to the wise man too; yes, but a joy full of awe, and as it were
sadder than any sorrow,—like the vision of immortality,
unattainable except through death and the grave!  And yet who
would not, in his heart of hearts, feel piously thankful that
Imposture has fallen bankrupt?  By all means let it fall
bankrupt; in the name of God let it do so, with whatever misery
to itself and to all of us.  Imposture, be it known then,—known
it must and shall be,—is hateful, unendurable to God and man. 
Let it understand this everywhere; and swiftly make ready for
departure, wherever it yet lingers; and let it learn never to
return, if possible!  The eternal voices, very audibly again, are
speaking to proclaim this message, from side to side of the
world.  Not a very cheering message, but a very indispensable

Alas, it is sad enough that Anarchy is here; that we are not
permitted to regret its being here,—for who that had, for this
divine Universe, an eye which was human at all, could wish that
Shams of any kind, especially that Sham-Kings should continue? 
No:  at all costs, it is to be prayed by all men that Shams may
cease.  Good Heavens, to what depths have we got, when this to
many a man seems strange!  Yet strange to many a man it does
seem; and to many a solid Englishman, wholesomely digesting his
pudding among what are called the cultivated classes, it seems
strange exceedingly; a mad ignorant notion, quite heterodox, and
big with mere ruin.  He has been used to decent forms long since
fallen empty of meaning, to plausible modes, solemnities grown
ceremonial,—what you in your iconoclast humor call shams, all
his life long; never heard that there was any harm in them, that
there was any getting on without them.  Did not cotton spin
itself, beef grow, and groceries and spiceries come in from the
East and the West, quite comfortably by the side of shams?  Kings
reigned, what they were pleased to call reigning; lawyers
pleaded, bishops preached, and honorable members perorated; and
to crown the whole, as if it were all real and no sham there, did
not scrip continue salable, and the banker pay in bullion, or
paper with a metallic basis?  "The greatest sham, I have always
thought, is he that would destroy shams."

Even so.  To such depth have I, the poor knowing person of this
epoch, got;—almost below the level of lowest humanity, and down
towards the state of apehood and oxhood!  For never till in quite
recent generations was such a scandalous blasphemy quietly set
forth among the sons of Adam; never before did the creature
called man believe generally in his heart that lies were the rule
in this Earth; that in deliberate long-established lying could
there be help or salvation for him, could there be at length
other than hindrance and destruction for him.  O Heavyside, my
solid friend, this is the sorrow of sorrows:  what on earth can
become of us till this accursed enchantment, the general summary
and consecration of delusions, be cast forth from the heart and
life of one and all!  Cast forth it will be; it must, or we are
tending, at all moments, whitherward I do not like to name. 
Alas, and the casting of it out, to what heights and what depths
will it lead us, in the sad universe mostly of lies and shams and
hollow phantasms (grown very ghastly now), in which, as in a safe
home, we have lived this century or two!  To heights and depths
of social and individual divorce from delusions,—of "reform"
in right sacred earnest, of indispensable amendment, and stern
sorrowful abrogation and order to depart,—such as cannot well be
spoken at present; as dare scarcely be thought at present; which
nevertheless are very inevitable, and perhaps rather imminent
several of them!  Truly we have a heavy task of work before us;
and there is a pressing call that we should seriously begin upon
it, before it tumble into an inextricable mass, in which there
will be no working, but only suffering and hopelessly

Or perhaps Democracy, which we announce as now come, will itself
manage it? Democracy, once modelled into suffrages, furnished
with ballot-boxes and such like, will itself accomplish the
salutary universal change from Delusive to Real, and make a new
blessed world of us by and by?—To the great mass of men, I am
aware, the matter presents itself quite on this hopeful side. 
Democracy they consider to be a kind of "Government."  The old
model, formed long since, and brought to perfection in England
now two hundred years ago, has proclaimed itself to all Nations
as the new healing for every woe:  "Set up a Parliament," the
Nations everywhere say, when the old King is detected to be a
Sham-King, and hunted out or not; "set up a Parliament; let us
have suffrages, universal suffrages; and all either at once or by
due degrees will be right, and a real Millennium come!" Such is
their way of construing the matter.

Such, alas, is by no means my way of construing the matter; if it
were, I should have had the happiness of remaining silent, and
been without call to speak here.  It is because the contrary of
all this is deeply manifest to me, and appears to be forgotten by
multitudes of my contemporaries, that I have had to undertake
addressing a word to them.  The contrary of all this;—and the
farther I look into the roots of all this, the more hateful,
ruinous and dismal does the state of mind all this could have
originated in appear to me.  To examine this recipe of a
Parliament, how fit it is for governing Nations, nay how fit it
may now be, in these new times, for governing England itself
where we are used to it so long:  this, too, is an alarming
inquiry, to which all thinking men, and good citizens of their
country, who have an ear for the small still voices and eternal
intimations, across the temporary clamors and loud blaring
proclamations, are now solemnly invited.  Invited by the rigorous
fact itself; which will one day, and that perhaps soon, demand
practical decision or redecision of it from us,—with enormous
penalty if we decide it wrong!  I think we shall all have to
consider this question, one day; better perhaps now than later,
when the leisure may be less.  If a Parliament, with suffrages
and universal or any conceivable kind of suffrages, is the
method, then certainly let us set about discovering the kind of
suffrages, and rest no moment till we have got them.  But it is
possible a Parliament may not be the method!  Possible the
inveterate notions of the English People may have settled it as
the method, and the Everlasting Laws of Nature may have settled
it as not the method!  Not the whole method; nor the method at
all, if taken as the whole?  If a Parliament with never such
suffrages is not the method settled by this latter authority,
then it will urgently behoove us to become aware of that fact,
and to quit such method;—we may depend upon it, however
unanimous we be, every step taken in that direction will, by the
Eternal Law of things, be a step from improvement, not towards it.

Not towards it, I say, if so!  Unanimity of voting,—that will do
nothing for us if so.  Your ship cannot double Cape Horn by its
excellent plans of voting.  The ship may vote this and that,
above decks and below, in the most harmonious exquisitely
constitutional manner:  the ship, to get round Cape Horn, will
find a set of conditions already voted for, and fixed with
adamantine rigor by the ancient Elemental Powers, who are
entirely careless how you vote.  If you can, by voting or without
voting, ascertain these conditions, and valiantly conform to
them, you will get round the Cape:  if you cannot, the ruffian
Winds will blow you ever back again; the inexorable Icebergs,
dumb privy-councillors from Chaos, will nudge you with most
chaotic "admonition;" you will be flung half frozen on the
Patagonian cliffs, or admonished into shivers by your iceberg
councillors, and sent sheer down to Davy Jones, and will never
get round Cape Horn at all! Unanimity on board ship;—yes indeed,
the ship's crew may be very unanimous, which doubtless, for the
time being, will be very comfortable to the ship's crew, and to
their Phantasm Captain if they have one:  but if the tack they
unanimously steer upon is guiding them into the belly of the
Abyss, it will not profit them much!—Ships accordingly do not
use the ballot-box at all; and they reject the Phantasm species
of Captains:  one wishes much some other Entities—since all
entities lie under the same rigorous set of laws—could be
brought to show as much wisdom, and sense at least of
self-preservation, the first command of Nature.  Phantasm
Captains with unanimous votings:  this is considered to be all
the law and all the prophets, at present.

If a man could shake out of his mind the universal noise of
political doctors in this generation and in the last generation
or two, and consider the matter face to face, with his own
sincere intelligence looking at it, I venture to say he would
find this a very extraordinary method of navigating, whether in
the Straits of Magellan or the undiscovered Sea of Time.  To
prosper in this world, to gain felicity, victory and improvement,
either for a man or a nation, there is but one thing requisite,
That the man or nation can discern what the true regulations of
the Universe are in regard to him and his pursuit, and can
faithfully and steadfastly follow these.  These will lead him to
victory; whoever it may be that sets him in the way of
these,—were it Russian Autocrat, Chartist Parliament, Grand
Lama, Force of Public Opinion, Archbishop of Canterbury, M'Croudy
the Seraphic Doctor with his Last-evangel of Political
Economy,—sets him in the sure way to please the Author of this
Universe, and is his friend of friends.  And again, whoever does
the contrary is, for a like reason, his enemy of enemies.  This
may be taken as fixed.

And now by what method ascertain the monition of the gods in
regard to our affairs?  How decipher, with best fidelity, the
eternal regulation of the Universe; and read, from amid such
confused embroilments of human clamor and folly, what the real
Divine Message to us is?  A divine message, or eternal regulation
of the Universe, there verily is, in regard to every conceivable
procedure and affair of man:  faithfully following this, said
procedure or affair will prosper, and have the whole Universe to
second it, and carry it, across the fluctuating contradictions,
towards a victorious goal; not following this, mistaking this,
disregarding this, destruction and wreck are certain for every
affair.  How find it?  All the world answers me, "Count heads;
ask Universal Suffrage, by the ballot-boxes, and that will tell." 
Universal Suffrage, ballot-boxes, count of heads? Well,—I
perceive we have got into strange spiritual latitudes indeed.
Within the last half-century or so, either the Universe or else
the heads of men must have altered very much.  Half a century
ago, and down from Father Adam's time till then, the Universe,
wherever I could hear tell of it, was wont to be of somewhat
abstruse nature; by no means carrying its secret written on its
face, legible to every passer-by; on the contrary, obstinately
hiding its secret from all foolish, slavish, wicked, insincere
persons, and partially disclosing it to the wise and noble-minded
alone, whose number was not the majority in my time!

Or perhaps the chief end of man being now, in these improved
epochs, to make money and spend it, his interests in the Universe
have become amazingly simplified of late; capable of being voted
on with effect by almost anybody?  "To buy in the cheapest
market, and sell in the dearest:" truly if that is the summary of
his social duties, and the final divine message he has to follow,
we may trust him extensively to vote upon that. But if it is not,
and never was, or can be?  If the Universe will not carry on its
divine bosom any commonwealth of mortals that have no higher
aim,—being still "a Temple and Hall of Doom," not a mere
Weaving-shop and Cattle-pen?  If the unfathomable Universe has
decided to reject Human Beavers pretending to be Men; and will
abolish, pretty rapidly perhaps, in hideous mud-deluges, their
"markets" and them, unless they think of it?—In that case it
were better to think of it:  and the Democracies and Universal
Suffrages, I can observe, will require to modify themselves a
good deal!

Historically speaking, I believe there was no Nation that could
subsist upon Democracy.  Of ancient Republics, and Demoi and
Populi, we have heard much; but it is now pretty well admitted
to be nothing to our purpose;—a universal-suffrage republic, or
a general-suffrage one, or any but a most-limited-suffrage one,
never came to light, or dreamed of doing so, in ancient times. 
When the mass of the population were slaves, and the voters
intrinsically a kind of kings, or men born to rule others; when
the voters were real "aristocrats" and manageable dependents of
such,—then doubtless voting, and confused jumbling of talk and
intrigue, might, without immediate destruction, or the need of a
Cavaignac to intervene with cannon and sweep the streets clear of
it, go on; and beautiful developments of manhood might be
possible beside it, for a season.  Beside it; or even, if you
will, by means of it, and in virtue of it, though that is by no
means so certain as is often supposed.  Alas, no:  the reflective
constitutional mind has misgivings as to the origin of old Greek
and Roman nobleness; and indeed knows not how this or any other
human nobleness could well be "originated," or brought to pass,
by voting or without voting, in this world, except by the grace
of God very mainly;—and remembers, with a sigh, that of the
Seven Sages themselves no fewer than three were bits of Despotic
Kings, [Gr.] Turannoi, "Tyrants" so called (such being greatly
wanted there); and that the other four were very far from Red
Republicans, if of any political faith whatever!  We may quit the
Ancient Classical concern, and leave it to College-clubs and
speculative debating-societies, in these late days.

Of the various French Republics that have been tried, or that are
still on trial,—of these also it is not needful to say any word. 
But there is one modern instance of Democracy nearly perfect, the
Republic of the United States, which has actually subsisted for
threescore years or more, with immense success as is affirmed; to
which many still appeal, as to a sign of hope for all nations,
and a "Model Republic."  Is not America an instance in point? 
Why should not all Nations subsist and flourish on Democracy, as
America does?

Of America it would ill beseem any Englishman, and me perhaps as
little as another, to speak unkindly, to speak unpatriotically,
if any of us even felt so.  Sure enough, America is a great, and
in many respects a blessed and hopeful phenomenon.  Sure enough,
these hardy millions of Anglo-Saxon men prove themselves worthy
of their genealogy; and, with the axe and plough and hammer, if
not yet with any much finer kind of implements, are triumphantly
clearing out wide spaces, seedfields for the sustenance and
refuge of mankind, arenas for the future history of the world;
doing, in their day and generation, a creditable and cheering
feat under the sun. But as to a Model Republic, or a model
anything, the wise among themselves know too well that there is
nothing to be said.  Nay the title hitherto to be a Commonwealth
or Nation at all, among the [Gr.] ethne of the world, is,
strictly considered, still a thing they are but striving for, and
indeed have not yet done much towards attaining.  Their
Constitution, such as it may be, was made here, not there; went
over with them from the Old-Puritan English workshop ready-made. 
Deduct what they carried with them from England
ready-made,—their common English Language, and that same
Constitution, or rather elixir of constitutions, their inveterate
and now, as it were, inborn reverence for the Constable's Staff;
two quite immense attainments, which England had to spend much
blood, and valiant sweat of brow and brain, for centuries long,
in achieving;—and what new elements of polity or nationhood,
what noble new phasis of human arrangement, or social device
worthy of Prometheus or of Epimetheus, yet comes to light in
America?  Cotton crops and Indian corn and dollars come to light;
and half a world of untilled land, where populations that respect
the constable can live, for the present without Government: 
this comes to light; and the profound sorrow of all nobler
hearts, here uttering itself as silent patient unspeakable ennui,
there coming out as vague elegiac wailings, that there is still
next to nothing more.  "Anarchy plus a street-constable:" that
also is anarchic to me, and other than quite lovely!

I foresee, too, that, long before the waste lands are full, the
very street-constable, on these poor terms, will have become
impossible: without the waste lands, as here in our Europe, I do
not see how he could continue possible many weeks.  Cease to brag
to me of America, and its model institutions and constitutions. 
To men in their sleep there is nothing granted in this world: 
nothing, or as good as nothing, to men that sit idly caucusing
and ballot-boxing on the graves of their heroic ancestors,
saying, "It is well, it is well!"  Corn and bacon are granted:
not a very sublime boon, on such conditions; a boon moreover
which, on such conditions, cannot last!—No:  America too will
have to strain its energies, in quite other fashion than this; to
crack its sinews, and all but break its heart, as the rest of us
have had to do, in thousand-fold wrestle with the Pythons and
mud-demons, before it can become a habitation for the gods. 
America's battle is yet to fight; and we, sorrowful though
nothing doubting, will wish her strength for it.  New Spiritual
Pythons, plenty of them; enormous Megatherions, as ugly as were
ever born of mud, loom huge and hideous out of the twilight
Future on America; and she will have her own agony, and her own
victory, but on other terms than she is yet quite aware of. 
Hitherto she but ploughs and hammers, in a very successful
manner; hitherto, in spite of her "roast-goose with apple-sauce,"
she is not much.  "Roast-goose with apple-sauce for the poorest
workingman:" well, surely that is something, thanks to your
respect for the street-constable, and to your continents of
fertile waste land;—but that, even if it could continue, is by
no means enough; that is not even an instalment towards what will
be required of you.  My friend, brag not yet of our American
cousins!  Their quantity of cotton, dollars, industry and
resources, I believe to be almost unspeakable; but I can by no
means worship the like of these.  What great human soul, what
great thought, what great noble thing that one could worship, or
loyally admire, has yet been produced there?  None:  the American
cousins have yet done none of these things.  "What they have
done?" growls Smelfungus, tired of the subject: "They have
doubled their population every twenty years.  They have
begotten, with a rapidity beyond recorded example, Eighteen
Millions of the greatest bores ever seen in this world
before,—that hitherto is their feat in History!"—And so we
leave them, for the present; and cannot predict the success of
Democracy, on this side of the Atlantic, from their

Alas, on this side of the Atlantic and on that, Democracy, we
apprehend, is forever impossible!  So much, with certainty of
loud astonished contradiction from all manner of men at present,
but with sure appeal to the Law of Nature and the ever-abiding
Fact, may be suggested and asserted once more.  The Universe
itself is a Monarchy and Hierarchy; large liberty of "voting"
there, all manner of choice, utmost free-will, but with
conditions inexorable and immeasurable annexed to every exercise
of the same.  A most free commonwealth of "voters;" but with
Eternal Justice to preside over it, Eternal Justice enforced by
Almighty Power!  This is the model of "constitutions;" this:  nor
in any Nation where there has not yet (in some supportable and
withal some constantly increasing degree) been confided to the
Noblest, with his select series of Nobler, the divine
everlasting duty of directing and controlling the Ignoble, has
the "Kingdom of God," which we all pray for, "come," nor can "His
will" even tend to be "done on Earth as it is in Heaven" till
then.  My Christian friends, and indeed my Sham-Christian and
Anti-Christian, and all manner of men, are invited to reflect on
this.  They will find it to be the truth of the case. The Noble
in the high place, the Ignoble in the low; that is, in all times
and in all countries, the Almighty Maker's Law.

To raise the Sham-Noblest, and solemnly consecrate him by
whatever method, new-devised, or slavishly adhered to from old
wont, this, little as we may regard it, is, in all times and
countries, a practical blasphemy, and Nature will in nowise
forget it.  Alas, there lies the origin, the fatal necessity, of
modern Democracy everywhere.  It is the Noblest, not the
Sham-Noblest; it is God-Almighty's Noble, not the Court-Tailor's
Noble, nor the Able-Editor's Noble, that must, in some
approximate degree, be raised to the supreme place; he and not a
counterfeit,—under penalties! Penalties deep as death, and at
length terrible as hell-on-earth, my constitutional friend!—Will
the ballot-box raise the Noblest to the chief place; does any
sane man deliberately believe such a thing?  That nevertheless is
the indispensable result, attain it how we may:  if that is
attained, all is attained; if not that, nothing.  He that cannot
believe the ballot-box to be attaining it, will be comparatively
indifferent to the ballot-box.  Excellent for keeping the ship's
crew at peace under their Phantasm Captain; but unserviceable,
under such, for getting round Cape Horn.  Alas, that there should
be human beings requiring to have these things argued of, at this
late time of day!

I say, it is the everlasting privilege of the foolish to be
governed by the wise; to be guided in the right path by those who
know it better than they. This is the first "right of man;"
compared with which all other rights are as nothing,—mere
superfluities, corollaries which will follow of their own accord
out of this; if they be not contradictions to this, and less than
nothing!  To the wise it is not a privilege; far other indeed. 
Doubtless, as bringing preservation to their country, it implies
preservation of themselves withal; but intrinsically it is the
harshest duty a wise man, if he be indeed wise, has laid to his
hand.  A duty which he would fain enough shirk; which
accordingly, in these sad times of doubt and cowardly sloth, he
has long everywhere been endeavoring to reduce to its minimum,
and has in fact in most cases nearly escaped altogether.  It is
an ungoverned world; a world which we flatter ourselves will
henceforth need no governing.  On the dust of our heroic
ancestors we too sit ballot-boxing, saying to one another, It is
well, it is well!  By inheritance of their noble struggles, we
have been permitted to sit slothful so long.  By noble toil , not
by shallow laughter and vain talk, they made this English
Existence from a savage forest into an arable inhabitable field
for us; and we, idly dreaming it would grow spontaneous crops
forever,—find it now in a too questionable state; peremptorily
requiring real labor and agriculture again.  Real "agriculture"
is not pleasant; much pleasanter to reap and winnow (with
ballot-box or otherwise) than to plough!

Who would govern that can get along without governing?  He that
is fittest for it, is of all men the unwillingest unless
constrained.  By multifarious devices we have been endeavoring to
dispense with governing; and by very superficial speculations, of
laissez-faire, supply-and-demand, &c. &c. to persuade ourselves
that it is best so.  The Real Captain, unless it be some Captain
of mechanical Industry hired by Mammon, where is he in these
days? Most likely, in silence, in sad isolation somewhere, in
remote obscurity; trying if, in an evil ungoverned time, he
cannot at least govern himself. The Real Captain undiscoverable;
the Phantasm Captain everywhere very conspicuous:—it is thought
Phantasm Captains, aided by ballot-boxes, are the true method,
after all.  They are much the pleasantest for the time being! 
And so no Dux or Duke of any sort, in any province of our
affairs, now leads:  the Duke's Bailiff leads, what little
leading is required for getting in the rents; and the Duke merely
rides in the state-coach.  It is everywhere so:  and now at last
we see a world all rushing towards strange consummations, because
it is and has long been so!

I do not suppose any reader of mine, or many persons in England
at all, have much faith in Fraternity, Equality and the
Revolutionary Millenniums preached by the French Prophets in this
age:  but there are many movements here too which tend inevitably
in the like direction; and good men, who would stand aghast at
Red Republic and its adjuncts, seem to me travelling at full
speed towards that or a similar goal!  Certainly the notion
everywhere prevails among us too, and preaches itself abroad in
every dialect, uncontradicted anywhere so far as I can hear, That
the grand panacea for social woes is what we call
"enfranchisement," "emancipation;" or, translated into practical
language, the cutting asunder of human relations, wherever they
are found grievous, as is like to be pretty universally the case
at the rate we have been going for some generations past.  Let us
all be "free" of one another; we shall then be happy.  Free,
without bond or connection except that of cash-payment; fair
day's wages for the fair day's work; bargained for by voluntary
contract, and law of supply-and-demand:  this is thought to be
the true solution of all difficulties and injustices that have
occurred between man and man.

To rectify the relation that exists between two men, is there no
method, then, but that of ending it?  The old relation has become
unsuitable, obsolete, perhaps unjust; it imperatively requires to
be amended; and the remedy is, Abolish it, let there henceforth
be no relation at all.  From the "Sacrament of Marriage"
downwards, human beings used to be manifoldly related, one to
another, and each to all; and there was no relation among human
beings, just or unjust, that had not its grievances and
difficulties, its necessities on both sides to bear and forbear. 
But henceforth, be it known, we have changed all that, by favor
of Heaven:  "the voluntary principle" has come up, which will
itself do the business for us; and now let a new Sacrament, that
of Divorce, which we call emancipation, and spout of on our
platforms, be universally the order of the day!—Have men
considered whither all this is tending, and what it certainly
enough betokens?  Cut every human relation which has anywhere
grown uneasy sheer asunder; reduce whatsoever was compulsory to
voluntary, whatsoever was permanent among us to the condition of
nomadic:—in other words, loosen by assiduous wedges in every
joint, the whole fabric of social existence, stone from stone: 
till at last, all now being loose enough, it can, as we already
see in most countries, be overset by sudden outburst of
revolutionary rage; and, lying as mere mountains of anarchic
rubbish, solicit you to sing Fraternity, &c., over it, and to
rejoice in the new remarkable era of human progress we have
arrived at.

Certainly Emancipation proceeds with rapid strides among us, this
good while; and has got to such a length as might give rise to
reflections in men of a serious turn.  West-Indian Blacks are
emancipated, and it appears refuse to work:  Irish Whites have
long been entirely emancipated; and nobody asks them to work, or
on condition of finding them potatoes (which, of course, is
indispensable), permits them to work.—Among speculative persons,
a question has sometimes risen:  In the progress of Emancipation,
are we to look for a time when all the Horses also are to be
emancipated, and brought to the supply-and-demand principle? 
Horses too have "motives;" are acted on by hunger, fear, hope,
love of oats, terror of platted leather; nay they have vanity,
ambition, emulation, thankfulness, vindictiveness; some rude
outline of all our human spiritualities,—a rude resemblance to
us in mind and intelligence, even as they have in bodily frame. 
The Horse, poor dumb four-footed fellow, he too has his private
feelings, his affections, gratitudes; and deserves good usage; no
human master, without crime, shall treat him unjustly either, or
recklessly lay on the whip where it is not needed:—I am sure if
I could make him "happy," I should be willing to grant a small
vote (in addition to the late twenty millions) for that

Him too you occasionally tyrannize over; and with bad result to
yourselves, among others; using the leather in a tyrannous
unnecessary manner; withholding, or scantily furnishing, the oats
and ventilated stabling that are due.  Rugged horse-subduers, one
fears they are a little tyrannous at times.  "Am I not a horse,
and half-brother?"—To remedy which, so far as remediable,
fancy—the horses all "emancipated;" restored to their primeval
right of property in the grass of this Globe:  turned out to
graze in an independent supply-and-demand manner!  So long as
grass lasts, I dare say they are very happy, or think themselves
so.  And Farmer Hodge sallying forth, on a dry spring morning,
with a sieve of oats in his hand, and agony of eager expectation
in his heart, is he happy?  Help me to plough this day, Black
Dobbin:  oats in full measure if thou wilt.  "Hlunh, No—thank!"
snorts Black Dobbin; he prefers glorious liberty and the grass. 
Bay Darby, wilt not thou perhaps?  "Hlunh!"—Gray Joan, then, my
beautiful broad-bottomed mare,—O Heaven, she too answers Hlunh! 
Not a quadruped of them will plough a stroke for me.  Corn-crops
are ended in this world!—For the sake, if not of Hodge, then
of Hodge's horses, one prays this benevolent practice might now
cease, and a new and better one try to begin.  Small kindness to
Hodge's horses to emancipate them!  The fate of all emancipated
horses is, sooner or later, inevitable.  To have in this
habitable Earth no grass to eat,—in Black Jamaica gradually
none, as in White Connemara already none;—to roam aimless,
wasting the seedfields of the world; and be hunted home to Chaos,
by the due watch-dogs and due hell-dogs, with such horrors of
forsaken wretchedness as were never seen before!  These things
are not sport; they are terribly true, in this country at this

Between our Black West Indies and our White Ireland, between
these two extremes of lazy refusal to work, and of famishing
inability to find any work, what a world have we made of it, with
our fierce Mammon-worships, and our benevolent philanderings, and
idle godless nonsenses of one kind and another! 
Supply-and-demand, Leave-it-alone, Voluntary Principle, Time will
mend it:—till British industrial existence seems fast becoming
one huge poison-swamp of reeking pestilence physical and moral; a
hideous living Golgotha of souls and bodies buried alive; such
a Curtius' gulf, communicating with the Nether Deeps, as the Sun
never saw till now.  These scenes, which the Morning Chronicle
is bringing home to all minds of men,—thanks to it for a service
such as Newspapers have seldom done,—ought to excite unspeakable
reflections in every mind.  Thirty thousand outcast Needlewomen
working themselves swiftly to death; three million Paupers
rotting in forced idleness, helping said Needlewomen to die: 
these are but items in the sad ledger of despair.

Thirty thousand wretched women, sunk in that putrefying well of
abominations; they have oozed in upon London, from the universal
Stygian quagmire of British industrial life; are accumulated in
the well of the concern, to that extent.  British charity is
smitten to the heart, at the laying bare of such a scene;
passionately undertakes, by enormous subscription of money, or by
other enormous effort, to redress that individual horror; as I
and all men hope it may.  But, alas, what next? This general well
and cesspool once baled clean out to-day, will begin before night
to fill itself anew.  The universal Stygian quagmire is still
there; opulent in women ready to be ruined, and in men ready. 
Towards the same sad cesspool will these waste currents of human
ruin ooze and gravitate as heretofore; except in draining the
universal quagmire itself there is no remedy.  "And for that,
what is the method?" cry many in an angry manner.  To whom, for
the present, I answer only, "Not 'emancipation,' it would seem,
my friends; not the cutting loose of human ties, something far
the reverse of that!"

Many things have been written about shirtmaking; but here perhaps
is the saddest thing of all, not written anywhere till now, that
I know of. Shirts by the thirty thousand are made at
twopence-halfpenny each; and in the mean while no needlewoman,
distressed or other, can be procured in London by any housewife
to give, for fair wages, fair help in sewing.  Ask any thrifty
house-mother, high or low, and she will answer.  In high houses
and in low, there is the same answer:  no real needlewoman,
"distressed" or other, has been found attainable in any of the
houses I frequent. Imaginary needlewomen, who demand considerable
wages, and have a deepish appetite for beer and viands, I hear of
everywhere; but their sewing proves too often a distracted
puckering and botching; not sewing, only the fallacious hope of
it, a fond imagination of the mind.  Good sempstresses are to be
hired in every village; and in London, with its famishing thirty
thousand, not at all, or hardly,—Is not No-government beautiful
in human business?  To such length has the Leave-alone principle
carried it, by way of organizing labor, in this affair of
shirtmaking.  Let us hope the Leave-alone principle has now got
its apotheosis; and taken wing towards higher regions than ours,
to deal henceforth with a class of affairs more appropriate for

Reader, did you ever hear of "Constituted Anarchy"?  Anarchy; the
choking, sweltering, deadly and killing rule of No-rule; the
consecration of cupidity, and braying folly, and dim stupidity
and baseness, in most of the affairs of men?  Slop-shirts
attainable three halfpence cheaper, by the ruin of living bodies
and immortal souls?  Solemn Bishops and high Dignitaries, our
divine "Pillars of Fire by night," debating meanwhile, with their
largest wigs and gravest look, upon something they call
"prevenient grace"?  Alas, our noble men of genius, Heaven's
real messengers to us, they also rendered nearly futile by the
wasteful time;—preappointed they everywhere, and assiduously
trained by all their pedagogues and monitors, to "rise in
Parliament," to compose orations, write books, or in short speak
words, for the approval of reviewers; instead of doing real
kingly work to be approved of by the gods!  Our "Government," a
highly "responsible" one; responsible to no God that I can hear
of, but to the twenty-seven million gods of the shilling
gallery.  A Government tumbling and drifting on the whirlpools
and mud-deluges, floating atop in a conspicuous manner,
no-whither,—like the carcass of a drowned ass.  Authentic
Chaos come up into this sunny Cosmos again; and all men singing
Gloria in excelsis to it.  In spirituals and temporals, in
field and workshop, from Manchester to Dorsetshire, from Lambeth
Palace to the Lanes of Whitechapel, wherever men meet and toil
and traffic together,—Anarchy, Anarchy; and only the
street-constable (though with ever-increasing difficulty) still
maintaining himself in the middle of it; that so, for one thing,
this blessed exchange of slop-shirts for the souls of women may
transact itself in a peaceable manner!—I, for my part, do
profess myself in eternal opposition to this, and discern well
that universal Ruin has us in the wind, unless we can get out of
this.  My friend Crabbe, in a late number of his Intermittent
Radiator, pertinently enough exclaims:—

"When shall we have done with all this of British Liberty,
Voluntary Principle, Dangers of Centralization, and the like?  It
is really getting too bad.  For British Liberty, it seems, the
people cannot be taught to read.  British Liberty, shuddering to
interfere with the rights of capital, takes six or eight millions
of money annually to feed the idle laborer whom it dare not
employ.  For British Liberty we live over poisonous cesspools,
gully-drains, and detestable abominations; and omnipotent London
cannot sweep the dirt out of itself.  British Liberty
produces—what?  Floods of Hansard Debates every year, and
apparently little else at present.  If these are the results of
British Liberty, I, for one, move we should lay it on the shelf a
little, and look out for something other and farther.  We have
achieved British Liberty hundreds of years ago; and are fast
growing, on the strength of it, one of the most absurd
populations the Sun, among his great Museum of Absurdities, looks
down upon at present."

Curious enough:  the model of the world just now is England and
her Constitution; all Nations striving towards it:  poor France
swimming these last sixty years in seas of horrid dissolution and
confusion, resolute to attain this blessedness of free voting, or
to die in chase of it.  Prussia too, solid Germany itself, has
all broken out into crackling of musketry, loud pamphleteering
and Frankfort parliamenting and palavering; Germany too will
scale the sacred mountains, how steep soever, and, by talisman of
ballot-box, inhabit a political Elysium henceforth.  All the
Nations have that one hope.  Very notable, and rather sad to the
humane on-looker.  For it is sadly conjectured, all the Nations
labor somewhat under a mistake as to England, and the causes of
her freedom and her prosperous cotton-spinning; and have much
misread the nature of her Parliament, and the effect of
ballot-boxes and universal suffrages there.

What if it were because the English Parliament was from the
first, and is only just now ceasing to be, a Council of actual
Rulers, real Governing Persons (called Peers, Mitred Abbots,
Lords, Knights of the Shire, or howsoever called), actually
ruling each his section of the country,—and possessing (it
must be said) in the lump, or when assembled as a Council,
uncommon patience, devoutness, probity, discretion and good
fortune,—that the said Parliament ever came to be good for
much?  In that case it will not be easy to "imitate" the English
Parliament; and the ballot-box and suffrage will be the mere bow
of Robin Hood, which it is given to very few to bend, or shoot
with to any perfection.  And if the Peers become mere big
Capitalists, Railway Directors, gigantic Hucksters, Kings of
Scrip, without lordly quality, or other virtue except cash; and
the Mitred Abbots change to mere Able-Editors, masters of
Parliamentary Eloquence, Doctors of Political Economy, and such
like; and all have to be elected by a universal-suffrage
ballot-box,—I do not see how the English Parliament itself will
long continue sea-worthy!  Nay, I find England in her own big
dumb heart, wherever you come upon her in a silent meditative
hour, begins to have dreadful misgivings about it.

The model of the world, then, is at once unattainable by the
world, and not much worth attaining?  England, as I read the
omens, is now called a second time to "show the Nations how to
live;" for by her Parliament, as chief governing entity, I fear
she is not long for this world!  Poor England must herself again,
in these new strange times, the old methods being quite worn out,
"learn how to live."  That now is the terrible problem for
England, as for all the Nations; and she alone of all, not yet
sunk into open Anarchy, but left with time for repentance and
amendment; she, wealthiest of all in material resource, in
spiritual energy, in ancient loyalty to law, and in the qualities
that yield such loyalty,—she perhaps alone of all may be able,
with huge travail, and the strain of all her faculties, to
accomplish some solution.  She will have to try it, she has now
to try it; she must accomplish it, or perish from her place in
the world!

England, as I persuade myself, still contains in it many
kings; possesses, as old Rome did, many men not needing
"election" to command, but eternally elected for it by the Maker
Himself.  England's one hope is in these, just now.  They are
among the silent, I believe; mostly far away from platforms and
public palaverings; not speaking forth the image of their
nobleness in transitory words, but imprinting it, each on his own
little section of the world, in silent facts, in modest valiant
actions, that will endure forevermore.  They must sit silent no
longer.  They are summoned to assert themselves; to act forth,
and articulately vindicate, in the teeth of howling multitudes,
of a world too justly maddened into all manner of delirious
clamors, what of wisdom they derive from God.  England, and the
Eternal Voices, summon them; poor England never so needed them as
now.  Up, be doing everywhere:  the hour of crisis has verily
come!  In all sections of English life, the god-made king is
needed; is pressingly demanded in most; in some, cannot longer,
without peril as of conflagration, be dispensed with.  He,
wheresoever he finds himself, can say, "Here too am I wanted;
here is the kingdom I have to subjugate, and introduce God's Laws
into,—God's Laws, instead of Mammon's and M'Croudy's and the Old
Anarch's!  Here is my work, here or nowhere."—Are there many
such, who will answer to the call, in England?  It turns on that,
whether England, rapidly crumbling in these very years and
months, shall go down to the Abyss as her neighbors have all
done, or survive to new grander destinies without solution of
continuity!  Probably the chief question of the world at

The true "commander" and king; he who knows for himself the
divine Appointments of this Universe, the Eternal Laws ordained
by God the Maker, in conforming to which lies victory and
felicity, in departing from which lies, and forever must lie,
sorrow and defeat, for each and all of the Posterity of Adam in
every time and every place; he who has sworn fealty to these, and
dare alone against the world assert these, and dare not with the
whole world at his back deflect from these;—he, I know too well,
is a rare man.  Difficult to discover; not quite discoverable, I
apprehend, by manoeuvring of ballot-boxes, and riddling of the
popular clamor according to the most approved methods.  He is not
sold at any shop I know of,—though sometimes, as at the sign of
the Ballot-box, he is advertised for sale.  Difficult indeed to
discover:  and not very much assisted, or encouraged in late
times, to discover himself;—which, I think, might be a kind of
help?  Encouraged rather, and commanded in all ways, if he be
wise, to hide himself, and give place to the windy Counterfeit
of himself; such as the universal suffrages can recognize, such
as loves the most sweet voices of the universal suffrages!—O
Peter, what becomes of such a People; what can become?

Did you never hear, with the mind's ear as well, that fateful
Hebrew Prophecy, I think the fatefulest of all, which sounds
daily through the streets, "Ou' clo!  Ou' clo!"—A certain
People, once upon a time, clamorously voted by overwhelming
majority, "Not he; Barabbas, not he! Him, and what he is, and
what be deserves, we know well enough:  a reviler of the Chief
Priests and sacred Chancery wigs; a seditious Heretic,
physical-force Chartist, and enemy of his country and mankind: 
To the gallows and the cross with him!  Barabbas is our man;
Barabbas, we are for Barabbas!"  They got Barabbas:—have you
well considered what a fund of purblind obduracy, of opaque
flunkyism grown truculent and transcendent; what an eye for the
phylacteries, and want of eye for the eternal noblenesses; sordid
loyalty to the prosperous Semblances, and high-treason against
the Supreme Fact, such a vote betokens in these natures?  For it
was the consummation of a long series of such; they and their
fathers had long kept voting so.  A singular People; who could
both produce such divine men, and then could so stone and crucify
them; a People terrible from the beginning!—Well, they got
Barabbas; and they got, of course, such guidance as Barabbas and
the like of him could give them; and, of course, they stumbled
ever downwards and devilwards, in their truculent stiffnecked
way; and—and, at this hour, after eighteen centuries of sad
fortune, they prophetically sing "Ou' clo!"  in all the cities of
the world.  Might the world, at this late hour, but take note of
them, and understand their song a little!

Yes, there are some things the universal suffrage can
decide,—and about these it will be exceedingly useful to consult
the universal suffrage:  but in regard to most things of
importance, and in regard to the choice of men especially, there
is (astonishing as it may seem) next to no capability on the part
of universal suffrage.—I request all candid persons, who have
never so little originality of mind, and every man has a little,
to consider this.  If true, it involves such a change in our now
fashionable modes of procedure as fills me with astonishment and
alarm.  If popular suffrage is not the way of ascertaining what
the Laws of the Universe are, and who it is that will best guide
us in the way of these,—then woe is to us if we do not take
another method.  Delolme on the British Constitution will not
save us; deaf will the Parcae be to votes of the House, to
leading articles, constitutional philosophies.  The other
method—alas, it involves a stopping short, or vital change of
direction, in the glorious career which all Europe, with shouts
heaven-high, is now galloping along:  and that, happen when it
may, will, to many of us, be probably a rather surprising

One thing I do know, and can again assert with great confidence,
supported by the whole Universe, and by some two hundred
generations of men, who have left us some record of themselves
there, That the few Wise will have, by one method or another, to
take command of the innumerable Foolish; that they must be got to
take it;—and that, in fact, since Wisdom, which means also Valor
and heroic Nobleness, is alone strong in this world, and one wise
man is stronger than all men unwise, they can be got.  That they
must take it; and having taken, must keep it, and do their God's
Message in it, and defend the same, at their life's peril,
against all men and devils. This I do clearly believe to be the
backbone of all Future Society, as it has been of all Past; and
that without it, there is no Society possible in the world.  And
what a business this will be, before it end in some degree of
victory again, and whether the time for shouts of triumph and
tremendous cheers upon it is yet come, or not yet by a great way,
I perceive too well!  A business to make us all very serious
indeed.  A business not to be accomplished but by noble manhood,
and devout all-daring, all-enduring loyalty to Heaven, such as
fatally sleeps at present,—such as is not dead at present
either, unless the gods have doomed this world of theirs to die! 
A business which long centuries of faithful travail and heroic
agony, on the part of all the noble that are born to us, will not
end; and which to us, of this "tremendous cheering" century, it
were blessedness very great to see successfully begun.  Begun,
tried by all manner of methods, if there is one wise Statesman or
man left among us, it verily must be;—begun, successfully or
unsuccessfully, we do hope to see it!

In all European countries, especially in England, one class of
Captains and commanders of men, recognizable as the beginning of
a new real and not imaginary "Aristocracy," has already in some
measure developed itself:  the Captains of Industry;—happily the
class who above all, or at least first of all, are wanted in this
time.  In the doing of material work, we have already men among
us that can command bodies of men.  And surely, on the other
hand, there is no lack of men needing to be commanded:  the sad
class of brother-men whom we had to describe as "Hodge's
emancipated horses," reduced to roving famine,—this too has in
all countries developed itself; and, in fatal geometrical
progression, is ever more developing itself, with a rapidity
which alarms every one.  On this ground, if not on all manner of
other grounds, it may be truly said, the "Organization of Labor"
(not organizable by the mad methods tried hitherto) is the
universal vital Problem of the world.

To bring these hordes of outcast captainless soldiers under due
captaincy? This is really the question of questions; on the
answer to which turns, among other things, the fate of all
Governments, constitutional and other,—the possibility of their
continuing to exist, or the impossibility. Captainless,
uncommanded, these wretched outcast "soldiers," since they
cannot starve, must needs become banditti,
street-barricaders,—destroyers of every Government that cannot
put them under captains, and send them upon enterprises, and in
short render life human to them.  Our English plan of Poor Laws,
which we once piqued ourselves upon as sovereign, is evidently
fast breaking down.  Ireland, now admitted into the Idle
Workhouse, is rapidly bursting it in pieces.  That never was a
"human" destiny for any honest son of Adam; nowhere but in
England could it have lasted at all; and now, with Ireland sharer
in it, and the fulness of time come, it is as good as ended. 
Alas, yes.  Here in Connemara, your crazy Ship of the State,
otherwise dreadfully rotten in many of its timbers I believe, has
sprung a leak:  spite of all hands at the pump, the water is
rising; the Ship, I perceive, will founder, if you cannot stop
this leak!

To bring these Captainless under due captaincy?  The anxious
thoughts of all men that do think are turned upon that question;
and their efforts, though as yet blindly and to no purpose, under
the multifarious impediments and obscurations, all point
thitherward.  Isolated men, and their vague efforts, cannot do
it.  Government everywhere is called upon,—in England as loudly
as elsewhere,—to give the initiative.  A new strange task of
these new epochs; which no Government, never so
"constitutional," can escape from undertaking.  For it is vitally
necessary to the existence of Society itself; it must be
undertaken, and succeeded in too, or worse will follow,—and, as
we already see in Irish Connaught and some other places, will
follow soon.  To whatever thing still calls itself by the name of
Government, were it never so constitutional and impeded by
official impossibilities, all men will naturally look for help,
and direction what to do, in this extremity.  If help or
direction is not given; if the thing called Government merely
drift and tumble to and fro, no-whither, on the popular vortexes,
like some carcass of a drowned ass, constitutionally put "at the
top of affairs," popular indignation will infallibly accumulate
upon it; one day, the popular lightning, descending forked and
horrible from the black air, will annihilate said supreme
carcass, and smite it home to its native ooze again!—Your
Lordship, this is too true, though irreverently spoken:  indeed
one knows not how to speak of it; and to me it is infinitely sad
and miserable, spoken or not!—Unless perhaps the Voluntary
Principle will still help us through?  Perhaps this Irish leak,
in such a rotten distressed condition of the Ship, with all the
crew so anxious about it, will be kind enough to stop of

Dismiss that hope, your Lordship!  Let all real and imaginary
Governors of England, at the pass we have arrived at, dismiss
forever that fallacious fatal solace to their do-nothingism:  of
itself, too clearly, the leak will never stop; by human skill and
energy it must be stopped, or there is nothing but the sea-bottom
for us all!  A Chief Governor of England really ought to
recognize his situation; to discern that, doing nothing, and
merely drifting to and fro, in however constitutional a manner,
he is a squanderer of precious moments, moments that perhaps are
priceless; a truly alarming Chief Governor.  Surely, to a Chief
Governor of England, worthy of that high name,—surely to him, as
to every living man, in every conceivable situation short of the
Kingdom of the Dead—there is something possible; some plan of
action other than that of standing mildly, with crossed arms,
till he and we—sink?  Complex as his situation is, he, of all
Governors now extant among these distracted Nations, has, as I
compute, by far the greatest possibilities.  The Captains, actual
or potential, are there, and the million Captainless:  and such
resources for bringing them together as no other has.  To these
outcast soldiers of his, unregimented roving banditti for the
present, or unworking workhouse prisoners who are almost uglier
than banditti; to these floods of Irish Beggars, Able-bodied
Paupers, and nomadic Lackalls, now stagnating or roaming
everywhere, drowning the face of the world (too truly) into an
untenantable swamp and Stygian quagmire, has the Chief Governor
of this country no word whatever to say?  Nothing but "Rate in
aid," "Time will mend it," "Necessary business of the Session;"
and "After me the Deluge"? A Chief Governor that can front his
Irish difficulty, and steadily contemplate the horoscope of Irish
and British Pauperism, and whitherward it is leading him and us,
in this humor, must be a—What shall we call such a Chief
Governor?  Alas, in spite of old use and wont,—little other than
a tolerated Solecism, growing daily more intolerable!  He
decidedly ought to have some word to say on this matter,—to be
incessantly occupied in getting something which he could
practically say!—Perhaps to the following, or a much finer

Speech of the British Prime-Minister to the floods of Irish and
other Beggars, the able-bodied Lackalls, nomadic or stationary,
and the general assembly, outdoor and indoor, of the Pauper
Populations of these Realms.

"Vagrant Lackalls, foolish most of you, criminal many of you,
miserable all; the sight of you fills me with astonishment and
despair.  What to do with you I know not; long have I been
meditating, and it is hard to tell. Here are some three millions
of you, as I count:  so many of you fallen sheer over into the
abysses of open Beggary; and, fearful to think, every new unit
that falls is loading so much more the chain that drags the
others over.  On the edge of the precipice hang uncounted
millions; increasing, I am told, at the rate of 1200 a day.  They
hang there on the giddy edge, poor souls, cramping themselves
down, holding on with all their strength; but falling, falling
one after another; and the chain is getting heavy, so that ever
more fall; and who at last will stand?  What to do with you?  The
question, What to do with you? especially since the potato died,
is like to break my heart!

"One thing, after much meditating, I have at last discovered, and
now know for some time back:  That you cannot be left to roam
abroad in this unguided manner, stumbling over the precipices,
and loading ever heavier the fatal chain upon those who might
be able to stand; that this of locking you up in temporary Idle
Workhouses, when you stumble, and subsisting you on Indian meal,
till you can sally forth again on fresh roamings, and fresh
stumblings, and ultimate descent to the devil;—that this is
not the plan; and that it never was, or could out of England
have been supposed to be, much as I have prided myself upon it!

"Vagrant Lackalls, I at last perceive, all this that has been
sung and spoken, for a long while, about enfranchisement,
emancipation, freedom, suffrage, civil and religious liberty over
the world, is little other than sad temporary jargon, brought
upon us by a stern necessity,—but now ordered by a sterner to
take itself away again a little.  Sad temporary jargon, I say: 
made up of sense and nonsense,—sense in small quantities, and
nonsense in very large;—and, if taken for the whole or permanent
truth of human things, it is no better than fatal infinite
nonsense eternally untrue.  All men, I think, will soon have to
quit this, to consider this as a thing pretty well achieved; and
to look out towards another thing much more needing achievement
at the time that now is.

"All men will have to quit it, I believe.  But to you, my
indigent friends, the time for quitting it has palpably arrived! 
To talk of glorious self-government, of suffrages and hustings,
and the fight of freedom and such like, is a vain thing in your
case.  By all human definitions and conceptions of the said fight
of freedom, you for your part have lost it, and can fight no
more.  Glorious self-government is a glory not for you, not for
Hodge's emancipated horses, nor you.  No; I say, No.  You, for
your part, have tried it, and failed.  Left to walk your own
road, the will-o'-wisps beguiled you, your short sight could not
descry the pitfalls; the deadly tumult and press has whirled you
hither and thither, regardless of your struggles and your
shrieks; and here at last you lie; fallen flat into the ditch,
drowning there and dying, unless the others that are still
standing please to pick you up.  The others that still stand have
their own difficulties, I can tell you!—But you, by imperfect
energy and redundant appetite, by doing too little work and
drinking too much beer, you (I bid you observe) have proved that
you cannot do it!  You lie there plainly in the ditch.  And I am
to pick you up again, on these mad terms; help you ever again, as
with our best heart's-blood, to do what, once for all, the gods
have made impossible?  To load the fatal chain with your
perpetual staggerings and sprawlings; and ever again load it,
till we all lie sprawling?  My indigent incompetent friends, I
will not!  Know that, whoever may be 'sons of freedom,' you for
your part are not and cannot be such.  Not 'free' you, I think,
whoever may be free.  You palpably are fallen
captive,—caitiff, as they once named it:—you do, silently but
eloquently, demand, in the name of mercy itself, that some
genuine command be taken of you.

"Yes, my indigent incompetent friends; some genuine practical
command. Such,—if I rightly interpret those mad Chartisms,
Repeal Agitations, Red Republics, and other delirious
inarticulate howlings and bellowings which all the populations of
the world now utter, evidently cries of pain on their and your
part,—is the demand which you, Captives, make of all men that
are not Captive, but are still Free.  Free men,—alas, had you
ever any notion who the free men were, who the not-free, the
incapable of freedom!  The free men, if you could have understood
it, they are the wise men; the patient, self-denying, valiant;
the Nobles of the World; who can discern the Law of this
Universe, what it is, and piously obey it; these, in late sad
times, having cast you loose, you are fallen captive to greedy
sons of profit-and-loss; to bad and ever to worse; and at length
to Beer and the Devil.  Algiers, Brazil or Dahomey hold nothing
in them so authentically slave as you are, my indigent
incompetent friends!

"Good Heavens, and I have to raise some eight or nine millions
annually, six for England itself, and to wreck the morals of my
working population beyond all money's worth, to keep the life
from going out of you:  a small service to you, as I many times
bitterly repeat!  Alas, yes; before high Heaven I must declare it
such.  I think the old Spartans, who would have killed you
instead, had shown more 'humanity,' more of manhood, than I thus
do!  More humanity, I say, more of manhood, and of sense for what
the dignity of man demands imperatively of you and of me and of
us all.  We call it charity, beneficence, and other fine names,
this brutish Workhouse Scheme of ours; and it is but sluggish
heartlessness, and insincerity, and cowardly lowness of soul. 
Not 'humanity' or manhood, I think; perhaps apehood
rather,—paltry imitancy, from the teeth outward, of what our
heart never felt nor our understanding ever saw; dim indolent
adherence to extraneous and extinct traditions; traditions now
really about extinct; not living now to almost any of us, and
still haunting with their spectralities and gibbering ghosts
(in a truly baleful manner) almost all of us! Making this our
struggling 'Twelfth Hour of the Night' inexpressibly

"But as for you, my indigent incompetent friends, I have to
repeat with sorrow, but with perfect clearness, what is plainly
undeniable, and is even clamorous to get itself admitted, that
you are of the nature of slaves,—or if you prefer the word, of
nomadic, and now even vagrant and vagabond, servants that can
find no master on those terms; which seems to me a much uglier
word.  Emancipation?  You have been 'emancipated' with a
vengeance! Foolish souls, I say the whole world cannot emancipate
you.  Fealty to ignorant Unruliness, to gluttonous sluggish
Improvidence, to the Beer-pot and the Devil, who is there that
can emancipate a man in that predicament? Not a whole Reform
Bill, a whole French Revolution executed for his behoof alone: 
nothing but God the Maker can emancipate him, by making him

"To forward which glorious consummation, will it not be well, O
indigent friends, that you, fallen flat there, shall henceforth
learn to take advice of others as to the methods of standing? 
Plainly I let you know, and all the world and the worlds know,
that I for my part mean it so.  Not as glorious unfortunate sons
of freedom, but as recognized captives, as unfortunate fallen
brothers requiring that I should command you, and if need were,
control and compel you, can there henceforth be a relation
between us.  Ask me not for Indian meal; you shall be compelled
to earn it first; know that on other terms I will not give you
any.  Before Heaven and Earth, and God the Maker of us all, I
declare it is a scandal to see such a life kept in you, by the
sweat and heart's-blood of your brothers; and that, if we cannot
mend it, death were preferable!  Go to, we must get out of
this—unutterable coil of nonsenses, constitutional,
philanthropical, &c., in which (surely without mutual hatred, if
with less of 'love' than is supposed) we are all strangling one
another!  Your want of wants, I say, is that you be commanded
in this world, not being able to command yourselves.  Know
therefore that it shall be so with you.  Nomadism, I give you
notice, has ended; needful permanency, soldier-like obedience,
and the opportunity and the necessity of hard steady labor for
your living, have begun.  Know that the Idle Workhouse is shut
against you henceforth; you cannot enter there at will, nor leave
at will; you shall enter a quite other Refuge, under conditions
strict as soldiering, and not leave till I have done with you. 
He that prefers the glorious (or perhaps even the rebellious
inglorious) 'career of freedom,' let him prove that he can
travel there, and be the master of himself; and right good speed
to him. He who has proved that he cannot travel there or be the
master of himself,—let him, in the name of all the gods, become
a servant, and accept the just rules of servitude!

"Arise, enlist in my Irish, my Scotch and English 'Regiments of
the New Era,'—which I have been concocting, day and night,
during these three Grouse-seasons (taking earnest incessant
counsel, with all manner of Industrial Notabilities and men of
insight, on the matter), and have now brought to a kind of
preparation for incipiency, thank Heaven!  Enlist there, ye poor
wandering banditti; obey, work, suffer, abstain, as all of us
have had to do:  so shall you be useful in God's creation, so
shall you be helped to gain a manful living for yourselves; not
otherwise than so. Industrial Regiments [Here numerous persons,
with big wigs many of them, and austere aspect, whom I take to be
Professors of the Dismal Science, start up in an agitated
vehement manner:  but the Premier resolutely beckons them down
again]—Regiments not to fight the French or others, who are
peaceable enough towards us; but to fight the Bogs and
Wildernesses at home and abroad, and to chain the Devils of the
Pit which are walking too openly among us.

"Work, for you?  Work, surely, is not quite undiscoverable in an
Earth so wide as ours, if we will take the right methods for it! 
Indigent friends, we will adopt this new relation (which is old
as the world); this will lead us towards such.  Rigorous
conditions, not to be violated on either side, lie in this
relation; conditions planted there by God Himself; which woe will
betide us if we do not discover, gradually more and more
discover, and conform to!  Industrial Colonels, Workmasters,
Task-masters, Life-commanders, equitable as Rhadamanthus and
inflexible as he:  such, I perceive, you do need; and such, you
being once put under law as soldiers are, will be discoverable
for you.  I perceive, with boundless alarm, that I shall have to
set about discovering such,—I, since I am at the top of affairs,
with all men looking to me.  Alas, it is my new task in this New
Era; and God knows, I too, little other than a red-tape
Talking-machine, and unhappy Bag of Parliamentary Eloquence
hitherto, am far behind with it! But street-barricades rise
everywhere:  the hour of Fate has come.  In Connemara there has
sprung a leak, since the potato died; Connaught, if it were not
for Treasury-grants and rates-in-aid, would have to recur to
Cannibalism even now, and Human Society would cease to pretend
that it existed there.  Done this thing must be.  Alas, I
perceive that if I cannot do it, then surely I shall die, and
perhaps shall not have Christian burial!  But I already raise
near upon Ten Millions for feeding you in idleness, my nomadic
friends; work, under due regulations, I really might try to get
of—[Here arises indescribable uproar, no longer repressible,
from all manner of Economists, Emancipationists,
Constitutionalists, and miscellaneous Professors of the Dismal
Science, pretty numerously scattered about; and cries of "Private
enterprise," "Rights of Capital," "Voluntary Principle,"
"Doctrines of the British Constitution," swollen by the general
assenting hum of all the world, quite drown the Chief Minister
for a while. He, with invincible resolution, persists; obtains
hearing again:]

"Respectable Professors of the Dismal Science, soft you a little. 
Alas, I know what you would say.  For my sins, I have read much
in those inimitable volumes of yours,—really I should think,
some barrowfuls of them in my time,—and, in these last forty
years of theory and practice, have pretty well seized what of
Divine Message you were sent with to me.  Perhaps as small a
message, give me leave to say, as ever there was such a noise
made about before.  Trust me, I have not forgotten it, shall
never forget it. Those Laws of the Shop-till are indisputable to
me; and practically useful in certain departments of the
Universe, as the multiplication-table itself. Once I even tried
to sail through the Immensities with them, and to front the big
coming Eternities with them; but I found it would not do.  As the
Supreme Rule of Statesmanship, or Government of Men,—since this
Universe is not wholly a Shop,—no.  You rejoice in my improved
tariffs, free-trade movements and the like, on every hand; for
which be thankful, and even sing litanies if you choose.  But
here at last, in the Idle-Workhouse movement,—unexampled yet on
Earth or in the waters under the Earth,—I am fairly brought to a
stand; and have had to make reflections, of the most alarming,
and indeed awful, and as it were religious nature!  Professors of
the Dismal Science, I perceive that the length of your tether is
now pretty well run; and that I must request you to talk a little
lower in future.  By the side of the shop-till,—see, your small
'Law of God' is hung up, along with the multiplication-table
itself.  But beyond and above the shop-till, allow me to say, you
shall as good as hold your peace.  Respectable Professors, I
perceive it is not now the Gigantic Hucksters, but it is the
Immortal Gods, yes they, in their terror and their beauty, in
their wrath and their beneficence, that are coming into play in
the affairs of this world!  Soft you a little.  Do not you
interrupt me, but try to understand and help me!—

—"Work, was I saying?  My indigent unguided friends, I should
think some work might be discoverable for you.  Enlist, stand
drill; become, from a nomadic Banditti of Idleness, Soldiers of
Industry!  I will lead you to the Irish Bogs, to the vacant
desolations of Connaught now falling into Cannibalism, to
mistilled Connaught, to ditto Munster, Leinster, Ulster, I will
lead you:  to the English fox-covers, furze-grown Commons, New
Forests, Salisbury Plains:  likewise to the Scotch Hill-sides,
and bare rushy slopes, which as yet feed only sheep,—moist
uplands, thousands of square miles in extent, which are destined
yet to grow green crops, and fresh butter and milk and beef
without limit (wherein no 'Foreigner can compete with us'), were
the Glasgow sewers once opened on them, and you with your
Colonels carried thither.  In the Three Kingdoms, or in the Forty
Colonies, depend upon it, you shall be led to your work!

"To each of you I will then say:  Here is work for you; strike
into it with manlike, soldier-like obedience and heartiness,
according to the methods here prescribed,—wages follow for you
without difficulty; all manner of just remuneration, and at
length emancipation itself follows.  Refuse to strike into it;
shirk the heavy labor, disobey the rules,—I will admonish and
endeavor to incite you; if in vain, I will flog you; if still in
vain, I will at last shoot you,—and make God's Earth, and the
forlorn-hope in God's Battle, free of you.  Understand it, I
advise you!  The Organization of Labor"—[Left speaking, says
our reporter.]

"Left speaking:"  alas, that he should have to "speak" so much! 
There are things that should be done, not spoken; that till the
doing of them is begun, cannot well be spoken.  He may have to
"speak" seven years yet, before a spade be struck into the Bog of
Allen; and then perhaps it will be too late!-

You perceive, my friends, we have actually got into the "New Era"
there has been such prophesying of:  here we all are, arrived at
last;—and it is by no means the land flowing with milk and honey
we were led to expect!  Very much the reverse.  A terrible new
country this:  no neighbors in it yet, that I can see, but
irrational flabby monsters (philanthropic and other) of the giant
species; hyenas, laughing hyenas, predatory wolves; probably
devils, blue (or perhaps blue-and-yellow) devils, as St.
Guthlac found in Croyland long ago.  A huge untrodden haggard
country, the "chaotic battle-field of Frost and Fire;" a country
of savage glaciers, granite mountains, of foul jungles, unhewed
forests, quaking bogs;—which we shall have our own ados to make
arable and habitable, I think!  We must stick by it, however;—of
all enterprises the impossiblest is that of getting out of it,
and shifting into another.  To work, then, one and all; hands to

[March 1, 1850.] No. II.  MODEL PRISONS.

The deranged condition of our affairs is a universal topic among
men at present; and the heavy miseries pressing, in their rudest
shape, on the great dumb inarticulate class, and from this, by a
sure law, spreading upwards, in a less palpable but not less
certain and perhaps still more fatal shape on all classes to the
very highest, are admitted everywhere to be great, increasing and
now almost unendurable.  How to diminish them,—this is every
man's question.  For in fact they do imperatively need
diminution; and unless they can be diminished, there are many
other things that cannot very long continue to exist beside them. 
A serious question indeed, How to diminish them!

Among the articulate classes, as they may be called, there are
two ways of proceeding in regard to this.  One large body of the
intelligent and influential, busied mainly in personal affairs,
accepts the social iniquities, or whatever you may call them, and
the miseries consequent thereupon; accepts them, admits them to
be extremely miserable, pronounces them entirely inevitable,
incurable except by Heaven, and eats its pudding with as little
thought of them as possible.  Not a very noble class of citizens
these; not a very hopeful or salutary method of dealing with
social iniquities this of theirs, however it may answer in
respect to themselves and their personal affairs!  But now there
is the select small minority, in whom some sentiment of public
spirit and human pity still survives, among whom, or not
anywhere, the Good Cause may expect to find soldiers and
servants:  their method of proceeding, in these times, is also
very strange.  They embark in the "philanthropic movement;" they
calculate that the miseries of the world can be cured by bringing
the philanthropic movement to bear on them.  To universal public
misery, and universal neglect of the clearest public duties, let
private charity superadd itself: there will thus be some balance
restored, and maintained again; thus,—or by what conceivable
method?  On these terms they, for their part, embark in the
sacred cause; resolute to cure a world's woes by rose-water;
desperately bent on trying to the uttermost that mild method.  It
seems not to have struck these good men that no world, or thing
here below, ever fell into misery, without having first fallen
into folly, into sin against the Supreme Ruler of it, by adopting
as a law of conduct what was not a law, but the reverse of one;
and that, till its folly, till its sin be cast out of it, there
is not the smallest hope of its misery going,—that not for all
the charity and rose-water in the world will its misery try to go
till then!

This is a sad error; all the sadder as it is the error chiefly of
the more humane and noble-minded of our generation; among whom,
as we said, or elsewhere not at all, the cause of real Reform
must expect its servants. At present, and for a long while past,
whatsoever young soul awoke in EnGland with some disposition
towards generosity and social heroism, or at lowest with some
intimation of the beauty of such a disposition,—he, in whom the
poor world might have looked for a Reformer, and valiant mender
of its foul ways, was almost sure to become a Philanthropist,
reforming merely by this rose-water method.  To admit that the
world's ways are foul, and not the ways of God the Maker, but of
Satan the Destroyer, many of them, and that they must be mended
or we all die; that if huge misery prevails, huge cowardice,
falsity, disloyalty, universal Injustice high and low, have still
longer prevailed, and must straightway try to cease prevailing: 
this is what no visible reformer has yet thought of doing:  All
so-called "reforms" hitherto are grounded either on openly
admitted egoism (cheap bread to the cotton-spinner, voting to
those that have no vote, and the like), which does not point
towards very celestial developments of the Reform movement; or
else upon this of remedying social injustices by indiscriminate
contributions of philanthropy, a method surely still more
unpromising.  Such contributions, being indiscriminate, are but a
new injustice; these will never lead to reform, or abolition of
injustice, whatever else they lead to!

Not by that method shall we "get round Cape Horn," by never such
unanimity of voting, under the most approved Phantasm Captains! 
It is miserable to see.  Having, as it were, quite lost our way
round Cape Horn, and being sorely "admonished" by the Iceberg and
other dumb councillors, the pilots,—instead of taking to their
sextants, and asking with a seriousness unknown for a long while,
What the Laws of wind and water, and of Earth and of Heaven
are,—decide that now, in these new circumstances, they will, to
the worthy and unworthy, serve out a double allowance of grog. 
In this way they hope to do it,—by steering on the old wrong
tack, and serving out more and more, copiously what little aqua
vitae may be still on board! Philanthropy, emancipation, and
pity for human calamity is very beautiful; but the deep oblivion
of the Law of Right and Wrong; this "indiscriminate mashing up of
Right and Wrong into a patent treacle" of the Philanthropic
movement, is by no means beautiful; this, on the contrary, is
altogether ugly and alarming.

Truly if there be not something inarticulate among us, not yet
uttered but pressing towards utterance, which is much wiser than
anything we have lately articulated or brought into word or
action, our outlooks are rather lamentable.  The great majority
of the powerful and active-minded, sunk in egoistic scepticisms,
busied in chase of lucre, pleasure, and mere vulgar objects,
looking with indifference on the world's woes, and passing
carelessly by on the other side; and the select minority, of whom
better might have been expected, bending all their strength to
cure them by methods which can only make bad worse, and in the
end render cure hopeless. A blind loquacious pruriency of
indiscriminate Philanthropism substituting itself, with much
self-laudation, for the silent divinely awful sense of Right and
Wrong;—testifying too clearly that here is no longer a divine
sense of Right and Wrong; that, in the smoke of this universal,
and alas inevitable and indispensable revolutionary fire, and
burning up of worn-out rags of which the world is full, our
life-atmosphere has (for the time) become one vile London fog,
and the eternal loadstars are gone out for us! Gone out;—yet
very visible if you can get above the fog; still there in their
place, and quite the same as they always were!  To whoever does
still know of loadstars, the proceedings, which expand themselves
daily, of these sublime philanthropic associations, and
"universal sluggard-and-scoundrel protection-societies," are a
perpetual affliction.  With their emancipations and abolition
principles, and reigns of brotherhood and new methods of love,
they have done great things in the White and in the Black World,
during late years; and are preparing for greater.

In the interest of human reform, if there is ever to be any
reform, and return to prosperity or to the possibility of
prospering, it is urgent that the nonsense of all this (and it is
mostly nonsense, but not quite) should be sent about its business
straightway, and forbidden to deceive the well-meaning souls
among us any more.  Reform, if we will understand that divine
word, cannot begin till then.  One day, I do know, this, as is
the doom of all nonsense, will be drummed out of the world, with
due placard stuck on its back, and the populace flinging dead
cats at it:  but whether soon or not, is by no means so certain. 
I rather guess, not at present, not quite soon.  Fraternity, in
other countries, has gone on, till it found itself unexpectedly
manipulating guillotines by its chosen Robespierres, and become a
fraternity like Cain's.  Much to its amazement!  For in fact it
is not all nonsense; there is an infinitesimal fraction of sense
in it withal; which is so difficult to disengage;—which must be
disengaged, and laid hold of, before Fraternity can vanish.

But to our subject,—the Model Prison, and the strange theory of
life now in action there.  That, for the present, is my share in
the wide adventure of Philanthropism; the world's share, and how
and when it is to be liquidated and ended, rests with the Supreme

Several months ago, some friends took me with them to see one of
the London Prisons; a Prison of the exemplary or model kind.  An
immense circuit of buildings; cut out, girt with a high
ring-wall, from the lanes and streets of the quarter, which is a
dim and crowded one.  Gateway as to a fortified place; then a
spacious court, like the square of a city; broad staircases,
passages to interior courts; fronts of stately architecture all
round.  It lodges some thousand or twelve hundred prisoners,
besides the officers of the establishment.  Surely one of the
most perfect buildings, within the compass of London.  We looked
at the apartments, sleeping-cells, dining-rooms, working-rooms,
general courts or special and private: excellent all, the
ne-plus-ultra of human care and ingenuity; in my life I never saw
so clean a building; probably no Duke in England lives in a
mansion of such perfect and thorough cleanness.

The bread, the cocoa, soup, meat, all the various sorts of food,
in their respective cooking-places, we tasted:  found them of
excellence superlative.  The prisoners sat at work, light work,
picking oakum, and the like, in airy apartments with glass roofs,
of agreeable temperature and perfect ventilation; silent, or at
least conversing only by secret signs: others were out, taking
their hour of promenade in clean flagged courts: methodic
composure, cleanliness, peace, substantial wholesome comfort
reigned everywhere supreme.  The women in other apartments, some
notable murderesses among them, all in the like state of methodic
composure and substantial wholesome comfort, sat sewing:  in long
ranges of wash-houses, drying-houses and whatever pertains to the
getting-up of clean linen, were certain others, with all
conceivable mechanical furtherances, not too arduously working. 
The notable murderesses were, though with great precautions of
privacy, pointed out to us; and we were requested not to look
openly at them, or seem to notice them at all, as it was found to
"cherish their vanity" when visitors looked at them.  Schools too
were there; intelligent teachers of both sexes, studiously
instructing the still ignorant of these thieves.

From an inner upper room or gallery, we looked down into a range
of private courts, where certain Chartist Notabilities were
undergoing their term. Chartist Notability First struck me very
much; I had seen him about a year before, by involuntary accident
and much to my disgust, magnetizing a silly young person; and had
noted well the unlovely voracious look of him, his thick oily
skin, his heavy dull-burning eyes, his greedy mouth, the dusky
potent insatiable animalism that looked out of every feature of
him:  a fellow adequate to animal-magnetize most things, I did
suppose;—and here was the post I now found him arrived at.  Next
neighbor to him was Notability Second, a philosophic or literary
Chartist; walking rapidly to and fro in his private court, a
clean, high-walled place; the world and its cares quite excluded,
for some months to come:  master of his own time and spiritual
resources to, as I supposed, a really enviable extent.  What
"literary man" to an equal extent!  I fancied I, for my own part,
so left with paper and ink, and all taxes and botherations shut
out from me, could have written such a Book as no reader will
here ever get of me.  Never, O reader, never here in a mere house
with taxes and botherations.  Here, alas, one has to snatch one's
poor Book, bit by bit, as from a conflagration; and to think and
live, comparatively, as if the house were not one's own, but
mainly the world's and the devil's.  Notability Second might have
filled one with envy.

The Captain of the place, a gentleman of ancient Military or
Royal-Navy habits, was one of the most perfect governors;
professionally and by nature zealous for cleanliness,
punctuality, good order of every kind; a humane heart and yet a
strong one; soft of speech and manner, yet with an inflexible
rigor of command, so far as his limits went:  "iron hand in a
velvet glove," as Napoleon defined it.  A man of real worth,
challenging at once love and respect:  the light of those mild
bright eyes seemed to permeate the place as with an
all-pervading vigilance, and kindly yet victorious illumination;
in the soft definite voice it was as if Nature herself were
promulgating her orders, gentlest mildest orders, which however,
in the end, there would be no disobeying, which in the end there
would be no living without fulfilment of.  A true "aristos," and
commander of men.  A man worthy to have commanded and guided
forward, in good ways, twelve hundred of the best common-people
in London or the world:  he was here, for many years past, giving
all his care and faculty to command, and guide forward in such
ways as there were, twelve hundred of the worst.  I looked with
considerable admiration on this gentleman; and with considerable
astonishment, the reverse of admiration, on the work he had here
been set upon.

This excellent Captain was too old a Commander to complain of
anything; indeed he struggled visibly the other way, to find in
his own mind that all here was best; but I could sufficiently
discern that, in his natural instincts, if not mounting up to the
region of his thoughts, there was a continual protest going on
against much of it; that nature and all his inarticulate
persuasion (however much forbidden to articulate itself) taught
him the futility and unfeasibility of the system followed here. 
The Visiting Magistrates, he gently regretted rather than
complained, had lately taken his tread-wheel from him, men were
just now pulling it down; and how he was henceforth to enforce
discipline on these bad subjects, was much a difficulty with him. 
"They cared for nothing but the tread-wheel, and for having their
rations cut short:"  of the two sole penalties, hard work and
occasional hunger, there remained now only one, and that by no
means the better one, as he thought.  The "sympathy" of visitors,
too, their "pity" for his interesting scoundrel-subjects, though
he tried to like it, was evidently no joy to this practical mind. 
Pity, yes:  but pity for the scoundrel-species?  For those who
will not have pity on themselves, and will force the Universe and
the Laws of Nature to have no "pity on" them?  Meseems I could
discover fitter objects of pity!

In fact it was too clear, this excellent man had got a field for
his faculties which, in several respects, was by no means the
suitable one.  To drill twelve hundred scoundrels by "the method
of kindness," and of abolishing your very tread-wheel,—how could
any commander rejoice to have such a work cut out for him?  You
had but to look in the faces of these twelve hundred, and
despair, for most part, of ever "commanding" them at all. 
Miserable distorted blockheads, the generality; ape-faces,
imp-faces, angry dog-faces, heavy sullen ox-faces; degraded
underfoot perverse creatures, sons of indocility, greedy
mutinous darkness, and in one word, of STUPIDITY, which is the
general mother of such.  Stupidity intellectual and stupidity
moral (for the one always means the other, as you will, with
surprise or not, discover if you look) had borne this progeny:
base-natured beings, on whom in the course of a maleficent
subterranean life of London Scoundrelism, the Genius of Darkness
(called Satan, Devil, and other names) had now visibly impressed
his seal, and had marked them out as soldiers of Chaos and of
him,—appointed to serve in his Regiments, First of the line,
Second ditto, and so on in their order.  Him, you could perceive,
they would serve; but not easily another than him. These were the
subjects whom our brave Captain and Prison-Governor was
appointed to command, and reclaim to other service, by "the
method of love," with a tread-wheel abolished.

Hopeless forevermore such a project.  These abject, ape, wolf,
ox, imp and other diabolic-animal specimens of humanity, who of
the very gods could ever have commanded them by love?  A collar
round the neck, and a cart-whip flourished over the back; these,
in a just and steady human hand, were what the gods would have
appointed them; and now when, by long misconduct and neglect,
they had sworn themselves into the Devil's regiments of the line,
and got the seal of Chaos impressed on their visage, it was very
doubtful whether even these would be of avail for the unfortunate
commander of twelve hundred men!  By "love," without hope except
of peaceably teasing oakum, or fear except of a temporary loss of
dinner, he was to guide these men, and wisely constrain
them,—whitherward?  No-whither:  that was his goal, if you will
think well of it; that was a second fundamental falsity in his
problem.  False in the warp and false in the woof, thought one of
us; about as false a problem as any I have seen a good man set
upon lately! To guide scoundrels by "love;" that is a false woof,
I take it, a method that will not hold together; hardly for the
flower of men will love alone do; and for the sediment and
scoundrelism of men it has not even a chance to do.  And then to
guide any class of men, scoundrel or other, No-whither, which
was this poor Captain's problem, in this Prison with oakum for
its one element of hope or outlook, how can that prosper by
"love" or by any conceivable method?  That is a warp wholly
false.  Out of which false warp, or originally false condition to
start from, combined and daily woven into by your false woof, or
methods of "love" and such like, there arises for our poor
Captain the falsest of problems, and for a man of his faculty the
unfairest of situations.  His problem was, not to command good
men to do something, but bad men to do (with superficial
disguises) nothing.

On the whole, what a beautiful Establishment here fitted up for
the accommodation of the scoundrel-world, male and female!  As I
said, no Duke in England is, for all rational purposes which a
human being can or ought to aim at, lodged, fed, tended, taken
care of, with such perfection.  Of poor craftsmen that pay rates
and taxes from their day's wages, of the dim millions that toil
and moil continually under the sun, we know what is the lodging
and the tending.  Of the Johnsons, Goldsmiths, lodged in their
squalid garrets; working often enough amid famine, darkness,
tumult, dust and desolation, what work they have to do:—of
these as of "spiritual backwoodsmen," understood to be
preappointed to such a life, and like the pigs to killing, "quite
used to it," I say nothing.  But of Dukes, which Duke, I could
ask, has cocoa, soup, meat, and food in general made ready, so
fit for keeping him in health, in ability to do and to enjoy? 
Which Duke has a house so thoroughly clean, pure and airy; lives
in an element so wholesome, and perfectly adapted to the uses of
soul and body as this same, which is provided here for the
Devil's regiments of the line?  No Duke that I have ever known. 
Dukes are waited on by deleterious French cooks, by perfunctory
grooms of the chambers, and expensive crowds of eye-servants,
more imaginary than real:  while here, Science, Human Intellect
and Beneficence have searched and sat studious, eager to do their
very best; they have chosen a real Artist in Governing to see
their best, in all details of it, done.  Happy regiments of the
line, what soldier to any earthly or celestial Power has such a
lodging and attendance as you here? No soldier or servant direct
or indirect of God or of man, in this England at present.  Joy to
you, regiments of the line.  Your Master, I am told, has his
Elect, and professes to be "Prince of the Kingdoms of this
World;" and truly I see he has power to do a good turn to those
he loves, in England at least.  Shall we say, May he, may the
Devil give you good of it, ye Elect of Scoundrelism?  I will
rather pass by, uttering no prayer at all; musing rather in
silence on the singular "worship of God," or practical "reverence
done to Human Worth" (which is the outcome and essence of all
real "worship" whatsoever) among the Posterity of Adam at this

For all round this beautiful Establishment, or Oasis of Purity,
intended for the Devil's regiments of the line, lay continents of
dingy poor and dirty dwellings, where the unfortunate not yet
enlisted into that Force were struggling manifoldly,—in their
workshops, in their marble-yards and timber-yards and tan-yards,
in their close cellars, cobbler-stalls, hungry garrets, and poor
dark trade-shops with red-herrings and tobacco-pipes crossed in
the window,—to keep the Devil out-of-doors, and not enlist with
him.  And it was by a tax on these that the Barracks for the
regiments of the line were kept up.  Visiting Magistrates,
impelled by Exeter Hall, by Able-Editors, and the Philanthropic
Movement of the Age, had given orders to that effect.  Rates on
the poor servant of God and of her Majesty, who still serves both
in his way, painfully selling red-herrings; rates on him and his
red-herrings to boil right soup for the Devil's declared Elect!
Never in my travels, in any age or clime, had I fallen in with
such Visiting Magistrates before.  Reserved they, I should
suppose, for these ultimate or penultimate ages of the world,
rich in all prodigies, political, spiritual,—ages surely with
such a length of ears as was never paralleled before.

If I had a commonwealth to reform or to govern, certainly it
should not be the Devil's regiments of the line that I would
first of all concentrate my attention on!  With them I should be
apt so make rather brief work; to them one would apply the besom,
try to sweep them, with some rapidity into the dust-bin, and
well out of one's road, I should rather say.  Fill your
thrashing-floor with docks, ragweeds, mugworths, and ply your
flail upon them,—that is not the method to obtain sacks of
wheat.  Away, you; begone swiftly, ye regiments of the line: 
in the name of God and of His poor struggling servants, sore put
to it to live in these bad days, I mean to rid myself of you with
some degree of brevity.  To feed you in palaces, to hire captains
and schoolmasters and the choicest spiritual and material
artificers to expend their industries on you, No, by the Eternal! 
I have quite other work for that class of artists;
Seven-and-twenty Millions of neglected mortals who have not yet
quite declared for the Devil.  Mark it, my diabolic friends, I
mean to lay leather on the backs of you, collars round the necks
of you; and will teach you, after the example of the gods, that
this world is not your inheritance, or glad to see you in it. 
You, ye diabolic canaille, what has a Governor much to do with
you?  You, I think, he will rather swiftly dismiss from his
thoughts,—which have the whole celestial and terrestrial for
their scope, and not the subterranean of scoundreldom alone. 
You, I consider, he will sweep pretty rapidly into some Norfolk
Island, into some special Convict Colony or remote domestic
Moorland, into some stone-walled Silent-System, under hard
drill-sergeants, just as Rhadamanthus, and inflexible as he, and
there leave you to reap what you have sown; he meanwhile turning
his endeavors to the thousand-fold immeasurable interests of men
and gods,—dismissing the one extremely contemptible interest of
scoundrels; sweeping that into the cesspool, tumbling that over
London Bridge, in a very brief manner, if needful!  Who are you,
ye thriftless sweepings of Creation, that we should forever be
pestered with you?  Have we no work to do but drilling Devil's
regiments of the line?

If I had schoolmasters, my benevolent friend, do you imagine I
would set them on teaching a set of unteachables, who as you
perceive have already made up their mind that black is
white,—that the Devil namely is the advantageous Master to serve
in this world?  My esteemed Benefactor of Humanity, it shall be
far from me.  Minds open to that particular conviction are not
the material I like to work upon.  When once my schoolmasters
have gone over all the other classes of society from top to
bottom; and have no other soul to try with teaching, all being
thoroughly taught,—I will then send them to operate on these
regiments of the line: then, and, assure yourself, never till
then.  The truth is, I am sick of scoundreldom, my esteemed
Benefactor; it always was detestable to me; and here where I find
it lodged in palaces and waited on by the benevolent of the
world, it is more detestable, not to say insufferable to me than

Of Beneficence, Benevolence, and the people that come together to
talk on platforms and subscribe five pounds, I will say nothing
here; indeed there is not room here for the twentieth part of
what were to be said of them. The beneficence, benevolence, and
sublime virtue which issues in eloquent talk reported in the
Newspapers, with the subscription of five pounds, and the feeling
that one is a good citizen and ornament to society,—concerning
this, there were a great many unexpected remarks to be made; but
let this one, for the present occasion, suffice:—

My sublime benevolent friends, don't you perceive, for one thing,
that here is a shockingly unfruitful investment for your capital
of Benevolence; precisely the worst, indeed, which human
ingenuity could select for you? "Laws are unjust, temptations
great," &c. &c.:  alas, I know it, and mourn for it, and
passionately call on all men to help in altering it.  But
according to every hypothesis as to the law, and the temptations
and pressures towards vice, here are the individuals who, of all
the society, have yielded to said pressure.  These are of the
worst substance for enduring pressure!  The others yet stand and
make resistance to temptation, to the law's injustice; under all
the perversities and strangling impediments there are, the rest
of the society still keep their feet, and struggle forward,
marching under the banner of Cosmos, of God and Human Virtue;
these select Few, as I explain to you, are they who have fallen
to Chaos, and are sworn into certain regiments of the line.  A
superior proclivity to Chaos is declared in these, by the very
fact of their being here!  Of all the generation we live in,
these are the worst stuff.  These, I say, are the Elixir of the
Infatuated among living mortals:  if you want the worst
investment for your Benevolence, here you accurately have it.  O
my surprising friends!  Nowhere so as here can you be certain
that a given quantity of wise teaching bestowed, of benevolent
trouble taken, will yield zero, or the net Minimum of return. 
It is sowing of your wheat upon Irish quagmires; laboriously
harrowing it in upon the sand of the seashore. O my astonishing
benevolent friends!

Yonder, in those dingy habitations, and shops of red herring and
tobacco-pipes, where men have not yet quite declared for the
Devil; there, I say, is land:  here is mere sea-beach.  Thither
go with your benevolence, thither to those dingy caverns of the
poor; and there instruct and drill and manage, there where some
fruit may come from it.  And, above all and inclusive of all,
cannot you go to those Solemn human Shams, Phantasm Captains, and
Supreme Quacks that ride prosperously in every thoroughfare; and
with severe benevolence, ask them, What they are doing here? 
They are the men whom it would behoove you to drill a little, and
tie to the halberts in a benevolent manner, if you could!  "We
cannot," say you?  Yes, my friends, to a certain extent you can. 
By many well-known active methods, and by all manner of passive
methods, you can.  Strive thitherward, I advise you; thither,
with whatever social effort there may lie in you!  The well-head
and "consecrated" thrice-accursed chief fountain of all those
waters of bitterness,—it is they, those Solemn Shams and Supreme
Quacks of yours, little as they or you imagine it!  Them, with
severe benevolence, put a stop to; them send to their Father, far
from the sight of the true and just,—if you would ever see a
just world here!

What sort of reformers and workers are you, that work only on the
rotten material?  That never think of meddling with the material
while it continues sound; that stress it and strain it with new
rates and assessments, till once it has given way and declared
itself rotten; whereupon you snatch greedily at it, and say, Now
let us try to do some good upon it!  You mistake in every way, my
friends:  the fact is, you fancy yourselves men of virtue,
benevolence, what not; and you are not even men of sincerity and
honest sense.  I grieve to say it; but it is true. Good from you,
and your operations, is not to be expected.  You may go down!

Howard is a beautiful Philanthropist, eulogized by Burke, and in
most men's minds a sort of beatified individual.  How glorious,
having finished off one's affairs in Bedfordshire, or in fact
finding them very dull, inane, and worthy of being quitted and
got away from, to set out on a cruise, over the Jails first of
Britain; then, finding that answer, over the Jails of the
habitable Globe!  "A voyage of discovery, a circum-navigation of
charity; to collate distresses, to gauge wretchedness, to take
the dimensions of human misery:"  really it is very fine. 
Captain Cook's voyage for the Terra Australis, Ross's, Franklin's
for the ditto Borealis: men make various cruises and voyages in
this world,—for want of money, want of work, and one or the
other want,—which are attended with their difficulties too, and
do not make the cruiser a demigod.  On the whole, I have myself
nothing but respect, comparatively speaking, for the dull solid
Howard, and his "benevolence," and other impulses that set him
cruising; Heaven had grown weary of Jail-fevers, and other the
like unjust penalties inflicted upon scoundrels,—for scoundrels
too, and even the very Devil, should not have more than their
due;—and Heaven, in its opulence, created a man to make an end
of that.  Created him; disgusted him with the grocer business;
tried him with Calvinism, rural ennui, and sore bereavement in
his Bedfordshire retreat;—and, in short, at last got him set to
his work, and in a condition to achieve it.  For which I am
thankful to Heaven; and do also,—with doffed hat, humbly salute
John Howard.  A practical solid man, if a dull and even dreary;
"carries his weighing-scales in his pocket:"  when your jailer
answers, "The prisoner's allowance of food is so and so; and we
observe it sacredly; here, for example, is a ration."—" Hey!  A
ration this?" and solid John suddenly produces his
weighing-scales; weighs it, marks down in his tablets what the
actual quantity of it is.  That is the art and manner of the man.
 A man full of English accuracy; English veracity, solidity,
simplicity; by whom this universal Jail-commission, not to be
paid for in money but far otherwise, is set about, with all the
slow energy, the patience, practicality, sedulity and sagacity
common to the best English commissioners paid in money and not
expressly otherwise.

For it is the glory of England that she has a turn for fidelity
in practical work; that sham-workers, though very numerous, are
rarer than elsewhere; that a man who undertakes work for you will
still, in various provinces of our affairs, do it, instead of
merely seeming to do it.  John Howard, without pay in money,
did this of the Jail-fever, as other Englishmen do work, in a
truly workmanlike manner:  his distinction was that he did it
without money.  He had not 500 pounds or 5,000 pounds a year of
salary for it; but lived merely on his Bedfordshire estates, and
as Snigsby irreverently expresses it, "by chewing his own cud." 
And, sure enough, if any man might chew the cud of placid
reflections, solid Howard, a mournful man otherwise, might at
intervals indulge a little in that luxury.—No money-salary had
he for his work; he had merely the income of his properties, and
what he could derive from within.  Is this such a sublime
distinction, then?  Well, let it pass at its value.  There have
been benefactors of mankind who had more need of money than he,
and got none too.  Milton, it is known, did his Paradise Lost
at the easy rate of five pounds.  Kepler worked out the secret of
the Heavenly Motions in a dreadfully painful manner; "going over
the calculations sixty times;" and having not only no public
money, but no private either; and, in fact, writing almanacs for
his bread-and-water, while he did this of the Heavenly Motions;
having no Bedfordshire estates; nothing but a pension of 18
pounds (which they would not pay him), the valuable faculty of
writing almanacs, and at length the invaluable one of dying, when
the Heavenly bodies were vanquished, and battle's conflagration
had collapsed into cold dark ashes, and the starvation reached
too high a pitch for the poor man.

Howard is not the only benefactor that has worked without money
for us; there have been some more,—and will be, I hope!  For the
Destinies are opulent; and send here and there a man into the
world to do work, for which they do not mean to pay him in money. 
And they smite him beneficently with sore afflictions, and blight
his world all into grim frozen ruins round him,—and can make a
wandering Exile of their Dante, and not a soft-bedded Podesta of
Florence, if they wish to get a Divine Comedy out of him.  Nay
that rather is their way, when they have worthy work for such a
man; they scourge him manifoldly to the due pitch, sometimes
nearly of despair, that he may search desperately for his work,
and find it; they urge him on still with beneficent stripes when
needful, as is constantly the case between whiles; and, in fact,
have privately decided to reward him with beneficent death by and
by, and not with money at all.  O my benevolent friend, I honor
Howard very much; but it is on this side idolatry a long way, not
to an infinite, but to a decidedly finite extent!  And you,—put
not the modest noble Howard, a truly modest man, to the blush, by
forcing these reflections on us!

Cholera Doctors, hired to dive into black dens of infection and
despair, they, rushing about all day from lane to lane, with
their life in their hand, are found to do their function; which
is a much more rugged one than Howard's.  Or what say we, Cholera
Doctors?  Ragged losels gathered by beat of drum from the
overcrowded streets of cities, and drilled a little and dressed
in red, do not they stand fire in an uncensurable manner; and
handsomely give their life, if needful, at the rate of a shilling
per day? Human virtue, if we went down to the roots of it, is not
so rare.  The materials of human virtue are everywhere abundant
as the light of the sun: raw materials,—O woe, and loss, and
scandal thrice and threefold, that they so seldom are elaborated,
and built into a result! that they lie yet unelaborated, and
stagnant in the souls of wide-spread dreary millions, fermenting,
festering; and issue at last as energetic vice instead of strong
practical virtue!  A Mrs. Manning "dying game,"—alas, is not
that the foiled potentiality of a kind of heroine too?  Not a
heroic Judith, not a mother of the Gracchi now, but a hideous
murderess, fit to be the mother of hyenas!  To such extent can
potentialities be foiled.  Education, kingship, command,—where
is it, whither has it fled?  Woe a thousand times, that this,
which is the task of all kings, captains, priests, public
speakers, land-owners, book-writers, mill-owners, and persons
possessing or pretending to possess authority among mankind,—is
left neglected among them all; and instead of it so little done
but protocolling, black-or-white surplicing, partridge-shooting,
parliamentary eloquence and popular twaddle-literature; with such
results as we see!—

Howard abated the Jail-fever; but it seems to me he has been the
innocent cause of a far more distressing fever which rages high
just now; what we may call the Benevolent-Platform Fever.  Howard
is to be regarded as the unlucky fountain of that tumultuous
frothy ocean-tide of benevolent sentimentality, "abolition of
punishment," all-absorbing "prison-discipline," and general
morbid sympathy, instead of hearty hatred, for scoundrels; which
is threatening to drown human society as in deluges, and leave,
instead of an "edifice of society" fit for the habitation of men,
a continent of fetid ooze inhabitable only by mud-gods and
creatures that walk upon their belly.  Few things more distress a
thinking soul at this time.

Most sick am I, O friends, of this sugary disastrous jargon of
philanthropy, the reign of love, new era of universal
brotherhood, and not Paradise to the Well-deserving but Paradise
to All-and-sundry, which possesses the benighted minds of men and
women in our day.  My friends, I think you are much mistaken
about Paradise!  "No Paradise for anybody:  he that cannot do
without Paradise, go his ways:"  suppose you tried that for a
while!  I reckon that the safer version.  Unhappy sugary
brethren, this is all untrue, this other; contrary to the fact;
not a tatter of it will hang together in the wind and weather of
fact.  In brotherhood with the base and foolish I, for one, do
not mean to live.  Not in brotherhood with them was life hitherto
worth much to me; in pity, in hope not yet quite swallowed of
disgust,—otherwise in enmity that must last through eternity, in
unappeasable aversion shall I have to live with these! 
Brotherhood? No, be the thought far from me.  They are Adam's
children,—alas yes, I well remember that, and never shall forget
it; hence this rage and sorrow. But they have gone over to the
dragons; they have quitted the Father's house, and set up with
the Old Serpent:  till they return, how can they be brothers? 
They are enemies, deadly to themselves and to me and to you, till
then; till then, while hope yet lasts, I will treat them as
brothers fallen insane;—when hope has ended, with tears grown
sacred and wrath grown sacred, I will cut them off in the name of
God!  It is at my peril if I do not.  With the servant of Satan I
dare not continue in partnership. Him I must put away, resolutely
and forever; "lest," as it is written, "I become partaker of his

Beautiful Black Peasantry, who have fallen idle and have got the
Devil at your elbow; interesting White Felonry, who are not idle,
but have enlisted into the Devil's regiments of the line,—know
that my benevolence for you is comparatively trifling!  What I
have of that divine feeling is due to others, not to you.  A
"universal Sluggard-and-Scoundrel Protection Society" is not the
one I mean to institute in these times, where so much wants
protection, and is sinking to sad issues for want of it!  The
scoundrel needs no protection.  The scoundrel that will hasten to
the gallows, why not rather clear the way for him!  Better he
reach his goal and outgate by the natural proclivity, than be
so expensively dammed up and detained, poisoning everything as he
stagnates and meanders along, to arrive at last a hundred times
fouler, and swollen a hundred times bigger! Benevolent men should
reflect on this.—And you Quashee, my pumpkin,—(not a bad fellow
either, this poor Quashee, when tolerably guided!)—idle Quashee,
I say you must get the Devil sent away from your elbow, my poor
dark friend!  In this world there will be no existence for you
otherwise. No, not as the brother of your folly will I live
beside you.  Please to withdraw out of my way, if I am not to
contradict your folly, and amend it, and put it in the stocks if
it will not amend.  By the Eternal Maker, it is on that footing
alone that you and I can live together!  And if you had
respectable traditions dated from beyond Magna Charta, or from
beyond the Deluge, to the contrary, and written sheepskins that
would thatch the face of the world,—behold I, for one
individual, do not believe said respectable traditions, nor
regard said written sheepskins except as things which you, till
you grow wiser, will believe.  Adieu, Quashee; I will wish you
better guidance than you have had of late.

On the whole, what a reflection is it that we cannot bestow on an
unworthy man any particle of our benevolence, our patronage, or
whatever resource is ours,—without withdrawing it, it and all
that will grow of it, from one worthy, to whom it of right
belongs!  We cannot, I say; impossible; it is the eternal law of
things.  Incompetent Duncan M'Pastehorn, the hapless incompetent
mortal to whom I give the cobbling of my boots,—and cannot find
in my heart to refuse it, the poor drunken wretch having a wife
and ten children; he withdraws the job from sober, plainly
competent, and meritorious Mr. Sparrowbill, generally short of
work too; discourages Sparrowbill; teaches him that he too may as
well drink and loiter and bungle; that this is not a scene for
merit and demerit at all, but for dupery, and whining flattery,
and incompetent cobbling of every description;—clearly tending
to the ruin of poor Sparrowbill!  What harm had Sparrowbill done
me that I should so help to ruin him?  And I couldn't save the
insalvable M'Pastehorn; I merely yielded him, for insufficient
work, here and there a half-crown,—which he oftenest drank.  And
now Sparrowbill also is drinking!

Justice, Justice:  woe betides us everywhere when, for this
reason or for that, we fail to do justice!  No beneficence,
benevolence, or other virtuous contribution will make good the
want.  And in what a rate of terrible geometrical progression,
far beyond our poor computation, any act of Injustice once done
by us grows; rooting itself ever anew, spreading ever anew, like
a banyan-tree,—blasting all life under it, for it is a
poison-tree!  There is but one thing needed for the world; but
that one is indispensable.  Justice, Justice, in the name of
Heaven; give us Justice, and we live; give us only counterfeits
of it, or succedanea for it, and we die!

Oh, this universal syllabub of philanthropic twaddle!  My friend,
it is very sad, now when Christianity is as good as extinct in
all hearts, to meet this ghastly-Phantasm of Christianity
parading through almost all.  "I will clean your foul
thoroughfares, and make your Devil's-cloaca of a world into a
garden of Heaven," jabbers this Phantasm, itself a
phosphorescence and unclean!  The worst, it is written, comes
from corruption of the best:—Semitic forms now lying putrescent,
dead and still unburied, this phosphorescence rises.  I say
sometimes, such a blockhead Idol, and miserable White
Mumbo-jumbo, fashioned out of deciduous sticks and cast clothes,
out of extinct cants and modern sentimentalisms, as that which
they sing litanies to at Exeter Hall and extensively elsewhere,
was perhaps never set up by human folly before.  Unhappy
creatures, that is not the Maker of the Universe, not that, look
one moment at the Universe, and see! That is a paltry Phantasm,
engendered in your own sick brain; whoever follows that as a
Reality will fall into the ditch.

Reform, reform, all men see and feel, is imperatively needed. 
Reform must either be got, and speedily, or else we die:  and
nearly all the men that speak, instruct us, saying, "Have you
quite done your interesting Negroes in the Sugar Islands?  Rush
to the Jails, then, O ye reformers; snatch up the interesting
scoundrel-population there, to them be nursing-fathers and
nursing-mothers.  And oh, wash, and dress, and teach, and recover
to the service of Heaven these poor lost souls:  so, we assure
you, will society attain the needful reform, and life be still
possible in this world."  Thus sing the oracles everywhere;
nearly all the men that speak, though we doubt not, there are, as
usual, immense majorities consciously or unconsciously wiser who
hold their tongue.  But except this of whitewashing the
scoundrel-population, one sees little "reform" going on.  There
is perhaps some endeavor to do a little scavengering; and, as the
all-including point, to cheapen the terrible cost of Government: 
but neither of these enterprises makes progress, owing to

"Whitewash your scoundrel-population; sweep out your abominable
gutters (if not in the name of God, ye brutish slatterns, then in
the name of Cholera and the Royal College of Surgeons):  do these
two things;—and observe, much cheaper if you please!"—Well,
here surely is an Evangel of Freedom, and real Program of a new
Era.  What surliest misanthrope would not find this world lovely,
were these things done:  scoundrels whitewashed; some degree of
scavengering upon the gutters; and at a cheap rate, thirdly?
That surely is an occasion on which, if ever on any, the Genius
of Reform may pipe all hands!—Poor old Genius of Reform; bedrid
this good while; with little but broken ballot-boxes, and
tattered stripes of Benthamee Constitutions lying round him; and
on the walls mere shadows of clothing-colonels, rates-in-aid,
poor-law unions, defunct potato and the Irish difficulty,—he
does not seem long for this world, piping to that effect?

Not the least disgusting feature of this Gospel according to the
Platform is its reference to religion, and even to the Christian
Religion, as an authority and mandate for what it does. 
Christian Religion?  Does the Christian or any religion prescribe
love of scoundrels, then?  I hope it prescribes a healthy hatred
of scoundrels;—otherwise what am I, in Heaven's name, to make of
it?  Me, for one, it will not serve as a religion on those
strange terms.  Just hatred of scoundrels, I say; fixed,
irreconcilable, inexorable enmity to the enemies of God:  this,
and not love for them, and incessant whitewashing, and dressing
and cockering of them, must, if you look into it, be the backbone
of any human religion whatsoever.  Christian Religion!  In what
words can I address you, ye unfortunates, sunk in the slushy ooze
till the worship of mud-serpents, and unutterable Pythons and
poisonous slimy monstrosities, seems to you the worship of God? 
This is the rotten carcass of Christianity; this mal-odorous
phosphorescence of post-mortem sentimentalism.  O Heavens, from
the Christianity of Oliver Cromwell, wrestling in grim fight with
Satan and his incarnate Blackguardisms, Hypocrisies, Injustices,
and legion of human and infernal angels, to that of eloquent Mr.
Hesperus Fiddlestring denouncing capital punishments, and
inculcating the benevolence on platforms, what a road have we

A foolish stump-orator, perorating on his platform mere
benevolences, seems a pleasant object to many persons; a
harmless or insignificant one to almost all.  Look at him,
however; scan him till you discern the nature of him, he is not
pleasant, but ugly and perilous.  That beautiful speech of his
takes captive every long ear, and kindles into quasi-sacred
enthusiasm the minds of not a few; but it is quite in the teeth
of the everlasting facts of this Universe, and will come only to
mischief for every party concerned.  Consider that little
spouting wretch.  Within the paltry skin of him, it is too
probable, he holds few human virtues, beyond those essential for
digesting victual:  envious, cowardly, vain, splenetic hungry
soul; what heroism, in word or thought or action, will you ever
get from the like of him?  He, in his necessity, has taken into
the benevolent line; warms the cold vacuity of his inner man to
some extent, in a comfortable manner, not by silently doing some
virtue of his own, but by fiercely recommending hearsay
pseudo-virtues and respectable benevolences to other people.  Do
you call that a good trade?  Long-eared fellow-creatures, more
or less resembling himself, answer, "Hear, hear!  Live
Fiddlestring forever!"  Wherefrom follow Abolition Congresses,
Odes to the Gallows;—perhaps some dirty little Bill, getting
itself debated next Session in Parliament, to waste certain
nights of our legislative Year, and cause skipping in our Morning
Newspaper, till the abortion can be emptied out again and sent
fairly floating down the gutters.

Not with entire approbation do I, for one, look on that eloquent
individual.  Wise benevolence, if it had authority, would order
that individual, I believe, to find some other trade:  "Eloquent
individual, pleading here against the Laws of Nature,—for many
reasons, I bid thee close that mouth of thine.  Enough of
balderdash these long-eared have now drunk.  Depart thou; do
some benevolent work; at lowest, be silent. Disappear, I say;
away, and jargon no more in that manner, lest a worst thing
befall thee."  Exeat Fiddlestring!—Beneficent men are not they
who appear on platforms, pleading against the Almighty Maker's
Laws; these are the maleficent men, whose lips it is pity that
some authority cannot straightway shut.  Pandora's Box is not
more baleful than the gifts these eloquent benefactors are
pressing on us.  Close your pedler's pack, my friend; swift, away
with it!  Pernicious, fraught with mere woe and sugary poison is
that kind of benevolence and beneficence.

Truly, one of the saddest sights in these times is that of poor
creatures, on platforms, in parliaments and other situations,
making and unmaking "Laws;" in whose soul, full of mere vacant
hearsay and windy babble, is and was no image of Heaven's Law;
whom it never struck that Heaven had a Law, or that the
Earth—could not have what kind of Law you pleased!  Human
Statute-books, accordingly, are growing horrible to think of.  An
impiety and poisonous futility every Law of them that is so made;
all Nature is against it; it will and can do nothing but mischief
wheresoever it shows itself in Nature:  and such Laws lie now
like an incubus over this Earth, so innumerable are they.  How
long, O Lord, how long!—O ye Eternities, Divine Silences, do you
dwell no more, then, in the hearts of the noble and the true; and
is there no inspiration of the Almighty any more vouchsafed us? 
The inspiration of the Morning Newspapers—alas, we have had
enough of that, and are arrived at the gates of death by means of

"Really, one of the most difficult questions this we have in
these times, What to do with our criminals?" blandly observed a
certain Law-dignitary, in my hearing once, taking the cigar from
his mouth, and pensively smiling over a group of us under the
summer beech-tree, as Favonius carried off the tobacco-smoke; and
the group said nothing, only smiled and nodded, answering by new
tobacco-clouds.  "What to do with our criminals?" asked the
official Law-dignitary again, as if entirely at a loss.—"I
suppose," said one ancient figure not engaged in smoking, "the
plan would be to treat them according to the real law of the
case; to make the Law of England, in respect of them, correspond
to the Law of the Universe.  Criminals, I suppose, would prove
manageable in that way:  if we could do approximately as God
Almighty does towards them; in a word, if we could try to do
Justice towards them."—"I'll thank you for a definition of
Justice?" sneered the official person in a cheerily scornful and
triumphant manner, backed by a slight laugh from the honorable
company; which irritated the other speaker.—"Well, I have no
pocket definition of Justice," said he, "to give your Lordship. 
It has not quite been my trade to look for such a definition; I
could rather fancy it had been your Lordship's trade, sitting on
your high place this long while.  But one thing I can tell you: 
Justice always is, whether we define it or not.  Everything done,
suffered or proposed, in Parliament or out of it, is either just
or else unjust; either is accepted by the gods and eternal facts,
or is rejected by them.  Your Lordship and I, with or without
definition, do a little know Justice, I will hope; if we don't
both know it and do it, we are hourly travelling down
towards—Heavens, must I name such a place!  That is the place we
are bound to, with all our trading-pack, and the small or
extensive budgets of human business laid on us; and there, if we
don't know Justice, we, and all our budgets and Acts of
Parliament, shall find lodging when the day is done!"—The
official person, a polite man otherwise, grinned as he best
could some semblance of a laugh, mirthful as that of the ass
eating thistles, and ended in "Hah, oh, ah!"—

Indeed, it is wonderful to hear what account we at present give
ourselves of the punishment of criminals.  No "revenge"—O
Heavens, no; all preachers on Sunday strictly forbid that; and
even (at least on Sundays) prescribe the contrary of that.  It is
for the sake of "example," that you punish; to "protect society"
and its purse and skin; to deter the innocent from falling into
crime; and especially withal, for the purpose of improving the
poor criminal himself,—or at lowest, of hanging and ending him,
that he may not grow worse.  For the poor criminal is, to be
"improved" if possible:  against him no "revenge" even on
week-days; nothing but love for him, and pity and help; poor
fellow, is he not miserable enough?  Very miserable,—though much
less so than the Master of him, called Satan, is understood (on
Sundays) to have long deservedly been!

My friends, will you permit me to say that all this, to one poor
judgment among your number, is the mournfulest twaddle that human
tongues could shake from them; that it has no solid foundation in
the nature of things; and to a healthy human heart no credibility
whatever.  Permit me to say, only to hearts long drowned in dead
Tradition, and for themselves neither believing nor disbelieving,
could this seem credible.  Think, and ask yourselves, in spite of
all this preaching and perorating from the teeth outward!  Hearts
that are quite strangers to eternal Fact, and acquainted only at
all hours with temporary Semblances parading about in a
prosperous and persuasive condition; hearts that from their first
appearance in this world have breathed since birth, in all
spiritual matters, which means in all matters not pecuniary, the
poisonous atmosphere of universal Cant, could believe such a
thing.  Cant moral, Cant religious, Cant political; an atmosphere
which envelops all things for us unfortunates, and has long done;
which goes beyond the Zenith and below the Nadir for us, and has
as good as choked the spiritual life out of all of us,—God pity
such wretches, with little or nothing real about them but their
purse and their abdominal department!  Hearts, alas, which
everywhere except in the metallurgic and cotton-spinning
provinces, have communed with no Reality, or awful Presence of a
Fact, godlike or diabolic, in this Universe or this unfathomable
Life at all.  Hunger-stricken asphyxied hearts, which have
nourished themselves on what they call religions, Christian
religions. Good Heaven, once more fancy the Christian religion of
Oliver Cromwell; or of some noble Christian man, whom you
yourself may have been blessed enough, once, long since, in your
life, to know!  These are not untrue religions; they are the
putrescences and foul residues of religions that are extinct,
that have plainly to every honest nostril been dead some time,
and the remains of which—O ye eternal Heavens, will the nostril
never be delivered from them!—Such hearts, when they get upon
platforms, and into questions not involving money, can "believe"
many things!—

I take the liberty of asserting that there is one valid reason,
and only one, for either punishing a man or rewarding him in this
world; one reason, which ancient piety could well define:  That
you may do the will and commandment of God with regard to him;
that you may do justice to him. This is your one true aim in
respect of him; aim thitherward, with all your heart and all your
strength and all your soul, thitherward, and not elsewhither at
all!  This aim is true, and will carry you to all earthly heights
and benefits, and beyond the stars and Heavens.  All other aims
are purblind, illegitimate, untrue; and will never carry you
beyond the shop-counter, nay very soon will prove themselves
incapable of maintaining you even there.  Find out what the Law
of God is with regard to a man; make that your human law, or I
say it will be ill with you, and not well!  If you love your
thief or murderer, if Nature and eternal Fact love him, then do
as you are now doing.  But if Nature and Fact do not love him? 
If they have set inexorable penalties upon him, and planted
natural wrath against him in every god-created human
heart,—then I advise you, cease, and change your hand.

Reward and punishment?  Alas, alas, I must say you reward and
punish pretty much alike!  Your dignities, peerages, promotions,
your kingships, your brazen statues erected in capital and county
towns to our select demigods of your selecting, testify loudly
enough what kind of heroes and hero-worshippers you are.  Woe to
the People that no longer venerates, as the emblem of God
himself, the aspect of Human Worth; that no longer knows what
human worth and unworth is!  Sure as the Decrees of the Eternal,
that People cannot come to good.  By a course too clear, by a
necessity too evident, that People will come into the hands of
the unworthy; and either turn on its bad career, or stagger
downwards to ruin and abolition.  Does the Hebrew People
prophetically sing "Ou' clo'!" in all thoroughfares, these
eighteen hundred years in vain?

To reward men according to their worth:  alas, the perfection of
this, we know, amounts to the millennium!  Neither is perfect
punishment, according to the like rule, to be attained,—nor
even, by a legislator of these chaotic days, to be too zealously
attempted.  But when he does attempt it,—yes, when he summons
out the Society to sit deliberative on this matter, and consult
the oracles upon it, and solemnly settle it in the name of God;
then, if never before, he should try to be a little in the right
in settling it!—In regard to reward of merit, I do not bethink
me of any attempt whatever, worth calling an attempt, on the part
of modern Governments; which surely is an immense oversight on
their part, and will one day be seen to have been an altogether
fatal one.  But as to the punishment of crime, happily this
cannot be quite neglected.  When men have a purse and a skin,
they seek salvation at least for these; and the Four Pleas of the
Crown are a thing that must and will be attended to.  By
punishment, capital or other, by treadmilling and blind rigor, or
by whitewashing and blind laxity, the extremely disagreeable
offences of theft and murder must be kept down within limits.

And so you take criminal caitiffs, murderers, and the like, and
hang them on gibbets "for an example to deter others."  Whereupon
arise friends of humanity, and object.  With very great reason,
as I consider, if your hypothesis be correct.  What right have
you to hang any poor creature "for an example"?  He can turn
round upon you and say, "Why make an 'example' of me, a merely
ill-situated, pitiable man?  Have you no more respect for
misfortune?  Misfortune, I have been told, is sacred.  And yet
you hang me, now I am fallen into your hands; choke the life out
of me, for an example! Again I ask, Why make an example of me,
for your own convenience alone?"—All "revenge" being out of the
question, it seems to me the caitiff is unanswerable; and he and
the philanthropic platforms have the logic all on their side.

The one answer to him is:  "Caitiff, we hate thee; and discern
for some six thousand years now, that we are called upon by the
whole Universe to do it. Not with a diabolic but with a divine
hatred.  God himself, we have always understood, 'hates sin,'
with a most authentic, celestial, and eternal hatred.  A hatred,
a hostility inexorable, unappeasable, which blasts the scoundrel,
and all scoundrels ultimately, into black annihilation and
disappearance from the sum of things.  The path of it as the path
of a flaming sword:  he that has eyes may see it, walking
inexorable, divinely beautiful and divinely terrible, through the
chaotic gulf of Human History, and everywhere burning, as with
unquenchable fire, the false and death-worthy from the true and
life-worthy; making all Human History, and the Biography of every
man, a God's Cosmos in place of a Devil's Chaos.  So is it, in
the end; even so, to every man who is a man, and not a mutinous
beast, and has eyes to see.  To thee, caitiff, these things were
and are, quite incredible; to us they are too awfully
certain,—the Eternal Law of this Universe, whether thou and
others will believe it or disbelieve.  We, not to be partakers in
thy destructive adventure of defying God and all the Universe,
dare not allow thee to continue longer among us.  As a palpable
deserter from the ranks where all men, at their eternal peril,
are bound to be:  palpable deserter, taken with the red band
fighting thus against the whole Universe and its Laws, we—send
thee back into the whole Universe, solemnly expel thee from our
community; and will, in the name of God, not with joy and
exultation, but with sorrow stern as thy own, hang thee on
Wednesday next, and so end."

Other ground on which to deliberately slay a disarmed fellow-man
I can see none.  Example, effects upon the public mind, effects
upon this and upon that:  all this is mere appendage and
accident; of all this I make no attempt to keep
account,—sensible that no arithmetic will or can keep account of
it; that its "effects," on this hand and on that, transcend all
calculation.  One thing, if I can calculate it, will include all,
and produce beneficial effects beyond calculation, and no ill
effect at all, anywhere or at any time:  What the Law of the
Universe, or Law of God, is with regard to this caitiff?  That,
by all sacred research and consideration, I will try to find out;
to that I will come as near as human means admit; that shall be
my exemplar and "example;" all men shall through me see that, and
be profited beyond calculation by seeing it.

What this Law of the Universe, or Law made by God, is?  Men at
one time read it in their Bible.  In many Bibles, Books, and
authentic symbols and monitions of Nature and the World (of Fact,
that is, and of Human Speech, or Wise Interpretation of Fact),
there are still clear indications towards it.  Most important it
is, for this and for some other reasons, that men do, in some
way, get to see it a little!  And if no man could now see it by
any Bible, there is written in the heart of every man an
authentic copy of it direct from Heaven itself:  there, if he
have learnt to decipher Heaven's writing, and can read the sacred
oracles (a sad case for him if he altogether cannot), every born
man may still find some copy of it.

"Revenge," my friends! revenge, and the natural hatred of
scoundrels, and the ineradicable tendency to revancher oneself
upon them, and pay them what they have merited:  this is
forevermore intrinsically a correct, and even a divine feeling in
the mind of every man.  Only the excess of it is diabolic; the
essence I say is manlike, and even godlike,—a monition sent to
poor man by the Maker himself.  Thou, poor reader, in spite of
all this melancholy twaddle, and blotting out of Heaven's
sunlight by mountains of horsehair and officiality, hast still a
human heart.  If, in returning to thy poor peaceable
dwelling-place, after an honest hard day's work, thou wert to
find, for example, a brutal scoundrel who for lucre or other
object of his, had slaughtered the life that was dearest to thee;
thy true wife, for example, thy true old mother, swimming in her
blood; the human scoundrel, or two-legged wolf, standing over
such a tragedy:  I hope a man would have so much divine rage in
his heart as to snatch the nearest weapon, and put a conclusion
upon said human wolf, for one!  A palpable messenger of Satan,
that one; accredited by all the Devils, to be put an end to by
all the children of God.  The soul of every god-created man
flames wholly into one divine blaze of sacred wrath at sight of
such a Devil's-messenger; authentic firsthand monition from the
Eternal Maker himself as to what is next to be done.  Do it, or
be thyself an ally of Devil's-messengers; a sheep for two-legged
human wolves, well deserving to be eaten, as thou soon wilt

My humane friends, I perceive this same sacred glow of divine
wrath, or authentic monition at first hand from God himself, to
be the foundation for all Criminal Law, and Official
horsehair-and-bombazine procedure against Scoundrels in this
world.  This first-hand gospel from the Eternities, imparted to
every mortal, this is still, and will forever be, your sanction
and commission for the punishment of human scoundrels.  See well
how you will translate this message from Heaven and the
Eternities into a form suitable to this World and its Times.  Let
not violence, haste, blind impetuous impulse, preside in
executing it; the injured man, invincibly liable to fall into
these, shall not himself execute it:  the whole world, in person
of a Minister appointed for that end, and surrounded with the due
solemnities and caveats, with bailiffs, apparitors, advocates,
and the hushed expectation of all men, shall do it, as under the
eye of God who made all men.  How it shall be done?  this is ever
a vast question, involving immense considerations.  Thus Edmund
Burke saw, in the Two Houses of Parliament, with King,
Constitution, and all manner of Civil-Lists, and Chancellors'
wigs and Exchequer budgets, only the  "method of getting twelve
just men put into a jury-box:"  that, in Burke's view, was the
summary of what they were all meant for.  How the judge will do
it?  Yes, indeed:—but let him see well that he does do it:  for
it is a thing that must by no means be left undone!  A sacred
gospel from the Highest:  not to be smothered under horsehair and
bombazine, or drowned in platform froth, or in any wise omitted
or neglected, without the most alarming penalties to all

Neglect to treat the hero as hero, the penalties—which are
inevitable too, and terrible to think of, as your Hebrew friends
can tell you—may be some time in coming; they will only
gradually come.  Not all at once will your thirty thousand
Needlewomen, your three million Paupers, your Connaught fallen
into potential Cannibalism, and other fine consequences of the
practice, come to light;—though come to light they will; and
"Ou' clo'!" itself may be in store for you, if you persist
steadily enough.  But neglect to treat even your declared
scoundrel as scoundrel, this is the last consummation of the
process, the drop by which the cup runs over; the penalties of
this, most alarming, extensive, and such as you little dream of,
will straightway very rapidly come.  Dim oblivion of Right and
Wrong, among the masses of your population, will come; doubts as
to Right and Wrong, indistinct notion that Right and Wrong are
not eternal, but accidental, and settled by uncertain votings and
talkings, will come. Prurient influenza of Platform Benevolence,
and "Paradise to All-and-sundry," will come.  In the general
putrescence of your "religions," as you call them, a strange new
religion, named of Universal Love, with Sacraments mainly
of—Divorce, with Balzac, Sue and Company for Evangelists, and
Madame Sand for Virgin, will come,—and results fast following
therefrom which will astonish you very much!

"The terrible anarchies of these years," says Crabbe, in his
Radiator, "are brought upon us by a necessity too visible.  By
the crime of Kings,—alas, yes; but by that of Peoples too.  Not
by the crime of one class, but by the fatal obscuration, and all
but obliteration of the sense of Right and Wrong in the minds and
practices of every class.  What a scene in the drama of Universal
History, this of ours!  A world-wide loud bellow and bray of
universal Misery; lowing, with crushed maddened heart, its
inarticulate prayer to Heaven:—very pardonable to me, and in
some of its transcendent developments, as in the grand French
Revolution, most respectable and ever-memorable.  For Injustice
reigns everywhere; and this murderous struggle for what they call
'Fraternity,' and so forth has a spice of eternal sense in it,
though so terribly disfigured!  Amalgam of sense and nonsense;
eternal sense by the grain, and temporary nonsense by the square
mile:  as is the habit with poor sons of men.  Which pardonable
amalgam, however, if it be taken as the pure final sense, I must
warn you and all creatures, is unpardonable, criminal, and fatal
nonsense;—with which I, for one, will take care not to concern

"Dogs should not be taught to eat leather, says the old adage: 
no;—and where, by general fault and error, and the inevitable
nemesis of things, the universal kennel is set to diet upon
leather; and from its keepers, its 'Liberal Premiers,' or
whatever their title is, will accept or expect nothing else, and
calls it by the pleasant name of progress, reform, emancipation,
abolition-principles, and the like,—I consider the fate of said
kennel and of said keepers to be a thing settled.  Red republic
in Phrygian nightcap, organization of labor a la Louis Blanc;
street-barricades, and then murderous cannon-volleys a la
Cavaignac and Windischgratz, follow out of one another, as
grapes, must, new wine, and sour all-splitting vinegar do: 
vinegar is but vin-aigre, or the self-same 'wine' grown
sharp!  If, moreover, I find the Worship of Human Nobleness
abolished in any country, and a new astonishing
Phallus-Worship, with universal Balzac-Sand melodies and litanies
in treble and in bass, established in its stead, what can I
compute but that Nature, in horrible throes, will repugn against
such substitution,—that, in short, the astonishing new
Phallus-Worship, with its finer sensibilities of the heart, and
'great satisfying loves,' with its sacred kiss of peace for
scoundrel and hero alike, with its all-embracing Brotherhood, and
universal Sacrament of Divorce, will have to take itself away

The Ancient Germans, it appears, had no scruple about public
executions; on the contrary, they thought the just gods
themselves might fitly preside over these; that these were a
solemn and highest act of worship, if justly done.  When a German
man had done a crime deserving death, they, in solemn general
assembly of the tribe, doomed him, and considered that Fate and
all Nature had from the beginning doomed him, to die with
ignominy.  Certain crimes there were of a supreme nature; him
that had perpetrated one of these, they believed to have declared
himself a prince of scoundrels.  Him once convicted they laid
hold of, nothing doubting; bore him, after judgment, to the
deepest convenient Peat-bog; plunged him in there, drove an oaken
frame down over him, solemnly in the name of gods and men:
"There, prince of scoundrels, that is what we have had to think
of thee, on clear acquaintance; our grim good-night to thee is
that!  In the name of all the gods lie there, and be our
partnership with thee dissolved henceforth.  It will be better
for us, we imagine!"

My friends, after all this beautiful whitewash and humanity and
prison-discipline; and such blubbering and whimpering, and soft
Litany to divine and also to quite other sorts of Pity, as we
have had for a century now,—give me leave to admonish you that
that of the Ancient Germans too was a thing inexpressibly
necessary to keep in mind.  If that is not kept in mind, the
universal Litany to Pity is a mere universal nuisance, and torpid
blasphemy against the gods.  I do not much respect it, that
purblind blubbering and litanying, as it is seen at present; and
the litanying over scoundrels I go the length of disrespecting,
and in some cases even of detesting.  Yes, my friends, scoundrel
is scoundrel:  that remains forever a fact; and there exists not
in the earth whitewash that can make the scoundrel a friend of
this Universe; he remains an enemy if you spent your life in
whitewashing him.  He won't whitewash; this one won't.  The one
method clearly is, That, after fair trial, you dissolve
partnership with him; send him, in the name of Heaven, whither
he is striving all this while and have done with him.  And, in
a time like this, I would advise you, see likewise that you be
speedy about it!  For there is immense work, and of a far
hopefuler sort, to be done elsewhere.

Alas, alas, to see once the "prince of scoundrels," the Supreme
Scoundrel, him whom of all men the gods liked worst, solemnly
laid hold of, and hung upon the gallows in sight of the people;
what a lesson to all the people! Sermons might be preached; the
Son of Thunder and the Mouth of Gold might turn their periods now
with some hope; for here, in the most impressive way, is a divine
sermon acted.  Didactic as no spoken sermon could be. Didactic,
devotional too;—in awed solemnity, a recognition that Eternal
Justice rules the world; that at the call of this, human pity
shall fall silent, and man be stern as his Master and Mandatory
is!—Understand too that except upon a basis of even such rigor,
sorrowful, silent, inexorable as that of Destiny and Doom, there
is no true pity possible.  The pity that proves so possible and
plentiful without that basis, is mere ignavia and cowardly
effeminacy; maudlin laxity of heart, grounded on blinkard dimness
of head—contemptible as a drunkard's tears.

To see our Supreme Scoundrel hung upon the gallows, alas, that is
far from us just now!  There is a worst man in England,
too,—curious to think of,—whom it would be inexpressibly
advantageous to lay hold of, and hang, the first of all.  But we
do not know him with the least certainty, the least approach even
to a guess,—such buzzards and dullards and poor children of the
Dusk are we, in spite of our Statistics, Unshackled Presses, and
Torches of Knowledge;—not eagles soaring sunward, not brothers
of the lightnings and the radiances we; a dim horn-eyed,
owl-population, intent mainly on the catching of mice!  Alas, the
supreme scoundrel, alike with the supreme hero, is very far from
being known.  Nor have we the smallest apparatus for dealing with
either of them, if he were known.  Our supreme scoundrel sits, I
conjecture, well-cushioned, in high places, at this time; rolls
softly through the world, and lives a prosperous gentleman;
instead of sinking him in peat-bogs, we mount the brazen image of
him on high columns:  such is the world's temporary judgment
about its supreme scoundrels; a mad world, my masters.  To get
the supreme scoundrel always accurately the first hanged, this,
which presupposes that the supreme hero were always the first
promoted, this were precisely the millennium itself, clear
evidence that the millennium had come:  alas, we must forbear
hope of this.  Much water will run by before we see this.

And yet to quit all aim towards it; to go blindly floundering
along, wrapt up in clouds of horsehair, bombazine, and sheepskin
officiality, oblivious that there exists such an aim; this is
indeed fatal.  In every human law there must either exist such an
aim, or else the law is not a human but a diabolic one. 
Diabolic, I say:  no quantity of bombazine, or lawyers' wigs,
three-readings, and solemn trumpeting and bow-wowing in high
places or in low, can hide from me its frightful infernal
tendency;—bound, and sinking at all moments gradually to
Gehenna, this "law;" and dragging down much with it!  "To decree
injustice by a law:"  inspired Prophets have long since seen,
what every clear soul may still see, that of all Anarchies and
Devil-worships there is none like this; that this is the 
"Throne of Iniquity" set up in the name of the Highest, the human
Apotheosis of Anarchy itself.  "Quiet Anarchy," you exultingly
say?  Yes; quiet Anarchy, which the longer it sits "quiet" will
have the frightfuler account to settle at last.  For every doit
of the account, as I often say, will have to be settled one day,
as sure as God lives.  Principal, and compound interest
rigorously computed; and the interest is at a terrible rate per
cent in these cases!  Alas, the aspect of certain beatified
Anarchies, sitting "quiet;" and of others in a state of infernal
explosion for sixty years back:  this, the one view our Europe
offers at present, makes these days very sad.—

My unfortunate philanthropic friends, it is this long-continued
oblivion of the soul of law that has reduced the Criminal
Question to such a pass among us.  Many other things have come,
and are coming, for the same sad reason, to a pass!  Not the
supreme scoundrel have our laws aimed at; but, in an uncertain
fitful manner, at the inferior or lowest scoundrel, who robs
shop-tills and puts the skin of mankind in danger.  How can
Parliament get through the Criminal Question?  Parliament,
oblivious of Heavenly Law, will find itself in hopeless reductio
ad absurdum in regard to innumerable other questions,—in regard
to all questions whatsoever by and by.  There will be no
existence possible for Parliament on these current terms.
Parliament, in its law-makings, must really try to attain some
vision again of what Heaven's Laws are.  A thing not easy to do;
a thing requiring sad sincerity of heart, reverence, pious
earnestness, valiant manful wisdom;—qualities not overabundant
in Parliament just now, nor out of it, I fear.

Adieu, my friends.  My anger against you is gone; my sad
reflections on you, and on the depths to which you and I and all
of us are sunk in these strange times, are not to be uttered at
present.  You would have saved the Sarawak Pirates, then?  The
Almighty Maker is wroth that the Sarawak cut-throats, with their
poisoned spears, are away?  What must his wrath be that the
thirty thousand Needlewomen are still here, and the question of
"prevenient grace" not yet settled!  O my friends, in sad
earnest, sad and deadly earnest, there much needs that God would
mend all this, and that we should help him to mend it!—And
don't you think, for one thing, "Farmer Hodge's horses" in the
Sugar Islands are pretty well "emancipated" now?  My clear
opinion farther is, we had better quit the Scoundrel-province of
Reform; better close that under hatches, in some rapid summary
manner, and go elsewhither with our Reform efforts.  A whole
world, for want of Reform, is drowning and sinking; threatening
to swamp itself into a Stygian quagmire, uninhabitable by any
noble-minded man.  Let us to the well-heads, I say; to the chief
fountains of these waters of bitterness; and there strike home
and dig!  To puddle in the embouchures and drowned outskirts,
and ulterior and ultimate issues and cloacas of the affair:  what
profit can there be in that?  Nothing to be saved there; nothing
to be fished up there, except, with endless peril and spread of
pestilence, a miscellany of broken waifs and dead dogs!  In the
name of Heaven, quit that!

[April 1, 1850.] No. III.  DOWNING STREET.

From all corners of the wide British Dominion there rises one
complaint against the ineffectuality of what are nicknamed our
"red-tape" establishments, our Government Offices, Colonial
Office, Foreign Office and the others, in Downing Street and the
neighborhood.  To me individually these branches of human
business are little known; but every British citizen and
reflective passer-by has occasion to wonder much, and inquire
earnestly, concerning them.  To all men it is evident that the
social interests of one hundred and fifty Millions of us depend
on the mysterious industry there carried on; and likewise that
the dissatisfaction with it is great, universal, and continually
increasing in intensity,—in fact, mounting, we might say, to the
pitch of settled despair.

Every colony, every agent for a matter colonial, has his tragic
tale to tell you of his sad experiences in the Colonial Office;
what blind obstructions, fatal indolences, pedantries,
stupidities, on the right and on the left, he had to do battle
with; what a world-wide jungle of red-tape, inhabited by doleful
creatures, deaf or nearly so to human reason or entreaty, he had
entered on; and how he paused in amazement, almost in despair;
passionately appealed now to this doleful creature, now to that,
and to the dead red-tape jungle, and to the living Universe
itself, and to the Voices and to the Silences;—and, on the
whole, found that it was an adventure, in sorrowful fact, equal
to the fabulous ones by old knights-errant against dragons and
wizards in enchanted wildernesses and waste howling solitudes;
not achievable except by nearly superhuman exercise of all the
four cardinal virtues, and unexpected favor of the special
blessing of Heaven.  His adventure achieved or found
unachievable, he has returned with experiences new to him in the
affairs of men.  What this Colonial Office, inhabiting the head
of Downing Street, really was, and had to do, or try doing, in
God's practical Earth, he could not by any means precisely get
to know; believes that it does not itself in the least precisely
know.  Believes that nobody knows;—that it is a mystery, a kind
of Heathen myth; and stranger than any piece of the old
mythological Pantheon; for it practically presides over the
destinies of many millions of living men.

Such is his report of the Colonial Office:  and if we oftener
hear such a report of that than we do of the Home Office, Foreign
Office or the rest,—the reason probably is, that Colonies excite
more attention at present than any of our other interests.  The
Forty Colonies, it appears, are all pretty like rebelling just
now; and are to be pacified with constitutions; luckier
Constitutions, let us hope, than some late ones have been.  Loyal
Canada, for instance, had to quench a rebellion the other year;
and this year, in virtue of its constitution, it is called upon
to pay the rebels their damages; which surely is a rather
surprising result, however constitutional!—Men have rents and
moneys dependent in the Colonies; Emigration schemes, Black
Emancipations, New-Zealand and other schemes; and feel and
publish more emphatically what their Downing-Street woes in these
respects have been.

Were the state of poor sallow English ploughers and weavers, what
we may call the Sallow or Yellow Emancipation interest, as much
in object with Exeter-Hall Philanthropists as that of the Black
blockheads now all emancipated, and going at large without work,
or need of working, in West-India clover (and fattening very much
in it, one delights to hear), then perhaps the Home Office, its
huge virtual task better understood, and its small actual
performance better seen into, might be found still more
deficient, and behind the wants of the age, than the Colonial
itself is.

How it stands with the Foreign Office, again, one still less
knows. Seizures of Sapienza, and the like sudden appearances of
Britain in the character of Hercules-Harlequin, waving, with big
bully-voice, her huge sword-of-sharpness over field-mice, and in
the air making horrid circles (horrid catherine-wheels and
death-disks of metallic terror from said huge sword), to see how
they will like it,—do from time to time astonish the world, in a
not pleasant manner.  Hercules-Harlequin, the Attorney
Triumphant, the World's Busybody:  none of these are parts this
Nation has a turn for; she, if you consulted her, would rather
not play these parts, but another!  Seizures of Sapienza,
correspondences with Sotomayor, remonstrances to Otho King of
Athens, fleets hanging by their anchor in behalf of the Majesty
of Portugal; and in short the whole, or at present very nearly
the whole, of that industry of protocolling, diplomatizing,
remonstrating, admonishing, and "having the honor to be,"—has
sunk justly in public estimation to a very low figure.

For in fact, it is reasonably asked, What vital interest has
England in any cause now deciding itself in foreign parts?  Once
there was a Papistry and Protestantism, important as life eternal
and death eternal; more lately there was an interest of Civil
Order and Horrors of the French Revolution, important at least as
rent-roll and preservation of the game; but now what is there? 
No cause in which any god or man of this British Nation can be
thought to be concerned.  Sham-kingship, now recognized and even
self-recognized everywhere to be sham, wrestles and struggles
with mere ballot-box Anarchy:  not a pleasant spectacle to
British minds.  Both parties in the wrestle professing earnest
wishes of peace to us, what have we to do with it except answer
earnestly, "Peace, yes certainly," and mind our affairs
elsewhere.  The British Nation has no concern with that
indispensable sorrowful and shameful wrestle now going on
everywhere in foreign parts.  The British Nation already, by
self-experience centuries old, understands all that; was lucky
enough to transact the greater part of that, in noble ancient
ages, while the wrestle had not yet become a shameful one, but on
both sides of it there was wisdom, virtue, heroic nobleness
fruitful to all time,—thrice-lucky British Nation!  The British
Nation, I say, has nothing to learn there; has now quite another
set of lessons to learn, far ahead of what is going on there. 
Sad example there, of what the issue is, and how inevitable and
how imminent, might admonish the British Nation to be speedy with
its new lessons; to bestir itself, as men in peril of
conflagration do, with the neighboring houses all on fire! To
obtain, for its own very pressing behoof, if by possibility it
could, some real Captaincy instead of an imaginary one:  to
remove resolutely, and replace by a better sort, its own peculiar
species of teaching and guiding histrios of various name, who
here too are numerous exceedingly, and much in need of gentle
removal, while the play is still good, and the comedy has not yet
become tragic; and to be a little swift about it withal; and so
to escape the otherwise inevitable evil day!  This Britain might
learn: but she does not need a protocolling establishment, with
much "having the honor to be," to teach it her.

No:—she has in fact certain cottons, hardwares and such like to
sell in foreign parts, and certain wines, Portugal oranges,
Baltic tar and other products to buy; and does need, I suppose,
some kind of Consul, or accredited agent, accessible to British
voyagers, here and there, in the chief cities of the Continent: 
through which functionary, or through the penny-post, if she had
any specific message to foreign courts, it would be easy and
proper to transmit the same.  Special message-carriers, to be
still called Ambassadors, if the name gratified them, could be
sent when occasion great enough demanded; not sent when it did
not.  But for all purposes of a resident ambassador, I hear
persons extensively and well acquainted among our foreign
embassies at this date declare, That a well-selected Times
reporter or  "own correspondent" ordered to reside in foreign
capitals, and keep his eyes open, and (though sparingly) his pen
going, would in reality be much more effective;—and surely we
see well, he would come a good deal cheaper!  Considerably
cheaper in expense of money; and in expense of falsity and
grimacing hypocrisy (of which no human arithmetic can count the
ultimate cost) incalculably cheaper!  If this is the fact, why
not treat it as such?  If this is so in any measure, we had
better in that measure admit it to be so!  The time, I believe,
has come for asking with considerable severity, How far is it so? 
Nay there are men now current in political society, men of weight
though also of wit, who have been heard to say, "That there was
but one reform for the Foreign Office,—to set a live coal under
it," and with, of course, a fire-brigade which could prevent the
undue spread of the devouring element into neighboring houses,
let that reform it!  In such odor is the Foreign Office too, if
it were not that the Public, oppressed and nearly stifled with a
mere infinitude of bad odors, neglects this one,—in fact, being
able nearly always to avoid the street where it is, escapes
this one, and (except a passing curse, once in the quarter or so)
as good as forgets the existence of it.

Such, from sad personal experience and credited prevailing rumor,
is the exoteric public conviction about these sublime
establishments in Downing Street and the neighborhood, the
esoteric mysteries of which are indeed still held sacred by the
initiated, but believed by the world to be mere Dalai-Lama pills,
manufactured let not refined lips hint how, and quite
unsalvatory to mankind.  Every one may remark what a hope
animates the eyes of any circle, when it is reported or even
confidently asserted, that Sir Robert Peel has in his mind
privately resolved to go, one day, into that stable of King
Augeas, which appalls human hearts, so rich is it, high-piled
with the droppings of two hundred years; and Hercules-like to
load a thousand night-wagons from it, and turn running water into
it, and swash and shovel at it, and never leave it till the
antique pavement, and real basis of the matter, show itself clean
again!  In any intelligent circle such a rumor, like the first
break of day to men in darkness, enlightens all eyes; and each
says devoutly, "Faxitis, O ye righteous Powers that have pity
on us!  All England grateful, with kindling looks, will rise in
the rear of him, and from its deepest heart bid him good

For it is universally felt that some esoteric man, well
acquainted with the mysteries and properties good and evil of the
administrative stable, is the fittest to reform it, nay can alone
reform it otherwise than by sheer violence and destruction, which
is a way we would avoid; that in fact Sir Robert Peel is, at
present, the one likely or possible man to reform it. And
secondly it is felt that "reform" in that Downing-Street
department of affairs is precisely the reform which were worth
all others; that those administrative establishments in Downing
Street are really the Government of this huge ungoverned Empire;
that to clean out the dead pedantries, unveracities, indolent
somnolent impotences, and accumulated dung-mountains there, is
the beginning of all practical good whatsoever.  Yes, get down
once again to the actual pavement of that; ascertain what the
thing is, and was before dung accumulated in it; and what it
should and may, and must, for the life's sake of this Empire,
henceforth become:  here clearly lies the heart of the whole
matter.  Political reform, if this be not reformed, is naught and
a mere mockery.

What England wants, and will require to have, or sink in nameless
anarchies, is not a Reformed Parliament, meaning thereby a
Parliament elected according to the six or the four or any other
number of "points" and cunningly devised improvements in hustings
mechanism, but a Reformed Executive or Sovereign Body of Rulers
and Administrators,—some improved method, innumerable
improvements in our poor blind methods, of getting hold of these. 
Not a better Talking-Apparatus, the best conceivable
Talking-Apparatus would do very little for us at present;—but an
infinitely better Acting-Apparatus, the benefits of which would
be invaluable now and henceforth.  The practical question puts
itself with ever-increasing stringency to all English minds:  Can
we, by no industry, energy, utmost expenditure of human
ingenuity, and passionate invocation of the Heavens and Earth,
get to attain some twelve or ten or six men to manage the affairs
of this nation in Downing Street and the chief posts elsewhere,
who are abler for the work than those we have been used to, this
long while?  For it is really a heroic work, and cannot be done
by histrios, and dexterous talkers having the honor to be:  it is
a heavy and appalling work; and, at the starting of it
especially, will require Herculean men; such mountains of pedant
exuviae and obscene owl-droppings have accumulated in those
regions, long the habitation of doleful creatures; the old
pavements, the natural facts and real essential functions of
those establishments, have not been seen by eyes for these two
hundred years last past!  Herculean men acquainted with the
virtues of running water, and with the divine necessity of
getting down to the clear pavements and old veracities; who
tremble before no amount of pedant exuviae, no loudest shrieking
of doleful creatures; who tremble only to live, themselves, like
inane phantasms, and to leave their life as a paltry
contribution to the guano mountains, and not as a divine
eternal protest against them!

These are the kind of men we want; these, the nearest possible
approximation to these, are the men we must find and have, or go
bankrupt altogether; for the concern as it is will evidently not
hold long together. How true is this of Crabbe:  "Men sit in
Parliament eighty-three hours per week, debating about many
things.  Men sit in Downing Street, doing protocols, Syrian
treaties, Greek questions, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Egyptian
and AEthiopian questions; dexterously writing despatches, and
having the honor to be.  Not a question of them is at all
pressing in comparison with the English question.  Pacifico the
miraculous Gibraltar Jew has been hustled by some populace in
Greece:—upon him let the British Lion drop, very rapidly indeed,
a constitutional tear.  Radetzky is said to be advancing upon
Milan;—I am sorry to hear it, and perhaps it does deserve a
despatch, or friendly letter, once and away:  but the Irish
Giant, named of Despair, is advancing upon London itself, laying
waste all English cities, towns and villages; that is the
interesting Government despatch of the day!  I notice him in
Piccadilly, blue-visaged, thatched in rags, a blue child on each
arm; hunger-driven, wide-mouthed, seeking whom he may devour: 
he, missioned by the just Heavens, too truly and too sadly their
'divine missionary' come at last in this authoritative manner,
will throw us all into Doubting Castle, I perceive!  That is the
phenomenon worth protocolling about, and writing despatches upon,
and thinking of with all one's faculty day and night, if one
wishes to have the honor to be—anything but a Phantasm Governor
of England just now!  I entreat your Lordship's all but undivided
attention to that Domestic Irish Giant, named of Despair, for a
great many years to come.  Prophecy of him there has long been;
but now by the rot of the potato (blessed be the just gods, who
send us either swift death or some beginning of cure at last!),
he is here in person, and there is no denying him, or
disregarding him any more; and woe to the public watchman that
ignores him, and sees Pacifico the Gibraltar Jew instead!"

What these strange Entities in Downing Street intrinsically are;
who made them, why they were made; how they do their function;
and what their function, so huge in appearance, may in net-result
amount to,—is probably known to no mortal.  The unofficial mind
passes by in dark wonder; not pretending to know.  The official
mind must not blab;—the official mind, restricted to its own
square foot of territory in the vast labyrinth, is probably
itself dark, and unable to blab.  We see the outcome; the
mechanism we do not see.  How the tailors clip and sew, in that
sublime sweating establishment of theirs, we know not:  that the
coat they bring us out is the sorrowfulest fantastic mockery of a
coat, a mere intricate artistic network of traditions and
formalities, an embroiled reticulation made of web-listings and
superannuated thrums and tatters, endurable to no grown Nation as
a coat, is mournfully clear!—

Two kinds of fundamental error are supposable in such a set of
Offices; these two, acting and reacting, are the vice of all
inefficient Offices whatever.—First, that the work, such as it
may be, is ill done in these establishments.  That it is delayed,
neglected, slurred over, committed to hands that cannot do it
well; that, in a word, the questions sent thither are not wisely
handled, but unwisely; not decided truly and rapidly, but with
delays and wrong at last:  which is the principal character, and
the infallible result, of an insufficient Intellect being set to
decide them. Or second, what is still fataler, the work done
there may itself be quite the wrong kind of work.  Not the kind
of supervision and direction which Colonies, and other such
interests, Home or Foreign, do by the nature of them require from
the Central Government; not that, but a quite other kind! The
Sotomayor correspondence, for example, is considered by many
persons not to be mismanaged merely, but to be a thing which
should never have been managed at all; a quite superfluous
concern, which and the like of which the British Government has
almost no call to get into, at this new epoch of time.  And not
Sotomayor only, nor Sapienza only, in regard to that Foreign
Office, but innumerable other things, if our witty friend of the
"live coal" have reason in him!  Of the Colonial Office, too, it
is urged that the questions they decide and operate upon are, in
very great part, questions which they never should have meddled
with, but almost all of which should have been decided in the
Colonies themselves,—Mother Country or Colonial Office reserving
its energy for a quite other class of objects, which are terribly
neglected just now.

These are the two vices that beset Government Offices; both of
them originating in insufficient Intellect,—that sad
insufficiency from which, directly or indirectly, all evil
whatsoever springs!  And these two vices act and react, so that
where the one is, the other is sure to be; and each encouraging
the growth of the other, both (if some cleaning of the Augeas
stable have not intervened for a long while) will be found in
frightful development.  You cannot have your work well done, if
the work be not of a right kind, if it be not work prescribed by
the law of Nature as well as by the rules of the office. 
Laziness, which lies in wait round all human labor-offices, will
in that case infallibly leak in, and vitiate the doing of the
work.  The work is but idle; if the doing of it will but pass,
what need of more?  The essential problem, as the rules of office
prescribe it for you, if Nature and Fact say nothing, is that
your work be got to pass; if the work itself is worth nothing, or
little or an uncertain quantity, what more can gods or men
require of it, or, above all, can I who am the doer of it
require, but that it be got to pass?

And now enters another fatal effect, the mother of ever-new
mischiefs, which renders well-doing or improvement impossible,
and drives bad everywhere continually into worse.  The work being
what we see, a stupid subaltern will do as well as a gifted one;
the essential point is, that he be a quiet one, and do not bother
me who have the driving of him.  Nay, for this latter object, is
not a certain height of intelligence even dangerous? I want no
mettled Arab horse, with his flashing glances, arched, neck and
elastic step, to draw my wretched sand-cart through the streets;
a broken, grass-fed galloway, Irish garron, or painful ass with
nothing in the belly of him but patience and furze, will do it
safelier for me, if more slowly. Nay I myself, am I the worse for
being of a feeble order of intelligence; what the irreverent
speculative, world calls barren, red-tapish, limited, and even
intrinsically dark and small, and if it must be said,
stupid?—To such a climax does it come in all Government and
other Offices, where Human Stupidity has once introduced itself
(as it will everywhere do), and no Scavenger God intervenes.  The
work, at first of some worth, is ill done, and becomes of less
worth and of ever less, and finally of none:  the worthless work
can now afford to be ill done; and Human Stupidity, at a
double geometrical ratio, with frightful expansion grows and
accumulates,—towards the unendurable.

The reforming Hercules, Sir Robert Peel or whoever he is to be,
that enters Downing Street, will ask himself this question first
of all, What work is now necessary, not in form and by
traditionary use and wont, but in very fact, for the vital
interests of the British Nation, to be done here?  The second
question, How to get it well done, and to keep the best hands
doing it well, will be greatly simplified by a good answer to
that.  Oh for an eye that could see in those hideous mazes, and a
heart that could dare and do!  Strenuous faithful scrutiny, not
of what is thought to be what in the red-tape regions, but of
what really is what in the realms of Fact and Nature herself;
deep-seeing, wise and courageous eyes, that could look through
innumerable cobweb veils, and detect what fact or no-fact lies at
heart of them,—how invaluable these!  For, alas, it is long
since such eyes were much in the habit of looking steadfastly at
any department of our affairs; and poor commonplace creatures,
helping themselves along, in the way of makeshift, from year to
year, in such an element, do wonderful works indeed.  Such
creatures, like moles, are safe only underground, and their
engineerings there become very daedalean.  In fact, such
unfortunate persons have no resource but to become what we call
Pedants; to ensconce themselves in a safe world of habitudes, of
applicable or inapplicable traditions; not coveting, rather
avoiding the general daylight of common-sense, as very extraneous
to them and their procedure; by long persistence in which course
they become Completed Pedants, hidebound, impenetrable, able to
defy the hostile extraneous element; an alarming kind of men,
Such men, left to themselves for a century or two, in any
Colonial, Foreign, or other Office, will make a terrible affair
of it!

For the one enemy we have in this Universe is Stupidity, Darkness
of Mind; of which darkness, again, there are many sources, every
sin a source, and probably self-conceit the chief source. 
Darkness of mind, in every kind and variety, does to a really
tragic extent abound:  but of all the kinds of darkness, surely
the Pedant darkness, which asserts and believes itself to be
light, is the most formidable to mankind!  For empires or for
individuals there is but one class of men to be trembled at; and
that is the Stupid Class, the class that cannot see, who alas are
they mainly that will not see.  A class of mortals under which as
administrators, kings, priests, diplomatists, &c., the interests
of mankind in every European country have sunk overloaded, as
under universal nightmare, near to extinction; and indeed are at
this moment convulsively writhing, decided either to throw off
the unblessed superincumbent nightmare, or roll themselves and it
to the Abyss.  Vain to reform Parliament, to invent ballot-boxes,
to reform this or that; the real Administration, practical
Management of the Commonwealth, goes all awry; choked up with
long-accumulated pedantries, so that your appointed workers have
been reduced to work as moles; and it is one vast boring and
counter-boring, on the part of eyeless persons irreverently
called stupid; and a daedalean bewilderment, writing "impossible"
on all efforts or proposals, supervenes.

The State itself, not in Downing Street alone but in every
department of it, has altered much from what it was in past
times; and it will again have to alter very much, to alter I
think from top to bottom, if it means to continue existing in the
times that are now coming and come!

The State, left to shape itself by dim pedantries and traditions,
without distinctness of conviction, or purpose beyond that of
helping itself over the difficulty of the hour, has become,
instead of a luminous vitality permeating with its light all
provinces of our affairs, a most monstrous agglomerate of
inanities, as little adapted for the actual wants of a modern
community as the worst citizen need wish.  The thing it is doing
is by no means the thing we want to have done.  What we want! 
Let the dullest British man endeavor to raise in his mind this
question, and ask himself in sincerity what the British Nation
wants at this time.  Is it to have, with endless jargoning,
debating, motioning and counter-motioning, a settlement effected
between the Honorable Mr. This and the Honorable Mr. That, as to
their respective pretensions to ride the high horse?  Really it
is unimportant which of them ride it.  Going upon past experience
long continued now, I should say with brevity, "Either of
them—Neither of them."  If our Government is to be a
No-Government, what is the matter who administers it?  Fling an
orange-skin into St. James's Street; let the man it hits be your
man.  He, if you breed him a little to it, and tie the due
official bladders to his ankles, will do as well as another this
sublime problem of balancing himself upon the vortexes, with the
long loaded-pole in his hands; and will, with straddling painful
gestures, float hither and thither, walking the waters in that
singular manner for a little while, as well as his foregoers did,
till he also capsize, and be left floating feet uppermost; after
which you choose another.

What an immense pother, by parliamenting and palavering in all
corners of your empire, to decide such a question as that!  I
say, if that is the function, almost any human creature can learn
to discharge it:  fling out your orange-skin again; and save an
incalculable labor, and an emission of nonsense and falsity, and
electioneering beer and bribery and balderdash, which is terrible
to think of, in deciding.  Your National Parliament, in so far as
it has only that question to decide, may be considered as an
enormous National Palaver existing mainly for imaginary purposes;
and certain, in these days of abbreviated labor, to get itself
sent home again to its partridge-shootings, fox-huntings, and
above all, to its rat-catchings, if it could but understand the
time of day, and know (as our indignant Crabbe remarks) that "the
real Nimrod of this era, who alone does any good to the era, is
the rat-catcher!"

The notion that any Government is or can be a No-Government,
without the deadliest peril to all noble interests of the
Commonwealth, and by degrees slower or swifter to all ignoble
ones also, and to the very gully-drains, and thief
lodging-houses, and Mosaic sweating establishments, and at last
without destruction to such No-Government itself,—was never my
notion; and I hope it will soon cease altogether to be the
world's or to be anybody's. But if it be the correct notion, as
the world seems at present to flatter itself, I point out
improvements and abbreviations.  Dismiss your National Palaver;
make the Times Newspaper your National Palaver, which needs no
beer-barrels or hustings, and is cheaper in expense of money
and of falsity a thousand and a million fold; have an economical
red-tape drilling establishment (it were easier to devise such a
thing than a right Modern University);—and fling out your
orange-skin among the graduates, when you want a new Premier.

A mighty question indeed!  Who shall be Premier, and take in hand
the "rudder of government," otherwise called the "spigot of
taxation;" shall it be the Honorable Felix Parvulus, or the Right
Honorable Felicissimus Zero? By our electioneerings and Hansard
Debatings, and ever-enduring tempest of jargon that goes on
everywhere, we manage to settle that; to have it declared, with
no bloodshed except insignificant blood from the nose in
hustings-time, but with immense beershed and inkshed and
explosion of nonsense, which darkens all the air, that the Right
Honorable Zero is to be the man.  That we firmly settle; Zero,
all shivering with rapture and with terror, mounts into the high
saddle; cramps himself on, with knees, heels, hands and feet; and
the horse gallops—whither it lists.  That the Right Honorable
Zero should attempt controlling the horse—Alas, alas, he,
sticking on with beak and claws, is too happy if the horse will
only gallop any-whither, and not throw him.  Measure, polity,
plan or scheme of public good or evil, is not in the head of
Felicissimus; except, if he could but devise it, some measure
that would please his horse for the moment, and encourage him to
go with softer paces, godward or devilward as it might be, and
save Felicissimus's leather, which is fast wearing.  This is
what we call a Government in England, for nearly two centuries

I wish Felicissimus were saddle-sick forever and a day!  He is a
dreadful object, however much we are used to him.  If the horse
had not been bred and broken in, for a thousand years, by real
riders and horse-subduers, perhaps the best and bravest the
world ever saw, what would have become of Felicissimus and him
long since?  This horse, by second-nature, religiously respects
all fences; gallops, if never so madly, on the highways
alone;—seems to me, of late, like a desperate Sleswick
thunder-horse who had lost his way, galloping in the labyrinthic
lanes of a woody flat country; passionate to reach his goal;
unable to reach it, because in the flat leafy lanes there is no
outlook whatever, and in the bridle there is no guidance
whatever.  So he gallops stormfully along, thinking it is
forward and forward; and alas, it is only round and round, out of
one old lane into the other;—nay (according to some) "he
mistakes his own footprints, which of course grow ever more
numerous, for the sign of a more and more frequented road;" and
his despair is hourly increasing.  My impression is, he is
certain soon, such is the growth of his necessity and his
despair, to—plunge across the fence, into an opener survey of
the country; and to sweep Felicissimus off his back, and comb him
away very tragically in the process!  Poor Sleswicker, I wish you
were better ridden. I perceive it lies in the Fates you must now
either be better ridden, or else not long at all.  This plunging
in the heavy labyrinth of over-shaded lanes, with one's stomach
getting empty, one's Ireland falling into cannibalism, and no
vestige of a goal either visible or possible, cannot

Colonial Offices, Foreign, Home and other Offices, got together
under these strange circumstances, cannot well be expected to be
the best that human ingenuity could devise; the wonder rather is
to see them so good as they are.  Who made them, ask me not. 
Made they clearly were; for we see them here in a concrete
condition, writing despatches, and drawing salary with a view to
buy pudding.  But how those Offices in Downing Street were made;
who made them, or for what kind of objects they were made, would
be hard to say at present.  Dim visions and phantasmagories
gathered from the Books of Horace Walpole, Memoirs of Bubb
Doddington, Memoirs of my Lady Sundon, Lord Fanny Hervey, and
innumerable others, rise on us, beckoning fantastically towards,
not an answer, but some conceivable intimations of an answer, and
proclaiming very legibly the old text, "Quam parva sapientia,"
in respect of this hard-working much-subduing British Nation;
giving rise to endless reflections in a thinking Englishman of
this day.  Alas, it is ever so: each generation has its task, and
does it better or worse; greatly neglecting what is not
immediately its task.  Our poor grandfathers, so busy conquering
Indias, founding Colonies, inventing spinning-jennies, kindling
Lancashires and Bromwichams, took no thought about the government
of all that; left it all to be governed by Lord Fanny and the
Hanover Succession, or how the gods pleased.  And now we the poor
grandchildren find that it will not stick together on these terms
any longer; that our sad, dangerous and sore task is to discover
some government for this big world which has been conquered to
us; that the red-tape Offices in Downing Street are near the end
of their rope; that if we can get nothing better, in the way of
government, it is all over with our world and us.  How the
Downing-Street Offices originated, and what the meaning of them
was or is, let Dryasdust, when in some lucid moment the whim
takes him, instruct us. Enough for us to know and see clearly,
with urgent practical inference derived from such insight, That
they were not made for us or for our objects at all; that the
devouring Irish Giant is here, and that he cannot be fed with
red-tape, and will eat us if we cannot feed him.

On the whole, let us say Felicissimus made them;—or rather it
was the predecessors of Felicissimus, who were not so dreadfully
hunted, sticking to the wild and ever more desperate Sleswicker
in the leafy labyrinth of lanes, as he now is.  He, I think, will
never make anything; but be combed off by the elm-boughs, and
left sprawling in the ditch.  But in past time, this and the
other heavy-laden red-tape soul had withal a glow of patriotism
in him; now and then, in his whirling element, a gleam of human
ingenuity, some eye towards business that must be done.  At all
events, for him and every one, Parliament needed to be persuaded
that business was done.  By the contributions of many such
heavy-laden souls, driven on by necessity outward and inward,
these singular Establishments are here. Contributions—who knows
how far back they go, far beyond the reign of George the Second,
or perhaps the reign of William Conqueror.  Noble and genuine
some of them were, many of them were, I need not doubt:  for
there is no human edifice that stands long but has got itself
planted, here and there, upon the basis of fact; and being built,
in many respects, according to the laws of statics:  no standing
edifice, especially no edifice of State, but has had the wise and
brave at work in it, contributing their lives to it; and is
"cemented," whether it know the fact or not, "by the blood of
heroes!"  None; not even the Foreign Office, Home Office, still
less the National Palaver itself.  William Conqueror, I find,
must have had a first-rate Home Office, for his share.  The
Domesday Book, done in four years, and done as it is, with such
an admirable brevity, explicitness and completeness, testifies
emphatically what kind of under-secretaries and officials William
had.  Silent officials and secretaries, I suppose; not wasting
themselves in parliamentary talk; reserving all their
intelligence for silent survey of the huge dumb fact, silent
consideration how they might compass the mastery of that.  Happy
secretaries, happy William!

But indeed nobody knows what inarticulate traditions, remnants of
old wisdom, priceless though quite anonymous, survive in many
modern things that still have life in them.  Ben Brace, with his
taciturnities, and rugged stoical ways, with his tarry breeches,
stiff as plank-breeches, I perceive is still a kind of
Lod-brog (Loaded-breeks) in more senses than one; and derives,
little conscious of it, many of his excellences from the old
Sea-kings and Saxon Pirates themselves; and how many Blakes and
Nelsons since have contributed to Ben!  "Things are not so false
always as they seem," said a certain Professor to me once:  "of
this you will find instances in every country, and in your
England more than any—and I hope will draw lessons from them. 
An English Seventy-four, if you look merely at the articulate law
and methods of it, is one of the impossiblest entities.  The
captain is appointed not by preeminent merit in sailorship, but
by parliamentary connection; the men [this was spoken some years
ago] are got by impressment; a press-gang goes out, knocks men
down.  on the streets of sea-towns, and drags them on board,—if
the ship were to be stranded, I have heard they would nearly all
run ashore and desert.  Can anything be more unreasonable than a
Seventy-four?  Articulately almost nothing.  But it has
inarticulate traditions, ancient methods and habitudes in it,
stoicisms, noblenesses, true rules both of sailing and of
conduct; enough to keep it afloat on Nature's veridical bosom,
after all.  See; if you bid it sail to the end of the world, it
will lift anchor, go, and arrive.  The raging oceans do not beat
it back; it too, as well as the raging oceans, has a relationship
to Nature, and it does not sink, but under the due conditions is
borne along.  If it meet with hurricanes, it rides them out; if
it meet an Enemy's ship, it shivers it to powder; and in short,
it holds on its way, and to a wonderful extent does what it
means and pretends to do.  Assure yourself, my friend, there is
an immense fund of truth somewhere or other stowed in that

More important than the past history of these Offices in Downing
Street, is the question of their future history; the question,
How they are to be got mended!  Truly an immense problem,
inclusive of all others whatsoever; which demands to be attacked,
and incessantly persisted in, by all good citizens, as the grand
problem of Society, and the one thing needful for the
Commonwealth!  A problem in which all men, with all their wisdoms
and all their virtues, faithfully and continually co-operating at
it, will never have done enough, and will still only be
struggling towards perfection in it.  In which some men can do
much;—in which every man can do something.  Every man, and thou
my present Reader canst do this:  Be thyself a man abler to be
governed; more reverencing the divine faculty of governing, more
sacredly detesting the diabolical semblance of said faculty in
self and others; so shalt thou, if not govern, yet actually
according to thy strength assist in real governing.  And know
always, and even lay to heart with a quite unusual solemnity,
with a seriousness altogether of a religious nature, that as
"Human Stupidity" is verily the accursed parent of all this
mischief, so Human Intelligence alone, to which and to which only
is victory and blessedness appointed here below, will or can cure
it. If we knew this as devoutly as we ought to do, the evil, and
all other evils were curable;—alas, if we had from of old known
this, as all men made in God's image ought to do, the evil never
would have been!  Perhaps few Nations have ever known it less
than we, for a good while back, have done.  Hence these sorrows.

What a People are the poor Thibet idolaters, compared with us and
our "religions," which issue in the worship of King Hudson as our
Dalai-Lama! They, across such hulls of abject ignorance, have
seen into the heart of the matter; we, with our torches of
knowledge everywhere brandishing themselves, and such a human
enlightenment as never was before, have quite missed it. 
Reverence for Human Worth, earnest devout search for it and
encouragement of it, loyal furtherance and obedience to it: 
this, I say, is the outcome and essence of all true "religions,"
and was and ever will be.  We have not known this.  No; loud as
our tongues sometimes go in that direction, we have no true
reverence for Human Intelligence, for Human Worth and Wisdom: 
none, or too little,—and I pray for a restoration of such
reverence, as for the change from Stygian darkness to Heavenly
light, as for the return of life to poor sick moribund Society
and all its interests.  Human Intelligence means little for most
of us but Beaver Contrivance, which produces spinning-mules,
cheap cotton, and large fortunes.  Wisdom, unless it give us
railway scrip, is not wise.

True nevertheless it forever remains that Intellect is the real
object of reverence, and of devout prayer, and zealous wish and
pursuit, among the sons of men; and even, well understood, the
one object.  It is the Inspiration of the Almighty that giveth
men understanding.  For it must be repeated, and ever again
repeated till poor mortals get to discern it, and awake from
their baleful paralysis, and degradation under foul enchantments,
That a man of Intellect, of real and not sham Intellect, is by
the nature of him likewise inevitably a man of nobleness, a man
of courage, rectitude, pious strength; who, even because he is
and has been loyal to the Laws of this Universe, is initiated
into discernment of the same; to this hour a Missioned of
Heaven; whom if men follow, it will be well with them; whom if
men do not follow, it will not be well.  Human Intellect, if you
consider it well, is the exact summary of Human Worth; and the
essence of all worth-ships and worships is reverence for that
same. This much surprises you, friend Peter; but I assure you it
is the fact;—and I would advise you to consider it, and to try
if you too do not gradually find it so.  With me it has long been
an article, not of "faith" only, but of settled insight, of
conviction as to what the ordainments of the Maker in this
Universe are.  Ah, could you and the rest of us but get to know
it, and everywhere religiously act upon it,—as our Fortieth
Article, which includes all the other Thirty-nine, and without
which the Thirty-nine are good for almost nothing,—there might
then be some hope for us!  In this world there is but one
appalling creature:  the Stupid man considered to be the
Missioned of Heaven, and followed by men.  He is our King, men
say, he;—and they follow him, through straight or winding
courses, I for one know well whitherward.

Abler men in Downing Street, abler men to govern us:  yes, that,
sure enough, would gradually remove the dung-mountains, however
high they are; that would be the way, nor is there any other way,
to remedy whatsoever has gone wrong in Downing Street and in the
wide regions, spiritual and temporal, which Downing Street
presides over!  For the Able Man, meet him where you may, is
definable as the born enemy of Falsity and Anarchy, and the born
soldier of Truth and Order:  into what absurdest element soever
you put him, he is there to make it a little less absurd, to
fight continually with it till it become a little sane and human
again.  Peace on other terms he, for his part, cannot make with
it; not he, while he continues able, or possessed of real
intellect and not imaginary.  There is but one man fraught with
blessings for this world, fated to diminish and successively
abolish the curses of the world; and it is he.  For him make
search, him reverence and follow; know that to find him or miss
him, means victory or defeat for you, in all Downing Streets, and
establishments and enterprises here below.—I leave your Lordship
to judge whether this has been our practice hitherto; and would
humbly inquire what your Lordship thinks is likely to be the
consequence of continuing to neglect this.  It ought to have been
our practice; ought, in all places and all times, to be the
practice in this world; so says the fixed law of things
forevermore:—and it must cease to be not the practice, your
Lordship; and cannot too speedily do so I think!—

Much has been done in the way of reforming Parliament in late
years; but that of itself seems to avail nothing, or almost less. 
The men that sit in Downing Street, governing us, are not abler
men since the Reform Bill than were those before it.  Precisely
the same kind of men; obedient formerly to Tory traditions,
obedient now to Whig ditto and popular clamors. Respectable men
of office:  respectably commonplace in facility,—while the
situation is becoming terribly original!  Rendering their
outlooks, and ours, more ominous every day.

Indisputably enough the meaning of all reform-movement, electing
and electioneering, of popular agitation, parliamentary
eloquence, and all political effort whatsoever, is that you may
get the ten Ablest Men in England put to preside over your ten
principal departments of affairs.  To sift and riddle the Nation,
so that you might extricate and sift out the true ten gold
grains, or ablest men, and of these make your Governors or Public
Officers; leaving the dross and common sandy or silty material
safely aside, as the thing to be governed, not to govern;
certainly all ballot-boxes, caucuses, Kennington-Common meetings,
Parliamentary debatings, Red Republics, Russian Despotisms, and
constitutional or unconstitutional methods of society among
mankind, are intended to achieve this one end; and some of them,
it will be owned, achieve it very ill!—If you have got your gold
grains, if the men you have got are actually the ablest, then
rejoice; with whatever astonishment, accept your Ten, and thank
the gods; under this Ten your destruction will at least be milder
than under another.  But if you have not got them, if you are
very far from having got them, then do not rejoice at all, then
lament very much; then admit that your sublime political
constitutions and contrivances do not prove themselves sublime,
but ridiculous and contemptible; that your world's wonder of a
political mill, the envy of surrounding nations, does not yield
you real meal; yields you only powder of millstones (called
Hansard Debatings), and a detestable brown substance not unlike
the grindings of dried horse-dung or prepared street-mud, which
though sold under royal patent, and much recommended by the
trade, is quite unfit for culinary purposes!—

But the disease at least is not mysterious, whatever the remedy
be.  Our disease,—alas, is it not clear as the sun, that we
suffer under what is the disease of all the miserable in this
world, want of wisdom; that in the Head there is no vision, and
that thereby all the members are dark and in bonds?  No vision in
the head; heroism, faith, devout insight to discern what is
needful, noble courage to do it, greatly defective there:  not
seeing eyes there, but spectacles constitutionally ground, which,
to the unwary, seem to see.  A quite fatal circumstance, had
you never so many Parliaments!  How is your ship to be steered by
a Pilot with no eyes but a pair of glass ones got from the
constitutional optician?  He must steer by the ear, I think,
rather than by the eye; by the shoutings he catches from the
shore, or from the Parliamentary benches nearer hand:—one of the
frightfulest objects to see steering in a difficult sea! 
Reformed Parliaments in that case, reform-leagues, outer
agitations and excitements in never such abundance, cannot
profit:  all this is but the writhing, and painful blind
convulsion of the limbs that are in bonds, that are all in dark
misery till the head be delivered, till the pressure on the brain
be removed.

Or perhaps there is now no heroic wisdom left in England;
England, once the land of heroes, is itself sunk now to a dim
owlery, and habitation of doleful creatures, intent only on
money-making and other forms of catching mice, for whom the
proper gospel is the gospel of M'Croudy, and all nobler impulses
and insights are forbidden henceforth?  Perhaps these present
agreeable Occupants of Downing Street, such as the parliamentary
mill has yielded them, are the best the miserable soil had
grown?  The most Herculean Ten Men that could be found among the
English Twenty-seven Millions, are these?  There are not, in
any place, under any figure, ten diviner men among us?  Well; in
that case, the riddling and searching of the twenty-seven
millions has been successful.  Here are our ten divinest men;
with these, unhappily not divine enough, we must even content
ourselves and die in peace; what help is there?  No help, no
hope, in that case.

But, again, if these are not our divinest men, then evidently
there always is hope, there always is possibility of help; and
ruin never is quite inevitable, till we have sifted out our
actually divinest ten, and set these to try their band at
governing!—That this has been achieved; that these ten men are
the most Herculean souls the English population held within it,
is a proposition credible to no mortal.  No, thank God; low as we
are sunk in many ways, this is not yet credible!  Evidently the
reverse of this proposition is the fact.  Ten much diviner men do
certainly exist. By some conceivable, not forever impossible,
method and methods, ten very much diviner men could be sifted
out!—Courage; let us fix our eyes on that important fact, and
strive all thitherward as towards a door of hope!

Parliaments, I think, have proved too well, in late years, that
they are not the remedy.  It is not Parliaments, reformed or
other, that will ever send Herculean men to Downing Street, to
reform Downing Street for us; to diffuse therefrom a light of
Heavenly Order, instead of the murk of Stygian Anarchy, over this
sad world of ours.  That function does not lie in the capacities
of Parliment.  That is the function of a King,—if we could get
such a priceless entity, which we cannot just now!  Failing
which, Statesmen, or Temporary Kings, and at the very lowest one
real Statesman, to shape the dim tendencies of Parliament, and
guide them wisely to the goal:  he, I perceive, will be a primary
condition, indispensable for any progress whatsoever.

One such, perhaps, might be attained; one such might prove
discoverable among our Parliamentary populations?  That one, in
such an enterprise as this of Downing Street, might be
invaluable!  One noble man, at once of natural wisdom and
practical experience; one Intellect still really human, and not
red-tapish, owlish and pedantical, appearing there in that dim
chaos, with word of command; to brandish Hercules-like the divine
broom and shovel, and turn running water in upon the place, and
say as with a fiat, "Here shall be truth, and real work, and
talent to do it henceforth; I will seek for able men to work
here, as for the elixir of life to this poor place and me:"—what
might not one such man effect there!

Nay one such is not to be dispensed with anywhere.  in the
affairs of men. In every ship, I say, there must be a seeing
pilot, not a mere hearing one!  It is evident you can never get
your ship steered through the difficult straits by persons
standing ashore, on this bank and that, and shouting their
confused directions to you:  "'Ware that Colonial
Sandbank!—Starboard now, the Nigger Question!—Larboard,
larboard, the Suffrage Movement!  Financial Reform, your
Clothing-Colonels overboard! The Qualification Movement,
'Ware-re-re!—Helm-a-lee!  Bear a hand there, will you!  Hr-r-r,
lubbers, imbeciles, fitter for a tailor's shopboard than a helm
of Government, Hr-r-r!"—And so the ship wriggles and tumbles,
and, on the whole, goes as wind and current drive.  No ship was
ever steered except to destruction in that manner.  I
deliberately say so:  no ship of a State either.  If you cannot
get a real pilot on board, and put the helm into his hands, your
ship is as good as a wreck.  One real pilot on board may save
you; all the bellowing from the banks that ever was, will not,
and by the nature of things cannot.  Nay your pilot will have to
succeed, if he do succeed, very much in spite of said bellowing;
he will hear all that, and regard very little of it,—in a
patient mild-spoken wise manner, will regard all of it as what it
is.  And I never doubt but there is in Parliament itself, in
spite of its vague palaverings which fill us with despair in
these times, a dumb instinct of inarticulate sense and stubborn
practical English insight and veracity, that would manfully
support a Statesman who could take command with really manful
notions of Reform, and as one deserving to be obeyed.  Oh for one
such; even one!  More precious to us than all the bullion in the
Bank, or perhaps that ever was in it, just now!

For it is Wisdom alone that can recognize wisdom:  Folly or
Imbecility never can; and that is the fatalest ban it labors
under, dooming it to perpetual failure in all things.  Failure
which, in Downing Street and places of command is especially
accursed; cursing not one but hundreds of millions!  Who is there
that can recognize real intellect, and do reverence to it; and
discriminate it well from sham intellect, which is so much more
abundant, and deserves the reverse of reverence?  He that himself
has it!—One really human Intellect, invested with command, and
charged to reform Downing Street for us, would continually
attract real intellect to those regions, and with a divine
magnetism search it out from the modest corners where it lies
hid.  And every new accession of intellect to Downing Street
would bring to it benefit only, and would increase such divine
attraction in it, the parent of all benefit there and

"What method, then; by what method?" ask many.  Method, alas!  To
secure an increased supply of Human Intellect to Downing Street,
there will evidently be no quite effectual "method" but that of
increasing the supply of Human Intellect, otherwise definable as
Human Worth, in Society generally; increasing the supply of
sacred reverence for it, of loyalty to it, and of life-and-death
desire and pursuit of it, among all classes,—if we but knew such
a "method"!  Alas, that were simply the method of making all
classes Servants of Heaven; and except it be devout prayer to
Heaven, I have never heard of any method!  To increase the
reverence for Human Intellect or God's Light, and the detestation
of Human Stupidity or the Devil's Darkness, what method is there? 
No method,—except even this, that we should each of us "pray"
for it, instead of praying for mere scrip and the like; that
Heaven would please to vouchsafe us each a little of it, one by
one!  As perhaps Heaven, in its infinite bounty, by stern
methods, gradually will?  Perhaps Heaven has mercy too in these
sore plagues that are oppressing us; and means to teach us
reverence for Heroism and Human Intellect, by such baleful
experience of what issue Imbecility and Parliamentary Eloquence
lead to?  Such reverence, I do hope, and even discover and
observe, is silently yet extensively going on among us even in
these sad years.  In which small salutary fact there burns for
us, in this black coil of universal baseness fast becoming
universal wretchedness, an inextinguishable hope; far-off but
sure, a divine "pillar of fire by night."  Courage,

Meanwhile, that our one reforming Statesman may have free command
of what Intellect there is among us, and room to try all means
for awakening and inviting ever more of it, there has one small
Project of Improvement been suggested; which finds a certain
degree of favor wherever I hear it talked of, and which seems to
merit much more consideration than it has yet received. 
Practical men themselves approve of it hitherto, so far as it
goes; the one objection being that the world is not yet prepared
to insist on it,—which of course the world can never be, till
once the world consider it, and in the first place hear tell of
it!  I have, for my own part, a good opinion of this project. 
The old unreformed Parliament of rotten boroughs had one
advantage; but that is hereby, in a far more fruitful and
effectual manner, secured to the new.

The Proposal is, That Secretaries under and upper, that all
manner of changeable or permanent servants in the Government
Offices shall be selected without reference to their power of
getting into Parliament;—that, in short, the Queen shall have
power of nominating the half-dozen or half-score Officers of the
Administration, whose presence is thought necessary in
Parliament, to official seats there, without reference to any
constituency but her own only, which of course will mean her
Prime Minister's.  A very small encroachment on the present
constitution of Parliament; offering the minimum of change in
present methods, and I almost think a maximum in results to be
derived therefrom.—The Queen nominates John Thomas (the fittest
man she, much inquiring, can hear tell of in her three kingdoms)
President of the Poor-Law Board, Under Secretary of the
Colonies, Under, or perhaps even Upper Secretary of what she and
her Premier find suitablest for a working head so eminent, a
talent so precious; and grants him, by her direct authority, seat
and vote in Parliament so long as he holds that office.  Upper
Secretaries, having more to do in Parliament, and being so bound
to be in favor there, would, I suppose, at least till new times
and habits come, be expected to be chosen from among the
People's Members as at present.  But whether the Prime
Minister himself is, in all times, bound to be first a People's
Member; and which, or how many, of his Secretaries and
subordinates he might be allowed to take as Queen's Members, my
authority does not say,—perhaps has not himself settled; the
project being yet in mere outline or foreshadow, the practical
embodiment in all details to be fixed by authorities much more
competent than he.  The soul of his project is, That the Crown
also have power to elect a few members to Parliament.

From which project, however wisely it were embodied, there could
probably, at first or all at once, no great "accession of
intellect" to the Government Offices ensue; though a little
might, even at first, and a little is always precious:  but in
its ulterior operation, were that faithfully developed, and
wisely presided over, I fancy an immense accession of intellect
might ensue;—nay a natural ingress might thereby be opened to
all manner of accessions, and the actual flower of whatever
intellect the British Nation had might be attracted towards
Downing Street, and continue flowing steadily thither!  For, let
us see a little what effects this simple change carries in it the
possibilities of.  Here are beneficent germs, which the presence
of one truly wise man as Chief Minister, steadily fostering them
for even a few years, with the sacred fidelity and vigilance that
would beseem him, might ripen into living practices and habitual
facts, invaluable to us all.

What it is that Secretaries of State, Managers of Colonial
Establishments, of Home and Foreign Government interests, have
really and truly to do in Parliament, might admit of various
estimate in these times.  An apt debater in Parliament is by no
means certain to be an able administrator of Colonies, of Home or
Foreign Affairs; nay, rather quite the contrary is to be presumed
of him; for in order to become a "brilliant speaker," if that is
his character, considerable portions of his natural internal
endowment must have gone to the surface, in order to make a
shining figure there, and precisely so much the less (few men in
these days know how much less!) must remain available in the
internal silent state, or as faculty for thinking, for devising
and acting, which latter and which alone is the function
essential for him in his Secretaryship.  Not to tell a good story
for himself "in Parliament and to the twenty-seven millions, many
of them fools;" not that, but to do good administration, to know
with sure eye, and decide with just and resolute heart, what is
what in the things committed to his charge:  this and not that
is the service which poor England, whatever it may think and
maunder, does require and want of the Official Man in Downing
Street.  Given a good Official Man or Secretary, he really ought,
as far as it is possible, to be left working in the silent state.
No mortal can both work, and do good talking in Parliament, or
out of it: the feat is impossible as that of serving two hostile

Nor would I, if it could be helped, much trouble my good
Secretary with addressing Parliament:  needful explanations; yes,
in a free country, surely;—but not to every frivolous and
vexatious person, in or out of Parliament, who chooses to apply
for them.  There should be demands for explanation too which were
reckoned frivolous and vexatious, and censured as such.  These, I
should say, are the not needful explanations:  and if my poor
Secretary is to be called out from his workshop to answer every
one of these,—his workshop will become (what we at present see
it, deservedly or not) little other than a pillory; the poor
Secretary a kind of talking-machine, exposed to dead cats and
rotten eggs; and the "work" got out of him or of it will, as
heretofore, be very inconsiderable indeed!—Alas, on this side
also, important improvements are conceivable; and will even, I
imagine, get them whence we may, be found indispensable one day. 
The honorable gentleman whom you interrupt here, he, in his
official capacity, is not an individual now, but the embodiment
of a Nation; he is the "People of England" engaged in the work of
Secretaryship, this one; and cannot forever afford to let the
three Tailors of Tooley Street break in upon him at all hours!—

But leaving this, let us remark one thing which is very plain: 
That whatever be the uses and duties, real or supposed, of a
Secretary in Parliament, his faculty to accomplish these is a
point entirely unconnected with his ability to get elected into
Parliament, and has no relation or proportion to it, and no
concern with it whatever.  Lord Tommy and the Honorable John are
not a whit better qualified for Parliamentary duties, to say
nothing of Secretary duties, than plain Tom and Jack; they are
merely better qualified, as matters stand, for getting admitted
to try them. Which state of matters a reforming Premier, much in
want of abler men to help him, now proposes altering.  Tom and
Jack, once admitted by the Queen's writ, there is every reason to
suppose will do quite as well there as Lord Tommy and the
Honorable John.  In Parliament quite as well:  and elsewhere, in
the other infinitely more important duties of a Government
Office, which indeed are and remain the essential, vital and
intrinsic duties of such a personage, is there the faintest
reason to surmise that Tom and Jack, if well chosen, will fall
short of Lord Tommy and the Honorable John?  No shadow of a
reason.  Were the intrinsic genius of the men exactly equal,
there is no shadow of a reason:  but rather there is quite the
reverse; for Tom and Jack have been at least workers all their
days, not idlers, game-preservers and mere human clothes-horses,
at any period of their lives; and have gained a schooling
thereby, of which Lord Tommy and the Honorable John, unhappily
strangers to it for most part, can form no conception!  Tom and
Jack have already, on this most narrow hypothesis, a decided
superiority of likelihood over Lord Tommy and the Honorable

But the hypothesis is very narrow, and the fact is very wide; the
hypothesis counts by units, the fact by millions.  Consider how
many Toms and Jacks there are to choose from, well or ill!  The
aristocratic class from whom Members of Parliament can be elected
extends only to certain thousands; from these you are to choose
your Secretary, if a seat in Parliament is the primary condition. 
But the general population is of Twenty-seven Millions; from all
sections of which you can choose, if the seat in Parliament is
not to be primary.  Make it ultimate instead of primary, a last
investiture instead of a first indispensable condition, and the
whole British Nation, learned, unlearned, professional,
practical, speculative and miscellaneous, is at your disposal! 
In the lowest broad strata of the population, equally as in the
highest and narrowest, are produced men of every kind of genius;
man for man., your chance of genius is as good among the millions
as among the units;—and class for class, what must it be!  From
all classes, not from certain hundreds now but from several
millions, whatsoever man the gods had gifted with intellect and
nobleness, and power to help his country, could be chosen:  O
Heavens, could,—if not by Tenpound Constituencies and the force
of beer, then by a Reforming Premier with eyes in his head, who I
think might do it quite infinitely better.  Infinitely better. 
For ignobleness cannot, by the nature of it, choose the noble: 
no, there needs a seeing man who is himself noble, cognizant by
internal experience of the symptoms of nobleness.  Shall we never
think of this; shall we never more remember this, then?  It is
forever true; and Nature and Fact, however we may rattle our
ballot-boxes, do at no time forget it.

From the lowest and broadest stratum of Society, where the births
are by the million, there was born, almost in our own memory, a
Robert Burns; son of one who "had not capital for his poor
moor-farm of Twenty Pounds a year."  Robert Burns never had the
smallest chance to got into Parliament, much as Robert Burns
deserved, for all our sakes, to have been found there. For the
man—it was not known to men purblind, sunk in their poor dim
vulgar element, but might have been known to men of insight who
had any loyalty or any royalty of their own—was a born king of
men:  full of valor, of intelligence and heroic nobleness; fit
for far other work than to break his heart among poor mean
mortals, gauging beer!  Him no Tenpound Constituency chose, nor
did any Reforming Premier:  in the deep-sunk British Nation,
overwhelmed in foggy stupor, with the loadstars all gone out for
it, there was no whisper of a notion that it could be desirable
to choose him,—except to come and dine with you, and in the
interim to gauge. And yet heaven-born Mr. Pitt, at that period,
was by no means without need of Heroic Intellect, for other
purposes than gauging!  But sorrowful strangulation by red-tape,
much tighter then than it now is when so many revolutionary
earthquakes have tussled it, quite tied up the meagre Pitt; and
he said, on hearing of this Burns and his sad hampered case,
"Literature will take care of itself."—"Yes, and of you too, if
you don't mind it!" answers one.

And so, like Apollo taken for a Neat-herd, and perhaps for none
of the best on the Admetus establishment, this new Norse Thor had
to put up with what was going; to gauge ale, and be thankful;
pouring his celestial sunlight through Scottish
Song-writing,—the narrowest chink ever offered to a Thunder-god
before!  And the meagre Pitt, and his Dundasses and red-tape
Phantasms (growing very ghastly now to think of), did not in the
least know or understand, the impious, god-forgetting mortals,
that Heroic Intellects, if Heaven were pleased to send such, were
the one salvation for the world and for them and all of us.  No;
they "had done very well without" such; did not see the use of
such; went along "very well" without such; well presided over by
a singular Heroic Intellect called George the Third:  and the
Thunder-god, as was rather fit of him, departed early, still in
the noon of life, somewhat weary of gauging ale!—O Peter, what a
scandalous torpid element of yellow London fog, favorable to owls
only and their mousing operations, has blotted out the stars of
Heaven for us these several generations back,—which, I rejoice
to see, is now visibly about to take itself away again, or
perhaps to be dispelled in a very tremendous manner!

For the sake of my Democratic friends, one other observation.  Is
not this Proposal the very essence of whatever truth there is in
"Democracy;" this, that the able man be chosen, in whatever rank
be is found?  That he be searched for as hidden treasure is; be
trained, supervised, set to the work which he alone is fit for. 
All Democracy lies in this; this, I think, is worth all the
ballot-boxes and suffrage-movements now going.  Not that the
noble soul, born poor, should be set to spout in Parliament, but
that he should be set to assist in governing men:  this is our
grand Democratic interest.  With this we can be saved; without
this, were there a Parliament spouting in every parish, and
Hansard Debates to stem the Thames, we perish,—die
constitutionally drowned, in mere oceans of palaver.

All reformers, constitutional persons, and men capable of
reflection, are invited to reflect on these things.  Let us brush
the cobwebs from our eyes; let us bid the inane traditions be
silent for a moment; and ask ourselves, like men dreadfully
intent on having it done, "By what method or methods can the
able men from every rank of life be gathered, as diamond-grains
from the general mass of sand:  the able men, not the
sham-able;—and set to do the work of governing, contriving,
administering and guiding for us!"  It is the question of
questions.  All that Democracy ever meant lies there:  the
attainment of a truer and truer Aristocracy, or Government again
by the Best.

Reformed Parliaments have lamentably failed to attain it for us;
and I believe will and must forever fail.  One true Reforming
Statesman, one noble worshipper and knower of human intellect,
with the quality of an experienced Politician too; he, backed by
such a Parliament as England, once recognizing him, would loyally
send, and at liberty to choose his working subalterns from all
the Englishmen alive; he surely might do something?  Something,
by one means or another, is becoming fearfully necessary to be
done!  He, I think, might accomplish more for us in ten years,
than the best conceivable Reformed Parliament, and utmost
extension of the suffrage, in twice or ten times ten.

What is extremely important too, you could try this method with
safety; extension of the suffrage you cannot so try.  With even
an approximately heroic Prime Minister, you could get nothing but
good from prescribing to him thus, to choose the fittest man,
under penalties; to choose, not the fittest of the four or the
three men that were in Parliament, but the fittest from the whole
Twenty-seven Millions that he could hear of,—at his peril. 
Nothing but good from this.  From extension of the suffrage, some
think, you might get quite other than good.  From extension of
the suffrage, till it became a universal counting of heads, one
sees not in the least what wisdom could be extracted.  A
Parliament of the Paris pattern, such as we see just now, might
be extracted:  and from that?  Solution into universal slush;
drownage of all interests divine and human, in a Noah's-Deluge of
Parliamentary eloquence,—such as we hope our sins, heavy and
manifold though they are, have not yet quite deserved!

Who, then, is to be the Reforming Statesman, and begin the noble
work for us?  He is the preliminary; one such; with him we may
prosecute the enterprise to length after length; without him we
cannot stir in it at all. A true king, temporary king, that
dare undertake the government of Britain, on condition of
beginning in sacred earnest to "reform" it, not at this or that
extremity, but at the heart and centre.  That will expurgate
Downing Street, and the practical Administration of our Affairs;
clear out its accumulated mountains of pendantries and cobwebs;
bid the Pedants and the Dullards depart, bid the Gifted and the
Seeing enter and inhabit.  So that henceforth there be Heavenly
light there, instead of Stygian dusk; that God's vivifying light
instead of Satan's deadening and killing dusk, may radiate
therefrom, and visit with healing all regions of this British
Empire,—which now writhes through every limb of it, in dire
agony as if of death!  The enterprise is great, the enterprise
may be called formidable and even awful; but there is none nobler
among the sublunary affairs of mankind just now.  Nay tacitly it
is the enterprise of every man who undertakes to be British
Premier in these times;—and I cannot esteem him an enviable
Premier who, because the engagement is tacit, flatters himself
that it does not exist!  "Show it me in the bond," he says.  Your
Lordship, it actually exists:  and I think you will see it yet,
in another kind of "bond" than that sheepskin one!

But truly, in any time, what a strange feeling, enough to alarm a
very big Lordship, this:  that he, of the size he is, has got to
the apex of English affairs!  Smallest wrens, we know, by
training and the aid of machinery, are capable of many things. 
For this world abounds in miraculous combinations, far
transcending anything they do at Drury Lane in the melodramatic
way.  A world which, as solid as it looks, is made all of aerial
and even of spiritual stuff; permeated all by incalculable
sleeping forces and electricities; and liable to go off, at any
time, into the hugest developments, upon a scratch thoughtfully
or thoughtlessly given on the right point:—Nay, for every one of
us, could not the sputter of a poor pistol-shot shrivel the
Immensities together like a burnt scroll, and make the Heavens
and the Earth pass away with a great noise?  Smallest wrens, and
canary-birds of some dexterity, can be trained to handle
lucifer-matches; and have, before now, fired off whole
powder-magazines and parks of artillery.  Perhaps without much
astonishment to the canary-bird. The canary-bird can hold only
its own quantity of astonishment; and may possibly enough retain
its presence of mind, were even Doomsday to come. It is on this
principle that I explain to myself the equanimity of some men and
Premiers whom we have known.

This and the other Premier seems to take it with perfect
coolness.  And yet, I say, what a strange feeling, to find
himself Chief Governor of England; girding on, upon his
moderately sized new soul, the old battle-harness of an Oliver
Cromwell, an Edward Longshanks, a William Conqueror.  "I, then,
am the Ablest of English attainable Men?  This English People,
which has spread itself over all lands and seas, and achieved
such works in the ages,—which has done America, India, the
Lancashire Cotton-trade, Bromwicham Iron-trade, Newton's
Principia, Shakspeare's Dramas, and the British
Constitution,—the apex of all its intelligences and mighty
instincts and dumb longings:  it is I?  William Conqueror's big
gifts, and Edward's and Elizabeth's; Oliver's lightning soul,
noble as Sinai and the thunders of the Lord:  these are mine, I
begin to perceive,—to a certain extent.  These heroisms have
I,—though rather shy of exhibiting them.  These; and something
withal of the huge beaver-faculty of our Arkwrights, Brindleys;
touches too of the phoenix-melodies and sunny heroisms of our
Shakspeares, of our Singers, Sages and inspired Thinkers all this
is in me, I will hope,—though rather shy of exhibiting it on
common occasions.  The Pattern Englishman, raised by solemn
acclamation upon the bucklers of the English People, and saluted
with universal 'God save THEE!'—has now the honor to announce
himself. After fifteen hundred years of constitutional study as
to methods of raising on the bucklers, which is the operation of
operations, the English People, surely pretty well skilled in it
by this time, has raised—the remarkable individual now
addressing you.  The best-combined sample of whatsoever divine
qualities are in this big People, the consummate flower of all
that they have done and been, the ultimate product of the
Destinies, and English man of men, arrived at last in the fulness
of time, is—who think you?  Ye worlds, the Ithuriel javelin by
which, with all these heroisms and accumulated energies old and
new, the English People means to smite and pierce, is this poor
tailor's-bodkin, hardly adequate to bore an eylet-hole, who now
has the honor to"—Good Heavens, if it were not that men
generally are very much of the canary-bird, here, are
reflections sufficient to annihilate any man, almost before

But to us also it ought to be a very strange reflection!  This,
then, is the length we have brought it to, with our
constitutioning, and ballot-boxing, and incessant talk and effort
in every kind for so many centuries back; this?  The golden
flower of our grand alchemical projection, which has set the
world in astonishment so long, and been the envy of surrounding
nations, is—what we here see.  To be governed by his Lordship,
and guided through the undiscovered paths of Time by this
respectable degree of human faculty.  With our utmost soul's
travail we could discover, by the sublimest methods eulogized by
all the world, no abler Englishman than this?

Really it should make us pause upon the said sublime methods, and
ask ourselves very seriously, whether, notwithstanding the eulogy
of all the world, they can be other than extremely astonishing
methods, that require revisal and reconsideration very much
indeed!  For the kind of "man" we get to govern us, all
conclusions whatsoever centre there, and likewise all manner of
issues flow infallibly therefrom.  "Ask well, who is your Chief
Governor," says one:  "for around him men like to him will
infallibly gather, and by degrees all the world will be made in
his image."  "He who is himself a noble man, has a chance to know
the nobleness of men; he who is not, has none.  And as for the
poor Public,—alas, is not the kind of 'man' you set upon it the
liveliest symbol of its and your veracity and victory and
blessedness, or unveracity and misery and cursedness; the general
summation and practical outcome of all else whatsoever in the
Public and in you?"

Time was when an incompetent Governor could not be permitted
among men.  He was, and had to be, by one method or the other,
clutched up from his place at the helm of affairs, and hurled
down into the hold, perhaps even overboard, if he could not
really steer.  And we call those ages barbarous, because they
shuddered to see a Phantasm at the helm of their affairs; an
eyeless Pilot with constitutional spectacles, steering by the ear
mainly? And we have changed all that; no-government is now the
best; and a tailor's foreman, who gives no trouble, is preferable
to any other for governing? My friends, such truly is the current
idea; but you dreadfully mistake yourselves, and the fact is not
such.  The fact, now beginning to disclose itself again in
distressed Needlewomen, famishing Connaughts, revolting Colonies,
and a general rapid advance towards Social Ruin, remains really
what it always was, and will so remain!

Men have very much forgotten it at present; and only here a man
and there a man begins again to bethink himself of it:  but all
men will gradually get reminded of it, perhaps terribly to their
cost; and the sooner they all lay it to heart again, I think it
will be the better.  For in spite of our oblivion of it, the
thing remains forever true; nor is there any Constitution or body
of Constitutions, were they clothed with never such
venerabilities and general acceptabilities, that avails to
deliver a Nation from the consequences of forgetting it.  Nature,
I assure you, does forevermore remember it; and a hundred British
Constitutions are but as a hundred cobwebs between her and the
penalty she levies for forgetting it. Tell me what kind of man
governs a People, you tell me, with much exactness, what the net
sum-total of social worth in that People has for some time been. 
Whether they have loved the phylacteries or the eternal
noblenesses; whether they have been struggling heavenward like
eagles, brothers of the radiances, or groping owl-like with
horn-eyed diligence, catching mice and balances at their
banker's,—poor devils, you will see it all in that one fact.  A
fact long prepared beforehand; which, if it is a peaceably
received one, must have been acquiesced in, judged to be "best,"
by the poor mousing owls, intent only to have a large balance at
their banker's and keep a whole skin.

Such sordid populations, which were long blind to Heaven's light,
are getting themselves burnt up rapidly, in these days, by
street-insurrection and Hell-fire;—as is indeed inevitable, my
esteemed M'Croudy!  Light, accept the blessed light, if you will
have it when Heaven vouchsafes.  You refuse?  You prefer Delolme
on the British Constitution, the Gospel according to M'Croudy,
and a good balance at your banker's?  Very well: the "light" is
more and more withdrawn; and for some time you have a general
dusk, very favorable for catching mice; and the opulent owlery is
very "happy," and well-off at its banker's;—and furthermore, by
due sequence, infallible as the foundations of the Universe and
Nature's oldest law, the light returns on you, condensed, this
time, into lightning, which there is not any skin whatever too
thick for taking in!

[April 15, 1850.] No. IV.  THE NEW DOWNING STREET.

In looking at this wreck of Governments in all European
countries, there is one consideration that suggests itself, sadly
elucidative of our modern epoch.  These Governments, we may be
well assured, have gone to anarchy for this one reason inclusive
of every other whatsoever, That they were not wise enough; that
the spiritual talent embarked in them, the virtue, heroism,
intellect, or by whatever other synonyms we designate it, was not
adequate,—probably had long been inadequate, and so in its dim
helplessness had suffered, or perhaps invited falsity to
introduce itself; had suffered injustices, and solecisms, and
contradictions of the Divine Fact, to accumulate in more than
tolerable measure; whereupon said Governments were overset, and
declared before all creatures to be too false.

This is a reflection sad but important to the modern Governments
now fallen anarchic, That they had not spiritual talent enough. 
And if this is so, then surely the question, How these
Governments came to sink for want of intellect? is a rather
interesting one.  Intellect, in some measure, is born into every
Century; and the Nineteenth flatters itself that it is rather
distinguished that way!  What had become of this celebrated
Nineteenth Century's intellect?  Surely some of it existed, and
was "developed" withal;—nay in the "undeveloped," unconscious,
or inarticulate state, it is not dead; but alive and at work, if
mutely not less beneficently, some think even more so!  And yet
Governments, it would appear, could by no means get enough of it;
almost none of it came their way:  what had become of it?  Truly
there must be something very questionable, either in the
intellect of this celebrated Century, or in the methods
Governments now have of supplying their wants from the same.  One
or other of two grand fundamental shortcomings, in regard to
intellect or human enlightenment, is very visible in this
enlightened Century of ours; for it has now become the most
anarchic of Centuries; that is to say, has fallen practically
into such Egyptian darkness that it cannot grope its way at all!

Nay I rather think both of these shortcomings, fatal deficits
both, are chargeable upon us; and it is the joint harvest of both
that we are now reaping with such havoc to our affairs.  I rather
guess, the intellect of the Nineteenth Century, so full of
miracle to Heavyside and others, is itself a mechanical or
beaver intellect rather than a high or eminently human one.  A
dim and mean though authentic kind of intellect, this; venerable
only in defect of better.  This kind will avail but little in the
higher enterprises of human intellect, especially in that highest
enterprise of guiding men Heavenward, which, after all, is the
one real "governing" of them on this God's-Earth:—an enterprise
not to be achieved by beaver intellect, but by other higher and
highest kinds.  This is deficit first.  And then secondly,
Governments have, really to a fatal and extraordinary extent,
neglected in late ages to supply themselves with what intellect
was going; having, as was too natural in the dim time, taken up a
notion that human intellect, or even beaver intellect, was not
necessary to them at all, but that a little of the vulpine sort
(if attainable), supported by routine, red-tape traditions, and
tolerable parliamentary eloquence on occasion, would very well
suffice.  A most false and impious notion; leading to fatal
lethargy on the part of Governments, while Nature and Fact were
preparing strange phenomena in contradiction to it.

These are two very fatal deficits;—the remedy of either of which
would be the remedy of both, could we but find it!  For indeed
they are vitally connected:  one of them is sure to produce the
other; and both once in action together, the advent of darkness,
certain enough to issue in anarchy by and by, goes on with
frightful acceleration.  If Governments neglect to invite what
noble intellect there is, then too surely all intellect, not
omnipotent to resist bad influences, will tend to become
beaverish ignoble intellect; and quitting high aims, which seem
shut up from it, will help itself forward in the way of making
money and such like; or will even sink to be sham intellect,
helping itself by methods which are not only beaverish but
vulpine, and so "ignoble" as not to have common honesty.  The
Government, taking no thought to choose intellect for itself,
will gradually find that there is less and less of a good quality
to choose from:  thus, as in all impieties it does, bad grows
worse at a frightful double rate of progression; and your
impiety is twice cursed.  If you are impious enough to tolerate
darkness, you will get ever more darkness to tolerate; and at
that inevitable stage of the account (inevitable in all such
accounts) when actual light or else destruction is the
alternative, you will call to the Heavens and the Earth for
light, and none will come!

Certainly this evil, for one, has not "wrought its own cure;"
but has wrought precisely the reverse, and has been hourly eating
away what possibilities of cure there were.  And so, I fear, in
spite of rumors to the contrary, it always is with evils, with
solecisms against Nature, and contradictions to the divine fact
of things:  not an evil of them has ever wrought its own cure in
my experience;—but has continually grown worse and wider and
uglier, till some good (generally a good man) not able to
endure the abomination longer, rose upon it and cured or else
extinguished it.  Evil Governments, divested of God's light
because they have loved darkness rather, are not likelier than
other evils to work their own cure out of that bad plight.

It is urgent upon all Governments to pause in this fatal course;
persisted in, the goal is fearfully evident; every hour's
persistence in it is making return more difficult.  Intellect
exists in all countries; and the function appointed it by
Heaven,—Governments had better not attempt to contradict that,
for they cannot!  Intellect has to govern in this world and
will do it, if not in alliance with so-called "Governments" of
red-tape and routine, then in divine hostility to such, and
sometimes alas in diabolic hostility to such; and in the end, as
sure as Heaven is higher than Downing Street, and the Laws of
Nature are tougher than red-tape, with entire victory over them
and entire ruin to them.  If there is one thinking man among the
Politicians of England, I consider these things extremely well
worth his attention just now.

Who are available to your Offices in Downing Street?  All the
gifted souls, of every rank, who are born to you in this
generation.  These are appointed, by the true eternal "divine
right" which will never become obsolete, to be your governors and
administrators; and precisely as you employ them, or neglect to
employ them, will your State be favored of Heaven or disfavored. 
This noble young soul, you can have him on either of two
conditions; and on one of them, since he is here in the world,
you must have him.  As your ally and coadjutor; or failing that,
as your natural enemy:  which shall it be?  I consider that every
Government convicts itself of infatuation and futility, or
absolves and justifies itself before God and man, according as it
answers this question.  With all sublunary entities, this is the
question of questions.  What talent is born to you? How do you
employ that?  The crop of spiritual talent that is born to you,
of human nobleness and intellect and heroic faculty, this is
infinitely more important than your crops of cotton or corn, or
wine or herrings or whale-oil, which the Newspapers record with
such anxiety every season. This is not quite counted by seasons,
therefore the Newspapers are silent: but by generations and
centuries, I assure you it becomes amazingly sensible; and
surpasses, as Heaven does Earth, all the corn and wine, and
whale-oil and California bullion, or any other crop you grow.  If
that crop cease, the other crops—please to take them also, if
you are anxious about them.  That once ceasing, we may shut shop;
for no other crop whatever will stay with us, nor is worth having
if it would.

To promote men of talent, to search and sift the whole society in
every class for men of talent, and joyfully promote them, has not
always been found impossible.  In many forms of polity they have
done it, and still do it, to a certain degree.  The degree to
which they succeed in doing it marks, as I have said, with very
great accuracy the degree of divine and human worth that is in
them, the degree of success or real ultimate victory they can
expect to have in this world.—Think, for example, of the old
Catholic Church, in its merely terrestrial relations to the
State; and see if your reflections, and contrasts with what now
is, are of an exulting character.  Progress of the species has
gone on as with seven-league boots, and in various directions has
shot ahead amazingly, with three cheers from all the world; but
in this direction, the most vital and indispensable, it has
lagged terribly, and has even moved backward, till now it is
quite gone out of sight in clouds of cotton-fuzz and
railway-scrip, and has fallen fairly over the horizon to

In those most benighted Feudal societies, full of mere tyrannous
steel Barons, and totally destitute of Tenpound Franchises and
Ballot-boxes, there did nevertheless authentically preach itself
everywhere this grandest of gospels, without which no other
gospel can avail us much, to all souls of men, "Awake ye noble
souls; here is a noble career for you!"  I say, everywhere a road
towards promotion, for human nobleness, lay wide open to all men. 
The pious soul,—which, if you reflect, will mean the ingenuous
and ingenious, the gifted, intelligent and nobly-aspiring
soul,—such a soul, in whatever rank of life it were born, had
one path inviting it; a generous career, whereon, by human worth
and valor, all earthly heights and Heaven itself were attainable. 
In the lowest stratum of social thraldom, nowhere was the noble
soul doomed quite to choke, and die ignobly.  The Church, poor
old benighted creature, had at least taken care of that:  the
noble aspiring soul, not doomed to choke ignobly in its penuries,
could at least run into the neighboring Convent, and there take
refuge.  Education awaited it there; strict training not only to
whatever useful knowledge could be had from writing and reading,
but to obedience, to pious reverence, self-restraint,
annihilation of self,—really to human nobleness in many most
essential respects.  No questions asked about your birth,
genealogy, quantity of money-capital or the like; the one
question was, "Is there some human nobleness in you, or is there
not?"  The poor neat-herd's son, if he were a Noble of Nature,
might rise to Priesthood, to High-priesthood, to the top of this
world,—and best of all, he had still high Heaven lying high
enough above him, to keep his head steady, on whatever height or
in whatever depth his way might lie!

A thrice-glorious arrangement, when I reflect on it; most
salutary to all high and low interests; a truly human
arrangement.  You made the born noble yours, welcoming him as
what he was, the Sent of Heaven:  you did not force him either to
die or become your enemy; idly neglecting or suppressing him as
what he was not, a thing of no worth.  You accepted the blessed
light; and in the shape of infernal lightning it needed not
to visit you.  How, like an immense mine-shaft through the dim
oppressed strata of society, this Institution of the Priesthood
ran; opening, from the lowest depths towards all heights and
towards Heaven itself, a free road of egress and emergence
towards virtuous nobleness, heroism and well-doing, for every
born man.  This we may call the living lungs and
blood-circulation of those old Feudalisms.  When I think of that
immeasurable all-pervading lungs; present in every corner of
human society, every meanest hut a cell of said lungs; inviting
whatsoever noble pious soul was born there to the path that was
noble for him; and leading thereby sometimes, if he were worthy,
to be the Papa of Christendom, and Commander of all Kings,—I
perceive how the old Christian society continued healthy, vital,
and was strong and heroic.  When I contrast this with the noble
aims now held out to noble souls born in remote huts, or beyond
the verge of Palace-Yard; and think of what your Lordship has
done in the way of making priests and papas,—I see a society
without lungs, fast wheezing itself to death, in horrid
convulsions; and deserving to die.

Over Europe generally in these years, I consider that the State
has died, has fairly coughed its last in street musketry, and
fallen down dead, incapable of any but galvanic life
henceforth,—owing to this same fatal want of lungs, which
includes all other wants for a State.  And furthermore that it
will never come alive again, till it contrive to get such
indispensable vital apparatus; the outlook toward which
consummation is very distant in most communities of Europe.  If
you let it come to death or suspended animation in States, the
case is very bad!  Vain to call in universal-suffrage parliaments
at that stage:  the universal-suffrage parliaments cannot give
you any breath of life, cannot find any wisdom for you; by long
impiety, you have let the supply of noble human wisdom die out;
and the wisdom that now courts your universal suffrages is
beggarly human attorneyism or sham-wisdom, which is not an
insight into the Laws of God's Universe, but into the laws of
hungry Egoism and the Devil's Chicane, and can in the end profit
no community or man.

No; the kind of heroes that come mounted on the shoulders of the
universal suffrage, and install themselves as Prime Ministers and
healing Statesmen by force of able editorship, do not bid very
fair to bring Nations back to the ways of God.  Eloquent
high-lacquered pinchbeck specimens these, expert in the arts of
Belial mainly;—fitter to be markers at some exceedingly
expensive billiard-table than sacred chief-priests of men!
"Greeks of the Lower Empire;" with a varnish of parliamentary
rhetoric; and, I suppose, this other great gift, toughness of
character,—proof that they have persevered in their Master's
service.  Poor wretches, their industry is mob-worship,
place-worship, parliamentary intrigue, and the multiplex art of
tongue-fence:  flung into that bad element, there they swim for
decades long, throttling and wrestling one another according to
their strength,—and the toughest or luckiest gets to land, and
becomes Premier.  A more entirely unbeautiful class of Premiers
was never raked out of the ooze, and set on high places, by any
ingenuity of man.  Dame Dubarry's petticoat was a better
seine-net for fishing out Premiers than that.  Let all Nations
whom necessity is driving towards that method, take warning in

Alas, there is, in a manner, but one Nation that can still take
warning! In England alone of European Countries the State yet
survives; and might help itself by better methods.  In England
heroic wisdom is not yet dead, and quite replaced by attorneyism: 
the honest beaver faculty yet abounds with us, the heroic manful
faculty shows itself also to the observant eye, not dead but
dangerously sleeping.  I said there were many kings in England: 
if these can yet be rallied into strenuous activity, and set to
govern England in Downing Street and elsewhere, which their
function always is,—then England can be saved from anarchies and
universal suffrages; and that Apotheosis of Attorneyism, blackest
of terrestrial curses, may be spared us.  If these cannot, the
other issue, in such forms as may be appropriate to us, is
inevitable.  What escape is there?  England must conform to the
eternal laws of life, or England too must die!

England with the largest mass of real living interests ever
intrusted to a Nation; and with a mass of extinct imaginary and
quite dead interests piled upon it to the very Heavens, and
encumbering it from shore to shore,—does reel and stagger
ominously in these years; urged by the Divine Silences and the
Eternal Laws to take practical hold of its living interests and
manage them:  and clutching blindly into its venerable extinct
and imaginary interests, as if that were still the way to do it. 
England must contrive to manage its living interests, and quit
its dead ones and their methods, or else depart from its place in
this world.  Surely England is called as no Nation ever was, to
summon out its kings, and set them to that high work!—Huge
inorganic England, nigh choked under the exuviae of a thousand
years, and blindly sprawling amid chartisms, ballot-boxes,
prevenient graces, and bishops' nightmares, must, as the
preliminary and commencement of organization, learn to breathe
again,—get "lungs" for herself again, as we defined it.  That is
imperative upon her:  she too will die, otherwise, and cough her
last upon the streets some day;—how can she continue living?  To
enfranchise whatsoever of Wisdom is born in England, and set that
to the sacred task of coercing and amending what of Folly is born
in England:  Heaven's blessing is purchasable by that; by not
that, only Heaven's curse is purchasable.  The reform
contemplated, my liberal friends perceive, is a truly radical
one; no ballot-box ever went so deep into the roots:  a radical,
most painful, slow and difficult, but most indispensable reform
of reforms!

How short and feeble an approximation to these high ulterior
results, the best Reform of Downing Street, presided over by the
fittest Statesman one can imagine to exist at present, would be,
is too apparent to me.  A long time yet till we get our living
interests put under due administration, till we get our dead
interests handsomely dismissed.  A long time yet till, by
extensive change of habit and ways of thinking and acting, we
get living "lungs" for ourselves!  Nevertheless, by Reform of
Downing Street, we do begin to breathe:  we do start in the way
towards that and all high results.  Nor is there visible to me
any other way.  Blessed enough were the way once entered on;
could we, in our evil days, but see the noble enterprise begun,
and fairly in progress!

What the "New Downing Street" can grow to, and will and must if
England is to have a Downing Street beyond a few years longer, it
is far from me, in my remote watch-tower, to say with precision. 
A Downing Street inhabited by the gifted of the intellects of
England; directing all its energies upon the real and living
interests of England, and silently but incessantly, in the
alembics of the place, burning up the extinct imaginary
interests of England, that we may see God's sky a little plainer
overhead, and have all of us a great accession of "heroic wisdom"
to dispose of: such a Downing Street—to draw the plan of it,
will require architects; many successive architects and builders
will be needed there.  Let not editors, and remote unprofessional
persons, interfere too much!—Change in the present edifice,
however, radical change, all men can discern to be inevitable;
and even, if there shall not worse swiftly follow, to be
imminent.  Outlines of the future edifice paint themselves
against the sky (to men that still have a sky, and are above the
miserable London fogs of the hour); noble elements of new State
Architecture, foreshadows of a new Downing Street for the New Era
that is come.  These with pious hope all men can see; and it is
good that all men, with whatever faculty they have, were
earnestly looking thitherward;—trying to get above the fogs,
that they might look thitherward!

Among practical men the idea prevails that Government can do
nothing but "keep the peace."  They say all higher tasks are
unsafe for it, impossible for it,—and in fine not necessary for
it or for us.  On this footing a very feeble Downing Street might
serve the turn!—I am well aware that Government, for a long time
past, has taken in hand no other public task, and has professed
to have no other, but that of keeping the peace.  This public
task, and the private one of ascertaining whether Dick or Jack
was to do it, have amply filled the capabilities of Government
for several generations now.  Hard tasks both, it would appear. 
In accomplishing the first, for example, have not heaven-born
Chancellors of the Exchequer had to shear us very bare; and to
leave an overplus of Debt, or of fleeces shorn before they are
grown, justly esteemed among the wonders of the world?  Not a
first-rate keeping of the peace, this, we begin to surmise! At
least it seems strange to us.

For we, and the overwhelming majority of all our acquaintances,
in this Parish and Nation and the adjacent Parishes and Nations,
are profoundly conscious to ourselves of being by nature
peaceable persons; following our necessary industries; without
wish, interest or faintest intention to cut the skin of any
mortal, to break feloniously into his industrial premises, or do
any injustice to him at all.  Because indeed, independent of
Government, there is a thing called conscience, and we dare not. 
So that it cannot but appear to us, "the peace," under dexterous
management, might be very much more easily kept, your Lordship;
nay, we almost think, if well let alone, it would in a measure
keep itself among such a set of persons! And how it happens
that when a poor hardworking creature of us has laboriously
earned sixpence, the Government comes in, and (as some compute)
says, "I will thank you for threepence of that, as per account,
for getting you peace to spend the other threepence," our
amazement begins to be considerable,—and I think results will
follow from it by and by.  Not the most dexterous keeping of the
peace, your Lordship, unless it be more difficult to do than

Our domestic peace, we cannot but perceive, as good as keeps
itself.  Here and there a select Equitable Person, appointed by
the Public for that end, clad in ermine, and backed by certain
companies of blue Police, is amply adequate, without immoderate
outlay in money or otherwise, to keep down the few exceptional
individuals of the scoundrel kind; who, we observe, by the nature
of them, are always weak and inconsiderable.  And as to foreign
peace, really all Europe, now especially with so many railroads,
public journals, printed books, penny-post, bills of exchange,
and continual intercourse and mutual dependence, is more and more
becoming (so to speak) one Parish; the Parishioners of which
being, as we ourselves are, in immense majority peaceable
hard-working people, could, if they were moderately well guided,
have almost no disposition to quarrel.  Their economic interests
are one, "To buy in the cheapest market, and sell in the
dearest;" their faith, any religious faith they have, is one,
"To annihilate shams—by all methods, street-barricades
included."  Why should they quarrel?  The Czar of Russia, in the
Eastern parts of the Parish, may have other notions; but he knows
too well he must keep them to himself. He, if he meddled with the
Western parts, and attempted anywhere to crush or disturb that
sacred Democratic Faith of theirs, is aware there would rise from
a hundred and fifty million human throats such a Hymn of the
Marseillaise as was never heard before; and England, France,
Germany, Poland, Hungary, and the Nine Kingdoms, hurling
themselves upon him in never-imagined fire of vengeance, would
swiftly reduce his Russia and him to a strange situation! 
Wherefore he forbears,—and being a person of some sense, will
long forbear.  In spite of editorial prophecy, the Czar of Russia
does not disturb our night's rest.  And with the other parts of
the Parish our dreams and our thoughts are of anything but of
fighting, or of the smallest need to fight.

For keeping of the peace, a thing highly desirable to us , we
strive to be grateful to your Lordship.  Intelligible to us,
also, your Lordship's reluctance to get out of the old routine. 
But we beg to say farther, that peace by itself has no feet to
stand upon, and would not suit us even if it had.  Keeping of the
peace is the function of a policeman, and but a small fraction of
that of any Government, King or Chief of men.  Are not all men
bound, and the Chief of men in the name of all, to do properly
this:  To see, so far as human effort under pain of eternal
reprobation can, God's Kingdom incessantly advancing here below,
and His will done on Earth as it is in Heaven?  On Sundays your
Lordship knows this well; forgot it not on week-days.  I assure
you it is forevermore a fact.  That is the immense divine and
never-ending task which is laid on every man, and with
unspeakable increase of emphasis on every Government or
Commonwealth of men.  Your Lordship, that is the basis upon which
peace and all else depends!  That basis once well lost, there is
no peace capable of being kept,—the only peace that could then
be kept is that of the churchyard. Your Lordship may depend on
it, whatever thing takes upon it the name of Sovereign or
Government in an English Nation such as this will have to get out
of that old routine; and set about keeping something very
different from the peace, in these days!

Truly it is high time that same beautiful notion of No-Government
should take itself away.  The world is daily rushing towards
wreck, while that lasts.  If your Government is to be a
Constituted Anarchy, what issue can it have?  Our one interest in
such Government is, that it would be kind enough to cease and go
its ways, before the inevitable arrive.  The question, Who is
to float atop no-whither upon the popular vertexes, and act that
sorry character, "carcass of the drowned ass upon the
mud-deluge"? is by no means an important one for almost
anybody,—hardly even for the drowned ass himself.  Such drowned
ass ought to ask himself, If the function is a sublime one?  For
him too, though he looks sublime to the vulgar and floats atop, a
private situation, down out of sight in his natural ooze, would
be a luckier one.

Crabbe, speaking of constitutional philosophies, faith in the
ballot-box and such like, has this indignant passage:  "If any
voice of deliverance or resuscitation reach us, in this our low
and all but lost estate, sunk almost beyond plummet's sounding in
the mud of Lethe, and oblivious of all noble objects, it will be
an intimation that we must put away all this abominable nonsense,
and understand, once more, that Constituted Anarchy, with however
many ballot-boxes, caucuses, and hustings beer-barrels, is a
continual offence to gods and men.  That to be governed by small
men is not only a misfortune, but it is a curse and a sin; the
effect, and alas the cause also, of all manner of curses and
sins.  That to profess subjection to phantasms, and pretend to
accept guidance from fractional parts of tailors, is what
Smelfungus in his rude dialect calls it, 'a damned lie,' and
nothing other.  A lie which, by long use and wont, we have grown
accustomed to, and do not the least feel to be a lie, having
spoken and done it continually everywhere for such a long time
past;—but has Nature grown to accept it as a veracity, think
you, my friend?  Have the Parcae fallen asleep, because you
wanted to make money in the City?  Nature at all moments knows
well that it is a lie; and that, like all lies, it is cursed and
damned from the beginning.

"Even so, ye indigent millionnaires, and miserable bankrupt
populations rolling in gold,—whose note-of-hand will go to any
length in Threadneedle Street, and to whom in Heaven's Bank the
stern answer is, 'No effects!' Bankrupt, I say; and Californias
and Eldorados will not save us.  And every time we speak such
lie, or do it or look it, as we have been incessantly doing, and
many of us with clear consciousness, for about a hundred and
fifty years now, Nature marks down the exact penalty against us. 
'Debtor to so much lying:  forfeiture of existing stock of worth
to such extent;—approach to general damnation by so much.'  Till
now, as we look round us over a convulsed anarchic Europe, and at
home over an anarchy not yet convulsed, but only heaving towards
convulsion, and to judge by the Mosaic sweating-establishments,
cannibal Connaughts and other symptoms, not far from convulsion
now, we seem to have pretty much exhausted our accumulated
stock of worth; and unless money's 'worth' and bullion at the
Bank will save us, to be rubbing very close upon that ulterior
bourn which I do not like to name again!

"On behalf of nearly twenty-seven millions of my
fellow-countrymen, sunk deep in Lethean sleep, with mere
owl-dreams of Political Economy and mice-catching, in this
pacific thrice-infernal slush-element; and also of certain select
thousands, and hundreds and units, awakened or beginning to
awaken from it, and with horror in their hearts perceiving where
they are, I beg to protest, and in the name of God to say, with
poor human ink, desirous much that I had divine thunder to say it
with, Awake, arise,—before you sink to death eternal!  Unnamable
destruction, and banishment to Houndsditch and Gehenna, lies in
store for all Nations that, in angry perversity or brutal torpor
and owlish blindness, neglect the eternal message of the gods,
and vote for the Worse while the Better is there.  Like owls they
say, 'Barabbas will do; any orthodox Hebrew of the Hebrews, and
peaceable believer in M'Croudy and the Faith of Leave-alone will
do:  the Right Honorable Minimus is well enough; he shall be our
Maximus, under him it will be handy to catch mice, and Owldom
shall continue a flourishing empire. '"

One thing is undeniable, and must be continually repeated till it
get to be understood again:  Of all constitutions, forms of
government, and political methods among men, the question to be
asked is even this, What kind of man do you set over us?  All
questions are answered in the answer to this. Another thing is
worth attending to:  No people or populace, with never such
ballot-boxes, can select such man for you; only the man of worth
can recognize worth in men;—to the commonplace man of no or of
little worth, you, unless you wish to be misled, need not apply
on such an occasion. Those poor Tenpound Franchisers of yours,
they are not even in earnest; the poor sniffing sniggering
Honorable Gentlemen they send to Parliament are as little so. 
Tenpound Franchisers full of mere beer and balderdash; Honorable
Gentlemen come to Parliament as to an Almack's series of evening
parties, or big cockmain (battle of all the cocks) very amusing
to witness and bet upon:  what can or could men in that
predicament ever do for you? Nay, if they were in life-and-death
earnest, what could it avail you in such a case?  I tell you, a
million blockheads looking authoritatively into one man of what
you call genius, or noble sense, will make nothing but nonsense
out of him and his qualities, and his virtues and defects, if
they look till the end of time.  He understands them, sees what
they are; but that they should understand him, and see with
rounded outline what his limits are,—this, which would mean that
they are bigger than he, is forever denied them.  Their one good
understanding of him is that they at last should loyally say, "We
do not quite understand thee; we perceive thee to be nobler and
wiser and bigger than we, and will loyally follow thee."

The question therefore arises, Whether, since reform of
parliament and such like have done so little in that respect, the
problem might not be with some hope attacked in the direct
manner?  Suppose all our Institutions, and Public Methods of
Procedure, to continue for the present as they are; and suppose
farther a Reform Premier, and the English Nation once awakening
under him to a due sense of the infinite importance, nay the
vital necessity there is of getting able and abler men:—might
not some heroic wisdom, and actual "ability" to do what must be
done, prove discoverable to said Premier; and so the
indispensable Heaven's-blessing descend to us from above,
since none has yet sprung from below?  From above we shall have
to try it; the other is exhausted,—a hopeless method that!  The
utmost passion of the house-inmates, ignorant of masonry and
architecture, cannot avail to cure the house of smoke:  not if
they vote and agitate forever, and bestir themselves to the
length even of street-barricades, will the smoke in the least
abate:  how can it?  Their passion exercised in such ways, till
Doomsday, will avail them nothing.  Let their passion rage
steadily against the existing major-domos to this effect, "Find
us men skilled in house-building, acquainted with the laws of
atmospheric suction, and capable to cure smoke;" something might
come of it!  In the lucky circumstance of having one man of real
intellect and courage to put at the head of the movement, much
would come of it;—a New Downing Street, fit for the British
Nation and its bitter necessities in this Now Era, would come;
and from that, in answer to continuous sacred fidelity and
valiant toil, all good whatsoever would gradually come.

Of the Continental nuisance called "Bureaucracy,"—if this should
alarm any reader,—I can see no risk or possibility in England. 
Democracy is hot enough here, fierce enough; it is perennial,
universal, clearly invincible among us henceforth.  No danger it
should let itself be flung in chains by sham secretaries of the
Pedant species, and accept their vile Age of Pinchbeck for its
Golden Age!  Democracy clamors, with its Newspapers, its
Parliaments, and all its twenty-seven million throats,
continually in this Nation forevermore.  I remark, too, that, the
unconscious purport of all its clamors is even this, "Find us men
skilled,"—make a New Downing Street, fit for the New Era!

Of the Foreign Office, in its reformed state, we have not much to
say. Abolition of imaginary work, and replacement of it by real,
is on all hands understood to be very urgent there.  Large
needless expenditures of money, immeasurable ditto of hypocrisy
and grimace; embassies, protocols, worlds of extinct traditions,
empty pedantries, foul cobwebs:—but we will by no means apply
the "live coal" of our witty friend; the Foreign Office will
repent, and not be driven to suicide!  A truer time will come for
the Continental Nations too:  Authorities based on truth, and on
the silent or spoken Worship of Human Nobleness, will again get
themselves established there; all Sham-Authorities, and
consequent Real-Anarchies based on universal suffrage and the
Gospel according to George Sand, being put away; and noble
action, heroic new-developments of human faculty and industry,
and blessed fruit as of Paradise getting itself conquered from
the waste battle-field of the chaotic elements, will once more,
there as here, begin to show themselves.

When the Continental Nations have once got to the bottom of
their Augean Stable, and begun to have real enterprises based
on the eternal facts again, our Foreign Office may again have
extensive concerns with them.  And at all times, and even now,
there will remain the question to be sincerely put and wisely
answered, What essential concern has the British Nation with
them and their enterprises?  Any concern at all, except that of
handsomely keeping apart from them?  If so, what are the methods
of best managing it?—At present, as was said, while Red Republic
but clashes with foul Bureaucracy; and Nations, sunk in blind
ignavia, demand a universal-suffrage Parliament to heal their
wretchedness; and wild Anarchy and Phallus-Worship struggle with
Sham-Kingship and extinct or galvanized Catholicism; and in the
Cave of the Winds all manner of rotten waifs and wrecks are
hurled against each other,—our English interest in the
controversy, however huge said controversy grow, is quite
trifling; we have only in a handsome manner to say to it: 
"Tumble and rage along, ye rotten waifs and wrecks; clash and
collide as seems fittest to you; and smite each other into
annihilation at your own good pleasure.  In that huge conflict,
dismal but unavoidable, we, thanks to our heroic ancestors,
having got so far ahead of you, have now no interest at all.  Our
decided notion is, the dead ought to bury their dead in such a
case:  and so we have the honor to be, with distinguished
consideration, your entirely devoted,—FLIMNAP, SEC. FOREIGN
DEPARTMENT."—I really think Flimnap, till truer times come,
ought to treat much of his work in this way:  cautious to give
offence to his neighbors; resolute not to concern himself in any
of their self-annihilating operations whatsoever.

Foreign wars are sometimes unavoidable.  We ourselves, in the
course of natural merchandising and laudable business, have now
and then got into ambiguous situations; into quarrels which
needed to be settled, and without fighting would not settle. 
Sugar Islands, Spice Islands, Indias, Canadas, these, by the real
decree of Heaven, were ours; and nobody would or could believe
it, till it was tried by cannon law, and so proved.  Such cases
happen.  In former times especially, owing very much to want of
intercourse and to the consequent mutual ignorance, there did
occur misunderstandings: and therefrom many foreign wars, some of
them by no means unnecessary. With China, or some distant
country, too unintelligent of us and too unintelligible to us,
there still sometimes rises necessary occasion for a war. 
Nevertheless wars—misunderstandings that get to the length of
arguing themselves out by sword and cannon—have, in these late
generations of improved intercourse, been palpably becoming less
and less necessary; have in a manner become superfluous, if we
had a little wisdom, and our Foreign Office on a good footing.

Of European wars I really hardly remember any, since Oliver
Cromwell's last Protestant or Liberation war with Popish
antichristian Spain some two hundred years ago, to which I for my
own part could have contributed my life with any heartiness, or
in fact would have subscribed money itself to any considerable
amount.  Dutch William, a man of some heroism, did indeed get
into troubles with Louis Fourteenth; and there rested still some
shadow of Protestant Interest, and question of National and
individual Independence, over those wide controversies; a little
money and human enthusiasm was still due to Dutch William. 
Illustrious Chatham also, not to speak of his Manilla ransoms and
the like, did one thing:  assisted Fritz of Prussia, a brave man
and king (almost the only sovereign King I have known since
Cromwell's time) like to be borne down by ignoble men and
sham-kings; for this let illustrious Chatham too have a little
money and human enthusiasm,—a little, by no means much.  But
what am I to say of heaven-born Pitt the son of Chatham?  England
sent forth her fleets and armies; her money into every country;
money as if the heaven-born Chancellor had got a Fortunatus'
purse; as if this Island had become a volcanic fountain of gold,
or new terrestrial sun capable of radiating mere guineas.  The
result of all which, what was it?  Elderly men can remember the
tar-barrels burnt for success and thrice-immortal victory in the
business; and yet what result had we?  The French Revolution, a
Fact decreed in the Eternal Councils, could not be put down:  the
result was, that heaven-born Pitt had actually been fighting (as
the old Hebrews would have said) against the Lord,—that the Laws
of Nature were stronger than Pitt.  Of whom therefore there
remains chiefly his unaccountable radiation of guineas, for the
gratitude of posterity.  Thank you for nothing,—for eight
hundred millions less than nothing!

Our War Offices, Admiralties, and other Fighting Establishments,
are forcing themselves on everybody's attention at this time. 
Bull grumbles audibly:  "The money you have cost me these
five-and-thirty years, during which you have stood elaborately
ready to fight at any moment, without at any moment being called
to fight, is surely an astonishing sum.  The National Debt itself
might have been half paid by that money, which has all gone in
pipe-clay and blank cartridges!  "Yes, Mr. Bull, the money can be
counted in hundreds of millions; which certainly is
something:—but the "strenuously organized idleness," and what
mischief that amounts to,—have you computed it?  A perpetual
solecism, and blasphemy (of its sort), set to march openly among
us, dressed in scarlet!  Bull, with a more and more sulky tone,
demands that such solecism be abated; that these Fighting
Establishments be as it were disbanded, and set to do some work
in the Creation, since fighting there is now none for them.  This
demand is irrefragably just, is growing urgent too; and yet this
demand cannot be complied with,—not yet while the State grounds
itself on unrealities, and Downing Street continues what it is.

The old Romans made their soldiers work during intervals of war. 
The New Downing Street too, we may predict, will have less and
less tolerance for idleness on the part of soldiers or others. 
Nay the New Downing Street, I foresee, when once it has got its
"Industrial Regiments" organized, will make these mainly do its
fighting, what fighting there is; and so save immense sums.  Or
indeed, all citizens of the Commonwealth, as is the right and the
interest of every free man in this world, will have themselves
trained to arms; each citizen ready to defend his country with
his own body and soul,—he is not worthy to have a country
otherwise.  In a State grounded on veracities, that would be the
rule.  Downing Street, if it cannot bethink itself of returning
to the veracities, will have to vanish altogether!

To fight with its neighbors never was, and is now less than ever,
the real trade of England.  For far other objects was the English
People created into this world; sent down from the Eternities, to
mark with its history certain spaces in the current of sublunary
Time!  Essential, too, that the English People should discover
what its real objects are; and resolutely follow these,
resolutely refusing to follow other than these.  The State will
have victory so far as it can do that; so far as it cannot, defeat.

In the New Downing Street, discerning what its real functions
are, and with sacred abhorrence putting away from it what its
functions are not, we can fancy changes enough in Foreign Office,
War Office, Colonial Office, Home Office!  Our War-soldiers
Industrial, first of all; doing nobler than Roman works, when
fighting is not wanted of them.  Seventy-fours not hanging idly
by their anchors in the Tagus, or off Sapienza (one of the
saddest sights under the sun), but busy, every Seventy-four of
them, carrying over streams of British Industrials to the
immeasurable Britain that lies beyond the sea in every zone of
the world.  A State grounding itself on the veracities, not on
the semblances and the injustices:  every citizen a soldier for
it.  Here would be new real Secretaryships and Ministries, not
for foreign war and diplomacy, but for domestic peace and
utility.  Minister of Works; Minister of Justice,—clearing his
Model Prisons of their scoundrelism; shipping his scoundrels
wholly abroad, under hard and just drill-sergeants (hundreds of
such stand wistfully ready for you, these thirty years, in the
Rag-and-Famish Club and elsewhere!) into fertile desert
countries; to make railways,—one big railway (says the Major
[Footnote:  Major Carmichael Smith; see his Pamphlets on this
subject]) quite across America; fit to employ all the able-bodied
Scoundrels and efficient Half-pay Officers in

Lastly,—or rather firstly, and as the preliminary of all, would
there not be a Minister of Education?  Minister charged to get
this English People taught a little, at his and our peril! 
Minister of Education; no longer dolefully embayed amid the wreck
of moribund "religions," but clear ahead of all that; steering,
free and piously fearless, towards his divine goal under the
eternal stars!—O heaven, and are these things forever
impossible, then?  Not a whit.  To-morrow morning they might all
begin to be, and go on through blessed centuries realizing
themselves, if it were not that—alas, if it were not that we are
most of us insincere persons, sham talking-machines and hollow
windy fools!  Which it is not "impossible" that we should cease
to be, I hope?

Constitutions for the Colonies are now on the anvil; the
discontented Colonies are all to be cured of their miseries by
Constitutions.  Whether that will cure their miseries, or only
operate as a Godfrey's-cordial to stop their whimpering, and in
the end worsen all their miseries, may be a sad doubt to us.  One
thing strikes a remote spectator in these Colonial questions: 
the singular placidity with which the British Statesman at this
time, backed by M'Croudy and the British moneyed classes, is
prepared to surrender whatsoever interest Britain, as foundress
of those establishments, might pretend to have in the decision. 
"If you want to go from us, go; we by no means want you to stay: 
you cost us money yearly, which is scarce; desperate quantities
of trouble too:  why not go, if you wish it?"  Such is the humor
of the British Statesman, at this time.—Men clear for rebellion,
"annexation" as they call it, walk openly abroad in our American
Colonies; found newspapers, hold platform palaverings.  From
Canada there comes duly by each mail a regular statistic of
Annexationism: increasing fast in this quarter, diminishing in
that;—Majesty's Chief Governor seeming to take it as a perfectly
open question; Majesty's Chief Governor in fact seldom appearing
on the scene at all, except to receive the impact of a few rotten
eggs on occasion, and then duck in again to his private
contemplations.  And yet one would think the Majesty's Chief
Governor ought to have a kind of interest in the thing?  Public
liberty is carried to a great length in some portions of her
Majesty's dominions.  But the question, "Are we to continue
subjects of her Majesty, or start rebelling against her?  So many
as are for rebelling, hold up your hands!" Here is a public
discussion of a very extraordinary nature to be going on under
the nose of a Governor of Canada.  How the Governor of Canada,
being a British piece of flesh and blood, and not a Canadian
lumber-log of mere pine and rosin, can stand it, is not very
conceivable at first view.  He does it, seemingly, with the
stoicism of a Zeno.  It is a constitutional sight like few.

And yet an instinct deeper than the Gospel of M'Croudy teaches
all men that Colonies are worth something to a country!  That if,
under the present Colonial Office, they are a vexation to us and
themselves, some other Colonial Office can and must be contrived
which shall render them a blessing; and that the remedy will be
to contrive such a Colonial Office or method of administration,
and by no means to cut the Colonies loose. Colonies are not to be
picked off the street every day; not a Colony of them but has
been bought dear, well purchased by the toil and blood of those
we have the honor to be sons of; and we cannot just afford to cut
them away because M'Croudy finds the present management of them
cost money. The present management will indeed require to be cut
away;—but as for the Colonies, we purpose through Heaven's
blessing to retain them a while yet! Shame on us for unworthy
sons of brave fathers if we do not.  Brave fathers, by valiant
blood and sweat, purchased for us, from the bounty of Heaven,
rich possessions in all zones; and we, wretched imbeciles, cannot
do the function of administering them?  And because the accounts
do not stand well in the ledger, our remedy is, not to take shame
to ourselves, and repent in sackcloth and ashes, and amend our
beggarly imbecilities and insincerities in that as in other
departments of our business, but to fling the business overboard,
and declare the business itself to be bad?  We are a hopeful set
of heirs to a big fortune!  It does not suit our Manton
gunneries, grouseshootings, mousings in the City; and like
spirited young gentlemen we will give it up, and let the
attorneys take it?

Is there no value, then, in human things, but what can write
itself down in the cash-ledger?  All men know, and even M'Croudy
in his inarticulate heart knows, that to men and Nations there
are invaluable values which cannot be sold for money at all. 
George Robins is great; but he is not onmipotent. George Robins
cannot quite sell Heaven and Earth by auction, excellent though
he be at the business.  Nay, if M'Croudy offered his own life for
sale in Threadneedle Street, would anybody buy it?  Not I, for
one. "Nobody bids:  pass on to the next lot," answers Robins. 
And yet to M'Croudy this unsalable lot is worth all the
Universe:—nay, I believe, to us also it is worth something; good
monitions, as to several things, do lie in this Professor of the
dismal science; and considerable sums even of money, not to speak
of other benefit, will yet come out of his life and him, for
which nobody bids!  Robins has his own field where he reigns
triumphant; but to that we will restrict him with iron limits;
and neither Colonies nor the lives of Professors, nor other such
invaluable objects shall come under his hammer.

Bad state of the ledger will demonstrate that your way of dealing
with your Colonies is absurd, and urgently in want of reform; but
to demonstrate that the Empire itself must be dismembered to
bring the ledger straight?  Oh never.  Something else than the
ledger must intervene to do that.  Why does not England repudiate
Ireland, and insist on the "Repeal," instead of prohibiting it
under death-penalties?  Ireland has never been a paying
speculation yet, nor is it like soon to be!  Why does not
Middlesex repudiate Surrey, and Chelsea Kensington, and each
county and each parish, and in the end each individual set up for
himself and his cash-box, repudiating the other and his, because
their mutual interests have got into an irritating course?  They
must change the course, seek till they discover a soothing one;
that is the remedy, when limbs of the same body come to irritate
one another.  Because the paltry tatter of a garment, reticulated
for you out of thrums and listings in Downing Street, ties foot
and hand together in an intolerable manner, will you relieve
yourself by cutting off the hand or the foot?  You will cut off
the paltry tatter of a pretended body-coat, I think, and fling
that to the nettles; and imperatively require one that fits your
size better.

Miserabler theory than that of money on the ledger being the
primary rule for Empires, or for any higher entity than City owls
and their mice-catching, cannot well be propounded.  And I would
by no means advise Felicissimus, ill at ease on his
high-trotting and now justly impatient Sleswicker, to let the
poor horse in its desperation go in that direction for a
momentary solace.  If by lumber-log Governors, by Godfrey's
cordial Constitutions or otherwise, be contrived to cut off the
Colonies or any real right the big British Empire has in her
Colonies, both he and the British Empire will bitterly repent it
one day!  The Sleswicker, relieved in ledger for a moment, will
find that it is wounded in heart and honor forever; and the
turning of its wild forehoofs upon Felicissimus as he lies in the
ditch combed off, is not a thing I like to think of!  Britain,
whether it be known to Felicissimus or not, has other tasks
appointed her in God's Universe than the making of money; and woe
will betide her if she forget those other withal.  Tasks,
colonial and domestic, which are of an eternally divine nature,
and compared with which all money, and all that is procurable by
money, are in strict arithmetic an imponderable quantity, have
been assigned this Nation; and they also at last are coming upon
her again, clamorous, abstruse, inevitable, much to her
bewilderment just now!

This poor Nation, painfully dark about said tasks and the way of
doing them, means to keep its Colonies nevertheless, as things
which somehow or other must have a value, were it better seen
into.  They are portions of the general Earth, where the children
of Britain now dwell; where the gods have so far sanctioned their
endeavor, as to say that they have a right to dwell.  England
will not readily admit that her own children are worth nothing
but to be flung out of doors!  England looking on her Colonies
can say: "Here are lands and seas, spice-lands, corn-lands,
timber-lands, overarched by zodiacs and stars, clasped by
many-sounding seas; wide spaces of the Maker's building, fit for
the cradle yet of mighty Nations and their Sciences and Heroisms. 
Fertile continents still inhabited by wild beasts are mine, into
which all the distressed populations of Europe might pour
themselves, and make at once an Old World and a New World human. 
By the eternal fiat of the gods, this must yet one day be; this,
by all the Divine Silences that rule this Universe, silent to
fools, eloquent and awful to the hearts of the wise, is
incessantly at this moment, and at all moments, commanded to
begin to be.  Unspeakable deliverance, and new destiny of
thousand-fold expanded manfulness for all men, dawns out of the
Future here.  To me has fallen the godlike task of initiating all
that:  of me and of my Colonies, the abstruse Future asks, Are
you wise enough for so sublime a destiny?  Are you too foolish?"

That you ask advice of whatever wisdom is to be had in the
Colony, and even take note of what unwisdom is in it, and
record that too as an existing fact, will certainly be very
advantageous.  But I suspect the kind of Parliament that will
suit a Colony is much of a secret just now!  Mr. Wakefield, a
democratic man in all fibres of him, and acquainted with
Colonial Socialities as few are, judges that the franchise for
your Colonial Parliament should be decidedly select, and advises
a high money-qualification; as there is in all Colonies a
fluctuating migratory mass, not destitute of money, but very much
so of loyalty, permanency, or civic availability; whom it is
extremely advantageous not to consult on what you are about
attempting for the Colony or Mother Country.  This I can well
believe;—and also that a "high money-qualification," in the
present sad state of human affairs, might be some help to you in
selecting; though whether even that would quite certainly bring
"wisdom," the one thing indispensable, is much a question with
me.  It might help, it might help! And if by any means you could
(which you cannot) exclude the Fourth Estate, and indicate
decisively that Wise Advice was the thing wanted here, and
Parliamentary Eloquence was not the thing wanted anywhere just
now,—there might really some light of experience and human
foresight, and a truly valuable benefit, be found for you in such

And there is one thing, too apt to be forgotten, which it much
behooves us to remember:  In the Colonies, as everywhere else in
this world, the vital point is not who decides, but what is
decided on!  That measures tending really to the best advantage
temporal and spiritual of the Colony be adopted, and strenuously
put in execution; there lies the grand interest of every good
citizen British and Colonial.  Such measures, whosoever have
originated and prescribed them, will gradually be sanctioned by
all men and gods; and clamors of every kind in reference to them
may safely to a great extent be neglected, as clamorous merely,
and sure to be transient. Colonial Governor, Colonial Parliament,
whoever or whatever does an injustice, or resolves on an
unwisdom, he is the pernicious object, however parliamentary he

I have known things done, in this or the other Colony, in the
most parliamentary way before now, which carried written on the
brow of them sad symptoms of eternal reprobation; not to be
mistaken, had you painted an inch thick.  In Montreal, for
example, at this moment, standing amid the ruins of the "Elgin
Marbles" (as they call the burnt walls of the Parliament House
there), what rational British soul but is forced to institute the
mournfulest constitutional reflection?  Some years ago the
Canadas, probably not without materials for discontent, and blown
upon by skilful artists, blazed up into crackling of musketry,
open flame of rebellion; a thing smacking of the gallows in all
countries that pretend to have any "Government."  Which flame of
rebellion, had there been no loyal population to fling themselves
upon it at peril of their life, might have ended we know not how. 
It ended speedily, in the good way; Canada got a
Godfrey's-cordial Constitution; and for the moment all was
varnished into some kind of feasibility again.  A most poor
feasibility; momentary, not lasting, nor like to be of profit to
Canada!  For this year, the Canadian most constitutional
Parliament, such a congeries of persons as one can imagine,
decides that the aforesaid flame of rebellion shall not only be
forgotten as per bargain, but that—the loyal population, who
flung their lives upon it and quenched it in the nick of time,
shall pay the rebels their damages!  Of this, I believe, on
sadly conclusive evidence, there is no doubt whatever.  Such,
when you wash off the constitutional pigments, is the
Death's-head that discloses itself.  I can only say, if all the
Parliaments in the world were to vote that such a thing was just,
I should feel painfully constrained to answer, at my peril, "No,
by the Eternal, never!"  And I would recommend any British
Governor who might come across that Business, there or here, to
overhaul it again.  What the meaning of a Governor, if he is not
to overhaul and control such things, may be, I cannot conjecture. 
A Canadian Lumber-log may as well be made Governor. He might
have some cast-metal hand or shoulder-crank (a thing easily
contrivable in Birmingham) for signing his name to Acts of the
Colonial Parliament; he would be a "native of the country" too,
with popularity on that score if on no other;—he is your man, if
you really want a Log Governor!—

I perceive therefore that, besides choosing Parliaments never so
well, the New Colonial Office will have another thing to do: 
Contrive to send out a new kind of Governors to the Colonies. 
This will be the mainspring of the business; without this the
business will not go at all.  An experienced, wise and valiant
British man, to represent the Imperial Interest; he, with such a
speaking or silent Collective Wisdom as he can gather round him
in the Colony, will evidently be the condition of all good
between the Mother Country and it.  If you can find such a man,
your point is gained; if you cannot, lost.  By him and his
Collective Wisdom all manner of true relations, mutual
interests and duties such as they do exist in fact between Mother
Country and Colony, can be gradually developed into practical
methods and results; and all manner of true and noble successes,
and veracities in the way of governing, be won.  Choose well your
Governor;—not from this or that poor section of the Aristocracy,
military, naval, or red-tapist; wherever there are born kings of
men, you had better seek them out, and breed them to this work. 
All sections of the British Population will be open to you:  and,
on the whole, you must succeed in finding a man fit.  And
having found him, I would farther recommend you to keep him some
time!  It would be a great improvement to end this present
nomadism of Colonial Governors.  Give your Governor due power;
and let him know withal that he is wedded to his enterprise, and
having once well learned it, shall continue with it; that it is
not a Canadian Lumber-log you want there, to tumble upon the
vertexes and sign its name by a Birmingham shoulder-crank, but a
Governor of Men; who, you mean, shall fairly gird himself to his
enterprise, and fail with it and conquer with it, and as it were
live and die with it:  he will have much to learn; and having
once learned it, will stay, and turn his knowledge to account.

From this kind of Governor, were you once in the way of finding
him with moderate certainty, from him and his Collective Wisdom,
all good whatsoever might be anticipated.  And surely, were the
Colonies once enfranchised from red-tape, and the poor Mother
Country once enfranchised from it; were our idle Seventy-fours
all busy carrying out streams of British Industrials, and those
Scoundrel Regiments all working, under divine drill-sergeants, at
the grand Atlantic and Pacific Junction Railway,—poor Britain
and her poor Colonies might find that they had true relations
to each other:  that the Imperial Mother and her
constitutionally obedient Daughters were not a red-tape fiction,
provoking bitter mockery as at present, but a blessed God's-Fact
destined to fill half the world with its fruits one day!

But undoubtedly our grand primary concern is the Home Office, and
its Irish Giant named of Despair.  When the Home Office begins
dealing with this Irish Giant, which it is vitally urgent for us
the Home Office should straightway do, it will find its duties
enlarged to a most unexpected extent, and, as it were, altered
from top to bottom.  A changed time now when the question is,
What to do with three millions of paupers (come upon you for
food, since you have no work for them) increasing at a frightful
rate per day?  Home Office, Parliament, King, Constitution will
find that they have now, if they will continue in this world
long, got a quite immense new question and continually recurring
set of questions.  That huge question of the Irish Giant with his
Scotch and English Giant-Progeny advancing open-mouthed upon us,
will, as I calculate, change from top to bottom not the Home
Office only but all manner of Offices and Institutions
whatsoever, and gradually the structure of Society itself.  I
perceive, it will make us a new Society, if we are to continue a
Society at all.  For the alternative is not, Stay where we are,
or change?  But Change, with new wise effort fit for the new
time, to true and wider nobler National Life; or Change, by
indolent folding of the arms, as we are now doing, in horrible
anarchies and convulsions to Dissolution, to National Death, or
Suspended-animation?  Suspended-animation itself is a frightful
possibility for Britain:  this Anarchy whither all Europe has
preceded us, where all Europe is now weltering, would suit us as
ill as any!  The question for the British Nation is:  Can we work
our course pacifically, on firm land, into the New Era; or must
it be, for us too, as for all the others, through black abysses
of Anarchy, hardly escaping, if we do with all our struggles
escape, the jaws of eternal Death?

For Pauperism, though it now absorbs its high figure of millions
annually, is by no means a question of money only, but of
infinitely higher and greater than all conceivable money.  If our
Chancellor of the Exchequer had a Fortunatus' purse, and
miraculous sacks of Indian meal that would stand scooping from
forever,—I say, even on these terms Pauperism could not be
endured; and it would vitally concern all British Citizens to
abate Pauperism, and never rest till they had ended it again. 
Pauperism is the general leakage through every joint of the ship
that it is rotten.  Were all men doing their duty, or even
seriously trying to do it, there would be no Pauper.  Were the
pretended Captains of the world at all in the habit of
commanding; were the pretended Teachers of the world at all in
the habit of teaching,—of admonishing said Captains among
others, and with sacred zeal apprising them to what place such
neglect was leading,—how could Pauperism exist?  Pauperism would
lie far over the horizon; we should be lamenting and denouncing
quite inferior sins of men, which were only tending afar off
towards Pauperism.  A true Captaincy; a true Teachership, either
making all men and Captains know and devoutly recognize the
eternal law of things, or else breaking its own heart, and going
about with sackcloth round its loins, in testimony of continual
sorrow and protest, and prophecy of God's vengeance upon such a
course of things:  either of these divine equipments would have
saved us; and it is because we have neither of them that we are
come to such a pass!

We may depend upon it, where there is a Pauper, there is a sin;
to make one Pauper there go many sins.  Pauperism is our Social
Sin grown manifest; developed from the state of a spiritual
ignobleness, a practical impropriety and base oblivion of duty,
to an affair of the ledger.  Here is not now an unheeded sin
against God; here is a concrete ugly bulk of Beggary demanding
that you should buy Indian meal for it.  Men of reflection have
long looked with a horror for which there was no response in the
idle public, upon Pauperism; but the quantity of meal it demands
has now awakened men of no reflection to consider it.  Pauperism
is the poisonous dripping from all the sins, and putrid
unveracities and god-forgetting greedinesses and devil-serving
cants and jesuitisms, that exist among us.  Not one idle Sham
lounging about Creation upon false pretences, upon means which he
has not earned, upon theories which he does not practise, but
yields his share of Pauperism somewhere or other.  His sham-work
oozes down; finds at last its issue as human Pauperism,—in a
human being that by those false pretences cannot live.  The Idle
Workhouse, now about to burst of overfilling, what is it but the
scandalous poison-tank of drainage from the universal Stygian
quagmire of our affairs? Workhouse Paupers; immortal sons of Adam
rotted into that scandalous condition, subter-slavish, demanding
that you would make slaves of them as an unattainable blessing! 
My friends, I perceive the quagmire must be drained, or we cannot
live.  And farther, I perceive, this of Pauperism is the corner
where we must begin,—the levels all pointing thitherward, the
possibilities lying all clearly there.  On that Problem we shall
find that innumerable things, that all things whatsoever hang. 
By courageous steadfast persistence in that, I can foresee
Society itself regenerated. In the course of long strenuous
centuries, I can see the State become what it is actually bound
to be, the keystone of a most real "Organization of Labor,"—and
on this Earth a world of some veracity, and some heroism, once
more worth living in!

The State in all European countries, and in England first of all,
as I hope, will discover that its functions are now, and have
long been, very wide of what the State in old pedant Downing
Streets has aimed at; that the State is, for the present, not a
reality but in great part a dramatic speciosity, expending its
strength in practices and objects fallen many of them quite
obsolete; that it must come a little nearer the true aim again,
or it cannot continue in this world.  The "Champion of England"
eased in iron or tin, and "able to mount his horse with little
assistance,"—this Champion and the thousand-fold cousinry of
Phantasms he has, nearly all dead now but still walking as
ghosts, must positively take himself away: who can endure him,
and his solemn trumpetings and obsolete gesticulations, in a Time
that is full of deadly realities, coming open-mouthed upon us?
At Drury Lane, let him play his part, him and his thousand-fold
cousinry; and welcome, so long as any public will pay a shilling
to see him:  but on the solid earth, under the extremely earnest
stars, we dare not palter with him, or accept his tomfooleries
any more.  Ridiculous they seem to some; horrible they seem to
me:  all lies, if one look whence they come and whither they go,
are horrible.

Alas, it will be found, I doubt, that in England more than in any
country, our Public Life and our Private, our State and our
Religion, and all that we do and speak (and the most even of what
we think), is a tissue of half-truths and whole-lies; of
hypocrisies, conventionalisms, worn-out traditionary rags and
cobwebs; such a life-garment of beggarly incredible and
uncredited falsities as no honest souls of Adam's Posterity were
ever enveloped in before.  And we walk about in it with a stately
gesture, as if it were some priestly stole or imperial mantle;
not the foulest beggar's gabardine that ever was.  "No Englishman
dare believe the truth," says one: "he stands, for these two
hundred years, enveloped in lies of every kind; from nadir to
zenith an ocean of traditionary cant surrounds him as his
life-element.  He really thinks the truth dangerous.  Poor
wretch, you see him everywhere endeavoring to temper the truth by
taking the falsity along with it, and welding them together; this
he calls 'safe course,' 'moderate course,' and other fine names;
there, balanced between God and the Devil, he thinks he can
serve two masters, and that things will go well with him."

In the cotton-spinning and similar departments our English friend
knows well that truth or God will have nothing to do with the
Devil or falsehood, but will ravel all the web to pieces if you
introduce the Devil or Non-veracity in any form into it:  in this
department, therefore, our English friend avoids falsehood.  But
in the religious, political, social, moral, and all other
spiritual departments he freely introduces falsehood, nothing
doubting; and has long done so, with a profuseness not elsewhere
met with in the world.  The unhappy creature, does he not know,
then, that every lie is accursed, and the parent of mere curses? 
That he must think the truth; much more speak it?  That, above
all things, by the oldest law of Heaven and Earth which no man
violates with impunity, he must not and shall not wag the tongue
of him except to utter his thought?  That there is not a grin or
beautiful acceptable grimace he can execute upon his poor
countenance, but is either an express veracity, the image of what
passes within him; or else is a bit of Devil-worship which he and
the rest of us will have to pay for yet?  Alas, the grins he
executes upon his poor mind (which is all tortured into St.
Vitus dances, and ghastly merry-andrewisms, by the practice) are
the most extraordinary this sun ever saw.

We have Puseyisms, black-and-white surplice controversies:—do
not, officially and otherwise, the select of the longest heads in
England sit with intense application and iron gravity, in open
forum, judging of "prevenient grace"?  Not a head of them
suspects that it can be improper so to sit, or of the nature of
treason against the Power who gave an Intellect to man;—that it
can be other than the duty of a good citizen to use his god-given
intellect in investigating prevenient grace, supervenient
moonshine, or the color of the Bishop's nightmare, if that
happened to turn up.  I consider them far ahead of Cicero's Roman
Augurs with their chicken-bowels: "Behold these divine
chicken-bowels, O Senate and Roman People; the midriff has
fallen eastward!" solemnly intimates one Augur. "By Proserpina
and the triple Hecate!" exclaims the other, "I say the midriff
has fallen to the west!" And they look at one another with the
seriousness of men prepared to die in their opinion,—the
authentic seriousness of men betting at Tattersall's, or about to
receive judgment in Chancery.  There is in the Englishman
something great, beyond all Roman greatness, in whatever line you
meet him; even as a Latter-Day Augur he seeks his fellow!—Poor
devil, I believe it is his intense love of peace, and hatred of
breeding discussions which lead no-whither, that has led him
into this sad practice of amalgamating true and false.

He has been at it these two hundred years; and has now carried it
to a terrible length.  He couldn't follow Oliver Cromwell in the
Puritan path heavenward, so steep was it, and beset with
thorns,—and becoming uncertain withal.  He much preferred, at
that juncture, to go heavenward with his Charles Second and merry
Nell Gwynns, and old decent formularies and good respectable
aristocratic company, for escort; sore he tried, by glorious
restorations, glorious revolutions and so forth, to perfect this
desirable amalgam; hoped always it might be possible;—is only
just now, if even now, beginning to give up the hope; and to see
with wide-eyed horror that it is not at Heaven he is arriving,
but at the Stygian marshes, with their thirty thousand
Needlewomen, cannibal Connaughts, rivers of lamentation,
continual wail of infants, and the yellow-burning gleam of a
Hell-on-Earth!—Bull, my friend, you must strip that astonishing
pontiff-stole, imperial mantle, or whatever you imagine it to be,
which I discern to be a garment of curses, and poisoned
Nessus'-shirt now at last about to take fire upon you; you must
strip that off your poor body, my friend; and, were it only in a
soul's suit of Utilitarian buff, and such belief as that a big
loaf is better than a small one, come forth into contact with
your world, under true professions again, and not false.  You
wretched man, you ought to weep for half a century on discovering
what lies you have believed, and what every lie leads to and
proceeds from.  O my friend, no honest fellow in this Planet was
ever so served by his cooks before; or has eaten such quantities
and qualities of dirt as you have been made to do, for these two
centuries past.  Arise, my horribly maltreated yet still beloved
Bull; steep yourself in running water for a long while, my
friend; and begin forthwith in every conceivable direction,
physical and spiritual, the long-expected Scavenger Age.

Many doctors have you had, my poor friend; but I perceive it is
the Water-Cure alone that will help you:  a complete course of
scavengerism is the thing you need!  A new and veritable
heart-divorce of England from the Babylonish woman, who is
Jesuitism and Unveracity, and dwells not at Rome now, but under
your own nose and everywhere; whom, and her foul worship of
Phantasms and Devils, poor England had once divorced, with a
divine heroism not forgotten yet, and well worth remembering now:
 a clearing-out of Church and State from the unblessed host of
Phantasms which have too long nestled thick there, under those
astonishing "Defenders of the Faith,"—Defenders of the
Hypocrisies, the spiritual Vampires and obscene Nightmares, under
which England lies in syncope;—this is what you need; and if you
cannot get it, you must die, my poor friend!

Like people, like priest.  Priest, King, Home Office, all manner
of establishments and offices among a people bear a striking
resemblance to the people itself.  It is because Bull has been
eating so much dirt that his Home Offices have got into such a
shockingly dirty condition,—the old pavements of them quite gone
out of sight and out of memory, and nothing but mountains of
long-accumulated dung in which the poor cattle are sprawling and
tumbling.  Had his own life been pure, had his own daily conduct
been grounding itself on the clear pavements or actual beliefs
and veracities, would he have let his Home Offices come to such a
pass?  Not in Downing Street only, but in all other thoroughfares
and arenas and spiritual or physical departments of his
existence, running water and Herculean scavengerism have become
indispensable, unless the poor man is to choke in his own
exuviae, and die the sorrowfulest death.

If the State could once get back to the real sight of its
essential function, and with religious resolution begin doing
that, and putting away its multifarious imaginary functions, and
indignantly casting out these as mere dung and insalubrious
horror and abomination (which they are), what a promise of reform
were there!  The British Home Office, surely this and its
kindred Offices exist, if they will think of it, that life and
work may continue possible, and may not become impossible, for
British men.  If honorable existence, or existence on human terms
at all, have become impossible for millions of British men, how
can the Home Office or any other Office long exist?  With thirty
thousand Needlewomen, a Connaught fallen into potential
cannibalism, and the Idle Workhouse everywhere bursting, and
declaring itself an inhumanity and stupid ruinous brutality not
much longer to be tolerated among rational human creatures, it is
time the State were bethinking itself.

So soon as the State attacks that tremendous cloaca of Pauperism,
which will choke the world if it be not attacked, the State will
find its real functions very different indeed from what it had
long supposed them!  The State is a reality, and not a
dramaturgy; it exists here to render existence possible,
existence desirable and noble, for the State's subjects.  The
State, as it gets into the track of its real work, will find that
same expand into whole continents of new unexpected, most blessed
activity; as its dramatic functions, declared superfluous, more
and more fall inert, and go rushing like huge torrents of extinct
exuviae, dung and rubbish, down to the Abyss forever.  O Heaven,
to see a State that knew a little why it was there, and on what
ground, in this Year 1850, it could pretend to exist, in so
extremely earnest a world as ours is growing!  The British State,
if it will be the crown and keystone of our British Social
Existence, must get to recognize, with a veracity very long
unknown to it, what the real objects and indispensable
necessities of our Social Existence are.  Good Heavens, it is not
prevenient grace, or the color of the Bishop's nightmare, that is
pinching us; it is the impossibility to get along any farther for
mountains of accumulated dung and falsity and horror; the total
closing-up of noble aims from every man,—of any aim at all, from
many men, except that of rotting out in Idle Workhouses an
existence below that of beasts!

Suppose the State to have fairly started its "Industrial
Regiments of the New Era," which alas, are yet only beginning to
be talked of,—what continents of new real work opened out, for
the Home and all other Public Offices among us!  Suppose the Home
Office looking out, as for life and salvation, for proper men to
command these "Regiments."  Suppose the announcement were
practically made to all British souls that the want of wants,
more indispensable than any jewel in the crown, was that of men
able to command men in ways of industrial and moral well-doing;
that the State would give its very life for such men; that such
men were the State; that the quantity of them to be found in
England lamentably small at present, was the exact measure of
England's worth,—what a new dawn of everlasting day for all
British souls!  Noble British soul, to whom the gods have given
faculty and heroism, what men call genius, here at last is a
career for thee.  It will not be needful now to swear fealty to
the Incredible, and traitorously cramp thyself into a cowardly
canting play-actor in God's Universe; or, solemnly forswearing
that, into a mutinous rebel and waste bandit in thy generation: 
here is an aim that is clear and credible, a course fit for a
man.  No need to become a tormenting and self-tormenting
mutineer, banded with rebellious souls, if thou wouldst live; no
need to rot in suicidal idleness; or take to platform preaching,
and writing in Radical Newspapers, to pull asunder the great
Falsity in which thou and all of us are choking.  The great
Falsity, behold it has become, in the very heart of it, a great
Truth of Truths; and invites thee and all brave men to cooperate
with it in transforming all the body and the joints into the
noble likeness of that heart!  Thrice-blessed change.  The State
aims, once more, with a true aim; and has loadstars in the
eternal Heaven.  Struggle faithfully for it; noble is this
struggle; thou too, according to thy faculty, shalt reap in due
time, if thou faint not.  Thou shalt have a wise command of men,
thou shalt be wisely commanded by men,—the summary of all
blessedness for a social creature here below.  The sore struggle,
never to be relaxed, and not forgiven to any son of man, is once
more a noble one; glory to the Highest, it is now once more a
true and noble one, wherein a man can afford to die!  Our path is
now again Heavenward.  Forward, with steady pace, with drawn
weapons, and unconquerable hearts, in the name of God that made
us all!—

Wise obedience and wise command, I foresee that the regimenting
of Pauper Banditti into Soldiers of Industry is but the beginning
of this blessed process, which will extend to the topmost heights
of our Society; and, in the course of generations, make us all
once more a Governed Commonwealth, and Civitas Dei, if it
please God!  Waste-land Industrials succeedingt, other kinds of
Industry, as cloth-making, shoe-making, plough-making,
spade-making, house-building,—in the end, all kinds of Industry
whatsoever, will be found capable of regimenting. 
Mill-operatives, all manner of free operatives, as yet
unregimented, nomadic under private masters, they, seeing such
example and its blessedness, will say: "Masters, you must
regiment us a little; make our interests with you permanent a
little, instead of temporary and nomadic; we will enlist with
the State otherwise!"  This will go on, on the one hand, while
the State-operation goes on, on the other:  thus will all Masters
of Workmen, private Captains of Industry, be forced to
incessantly co-operate with the State and its public Captains;
they regimenting in their way, the State in its way, with
ever-widening field; till their fields meet (so to speak) and
coalesce, and there be no unregimented worker, or such only as
are fit to remain unregimented, any more.—O my friends, I
clearly perceive this horrible cloaca of Pauperism, wearing
nearly bottomless now, is the point where we must begin.  Here,
in this plainly unendurable portion of the general quagmire, the
lowest point of all, and hateful even to M'Croudy, must our main
drain begin:  steadily prosecuting that, tearing that along with
Herculean labor and divine fidelity, we shall gradually drain the
entire Stygian swamp, and make it all once more a fruitful

For the State, I perceive, looking out with right sacred
earnestness for persons able to command, will straightway also
come upon the question: "What kind of schools and seminaries, and
teaching and also preaching establishments have I, for the
training of young souls to take command and to yield obedience? 
Wise command, wise obedience:  the capability of these two is the
net measure of culture, and human virtue, in every man; all good
lies in the possession of these two capabilities; all evil,
wretchedness and ill-success in the want of these.  He is a good
man that can command and obey; he that cannot is a bad.  If my
teachers and my preachers, with their seminaries, high schools
and cathedrals, do train men to these gifts, the thing they are
teaching and preaching must be true; if they do not, not

The State, once brought to its veracities by the thumb-screw in
this manner, what will it think of these same seminaries and
cathedrals!  I foresee that our Etons and Oxfords with their
nonsense-verses, college-logics, and broken crumbs of mere
speech,—which is not even English or Teutonic speech, but old
Grecian and Italian speech, dead and buried and much lying out of
our way these two thousand years last past,—will be found a most
astonishing seminary for the training of young English souls to
take command in human Industries, and act a valiant part under
the sun!  The State does not want vocables, but manly wisdoms and
virtues:  the State, does it want parliamentary orators, first of
all, and men capable of writing books?  What a rag-fair of
extinct monkeries, high-piled here in the very shrine of our
existence, fit to smite the generations with atrophy and
beggarly paralysis,—as we see it do!  The Minister of Education
will not want for work, I think, in the New Downing Street!

How it will go with Souls'-Overseers, and what the new kind
will be, we do not prophesy just now.  Clear it is, however, that
the last finish of the State's efforts, in this operation of
regimenting, will be to get the true Souls'-Overseers set over
men's souls, to regiment, as the consummate flower of all, and
constitute into some Sacred Corporation, bearing authority and
dignity in their generation, the Chosen of the Wise, of the
Spiritual and Devout-minded, the Reverent who deserve reverence,
who are as the Salt of the Earth;—that not till this is done can
the State consider its edifice to have reached the first story,
to be safe for a moment, to be other than an arch without the
keystones, and supported hitherto on mere wood.  How will this be
done?  Ask not; let the second or the third generation after this
begin to ask!—Alas, wise men do exist, born duly into the world
in every current generation; but the getting of them regimented
is the highest pitch of human Polity, and the feat of all feats
in political engineering:—impossible for us, in this poor age,
as the building of St. Paul's would be for Canadian Beavers,
acquainted only with the architecture of fish-dams, and with no
trowel but their tail.

Literature, the strange entity so called,—that indeed is here. 
If Literature continue to be the haven of expatriated
spiritualisms, and have its Johnsons, Goethes and true
Archbishops of the World, to show for itself as heretofore, there
may be hope in Literature.  If Literature dwindle, as is
probable, into mere merry-andrewism, windy twaddle, and feats of
spiritual legerdemain, analogous to rope-dancing, opera-dancing,
and street-fiddling with a hat carried round for halfpence, or
for guineas, there will be no hope in Literature.  What if our
next set of Souls'-Overseers were to be silent ones very
mainly?—Alas, alas, why gaze into the blessed continents and
delectable mountains of a Future based on truth, while as yet
we struggle far down, nigh suffocated in a slough of lies,
uncertain whether or how we shall be able to climb at all!

Who will begin the long steep journey with us; who of living
statesmen will snatch the standard, and say, like a hero on the
forlorn-hope for his country, Forward!  Or is there none; no one
that can and dare?  And our lot too, then, is Anarchy by
barricade or ballot-box, and Social Death?—We will not think so.

Whether Sir Robert Peel will undertake the Reform of Downing
Street for us, or any Ministry or Reform farther, is not known. 
He, they say, is getting old, does himself recoil from it, and
shudder at it; which is possible enough.  The clubs and coteries
appear to have settled that he surely will not; that this
melancholy wriggling seesaw of red-tape Trojans and Protectionist
Greeks must continue its course till—what can happen, my
friends, if this go on continuing?

And yet, perhaps, England has by no means so settled it.  Quit
the clubs and coteries, you do not hear two rational men speak
long together upon politics, without pointing their inquiries
towards this man.  A Minister that will attack the Augeas Stable
of Downing Street, and begin producing a real Management, no
longer an imaginary one, of our affairs; he, or else in few
years Chartist Parliament and the Deluge come:  that seems the
alternative.  As I read the omens, there was no man in my time
more authentically called to a post of difficulty, of danger, and
of honor than this man.  The enterprise is ready for him, if he
is ready for it.  He has but to lift his finger in this
enterprise, and whatsoever is wise and manful in England will
rally round him.  If the faculty and heart for it be in him, he,
strangely and almost tragically if we look upon his history, is
to have leave to try it; he now, at the eleventh hour, has the
opportunity for such a feat in reform as has not, in these late
generations, been attempted by all our reformers put

As for Protectionist jargon, who in these earnest days would
occupy many moments of his time with that?  "A Costermonger in
this street," says Crabbe, "finding lately that his rope of
onions, which he hoped would have brought a shilling, was to go
for only sevenpence henceforth, burst forth into lamentation,
execration and the most pathetic tears.  Throwing up the window,
I perceived the other costermongers preparing impatiently to pack
this one out of their company as a disgrace to it, if he would
not hold his peace and take the market-rate for his onions.  I
looked better at this Costermonger.  To my astonished
imagination, a star-and-garter dawned upon the dim figure of the
man; and I perceived that here was no Costermonger to be expelled
with ignominy, but a sublime goddess-born Ducal Individual, whom
I forbear to name at this moment!  What an omen;—nay to my
astonished imagination, there dawned still fataler omens. 
Surely, of all human trades ever heard of, the trade of Owning
Land in England ought not to bully us for drink—money just

"Hansard's Debates," continues Crabbe farther on, "present many
inconsistencies of speech; lamentable unveracities uttered in
Parliament, by one and indeed by all; in which sad list Sir
Robert Peel stands for his share among others.  Unveracities not
a few were spoken in Parliament:  in fact, to one with a sense of
what is called God's truth, it seemed all one unveracity, a
talking from the teeth outward, not as the convictions but as
the expediencies and inward astucities directed; and, in the
sense of God's truth, I have heard no true word uttered in
Parliament at all.  Most lamentable unveracities continually
spoken in Parliament, by almost every one that had to open his
mouth there.  But the largest veracity ever done in Parliament
in our time, as we all know, was of this man's doing;—and that,
you will find, is a very considerable item in the

Yes, and I believe England in her dumb way remembers that too. 
And "the Traitor Peel" can very well afford to let innumerable
Ducal Costermongers, parliamentary Adventurers, and lineal
representatives of the Impenitent Thief, say all their say about
him, and do all their do.  With a virtual England at his back,
and an actual eternal sky above him, there is not much in the
total net-amount of that.  When the master of the horse rides
abroad, many dogs in the village bark; but he pursues his journey
all the same.

[May 1, 1850.] No. V.  STUMP-ORATOR.

It lies deep in our habits, confirmed by all manner of
educational and other arrangements for several centuries back, to
consider human talent as best of all evincing itself by the
faculty of eloquent speech.  Our earliest schoolmasters teach us,
as the one gift of culture they have, the art of spelling and
pronouncing, the rules of correct speech; rhetorics, logics
follow, sublime mysteries of grammar, whereby we may not only
speak but write.  And onward to the last of our schoolmasters in
the highest university, it is still intrinsically grammar, under
various figures grammar.  To speak in various languages, on
various things, but on all of them to speak, and appropriately
deliver ourselves by tongue or pen,—this is the sublime goal
towards which all manner of beneficent preceptors and learned
professors, from the lowest hornbook upwards, are continually
urging and guiding us.  Preceptor or professor, looking over his
miraculous seedplot, seminary as he well calls it, or crop of
young human souls, watches with attentive view one organ of his
delightful little seedlings growing to be men,—the tongue.  He
hopes we shall all get to speak yet, if it please Heaven. "Some
of you shall be book-writers, eloquent review-writers, and
astonish mankind, my young friends:  others in white neckcloths
shall do sermons by Blair and Lindley Murray, nay by Jeremy
Taylor and judicious Hooker, and be priests to guide men
heavenward by skilfully brandished handkerchief and the torch of
rhetoric.  For others there is Parliament and the election
beer-barrel, and a course that leads men very high indeed; these
shall shake the senate-house, the Morning Newspapers, shake the
very spheres, and by dexterous wagging of the tongue disenthrall
mankind, and lead our afflicted country and us on the way we are
to go.  The way if not where noble deeds are done, yet where
noble words are spoken,—leading us if not to the real Home of
the Gods, at least to something which shall more or less
deceptively resemble it!"

So fares it with the son of Adam, in these bewildered epochs; so,
from the first opening of his eyes in this world, to his last
closing of them, and departure hence.  Speak, speak, oh
speak;—if thou have any faculty, speak it, or thou diest and it
is no faculty!  So in universities, and all manner of dames' and
other schools, of the very highest class as of the very lowest;
and Society at large, when we enter there, confirms with all its
brilliant review-articles, successful publications, intellectual
tea-circles, literary gazettes, parliamentary eloquences, the
grand lesson we had.  Other lesson in fact we have none, in these
times.  If there be a human talent, let it get into the tongue,
and make melody with that organ. The talent that can say nothing
for itself, what is it?  Nothing; or a thing that can do mere
drudgeries, and at best make money by railways.

All this is deep-rooted in our habits, in our social, educational
and other arrangements; and all this, when we look at it
impartially, is astonishing. Directly in the teeth of all this it
may be asserted that speaking is by no means the chief faculty a
human being can attain to; that his excellence therein is by no
means the best test of his general human excellence, or
availability in this world; nay that, unless we look well, it is
liable to become the very worst test ever devised for said
availability.  The matter extends very far, down to the very
roots of the world, whither the British reader cannot
conveniently follow me just now; but I will venture to assert the
three following things, and invite him to consider well what
truth he can gradually find in them:—

First, that excellent speech, even speech really excellent, is
not, and never was, the chief test of human faculty, or the
measure of a man's ability, for any true function whatsoever; on
the contrary, that excellent silence needed always to accompany
excellent speech, and was and is a much rarer and more difficult

Secondly, that really excellent speech—which I, being
possessed of the Hebrew Bible or Book, as well as of other books
in my own and foreign languages, and having occasionally heard a
wise man's word among the crowd of unwise, do almost unspeakably
esteem, as a human gift—is terribly apt to get confounded with
its counterfeit, sham-excellent speech!  And furthermore, that if
really excellent human speech is among the best of human things,
then sham-excellent ditto deserves to be ranked with the very
worst.  False speech,—capable of becoming, as some one has said,
the falsest and basest of all human things:—put the case, one
were listening to that as to the truest and noblest!  Which,
little as we are conscious of it, I take to be the sad lot of
many excellent souls among us just now. So many as admire
parliamentary eloquence, divine popular literature, and such
like, are dreadfully liable to it just now:  and whole nations
and generations seem as if getting themselves asphyxiaed,
constitutionally into their last sleep, by means of it just

For alas, much as we worship speech on all hands, here is a
third assertion which a man may venture to make, and invite
considerate men to reflect upon:  That in these times, and for
several generations back, there has been, strictly considered, no
really excellent speech at all, but sham-excellent merely; that
is to say, false or quasi-false speech getting itself admired and
worshipped, instead of detested and suppressed.  A truly
alarming predicament; and not the less so if we find it a quite
pleasant one for the time being, and welcome the advent of
asphyxia, as we would that of comfortable natural sleep;—as, in
so many senses, we are doing! Surly judges there have been who
did not much admire the "Bible of Modern Literature," or anything
you could distil from it, in contrast with the ancient Bibles;
and found that in the matter of speaking, our far best
excellence, where that could be obtained, was excellent silence,
which means endurance and exertion, and good work with lips
closed; and that our tolerablest speech was of the nature of
honest commonplace introduced where indispensable, which only set
up for being brief and true, and could not be mistaken for

These are hard sayings for many a British reader, unconscious of
any damage, nay joyfully conscious to himself of much profit,
from that side of his possessions.  Surely on this side, if on no
other, matters stood not ill with him?  The ingenuous arts had
softened his manners; the parliamentary eloquences supplied him
with a succedaneum for government, the popular literatures with
the finer sensibilities of the heart:  surely on this windward
side of things the British reader was not ill off?—Unhappy
British reader!

In fact, the spiritual detriment we unconsciously suffer, in
every province of our affairs, from this our prostrate respect to
power of speech is incalculable.  For indeed it is the natural
consummation of an epoch such as ours.  Given a general
insincerity of mind for several generations, you will certainly
find the Talker established in the place of honor; and the Doer,
hidden in the obscure crowd, with activity lamed, or working
sorrowfully forward on paths unworthy of him.  All men are
devoutly prostrate, worshipping the eloquent talker; and no man
knows what a scandalous idol he is.  Out of whom in the mildest
manner, like comfortable natural rest, comes mere asphyxia and
death everlasting!  Probably there is not in Nature a more
distracted phantasm than your commonplace eloquent speaker, as he
is found on platforms, in parliaments, on Kentucky stumps, at
tavern-dinners, in windy, empty, insincere times like ours.  The
"excellent Stump-orator," as our admiring Yankee friends define
him, he who in any occurrent set of circumstances can start
forth, mount upon his "stump," his rostrum, tribune, place in
parliament, or other ready elevation, and pour forth from him his
appropriate "excellent speech," his interpretation of the said
circumstances, in such manner as poor windy mortals round him
shall cry bravo to,—he is not an artist I can much admire, as
matters go!  Alas, he is in general merely the windiest mortal
of them all; and is admired for being so, into the bargain.  Not
a windy blockhead there who kept silent but is better off than
this excellent stump-orator.  Better off, for a great many
reasons; for this reason, were there no other:  the silent one is
not admired; the silent suspects, perhaps partly admits, that he
is a kind of blockhead, from which salutary self-knowledge the
excellent stump-orator is debarred.  A mouthpiece of Chaos to
poor benighted mortals that lend ear to him as to a voice from
Cosmos, this excellent stump-orator fills me with amazement.  Not
empty these musical wind-utterances of his; they are big with
prophecy; they announce, too audibly to me, that the end of many
things is drawing nigh!

Let the British reader consider it a little; he too is not a
little interested in it.  Nay he, and the European reader in
general, but he chiefly in these days, will require to consider
it a great deal,—and to take important steps in consequence by
and by, if I mistake not.  And in the mean while, sunk as he
himself is in that bad element, and like a jaundiced man
struggling to discriminate yellow colors,—he will have to
meditate long before he in any measure get the immense meanings
of the thing brought home to him; and discern, with
astonishment, alarm, and almost terror and despair, towards what
fatal issues, in our Collective Wisdom and elsewhere, this notion
of talent meaning eloquent speech, so obstinately entertained
this long while, has been leading us!  Whosoever shall look well
into origins and issues, will find this of eloquence and the part
it now plays in our affairs, to be one of the gravest phenomena;
and the excellent stump-orator of these days to be not only a
ridiculous but still more a highly tragical personage.  While the
many listen to him, the few are used to pass rapidly, with some
gust of scornful laughter, some growl of impatient malediction;
but he deserves from this latter class a much more serious

In the old Ages, when Universities and Schools were first
instituted, this function of the schoolmaster, to teach mere
speaking, was the natural one. In those healthy times, guided by
silent instincts and the monition of Nature, men had from of old
been used to teach themselves what it was essential to learn, by
the one sure method of learning anything, practical
apprenticeship to it.  This was the rule for all classes; as it
now is the rule, unluckily, for only one class.  The Working Man
as yet sought only to know his craft; and educated himself
sufficiently by ploughing and hammering, under the conditions
given, and in fit relation to the persons given:  a course of
education, then as now and ever, really opulent in manful culture
and instruction to him; teaching him many solid virtues, and
most indubitably useful knowledges; developing in him valuable
faculties not a few both to do and to endure,—among which the
faculty of elaborate grammatical utterance, seeing he had so
little of extraordinary to utter, or to learn from spoken or
written utterances, was not bargained for; the grammar of Nature,
which he learned from his mother, being still amply sufficient
for him.  This was, as it still is, the grand education of the
Working Man.

As for the Priest, though his trade was clearly of a reading and
speaking nature, he knew also in those veracious times that
grammar, if needful, was by no means the one thing needful, or
the chief thing.  By far the chief thing needful, and indeed the
one thing then as now, was, That there should be in him the
feeling and the practice of reverence to God and to men; that in
his life's core there should dwell, spoken or silent, a ray of
pious wisdom fit for illuminating dark human destinies;—not so
much that he should possess the art of speech, as that he should
have something to speak!  And for that latter requisite the
Priest also trained himself by apprenticeship, by actual attempt
to practise, by manifold long-continued trial, of a devout and
painful nature, such as his superiors prescribed to him.  This,
when once judged satisfactory, procured him ordination; and his
grammar-learning, in the good times of priesthood, was very much
of a parergon with him, as indeed in all times it is
intrinsically quite insignificant in comparison.

The young Noble again, for whom grammar schoolmasters were first
hired and high seminaries founded, he too without these, or above
and over these, had from immemorial time been used to learn his
business by apprenticeship. The young Noble, before the
schoolmaster as after him, went apprentice to some elder noble;
entered himself as page with some distinguished earl or duke; and
here, serving upwards from step to step, under wise monition,
learned his chivalries, his practice of arms and of courtesies,
his baronial duties and manners, and what it would beseem him to
do and to be in the world,—by practical attempt of his own, and
example of one whose life was a daily concrete pattern for him. 
To such a one, already filled with intellectual substance, and
possessing what we may call the practical gold-bullion of human
culture, it was an obvious improvement that he should be taught
to speak it out of him on occasion; that he should carry a
spiritual banknote producible on demand for what of
"gold-bullion" he had, not so negotiable otherwise, stored in
the cellars of his mind.  A man, with wisdom, insight and heroic
worth already acquired for him, naturally demanded of the
schoolmaster this one new faculty, the faculty of uttering in fit
words what he had.  A valuable superaddition of faculty:—and yet
we are to remember it was scarcely a new faculty; it was but the
tangible sign of what other faculties the man had in the silent
state:  and many a rugged inarticulate chief of men, I can
believe, was most enviably "educated," who had not a Book on his
premises; whose signature, a true sign-manual, was the stamp of
his iron hand duly inked and clapt upon the parchment; and whose
speech in Parliament, like the growl of lions, did indeed convey
his meaning, but would have torn Lindley Murray's nerves to
pieces!  To such a one the schoolmaster adjusted himself very
naturally in that manner; as a man wanted for teaching
grammatical utterance; the thing to utter being already there. 
The thing to utter, here was the grand point!  And perhaps this
is the reason why among earnest nations, as among the Romans for
example, the craft of the schoolmaster was held in little regard;
for indeed as mere teacher of grammar, of ciphering on the abacus
and such like, how did he differ much from the dancing-master or
fencing-master, or deserve much regard?—Such was the rule in the
ancient healthy times.

Can it be doubtful that this is still the rule of human
education; that the human creature needs first of all to be
educated not that he may speak, but that he may have something
weighty and valuable to say!  If speech is the bank-note of an
inward capital of culture, of insight and noble human worth, then
speech is precious, and the art of speech shall be honored. But
if there is no inward capital; if speech represent no real
culture of the mind, but an imaginary culture; no bullion, but
the fatal and now almost hopeless deficit of such?  Alas, alas,
said bank-note is then a forged one; passing freely current in
the market; but bringing damages to the receiver, to the payer,
and to all the world, which are in sad truth infallible, and of
amount incalculable.  Few think of it at present; but the truth
remains forever so.  In parliaments and other loud assemblages,
your eloquent talk, disunited from Nature and her facts, is taken
as wisdom and the correct image of said facts:  but Nature well
knows what it is, Nature will not have it as such, and will
reject your forged note one day, with huge costs.  The foolish
traders in the market pass freely, nothing doubting, and rejoice
in the dexterous execution of the piece:  and so it circulates
from hand to hand, and from class to class; gravitating ever
downwards towards the practical class; till at last it reaches
some poor working hand, who can pass it no farther, but must
take it to the bank to get bread with it, and there the answer
is, "Unhappy caitiff, this note is forged.  It does not mean
performance and reality, in parliaments and elsewhere, for thy
behoof; it means fallacious semblance of performance; and thou,
poor dupe, art thrown into the stocks on offering it here!"

Alas, alas, looking abroad over Irish difficulties, Mosaic
sweating-establishments, French barricades, and an anarchic
Europe, is it not as if all the populations of the world were
rising or had risen into incendiary madness;—unable longer to
endure such an avalanche of forgeries, and of penalties in
consequence, as had accumulated upon them? The speaker is
"excellent;" the notes he does are beautiful?  Beautifully fit
for the market, yes; he is an excellent artist in his
business;—and the more excellent he is, the more is my desire to
lay him by the heels, and fling him into the treadmill, that I
might save the poor sweating tailors, French Sansculottes, and
Irish Sanspotatoes from bearing the smart!

For the smart must be borne; some one must bear it, as sure as
God lives. Every word of man is either a note or a forged
note:—have these eternal skies forgotten to be in earnest, think
you, because men go grinning like enchanted apes?  Foolish souls,
this now as of old is the unalterable law of your existence.  If
you know the truth and do it, the Universe itself seconds you,
bears you on to sure victory everywhere:—and, observe, to sure
defeat everywhere if you do not do the truth.  And alas, if you
know only the eloquent fallacious semblance of the truth, what
chance is there of your ever doing it?  You will do something
very different from it, I think!—He who well considers, will
find this same "art of speech," as we moderns have it, to be a
truly astonishing product of the Ages; and the longer he
considers it, the more astonishing and alarming.  I reckon it the
saddest of all the curses that now lie heavy on us.  With horror
and amazement, one perceives that this much-celebrated "art," so
diligently practised in all corners of the world just now, is the
chief destroyer of whatever good is born to us (softly, swiftly
shutting up all nascent good, as if under exhausted glass
receivers, there to choke and die); and the grand parent
manufactory of evil to us,—as it were, the last finishing and
varnishing workshop of all the Devil's ware that circulates under
the sun. No Devil's sham is fit for the market till it have been
polished and enamelled here; this is the general assaying-house
for such, where the artists examine and answer, "Fit for the
market; not fit!"  Words will not express what mischiefs the
misuse of words has done, and is doing, in these heavy-laden

Do you want a man not to practise what he believes, then
encourage him to keep often speaking it in words.  Every time he
speaks it, the tendency to do it will grow less.  His empty
speech of what he believes, will be a weariness and an
affliction to the wise man.  But do you wish his empty speech of
what he believes, to become farther an insincere speech of what
he does not believe?  Celebrate to him his gift of speech; assure
him that he shall rise in Parliament by means of it, and achieve
great things without any performance; that eloquent speech,
whether performed or not, is admirable.  My friends, eloquent
unperformed speech, in Parliament or elsewhere, is horrible!  The
eloquent man that delivers, in Parliament or elsewhere, a
beautiful speech, and will perform nothing of it, but leaves it
as if already performed,—what can you make of that man?  He has
enrolled himself among the Ignes Fatui and Children of the
Wind; means to serve, as beautifully illuminated Chinese Lantern,
in that corps henceforth.  I think, the serviceable thing you
could do to that man, if permissible, would be a severe one:  To
clip off a bit of his eloquent tongue by way of penance and
warning; another bit, if he again spoke without performing; and
so again, till you had clipt the whole tongue away from him,—and
were delivered, you and he, from at least one miserable mockery: 
"There, eloquent friend, see now in silence if there be any
redeeming deed in thee; of blasphemous wind-eloquence, at least,
we shall have no more!"  How many pretty men have gone this road,
escorted by the beautifulest marching music from all the "public
organs;" and have found at last that it ended—where?  It is the
broad road, that leads direct to Limbo and the Kingdom of the
Inane.  Gifted men, and once valiant nations, and as it were the
whole world with one accord, are marching thither, in melodious
triumph, all the drums and hautboys giving out their cheerfulest
Ca-ira.  It is the universal humor of the world just now.  My
friends, I am very sure you will arrive, unless you halt!—

Considered as the last finish of education, or of human culture,
worth and acquirement, the art of speech is noble, and even
divine; it is like the kindling of a Heaven's light to show us
what a glorious world exists, and has perfected itself, in a
man.  But if no world exist in the man; if nothing but continents
of empty vapor, of greedy self-conceits, common-place hearsays,
and indistinct loomings of a sordid chaos exist in him, what
will be the use of "light" to show us that?  Better a thousand
times that such a man do not speak; but keep his empty vapor and
his sordid chaos to himself, hidden to the utmost from all
beholders.  To look on that, can be good for no human beholder;
to look away from that, must be good.  And if, by delusive
semblances of rhetoric, logic, first-class degrees, and the aid
of elocution-masters and parliamentary reporters, the poor
proprietor of said chaos should be led to persuade himself, and
get others persuaded,—which it is the nature of his sad task to
do, and which, in certain eras of the world, it is fatally
possible to do,—that this is a cosmos which he owns; that he,
being so perfect in tongue-exercise and full of college-honors,
is an "educated" man, and pearl of great price in his generation;
that round him, and his parliament emulously listening to him, as
round some divine apple of gold set in a picture of silver, all
the world should gather to adore:  what is likely to become of
him and the gathering world?  An apple of Sodom set in the
clusters of Gomorrah:  that, little as he suspects it, is the
definition of the poor chaotically eloquent man, with his emulous
parliament and miserable adoring world!—Considered as the whole
of education, or human culture, which it now is in our modern
manners; all apprenticeship except to mere handicraft having
fallen obsolete, and the "educated man" being with us
emphatically and exclusively the man that can speak well with
tongue or pen, and astonish men by the quantities of speech he
has heard ("tremendous reader," "walking encyclopaedia," and
such like),—the Art of Speech is probably definable in that case
as the short summary of all the Black Arts put together.

But the Schoolmaster is secondary, an effect rather than a cause
in this matter:  what the Schoolmaster with his universities
shall manage or attempt to teach will be ruled by what the
Society with its practical industries is continually demanding
that men should learn.  We spoke once of vital lungs for Society: 
and in fact this question always rises as the alpha and omega of
social questions, What methods the Society has of summoning aloft
into the high places, for its help and governance, the wisdom
that is born to it in all places, and of course is born chiefly
in the more populous or lower places?  For this, if you will
consider it, expresses the ultimate available result, and net
sum-total, of all the efforts, struggles and confused activities
that go on in the Society; and determines whether they are true
and wise efforts, certain to be victorious, or false and foolish,
certain to be futile, and to fall captive and caitiff.  How do
men rise in your Society?  In all Societies, Turkey included, and
I suppose Dahomey included, men do rise; but the question of
questions always is, What kind of men?  Men of noble gifts, or
men of ignoble?  It is the one or the other; and a life-and-death
inquiry which! For in all places and all times, little as you may
heed it, Nature most silently but most inexorably demands that it
be the one and not the other. And you need not try to palm an
ignoble sham upon her, and call it noble; for she is a judge. 
And her penalties, as quiet as she looks, are terrible: 
amounting to world-earthquakes, to anarchy and death
everlasting; and admit of no appeal!—

Surely England still flatters herself that she has lungs; that
she can still breathe a little?  Or is it that the poor creature,
driven into mere blind industrialisms; and as it were, gone
pearl-diving this long while many fathoms deep, and tearing up
the oyster-beds so as never creature did before, hardly
knows,—so busy in the belly of the oyster chaos, where is no
thought of "breathing,"—whether she has lungs or not?  Nations
of a robust habit, and fine deep chest, can sometimes take in a
deal of breath before diving; and live long, in the muddy
deeps, without new breath: but they too come to need it at last,
and will die if they cannot get it!

To the gifted soul that is born in England, what is the career,
then, that will carry him, amid noble Olympic dust, up to the
immortal gods?  For his country's sake, that it may not lose the
service he was born capable of doing it; for his own sake, that
his life be not choked and perverted, and his light from Heaven
be not changed into lightning from the Other Place,—it is
essential that there be such a career.  The country that can
offer no career in that case, is a doomed country; nay it is
already a dead country:  it has secured the ban of Heaven upon
it; will not have Heaven's light, will have the Other Place's
lightning; and may consider itself as appointed to expire, in
frightful coughings of street musketry or otherwise, on a set
day, and to be in the eye of law dead.  In no country is there
not some career, inviting to it either the noble Hero, or the
tough Greek of the Lower Empire:  which of the two do your
careers invite? There is no question more important.  The kind of
careers you offer in countries still living, determines with
perfect exactness the kind of the life that is in them,—whether
it is natural blessed life, or galvanic accursed ditto, and
likewise what degree of strength is in the same.

Our English careers to born genius are twofold.  There is the
silent or unlearned career of the Industrialisms, which are very
many among us; and there is the articulate or learned career of
the three professions, Medicine, Law (under which we may include
Politics), and the Church.  Your born genius, therefore, will
first have to ask himself, Whether he can hold his tongue or
cannot?  True, all human talent, especially all deep talent, is a
talent to do, and is intrinsically of silent nature; inaudible,
like the Sphere Harmonies and Eternal Melodies, of which it is an
incarnated fraction.  All real talent, I fancy, would much
rather, if it listened only to Nature's monitions, express itself
in rhythmic facts than in melodious words, which latter at best,
where they are good for anything, are only a feeble echo and
shadow or foreshadow of the former.  But talents differ much in
this of power to be silent; and circumstances, of position,
opportunity and such like, modify them still more;—and Nature's
monitions, oftenest quite drowned in foreign hearsays, are by no
means the only ones listened to in deciding!—The Industrialisms
are all of silent nature; and some of them are heroic and
eminently human; others, again, we may call unheroic, not
eminently human:  beaverish rather, but still honest; some are
even vulpine, altogether inhuman and dishonest.  Your born
genius must make his choice.

If a soul is born with divine intelligence, and has its lips
touched with hallowed fire, in consecration for high enterprises
under the sun, this young soul will find the question asked of
him by England every hour and moment:  "Canst thou turn thy human
intelligence into the beaver sort, and make honest contrivance,
and accumulation of capital by it?  If so, do it; and avoid the
vulpine kind, which I don't recommend.  Honest triumphs in
engineering and machinery await thee; scrip awaits thee,
commercial successes, kingship in the counting-room, on the
stock-exchange;—thou shalt be the envy of surrounding flunkies,
and collect into a heap more gold than a dray-horse can
draw."—"Gold, so much gold?" answers the ingenuous soul, with
visions of the envy of surrounding flunkies dawning on him; and
in very many cases decides that he will contract himself into
beaverism, and with such a horse-draught of gold, emblem of a
never-imagined success in beaver heroism, strike the surrounding
flunkies yellow.

This is our common course; this is in some sort open to every
creature, what we call the beaver career; perhaps more open in
England, taking in America too, than it ever was in any country
before.  And, truly, good consequences follow out of it:  who can
be blind to them?  Half of a most excellent and opulent result is
realized to us in this way; baleful only when it sets up (as too
often now) for being the whole result.  A half-result which will
be blessed and heavenly so soon as the other half is had,—namely
wisdom to guide the first half.  Let us honor all honest human
power of contrivance in its degree.  The beaver intellect, so
long as it steadfastly refuses to be vulpine, and answers the
tempter pointing out short routes to it with an honest "No, no,"
is truly respectable to me; and many a highflying speaker and
singer whom I have known, has appeared to me much less of a
developed man than certain of my mill-owning, agricultural,
commercial, mechanical, or otherwise industrial friends, who have
held their peace all their days and gone on in the silent state. 
If a man can keep his intellect silent, and make it even into
honest beaverism, several very manful moralities, in danger of
wreck on other courses, may comport well with that, and give it a
genuine and partly human character; and I will tell him, in these
days he may do far worse with himself and his intellect than
change it into beaverism, and make honest money with it.  If
indeed he could become a heroic industrial, and have a life
"eminently human"!  But that is not easy at present.  Probably
some ninety-nine out of every hundred of our gifted souls, who
have to seek a career for themselves, go this beaver road. 
Whereby the first half-result, national wealth namely, is
plentifully realized; and only the second half, or wisdom to
guide it, is dreadfully behindhand.

But now if the gifted soul be not of taciturn nature, be of
vivid, impatient, rapidly productive nature, and aspire much to
give itself sensible utterance,—I find that, in this case, the
field it has in England is narrow to an extreme; is perhaps
narrower than ever offered itself, for the like object, in this
world before.  Parliament, Church, Law:  let the young vivid soul
turn whither he will for a career, he finds among variable
conditions one condition invariable, and extremely surprising,
That the proof of excellence is to be done by the tongue.  For
heroism that will not speak, but only act, there is no account
kept:—The English Nation does not need that silent kind, then,
but only the talking kind?  Most astonishing. Of all the organs a
man has, there is none held in account, it would appear, but the
tongue he uses for talking.  Premiership, woolsack, mitre, and
quasi-crown:  all is attainable if you can talk with due ability.
Everywhere your proof-shot is to be a well-fired volley of talk. 
Contrive to talk well, you will get to Heaven, the modern Heaven
of the English.  Do not talk well, only work well, and heroically
hold your peace, you have no chance whatever to get thither; with
your utmost industry you may get to Threadneedle Street, and
accumulate more gold than a dray-horse can draw. Is not this a
very wonderful arrangement?

I have heard of races done by mortals tied in sacks; of human
competitors, high aspirants, climbing heavenward on the soaped
pole; seizing the soaped pig; and clutching with cleft fist, at
full gallop, the fated goose tied aloft by its foot;—which feats
do prove agility, toughness and other useful faculties in man: 
but this of dexterous talk is probably as strange a competition
as any.  And the question rises, Whether certain of these other
feats, or perhaps an alternation of all of them, relieved now and
then by a bout of grinning through the collar, might not be
profitably substituted for the solitary proof-feat of talk, now
getting rather monotonous by its long continuance?  Alas, Mr.
Bull, I do find it is all little other than a proof of toughness,
which is a quality I respect, with more or less expenditure of
falsity and astucity superadded, which I entirely condemn. 
Toughness plus astucity:—perhaps a simple wooden mast set up
in Palace-Yard, well soaped and duly presided over, might be the
honester method?  Such a method as this by trial of talk, for
filling your chief offices in Church and State, was perhaps never
heard of in the solar system before.  You are quite used to it,
my poor friend; and nearly dead by the consequences of it:  but
in the other Planets, as in other epochs of your own Planet it
would have done had you proposed it, the thing awakens
incredulous amazement, world-wide Olympic laughter, which ends in
tempestuous hootings, in tears and horror!  My friend, if you
can, as heretofore this good while, find nobody to take care of
your affairs but the expertest talker, it is all over with your
affairs and you.  Talk never yet could guide any man's or
nation's affairs; nor will it yours, except towards the Limbus
Patrum, where all talk, except a very select kind of it, lodges
at last.

Medicine, guarded too by preliminary impediments, and frightful
medusa-heads of quackery, which deter many generous souls from
entering, is of the half-articulate professions, and does not
much invite the ardent kinds of ambition.  The intellect
required for medicine might be wholly human, and indeed should by
all rules be,—the profession of the Human Healer being radically
a sacred one and connected with the highest priesthoods, or
rather being itself the outcome and acme of all priesthoods, and
divinest conquests of intellect here below.  As will appear one
day, when men take off their old monastic and ecclesiastic
spectacles, and look with eyes again!  In essence the Physician's
task is always heroic, eminently human:  but in practice most
unluckily at present we find it too become in good part
beaverish; yielding a money-result alone.  And what of it is
not beaverish,—does not that too go mainly to ingenious talking,
publishing of yourself, ingratiating of yourself; a partly human
exercise or waste of intellect, and alas a partly vulpine
ditto;—making the once sacred [Gr.] 'Iatros, or Human Healer,
more impossible for us than ever!

Angry basilisks watch at the gates of Law and Church just now;
and strike a sad damp into the nobler of the young aspirants. 
Hard bonds are offered you to sign; as it were, a solemn
engagement to constitute yourself an impostor, before ever
entering; to declare your belief in incredibilities,—your
determination, in short, to take Chaos for Cosmos, and Satan for
the Lord of things, if he come with money in his pockets, and
horsehair and bombazine decently wrapt about him.  Fatal
preliminaries, which deter many an ingenuous young soul, and send
him back from the threshold, and I hope will deter ever more. 
But if you do enter, the condition is well known:  "Talk; who can
talk best here?  His shall be the mouth of gold, and the purse of
gold; and with my [Gr.] mitra (once the head-dress of
unfortunate females, I am told) shall his sacred temples be

Ingenuous souls, unless forced to it, do now much shudder at the
threshold of both these careers, and not a few desperately turn
back into the wilderness rather, to front a very rude fortune,
and be devoured by wild beasts as is likeliest.  But as to
Parliament, again, and its eligibility if attainable, there is
yet no question anywhere; the ingenuous soul, if possessed of
money-capital enough, is predestined by the parental and all
manner of monitors to that career of talk; and accepts it with
alacrity and clearness of heart, doubtful only whether he shall
be able to make a speech.  Courage, my brave young fellow.  If
you can climb a soaped pole of any kind, you will certainly be
able to make a speech.  All mortals have a tongue; and carry on
some jumble, if not of thought, yet of stuff which they could
talk.  The weakest of animals has got a cry in it, and can give
voice before dying.  If you are tough enough, bent upon it
desperately enough, I engage you shall make a speech;—but
whether that will be the way to Heaven for you, I do not engage.

These, then, are our two careers for genius:  mute
Industrialism, which can seldom become very human, but remains
beaverish mainly:  and the three Professions named learned,—that
is to say, able to talk.  For the heroic or higher kinds of human
intellect, in the silent state, there is not the smallest inquiry
anywhere; apparently a thing not wanted in this country at
present.  What the supply may be, I cannot inform M'Croudy; but
the market-demand, he may himself see, is nil.  These are our
three professions that require human intellect in part or whole,
not able to do with mere beaverish; and such a part does the gift
of talk play in one and all of them.  Whatsoever is not beaverish
seems to go forth in the shape of talk.  To such length is human
intellect wasted or suppressed in this world!

If the young aspirant is not rich enough for Parliament, and is
deterred by the basilisks or otherwise from entering on Law or
Church, and cannot altogether reduce his human intellect to the
beaverish condition, or satisfy himself with the prospect of
making money,—what becomes of him in such case, which is
naturally the case of very many, and ever of more?  In such case
there remains but one outlet for him, and notably enough that too
is a talking one:  the outlet of Literature, of trying to write
Books. Since, owing to preliminary basilisks, want of cash, or
superiority to cash, he cannot mount aloft by eloquent talking,
let him try it by dexterous eloquent writing.  Here happily,
having three fingers, and capital to buy a quire of paper, he can
try it to all lengths and in spite of all mortals:  in this
career there is happily no public impediment that can turn him
back; nothing but private starvation—which is itself a finis
or kind of goal—can pretend to hinder a British man from
prosecuting Literature to the very utmost, and wringing the final
secret from her:  "A talent is in thee; No talent is in thee." 
To the British subject who fancies genius may be lodged in him,
this liberty remains; and truly it is, if well computed, almost
the only one he has.

A crowded portal this of Literature, accordingly!  The haven of
expatriated spiritualisms, and alas also of expatriated vanities
and prurient imbecilities:  here do the windy aspirations, foiled
activities, foolish ambitions, and frustrate human energies
reduced to the vocable condition, fly as to the one refuge left;
and the Republic of Letters increases in population at a faster
rate than even the Republic of America.  The strangest regiment
in her Majesty's service, this of the Soldiers of
Literature:—would your Lordship much like to march through
Coventry with them?  The immortal gods are there (quite
irrecognizable under these disguises), and also the lowest broken
valets;—an extremely miscellaneous regiment.  In fact the
regiment, superficially viewed, looks like an immeasurable motley
flood of discharged play-actors, funambulists, false prophets,
drunken ballad-singers; and marches not as a regiment, but as a
boundless canaille,—without drill, uniform, captaincy or billet;
with huge over-proportion of drummers; you would say, a regiment
gone wholly to the drum, with hardly a good musket to be seen in
it,—more a canaille than a regiment.  Canaille of all the
loud-sounding levities, and general winnowings of Chaos, marching
through the world in a most ominous manner; proclaiming, audibly
if you have ears:  "Twelfth hour of the Night; ancient graves
yawning; pale clammy Puseyisms screeching in their
winding-sheets; owls busy in the City regions; many goblins
abroad!  Awake ye living; dream no more; arise to judgment! 
Chaos and Gehenna are broken loose; the Devil with his Bedlams
must be flung in chains again, and the Last of the Days is about
to dawn!"  Such is Literature to the reflective soul at this

But what now concerns us most is the circumstance that here too
the demand is, Vocables, still vocables.  In all appointed
courses of activity and paved careers for human genius, and in
this unpaved, unappointed, broadest career of Literature, broad
way that leadeth to destruction for so many, the one duty laid
upon you is still, Talk, talk.  Talk well with pen or tongue, and
it shall be well with you; do not talk well, it shall be ill with
you.  To wag the tongue with dexterous acceptability, there is
for human worth and faculty, in our England of the Nineteenth
Century, that one method of emergence and no other.  Silence, you
would say, means annihilation for the Englishman of the
Nineteenth Century.  The worth that has not spoken itself, is
not; or is potentially only, and as if it were not.  Vox is the
God of this Universe.  If you have human intellect, it avails
nothing unless you either make it into beaverism, or talk with
it. Make it into beaverism, and gather money; or else make talk
with it, and gather what you can.  Such is everywhere the demand
for talk among us:  to which, of course, the supply is

From dinners up to woolsacks and divine mitres, here in England,
much may be gathered by talk; without talk, of the human sort
nothing.  Is Society become wholly a bag of wind, then, ballasted
by guineas?  Are our interests in it as a sounding brass and a
tinkling cymbal?—In Army or Navy, when unhappily we have war on
hand, there is, almost against our will, some kind of demand for
certain of the silent talents.  But in peace, that too passes
into mere demand of the ostentations, of the pipeclays and the
blank cartridges; and,—except that Naval men are occasionally,
on long voyages, forced to hold their tongue, and converse with
the dumb elements, and illimitable oceans, that moan and rave
there without you and within you, which is a great advantage to
the Naval man,—our poor United Services have to make
conversational windbags and ostentational paper-lanterns of
themselves, or do worse, even as the others.

My friends, must I assert, then, what surely all men know, though
all men seem to have forgotten it, That in the learned
professions as in the unlearned, and in human things throughout,
in every place and in every time, the true function of intellect
is not that of talking, but of understanding and discerning with
a view to performing!  An intellect may easily talk too much, and
perform too little.  Gradually, if it get into the noxious habit
of talk, there will less and less performance come of it, talk
being so delightfully handy in comparison with work; and at last
there will no work, or thought of work, be got from it at all. 
Talk, except as the preparation for work, is worth almost
nothing;—sometimes it is worth infinitely less than nothing; and
becomes, little conscious of playing such a fatal part, the
general summary of pretentious nothingnesses, and the chief of
all the curses the Posterity of Adam are liable to in this
sublunary world!  Would you discover the Atropos of Human
Virtue; the sure Destroyer, "by painless extinction," of Human
Veracities, Performances, and Capabilities to perform or to be
veracious,—it is this, you have it here.

Unwise talk is matchless in unwisdom.  Unwise work, if it but
persist, is everywhere struggling towards correction, and
restoration to health; for it is still in contact with Nature,
and all Nature incessantly contradicts it, and will heal it or
annihilate it:  not so with unwise talk, which addresses itself,
regardless of veridical Nature, to the universal suffrages; and
can if it be dexterous, find harbor there till all the suffrages
are bankrupt and gone to Houndsditch, Nature not interfering with
her protest till then.  False speech, definable as the acme of
unwise speech, is capable, as we already said, of becoming the
falsest of all things.  Falsest of all things:—and whither will
the general deluge of that, in Parliament and Synagogue, in Book
and Broadside, carry you and your affairs, my friend, when once
they are embarked on it as now?

Parliament, Parliamentum, is by express appointment the Talking
Apparatus; yet not in Parliament either is the essential
function, by any means, talk.  Not to speak your opinion well,
but to have a good and just opinion worth speaking,—for every
Parliament, as for every man, this latter is the point.  Contrive
to have a true opinion, you will get it told in some way, better
or worse; and it will be a blessing to all creatures. Have a
false opinion, and tell it with the tongue of Angels, what can
that profit?  The better you tell it, the worse it will be!

In Parliament and out of Parliament, and everywhere in this
Universe, your one salvation is, That you can discern with just
insight, and follow with noble valor, what the law of the case
before you is, what the appointment of the Maker in regard to it
has been.  Get this out of one man, you are saved; fail to get
this out of the most August Parliament wrapt in the sheepskins of
a thousand years, you are lost,—your Parliament, and you, and
all your sheepskins are lost.  Beautiful talk is by no means the
most pressing want in Parliament!  We have had some reasonable
modicum of talk in Parliament!  What talk has done for us in
Parliament, and is now doing, the dullest of us at length begins
to see!

Much has been said of Parliament's breeding men to business; of
the training an Official Man gets in this school of argument and
talk.  He is here inured to patience, tolerance; sees what is
what in the Nation and in the Nation's Government attains
official knowledge, official courtesy and manners—in short, is
polished at all points into official articulation, and here
better than elsewhere qualifies himself to be a Governor of men.
So it is said.—Doubtless, I think, he will see and suffer much
in Parliament, and inure himself to several things;—he will,
with what eyes he has, gradually see Parliament itself, for one
thing; what a high-soaring, helplessly floundering, ever-babbling
yet inarticulate dark dumb Entity it is (certainly one of the
strangest under the sun just now): which doubtless, if he have in
view to get measures voted there one day, will be an important
acquisition for him.  But as to breeding himself for a Doer of
Work, much more for a King, or Chief of Doers, here in this
element of talk; as to that I confess the fatalest doubts, or
rather, alas, I have no doubt!  Alas, it is our fatalest misery
just now, not easily alterable, and yet urgently requiring to be
altered, That no British man can attain to be a Statesman, or
Chief of Workers, till he has first proved himself a Chief of
Talkers:  which mode of trial for a Worker, is it not
precisely, of all the trials you could set him upon, the falsest
and unfairest?

Nay, I doubt much you are not likely ever to meet the fittest
material for a Statesman, or Chief of Workers, in such an element
as that.  Your Potential Chief of Workers, will he come there at
all, to try whether he can talk?  Your poor tenpound franchisers
and electoral world generally, in love with eloquent talk, are
they the likeliest to discern what man it is that has worlds of
silent work in him?  No.  Or is such a man, even if born in the
due rank for it, the likeliest to present himself, and court
their most sweet voices?  Again, no.

The Age that admires talk so much can have little discernment for
inarticulate work, or for anything that is deep and genuine. 
Nobody, or hardly anybody, having in himself an earnest sense for
truth, how can anybody recognize an inarticulate Veracity, or
Nature-fact of any kind; a Human Doer especially, who is the
most complex, profound, and inarticulate of all Nature's Facts? 
Nobody can recognize him:  till once he is patented, get some
public stamp of authenticity, and has been articulately
proclaimed, and asserted to be a Doer.  To the worshipper of
talk, such a one is a sealed book.  An excellent human soul,
direct from Heaven,—how shall any excellence of man become
recognizable to this unfortunate?  Not except by announcing and
placarding itself as excellent,—which, I reckon, it above other
things will probably be in no great haste to do.

Wisdom, the divine message which every soul of man brings into
this world; the divine prophecy of what the new man has got the
new and peculiar capability to do, is intrinsically of silent
nature.  It cannot at once, or completely at all, be read off in
words; for it is written in abstruse facts, of endowment,
position, desire, opportunity, granted to the man;—interprets
itself in presentiments, vague struggles, passionate endeavors
and is only legible in whole when his work is done.  Not by the
noble monitions of Nature, but by the ignoble, is a man much
tempted to publish the secret of his soul in words.  Words, if he
have a secret, will be forever inadequate to it.  Words do but
disturb the real answer of fact which could be given to it;
disturb, obstruct, and will in the end abolish, and render
impossible, said answer.  No grand Doer in this world can be a
copious speaker about his doings.  William the Silent spoke
himself best in a country liberated; Oliver Cromwell did not
shine in rhetoric; Goethe, when he had but a book in view, found
that he must say nothing even of that, if it was to succeed with

Then as to politeness, and breeding to business.  An official man
must be bred to business; of course he must:  and not for essence
only, but even for the manners of office he requires breeding. 
Besides his intrinsic faculty, whatever that may be, he must be
cautious, vigilant, discreet,—above all things, he must be
reticent, patient, polite.  Certain of these qualities are by
nature imposed upon men of station; and they are trained from
birth to some exercise of them:  this constitutes their one
intrinsic qualification for office;—this is their one advantage
in the New Downing Street projected for this New Era; and it will
not go for much in that Institution.  One advantage, or temporary
advantage; against which there are so many counterbalances.  It
is the indispensable preliminary for office, but by no means the
complete outfit,—a miserable outfit where there is nothing

Will your Lordship give me leave to say that, practically, the
intrinsic qualities will presuppose these preliminaries too, but
by no means vice versa.  That, on the whole, if you have got
the intrinsic qualities, you have got everything, and the
preliminaries will prove attainable; but that if you have got
only the preliminaries, you have yet got nothing.  A man of real
dignity will not find it impossible to bear himself in a
dignified manner; a man of real understanding and insight will
get to know, as the fruit of his very first study, what the laws
of his situation are, and will conform to these.  Rough old
Samuel Johnson, blustering Boreas and rugged Arctic Bear as he
often was, defined himself, justly withal, as a polite man:  a
noble manful attitude of soul is his; a clear, true and loyal
sense of what others are, and what he himself is, shines through
the rugged coating of him; comes out as grave deep rhythmus when
his King honors him, and he will not "bandy compliments with his
King;"—is traceable too in his indignant trampling down of the
Chesterfield patronages, tailor-made insolences, and
contradictions of sinners; which may be called his
revolutionary movements, hard and peremptory by the law of
them; these could not be soft like his constitutional ones,
when men and kings took him for somewhat like the thing he was. 
Given a noble man, I think your Lordship may expect by and by a
polite man.  No "politer" man was to be found in Britain than the
rustic Robert Burns:  high duchesses were captivated with the
chivalrous ways of the man; recognized that here was the true
chivalry, and divine nobleness of bearing,—as indeed they well
might, now when the Peasant God and Norse Thor had come down
among them again!  Chivalry this, if not as they do chivalry in
Drury Lane or West-End drawing-rooms, yet as they do it in
Valhalla and the General Assembly of the Gods.

For indeed, who invented chivalry, politeness, or anything that
is noble and melodious and beautiful among us, except precisely
the like of Johnson and of Burns?  The select few who in the
generations of this world were wise and valiant, they, in spite
of all the tremendous majority of blockheads and slothful
belly-worshippers, and noisy ugly persons, have devised
whatsoever is noble in the manners of man to man.  I expect they
will learn to be polite, your Lordship, when you give them a
chance!—Nor is it as a school of human culture, for this or for
any other grace or gift, that Parliament will be found first-rate
or indispensable.  As experience in the river is indispensable to
the ferryman, so is knowledge of his Parliament to the British
Peel or Chatham;—so was knowledge of the OEil-de-Boeuf to the
French Choiseul.  Where and how said river, whether Parliament
with Wilkeses, or OEil-de-Boeuf with Pompadours, can be waded,
boated, swum; how the miscellaneous cargoes, "measures" so
called, can be got across it, according to their kinds, and
landed alive on the hither side as facts:—we have all of us our
ferries in this world; and must know the river and its ways, or
get drowned some day!  In that sense, practice in Parliament is
indispensable to the British Statesman; but not in any other

A school, too, of manners and of several other things, the
Parliament will doubtless be to the aspirant Statesman; a school
better or worse;—as the OEil-de-Boeuf likewise was, and as all
scenes where men work or live are sure to be.  Especially where
many men work together, the very rubbing against one another will
grind and polish off their angularities into roundness, into
"politeness" after a sort; and the official man, place him how
you may, will never want for schooling, of extremely various
kinds.  A first-rate school one cannot call this Parliament for
him;—I fear to say what rate at present!  In so far as it
teaches him vigilance, patience, courage, toughness of lungs or
of soul, and skill in any kind of swimming, it is a good school. 
In so far as it forces him to speak where Nature orders silence;
and even, lest all the world should learn his secret (which often
enough would kill his secret, and little profit the world),
forces him to speak falsities, vague ambiguities, and the
froth-dialect usual in Parliaments in these times, it may be
considered one of the worst schools ever devised by man; and, I
think, may almost challenge the OEil-de-Boeuf to match it in

Parliament will train your men to the manners required of a
statesman; but in a much less degree to the intrinsic functions
of one.  To these latter, it is capable of mistraining as nothing
else can.  Parliament will train you to talk; and above all
things to hear, with patience, unlimited quantities of foolish
talk.  To tell a good story for yourself, and to make it appear
that you have done your work:  this, especially in constitutional
countries, is something;—and yet in all countries,
constitutional ones too, it is intrinsically nothing, probably
even less. For it is not the function of any mortal, in Downing
Street or elsewhere here below, to wag the tongue of him, and
make it appear that he has done work; but to wag some quite other
organs of him, and to do work; there is no danger of his work's
appearing by and by.  Such an accomplishment, even in
constitutional countries, I grieve to say, may become much less
than nothing.  Have you at all computed how much less?  The human
creature who has once given way to satisfying himself with
"appearances," to seeking his salvation in "appearances," the
moral life of such human creature is rapidly bleeding out of him. 
Depend upon it, Beelzebub, Satan, or however you may name the too
authentic Genius of Eternal Death, has got that human creature in
his claws.  By and by you will have a dead parliamentary bagpipe,
and your living man fled away without return!

Such parliamentary bagpipes I myself have heard play tunes, much
to the satisfaction of the people.  Every tune lies within their
compass; and their mind (for they still call it mind) is ready
as a hurdy-gurdy on turning of the handle:  "My Lords, this
question now before the House"—Ye Heavens, O ye divine Silences,
was there in the womb of Chaos, then, such a product, liable to
be evoked by human art, as that same?  While the galleries were
all applausive of heart, and the Fourth Estate looked with eyes
enlightened, as if you had touched its lips with a staff dipped
in honey,—I have sat with reflections too ghastly to be uttered. 
A poor human creature and learned friend, once possessed of many
fine gifts, possessed of intellect, veracity, and manful
conviction on a variety of objects, has he now lost all
that;—converted all that into a glistering phosphorescence which
can show itself on the outside; while within, all is dead,
chaotic, dark; a painted sepulchre full of dead-men's bones!
Discernment, knowledge, intellect, in the human sense of the
words, this man has now none.  His opinion you do not ask on any
matter:  on the matter he has no opinion, judgment, or insight;
only on what may be said about the matter, how it may be argued
of, what tune may be played upon it to enlighten the eyes of the
Fourth Estate.

Such a soul, though to the eye he still keeps tumbling about in
the Parliamentary element, and makes "motions," and passes bills,
for aught I know,—are we to define him as a living one, or as
a dead?  Partridge the Almanac-Maker, whose "Publications" still
regularly appear, is known to be dead!  The dog that was drowned
last summer, and that floats up and down the Thames with ebb and
flood ever since,—is it not dead?  Alas, in the hot months, you
meet here and there such a floating dog; and at length, if you
often use the river steamers, get to know him by sight.  "There
he is again, still astir there in his quasi-stygian element!" you
dejectedly exclaim (perhaps reading your Morning Newspaper at the
moment); and reflect, with a painful oppression of nose and
imagination, on certain completed professors of parliamentary
eloquence in modern times.  Dead long since, but not resting;
daily doing motions in that Westminster region still,—daily from
Vauxhall to Blackfriars, and back again; and cannot get away at
all!  Daily (from Newspaper or river steamer) you may see him at
some point of his fated course, hovering in the eddies, stranded
in the ooze, or rapidly progressing with flood or ebb; and daily
the odor of him is getting more intolerable:  daily the condition
of him appeals more tragically to gods and men.

Nature admits no lie; most men profess to be aware of this, but
few in any measure lay it to heart.  Except in the departments of
mere material manipulation, it seems to be taken practically as
if this grand truth were merely a polite flourish of rhetoric. 
What is a lie?  The question is worth asking, once and away, by
the practical English mind.

A voluntary spoken divergence from the fact as it stands, as it
has occurred and will proceed to develop itself:  this clearly,
if adopted by any man, will so far forth mislead him in all
practical dealing with the fact; till he cast that statement out
of him, and reject it as an unclean poisonous thing, he can have
no success in dealing with the fact.  If such spoken divergence
from the truth be involuntary, we lament it as a misfortune; and
are entitled, at least the speaker of it is, to lament it
extremely as the most palpable of all misfortunes, as the
indubitablest losing of his way, and turning aside from the goal
instead of pressing towards it, in the race set before him.  If
the divergence is voluntary,—there superadds itself to our
sorrow a just indignation:  we call the voluntary spoken
divergence a lie, and justly abhor it as the essence of human
treason and baseness, the desertion of a man to the Enemy of men
against himself and his brethren.  A lost deserter; who has gone
over to the Enemy, called Satan; and cannot but be lost in the
adventure! Such is every liar with the tongue; and such in all
nations is he, at all epochs, considered.  Men pull his nose, and
kick him out of doors; and by peremptory expressive methods
signify that they can and will have no trade with him.  Such is
spoken divergence from the fact; so fares it with the practiser
of that sad art.

But have we well considered a divergence in thought from what
is the fact?  Have we considered the man whose very thought is a
lie to him and to us!  He too is a frightful man; repeating about
this Universe on every hand what is not, and driven to repeat it;
the sure herald of ruin to all that follow him, that know with
his knowledge!  And would you learn how to get a mendacious
thought, there is no surer recipe than carrying a loose tongue. 
The lying thought, you already either have it, or will soon get
it by that method.  He who lies with his very tongue, he
clearly enough has long ceased to think truly in his mind.  Does
he, in any sense, "think"? All his thoughts and imaginations, if
they extend beyond mere beaverisms, astucities and sensualisms,
are false, incomplete, perverse, untrue even to himself.  He has
become a false mirror of this Universe; not a small mirror only,
but a crooked, bedimmed and utterly deranged one.  But all loose
tongues too are akin to lying ones; are insincere at the best,
and go rattling with little meaning; the thought lying languid at
a great distance behind them, if thought there be behind them at
all.  Gradually there will be none or little!  How can the
thought of such a man, what he calls thought, be other than

Alas, the palpable liar with his tongue does at least know that
he is lying, and has or might have some faint vestige of remorse
and chance of amendment; but the impalpable liar, whose tongue
articulates mere accepted commonplaces, cants and babblement,
which means only, "Admire me, call me an excellent
stump-orator!"—of him what hope is there?  His thought, what
thought he had, lies dormant, inspired only to invent vocables
and plausibilities; while the tongue goes so glib, the thought is
absent, gone a wool-gathering; getting itself drugged with the
applausive "Hear, hear!"—what will become of such a man?  His
idle thought has run all to seed, and grown false and the giver
of falsities; the inner light of his mind is gone out; all his
light is mere putridity and phosphorescence henceforth. 
Whosoever is in quest of ruin, let him with assurance follow that
man; he or no one is on the right road to it.

Good Heavens, from the wisest Thought of a man to the actual
truth of a Thing as it lies in Nature, there is, one would
suppose, a sufficient interval!  Consider it,—and what other
intervals we introduce!  The faithfulest, most glowing word of a
man is but an imperfect image of the thought, such as it is,
that dwells within him; his best word will never but with error
convey his thought to other minds:  and then between his poor
thought and Nature's Fact, which is the Thought of the Eternal,
there may be supposed to lie some discrepancies, some
shortcomings!  Speak your sincerest, think your wisest, there is
still a great gulf between you and the fact.  And now, do not
speak your sincerest, and what will inevitably follow out of
that, do not think your wisest, but think only your plausiblest,
your showiest for parliamentary purposes, where will you land
with that guidance?—I invite the British Parliament, and all the
Parliamentary and other Electors of Great Britain, to reflect on
this till they have well understood it; and then to ask, each of
himself, What probably the horoscopes of the British Parliament,
at this epoch of World-History, may be?—

Fail, by any sin or any misfortune, to discover what the truth of
the fact is, you are lost so far as that fact goes!  If your
thought do not image truly but do image falsely the fact, you
will vainly try to work upon the fact.  The fact will not obey
you, the fact will silently resist you; and ever, with silent
invincibility, will go on resisting you, till you do get to image
it truly instead of falsely.  No help for you whatever, except in
attaining to a true image of the fact.  Needless to vote a false
image true; vote it, revote it by overwhelming majorities, by
jubilant unanimities and universalities; read it thrice or three
hundred times, pass acts of parliament upon it till the
Statute-book can hold no more,—it helps not a whit:  the thing
is not so, the thing is otherwise than so; and Adam's whole
Posterity, voting daily on it till the world finish, will not
alter it a jot.  Can the sublimest sanhedrim, constitutional
parliament, or other Collective Wisdom of the world, persuade
fire not to burn, sulphuric acid to be sweet milk, or the Moon to
become green cheese?  The fact is much the reverse:—and even the
Constitutional British Parliament abstains from such arduous
attempts as these latter in the voting line; and leaves the
multiplication-table, the chemical, mechanical and other
qualities of material substances to take their own course; being
aware that voting and perorating, and reporting in Hansard, will
not in the least alter any of these.  Which is indisputably wise
of the British Parliament.

Unfortunately the British Parliament does not, at present, quite
know that all manner of things and relations of things, spiritual
equally with material, all manner of qualities, entities,
existences whatsoever, in this strange visible and invisible
Universe, are equally inflexible of nature; that, they will, one
and all, with precisely the same obstinacy, continue to obey
their own law, not our law; deaf as the adder to all charm of
parliamentary eloquence, and of voting never so often repeated;
silently, but inflexibly and forevermore, declining to change
themselves, even as sulphuric acid declines to become sweet milk,
though you vote so to the end of the world.  This, it sometimes
seems to me, is not quite sufficiently laid hold of by the
British and other Parliaments just at present.  Which surely is a
great misfortune to said Parliaments!  For, it would appear, the
grand point, after all constitutional improvements, and such
wagging of wigs in Westminster as there has been, is precisely
what it was before any constitution was yet heard of, or the
first official wig had budded out of nothing:  namely, to
ascertain what the truth of your question, in Nature, really is! 
Verily so.  In this time and place, as in all past and in all
future times and places.  To-day in St. Stephen's, where
constitutional, philanthropical, and other great things lie in
the mortar-kit; even as on the Plain of Shinar long ago, where a
certain Tower, likewise of a very philanthropic nature, indeed
one of the desirablest towers I ever heard of, was to be
built,—but couldn't!  My friends, I do not laugh; truly I am
more inclined to weep.

Get, by six hundred and fifty-eight votes, or by no vote at all,
by the silent intimation of your own eyesight and understanding
given you direct out of Heaven, and more sacred to you than
anything earthly, and than all things earthly,—a correct image
of the fact in question, as God and Nature have made it:  that is
the one thing needful; with that it shall be well with you in
whatsoever you have to do with said fact.  Get, by the sublimest
constitutional methods, belauded by all the world, an incorrect
image of the fact:  so shall it be other than well with you; so
shall you have laud from able editors and vociferous masses of
mistaken human creatures; and from the Nature's Fact, continuing
quite silently the same as it was, contradiction, and that only. 
What else?  Will Nature change, or sulphuric acid become sweet
milk, for the noise of vociferous blockheads?  Surely not. 
Nature, I assure you, has not the smallest intention of doing

On the contrary, Nature keeps silently a most exact
Savings-bank, and official register correct to the most
evanescent item, Debtor and Creditor, in respect to one and all
of us; silently marks down, Creditor by such and such an unseen
act of veracity and heroism; Debtor to such a loud blustery
blunder, twenty-seven million strong or one unit strong, and to
all acts and words and thoughts executed in consequence of
that,—Debtor, Debtor, Debtor, day after day, rigorously as Fate
(for this is Fate that is writing); and at the end of the account
you will have it all to pay, my friend; there is the rub!  Not
the infinitesimalest fraction of a farthing but will be found
marked there, for you and against you; and with the due rate of
interest you will have to pay it, neatly, completely, as sure as
you are alive.  You will have to pay it even in money if you
live:—and, poor slave, do you think there is no payment but in
money?  There is a payment which Nature rigorously exacts of men,
and also of Nations, and this I think when her wrath is sternest,
in the shape of dooming you to possess money.  To possess it; to
have your bloated vanities fostered into monstrosity by it, your
foul passions blown into explosion by it, your heart and perhaps
your very stomach ruined with intoxication by it; your poor life
and all its manful activities stunned into frenzy and comatose
sleep by it,—in one word, as the old Prophets said, your soul
forever lost by it.  Your soul; so that, through the Eternities,
you shall have no soul, or manful trace of ever having had a
soul; but only, for certain fleeting moments, shall have had a
money-bag, and have given soul and heart and (frightfuler still)
stomach itself in fatal exchange for the same.  You wretched
mortal, stumbling about in a God's Temple, and thinking it a
brutal Cookery-shop!  Nature, when her scorn of a slave is
divinest, and blazes like the blinding lightning against his
slavehood, often enough flings him a bag of money, silently
saying: "That!  Away; thy doom is that!"—

For no man, and for no body or biggest multitude of men, has
Nature favor, if they part company with her facts and her. 
Excellent stump-orator; eloquent parliamentary dead-dog, making
motions, passing bills; reported in the Morning Newspapers, and
reputed the "best speaker going"?  From the Universe of Fact he
has turned himself away; he is gone into partnership with the
Universe of Phantasm; finds it profitablest to deal in forged
notes, while the foolish shopkeepers will accept them.  Nature
for such a man, and for Nations that follow such, has her
patibulary forks, and prisons of death everlasting:—dost thou
doubt it?  Unhappy mortal, Nature otherwise were herself a Chaos
and no Cosmos.  Nature was not made by an Impostor; not she, I
think, rife as they are!—In fact, by money or otherwise, to the
uttermost fraction of a calculable and incalculable value, we
have, each one of us, to settle the exact balance in the
above-said Savings-bank, or official register kept by Nature: 
Creditor by the quantity of veracities we have done, Debtor by
the quantity of falsities and errors; there is not, by any
conceivable device, the faintest hope of escape from that issue
for one of us, nor for all of us.

This used to be a well-known fact; and daily still, in certain
edifices, steeple-houses, joss-houses, temples sacred or other,
everywhere spread over the world, we hear some dim mumblement of
an assertion that such is still, what it was always and will
forever be, the fact:  but meseems it has terribly fallen out of
memory nevertheless; and, from Dan to Beersheba, one in vain
looks out for a man that really in his heart believes it.  In his
heart he believes, as we perceive, that scrip will yield
dividends: but that Heaven too has an office of account, and
unerringly marks down, against us or for us, whatsoever thing we
do or say or think, and treasures up the same in regard to every
creature,—this I do not so well perceive that he believes. 
Poor blockhead, no:  he reckons that all payment is in money, or
approximately representable by money; finds money go a strange
course; disbelieves the parson and his Day of Judgment; discerns
not that there is any judgment except in the small or big debt
court; and lives (for the present) on that strange footing in
this Universe.  The unhappy mortal, what is the use of his
"civilizations" and his "useful knowledges," if he have forgotten
that beginning of human knowledge; the earliest perception of the
awakened human soul in this world; the first dictate of Heaven's
inspiration to all men?  I cannot account him a man any more; but
only a kind of human beaver, who has acquired the art of
ciphering.  He lives without rushing hourly towards suicide,
because his soul, with all its noble aspirations and
imaginations, is sunk at the bottom of his stomach, and lies
torpid there, unaspiring, unimagining, unconsidering, as if it
were the vital principle of a mere four-footed beaver.  A soul
of a man, appointed for spinning cotton and making money, or,
alas, for merely shooting grouse and gathering rent; to whom
Eternity and Immortality, and all human Noblenesses and divine
Facts that did not tell upon the stock-exchange, were meaningless
fables, empty as the inarticulate wind. He will recover out of
that persuasion one day, or be ground to powder, I

To such a pass, by our beaverisms and our mammonisms; by canting
of "prevenient grace" everywhere, and so boarding and lodging our
poor souls upon supervenient moonshine everywhere, for centuries
long; by our sordid stupidities and our idle babblings; through
faith in the divine Stump-orator, and Constitutional Palaver, or
august Sanhedrim of Orators,— have men and Nations been reduced,
in this sad epoch!  I cannot call them happy Nations; I must call
them Nations like to perish; Nations that will either begin to
recover, or else soon die.  Recovery is to be hoped;—yes, since
there is in Nature an Almighty Beneficence, and His voice,
divinely terrible, can be heard in the world-whirlwind now, even
as from of old and forevermore.  Recovery, or else destruction
and annihilation, is very certain; and the crisis, too, comes
rapidly on:  but by Stump-Orator and Constitutional Palaver,
however perfected, my hopes of recovery have long vanished. 
Not by them, I should imagine, but by something far the reverse
of them, shall we return to truth and God!—

I tell you, the ignoble intellect cannot think the truth, even
within its own limits, and when it seriously tries!  And of the
ignoble intellect that does not seriously try, and has even
reached the "ignobleness" of seriously trying the reverse, and of
lying with its very tongue, what are we to expect?  It is
frightful to consider.  Sincere wise speech is but an imperfect
corollary, and insignificant outer manifestation, of sincere wise
thought.  He whose very tongue utters falsities, what has his
heart long been doing?  The thought of his heart is not its
wisest, not even its wisest; it is its foolishest;—and even of
that we have a false and foolish copy.  And it is Nature's Fact,
or the Thought of the Eternal, which we want to arrive at in
regard to the matter,—which if we do not arrive at, we shall
not save the matter, we shall drive the matter into shipwreck!

The practice of modern Parliaments, with reporters sitting among
them, and twenty-seven millions mostly fools listening to them,
fills me with amazement.  In regard to no thing, or fact as God
and Nature have made it, can you get so much as the real thought
of any honorable head,—even so far as it, the said honorable
head, still has capacity of thought.  What the honorable
gentleman's wisest thought is or would have been, had he led from
birth a life of piety and earnest veracity and heroic virtue,
you, and he himself poor deep-sunk creature, vainly conjecture as
from immense dim distances far in the rear of what he is led to
say.  And again, far in the rear of what his thought
is,—surely long infinitudes beyond all he could ever
think,—lies the Thought of God Almighty, the Image itself of the
Fact, the thing you are in quest of, and must find or do worse! 
Even his, the honorable gentleman's, actual bewildered,
falsified, vague surmise or quasi-thought, even this is not given
you; but only some falsified copy of this, such as he fancies may
suit the reporters and twenty-seven millions mostly fools.  And
upon that latter you are to act;—with what success, do you
expect?  That is the thought you are to take for the Thought of
the Eternal Mind,—that double-distilled falsity of a
blockheadism from one who is false even as a blockhead!

Do I make myself plain to Mr. Peter's understanding?  Perhaps it
will surprise him less that parliamentary eloquence excites more
wonder than admiration in me; that the fate of countries governed
by that sublime alchemy does not appear the hopefulest just now. 
Not by that method, I should apprehend, will the Heavens be
scaled and the Earth vanquished; not by that, but by another.

A benevolent man once proposed to me, but without pointing out
the methods how, this plan of reform for our benighted world:  To
cut from one generation, whether the current one or the next, all
the tongues away, prohibiting Literature too; and appoint at
least one generation to pass its life in silence.  "There, thou
one blessed generation, from the vain jargon of babble thou art
beneficently freed.  Whatsoever of truth, traditionary or
original, thy own god-given intellect shall point out to thee as
true, that thou wilt go and do.  In doing of it there will be a
verdict for thee; if a verdict of True, thou wilt hold by it, and
ever again do it; if of Untrue, thou wilt never try it more, but
be eternally delivered from it. To do aught because the vain
hearsays order thee, and the big clamors of the sanhedrim of
fools, is not thy lot,—what worlds of misery are spared thee! 
Nature's voice heard in thy own inner being, and the sacred
Commandment of thy Maker:  these shall be thy guidances, thou
happy tongueless generation.  What is good and beautiful thou
shalt know; not merely what is said to be so.  Not to talk of thy
doings, and become the envy of surrounding flunkies, but to taste
of the fruit of thy doings themselves, is thine.  What the
Eternal Laws will sanction for thee, do; what the Froth Gospels
and multitudinous long-eared Hearsays never so loudly bid, all
this is already chaff for thee,—drifting rapidly along, thou
knowest whitherward, on the eternal winds."

Good Heavens, if such a plan were practicable, how the chaff
might be winnowed out of every man, and out of all human things;
and ninety-nine hundredths of our whole big Universe, spiritual
and practical, might blow itself away, as mere torrents of chaff
whole trade-winds of chaff, many miles deep, rushing continually
with the voice of whirlwinds towards a certain FIRE, which knows
how to deal with it!  Ninety-nine hundredths blown away; all the
lies blown away, and some skeleton of a spiritual and practical
Universe left standing for us which were true:  O Heavens, is it
forever impossible, then?  By a generation that had no tongue it
really might be done; but not so easily by one that had. 
Tongues, platforms, parliaments, and fourth-estates; unfettered
presses, periodical and stationary literatures:  we are nearly
all gone to tongue, I think; and our fate is very questionable.

Truly, it is little known at present, and ought forthwith to
become better known, what ruin to all nobleness and fruitfulness
and blessedness in the genius of a poor mortal you generally
bring about, by ordering him to speak, to do all things with a
view to their being seen!  Few good and fruitful things ever were
done, or could be done, on those terms.  Silence, silence; and be
distant ye profane, with your jargonings and superficial
babblements, when a man has anything to do!  Eye-service,—dost
thou know what that is, poor England?—eye-service is all the man
can do in these sad circumstances; grows to be all he has the
idea of doing, of his or any other man's ever doing, or ever
having done, in any circumstances.  Sad, enough.  Alas, it is our
saddest woe of all;—too sad for being spoken of at present,
while all or nearly all men consider it an imaginary sorrow on
my part!

Let the young English soul, in whatever logic-shop and
nonsense-verse establishment of an Eton, Oxford, Edinburgh,
Halle, Salamanca, or other High Finishing-School, he may be
getting his young idea taught how to speak and spout, and print
sermons and review-articles, and thereby show himself and fond
patrons that it is an idea,—lay this solemnly to heart; this
is my deepest counsel to him!  The idea you have once spoken, if
it even were an idea, is no longer yours; it is gone from you, so
much life and virtue is gone, and the vital circulations of your
self and your destiny and activity are henceforth deprived of it. 
If you could not get it spoken, if you could still constrain it
into silence, so much the richer are you. Better keep your idea
while you can:  let it still circulate in your blood, and there
fructify; inarticulately inciting you to good activities; giving
to your whole spiritual life a ruddier health.  When the time
does come for speaking it, you will speak it all the more
concisely, the more expressively, appropriately; and if such a
time should never come, have you not already acted it, and
uttered it as no words can?  Think of this, my young friend; for
there is nothing truer, nothing more forgotten in these shabby
gold-laced days.  Incontinence is half of all the sins of man. 
And among the many kinds of that base vice, I know none baser, or
at present half so fell and fatal, as that same Incontinence of
Tongue.  "Public speaking," "parliamentary eloquence:"  it is a
Moloch, before whom young souls are made to pass through the
fire.  They enter, weeping or rejoicing, fond parents
consecrating them to the red-hot Idol, as to the Highest God:
and they come out spiritually dead.  Dead enough; to live
thenceforth a galvanic life of mere Stump-Oratory; screeching and
gibbering, words without wisdom, without veracity, without
conviction more than skin-deep. A divine gift, that?  It is a
thing admired by the vulgar, and rewarded with seats in the
Cabinet and other preciosities; but to the wise, it is a thing
not admirable, not adorable; unmelodious rather, and ghastly and
bodeful, as the speech of sheeted spectres in the streets at

Be not a Public Orator, thou brave young British man, thou that
art now growing to be something:  not a Stump-Orator, if thou
canst help it. Appeal not to the vulgar, with its long ears and
its seats in the Cabinet; not by spoken words to the vulgar;
hate the profane vulgar, and bid it begone.  Appeal by silent
work, by silent suffering if there be no work, to the gods, who
have nobler than seats in the Cabinet for thee!  Talent for
Literature, thou hast such a talent?  Believe it not, be slow to
believe it!  To speak, or to write, Nature did not peremptorily
order thee; but to work she did.  And know this:  there never was
a talent even for real Literature, not to speak of talents lost
and damned in doing sham Literature, but was primarily a talent
for something infinitely better of the silent kind.  Of
Literature, in all ways, be shy rather than otherwise, at
present!  There where thou art, work, work; whatsoever thy hand
findeth to do, do it,—with the hand of a man, not of a
phantasm; be that thy unnoticed blessedness and exceeding great
reward.  Thy words, let them be few, and well-ordered.  Love
silence rather than speech in these tragic days, when, for very
speaking, the voice of man has fallen inarticulate to man; and
hearts, in this loud babbling, sit dark and dumb towards one
another.  Witty,—above all, oh be not witty:  none of us is
bound to be witty, under penalties; to be wise and true we all
are, under the terriblest penalties!

Brave young friend, dear to me, and known too in a sense,
though never seen, nor to be seen by me,—you are, what I am not,
in the happy case to learn to be something and to do
something, instead of eloquently talking about what has been and
was done and may be!  The old are what they are, and will not
alter; our hope is in you.  England's hope, and the world's, is
that there may once more be millions such, instead of units as
now.  Macte; i fausto pede.  And may future generations,
acquainted again with the silences, and once more cognizant of
what is noble and faithful and divine, look back on us with pity
and incredulous astonishment!