"For always in thine eyes, O Liberty!
Shines that high light whereby the world is saved;
And though thou slay us, we will trust in thee."
"A free man is one who enjoys the use of his reason, and his faculties; who is neither blinded by passion, nor hindered or driven by oppression, nor deceived by erroneous opinions." -PROUDHON.


A Game That Two Can Play At.

Would that we could command the satire of Voltaire and the invective of William Cobbett to flay the hypocritical bigots whose virtuous indignation is stirred at the existence of polygamy in this pious nation!

A Simon-pure, honest, square monogamist is a man who “keeps” one woman, and only one, whom he calls his wife. So long as the “keeping” of this woman is voluntary and mutual, it is nobody’s business, even though some clergyman may score a five-dollar fee out of it.

But the king of pious fraud whose holy indignation is stirred at the lustful Mormon is not a square, openhanded monogamist, he keeps two, three, or five women. On of these, whom he deceives and betrays and over whose liberty he wields absolute despotism, is known as his wife. This fellow is a polygamist at heart, but in the place of the openhanded, above-board transaction of the Mormon, he substitutes “nest-hiding,” fraud, cowardice, and hypocrisy.

It is unnecessary to say that Liberty, though opposed to the whole “keeping” system as the degradation of a passion that should be pure and noble, denies the right of the State to say to any man whether he shall “keep” one, two, five twenty, or one hundred women, or to any woman whether she shall “keep” corresponding numbers of man. Our pious legislators would be the very worst sufferers by such a law, even if it were possible to execute it. But even those who are honestly free from the practice of polygamy are committing an unmitigated piece of impudence and despotism when they attempt to deny to any man the right to “keep” just as many women as he pleases with his own money, and at his and their sole cost.

But the lecherous politicians of Washington, the lawyers and usurers who waste the people’s wealth on women and wine,— these make up the holy conclave that proposes to visit the Mormon households and destroy their homes.

Luckily, the Mormons have hit upon a spike game. They have been carefully canvassing the number of practical polygamists among the Washington congressmen. When pushed to the wall, they propose to publish the results of their investigations to the American public, and deliver sealed copies to the accredited wives of these virtuous political saints. Ten to one that the Mormons have already effectively spiked the enemy’s gang! The monogamists and polygamists threaten to become terribly mixed, and we hope that in the confusion all will conclude to mind their own business.

A Glorious Meeting.

The mass meeting of trades unions in Cooper Union, New York, on January 30, was the most significant and gratifying move that has been made since the so-called Irish land war began.

The Irish race, by nature of their organism, are easily ridden by superstition. The Pope has always sat in the Irish saddle with greater assurance than in any other. Blood-sucking priests have always found the Irish skin the thinnest to prey upon. With such a people — sympathetic, domestic, and deeply endeared to their traditions — the nationality craze easily finds a lodgment, and short-sighted, designing politicians are ever ready to make use of it in order to divert the attention of the people from the bottom causes of universal industrial slavery.

But this meeting stood on a thoroughly broad and de-nationalizing basis. As the splendid resolutions put it, the Irish cause was “humanity cause;” it was “Labor’s Cause.” Germans, Russians, Americans, Scotch, English, and Irish,— all clasped the brotherly hand in the grand resolve that the curse of landlordism was not local and national, but universal and human (or rather inhuman), and a part of the great scheme of usury against which Labor is everywhere called upon to wage an uncompromising war of extermination.

In asking the Irish to de-nationalize, as far as possible, their grand struggle, we would by no means look lightly upon their exceptional persecutions as a nation. But were these persecutions simply political and national, the Irish would have no especial claim to the co-operation of other nationalities. Since, however, the curse which afflicts them is one which threatens, and actually afflicts, more or less, the working masses of every other nation, they simply assert a just demand when they call upon working people everywhere to stand by them.

To attempt to argue down a superstition is the slowest process. Here and there a level-headed Irishman has sense enough to brush aside the ridiculous nonsense of expecting an “Irish republic” to do better by those who labor than does the ruling British machine. But these men are exceptions, and their voices is easily rub-a-dubbed down by the blatant nationalists.

It is useless to remind these rub-a-dub-dub, Irish republic, national flag enthusiasts that this American republic is severer on the tenant class, under its laws, than is England; but perhaps we can put it in another form with more effect. Place the Irish landlord class of America beside the Irish rent-paying class. Is the former any less merciless to its tenants than is the English landlord in Ireland? If the Irish landlord in this American republic is usurious-blood-hound, would he be anything less in an Irish republic? No, it is the system that must be crushed, and the system thrives just as audaciously under one form of government as another. The fact is that the State, without monopoly and usury as its main pillars, ceases to be the State.

It will take long to get these bottom facts into the heads of the masses, but such meetings as the one in Cooper Union are most gratifying helps in that direction. The masterly genius which moves the “Irish World” was never displayed to greater credit than on that occasion, and Liberty shouts thrice, Bravo! upon the whole affair.


God’s Wicked Partners.

Charles Guiteau claims that he is Lord’s partner, and that the Almighty was accessory before fact to killing of Garfield. For this Mr. Guiteau is bitterly denounced by Christians as a blasphemer and an impious wretch, and regarded with holy horror by the Lord’s anointed. These good people are inconsistent. They have addressed to the throne of grace such remarks as this: “Oh Lord! Thou hast in Thine infinite wisdom seen fit to chasten us by removing our beloved leader and taking him unto Thine own bosom. Humbly we bow before thee, and murmur, Thy will be done!” If such pulpit utterances signify anything and are not mere gospel gush, intended to flatter the Almighty by conveying the impression that the speakers would not for a moment suppose that anything could be done on earth without his knowledge or consent, they mean that the killing of Garfield was the act of God, that the murder was deliberately planned by Omnipotence for some inscrutable reason, and that it was executed in furtherance of and in accordance with some sacred scheme for the good of the World. If the Christian god is omnipotent, he could have prevented the killing, and the fact that he did not do so indicates that he desired the death of President Garfield. Guiteau, according to the Christian doctrine, merely executed the will of God. It cannot be argued reasonably that he was merely the blind instrument of God a that God simply permitted him to follow the course that has wicked passions and malignant heart dictated, leaving him responsible for the deed as for the motives that prompted it: for Guiteau had no personal motive, and has asserted repeatedly that God commanded him to kill Garfield. He was in the confidence of the Almighty from the beginning. If it was God’s will that Garfield should die, God was the instigator of the homicide, and Guiteau was his partner. If the killing was the most damnable and atrocious crime in history, then God is the most atrocious villain the world ever heard of, and Guiteau is no more responsible than the bullet which inflicted the death wound.

But God’s inconsistent apologists argue that there is no evidence of the copartnership beyond Guiteau’s own assertions, and that the Almighty would never select as his partner a man who had committed adultery, cheated landladie, and done other disreputable thing Christians abhor. It is strange that God did not select as his partner some trusted preacher of his word — some holy man who never did anything wrong in his life, and whose claim of inspiration would be accepted as true. Why did he not commission some regularly inspired preacher of the gospel, whom he had already called to serve him at a good salary, to murder Mr. Garfield? Was it because he intended to shirk the responsibility and leave his partner in the lurch, and thought he could spare Guiteau better than Beecher or Talmage or some other meck and lowly follower of the cross? Then why did he not select some professional murderer, who by law ought to be hanged anyway, some “Billy the Kid,” or some great military leader with the blood of thousands on his hands?

Guiteau is not half as bad a man, even admitting that he is sane, as some of those who figure in history and the Bible as being on familiar terms with Jehovah. The Lord has had some very wicked partners on earth. One of them led a band of outcasts and cut-throats for forty years, and, acting under direct orders from the head of the firm, occupied himself in murder, rapine, and plunder during a large portion of the time. The partnership between Moses and the Almighty is accepted as a fact upon no better evidence than the alleged statements of Moses himself and there is no proof that Moses was a more truthful man than Guiteau. Ever since the invention of religion certain men have claimed for themselves divine right to rob, murder, and oppress their fellows. They have called themselves kings, emperors, czars,— all partners of the Lord,— and, under authority of the senior member of the concern, have committed colossal crimes, kept hordes of hired murderers busy killing men, robbed millions of human beings of every natural rights, violated every principle of morality, lived most vicious lives, died pious deaths, and gone straight to eternal glory and everlasting bliss. Partners of the Lord have made bonfires of human flesh, broken living human frames upon the rack, and filled the ears of Infinite mercy with the agonized groans of suffering morality. There is no crime however hideous, no outrage however cowardly, no meanness however despicable, that has not been committed by acknowledged partners of the Lord.

No, Guiteau is not too wicked nor too depraved to be an accomplice of the Almighty, and his claim of divine complicity in his deed rests upon ground every bit as good and reliable as John Calvin’s or Moses’s or Kaiser Wilhelm’s. If there were any such thing as consistency in Christianity, it would have to either accept him at his own estimation or admit that he is a lunatic; but there is no such thing, and therefore Christian ministers approve of hanging him, while the read “collects” and pray God to forgive his own partner in crime.

On Picket Duty.

“Society,” some one has truly said, “is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness.”

The New England “Methodist” illustrates the singular unwillingness of O. B. Frothingham to define his position, in view of the fact that he has avowed a new one, by the story of the Irish lad who fell into a deep well, and, when his father called to know if he were dead, replied: “Not dead, father, bat spacheless.”

An exchange tells us that a rich Italian land-owner resorts to an obsolete feudal custom of making his laborers wear iron muzzles during the grape harvest to prevent them from tasting the grapes. The stockholders and directors of horse-railways who make their conductors use bell-punches to prevent them from “knocking down” fares will probably be the first to boisterously brand this Italian’s conduct as a relic of the dark ages, which could have survived nowhere else than in an “effete monarchy of the old world.”

“It is as safe a prediction as any that we are able to picture to ourselves in European politics to say that the Irish peasant and the Irish landlord will have as completely reversed their relations of every kind to one another between the year 1880 and the year 1900 as did the French peasant and the French lord between 1789 and 1794? Some may think this a bold prophecy on the part of Mr. John Morley, but in the eyes of Liberty it is not as bold as the truth, which is that before the year 1900 landlords of every civilized nationality will have disappeared from the face of the earth.

One of the grandest of revolutionary anniversaries again draws near, the eleventh of the foundation of the glorious Paris Commune. The Internationalist and Anarchists of New York have been actively preparing for its commemoration, and will give a grand concert and ball in its honor Saturday evening, March 18, at Irving Hall, New York. Fine musical talent has been secured, and no pains will be spared for the achievement of a success worthy of the occasion. Family tickets may be had for twenty-five cents, the proceeds of the sale to be devoted to the Asile Laique Francais and to the revolutionary cause in Russia. The time will come when the peoples of the earth will unite in adopting the Eighteenth of March as a day of international festival.

All believers in the State, however much they may try ta disguise it, or however it may be disguised beyond their recognition, believe that “might makes rights.” In the last analysis, they invariably hold that the State may rightfully do that which it would be wrong for an individual to do; in other words, that morality is entirely independent of justice, and may be made and unmade by the human will. Here is an instance, taken from instructions issued to General Burbridge by General Sherman in 1864, the publication of which a personal controversy has lately led to: “You may inform all your post and district commanders that guerillas are not soldiers, but wild beasts, unknown to the usage of war. To be recognized as soldiers they must be enlisted, enrolled, officered, uniformed, armed, and equipped by some recognized belligerent power, and must, if detached from a moving army, be of sufficient strength with written orders from some army commander to do some military thing.” Thus, General Sherman and his army of soldiers, who went “marching through Georgia” destroying other people’s property and taking other people’s lives, were honest patriots and humane gentlemen, because they did these things under the sanction of the State; but Colonel Mosby and his band of guerillas, who did things precisely similar, but in an irregular way, were thieves and murderers and wild beasts, because they acted on their own responsibility.

Senator Edmunds of Vermont says that, in the matter of finance, there are four courses open to us. We must, he asserts, either continue the national bank notes, or substitute the old state bank notes for them, or issue a national currency from the treasury, or confine ourselves to coin money. These four, and no more, argues the wise senator. But he is wrong. He has overlooked a fifth thing which we may do, namely, abolish all that we have done, and do nothing more. Whatever may be the proper functions of government, to supply the people with money is certainly not one of them. The people are entirely competent and willing to make their own money, if the government will only leave them to do it. And they will make much better and cheaper money than the government can. Here, as in every other branch manufacture or business, the superiority of private enterprise will manifest itself. The government might just as well make our hats and our shoes and our bread and our books and our pictures as our money. On this point the State socialists are consistent, and have the advantage over such governmental financiers to oppose them, for greenbackism and national bankism are but phases of compulsory communism. The first condition of a true system of finance is Liberty.

Our friend George Chainey has been talking at random again. In accepting as genuine Oscar Wildes’s profession of discipleship to John Ruskin, he unintentionally but inexcusably slanders the latter. Mr. Chainey may champion any humbug that he likes,— that is comparatively a small matter,— but he has no right to saddle the humbug on the shoulders of sincere and noble man. Oscar Wilde’s art teachings show that his knowledge of Ruskin’s thought is of the most superficial nature, and Mr. Chainey’s identification of the two shows that he is incapable of distinguishing between fundamentally opposite schools of art. The character of a school of art depends primarily on its conception of the purpose of art. What is the conception held by the true aestheticism which John Ruksin stands for? Mr. Chainey answers rightly: “To Ruskin nothing was beautiful that was not at the same time in some way useful to either the physicial, intellectual, or moral elevation of society. It must either state a true thing or adorn a serviceable one. It must never exist alone, never for itself. It exist rightly only when it is the means of knowledge or the grace of agency for life.” What is conception held by the false aestheticism which Oscar Wilde stand for? Hear Mr. Wilde himself: “Any element of morals or implied reference to a standard of good or evil in art is a sign of a certain incompleteness of vision. . . . Poems are either well written or badly written; that is all . . . All good work aims at a purely artistic effect . . . True art exist for art’s sake. Two schools of art founded on principles so diametrically opposite as these must necessarily differ as widely as two schools of religion founded one on authority and the other on Liberty. Yet Mr. Chainey pronounces them one and the same. With as much reason might he indorse any professed disciple of Darwin who should teach that the existence of each species is due to a separate act of creation. And the insult to the master would be no greater than that which he has offered to Ruskin. To accept and pass the counterfeit is to clip the genuine coin. But habit is strong, Mr. Chainey has not been long out of the pulpit, and snap judgments, we suppose, must be expected from him for some time yet.

The Philadelphia “Labor World” says that “governments are becoming more liberal, laws more just and comprehensive, obstacles to advancement are disappearing, and opportunities for the gathering of wealth are multiplying.” Liberty is glad to be assured that such fine things are going on, but confesses to a little curiosity regarding the proofs thereof. The latest Observations taken in England, Russia, Germany, France, and the United States had led us to believe that just at present governments are becoming more illiberal, laws more unjust and narrow, obstacles to advancement are multiplying, and opportunities for the gathering of wealth are being confined to fewer and fewer persons. Not that we were with-out confident expectation of an approaching turn in events; otherwise were Liberty without an occupation. But the order of the day had seemed to us to be a tightening of the chains, a strengthening of the barriers, and a riveting of the yokes. Will the “Labor World” tell us on what grounds we should change our opinion?

There is food for serious thought in the statistics furnished by Professor Leone Levi to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, bearing on the relation between the economical condition of the people and their height and weight. Town artisans appeared from the returns to be of an average height of 66.55; the laboring class, 67.15; the commercial class, 67.79; and the professional, 68.70. In weight the town artisans again stood lowest, with 136.2 lbs., the other statistics being: laboring class, 137.8; commercial, 143.9; professional, 162.7. No less instructive are the investigations of Baron Kolb of Germany, who found that, of 1,000 well-to-do persons and 1,000 poor persons, there remained of the prosperous, after five years, 943, while of the poor but 655 remained. After fifty years there remained of the prosperous 557, and of the poor only 283. At seventy years of age there remained 235 of the prosperous, while the number of the poor yet living was but 65. The average length of life among the well-to-do was found to be fifty years, and of the poor thirty-two years. Do not their stunted stature and shrunken stomachs and the frightful rate of mortality among them conclusively prove that the workers of the world are being put through the process of slow starvation, while the food that they produce goes to swell the bellies of the men who steal it? The phrase “bloated bondholders” contains an element of literal accuracy hitherto undreamed of.


The “Affirmations” of Free Religion.

Listening from time to time to the orators of Free Religion and reading occasionally the Free Religious journals,— or journal, perhaps we should say,— one discovers a certain assumption, put forward with a somewhat orthodox disregard of that much-vaunted Christian grace known as “humility,” to the effect that the true Free Religious liberal is not a merely negative creature, full of all manner of denial, but a person of truly positive and affirmative characteristics; in brief, that the small number of Free Religionists are easily distinguished from the vast herd of so-called liberals who have broken out of the old Evangelical enclosure by this simple sign: the former are builders; they no longer pass their unquiet hours in tearing down the tottering faith of the fathers; on the contrary, they consecrate their intellectual and religious energies all to the service of a new free religious civilization, of which the chief corner-stone is none other than that same spotless morality their Christian brethren have so long denounced as of no more worth than so many “filthy rags:” the latter,— the Tom, Dick, and Harry class,— which comes forth pell-mell, heaven knows how or when, from the four winds,— are simply and only destroyers; they lay waste, or would if they could, all that the ages, with infinite toil and sacrifice, have constructed, leaving but barren earth and howling wilderness to tell of their mighty deeds; they have no outlook into the future, showing them the fair and grand creations of a stately and imposing civilization; they are only intent on tearing down, tearing down, tearing down; they seem to say, “This is our mission, after us the devil.”

The words are ours, but the spirit that inspires them, as we said, is borrowed from the Free Religious teachers. It is the Free Religious estimate of liberal values. Our esteemed contemporary, the “Index,” is fond of often laying out the liberal its dots of differentiating color. It classifies and reclassifies, ever making up its new slate according to its conception of moral pennyweights, or the avoirdupois of spiritual or intellectual culture. And, of course, in strictest regard for that inherited Christian “humility” to which we have alluded, it magnifies the importance of that select and not numerous class of most irreproachable men and women whose sole decorous organ it is. All of which is, doubtless, as it should be, since there is not the slightest suspicion to be cast over its profound and utter sincerity.

Yet, all the same, in the interest of our common humanity, it would be quite defensible, in whomsoever might essay the task, to puncture, at least, with a cambric needle, the swelling bubble of this Free Religious positivism to which the finger of the “Index” so often and so lovingly points. And the simple defence would be that the aforesaid globular apparition is inflated with somewhat on which hungry human nature positively can not feed and long survive.

True, we are not greatly alarmed in view of any rapid spread of this rainbow-hued heresy, and doubt not it will collapse in due season of its own vacuous accord; but there are, as we know, a goodly number of most excellent and noble-minded people who have been led astray by the fascinations of its polished speech and the subdued glamour of its aestheticism, as well as by the claim to superior position amid the up-building forces of this our so needy and patiently-waiting world.

Therefore we speak. For their sakes,— if haply our words may reach ears that hear,— we gently bid them turn their eyes and behold the delusion.

What, then, we ask, is there to support the Free Religious claim to a positive or affirmative attitude?

To waste no words, we bluntly put our questions.

Free Religion no longer gives its time to denying, let us say: (1) the existence of the orthodox deity; (2) the atonement, or mission of Christ; (3) the future life of rewards and punishments; (4) the reality of one incarnate devil, who stole into Paradise and destroyed the bliss of our first parents, and since has been going about as a lion roaring and seeking whom he might devour.

Well, in the place of this, and of much more we might here restate, what does Free Religion affirm?

Does it affirm God in any shape? What affirmation stands instead of the rejected Christi’ What does it say affirmatively of the future life? And how does it dispose of that somewhat extended area of territory so long undisputedly occupied by his Satanic majesty, whom Milton was wont to describe as being in his own conceit “all but less than he whom thunder hath made greater”?

To put these questions is sufficient. Everybody knows Free Religion not only does not attempt to replace these old affirmations with new affirmatives; it glories, instead, in the profession that its constituent parts are all at sea in regard to them, drifting hither and thither at their own free will.

But now, by rapid movement, we pass to the ground Free Religion will claim it has occupied with a most determinedly affirmative state of mind,— to wit, to the ground of man’s moral life here upon earth. It has made the “earthward pilgrimage,” and planted itself strongly in the ethic realities of our present existence. In other word, it has reduced religion to a practical basis, linking it inseparably with world’s morals.

Well, far be it from us to deny that here is happy thought,— one which should find a place in the book and volume of everybody’s brain and heart. But the vital question is, has it done what it thinks it done?

One of the pet phrases of its organ has for some time been, “for supernatural, Christian morality we would substitute natural, scientific morality.” Strain your eyes now, good friend, whoever you are, and tell us just how far this process of substitution has proceeded. Awaiting your response, we fill time with our own report. Not a solitary new affirmative moral dogma has Free Religion reared. Possibly we are blinded and can not see, but to our honest vision there appears not one grand moral affirmation Free Religion has vouchsafed to stand its own peculiar property amid the roar and bustle of “denial” with which it is claimed the liberal air has been filled.

This is the decisive point at which we arrive. Has free Religion affirmed anything whatsoever in its own name as one of the new up-building forces of this our modern time? To our mind this is the answer which must come from fact and truth, “No, not one thing.”

Do we say this gleefully? No, by no means; but sorrowfully, yet not so much for the world’s sake, as for the sake and of the souls of the friends we count organized seriously and solemnly under the Free Religion banner.

The proof of what we say is not far or hard to seek. But the limits or our space now forbid more than the statement which follows: In every important case where Free Religion make a united affirmation, it is close to be observed that the Christian world makes the very same; that, therefore, Free Religion is affirming an old force and not a new one. Not that it must necessarily not affirm a thing because Christian do yet so affirm. Let no one mistake that for charge we bring. Its boast is that it is especially affirming new forces of higher civilization than any yet attained. But when we look for those new forces, they do not, by any affirmation Free Religion makes, put in an appearance.

Now, on the contrary, be it observed, on every new issue upon which mankind is to-day ethically divided, Free Religion is silent. The members of the body, for the most part, cling to the old, conservative side of the living problems that confront the world. Their affirmations are all for what has been, for what is, and for what ought to be.

This is the gist of what we propose to set forth in the next issue of Liberty.


Whilhelm’s Bouncing Boy.

The Emperor Wilhelm of Germany, better known among his subjects as “der alle Hengst,” has concluded at the ripe age of eighty-five that the modern drift of constitutional liberty is all wrong, and will soon lead his royal son to the regency with the notions of Charles I and Louis XIV in his hands wherewith to guide and rule young Germany.

If we mistake not, this bouncing boy will have a big job on his hands before the socialists get through with him. Already they have captured half the army, and, while Bismarck is at his wits’ end to conciliate the laboring masses), the mercantile and educated classes feel insulted at his protective schemes and absolutist tendencies. As if to maliciously overflow the cup of bitterness, Wilhelm now publishes his “rescript,” affirming the maxims of the old monarchists of the Middle Ages.

Well may the blind and infatuated royal cranks tremble at the approach of the day when these newly educated soldier-socialists shall refuse to shoot their fellow proletaires in the streets. In one hand the soldier holds the bayonet, on which is poised the last argument of kings; in the other, the socialistic manifesto disguised under cover of a patent medicine advertisement for the sure cure of the “king’s evil.” The bayonet will yet succumb to the king’s evil, and then where will be Wilhelm’s bouncing boy with the maxims of the Stuarts pasted upon the throne?

The German emperor, in putting himself on the same plane with the czar, similarly endangers his life. He may possibly succeed in making his ministers and officers alone responsible to him, but every royal imitator of the czar will find himself seriously liable, when it is too late, to be responsible to the first brave man who can reach him with a bomb of dynamite. Wilhelm’s bouncing boy had better bethink himself of these things before the old man dies.

In Memoriam.

Liberty has lost an apostle,— one of her most tried and true defenders, one of her most courageous soldiers, one of her most ardent advocates, one of her most devoted martyrs. Early in the evening of Wednesday, January 11, 1882, after a ten days’ prostration by a paralytic stroke, in Boston, the city which she loved above all others, Laura Kendrick breathed her last. Hers was a life, hers is a character, fit to be treated by the combined genius of the foremost of biographers and the foremost of novelists. In approaching them Liberty’s pen seems almost powerless. But it would be base ingratitude in a journal aiming to represent a cause which owes so much to her, if to her memory it should fail to pay the heartfelt tribute of a farewell word, however feebly spoken. Briefly, then, what was this life that is gone? what is this character that remains?

Laura Kendrick was born in Paris of English parents forty-nine years ago. Her father occupied a high position in the British navy; her mother belonged to the British nobility. She lived in Paris until the age of eight, reared amid all the advantages of wealth, comfort, culture, and refinement, and speaking only the French language. These eight years, similar in very few respects to any portion of her after-life, left a marked impress upon it. At their close her family took up their residence in Canada, bringing her across the ocean with them. Here she first acquired the English tongue and became assimilated to the English race. She was a strange, dreamy, imaginative, reverent child,— submissive, yet wayward; a family phenomenon, wondered at by all, but dearly loved. Coupled with her waywardness, which was born, not of perversity, but of conviction, her nature, though prone to fun and gaiety, had in it a marked element of serious romanticism. At the age of fourteen circumstances which cannot be related here called upon her for a decision which this combination of characteristics controlled, and the result was a separation from her relatives, which pride made permanent. Thrown on her own resources, she soon found her way to the United States, where, at first earning her living by her needle, she later became the wife of Harvey McAlpine, who had just abandoned his profession of clergyman of the English church in Canada for that of the law, and who afterwards became district attorney at Port Huron, Michigan, where they lived in happiness for many years. During thin period occurred that turning-point of her life without which it would have been of no interest to Liberty, for then and there it was that modern spiritualism wrenched her, as it has so many others, from a thoughtless acceptance of the dogmas of Christianity, and, by its innovating tendency rather than by any rationality of its own, brought her face to face with the tremendous problems upon which the interest of radicalism centres. The phenomena that made her its convert came through her own mediumship. What they were, under what circumstances they were produced, and how much they actually proved we cannot undertake to say; they were, at any rate, sufficient to convince her of the reality of a future life and the possibility of communication with those who have entered it. Whatever may be thought of the theory and phenomena of spiritualism,— and, considered in themselves, we certainly hold them in very small esteem,— every one who knew Laura Kendrick must admit the absolutely unquestionable sincerity of her acceptance thereof. Like all earnest recipients of a new gospel, she burned with zeal to spread it. The opportunity was not only brought, but forced upon her by a sad experience. Financial difficulties drove her husband to suicide, and she took the field as a lecturer. Here her public life began. And as we have already outlined that portion of her private life which was principally instrumental in the formation of her character, we shall refer but casually to the rest of it, since it does not concern the world. She rose rapidly into tho highest rank of spiritualist lecturers, developing a power of oratory capable, under pressure of appropriate circumstance, of piercing to depths of human feeling such as we have never heard sounded by the lips of any other woman. Increasing experience in the advocacy of spiritualism gradually taught her that, if it was to be of real value, it must become a religion of this world as well as of the next, and from the time that she first fully realized this she gave her principal attention to the cause of the suffering and downtrodden. No appeal from violated Liberty ever addressed itself to her in vain. Her responses thereto have been heard by hundreds of thousands from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast, and the radical seed that she has sown has borne abundant fruit. Shortly after the war she went to California, where she started Sunday evening lectures in Maguire’s Opera House at San Francisco, which at once became exceedingly popular. Their novelty contributed not a little to their success, no female orator at that time having been heard in that part of the country. Through these lectures she exerted no small influence on public sentiment, and they became one of the institutions of the city. She eloquently pleaded the cause of oppressed womanhood, of the fleeced laborer, of the maltreated criminal. The San Francisco “Chronicle” pronounced her “the acknowledged leading champion of radicalism on the Pacific coast.” Those were the days of her highest prosperity. Money flowed freely into her treasury, and was as freely disbursed among the poor and the persecuted. She took no thought for the morrow, little dreaming that her devotion to truth would one day lose her the bulk of her supporters. Such a fate, however, was close at hand for her. In 1872 the famous free-love agitation was attracting the attention of the country. Mrs. Woodhull, its leader, had become the heroine of the New York wing of the woman suffragists, and had been chosen president of the spiritualists’ national body. Her praises were being sounded far and wide by prominent radicals. In the fail of that year she launched the Beecher scandal, and her pseudo-friends vanished like smoke. It was a severe test, and only a few stood it. Of these, one was Laura Kendrick, who had returned to the East a short time before. Heedless of consequences, she jumped into the breach, espoused Mrs. Woodhull and her cause believing in both, visited her in prison, carried her food, and, wherever she went, lifted her eloquent voice in behalf of the woman against whom nearly all religious, social, and political forces had united. Then began the fatal period of adversity which drove her to the grave. From that day her fortunes waned. The spiritualists, regardless of their debt to her, were the first to abandon her. Finally — unkindest cut of all — Mrs. Woodhull herself, whose duplicity she had least expected and deserved, turned and attacked her. But she struggled on valiantly, hopefully, never abating one jot or title of the truth. In 1874 she returned to San Francisco, where the labor agitation was just coming to the front. She plunged into it, body and soul. Another ruinous, glorious step. More friends fell off. The Pittsburg riots broke out, and she, with others, initiated the famous “sand-lot” meetings, which the foul-mouthed demagogue, Kearney, afterwards captured and debased. The cry went up that “the Chinese must go.” The persecuted became persecutors. She, ever faithful, championed the Chinese. This was not pleasing to the agitators, but she maintained her ground and struggled on. In 1878 she came back to the East,— to her beloved Boston. The anti-Comstock agitation was at its height. She arrived just as Mr. E. H. Heywood was about to be tried for mailing “Cupid’s Yokes.” At once she became a leader in the struggle. It seemed as if she was fated, during her later years, to run straight into the teeth of every social storm and bear the brunt of it. Mr. Heywood was sentenced and imprisoned. She went to Washington, and by her infinite tact and persuasive tongue procured his pardon from the president. Her reward for this deed of nobility and mercy was chiefly contumely and ostracism. And still she struggled on. But her sensitive nature was beginning to succumb under the heavy load of poverty, persecution, and slander. Disease began its ravages. She grew weaker and weaker. But never, to the very end, did she fail to answer any call if it was possible to maintain her feet. In 1880 she suffered an apoplectic attack and in 1881 a paralytic stroke, the latter being repeated but a few days ago with fatal effect. She lingered for ten days in an unconscious state, and then sank peacefully into her eternal sleep.

The central, predominant, towering characteristic of this brave woman’s nature was her life-long fidelity to sincere conviction. At whatever cost she stood for the truth as she saw it. The power did not exist that could make her retreat one inch Her slender body was ruled by an indomitable will that worked for righteousness. Next in importance came her singular purity. In thought and act her life was utterly clean. Many have been the attempts to stain her reputation, but her character remain as spotless as the freshly-fallen snow. She combined the refinement of aristocracy with the spirit of democracy. Given to violent likes and dislikes, she was tolerant of all, bore no malice, and was incapable of treasuring up ill-will. An almost unerring judge of human nature, she was always careful to revise her first judgment, if necessary, by subsequent experience. Her endurance was phenomenal. While able to improve prosperity to its utmost, she could bear up under adversity with a resistance seemingly out of all proportion to her strength. Her philanthropy was of the broadest, truest sort, taking in and aiding all who suffered before stopping to ask why they suffered. She had a quick temper, but a genial, sunny temperament. Hers was a tropical nature physically and morally, ill-adapted to cast winds of any sort. This, combined with her perfect manners, easy bearing, entire self-possession, unobtrusive modesty, and delightful conversation, made her a charming companion socially. She had her faults, of course, but they were petty ones, not worth considering now.

She has gone, we said above, to her eternal sleep. But her work lives after her, immortal in its beneficent influence, certain to go on forever. Many friends of Liberty owe their first radical impulse to the stimulation of her eloquence and example. She lives also in the grateful and loving memory of thousands who knew her privately, and in the hearts of her mourning husband and children and not a few grief-stricken friends. One of the latter, who dined with her just before her last sickness, writes to us: “I felt that day, when she left the table, she was going to her grave. Poor, aspiring souls that we all are, flickering and disappearing! A very noble woman, of whom the world was not worthy!”

Guiteau, the Fraud-Spoiler.

I What may become of Guiteau is in itself a matter of little consequence. He represents a very low type of humanity. Although he took of the leading figure-head of an unscrupulous conspiracy of political rogues, this, were he sane, would detract nothing from the cowardice and unjustifiability of the act, for which we have a detestation more sincere than that professed by the editorial and clerical hypocrites who have shed so many tears over the lamented president.

But, readily as we concede the atrocity of Guiteau’s deed, the taking of one man’s life by another without just cause,— that and nothing more,— we, nevertheless, are convinced that humanity owes Guiteau a debt of gratitude for a rare service which it will sometime be better able to appreciate. That service consists in his astonishing efficacy as a fraud-spoiler. Guiteau is the first man in the record of great trials who ever had a fair whack in open court at judicial liars and hirelings on the bench, legal thieves at the bar, and learned professional quacks and usurpers generally.

How well he has done his work it is needless to say. He sealed Beecher’s lecherous lips with one stroke. He demolished the minor legal and political upstarts with one slap. At his rejoinders the learned “experts” soon sickened of chewing their own words and attempting to demonstrate a knowledge of Guiteau’s mind on July 2 while the prisoner proved to them that they did not know their own minds for five consecutive minutes when testifying.

When a correct report of this trial is published, and read with a view to its “true inwardness,” it will prove a greater source of enlightenment than all the celebrated state trials ever recorded. It has already opened the eyes of thousands of the American public to the hollow humbuggery of professional hierarchs. It has done more to cheapen the status of titled frauds on judicial benches, in medical colleges, and in guilded offices generally than anything that has transpired during the century. It has stripped the mask from scores of representative pretenders, and shown the public that underneath their diplomas, learned titles, and scholarly uniforms the substance of even common sense is wanting. Of that part of Guiteau’s levelling career which covers the cowardly taking of the life of a fellow-man we share the common impulse of detestation, though not forgetting that the State which assumes the right to take his life is no less a murderer than he,— yea, more so,— since the State cannot put forward the plea of insanity. But Guiteau’s career as a leveller of professional fraud and a cheapener of their assumptions is simply splendid. He has proved a formidable “bear” in the expert market, and a few more such trials as his would send down professional stocks, fees, and salaries with a bound. A court of law is very much like its stater machine, the church. During service the accused party on trial, who by right ought to have most to say, is debarred in favor of the fee-takers. Happily, Guiteau has been a memorable exception, and he has taken magnificent advantage of his opportunities for usefulness. In this regard we think that no small portion of the American public would be willing to tender him a vote of thanks.

[Lysander Spooner, (unsigned)]


A Precious Pair of Pious Politicians.

Boston has a postmaster. His name is Tobey,— E. S. Tobey. He is a pious and holy man. For many years he has been a stalwart pillar of the Church. Of late years, since his official appointment, he has also been a not insignificant prop of the State. That Church and State in this country are separated more in theory than in fact thinking people generally understand. That political advancement treads close upon the heels of religious profession we have often noticed. That this fact is the explanation of Postmaster Tobey’s appointment to office we have always more than suspected. But we had never supposed that he would have the assurance, not only to publicly acknowledge his little game, but to boast of it and hold it up as a shining example to the rising generation. Nevertheless, that is just what he has done. About a fortnight ago a short paragraph in a Boston morning paper caught our eye, which briefly outlined a speech made the evening before by Postmaster Tobey before a Bethel Sunday School. This speech reminded us so strongly of a celebrated Sunday School oration said to have been delivered in the wilds of the West by United States Senator Abner Dilworthy that we asked a reporter, who heard Mr. Tobey, to write it out for us. He has done so, in words which he vouches for as substantially accurate. His manuscript furnished so remarkable a confirmation of our suspicions of plagiarism that we decided to print the two speeches side by side for our readers to compare for themselves. Accordingly, here they are:

Remarks of Postmaster E. S. Tobey, at the Bethel in Boston, before the First Baptist Mariners’ Sunday School, on the occasion of its forty-second anniversary, Sunday evening, January 8. Reported from memory by a professional reporter, who was present.

At the time the war of the rebellion broke out I had the honor to be the president of the Young Men’s Christian Association of Boston. Soon a plan was devised for calling a convention to take measures to provide for the dare of sick and wounded soldiers. I confess I did not think well of the plan, but I waived my own better judgment, hoping that, after an, the scheme might prove to be a good one, and wishing to do what I could to help along any good cause. I went to the convention in New York, was chosen one of Its vice-presidents, and in that capacity went to Philadelphia to aid in the good work, and from there to Washington, becoming acquainted with great men on all sides; and from there I went among the army, was introduced to General Grant, and as the result of that, without any solicitation on my part, I was appointed to the official position I now hold. All this honor and emolument unsolicited by me, is the result of my endeavor to do good,— in short, the result of my good act in taking pert in that convention. No one could have foretold this result, but it only serves to confirm what I have told you, that every good deed is sure to receive its reward, sooner or later.

Remarks of United States Senator Abner Dilvtorthy, during his canvass for re-election, before the Sunday School of the village church at Cattleville. Reported by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in their work called “The Glided Age.”

“Now, my dear little friends, sit up straight and pretty,— there, that’s it,— and give me your attention and let me tell you about a poor little Sunday School scholar I once knew. He lived in the far west, and his parents were poor. They could not give him a costly education, but they were good and wise and they sent him to the Sunday School. He loved the Sunday School. I hope you love your Sunday School — ah, I see by your faces that you do! That is right.

“Well, this poor little boy was always in his place when the bell rang, and he always know his lesson; for his teachers wanted him to learn and he loved his teachers dearly. Always love your teachers, my children, for they love you more than you can know, now. He would not let bad boys persuade him to go to play on Sunday. There was one little bad boy who was always trying to persuade him, but he never could.

“So this poor little boy grew up to he a man, and had to go out in the world, far from home and friends to earn his living. Temptations lay all about him, and sometimes he was about to yield, but he would think of some precious lesson he learned in his Sunday School a long time ago, and that would save him. By and by he was elected to the legislature. Then he did everything he could for Sunday Schools. He got laws passed for them; he got Sunday Schools established wherever he could.

“And by and by the people made him governor — and he said it was all owing to the Sunday School.

“After a while the people elected him a Representative to the Congress of the United States, and he grew very famous. — Now temptations as sailed him on every hand. People tried to get him to drink wine, to dance, to go to theatres; they even tried to buy his vote; but no, the memory of his Sunday School saved him from all harm; be remembered the fate of the bad little boy who used to try to get him to play on Sunday, and who grew up and became a drunkard and was hanged. He remembered that, and was glad he never yielded and played on Sunday.

“Well, at last, what do you think happened? Why the people gave him a towering, illustrious position, a grand, imposing position. And what do you think it was? What should you say it was, children? It was Senator of the United States. That poor little boy that loved his Sunday School became that man. That man stands before you! All that he is, he owes to the Sunday School.

“My precious children, love your parents, love your teachers, love your Sunday Scbjol, be pious, be obedient, be honest, be diligent, and then you will succeed in life and be honored of all men. Above all things, my children, be honest. Above all things be pure-minded as the snow. Let us join in prayer.”

When Senator Dilworthy departed from Cattleville, he left three dozen boys behind him arranging campaign of life whose objective point was the United States Senate.

When he arrived at the State capital at midnight Mr. Noble came and held a three hours’ conference with him, and then as he was about leaving said:

“I’ve worked hard, and I’ve got them at last. Six of them haven’t got quite backbone enough to show around and come right out for you on the first ballot to-morrow, but they’re going to vote against you on the first for the sake of appearances, and then come out for you all in a body on the second — I’ve fixed all that! By supper time to-morrow you’ll be re-elected. You can go to bed and sleep easy on that.”

After Mr. Noble was gone, the Senator said:

“Well, to bring about a complexion of things like this was worth coming West for.”

As we pondered over these singular orations and the lessons to be drawn from them, we were involuntarily reminded of another instance of official promotion almost as remarkable. It is needless, of course, to say that we refer to the career of Sir Joseph Porter, K. C. B. And the thought occurred to us that it would be the rankest injustice for his well-earned fame to go down to posterity recorded and enshrined in the immortal verse of “Pinafore,” if the deeds and achievements of Postmaster Tobey were to remain unhonored and unsung. So we resolved to invoke the Muse,— with what result our readers now may judge:

E. Sanctimonious Tobey to the Youthful Mariners.

When I will an led, I readily learned
How the scales of popular prejudice turned;
That a sleek demeanor and pious tones
To secular success were stepping-stones.
So I shaped my course by such points as these,
And trimmed my sails for a worldly breeze.

[Chorus of Admiring Mariners.]
He steered so close to the wind, d’ye see,
That he’s now postmaster of a big cit-tee.

So I cultivated a saintly air,
“Arena in meeting” and “led in prayer,”
And the blood of the Lamb I utilized,
For it kept me pretty well advertised.
It was not strange I soon found my way
To tho head of the B. Y. M. C. A.

[ Chorus.]
He made himself so solid with the saints, d’ye see,
That he’s now postmaster of a big cit-tee.

With cunning hand I began to mix
My piety up with my politics,
And always figured on the party slate
As a highly moral candidate.
The wires pulled easily, greased with grace,
And hoisted me into a good, fat place.

He oiled the machine with santi-tee.
And he’s now postmaster of big cit-tee.

There’s nothing so helps to win success
As a standard reputation for godliness;
For cheek and cont together, you’ll find,
Have a very strong hold on the public mind.
And it may be possible, if you try,
To become such it goodly, goody, good man as I.

Let us cultivate a holy hypocri-see,
And federal officeholders we all may be.


Appeal of the Nihilists.


We have been engaged for several years in the murderous struggle going on in Russia between the government on one side and on the other the men of spirit who have sworn an oath to deliver their country from the despotism which is crushing it.

From day to day the struggle takes on greater proportions and the number of victims consequently increases. The scaffold, the galleys, banishment, and exile by administrative measures seek their prey in all classes of Russian society. The beneficiaries of fortune, as well as the working people and the peasantry; fall under the blows of governmental persecution, and among the latter how many laborers who were the sole support of their families! Shall these victims of the struggle for liberty be viewed with less interest than the widows and orphans left by wars instituted by States? Are the miseries and misfortunes engendered by this struggle less entitled to our sympathies? For a long time the groups tried to relieve these ever-increasing sufferings; but, few in number and deficient in organization, the committees were unable to perform this duty in a manner at all satisfactory.

There has now been established in Russia a Society of the Red Cross of the Will of the People, concentrating in itself the activity of all the groups of this class which preceded it. Its name explains the special object of its work. Just as, on the battle-field, the nurses and doctors of the Red Cross of Geneva pick up the fallen and dress their wounds, so on this blood-stained land of Russia the new Society proposes to care for those wounded in the warfare now being waged in Russia in the name of the Will of the People, and to rush to the aid, without distinction of party or profession of faith, of all those who have suffered in the struggle for liberty of speech, thought, and human development.

It appeals to the sympathies of foreigners as well us to those of the Russians themselves, and counts on the support of all who take to heart the sufferings engendered by the struggles of liberty, in whatever country they present themselves, and who are ready to extend a helping hand to the self-sacrificing, whatever their nationality. To this end the central committee of the Society has appointed two persons to organize a foreign section and receive the sums contributed to the work. These delegates are citizeness Vera Sassulitch and citizen Pierre Lavroff. In conformity to the end which the Society has in view these delegates propose:

1. To make direct appeal for subscriptions by circulating numbered lists, stamped and signed by the delegates, on which shall be registered the sums given by the donors. The latter are requested to deposit their contributions only in the hands of the delegates or of the persons supplied by them: with the aforesaid subscription lists, or at the offices of such journals as shall open a subscription in behalf of the Society.

2. To solicit the cooperation of journals friendly to our cause by inviting them to likewise open subscriptions for the benefit of the Society and to transmit to the delegates the sums thus collected.

3. To call, from time to time, in the principal centres where the Society exercises its activity, meetings of all its members residing in foreign lands. Every parson known to the delegates as having contributed to the work of the Society, either by subscription or personal effort, may attend these meetings, take part in the discussions which they occasion, and obtain such information as can be imparted without prejudice to the Society’s action.

4. To publish in the newspapers reports of the sums received and the manner of their employment.

5. To name, in case of necessity and for countries where there is no delegate, persons of trust, whose signature shall carry in those countries a weight equal to that of the delegates themselves.

Citizens, in addressing this appeal to you, we count on your devotion to the cause of liberty. The sufferings endured by our friends in Russia deserve the profound appreciation of all men of heart. Come to their aid, and thus give proof of that solidarity without which the cause of humanity can never triumph.

Vera Sassulitch,

Pierre Lavroff,

December 27, 1881.

Our European Letter.

[From Liberty’s Special Correspondent.]

London, January 1, 1882. — Whenever, in the trying midnight hours, doubt seizes me and I despair of ever seeing the victorious realization of the ideas for which we have abandoned everything,— home, family, fortune, social position,— then I look over to Russia, where the spectacle afforded is sufficient to at once disperse the nightmares of the most pessimistic. If ever history shall be written by other than minds corrupted by the influence of their social surroundings, the famous three hundred of Thermopylae and the ten thousand of Xenophon will be looked upon as examples of courage, self-sacrifice, and sublimity a hundred-fold less imposing than those afforded by the men and women who brave death and — what is more — a living sepulchre in the icy steppes of Siberia, not for themselves, not for their own aggrandizement, bus for others unknown to them, for the wretched masses whom they love and refuse to exploit after the manner of the bourgeoisie. One hundred and twenty thousand have been sent to Siberia during the last three years! Thirty-seven have been hanged! And yet each day contributes to our ranks double the number thus taken from as.

You probably have beard the rumor that Ignatieff’s position has been much shaken on account of the various signs of life recently exhibited by our party. Put it down as a fabrication. Ignatieff stands firmer than ever, for he is the only man who is willing to continue the policy of adherence to governing on purely Asiatic principles, which the czar regards as the only cure for the growing spirit of dissatisfaction and rebellion.

Even the last remnants of the appearance of justice have now been abolished. All trials hereafter are to be held in strictest secrecy, newspapers are forbidden even to mention the fact of a trial or the names of the accused, and executions are to be accomplished in the presence of no witnesses. All newspapers except the organs of the government are suppressed, and the icy silence of death reigns throughout the vast dominions of Alexander III.

Tchernichevsky’s place of exile has now been changed for the fourth time. You will remember that at the International Literary Congress at Vienna it was moved to petition the czar for the release of the unfortunate romancier. The czar acceded to the demand officially, but give orders the same day for the removal of the exile to the utmost extreme of northern Siberia, facing the ever-frozen sea, where he has been given into the custody of some savage Exquimaux, even Russian cossacks being unable to endure the climate. He himself, even when free, is completely dead for our purposes, as only his body survives.

In Germany social politics, since the Pyrrhus-victory of the elections, has experienced a little lull, though you may prepare to hear news shortly showing it to have been but the lull before the storm. The popular vote cast by the socialists in Germany was two hundred thousand less than at the election of 1878. I do not follow the custom of all parties by counting all the votes not cast as ours. I should be glad to know that even five per cent of them were due to the policy of deliberate abstention. Bebel was defeated for the fourth time, in Mainz, too, where Liebknecht withdrew in his favor, and where thereby a constituency already won for the Social Democrats has been lost again. It is said that Bruno Geiser, Liebknecht’s son-in-law, will resign his seat for Chemnitz in order to make room for Bebel.

It is a natural law that, once started down an inclined plane, the rapidity of the fall increases in a geometrical ratio. A few days ago, in a public debate in the Reichstag, Hasenclever, a Social Democrat, revealed the fact that Hohm, a member of the revolutionary party, was a delegate to the London congress. Hohm is a married man with five children dependent upon him, and, in consequence of this infamous denunciation, will be completely ruined. Penkert, another valiant member of our party, has been arrested, through the denunciation of these same men, at Vienna.

The European newspapers have been circulating alarming reports about the state of Karl Marx’s health. I can inform you that, though having been very deeply affected by the death or his wife a few weeks ago, he has completely recovered from the shock, and is once more able to continue his subterranean warfare against the Anarchists.

On Picket Duty.

George Chainey’s “Infidel Pulpit” now comes to us under the title, “This World.” It presents a very handsome appearance, and we are glad to hear that it is achieving an abundant success.

William W. Crapo, who represents the first congressional district of Massachusetts in the national house of representatives, is soon to report, in his capacity of chairman of the committee on banking and currency, a bill draughted by himself extending the national banking system for another twenty years. Mr. Crapo is popular among his neighbors, and enjoys the reputation of being an honest man. He may mean well now, but by this action he will constitute himself the champion of the most gigantic swindle ever perpetrated upon tin American people. He is said to have his eye upon the governorship of Massachusetts, and the Crapo “boom” set in some time ago. He is evidently shrewd enough to see that capital makes our governors, and is bidding high. It usually makes no difference to us who is governor, but if Mr. Crappo runs for the office, we confess that we should enjoy seeing Uncle Benjamin Butler beat him right out of his boots.

In another column of this issue is given our estimate of the life and character of an earnest fellow-worker recently taken from the ranks forever. It is written from our own standpoint, as it should be. But how far one who accepts the task of conducting an actual funeral ceremony is justified in flying in the face of the dearest beliefs of the deceased is another question, which we are driven to consider by the action of W. J. Colville, the Spiritualist priest chosen to say the parting words over Laura Kendrick’s coffin. He began the exercises by reading selections from the Bible which he know to be in direct conflict with the teachings of her life. “Blessed are the dead who die in Christ Jesus,” he began; “The Lord is my shepherd,” he continued; and so on to the end. Laura Kendrick did not die in Christ Jesus, and would have rebelled at the very thought. She died in her own glorious self. If, beyond the veil which separates us from the future, there is a judgment day when the damned are separated from the saved, Laura Kendrick, unescorted by any mediator, will walk straight, erect, and fearlessly into the presence of the great white throne there to receive her sentence, confident in the power of her own virtues to achieve her own salvation. Nor was the Lord her shepherd. Her rôle through life was that of a shepherdess. She belonged to no flock, but tended many. And if, the other side the grave, there are green pastures and still waters, our word for it she will discover them unaided, and load countless others to enjoy their benefits. Mr. Colville, by reading these passages, outraged her memory and insulted her friends, and nothing but the proprieties of the occasion saved him from being confronted with at least one rebuffing protest on the spot. He cannot plead ignorance; he knew her too well for that. We can view his conduct only as a feeble imitation cf the cowardly efforts long practised by the Christian church to capture the infidel dead.


Theology in the Light of Sculpture.

Two little girls discussing theology in a sculptor’s studio.

First Little Girl. — “We wasn’t made out of clay like that.”

Second L. G. — “Yes, we was.”

First L. G. — “How do you know?”

Second L. G. — “The priest says so.”

First L. G. — “How does he know? Was he there?”

Second L. G. — “Well, God was.”

First L. G.
— “How do you know that? You wasn’t there.”

Second L. G. — “Well, somebody was. Of course there was. Oh, ho, you silly girl! Of course somebody was.”

First L. G. — “Maybe — but — I don’t know as there was.”

— The thread of conversation was here cut by a shower of rain, and the girls scampered home.

A Second Chapter on Usury.

All statutory laws that interfere with voluntary trade between individuals must be wrong. Therefore, so-called usury laws cannot be defended on any principle of justice.

Again, all such laws are unwise, because they attempt to deal with results. O. W. Holmes says that “it is useless to medicate the symptoms.” If we wish to remove a wrong, we must find the cause, and attack that. History, experience, and reason are in accord in teaching us that usury cannot be regulated by any laws limiting the rate per cent.

The foundation of interest is debt. Therefore, when we all become Bible Christians and “owe no man anything,” usury will be no more. But it may be truly said that we can never get out of debt so long as usury prevails. Here seems to be an unsurmountable difficulty; but a lawyer of some note in this State told me that all this could be righted by less than ten lines of legislation. What we demand, and all we demand, is the abolition of class legislation.

Greenbacks do not constitute scientific money; for, while they stand to represent wealth, there is no tangible, actual wealth back of them to redeem them, in case the holders wish to realize, and close the transaction. For selling goods for money is only one-half of a transaction. All trade, let us remember, is exchanging goods for goods. But the point I wish to present here is this: while all credit money implies a debt, there is a vital difference between the greenback and the national bank note. The former does not constitute an interest-bearing debt; the latter does. Here we see hundreds of millions sucking interest from the productive portion of the people, for no good purpose and for no good reason. I hope and trust that the Greenback party soon become strong enough to remedy this matter.

Let us look at another class of interest-drawing debts, which can be easily wiped out. The people of any city can carry their city debt in their pockets in the form of credit money, just as well as to borrow the money and pay interest. Some of the Western cities are doing this. It is a hopeful indication.

Again, if the people can pay for all the railroads in the country every ten years and virtually give the same to the railroad corporations, can they not, pay for them once and own them, and thus stop all that drain of interest? But the great difficulty, after all, is to convince the live, active business man that interest is wrong in principle and bad in its results. The impossibility of meeting its demands ought to satisfy any thinking man that it cannot be right. One penny put at compound interest at six per cent would bankrupt the whole solar system in less than two thousand years, in all the planet were solid gold! Well, then, why does not interest eat us all up? Simply because A goes into bankruptcy to-day, B tomorrow, and thus through the whole alphabet many times in a year. In other words, interest necessitates failure.

If a man owns two good houses in Boston, he can live in one, and live on the man who lives in the other. Can that be just right? Look through all our cities, and see the land, the buildings, and the vast quantities of goods, on all which somebody is paying usury in the form of rent, profit, and interest. Another panic must settle a large part of those demands.

There are many reforms, improvements, and methods of education that demand our consideration, but we want money to work with. Isaac Butts, in the “North American Review” for January, 1873, said, in speaking of the various corporations: “They are wrongfully abstracting from the pockets of the people millions upon millions every month.” This must be reformed first.



To “Apex.”

Dear Sir:— I see that you “cannot consider” what I say; yet you pronounce my statements superficial and my notions primitive with as much assurance as if you could consider them. I seek to know and follow the truth, but the “you’re another” argument, though much in favor among uncivilized folk, does not lead that way.

I am quite content to let my statements stand as they are for those who can consider them, and equally ready to acknowledge my errors when any one shows them to me.

Important truths often lie on the surface, and are missed by those who fancy themselves profound.

The fact that farmers’ mortgage debts largely increased in the State of Indiana in the year 1880 has no bearing whatever on my arguments, as you would have seen for yourself had you been free to consider them. The natural and rational explanation of the large increase of those debts is that the farmers found it profitable to borrow. Those Indiana people are not such fools as to add fourteen million dollars to their indebtedness in one year, if they did not find it pay to do so.

Among primitive peoples there was no individual ownership of land, no money, no money-lending, and I believe we shall some day resemble them in those respects; but the coming of that day will not, I venture to think, be hastened by the primitive method of calling names, or by trying to “take the second lesson first.”



Thy cause, O Liberty! can never fail.

Whether by foes o’erwhelmed or friends betrayed.

Then be its advocates of naught afraid;

As God is true, they surely shall prevail.

Let base oppressors tremble and turn pale;

They and they alone may justly be dismayed.

For Truth and Righteousness are on thy side arrayed,

And the whole world shall yet thy triumph hail!

No blow for thee was ever struck in vain;

Thy champions, martyrs, are of noble birth;

Rare honors, praises, blessings, thanks, they gain,

And time and glory magnify their worth.

A thousand times defeated, thou shalt reign

Victor, O Liberty! o’er all the earth.

An Unsatisfactory Reason.

My dear Mr. Tucker:— At length I see a reason, given by “Apex,” why the plough-lender is not entitled to pay for the use of his plough. It is that the use is of no value to the user. I think that “Apex” can have no knowledge of agriculture. If he had ever tried with his hands alone fit an acre of land for the reception of seed, he would hardly have such a reason. I do not see why a man would take the trouble to borrow a plough, if its use was of no value to him. I must wait for a better reason than this. “Apex” is not yet the apex.

Yours cordially,
J. M. L. Babcock

Henry George’s Errors.

Benj. R. Tucker:— The broadside which Liberty fired into the Henry George camp under the caption, “Ireland’s New Saviour,” is very exhilarating after reading to saticty the extravagant eulogy and fulsome panegyric bestowed so lavishly on that author by such journals as the “Irish World” and the New York “Truth,” About two months ago I examined “Progress and Poverty” for the first time, and was greatly astonished that such unqualified adulation have been heaped by radical reformers upon a treatise that is vulnerable in so many different points.

Wust George denominates “The Remedy” is so utterly absurd and ridiculous when closely analyzed that I decided to write a pamphlet exposing its fallacy and exhibiting to the cursory reader of that book the ignis fatuus the author has followed down to the present period.

You, too, have overlooked the fatal error in his taxation and revenue scheme. It is the destruction of land values by taxation for the purpose of making the land common property, and then proposing to make the defunct land values the source of a vast revenue system.

Do you perceive the incompatibility of the two propositions?

E. F. Boyd.
26 Second Avenue, New York, Nov. 16, 1881.

Right and Individual Rights.

Until somebody shall have formulated and demonstrated a correct science of justice, the way is ever open to constant confusion as regards the subject of right and rights. The columns of a newspaper are not the place to develop such a science; nevertheless, the matter is so important that we have determined, reconsidering our previously-announced purpose to drop it, to once more re-state our position. On several occasions our editorials have been sharply criticised by parties who are supposed to know something of the principles of Liberty; not that they would differ from us, if they carried in mind the distinction that must necessarily be kept in view in discussing the bearings of Liberty upon human acts, but simply that they have got into the habit of carelessly defining acts without reference to the sphere of the individuals acting.

The right to do a thing and the abstract right of a thing involve two essentially different principles. For instance, we have defended the right of individuals to make contracts stipulating the payment of usury, and should strike at the very essence of Liberty if we did not; but this defence of individual right by no means carries with it the defence of usury as an equitable transaction per se. In defending the right to take usury, we do not defend the right of usury. He who cannot see this has not managed the A B C of social analysis. One of our critics, who has twice challenged our defence of individuals who voluntarily choose to be parties to usury, strenuously defends “free rum.” Would he like to be accused of saying thereby that it is right, as a matter of principle, to drink rum inordinately? No, he is a severe believer in the wrongfulness of excessive rum-drinking. But he believes that the rum-drinker and the rum-seller have the right to execute a contract involving a practice wrong in itself, and that no third party has the right to step between them by force and dictate the terms of their mutual and voluntary transactions. This is exactly, and no more than, what Liberty affirms with regard to usury. Wherein, then, have we so grievously sinned?

To say that it is absolutely right to do a thing is to say that, to do it is to do that which will administer to the greatest possible good, when every possible element involved in the transaction is seen and weighed. But who possesses that sublime omniscience which can see and weigh every element, past, present, and future, that enters into a transaction? And even if one could, who is to vouch authoritatively that his weights, measures, and balances are correct? In this dilemma the theologians, of course, find an easy way out by setting up a pure fiction labelled “God” and stamped infallible. This trick, however, being “played out” with our critics, how do they propose to get at the absolute right of a thing? Is there, indeed, in practice, any absolute right?

Nor does it solve the matter at all to bring in the cost principle, and say that that is absolutely right which is done solely at the cost of the individuals who act. There is no mentionable act, not even the dropping of a pin in the middle of the Desert of Sahara, of which it can infallibly be said that it is done solely at the cost of the individuals acting. The loss of that pin as a necessary surgical instrument to treat the disabled camel may cost its life, and with it the lives of the whole party. We believe in the cost principle as a standard, and the best at our service, but its observance can never result in the universality of absolute right, since no man or set of men can ever attain to the omniscience of foreseeing the entire bill of costs, or on which side of the scales all the consequents will range themselves. In short, with our human limitations, absolute right practically has no existence.

The only way even to approximately solve the right and wrong of human acts is to leave every individual free to make such contracts with his fellows as to them seem good. The fact of how far given transactions are executed at the cost of others will soon be made evident in every case by the protest of those on whom the cost unjustly falls. If every individual in left free to make contracts and ever free individual in left free to make contracts and ever free to enter an effectual protest against transactions wherein the cost falls upon his shoulders without his consent, the consequent adjustments will reach the nearest possible approach to absolute justice. The monster that Liberty invites true reformers to help battle down and exterminate is the State, whose purpose is, first, to enforce unjust contracts through forcible defence of monopoly, and, second, to make effectual protest impossible by defending ill-gotten property from the natural retribution which attends tyranny and theft. Liberty, therefore, must defend the right of individuals to make contracts involving usury, rum, marriage, prostitution, and many other things which it believes to be wrong in principle and opposed to human well-being. The right to do wrong involves the essence of all Rights. Perfect liberty to contract for what is wrong is the shortest and surest way to abolish that wrong, provided the State can be made to step down and out and leave the wrong to its merits in a fair fight with no favors. The State, however, almost invariably takes sides with the wrong, and declares the advocates of a fair contest between right and wrong enemies of law and order. The right, losing its head in that most dangerous of superstitions known as patriotism, is stupid enough to take up arms against itself, and everything goes to suit tho oppressor.

Given the untrammelled right to take usury on the one hand, and the untrammelled right to protest that its cost shall not be shouldered by the innocent on the other, abolish all State interference, and then usury can work no harm to humanity. The minimum of its harm is measured by the total abolition of the State, and the last analysis usury is wrong, in practice, solely because the State is suffered to exist. To those who can not meet us on this ground as radical reformers we respectfully announce that we decline to waste any more time and type over their future shufflings.

A Statue to Proudhon.

A movement is on foot in France for the erection of a statue to Proudhon. It may surprise our readers to hear that Liberty questions the advisability of the project, and asks its initiators to reflect a little before going farther with it. That a journal brought into existence almost as a direct consequence of the teachings of Proudhon, and which lives principally to emphasize and spread them, should hesitate to give its sanction to the perpetuation of his memory by a public monument may be phenomenal, but is not, we think, unreasonable. There are men who make their own monuments. Of these Proudhon was one. He made his of stuff more enduring than bronze or marble,— namely, ideas. It is to be found inside the half-hundred and more marvellous volumes which demonstrate his loftiness of character, his mastery of philosophy, metaphysics, and social and political science, and his intelligent and profound acquaintance with literature, art, and history. These are capable of indefinite multiplication, and, if so multiplied, would do more than statues innumerable to enshrine the author’s memory in the popular heart. The first duty of his faithful disciples is to open these books to the eyes of the world. After that, build your monument, if you will. But we anticipate that the readers of his works will pronounce all other monuments superfluous, and will think twice before subscribing toward the erection of a statue in memory of him who wrote these words:

What is a great man? Are there great men? Do the principles of the French Revolution and of a Republic founded on the right of man admit of such? Together with the right of man we have recognized progress as a principle of the new society. Now, one of the effects of progress in a homogeneous society democratically organized is the continual lessening of the distance between man and man in proportion as the mass of mankind advances on the road of science, art, and right. In the thought of the Revolution and in the perspective of the Republic the idea of great men is nonsense; their disappearance is one of the guarantees of our deliverance. Those members of the Constituent who voted for the Pantheon, and those members of the Convention who carried thither Le Peletier and Marat, were arrant aristocrats, unless it was tacitly understood among them that one day the entire people should be gathered there; in which case it would have been simpler to have left us under the starry vault of heaven.