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But what did this same period of mid- right by unlimited competition; and they dle-class ascendency do for the working have been hitherto the class which has classes ?
taken least by the results of the struggle. The great free-trade struggle was its Laissez faire may have done great things culminating point, the repeal of the Corn for other classes; for them it has only Laws its crowning victory. A middle-class proved a hard taskmaster, and the new victory, it is true, but carried by the help period of our history, which commenced in of the working classes in the great towns, 1867, when the sceptre passed from the with whom the cry of the cheap loaf did middle class, and the first years of which good service. But it was not the appeal have been so full of change, will witness to their pockets which carried the working the struggle between that central belief of classes into the free-trade camp. Far more the middle-class period and the belief in, powerful than the cheap-loaf cry with them and practice of, organization, which has was the grand, if somewhat vague, teach- carried our working classes (who are after ing of the free-trade leaders, of a reign of all, be it remembered, the great majority peace and universal good-will between of the nation) into partnership with the upnations, which the overthrow of aristocratic per and middle classes. The middle-class and commercial monopolies, and the break- period, they will remember, left the labor ing down of restrictions on trade, was to question almost untouched; and it was not inaugurate. I have no space here to prove till they had gained a voice in legislation the point, but let those who doubt it take that the Masters and Servants Bill, the one recent instance of the comparative Trades Unions Bill, the Hours of Labor power of self-interest and of high principle Regulation Act, and the Mines Regulawith the masses of our people. I refer to tions Bill have become law. Bearing these their conduct during the American war things in mind, and remembering also how and the cotton famine, when the chance of new and strange the feeling of power must averting want from their homes was reso- be to them, I think we shall be prepared lutely put aside lest the cause of the slave to make great allowances, even for the in America should be imperilled. Does doings of Trades Unions. any man doubt now that, if our operatives The other column of the industrial orhad cried out for breaking the blockade, ganizations of the working classes has no Napoleon's insidious proposals for interven- need to ask for indulgent criticism, and tion would have been accepted, and the will bear the keenest without wincing. Southern
negroes would have remained en- They have never been aggressive. They slaved to this day? I own it seems to me have never even negatively encouraged -and I say it with some shame for my idleness, or class jealousies, or kept back own class—that, in our great free-trade the industrious and skilled worker, or prostruggle, the only part of our people which tested against piece-work. They have has nothing now to regret for the part they wrought out the emancipation of their own took is the working class. Our territorial members by patience, and diligence, and aristocracy and their retainers fought for honest dealing; and are giving proofs, their monopoly. Our trading classes sorely needed amongst us, that trade and preached justice, freedom, and the vital in- commerce, production, distribution, conterests which are common to all nations; sumption, may be made to conform thembut what they fought for was, as the last selves to the ordinary moral laws which quarter of a century has shown too clearly, have been accepted, in theory at least, by not any commercial millennium in which the whole of Christendom for eighteen honest goods and just prices should reign, hundred years. The great reform, like but the greatest possible facilities for buy.. the greatest of all reforms, has come from ing cheap and selling dear. Our working below; and our upper classes are now beclass seized on the noble and human side ginning to imitate the example of the poor of the teaching of their natural leaders, weavers and cobblers, often however in are still, indeed, proclaiming that “labor is their imitations leaving out the best part of no country,” that“ all nations are meant of their models, and setting up what are to live in peace and friendship”—but have nothing but ready-money shops, founded protested by the two movements we have merely with a view to profits, and calling been considering to-night against the no- them co-operative stores. tion that the world is to be saved and set If I am right as to the leading ideas of
our working classes, it is obvious, then, the important parts of this new legislation that one of the chief problems of civi- are—first, that it gives the police power lization which must soon come to the front to arrest, and the magistrates to imprison, will be the proper functions of Govern- any person holding a license under the ment. They do not share the creed of Penal Servitude Acts (commonly called advanced Liberalism, the intense jealousy a “ticket-of-leave”) whom the police have of Government except in the capacity of reason to believe is getting a livelihood by dispolicemen. The taking over of the rail- honest means ; and secondly, that in the ways, more active interference with case of proceedings against receivers of sanitary matters, with pauperism—with the stolen goods, it makes a previous convicliberty of the subject, in short-will have tion evidence of knowledge on the part no terrors for them. They will not be de- of the accused that the goods were stolen, terred, I take it, by such phrases as "grand- and throws the burden of proving the conmotherly government," from insisting that trary on the accused. Now these are very society shall be organized precisely to that startling provisions. We all know that the point where organization will be found to maxims, “ Every man shall be held innoact most beneficially on the habits and life cent until proved guilty,” “The burden of of the great majority of the nation. I proof rests on the accuser,” lie at the root venture to think that when they get to of English criminal law. I suppose that understand these matters better, there will every Englishman values them as most be no difficulty in taking legislative means precious safeguards of liberty, and would to stop strikes. Legislation of a new kind be ready to fight for them if necessary. I will be pressed on the Government with certainly would myself, and it was with increasing persistence. The country will something very like misgiving that I silently have to consider how far it will go in new assented at last in the House of Commons directions, and will have no more difficult to the facts and arguments of the Home and delicate questions to consider. I have Secretary, and gave my humble support to little fear myself that we shall go too far, the Government. The result has been for certainly the first two experiments, the striking, and well worth the careful conHours of Labor Regulation Act and the sideration of all persons interested in these Habitual Criminals Act, have not fur- questions. In the year 1869, in the aunished the opponents of “grandmotherly tumn of which the Habitual Criminals government” with any arguments in favor Act was passed, the number of houses of of their views. I can answer from my receivers of stolen goods, and of houses own knowledge of the benefits conferred of known bad character, reached the highby the former, at the expense, I firmly be- est figure ever attained in England since lieve, of no liberty which any citizen had reliable records of such matters have been a right to use. Of the working of the kept. Their total number was 15,030. second I have the knowledge gained from In the following year the number fell to parliamentary papers.
13,081, and in 1871 to 11,072. In the I do not propose to detain you with the same period the houses of notoriously bad reasons which induced the present Govern- character, the resort of thieves and their ment to break entirely new ground in this companions, were reduced from 1,740 to matter. Suffice it to say, that on the 11th 1,139. The reduction of these nests of of August, 1869, an Act introduced by the vice and crime was in the first full year Home Secretary became law under the during which the Act was in operation, as title of “The Habitual Criminals Act, compared with the average of the previous 1869."
three years, equal to 26 per cent., and in It has been the fashion to speak of Mr. the next year (1871) to 36.8 per cent. Bruce as a weak Minister, timid in his po- The strife between employer and emlitical faiths, and easily turned from his ployed, the question of the proper limits of purpose by any resolute opposition. I am the functions of Government, the inevitanot one of those who agree with this esti- ble collision between the principle of laissez mate of him; and certainly the Habitual faire and the faith in organization which Criminals Act (and the Prevention of the working classes will endeavor to exCrime Act, 1871, which has followed it) press by legislation as soon as they feel cannot be cited as timid legislation. So their power, are only superficial indicafar as the present question is concerned, tions after all of a far deeper struggle. The signs of that struggle are all about supporting on one side the view which I us and around us. You cannot pick was urging on Tuesday as to the effects of up a newspaper without coming across civilization :-" These are the grounds on them. Perhaps the most remarkable of which it appears to me that there is a great them of late, spoken or written, have been deal of self-deception as to the nature of the speech of Mr. Gladstone at Liverpool, fraternity, and that the mere feeling of quoted in my Tuesday's lecture, and a eager, indefinite sympathy with mankind, in series of articles in the Pall Mall Gazette those cases in which it happens to exist, is on Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.* not deserving of the admiration which is so Of the speech I need only say that I re- often claimed for it. I will say, in conclujoice that it was made. The articles I sion, a very few words on the opinion that must refer to a little more in detail. . the progress of civilization, the growth of
After a masterly examination of the wealth and of physical science, and the genutilitarian and positivist theories, the writer eral diffusion of comfort, will tend to excite explains his own views: how he has come or deepen such sympathy. I think it more honestly and bravely to the conclusion, probable that it will have exactly the opthat believers in " the service of humanity" posite effect. The whole tendency of modand “the religion of fraternity” have ern civilization is to enable each man to no solid ground beneath them why, stand alone and take care of his own intefor his part, he will resolutely continue to rests, and the growth of liberty and equality love his friend and hate his enemy, and will, as I have already shown, intensify will on no terms call all sorts of people, of these feelings. They will minimize all rewhom he knows and for whom he cares straints and reduce everyone to a dead nothing, his brothers and sisters—he pro- level, offering no attractions to the imaginaceeds :
“ The believer in the religion of tion or to the affections. In this state of fraternity cannot speak thus. He is bound society you will have plenty of public meetto love all mankind. If he wants me to ings, Exeter Halls, and philanthropic assodo so too, he must show me a reason why. ciations, but there will be no occasion for Not only does he show me none, as a patriotism or public spirit. France in rule, but he generally denies either the 1870, with its ambulances and its repretruth or the relevancy of that which, if sentatives of the Geneva Convention, was, true, is a reason—the doctrine that God after all, a poor, washy, feeble place in made all men and ordered them to love comparison with Holland three centuries each other. Whether this is true is one before. There are many commonplaces question; how it is proposed to get peo- about the connection between the decay ple to love each other without such a be- of patriotism and the growth of luxury. No lief I do not understand. It would want doubt they have their weak side, but to me the clearest of all imaginable revelations they appear far more like the truth than to make me try to love a considerable the commonplaces which are now so comnumber of people whom it is unnecessary mon about the connection between civilito mention, or affect to care about masses zation and the love of mankind. Civilizaof men with whom I have nothing to do.” tion no doubt makes people hate the very It is healthy and bracing to hear or read thought of pain or discomfort either in such plain speaking; for, when one comes their own persons or in the case of others. upon a naked and transparently honest It also disposes them to talk and to potter denial, not only of modern theories, but of about each other's affairs in the way of muteaching which one learnt at one's mo- tual sympathy and compliment, and now ther's knee, upon which Christendom and and then to get into states of fierce excitecivilization, such as we have it, are sup- ment about them; but all this is not love, posed to have been built up, a man must or anything like it. The real truth is, that be very careless or very dishonest who the human race is so big, so various, so litis not driven to ask himself plainly how tle known, that no one can really love it. far he agrees with it.
You can at most fancy that you love some The writer in question goes on, coming imaginary representation of bits of it, which, specially to the subject of these lectures, and when examined, are only your own fancies
personified. A progress which teaches * Since published separately, with the name people to attach increased importance to of Mr. Fitzjames Stephen to them.
phantoms is not a glorious thing, in my eyes at all events. It is a progress towards of Augustus. They are too English and a huge Social Science Association, embrac- too masculine to put up with the “ Uni. ing in itself all the Exeter Halls that ever versum” of Strauss, or the organized rewere born or thought of. From such a ligion of humanity of the Positivists. religion of humanity I can only say in the Blank Atheism has no attraction whatever deepest tones of alarm and horror, 'Good for them. Rather in a gloomy and deLord, deliver us !!!
spondent way, while refusing belief to anyA very startling, suggestive, and in thing which cannot be tested by the methods many respects, I believe, truthful, diagno- of their science and measured by their sis of our condition, and forecast of what is plumb-line, with a sort of half hope which coming upon us. I should think most per- they will scarcely admit to themselves, they sons when they put it down must have seem to recognize the travail of their own asked themselves, What then! Freedom, time with thoughts too big for utterance equality, brotherhood, a mockery and de- hitherto, and to look, with a dull, dim kind lusion the passionate struggle of three of hope, for the gradual rise out of the generations to realize them ending in a chaos of a new faith, which shall fuse huge Exeter Hall millennium! The writer again and give expression to the scattered exclaims scornfully, “ Good Lord, deliver thoughts and aspirations of mankind, and us!” and passes on in his strength—but stand out as a revelation of God suited to we cannot. For us, then, what outlook! these new times, which have been driven in what escape! Who shall deliver us from sheer despair to abandon the old revelation. the body of this death!. I have not come A curious echo-if that can be called an here, 400 miles from home, my friends, to echo which is set in an entirely different speak to you on the problems of civiliza- key-comes back to these broodings from tion and to shirk the most difficult and the the New World. There, too, the foremost most interesting of them all-the one, in thinkers recognize the prevailing anarchy, fact, which underlies and overshadows all and many look for a new revelation, but others—I mean, of course, this religious in a cheerful and hopeful spirit, such as problem. Do not start in alarm, or sup- befits a new country, and rather as a pose for a moment that I am about to tres- supplement to, than a substitution for, the pass on or lead you into the tangled paths Christianity which they too believe to have of religious polemics. The party wres- spent its force, and to be inadequate to the ting matches and janglings of the various new time. Let Mr. Emerson, their ablest Churches and sects which go by the com- and wisest voice, speak for them. “And mon name of Christian, are to me only not now,” he says, in an address—singularly wholly indifferent because they seem so em- typical of the best current thought of New inenly futile and mischievous. But the re- England—to the Senior Divinity Class at ligious problem of civilization" lies outside Harvard University, "let us do what we of all this. For I think very few persons in- can to rekindle the smouldering, nighterested in these questions can have failed quenched fire on the altar. The evils of to remark the uneasy and mournful tone the Church that now is are manifest. The which runs through much of the serious question returns, What shall we do? I scepticism in our current literature. Of confess all attempts to project and estaflippancy and shallowness we have no blish a Cultus, with new rites and new doubt enough and to spare, but not forms, seem to me vain. Faith makes us, amongst the writers and thinkers I refer to, and not we it, and faith makes its own and from one of the ablest of whom I have forms. All attempts to contrive a new sysbeen quoting. Their feeling would seem tem are as cold as the new worship introto be rather one of sorrow that Christianity duced by the French to the Goddess of has been unable to hold its own. They re- Reason—to-day pasteboard and filagree, cognize the noble work it has done-admit and ending to-morrow in madness and that its history has been the history of murder. Rather let the breath of new life civilization—while they entirely abandon it be breathed by you through the forms alas a living power, capable of delivering us ready existing. For if once you are alive, from the moral and religious anarchy which you shall find that they become plastic and seems to them to brcod over the nine- new....I look for the hour when that teenth century in as dense a cloud as over- supreme beauty which ravished the souls of shadowed the Roman world in the time those Eastern men, and chiefly of those Hebrews, and through their lips spoke the wealth is enchanted, the art is enchantoracles to all time, shall speak in the Wested, the science is enchanted; let those also. The Hebrew and Greek Scriptures who feel that they are really the better for contain immortal sentences, which have them, give us their names. been bread of life to millions. But they But the philosopher of Concord (Emerhave no epical integrity—are not shown son) has touched the very centre of the in their order to the intellect. I look for matter. A new Tead he tells us, is the new teacher, who shall follow so far needed; a new Gospel will make the these shining laws that he shall see them progress of civilization wholly beneficent. come full circle ; shall see their rounding, The great West (at least, all that is noblest complete grace; shall see the world to be in it) is looking for such a man, for such a the mirror of the soul; shall see the iden- message. Vain outlook! the "shining tity of the law of gravitation with purity of laws” would come full circle fast enough, heart; and shall show that the Ought, have been ready to do so any time these that Duty, is one with science, with beauty, eighteen hundred years, if men would only and with joy."
let them. The Teacher who has spoken Surely, my friends, there is something the last and highest word to mankind, is singularly inspiring in this Transatlantic asking of our age, as He asked of the men voice. Its first ring is like that of a bugle of His own day, as He has asked of the in front of a forming battalion. The call sixty generations of our fathers who have to the best heart and head in young Ameri- come and gone since His day, the question ca to throw to the winds all attempts to which goes to the root of all “ problems of establish a new cult, new rites, new forms; civilization"-of all problems of human life to rekindle the smouldering fire on the altar-“What think ye of Christ ?” The time by themselves breathing new life into the is upon us when that question must be anforms already existing, till they become swered by this nation, and can no longer plastic and ready to fit the new times, be thrust aside, while we go, one to his farm, and express the new thoughts—is to my and another to his merchandise. Is this mind full of hope, for the Old World as life the model of what human life must well as for the New. But look again, become—is He the Son of God, dwelling listen again, and the jubilant voice falters; with men now and always, and inspiring the sound of the bugle grows wandering, hem with power to live that life—not at uncertain, and passes away in a few wild small section of them here and there, but notes, to me at least as empty of hope as the whole race, big, various, and disagreeathat wail of the Old World. The voice ble as it is to most of us ? Upon the anthat spoke to those old Hebrews has not swer England gives to that question dethen, as yet, spoken in the West: a new pends our future—whether we shall flounTeacher is needed there too, who shall der on under the weight of increasing riches, bring with him some further good news for till our vaunted civilization has brought us men. Without such, the shining laws can- to utter anarchy, and so to the loss of not come full circle—the pure of heart can- courage, trustfulness, simplicity, manliness not see God.
-of everything that makes life endurable Great is the controversy-full of the for men or nations ; or whether we shall most absorbing interest for every human rise up in new strength, casting out the soul, and great the issues which the civili- spirit of Mammon in the Name which zation of our day is forcing on a world broke in pieces the Roman Empire, subbent on enjoyment of all kinds—sensual, dued the wild tribes which flooded that artistic, intellectual—and on shutting its empire in her decay, and founded a Chrisears to all voices from the height and from tendom on the ruins—which in our own the depth. And more and more clearly it land has destroyed feudalism, abolished seems to me, at least, is the voice, calmer slavery, and given us an inheritance such than silence, sounding from the height and as has been given to no people on this from the depth; and more and more vain earth before us; and so build up a stronger, grows the world's effort to enjoy any of its gentler, nobler national life, in which all good things, until it hears and answers. problems of civilization shall find their true As Carlyle said scornfully thirty years ago, solution.—Macmillan's Magazine.