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sent by the king. The powers of the governments of other kinds. One great governor and the duration of his office source of corruption in America is doubt. differ widely in different States, even in less owing to the system of “ spoils ”in neighboring and closely kindred States. the administration of federal patronage. The governor of Massachusetts still This system at once opens the way for a keeps up a good deal of dignity, while the vast deal of corruption in various shapes governor of Connecticut is a much smaller and sets the example for a vast deal of person. Yet the governor of Connecticut corruption in other branches. I was hold: office for a longer time than his most struck by the way in which, in disbrother of Massachusetts. The mayor cussing matters of almost every kind, too does not hold exactly the same place corruption seemed to be taken for granted in every city. At Brooklyn, when I was as a matter of course. This often came there, a great point in the way of reform out in discussing local matters, sometimes was held to have been won by greatly en- matters which seemed to have nothing larging the powers of the mayor. Men whatever to do with politics. This struck who could well judge held that purity of me specially in the State of New York, administration was best attained by vest- and sometimes with reserence to very ing large powers in single persons, elec- small matters indeed. Strictly electoral tive, responsible, acting under the eye of corruption seems to take different shapes the public. And I was told that, even in on the two sides of ocean. In America I the worst cases, better results come from heard something of bribery of the electors, the election of single officers than from but certainly very much less than we are the election of larger numbers. The pop- used to in England. The danger which, ular election of judges, which has been at Philadelphia at least, seemed most to introduced into many States, is one of the be feared was fraudulent returns. These, things which British opinion would be I think, are never heard of among us. I most united in condemning. We should never remember to have heard of any all agree in wishing that both the federal mayor or sheriff being suspected of wilfully courts and the courts of those States making other than a true return of the which, like Massachusetts, cleave to older votes actually given, by whatever means modes of appointment may stay as they those votes might have been obtained.
But, from what I could hear both in With us the returning officer and his New York and in other States which have agents are held to be at least officially adopted the elective system, the results impartial; it is their business to put their are better than might have been expected. party politics in their pockets for the time. Each party, it is said, makes it a point of I know not how things are done in those honor to name fairly competent candi. Parliamentary boroughs which have no dates for the judicial office. So again the corporations, but in an ordinary county municipal administration of New York or borough, the sheriff or mayor has the city was for years a by-word, and the advantage of not being appointed with name of alderman was anything but a any direct reference to the election; he is Dame of honor. But even in the worst appointed for other purposes also, and an times, the post of mayor was almost election may or may not happen during always respectably filled. Even, so I his term of office. But when election was told, in one case where the previous inspectors are elected as such, that is, record of the elected mayor was noto- when the official person represents the riously bad, his conduct in office was not party dominant in the place, it is clear to be blamed.
that the temptations to unfairness are The prevalence of corruption in various greatly increased. shapes in various branches of the admin- I was greatly interested in the municistration of the United States is an ugly ipal election which I saw at Philadelphia subject, on which I have no special facts early this year. The municipal administo reveal. The mere fact of corruption tration of that city has, like that of Mew cannot be fairly laid to the charge of any York, long had a bad name. Corruption, particular form of government, though jobbery, the rule of rings and “bosses,” particular forms of government will doubt. and above all, what to us sounds odd, the less cause corruption to take different corrupt administration of the Gas Trust, shapes. It is absurd to infer that a dem- were loudly complained of. And I cerocratic or a federal form of government tainly am greatly deceived if what I saw has a necessary and special tendency to and studied was anything but a vigorous corruption, when it is certain that corrup- and honest effort to bring in a better state tion bas been and is just as rife under of things. Republicans and Democrats
brought themselves to forget their party of the chief ward-meetings. I was greatly differences, or rather party names, and to struck by the general hearty enthusiasm work together for the welfare and honor in what was not a party struggle, but an of their common city. The movement honest effort for something above party. was described to me in a way at which I The speaking was vigorous, straightfor. have already hinted, as an union of the ward, often in its way eloquent. It was honest men of both parties against the somewhat more personal than we are used rogues of both parties. And such, as far to in England, even at an election. But as I could judge, it really was. I did here again my comparison is perhaps not indeed hear it whispered that such fits of a fair one. As I before said, I know virtue were not uncommon, both in Phil. nothing of English municipal elections, adelphia and elsewhere, that they wrought and the Philadelphian reformers had to some small measure of reform for a year deal with evils which have no parallel in or two, but that in order to keep the the broader walks of English political ground that had been gained, a continu- life. Whatever may be our side in polious effort was needed which men were tics, we have no reason to suspect our not willing to make, and that things fell opponents of directly filling their pockets back into their old corrupt state. And it at the public cost. is certainly plain that the man who gains A municipal election is of more imporby maintaining corruption is likely to tance in America than it is in England, make great habitual efforts to keep up a because of the large powers, amounting corrupt system, while the man who op- to powers of local legislation, which are poses it, who gains nothing by opposing vested in the cities. This would seem to it, but who gives up his time, his quiet, be the natural tendency of a federal sysand his ordinary business, for the public tem. It would indeed be inaccurate to good, is tempted at every moment to re- say that the city is to the State what the lax his efforts. This failure of continued State is to the Union. For the powers of energy is just what Demosthenes com the city may of course be modified by an plains of in the Athenians of his day; and act of the State legislature, just as the experience does seem to show that here powers of an English municipal corporais a weak side of democratic government. tion may be modified by an act of ParliaTo keep up under a popular system an ment, while no mere act of Congress, administration at once pure and vigorous nothing short of a constitutional amenddoes call for constant efforts on the part ment, can touch the powers of a soverof each citizen which it needs some self. eign State. But it is natural for a memsacrifice to make. The old saying that ber of an Union, keeping independent what is everybody's business is 'nobody's powers by right, to allow to the members business becomes true as regards the of its own body a large amount of local sounder part of the community. But it independence, held not of right but of follows next that what is everybody's busi- grant. An American city is more thorness becomes specially the business of oughly a commonwealth, it has more of those whose business one would least the feelings of a commonwealth, than aa wish it to be. Yet my Philadelphian English city has. As for the use of the friends assured me that they had been name, we must remember that in the steadily at work for ten years, that they United States every corporate town is had made some way every year, but that called a “city," while, in some States at this year they had made more way than least, what we should call a market-town they had ever made before. The imme- bears the legal style of “village.” In diate business was to dislodge “bosses” New England the cities are interlopers. and other corrupt persons from the mu- They have largely obscured the older nicipal councils, and to put in their stead constitution of the towns. The word men of character and ability, whether town in New England does not, as with Republican or Democratic in politics. us, mean a collection of houses, perhaps And this object, surely one much to be forming a political community, perhaps sought for, was, as far as I
It means a certain space of the largely accomplished. I did indeed hear earth's surface, which may or may not the murmurs of one or two stern Republi- contain a town in our sense, but whose cans, who could not understand support- inhabitants form a political community ing a list which contained any Democratic in either case. Its assembly is the town.
But the other view seemed to be meeting, the survival, or rather revival, of the popular one. I read much of the fugi- the old Teutonic assembly on the soil of tive election literature, and attended one the third England. This primitive insti
tution best keeps its ancient character in tion in the House of Representatives the country districts and among the spoken of as something quite exceptional, smaller towns in our sense of the word. as an instance of the direct influence of Where a "city" has been incorporated, an upright and noble personal character. the ancient constitution has lost much of I heard part of the trial of his murderer, its importance. It has not been abol- and a strange scene it was. From all ished. In some cases at least the two that I saw and heard and read on the constitutions, of town and city, the Teu- matter, I.was led to the conclusion that, tonic primary assembly and the later sys- though some other judges on both sides tem of representative bodies, go on side of the ocean might, simply as being by side in the same place. Each has its stronger men, have managed the trial own range of subjects; but it is the ten- better, yet that the judge who tried it was dency of the newer institution to over. not technically to blame. I gathered that shadow the older. I deeply regret that I he really had no power to stop Guiteau's left America without seeing a New En- interruptions. The constitution provides gland town-meeting with my own eyes. only that the prisoner shall have the “ It was a thing which I had specially sistance of counsel.” Now English counwished to see, if only in order to compare sel, and American counsel too of the it with what I had seen in past years in higher class, would have thrown up their Uri and Appenzell. But when I was first briefs when the prisoner insisted on talk. in New England, it was the wrong time of ing himself. But Guiteau's counsel were the year, and my second visit was very not of the higher class; and — I speak as a short. I thus únavoidably lost a very layman with trembling - it may be doubtfavorable chance of seeing what I con- ed whether the English usage depends on ceive that the English parish vestry ought anything more than an honorable underto be but is not. And I am not sure that standing. The truth seems to be that some of my New England friends did not no lawgiver in any time or place ever forelook a little black at me, because the im- saw the possibility of such a prisoner as mediate cause of my failure was an old. Guiteau, and that therefore there was no standing engagement to a gentleman of law ready made which exactly suited his New York of Democratic principles. case. Again, though the proceedings in
the American courts are, in all essential Of “society," in the technical sense, the points — for wigs and gowns are not essensense which gives rise to the odd New tial points — so like our own, yet the arYork phrases of "society woman” and rangements for the distribution of judi. “society girl," I do not suppose that I cial action are very different. In England saw much. I received a great deal of such a case would have been tried before very kind hospitality, and I made many a judge - perhaps more than one judge acquaintances which i hope to keep; but of the highest class. And till I 'reached at dinners and other receptions, often got Washington, I took for granted that the up specially for a stranger, you can judge judge to whom so important a duty was but imperfectly of the way in which peo- intrusted was one of the sages of the ple live among themselves. But I seemed Supreme Court. I soon found however to remark, and I have heard the remark that Guiteau was being tried before a from others, that immediate national poli- magistrate of greatly inferior rank, antics do not form so constant a subject of swering rather to a recorder or a county discourse in America as they do in En- court judge among ourselves. The ingland. This, I suppose, has something dictment, it may be remarked, did not to do with the same set of causes which specify the murder of a president as difhave given the word “politics” the spe- fering at all from the murder of another cial and not altogether pleasant meaning man. The slain man was simply “ tyhich it bears in America. When i James Abram Garfield, being in the peace reached America the immediate mourn- of God and of the United States." From ing for the late President was hardly over; the pleadings of Guiteau's counsel I car. before I came away, the natural reaction ried away one of the choicest fallacies that bad begun; some newspapers had begun I ever heard. The prisoner must be mad, to speak against his memory. Yet the because he had shot a president of the general conviction seemed very deep that United States. Sane people might kill the loss was a real and heavy one, and an European king, for European kings that the great work of purifying the fed- were not the choice of their people, and eral administration had undergone a great were often their oppressors. But no sane check. I always heard Garfield's posi- | man could wish to harm a president of the
United States, the choice of the people. I tution with such changes - very great The advocate must have underrated the and important changes beyond doubt intelligence even of the black member of as change of circumstances made needful. the jury, who must surely have remem. But as those circumstances have certainly bered that the liberator of his race died not been changed back again, it is at least by the hands of a murderer whom no one not likely that the constitution of America looked on as mad. And it would be will ever be brought nearer than it now strange if no one of the twelve could go is to the constitution of England, how.. on to argue that a hereditary king, who ever likely it may be that the constitution comes to his crown by no fault, indeed by of England may some day be brought no act, of his own, need not offend any nearer to the constitution of America. It one by the mere fact of his accession, was therefore with unfeigoed wonder that while the accession of an elective magis- I read the reflections of an English memtrate must disappoint somebody and com- ber of Parliament who lately gave the monly offends a powerful party.
world his impressions of American travel. To the “ spoils system” I have already He too was struck with the likeness bereferred. I suppose it has no advocates tween the two systems; but the practical in England, and it seems to be condemned inference which he drew from the likeness by the general right feeling of America, was that the American system might though we may fear that it will be a hard easily be brought into complete conformwork to get rid of a system in which so ity with the English model. The presimany are interested, and in which so dent was so like a king that it would be many more fancy that they some time easy to change him into one; the Senate may be. I must confess that the love of was so like a House of Lords that it office, in the shape which it often takes would be easy to change it into one. It in America, is to me rather hard to un- only needed to bring the hereditary pripderstand. I can understand a man tak- ciple into both institutions, and the thing ing a great post, say a foreign legation would be done at once. Yes; only how or a seat in the Cabinet, even with the could the hereditary principle be brought certainty that it must be resigned at the in? Where are the hereditary king and end of four years. I do not understand the hereditary lords to be found? This. any one wishing for smaller offices, which ingenious political projector forgot that carry no special dignity or authority, and you cannot call hereditary kings and which must be an interruption to a man's hereditary lords into being by a constituordinary career, whatever that may be. tional amendment. If one could ever be I can understand a man entering the post- tempted to use the ugly and outlandish office, or any other branch of the public word prestige, it would be to explain the service, as the work of his life; I cannot position of such hereditary elements in a understand a man wishing to be a local free State. Where they exist, they cer. postmaster for four years and no longer. tainly have a kind of effect on the mind Yet the number of office-seekers the which can hardly be accounted for by any word has becomingly followed the thing rational principle, and which does savor - in America is very wonderful.
of something like sleight-of-hand. Where
they exist, their existence is the best One of the points on which I have al- argument in their favor, and by virtue of ways tried to insist most strongly is the that argument they may go on existing true historic connection between the con- for ages. But you cannot create them at stitutions of England and of the United will. A profound truth was uttered by States. It might be a good test of those the genealogist who lamented the hard who have and those who have not made fate of Adam in that he could not possibly comparative politics a scientific study, to employ himself with his own favorite see whether they are most struck by the study. And in no time or place would an likenesses or the unlikenesses in the two attempt at creating hereditary offices of systems. The close analogy in the ap- any kind seem to be more hopeless than portionment of power among the ele in the United States at the present day. ments of the State is a point of likeness Genealogy is a favorite American study; of far more moment even than the differ- but it is not studied with any political ence in the form of the executive, much object. The destiny of the country has more than that of the different constitu- gone steadily against the growth of any tion of the upper house. The American hereditary traditions. There has been constitution, as I have rather made it my no opportunity, such as there often has business to preach, is the English consti- | been in other commonwealths, for the
growth of ascendency in particular fami- | side; the Union, like all other human lies which might form the kernel of an communities, must look for its trials, its aristocratic body. The first president ups and downs, in the course of its hisand nearly all his most eminent succes. toric life. It has indeed had its full share sors left no direct male descendants or no of them already. The other members of descendants at all. It is only in the fam- the great family may well be proud that ily of the second president that anything the newest, and in extent the vastest, like hereditary eminence has been promi- among the independent settlements of nent, and the two Adamses were just their race, has borne, as it has borne, a those among the earlier and greater pres- strain as hard as any community of men idents, who failed to obtain re-election. was ever called on to go through. And Since their days everything has tended we of the motherland may watch with more and more in the opposite direction; special interest the fortunes of that every year that the Union has lasted has branch of our own people on whom so made such dreams as those of our En. great a calling has been laid. And truly glish legislator more and more utterly we may rejoice that, with so much to vain. When a thing is said to lie "be draw them in other ways, that great peoyond the range of practical politics,” it ple still remains in all essential points an commonly means that it will become the English people, more English very often most immediately practical of all ques- than they themselves know, more Entions a few months hence. But one glish, it may be, sometimes than the kinsmight really use the phrase in safety folk whom they left behind in their older when dealing with such a scheme as that home. of changing the elective president into a
EDWARD A. FREEMAN. hereditary king and the elective Senate into a hereditary House of Lords. I might go on into endless detail in
From Temple Bar. smaller matters, matters many of them of Do small interest, on points of language, manners, and the like. But I have per: BY MRS. PARR, AUTHOR OF “ADAM AND EVE. haps put on record all that is best worth preserving in my impressions of some of
CHAPTER XXXIV. the most important points which come Those who, with eyes open, stand lin. home to a traveller in the great English gering on the edge of a precipice, are land beyond the ocean. I naturally look often surprised at the slight touch which at things from my own point of view; let sends them over. Some unexpected drift others look at them and speak of them some passing gust for a moment draws from theirs. To me the past history and them nearer, and, already dizzy, they lose present condition of the United States is, their footing before they realize their danbefore all things, a part of the general ger. bistory of the Teutonic race, and specially Such a whirlwind had overtaken Jack of its English branch. Of that history and Robin, urging them to a step which, the destiny, as far as it has already been even before parting, they began to repent worked out, of the American common. of making. Alas! how few of us dare wealths forms no unimportant part. And measure strength with temptation! Se. their future destiny undoubtedly the cure, as we may think, at every point, greatest problem in the long story of our there is yet some vulnerable spot by which The union on American soil of so
we may be taken. much that is new and so much that is old, Robin, hurrying through the thicket, above all the unwitting preservation in over the now dried-up brook, and back by the new land of so much that is really of the way she had been first led in coming, the hoariest antiquity in the older world, felt as if flying from something she could the transfer of an old people with old not escape. Certain words went soundinstitutions to an altogether new world, ing in her ears, repeating themselves in and that practically a boundless world, her mind, while their meaning eluded supply subjects for speculation deeper her, perhaps than any earlier stage of the his. “Go away — away with Jack — away iory of our race could have supplied. from Christopher.” Like all other human institutions, the She rang the changes on these three political and social condition of the sentences without feeling much affected United States has its fair and its dark | by either. The numbness which follows
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