Malcolm Fraser Believes Israel Deliberately Attacked the USS Liberty

David Hiscox
Cobber’s Morning Herald
July 22, 2021
Originally published by XYZ on July 20, 2021

Gumshoe News interviewed former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser shortly before his death. Considering the three key points covered in the interview, one wonders if he was done in a little early:

  1. He desired more foreign policy independence from the American Alliance.
  2. He presented overwhelming evidence that Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty was deliberate and that the American government covered it up.
  3. He was suspicious of America’s motives for fighting the War on Terror and he viewed domestic measures taken to curb terrorism as a direct threat to our freedoms.

For further details, you can watch the interview. It is only 13 minutes long.

Here is a video providing further information on Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS Liberty.

It must be remembered first and foremost that former Malcom Fraser was a race traitor. Quite aside from his support for all sorts of silly left wing causes in his dotage, he betrayed our cousins in Rhodesia to White Genocide during his time in office.

The Jew and the Negro, Melbourne, early 1980’s.

During his time in office he opened up Australia to mass immigration from Asia and established the Human Rights Commission, which has become an instrument of totalitarian speech suppression against anyone who opposes our replacement. Thus he put the final nails in the coffin of the White Australia Policy.

He is a traitor.

His antiwhite attitude meant that he misunderstood the hidden danger behind Australia’s alliance with America, and he could not connect the final dot between Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty and American foreign policy.

Like Australia’s commitment to The British Empire, Australia’s alliance with America is the reason Australia was able to maintain itself for so long as a White nation with literally billions of coloured people between us and the centres of Anglo-Saxon Civilisation, before our governments chose to betray us.

There is irony in Fraser’s desire for Australia to gain some level of independence in foreign affairs from its great and powerful friends. A prime driver for Australian Federation was to prevent the British Empire from importing coloured labor into Australia and to maintain the entire continent as the White Man’s Land.

In this respect early Australia was independent from the globalist tendencies of the British Empire, while our commitment to Britain’s wars were bound very much to our ties in blood.

Fraser’s conception of Australia is from a liberal, globalist perspective. If he viewed our ties with Great Britain and America in racial terms, it was from an antiwhite perspective. His idea of independence was for Australia to go down the road of deracination, state mandated homosexuality and closer ties with Asia.

As such his wishes were more in line with the real danger which lies behind the American Alliance: America is beholden to a foreign interest, namely the jews within America and the State of israel.

Australia’s commitment to wars against communism were both in our strategic and racial interests. Of course, Western powers never fought wars against communism as fiercely as they fought the war against national socialism due to the jewish control of Western foreign policy, and jewish control of Western media and academia worked over the course of decades to destroy our will to fight against anybody.

Fraser states that he had hoped with the end of the Cold War that Australia could gain some level of foreign policy independence from America, but this is precisely when America’s subversion to fight wars for israel went into overdrive, as did ours. The War on Terror after Israel did 9/11 kicked this into hyperdrive while mass immigration into the West simultaneously escalated. This ensured that islamic terrorism would become “part and parcel” of life in the West. The War on Terror has been a total defeat.

Fraser was right to identify the measures taken to supposedly curb terrorism in the West as a threat to our freedom, but I doubt he understood their true purpose: To turn the laws back onto any White man who wanted to retain his White country for his own people, thus fulfilling the millennia long jewish agenda of eliminating the Aryan people.

To support the American Alliance now means support of an openly antiwhite regime which is openly genociding its founding stock, imprisoning any who oppose this, and whose foreign policy aims to spread jewish multiculturalism and state mandated anal rape across the globe.

Thus Fraser was able to correctly identify the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty as deliberate, the American government response as a cover up and its willingness to throw away the lives of its citizens to protect its vital interests, without understanding its true significance. Although it was a case of America protecting its relationship with its ally israel, it was more importantly an indication of jewish control over America.

Oh, I almost forgot.

I suggested at the start that perhaps Fraser was done in early to keep a can on it. He could however merely be a coward who started to talk only at the end, when he had nothing left to lose. The only way we will win this is if we are prepared to lose everything.

Channel 7 Accidentally Acknowledges That Race Exists and Everybody Loses Their Mind

David Hiscox
Cobber’s Morning Herald
July 16, 2021
Originally published by XYZ on July 13, 2021.

In yesterday’s Final of soccer’s European Cup, three negroes choked during the penalty shootout to lose the match for England against Italy. This led to one of the greatest XYZ headlines ever.

This triggered vile online abuse of The XYZ on Twitter, about which we happily boasted on last night’s XYZ Live.

An intern at Channel 7 was subsequently swayed by The XYZ Effect. This caused them to accidentally acknowledge that race exists in the wrong context.

Channel 7 swiftly altered the headline then deleted the whole article but it was too late. Beautifully, the Blue Checkmark response exposed the jewish-programmed doublethink on race:

Note the fact that the Channel 7 article explicitly referenced “abhorrent” “racist” “abuse” and discussed the fact that the word “nigger” was trending on Twitter. Yet due to the acknowledgment that the three players who missed the penalties were black, ie the entire point of the so-called “racist” “abuse”, Channel 7 itself is held up as an example of so-called “systemic” “racism” even as it believes it is following orders in decrying it:

We are expected to decry “racism” while simultaneously avoiding any mention of race. The doublespeak is especially egregious from Craig Foster, who is fully on board with the population replacement agenda.

The moment a black guy misses, it is “racist” to notice that he’s black.

When France Africa won the World Cup a few years back, Foster launched into an epic rant about how great it was that there were so many African, ie black, players in the French team and how it was a reflection of “modern” France and “modern” Europe.

Thus the doublethink and doublespeak of the globalist oligarchy is exposed. If a non-white is good at something, it is okay to mention that they aren’t White. If they do something bad, do not mention race.

The same hypocrisy exists regarding the deliberate racial replacement and slow extermination of White people in our own countries. If you think it is good, it is a thing.

If you point out that this is bad, all of a sudden it is a conspiracy theory and a dangerous one at that.

This hypocrisy is evident within a Google search, where the two different narratives exist side by side.

It is telling that the only people who acknowledge this contradiction are those of us who point out that White Genocide is a bad thing.

Although handy, this latest exposure of the globalists’ hypocrisy on race isn’t likely to lead to a mass White awakening. We can be sure of this for the simple fact that they have been prepared to expose their hypocrisy so blatantly, just as they did when they refused to acknowledge their lies after the election of Donald Trump in 2016 or after they rigged the election to defeat him in 2020. The hypocrisy has been on display for years, still no White Revolution.

What could accelerate matters is the serious damage this episode will have on the jews’ ability to drug White people with sport. As Millennial Woes put it yesterday:

It’s more like a heroin addict who says “yes, I know how bad this is for me, but it feels good, so stop being a party-pooper”.

Like porn, sportsball is the opium of the White masses. 100,000 Aussies will go to the MCG for a football match but only a handful will protest an Australian Police Station raising a Chinese communist flag to commemorate a Chinese communist victory.

If the Kalergi English team had won, the race of the Africans wearing the English shirt would have been openly acknowledged, celebrated and rubbed in our faces. This would have worked because White Anglo soccer fans would have received the heroin hit to keep them docile and obedient.

Instead, deprived of victory they are deprived of their heroin hit. Now awake and agitated, they realise that their team lost thanks to negroes and they have said so openly on the internet. A certain percentage will be brave enough to openly acknowledge that their country is full of negroes and it is time to do something about it.

The Social Revolutionary Nature of Australian Nationalism, by Alec Saunders

Alec Saunders
Cobber’s Morning Herald
March 21, 2021

1. What is Australian Socialism

Basic Principles of a Modern Australian National Revolutionary Ideology

‘TRUE PATRIOTISM SHOULD BE RACIAL!” – W.G. Spence, “Australian Socialist”

“Every country has the inalienable right to determine the composition of its own population. Its policies on immigration are its own affair. It is entitled to enforce them without any interference from any other nation. And this applies equally to every nation, large or small, be it in Asia, Africa, Europe, America or Australia. The question of morality or ethics does not arise and cannot be artificially created.”

Arthur Calwell, Labor leader. “All peoples have the right of self-determination … to freely determine their political, social and cultural development”. Article One, Point One Of The United Nations Covenant Of Civil And Political Rights.

Until 1966, the official policy of all Australian governments – whether Conservative or Fabian-Socialist – was fundamentally to preserve the predominantly European racial and cultural character of the Australian Nation. Commonly this was referred to as the “White Australia Policy.”

The purpose of this article is to summarise the roots of this geo-political/bio-cultural imperative, and to familiarise readers with the three Australian patriotic ideologies, which held that the White Australia policy was integral to our economic, military, social, cultural, biological and ecological welfare. These three racial-patriotisms can best be defined as CONSERVATIVE, PROGRESSIVE and RADICAL.

The Conservatives were predominantly represented by sections of the Anglophilic ruling elites (so called ‘sterlings’), and they tended to be more accurately defined as Empire-loyalists rather than Australian-nationalists. This group believed that the British Isles (particularly England) was really home, and that Australia was simply an economic unit at the service of the Empire. They regularly sent their children “home” for an education, and thus were able to retain their British ethnic identity despite being ostensibly third or four generation Australians. A social division had emerged between those Old Australians who were defined as “currency” (having some convict blood) and those who were defined as “sterling” (allegedly with no convict blood) (refer to Robert Hughes, The Fatal Shore). Many of the currency group (some with sterling aspirations) sought to conceal what British imperialism regarded as a stigma on their origins. Today, this blood-stigma is the proud stigmata of all Australian progressive nationalists of Old stock (who serve as the medium for the White Australian psycho-cultural archetype), since the crimes for which their ancestors were transported were the direct result of the class struggle in Britain at the start of the industrial epoch.

Though superficially, the conservative-patriots believed in “White Australia,” their ethno-centrism was Anglo-centric and not Euro-centric. Some even favoured the exclusion of fellow Britons who were of Celtic stock, because they believed that many Celts favoured republicanism and thus were hostile to Anglo-Saxon Imperialism. The imperial-patriots’ obsession with Jacobite, Fenian and central European sympathisers (the immigrants and their descendents from the two German speaking empires who were found throughout the colonies, but in visible numbers in South Australia and Queensland and who were referred to as ‘the sausage eaters’), was paramount during the First World War. This gave rise to a counter-phenomenon in the Australian isolationist movement with figures such as Cardinal Mannix understanding that there was no sense in Australia participating in a fratricidal war with fellow-European peoples, particularly when they were being pressed into the service of finance-capitalism and imperialism. Henry Lawson set the precedent for this in his criticisms of the Boer War which likewise was simply the pursuit of capitalist/imperialist goals (then, at the expense of the white working people of South Africa).

Later, Percy Stephensen and his Australia First Movement recapitulated the anti-war position of those Australian nationalists who did not see the merit of fratricidal wars and thus their insistence on Australian neutrality in the European theatre of the Second World War. Stephensen was not unique in proclaiming this ‘Australia first’ position – his singularity simply lay in his courage to continue promulgating it during wartime. In 1939, when Menzies committed troops to fight in Europe, the Labor Party under Curtin argued that Australia should not be involved in a European war. Once war was actual, Curtin naturally supported the effort, but in his declaration of war against Japan he demonstrated that he understood that the Pacific war and the war in Europe were actually two different wars. John Curtin’s position was heavily influenced by Doc Evatt who promulgated a Pacific Monroe Doctrine for Australia and for which he was castigated by the United States. Curtin understood that once Japan entered the war on the Axis side in pursuit of her Co-Prosperity Sphere in Asia, that Australia and New Zealand were subject to fighting their own Great Patriotic War against the lebensraum ambitions of an ascending Asiatic imperialism.. Japan’s Axis membership suddenly meant that the outcome of the war in Europe had for better or worse, become Australia’s business and not simply an extension of our satellite status as part of the British Empire.

Although the Jacobite Rebellion in Britain was a war of contending pretenders to the Throne, it represented a consortium of Scottish nationalists in tandem with British Unionists throughout the kingdom who sought the restoration of the Stuart Monarchy. When it became apparant that no Stuart, let alone Bonnie Prince Charlie, would ‘ere come back again’, many descendants of Jacobite families became nationalist to the region where they were either born or had emigrated and often embraced French revolutionary ideas such as Jacobinism. Thus necessarily, Jacobite households either Catholic or Protestant were usually held under surveillance by those loyal to the descendants of George and the House of Hanover. Many of those who embraced a nationalist position reflective of the Jacobite diaspora embraced a neutralist position for their new countries and therefore found themselves in conflict with British imperialism.

The philosophic foundation for this neutralist position was articulated in old-Labor nationalist MP, Frank Anstey’s two major works, The Money Power and The Kingdom Of Shylock. An example is the following Anstey reference:

“Men may die but money makes no sacrifice. It looks upon bloody war as a rich gold mine yielding fat dividends for ever and ever without end. Human blood suckers, who risk neither life nor limb nor penny, wax fat upon Armageddon.” This Australia first position was also replicated by recent Australian nationalists during the Cold War and after – and was simply an expression of what has historically been Old Labor nationalism. A well-known historical example was Arthur Calwell addressing an anti Vietnam War / anti conscription rally in Sydney (where an attempt to assassinate him occurred); Calwell also had no problems in reconciling his ethically-traditionalist Christian (Catholic) socialism with the necessity for a secular white nationalist Australian state. His philosophical successors reappeared as National Resistance – and its descendants. All have been vindicated by history as being the correct positions.

The existence of contemporary Welsh, Irish and Scottish Nationalist movements in the British Isles today, is a sufficient indication that the conservatives’ fear for the loss of Anglo-Saxon hegemony was well-founded, simply because it was an inevitable historical process. The conservatives, as always, represented the past and were hostile to the future. The devolution of power from Westminster to the parliaments of the culturally Celtic countries of Britain is an acknowledgement on the part of Westminster that the United Kingdom can no longer operate as a centralised unitary state.

The conservatives were completely attached to British and international capitalist interests, and so they opposed all possibility of Australia developing her own economic and military capability, because this could lead to economic and political independence. They desired that Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Southern Africa should remain purely primary producers, and that England should be the “WORK-SHOP” of the Empire.

This group was hostile to social reforms of any kind, and the Idea of “socialism” was regarded as the doctrine of the “RABBLE.” Thus, by perpetuating the class antagonisms of old Britain, they were inimical to the development of a sense of national cohesiveness and solidarity between all Australians of European descent. Though they did not desire large-scale “free immigration” of coloureds or whites, as this could threaten the ethnic balance and ultimately mean a Republic, they often favoured the importation of indentured and coloured labour (Chinese, Kanakas, etc.) on a contract basis, providing that they would be compelled to return home once their economic utility was outlived. In this regard, it becomes self-evident that the conservatives were no better than the cosmopolitan capitalists who felt no solidarity with the newly evolving White Australian people.

Their willingness to subvert the interests of their own kin so as to be able to exploit cheap slave and alien labour, is an indication that these Imperial-patriots did not feel any biological or spiritual affinity with the less economically advantaged white settlers, and thus the ‘Australianity’ of the conservatives can easily be called into question. In recent times, Sir Robert Menzies can be identified with the Imperial-Patriotic tradition. Many former conservative “Immigration Restriction” lobbies have had his solidarity and patronage. By the late 1970’s this variation of racial-patriotism was an anachronism, and thus was only espoused by those Union Jack-waving geriatrics who continued to believe that “Salvation shall descend from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (renamed Windsor when it became an embarrassing political liability to have a sausage-eater-pedigree).” A highly unlikely scenario, considering the racial and political chaos in which Britain finds herself, and which the British royal family, who are avowed multi-racialists, condones.

The proposal on the part of some Australian imperial-patriots for a trans-oceanic imperial federation whose governing capital would be London, in which all British subjects would have equal voting rights in a borderless English-speaking world, was unequivocally rejected by the Australian Workers’ Union in its resolution adopted on January 27 1917 as follows:

Mr. Last moved that, “in view of the possibility of Australia being dragged into a scheme of Imperial Federation, which would abrogate our rights and privileges under responsible government, and seriously undermine that paladium of our liberties – the Commonwealth Constitution – this convention of the Australian Workers’ Union places on record its stoutest opposition to this Dominion of the Empire being governed by the plutocrats of England which the proposed scheme would involve.”

Mr. Last said that any scheme of Imperial Federation which Australia might be dragged into at present was liable to assail seriously the autonomy at present enjoyed here, and delegates should realise what the danger was. The franchise for the British parliament was somewhat analogous to that of shire councils in the Commonwealth, but even if adult suffrage were in existence Australia, on a population basis, would be outnumbered by delegates from the other British dominions. Australia would, for instance, be hopelessly vetoed when the teeming millions of India had to be taken into account. A scheme of Imperial Federation under existing circumstances would be goodbye forever to our system of responsible government, and an attack on the principles of a White Australia, which they all held dear. Mr. Holloway seconded the resolution which was carried.

Frank Anstey’s view of plutocracy was almost identical to that of Last as evidenced by:

“The ‘Money Power’ is something more than Capitalism. It is its product, yet its master. ‘Capitalism’, in its control of the great agencies of production, is observable and understandable. The other lurks in vaults and banking chambers masquerading its operations in language that mystifies or dazzles … modern Capitalism throws ever increasing power into the hands of men who operate the monetary machine. These men constitute ‘The Financial Oligarchy’.

This anglophone world-imperial federation, against which the old-Labor nationalists railed, was the prototypal model of the New World Order of the present, the only difference being that the plutocrats’ parliament, the London Stock Exchange, is now second fiddle to the New York Stock Exchange – but the concept and the concert remains the same. So is the bulk of its ideological orchestra who are all products of the Whig/liberal laissez-faire world view, the typical expression being the economics of Milton Freidmann, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Today, Bush, Blair, Keating and Howard were and are all products of this school of economics.

Australian Nationalism does not derive its ideological origins from the Imperial-patriotic tradition but rather from the early ideas and value-system of our nativist tribal-socialist republican movement. The racial-socialist “Australian-nationalists” in the last century and in contemporary times may be defined in two categories; these are, Progressives and Radicals. Both the progressives and the radicals were associated with the formation of the early trade union movement and the Australian Labour Party. The current A.L.P. has betrayed the racial-nationalistic principles upon which it was founded and today it is only an instrument of cosmopolitan capitalism.

Both the progressives and the radicals were hostile to capitalism as they favoured the development of a homogenous European nation in the Southern Hemisphere. This nation-state would be a completely autonomous Social-Republic and run on autarchic lines. The following two points from the 1908 manifesto of the Australian Labour Party will illustrate some of the objectives of the Australian social-nationalistic movement.

“The cultivation of an Australian sentiment based on the maintenance of racial purity and the development in Australia of an enlightened self-reliant community.”

“The securing of the full results of their industry to all producers by the collective ownership of monopolies and the extension of the industrial and economic functions of the state and the municipality.”

Both the progressives and the radical-nationalists were tribal-socialists and not proletarian-socialists. The Marxist notion of a state transcending organic realities, such as race and nationality, so as to create solidarity of all urban industrial workers at the expense of one’s own spiritual and biological kindred, was regarded as a perverse absurdity by most early Australian-socialists. Thus it is self-evident that “AUSTRALIAN-SOCIALISM”, as an ideology, was hardly Marxist, and philosophically opposed to the cosmopolitan materialism of the Marxist and liberal conception of life. It is only in recent times that Marxist/liberal internationalism has infiltrated the Australian Labour movement, and as an ideology it only has infected its trendy cosmopolitan leadership and not the rank and file. The basis of our contemporary multiracial / multicultural society lay in the influence that Tom Mann who argued for a cosmopolitanism to be adopted by the Victorian Socialist Party and the whole labour movement – finally being implemented by the Whitlam new-Labor government Mann vied with Frank Anstey for intellectual influence over John Curtin, but ultimately Anstey’s position prevailed, with its unremitting commitment to a White Australia Policy. This was endorsed by the ordinary Australian workers (ie the producers of all types, reconciled in an organic national community, representing more than the urban industrial workers of the so-called proletariat and desiring the state of the whole people) who continue/d to remain adamantly racial-nationalistic despite their betrayal by the Labour leadership.

This type of socialism was neither Marxist, nor fascist, nor liberal, nor libertarian – although it shared characteristics with all of them. It is more properly defined as producerism..Since the Whitlam government endorsed the Lima Declaration, we have seen a general transfer of Australian capital to Third World countries,;l eading to the undermining of Australian manufacturing. The Liberal / National coalition governments continued this trend, abandoning their own version of producerism, known as ‘Black Jack McEwenism’ – and ultimately they adopted laissez-faire liberal neo-conservatism. This was then to be absorbed into the Hawke-Keating Labor deregulating governments. The contemporary KRuddite (Gillard) Labor Party, as evidenced by the address of Lindsay Tanner (Labor Minister for Finance and Deregulation) to the Melbourne Institute in 2008, is totally opposed to producerism ( see:”The Battle Against Producerism”). In Australia and New Zealand in the nineteenth century, producerism was defined as ‘socialism without doctrines’ by our respective labour movements.

Lindsay Tanner, who left parliament because of a lack of confidence in the coalition of cripples that constitutes the current Labor/Greens/Country-independent alliance now led by the former Trotskyoid, Julia Gillard, is a sad comment on the state of the nation in 2010. The coalition of cretins (in the dictionary sense of a colection of pathological liars) led by an Abbott in budgie smugglers, equally does not have the support of the Australian nation as the electoral result on August 21 2010 indicated.

As a consequence of the racial-socialist (that is, macro-tribal producerist) nature of early and contemporary Australian Nationalism, some Marxist academics such as Humphrey McQueen (refer to his well-known book, The New Britannia) have chosen to describe early Australian Nationalism as a proto-fascism, and view contemporary nationalism as full-fledged fascism. McQueen’s view is propagandistic, for the following reason: –

The early and contemporary Australian Nationalist movements were/are in principle and where ever politically possible anti-imperialist and universally pan-nationalist, and then, more specifically, pan-Europid racial-solidarists (i.e. they believe in the sovereignty of all peoples, especially white nations, regardless whether in the European, American, African, Oceanic, Asian or Australian regions), whilst the nazi-fascist movements were ethnic and national chauvinists, similar to the British and Zionist Imperialists. Rather than a pan-Europid sentiment, the nazi and fascist movements desired to obtain territorial gains at the expense of other white nations. Those who would have forfeited not only their liberty but also their territory, had an Axis victory occurred, would have included the white peoples of Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.S.R. The Nazi objective of “LEBENSRAUM” was an imperialistic project to dispossess the white peoples of Eastern Europe, whilst the proposed “New Asian Co-prosperity Sphere” would have meant the absorption of Australia and New Zealand into the Japanese Empire. For this reason Australian Nationalism has never been unconditionally sympathetic either to Nazism or fascism, but rather it is a movement of national-liberation, which respects the sovereign right of all peoples to racial, cultural and political independence. This pan-nationalism / co-nationalism was very evident in the perspective of John Curtin and which was mistakenly interpreted as contemporary or marxist / liberal internationalism – but it actually had its origins in the thinking of the early Scottish nationalist, Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun (1653-1716) (Refer to the address of Professor Marilyn Lake, “John Curtin: Internationalist”, available on the Internet; as well as, Section 3 of Nietzsche And Ethical Socialism For A New Millennium on this Site – and also refer to Part Four of this pamphlet, ‘William Lane And The Metaphysical And Metapolotical Foundations Of The National And Social Revolutions’.

In fact, Hitler said in his 1945 Testament:

“The descendents of the convicts in Australia should inspire in us nothing but a feeling of supreme indifference. If their vitality is not strong enough to enable them to increase at a rate proportionate to the size of the territories they occupy, that is their own look-out, and it is no use their appealing to us for help. For my own part, I have no objection at all to seeing the surplus populations of prolific Asia being drawn, as to a magnet, to their empty spaces. Let them all work out their own salvation! And – let me repeat – it is nothing to do with us.”

The spurious definition of fascism as a national-socialism, and thus related to Australian Nationalism which was, and is, socialist, is also a tendentious assumption. All the fascist movements which often claimed to be radical or socialistic were in fact seldom genuine social-revolutionary movements, but through their compromises often served as the militant arms of the old European order. The nazi-fascist movements persecuted and liquidated more genuine European radical nationalists (who were opposed to fascism’s pro-capitalist and imperialist position and challenged from within their movements and states) than they did their other opponents, such as the communists (whom they did not regard as a credible threat to their regimes.) Stalinism, Maoism, Sukarnoism, Titoism, Castroism, ‘goulash communism’, Black African socialism, Islamic Radicalism (ie.nominally Moslem, but progressive ideologies related to Nasserism and not to be confused with militant Islamic fundamentalism of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda types, which is reactionary), were/are all examples of ideologies which had/have synthesised a tribal-socialism or tribal-communism with an authoritarian and ethically traditionalist patriotism opposed to those dynamics of decadence fostered by liberalism.

These ideologies and states have not been generally defined as fascist by virtue of their nationally-specific socialism, and thus Australian Radical and Progressive nationalism are also exempt from this alien definition. Many of the previously cited states have mistakenly been defined as Marxist. They were/are semantically of the sort. However, since the failure of the Bolshevik revolution to realise the Marxist-Leninist cosmopolitan utopia, many states, which began as Marxist (in one of its versions), have been compelled by organic necessity (i.e. bio-cultural and geo-political realities) to gradually evolve into Radical-nationalistic societies. Many were, and some still are (eg. China and Cuba) in this process of evolution, and thus continue to cling to some Marxist rhetoric and ideas.

The implosion of many so-called Marxist countries (including the USSR), was the direct consequence of their dialectical contradiction between forces supporting necessary change and reactionary forces determined to maintain the ideological status quo, despite the obvious failures of official ideology. The capture of many of these states by the forces of plutocracy was a high-jacking and distortion of their natural evolutionary processes, achieved with significant CIA collaboration. The maintenance of Boris Yeltsin, plutocracy’s court-jester, in power in the Russian Federation, is now commonly accepted as the contrivance of American hireling spindoctors (as admitted in Time magazine and television ie. common knowledge), in tandem with their CIA controllers.

One nation-state, which had totally philosophically broken with Marxist ideology (with its dictatorship of the proletariat, totalitarian state, command economy etc) whilst it maintained necessary cordial political relations with some so-called Marxist states, had been Colonel Gaddafi’s Libya. Colonel Gaddafi became the inspiration and the patron of Third Position political parties throughout the West and the Third World. Gaddafi was an acolyte of Nasser, and therefore a pan-Arab ethno-nationalist and also an authoritarian-socialist. Whilst being ‘authoritarian’, in so far as he recognised that without the state to regulate public/private enterprise and to protect the resources of his people from the banditism of global capitalism, he was never a totalitarian – as evidenced by the direct-democracy component present in the system of people’s congresses and the armed people. Both Hitler and Stalin, two totalitarians, were always afraid of the armed people. Switzerland, a historically neutral country, also is a nation in arms which practises elements of direct democracy. Gaddafi’s world-view makes the position clear as to the nature of all progressive movements advocating national-liberation:

“The nation is the natural unit for socialistic thinking.”


The murder of Gaddafi in late 2011 will have severe repercussions. The so-called Arab Spring, which is overturning secular states which have enjoyed good relations with the West, will only exacerbate the existing ‘Clash Of Civilisations’, precipitating the conflageration that the globalists desire as a prelude to a Third World War, out of which their New World Order will be finally created. The majority of youthful partisans in this so-called Arab Spring were/are consciously/unconsciously tools and fools of the globalists such as George Soros, reeling from Western plutocracy’s winter of financial discontent : see: New Dawn Magazine, Special Issue, No. 16, Winter 2011, GPO Box 3126 Melbourne 3001, Australia; particularly recommended, are the articles by that prodigious author Dr. K.R. Bolton as well as items by Stephen Lendman.

Another feature of nazi-fascist ideology was anti-Semitism; or, more precisely, opposition to a “monolithic International Jewish conspiracy” (where secular, religious, Zionist, capitalist, and Marxist Jewry, had no genuine domestic conflict), a patent absurdity as understood by savvy politicians amongst whom were Winston Churchill and Stalin. (For a comprehensive appreciation of Hitler’s Judaeo-mania, refer to Bolshevism From Moses To Lenin, a record of his dialogue with the poet Dietrich Eckart – to whom Mein Kampf was dedicated. (An example of this fantasy was Hitler’s interpretation of the defeat of the ancient Saxon chieftain Widukind by Charlemagne, with the mass slaughter at Verden an der Aller in 772, of 4,500 pagan Saxons who refused conversion to Christianity. Hitler asserted their defeat was a result of Charlemagne’s subjection to Jewish domination in the form of secretly-Jewish ‘Catholic’ priests and Jewish advisers who were merchants from Marsailles.) This in part contributed to the unnecessary polarisation of persons of Jewish descent who transcended their normal ideological/theological differences and mobilised themselves into an anti-Axis war effort – thereby fulfilling Hitler’s fantasy. It precipitated his Wagnerian Goterdammerung. This centrality of anti-semitism became the case when fascism moved progressively under the ideological hegemony of Nazi Germany after 1934 – and therefore incrementally under the indirect personal influence of the ‘mind’ which produced the following quote:

“Wherever I went I began to see Jews, and the more I saw them, the more sharply they became distinguished in my eyes from the rest of Humanity. Was there any filth or profligacy, particularly in cultural life, without at least one Jew involved in it? If you cut even cautiously into such an abcess, you found, like a maggot in a rotting body, often dazzled by the sudden light – a Jew!” Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf.

Neither the early nor modern Australian Nationalist movements are opposed to the presence in Australia of Jews, either as an assimilable ethnic group (ie. those of Caucasian origin) or as a religion. If we are opposed to Zionist Imperialism, it is because we have consistently opposed imperialism of all types, whether it be Axis, American, Chinese, Japanese, West European or Soviet etc. Therefore our opposition to the policies of states, globalising movements and imperialistic institutions (such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and others which have mortgaged whole peoples in which gentiles figure in as great a proportion as Jews), should not be construed as hostility to any ethnic or religious group. The neo-con Paul Wolfowitz, one of the grand architects of the war on Iraq, nepotist extraordinaire in respect of his paramour, is an example of the patrons of world good-will who operate through the instrument of the World Bank.

Many Jews have in the past been Australian patriots and staunch advocates of the White Australia Policy as were General Monash and Isaac Isaacs. Indeed, both were opposed to Zionism and favoured Jewish assimilation into the Australian body-politic; so also did Jules Francois Archibald, founder and editor of The Bulletin magazine, who freely acknowledged his part-French-Jewish descent, but who was, without contention, a patron of Australian nationalism. He also founded and funded the Archibald art prize and the Archibald Fountain in Sydney’s Hyde Park. Although raised as a nominal Roman Catholic he married the nominally-Jewish Rosa Frankenstein in a Presbyterian Church, demonstrating his ‘liberal’ religiosity. This eclectic/ecumenical (but ethically traditionalist) approach to religion is characteristic of Australianist spirituality which differentiates Australians from the sectarian zealotry of both the Old World and the Americas. William Lane articulated the position of Australian nationalism in regard to all religions in his ‘Labour’s Religion’ (included as section 6 of this reading).

The following quotation from the Radical-nationalist Bulletin magazine, published on 2nd July 1887, defines most aptly the objectives of Australian nationalism. The contemporary radical and progressive nationalist movements reaffirm the sentiments therein expressed. They did not divide Europeans from each other on spurious criteria.

“By the term “AUSTRALIAN” we mean not just those who were merely born in Australia. All white men who come to these shores with a clean record and who leave behind the memory of the class distinctions and religious differences of the Old World, all men who place the happiness of their adopted land before imperialism, are Australian”.

It should be remembered that prior to Donald Horne’s assumption of the editorship of The Bulletin magazine, its’ masthead proudly proclaimed – ‘Australia For The White Man’. Horne was responsible for its removal. It displeased the newly emergent liberal intelligentsia which today, are defined as the chattering-classes. Horne and this ilk of trendy renegades, who either wittingly or through delusion eroded the nation’s patrimony, will be consigned to the rubbish-heap of history by a re-awakened Australia aroused by the resurrected progressive movement of national redemption. We must neither forgive nor forget that it was after 1972 that the trendy new Labor criminals, Gough Whitlam and Al Grassby, publicly acknowledged what had hitherto been surreptitious policy initiated by the Liberal government of Harold Holt, to end ‘White Australia’. Whitlam and Grassby proclaimed “the White Australia Policy is dead, give me a shovel and I’ll bury it” – and then systematically they and their successors, both Labor and Liberal proceeded to bury alive the White Australian nation, through mass coloured immigration. But the ghost of White Australia continues to haunt “this tired brown land” and will not be put to rest until her children, “the dispossessed majority”, have resumed their country from “the future eaters” – and are masters of their own destiny.

Thus, the indigenous or nativist quality of Australian nationalism is readily apparent, for the above stated reasons, that neither early nor contemporary, racial-socialistic Australian Nationalism was/is in any way consciously inspired by the ideologies of the nazi-fascist era in Europe. Fascism, as an ideology, was dissipated in the ashes of the Third Reich, because it became inimical to the geo-political and socio-biological imperatives of the European continent. (To obtain an elucidation of these ‘imperatives’, the reader should refer to the material on Jean Thiriart on this site.) The Old World petty-state chauvinism of the 19th century, which influenced European fascism, have no place either in our New World, or in the new millennium.. We have never been the last of yesteryear, but always the first of tomorrow! Australian Radical-nationalism simply both preceded and succeeded the fascist era, ie. 1922 – 1945. (Mussolini declared 1922 to be Year One of the Fascist Era.) It should also be remembered that the more intelligent fascists like the pan-European Sir Oswald Mosley formerly the leader of the British Union of Fascists – repudiated the distorting totalitarian character of fascism which was instrumental in generating the Second World War; “fascism is a corpse regardless of how cleverly it is embalmed”, he concluded. Our own P.R. Stephensen said of fascism that it was “the schoolboy bully armed”. Indeed, he went on to say in his The Foundations Of Culture In Australia (1936):

“Visions of race-grandeur become dangerous only when they imply the extermination or subjugation of other races: our Ideal of a White Australia implies no such murderous doctrine. We can be ‘expanding and swift henceforth’, not at the expense of other peoples, but by our own virtue and under our own Australian initiative and dynamic; and in our own land.” The early progressive-nationalistic vision of a new Australian Nation varied between two parameters. There were those who desired an independent, egalitarian social-democratic republic and those who favoured the formation of a moderately authoritarian, meritocratic-populist, state-socialist republic. Within the progressive-nationalist classification can be placed prominent personalities such as J.T. Lang, Billy Hughes, W.G. Spence, Arthur Calwell, etc. (the list is endless). The progressives favoured a gradual evolution towards their goal, which they believed ultimately would arrive at a racial-nationalistic tribal-collectivist society – but, in their opinion, this would require time and patience.

Consider Billy Hughes who began his career as a progressive nationalist in the old Labour tradition. He later fused with the imperial-patriots to form the Nationalist Party and then advocated an Australia First position within the context of British imperialism as evidenced by his defence of the White Australia Policy at Versailles, which in fact contested Westminster designs that sought to placate their Pacific and maritime ally, Japan. Hughes’s form of Australia First imperial patriotism as opposed to the secessionist nationalism of the various republican movements was to become the predominant ideological direction of many great Australians including Ben Chifley and later Labor Party nationalism generally. Sir Robert Menzies’s imperial patriotism was devoid of an Australia First component and verged on Women’s Weekly anglophilic monarchic sycophancy. His cultural cringe contributed strongly to the retardation of an uniquely Australian white anglophone cultural identity.

The radical-nationalists (a historic nomenclature employed originally by the revolutionary wing of the racial-nationalist Labour movement of 19th and early 20th centuries) derived their name from the French revolutionary Jacobins, and believed that a militant approach should be utilised to escalate this inevitable process. The radical-nationalists were the principal precipitators of the violent confrontations which resulted in the expulsion of coloured labour, and which ensured progressive social-reforms (e.g. Lambing Flat, shearers’ strikes in Queensland) as well as the “WHITE AUSTRALIA POLICY.”

Like the progressives, the radicals too could/can be divided into two categories. The majority of radicals are slightly more state-socialist in their orientation than the progressives, but simply militant in their methodology. Under this classification were the radical Australian artists such as Henry Lawson, Banjo Paterson, Bernard O’Dowd and Norman Lindsey. The extreme socialists which were to be considered “left” of the Lawson-radicals, were the “tribal-communists”, such as William Lane.

The Lane-radicals were inspired by the Cromwellian revolutionary ferment, amongst which was a rejection of Western civilisation in favour of a return to the Germanic tribal-communism of the early Anglo-Saxon pagan-pantheistic tribes. They were also ideologically motivated by some French revolutionaries who desired a return to the Gallic pagan-pantheistic tribal-communism of early Celtic society. (Leon Poliakov’s The Aryan Myth, discusses these British and French cases.) Needless to say, their conception of communism had/has nothing in common with Marxist cosmopolitan materialism. For a more comprehensive anthropological interpretation of this tribal communism, which the early white Indo-European speaking peoples practised, refer to Vere Gordon Childe’s The Aryans. Childe was a universally accepted academic of exceptional proportion and also a socialist in the old labour tradition which may have influenced his anthropoliogical research .The outcomes of his research most certainly influenced the labour movements throughout the European world and not simply Australia. To the chagrin of contemporary Marxoids, and those from the 1930’s to the 1950’s, Childe never conformed to their principal locomotive of history ie. class struggle. He did not proclaim the inevitable triumph of the proletariat. In fact, his pricipal concerns were with how cultures are able to assimilate economic dynamics – such as technology – and their cultural necessity to have philological equipment capable of its comprehension and transmission.

The following material in this collection (which is reproduced from other nationalist material such as the tabloid, “AUDACITY”) on two prominent Australian-Socialists, Henry Lawson and William Lane, will provide an indication of the social-revolutionary vision of Australian nationalism.

This position was restated by a number of radical-nationalist groups in the 1970’s. They were inspired by the old Labour tradition. This began with the student-activist National Resistance, whose principal founder, E.F. Azzopardi, was directly commissioned by his mentor Jack Lang. He was admonished to re-found a cadre inspired by The Bulletin, The Century and other Australia First traditions, who would, in a Janus-like fashion, serve as the bridge between the spiritual founding fathers of the Australanist Idea and the imminent movement of national renewal. The radical Australianist tabloid, Audacity, first published in 1977 and re-established in 2007 by cadres associated with the original Audacity, was to be the instrument (and is again) that Lang envisaged. Although racially ambivalent, a zero population position was later advocated by the politically significant Australians Against Further Immigration party after 1988. It too, showed an interest in this tradition. These ‘deep-green’ ecologically-centred patriotic groups were often denounced by liberals and marxists as well as cosmopolitan Christians (both of the liberal-internationalist and right-to-life conservative varieties) for being “eco-fascists” because they refused to accept that migration was a solution to the Third World population/food crisis. It should be remembered that Arthur Calwell said that the future solution to this crisis is not to be found in emigration but in a variety of domestic answers supported by the affluent countries.

The ‘new Labor’ criminals who in alliance with other anthropo-chauvinist ‘world-consuming aedopists’ actualised the doctrine of an economic/cultural/racial integration into Asia – “the Asian destiny” – saturated our labour pool, universities and professional classes with unassimilable aliens. Simultaneously, they often purported to be spiritually inspired by the labour tradition by making references to Jack Lang (like Keating did); they perpetrated the Orwellian swindle whereby day becomes night and night becomes day, and can only be judged by the following proclamation of Lang himself.


William Lane and the Generic Pan-Nationalist Consensus Against a Uni-Polar Plutocratic World

“See, capitalism is not fundamentally racist – it can exploit racism for its purposes, but racism isn’t built into it. Capitalism basically wants people to be interchangeable cogs, and differences among them, such as on the basis of race, usually are not functional. I mean, they may be functional for a period, like if you want a super-exploited workforce or something, but those situations are kind of anomalous. Over the long term you can expect capitalism to be anti-racist – just because it’s anti-human. And race is in fact a human characteristic – there’s no reason why it should be a negative characteristic, but it is a human characteristic. So therefore identifications based on race interfere with the basic ideal that people should be available just as consumers and producers, interchangeable cogs who will purchase all the junk that’s produced – that’s their ultimate function, and any other properties they might have are kind of irrelevant, and usually a nuisance.”

Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky, pp. 88-89, The New York Press, 2002.

“Capitalism has neither colour nor country.”

William Lane

“The basis of all slavery and all slavish thought is necessarily the monopoly of the means of the working, that is of living. If the state monopolised them, not the state ruled by the properties classes, but the state ruled by the whole people, to work would become every man’s right. Nineteen out of twenty laws would be useless (i.e. unnecessary.)”

William Lane – The Working Man’s Paradise, Page 119

“Surely we are all tainted and corrupted, even the best of us, by the scrofulous cowardice, the fearsome selfishness, of a decaying civilisation! Surely we are only fit to be less than human, to be slave to conditions that we ourselves might govern if we would, to be criminal accomplices in the sins of social castes, to be sad victims of inhuman laws or still sadder defenders of inhumanity! Oh, for the days when our race was young, when its women slew themselves rather than be shamed and when its men, trampling a rotten empire down, feared neither God nor man and held each other brother and hated, each one, the tyrant as the common foe of all! Better the days when from the forests and the steppes our forefathers, burst half-naked and free, communists and conquerors, a fierce avalanche of daring men and lusty women who beat and battered Rome down like Odin’s hammer that they were! Alas, for the heathen virtues and the wild pagan fury for freedom and for the passion and purity that Frega taught the daughters of the barbarian! And alas, for the sword that swung unscabbarded by each man’s side and for the knee that never bent to any, and for the fearless eyes that watched unblenched, while the gods lamed each other with their lightnings in the thunder-shaken storm! Gone forever seemed the days when the land was for all, and the cattle and the fruits of the field, and when unruled by kings, untrammelled by priests, untyrannised by the pretence of law, our fathers drank in from Nature’s breast the strength and vigour that gave it even to this little babe to fight its hopeless fight for life so bravely and so long. Odin was dead whose sons dared go to hell with their own people and Frega was no more whose magic filled the molten fire and veins of all true lovers and nerved with desperate courage the hand of her who guarded the purity of her body and the happiness of her child. The White Christ had come when wealth and riches and conquests had heaped wrongs on the head of the wrongers; the cross had triumphed over the hammer when the fierce freedom of the North had worn itself out in selfish foray; the shaven-pated priests had come to teach patience as God-given when a robber-caste grew up to whom it seemed wise to uproot the old ideas from the mind of the people whose spent courage it had robbed. Alas for the days when it was not righteous to submit to wrong nor wicked to strike tyranny to the ground when one met it, no matter where! Alas for the men of the Past and the women, their faith and their courage and their virtue and their gods, the hearts large to feel and the brains prompt to think and the arms strong to do!”

William Lane, The Working Man’s Paradise, Pages 130-131. (It was first published in 1892, under the nom de plume “John Miller” and was republished in 1980 by Sydney University Press.)

Lane’s anti-Romanism should not be construed as opposition to the Indo-European principles upon which the Greco-Roman Golden Age was based. He, like Nietzsche, Hegel, Blake, Emerson, Thoreau, etc., admired Greco-Roman values when they respected the noble heroic sentiments of our common Indo-European ancestors, as a complete reading of Lane’s writings indicates. What he objected to was the Greco-Roman period of decadence and decline, for which Christianity became a necessary panacea.

Lane adhered in part to the Indo-European pagan-pantheistic world-view (whilst also generally adhering to a broad mysticism that included a Christian ethic in a type of transcending synthesis which anticipated the contemporary New Age movement and what Aldous Huxley defined as the “perennial philosophy”), which maintains that a cyclical process determines the life of all cultures. In this regard, Lane was no different from Hegel or Nietzsche or Spengler, all of whom believed that barbaric intrusions were necessary as a means to destroy that which is putrefying and to install in its place a new life-affirmative culture. Thus all of them welcomed the barbarian invasions as a necessary antidote to the living death of the Roman necropolis. In holding this outlook, Lane belonged to the same Radical school of Australian Nationalists to which Lawson, Lindsey, O’Dowd, etc. belonged. The only point of difference between he and they was that Lane was a communist while they were socialists.

Lane, like all the early “Australian-Socialists”, was a racial-nationalist as well as a pan-Europid racial-solidarist. He was like his Australianist fellows and viewed Australia as a new realm where the Indo-European pagan-pantheistic values would express themselves as an active reverence for nature as felt by our ancestors when they were living in harmony with the ecosystem and this would institute a new culture and, ultimately, a new civilisation whereby a new people, formed from the most vigorous and heroic stocks from old Europe, would one day lead Europid man to greatness, just as their Indo-European forefathers had done before the dark age of decadence. Nowadays this perspective may be defined as the ‘biocentric world view’ of our deep-ecology movement, a force which has been propagandistically disparaged by Gaia’s despoilers – as ecofascism. (For a contemporary valuation of the relevance of our Indo-European folkloric reverence for nature and its contemporary absolute necessity of respect, refer to: Stein Jarving, “Volvewitches And Valkyrjer: Magic And Paganism In Prehistoric Scandinavia.”)

Lane was anti-western; he perceived that the Western liberal-cosmopolitan capitalistic civilisation was hostile to life and inimical to the interests of Europid Man. In fact, he viewed the West in the same light as the decadent Roman Empire, and he hoped that it would be overthrown by a new Europid barbarian invasion, by a white people who still valued its Indo-European traditions. In this regard, Lane’s ideology was very similar to the anti-Nazi North German Radical-nationalists of the early 1920’s centred around ideologues such as Arthur Moeller van den Bruck (who was also one of the German-language translators of the works of Dostoyevsky) and Ernst Niekisch. Moeller van den Bruck and Niekisch rejected that Germany was spiritually a Western nation, and they looked towards Russia for a new Indo-European renaissance. They believed that because Russia had not been contaminated by Western liberal-capitalist ideas and was still relatively primitive (and therefore vigorous) she would one day sweep westwards destroying the new Roman Empire, as it gasped its last breath from its own internal decay.

When Lane refers to our “communist ancestors”, he in no way implies the Marxist cosmopolitan materialism of our Western Internationalist proletarian revolutionaries. By communism, Lane referred to the organic-tribalistic-collectivist society, which the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples and all Indo-European peoples possessed, before their dispossession by the purely economically centred Roman Empire – and its successor, the Judaeo-Christian, cosmopolitan-Western civilisation!!

Therefore Lane’s communism was founded upon organic socio-biological realities and not upon some weirdo mechanical theories, which would reduce mankind into raceless, cultureless automatons and appendages of purely economic thinking and interests.

As a consequence of Lane’s socio-biologism, he may be regarded as a prophetic thinker. Marxism, which was a product of English rationalistic-materialistic reductionism, has failed. It failed because, like its materialistic utilitarian compatriot, international capitalism, it denied the uniqueness of organisms and believed that all reality could be reduced to economics. Capitalism being the thesis and Marxism its supposed antithesis. In reality, Marxism was not antithetical to capitalism but simply its inversion, and thus confined in its thinking by the same determinants which precipitated capitalism.

For the same inorganic reasons that capitalism, as a philosophy is bankrupt, so likewise Marxism was finished long before the fall of the USSR. The only orthodox Marxists were/are in the Western world and not in either Eastern Europe or the Third World.

Since the Soviet Union in the 1930’s embarked upon the course of Soviet patriotism, Great Russian and pan-Slav nationalism (synthesised to Stalin’s programme of “Socialism in one country”) communism had undertaken a radical transformation, which has in fact brought it towards the tribal-communism that Lane postulated. The same is applicable to China (see: Harrison Salisbury’s 1969 classic, The Coming War Between Russia And China; Ronald Segal, The Race War, Pelican Books, 1967 and John Barron, KGB: The Secret Work Of Soviet Secret Agents, Corgi, 1974) and almost every nation, which the West believed was Marxist. Though many of these nations have continued to use Marxist rhetoric, they did so because it remained expedient to their geo-political objectives, which were often imperialistic.

Though Australian Nationalists support all peoples in their struggle for national-independence and national self-realisation, and thus we respect the achievements of the Chinese national-people’s revolution : Since the collapse of the USSR, the Chinese have progressively become aware of the globalist intentions of the cosmopolitan plutocrats and may yet play a wild card in geo-politics, we have as our primary consideration the welfare and interests of the bio-cultural/geopolitical organism defined as the “AUSTRALIAN NATION”. In the period 1977-90, the growing Japanese and American economic and military investment in communist China served as a prerequisite for another World War, in which a Washington/Peking/Tokyo Axis could have attempted to envelope the Europid peoples of Europe, Africa, Australia and New Zealand against their kindred in Eastern Europe. For this reason we demanded armed neutrality for Australia as well as an end to Yankee, Great Han and Nipponese economic and political imperialism, which threaten/ed the stability of this planet.

We should never forget that Chairman Brezhnev of the USSR said to Margaret Thatcher in 1980, referring to the possibility of the Cold War becoming a ‘hot war’:

“The only question is whether the white race will survive.”

In expressing this perspective, Brezhnev was simply consciously or unconsciously, recapitulating what Feodor Dostoyevsky postulated was the world historical mission of the Great Russian people, be they Czarist, Bolshevist, National-Bolshevist, or something yet to be determined. This was predicated upon the idea that it remained true to its Dostoyevskyan soul and Hegelian mission (to reiterate Spengler’s postulates) of which Bolshevism was an advent distorted by nineteenth century cosmopolitan materialism and senseless bloodshed often of alien provenance. This view finds some echo in Henry Lawson’s poem, “Vanguard”: “For the vanguard of the white man, is the vanguard of the Rus.” Dostoyevsky in a speech on June 8 1880 said:

“The vocation of the Russian man is indisputably an all-European and world-wide vocation … Oh, the people of Europe do not know how dear they are to us. And I believe that we (that is to say, of course, not we but the Russians of the future) will all eventually understand, every single one of us, that to become a real Russian will mean precisely this: to strive to bring conciliation to the contradictions of Europe, to show a way out of the sorrows of Europe in our own Russian soul, universally human and all-uniting: to find a place in it, with brotherly love, for all our brothers, and finally perhaps to speak the final word of the great harmony of all, of the brotherly unison of all the nations according to the Gospel of Christ.”

Through two major world wars, Europid peoples throughout the world have suffered great biological, economic and cultural cost, in insane fratricidal conflict. The victors have been the Coca-Cola imperialists, who have transformed this planet into a giant repository for MacDonald’s/Coca-Cola and similar vestments of capitalist cultural enlightenment. All peoples, regardless of their race, have been subject to this economic and cultural imperialism.

Many non-white peoples have undergone tribal-socialist cultural revolutions in which they have expelled the fast-food mongers and their culture-distorting compradors. The white peoples of Australia, New Zealand, Western Europe, South Africa and North America are yet to undergo similar cultural revolutions so as to free the earth of this bacillus.

It is for this reason that Western Euro-centric Radical-nationalists should not have been influenced by the anti-Soviet propaganda of the Peking/Tokyo/Washington Axis. The Soviet Union was the only European power, which biologically defined nationality. Citizens had stamped upon their passports their nationality, and this was ethnically determined. Thus an Uzbek, regardless of where he resided, would always be registered as an Uzbek. The issue from a marriage between a Soviet Asiatic and a Soviet European was listed as Asiatic for statistical purposes (in the West, the reverse is the case and therefore the actual figures for non-Caucasians are falsified), and this classification remained upon all their documentation and upon the documentation of their progeny – unless it was self-evident that biological assimilation had been complete. There were quotas to restrict the number of Soviet Asiatics in the European part of the Soviet Union, and none did have permanent residence status until after Perestroika. Separate development had been the norm, and the white nationalities were concerned with the growing birth rate of the U.S.S.R.’s coloured peoples, as the white birth rate had been at Z.P.G. for the preceding twenty years. Of course, since the fall of the Iron Curtain, economic and spiritual circumstances have engendered a climate where the white population is now in radical decline, well below Z.P.G. level. President Putin may in the Russian Federation serve as a break on this spiralling process of decline, but he is not necessarily the best solution.

Whilst all Soviet peoples were encouraged to be ethnocentric and thus benefit from the U.S.S.R’s nationalist anti-cosmopolitan policy, the Soviet Union also had the potential to become – for the White Race throughout the world – a strong champion. In an age when the coloured populations of the West are rapidly increasing, the U.S.S.R. could have been the only great power on earth which unashamedly and uncompromisingly would advocate and maintain Caucasoid hegemony within its sphere of influence. It is for this reason that many Marxists who are in fact, liberal cosmopolitan intellectuals, became so hostile to the U.S.S.R.; they entered into an anti-Russian alliance with the cosmopolitan plutocrats and liberal-Christian churchmen so as to destroy the authoritarian, ethically traditionalist, tribalist nature of Soviet socialism. This tendency hysterically continues with western Marxists denouncing the so-called Red-Brown phenomenon in modern Russia – as a resurgent fascism. An example of this attitude is expressed in Martin Lee’s The Beast Re-awakens, Little Brown and Company, 1997. Needless to say, by their amorphous, ahistorical definition of fascism, any authoritarian patriot, Left or Right, is a fascist.

Soviet socialism was pan-Europid racial-solidarist, and the USSR’s leaders made many overtures since Khruschev’s time for close collaboration between all Europid peoples, regardless of their economic or political systems. Any power, which provoked such antagonism to itself, from this anti-Europid cosmopolitan element, should have been considered as a potential friend of the growing Euro-centric Radical-nationalist movement in the then-contemporary West. This perspective was held to be a truth by many of the then-contemporary European nationalists. For a more comprehensive understanding of the non-Marxist socio-biological bases of Soviet-socialistic ideology, refer to the work by the eminent Soviet geneticist, Professor L.N. Gumilev, entitled, On the Biological/Geographical Conception Of Ethnic History, which was published by “Voprosy Istorii” in 1974.

Another interesting feature of Soviet thinking, which brought it remarkably close to Lane’s national-communitarian ideology, was the ongoing Slavonic cultural and folkloric renaissance. All Soviet peoples were encouraged to promote their particularity via racial/national/cultural self-affirmation and self-realisation, within the parameters of the economic and military unity of the Soviet State. Those of Asiatic character, this author understands, are generally outside of the spiritual appreciation of the Australian people. Our Indo-European heritage meantime implies a natural sense of racial-solidarity with the white peoples of Eastern Europe.(Refer: Anne Ferlat, “Neo Paganism And New Age In Russia” at age.pdf)

In Eastern Europe, all Europid peoples were encouraged to take interest in their Indo-European (Slavonic, Baltic and Teutonic) and Finno-Ugrian folkloric traditions, pagan religion and history. The Soviet cultural organization “RODYNA” (motherland) encouraged the preservation of Eastern European antiquities, and there were even measures afoot to reintroduce the ancient Slavonic pagan-pantheistic religion, or at least a more sophisticated equivalent such as the theosophy of Vedanta, which is related to all the early religions and philosophies of the ancient Indo-European world. (The reader may consult: Alexander Yanov, Russia’s New Right: Right-Wing Ideologies In The Contemporary USSR, University of California Press; David Shipler, Russia: Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams, Macdonald Futura Australia; Walter Lacquer, Black Hundred: The Rise Of The Extreme Right In Russia, Harper Perennial, 1993; Kevin Coogan, Dreamer Of The Day: Francis Parker Yockey And The Post-War Fascist International, Autonomedia, 1999; Bruce Clark, An Empire’s New Clothes, Vintage, 1996) (For the relationship between Vedanta and Western European philosophies such as Pythagorean, Platonic and Neo-Platonic systems, refer to the writings of Sir William Jones, a father of comparative mythology.)

This folkloric renaissance in Eastern Europe coincides with the renewed Western European folkloric revival, which demands the integration of two thousand years of Western Christian civilisation into a new European culture and political unity, largely based upon our common spiritual-biological unity of pre-Christian times. We are speaking of a new transcendent Indo-European spiritual identity. To quote the French ethnocentric nationalist and pan-European solidarist, General Charles de Gaulle, “ONE EUROPE FROM THE URALS TO THE ATLANTIC” is an overriding imperative for the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Australian Radical-nationalism has, from its inception, been pan-Europid racial-solidarist (in the nineteenth century Australian socialists spoke of the need to establish a Caucasian ‘entente-cordiale’), rather than petty-state chauvinist; and thus our early theoreticians may be perceived as men of vision who could anticipate the future by an understanding of organic logic. In this light, William Lane stands as a man of extraordinary dimension.

Lane, like Hughes, and the majority of early Australian Nationalists, was a first generation Australian of British descent. The fact that he was not Australian-born, did not colour his world-view in favour of an Anglocentric, monarchic perspective, but rather to the contrary. Lane belonged to the Cromwellian radical-nationalistic social-republican tradition of English Caesarism. Lane’s biological definition of the Australian identity was Eurocentric and not Anglocentric.

His conception of the Australian people and the role that they are to play in world affairs can best be illustrated by the following two quotations:-

In The People, which was the journal of the “Australian Socialist League”, Lane wrote: “In Australia, Anglo-Saxon, Teuton and Latin are coming together as one homogeneous whole…. They demand that all undesirable races (ie. unassimilable, ed.) be immediately and absolutely excluded.” In the Worker, which was the organ and initiator of the Australian Labour Federation and ultimately the “Australian Labour Party”, Lane made his position clear: “We must be White First, or nothing else can matter.” Lane proclaimed the Labour movement’s struggle to be “more than a national or social movement, it is a true racial struggle.”

By a summation of William Lane’s pan-Europid national-communitarian ideology, it is self-evident that he, like most early Australian and British radical-nationalists, was related in his ideology to the various national-revolutionary and radical-nationalistic movements and thinkers in continental Europe. Lane’s view, which favoured an atavistic existentialist revival (i.e. a return to our Indo-European socio-biologically determined essence), was almost identical to that of the French communards, Blanquists, historical Sinn Fein, Narodniks, Union of the Russian People, etc.; but in particular his anti-Westernism and pro-rustic/Puritanism places Lane exceptionally close to the North German advocates of national-bolshevism. (Refer to: Professor Alexander Dugin, “The Metaphysics Of National Bolshevism” (extract from The Knight Templars Of The Proletariat at Dugin was an adviser to Zyuganov, Putin and to Medvedev)

The following extract is a paraphrasing of sections from A.W. Dulles, Germany’s Underground, New York, 1947, H.B. Gisevious, To the Bitter End, Boston, 1947, and Sebastian Haffner, The Rise And Fall Of Prussia, London, 1980. These words indicate the community of interest between Lane’s ideas and the Western ‘national communitarian’ tradition. The British journal, Scorpion and articles from the French movement ‘GRECE’, also contributed in this formulation.

The Niekisch/Moeller van den Bruck school of Radical-nationalism had / has little in common with the unfortunate Nazi-fascist era. Its roots are to be found in the pro-Slav, pro-Russian (whether Tsarist or Socialist) Conservative-Revolutionary ethical-socialist implications of Otto Von Bismarck’s Prussian-Germanism. In the words of Goethe, in his In der beshrankung zeight sich erst der meister, Bismarck’s greatness lay in his restraint. According to the historian Condon,” the history of modern Europe can be written in terms of three Titans: Napoleon I, Bismarck and Lenin. Of these three men of superlative political genius, Bismarck probably did the least harm.” However, Nazism was coloured by the political culture of its Bavarian and Austro-Hungarian origins and powerbase, and thus in part sought to recapitulate the Austro-Hungarian empire where the German and Magyar speaking blocs ruled over the predominately Slav ethnic groups which were all intent on national self-determination. It was also reactionary and chauvinistically, anti-Slav, and belligerently anti-Russian as Hitler held Russia responsible, initially for Tsarist Pan-Slav nationalist agitation and later Judaeo-Marxist pacifist agitation and revolutions – factors he concluded contributed strongly to the defeat of the Central Powers in the World War (refer to his fulminations in Mein Kampf). Nazism was also pro-Anglo capitalistic and hostile to genuine Radical-nationalist thinking, (including Hitler’s refusal to support genuine colonial revolutions against backward imperialism), a position which Hitler later regretted as evidenced by his Testament as translated by Trevor Roper. Mussolini, who in his alliance with ex-communists like Bombacci founded the ill-fated Italian Social Republic, also regretted Fascism’s departure from its initial revolutionary impulse.

Both in the cases of Hitler and Mussolini, it was more attempting to shut the gate after the horse had bolted. North German Radical-nationalists such as Ernst Niekisch (and their ideological counterparts throughout the later-Axis world) were either liquidated or incarcerated under the Axis regimes for professing this social-revolutionary ideology. Niekisch was placed in a concentration camp by the Nazis in 1934, and in 1937 he was condemned to life imprisonment. Niekisch and his national-revolutionary co-ideologues found great appeal amongst contemporary Western European youth, who believed that the “enemy of Europe” (Yockey) was never the U.S.S.R, despite its totalitarian excesses, but rather the liberal-cosmopolitan establishment and its Coca-Cola imperialism.

To present a juxtaposition between the national liberationist orientation of Australian nationalism which decisively distinguishes it from fascism, is that prominent persons such as Doc Evatt, John Curtin, Ben Chifley and Arthur Calwell, had supported national liberation struggles in our immediate area and often were called upon to adjudicate between the colonial powers and the nationalist movements, at times to the chagrin of these powers, as evidenced by the case of Indonesia. They proclaimed a Monroe Doctrine in Oceania with Australia and New Zealand as its centre. The Third World peoples welcomed Australia’s intervention, demonstrating that White Australian nationalism was neither imperialistic nor chauvinistic – and they interpreted the White Australia Policy in terms of their own ethnocentrism. Non of these Australian nationalists took seriously the McCarthyist model of a monolithic communist bloc. They all understood that human beings are naturally subject to tribal aspirations – including that inevitably there would be rivalry between China and Russia (refer to the diplomat-intelligence-officer Harrison Salisbury: The Coming War Between Russia And China..

Their observations have been validated by the dynamics of history giving rise to the twenty first century. Professor Gennady Zyuganov president of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and formerly a presidential candidate for the Russian Federation confirms the perceptions of the previously cited Australian nationalists. I quote Zyuganov:

“We (Russians) are the last power on this planet that is capable of mounting a challenge to the New World Order – the global cosmopolitan dictatorship. We must work against our destroyers, using means as carefully thought out and as goals orientated as theirs are: the unity of all nationalist forces is as necessary to this end as air.” (Russian nationalist magazine, Soil Tied To Our Blood, 1994)

Zyuganov’s opinion here encapsulates the reason that the Anglo-American-Zionist bloc, compliments of George W. Bush and his successors, have included post-Yeltsin Russia as one of their targets. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation is a national communitarian party and not a Marxist-Leninist one, as evidenced by Zyuganov’s manifesto, My Russia: The Third Road. He promulgates a mixed economy, only part-command structured, but not the Stalinist model and philosophically he repudiated dialectical materialism.

In consideration of the contemporary political developments in the world, the type of national-communitarianism advocated by William Lane appears to be the overriding ideology of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Contemporary nationalists will not neglect Lane’s contribution to our Radical-Australianist ideology. One day Australian Nationalists may yet see William Lane receiving global recognition, as one of the most perceptive philosophical and political seers of the nineteenth century. If not, he will always have a place in the hearts of a proud and free Australian nation

2. Henry Lawson and the Hegelian Holistic Revolution

From – “To be Amused”

You ask me to be gay and glad

While lurid clouds of danger loom,

And, vain and bad and gambling mad,

Australia races to her doom…

You bid me make a farce of day

And a mockery of death,

While not five thousand miles away

The Yellow millions pant for breath!

Store guns and ammunition first,

Build forts and warlike factories,

Sink bores and tanks where drought is worst,

Give overtime to industries.

The outpost of the White man’s race,

Where next his flag must be unfurled

Make clean the place! Make strong the place!

Call in White men from all over the world!

Amazing Foresight

Henry Lawson – poet, patriot, swagman, social-revolutionary, political satirist and one of the primary spiritual founders of “Australian Radical-nationalism” – was vindicated by history. His prophetic warnings pertaining to apocalyptic global upheavals which would redetermine the political and economic status of the West generally and Australia in particular, have been fulfilled.

The most appalling examples have been two fratricidal wars of such dimensions as to remould forever the economic, political and bio-cultural patterns of this planet.

Referring to World War I, the eminent historian Arnold Toynbee drew an analogy between it and the Peloponnesian wars. Both shared the same significance of heralding the decline of great cultures through internecine struggle. Following the Second World War the West entered the epoch of absolute decline with the surrender of its hegemony through “wars of national liberation” in the colonies, and with the promotion of the mass “Coca-Cola” cultural distortion of the remaining vestiges of its High Culture and its particularist Folk Cultures.

An issue of the nationalist paper AUDACITY (November 1982) featured an article: “The Third Development Decade.” This dealt with the Third World food/population crisis, quoting statistics and estimates for the next decade. In this Malthusian Armageddon, presented as the only plausible scenario (exempting an act of “Divine Providence”), Lawson’s poems assume a new importance and urgency. “To Be Amused” embodies the essential solutions for the survival of the Australian people in the coming storm.

From – “The Storm That Is To Come”

By our place in the midst of the farthest seas we are fated to stand alone –

When the nations fly at each other’s throats let Australia look to her own;

Let her spend her gold on the barren West for the land and it’s manhood’s sake;

For the south must look to the south for strength in the storm that is yet to break.

Now who shall gallop from cape to cape, and who shall defend our shores?

The crowd that stands on the kerb agape and glares at the cricket scores?

And who shall hold the invader back when the shells tear up the ground? –

The weeds that yelp by the cycling track while a nigger scorches round?

There may be many to man the forts in the big towns by the sea –

But the East will call to the West for strength in the storm that is yet to be:

The West cries out to the East in drought, but the coastal towns are dumb;

And the East must look to the West for food in the war that is to come

The rain comes down on the Western land and the rivers run to waste,

While the townsfolk rush for the special tram in their childish, sense-less haste.

And never a pile of lock we drive – but a few mean tanks we scratch –

For the fate of a nation is nought compared with the turn of a cricket match.

I saw a vision in days gone by, and would dream that dream again,

Of the days when the Darling shall not back her billabongs in vain.

There were reservoirs and grand canals where the sad dry land had been,

And a glorious network of aquaducts mid fields that were always green.

I have pictured long in the land I love what the land I love might be,

Where the Darling rises from Queensland rains and the flood rushes out to the sea.

And is it our fate to wake too late to the truth that we have been blind,

With a foreign foe at our harbour gate and a blazing drought behind?

When The World Was Wide

With the versatility, colour, insight and foresight truly representative of genius, Lawson’s life and works rank him akin to the romantic adventurers of the Elizabethan period (perhaps a Raleigh of prose). He reminisced of mightier, grander days, when the world was wide and Australia could boast of Byronian characters such as Breaker Morant.

From – “When The World Was Wide”

The world is narrow and days are short, and our lives are dull and slow,

For little is new where the crowds resort, and less where the wanderers go.

Greater or smaller, – the same old things we shall see by the dull roadside –

And tired of all is the spirit that sings of the days when the world was wide.

‘Twas honest metal and honest wood in the days of the Outward bound,

When men were gallant and ships were good – roaming the wide world round.

The gods could envy a leader then when “Follow me, lads!” he cried.

They faced each other and fought like men, in the days when the world was wide.

South, East and West in advance of Time – and far in advance of thought –

And is it for this damned life we praise the god-like spirit that died

At Eureka stockade in the Roaring days, with the days when the world was wide!

New Leaders: New Ideas

Unconsciously subscribing to “Hegelian Dialectics,” Lawson glorified the heroic stratum of society – a milieu to which he himself belonged. That element within a people transcends economic classification. It is motivated by a nobler “raison d’etre” than simply the satisfaction of immediate personal, material and biological needs. It is this heroic culture bearing stratum that incarnates the Hegelian zeitgeist and is the real locomotive of history and not Marx’s economic determinist claptrap.

It is through such extraordinary personalities, who, despite risk to life, limb or personal happiness, elect in times of national or cultural crisis to champion the needs of their respective tribes, peoples or cultures, that humanity has been graced with signposts leading them from the labyrinth of Palaeolithic caves to Cape Canaveral in the space of but fifty thousand years.

As a protagonist of the “Carlylean Cult of the Exceptional Human Being,” (refer: Thomas Carlyle, Heroes And Hero Worship) Lawson belongs to the same artistic tradition as A.B. Paterson, Bernard O’Dowd, A.H. Adams and Norman Lindsey. All were Australian Nationalists. Lindsey and O’Dowd were proponents of Nietzsche’s Heroic philosophy of life as well as the values inherent in Classical Greek and Norse mythology. For an articulation of this value-system, and its archetypal mythic basis in the eternal verities of our Indo-European culture-soul, refer to the radical traditionalist Julius Evola’s Revolt Against The Modern World (Rochester: Inner Traditions International). Complementary reading to Evola’s various works are Robert Graves, The White Goddess, Caitlin Matthews, Sophia: Goddess Of Wisdom, Sir James Fraser, The Golden Bough, Erich Fromm, Psychoanalysis And Religion, The Sane Society and To Have Or To Be etc.; these works in part cover the existential questions raised by Evola and others. The aforementioned Australian artists reflected this eternal “Value System” in their poetry and paintings, thereby attempting to popularise it as the only sound alternative to the bourgeois “culture” prevalent in the West of their day (and, unfortunately, our day also).

The following extracts from Lawson’s poetry are demonstrative of this “Hegelian-Nietzschean” world-view, and should be considered as pre-requisite for a modern Australian Nationalism.

From – “For Australia”

Now with the wars of the word begun, they’ll listen to you and me,

Now while the frightened nations run to the arms of democracy,

Now when the blathering fools are scared, and the years have proved us right –

All unprepared and unprovided, the outpost of the White.

From – “Australia’s Peril”

Listen through House and Senate – listen from east to west

For the voice of one Australian who will stand above the rest,

Who will lead his country’s dawning, who will lead in his manhood’s noon –

The man may come with the hour – but the hour may come too soon.

From – “Cromwell”

…. In my country’s hour of need,

For it shall surely come,

While run by fools who’ll never heed

The beating of the drum,

While baffled by the fools at home

And threatened from the sea –

Lord send a man like Oliver –

And let me live to see.

From – “The King Of Our Republic.”

If you find him stern, unyielding, when his living task is set,

I have told you that a Tyrant shall uplift the nation yet;

It is within the light of these four quotations that Lawson’s socialism and republicanism, as evidenced also by “Faces in the Street” and “Eureka”, assume a Holistic perspective. They offered the Australian people an alternative World-View to that which was then and is now being foisted on them by passe bourgeois and Marxist ideologies.

The following extracts are particularly pertinent to our contemporary political situation. The conditions, which gave rise to them, are being recapitulated today. Lawson’s reactions and solutions are explicit. We would do well to heed him!

From – “Eureka”

To arms! To arms! The cry is out,

to arms and play your part,

For every pike upon a pole will find a Tyrant’s heart!

Now Lalor comes to take the lead,

the spirit does not lag,

And down the rough, wild diggers

kneel beneath the Diggers’ Flag;

Then rising to their feet, they swear,

while rugged hearts beat high,

To stand beside their leader and to conquer or to die!

Around Eureka’s stockade now

the shades of night close fast.

Three hundred sleep beside their arms,

And thirty sleep their last.

But not in vain those Diggers died.

Their comrades may rejoice,

For o’er the voice of tyranny is heard the people’s voice:

It says, reform your rotten laws,

The Digger’s wrongs make right.

Or else with them, our brothers now

Will gather to the fight.’

‘Twas of such stuff the men were made

Who saw our nation born,

And such as Lalor were the men

Who led the vanguard on,

And like such men may we be found,

With leaders such as they,

In the roll up of Australians on our darkest, grandest day.

From – “Freedom On The Wallaby”

So we must fly a rebel flag,

as others did before us;

And we must sing a rebel song,

and join in rebel chorus.

We’ll make the tyrants feel the sting,

of those that they would throttle.

They needn’t say the fault is ours,

if blood should stain the wattle.

From – “Faces In The Street”

They lie, the men who tell us, for reasons of their own,

That want is here a stranger, and that misery’s unknown;

For where the nearest suburb and the city proper meet

My window sill is level with the faces in the street.

Drifting past, drifting past,

To the beat of weary feet,

While I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street.

And cause I have to sorrow, in a land so good and fair,

To see upon those faces stamped the marks of want and care.

I look in vain for traces of the fresh and fair and sweet

In sallow, sunken faces that are that are drifting through the street.

Drifting on, drifting on,

To the scrape of restless feet,

I can sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street.

Once I cried “O God Almighty! If thy might doth still endure,

Now show me in a vision for the wrongs of Earth a cure.

And lo, with shops all shuttered I beheld a city’s street,

And in the warning distance heard the tramp of many feet,

Coming near, coming near,

To a drum’s distant beat,

‘Twas despair’s conscripted army

that was marching down the street!

Then like a swollen river that has broken bank and wall,

The human flood came pouring with the red flags over all,

And kindled eyes all blazing bright

With revolution’s heat,

And flashing swords reflecting rigid faces in the street –

Pouring on, pouring on,

To a drum’s loud threatening beat

And the war hymns and the cheering of the people in the street.

And it must be while the world goes rolling round its course,

The warning pen shall write in vain,

The warning voice grow hoarse,

But not until a city feels Red Revolution’s feet

Shall its sad people miss awhile the terrors of the street,

The dreadful everlasting strife

For scarcely clothes and meat

In the pent tract of living death –

The city’s cruel street.

The Social Republic

As is self-evident from these and other extracts, Lawson was proudly a social-revolutionary and a Republican. But the Social Republic he advocated had NOTHING in common with the Marxian drivel nor with the present-day liberal Fabian nonsense.

On the contrary, a summation of Lawson’s works necessarily produces a revolutionary manifesto, the foundation for a progressively evolving nationalistic social order. The following, intended solely as an example, is based upon principles distilled from his poetry: –

  1. National ownership and control of the factors of production, exchange and distribution within the parameters of a “planned economy” co-ordinating private and public enterprise. Military integration as a feature imperative to the aforestated planned economy. A government which is socially considerate and humane whilst simultaneously guardian and patron of the Cultural and Biological integrity and exclusiveness of the Nation.
  2. A meritocratic form of government which expresses an “Organic” as opposed to “Class” conceptualisation of society. Democratic and Republican in the Classical Greco-Roman sense (where Civic Duty and Privileges coincide as mandatory to Citizenship) as opposed to the 19th century Bourgeois-Marxist sense which denies national cohesiveness through laissez-faire egotism and proletarian mediocrity. Such a “programme” has of necessity appeared again in Australia. It is held to by the emerging nationalist movement.

A Philosophy To Meet Danger

In as much as such a society would result from the synthesis of the matriarchal Democratic-egalitarian and patriarchal Elitist-authoritarian traditions peculiar to our Western Heritage, its general nature can be outlined as follows; –

Democratic and egalitarian insofar as all artificial obstacles to social-mobility will have to be removed (i.e. status of parents, status derived from membership of exclusive fraternities, “the old school tie”, status derived from bank balance, etc.).. whilst facilitating genuine opportunities for the acquisition of skills necessary for social advancement within a healthily expanding economic, cultural and political climate. Such were Lawson’s objectives.

This system would be elitist and authoritarian insofar as, if there were no artificial determinants to produce the other, contemporary, elite, then its leadership must logically be the result of exceptional talent and dedication to the national-body, and the authority of that leadership should not be contested simply to satisfy personal egotism or sectional, as opposed to national interests.

Those outstanding people who, having achieved national recognition for their peculiar qualities, and having their authority periodically ratified by mass popular support by means of plebiscites, would act as the nation’s “Tribunes” (Roman) or “Ephors” (Greek) for the duration of the period allotted to office. Their task would be to act as “Ombudsman with Teeth” to whom the permanent national bureaucracy would be held accountable. In such a capacity they would ensure that national policy was genuinely representative of national feelings and needs, whilst being constitutionally empowered to act as the Protectors of individual sovereignty and felicity as well as Protectors of the independence and well being of the nation as a whole.

(For supporting evidence refer to all the poems quoted in this article in their entirety from: Lawson H., Collected Verse, by Colin Roderick, ed: Angus & Robertson, 1967. or any anthology of his works published prior to 1972 – the year of Al Grassby’s debut as art critic and censor.)

In conclusion, the following extracts are self-explanatory, reaffirming the historical validity of Lawson’s vision and demonstrating the continuity of the radical-nationalist world-view.

The geo-political realities which engendered this perspective have not altered in any regard favourable to Australia, but rather have been exascerbated with the advent of nuclear weapons and sophisticated means of communication. The capability for mass population shifts by newly aroused Third World peoples, combined with a progressive decline in Western self-esteem and the prospect of a third internecine war on the horizon, makes all of all of Lawson’s work– and especially the following extracts – all the more relevant. –

From – “The Vanguard”

(referring to the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, but which may prove to be more appropriate today)

“Tis the first round of the struggle

O the East against the West,

Of the fearful war of races

Fr the white man could not rest.

Hold them – IVAN! Staggering

Bravely underneath your gloomy sky:

Hold them IVAN we shall want you

Pretty badly by and by,

Fighting for the Indian Empire

When the British pay their debt,

Never Briton watched for Blucher

As he’ll watch for Ivan yet!

It means all to young Australia –

It means life or death to us,

For the Vanguard of the White Man

Is the vanguard of the RUSS.

From – “The Star Of Australasia.”

We boast no more of our bloodless flag

That rose from a nation’s slime;

Better a shred of a deep dyed rag

From the storms of olden time.

From grander clouds in our peaceful

Skies than ever were there before

I tell you the Star of the South

Shall rise – in the lurid clouds of war.

It ever must be while blood is warm,

And the sons of men increase;

There’ll come a point that we will not yield, no matter if right or wrong;

And man will fight on the battlefield while passion and pride are strong –

So long as he will not kiss the rod,

And his stubborn spirit sours,

For the scorn of Nature and the curse of God are heavy on a peace like ours.

There are boys today in the city slums and the home of wealth and pride

Who’ll have one home when the storm is come,

And fight for it side by side.

All creeds and trades will have soldiers there – give every class its due –

And there’ll be many a clerk to spare for the pride of the jackaroo.

And fools, when the fiends of war are out and the city sky’s aflame,

Will have something better to talk about than an absent woman’s shame,

Will have something nobler to do by far

Than jest at a friend’s expense,

Or blacken a name in a public bar

or over a backyard fence.

The selfsame spirit that drives a man

to the depths of drink and crime

Will do the deeds in the hero’s van

That live to the end of time.

The living death in the lonely bush,

The greed of the selfish town,

And even the creed of the outlaw

Push is chivalry – upside down.

‘Twill be while ever our blood is hot,

While every the world goes wrong,

The nations rise in a war,

To rot in a peace that lasts too long.

And southern nation and southern state,

Aroused from their dream of ease,

Must sign in the Book of Eternal Fate

Their stormy histories.

Out of Lawson’s vision of a tumultuous climax to three thousand years of Greco-Roman history, Australia’s destiny will be secured by qualities of character and personality intrinsic to our ennobled posterity. This idea was best expressed in the form of “Australian Engineers.”

From – “Australian Engineers”

A new generation has arisen under Australian skies,

Boys with the light of genius deep in their dreamy eyes.

Not as artists or poets with their vain imaginings,

But born to be thinkers and doers,

And makers of wonderful things.

Boys who are slight and quiet,

Boys who are strong and true,

Dreaming of great inventions –

Always of something new;

With brains untrammelled by training,

But quick where reason directs,

Boys with imagination and unclouded intellects.

Radical-nationalists salute the genius of Henry Lawson, and humbly but eagerly await the call of destiny

3. Fundamentals of Old Labour Nationalism

The following are a number of relevant quotations from prominent Australian Nationalists. They are an integral feature of our history and social-nationalist ideology.

The following quotation by Henry Lawson regarding Chinese is equally applicable to all unassimilable alien groups and serves to demonstrate the superpersonal character of Australian nationalism as an ideology – as opposed to personal bigotry on the part of some people. Private friendships with individuals from unassimilable groups (as held by Lawson, O’ Dowd and others) have never precluded one holding Australian Nationalist sentiments or participation in political activity.

The present large ethnic ghettos of Middle and Far Easterners is further proof that Australia should never have departed from the White Australia Policy.

The regular racial attacks upon white Australians (particularly women – “skippies”) by these unassimilables (who are often Australian-born) is a confirmation of the validity of what Arthur Calwell prophesised regarding the outcomes of the permissive, liberal, multicultural society. The existence of an overt Moslem fundamentalist fifth column (as evidenced by young militant spokesmen who place their Islamic faith above their Australian citizenship) is multiculturalism’s ‘chickens coming home to roost’. These cultural parasites who constantly whinge and demand tolerance/acquiescence to their pecadillos in the form of so-called ‘cultural senstivity’ from the host majority culture, have never been willing to tolerate/acquiesce to our value system. Where are the formal apologies on the part of the Moslem community to the relatives of white Australians and other westerners who died in Bali, or who suffered at the hands of their renegade criminals and rapists?

The fact the ethnic-Chinese mayor of Darwin (a descendent of colonial times) fought for the retention of the White Australia Policy in the 1970’s, in the ackowledgement that all this policy implied was Australia should remain a predominantly Anglo-European country, is also evidence that as individuals all people are assimilable. It is numbers which makes assimilation impossible.

“I am anti-Chinese as far as Australia is concerned; in fact, I am all for a White Australia. But one may dislike or even hate a nation without hating or disliking an individual of the nation.”


“No matter where the pressure comes from, the Australian people will continue to resist all attempts to destroy our White society.

I reject in conscience, the idea that Australia should or can ever be a multi-racial society and survive.”

ARTHUR CALWELL, Progressive-nationalist.. Quoted from this one-time Labor Immigration Minister’s autobiography, Be Just and Fear Not, Rigby Ltd., Sydney, 1972.


“The white population is being driven out of the labour market by an inundation of Mongolians; when the white man is driven to desperation, there will be desperate times..”

NED KELLY, Letter To Sir Henry Parkes, 1879.; Australian bushranger, republican, political radical, Australia’s Robin Hood cum Che Guevara.


And no man single-handed,

can hope to break the bars.

It’ll be a thousand like Ned Kelly,

who’ll hoist the Flag of Stars.

JOHN MANIFOLD, nationalist poet.


“All that is necessary for us to urge in justification of this measure (Commonwealth Immigration Restriction Act of 1901) is that these people do differ from us in such essentials of race and character as to exclude the possibility of advantageous admixture or intermarriage if we are to maintain the standards of civilisation to which we are accustomed….

Our civilisation belongs to us, and we to it; we are bred in it and it is bred in us. It fits us and is our means of progress and advancement. These people have their own independent development, their own qualities and forms of life and government, which naturally are attached to them.

They are separated from us by a gulf, which we cannot bridge to the advantage of either. The attitude of Australia is not an offensive one when it becomes understood that it is based upon these principles. It is not based upon claims of superiority.

Where is the standard of comparison just to both? … Arguments which are used in favour of exclusion do not call for any reflection whatever upon the character or capacity of the people excluded.”

Prime Minister ALFRED DEAKIN, addressing the Federal Parliament in 1901.

Deakin was a progressive-nationalist who was responsible for the first pension legislation at a Federal level. Although not a member of the Labour Party, he compromised with Labour on these principles.


Extract from “AUSTRALIA”

“Last sea-thing dredged by sailor Time from Space,

Are you a drift Sargasso, where the West in halcyon calm rebuilds her fatal nest?

Or Delos of a coming Sun God’s race?

Are you for light, and trimmed, with oil place?

Or but a Will o’Wisp or marshy quest?

A new demesne for Mammon to infest?

Or Lurks millennial Eden ‘neath your face?”

BERNARD O’DOWD, Radical-nationalist


“…I still think that Australia needs the sort of revolution that will produce fundamental far-reaching changes. Every country needs such a revolution every now and then to make some beneficial changes in its social, political and economic affairs. England needed a violent revolution to get rid of Charles I and then peaceful revolution after the Restoration to get rid of his ill-fated son, James II in 1688.

The last thing I want to do is shock native born reactionaries and kill them off prematurely by hinting at the word revolution in this country. Yet what else is there to talk about if man is to survive in the mess that capitalism has made of our society with its wars, its pollution of the air, the sea and the land and its degradation of our moral, social and economic health?

The United States came into being through a violent revolution that started in 1776 and finished with the creation of a new society on the other side of the Atlantic to that of the Old World. And then there was the French Revolution, the bloodbath that commenced in 1789 and ended with the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. It was a revolution that was hundreds of years overdue, but was never completed.

A century later in 1917, the Russian Empire disappeared in a comparatively bloodless uprising followed by a long and terrible civil war, inspired and aided by foreign intervention and later, by the shocking era of Stalinism that cost the Russian Nation the lives of millions of its unfortunate people. The Russian Revolution was at least three hundred years overdue.

There have been other revolutions in the history of Europe and Asia as well as those to which I have referred, but none of them had had the significance of those, which I have cited.

We need sweeping changes that will result in the creation of an Australian Socialist society. Unfortunately, the great majority of Australians are too smug, too greedy, too slothful to care about the benefits of Socialism.”

ARTHUR CALWELL, Be Just And Fear Not


“Ninety percent of people of Australia support me in my attitude today,” he said. “Australians are not going to turn Australia over to those “inspired by an angry vocal minority of pseudo-intellectuals,”

These pseudo-intellectuals think they can promote the cause of a permissive society by flooding this country with people from all parts of the world.”

” I have a tremendous respect for the Chinese who have yellow skins and have pride in their race.

I have a tremendous regard to the coffee coloured Indians who have a great respect for the colour of their race, and for both peoples because of their regard for their cultures, their histories and their achievements.

However, he said, Australia “has got to be held by people who are predominantly Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, Scandinavian and Southern European.

These are the only people who can make an integrated community. Why should anyone be hurt by a recitation of the truth?”

Arthur Calwell, in the Australian press, 1971.


“We are for this Australia, for the nationality that is creeping to the verge of being, for the progressive people.”

WILLIAM LANE, The Boomerang 1887.


“While we plough our fields and measure our calico, and swing our hammers, history is being made and we ourselves are taking part in a stirring drama. Here we face the hordes of the east as our kinsmen faced them in the dim distant centuries, and here we must beat them back if we would keep intact all that can make our lives worth living. It does not matter that today it is an insidious invasion of peaceful aliens instead of warlike downpour of weaponed men.”

WILLIAM LANE, The Boomerang newspaper,18 February 1888.

Extract from “OUR LAND”

Bernard O’Dowd (Radical-nationalist)

From Northern strife and Eastern sloth removed,

Australia and her herald gods invite

A chosen race, in sternest ordeals proved,

To guard the future from exotic blight.

Yet on our margin other folk are set

Who, it is well, should keep a while away,

Too long apart to mingle wisely yet

(E’en I who love the Hindoo, Chinese, say!)

Yea, will we steel us to the death to fight –

In such poor means alone avail – whom’er,

Or Asian throng, or island brown, or white

Blood-brother e’en, would cloud our prospect fair,

To guard the future from exotic blight.

And not alone to feel the mouths of children at her breast

Australia wafts her sibyl call wherever white men are;

But, warden of the boundaries, lone outpost for the West.

She dare not risk the paling here of splendid Europe’s star.

Out in the night we seem to see piratic dangers sparkle,

And, on our moon’s horizon growing, omens grimly darkle!

O come ye of the white race hither, come ye to her call!

‘Tis not alone for us the word she sends you o’er the sea!

As ye shall rise up while we soar, our failure means you fall –

The fall of truth, the fall of love, the fall of liberty!

BERNARD O’DOWD, Collected Verses, Lothian, 1944.

4. William Lane and the Metaphysical and Metapolitical Foundations of the National and Social Revolutions

This polemic was first published as part of a pamphlet in 1985. Its contents have a rare poignancy in the current 1986 situation, with the possibility of a major global conflict.

(Author’s 2002 comment: since 1986, the power elites of the Anglo-American-Zionist bloc and its plutocratic allies have consistently carried out acts of cowardly aerial terror against Libya, Iraq, Yugoslavia and more recently, Afghanistan, under the plethora of platitudes of waging wars for democracy (or dime-ocracy?). In most cases, it has been to secure natural resources such as oil, gas and to open the world to the market economy. The reader should refer to: Ted Wheelwright, Oil And World Politics: From Rockefeller To The Gulf War, Left Book Club Co-operative, 1991. They are now threatening to escalate this with wars against North Korea, Iraq and Iran and possibly Russia and China. Since the collapse of the USSR, the plutocrats have gained the presumption that they are invincible, but then “those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.” A misguided riposte to this aerial terror (possibly a superpersonal karmic event – ‘what goes around comes around’) was the September 11 2001 aerial assault on New York. This bloody folly played into the propagandistic palms of the One World imperialists and their satraps such as the former Prime Minister of Israel, Bibi Netanyahu, as evidenced from his ‘slip of the tongue’ comment to the New York Times: the Twin Towers attack was “very good” for Israel; “Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy”. The Twin Towers attack has given the imperialists unqualified license to attempt to impose their will and institute their New World Order. Refer to Noam Chomsky, September 11 Chomsky, an objective American critic of Jewish descent, has been threatened with murder and has often been terrorised by the Zionists and their gentile allies.)

Though this author’s primary concern is for the welfare of the Australian Nation (and thus the reader will note a commitment to neutrality and independence for Australia), I must re-endorse what I have written as an appendix, or new section, of The Social Revolutionary Nature of Australian Nationalism.

In 1985-6, I had the opportunity to visit Libya and observe that country and the Gaddafi government. I suspected that the forces of international finance/monopoly capital, certain enemies of the Australian Nation, were using Libyan activities as an EXCUSE to unleash a conflict, which could have easily become a world war.

There is such a thing as the Anglo-American-Zionist bloc in world politics. Its appetites are dangerous. The peoples of Europe, indeed all peoples, have bled enough for unattainable goals. This author does NOT agree with terrorism, be it individual or state directed, but he does not approve of it IN GENERAL. We cannot be selective when we condemn it. Consider the recent death of Samantha Smith, a young peace campaigner in the United States. She visited the U.S.S.R. and returned to the United States to advocate the relaxation of the new Cold War. Her “crime” was her innocence. Was she murdered? After all, did not President Kennedy authorise the assassination of Castro and many other figures – even minor ones? It is VITAL that people understand that terrorism is NOT a monopoly of Arabs or Socialists or whatever, Zionist Israel has committed terrorism, as has the United States.

Understanding for example, the Zionists, has little to do with anti-Semitism. In the 1930’s Jack Lang in the precursors of his paper The Century (the instruments of the Lang Labor Party) saw how global capitalism often allied itself to the Zionists to achieve its ends. Today this same bloc denigrates all movements towards nationalism and independence. Even Jim Cairns, in his Oil On Troubled Waters implied that Australia should reduce its dependence on this bloc. The American Wilmot Robertson in his Dispossessed Majority gave a fair account of the nexus between the Zionists and “U.S. Imperialism.” The Canadian, John Jewell has written on Soviet anti-Zionism for the U.S. group White American Resistance.

There follows, initially, a quote from Arthur Calwell, which refers to certain internal U.S.S.R. political matters of relevancy to some aspects of the present global conflict debated in the forthcoming section.

“The 1917 revolution in Russia was warmly welcomed by the country’s Jews. They had bitter memories of Czarism and the pogroms, and naturally they helped Lenin in the October Revolution. Almost everybody in the Russian public service refused to serve the Bolshevik regime. In the Russian Foreign Office, for example, all the posts vacated, right down to charwoman, were taken by Jewish men and women. Leon Trotsky, Grigori Zinoviewff, and Lev Kameneff are the names of three highly intellectual Jews who joined Lenin’s administration. But the anti-Semitic feelings of the Russian people have been so long ingrained, that Stalin, having purged many Jews in the 1937 faked trials, had arranged for the infamous trial of seven Jewish doctors on bogus charges of having conspired to murder Russia’s leaders, before death overtook him in 1953. It was this alone which saved his intended victims from extermination….”

From Be Just and Fear Not.

(Readers Note: For a fuller discussion of Stalin, anti-semitism and the Jewish component of Russian communism, see: Louis Rapoport, Stalin’s War Against The Jews: The Doctors’ Plot And The Soviet Solution. New York: The Free Press, 1990 ; Arkady Vaksberg, Stalin Against The Jews, 1994)

In an age dominated by a myriad of ideologies, philosophies and theologies, with more interpretations of each than there are planets in the Cosmos – it becomes easy to comprehend why the great mass of people have developed a degree of cynicism in regard to ANY and ALL panaceas of salvation – be it political, economic or theocratic redemption!

Cynicism is a disease, which ultimately leads to nihilism. Nihilism debases a people and finally results in complete indifference to ANY and ALL conditions in which a NATION, or an INDIVIDUAL, may be subject to. In such a degree of degradation and apathy, a people disintegrate into countless grains of sand – having only the most superficial economic relationship to one another.

This type of alienation produces further debasement of LIFE and the ALIENADO (Spanish for tormented and demented) or alienated, finally repudiating life in a tormented and abysmal orgy of impersonal and often deviant sexual extravagances, drugs, alcoholism, crime and death. More often, those who find such a pathetic end, are the more sensitive and creative elements within a people, who intuitively recognize (by their higher faculties of perception) that the Age in which we are living, is the final stage in the spiralling decline of a civilisation.

William Lane’s novel The Workingman’s Paradise is an extraordinary insight into the struggle of Higher Men, for self-overcoming and self-realization, as the preliminary pilots of a NEW and HIGHER IDEA – by which the masses will find completeness. This IDEA is one, which begins and ends with eternity (to employ a Nietzschean phrase) and emanates from the SOUL of each people in their struggle for the creation of an ethical-socialist national-community. A pre-requisite for the achievement of such a progressive New Order necessarily depends upon the nobler and more idealistic elements, who will pioneer the path. For them it is imperative to retain the strength not to repudiate the loftiness of their mission, as upon their shoulders rests the destinies of their respective peoples.

When Rome collapsed because of its innate moral/psychological/political crises she was the wealthiest and most militarily prominent power, in her immediate quarter of the world. Affluence and the possession of the superficial means of waging war (be it Roman Legions made up mostly of foreign mercenaries and client forces, or thermo-nuclear weapons, ‘smart-bombs’, proxy armies and satrap paramilitaries) are not necessarily symptomatic of the vibrancy of life or of a healthy political organism.

According to the prominent philosopher of history, Oswald Spengler (author of The Decline Of The West) our modern Western civilisation is destined for the same fate within our lifetime, as that which befell the ancient Roman one. The sooner the more aware segments of the Old West, recognize this integral apocalyptic reality, and repudiate any and ALL allegiance to the corpse of Western society – the closer shall be the appointed hour when a nascent shoot shall spring forth from the soil which was the West, and flower into NEW EUROPID PEOPLES developing into NEW EUROPID CULTURES. In the same fashion as our contemporary Western civilisation began as a culture, during the Gothic ages, as the result of a synthesis with the heroic pagan-pantheistic folk cultures (of the Indo-European barbarians of the migration period) and the nascent Christian culture (which had succeeded the decadent materialism of the Roman Empire), so a new spirituality is re-emerging in the West. It is repudiating the shallow materialism of our cosmopolitan capitalist civilisation, in favour of a return to our folkloric origins in Indo-European antiquity. Thus new Europid peoples are in the process of being born, who will necessarily produce new cultures, once the putrid corpse of Western liberal-democracy and its mass consumer society, has joined its decadent anti-type the ancient Roman (of its final stages and not to be confused with the GOLDEN AGE of Graeco-Roman civilization), in its catacombic origins.

Therefore the movement for a New Indo-European GOLDEN AGE is necessarily anti-bourgeois and anti-organised-globalising-Christianity , as a decadent form of liberal cosmopolitan Christianity (which bears little similarity to either that of the Zorasterianised/Hellenistic Essene Jesus of Nazareth or to those true Christians who live according to His spirit) is the dominant ideology of the West, and continues to contribute to Western Cultural imperialism, and thereby is an accomplice in the cultural dispossession of its subject peoples.

The movement for an Indo-European renaissance shares with all peoples on this planet, the common goal of emancipation from Judaeo-Christian/Marxoid-capitalistic Western domination, the souls of our respective peoples – which the Western cosmopolitan plutocrats have distorted and ensnared for consumer commodities, or was it for “thirty pieces of silver”? (Refer to the writings of Alain de Benoist and the ‘GRECE’ school, The Scorpion magazine, the German Thule school of Pierre Krebs and the work of Professor Alexander Dugin, which articulate the ‘tradition’ known in Europe as ‘Conservative Revolution’.)

This IDEA of a NEW ORDER and new Europid Culture, is the Life-affirmative vision which William Lane shared with Spengler, Hegel, Nietzsche, Thoreau, Emerson, Spinoza and countless other European, American and Australian proponents of a Deistic but secular ethical-communitarian, view of Life. (Refer to other essays in this Collection.)

The great Libyan pan-Arab progressive-nationalist, Muammer Qadhafi in his “Third Universalist Theory” has re-presented the Eternally valid recognition, that the twin locomotives of History are SOCIALISM and NATIONALISM (as organic non-materialistic ideologies). To be more precise – socialism applied in the national context and specifically formulated so as to reflect the harmonious integrity of the national-body-politic – with its unique bio-spiritual and geo-political particularity.

“The concept of man is that of the nation, the concept of the nation is that of the tribe, and the concept of the tribe is that of the family…”

“…the nation is a tribe, after it has grown and its branches have multiplied and become transformed into clans, then into tribes.”

“The national state is the only political form which is consistent with the natural structure of society.”

“…Despite the political factors which necessitate the establishment of the state, the basis for the life of individuals is the family, the tribe, then the nation…”

“…The national struggle…. is the basis of the movement of history, because it is stronger than all other factors since it is in the origin…it is in the nature of the human group…. the nature of the nation. It is the nature of Life itself. Other animals, apart from man, live in groups. Indeed, the group is the basis for the survival of all groups within the animal kingdom. Nationalism is the basis for the survival of nations. Nations whose nationalism is destroyed are subject to ruin.”

(Author’s 2002/2003 comments: Neither Gaddafi nor Saddam Hussein are Moslem fundamentalists. Although both they and their countries are nominally Moslem, they have historically aligned themselves with European secular socialist/social-democratic societies. The tragedy of Bali cannot be laid at their doorsteps. The Moslem fundamentalists have equally in the past targetted these Arab socialist states. It was Richard Heineberg, author and journalist who said: “It was Libya’s Muammar Qadhafi – not George Bush or Bill Clinton – who was the first world leader to call for the arrest of bin Laden, in 1994, following terrorist attacks on his nation.” According to David Shayler, in his “The British, Mulslim Terrorism And September 11”, Britain’s MI-6 continued to have associations with al-Qaeda up to 1996 when they collaborated with it in series of assassination attempts on Gaddafi’s life. Bush, Blair and Bibi will one day be judged by the high court of history. (See: and the book Mansour O El Kikhla, Libya’s Qaddafi: The Politics Of Contradiction, University Press of Florida.)

It should not be forgotten that not so long ago both the USA and the USSR supported both morally and through materiel Iraq’s war against the Moslem fundamentalist Iran and its Shiite Iraqi allies; nor should it be forgotten that Osama bin Laden and his al-Queda were American proxies in the war in Afghanistan against the USSR. Their mujahadeen allies continued to foment strife in the Balkans, Chechnya and other areas, where they continued (and continue) to receive the favourable nomenclature of ‘freedom fighters’ by their CIA controllers! The Northern Alliance, the Anglo-American-Zionist proxy government of Afghanistan were formerly Soviet allies against the CIA’s Osama bin Laden directed mujahadeen. Twelve months before ‘September 11’, America was planning to invade Iraq so as to secure access to a depleting resource – oil. Refer to the document entitled Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century, authored by the think tank called Project For The New American Century ; Richard Heinberg, The Party’s Over: Oil, War And The Fate Of Industrial Societies, New Society: March 2003.)

The principal factor of disintegration which has precipitated Western Capitalistic Decadence has been its cosmopolitanism and economic/cultural imperialism. This supposedly transcendental economically-determinist view, transgressed against organic realities such as the bio-cultural/geo-political specificity of the NATION. This most debasing soulless tyranny in the form of a global mass society devoid of any spiritual ethnic, territorial or historical uniqueness – all stamped with the mark of a civilization in it death knell has been the lunacy of Western cosmopolitan plutocratic ambitions.

Thus from Tokyo, Peking, Sydney, Paris to the deepest African wilderness, the Global Plutocrats have left their greasy and syphilitic paws. Peoples with thousands of years of High History, and Cultures such as the Japanese, Chinese, Europeans and Arabs, have had their innate value systems overturned so as to facilitate the insane objective of one Global Village (or is it shopping centre?) in which all look alike, affect bourgeois manners, dress alike, consume alike and finally die identical deaths from the global toxaemia of fast foods, mass pollution, deculturation, unnecessary economic competition over undesirable (from an objective stand) life-styles. Thus poples suffocate, swamped in the asphalt values of a Marxoid/Capitalistic materialist-progress-mania and Coca-Cola/McDonalds/Aids/libertinism, and its ideological excrescence.

As the other essays in The Social Revolutionary Nature Of Australian Nationalism have demonstrated, Marxism in its authentic cosmopolitan-materialistic form is completely non-existent outside of the Capitalist West. The so-called Marxist nations have ceased to regard internationalistic dialectical materialism seriously, at least since the Stalinist Revolution of the 1930’s. All the Stalinoid ideologies (Maoism, Castroism, Titoism, Third World Socialism etc.) have essentially radical-nationalist potentials or underpinnings, which have synthesised socialism – with the bio-spiritual/geo-political reality of the NATION. This was an inevitable organic evolution and demonstrative of the fact – that GREAT MOTHER NATURE, in her PROFOUND WISDOM, would not tolerate the aedopistic tamperings of insane rebellious troglodytes, who deluded themselves that by “Rationalist/Materialist” methods, they could overrule the SUPERIOR WILL of the GREAT ARCHITECT of the universe. The Causes for LIFE manifesting itself, and evolving into a multiplicity of forms was an ORGANIC IMPERATIVE, which would not allow its own confusion. It is from this same imperative that the idiosyncratic uniqueness of the LIVING/BREATHING organism defined as a NATION, derives its WILL to perpetuity.

It is for this reason that all genuine Western socialistic national-revolutionaries, share some affinity with all Third World socialistic-nationalists, be they Gaddafi’s Libyans or the Sandinista, the Peronista, and similar formations in Latin America. The various ideologies of progressive and/or radical Australian nationalists, such as J.T. LANG, Billy HUGHES, W.G. SPENCE, A.CALWELL, B.O’DOWD, Henry LAWSON and William LANE etc., all desired for the Australian people – the preservation and self-realization of our Nation, within a non-chauvinistic anti-belligerent NATIONALIST-PEOPLE’S-COMMUNITY. This potentially is also the objective of every genuine progressive and/or radical nationalist Nation-State, or movement in the world today. That which we have desired and continue to desire for ourselves, we affirm for all national-people’s movements (regardless if some continue to use Marxoid semantics as a pragmatic revolutionary methodology) which have asserted for themselves their Right of Existence as Sovereign peoples – free from the nihilistic encroachment of global corporate capitalism and its anti-organic machinations.

(Note: December 2005. For the continued ideological relevance of the Sandinista and its relationship to what is generically known as ‘ethical socialism’ within the patriotic context, refer to the speech given by Alejandro Bendana to the commemoration of the 61st anniversary of General Sandino. This commemoration was held in Managua’s Olaf Palme Convention Centre on February 21 1995. See the Internet.)

(Author’s February 2007 Note: For a comprehesive appreciation of the relationship between Gaddafi’s Third Universal Theory and Juan Peron’s Third Justicialist Position and the Sandinista and Third Position parties in the West, see the biography of former Peronist minister, Horocio Calderon (a personal friend of Gaddafi and Peron): Al-Qadhafi: “Jerusalem Operation”, 1983. This work was translated from Spanish into many languages, including English. The ascendency of Hugo Chavez and the emergence of a patriotic bloc of Latin American nations represents an acknowledgement that the essence of the Peronista and Sandinista remain historically correct. The momentary historical defeat of political ideologies or states is simply the history of ‘might makes right’ Their re-ascendency is a confirmation that the issues these groups sought to address certainly were never solved by the imperialists. The grievances remained. The new Bolivaran vision that acknowledges the position of Cuba and Castro (which has also undergone historical changes) is equally a valid confirmation of these ideas as is the re-growth of nationalist and patriotic forces in what was – the Soviet Union.)

We are LIVING BEINGS who share an innate solidarity with “ALL OF LIFE” in its struggle for continuity and self-realization. We are not nor ever shall be simply economic units and factors of consumption and production. Economics is a function of life and not its determinant. Therefore we completely reject the insane hallucinations of the Anglo-American-Zionist bloc – recognizing fully that it is the Thatcherite-Reaganist plutocratic alliance, which shall answer to History for its crimes against LIFE.(Author’s 2002 note: The unholy trinity of Bush, Blair and ‘Bibi’ is simply the new millennium’s continuation of the imperialistic Freidmannite London School of Economics, with its laissez-faire liberalism on all levels, including the liberal use of military force. It aims to fulfill the semi-messianic dream of a New Jerusalem within the parameters of a global Anglophone plutocratic dictatorship, a new monolingual Babylon The Great destined to suffer the fate of the Tower of Babel.)

“What does it matter, after all?” he murmured to himself. “There is nothing worrying over so long as one does one’s best. Things are coming along all right. We may be only stumbling towards the Light but we’re getting there just the same. So long as we know that what does it matter?”

“What am I?” he thought, looking up at the stars, which shone the brighter because the moon was now hidden behind the train. “I AM THAT I AM, as the old Jew God was, as we all are. We think we can change everything and we can change nothing. Our very thoughts and motives and ideals are only bits of the Eternal Force, that holds the stars balanced in the skies and keeps the earth for a moment solid to our feet. I cannot move it. I cannot affect it. I cannot shake it. It alone is.”

“No more, he thought on, “Can Eternal Force outside of me move me, affect me, shake me. The Force in me is as eternal, as indestructible, and as infinite, as the whole universal force. What it is I am too. The unknown Law that gives trend to Force is manifest in me as much as it is in the whole universe beside, yet no more than it is in the smallest living thing that swims in a drop of water or floats in the air. I am a part of that which is infinite and eternal and which working through man has made him conscious and given him a sense of things and filled him with grand ideals sublime as the universe itself. None of us can escape the Law even if we would because every act and every thought and every desire follows along in us to that which has gone before and to the influences around, just as the flight of a bullet is according to the weight of the bullet, and its shape, and the pressure and the direction it was fired, and the wind.”

William Lane, The Workingman’s Paradise, pp.222-223

“Can it be that Nemesis sleeps for us, he who never slept for any, he who has never yet saw wrong go unavenged or heard the innocent blood cry unanswered from the ground? Can it be that he has closed his ears to the dragging footfalls of the harlot host and to the sobs of strong men hopeless and anguished because work is wanting and the sighing of wearied women and to the death rattle of slaughtered babes? Surely though God is not and Humanity is weak yet Nemesis is strong and sleepless and lingers not! Surely he will tear down the slum and whelm the robbers in their iniquity and visit upon us all punishment for the crime, which all alike have shared. Into the pit which we have left digged for the children of others shall not our own children fall?”

William Lane, The Workingman’s Paradise, pp. 129-130.

“This accursed competitivism of ours has not friends but those who fear personal loss by a change of system. Not one. It has hirelings, Praetorian guards, Varangians, but not a devoted people. Its crimes are so great that he is a self-condemned villain who knowing them dreams of justifying them. There is not one man who would mourn it for itself tomorrow. A dozen times this century it has been on the verge of destruction, and what has saved it, every time is simply that those who assailed it had not a supreme ideal common among them as to how they should re-build. It is exactly the same with political action as it is with revolutionary movements. It will fail until men have faith.”

“How can we get it? Asked Ned, for Geisner had ceased speaking and mused with a far-off expression on his face.”

“If we ourselves have it, sooner or later we shall give it to others. Hearts that this world has wounded are longing for the ideal we bring, artist-souls that suffering has purified and edged are working for the Cause in every land, weak though we are we have a love for the Beautiful in us, a sense that revolts against the unloveliness of life as we have it, a concept of what might be if things were only right. In every class the ground is being turned by the ploughshare of discontent, everywhere we can sow the seed broadcast with both hands. And if only one seed in a thousand springs up and bears, it is worth it.”

William Lane, The Workingman’s Paradise, p.116

“Civilisation is destroying itself. The socialistic idea is the only thing that can save it. I look upon the future as a mere race between the spread of Socialism as a religion and the spread of that unconditional discontent which will take revenge for all its wrongs by destroying civilisation utterly, and with it much, probably most, that we have won so slowly and painfully of Art and Science.”

“That would be a pity” said Ned. He would have spoken differently had he not gone with Nellie last night, he thought while saying it.

I think so. It means the whole work to be done over again. If Art and Science were based on the degradation of men I would say “away with them!” But they are not. They elevate and ennoble man by bringing to them the fruition of elevated minds. They are expressions of high thoughts and deep feelings; thought and feeling which can only do good, if it is good to become more human. The artist is simply one who has a little finer soul than others.”

William Lane, The Workingman’s Paradise, p. 117

“You know what being a Socialist means, Ned?” asked Geisner, looking into the young man’s eyes.”

“I’ve got a notion,” said Ned, looking straight back. “There are socialists and Socialists, just as there is socialism and Socialism. The ones that babble of what they do not feel, because it’s becoming the thing to babble, the others have a religion and that religion is Socialism.”

“How does one know a religion? – When one is ready to sacrifice everything for it. When one only desires that the Cause may triumph. When one has no call for self and does not fear anything that man can do, and has a faith which nothing can shake, not even one’s one weakness.”

William Lane, The Workingman’s Paradise, pp.114-115

“All that any religion has been to the highest thoughts of any people, Socialism is, and more, to those who conceive it aright. Without blinding us to our own weaknesses and wickedness, without offering to us any sophistry or cajoling us with any fallacy, it enthrones Love above the universe, gives us Hope for all who are down trodden and restores to us the Faith in the eternal fitness of things. Socialism is indeed a religion demanding deeds as well as words. Not until professing socialists understand this will the world at large see Socialism as it really is.”

William Lane, preface, The Workingman’s Paradise.

“The basis of all slavery and all slavish thought is necessarily the monopoly of the means of working, that is of living. If the state monopolised them, not the state ruled by the propertied classes but the state ruled by the whole people, to work would become every man’s right. Nineteen out of twenty laws would be useless (i.e. unnecessary).”

William Lane, The Workingman’s Paradise, p.119

In his “Cosme Publication,” September 1898, page 2, Lane wrote of his “absolute and unshakeable faith in what we commonly call “God.” And when I say God, I mean neither the idol built of wood or stone by the crude hands of savages nor the idol build of words and phrases by the equal heathenism of higher races. I mean by God the sense of oneness, the livingness, the completeness, of that inconceivable power which working through matter called us and all the wondrous universe we see into being. That power I know and feel is supreme beyond all conceiving. Nothing is beyond its control.”

The same issue of Cosme is instrumental to the articulation of Lane’s conceptualisation of communism, which is the common view of all the protagonists of some form of organic-ethical socialism… “To me communism is part of God’s law. He who tries to live for his fellows as for himself, he who with all his heart and soul endeavours to be a communist himself, freely and to mould on communistic lines the social organization without which man cannot live on earth, he is, in so far, serving God and obeying God’s law.

By communism, Lane implied the organic-tribalistic-collectivist society, which the early Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples and all Indo-European peoples possessed before their dispossession by the purely economically-centred decadent Roman Empire – and its successor the Judaeo-Christian, cosmopolitan western civilisation.

In “Cosme Monthly” September 1896, page 4, he wrote regarding the new settlement he founded some forty five miles south of his “New Australian Commune” in Paraguay…”Colonia cosme is a common hold of English speaking whites, who accept among their principles. Life marriages, Teetotalism and the Colour Line. And who believe that communism is not merely expedient but is right.”

Under the nome de plume of John Miller, Lane wrote in page 5 of the Brisbane “Worker” of the 13/6/1891…”Class governance is a usurpation, a tyranny which has its roots in the ages when military castes, ground the peaceful tillers of the soil into slavery. Our parliamentary system, of which the very opponents of one-man-one-vote profess to be so proud, is only a degenerated survival of the assembly at which in primitive times our Teutonic forefathers gathered, free and equal, to make for themselves laws for their common governance.”

In the Brisbane “Daily Mail” of the 18/2/1930, John Lane recounted how William Lane would announce … “We Germanic people came into history as communists. From our communal village we drew the strength which broke Rome down, and the energy which even yet lets us live.”

Lane’s conception of one indivisible, national-people’s community is specified in the following quotation from the “Boomerang” of the 19/11/1887…

“Australia is not a sect or a section, it is not a caste or a class, or a creed, is not to be a Southern England (note: Southern England was more pronouncedly class orientated than the Midlands) nor yet another United States. Australia is the whole white people of this continent.”

Lane’s ethno-centrism should not be misconstrued as a belligerent ethnic chauvinism of either the nazi-fascist or Zionist type, but to the contrary. Lane, like Gaddafi, and many other socialist thinkers, recognized that the only organically realizable communitarian society – must necessarily be based upon Natural Living Realities, such as specific tribal, family, ethnic, spiritual, historical and other unique geo-political determinants. Therefore Lane’s ethno-centrism was not based upon the imperialistic HERRENVOLK/CHOSEN PEOPLE psychology, which seeks to dispossess peoples or to enslave them, but rather was/is an integral feature of all progressive and/or radical-nationalistic ideologies the world over.

Such societies favour autarchy and prefer to trade between sovereign nation-states, rather than allow transnational corporate bodies to determine (purely from their own profit motive), the economic development of nations. Their foreign policy is necessarily pan-nationalist within the parameters of specific geo-political spheres, where co-nationalistic commonwealths (i.e. in the dictionary sense and not to be confused with the British commonwealth) regulate economic /military integration for the mutual advantage of all participant states.

Co-nationalism or a global community of confederate sovereign state-socialist nations, is the only organically viable and desirable form of internationalism. Within this context the internationalist aspirations of all genuine socialists shall achieve its realisation. The Marxoid notion of a global dictatorship of the so-called proletariat is as obnoxious and anti-human an idea, as is the purely economic ideal of the global consumer society. This is the essence of Gaddafi’s “Third Universalist Theory” which is endorsed by all genuine radical and/or progressive-nationalists, as well as that which is also endorsed by the still partly Marxoid/materialistic Stalinoid movements.This position wasanticipated by Scottish nationalist, Andrew Fletcher of Saltoon 1653 – 1716, as evidenced by the quote below. Both nationalism and internationalism are reconciled in pan-nationalism / co-nationalism formulating an inter-Nationalism

“Show me a true patriot, and I will show you a lover not merely of his own country, but of all mankind. Show me a spurious patriot, a bombastic fire-eater, and I will show you a rascal. Show me a man who loves other countries equally with his own and I will show you a man entirely deficient in a sense of proportion. But show me a man who respects the rights of all nations, while ready to defend the rights of his own against them all and I will show you a man who is both a naionalist and an internationalist”

Being cognizant of organic realities, it is completely understandable as to why Lane’s socialism was necessarily Australianist and Indo-European in conception. It could be nothing more nor less, as the Australian people since European settlement, have been predominantly Indo-European in character.

Like all these profound thinkers, Lane recognized the power of the “Unknowable One” whose all-pervasive hand shapes “ALL THINGS”, and by which human history has been manipulated towards a finale struggle between Light and Delusion, between Objective Reality and human caprice.

This apocalyptic battle between the champions of Life and those who would enslave and negate its Rights – shall usher in a NEW AGE. In the “NEW ERA OF THE MASSES” (to quote a Gaddafian phrase) all the peoples of this planet shall finally be free to pursue their God-given Destiny independent of maniacal materialistic manipulations and distortions.

“I am the breath of the lute, I am the mind of man, gold’s glitter, the light of the diamond and the sea-pearl’s lustre Van.”

“I am both good and evil, the deed and the deed’s intent – temptation, victim, sinner, crime, pardon and punishment.”

“Yes,” said Geisner; “that and more. Brahma and more than Brahma. What Prince Buddha thought out too. What Jesus the carpenter dimly recognized. Not only Force, but Purpose, or what for lack of better terms we call Purpose, in it all.”

“And what Purpose; what is it? Ned was surprised to hear his own voice uttering his thought.”

“Who shall say? There are moments a few moments when one seems to feel what it is, moments when one stands face to face with universal Life and realizes wordlessly what it means.”

“When one in anguish and sorrow unendurable. When one has seen one’s soul stripped naked and laid, with all its black abysses and unnatural sins, the brutishness that is in each man’s heart known and understood – the cowardice, the treachery, the villainy, the lust. When one knows oneself in others and winds into a mist of despair, hopeless and heart-wrung, then come the temptations, as the prophets call them, the miserable ambitions dressed as angels of light, the religions which have become mere drugged pain-lullers, the desire to suppress thought altogether, to end life, to stupefy one’s soul with body pain, with mental activity.” “And if,” he added, “if in one’s heart Humanity has lodged itself, if one’s pain is for others more than it is for oneself, then it may be that one shall feel and know.”

“To me the purpose of life is Self consciousness, the total Purpose I mean. God seeking to know God. Eternal force one immeasurable Thought. Humanity the developing consciousness of the little fragment of the universe within our ken.”

William Lane, The Workingman’s Paradise, pp. 76-77.

“…A great Thought so sublime that we can trust like children in the Purpose of the forces that give it birth.”

“To you and to me this Thought speaks and pleads, wherever we are, whoever we are, weakening our will when we would do wrong, strengthening our weakness when we would do right. And while we hear it and listen to it we are indeed as gods, knowing good from evil.”

“It is ours this Thought, because sinful men (my note: Lane’s conception of sin is the pantheistic one of a TRANSGRESSION against the “SELF” and a disregard for the sanctity of life) as we all are, have shed their blood for it in their sinfulness, have lived for it in their earnest weakness, have felt their hearts grow tender despite themselves and have done unwittingly deeds that shine as brightly to our mental eyes as do the seen and unseen stars that strew the firmament of heaven.”

“The brute-mother who would not be comforted because her young was taken gave in the end to the Christs who have surrendered all because the world sorrows. And we, in our yearning and our aspirations, in our longings and our strugglings and our miseries, may engender even in these latter days a Christ whom the world will not crucify, a Hero Leader whose genius will humanize the grown strength of this supreme and sublime thought.”

“Let us not be deceived! It is in ourselves that the weakness is. It is in ourselves that the real fight is between the Old and New. It is because we ourselves cling to the old fears and kneel still before old idols, that the Thought still remains a Thought only, that it does not create the New Order which will make of this weary world a Paradise indeed.”

Neither ballots nor bullets will avail us unless we strive of ourselves to be men, to be worthier to be dwelling houses of this Thought of which even the dream is filling the world with madness divine. To curb our tongues, to soften our own hearts, to be sober ourselves, to be virtuous ourselves, to trust each other – at least to try – this must we do, before we can justly expect of others that they should do it. Without hypocrisy, knowing how we fall short of our ideal, we must ourselves first cease to be utterly slaves of our own weaknesses.”

5. Afterword

Though I have always favoured a strong “Socialism” within the Australian historical tradition, I would like to state a qualification: it would be INCORRECT to demand total state ownership of the factors of production, distribution and exchange. Rather, there should be a MIXED, part command-structured economy, which permits private property with genuine non-exploitive private enterprise (which could include even sole proprietor larger companies) as long as these bodies act in the national and social interest and fulfil the political objectives of the Australian national people’s state. Such enterprise should be open to both public scrutiny and where appropriate – public subsidy. Businesses, which do not provide essential commodities or have low utility in the provision of services etc., do not deserve state support.

This new ethical-socialist economy would implement aspects of the old Social Credit and National Credit policy – namely the public control of money issue. The traditional welfare state and syndicalist ideals of the early “Australian-Socialists” should apply. For those persons who may prefer a more communalistic lifestyle, I can see nothing wrong in a state-subsidised (initially), scrutinised and patronised system of alternative collectives in certain areas of production. This would include agri-business.

In such a mixed economically pluralist society every individual from the former corporate executive to the counter-culture “communalist” to the environmentalist, could find a legitimate social niche in which he could optimise his inherent desires. Therefore, while the nation would realise itself politically, the individual could achieve his personal goals.

“The State of the Whole People” and NOT the Marxist dictatorship of the proletariat has always been the objective of the Australian nationalist movement, of the early and contemporary “Australian-Socialists.”

The maxims of such a society would be:

“Order without Oppression; Liberty Without License.”

“Whatever will benefit Australia, that we are for; whatever will harm Australia, that we are against.” William Lane.

“Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come.” Victor Hugo.

6. Labour’s Religion, by William Lane

First published in The Worker, 1890

Every week, as penance for my sins, I tread with naked mind the wordy waste of the Worker’s exchanges.

It is a Pilgrim’s Progress fraught with many tribulations. Last week, for instance, I stubbed my mental toes against this jagged flint in the columns of Drake’s Commonwealth.

That a large number of prominent Labour leaders, all over the world, are atheists, agnostics, and miscellaneous freethinkers, is undeniable. Even the Brisbane Worker, the official organ of the Australian Labour Federation, is openly materialistic – contemptuously discarding spiritual and moral forces as factors in the solution of social problems.

This is said in support of the allegation that “the Labour party is irreligious;” though Senator Drake is good enough to add that “personally he does not think a majority of Labour electors are irreligious”.

Labour electors will no doubt signify at the ballot box later on what they think of patronizing exoneration. The Worker, speaking out of the mouth of its Fool, gives thanks forthwith that among its manifold delinquencies it has at least done nothing to earn it the imprimatur of this Quack.

Irreligious? What is it to be irreligious? Nay, turn the question round – To be religious, what is that?

We pluck a flying feather from thy wing, O Drake, to write this answer.

There are many ways of being religious. You may be religious like a bishop, by rule and rote and ritual. Or like the witch doctor of some savage tribe, dancing with bared blade among the faithful, seeking a victim for the sacrifice.

Or like the gentle Sister of Mercy, afloat on a calm current of good deeds. Or like the whirling dervish, lashing his piety to the frenzy point of self-mutilation.

Or you may be religious like the poet, in whose soul the beauty of nature sets the Angelus ringing. Or like the rude iconoclast who smashes all definite shapes of God, and is mute and reverent before the all-pervading sense of the Eternal.

Or you may see God in the Eucharist, like the pious Catholic. Or like the Pantheist behold his Real Presence in all that is – the flower that you pluck for loving, the toad that you turn from for loathing; the mighty ocean and the protoplasmic ooze upon its floor; the towering mountain and the pebble at its base; the suns, the moons, the stars, burning forever in unfathomable deeps, and the microscopic parasite whose universe is a single atom; in these, like the Pantheist, seeing not the works of God merely, but God himself.

When little minds say that the Labour party is irreligious, they mean that it does not bind him within the covers of a book, or lock him up in a box, to be let out once a week for the exclusive benefit of the elect.

They mean that it is not religious in their particular way, which is often some very narrow way, cramping the soul instead of filling it with the divine afflatus that lifts to heaven.

These little minds, measuring us with their little creeds! Little in their judgments because little in their comprehensions.

The largest conception that most of them seem capable of is the hell to which they consign the vast majority of men who do not conform to their littleness.

There are many ways of finding God that they wot not of. You may tread the Milky Way, and knock at the gates of the stars seeking him. Or you may seek and find him in the gutters of life.

The Labour party finds him in the service of humanity. Can one strive to make Man better than he is, and be irreligious? Can one carry the light of hope into dark places, and know not God?

Answer, O little minds!

The Worker, they say is “openly materialistic”. Let us plead guilty to the impeachment.

We believe in good food, good clothes, and decent houses to live in.

We believe that men are influenced by their material surroundings. We believe that virtue doesn’t get a chance to blossom in the slums, and that the sweater sows more seeds of evil than any devil of mythology.

We believe that matter and spirit are so mysteriously united that they suffer or sing together, and together are uplifted or debased.

Squalid conditions produce squalid souls. A noble people can exist only in an ennobling environment.

Nothing in the wide world is so sensitive to its surroundings as the Spirit. The tenderest bud calls for less care. The soil in which it is to grow must be carefully adjusted to its needs. Its delicate youth must be shielded from the blistering winds that blow from the mouth of the Pit. It must be assiduously cultivated, for the Garden of the soul reverts rapidly to its primitive wildness.

The Labour party does not meddle in the supernatural, if that’s what the little minds mean.

It sets up no God to be worshipped on pain of damnation. It realizes that for each of us God is something different, while still in essence the same.

It concerns itself only with the material side of existence; but it realizes that the materialistic is the sun, soil, and shower in which the flowers of the Spiritual unfold and have their being.

Even the saint must eat. Uprooted from the sap-giving earth the buds of holiness wither and fail. What do you expect to find in the slums – saints or savages?

To be materialistic in the Labour sense is not to be irreligious. Nay, it is doubtful if this stigma of the little minds can be fastened even upon those who assert that nothing exists but matter. For grant these what they claim, and matter then becomes the Eternal and Inscrutable.

Whatever the philosophic outlook, always for thoughtful minds there looms the great mystery of Consciousness, or Intelligence, or Spirit – call it what you will.

Say that it is inherent in the nature of matter from without; nothing is solved either way: You don’t get rid of mystery by sticking a label on it.

How does matter think? What is the Thinking Principle?

To most men who have reflected deeply upon this subject there has come the conviction of some transcending Power in the universe.

They have not all called it God; they have not all presumed to be upon confidential terms with it; but it seems to me that there you have the root idea of religion.

We do not all see God alike – not even in the shaving glass; though some of us seem content at such moments to hold the mirror up to nature, and seek nature’s God no farther.

The little minds can conceive of no God beyond the limits of their parochial theologies.

The Labour party knows that in all that is in nature there is something of the divine. It knows that the Soul is influenced by its environment, and it guesses it was for this reason God gave us a lovely and fertile world to dwell in.

The Labour party is materialistic, but its materialism aims at putting an end to the present ungodly distribution of God’s wealth.

Irreligious! The Labour party irreligious! These little minds, constructing God to some paltry pattern of their own!

The Labour movement is Christ’s movement. Like Christ it comes to preach the gospel of the poor; to convince men of the iniquity of riches in private hands; to pull down the mighty from their seats, and exalt the lowly.

And like Christ it preaches the redemption of the race through brotherhood and equality, and the upraising of a temple not built by hands.

In the Master’s words it says, ” Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.

Yet in the millennium we hope for there will be left a comfortable margin for human imperfections. Socialism is a business proposition for plain men, not a prospectus for angels. We don’t expect the lions to lie down with the lambs; nor is it necessary that all our Drakes should be swans.

A Brief Survey of Australian History: Our Story in Fifteen Decades, by Percy Stephensen

Percy Stephensen
Cobber’s Morning Herald
March 4, 2021


Until very recently it has been maintained, as one of the numerous illusions from which Australians suffer, that “Australia has no history”—except a deplorable history of convicts, bushrangers, and explorers dying of thirst: a history deserving to be forgotten. A teaching such as this of the same order as the idea that Australia is a land “where bright flowers are scentless, and songless bright birds.” It is purely a British, or Pommy, idea. A huge book remains to be written on the psychology of exile, or of nostalgia, as exemplified in the mental reactions of immigrants to Australia over a period of 150 years. Acclimatisation has been slow. The mental adjustment of immigrant Europeans to the Australian environment is as yet uncompleted. The great forces of Europocentric propaganda, such as the Church of England, the University of Sydney, and the Communist Party, together with the book-importing and drama-importing industries, and the daily newspapers (to name only some of the anti-Australian cultural forces) are much more preoccupied with Australia’s antipodes than with Australia itself. The result of this organised Europocentric propaganda, working upon a sentiment of immigrants predisposed to nostalgia for their Homeland, has been an almost overwhelming depreciation of everything Australia, widespread among Australians themselves—even unto the third, fourth, and fifth generation of those who know no other natal soil than this. This condition is quite pathological. Australians are unrooted in Australia—not yet planted here. Mentally, the nation is not yet acclimatised: it is, in other words, no nation, but merely a colony suffering from sentimental nostalgia: a longing to return, if only in spirit, to the land of its origins. National sentiment, in any country, is inculcated by the teaching of history. Hitherto the teaching of history in Australia has been limited mainly to the teaching of European history. At no Australian University is there, as yet, a Professor of Australian history. To take a current example, Professor S. H. Roberts, of Sydney University, after publishing a very scrappy book on an aspect of Australian History (The Squatting Age) now appears to be devoting most of his time to current European affairs—travelling to Germany and writing an anti-Hitler thesis in support of the prevailing anti-German strafes of Downing Street foreign policy. It would seem that Australian history, an immense field of research near at hand, makes less appeal to Professor Roberts than does a much over-publicised aspect of local European contemporary politics. I mention this case merely to draw attention to the fact that, in Australia, the Universities are more concerned with European, than with Australian affairs.


A nation without a history is a nation without self-respect: and, if Australia indeed “has no history,” then this merely means that Australians have no self-respect. Who are the makers of history? Not so much the doers of deeds, but those who tell of such deeds dramatically! Historians are the makers of history, in the literal meaning of that term. If Australia “has no history” then self-evidently the reason is that Australia has no historians. Without historians, Australia could not have a history—for all deeds would be forgotten. How often must I repeat here that facts are less important than the interpretation of facts? Facts and deeds are quite unalterable, in themselves. A deed dies as soon as it is done, unless there is somebody to keep it alive in memory, by telling of it. Australia’s great lack is not a lack of history, but of historians.


Owing to the merely fortuitous circumstance that this month marks the 150th Anniversary of Governor Phillip’s landing at Sydney Cove in 1788, there is a temporary stimulation of interest in Australian history. To the mathematician, or even to the historian, 150 years is not intrinsically more important as a period than 149½ or 151¾ years. To become excited over the “round number” 150 is asinine. Real history is quite unaffected by such asininity. It goes on all the while. Nevertheless, the Sesqui-Centenary Celebrations this month have a certain value, as fixing in the mind of the public the fact that Australia is no longer “Young Australia,” but has become “adult.” This fact, once grasped, should lead to a considerable increase of self-respect among Australians. It should accelerate a tendency away from Colonialism towards Nationalism, and thus should help Australians to find a New Path for themselves, instead of following the present Colonial Path, which leads to a dead-end. A time such as this is, for thoughtful persons, an opportunity for National Review, stocktaking. As every businessman knows, stocktaking sometimes produces an unpleasant surprise. It has been assumed, rather too hastily, than an Australian stocktaking today must necessarily provide an occasion for widespread rejoicings— which ought to mean, payment of a higher dividend. Such an attitude far too optimistically anticipates the auditor’s report. After looking carefully at the facts, I have decided to join the Aborigines in their Day of Mourning on 26th January. The official fireworks, pageantry, tomfoolery, speechifying, flag-flapping, processions, illuminations, and rejoicing seems to me be uncalled-for and even puerile. A review of the real situation in Australia today—of the deadendedness of the ten years past and the dubious prospects of the ten years ahead—leaves me feeling very sad. I have placed an order for a suit of sackcloth and a hundredweight of ashes, for use on Sesqui-Centenary Day.


The expenditure of hundreds of thousands of pounds on fireworks, bunting, illuminations and tomfoolery will have the effect of stimulating retail trade, in Sydney particularly, for a couple of months. But after that what? When the debris of the Celebrations has been cleared away, Australia will awaken suddenly, like a man with a headache on the morning after a night out. Was it worth it? he asks. We may look forward to this mood about March or April next, when the realities of our situation will once again have to be faced. If we are not in a War or Depression before the end of 1938 we may consider ourselves extraordinarily lucky. In the meantime, Sound the Loud Kazoo and Let the Tinhorn Bray.


If history was concerned only with facts, a cold mathematical formula of history would suffice—a list of facts and bare statements. But even in compiling such a list there would have to be selectiveness in presentation—an emphasis of omission and inclusion. I am convinced that all history-writing is biased. It is impossible for the historian to be completely “objective.” For example, an Irishman’s history of Ireland must be quite different in tone from an Englishman’s history of Ireland.

It is amusing to examine American accounts of the War of Independence, and to compare them with the accounts given by British historians. In both instances national pride is salved. Similarly, a Catholic historian’s account of the divorces of Henry the Eighth is quite different from a Protestant’s account of the same phenomenon. To bring my point home, I insist that an Englishman’s history of Australia is quite different from an Australian’s history of Australia. The facts, in general, are the same, but the interpretation of those facts is different, in accordance with the ingrained prejudices of the historians themselves. Unfortunately for Australian self-respect, most of the Australian history-writing, hitherto, has been done by Englishmen. I quote as examples the historical work of Jose and Ernest Scott, two English historians who have consistently presented the history of Australia from an English point of view. Looked at from the Australian point of view their work is uninspiring, and even deadly. It resembles in tone the landscape painting of Conrad Maartens, who Anglicised, or Europeanised, even our eucalypts. There is need now for Gruners, Heysens, and Streetons in the field of Australian history-presentation. We need now historians who will present Australian history as seen through Australian eyes.


History is the art or science of creating National Illusions—so I define it. There is no such thing as a “world” point of view in history: no real historical objectivity. Take, for example, The Outline Of History, by H. G. Wells: a recent attempt to tell the history of “the world.” If ever there was a book written by an English suburban draper’s assistant, it is this. Australia since 1788 is mentioned only three times, once as a “dump for convicts” (1815), once as a producer of copper, gold, and wool (1842 to 1850), these commodities being noted as “increasingly marketable in Europe”; and the third reference is to the conversion of Australia, during the nineteenth century, from a “mere administrated dependency” into a “quasi-independent ally” of Britain, this conversion being described by Wells as “a very fine feat of statesmanship.” Such is the history of Australia in a nutshell, as presented by a “world” historian from Balham (or is it Tooting?). A Chinaman’s History of the World would probably make only three references to England, all unfavourable. All history, I say, must be nationally coloured, even a pretended “History of the World”: but the study of a specific Place cannot avoid being nationally coloured. It is by the study of its own history that a nation becomes self-conscious and self-respecting. The crying need now in Australia is for history-makers, history-writers, to present Australia’s story creatively. By this I mean presentation of Australia’s story from an Australian point of view, nationally and constructively. We need here a national lore, a national legend, a National Illusion it may be, to buoy up the community intellectually with an idea which has meaning. This is a work for creative literary genius in the field of history. It is certainly not a work for Professors, who are notoriously lacking in creativeness and constructive imagination. Will the hour produce the man? Is there somewhere in Australia a man (or woman) who can project Australian history on to an Australian plane? I cry in the Vast Open Spaces for this man (or woman) to materialise. Bombinating in the void, I get nothing but vacuity for an echo. Yet I say it again, feeling like the offspring of Jeremiah and Cassandra, that unless Australians learn to be self-respecting, by devising a legend, or an illusion, of their own history, creatively, then this community is doomed and doubly damned to colonialism and inertia forever.


The Englishman’s history of Australia begins with Captain Cook, proceeds to convicts and bushrangers, thence to Burke and Wills and similar thirsty explorers, with side-glances at glamorous gold-rushes; brings in the great British boon of “self-government,” and finishes on the cliffs of Gallipoli, with Anzacs heroically assaulting the Turks at Britain’s behest. The perspective of this story is altogether British and false. Realising the key-significance of history-teaching in keeping Australians colonial-minded and abject interest-payers, the British Garrison in control of Australia’s University system has succeeded, after eighty years of effort, in grafting a thoroughly British-coloured interpretation of Australian history on to the Australian school study of history. Take, for example, the “convict origins,” so stressed in British presentations of our history. Every country in the world has a slave-and-flogging origin. Britain, in the period of recorded history, has been conquered six times—by the Romans, the Angles, the Saxons, the Jutes, the Danes, and the Normans. After each conquest the British Islanders were put under the lash and made serfs: hanged and flogged ad lib. The servile attitude of the English lower orders of today goes back in history to this fact. No one could truthfully sing Britons never never never have been slaves. Yet the writers of British history skim lightly over such a painful topic, while gloating as they fasten the “stigma” of convictism on Australian history. It was the British who sent the British convicts here. It was the British, too, who sent almost all the Negro and convict slaves to America for two centuries before Australia was colonised, and it was the British who took the side of the slavers in the American Civil War. Yet we hear little of America’s “convict” origin. The Americans write their own history, that’s why. Ninety-five per cent of the European migrants to Australia have not been convicts. England is still using Australia as a “dump”—for Barnado Boys, many of whom make excellent citizens here, as did many of the convicts. The Barnado Boys, victims of misfortune or injustice in England, and often regarded, quite wrongly, as “undesirables” there, are not necessarily undesirables here. Much more undesirable are the remittance-men, bad-lads of “good” families in England, who, even today, fall into cushy jobs in Australia, on the strength solely of their Pommy accent—particularly on the “National” Broadcasting Stations, where they find a Home away from Home.


As for Captain Cook, far from being the first man to discover Australia, he was about the last to do so. For a million years Before Cook (B.C.), Australia had been inhabited by human beings who had discovered the place without Cook’s aid. All that Cook discovered was his own previous ignorance concerning these people and their land. Moreover, as the Aborigines are particularly sharp-sighted, it is at least probable that they discovered Cook before he discovered them. As we become Australocentric, we revise our concepts in such matters. In any case Cook was the last, not the first, of the European navigators to discover Australia. A plain, honest, and truthful man, he never made any claim to be the discoverer even of our East Coast. The continent had been distinctly mapped, from Cape York westabout and southabout to Tasmania (Van Dieman’s Land), by the Dutch, two hundred years Before Cook. Tasman took possession of the East Coast on the third of December, 1642, when his ship’s carpenter, Jacobzoon, swam ashore at Marion Bay, north of Hobart’s site, with the flag of the Netherlands in his teeth, formally claiming the entire continent for Holland in accordance with the recognised practices of international law. This was 128 years Before Cook, but long before that the land had been known as New Holland. When Cook sailed from New Zealand, westward across the Tasman Sea, leaving Cape Farewell on April Fool’s Day, 1770, he noted his intentions as follows:

“Upon leaving his coast to steer to the westward, until we fall in with the E. coast of New Holland, and then to follow the direction of that coast to the Northward or what other direction it might take us, until we arrive at its northern extremity.”

This the worthy man did, making no pretence of being the “discoverer” of New Holland. In his diary of the 14th ugust, off the coast of what is now named North Queensland, Cook made a reference to charts of that coast which were on board the Endeavour: charts of the discoveries of De Quiros in 1606: and other charts supplied by the Admiralty before Cook left England. Finally, on arrival at Batavia, the honest Yorkshireman wrote:

Altho’ the discoverys made in this voyage are not great, yet I flatter myself they are such as may merit the attention of their Lordships; and altho’ I have failed in discover’g the so much talked-of southern continent (which perhaps do not exist and which I myself had much at heart), yet I am confident no part of the failure of such discovery can be laid to my charge.”

Thus the “Columbus of our shores” himself declaims the discovery since attributed to him by British propaganda-historians. He failed in the only actual discovery he attempted—namely that of a continent to the south of New Zealand. He was a map-maker, not a discoverer; and a thoroughly honest man. The same cannot be said of the casuists of the Admiralty, who, to satisfy a “moral” humbug, altered the name “New Holland” on Cook’s charts and diaries to “New South Wales”—the most ridiculous specimen of nomenclature anywhere on earth. Cook, always scrupulous, was careful, when “taking possession,” to do so only on a small Island (Possession Island) off Cape York, and not on the mainland itself. The point does not matter much now, because Might is Right in international law; and the Dutch were not strong enough to dispute Britain’s claim, though, in abstract legality, the Dutch had every “moral” argument on their side. It does not matter at all, now, because occupancy and use have given Britain the only effective title that need be considered. And precisely because the “moral” claim that Cook was the “discoverer” of Australia” no longer has effective weight, the time has come to drop it: to drop from our history all pretence that he was, in fact, in law, or in morality, our Columbus: and to give historical credit where credit is due. Thus Australian history, as written from the purely British-political propagandist and humbug-moral point of view, will go into the discard, beginning with the story of Cook, as soon as Australians learn to write their own history less Britishly and more truthfully.


It was the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Dutch, and the French who opened up the seaways—from Europe—to India, China, the Indies, Australia, and Pacific Ocean. The English were last upon the scene, and they staked the biggest claim: their predecessors having been content mainly to trade, rather than to grab. Cook’s voyages came absolutely at the tail end of three centuries of exploration and discovery by European nations in the Pacific. He was positively the last of the discoverers of Australia. Eighty-two years Before Cook, another Englishman had landed in New Holland, and had written about this place. I refer to the scoundrelly Dampier, who, in 1688 (which is two hundred and fifty years ago), arrived with his filthy crew of blackguards, scallywags, murderers, rascals, and thieving pirates, on the northwest coast of this land. Dampier went ashore, and, while his ship was being careened, made notes on the inhabitants of the place. Nine years later, in England, he published his monstrous libel on the Australian Aborigines:

“They are the miserablest people in the world . . . The Hodmadods of Monomatapa, though a nasty people, are gentlemen compared to these.”

Well, well! And what did the Aborigines think of Dampier? They thought him a cutthroat and a villain. They thought him a murderer and a thief, who had qualified a hundred times over for the hangman. His cruelty, lust, and ignorance they thought moronistic and sub-human. Black they were in their skins, but he was black in his heart. Around their camp-fires, and at their corroborees for generations after Dampier’s departure they warned their children:

“He is the most crocodile-hearted man in the world . . . The carrion crows of Meekatharra, though nasty thieving brutes, are gentlemen compared to Dampier.”

The Christian World heard Dampier’s libel first, and took his word. His book, A Voyage Around the World,was a best-seller in England for eighty years before Phillip landed in Botany Bay. It was almost the only book available in England, containing descriptions of the Australian scene and people, for a hundred years after its publication in 1697. Its libel on the Aborigines became deeply-ingrained in the English mind; so much so that the libel persists to this day, reinforced by scientific hocus-pocus about “Australoids” being “the lowest types of human beings” (which is unadulterated anthropological bunkum. The lowest types of human beings are found in Europe’s slums.)


New Holland was neglected by the English for eighteen years after Cook visited here in 1770, the reason being that the English had something more important on their hands—a revolt of the American Colonies. It was in the year 1773 that a party of Bostonians, disguised as American Aborigines, and shouting “America First!” (or words to that effect), went aboard an English ship, and emptied her cargo of tea into the salt sea waves. The reason for this seemingly irrational act was a reluctance of Bostonians to pay taxes for Britain’s benefit. Ungrateful as they were for all the Negroes and convicts which Britain had sent them, the Americans had an uncouth desire to be masters of their own fate, in their own continent. In a war which lasted for six years after America’s formal Declaration of Independence in 1776, the British were decisively beaten by the Colonials—who were fighting on their own soil, and for their own right to that soil. One of the first results of this severe British defeat was that trade between Britain and the United States, as between equals, increased enormously as soon as British domination of America was removed. The population of the American colonies, at the time when they decided to take their destiny in their own hands, was a little more than two million persons, including a quarter-of-a-million Negro slaves and several hundred thousand ex-convicts and descendants of convicts. The Declaration of Independence by America occurred exactly one hundred and forty-six years after the first settlement of the Pilgrim Fathers in what they had fondly termed New England. The American colonists celebrated their sesqui-centenary by cutting the painter; an action which they have never since had reason to regret. (America today is richer and more powerful than Britain; as Australia will be some day.)


The first effect of the American Revolution was that Britain had to find a new place as a convict dump. Three years after the American Declaration of Independence, Sir Joseph Banks gave evidence before a Select Committee of the House of Commons; and, speaking with the authority of one who had been there, suggested that Botany Bay would be a suitable place to send convicts to, in view of the fact that the American Colonists were no longer willing to receive them. This seed of a suggestion, planted thus by a botanist, grew, and flowered, and fruited. Lord Sydney, Secretary of State for Home Affairs and Plantations in the Ministry of William Pitt, Junior, was the politician in whose mind it fruited. This utterly undistinguished nobleman held office for four years only (1784-88), and then passed into well-deserved political oblivion, remembered only in the name of a gaol-town, planted under his orders, as faraway from London as it could be. Although the honour, such as it is, of first suggesting that New Holland would be a suitable site for a gaol, belongs to Sir Joseph Banks, the true glory of putting the suggestion into effect belongs to Lord Sydney, who has no other claim to fame. Sydney had to find some place to which to send those convicts which America refused any longer to take. His immediate predecessors had tried the experiment of establishing a penal settlement on the West Coast of Africa, in an attempt, no doubt, to re-populate territory which English slave-traders had depopulated in two hundred years of raiding; but the convicts just died there, and hence were not sufficiently punished. Vexed, Lord Sydney, as British Secretary of State for Home Affairs, saw the hordes of felons accumulating in the hulks of the Thames and Mersey, with nowhere to go. Simultaneously, as British Secretary of State for Plantations, he had to deal with a letter from a Corsican, named James Mario Matra, who wrote suggesting that the American Loyalists (those who had put Britain First and had Followed Britain’s Lead during the American Revolution) should be compensated for their loyalty by being transferred to Botany Bay, as free settlers, with grants of land, native wives from Tahiti, and Chinese coolie servants. Matra had been with Cook to Botany Bay, and hoped to become Governor of the new colony. Lord Sydney, sniffing snuff to clear his head of the port-wine fumes, solved both his problems with one fell swoop of the pen. He ordered that the accumulating British convicts should be sent to Botany Bay. As for the American Loyalists, who had been such fools as to put Britain’s interests first, Lord Sydney gave them never another thought. Their loyalty to Britain earned Britain’s contempt, which the loyalists thoroughly deserved.


On the 6th December 1786, as a wintry Christmas approached, His Besotted Majesty, George the Third, the German King of England who had “lost” the American Colonies, signed the Order-in-Council appointing the eastern coast of New Holland and adjacent islands as a Place for the Transportation of Felons; and thus the British Empire remained approximately the same size as it was before the American colonies seceded. The First Governor of the new Colony, Commodore Arthur Phillip, R.N., was the son of a German father; and the first Surveyor-General of the Colony, Baron Alt, was also a German. Arthur Phillip’s watchword was “thorough,” his mind was generous and humane. “I would not wish convicts to lay the foundation of an empire,” he wrote. And again: “There is one law I would wish to take place from the moment His Majesty’s forces take possession of the country: That there can be no slavery in a free land, and consequently no slaves.” Most of Phillip’s life had been spent as an officer not in the British, but in the Portuguese Navy. He was aged 48 years of age when commissioned as Commodore of H.M.S. Sirius. On the 12th of May, 1787, the First Fleet, commanded by this painstaking officer, weighed anchor at Portsmouth and set sail. Here endeth the history of Old Australia. A New Australia is in the making: the history of the whitefellows in this land. In fifteen decades that history has developed since 1788.


Some day, if I am granted the leisure of a Gibbon, I may write a History of Neo-Australia in fifteen volumes—one volume for each decade between 1788 and 1938. When the next “world” war breaks out, safe in my hollow log at Oodnadatta, I may undertake this magnum opus—unless someone more competent, and more inspired, does it in the meantime. A great work it is, indeed, waiting to be done. Fifteen decades—150 years—is only two life-times: not long as human history goes; but what a wealth of historical material has accumulated in Australia in those fifteen decades! What a tremendous story! The mind reels at its possibilities, particularly when Pommies say that “Australia has no history.” Why, every square mile of Australia’s three million square miles has its history—a huge story to be told someday. If the Commonwealth Government will kindly appoint me Official Inculcator of Australianism, with sufficient funds available for the purpose, I could suggest a method of mass-producing the magnum opus of Australian chronicling. My method would be to set fifteen competent young writers to work, assigning a different decade to each—after giving them an intensive training in Australianism to wipe out from their minds any possible Church of England Grammar School and Sydney University influences of anti-Australianism in their minds. Then, they would have to travel widely, within Australia, seeing the land in all its variousness, and finding local historic traces and records. They would need to avoid all newspaper reading, hysteria, and world-dreams, while engrossed in their tasks. They would have to be shown how to anchor their minds in their own country: and would have to dedicate themselves to Australian creativeness, impregnating themselves with a belief in Australia’s future as a nation different from all other nations. Alas, it can’t be done, I know. Only in Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia (the “Totalitarian” States) is there a dedication of youth to national ends. Here in Australia, a decadent Democracy, youth loafs at street-corners, takes tickets in the Lottery, and lives mentally on Speed Gordon, Popeye the Sailor, and other democratic intellectual dope. Resurgence is not yet. Things will have to get much worse before they get better, here. I shall have to write the Creative History of Australia, myself, at Oodnadatta, fed on Witchetty grubs by the Arunta while writing it. In the meantime, taking advantage of the present “historical” atmosphere and of my free scope in The Publicist’s unique pages, I jot down memos of themes and heads of treatment for each of the Fifteen Decades, in sequence; obliged by the limitations of this medium to include nothing but bare details and outlines of a story that is so huge that not even a University Professor, with a life-time to devote to it, could tell it all within the covers of one book. Here follow my notes for An Australians’ History of Australia:—

THE FIRST DECADE, 1788-1797: Rats nibbling at the rind of the huge cheese of Australia.

At the end of the Decade the total white population is 4,344 persons, comprising prisoners, their gaolers, and a sprinkling of free immigrants. Three hundred white children are born in the continent during the Decade: the first native-born white Australians. The Colony is a Crown Colony “of the most extreme type.” The Governor’s word is Law. Britain’s first gift to Australia is a Dictatorship backed by Martial Law, floggings, hangings, and arbitrary autocracy. The only settlements are at Sydney Town (which Phillip intended to name “Albion”), Parramatta, the Hawkesbury River, and Norfolk Island, where cultivation of various European food-plants is begun, inefficiently and after much newchum bungling. The entire colony consists of newchums, who, much to the amusement of the Aborigines, starve in a Land of Plenty, relying upon England to send food. Frightened of the bush, the newchums do most of their exploring by rowing up the rivers and along the coast. A few expeditions, however, penetrate the awful forest westward and southward far enough to see that the Colony is hedged in by impenetrable mountains and wilderness, and is therefore a safe gaol. Sydney Town, however, refuses to remain a gaol, and immediately becomes a roaring seaport town, the rendezvous of South Sea whalers, who establish Australia’s first Great Primary Industry—export of whale oil. As free settlers arrive, and as emancipists are given grants of land, Sydney becomes a centre of pastoral, agricultural, mercantile, and marine industries; and is also a Garrison Town, post of the hard-drinking New South Wales Corps (red-coated “lobsters”). Official records (the only ones preserved) deal mainly with floggings, hangings, and the cruelty and sadism of the Official Autocracy, a clique of jumped-up military and naval popinjays, men of small consequence or substance in England, who suddenly find themselves dressed in a little brief authority, and with the lives of hapless fellow-humans in their hands. These Antipodean Aristocrats (after Governor Phillip’s departure) take advantage of the penal system to introduce a form of British chattel slavery termed “convict assignment,” under which they grant themselves tracts of land, worked with convict labour—the convicts being victualled from Government stores. The Officers of the New South Wales Corps also engage in trading monopolies, particularly in rum, which becomes currency; and thus add to their own possession land obtained by rum-barter from grantees. Yet, with it all, with all the drunkenness, debauchery, cruelty, sadism, knavery, ineptitude and venality of the period, both among rulers and ruled, gaolers and gaoled—there are undoubtedly among that small community some few who are becoming acclimatised, who are finding love and laughter here, and never wish to leave this place. There are acts of kindness innumerable, not chronicled in the Official Records—there is joy abundant in the work of taking possession of a land so fair, so jocose, so lyrical. The incurable criminals are hanged or sent to Norfolk Island, the incurable Pommies go home; but, even within the first ten years, the Spirit of the Land itself works in the breasts of some at least of the migrants. These echo the kookaburra’s laugh, exult in the measure of freedom that is theirs, and begin to become Australians:

True patriots they: when bound in chain and fetter,

They left their country, and they found one better.

THE SECOND DECADE, 1798-1807: The Colony digs itself in.

At the end of the Decade the white population has risen to a total of 8,794 persons, of whom 2,855 are females. This total includes free immigrants and a considerable number of Australian-born children, but the majority of the population still comprises prisoners and their gaolers. The settlements remain huddled near Port Jackson, and on the Parramatta and Hawkesbury Rivers, and at Norfolk Island. The main area of the continent remains unexplored and unknown. A beginning, however, is made with the colonising of Tasmania (Van Dieman’s Land), which is formally occupied in the year 1802 through jealous fear that the French navigator Baudin might be intending to possess it. The British Garrison at Botany Bay, having news from Home that Britain is at war with France, make feverish preparations to defend Sydney Town from a French attack. This occupies the military mind greatly; but no French attack is made: and the military officers of the New South Wales Corps are free to devote their main energies to getting rich, acquiring lands, robbing the Government, and intriguing against the Naval Governors, Hunter and Bligh. Macarthur goes HOME, and returns with a grant for 5,000 acres, obtained from Lord Camden, Secretary of State for the Colonies. He takes up this grant at the Cowpastures, a Government reserve, much to the indignation and envy of other settlers, and begins to breed sheep. Another large estate is that of the Reverend Samuel Marsden (“the flogging parson”) who, after 12 years in the colony, owns 2,908 acres, carrying 1,416 sheep. During the Decade some wealthy free immigrants arrive from England, including Gregory Blaxland, who brings a capital of £6,000 and is granted 8,000 acres, with the right to use labour of 80 convicts. In Sydney Town, Simeon Lord, an ex-convict, and Robert Campbell, a free immigrant, commence trading, and break the Officer-traders’ monopoly. To hamper American competition, a general tariff of 5 per cent ad valorem on imported goods of non-British origin. All British goods, including rum, are imported duty-free. Sydney Town now begins to thrive as an exporting centre—in addition to whale oil, there are already exports of coal and timber—the former from the Hunter River (Newcastle) where a penal colony is established. Of local industries, the most important is ship-building, more than twenty locally-built vessels being engaged in coastal and riparian trade on the Parramatta, Hawkesbury, and Hunter Rivers. Tonnage of local shipping, however, is restricted by the British East India Company’s monopoly of sea-borne trade in the South and East Pacific Ocean. At the end of the Decade (1807) the first shipment of Australian Merino wool (245-lbs.) is sent to England. The flax industry booms, fine linen being manufactured in the Colony. A Government brewery is established, to try to break the Officer-traders’ monopoly in rum. The Decade ends with extreme tension between the Naval Officer, Bligh, who, as Governor acting on instructions from HOME, is trying to control the military officers of the New South Wales Corps, and those same officers who, as New Feudal Barons of the South, are now tempted to create a Magna Charta situation in Australia by forcing Vice-Royal Governor Bligh to abate his British despotism. The common people generally, having no say in the Government one way or the other, concentrate their individual attentions on making a living for themselves and their families (as is usual for the common people everywhere at all times). The official quarrels and plots go into official records, thence into school history books; but the sacrifices, hopes, labour, successes, and failures of the public (as usual) go unrecorded, being normal. It is in this second Decade that the word “Australia” begins to replace “New Holland” as the general name of the continent: the suggestion coming from Matthew Flinders, the first Englishman to circumnavigate the coasts—though a similar term (“Austrialia del Espiritu Santo”) had been used by De Quiros two hundred years previously. Among the 8,794 white persons now settled in this huge place, a few, a very few, are Australians: the rest are colonials, longing to go HOME. It is estimated that there are 300,000 Aborigines in the continent, all Australians.

THE THIRD DECADE, 1808-1817: Macquarie’s Benevolent Dictatorship.

The Decade begins with the deposition of Governor Bligh, an act of insurrection, rebellion, revolution, and sedition by the “best families” of New South Wales: and ends with the Benevolent Dictatorship of Governor Lachlan Macquarie, a patriarchal Highland Chieftain, who gives Australia the best one-man Government ever known in these parts. At the end of the Decade, the white population has risen to 21,912, including 7,014 white females. There are also a large number of blacks, and an increasing number of halfcastes. Terrible atrocities against the blacks occur in the Hawkesbury Valley and elsewhere, and Macquarie achieves his only substantial failure when he sends detachments of British Infantry marching into the bush to capture the blacks (the blacks laughed, as did the kookaburras, at notices posted on gumtrees, calling for surrender). Apart from this, Macquarie the Builder acts like a Roman Proconsul, erects huge buildings of stone, constructs 270 miles of road. The greatest event of the Decade is the finding of a pass over the Blue Mountains, and construction of a road to Bathurst, followed by the explorations of Evans and Oxley beyond the sites of Cowra, Forbes, Condobolin to Booligal, thence to Wellington and Dubbo, and northerly to Tamworth. Now the pastoral era proper begins, and the key to the West has been found. Southward, also, settlement is extending beyond Berrima and Minto to Wingecaribee and Sutton Forest; and there are cedar-cutters along the coast of New South Wales, both north and south of Sydney. In Sydney Town, the Governor gives offence to the officers of the British Garrison by inviting freed convicts to his table at Government House, and also by appointing emancipists to the magistracy. Pooh to the British Officers and their quirks, which may be left to University historians and similar chroniclers of minutiae. Macquarie and his policy of justice for emancipists is so much bigger than the Nancy-boys of the British Garrison—and Australia’s 20,000 rough pioneers now peering into the interior are so much more important than Sydney’s “social intrigues”—that we may leave the British Nancy-boys to their boycotts of Government House without much more than a passing mention. Stunned by the vastness of the West now revealed, and the hugeness of the Colony now for the first time realised, Australians in all directions are roaming into the bush, seeking homes for themselves and their descendants. Cattle, of any kind, in mobs, of all sizes, are now being driven across the Blue Mountains to graze on the rich plains beyond, in No Man’s Land. To cater for Sydney’s growing commercial importance, the Bank of New South Wales in established. Shipbuilding is stimulated by the lapsing of the British East India Company’s monopoly, the barque Elizabeth Henrietta (150 tons) being launched in Sydney Cove by Governor Macquarie in 1816. The worst of the convicts are now sent to Tasmania (V.D.L.), which, under a Lieutenant-Governor, grows into a thriving community, harassed by bushrangers (escaped convicts). Bay whaling and sealing stations in Bass Strait, Western Tasmania, and along the southern coast of the continent from Kangaroo Island eastward are wild rough communities, producing hordes of halfcastes, as well as thousands of barrels of sperm oil. But with all this, at the end of the Third Decade, by far the greatest portion of the Continent, including all its northern, western, and central portions, remain unknown to white men. The rats have taken thirty years to nibble through the rind of the cheese; but now they are ready to bite into its heart.

THE FOURTH DECADE, 1818-1827: Immigration tide sets in.

At the end of this Decade the white population has risen to a total of 56,300 persons, including 13,247 white females. The black population is still unnumbered, but is being decreased, in every pioneered district, by shootings. As an offset to this process, however, the halfcaste population, also unnumbered, increases wherever the white men go (as is only natural). To what extent the halfcastes, begotten during the first forty years of settlement, are merging into the community through production of quarter-castes from half-caste mothers, is not scientifically known; but the process exists. The white women in Australia are out-numbered by white men, three to one, and at least two-thirds of the white male population must satisfy procreative urges with Aboriginal women, or not at all. Almost all the white women are in towns. As each new outback district is pioneered, the white pioneers cannot resist the lure of Black Velvet. (This phase of our history is destined to be quite overlooked at Universities and by moralists.) Apart from natural increase, chronicled and unchronicled, the population of Australia is now greatly increased by immigration—not so much of convicts as of free migrants, attracted partly by London publication of Wentworth’s descriptive book, the first book by an Australian-born writer to be issued in England. Politically, the major event of the Decade is the separation of Tasmania (1825). An English Company, The Van Dieman’s Land Coy., is granted 250,000 acres, a road is built from Hobart (population 5,000) to Launceston (population 2,000), and the Van Dieman’s Land Bank is established. Meanwhile, in New South Wales, an English Company, The Australian Agricultural Company, is granted 1,000,000 acres at Port Stephens, and sends out 80 settlers, with stud cattle, horses, sheep, and good farming experience. The Brisbane River is discovered, and a settlement made there. Land exploration goes northward to the Darling Downs, westward almost to the Darling, and southward via Goulburn to the Monaro, thence right to the Port Phillip District (Hume and Hovell’s overland journey, 1824). In Sydney, Governor Macquarie’s Benevolent Despotism comes to an end in 1821, his last years being plagued by Commissioner Bigge, a dunderhead sent out by the British Government to report on the Colony. Bigge opposes Macquarie’s policy of favouring emancipists, and shows himself otherwise uncomprehending of the Colony’s possibilities as anything over than a penal settlement. His report, widely circulated in England, deals almost entirely with convictism. Macquarie is succeeded by Governor Brisbane, an easy-going Scientist, who spends most of his time star-gazing at Parramatta Observatory. He in turn is succeeded by Governor Darling, the most asinine of all Pommy Governors ever sent to Australia: after whom the largest River in the continent is named. Wentworth and his friends in Sydney have a lively time libelling Darling, who attempts to close down their newspapers. Wentworth champions the emancipists, who send one of their number, Redfern, to England with a petition urging repeal of regulations preventing emancipists from holding property. Under Darling’s reign, there is political turbulence and discontent in Sydney. As a slight concession to popular feeling, the autocratic powers of the Governor are curtailed by appointment of “Legislative Council” of nine nominated members—five official, four non-official men. But the big work of the Decade reaches beyond such political tomfoolery in Sydney to the far corners of the land where few records are kept. Lockyer discovers coal at Ipswich on the Brisbane River, and then goes to Western Australia to establish a military outpost at Albany. In Northern Australia, too, settlements are established at Port Essington and at Melville Island; and the British have, beyond doubt, collared the whole continent now. (The British can do what they like with it, for their only formidable rival, Napoleon, is crushed: and Napoleon never threatened Australia, having too much else on his mind.)

THE FIFTH DECADE, 1828-1837: Australian Jubilee.

The white population at the end of the Decade has mounted to 134,488, including 39,607 white females. Aborigines are dwindling, and halfcastes increasing, both unnumbered. We may guess that there are still 250,000 Aborigines in the Continent, including numerous comely gins. (Look out! I am hinting at a worse Australian scandal than the convictism of the history-books: a scandal smothered by moralists—namely miscegenation, the unblessed production of halfcastes in every Australian district as a dominant feature of the first 100 years of pioneering!) The Fifth Decade sees the white population trebled—by natural increase, by an ever-dwindling flow of convicts, and by an ever-increasing flow of free immigrants. In this Decade the inland river system of New South Wales is explored and mapped, the great rivers Darling and Murray are traced and named after Pommy officials, and pastoral settlement extends right through to the Port Phillip District southward and beyond the Darling Downs northward. This is the Decade of huge pastoral wanderings in the western plains, where mobs roam at will, finding their own pasturage on the largest tract of Crown Land in the world. The Pommy Governors, acting on instructions from Home, will not give grants or titles beyond the Blue Mountains, or beyond officially “recognised” settled areas; but Australians and potential Australians do not let that worry them overmuch. Out go the squatters, fighting for their “rights” with stockwhips, fists, and guns against neighbours. Cattle duffing goes on indiscriminately—the Rule of Law does not extend to the Western Plains, except in theory. Official History deals with politics in Sydney, not with this—except in regard to the journeys of Official Explorers. (But the cattle-duffers and squatters, guided by black-boys, are not waiting for Official Exploring Expeditions to help them find the good country “further out.”) Sydney has now become a big town, with street lights and paved streets. As a further concession to public protests against irresponsible British autocracy, the Legislative Council is increased in number to fifteen members (all nominated by the Governor). Darling is succeeded by an Irishman, Bourke, a Roman Catholic, who does something to circumvent Church of England sectarian plans in education, and, in other respects, also shows himself to be fair, generous, and broad-visioned. Wentworth forms the Patriotic Association, and, popularly supported, agitates intensively for Australian Representative Government by an elected chamber (elected by land-owners), instead of by a nominee chamber, responsible to Downing Street. During this Decade the Papineau Rebellion gives Britain a fright; and methods are secretly devised in British Government circles of keeping Colonials from seceding by “granting” them “self-government” under British superior control. Wentworth’s agitations in Sydney are therefore well-timed, and will bear fruit. In the meantime, the English A.A. Coy., putting “social pressure” on Governor Darling, obtains a grant of 600,000 acres on the fertile Liverpool plains and of 2,000 acres of coal-land on the Hunter River, with a coal-monopoly for 31 years. The Dumaresq brothers, relatives of Darling, arrive and are granted 200,000 acres at Armidale. So it goes on. In Governor Bourke’s time, despite Bourke’s opposition, coolies are imported to provide cheap labour for pastoralists. Sydney develops as a sea-port. In the year 1835, 293 vessels arrive from Overseas, of which only 60 are from Britain. The first steamship arrives, the “Sophia Jane” (1831), coaling at the Hunter River. Before the Decade is ended, coastal steamers, locally built, are operating in New South Wales. The cultural amenities of Sydney have also increased. Eliza Winstanley the actress appears nightly at the Theatre Royal. Wallace, composer of the opera Maritana, gives concerts in Sydney with a string quartet. In Tasmania, Governor Arthur organises a Great War against the Aborigines. Three thousand armed whites, at a cost of £35,000, in seven weeks capture one black woman and a boy. The military having failed, it is then left to the missionaries to entice and exterminate the Tasmanian Aborigines through charity; which they do, though not all in one Decade. Arthur is succeeded in the Governorship by Sir John Franklin, explorer and scientist, who reduces the harshness of the penal system, and becomes a patron of learning. Tasmania’s potato-crop is already famous, and the Island becomes prosperous. On the mainland opposite, the Hentys are settled (1834) at Portland Bay, being trespassers on Crown Land. Batman and Fawkner are also settled, the former having “bought” 600,000 acres from the natives. A settlement grows on the Yarra, recognised as the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, with an Administrator appointed from Sydney. In 1837 the first steamer plies from Sydney to Melbourne. In the last year of the Decade, 100,000 sheep cross the Murrambidgee during one period of three months, on the great move southwards into new country. Expansion northwards to the Darling Downs continues, the Brisbane Valley, however, being a penal settlement, closed to pastoral occupancy. In Western Australia great activity is occurring, Captain Fremantle having founded the Swan River Settlement in 1829, annexing a million square miles (everything west of the 129th parallel) for Britain, under a scheme whereby an English land-company acquires vast tracts at 1s. 6d. per acre. Two thousand free colonists duly arrive from Britain, together with a quantity of coolies from Madras, who are set to work for the Pukka Sahibs. Great activity, too, occurs in the new Colony of South Australia, carved out of New South Wales in the year 1834. The first settlers arrive in 1836, under the splendiferous Wakefield scheme of colonisation, whereby land (at £1 an acre) was to provide the Government with enough funds to finance perpetual expansion. As South Australia has 300,000 square miles (on the map), the scheme looks good—the only drawback being that land is cheaper in the other colonies. To divert migrants accordingly from New South Wales, South Australian interests in England make a hot scare-propaganda about convicts and bushrangers in New South Wales. The home-staying English, knowing no better and craving for sadistic romance, believe these stories. And so, at the end of the Jubilee decade, there are four distinct British colonies in the continent—New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia, and South Australia—together with two garrisoned settlements—Port Phillip and Moreton Bay. Only in Australia’s Empty North is there a setback, the British Garrisons there being withdrawn, unable to endure the climate. A few independent settlers remain, to shoot buffaloes. One of these, Thomas Cahill, is reputed to have shot 60,000 buffaloes at the rate of 2,000 a month—for their hides. So ends the Fifth Decade, the continent “effectively occupied” on east, south, and west; but not on the Empty North.

THE SIXTH DECADE, 1838-1847: The Land Fund Boom.

Now there are four distinct Crown Colonies, and each has a history of its own, but all have the wonderful idea of selling Crown Land to obtain finance to subsidise immigration, thus causing land values to rise, and so on, da capo al fine. The white population of all Australia rises at the end of the Decade to 308,797 persons, including 118,532 females; and the poor old Aborigines, outnumbered and dispossessed, are callously driven towards extinction: though halfcastes, still begotten in droves, are perpetuating the Aboriginal blood—for quickly they merge to quarter-castes, indistinguishable from sunburned whites. Concomitantly with the sudden flow of immigrants attracted by the Land Fund Boom, the transportation of convicts to New South Wales ceases (1841), and convict labour assignment also ceases. The total number of convicts transported to New South Wales between the years 1788 and 1841 has been 83,290; yet in two years, under the Land Fund Bounty system (1841-42) there are 71,315 free immigrants arriving, at a cost to the Government of £979,000; and this rate of free immigration increases steadily; for, now that convict labour is finally abolished, there is competition among employers to secure any labour available. To meet this situation, the employers organise a Coolie Organisation, the patriot W. C. Wentworth being a keen supporter of indentured Coolie Labour. Henry Parkes, owner of the Empire newspaper, meets a compositor’s strike by importing 35 Eurasian compositors from India. Ben Boyd on the Monaro employs Coolie and Kanaka shepherds, and Wentworth himself imports Coolies. Public indignation, particularly among the white labouring classes, runs high, and a petition signed by 4129 persons, in protest against Coolie Labour, is forwarded to Downing Street. Now the political issue, of Emancipists versus Exclusives, has been swamped in the flood of immigration, and a new fight develops, of Squatters versus the Pommy Governor (Gipps) on control of the Land Fund. Wentworth champions the squatters’ cause, claiming that the Crown has no right to impose a Squatting Tax, as the squatters are on Waste Lands (commons). The upshot of it all is that squatters obtain a legal right to take up their land, and so become taxable. Gipps proves very stubborn during this struggle, as Downing Street orders are that no title of occupancy is to be recognised beyond the Pale (the proclaimed settled area). However, Beyond the Pale (in 1846) there are 2½ million sheep and 600,000 cattle—more than Within the Pale, so Downing Street has to recognise a fait accompli. In this Decade the Legislative Council is increased to 36 members—twelve nominated and 24 elected by £20 freeholders. Gipps is confronted by a hostile majority on the Council; and Downing Street, warned by American experience, recalls him and ponders very deeply. In 1842-43 there is a severe Depression caused by overspeculation in land and cattle, and by bank advances to persons of insufficient substance. “Boiling-down” (of cattle and sheep for tallow) saves some landowners. The Colony weathers the Depression, but learns a lesson. James Brown, at East Maitland, opens a coal mine, and challenges the legal right of the Pommy A.A. Coy to a coal-monopoly. Copper in mined at Molong and Canowindra. The shipbuilding industry in Sydney booms strongly; but three iron steamers are imported from Britain for the coastal trade. At the end of the Decade, the first American-built clipper ships are arriving, ousting the slower British ships. Wool auctions are instituted by Thomas Mort. Now the Port Phillip District, governed paternally by Latrobe, is agitating for separation from New South Wales. One of its six members in the New South Wales Legislative Council is Dr. Lang, the Presbyterian firebrand, who urges, also, the separation of Moreton Bay. The Port Phillip Land Sales and Leases provide a surplus of £362,000 in six years, of which £158,000 is spent in Sydney. Melbourne, a mushroom town, is the port for a district grazing a quarter of a million cattle, innumerable sheep, and cultivating 25,000 acres. The demand for separation is insistent, and its granting cannot be long delayed. Across the Strait, the Colony of Tasmania has a population of 66,000 persons (including 29,000 convicts). The free colonists clash with Eardley-Wilmott, Pommy Lieutenant-Governor, over Downing Street’s policy of taxing Tasmanians to pay the costs of the Convict System; and also over exorbitant grants of land made to the English-owned Van Dieman’s Land Coy., (which has now increased its holding to 600,000 acres). The “Patriotic Six” resign from the Legislative Council, and agitate for cessation of transportation. Eardly-Wilmott is recalled. The new “Wakefield” colony of South Australia receive a great impetus from arrival of 7,000 immigrants of excellent type from Germany, who come at their own expense, as do 27,000 others from Britain; and 21,000 come with Government assistance. Despite this, the Colony gets into financial difficulties and the Legislative Council “walks out,” leaving the Pommy Governor without a quorum. Copper is discovered at Kapunda and Burra Burra in 1845, solving the Colony’s difficulties. Bull and Ridley invent the wheat stripper, and the Colony becomes a great flour-milling centre. Sturt makes explorations into the arid centre of Australia, to Eyre’s Creek, his report damping optimism. In Western Australia there is fiasco and mismanagement, the wrong type of immigrant (investors) being attracted by the prospectuses issued in London, labour being scarce, and no markets available. The Western Australian Company (English-promoted) holds huge tracts, undeveloped, while free settlers starve. Pommy Governor Hutt earns hatred by refusing to unlock areas beyond the map-defined area. George Grey and F. T. Gregory make wide explorations in the northwest, but their reports are discouraging. In North Australia, the abandoned settlement at Port Essington is re-garrisoned, and buffaloes are imported from Timor. Downing Street approves a plan to settle Port Essington with Malays, but nothing comes of it. In the Moreton Bay District of New South Wales, convicts are removed from Brisbane (1842) and then the river valleys are settled by free immigrants. There are thirty stations on the Darling Downs, and the furthest out have reached beyond the Burnett District towards Rockhampton. The German Dr. Leichhardt (1844) makes a land journey from Moreton Bay northwards and reaches Port Essington (a ten months’ trip). Dr. Lang is busy in London agitating for separation, the colony to be named Cooksland, to grow cotton, and to be peopled by Scots Presbyterians, according to his plan. Disregarding these suggestions, the Colonial Office, in Downing Street, under the Hon. W. E. Gladstone, decides on establishing a new colony, to be named Gladstone Colony, a penal settlement. Major Barney, first Governor of the new Colony, with 6 officials, 22 soldiers, and 40 civilians, occupies his Capital (Gladstone City) for two months, at a cost of £15,000; but, owing to vigorous protests from other colonies, the British Government is not game to go on with its scheme, which is dropped. So ends the Sixth Decade, with Australianism very assertive, and Downing Street’s imperialism seriously bothered to devise a method of holding these Austral colonies firmly within the Empire.

THE SEVENTH DECADE, 1848-1857: Gold, and a problem solved!

At the end of the Gold Decade, the white population has risen to 970,287 persons, and the first million is in sight. Men still predominate in the community, the total number of females being 395,487—approximately six white men to every four white women. The proportion of females (“sacred vessels of maternity”) has been increased by recruiting campaigns, particularly in Ireland, from which country a very great number of Australian grand-dams are derived. Now Australia is governed by five Colonial governments, for the Port Phillip District is separated from New South Wales, and is named Victoria after Her Faraway Majesty. In both Colonies gold! gold! gold! is discovered, in huge quantities, and men are on the march in hundreds of thousands to wash dirt in the diggings of Ophir, Turon, Araluen, Bendigo, and Ballarat. Sailors of all nationalities desert their ships in port, immigrants pour in from all countries—and, almost at a stroke, Australia has become an El Dorado. Boom, boom, boom! In addition to the attraction of gold, there are bumper wool clips, and thousands of immigrants are also coming in assisted by bounties from the Land Fund. All Australia is seething with optimism, with movement, with rushings hither and thither. Future prospects seem unlimited. This is indeed “The Land of Opportunity.” The clipper ships are now in their heyday, doing the journey to England in sixty days, instead of ninety days, as previously; but already the first mail steamers are arriving, and the Steam Age has come. The first railways are built—Sydney to Parramatta and Newcastle to Maitland; Bulli coal is mined. A branch of the Royal Mint is established in Sydney. Streets are lit with gas. Cobb and Co.’s coaches open mail routes. Universities are established in both Sydney and Melbourne, to become centres of British political propaganda. The two “Gold” Colonies flourish greatly, at the expense of the other three Cinderella Sisters; and there is strong rivalry between the two fortunates. The population of Victoria at the end of the Decade is 408,000—greater than that of New South Wales, and almost half that of all Australia. The New South Wales squatters term Victoria “the Cabbage Garden.” Chinese immigrants flood in to Australia, imported for shepherd-work; but the Diggings attract them, too. This is the Decade of the Glorious, the Never-to-be-forgotten EUREKA STOCKADE, the hoisting of the Flag of Stars and Proclamation of the First Australian Republic. Pommy Governor Hotham calls out the British Garrison, who fire on the miners and suppress the rebellion in bloodshed; but Downing Street gets a fright at the subsequent Australia-wide indignation and wave of protest. Hotham dies on the job in chagrin, and, within two years, the Australian Colonies are “granted” self-Government, or “Responsible Government,” or Whatever-You-Like-To-Call-It—the system whereby Britain nominates the Governor, with power of veto and dismissal—the system of two-chamber Legislatures so eminently suitable for intrigue, wire-pulling, bribery, political “fixing,” under which Australia’s Colonial Status is confirmed, seemingly for all time, in the form of words of “self-” government—a Gift of the British Government: excellent “statesmanship”—by Britain, in Britain’s interests first! And now, too, despite the enormous production of wealth—mineral, vegetable, animal—in Australia, the First Overseas Loan is floated in London. Ha! This is the meaning of Responsible Government! Responsible for payment of interest to Britain! The loan is at 5 per cent; and the Black Year of its first incurring is the year 1855. The Loan is on the security of El Dorado. The Sydney Mint coins 5,000,000 sovereigns in its first four years (1855-58) and gold is coming into Melbourne at the rate of two tons a day. Yet Australia borrows money Overseas! Oh, what colossal folly! What colonialism! British statesmanship wins all along the line. “Responsible Government,” and the division of the continent into so many Colonies, has been a British Game, which no Australian sees through. The British now have Australia in pawn—and all the gold, all the wool, all the great wealth of Australia is theirs to command: and they duly command—and commandeer—it. Such is the story of the Seventh Decade—the Lucky Seventh—lucky for Britain; for now Australians may posture and swagger as much as they like in their tinpot Colonial Legislatures: but the whole lot of them are in Britain’s bag, Britain’s money-bag. Diddled again, and sold a pup! Australians have “self”-government, five times self-government, and soon to be six and then seven times self-government: but where will all the gold, all the wheat, all the gold go? (Guess.) Let us turn our mind to more congenial topics. The first intercolonial cricket match is played (1851), Tasmania beating Victoria by three wickets. Five years later the first match between New South Wales and Victoria ends in a win for New South Wales, also by three wickets. This is the Decade, too, of Captain Cadell’s steamers on the inland rivers. He reaches Albury, Gundagai, and Walgett; but none of the vast new wealth of Australia is applied to preserving and developing the grand watercourses of the Murray, the Murrambidgee, and the Darling as permanent steamboat-ways; for this is an intercolonial question, a National question for which there is no National parliament to solve. Let the rivers silt up! Australians don’t care! In all the Colonies there is a Russian Scare, for Britain is fighting Russia in the Crimea. To “defend” Australia from a Russian attack never contemplated by the Czar, regiments of militia, in all the stupid colonies, stupidly go on parade. How characteristically British-Australian! The Colony of Western Australia is not prospering, its population being less than 5,000, so it is granted neither loans nor self-government. Instead, it remains a Crown Colony, and now (1849), West Australia is made a dump for British convicts, so that the British Pastoral Companies who hold all the best land may have cheap British convict labour. In North Australia, nothing much is doing. The settlement at Port Essington is again abandoned; but A. C. Gregory the explorer, accompanied by the Dane Von Mueller, crosses the entire continent by land north of Capricorn from west to east. In the northern part of New South Wales vaguely known as the Moreton Bay district, exploration has proceeded right through to Cape York. Kennedy, Leichhardt, and the Archers, open out huge areas (unimaginably huge) of fertile country. Leichhardt “goes west” (1848) and is never heard of again. Dr. Lang brings out many shiploads of “virtuous Presbyterians,” and the time for the Separation of Cooksland approaches. In Tasmania (now officially re-named such) transportation of convicts ceases (1853) and “Responsible” “Self-” government is inaugurated, according to pattern. South Australia’s contribution to humanity during this Decade is twofold: the Torrens Title and the system of Parliamentary Voting by Secret Ballot, both copied subsequently throughout the world. So ends the Seventh Decade, the Decade of Gold and of the Colonial Yoke.

THE EIGHTH DECADE, 1858-1867: The Railway Decade.

Now Queensland (as Dr. Lang’s Cooksland comes to be called) is separated from New South Wales, and there are six British Colonies, with six British Governors, in Australia. The white population mounts during the Decade to 1,483,848 persons, of whom 664,000 are females. Gold is still being mined in huge quantities. New fields are found at Lucknow and Lambing Flat in New South Wales, and at Eidsvold in Queensland. All the Colonies settle down, under their ready-made Colonial Constitutions, to a policy of borrowing money in London, mortgaging the future; but confident of being able to meet interest and redemption from the surplus of the Land Fund, and from the huge export surplus of gold, wool, and wheat. Much of the money borrowed is used for railway and telegraph construction—the rails and locomotives being imported from Britain at fancy prices. This suits the British very well, for they get profit on the rails and locomotives and interest on the loan money as well. Moreover, the railways, Government-owned, are run at a loss so that wool may be conveyed cheaply to ports for English buyers; and so it goes on—a soft snap for the English. Now in this Decade, beginning on the estates of the A.A. Company in New South Wales, the wasteful process of ring-barking trees is inaugurated, and spreads all over Australia, millions of pounds worth of timber being destroyed, to provide extra grass for sheep and cattle, and to start the process of soil erosion to make a problem for the future. Every problem created by pioneering is passed on to the future, under a quick-grab British policy, engendered perhaps on the goldfields, which are soon despoiled. Public finance continues to rely on the Land Fund, that seemingly inexhaustible source of revenue, and assisted immigrants from land-hungry Europe pour in, attracted by promises of proprietorship in Happy Australia. In New South Wales, Robertson’s Land Acts, providing for free selection before survey, and conditional purchase by residence, create consternation among the Squattocracy: who defeat its provisions by dummying selections. But the net effect is towards closer settlement, smaller holdings, development of a peasantry or yeomanry in the more fertile coastal districts of the east of the continent. Politics in the Six Ready-made Colonies follow closely on the contemporary English model of Tory and Liberal, Protection and Free Trade, Secular versus Church Education, and so on. Victoria is all for Protection, but New South Wales declares for Free Trade. All the Colonies liberalise education, and make much fuss of “Democracy” and ballot voting. Australia’s main line of political development is thus clearly laid down—to “follow Britain’s lead”; and all parties are eager to borrow more and more from Britain, pawning the birthright of Australia’s sons. The political development in all the Colonies is somewhat similar, except in Western Australia, which is still a Crown Colony and stagnant, no gold being yet found there, and British convictism and Land-Company speculation being still the mill-stone. North Australia is now excised from New South Wales, and is added to South Australia, a very heavy liability, particularly as the explorations of McDouall Stuart and of Burke and Wills reveal graphically that the heart of Australia is an uninhabitable desert. In South Australia, Adam Lindsay Gordon, remittance man, receives a legacy of £7,000 from HOME, gets into Parliament, rides steeple-chase winners, and writes British-Australian poetry. In Tasmania, the whaling industry begins to decline, but the potato and wheat industries flourish. Dicky Dry, son of a convict, is knighted and becomes Premier, and a submarine telegraph cable is laid to the mainland, while Howard Smith provides regular steamship communication to Hobart and Launceston. The whole of Queensland is now explored, partly by Landsborough and Walker (searching for Burke and Wills), and all the Colony is proclaimed for pastoral occupation. Assisted immigrants reach Queensland at the steady rate of 7,000 a year, including a large proportion of Germans. The American Civil War provides a temporary stimulation to the cotton and sugar industries, South Sea Islanders (Kanakas) are indentured, copper is discovered at Mt. Perry, and at the end of the Decade (1867), gold is discovered at Gympie; and Queensland booms. During this Decade, the British Government, satisfied to work through political intrigue and convinced of the futility of anything resembling force to coerce Colonials, decides to withdraw the British Military Garrisons. The Australian Colonies eagerly agree to establish their own Military Defence, thereby relieving Britain of a great and useless expense. There are some intercolonial conferences on postal matters and tariffs, and dimly federation of the Colonies is presaged. Now, now, the first Melbourne Cup is run (1861) and in 1866 the Cup is won by The Barb. The first English tourist cricket team arrives. Everything in the garden is lovely—except in Australia for a while, where Higginbotham, Australian patriot, brings about Pommy Governor Charles Darling’s recall, exposing the Governor’s acquiescence in a piece of political trickery on tariffs. These are the large Colonial days, where Colonials are Colonials, and proud of it. Victoria is Permanent Queen, Britannia Rules the Waves. Happy, happy, bygone Eighth Decade!

THE NINTH DECADE, 1868-1877: The Liberal Decade.

Now the white population rises to 2,013,130, including 928,790 females, and the Aborigines have dwindled to perhaps 150,000 all told. This is the Liberal Decade—liberal immigration, liberal construction of railways, liberal borrowing from London, liberal export of wealth, and, more particularly, “Liberal” legislation. This is the Decade of Education—compulsory, secular, and free; subsidies to denominational schools being withdrawn, after angry protests from the Churches. Australian politics is tailing behind English politics, democracy is the fashion, most of the Australian politicians are English Radicals, in the fashion of the period. Trades Unions are organised on the British model, some obtain an Eight Hours Day, democratic “progress” becomes ingrained as an article of faith (the Nineteenth Century Englishman’s Dream materialising in the Antipodes). Dibbs in Sydney is elected as a Republican; but that is not serious, for Queen Victoria At HOME is a Permanent Institution. This is the crinoline-and-bustle era, par excellence—even pioneer women, lonely in the outback, queen it over galahs and jackaroos, following the Feminine Royal Lead, prudish and innocent, smug and dominant; breeding large families. The Spirit of Fecundity waves a wand over Australia. Everything is expanding and lovely. The cream of the wealth is being skimmed easily from the milk of the land. Can it last forever? Virgin soil has been upturned, land fallowed for aeons, eager to yield of its plenty. The perpetual boom of immigration, import of capital, overseas borrowing, gold and other mineral production, and ever-increasing pastoralism, lifts Australia up and ever up on the crest of a mighty wave not yet destined to break and crash. The system of Six Imitation-Pommy Parliaments, supervised by Real-Pommy Governors, is working well, as any system would work well, with new wealth so abundant in a “new” continent. The only discordant political note is that of Higginbotham, in Victoria, who refuses to accept Cabinet Rank under Premier McCulloch, on the grounds that the Colony is not Sovereign, but is “governed from Downing Street.” But perhaps this, like Dibbs’ republicanism in Sydney, is only fashionable Liberal ebulliance. All the Colonies are hugely expanding in population and wealth, prosperity is the keynote, politics is a game, one thing will do as well as another. The British of Britain reap a rich harvest from this easy-going Colonial attitude of Australians. In New South Wales, coal mines are opened at Lithgow, and iron-smelting also begins there. Copper is mined at Cobar; the railway is over the mountains beyond Bathurst; prosperity seems illimitable. A member of the Royal Family (Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh) visits Australia, and is shot, but not killed, by a mad Irishman, Farrell, at Clontarf. Like all assassinations, this one has no general political significance. The Barb wins the Sydney Cup at Randwick two years running (1868-69), Jem Mace visits Australia and introduces glove-fighting, Ted Trickett wins the world’s sculling championship, Frank Gardiner the bushranger is pardoned, there is an Intercolonial Exhibition in Prince Alfred Park, to commemorate Captain Cook’s Centenary; and, at Sydney University, there is a great musical festival, with Lucy Chambers (contralto), Neri, Contini, and Dondi (male singers)—all in the pageant, or phantasmagoria, of Carefree Colonial Life. (Gone are those days! We dip quite at random into historical memory, the lore of the Land . . .) Now in Victoria Marcus Clarke founds The Colonial Monthly, hails A. L. Gordon as a genius, and himself writes the Convict Classic, His Natural Life, a fixing of the stigma of colonialism and convictism on Australia just when it seemed likely to be forgotten. Henry Kendall wins the poetry prize of the year (1868) and his verse achieves book-publication. In Tasmania, tin is found at Mount Bischoff, a railway is built through from Hobart to Launceston; and poor little Truganinni, the Last of the Tasmanian Aborigines, dies. (“Bury me behind the mountains,” she pleads on her death-bed. They put her skeleton in the Hobart museum: callous, callous monsters.) South Australia’s greatest feat in the Decade is construction of the Overland Telegraph to Darwin, at a cost of £300,000, using 36,000 telegraph poles through country mostly desert; but it is to be a link with HOME—so worth the money. Giles and Warburton explore the Centre of the continent, and find it as barren as could be. In North Australia there is a brief gold rush, Darwin is established as a settlement, Chinese Coolies are brought in by the Government, for public works. In Western Australia, convict transportation ceases (1868), Representative Government is granted (1870), coolie labour is largely imported, John Forrest makes his series of grand marches into the arid interior; the pearling industry begins to boom on the northwest coast. In Queensland there is a rush to the Palmer goldfield, thousands of Chinese flood in, Kanakas are cruelly blackbirded to work on the Colonial Sugar Refinery’s plantations. Lo, the rumbling of a storm! Griffith, Premier, introduces legislation to restrict Asiatic Immigration (1876). At the end of the Liberal Decade, the Colonies are ready to create the extremely illiberal policy of White Australia.

THE TENTH DECADE, 1878-1887: Australian Centenary.

The population mounts to 2,881,362, including 1,322,244 females. Immigrants are still flooding in, but there are more babies than immigrants each year, now and henceforth; and the percentage of Australian-born must rise: Colonial-born, and born colonials. Now in this Decade the adroit British plan of managing Australia (in Britain’s interests first) is seen to have matured. The six London-made Constitutions of Australia provide ample scope for “democratic” local political argumentation about merely local matters; but the people of Australia are divided into six areas of Government, and have no united voice or “say” in Imperial matters. British political intrigue is at work in each of the Six Colonies, to fasten British Loans on the not-very-alert Colonial Treasurers; and this process means essentially that the Colonies must buy British goods, to make the loans effective. The British Ruling Class having quickly understood that Democracy means government by bluff, propaganda, and “management” of the people’s “representatives,” find the Australian Colonials an easy mark. Most of Australia’s trade, export and import, is diverted to Britain: and British shipping gets the carrying of it. In the meantime Australians are becoming more and more convinced that they are making tremendous political progress, and that Australia is the most brilliantly democratic country in the world. On account of the vast production of raw wealth, and after as much of this as possible has been exported to Britain, Colonial basic standards of living rise higher than those of Europe, the process being furthered by inflow of capital, brought by immigrants, and by the ever-mounting loans from Britain. Australia is still in a boom phase, and the possibilities of expansion appear illimitable. Now the great Broken Hill and Mount Morgan mines are discovered, prodigious increments of mineral wealth are to be exported to Britain. Simultaneously, the Suez Canal route and invention of refrigeration enable frozen beef, mutton, and fruits to be sent HOME. Sheep and cattle now occupy every fertile square mile of the continent—wool exports sent HOME are golden fleeces for Britain, the greatest quantity of wool, and the finest quality, the world has ever known. Pastoralism has almost reached its saturation point, and the beginning of the export of frozen carcases, in addition to wool, hides, and tallow, now means that Australians are a nation destined to be Britain’s herd-keepers and shepherds for many decades to come. This is the Age of the Horse, when Colonials are “born to the saddle”—it is the age, too, of the nomadic shearers and pastoral workers, “waltzing Matilda,” swagmen of the idyllic era of swaggism. But also, yeoman agriculture and dairying booms; it is the period of expansion of small settlers, “selectors,” who raise big families on 160 acres. Cream-separators are introduced, co-operative butter factories established; the stump-jump plough is invented, opening the Mallee Country and facilitating wheat-production. Farrer at Queanbeyan begins his epochal experiments in breeding rustless wheat: Australia is a British granary. Apples are exported from Tasmania, irrigation begins at Mildura: Australia is a British orchard. The poor, half-starved, industrially-exploited Pommies, AT HOME, get their bread, butter and jam from Australia—also their meat, and wool to make clothes and blankets for themselves. Already they are accustomed to getting gold, copper, silver, zinc—every kind of industrial metal. In exchange they send us loans, railways, tramways, electric telegraphs and telephones, and some of their surplus population. Also they send us manufactured goods, made up from the raw materials we have sent them. Everybody seems well satisfied, particularly the British of Britain, with an arrangement whereby Australia is to be permanently a producer of Colonial Products (raw materials) and a buyer of Imperial Products (loans and made-up goods). So it goes on; and now, for the first time, Australians demonstrate that they are eager also to export soldiers for Britain’s benefit. In 1885, the Acting-Premier of New South Wales, W. B. Dalley, during a Parliamentary Recess, arranges to send a contingent of warriors (212 artillery, 522 infantry, with 200 horses) to help Britain make aggressive war against the Soudanese. The troops duly arrive in Egypt, but are not considered seasoned enough, or disciplined enough, to go into action. They are used as a railway fatigue party. Dalley is offered a knighthood for establishing this extraordinary precedent, but accepts in preference a Privy Councillorship. It is the era of inventions. Hargrave invents the aeroplane, Brennan invents the naval torpedo, McKay invents the harvester, Archibald invents The Bulletin. In Australia, too, the world’s greatest opera singer, Nellie Armstrong (Melba) makes her debut in this Decade. McIlwraith, Premier of Queensland, annexes Papua for Britain, over-riding Downing Street’s objections, and 300,000 Papuans become subjects of the Queen. With lavish hands, Australia repays Britain for the boons which Britain has conferred upon Australia during the First Hundred Years. All is optimism, the cornucopia overflowing, Australia the Land of Plenty, the Land of Progress, the Land of Millions. Even in the Empty North there is some Progress—the Government of South Australia, at enormous cost, beginning construction of a railway south from Palmerston to Pine Creek, built by a gang of 3,000 Chinese Coolies. Only in West Australia is there no real progress as yet. Still a Crown Colony, West Australia, under Pommy Governor Broome, systematically imports Coolies, and tries to benefit English Land Investment Companies with a wild scheme of “railway” settlement, which catches numerous mugs. In Queensland the importation of kanakas is restricted; but in every Colony now there are Chinese coolies in thousands. Suddenly, like a thunderclap, the slogan “White Australia!” reverberates through the continent. The Labour Party is born in this excitement, for the Trades Unions realise that employers are using Asiatic labour to force down the standards of white workmen. It is a first-class political issue:

Rule, Britannia, Britannia rule the waves!

No more Chinamen allowed in New South Wales.

So the Colonial workingmen bawl their defiance of Asia and their plea to Britain in one breath. As the Decade ends, this is the outstanding Australian question—how to make Australia a Home for the White Race. (A hundred years ago have gone by since Phillip landed at Sydney Cove. The surviving Aborigines, less than 150,000 of them, hear the words “White Australia” with consternation. For a million years Australia had been a Black Fellows’ Country. The year 1887 is Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. For five years she has been the Great White Queen of Australia.)

THE ELEVENTH DECADE, 1888-1897: Labour Party Decade.

The population of the continent now rises to 3,617,783 persons, including 1,700,323 females. Immigration persists, though for a period it falls off. Births also persist, and the term “Native Australian” now comes to mean Native Whitefellow. In this Decade the sincere, but incoherent “nationalism” of the “Australian Natives’ Association” gains ground, helping Australians become more self-respecting and assertive: while Archibald’s Bulletin, also proclaiming nationalism, fixes Colonial uncouthness as an Australian ideal by glorification of the larrikin, and by persistent caricature of the bush types as loons: a caricature ultimately accepted as a true picture, through persistent repetition. But all this “nationalism” rampant in the 1890’s does not really aim at secession from Britain’s Empire. It aims rather at Australian continentalism—the political unifying of the Six Colonies so carefully established as separate entities by Britain. It aims also at excluding Asiatics from Australia—a policy which does not commend itself to Britain; for the British know the value of Coolie Labour in developing an Empire. Only when Australian protests become loud, long, and violent, does Britain yield to the Colonial demand for a White Australia. In the end it is Jo Chamberlain, British Imperialist and Secretary of State for the Colonies, who, as a compromise, suggests an “education test,” which will avoid wounding the susceptibilities of China, Japan, and India, countries in which Britain has huge and ever-growing interests. The outstanding economic event of the Decade is the Great Bank Smash and depression of the early and mid-’nineties. This originates in Victoria, and spreads throughout the Colonies as a panic. It is the calling of the bluff of the perpetual Land Boom Delusion of the Colonies, for it is caused primarily by a fall in land values, followed by a panicky attempt of banks to call in inflated overdrafts. The Depression spreads through every branch of trade and commerce, and the bubble of Perpetual Australian Prosperity is pricked. The country recovers, and optimism returns when gold! gold! gold! is found at Kalgurli, in Western Australia, and surplus labour is drawn off in the rush to the West; where now, at last, “self”-Government, on the approved Colonial pattern, is established by Britain. But, during the Depression, the Labour Party comes to strength and power in each of the Colonies, after strikes of shearers, seamen, and of Broken Hill miners. Labour is agitating against any fall in the basic standard of living, believing, in accordance with the theories of contemporary English Radicals, that parliamentary action can alter economic realities. William Lane, Henry George, and other visiting Radicals, come to Australia, and arouse wide public support for this plausible doctrine. Under the pressure of Labour Agitation, the democratic franchise is made more and more wide, the slogan “One Man One Vote” being irresistible as a catch-cry. Manhood suffrage is followed by Womanhood Suffrage, and Australia pioneers this form of Democracy. (No cry is raised, as yet, for Child Suffrage, or for Aboriginal Suffrage, or for Kanaka Suffrage in Papua—children, Aboriginals, and Kanakas being ruled by a dictatorship.) The Labour Movement sends £30,000 HOME to London to help the London Dockers, which arrives like manna there—Colonial Manna for the proletariat. Prosperity is restored by the gold strikes of West Australia, the finding of copper at Mount Lyell in Tasmania, an enormous development of dairying in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland; increased mineral production at Broken Hill, Cobar and Mount Morgan, among many other mines; and finally by good seasons throughout the continent, which causes boom production of wool, hides, beef, and mutton for export. The Labour Party is given great credit for these natural phenomenon, the boons derived from which are held to have been won by political agitation. Throughout the Decade the question of Federation is sharply raised, in a series of intercolonial conferences, held to deal with transcolonial matters such as tariffs, postal and railway communications, and defence. Britain’s lead is eagerly awaited in this important Australian matter, for nothing can be done without Britain’s sanction. It is in 1889, following the visit to Australia of the British War Office Representative, General Edwards, that Henry Parkes, the immigrant English politician, makes his Tenterfield speech supporting Federation, which previously he had opposed. In the year 1897, in London, a Colonial Conference decides that “Colonies united geographically should when possible federate, in order to make eventual Imperial Federation easier.” As soon as it is realised that Australian Federation will mean a seventh British Parliament with a seventh Pommy Governor in Australia, British enthusiasm for Australian Federation is unbounded. Now the Six Colonies are each deeply in debt to Britain, and it is essential that Britain should devise a superior control, a system of checks and balances, to manage Australian affairs. Much British thought is given to the best British method of federating Australia in Britain’s interests first. It is the necessity, which Britain feels, of taking steps to ensure future supplies of soldiers exported from Australia which clinches the matter. At the end of the Decade, at Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, the Federation of the Australian Colonies, on a British plan, is a foregone conclusion, details only remaining to be completed. Finally, in this Decade, in which Carbine wins the Melbourne Cup, carrying 10 st. 5 lbs., and also wins the Sydney Cup twice in succession, Australian literature gives expression to the hopes, fears, pessimism, and optimism, which fluctuate in the breasts of Australians. Banjo Paterson and Henry Larsen sing robustly of the pastoral phase, the former emphasising horsemanship, the latter swagmanship. Larsen is particularly overcome (following a visit to England) by fin de siècle morbidness; to which Barcroft Boake succumbs, hanging himself with a stock-whip after writing Out Where the Dead Men Lie. The Pommy Remittance Man, A. L. Gordon, subject to similar melancholia, has already shot himself; and now Rolf Boldrewood, another Pommy, writes the Australian Masterpiece, Robbery Under Arms, placing emphasis on bushranging as a characteristic Australian phenomenon: but already Steele Rudd, Queensland cocky-farmer humorist, is guffawing louder than a kookaburra, creating travesties of Australian life, which are none the less authentic for being burlesque. A wonderful Decade—the Naughty Nineties—Norman Lindsay, in his adolescence, is permanently affected by Beardsley and naughtiness; and the crude Australian genius of the anonymous larrikin mob throws up the giantly derisive word “WOWSER!” as a counter-stroke to the parsonical prunes, prisms, and prudery of the Late-Victorian English epoch, translated to Australia. Now Randolph Bedford, E. J. Brady, Louis Becke, A. G. Stephens, and Tom Collins, indigenous literary men, become “offensively Australian” and glory in the fact that they are literary accoucheurs to a Nation. The wonderful, seething, never-to-be-forgotten and never-to-be-repeated Eleventh Decade!

THE TWELFTH DECADE, 1898-1907: Federation Decade.

On the First Day, of the First Month, of the First Year, of the Twentieth Century, Australia becomes—A Nation! (With seven Pommy Governors, instead of six, as previously—A Nation by Gracious Permission of Her Faraway Majesty—A Nation by no act of its own, but by the initiative of a Government, and by an Act of a Parliament, at the other end of the world—A Nation in name; a Perpetual Colony in fact.) At the end of the Decade the population of White Australia has risen to 4,161,722 persons, of whom 2,001,509 are females. The main flow of immigration has suddenly dried up, mainly because of superior attractions in America: so much so that, during the first five years of the century (1901-05), Australian actually loses population by an excess of departures over arrivals, to the extent of 16,793 persons. This loss, however, is more than made up by Australian births—the excess of Australian births over deaths being 284,431 persons during the same five years. Natural increase by births has indeed become the main source of Australian population during the period from 1898 to 1907. The population is thus rapidly becoming more and more Australian by birth. No scheme of Government-assisted immigration can compete with the productive impulses of the two million females now resident in Australia; but, despite this fact, official policy, looking backward for precedent instead of at actuality, seeks for immigrants as though the inflow of these were the only means of filling Australia’s “Vast Open Spaces.” Now Queen Victoria is dead, and Australia is in the Edwardian Era, the last days of the Horse Paramount, the last days of dung in the streets, to be replaced by petrol fumes: for it is now, in this Decade, that the first chuff-chuffing of motor-buggies is heard in the land. But, before Queen Victoria dies, the Six Colonies of Australia, which are under no attack whatever from the Boers of South Africa, supply Britain with 16,632 Colonial Australian troops, to help Britain prevent the Boers from achieving Self-Government. No sooner is this disgraceful episode in Australia’s history ended, than yet another Australian Contingent is sent overseas—this time to China, to suppress the Boxer Rebellion. In this, the third aggressive British war in which Australians have taken part (1901), the British give the world a demonstration of atrocities and looting, which leaves civilisation aghast; for the age-old Winter Palace at Peking—an arcanum of art—is burnt down and looted by British troops, some of the loot being brought back to Australia by the Australian Contingent of Looters. The Australian Boxer Contingent is a Punitive Expedition by Australia against China, though China has given no cause for offence. As in the Soudan War and Boer War previously, Australians are not attacked, but are attackers. Not by any stretch of imagination can Australia’s first three foreign wars be called wars of defence. And now the full beauty of Australian Federation is revealed, as a series of discussions takes place between Australia and Britain on Military and Naval Affairs, Tariffs, and Imperial Federation. In these discussions Britain has to negotiate with one Australian Government only (The Commonwealth) instead of, as formerly, with Six Colonies. Negotiations are thus enormously simplified—for Britain. The question of “Defence” is the most important, particularly as Australia is not under any threat of being attacked. A Foe must be found, against whom to Be Prepared. Statesmanship finds a way. Britain is at peace with Japan, has entered in fact into a Holy Alliance (The Anglo-Japanese Alliance) with Japan. British Naval Officers are training the Japanese Navy, and British Naval Shipyards are building that same Japanese Navy. Accordingly, Japan is selected as the Threat to Australian security! When Admiral Togo wipes out the Russian Navy, all Australia, prompted by persistent British propaganda, shivers and never stops shivering, which precisely suits the British book. Alfred Deakin returns from an Imperial Conference (1907) in London, to announce that Australia will establish Compulsory Military Training (for “Defence”). Already, Australia is subsidising the British Navy (also for “Defence”). What a scared lot of fear-stricken and conscience-stricken Colonials! Having expelled and excluded Asiatics from Australia, and having looted Peking, Australians now fear that Japan will retaliate. The “Yellow Peril,” a creature of British militaristic and navalistic propaganda, becomes, during this Decade, Australia’s most permanently-recurring nightmare. The polite little Japanese are astounded by this illwill: but they loyally abide by the spirit and the letter of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, and consider Australia’s panic to be only a move in the British game of seeling warships (as, indeed, it is). The second advantage of Federation is now revealed in the Protective Tariff Policy promptly imposed by the Commonwealth. This policy protects Britain in two ways: first, by providing an additional form of taxation on foreign trade (Customs Revenue), to assist Australians in raising money to pay interest to Britain; secondly, in penalising Britain’s competitors by preferential clauses to British goods. Thirdly and incidentally, the Australian Customs Tariff aims at protecting and establishing industries in Australia; and some are in fact so established, frequently with British capital. The Commonwealth is completely in Britain’s Bag, form the word “go”; but few, if any, Australians see through it. The nationalistic movement of the ’nineties sinks into quiescence, mollified by Federation and by the White Australia Policy; and, above all, weakened by intense British propaganda to the effect that the Britain’s Navy is “protecting” Australia. Lo, the poor Colonials! They have had it put right over them, and are too politically innocent to see the trap into which they have fallen, even after they are in the trap. There is superficially some reason for boundless optimism and belief in the permanent progress of Australia as a part of Britain’s Empire; for now Britain’s might and wealth is at its zenith: the challenge to Britain’s mercantile and industrial supremacy by the U.S.A. and by Germany has not become fully effective: but the British are watching Germany, as a cat watches a mouse, but more fearfully. Germany has now developed substantial trading relationships with Australia, despite the hostile British-preference tariffs. German toys, sewing-machines, pianos, watches, pocket-knives, are making serious inroads into Brummagem’s hoped-for monopoly of the British market. Germany has become the second-biggest buyer of wool at the Australian auctions; and by competition is keeping wool prices up, which annoys Bradford. Look out, Germany! The bulldog will have a bite at you soon! Australians don’t care, thousands of German settlers have arrived and are arriving, breeding up real Australian families. Australia has no quarrel whatever with Germany. But Australia is grateful to Britain, not only for “protection” at sea, but also for the lovely flow of loan money which flows in and flows in, on the security of a Continent. A depression threatens in New South Wales, following a drought in 1902, but this is easily averted by E. W. O’Sullivan, who, as Minister for Public Works, spends £18,000,000 of Loan Money—on Public Works. He knows, and the British moneylenders know, that Australia can recover from a drought, and that the security is first-class. Thus the financial system of Australia is bolstered up by Overseas Loans, and by reliance on Crown Land Sales and Leases, and by reliance on perpetual pastoral, agricultural, and mineral expansion. No Australian statesman sees farther than his nose: all apply the Expansion Formula of the past, as if expansion could be perpetual. For the time being, the Expansion Formula works well enough. The Labour Party comes to office, improves basic living standards and conditions of labour by energetic Public Borrowing, establishes the Arbitration Court, which fixes a Basic Wage; and accelerates the process of Government Paternalism, which enslaves Australians to bureaucracy, tends to kill initiative, and makes Australia, for the time being, “a Workingman’s Paradise.” This Decade is the heyday of the Labour Party. Its formula is not socialistic, but is merely ameliorative of labour conditions—an amelioration made possible by the increasing Vast Productiveness of the land—every fertile portion of which is now “effectively occupied.” During this Decade, Australians look frequently at the map, make paper calculations of millions, ignore the fact that the Empty North and the still-more-Empty Centre are virtually uninhabitable; and make prophecies that Australia’s population will mount to a Hundred Million before the end of the Century. As for the Empty North, the Commonwealth takes it over from South Australia, including South Australia’s liability of over £3,000,000 spent on it, with no return worth mentioning. Nothing will remove from the minds of Australians the idea that the Empty North and Empty Centre are a great “attraction” to Japan. Apart from this fear, it is a cheerful, jolly Decade in Australia: the last, the very last, of the cheerful jolly decades. Over £58,000,000 worth of gold has come out of Kalgurli, and now the water-supply pipeline across the desert is built by C. Y. O’Connor: a classic engineering feat and one of the greatest in the world at that time. Oil shale is retorted at Newnes, Joadja, and Murrurandi in New South Wales, 13,000,000 gallons of oil being produced before the works suddenly close down—American and British oil being considered the best for Australian lamps. Now the wandering, pastoral days of Australia are almost at an end. The entire continent is explored and settled. The towns grow larger and larger, become metropolitan. The “drift to the cities” sets in, slowly at first. Australia is still predominantly rural, predominantly a Colony; but the Colonial days of swagger and swank have reached their zenith. After 120 years of pioneering, the Australian type is becoming defined—different from the European, better fed, mentally more casual and slovenly; but with a pronounced set of characteristics including self-reliance (individually, if not nationally), initiative, camaraderie, a sardonic sense of humour, and a hatred of being bossed. So ends the Twelfth Decade, Australians finding their feet, eagerly looking forward, and with confidence, to an Illimitable Future.

THE THIRTEENTH DECADE, 1908-1917: Unlucky Decade.

Now this is the Decade of the “Great” War in Europe; and in the year 1917 that war has not ended. The population of Australia on the 1st December, 1917, is 4,982,793 persons, of whom 2,523,934 are females. Thus at the end of the Thirteenth Decade, for the first time in our history, the number of females exceeds the number of males: one of the reasons for this sudden disparity being that approximately 300,000 males, in the prime of their manhood, are away from Australia fighting against Turks, Germans, Austrians, Hungarians, and Bulgars in Europe. It is the “Great” Adventure, the greatest in Australia’s history, the most costly in money and lives, and the least profitable. The Australian political events which precede the Declaration of War are excellently managed by Britain. The “Labour” Party comes to office in most of the States and in the Commonwealth. Prominent among the “Australian Labour” leaders are Fisher, a Scotsman, Hughes, a Welshman, and Holman, a Pommy. Australia has given these three immigrants a chance. Had they remained in “The Old Country” they might not have had anything like the opportunity of fame, power, and wealth, which Australia now offers them. But, instead of being grateful to Australia for the benefits which Australia has conferred upon them, these three, and many others like them, give their primary loyalty to the Land of their Birth; and they eagerly offer Britain the Last Australian Man and the Last Australian Shilling, for the purpose of a British Military Adventure, to smash Britain’s main commercial rival, Germany. In making this offer, they have behind them the overwhelming majority of the public in Australia, a public impregnated with a sentiment of gratitude for Britain for all the convicts, loans, and naval protection of the preceding twelve Decades. Thus it is the Labour Party, pride of Australian democracy and its highest expression, which pitchforks Australia into militaristic imperialism. It is the Labour Party which establishes Compulsory Military Training, following the visit of heavy-jowled, brute-type Von Kitchener to Australia in 1909. It is the Labour Party which, following a Colonial Conference in London in 1909, establishes an “Australian” Navy, ordering a battleship (H.M.A.S. Australia) from British shipyards. It is the Labour Party which, following the visit of Andrew Fisher to an Imperial Conference in 1911, establishes an Australian Commonwealth Bank, to facilitate the financing of Australia’s part in a “Great” European War. All this is done in the sacred name of “Defence” and of socialistic-democratic progressiveness; but, in the sequel, the Japanese Navy defends Australia, while the trainees, who have received Kitchener’s Compulsory Military Training, go overseas, escorted by Japanese cruisers, to invade Turkey, and to attempt to invade Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Bulgaria. In the sequel, too, His Majesty’s Australian Ship “Australia,” delivered (C.O.D.) in 1913, goes to the North Sea for the duration of the war, where she cruises 57,000 miles guarding the ships and ports of Britain, at Australia’s expense. Sixty thousand Australian men in their prime are killed outright in this war, and 200,000 others are wounded, either physically or mentally, or both, by the horrors which they encounter in dirty, filthy, stinking Old Europe and Asia Minor. From the loins of these men the seed of the future was to have sprung; but now they are expending their vitality on the battlefields of France, Gallipoli, and Palestine, and their virility in the brothels of Cairo, Paris, London. Australian women, knitting socks and sending white feathers, have urged their men into this madness; for women are the main war-soolers. Cruelty, lust, and sadism, disguised as patriotism, now take command in Australia. Hysteria sweeps the country, engendered by bugles, brass-bands, flag-flapping, speeches of frothing hate, as shipload after shipload of lithe, keen-eyed, eager young men, the perfection of manhood, sail away from Australia’s shores—many never to return. All are going voluntarily—or under that form of compulsion known as Public Opinion. An able-bodied man, of military age, who wishes to remain in Australia, is branded as a slacker, a shirker, and a coward. Very few Australian men have the moral courage to refuse to enlist: the courage to stand against Public Opinion, the courage which earns no medals, brass bands, or smiles from women, the courage far greater than any that could be shown on a battlefield. Australia, an advanced “democracy,” is the country of the Mob Mind. Social pressure, threat of ostracism, the finger of scorn, drive tens of thousands to volunteer: others sincerely believe that they are saving Australia from a German or a Turkish conquest by enlisting: others go just for a lark, an adventure, a chance to see foreign countries, the desire to be with the mob. Brought up on a school education which glorifies the British soldier as hero, few Australian young men, in prime physical nick, can resist the Recruiting-Sergeant’s beckoning finger. (Jacky at Cunnamulla is the exception: “I lost my country years ago, boss,” he grins when they ask him to put up his hand “to fight for his country.”—Yes, there are Aborigines in the A.I.F. Despised in peace, they are acceptable in war, fodder for cannon.) The War does not go well for Britain, nothing like as well as had been too confidently anticipated. The assault plan of the Allies (Britain, France, and Russia) is a failure. Under this plan, the British and French were to hold Germany on the Western Front, while Russia, an irresistible Steam Roller, reached Berlin from the east. Von Hindenburg, in the East Prussian marshes, before the end of 1915, has knocked the bottom clean out of this plan by shattering the Russian Steam Roller to bits. Now Britain and France realise that, even with the aid of all the Colonial troops they can muster, they can never smash Germany on the Western Front unaided. Frenzied efforts are directed to obtaining the support of the U.S.A., efforts which at last succeed when the U.S.A. comes in as the World’s Policeman, to put a stop to a conflict between Europeans which has become a deadlock, a war of attrition. It is during this phase of attrition that Britain’s agents in Australia, twice, make the attempt to impose Conscription-for-Service-Abroad—and are twice rebuffed, though by a narrow margin, by a NO! NO! vote of the Australian people—the outstanding achievement of real Democracy in Australia’s first 150 years. As for the rest of the events of the Decade in Australia, the War Excitement causes (as all wars must) a boom in primary and also in secondary industry. For metals, and for wool, wheat, butter, meat, there is a demand limited only by the amount of shipping available to carry these commodities to Europe. Shipbuilding booms in Australia, the “Fordsdale” and “Ferndale” (12,000 ton cargo-vessels) being constructed at Cockatoo Dock, Sydney. In 1915 the Broken Hill Proprietary Company opens steelworks at Newcastle, New South Wales, using coal from Maitland and iron ore from South Australia in the blast furnaces. In 1916, the Hydro-Electric scheme is completed in Tasmania, the power being used industrially for production of zinc and of carbide. All mineral production booms, and unemployment in Australia virtually disappears. Brown coal is now mined at Morwell in Victoria; the Transcontinental Railway, linking Perth to Adelaide, is completed (1917), the outstanding Australian engineering feat of the Decade, length 1,051½ miles—one of the longest stretches of railway in the world. Many news industries are established in Australia, and the foundations of new fortunes are laid, from war’s exigencies. It is an ill wind that blows nobody any good. Women benefit most, war pensions and employment in industry giving many of them, for the first time, a feeling of economic independence and selfish spending power. At the Imperial Conference of 1917, held in London, the question of Imperial Federation is discussed; but is shelved as “too difficult.” In the meantime Lloyd George establishes an Imperial War Cabinet, with Prime Ministers from the “Dominions” in it. Billy Hughes is in his element. The Unlucky Thirteenth Decade is the Decade in which Australia is dominated, despite Conscription rebuffs, by William Morris Hughes, Duce and Fuhrer of the Most Advanced Democracy in the World. It is the Decade in which women rise, sociologically, to equality and even to paramountcy within the community; the Decade which sees the Labour Party as intrinsically incompetent to defend Australia against British cunning and British blandishments. Oh, and sad but true—it is the Decade in which Australian Nationalism is swamped by British Empirism, Australian sentiment swamped by Empire sentiment. Il Duce Hughes had, as a new immigrant, come in contact with Australian Nationalism in the making. He sees how to use this phrase and this idealism for British Empire purposes. He calls his anti-Australian, pro-British-Empire Party, the Nationalist Party, than which there is no greater misuse of words in all human political history, and none equally great except the misuse of words by Lloyd George, a Welsh compatriot of Hughes, in stating that the “Great” War is being fought “to make the World Safe For Democracy.” So ends the Unlucky Thirteenth Decade, which puts back the clock of Australian Progress, perhaps forever; but the realisation of this is not yet.

THE FOURTEENTH DECADE, 1918-1927: Post-war Boom.

The population rises to 6,251,016 persons, including 3,056,158 females; and now the returned soldiers are repatriated, restoring a slight preponderance of masculinity. Each soldier is given a gratuity, in cash or bonds, the total payments (popularly named “blood-money”) amounting to £30,000,000. In addition, the wounded are pensioned, as are the widows and orphans of the dead. Australia does not attempt to evade its responsibilities of gratitude to the returned soldiers, but the problem of their repatriation is no light one. Virtually, it is a problem of re-immigration, the problem being how to find jobs and land for an army demobilised, as well as for a population that leaps up in response to the stimulus of post-war prosperity. This prosperity is primarily one of loan-money, which has now become the Great Australian Standby: loans, in unprecedented hundreds of millions, being raised for war and repatriation purposes, both in Britain and on the local market. The prosperity is thus in part specious, but not entirely so. The loan-money, so freely expended, represents a genuine inflow of capital from abroad, which can be made effective, however, only by huge Australian imports from Britain. The loan money raised on the local loan-market represents a spending (consumption) of savings which had accumulated in thirteen decades; and is thus a form of “living on capital.” The day of reckoning must come, but is not yet. The post-war boom is a “paper money” boom; but it is anchored to reality, considered as the spending of national savings, and considered as a consumer-boom made possible by easy money. But there is also a producer-boom, for, throughout all the world, peace-time production gets back into its stride, aimed at replenishing depleted stocks, and at putting new goods on the market, new kinds of goods which have resulted from the enormous technical advances in machinery—war’s stimulus to engineering trades. In the U.S.A., particularly, the Ford Age arrives, and ownership of a motor-car comes within the reach of persons of moderate means. The Australian repercussion of this is that Australia, like most other countries, suddenly begins to import cheap motor-cars, cinema films, and petroleum products form the U.S.A.—the financial adjustments being used (through London) for payment of the interest of billions of American Dollars which have been loaned (through London) to the Allies during the War. Thus Americanised, Australia enters the Motor-Car Age, the stench of petrol and carbon monoxide poisons our streets, thousands of miles of bitumen roadways are constructed through eucalyptic bush, and the characterful horse is a goner. The Cult of Ford intensifies the “drift to the cities”; the sons and daughters of pioneers become bored with hardships and lack of modern amenities (such as Cinema) in the lonely bush: Australia’s population becomes more than fifty per cent urban. War has also stimulated Australian industry, intensifying the urban populations: but it no longer stimulates the ship-building industry in Australia. This industry is killed, mainly by the sale of the Commonwealth Government Shipping Line, to an English Company, which never pays for the ships, the Chairman of the Company (a Peer of the Realm) ultimately going to gaol as a swindler. Almost the whole of Australia’s Overseas trade is carried in British vessels—Australia has been “sold again”—a deep cynicism smites political thinking; but the blare of the brass bands, the howling of the war-soolers, is still fresh in the public ear. “Great” War hysteria has fixed in the Australian mind the idea that patriotism means only patriotism to Britain. The War has stirred the cess-pool of human nature and of politics, and the scum has floated to the top. Now the women of Australia, annoyed at having missed the Great Adventure, and made envious by soldiers’ tales of Europe’s glamour, develop an intense desire to go HOME—away from Australia—as their menfolk have done. In thousands they leave Australia’s shores, travelling in the new luxurious British liners, with or without fathers, husbands, or sons in their train, to make a pilgrimage to England, as Arabs make a pilgrimage to Mecca, religiously. This is the Decade of the Female Hegira from Australia to England. The tourists come back to Australia, aping English culture, wearing English fashions, making their stay-at-home sisters envious. It is the Decade of the Shipping Ad., of the sudden realisation by wiseheads in England that the tourist industry can become one of England’s main sources of income. The characteristic novel of this period os H. H. Richardson’s The Fortunes of Richard Mahony, now suddenly boomed as Australia’s magnum opus. It is a story of escape from Australia, of an unacclimatised Britisher’s yearning to leave the Southern Hemisphere and go back HOME. How raw, how vulgar, how un-genteel, how un-English is Australia compared with HOME! So think most, if not all, of the 3,056,158 addle-pated Australian females of the Decade, hysterically, neurotically, yearning to escape from Australia’s crudeness and their own responsibilities to go HOME to find culture, to escape from Australian family ties, to become “modern” and free—ah, god, free!—free as the Million Surplus Women in Britain who are now setting the pace in British manners and morals! Thus the Decade becomes one of mass nostalgia, particularly among females, for HOME, i.e., for Britain, where birth control is the fashion and decadence leers invitingly. Gone are the robust pioneer days, gone forever. Australia’s females are now become vessels, not so much of maternity, as of modernity; and the rot has set in—post-war hysteria, post-war boom, post-war emancipation of women, the drift from domesticity, the drift to decadence, to office jobs, to “equality” with men! The War Decade had produced The Sentimental Bloke as a description of the rude larrikin Australian male. The post-war Decade now produces, in addition to H. H. Richardson’s tight-lipped female culture-dream, an output by the Lindsays, Norman and Jack, of etchings and poems glorifying The Sentimental Tart: the Australian female dominant, leering at herself among caricatures of satyrs, centaurs, poplar-trees, stone terraces, old gardens, fine lace, tapestry, peacocks, and similar European retrospective culture-paraphernalia. So time creeps by, and great, deep, but subtle changes have occurred in the minds of Australians: changes quite unnoticed by criticism, which is lulled, or bewildered, by the velocity of the change; and now Australians are no longer Australians, as they had promised to become in the ’nineties. They are Bastard Europeans, or Americans, recidivists, nostalgics, bowel-less imitators of modes from abroad. The stench of death is in the atmosphere. The Great Plague (influenza) which sweeps the world after the War, kills more people than the war killed. In Australia, for a while, the public becomes panicked, and instructed by the Officialdom which has now taken the community under its officious wing, dons millions of white linen masks and creeps furtively along streets, like mimes in a dance macabre, or mutes at a funeral It is all lowering resistance, lowering morale, destroying common-sense: and a new generation is born in this atmosphere, poor pallid things, begotten in terror, brought up in hate, young robots, automata of the Machine Age. Such is the post-war boom period, the period of mounting debt. In the year 1921, a specimen year, the total Australian public debt (Commonwealth and States) has reached £812,551,693, a total so staggering that it is seldom or never mentioned in polite circles. It is already too large for Australians ever to repay. Each child born in 1921 has a mill-stone of £148 around its neck, and the total of debt is mounting and mounting, as Government Paternalism, in pensions, social services, public works, and other forms of manna, becomes more and more characteristic of the Australian democratic system of government. More than half of this money is owed to Britain, and the British must surely be becoming anxious; for, if Australia’s resources are ultimately not limitless, and if the population is not going to increase vastly to share this debt and so reduce it per capita, then the English may yet have to whistle for their money; but only wiseheads see this, as yet. For the time being credit is still obtainable. More and more loans are floated, and the bubble of false prosperity has not yet burst. Britain’s policy is to “make Germany pay” for the War—a policy so naive as to make one wonder whether Lloyd George (and Clemenceau) were quite sane in formulating it. Germany is virtually knocked out of the world’s markets, both as buyer and seller, by post-war British Empire Preference Agreements, and similar trade-restricting doctrines; and so Germany will never be able to pay. Britain and the U.S.A., to preserve the mad scheme, lend Germany money, so that Germany in turn may have money with which to pay reparations to Britain and the U.S.A.! All that Australia knows of it is that Germany is no longer buying wool. Ah, yes! And Australia now has New Guinea, under a Mandate from the League of Nations. White Australia now has a Black Empire, consisting of more than half-a-million natives (Kanakas) in Papua and New Guinea. The responsibility of caring for these people is Australia’s reward and recompense for the sacrifices of the Great War. A Black Empire! Will it provide Australia someday with a Black Army, on the French model? There are now only 70,000 Aborigines remaining in White Australia; but the accretion of Kanakas, under the Australian Flag, shows that the League of Nations is well satisfied with Australia’s reputation as an exterminating civiliser of backward peoples. The opportunity of becoming Pukka Sahibs in New Guinea and Papua is one which must appeal instantaneously to Australian democrats. Solar topees come into fashion, beginning to replace the old Australian slouch hat of the cabbage-tree tradition: a small, but significant, indication of the increasing Pommification of the country. But what do you expect? The signs are everywhere (to those who can see them) that Australia is not a Real Nation, and has taken the wrong path. Few can see the signs; and the post-war Boom Decade ends on a note of optimism, of “getting back to normal”—a Dream of Perpetual British Manna. (D. H. Lawrence visits Australia during this decade. “Yes,” he says. “A Colony is more progressive than a Mother Country—further gone in decline!” Again he writes: “You talk of bushwhackers whacking the bush—but just wait until the bush whacks the bushwhackers . . .” Who understands such cryptic utterances? Not a dozen people in Australia!) Farewell, the Fourteenth Decade, the last, the very last, of Australian boom-times! Farewell, blast you, rotten period of lull.

THE FIFTEENTH DECADE, 1928-1937: Sesqui-centenary Depression Decade.

And now, at the 30th June, 1937, the population (exclusive of Kanakas and Aborigines) is officially estimated at a total of 6,831,363 persons, of whom 3,373,576 are females. If Kanakas and Aborigines are added, Australia’s population is over seven million; but we ignore the Black Australian Empire, and note that, among the white population, the rate of increase has suddenly slackened. There is more emigration than immigration during the Decade, the birth-rate is falling, falling. What hope is there of Australia ever reaching the Ten Million mark of white population, let alone the Hundred Million of optimistic calculation familiar at the beginning of the Twentieth Century? This is for statesmanship to solve; it is the major Australian population. The problem is for Australian statesmanship to solve, not for British statesmanship; for Britain’s population is even more seriously in decline than Australia’s. Britain cannot and will not help. We must tackle it ourselves. Each child who is born in Australia now inherits a Public Debt of £184. 18s. 10d., of which £79. 11s. 7d. is owed in London (25 percent is to be added for exchange on this at present rates). The Community is now as a whole in debt to the following extent:


Owed in                                               £

Australia ……………………     674,509,661

London .…………………….     543,412,362

New York ………………….        44,949,861

Tremendous Grand Total —  £1,262,871,884

(Note: Exchange is to be added to Overseas Owings.)

If the whole Continent were sold for cash, it would not realise enough at auction to pay off this staggering debt. The interest payable in the year 1937 totals £44,952,443; and by some mysterious financial alchemy, the amount payable is mounting each day to grander and grander totals. Taxation is also mounting each year. In 1937 it stands at the “record” total of £108,303,392, the equivalent of £15. 18s. 4d., per head per annum for every man, woman, and child (excluding Aborigines and Kanakas) in the Commonwealth. In our specimen year (1937), the taxation is collected as follows:


Customs and excise ………………    42,993,032

Other Commonwealth taxes ……..    19,853,225

State Government Taxes ……..….     45,457,135

GRAND TOTAL                            £108,303,392

and this total does not include “incalculable” taxes, such as post office profits, wireless licence fees, high railway and tramway fares, and other funds raided to support general revenue. Ah, here is our long-expected Hundred Million! The population is below seven million (excluding darkies), but annual taxation exceeds a Hundred Million. Laugh it off, Australians! Grin and bear it—if you can! Now, in the Fifteenth Decade, the Sesqui-Centenary Decade, the axe has fallen at last—and the basic standard of living, throughout the entire continent, is reduced, on the recommendation of Sir Otto Niemeyer, Jewish British patriot. The Labour Party is able to do nothing—absolutely nothing—to prevent this fall. J. T. Lang, in New South Wales, makes the gesture of threatening to reduce payments to British bondholders before reducing Australian standards. He is dismissed from office by Pommy Governor Game, whose action is supported by a pseudo-Fascist movement of the “New Guard” and subsequently by the majority of the people of the State voting at a General Election. Peculiar Fascists are these led by Eric Campbell, using the Fascist technique not for a National cause (as in Germany or Italy), but for the cause of International (British) finance. A “New” Party is formed under the slogan of “All for Australia”—but this slogan really means, “All for Britain.” Once again, the simple-minded Colonial Australians have had it put across them. Nationalism has momentarily flared up in response to the slogan of “All for Australia,” but how quickly it is side-tracked, as the “United Australia Party” boasts that its real objective is to “follow Britain’s lead”! The Slump hits Australia early in the Decade, as commodity prices fall, immigration is restricted, overseas borrowing is restricted, and imports are almost prohibited under high tariffs. Now occurs the greatest fiasco in Australia’s history—the pathetic, pitiable search for gold, for another Kalgurli, Lasseter’s Reef! But there are no more Kalgurlis, to save Australia. The mineral, animal, and vegetable productiveness of the continent is already being exploited to its fullest possible extent. Never again will El Dorado wave a magic wand over Australia. Almost all the gold (£500,000,000 worth?) produced in Australia since the ’fifties has gone HOME, HOME, HOME, where all good Australian metals go. The country is stocked, to full saturation point, with sheep and cattle: in fact it is overstocked—so much so that the natural fertility of the grass-bearing areas is being steadily reduced, and soil erosion now threatens, slowly, to make Australia another Sahara, as the Desert creeps in from the Centre towards the coasts. The wheat-lands, too, now need fertiliser, for their first prodigious productivity has now been ruthlessly cropped. The dairy lands will give a diminishing return of butter. The timber of the continent has been despoiled, with little or no effort at replacing reserves. Australians, in every direction, are brought up with a jerk, to realise that the Boundless Possibilities of the Vast Open Spaces is nothing but a legend of uninformed optimism, a legacy of the thoughtless pioneer decades. Yet the people must be fed. If business provides not enough work, the Government, exercising democratic paternalism, must provide work, at subsistence level! Public Works, Public Works—financed by Public Borrowing—is the Only Australian Way out of a difficulty; but how long can it last? Optimists indeed are they who think it can last forever, now that the British are cutting down their lendings to Australia, firmly convinced (and they are right) that the present overseas interest-bill is the limit of Australia’s capacity to pay on balances of trade (surplus of exports over imports and other balances). Henceforth, Australians must finance their own Public Works; for the British are getting cautious; and the udder of the Old Cow, Britannia, is drying. The Governments of Australia act promptly and efficiently to meet the slump, by taking such steps as are necessary to reduce the entire standard of living in Australia. Yes, but such measures do not attract immigrants—or babies! Australia in this Sesqui-centenary Decade is losing population by emigration, and the birth-rate is falling. (This is the chant of sesqui-centenary doom. It croaks like the chorus in a Greek tragedy.) Now the population is predominantly urban. More than half are in the capital cities, and it is estimated that altogether only 37 percent of Australians are following rural occupations—a thoroughly decadent condition in any country, monstrous in a “new” country, which relies mainly on primary production. The Typical Australian is not now the country-dweller, but the city-dweller—and what a type! The cities are architectural monstrosities, showing no creativeness in architectural styles, nothing but imitativeness of overseas modes. This latter trait indeed, in every aspect of Australian life, is now characteristic. The newspapers reflect it in the emphasis which they give to overseas news, and in their habit of filling whole pages with “syndicated” articles, stories, and even joke drawings, from Britain and the U.S.A. The feminine influence, tending towards decadence, has now reached full tide. A mania for overseas fashions has been strengthened by Yankee cinema. In the streets of Sydney appear Platinum Blondes, strange doll-like faces, made up to look like this or that Hollywood photo-star. Women have taken “men’s work” in industry and in administration; and they work for smaller wages than men. Relying nevertheless on some man (some day) to keep them, they do not save their earnings, but spend lavishly in the drapery palaces which accordingly set out to trap the silly little fools with vast advertising spreads in the daily press. Now the daily press indeed is quite feminised, with its drapery palace and cinema-palace and underwear ads.; and queer new “women’s” papers come into existence, full of black magic, fortune-telling, astrology, spiritualism, and other female foibles. Truckling to the national policy of “One Woman One Vote,” the newspress conducts political propaganda in a hysterical style, with feminine appeal. The unfortunate, bewildered Australian male is shoved into the background. Now in this Decade the weary voice of the Pommy Announcer is heard bleating and blah-ing in every corner of the land. Cissy-boys are seen mincing along the pavements under the Neon-signs of the street-canyons, dressed in the latest English fashions, discussing the latest English books, bleating with the radio-“Oxford” bleat. These are the typical Australians of the Fifteenth (Sesqui-centenary) Depression Decade. Oh my country! Now, to meet the wild shopping-mania of wage-earning, cinema-frequenting females, chain-stores are opened throughout the continent to sell baubles and glittering trash: not from Brummagem, but from Japan! Japan becomes the second-largest buyer of Australian wool, and is Britain’s most serious rival in the Australian fancy-goods market. Look out, Japan, the bull-dog will bite you? Ah, no; the bulldog is getting too old, too battered, too weary to bite. The bulldog will snarl, but that is all. Unless the U.S.A. can be persuaded to fight Britain’s battles, Britain will not fight alone—that is plain. Australians anxiously await the international outcome. War or peace, Australia will be here—a Pacific Island. Without national pride, soaked in British and other European “ideology,” the pathetic lost generation of post-Great-War Australians stares into the future, listless and afraid. Somewhere, morosely sitting under gum-trees, there may be half-a-dozen, half-a-hundred, perhaps even half-a-million Real Australians, surly, resentful, not taken in by the Democratic and British blather-and-blah of sesquicentenary skite. These surly few will mourn with the Aborigines, as I intend to mourn, on next Australia Day: will mourn the loss of the Australian ideal, its smothering by Pommy delusions and Yankee hooey. Things will get much worse before they get better, here. As the Sixteenth Decade begins, we cast our eyes in retrospect over our history to ask: “Are we Australians? And if so, what?”

Conditional Culture, by Rex Ingamells

Rex Ingamells
Cobber’s Morning Herald
March 2, 2021

1. From generation to generation


The affinities of the early settlers with Australia were peculiarly trammelled by uncongenialities. They easily appreciated the blue, sunny days of the Australian spring; the yellow flame of the wattle and the clear torrent of a magpie’s song stirred their potentialities for reacting favourably to what was exotic yet conformist to their ideas of beauty in nature. On the other hand, blankness greeted their yearnings for snow-covered landscapes and the call of the skylark. What their feelings must have been during December of blazing heat, pestering flies and clogging dust can only be imagined. Most of them would have preferred the bitterest weather in England, just as most Australians to-day would prefer excessive heat to that bleakness.

The convict system, a condition of early colonial development, so adulterated the aesthetic outlook of all colonists as to render more distasteful than they would otherwise have been many unorthodox manifestations of the environment. While such unobtrusive discoveries as duckbill platypuses and quongdong trees could be tolerated as novelties under any circumstances, the unavoidable gum tree and mallee, constituent of endless areas of bush and scrub, received, besides the stigmas of monotony, inhospitality and treachery, a darker spiritual aura, a resonant pathetic fallacy.

The affinities of the pioneers with the bush were exceedingly limited in any case, and, for the greater part, conditional on their hopes of material success. Very many early pastoralists went outback to make their fortunes as quickly as possible and forsook the scenes of their labours as soon as they considered themselves sufficiently rewarded. Numbers of them returned “home,” while others, pending further pastoral pursuits conducted by overseers, lived as cocks of colonial dunghills and with lavish resplendence on the best sites in the suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne, and Hobart. They had been opportunists in their attitude to the bush; they had proved themselves practical men: in the active tasks they had set themselves there was no room for the growth of any but superficial affinities saturated with their practical egoism.

Even when, as after the enforcement of pastoral boundaries, pioneers spent lifetimes in struggles and ruminations, the urgencies of colonization and difficult living conditions prevented fully sympathetic awareness of environment arising.

Although, with the passage of two and three generations, Australia came to produce white men who loved the life of the bush; and although some of these, well-educated and travelled, might perhaps live more happily nowhere else, new circumstances arose to choke, at that stage, any speculative tendencies which might have defined to some extent the path for a fresh culture.

By trebling, and doubling again, the population of the Australian colonies; by introducing thousands of individuals from overseas, being overseas conditioned, and by stimulating another more feverish phase of practical activity: the goldrushes made the formulation of new cultural standards impossible for another generation or so.

Next, the speeding up of communication; the enormous growth of commerce and industry; the stupendous strides of science in its application to everyday life: in short, all the complexity of influences which have taken control of group and individual life has opposed the flowering of a culture which must in many ways be primaeval. The first law of security in modern life is synchronization with world-forces, whether in the matter of balancing the budget and ordering the affairs of families or nations.

Most Australians live in cities which have much in common with European cities. Owing to the routine of life and the dissemination of overseas ideas and habits, it is sometimes difficult for Australians to think of themselves as such. Nevertheless, the British stock which settled here, no matter whether in country or town, has undergone profound changes. Acclimatization has been going on in subtle ways for several generations until Australians are now a people with distinctive physical and temperamental characteristics.

Pre-war national self-consciousness led to the expression of superficial, larrikin sentiments, best summed up — in spite of certain redeeming features in the writings of Lawson and Paterson — by the term jingoism, and hardly intelligent rallying cries for a culture. Such a phenomenon was comfortably directed during the war, in alliance with the jingoism of Empire, and, for the most part, expired with face to the foe. That which remains has no longer the centre of the stage.


Whether convicts or freemen, most of our early settlers were misfits here. Whether they arrived by choice or force of circumstance, they were pioneers, and, as such, were at continual grips with unfamiliar circumstances. They could feel at home only in so far as the new environment harmonized with their heredity and traditions. British stock could find much less in common with Australia than with America, where nature is much more in keeping with European preconceptions as to what it should be. Such was the environment in Australia that spiritual affinity with it could grow only after generations of radical adjustment — of mutations in habits of thought, feeling, behaviour, and custom — and the shedding of habits which were excrescences in this country. For, just as the country, in producing life, must now do so to a large extent in accordance with the design of man, so man, to live at all, must do so to a large extent in accord with the laws of natural environment.

This is no less true of man’s aesthetic than of his practical life; and of basic importance to aesthetic life is the appreciation of natural beauty at first hand.

Men, even if they wished to kill all the native flora and fauna of this country and to substitute those of the Old World, could not do so. In so far as Australians have changed natural conditions, the result, for the greater part, even where most aesthetic, bears the stamp of human volition. This means that if Australians are really to appreciate natural beauty at first hand, they must seek to do so by turning to indigenous nature. If they do not, or if there is little beauty there to appreciate, their aesthetic life must be impoverished.

There has, indeed, been enough sincere appreciation of distinctive beauty in Australian nature to suggest that those who see little are prejudiced. The mental and emotional training of such people is invariably patterned on Old World cultural conventions. These conventions are not necessarily standards of values from which there is no appeal or to which there are no corollaries.

Norman Douglas, who has spent most of a long life in clarifying for mankind a standard of values derived from the Mediterranean, and who has never been to Australia, has written about gum trees from a rigidly circumscribed Old World point of view.

“You walk to this building along an avenue of eucalypti planted some forty years ago. Detesting as I do the whole tribe of gum trees, I never lose an opportunity of saying exactly what I think about this particularly odious representative of the brood, this eyesore, this grey-haired scarecrow, this reptile of a growth with which a pack of misguided enthusiasts has disfigured the whole Mediterranean basin. They have now realized that it is useless as a protection against malaria. Soon enough they will learn that, instead of preventing the disease, it actually fosters it, by harbouring clouds of mosquitoes in its scraggy so-called foliage. These abominations may look better on their native heath: I sincerely hope they do. Judging by the ‘Dead Heart of Australia’ — a book which gave me a nightmare from which I shall never recover — I should say that a varnished hot-pole would be a god-send out there. But from here the intruder should be expelled without mercy. No plant on earth rustles in such a horribly metallic fashion when the wind blows through the everlasting withered branches; the noise chills one to the marrow; it is like the sibilant chatterings of ghosts. Its oil is called ‘medicinal’ only because it happens to smell rather nasty; it is worthless as timber, objectionable in form and hue — objectionable above all things in its perverse, anti-human habits. What other tree would have the effrontery to turn the sharp edges of its leaves — as if these were not narrow enough already! — towards the sun, so as to be sure of giving at all hours of the day the minimum of shade to mankind?

“But I confess that this avenue of Policoro almost reconciled me to the existence of the anaemic Antipodeans. Almost; since for some reason or other (perhaps on account of the insufferably foul nature of the soil) their foliage is here thickly tufted, it glows like burnished gold in the sunshine, like enamelled scales of green and gold. These eucalypti are unique in Italy. Gazing upon them my heart softened, and I almost forgave them their manifold iniquities, their diabolical thirst, their demoralizing aspect, precocious senility and vice, their peeling bark suggestive of unmentionable skin diseases, and that system of radication which is nothing but a scandal on this side of the globe.”

This piece of natural description is very stimulating. While there are certain misstatements due to ignorance, there is sincerity in the whole: it is the outcry of a civilized European who feels his sense of values to be outraged. Mr. Douglas would be outraged at the thought of himself taking an attitude of orthodox respectability; yet he does so here. There is, indeed, truth in the passage, but not — as Mr. Douglas has said in parallel circumstances — the whole truth. It would be as easy to caricature an oak and a weeping willow as loathsome examples of senility and obeseness: it is a matter of point of view. Mr. Douglas’s caricature is, indeed, so excellent that one recognizes the gum and could recognize no other tree in it. I am a devout reader of his prolific writings, have enjoyed “South Wind,” “Siren Land,” “Old Calabria” (whence this quotation comes), “Alone,” “Looking Back,” and several other of his books; and cannot gainsay the author’s fundamental sanity and genius, yet there is one thing I know well which Mr. Douglas does not. I mean the gum tree in its infinite variety of species and individuality. I have yet to witness a single withered, fire-scarred, flood-marked example which does not look beautiful drenched in sun-glamour at the end of day or sparkling with dew in the early morning. And there are massive and magnificent trees which look beautiful at any time of the day or night. Mr. Douglas has not seen any, as I have done, grotesque and ugly, ghastly in glare and mirage, insanely clutching and huddling under the stars, and horribly tortured under the glimmer of a red moon; yet I am not alone in seeing a stark and vivid beauty about them even then.

In spite of sternness, Mr. Douglas does relent for an instant, and catches a fleeting glimpse of beauty in the gum trees: “. . . their foliage is here thickly tufted, it glows like burnished gold in the sunshine, like enamelled scales of green and gold.” Thank you, Mr. Douglas, for the mite! It symbolizes a first step. Before long, the strange, unorthodox beauty of the Australian gum tree, and many other manifestations of beauty peculiar to this country, will find a sure place in the standards of general culture, which will be one stage nearer universality and so much the richer.


“Jindyworobak” is an Aboriginal word meaning “to annex, to join,” and I propose to coin it for a particular use. The Jindyworobaks, I say, are those individuals who are endeavouring to free Australian art from whatever alien influences trammel it, that is, to bring it into proper contact with its material. They are the few who seriously realize that an Australian culture depends on the fulfilment and sublimation of certain definite conditions, namely:

1. A clear recognition of environmental values.

2. The debunking of much nonsense.

3. An understanding of Australia’s history and traditions, primaeval, colonial, and modern.

The most important of these is the first. Pseudo-Europeanism clogs the minds of most Australians, preventing a free appreciation of nature. Their speech and thought idioms are European; they have little direct thought-contact with nature. Although emotionally and spiritually they should be, and, I believe, are more attuned to the distinctive bush, hill and coastal places they visit than to the European parks and gardens around the cities, their thought-idiom belongs to the latter not the former. Give them a suitable thought-idiom for the former and they will be grateful. Their more important emotional and spiritual potentialities will be given the conditions for growth. The inhibited individuality of the race will be released. Australian culture will exist.

2. Environmental Values


The natural distinctiveness of the Australian continent from other lands of the world is too fundamental to vanish in the period of human history. The massive gum trees along the banks of the Murray, the gums and the mallee and the tea-tree that straggle about this vast continent; the empty spaces of our deserts; and the atonal music of the magpie and the good-natured mockery of the kookaburra — these are things that must remain. They belong to the indestructible spirit of the place about which D. H. Lawrence has written in a superb piece of natural description at the beginning of “Kangaroo.” But D. H. Lawrence realized that spirit, however intensely, only in a small part: he did not feel at home in the bush, although its power gripped him. There are thousands of Australians to-day who, if they have not found eloquent tongue, feel, nevertheless, with childlike devotion, the familiar beauty and utter loveliness of the outback environment in many of its moods.

Our pioneers, or the majority of them, were Englishmen who brought to this country the English manners and customs of the moment of their migration. As long as they lived they were strangers in a strange land. Many of them may have become more or less used to their new environment, but they never could become one with it. The background of their minds was made up of other associations. Yet they were isolated from the current movements of fashion and culture in the old country: in this sense they slipped behind the times. The English manners and customs which they inculcated into their children were bound to be considerably out of date by the time those children reached maturity. Thus the word “colonial” was justified, in so far as it signified rawness and lack of sophistication.

Although fresh influences were continually coming in, these were neither sufficient nor strong enough to compete with the isolation and environmental resistance, and could work only superficially. Hence any genuine culture that might develop in Australia, however it might be refreshed and inspired by English influences, would have to represent the birth of a new soul. A fundamental break, that is, with the spirit of English culture, is the prerequisite for the development of an Australian culture. Without the fact of ultimate individuality, separate identity, any general sense of culture in any country must be misty and anaemic. However strong and innumerable, however desirable and inevitable, however traditional our cultural ties with Europe may be, it is not in these ties that we must as a people seek our individuality. Its quintessence must lie in the realization of whatever things are distinctive in our environment and their sublimation in art and idea, in culture.

Australian culture is at present in a nebulous stage, because our writers have not come clearly to any such realization. I do not wish to be misunderstood. Some of the greatest Australian literature yet to be may have no local colour at all. Its settings may be in China or Mars. Our best poetry must deal with universal themes; and whether or not the Australian environment forms a background is a matter for individual poets. But all this does not affect the essence of my argument. The real test of a people’s culture is the way in which they can express themselves in relation to their environment, and the loftiness and universality of their artistic conceptions raised on that basis. When, for example, someone begins a novel and sets the scene in Australia, he cannot hope to produce great art unless he has a true conception of environmental values. When our writers understand these, they will look at most of what they have written to date and say, “That is the way not to write about Australia.”

The biggest curse and handicap upon our literature is the incongruous use of metaphors, similes, and adjectives. It is usual to find Australian writers describing the bush with much the same terminology as English writers apply to a countryside of oaks and elms and yews and weeping willows, and of skylarks, cuckoos, and nightingales. We find that dewdrops are spoken of as jewels sparkling on the foliage of gum trees. Jewels? Not amid the stark, contorted, shaggy informality of the Australian bushland. Nothing could be more incongruous. Jewels? I see the pageantry of the Old World, and of the march of history from the time when the Norman ladies came to England to the present day, when glittering cosmopolitan crowds mingle in the casinos of Monte Carlo and the ornate ballrooms of Venice; I see the royal courts of England, and those of France and Spain now forgotten; and I see, if you like, a vice-regal gathering or a theatrical party in Adelaide — but I do not, cannot, see jewels metaphored off on gum trees, which are so far removed from all the things with which jewels are traditionally associated. I cannot deplore too vehemently the dangerous habit of using figures of speech with regard to essentially Australian things which call up such a flood of Old World associations as to gloze over all distinctiveness. It has been a piteous custom to write of Australian things with the English idiom, an idiom which can achieve exactness in England but not here.


We look to poetry for the keenest perception and expression of aesthetic values; so that, if we want to find how the Australian natural environment has been appreciated by the British stock which has become acclimatized here, we cannot do better than to study the appropriate section of its poetry. It soon becomes obvious that the very achievements of English poetry have been the fetters of Australian. When will our poets realize that by writing variations upon Australian themes in the wide and established range of verse vocabulary which tradition has built up in England, they are dodging the issue and compromising their intelligence? Individuality can only discover itself where there is an independent spirit; and the individuality of nearly every Australian poet so far has been subservient — subservient to the spirit and idiom of English poetry.

Here are the first two stanzas of George Essex Evans’s poem, “On the Plains,” which is dealing with an Australian scene; but there is not a hint of Australian individuality in the whole fourteen lines, because they are simply webbed about by the spider of northern verse idiom:

“Half-lost in film of faintest lawn,
A single star in armour white
Upon the dreamy heights of dawn
Guards the dim frontier of the night,
Till plumed ray
And golden spray
Have washed its trembling light away.

“The sun has peeped above the blue;
His level lances as they pass
Have shot the dew-drops thro’ and thro’,
And dashed with rubies all the grass,
And silver sound
Of horse-bells round
Floats softly o’er the jewelled ground.”

“Armour white,” “frontier of the night,” and “jewelled ground” are inexcusable.

An English poet, A. E. Housman, writes very beautifully and appropriately:

“. . . when the light in lances
Across the mead was laid,”

but “lances” cannot be associated with the Australian landscape, which is primitive, and has no European mediaeval associations. “Spears” is obviously the right word. Metrically, of course, it would require the revision of the whole line, and it would not even occur to a writer whose mind is still subservient to the language of the English countryside.

All our poets show this fault. Gordon writes:

“Hark! the bells of distant cattle
Waft across the range
Through the golden-tufted wattle,
Music low and strange;
Like the marriage peal of fairies
Comes the tinkling sound. . . .”

It is all very well for Australian children to be told Old World fairy tales — which demand more make-believe from them than they do from English children — but our poets are creating false associations when they try to fit fairies of the “Midsummer Night’s Dream” tradition into the mood of the bush. Picaninnies and Gumnut Babies are at least more appropriate.

When will our writers achieve a sense of the fitness of things? Kendall wrote:

“On the tops of the hills, on the turreted cones,
Chief temples of thunder,
The gale like a ghost in the middle watch moans,
Gliding over and under. . . .”

That is false to the very roots of its inspiration, and therefore not poetry, but plain doggerel. The Australian hills were in Kendall’s mind, but they might as well have been the Alps surrounded on all sides by civilizations centuries old. The atmosphere of the bush, the brooding solitude of ages of time passing over the sombre, stark beauty of twisted trees was intrinsically lost on him. Kendall is practically valueless as an Australian poet.

It is so easy, considering the dearth of good Australian writing, for a person who has any knowledge of the literature of England to think of the bushland grass and trees as “jeweled” on a summer dawn; and it is easy, in the same way, to think of the hills as appearing like the turrets of Norman castles or being “crowned” with stars. This last image spoils these otherwise perfect lines from Evans’s “Australian Symphony”:

“The grey gums by the lonely creek,
The star-crowned height,
The wind-swept plain, the dim blue peak,
The cold white light.”

Such imagery does not convey one atom of the individuality of the Australian landscape. People of other countries can gain no real conception of this land by reading such trash.

If we cannot apply typically Old World imagery to the Australian landscape, what can we substitute? Obviously, only such imagery as is truly Australian. This limits the field! Any writer’s field at any time should be defined and limited by his subject.

Here is a modern instance, taken from Roderick Quinn, of the type of inaccuracy against which culture in this country must fight:

“Out in the dark where the night-winds hurry
And dead leaves carpet the silent bush. . . . ”

The word “carpet” makes the bush seem like a drawing-room or, at best, like Epping Forest or Sherwood. Inexpressibly beautiful as these forests may be, it is an insult both to their own individuality and to that of our own bush to write in that way.

How much more vivid is it to read such lines as these from Evans’s “On the Plains,” from which I quoted earlier! Although even here we note unsuitable exoticisms in such expressions as “motley,” “vanguard,” “monarch,” and “satrapies,” the fundamental impression is one of inspired observation, in which the spirit of the place lives:

“Afar I mark the emu’s run;
The bustard slow, in motley clad;
And, basking in his bath of sun,
The brown snake on the cattle-pad;
And the reddish-black
Of a dingo’s back,
As he loit’ring slinks on my horse’s track.

“And now I watch, with slackened rein,
The scattered cattle, hundreds strong,
As, slowly feeding home again,
The lazy vanguard feeds along
To the waters cool
Of the tree-fringed pool
In the distant creek when the moon is full.

“Slip girth and let the old horse graze;
The noon grows heavy on the air;
Kindle the tiny campfire’s blaze,
And, ’neath the shade, as monarch there,
Take thou thine ease:
For hours like these
A king had bartered satrapies.”

The last stanza, of course, which begins with three splendid lines, degenerates into a welter of incongruity. Evans and Gordon were equally unaware of any essential distinction between the poetical language of Australian landscape and that of England. Their best writing, like their worst, was spontaneous; accompanying their spontaneity, they had no such adequate sense of self-criticism as must be the condition of sustained merit.

P. R. Stephensen has very broadly delineated the development of Australian poetry in the following terms:

“From Gordon, the Englishman, writing about Australia in an English way, to Kendall, the Australian, writing about Australia in an English way; thence to Lawson and Paterson, the Australians, writing about Australia in an Australian way. . . .” Stephensen should have said: “. . . to Lawson and Paterson, the Australians, writing about Australia in a larrikin Australian way; and what we now want is Australians writing about Australia in a literary Australian way.”

Even in Lawson and Paterson we find certain English tricks of thought and expression, incongruous in poetry of the Australian countryside. Thus Lawson writes:

“The cattle-tracks between the trees
Were like long dusky aisles,”

which simile robs the cattle tracks of any vigorous reality or faithful idealism. But such infidelities are exceedingly rare in Lawson and Paterson. We find many whole poems which contain not one unsuitable exoticism. Australians should be prouder of these two writers than they apparently are. They are not great writers; they are very limited in their powers, and too often sing-song and jingoistic, melodramatic and sentimental; but, in their own way, they are faithful to the spirit of the place. Such poems as “Out-back” and “Clancy of the Overflow” have a significance. Their significance lies in the purity and forcefulness of the vision in them, however circumscribed this may be.

Significant as was the lesson taught by Lawson and Paterson, it has borne very little fruit in those that followed after. Dorothea Mackellar’s poem, “My Country,” marks an advance; but we must conclude that luck played a part, because elsewhere Dorothea Mackellar falls into the old, happy feeling, deplorably uncritical flow of so-called inspiration. The happy flow of emotion without a keen sense of values and unwavering honesty of criticism is quite incapable of maintaining consistently such a standard of worth as Mackellar’s one poem.

Doctor Johnson wrote: “What we wish to do with ease we must first learn to do with diligence.”

And there is a lesson in that for all Australian writers.

One of A. A. Bayldon’s short poems, “The Swamp,” has caught as well as anything else I know something of the grotesque side of the Australian place spirit:

“Huddled round leering pools, the haggard trees
Await their doom, the black ooze to their knees.
Sighing together, when, with elfin spite,
A small breeze whispers of a world of light,
They strain crooked limbs toward that bright blue plain.
The dank sweat drips — a stifling hush again.
In goblin gloom maimed weaklings moaning fall
Into the pools ahunger for them all.”

This poem would be perfect were it not for the two epithets, “elfin” and “goblin”. The words “cunning” and “reeking” are the first substitutes that occur to me. The poet at the time of writing, with a little extra critical attention, might have thought of better. I may be thought to be quibbling here, to be running a theory to death. Poetry, it is said, is among the materials of poetry. But I maintain that poetic idiom with a Hans Andersen flavour, while it may be suitable to Europe, is not suitable for an Australian out-back scene. Integrity! Integrity!

I trust that it is now plain what I mean by environmental values: the distinctive qualities of an environment which cannot be satisfactorily expressed in the conventional terms that suit other environments, scrupulous care being necessary for the indication of their primal essence.

The whole of the English vocabulary is ours for appropriate use, but we must discriminate. D. H. Lawrence came to Australia from the centres of northern culture, but his description of the bush is appropriate. He was a great writer and instinctively avoided incongruities. The huge electric moon he saw above the bushland scene was the same he knew the world over, symbolical of the old lesson that Art is international, universal, but its expressions specialized and individual.

3. Debunking nonsense


The reason why Australian culture is not yet something unmistakably defined is that its individuality, its permeating essence, has been smothered with exoticisms, which, unless most carefully handled — and they have not been — are absolutely impossible of permeation. Australian writers have too often imitated English writers, instead of assimilating lessons from their styles and working out styles of their own on the basis of inspiration of their own.

Good writers in Australia have been very few, and great examples of indigenous literature are rare.

Australian literary criticism has been of little help.

H. M. Green’s “Outline of Australian Literature” is disappointing — little more than a catalogue. “Australia,” says Mr. Green, “belongs, by race, politics and language to a great civilization that reaches back for thousands of years, and it is constantly receiving an inflow, ideal as well as human, from the centre of that civilization.” Again, he says, “When we add that Australia has her own peculiar characteristics and problems, we shall realize that her literature, a reflection of her civilization, is likely to diverge in some, perhaps in important respects, from the course taken by the parent literature.”

In these two quotations we have distinctly shown to us the two forces which must be synthesised into an Australian culture, the temperament of the land and that of the people, in so far as it has its roots elsewhere, but the indication of the necessary distinctiveness which must result from this synthesis is too cautious, ridiculously cautious. Australian literature must, to develop, diverge in important respects from the course taken by the parent literature.

There has been too much of this pro-English pandering. Not that anyone — especially Mr. Green — means to pander. But it has been in our bones too long, and it comes out where we might least expect it. “The Outline” is useful as a catalogue of (for the most part) feeble Australian writers, but there its value ends. There is no spark in the middle of it. Mr. Green speaks of the need for criticism in Australian literature, yet the shaft of his criticism is so mild as to be of little use. It dodges the issue. The question is: What is wrong with our Australian literature? The answer is: Our writers have not looked at Australia with any honest perception of its values. They have taken the easy course, followed the line of least resistance; they have simply appropriated English methods of expression without attempting to hammer out a really suitable idiom of their own. A scientific attack seems necessary for the first stage in view of the facts; spontaneity can then be of the right sort.

Every civilized culture (the two terms are not synonymous) and every literature contains within itself countless exotic elements which have been assimilated and permeated and coloured by the individuality of the particular culture. But that individuality is the all-important thing. It is the distinctiveness, the essence, the sine qua non of the culture.

Yet, in a valiant editorial which, however, misses most points, Mr. P. R. Stephensen says: “We admire the English, we love them frequently, we never fail to respect them, we are astonished by their spectacle of culture, and by their castles, churches, and ruins. . . . But . . . unless we can use imported English culture here as one element (concede it to be the most important element) in building up our indigenous culture, it is a meaningless nothing to us.”

I cannot concede, as Mr. Stephensen does, that imported English culture is the most important element in Australian culture, even if it does at present, unfortunately, occupy the front of the scene. The most important thing in any man, surely, is that spark of individualism which is the man himself and distinguishes him from other men. He has a body like other men, but it is the individuality of the man which transcends the body and gives his presence significance. The same with a nation. The same with a nation’s culture. However indispensable imported elements of culture may be to a people, before there can be said to be an indigenous culture among them there must be self-awareness, a form of egoism, perhaps, but certainly a genuine feeling of the nation’s individuality.

Ours is a country of endless contrasts, of beauty and terror, of fertile lands and empty deserts. It is a country of moods, of ever-changing, incalculable moods. But always the land’s individuality, the spirit of the place (which Stephensen learnt vaguely without analyzing), is there, speaking through the medium of the mood, for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

The growth of spiritual affinity of the people with the country has been slow and difficult and, up to the present, very imperfect. But the time has come when, to use Professor Hancock’s metaphor, the roots have gone down deep into the soil; and when the imperfections must be obvious to anyone who makes the effort to think intelligently-and can be remedied.


On February 16th, 1935, “The Age” published the blind criticism by Professor Cowling, which drew forth the brave but scarcely less blind retaliation of Mr. Stephensen.

“Australia,” said Cowling, “is not yet in the centre of the map and has no London” — both of which contentions are true and do not matter a bit. Australian individuality lies in other things, and certainly not in merely conforming to a type of Old World civilization. “There are no ancient churches, castles, ruins —,” the Professor continues, “the memorials of generations departed. From the point of view of literature this means that we can never hope to have a Scott, a Balzac, a Dumas. . . .” The Professor was right again: we do not want a Scott, a Balzac, a Dumas. Novelists of their calibre we want and will have; but the inspiration of Australian novelists must be different. It is in such a distinction as this, fully extended over the whole field of Australian literature, that the power and uniqueness of our creations must rest; it is in the development of individuality that the future holds promise.

We have not, as the Professor indicates, traditions of monarchies peculiar to Australia, of baronial castles, of civil and international wars dating back for centuries, of tourneys, and of daffodil days and Philomela nights. But we have other traditions worth having, such as no other country possesses, and these are the things which are valuable to us culturally. The history of Australia abounds in a wealth of dramatic material, ready to be shaped by the careful literary artist, and waiting to be coloured by the play of his imagination. Nor is our history confined to the days since the first white settlement was made here. It goes back to the voyages of Captain Cook, and further still to those of the earliest navigator who set out from Europe in search of the great South Land. In another sense, Australian tradition goes back to the country of native legends; of the tjurunga, the boomerang and the spear; of the bark gunyah and the nomad aborigine. The first white settlers found Australia like this, and their experience and observations are part of our heritage. Finally, the period between 1788 and the present day affords an inexhaustible fund of tradition, vivid and human, to do with wheat farmers, squatters, drovers; with whaling and mining; with convictism and bushranging; with the extension of roads, telegraphs and railway; with the foundation and growth of capital cities and thousands of country towns; and so on. Life here has been lived fully, and the human heart has experienced intensely.

Cowling’s reaction to gum trees is the same as Douglas’s. The distinctiveness of these trees clashes with his preconceived notions as to what trees should be.


The real reason for the lack of good Australian novels is not, of course, paucity of historical material. It is the bewilderment of European culture in an enigmatical environment, the failure of writers to perceive a different, yet perfectly reasonable, standard of values. The finest novels we possess owe their best effects to just such a new perception. The outstanding ones so far are, indeed, depressing in their general atmosphere; but this is, in large part, because the nature of the human themes involved in them have been — owing to historical circumstances derived mainly from Old World civilization — such as to demand that treatment. “For the Term of His Natural Life” and “The Fortunes of Richard Mahony” are cases in point. The place spirit could not be so powerful in these books were it not that their authors were strongly conscious of Australia’s primaevalism. In the first the appreciation is a gloomy one, primarily because of the gloom of convictism, the theme; in the second the atmosphere is depressing because the mind of the misfit Irishman, Mahony, is the dominant theme. The authors have dealt with the Australian environment in the only appropriate ways under the circumstances; but it is grossly erroneous to assume, as some do, that the whole truth is defined by correctness of view of specific types. Particular effects, both in “For the Term of His Natural Life” and “The Fortunes of Richard Mahony,” provide ample illustration of the possibilities for splendid literary expression of the happy and the beautiful in the Australian environment. Brian Penton’s “Landtakers” is another example of a great Australian novel, the general conception of which is depressing and which yet contains vivid perceptions of loveliness in the environment. There is, for instance, the description of the valley which Derek Cabel selected for his station, on the day when he first set eyes on it.

To come fully into its own the Australian novel must vindicate itself on the happy as well as on the pessimistic side. There is endless scope for the accomplishment of this task.

Despite the fact that there have been hundreds of Australian novels published, those that are worth while may be counted practically on one hand. Add to those mentioned above “A House is Built,” by the Misses Barnard and Eldershaw, and you have perhaps the four best Australian novels to date.

“A House is Built” may be a little too reminiscent of “The Forsyte Saga,” so that its original value suffers in imitation; but there is much more to it than that. The imitation is superficial: the individuality and power of the book is everywhere in evidence. The period with which it deals lives as we read. The description of Sydney, as seen by James Hyde on the day when he made known his intentions of settling there, breathes the authentic atmosphere of the early settlement — or, obviously, as nearly authentic as painstaking research and inspired intuition could make it.


Sh! — Sh!


Because the great-grandfathers and great-great-grandfathers of some very well respected Australian families sported the broad arrow.

It would be a public spirited action worthy of high respect if some Australian with a convict skeleton in his cupboard would unlock it, publishing a faithful history of that forbear.

The action would be one worthy of more than a knighthood, because it would go far towards debunking the craven and idiotic inferiority complex of many Australians where the plain facts of history are concerned.

What are the plain facts of our history?

Certainly they are not merely that Captain Cook found in New South Wales “some of the finest meadows in the world,” that brave and free pioneers brooked lifetimes of hardship to wrest sustenance from the hostile interior; and that from such heroic beginnings our country has advanced to magnificent adulthood.

Such an account is so damnably false that no plea of brevity or generality can justify it.

That the authorities behind the Sydney celebrations bandied a great lie is clear for all who have the strength to resist hypnotism to see. Five capital cities of Australia and the country around them owe important degrees of their early development to convict slavery; no state — not even bragging South Australia — can say that convictism left it entirely unaffected.

The first chapter of Australia’s story tells of courage, endurance and triumph; but it tells also of failure, of misery, degradation and bestiality, of situations and incidents innumerable, which can be adequately described only by the full range of synonyms for these unwholesome words.

That chapter being of the past the sense of its tragedy only, not its tragedy, remains. There is no need to dwell even upon this; it is reasonable to show that there was, indeed, much in the penal system which was just and endurable, but blatantly and altogether to ignore the fact of convictism in what was supposed to be a comprehensive programme of national commemoration is barefacedly false, so essential and vivid a person is Sticker Convict in the story of Australia.

4. The culture of the aborigines

Of Australia’s traditions I have already said something in general; and, as these and the facts of her history may readily be studied by the student, in books and archives, I need say little more.

There is, however, one factor of the past which is too little understood and which must be of primary importance to the proper evolution of our culture; and to this we should give much thought. It is the culture of the aborigines.

They are now a forgotten people. One by one the tribes have vanished from their hunting grounds. No longer do the tribes go out in the dark before the dawn to stalk the kangaroos; no longer do they fish, with their spears or nets, in the rivers or billabongs or at the edge of the sea. They no longer hold their sacred corroborees under the twisted fire-reflecting branches of massive gum trees or among the stunted mallee. The blacks that remain are a degenerate, puppet people, mere parodies of what their race once was.

With the extension of white settlement, the blacks who lived practically undisturbed under their old conditions are confined to a few main areas, not very amenable to white penetration, in the centre and northern parts of the continent. In such regions as Cape York Peninsula, Arnheim’s Land, and that stretching from the Cambridge Gulf to King George’s Sound, there are many thousands of aborigines. But the vast majority of tribes, those whose hunting grounds consisted of the most fertile country in Australia, have vanished. These were the finest tribes physically; but they have none or few pure-blooded descendants. The most immediately pressing problem of Aboriginal welfare concerns the thousands of half-castes and others who live in continual contact with white settlements.

Contrary to general conception, the passing of the aborigines meant the passing of a culture that was age-old. Mr. T. G. Strehlow, who is, perhaps, more qualified to speak with authority on the Central Australian blacks than is any other man, once informed me that the legends of the Luritcha, Aranda and other tribes are essentially similar to those of ancient Greece. I have read many such legends as set down by scholars, some of them in manuscript by Mr. Strehlow himself, and they certainly prove the fertility of the aboriginal mind in imagination and poetry based on the realities and mysteries of environment.

Here are a few lines of Aboriginal song, as translated by E. R. T. Gribble, which have more of the spirit of the enlightened poetry written in Akhnaton’s court than anything else I know:

“The bird with the pretty skin flies round and goes down, down.”
“The whale, the whale, goes deep down, and throws up the waterspout.
The big mountain far-away looks like smoke, far-away.”

The laws, the customs and the art of the Australian aborigines went to make a culture which was closely bound in every way with their environment. In spite of the complexities of their totemic, tribal and intertribal systems, their outlook on life was basically simple, and, in the finest flowerings of their arts of poetry, drama and painting, they showed themselves masters in sublimating with pristine directness and unselfconsciousness the highlights of their primaeval life. Sympathetic students will find in such flowerings intense and universal qualities of tender loveliness, vivid beauty, stirring and noble daring, moving pathos and stark tragedy. Aboriginal art, though primitive, was many-sided, and there seems to have been no limit to the fundamental human qualities which it could express.

Although such a culture has itself, for the most part, died with the tribes, something of its spirit has been preserved. Sincere students are continually investigating, and, with painstaking care, are recording and co-ordinating the results. This synthesising of sporadic observation and ideational research is, unfortunately, now that the best of the culture is dead, the only way of attempting appreciation of it. The fact that the blacks had no written language apart from a few picture signs means that by far the greater part of their culture is forever lost to our appreciation. But an assimilation of much of the spirit of it and the natural identifying of that spirit with many of our own experiences, in cultural expression, is essential to the honest development of Australian culture.

When I see wommeras, spears, bullroarers, boomerangs, dilly-bags, message sticks, tjurungas and wax figures in the aboriginal sections of our museums, and when I read scientific treatises and pioneer reminiscences dealing with aboriginal occultism, funeral rites, initiation ceremonies and so on; I am strongly conscious, often unhappily so, of much in our colonial tradition. As a people it is our duty to be familiar with these things. In them must spread the roots of our culture. Our culture must make artistic realizations of these things and the spirit permeating and engendered by them acceptable to the world.

Thoughtful introspection must lead us to serious consideration concerning the aboriginal question of the past and present and practical action of more than one kind concerning that of the present. The stage has been reached when, after a vigorous era of colonization, Australians should take stock of past and present and so give effective thought to the future.

Our traditions are twofold. Inextricably woven with the transplanted European culture are our experiences of the Australian environment. How far we and this environment have changed and reacted through contact, we owe to self-honesty to understand, and such an understanding can arise properly only through cultural expression. But to ensure imaginative truth our writers and painters must become hard-working students of aboriginal culture, something initially far-removed from the engaging and controlling factors of modern European life.

From aboriginal art and song we must learn much of our new technique; from aboriginal legend, sublimated through our thought, we must achieve something of a pristine outlook on life.

Sydney, Hobart, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, and thousands of towns stand, where a century and a half ago, was virgin bush. Roads, railways, and telegraph lines link one part of Australia to another; homesteads, ploughed fields or fields of waving wheat and blocks of vineyards have appeared everywhere since 1788. Even the greatest rivers have been transformed by locks; and large dams and immense reservoirs have been constructed, while swamps and lagoon-lands have been reclaimed.

In so far as the white man has set his seal upon it, Australia is European. From grazing sheep and cattle, from rabbits, foxes, and prickly pears to aeroplanes, wireless, cricket matches, talking pictures and beer, Australia bears our seal. Yet we are influenced by her environment more powerfully than we know. Let us be honest about it.

Commentary, by Ian Tilbrook

Mr. Ingamells, in assuming the role of critic on an Australian culture, has, together with his timely message, the depth of perception necessary for his task.

Perhaps, more than any other Australian writer to-day, his work is distinctly and uniquely Australian.

Unlike so many critics who, by a strange paradox, fall into the errors they see in others, he is, himself, remarkably free from the colouring of a traditional past.

Mr. Ingamells’ criticism is to the point and has the fervour of enthusiasm that some men can devote to the ideas in which they believe.

He may be regarded by some as a faddist so much does he emphasise the importance of environmental values, discrediting the jingoistic pre-war literature and denying it a place in true Australian culture. Nevertheless, be that as it may, he is a devotee of the universality of his field. His ideas of what is valuable and what is distinctly Australian — inseparable these terms must be if Australian culture is to be enriched — bear the hall-mark of universal truths.

To admit, as he does, that culture in Australia is singularly removed from conditions of environment, that what culture we have come to possess is permeated with exoticisms, is to arouse a deeper appreciation in the potentialities which await development.

Potentialities there are. But let us examine their significance to conditional culture. “There is no new thing under the sun,” but there is always a differentness. It is with this that we are concerned.

Now Australian people are not, as human beings, different from those people who have spread from Central Europe over the entire surface of the globe. One might choose men at random from any English-speaking country, place them in a small society of their own and then, when the shuffling is completed, find little or nothing, no peculiar characteristics apart from different complexions to distinguish any one from the other.

Australian people have no outstanding characteristics which make them uniquely a product of their environment, although Mr. Ingamells contends that they have. They have been, as this book reveals, influenced too strongly by the traditions around which their culture has entwined. This culture, at its best, is but imitative. Not only in the embryo, but in every stage of its development it reveals the trace of parodying. But can it be otherwise, now more than at any time past? If the early settlers failed to create a distinctive and original culture in the comparative isolation of their new environment, can we, who are relatively nearer the heart of the Old World by reason of communication now at our disposal, shake off our traditional fetters and free culture from its lamentable excrescences?

In consideration of this, one must, in analysing cultural tendencies, look less to the external and physical nature of men and more to the reactions they make to the environment in which they live.

It was to a land empty of achievement — virtually a desert quite barren of any trace of a familiar culture — that the colonists came, yet a land in which a primitive culture had already existed for centuries. To what extent was this aboriginal culture — not vastly superior or inferior but different from that of other races — to influence the civilization fated to find itself, as a seed in a field which had not previously been sown?

Now, just as it is impossible to eliminate from a seed those elements acquired in its previous environment, so it is impossible for man to dislodge himself from the old without permeating the new with that which is characteristic and inherent in his nature. Therefore, it is quite erroneous to conclude that Australia has yet attained a culture distinctly its own.

It may be contended that, so long as man is reproduced with all his attendant complexities — himself, as heredity and environment have chosen him to be — in a continuous, unbroken line, his cultural attainments cannot be other than those which are already observed to be coloured by the past. Quite true. But this is not to say that, at some period there may not have been influences calculated to establish a basis on which a culture peculiar to Australia has been laid.

To determine these influences, to define them is no easy task.

Mr. Ingamells has shown that the concern of the white settlers was to establish themselves, to build from the natural resources at their disposal, conditions which would ensure their material security and success. That they proved themselves capable and practical people there is no doubt. And it is well that it should have been so. Man must first adapt himself to the physical conditions of his environment, that is, the will to live must be paramount. Life must first be sustained and perpetuated before it can have any cultural significance.

In fact, so successfully did the people adapt themselves to materials ends, they quite over-looked indigent nature as a condition of the social life they were gradually to build up. In a word: they received munificently from nature and gave nothing in return.

Their philosophy, if this inevitable necessity of existing materially can be so-called — I doubt it — was obviously that of getting. They saw little or nothing in nature of spiritual significance and value. They had no philosophy commensurate to the environment in which they lived. Their philosophy, like their religion, accompanied them to this land and was introduced together with the paraphernalia of pioneers — picks and shovels and tinned meats.

Originality? It would be an immense pretension to believe it, or that originality in the aesthetic world could possibly have come from such trammelled minds. As there were no philosophers thinking in terms relevant to the spiritual values in nature so there were few writers — too few to influence the rising tide of agriculture and commercialism — concerned with their art in associating it with the environment in which they lived and wrote.

Mr. lngamells has already covered this ground in his essay on “Environmental Values.” It needs no further outline. The facts are obvious enough. The subject is worthy of consideration by those whose consideration is of importance and account.

May I ask, Mr. Ingamells, what form this new culture must take? It is agreed that originality is an essential of good literature and originality has been wanting. It is incumbent on Australian writers, then, to concern themselves with their art, for their field is unique and abounds with potentialities.

A new culture we will come to possess, but it seems apparent that it must be built not on the foundations already laid, lest it become too vividly coloured by that which it is desirable to avoid, but on the spiritual values that are, and remain for all time, impressionably a part of nature. Completeness is not achieved by similarity, but by contrast. Our culture is indistinct because art has not flourished nor been encouraged towards a synthesis of material and spiritual things.

The material world has been predominant, and art, being a corollary of it, has been too little responsive to the spiritual values. Without these culture must always suffer impoverishment. Nature has been denied her place in the seed-time of cultural tendencies.

Any amount of wealth cannot give a country or a nation culture. Australia has gained wealth and prestige in two and three generations of settlement. But as popularity is sometimes mistaken for greatness, let us not mistake wealth for culture.

Material acquisitions are an expression of life, but they are not necessarily a manifestation of the degree of culture attained. A country, a nation might be tremendously rich and yet possess no culture of merit.

The city of Johannesburg, South Africa, is a case in point. A wealthy city, it has in the space of a few years acquired almost everything with the exception of cathedrals and castles that has characterised the culture of Europe. The art gallery, universities, and many other public buildings are faithful reproductions of Roman and Grecian architecture, but the workmanship is shoddy. The buildings, beautiful as the designs make them, bear the stigma of mass production. This, I maintain, is not culture, but an expression of its deficiency.

So we in Australia have material manifestations of life. But these, I am happy to concede, have grown gradually in the building up of the dominion. They have been wrung from the soil, and because of the struggle which preceded them they are justly deserved.

There is culture in Australia — two cultures: they sprang from two pivotal points and have diverged along separate paths. The one, which has already been considered and acknowledged, has its roots in the traditions of England. It is colonialized. The other, of which but a vestige remains, primitive and true to conditions of environment, is the culture of the aborigines. Of the two, the last-named can alone be credited as being distinctly and uniquely Australian.

No, reader, you need not be surprised at this admission, nor outraged because you may not agree. You are proud of your Australian birth, you enjoy considerable status — even so, this, if your scale of values has not been distorted by prejudice, should occasion you no hurt. You would, if your reactions to your environment were adjusted according to these values, possess something of the universality of mind which sees things as they are and yet might be. You should be liberal enough to give credit where it is due. The broadness of mind, previously referred to, which characterises Mr. Ingamells and the Jindyworobaks, and gives his criticism the merit I believe it deserves, should be yours. If not, your attitude is that of betrayal to the culture you wish to defend.

When we speak of culture we must think of something which spreads beyond a material expression of it. Not what we have, but what we are. Culture concerns itself not only with things intellectual and polished — universities, cathedrals, academies, and town gardens — but with that stream of humanity which moves whether the influence propel. What the individual, the nation is, is the measure of culture, not what it has.

The individual, then, is to be considered as an important part of a country’s culture. And with the individual his philosophy, his religion and his whole aesthetic life comes into account.

We speak of the individual: but what do we mean? Does individual personality really exist to-day? Yes, I believe so — in the artists. By the artists I mean those people who are endeavouring to create aesthetically something of significance and value to Australian culture. You will grant that my question is reasonable if you hesitate and reflect for a moment on present tendencies in social life: a Saturday afternoon, for instance, on a racecourse, a football field, and in a betting shop. The individual is swallowed up in the crowd and he seldom leaves it. I said previously that the early settlers had no philosophy commensurate to their environment, so it is not surprising to find the typical Australians of to-day with none. Perhaps they do not require one, so long as they are inclined to gregariousness they won’t. Philosophy, like religion, is something for individual personality. It affects lives or it does not. The individual is the measure of his faith. For him it is a way of life. The individual sees in life an idea to believe in and live for. The remainder — the majority — need no way of life, it seems. They all go the same way. Religion has been referred to. The reference is justified, for where there is no spirituality — primitive or otherwise — there is no culture. I have mentioned primitive religion purposely. It belongs to the culture of primitive people, and, to mediaeval times with regard to the religion of Western civilisation. But it has no place in the cultural life of to-day. It must be, like philosophy, an ever-growing thing. Indeed, so closely is it to be identified with philosophy that they might be said to be branches of the same tree. They must grow together, nourished in the soil of universal truths. It is here that the spiritual values in nature, co-ordinated and made significant by philosophy, are to be recognised as essentials of true religion. Religion, then, can be said to be true only in so far as these values are related to the life of man. It means advancement, self-fulfilment, self-realization. In these only can human personality transcend the narrow limits imposed on it by conventionalized religion. Contemporary religion is conventional; therefore, it is incomplete as it stands. Its completeness will come only when those things now valuable in science — philosophy, ethics, and literature — are recognised as important elements in the structure of religious thought. Religion no longer occupies a special field of its own. It belongs, with the arts and sciences, to culture, to the universality of life. Any tendency .to dissociate it renders religion unimportant and meaningless. It would, by such dissociation, have historical significance, but then only as the fossilized remains of an earlier culture.

The individuals, the artists, are the hewers of wood and the drawers of water in so far as culture is concerned. And culture is necessarily slow if the position of many artists is a criterion of its growth. Great art is born out of struggle. The true artist does not mind the struggle, nor does he mind the precarious existence often forced on him by his devotion to art to the exclusion of pursuing material ends. They make their clothes last longer; they sell some of their books if the selling of them means a new publication, a picture or some philosophical or scientific research work. For them culture is paramount. For this and through this the struggle goes on. If they sometimes fail to achieve the ends they set themselves, it is that of a workman, who, having the desire to work, has yet no work to do. Their art, like the initiative of the workman, suffers for want of fulfilment. If he expresses his art under such handicaps it must always be, to a certain extent, subjective to his personal reactions. If art then is a corollary of life, it is comparatively easy to trace the vein of pessimism which Mr. Ingamells has referred to in the few great Australian novels.

He says that “the Australian novel must vindicate itself on the happy as well as on the pessimistic side.” Agreed. But is it possible if the circumstances surrounding the artist’s life causes a reaction of depression and despair? To vindicate the Australian novel on the happy side it is first required to assist, if assistance be needed, the artists who will produce the essential character, that uniqueness which must be if Australian culture is to out-grow its past and present tendency to exoticisms.

From time to time money is endowed on universities, churches and charitable institutions to assist them financially in carrying on community education and reform work. But the artists, having no institutional methods, nor establishments, fall just out of line with this community benevolence. It doesn’t reach him. His academy is the vast arena of life; his study is man and the conditions which surround his life. The artist is at school on the city pavements and in the solitude of bush environment.

His art is, and it seems must be, at all times, if he cannot live by it, subservient to the necessity of living. This is regrettable and is, unfortunately, too often the case. Their struggle is a conflict against, rather than with contemporary conditions of life. Thus their art, the supreme expression of their lives, seldom reaches a point that can be considered complete in the sense of self-fulfilment.

It would be a gesture worthy of the highest honour if some public-spirited gentleman with a love for the advancement of culture were disposed to institute a fund whereby the literary man would find some monetary assistance and incentive to create for Australian literature a place under the sun.

A Dumas, a Balzac we will have, writes Mr. Ingamells. I believe it: if not because of such consideration, then in spite of it.

If the artist in the writer believes, as he sincerely does, that he is as essentially a part of the community as the doctor, the lawyer, and the plumber, his requirements are none the less as important as theirs.

Not the least of these requisites is that his literary work should receive the best criticism available. At present, the monopolist reviewers of current literature — the press — provide, at best, but briefs about books. As criticism it is valueless. The reviewers have no opinion to express, or they are, in keeping the peace and pleasant security of the press intact, too conservative to express it. It is not what they say, as little as it is, but what they leave unsaid. In short, they are, like the press of which they are a singular and inglorious product, concerned only with the exterior, the superficialities of life. For them things are only skin deep. They see only the skin.

On the question and criticism of modern poetry they are remarkably silent. There is no precedence with which they may compare it. Modern poetry leaps ahead. It leaves a gap temporarily. The critics, so called, are unable to bridge it. They bow to the conventional by way of compromise — not too distinctly mind you, for they like it to be known that they are moderns in a modern age, bless them. But they want independence of thought and the courage to express it. It is useless to think independently and leave the thought unexpressed.

If “men talk only to conceal the mind,” their silence is sometimes an eloquent testimony of their thought.

If Australian culture needs good literature, so does it need capable critics.

Australia will produce its Dumas and Balzac, Mr. Ingamells, only when it produces critics comparably as great as the men they presume to criticize.

National Life and Character, by Charles H. Pearson

Charles Pearson
Cobber’s Morning Herald
March 2, 2021


The greatest statesmen have constantly failed to predict the immediate future.—Yet there have been many successful prophecies of distant and great events.—In other words, we are fairly successful in ascertaining a general law of progress, but cannot define exactly how or when it will be worked out.—The statesman, moreover, prefers dealing with the immediate future, which he can influence, to taking precautions against great changes, which are most likely inevitable.—For instance, the transportation of an inferior race, like the negroes of the United States, to a country where they would be harmless, is too vast, and of too uncertain benefit, to be readily attempted.—Again, the tendency to increase the powers of the State, and invite its interposition, is so’ strong that it would be difficult to check it.—Still, we may reduce the dimensions of a danger, which we clearly see, though we cannot avert it.—This book was first suggested by the observation, that America was filling up.—Later study has added the conviction, that the higher races can only live in the Temperate Zone.—If, however, emigration, which is the rough substitute for the organisation of labour, becomes impossible, the tendency to State Socialism, which is already strongly marked in certain British colonies, will become more and more powerful.—Moreover, the tendency to entrust the State with wider functions has long been adopted in Continental policy, and is being acclimatised in England.—This inquiry does not assume that State Socialism will be pushed to its furthest development, but only that some of its simplest applications will become law.—Kings may easily put themselves at the head of a movement for State Socialism, but personal rank and transmitted wealth are likely to be viewed with jealousy in the new order.—The change from one form of political life to another is not likely to be so momentous as the effects of the general change on character.—The world may gain something to balance what it loses, even in the direction of individualism; but (present conditions of growth continuing) it cannot gain much.—Perhaps, the best it can hope will be a general low level of content, and an exaltation of the patriotic sentiment.

Ever since men have committed their thoughts to record, it has been a common-place, exulted in or deplored, according to the temperament of the moralist, that it is impossible to predict the future. History abounds in memorable instances of the rash forecasts made by men, whose genius and experience entitled their opinions to the highest respect. Lord Shelburne was one of the ablest of English statesmen; and he predicted that, whenever the independence of America should be granted, “the sun of England would set, and her glories be eclipsed for ever.” Lord Shelburne was fated to be the instrument of negotiating the peace by which American independence was recognised; and he lived till the year when the battle of Trafalgar established England in the position of the only maritime power. Burke, in the language of his greatest eulogist, “had in the highest degree that noble faculty, whereby man is able to live in the past and in the future, in the distant and in the unreal.”: He was ripe in years and experience of men when the French Revolution broke out, and his counsels contributed largely to the part which England took in opposing the French Republic. Yet Burke so entirely misconceived the nature of the changes that were passing under his very eyes, that in 1793 he was most concerned, lest France should be partitioned, like Poland, between a confederacy of hostile powers. Burke’s distinguished contemporary, Fox, parted from him on the question, how the conduct of France ought to be judged; and where Burke was absolutely wrong, it might be supposed that Fox would be at least relatively right. He told Parliament in 1803, that he had opposed war with France, because of its tendency “to effect the total destruction of the influence of this country on the Continent.” In the day of her greatest humiliation, France was never in danger of being partitioned; and the longer the war lasted, the greater was the increase of English influence on the Continent. The most eminent of the Parliamentary generation that succeeded to Burke and Fox, Mr. Canning, was fascinated by the prospects of the South American colonies, anticipated that they would grow up as the United States had grown, and being challenged for his support of them, declared that he had “called a new world into existence to redress the balance of the old” (1826). We who live two generations later, are painfully aware that the South American “new world” has produced little but civil wars, national bankruptcies, paper constitutions, and examples of declining civilisation. The Duke of Wellington was deservedly trusted by a large portion of his countrymen for his sound common-sense in matters political; and his reputation was not confined to England. He told a friend in 1832 that “few people will be sanguine enough to imagine that we shall ever again be as prosperous as we have been.” Whether we measure prosperity by wealth, by empire, or by general content, it can scarcely be doubted that the England of 1892 may challenge comparison with the country, as it was at any time, which the Duke of Wellington is likely to have had in his mind. Thirty years ago, a great quarrel broke out between the Northern and Southern States of the American Union. Sir G. Cornewall Lewis, whose sympathies did not mislead him, for they were with the North, declared in 1861 that “their true policy was to negotiate with the South, and recognise the Secession”; and Mr. Gladstone in 1863 said, that the Southern President had made an army, had made a navy, and, more than that, had made a nation. We now know, that the North was certain from the first to win, if it was only true to itself; and that though Mr. Davis created an army, he was powerless to do more. These mistaken forecasts by eminent statesmen were habitually in accord with public opinion; and the general estimate of what is about to happen is as likely as not to be curiously unwise. The English Press, with very few exceptions, was as wrong in its judgment of the American war as Mr. Gladstone; and English society for ten or twelve years at least believed that Louis Napoleon had founded a dynasty. Even when the war of 1870 broke out, though a few military experts were alive to the efficiency of the Prussian organisation, the general opinion was that France would win in the early part of the campaign; and every map of the seat of war, published in London, was a map of the Rhine Provinces, and of North Germany. Every map was accordingly useless after a few days.

It would not, however, be difficult to produce instances where remote and generally unexpected changes have been prophesied with considerable accuracy. As early as 1748, “reasoning men in New York foresaw and announced that the conquest of Canada, by relieving the Northern colonies from danger, would hasten their emancipation.” “We have caught them at last,” said Choiseul, when it was definitely agreed that Canada should be surrendered (1763); and in fact little more than twenty years elapsed before the English flag ceased to wave over the States England had colonised. Lord Chesterfield, as early as 1753, declared that “all the symptoms which I have ever met with in history, previous to great changes and revolutions in governments, now exist and daily increase in France.” “We are approaching the state of crisis, and the age of revolution,” wrote Rousseau in 1762. “I think it impossible that the great monarchies of Europe have still long to last; all have had their moment of splendour, and every state which achieves this is ready to wane.” Goldsmith in the same year declared that ” the French are imperceptibly vindicating themselves into freedom “; and prophesied that the country would gain its liberties, “if they have but three weak monarchs more successively on the throne.” It needed, as we now know, a good deal less than the ” three weak monarchs.” Goldsmith, who seems instinctively to have apprehended the conditions of change in Europe, predicted also with perfect accuracy that Sweden was hastening on to despotism; that the German Empire was on the eve of dissolution; and that Holland was only awaiting the advent of a foreign conqueror. The first of these prophecies was fulfilled in ten years; the second in 1806; and the third in 1794. The American statesman, Hamilton, of whom Talleyrand said that he had “divined Europe,” seems to have prophesied the concentration of commerce in London and New York as the great emporia of the world with remarkable sagacity. Arthur Young’s predictions of the results that France would derive from the Revolution—temporary distress from its violence, and permanent well-being from its reforms—were as wise as Burke’s were unfortunate. De Tocqueville foretold, thirty years before the event, that the Southern States were the one part of the American Union in which disruption was likely to be attempted; Sir G. Cornewall Lewis recognised in 1856 that the outrage on Mr. Sumner was the first blow in a civil war; and Victor Hugo appreciated the importance of John Brown’s execution by comparing it to the Crucifixion. Heine, the most French in feeling of Germans, predicted that if France came to war with an united German people, she would be overborne.

It will be observed that the most conspicuous instances of strikingly false prophecies are taken from the utterances of statesmen of the highest rank; while those predictions that have been verified belong as often as not to publicists, or to statesmen, like De Tocqueville, whose philosophy to some extent disqualified them for active politics. The reason, however, is probably not to be sought in any special fitness of abstract politicians for making forecasts of the future; but in the fact that statesmen are constantly tempted to make predictions of immediate interest, whereas the power of divination among men seems rather to concern itself with general laws. Accordingly, the same man has often been markedly right in his speculations about the distant future, and curiously wrong in predicting the possibilities of the next few years. Napoleon’s alleged prophecy, that all Europe would end by being Republican or Cossack, seems more probable now than when it was first given to the world; but his expectation that Wellington would make himself despotic in England, because he was too great to remain a private person, failed because it was founded on French analogies, and on supposed conditions that were not true of either Wellington or his nation. De Tocqueville’s general law, that ” among European governments of our time the power of governments is increasing, although the persons who govern are less stable,” is receiving additional illustration every year; but De Tocqueville’s “unquestionable statement,” that, if any portion of the American Union seriously desired to separate itself from the other States, these would not be able, nor indeed would they attempt to prevent it, was absolutely disproved on countless battlefields within a generation. Beyond this it may be observed, that any attempt to fix the date at which a prophecy will be fulfilled is especially hazardous. The break-up of the Turkish Empire has been foretold for centuries. From Peter the Great downwards, every sovereign of Russia has speculated upon it; and several of these have arranged treaties of partition with other sovereigns equally convinced. Time after time these combinations have been foiled, or only partially successful; and though no one seriously doubts that the term of Turkish rule in Europe is rapidly approaching its completion, few would venture to declare when the result will be brought about. The high courage of the race, the interests of the Western Powers, and a general aversion to great change are retarding causes, which constantly prove to be stronger than was anticipated.

Leaving out of sight the fact, that certain statesmen of great sagacity are able to calculate on what will happen within a few hours or days, and are trusted and valued accordingly, it seems justifiable to say that in a certain broad and vague way the tendency of the times may be and constantly is appreciated, so that we are landed in the apparent paradox of knowing better what is remote than what is so near that it may seem to be within every one’s ken. Accordingly political prophecies are for the most part little regarded. The statesman of a modern parliament is not working for results fifty years hence, but for the day’s need; and would be apt to distrust himself if he attempted anything more. Perhaps there are cases when we see that a more calculating policy would have been the wiser. If England had granted Catholic Emancipation fifty years before she did; if the American Congress had bought up and expatriated the slaves while they were still a mere handful; if France had followed Talleyrand’s policy, and confined herself to such acquisitions as awakened no violent resentments; if Russian administrations under Nicholas I. had been determinately liberal, instead of absolutist, each particular country would have gained, and the civilised world would have been the better for rancours and miseries averted. It is idle, however, to discuss ‘what might have been; and almost equally so to discuss what might be under conditions never likely to be realised. The distant future of a country is so unimportant by the side of its immediate needs to the men in possession, that even if they were reasonably certain that a particular evil ought to be guarded against at an immediate sacrifice, they would rarely be possessed of the moral force required for the effort. As a matter of fact, however, only a few persons can feel reasonably certain as to the future, because only a few busy themselves with distant speculations. Among these many will perhaps believe that the manifest destiny of the human race cannot be mitigated—much less averted—by any sacrifice or statesmanship.

One or two simple instances will explain why men should be indisposed to work for a distant object. The increase of the coloured population in the Southern States of the American Union has for some time past been the cause of very great alarm. It seems as if a portion of that magnificent country was destined to be handed over to a race who are incapable of being citizens in the highest sense of the word. The most reasonable proposal yet made for meeting this particular danger has been to remove the blacks in a body, and plant them again in Central Africa. To carry out this proposal, however, in an equitable and humane way, would mean an expenditure of many hundred millions; a sum so vast that only the United States could compass it; and that even the United States might well demur to the cost. It is easy to suppose, however, that a body of Southern statesmen, keenly interested in this particular subject, might sketch the outlines of a feasible plan, and force it upon the attention of the community. Is it not also reasonable to assume that they would be met with very strong opposition? The Northern and Western States have only a remote interest in clearing the country of the negro. Some persons believe that the negro is a valuable element in the community, and others that he is at least indispensable for certain kinds of labour. The results of the last census would be appealed to, to show that the coloured race is not increasing at any disproportionate rate; and it would be argued, that in proportion as he was civilised, would his increase be slower still. The impossibility of transporting 8,000,000 of human beings across the Atlantic, and establishing them in new homes, would be pleaded. The probabilities are that a scheme for doing effectually, what it is now almost too late to do at all, would be debated, and voted down into the establishment of a new Liberia; and would have no more noticeable effect than to make the fortunes of a few contractors.

Again, let us assume a statesman to be convinced that the present tendency to an increase of State action is perilous to individual liberty, and to the development of character. What power would such a man have of giving effect to his views in Europe or in Australia? The State has come in almost everywhere to protect the masses against employers and landlords, or to organise the forces of the community for general purposes. State Education was first systematised on something like its present lines in Prussia, because Prussia, being relatively a weak power, saw the importance of making every citizen as efficient as possible. England and France, Austria and Italy have followed in the steps of Prussia, because they dared not do otherwise. Meanwhile, costless education has recommended itself as a boon to parents; and workmen look favourably upon the school attendance that diminishes the competition of child -labour. A statesman who should try to revert to the old order, because he considered the uniform routine of our State Schools destructive of originality, would soon find that he had to contend with very powerful interests. So, again, with State limitations to labour. Whether the theory of unlimited competition be true of ancient times or not, it is certain that the influence of Adam Smith and the circumstances of their time determined the wealthy classes of England for three generations to hold as an undoubted article of faith, that the law ought not to interpose between employer and man. From the day the first Reform Bill was passed, this theory was doomed in England. Philanthropists first interfered to protect women and children; after a time the Trades Unions secured the legal recognition of their activity; and at present it is only a question, how far labour can be regulated by law, and how far it is best to leave the task of restraining it to powerful associations. It is easy to see that we are tending to a state of things we did not altogether anticipate, and to some results that are not absolutely desirable. It is difficult to see that we could retrace a single step if we went back sixty years. Most of the liberal changes of the century have been nothing more than acts of justice; but almost all have been unavoidable. Religious tolerance; the mitigation of the penal laws; the recognition of the labourer’s right to associate; the diffusion of education; the extension of the suffrage, were measures eminently defensible in themselves. To have withheld education would have been to weaken the country in the scale of nations; to have denied the other reforms would have been to provoke revolution.

If we assume, then, that there is a limited power of forecasting the general trend of human progress, it does not follow that this power can be of any real use in influencing events. The English coal-measures will be exhausted, whether we foresee it or not, and no generation will stay its hand from using them in order to cheapen fires for the next. Great cities will continue to grow, if population goes on increasing, though all the statesmanship in the world should be in favour of spreading population. Whether a skiff borne along the rapids of the St. Lawrence is wisely or badly steered makes the difference of life or death to its occupants, but does not affect its destination. It must descend the stream. The object of this book is to indicate in a very general way the direction towards which we are drifting in political and social life. It is not assumed, that any human sagacity can avert the fatality of our acts for centuries past, or of our characters, as we inherit or have fashioned them. If it be true, for instance, as these pages attempt to show, that the lower races are increasing upon the higher, and will some day confine them to a portion of the Temperate Zone, the result will have been the work of our own hands; and yet we cannot change our principles of action. We are bound, wherever we go, to establish peace and order; to make roads, and open up rivers to commerce; to familiarise other nations with a self-government which will one day make them independent of ourselves. We cannot even allow them to remain weak by destroying one another; and interest and humanity constrain us to interpose when there is a Tae-Ping rebellion in China, and when Africa is desolated by Arab slave-dealers. Nevertheless, if we cannot change manifest destiny, we may at least adapt ourselves to it, and make it endurable. We may circumscribe the growth of China, though we cannot altogether arrest it; and if we cannot hope that Europeans will ever people Africa, we may at least so work that European ideas shall one day be paramount from the Red Sea to the Atlantic. Again, it might conceivably be of use if European statesmen could understand that the wars which carry desolation into civilised countries, are allowing the lower races time to recruit their numbers and strength. Two centuries hence it may be matter of serious concern to the world if Russia has been displaced by China on the Amoor, if France has not been able to colonise North Africa, or if England is not holding India. For civilised men there can be only one fatherland, and whatever extends the influence of those races that have taken their faith from Palestine, their laws of beauty from Greece, and their civil law from Rome, ought to be matter of rejoicing to Russian, German, Anglo-Saxon, and Frenchman alike.

The first chapter of this book is practically an expansion, on a very large scale, of an article which I published in the Contemporary Review of 1868. Travel in the United States had convinced me that that great country was filling up more rapidly than was supposed in England, and would cease within measurable time to offer any great inducements to a large immigration. I predicted that “the Americans will begin to be cramped for land by the time their population numbers 20,000,000 more”; that is, by the time it reached 60,000,000. I admitted that the arrest of immigration would be “very gradual,” and I pointed out that some temporary relief might be given by the opening up of Manitoba, and by the development of Southern States like Texas, or by the purchase of new territory from Mexico. Substantially these calculations have been verified, though I was wrong in several minor points. The States have not increased in population as rapidly as was expected: the Chinese, on whom I had calculated as possible settlers, have been deterred by public feeling from coming over in any number; and though the British immigrants are now relatively fewer than they were, this falling off has been compensated by a great increase in the number of immigrants from countries with a lower standard of comfort; from Italy, Norway, Bohemia, and Russia. Beyond this there was a period of great prosperity in England between 1870 and 1879, when tens of thousands found employment who in any ordinary year would have gone across the Atlantic. On the whole, these influences appear to have balanced one another; and the result is, that while immigrants are still anxious to pour in, there is a disinclination to receive them; and the American Congress has passed two rather stringent Acts (1885 and 1891) to limit immigration to fit persons, and to forbid the wholesale bringing over of workmen by employers. Moreover, the emigrants who now go over are attracted by high rates of labour rather than by cheap rates of land. The best part of the country has been taken up.

Twenty years’ residence under the Southern Cross has forced me to consider a new side of this particular question: whether the capacity of European races to form new homes for themselves is not narrowly limited by climate, and by the circumstances of prior population. Australia is an unexampled instance of a great continent that has been left for the first civilised people that found it to take and occupy. The natives have died out as we approached; there have been no complications with foreign powers; and the climate of the South is magnificent. Nevertheless, it is still a question whether the white race can ever be so acclimatised as to live and labour in the Northern parts; and it seems certain that neither Englishman nor German can ever colonise New Guinea. The fear of Chinese immigration which the Australian democracy cherishes, and which Englishmen at home find it hard to understand, is, in fact, the instinct of self-preservation, quickened by experience. We know that coloured and white labour cannot exist side by side; we are well aware that China can swamp us with a single year’s surplus of population; and we know that if national existence is sacrificed to the working of a few mines and sugar plantations, it is not the Englishman in Australia alone, but the whole civilised world, that will be the losers. Transform the Northern half of our continent into a Natal with thirteen out of fourteen belonging to an inferior race, and the Southern half will speedily approximate to the condition of a Cape Colony, where the whites are indeed a masterful minority, but still only as one in four. We are guarding the last part of the world, in which the higher races can live and increase freely, for the higher civilisation. We are denying the yellow race nothing but what it can find in the home of its birth, or in countries like the Indian Archipelago, where the white man can never live except as an exotic.

If, however, the white race is precluded by natural laws from colonising on a large scale anywhere except in the Temperate Zone, it seems certain that the condition of old countries will be powerfully modified. The eager and impetuous element that has hitherto found an outlet in new communities, will be pent up in the overpeopled countries of Europe. Either the growth of population will be arrested, as in France, or the State will have to concern itself, much more actively than English economists will like, with the organisation of labour. Now the history of the English colonies in Australia and New Zealand is particularly instructive, because it shows what the English race naturally attempts when it is freed from the limitations of English tradition. The settlers of Victoria, and to a great extent of the other colonies, have been men who carried with them the English theory of government: to circumscribe the action of the State as much as possible; to free commerce and production from all legal restrictions; and to leave every man to shift for himself, with the faintest possible regard for those who fell by the way. Often against their own will the colonists have ended by a system of State centralisation that rivals whatever is attempted in the most bureaucratic countries of the Continent. The State employees are an important element of the population; the State builds railways, founds and maintains schools, tries to regulate the wages and hours of labour, protects native industry, settles the population on the land, and is beginning to organise systems of State insurance. Planted in Africa, the Englishman so adapts himself to the circumstances of the real population, the indigenous negro, that the black man finds his sufficient paradise under the British flag, in Natal or at the Cape, rather than in Liberia. Planted in Australia, the Englishman, to whom St. Simon and Fourier are names of derision, if they are even names, is rapidly creating a State Socialism, which succeeds because it is all-embracing and able to compel obedience, and which surpasses its continental State models because it has been developed by the community for their own needs, and not by State departments for administrative purposes. Of course, it does not follow that even a race so highly gifted with political intelligence as the British is necessarily right in what it builds up. It may be that the brain and hand are more feeble than they were in the old time. Nevertheless, it is surely safe to say, that political experiments which half a dozen self-governing British communities are instinctively adopting, deserve attention as an indication of what we may expect in the future.

It may seem rash to anticipate that the State everywhere will be entrusted with larger and more intricate functions because there is a tendency in this direction in some of the more important British dependencies. Let it be remembered, however, that every continental State—even those of Germanic origin—has worked for centuries upon these lines, and that in England itself the first entrenchments of the laissez-faire system have been forced. The State in England has bought telegraphs, and reserved the right to monopolise telephones; lends money for draining purposes, and has lent it for the construction of roads; regulates the hours of labour in factories; forbids women and children to work under certain conditions; and assists skilled workmen to obtain a mastery of their trade. There is every indication that the so-called “labour party” will be stronger in future parliaments than it is (1891), and will force the State more and more into what is known as the organisation of industry. Nothing has been assumed as possible or probable in this book except what is already done in some civilised and prosperous part of the world, or what is being worked up to by some powerful party. The so-called nationalisation of land, though not an actual fact, is being approached in a great many countries. Victoria has reserved a great part of its land from sale, in order to try the experiment of State landlordism. New Zealand is considering the policy of buying back the land it has alienated; and meanwhile is proposing to tax large properties on a graduated scale that may incline owners to break them up. South Australia is discussing the same problem. The proposals in England to buy out the Irish landlords, and sell again to a small yeomanry, are steps in the direction of land nationalisation, though the object is to create new freeholds. For a time, at least, the State will be a landlord on a large scale, and in many cases may end by having the land left on its hands. It is not perhaps probable that any uniform system of landownership will prevail over all the world, however much institutions may tend to become identical. France, for instance, may consider that she gets all the good she desires from her system of compulsory subdivision, and may shrink from the costly and complicated operation of buying back small parcels of land, which it would be very difficult to administer. Even in English-speaking countries, the preference for indefeasible property, which seems innate in human nature, has acquired such strength by use that many communities may desire not to go counter to it. In that case they may attain very nearly the same results as are aimed at in State landlordism by a progressive land-tax, which will make it impossible to build up big estates, and by taxing unimproved land as heavily as improved. The essential of State Socialism in these matters is not so much that the State should keep the title-deeds of the land, as that no land should be monopolised by private persons for speculative purposes, or to give political power, or as a mere instrument of luxury.

As it has been an object in this inquiry to consider only what it is possible to achieve by a slight extension of existing machinery, the question whether the State can ever control distribution by becoming the owner of large stores, or production by taking agriculture or mining or manufactures into its own hands, has not been discussed. The assumption has been that certain departments of labour will for a long time at least be left open to private enterprise. It is proper to notice, however, that there are numerous instances of mines being worked by the State, and that where a mine can be worked without loss, or at the smallest possible, but would not return a profit sufficient to reward a speculator, it would seem eminently in accordance with the principles of State Socialism that Government should develop it. So, again, where the mineral produced is one necessary, so to speak, to national existence, like the coal of England or the salt of Wieliczka. Tobacco is a State monopoly in some parts of Europe, and alcoholic drinks in others. In Java and Egypt the State has at times been a considerable employer of agricultural labour, and still farms land of its own on a reduced scale. It is therefore possible to conceive a community which, following only actual precedents, should be the sole employer and the sole proprietor within its own boundaries. It has seemed, however, unwise and unnecessary to suppose that this extreme result will be attained generally, or even often: unwise, because it is very rare to see a theory of any kind logically carried out; and unnecessary, because if twenty per cent of any given population were in the State service, their hours of work and their wages would practically be the standard of the whole community. In Victoria at this time something like eight per cent of the adult male population is in Government employ. Assume the Government to run steamers, as it has often been urged to do, to buy up the various gas-works, to start works, such as it must some day have for the manufacture of ordnance, to take irrigation into its own hands, and to supply medical aid through salaried employees, and it is easy to see how the eight per cent might swell to twenty per cent. Neither does it much matter for practical purposes whether the State in all cases undertakes work of this kind itself, or leaves it to be performed by some other public body, amenable to the popular vote. The State in Victoria, for instance, has handed over some important functions, occupying hundreds of employees, to the Melbourne Harbour Trust; but that body is almost as directly under the control of Parliament as any Government department. Again, it is quite conceivable that the conduct of gas-works, trams, and water-works may often be left to municipalities; but these in a democracy are controlled by the industrial vote. The working men of Victoria attach great importance—and I believe rightly so—to the comparatively high standard of comfort which the State maintains for all its servants. It is felt that, sooner or later, the ideal recognised by the State will be the measure for all; partly because otherwise the best men will all seek employment under the State, and partly because there will be an invincible reluctance to accept less than the largest employer gives. If this is to some extent the case already, the result is bound to be far greater when the State’s sphere of action is doubled or trebled.

It used to be made a reproach to the English Liberals that they were always agitating for reforms connected with the machinery of government—manhood suffrage, the ballot, or the abolition of the House of Peers—and never appeared to have any use for the power they had already wrested from the aristocracy. A review of what has been done during the last sixty years will perhaps show that this accusation is not borne out by facts. The reforms made have been so great as practically to remodel English society. The penal code has been changed from one of great barbarity into one that is reasonable and humane; the game laws have been made fairly tolerable; the poor-law system has been remodelled with great intelligence, though not very sympathetically; popular education has been introduced; the landlord’s protective duty on food has been abolished; trades unionism has been legalised; nonconformity has been freed from its shackles; and Parliament has familiarised itself more and more with the idea of interposing between employer and employed, between landlord and tenant. If it should appear that the complement of these changes—the complete organisation of labour, and State insurance against want—can only be attained under a democratic form of government, then we may, I think, expect a republic to be established everywhere. On the other hand, it seems more than conceivable that wise sovereigns, or wise aristocracies, if they believe these changes to be inevitable, and on the whole good, will determine to guide the popular movement instead of opposing it. Wherever this is done, experience indicates that the working classes will look first to their real – wants, and will acquiesce in any form of government that satisfies these. Therefore it has not appeared necessary for the purposes of this argument to consider whether thrones will be overturned or aristocracies abolished. The chances perhaps are that the world will adopt the republican form of polity more and more, because there are many instructive examples that it is not easy to replace a dynasty that has once been dispossessed. On the other hand, if there should be a succession of such exceptionally able and patriotic sovereigns as several European countries have enjoyed during the last fifty years, and if these should identify themselves with popular movements, it is open to believe that kings may hold their own for centuries to come. None the less, there does seem to be a natural antagonism between aristocracies of privilege or wealth and an industrial society. It is difficult to conceive that a hereditary House of Lords will long be maintained in England; and though the millionaire may be a feature of all time, the example of the United States shows that he may be deprived of political power. Personal rank and transmitted wealth accordingly seem a little less likely to maintain themselves than the centralisation of State absolutism in one hereditary monarch. Even titles, however, will perhaps be modified and transformed rather than absolutely effaced. Nothing is more remarkable in human nature than its determination to retain old forms while it invests them with a new life. Christianity took its temples, its statues, its sacred days from Paganism; Protestantism mostly copied the old Church; and the most noticeable form of anti- Christian worship has been a servile parody of Catholicism. Humanity, as it were, outgrows its vestments; but it does not cast them off and go naked; it patches them and drapes them about itself in new folds.

What therefore we are most concerned with is not the limitation of the higher races of man to a small part of earth; not the evolution of a new form of society—an autocratic and all-pervading State, instead of a State that gave free scope to individual ascendency—but the question, what man himself will become under these changed conditions of political life, and under the influence of other changes that seem inevitable. If towns are to predominate over the country; if the State is largely to supplant the churches in the direction of life, and parents in the bringing up of the family; if the new conditions of intellectual work are unfavourable to originality; if, in a word, the man seems to dwindle as the union of men grows in strength and importance, the result cannot be without interest for those who are on the brink of this future. To some it will perhaps seem that the expectation of great changes for the better in the constitution of political society is unreasonably sanguine; and that the industrial classes, when they come to the full consciousness of their power in any part of the world, are certain to attempt impracticable experiments or violent changes which will throw the world back. It has been no part of this argument to consider such possible contingencies. Here and there no doubt blunders will be made, and ignorant tribunes of the people will try their hands again at some of the old failures: unlimited issues of State paper; violent confiscations; or the appointment of State officials generally by the ballot. We are bound, however, to assume that what is unreasonable will perish of itself, and that what is reasonable will by degrees prevail. Moreover, the experience of the last century ought to guard us against a repetition of the worst blunders of the past. On the whole, it is surely correct to say that the relations of rich and poor are incomparably more healthy now than they were a hundred years ago in all matters that are regulated by law. It would be grossly unfair to charge the excesses of the Reign of Terror in France upon the French people; they were the work of a few fanatics, and of a great many recruits from the criminal classes. So far, however, as they were tacitly justified by the public at the time of their perpetration, it was because absolute power in the State and privilege in districts had been so intolerably abused that the people scarcely considered themselves secure unless the representatives of the old order were exterminated. At present the State is everywhere regarded as the protector from whom the people have most to hope. The popular impulse is not to set the action of government aside, but to awaken it to what is conceived of as a healthier activity; and this belief in the omnipotence of law is a great guarantee for order and peaceable change; though it may of course be that the man who cries to the State to help him, when he ought to help himself, will gradually suffer paralysis of strength and will.

The tendency of the age is to be hopeful, and it may be admitted that a great deal in the past history of the world encourages us not to despair of the future of humanity. The best types of any given high race are demonstrably stronger, taller, healthier than their ancestors two hundred or a thousand years ago; enjoy better laws and many more comforts; are more humane, better educated, and have a larger inheritance of transmitted thought. That the pariah class in our great cities is in the lowest abyss of misery may be conceded; and it is probable that the working class generally has now and again had glimpses of a better life than it enjoys; but the whole tendency of modern reforms is to improve the condition of the masses. The argument developed in these pages supposes that there will actually be change for the better. What is assumed also is that the gradual decay of faith, the diminished importance of family life, and the loss of original power, as genius is deprived of its noblest fields, will be serious offsets to the material development of life; and that even physical conditions will be worse, as cities grow upon the world, and as the field of adventure in unsettled regions is closed. There is room for cheerful prognostication in this direction also. Mr. Morris has conceived a charming vision of an England in which great cities shall have been exchanged for country homesteads with an occasional street, and in which brain work shall be gradually discarded for manual labour. To attain all these results, however, Mr. Morris is compelled to imagine a great upheaval of society; and his conclusions appear to indicate that two-thirds of the population must have perished or left the country, the other third remaining stationary. Such a dream of the future differs essentially from that of the following pages, which only professes to consider what is likely to happen if we go on for two hundred years more as we have gone on for the last three-quarters of a century.

To the writer of these pages, what really seems most hopeful in the outlook for the future is the prospect that violent upheavals of society will be less and less attempted as the State appears to be the best expression of the wishes of the majority; and that some falling off in the energy and acquisitiveness, which are fostered by individualism, will be compensated by the growth of what we may call patriotism, as each man identifies himself more and more with the needs and aspirations of his fellow-countrymen. That men generally should look up to the State to take the lead in industrial undertakings is probably undesirable, and is perhaps never likely to occur. Whatever administrations may do, they can hardly monopolise more than a small portion of the field of human enterprise. Meanwhile, it is surely in the interests of all that the poorest man in the country should feel that he owes inestimable blessings to the political order under which he lives: not only protection from foreign enemies, but equality before the law, the certainty of employment in bad times, education for his children, security for the purity of his household life, and a fair chance of rising out of the ranks if he possesses the requisite ability. If this ideal has not been absolutely attained in the civilised countries of the world, it is not because the best statesmen of all times have not been habitually working towards it, but because individualism has meant privilege—privilege for rank, for wealth, and for influence—and because the outworks of individualism have been guarded accordingly. More and more as we approach the stationary state—as there are no countries to receive immigrants; as war is more and more dreaded for its chances, or recoiled from for its barbarity; as commerce and invention are restricted because there are no new regions to open up—will the old outlets for discontent or unsatisfied ambition be closed. What are now the governing classes will have to arrange reasonable compromises, by which the condition of the poor is made endurable. It may be that there will be less enthusiasm in those days, because there will be less hope; but it may be assumed that there will be less misery, more resignation, and it may even be more content. Life in itself is an inexhaustible delight to all but a few; and the conditions of life will be more tolerable, though the sky above may be more gray.


There is a general belief that the higher races are bound to gain more and more upon the lower.—North America, the Argentine Confederation, and Australia furnish the grounds of this belief.—The races exterminated have not been industrial races.—The character of a race determines its vitality more than climate.—Chinamen, Hindoos, and negroes cannot be exterminated.—The Cape Colony is not predominantly white, though settled under the most favourable conditions.—Natal is already not a white man’s colony, and is bound to pass more and more into the hands of the coloured race.—Much more are the parts of Africa north of Natal bound to remain negro.—Were the whole emigration of Europe turned into Africa, it could not build up a white people there. The negro would increase faster.—Practically, too, there will always be parts where the white man cannot live. Malaysia is uninhabitable by the white man, as a colonist, building up families.—Central Asia is likely to be peopled chiefly from China.—The Aryan race can only make small gains in Europe, and in the Temperate Zone districts of Asia, Africa, America, and Australasia.—China is a serious competitor for empire; even in Tonquin and Burmah.—Chinese colonisation of the Straits Settlements shows what the race is capable of.—The Chinese are bound to people, and probably to rule Borneo.—There is a possibility of Chinese expansion to the North and West.—It is conceivable that the Hindoo race may spread over Beloochistan and Southern Persia.—Great parts of Southern and Central America cannot be peopled by the white race.—The autochthonous races are gradually growing upon the descendants of the Spaniards, and will absorb them and possess the country.—These Indians are showing themselves capable of self-government.—If the Indians do not supersede men of European descent, negroes or Chinamen will.—Only the parts of America from which Indians have already been driven are fitted to be the homes of the white race.—Brazil will pass more and more into the hands of the negroes, as certain of the United States are believed to be passing.—The most fertile and populous parts of the earth are therefore the inalienable freehold of the inferior races, though the higher races may contribute, and be needed in the first instance, to organise and develop them.—The development of a race within the limits of a country India or China is no impediment to its expansion abroad.—Emigration abroad will often stimulate the growth of a population at home.—The increase of population in Europe has been retarded for eighteen centuries by misgovernment and internal wars.—The general law is that the lower race increases faster than the higher.—The English aristocracy is favoured by a great many circumstances that would seem calculated to promote increase.—Its families are constantly dying out.—The French and the negroes of the United States furnish characteristic instances of slow and rapid growth.—England is an apparent but not a real exception to the rule that a race with a high standard of comfort increases slowly.— The condition of the Jews in Russia has been one of inferiority, but not of intolerable hardship.—Having a strong motive to make money, and no temptation to spend it freely, they have increased so rapidly as to become a danger to the Empire.—The increased humanity of war is telling in favour of the weaker races. —So are sanitation, and the increased means of transport afforded by railways.—Therefore, when we are swamped in certain parts of the world by the black and yellow races, we shall know that it has been inevitable.

It seems to be generally assumed that the higher races of men, or those which are held to have attained the highest forms of civilisation, are everywhere triumphing over the lower. North America is almost occupied by men of European ancestry, and in South America the European element has received notable accessions in Brazil and the Argentine Republic. Australasia is British; Central Asia is being Russianised; and the Turk is being driven out of Europe, where his heritage is bound to fall to some race that has assimilated modern ideas better than the Ottoman. In Africa the North-west is passing under French influence, and has received a leaven of French or Spanish colonists. Egypt is practically part of Europe; South Africa is English or Dutch; and it seems scarcely questionable that England and Germany will divide Central Africa. We are perpetually assured that countries which till now were assumed to be unfitted for European colonists, will really allow them to multiply and prosper if they will only comply with such reasonable conditions as the climate exacts. Central and Southern America, the regions of the Congo, of the African Lakes, and of Matabele and Mashonaland, Northern Australia and Borneo, are among the parts which have been recommended for European colonisation at various times; and it is not uncommon to hear those who know India declare that the Hill districts offer great opportunities for European settlement. No one, of course, assumes that the Aryan race—to use a convenient term—can stamp out or starve out all their rivals on the face of the earth. It is self-evident that the Chinese, the Japanese, the Hindoos, if we may apply this general term to the various natives of India, and the African negro, are too numerous and sturdy to be extirpated. It is against the fashion of modern humanity to wish that they should suffer decrease or oppression. What is assumed is that the first three of these races will remain stationary within their present limits, while the negro will contribute an industrial population to the states which England and Germany will build up along the Congo or the Zambesi. The white man in these parts of the world is to be the planter, the mine-owner, the manufacturer, the merchant, and the leading employee under all these, contributing energy and capital to the new countries, while the negro is to be the field-hand, the common miner, and the factory operative. Here and there, in exceptional districts, the white man will predominate in numbers, but everywhere he will govern and direct in virtue of a higher intelligence and more resolute will.

If we ask on what these calculations are based, we shall probably be referred to the experience of the past in America and Australia. In Canada and the United States the red man is little more than a memory. The Carib has practically disappeared from the West India Islands. In the Argentine Confederation the Indians are a powerless minority, and the number of European immigrants to that country and to South Brazil seems likely to increase year by year. In Australasia, and in the islands of the Pacific, where Europeans have settled, or where they trade much, the Maori, the Kanaka, and the Papuan are dying out. We cannot close our eyes to the fact that certain weak races—even when, like the Kanaka, they possess some very high qualities—seem to wither away at mere contact with the European. Modern legislation tries to protect them; missionaries endeavour to seclude them from fatal influences; but the good as well as the bad in civilisation tells mischievously for a time upon unaccustomed constitutions. The mere wearing of clothes, as savages do it without changing them, and the disuse of artificial tribal restrictions on the inter-marriages of relations, are believed, by some of those who know the Australian aboriginal best, to be almost as much responsible for his decay as the diseases of European origin that scourge immorality.

It will be noticed that these evanescent races—different as they are in many respects—have two features in common, that they have never been very powerful numerically, and that they have never been able to settle down in any steady way to industry. The Kanakas (among whom we may include the Maories) were of course limited by area. They could not do much in the small islands they peopled. The best of them, however, have conciliated the respect of Europeans rather as soldiers and politicians than by any aptitude they have displayed for regular work. Had Chinamen or Japanese descended upon New Zealand instead of the Maories, those islands would long ago have been covered with a population of several millions, such as no modern European power would have attempted to displace. We may say even more certainly of the Red Indians, that if they had chosen to learn agriculture from the first European settlers, they would soon have been numerous enough to bar all progress to the West. The Indians of Mexico, of Central America, and of Peru, who had attained to this level were not exterminated, though they were treated for generations with the most atrocious cruelty. At this moment pure or half-caste Indians predominate in all the Spanish colonies that lie to the north of Chili, and their predominance is becoming more marked every year. Without wishing to deny or depreciate the fine qualities of a race that has produced such men as Juarez and Mejia, and the heroes who fought at Humaita, we may surely say that the Indians whom Cortez and Pizarro conquered were not civilised up to the level of modern Hindoos or Chinamen, and had not the physical stamina of the negro race. All the more remarkable is it that they have survived and multiply.

How far climate has co-operated in circumscribing the spread of the European race in America seems difficult to determine. We can hardly suppose it is accidental that the proportion of pure whites should be smallest in the tropical parts of America, Guatemala and Nicaragua, and largest in temperate latitudes. At the same time, considering the great flexibility of the human constitution, and the fact that whites can and do labour in Texas, in Mexico, and in the districts of the Lower Plate, we may probably say, that the character of the population of America has been determined more by the varying adaptability of its primitive races for civilisation than by climatic conditions. Had the native Indians of Mexico and Peru been as untameable as the Araucanians were or the Apaches are, the white man could not have existed side by side with them. He must either have exterminated them or have been driven out. In fact, however, if the Indians whom Cortez or Pizarro found had been essentially warlike, they would not have been as numerous as they were, and the work of destroying them, tribe after tribe, would have been comparatively easy, as it has been easy for the people of the United States to make a clearance of Narraganset, Mohegan, Seneca, and Seminole Indians.

It is probably safe to say, that the Chinaman, the Hindoo, and the negro are in no danger of anything like the fate that overtook the aborigines of the New World at the hands of a foreign conqueror. A compact nation of 400,000,000 may be endangered by revolts like that of the Tae-Pings or that of the Mahommedans of Yunnan—for in both those cases the war waged was one of extermination—but has little to dread from a civilised power, except temporary humiliation or tribute. Now that massacres on a large scale are not sanctified by religion, there exists no reason why a conqueror if we can suppose a foreign conqueror of China—should do more than levy taxes, or exact a levy of conscripts or of forced labourers. India left to itself might be rent for a time by the war of Mussulman and Hindoo, but India is too populous for any large part of its people to be exterminated; unless indeed wars were waged in the Chinese fashion. That either Russians or Frenchmen, or indeed any European race, could colonise any province accidentally left desolate seems on the face of it impossible. The climate would be fatal in a generation, except in the hills; and that a remote province like Cashmere could be cleared of its present people, settled by Europeans, and kept free from the intrusion of native labour, seems the most fanciful of speculations. There remain therefore only Central Asia, Malaysia, and Africa as possible outlets not yet used for the surplus population of Europe, and of these Africa is naturally that which is especially attracting the attention of Englishmen at the present moment. It has been opened up very much by English enterprise; its resources prove to be vaster than was at one time supposed; and the climate of large tracts appears to be tolerable. We have arranged its partition with the most important of our neighbours; and the posts we hold along the Western Coast, in the Cape and Natal, and in Egypt, are so many points of vantage for our empire. It seems as if England for the moment was a little weary of India, and disposed to regard the Colonies as rather troublesome allies than dependencies, but was actively sanguine of possibilities in the Dark Continent.

We may put aside the Portuguese and French settlements of Mozambique, Angola, and Senegambia. No one of these has succeeded in attracting colonists; but the failure may be explained by climate or by an administration that aimed rather at commerce than at settlement. The case of the Cape and the sister colonies seems to be more in point. The Dutch occupation of the Cape dates from 1652, and the early colonists were to a great extent picked men; many of them French Huguenots. The natives with whom the settlers came in contact were Hottentots and Bushmen, weak races, of whom the Bushmen were not fitted to be slaves, while the Hottentots were not very valuable. Practically the Bushmen were exterminated; and when the English conquered the colony in 1795 the Hottentots were only as 14,500 to 21,000 whites. Nevertheless, the convenience of slave labour had been found to be so great that the coloured population of the colony altogether was roughly as two in three, and that proportion has been maintained ever since or increased, though slavery has been abolished, though thousands of British settlers have been poured into the country, and though the diamond-fields have attracted thousands of immigrants. As many as 30,000 Kaffirs are said to have taken refuge under British rule during the governorship of Sir George Grey alone. Meanwhile it must be borne in mind, that the outlying parts of the Cape colony have always been very largely peopled by Dutch Boers, who have to some extent stemmed the influx of free coloured settlers by their constant wars with the natives, and by their disinclination to admit them except as slaves. The Cape therefore shows us European influences at their strongest in Africa; and their strongest is for the most masterful of European races to be a decided, though at present a governing minority. Still the influx of blacks at the Cape is not yet so great as to have made manual and unskilled labour discreditable to white men.

The case of Natal is more instructive for what may be expected in Africa generally. Natal was seized by the British in 1842, the Boers who had occupied it, and to whom it was valuable for its sea-board, being a mere handful of men among natives who accepted them for the moment as deliverers from the Zulus. Nevertheless, the number of black inhabitants at that time, though great in comparison with the Dutch, was so inconsiderable as to be only five to the square mile. The new possession offered great advantages of soil and climate. A great deal of it is rich land, and it rises in plateaus from the coast, so that several varieties of temperature may be enjoyed. During the first years of settlement there was no danger from the Zulus, whose warriors had almost been exterminated in Dingan’s wars. From time to time assisted immigrants were poured literally in thousands into the country. In 1878-79 the presence of a large British army made the fortunes of contractors and farmers. For years the diamond-fields and gold-diggings of the Orange Free State have reflected prosperity over Natal. Nevertheless, in 1891, nearly fifty years after its first settlement, Natal has only 36,000 Europeans out of 481,000 settlers, the remainder being chiefly Zulus, though partly Hindoos and Chinamen. The lower races have nearly doubled in proportion since 1863, when one-seventh of the population was European. The reasons of this are not far to seek. British rule means order and peace, industry and trade, and the enjoyment of property under fairly equal laws. To the African native the establishment of a colony like Natal is like throwing open the gates of paradise. He streams in, offering his cheap though not very regular labour, and supplying all his own wants at the very smallest expenditure of toil. Where he multiplies, however, the British race begins to consider labour of all but the highest kinds dishonourable; and from the moment that a white population will not work in the fields, on the roads, in the mines, or in factories, its doom is practically sealed. It is limited to supplying employees, merchants, contractors, shopmen, and foremen to the community. Sooner or later the black race will be educated to a .point at which it will demand and receive a share in these employments and in the government. Whenever that happens, the white race will be either absorbed or disappear. The mass will gradually depart, but a few, who have lost the sense of superiority, will remain, intermarry, and be perpetuated in the persons of a few hundred, or it may be a few thousand, mulattoes and quadroons.

Now the fate of Natal is bound to be the fate of those parts of the African Continent which lie north of Natal and south of the desert of Sahara. It is quite conceivable that tracts will be discovered with rich gold-fields, like those of California and Australia, and with a climate allowing white men to labour. Tens of thousands of diggers may be attracted there, and may determine to keep the gold deposits to themselves, and to debar blacks or Chinamen from working them. Even in this case the blacks will still press into the country that they may enjoy the security of English rule, and will be field -hands, domestic servants, and generally drudges of every kind, reinforcing the original negro population, so as to keep it always superior in numbers to the whites. Before long the surface and easily worked deposits will have been exhausted. Independent miners will be replaced by companies, and companies will employ the cheapest labour they can secure, which will always be that of the native and inferior race. Let it be remembered that a country as big as Great Britain, which would be a mere patch on the Continent of Africa, would have a native population of half a million if it were peopled as Natal was when the British Government took it over. Can it be conceived that England could send out half a million settlers to balance these, unless the attraction were as great as that of Australian gold was for a time? And even assuming the half -million to come, where would they be at the end of a century with the black race increasing faster by births, and recruited by constant accessions from the populous interior of the continent? Can it be supposed that such a state would fare better than Georgia or South Carolina has fared? The best chance for a community so constituted would be to declare itself independent, as the Boers of the Transvaal have done, and so maintain the supremacy of the white race. Such a country, however, would not escape the fate of all countries into which an inferior people is admitted in large numbers. Its colonists would soon be divided into a wealthy ruling caste, planters or miners, and mean whites; while the blacks, servile or semi-servile, would increase year by year, because their labour was necessary to maintain and extend the fortunes of the governing caste. Such a community might last for generations, but its chance of perpetuity would be far smaller in Africa, where it was surrounded by dense masses of an unfriendly population, than it was in Louisiana, where slavery might have lasted to this day if slave-owners had been content to obey the law, and had not been infatuated with the arrogance which is the curse that avenges unrighteous domination.

So far the argument has only sought to establish that no emigration of the English people, or of these reinforced by other races, can make any such impression on any part of the African Continent as to transform regions that are now peopled however sparsely by blacks into regions peopled by whites. To take an extreme assumption, however, we may suppose the whole emigration that now leaves Europe for America and Australia diverted suddenly to Africa, either because prospects in Africa became suddenly so attractive as to kindle the popular imagination, or because the people of America and Australia had restricted the influx of settlers by legislation. The whole excess of emigrants over immigrants from Great Britain may be put roughly at a quarter of a million; and the settlers carried from French, German, and Italian ports can hardly exceed 200,000 more. In the course of twenty years this would mean that a population of 9,000,000 had been transported to a new home, and the most favourable estimate of the natural increase of these settlers will not raise their number above 12,000,000. It must be admitted that a great settlement of this kind would involve organisation and administrative capacity of a very rare order. The colonists will not bear to be discharged by steamers at the rate of nearly 1200 a day at a single port, and left to find work and sustenance as they can. They will have to be distributed by railways over different parts of the continent; and the work of clearing the jungle, building roads, draining swamps, and developing mines may of course find employment for any number. Meanwhile, wherever they penetrate they will bring security and employment to the black races of the interior. These are now roughly estimated for Central Africa alone at 100,000,000. If they increase only at the rate of one per cent a year during the twenty years that have been assumed, the increase will be more than double the influx of whites. If they multiply as the blacks in the United States were once multiplying, they will have grown at the rate of 50,000,000, while the whites by an impossible rate of progression will only number 12,000,000. Under these circumstances, can we conceive any large part of the continent where the whites will be able to settle down, and develop an industrial civilisation, such as is found in any part of America and in Australia?

In all this discussion it has been assumed, for purposes of argument, that our imaginary European immigrants will be able to spread and establish themselves everywhere. No one can seriously expect this. There must be large tracts more or less like Senegambia and the parts about Sierra Leone, where only white men of exceptional constitutions, and submitting to a very strict regime, can live and do work. In the struggle for existence the African race, which can flourish everywhere in its native habitat, is bound to have an advantage over the race that can only thrive in the best parts of the continent.

It has seemed important to argue out the case of Central Africa at some length, because no other part of the world is supposed to furnish so magnificent an outlet to the teeming myriads of Europe. The assumption is, that it is to be another Australia, an assumption which leaves out of account the fact that the Australian aborigines have been weak and few, and that the climate of the settled parts of Australia is magnificent. Next in importance to Africa for western Europeans are the islands of the Malay Archipelago, which cover an extent of land equal to half Europe, and which are at present most imperfectly peopled by a population which may be roughly put at between 30,000,000 and 40,000,000. It cannot be extreme to say, that an additional 200,000,000 might easily settle in those of the islands which, like Celebes, Sumatra, New Guinea, and Borneo, are not peopled up to one tithe of what they could support. It is almost equally certain that these colonists cannot be white men. After holding Java for centuries, the Dutch are still nothing more than a garrison, a civil service, and a collection of foreign traders. They number about 30,000, while the native population has more than quadrupled during the century, and is now nearly 20,000,000. Settlement by Dutchmen in Java is not prohibited, and a good many old employees live in the hills; but the climate is better suited for natives, and this is even truer of Borneo and New Guinea, the countries which offer most attraction to immigrants. These, except in favoured parts, have the hot damp climate which is deadly to the native of the Temperate Zone. That any great number of European immigrants could be acclimatised in them seems more than doubtful; that even if they came they could compete with the Chinese labour, which follows the English rule everywhere in Malaysia, is not to be believed. The work of the European in this archipelago is to organise government, maintain peace, make roads, and form plantations.

There is a vast tract of country in Central Asia that offers great possibilities for settlement. Eastern Afghan, and Western Turkestan, with an area of 1,500,000 square miles, have a population which certainly does not exceed 15,000,000, or ten to the square mile. Were they peopled as the Baltic provinces of Russia are—no very extreme supposition—they would support 90,000,000. It is conceivable that something like this may be realised at no very distant date, when railroads are carried across China, and when water—the great want of Turkestan—is provided for it by a system of canalisation and artesian wells. Meanwhile, it is important to observe that whatever benefit is derived from an increase of population in these regions will mostly fall to China. That empire possesses the better two-thirds of Turkestan, and can pour in the surplus of a population of 400,000,000. Russia can only contribute the surplus of a population of about 100,000,000; and though the Russian is a fearless and good colonist, there are so many spaces in Russia in Europe to be filled up, so many growing towns that need workmen, so many counter-attractions in the gold-bearing districts of Siberia, that the work of peopling the outlying dependencies of the empire is likely to be very gradual. Indeed it is reported that Russia is encouraging Chinese colonists to settle in the parts about Merv.

Thus far the argument has aimed at showing that the most highly civilised races of the world, being those at present which are more or less purely Aryan, are not likely to wrest any large tracts of territory from half- civilised or savage peoples. That the races which now occupy the United States and Canada will people the countries they are in, with some possible exceptions to be noted hereafter, seems scarcely to be doubted. It may be hoped that this population will be numbered by hundreds of millions. That France and Italy will gradually Europeanise Algeria, Tunis, and Tripoli, seems very possible. It may even be that Morocco will be absorbed. These countries are rich and sparsely ininhabited, and their native populations of Arabs and Kabyles may easily be assimilated to their European conquerors. In the south-east of Europe it seems certain that the Turk will sooner or later die out or cross back into Asia. His failure to establish himself permanently is incidental evidence how hard it is to change the population of a country. The Osmanli made life almost unendurable to the subject people for centuries, but though he depopulated the country, and paralysed its progress, he stopped short of extermination. The inevitable result has been that the industrial races have increased, while the military race has declined; so that the Turks proper in Europe, who were numbered at from 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 in the reign of Solyman I. (1520-1566) can only now be estimated at a little more than a million and a half. The succession of the Turk at Constantinople is certain to devolve upon a civilised people, and whether it fall to Russia, Austria, or one of the emancipated states, will mean that the higher race has entered again upon part of its natural habitat, from which it had been irregularly expelled. Beyond this it is possible that Russia may contribute a large immigration to Western Turkestan; that English settlers may reinforce the white population of the Cape, so as to keep it dominant; and that the Australian feeling against Asiatic immigrants may keep Northern Australia free from any overwhelming influx of Chinamen or Hindoo coolies.

Meanwhile, the small triumphs which the Aryan race may achieve in these directions are likely to be more than balanced by the disproportionate growth of what we consider the inferior races. China is generally regarded as a stationary power which can fairly hold its own, though it has lost Annam to France, and the suzerainty of Upper Burmah to England, and the Amoor Valley to Russia, but which is not a serious competitor in the race for empire. There is a certain plausibility in this view. On the other hand, China has recovered Eastern Turkestan from Mahommedan rule and from a Russian protectorate, is dominating the Corea, and has stamped out a dangerous rebellion in Yunnan. No one can doubt that if China were to get for sovereign a man with the organising and aggressive genius of Peter the Great or Frederick the Second, it would be a very formidable neighbour to either British India or Russia. Neither is it easy to suppose that the improvements, now tentatively introduced into China, will not soon be taken up and pushed on a large scale, so that railways will be carried into the heart of Asia, and large armies drilled and furnished with arms of precision on the European model. In any such case the rights which China has reluctantly conceded or still claims over Annam and Tonquin, over Siam, over Upper Burmah, and over Nepaul, may become matters of very serious discussion. At present the French settlements arrest the expansion of China in the direction most dangerous to the world. Unfortunately, the climate of Saigon is, such as no European cares to settle in, and the war to secure Tonquin was so unpopular that it cost a French premier his tenure of office. It is difficult to suppose that France would make great sacrifices for such a possession. It seems not unlikely that she might consent to sell her rights, or to exchange them for some commercial advantage, or for some territorial equivalent, such as China might have to offer in the future. Should some arrangement of this kind ever be made, China will incontinently resume the old protectorate over Siam, and will become very much more formidable than she is even at present from her inherent strength.

Whatever, however, be the fortune of China in this direction, it is scarcely doubtful that she will not only people up to the furthest boundary of her recognised territory, but gradually acquire new dominions. The history of our Straits Settlements will afford a familiar instance how the Chinese are spreading. They already form half the population predominating in Singapore and Perak, and the best observers are agreed that the Malay cannot hold his own against them. They are beginning to settle in Borneo and Sumatra, and they are supplanting the natives in some of the small islands of the Pacific, such as Hawaii. The climate of all these countries suits them, and they commend themselves to governments and employers by their power of steady industry; and they intermarry freely up to a safe point with the women of the country, getting all the advantages of alliance, yet not sacrificing their nationality. Several causes have retarded their spread hitherto: the regions enumerated have mostly been too insecure for an industrial people to flourish in, until the British or the Dutch established order; the government of China has hitherto discouraged emigration; English administrations have been obliged to be rather wary in their dealings with a people who showed at Sarawak and Penang that they were capable of combining for purposes of massacre; and the Chinese superstition about burial in the sacred soil of the Celestial Empire made the great majority of the emigrants birds of passage. All these causes are disappearing. Malay piracy is becoming a thing of the past; the policy of China is being modified; and it can hardly be supposed that the regard for a family burial-place will long continue to keep millions of not very imaginative men from making their homes in the countries in which their labour will be most valuable. Lastly, it is more than conceivable that some of these countries will pass under Chinese rule. The alternatives are that they should be left under foreign protectorates, as at present, till Malays and Dyaks have increased in the same proportion as the Javanese, or that they should be peopled by emigrants from Europe.

Now, the former of these is the only imaginable alternative to Chinese settlement. Europeans cannot flourish under the Tropics, and will not work with the hand where an inferior race works. What we have to consider, therefore, is the probability that the natives who are giving way to the Chinese in the Malay Peninsula will be able to make head against them in Borneo or Sumatra. Borneo is nearly six times as big as Java, and if it were peopled like Java would support a population of nearly 100,000,000. It has actually, by recent estimates, less than 2,000,000 upon it, and these are distributed among several different races. Of these, the tribes in the interior are more likely to be exterminated than reclaimed; and the Dyaks and Malays, numbering between them about 1,500,000, are the only races strong enough to compete in industry with Chinamen. Obviously there is at present room for both in the island, and the British North Borneo Company is stimulating the immigration of coolies, both from China and from the Malay Peninsula. In the long run the Chinese, who outnumber the Malays as sixteen to one, who are more decidedly industrial, and who organise where they can in a way that precludes competition, are tolerably certain to gain the upper hand. They may not destroy the early settlers, but they will reduce them to the position of the Hill tribes in India, or of the Ainos in Japan. Assume fifty years hence that China has taken its inevitable position as one of the great powers of the world, and that Borneo has a population of 10,000,000, predominantly Chinese, is it easy to suppose in such a case that the larger part of Borneo would still be a dependency of the Netherlands? or that the whole island would not have passed, by arms or diplomacy, into the possession of China? Assume England or it might be Germany, as administering the inheritance of Holland to possess a nominal suzerainty, would Borneo any the less be Chinese, to all practical purposes, in its commerce, in its political sympathies, in its civilisation, and in its influence upon its neighbours? The expansion of China towards the south and south-west seems most probable, because there is here most natural wealth to develop, and because the circumstances are specially favourable: administrations guided by commercial principles, and populations too weak to resist immigration. Nothing but the vigilant opposition of the Australian democracies has kept the Chinese from becoming a power on that more remote continent; and at one time within the last forty years the Chinamen actually in Victoria numbered something like 13 per cent of the adult male population. It cannot be held, however, that the Chinese are debarred from gaining territory to the north or west. Even if we choose to regard the Corea and Thibet as already Chinese, there is Nepaul, which might easily be annexed on the Indian frontier if England were crippled or occupied; and there are parts of Turkestan which might be wrested under some similar conjuncture from Russia; or, more naturally still, China might first people and then occupy the provinces along the lower course of the Amoor, which she ceded very reluctantly under pressure, at a time when she was in dire need. There are those who believe that the Chinaman is likely to supersede Spaniard and Indian alike in parts of South America. Without assuming that all of these possibilities are likely to be realised, there is surely a strong presumption that so great a people as the Chinese, and possessed of such enormous natural resources, will sooner or later overflow their borders, and spread over new territory, and submerge weaker races.

It is difficult to suppose that the motley populations which occupy India and British Burmah can ever be welded into anything as homogeneous as the Chinese Empire. Meanwhile, it is important to observe that British rule, so far as it has any effect, is tending to obliterate the religious differences between Mahommedan and Hindoo, and the racial differences between the Bengalee and the Ghoorka, the Sikh and the Madrassee. Whether England retain her rule or be superseded by some other power, or give place to an independent state or states, it is permissible to hope that the old days of sanguinary misrule, when whole tracts were desolated by Pindarees, are never likely to recur. Even if we assume a state of things such as has been witnessed in South America, a cleavage into a number of small states, incessant revolutions and wars, there seems no reason why the Peninsula should not recover itself, as South America has to some extent done, so that population and wealth might increase in it. It can maintain a much greater population than it has within its own borders 50 per cent more if it be peopled as China is; and it is barred from any great increase to the east by the fact that its people could hardly hope to contend against the Chinese. To the west, however, there is a possibility of expansion over Beluchistan, which is not all desert, and over Afghanistan, which is not all mountain. An industrial race coming in gradually under the protection of British arms may easily reclaim large portions of these districts, and swamp the military tribes now settled in them. Those who bear in mind that Persia, with a territory three times as large as that of France, has a population not half as large again as that of Belgium, will perhaps incline to believe that here also in the southern and eastern provinces are regions which may ultimately come to have their fields tilled by coolies, and their commerce carried on by Banyahs.

Some who admit the possibility that the Chinese and Hindoo races may spread over new territory and absorb other populations in Asia may doubt the future of the American Indians, and hold that Southern and Central America are as much the destined inheritance of the white man as the greater part of Northern America seems already to be his estate. Wiener, who travelled among the Indians of Peru and Bolivia, declares that the fine qualities of the aboriginal race have been destroyed beyond the power of recovery by the degradation of centuries of misrule, that the half-caste Indian is fit for nothing but servitude, and that the free Indian has reverted to savagery. Professor Orton, who saw the Indian in Ecuador and along the Amazon districts, where he is perhaps at his lowest, declares that “yet a little while and the race will be extinct as the dodo.”  Meanwhile Wiener goes so far as to say that the acclimatisation of the white man has only given good results where there is a cross with native blood. “Families of pure white race generally begin to die out in the third generation, and become the hopeless victims of scrofula.” Orton makes the admission, that few of the whites in the Amazon valley “are of pure Caucasian descent.” A later American traveller, Mr. Curtis, declares that the interior of Brazil is unsuited to Europeans. “The climate is so enervating that, after an experience of two years, the German colonist will be found by his Portuguese predecessor sitting in the shade of the fig-tree, and hiring a negro to do his work.” Mr. Curtis adds, that even in the southern provinces the success of colonists has been very small. “Most of the colonies have broken up,” and many of the members “have succumbed to the influences of the climate and died of fever.” If these statements are true, and there is a good deal to support them, it would seem as if Southern and Central America, north of Uruguay, are never likely to be the home of the white man in dense masses. If the Indians are dying out, like the pure-blooded Spaniards, the country will be peopled by half-castes or by negroes, or it may be by Chinamen, who have got a footing in Peru, or by coolies, such as are working profitably in British Guiana.

Meanwhile, it must be borne in mind that some observers take a much more promising view of the prospects of the Indian than M. Wiener and Mr. Orton. Mr. Curtis distinguishes the races in Ecuador as divided into a Spanish aristocracy, half-caste artisans and mechanics, and Indian cultivators and servants. Something like this seems to be the general division, and if it embraced all the inhabitants of the country, it would mean that the families of Spanish descent were an insignificant minority who must sooner or later be absorbed into the inferior population. Statistics, in fact, show that the whites so-called are only as one in eight of the whole nation of Ecuador. Now Ecuador is a good specimen of a country in which the white race holds its own. When we go farther north, we find Mr. Boyle, a very acute observer, and who spent some time in Central America, declaring his conviction, “that the descendants of the Spaniards, after the lapse of three centuries, are still but squatters in the land; round them on every side are the sons of the old races.” Mr. Boyle estimates the free Indians of Guatemala at 1,000,000 at least; and official statistics declare that in the capital itself only one-tenth are pure-blooded whites. That anything like an accurate census has been taken, or is possible in these countries, may be doubted. Wild Indians will not give in returns; and among the free the tendency till lately must always have been to claim affinity with the dominant caste. Meanwhile, it may be noticed of the capital of Guatemala, that Whetham declares few of the inhabitants to have Spanish blood, and of Mexico, that the Europeans, who in 1810 were classed as one in six of the population, are now set down as little more than a twentieth. If we take the popular estimates, we find Humboldt in 1790 putting the pure Indians in Mexico at two-fifths of the population; while Alison, taking the date 1810, calculates the Spaniards in Mexico, Guatemala, and Caracas at about 1,600,000 in a total population of 8,500,000, or rather less than 20 per cent. The numbers given for this year in the Statesman’s Year-Book make the descendants of the Spaniard at most 1,200,000 out of a population of more than 12,000,000 in those countries. On the whole, I believe, that in Spanish America, excluding Chiliand the Argentine Confederation, the pure or nearly pure descendants of the conquerors are not as one in four to half-castes and Indians, and that these latter amount to about 25,000,000, pretty evenly divided.

It may be admitted at once that the position of those of Indian blood is still very secondary. Still, the evidence is, that they are conquering a place for themselves in other ways than by increasing and multiplying. “General Porfirio Diaz,” says Mr. Curtis, “the foremost man in Mexico to-day, and one whose public career will fill pages in the history of that republic, is the representative of mixed Spanish and Aztec ancestry, like all of the famous native leaders of the last half-century.” In fact, however, the most distinguished of all, Juarez, was a pure-blooded Indian, as were also Mejia and Mendez, two of Maximilian’s best generals. In Guatemala the pure-blooded Indian, Carera, defeated the ablest revolutionary leader, the Spaniard—with a dash of Corsican blood—Morazan; and having been raised to power by the Church, had the sagacity to discard it, and establish a secular polity. The most distinguished of his successors, Barrios, was a half-caste. Guardia, one of the best presidents of Costa Rica, was a half-caste; and even in Peru, where the tradition of Pizarro’s brutality was long maintained, and assisted to depress the natives, there has been a half-caste president, Castilla. There, too, the old rule that reserved office and the priesthood for the descendants of the conquerors has fallen into disuse. Wiener stayed with a half-caste priest, and Orton carried a letter to an Indian governor. Even in Mexico the ruling class is still essentially white; and everywhere the whites are fighting and intriguing for the spoils of office, while the native people remains passive and seemingly unobservant, and barely contributes here and there a successful leader to a popular movement. Meanwhile, the general level of the autochthonous race is being raised; it is acquiring riches and self-respect, and must sooner or later get the country back into its hands. The Guaranis of Paraguay, whose race is widely diffused over the south, cannot be very inferior to the Aztecs. Literature is the last growth of a new country, but more than two centuries ago a descendant of the Incas, Garcilasso de la Vega, conquered an honourable name for himself in Spanish literature.

However, the question whether the Indians will people part of South America, and the whole of Central America again, is comparatively an unimportant issue. What seems certain is that no European race will take their place. The weakest of the American states, be it Honduras or Nicaragua, is protected by climate from the Anglo-Saxon or German immigrant. M. de Lesseps in 1880 defended the climate of the district through which his canal was to pass by the statement, that out of 2000 Chinamen engaged on the construction of the Panama Railway only 500 had died during the work, and that of these half had committed suicide; but even this mortality of adult males will appear considerable to most men; and M. de Lesseps was compelled to admit that the mortality among the Irish had been much greater. He explained this away as the effect of drunken habits. It seems proved that Europeans who are naturally strong, and who commit no excess, have a fair chance of life in the higher parts and in the reclaimed parts of Central America. This, however, is as much as can be maintained. M. de Verbrugghe, who has vindicated the reputation of the district marked out for the Panama Canal, admits that many parts on the Nicaragua route, such as Grey Town, the mouths of the Atrato, and the marshes of the Trinidad are absolutely pestilential. Generally it may be said that immigrants from the Temperate Zone are likely to repeat the experience of Paterson’s party, until the jungle and the swamp have been brought back into cultivation. The work of reclaiming them, however, can only be done by races tolerant of heat, and more or less insensible to fever, and when these have established themselves in large numbers, there will be no place left for the white man. The southern planters who subsidised Walker, intended to turn Nicaragua into another Louisiana. Now that slavery is abolished, the country can only be developed by free Indians or by free negroes coming in from the states. These are the two natural sources of the coloured labour that is indispensable.

Of the other countries—one and all—that have been classed as predominantly Indian, it may be said that they are not likely to encourage European immigration on a very extended scale, or, if they did encourage it, to attract it. The circumstances of the Argentine Republic are exceptional. “It is estimated,” says Mr. Curtis, “that the extent of agricultural land in the Argentine Republic equals 600,000 square miles; an area equal to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and capable of producing every crop in these states.” Let it be added that these enormous tracts lie fairly near together, that they are traversed in great part by railways, that the climate is that of Southern France, and that Indians are hardly a more real danger than in the United States. It is easy to understand 600,000 immigrants pouring into such a paradise in the space of ten years. Contrast Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, which are in a great measure tropical Switzerlands; Quito, for instance, being 2000 feet higher than the Hospice of the Great St. Bernard in Europe, and Cuzco and Potosi and the capital of Bolivia higher still. The fertile niches of these countries are already occupied by Indians. The reclaimable parts can only be developed by irrigation, and lie at a distance from one another, so that foreign immigrants could not enjoy congenial neighbourhood. There remain, of course, the states of Colombia, Venezuela, and the three Guianas. The richest parts of these, the valleys of the Orinoco, the Magdalena, and smaller rivers, are all either swamps or liable to inundation: districts that may, at some future day, maintain a population of many millions, but in which small bodies of foreign immigrants would find, under worse climatic conditions, what Dickens painted in his sketch of Eden. Venezuela is graphically described by Eastwick as “a forest larger than France, steppes like those of Gobi, and mountain tracts which it would take many Switzerlands to match.” Last of all, it must be remembered that it is more than doubtful if native governments or populations would encourage or tolerate immigration on a large scale. The Church would oppose an influx of heretics, and the Spanish governing caste would hesitate lest they should see the precedent of Texas repeated.

Brazil stands by itself among South American states in one important particular. Its indigenous Indians were to a great extent less docile and reclaimable than the Aztecs, the Quichuas, and the Guaranis of Paraguay have proved themselves. Brazil accordingly has a large element of negro population; how large may be estimated from the fact that, in 1850, the slaves were set down at 2,500,000. It seems probable that negroes and negro half-castes compose the better half of the 12,000,000 who are calculated to people Brazil; the pure Indians are estimated by a liberal calculation at 1,000,000; while the Portuguese, Germans, and half-caste or civilised Indians make up the remainder. What all observers are agreed upon is that there are very few families of pure Portuguese blood, and the climate of Brazil, except in the Highlands, is opposed, as has been noticed, to the perpetuation of any European people in its full vigour. It seems difficult to doubt that Brazil will pass more and more into the hands of the negroes; the Indians, perhaps, maintaining themselves, and spreading in the northern and more inaccessible central parts; while the white may continue for a long time to be numerous in the cities, and in parts of exceptional healthiness.

The possibilities for Brazil may be illustrated by what is taking place before our eyes in the southern states of the Union. In 1790 the coloured population of the Union was about three-quarters of a million in an estimated population of less than 4,000,000—that is, it numbered nearly 20 per cent of the whole nation. Fortunately for the world, the American Government adopted the policy, first, of prohibiting the importation of slaves, and then of encouraging white immigration with a result which can hardly be estimated at less than an influx of 16,000,000 whites in the century. Accordingly, the proportion of the coloured population to the American people has decreased decade by decade, till it is now only about 13 per cent of the whole. Meanwhile, it is important to observe that, till lately, the negroes have increased, after a fitful and uncertain fashion, not only absolutely, but relatively in the seven states that are sometimes known as the Black Belt, that stretch from North Carolina to Louisiana inclusive, that were the seats of the old slave plantations, and that are eminently favourable to the black race by climate or the opportunities of congenial toil, while they are at least a little dangerous or debilitating to the white man. Briefly, it may be stated that the whites were as 7 to 6·25 in those states in 1860; that they were as 19 to 18·25 in 1880; and that they are as 23 to 21·24 in 1890. The forecast of the Statistical Bureau in 1860 estimated that, in 1880, the blacks would be 6,618,350 in a total population of 56,450,241. As a fact, when that year came, the blacks were as 6,577,151 in a population of 50,152,166. They had multiplied in spite of the Civil War almost up to a sanguine estimate; the whites had fallen short of expectation by 13 per cent. It was believed, for a time, that the “extinction of slavery in widening the field for white labour and enterprise will tend to reduce the rate of increase of the coloured race;” and that “the coloured population in America is doomed to comparatively rapid absorption or extinction.” No such anticipations are entertained now. Professor Gilman believes that, in 1920, the blacks in the eight old slave states will be at 17,400,000 to 9,390,000 whites—that is, within measurable distance of being two to one. It is, of course, possible that the causes which were expected to operate twenty years ago in reducing negro increase will be more effectual when education is diffused, and that the black will multiply more slowly as he acquires a higher standard of comfort. On the other hand, there is also a possibility that whites will find it more and more uncongenial to live in negro states, controlled by negro legislatures, subjected to the competition of negro labour, and sometimes, it may be, overshadowed socially by negroes. In that case, the Black Belt will deserve its name year by year more distinctively. Its people of course are bound to remain a part of the Union, so that, in this case, a black commonwealth will not be constituted politically. What is remarkable is, that the blacks should be increasing so rapidly in a country where they are outnumbered vastly by the whites altogether; where the conditions are incomparably more favourable to white enterprise than in Brazil or Africa;. and where the negroes possess no other advantage than immunity from fever up to a certain point, and a readiness to live cheaply. The first of these advantages must not be exaggerated. Mr. Olmsted, in 1862, brought a great deal of evidence to show that whites were really healthier than negroes in every part of the southern states, except perhaps the Kice Coast. What made the negroes dense in early days was that, while they were slaves, field labour was considered dishonourable, except on a man’s own land, and the whites accordingly congregated in the towns. What keeps the blacks numerous is that, in many kinds of labour, they can undersell the whites, because their standard of requirements is not high, and again, because neither race can endure to live with the other on equal terms. The blacks find the north uncongenial; the white immigrant goes to the west, or to Manitoba, rather than to the more fertile south, where he has to measure himself against the negro. If the negro increases to an extent that makes the southern states of the Union too small for him, the chances perhaps are that he will overflow in the direction of Central America rather than add a new unit of population to the north and Canada.

The result of all these considerations seems to be that by far the most fertile parts of the earth, and which either are or are bound to be the most populous, cannot possibly be the homes of what it is convenient to call the Aryan race, or indeed of any higher race whatsoever. ‘ In Asia the population of India and China, with the countries inextricably bound to them, is already incomparably greater than the collective sum of Russians, Persians, Turks, Arabs, and Syrians, and the disproportion is likely to increase. A conquest by Russia of Turkey in Asia would hardly affect the populations of Syria and Karamania, except by giving Syrians and Armenians the opportunity of increasing under orderly rule. In Africa the vast regions between the Tropics, abandoned to barbarism and anarchy, as with trifling exceptions they have been, have none the less five times the population of the north and south, parts of which have enjoyed English and French administration. In America, taken as a whole, the white population is at present larger than the coloured, almost as two to one, and this proportion seems likely to be maintained for a time, till the western parts of the Union and Canada, and the undeveloped tracts of the Argentine Confederation, are settled in after a fashion. Meanwhile, the mere fact that the white race naturally prefers these parts is giving the Indians and the negroes time to increase in the tropical and semi-tropical parts of America, so that nothing short of extermination on too great a scale to l^e even dreamed of will be able to dispossess them. Neither must it be forgotten that the lower races of men increase faster than the higher; so that fifty years of absolute peace might mean as much for Honduras or Benguela as a hundred years for England or Italy. On the whole, it seems difficult to doubt that the black and yellow belt, which always encircles the globe between the Tropics, will extend its area, and deepen its colour with time. The work of the white man in these latitudes is only to introduce order and an acquaintance with the best industrial methods of the west. The countries belong to their autochthonous races; and these, though they may in parts accept the white man as a conqueror and organiser, will gradually become too strong and unwieldy for him to control, or if they retain him, will do it only with the condition that he assimilates himself to the inferior race.

There is perhaps one consideration which may be regarded as an offset to the enormous probabilities of Chinese and Hindoo expansion. Both China and Hindostan afford ample space for growth within their own limits. China proper, for instance, is as large as twenty-two Englands, or by some estimates as twenty-six, and, on the same basis of population, might maintain at least 650,000,000 or even 750,000,000, or, in other words, might increase for fifty years before it required to relieve itself by an exodus. In fact, it is supposed that from its superior fertility, China could carry more than England to the square mile, and might double its numbers before it needed to trouble its neighbours. Putting, on the one hand, the sufficiency of land at home, and, on the other hand, the conservative genius of the administration, which discourages emigration, and of the people who do not readily accept it, it may be argued that half a century, or a century hence, we shall find China no further advanced than she now is r while the English, French, and Dutch settlements in the Indian Ocean will have consolidated themselves. Those who argue in this way may be reminded that a Tae-Ping rebellion, which lasted fourteen years, is estimated to have cost China from 20,000,000 to 50,000,000 of population; and that, while the inhabitants of a single province, Szechuen, increased by 45,000,000 between 1842 and 1882, there was a loss by official estimates of 100,000,000 in the other provinces. The nation altogether is calculated to have decreased by at least 30,000,000 in this period. Yet China was able during the whole time to spare colonists to Siam, to the Straits Settlements and Malaysia, to the United States and Peru, and to Australia, besides those whom the Government poured into Hi. The settlement in Siam took place under the disadvantage that Chinamen forfeited the rights of citizenship in their own country, and were not protected in case of injury; nevertheless, the Chinese element of the population is now 3,000,000, or about one-fourth. If this has taken place during a period of conservatism and decadence, what are we to expect as year by year the population of the Celestial Empire increases, and its rulers adopt the aggressive policy of the West?

It must be borne in mind, too, that a country may often find its numbers too large for it when it is very far from having reached the limits of its productivity. England in 1840 had a population of 16,000,000, and was over – peopled, so that except for America and Australia it is difficult to see how a great part of her people could have supported life. England in 1890 has a population of 29,000,000, and maintains them, if anything, more easily than she did the smaller number. No one supposes that the extreme limits of her possible increase have been reached. There can be little doubt that a large emigration from China would remove the congestion of some of its districts, and powerfully stimulate Chinese trade, as colonies needing Chinese products were formed. There seems no reason why millions of Chinamen should not pass over into Borneo, as freely as they transferred themselves to Siam or to Szechuen, and make themselves new homes a little outside of the empire as well as within it. Englishmen never dream of settling in Ireland, though Ireland has sometimes offered very good openings. They will have a warmer welcome and more chance of bettering themselves in America or Australia. As the provinces of China fill up gradually, that great displacement of the population which has been going on within the empire is bound to die out, and men who have to carve out new homes will naturally seek the countries where there is waste land.

It is, no doubt, matter of extreme difficulty to predict what the rate of increase in any particular country, or at any given time, will be. Gibbon has estimated the number of Roman subjects under Claudius at 120,000,000. If this population had doubled once in every 150 years, it would long ago have reached a total which no one supposes the world capable of maintaining. As a fact, the population of the countries that constituted the empire is not more than about 200,000,000. Misgovernment, war, and pestilence have perpetually foiled nature, and it is only within the last century that anything like the annual increase, upon which we are now apt to count, has been attained. In Gibbon’s time these same countries could not have mustered much more than half the population of the old empire. Even now there is a great difference perceptible between them. The increase of France is very slow, and the Turkish provinces are almost stationary. England has added largely to her population in the last fifty years, and Ireland in the same period has lost one-fourth of her numbers. Neither are these changes always coincident with national advance or decline. France, for instance, though nearly stationary, is still one of the richest countries in Europe, and England has not been impoverished by her increase. The wealth of France appears to attract immigrants from other countries; but not—just now, at least to stimulate the growth of the native French population.

What, however, we seem able to say is, that in the long run the lower civilisation has a more vigorous life than the higher, the unprivileged gains upon the privileged caste, and the conquered people absorbs the conqueror. There is no perceptible trace of ancient Greek or Roman blood in Asia Minor or in Turkey in Europe. The Turk—himself a barbarian—has destroyed or driven out or depressed all the higher races he came across, and the population under him is now Syrian or Armenian, Albanian or Bulgarian. The Greece that has been restored represents a very small portion of the country in which Greeks were superior by numbers, or by social influence and commercial activity, under Alexander, or even under Claudius. In Transylvania the Saxons are being crowded out by Roumanians, and in Hungary the Magyars and Germans can barely stem the uprising nationalities of Slavs and Roumanians. In Northern Africa the Carthaginian, the Greek, the Roman, and the Vandal were successively effaced, and until the French conquest of Algiers the country was given up to Arabs of a not very pure breed, to Berbers, and to blacks. The Irish were reckoned by Petty in 1672 at 1,100,000 in their own country, and there cannot then have been many outside Ireland. They are now probably from 16,000,000 to 20,000,000, counting only those who can be distinctly recognised as of Irish descent. Before the time of their great dispersion to America and Australia, they had increased within the British Isles from being about a sixth to being nearly a third of the population. Compare the increase of Sweden, with a population of the highest type, at once warlike and industrial, during a rather longer period, and it will seem very small indeed. Sweden with its old province Finland has increased at most fourfold; the Irish people at least fifteenfold.

Lest it should be supposed that these are speculative calculations, or based upon casual instances, it may be pointed out that under present conditions of society, a class or a people which values comfort and position highly cannot possibly increase as rapidly as the class that contents itself with bare existence. The English aristocracy is a typical example of the way in which a close corporation dies out. Its members are almost always wealthy in the first instance, and their estates have been constantly added to by favour from the Crown, by something like the monopoly of the best Government appointments, and by marriages with wealthy heiresses. They are able to command the field sports and open-air life that conduce to health, and the medical advice that combats disease. Nevertheless, they die out so rapidly that only five families out of nearly six hundred go back without a break, and in the male line, to the fifteenth century. It is sometimes thought that the untitled landed gentry represent a more permanent aristocracy, better blood, and longer connection with land than the peers. This is only the conceit of county notabilities. The late Mr. Evelyn Shirley made a list of all the families in England who could show unbroken connection with the squirearchy since the Wars of the Roses terminated, and though he was most liberal in his inclusions his list went easily into a single thin volume. It is perfectly true that a certain number of Englishmen with large landed estates descend from ancestors who held land anciently somewhere; but it will generally be found in such cases that the ancestors were yeomen, or at most squireens. An analysis of modern landowners in a county will habitually prove that not more than six or eight, owning 3000 acres, descend from ancestors who owned as much in the time of Elizabeth. The peers, modern as they are, represent a larger average of old families than the country squires. The great device for perpetuating untitled families has been the law of entail, which has really been a most potent engine for destroying them, by forcing successive generations to saddle the land with encumbrances. On the other hand, the fascination of a title for Englishwomen is so great that peers, beggared by the prodigality of their ancestors, are constantly able to retrieve their fortunes by marriage with heiresses.

Now, if we inquire why it is that noble families die out, we shall find that the reason lies in the desire of all their members to maintain themselves in the class they are born into. It is an unwritten law that they must marry money, or not marry at all; and the result is, that when the heir to the title, marrying perhaps late in life, finds his wife sterile—and heiresses are the outcome of families that tend to be sterile—it may easily happen that his younger brothers have not married at all. Often, of course, it is not too late for them to take wives; but if the peer in possession has daughters on whom the unentailed property will be settled, a man confirmed in bachelor habits will often hesitate before he marries only to continue the title. Now it is the boast of Englishmen that our aristocracy is a supremely reasonable one, that there is no nobility clinging to the children of cadets, and that the highest peer marries freely into the commercial classes, and has done so for centuries past without requiring sixteen quarters in a wife, or even two generations of gentility. All the more noteworthy is it that family after family passes away as if it were laden with a mysterious curse. The instance cited above, which shows how few of our nobles are as old as the first Tudor, may seem an unfair one, as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were times of unsettlement, when many families were deprived of the peerage by attainder, or ruined by confiscations. An example from comparatively modern times will therefore be more instructive. 155 peers were summoned to the first Parliament of James II. In 1825, only 140 years later, only forty-eight of these nobles were represented by lineal descendants in the male line. The family has in several instances been continued by collaterals begging the peerage, which they could not have claimed at law, and in this way the change may seem less than it has really been; but the broad result appears to be that left to itself from 1688, with new creations absolutely forbidden, the House of Lords would by this time have been practically extinguished. Of Charles II.’s six bastards, who were made dukes, only three have perpetuated the race. Three peerages have been lost to the Howard family, three to the Greys, two to the Mordaunts, two to the Hydes, two to the Gerards, and two to the Lucases. A religiously-minded antiquary of Queen Elizabeth’s time attempted to show that a curse attached to all the families which had been enriched by sharing the spoils of ecclesiastical property. At the present day, we know that a normal percentage of those families is still enjoying the fruits of the Parliamentary settlement, which it has pleased divines to call sacrilege. What was really valuable in Sir Henry Spelman’s researches was the proof they afforded, that men high placed enough to enjoy court favour are rarely the founders of long-lived families. It is in the lower strata of society that we have to seek for the springs of national life.

It is a very small matter to the world at large whether titled and landed aristocracies show a tendency to gradual extinction, but it cannot be accounted matter of indifference if the higher races increase very much more slowly than the lower. Even if we assume higher and lower to be merely relative terms, and that the negro is capable of becoming as fine a specimen of humanity as the Englishman or the Frenchman, it has to be recognised that very favourable conditions and a long period of time are required for the transmutation, which, after all, is more than a little doubtful. Now to take two extreme instances, the French, who are a very important factor in civilisation, will only double themselves in two centuries if they retain the rate of progression of the last seventy years; while the negroes of the Southern States are doubling themselves once in forty years. Wealth is supposed to have increased more than fivefold in France since the peace of 1815. This wealth is to a great extent distributed by the stringent law of succession; and the position of the small landowner, and of the artisan, is incomparably better than it has been at any previous time. The population does not emigrate to avoid the conscription, or because the pressure of the taxes is intolerable. It shows its sense of enhanced national burdens, if indeed it shows it at all, by increasing from decade to decade more slowly. Perhaps, what really retards the growth of families is the tacit but universal resolve on no account to submit to a lower standard of food or clothing, or of whatever conduces to comfort and self-respect. At any rate, for one reason or the other, either because the State, or because the family and the individual make greater claims on economy now than they made in past times, France is receding, year by year, from her old high place among populous states. In a more or less small degree, what is true of France is true of Continental Europe, taken as a whole, exclusive of Prussia; and, if we allow for immigrants of the white population, in America. At the end of a longterm of prosperous years, none of the great nations have increased in numbers, as negroes and Hindoos have increased, or, as there is reason to think, Chinamen would have multiplied under similar circumstances.

England has been a singular instance of an old country that has increased its numbers at something like the Oriental rate of progression, while it has carried on exhausting wars, and sent out millions of emigrants. It may be contended, therefore, that an equally wise administration, promoting manufactures and colonies and adopting free trade, may do for Europe in general what England has achieved. On examination, it will be found, however, that precisely the poorest and most backward part of the British Isles, Ireland, is the part that increased most rapidly, till its progress was arrested by famine and wholesale emigration. The population of Ireland is given by Mulhall as 2,373,000 in 1752. In 1841 it was 8,195,000, that is, it had increased between three and fourfold. During the same period, England had increased from 7,000,000 to 16,000,000, or from two to threefold, and Scotland from 1,265,000 to 2,620,000, that is, had just about doubled itself. The most thrifty and progressive of the three countries showed the smallest increase. Such as this increase was, however, it was undoubtedly due in part to an immigration from Ireland. Since the peasantry of Ireland have earned higher wages, and acquired a larger proprietorship in their native land, they have ceased to increase at any rapid rate. England, therefore, is now the capital example of a highly civilised country that doubles in sixty years; for even Germany cannot exhibit anything like the same rate of progression. The average for all Europe is to double in about a century. Against this, we have the negro doubling in forty years, and the Hindoo in about eighty, under circumstances which have no doubt been highly favourable, but which are not unlikely to last. China, down to 1842, doubled at the rate of once in eighty years. Her progress was then suspended by a gigantic calamity. If she can preserve peace and benefit by the outlets which England offers her in the Indian seas, is there any reason why she should not increase even more rapidly than in the best period of the past?

It has been no part of this argument to consider whether an inferior race may not to some extent displace a superior in a country where the superior race has been supreme in power, and unapproached in numbers for centuries. Such a case as that of the Mauritius, where the French colonists are dwindling away, and where such civilisation as they had established is giving place to the inroads of Chinamen and Hindoos, who are gradually acquiring land and trade, may be regarded as on too small a scale to be conclusive. Russia shows us the curious spectacle of a race that is credited with the possession of high qualities, that has not been outrageously ill-treated in the immediate past, and that is only slightly inferior in concrete civilisation to its rulers, increasing so rapidly as to be thought a danger to the Empire. The Jews have spread into Russia from Poland, where they enjoyed exceptional privileges, and though they suffered in 1832 for their supposed complicity in the Polish War of Independence, they have generally been protected by the law, and only restricted from settlement in certain parts of the Empire. They were for a time encouraged to colonise parts of the Ukraine, and though it may seem futile, and even tyrannical to settle Jews on the land as agriculturists, it must be remembered that instances were on record in which Jews had taken to a country life of themselves, or had been induced to adopt it. Clarke, who travelled through Poland in 1778, tells us that there “Jews cultivate the ground, and we frequently saw them engaged in sowing, reaping, mowing, and other works of husbandry.” Maria Theresa actually established Jewish agricultural colonies with partial and temporary success in Bohemia. Therefore, we need not assume that the race is incapable of husbandry; and that the Jews in Russia have generally abandoned or sub-let their land in the Ukraine is probably due to the fact that they have seen more profitable and congenial employment open to them in the cities. Their position, though not a dignified or pleasant one, has been, till lately, tolerably endurable to a people that has no recent memories of independence. As long as they retained their faith they were shut out from the court, from office, and from society; but as contractors, merchants, tradesmen, money-lenders, middlemen, and smugglers, they have been able to do a great deal of profitable business. They were trusted and employed by the police during the unsuccessful Polish rising of 1864-65; and now and again some of the brighter of them, such as Jessy Helfman and Aaron Zundelevitch have sympathised with the plans of the Nihilists, and have worked with Russians for reforms, as the more ardent Russians conceive them. It is almost needless to add, that in a country like Russia it has always been possible to evade the laws restraining Jewish industry or settlement by bribing officials.

Now the conditions just described are precisely those which are most favourable to an increase of population. Given security to life, limb, and property, which there has been till very lately, the power to enjoy wealth being limited, while its value as a safeguard is enhanced, and all the checks of self-restraint being removed, the Jewish population has had no motive to limit its reproductive powers. There is reason to think that the Jewish people is exceptionally healthy and fertile; but any race would increase which had the wit to make money a strong stimulus for making it in the need to purchase protection and no private use to spend it on, except food, and the rearing of a family. The Jew has no reason for living in a palace, for keeping up unnecessary servants, or for spending extravagantly on social pleasures; and is, indeed, wise if he avoids all ostentation. His risk of attack from the populace, and the percentage he pays to officials, will be less in proportion as he is shabbily dressed and poorly housed. Naturally he accumulates money, and naturally, also, he marries young and does not dream of limiting his family. Is it wonderful if the rapid increase of the race has begun to provoke alarm? In 1778 the Jews of Poland and Lithuania cannot have much exceeded from 300,000 to 400,000. Those in the other parts of Russia were at that time an inappreciable quantity. The smallest estimate now puts the Jews of Russia at more than 3,000,000, and the highest makes them amount to 6,000,000. Rejecting as extravagant the calculation which makes them double every fourteen years, we may surely admit that the ruling powers have some cause to be alarmed if a race that dislikes agriculture, mechanical industry, the life of a sailor, and the profession of arms, that does not intermarry with its neighbours, that does not share their traditions, or aspirations, or faith, increases, let us say, twice as rapidly. Eighty years ago it might have been sufficient to deal with the Jews of Russia, as the wise policy of Napoleon dealt with those of France, and to give them absolute social and civil equality. The Jews of France are Frenchmen of another faith, and show no tendency to disproportionate increase, being, in fact, as nearly stationary as the rest of the population. The remedy is not as simple in Russia, because the Jews are now a nation in themselves—herding together, too numerous, and, it may be feared, too detested to be absorbed into the general population. However, it is not an object in this place to discuss how the Jews in Russia ought to be treated. What is desired is to show that since it has become impossible to deny inferior races the protection of the law in civilised communities, they are bound to increase faster than the privileged part of the nation. The case of the Jews in Russia is peculiarly instructive, because they were a mere fraction of the population when Lithuania and Poland were first incorporated, and are now numerous enough to appear a danger to the Empire. Nevertheless, even now they would hardly provoke any general hostility if they were not swamping the middle-class in cities. Were they content, like the Roumanians in Hungary, to do field drudgery, their increase would hardly have been noticed till it had become irresistible.

It may be said that the arguments of this chapter assume the progress of the world to be henceforth in an opposite direction to that which has been pursued in the past. Taking Europe, for instance, we find here and there the remnants of inferior peoples, whose ancestors were once widely spread, and whom invaders of a higher type have exterminated or supplanted. The Basques, the Lapps, the Letts are familiar instances; and a very superior race, the Kelts, though they continue to exist, and have always been an appreciable element in Europe, have been Romanised and Teutonised into partial conformity, with more vigorous conquerors. It may seem to some as if we might expect the same process to be repeated in Asia and Africa; even if we concede what has been contended for above, that under the conditions which exist in a British or Dutch colony in tropical zones, the native is bound to increase faster than the European. Those who argue in this way must bear in mind that the modern world differs so entirely from the ancient in certain conditions of primary importance, that we are bound to expect a different evolution. For instance, Cæsar is said to have killed a million Gauls, and made slaves of another million. Even if we reduce these estimates by half and allow for Gaul having been a fourth larger than France, it will yet seem probable that a fourth of the male population was either killed or sold out of the country. The last war of modern times, conducted as pitilessly as war was by a Greek or Roman general, was the Thirty Years’ War in Germany; and it cost that country four-fifths of its population. “Wurtemberg, which before had a population of half a million, was reduced after the battle of Nordlingen to 46,000.” Now it may be rash to say that the world is really better than it was; but it is undoubted, that for more than two centuries—and even in countries where regulars were fighting against partisans—nothing has occurred to parallel or recall these horrors of old time. Neither is this mitigation of war confined to Europe. Burke tells us that when Hyder Ali ravaged the Carnatic, “a storm of universal fire blasted every field, consumed every house, destroyed every temple.” When the British armies traversed this district eighteen months later, “through the whole line of their march they did not see one man, not one woman, not one child, not one four-footed beast of any description whatever.” Less than a century later, when there was a mutiny in India, which roused the worst passions of religious fanatics and the ferocity of insurgent soldiers, fighting with the halter round their necks, neither the Sepoy outrages nor the terrible reprisals of English soldiers were even comparable to Hyder Ali’s style of warfare. The last specimen of the old style of war was seen when the Chinese troops stamped out rebellion in Yunnan and in Ili. Now, although it would not be wise to calculate that there will be no revival of the old savagery, it is reasonable to expect that the accepted practice of civilised nations will on the whole maintain itself, and will influence the procedure of conquerors in Southern Asia, in Africa, and in South America. Meanwhile the effect already produced has told visibly in favour of the growth of population; and its chief effects have naturally been seen in the increase of those who suffered most from war formerly. China and India are the two most striking instances. The Tae-Ping war, which cost China many millions of people, was put down practically by British aid. Our policy could not allow the Chinese trade to be paralysed, and our humanity was horrified by the news of massacres which Gustavus Adolphus, Cromwell, or Turenne would have looked upon as the regrettable but necessary consequences of war. Then, again, in India, for one war that we have waged, we have prevented twenty by the mere establishment of a strong central authority. Accordingly the population of India has increased at least fourfold, probably fivefold, within a century.

There is another way in which we are the blind instruments of fate for multiplying the races that are now our subjects, and will one day be our rivals. We carry the sanitary science and the engineering skill of Europe into the East. The Indian official who wishes to obtain favourable notice at headquarters is very apt to promulgate a new plan of some crowded native town, by which broad streets are to replace the sinuous alleys, and before which the worst quarter will disappear. No native can be compelled to build in conformity with the new regulations, but every native who refuses to do it knows or thinks that he will be a marked man with the police, and compliance is very general. The system does not make our “Raj” popular, but it compasses great good for the people at a comparatively small cost, and familiarises the masses with elementary notions of decency. Five years ago a Governor of the so-called “benighted Presidency,” Madras, Sir M. E. Grant Duff, put it on record, that “nearly all municipalities are now willing to undertake the” (sanitary) “conservancy of private dwellings for a small fee.” Accordingly, though India is still the breeding-place of cholera, its epidemics are much more manageable than they were; and this though the conditions of health in an increased population are more difficult to compass. Anciently, there were periodical famines, sweeping away, it might be, millions at a time. At present, what with irrigation works and enhanced security, the produce of the country is far greater than it used to be, and railways enable it to be more rapidly distributed. A famine, like that which destroyed three-quarters of a million and one-fourth of the population in Orissa as lately as 1866, is becoming every year more and more improbable. Meanwhile, the people, as is only natural, are taking advantage of the prosperity by multiplying rather than by raising their standard of comfort. The education, the contact with other people, that could make the present form of existence appear deficient, are wanting. The ryot asks for little more than to be freed from the worst exactions of the money-lender, to be secured a continuance of peace and reasonable prices, and to be let alone by the English official.

The day will come, and perhaps is not far distant, when the European observer will look round to see the globe girdled with a continuous zone of the black and yellow races, no longer too weak for aggression or under tutelage, but independent, or practically so, in government, monopolising the trade of their own regions, and circumscribing the industry of the European; when Chinamen and the nations of Hindostan, the States of Central and South America, by that time predominantly Indian, and it may be African nations of the Congo and the Zambesi, under a dominant caste of foreign rulers, are represented by fleets in the European seas, invited to international conferences, and welcomed as allies in the quarrels of the civilised world. The citizens of these countries will then be taken up into the social relations of the white races, will throng the English turf, or the salons of Paris, and will be admitted to intermarriage. It is idle to say, that if all this should come to pass our pride of place will not be humiliated. We were struggling among ourselves for supremacy in a world which we thought of as destined to belong to the Aryan races and to the Christian faith; to the letters and arts and charm of social manners which we have inherited from the best times of the past. We shall wake to find ourselves elbowed and hustled, and perhaps even thrust aside by peoples whom we looked down upon as servile, and thought of as bound always to minister to our needs. The solitary consolation will be, that the changes have been inevitable. It has been our work to organise and create, to carry peace and law and order over the world, that others may enter in and enjoy. Yet in some of us the feeling of caste is so strong that we are not sorry to think we shall have passed away before that day arrives.


The break-up of the Roman Empire has shown that a splendid political organisation may be destroyed by the concert of inferior or less highly developed races.—Although this was the birth of a new world, it involved the extinction of thought, art, and style for centuries.—Parallels may be found in the histories of Greece, of Peru, and of Cambodia.—The fortunes of Spain and Turkey are striking illustrations of the same law from modern times.—The supremacy of the inferior races in the future is likely to be achieved by industrial progress rather than by military conquest.—The Englishman is changing from faith in private enterprise to faith in State organisation.—The change is likely to affect the character of the race for vigorous originality.—We see the beginning of decadence in the decline of speculative thought.—We find a decay of mechanical invention, and even more, that a less hearty welcome is given to it.—With impaired faith in himself, the Englishman will trust more and more to the State, and to State Socialism, which is likely to be accompanied with a change to the stationary order, population and wealth ceasing to increase.—This change may not necessarily be bad, but it will be great Yet, in fact, great parts of State Socialism have already been adopted, and the arguments against the remainder, even if valid, are not demonstrably irrefutable.—What democracies really aim at, that Governments shall give immediate effect to the popular will, need not be a source of unrest and instability if some satisfactory order can be achieved, and if there are the conditions for maintaining it.—The military spirit will not die out, because the instinct of existence is driving every State to aggrandise itself, that it may not be absorbed.—It seems certain, too, that sooner or later China must become a formidable military power.—For all nations, except perhaps the United States and England, military strength means a strong executive organisation, large forces, and the power to mobilise them rapidly.—The belief of some Liberals, that a strong militia may supersede the necessity for a highly trained army, is refuted by the precedents of American history.—In revolutionary France the Republic was not saved by raw levies, but by militia and regulars, commanded by trained generals, and operating in superior numbers. Napoleon disapproved of short-service men, and lost battles from the time he began to employ them.—The Spanish volunteers were of no use, except behind walls.—The partial successes of the Boers against England admit of easy explanation.—Therefore military absolutism will be combined with industrial Socialism in the communities of the future. When they are not State soldiers, citizens will very commonly be State servants.—This form of polity is congenial to Eastern nations; and these, as they become powerful, will begin to influence European habits and thought.—As, however, the Englishman has a higher standard of comfort than the Chinaman, he cannot hold his own, other things being equal, against the Chinaman.—The ideal of the European Socialist is, however, not to intensify toil, but to diminish it, and to increase the material and moral well-being of the man. Throughout Europe this may be done by industrial combination; but Chinese competition will force the European either to protect himself by hostile tariffs or to limit the increase of population.—The belief that the stationary state has been reached will produce general discouragement, and will probably affect the intellectual energy of the people concerned.—If the Mahommedans succeed in becoming dominant in China, China will be an aggressive military power; but this is perhaps less to be dreaded than its industrial development.

The preceding pages have aimed at showing that certain races which we regard as inferior, and the highest of which is certainly our inferior in military and political organisation, are likely to increase very largely in comparison with the races which at present constitute what claims to be the civilised world. Such an event has happened once before under such circumstances, that its character and results are tolerably well known. An old order, which we call in the first period of its existence the Roman Empire, broke up as invaders poured down upon it from Germany and Russia, from Central Asia, and from Persia. It seems at first incredible that so magnificent a polity as Trajan succeeded to should not have been able to maintain itself. Lying centrally round the sea which was then the great highway and artery of commerce, the Roman dominion was traversed by roads, which gave its armies the great advantage of concentrating rapidly on any point that was menaced. Its population was incomparably greater than that of any neighbour; its generals and engineers and the equipment of its troops were unsurpassed in the world; and the emperors of capacity were sufficiently numerous to have atoned for the incompetence of a few. An observer speculating upon manifest destiny, and knowing nothing more of the earth than was known a little earlier to the elder Pliny, might surely have said with reason in Trajan’s time, that sooner or later the eagles would certainly fly in triumph over the whole habitable world. Even now, though we can trace the stages of decadence, it is difficult not to be astonished at the completeness of the ruin. Summing up the most obvious causes, we seem to see that the institution of slavery deprived Italy of a large part of her natural and best defenders; that the burden of taxes produced a depopulation in the provinces, as men ceased to marry, or escaped across the border and joined the barbarians; and that while Rome was thus losing her life-blood, Germans and Parthians were acquiring the arts of war, and becoming conscious of their strength. Even so, we have to fall back upon other explanations—upon famines and pestilences that desolated provinces, and upon an upheaval of peoples in the far East, resulting in an exodus of Tartars across Europe—fully to understand why the attack on the Roman Empire became so strong, and was at last so weakly combated.

Optimists are fond of showing that, after all, all happened for the best in the best of all possible worlds. A larger polity, making country life and local institutions possible, supplanted the rule by municipal garrisons, the centralisation under prefects and emperor, which Rome had imposed upon her provinces. The German, whom Tacitus had admired, superseded the polished, servile, and profoundly immoral society which Tacitus and Juvenal had denounced. The cross surmounting the Capitol; Telemachus sealing with his blood the decisive protest against the atrocities of the Coliseum; the guild-hall taking the place of the basilica; charitable institutions sown broadcast over the earth; freedom for national life everywhere, and, after a time, freedom for industry, are the obvious contrasts between the old order and the new. There is an element of truth in all this, but it is not a complete statement of the case. We are apt to forget that the process of transformation lasted over centuries. One of the first results of the conquest of the Roman world was that all the highest science and thought, the tradition of the public opinion of the best men, died out with the upper classes, who were its depositories. In Roman law the world lost the jurisconsult while it retained the notary; in the arts of construction, it kept the mason and lost the architect; while in art, in poetry, in philosophy, and in history, it unhappily lost everything. Whether the Germans of a generation later than Arminius were quite as virtuous as Tacitus thought them may reasonably be doubted. What admits of no doubt is, that the Germanic conquerors of France were as vicious and sensual as Tiberius or Vitellius, without being educated up to the level which made a Roman patrician capable of carrying on the government of a civilised country. Even the times of Roman decadence give us Marcus Aurelius, Lucian, and a succession of great fathers, with Appian, Arrian, and Dio Cassius among historians; and Roman poetry may be said to have died out worthily in Claudian. The six centuries that succeeded the invasion of Attila are almost absolutely barren of thought and style. The races that produced Charlemagne and Alfred, Eginhardt and Bede, and to which we owe the Nibelungen Lied, and a host of minor poems, were certainly not wanting in original power, or even in literary capacity. Only criticism, and the appreciation of the best models, and the instinctive apprehension of perfect form had died out; and though the fraternity of great thinkers began again with Anselm, it was not till the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries that the new world seemed able to create poets of the first order, or historians like Joinville and Froissart, whom the charm of expression has endeared to all time.

Now the disastrous gap made in civilisation by the destruction of the Roman Empire has many parallels in history on a smaller scale. There can be little doubt that the wars of Alexander’s successors, and the Roman conquests in Greece and Asia, destroyed a very high form of Greek literature, and that Roman supremacy arrested the spread of Greek influence in the East. In Germany, the terrible Thirty Years’ War threw back the country in the estimation of good judges for two centuries at least, though in this case the eclipse of literature was less noticeable than the injury inflicted on population and industrial progress. A striking example of the way in which a people civilised up to a certain point may be plunged again into barbarism, is exhibited by the fate of the native Peruvians. This people could build roads and aqueducts, such as the Spaniards only knew of by inheriting them from Rome; and the Temple of the Sun at Cuzco was admitted by the Spanish historian, Sarmiento, to be surpassed only by two buildings in Spain, which at that time possessed all really good that it has now. A Spanish conqueror has left it on record, that the Government was so admirable that there was perfect administration, absolute security of property, and a morality far higher than that of the Christian conquerors. It was all swept away within a generation, and we only know of it by the labours of antiquaries. Cambodia and Cochin China are covered with magnificent ruins, which the present occupants of the country cannot account for, and do not claim for their ancestors. No one knows whether the race which constructed them was exterminated, or has emigrated, or has relapsed into barbarism. We can only say that a people of eminent architectural genius, and wielding great resources, and probably Buddhist in faith, once occupied these regions, and that its place is now taken by a mongrel population of the Chinese type, and which has contributed nothing to the world’s history.

The illustrations of complete ruin in the cases of Rome, Peru, and Cambodia, may seem to belong to times when the forces of the world were not properly equipoised, and when it was impossible to predict how the balance of strength would ultimately incline. At present, large states are very much contained within natural boundaries, and there is a general consent that none shall be aggrandised by inordinate extensions of territory. Napoleon himself, though he was ruined by aiming at too much, did not propose to keep Spain, or any large part of Germany in his own hands; and the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine by conquest may still be regarded as a hazardous experiment. Those who think in this way, may turn profitably to two instances of comparatively modern history.

The Spain of Queen Elizabeth’s time possessed Portugal, Naples, Milan, Franche-Comte, and Flanders in Europe; the greater part of what is now called Spanish America, and a line of important settlements in Africa, India, and Malaysia. Its European dominions included most of the highly civilised and wealthy parts of Europe; the tribute of gold and exotic products that it received from its colonies appeared fabulous to its contemporaries. Spanish state-craft was more highly esteemed in courts than even Italian subtlety; Spanish armies were the best in the world; and Bacon, who held that “no nation which doth not directly profess arms, may look to have greatness fall into their laps,” declared that of Christian Europe, only the Spaniards had an effective military organisation. Neither was the greatness of Spain only material. It was the Spaniard Ignatius Loyola who restored the old faith, making it again a militant power, even among thoughtful men; and no country of that day, except England, can show such names in literature as Cervantes, Lope de Vega, and Mendoza.

What Spain was for the western world, Turkey with even greater pageantry of power was for the eastern. “While its Sultan reigned in the palace of the Cæsars by the shores of the Bosphorus, his viceroys gave law in the halls of the Caliphs at Bagdad in the east, or collected tribute beneath the shadow of Atlas in the west. From Aden in the south, his banners emblazoned with the cross scimitars were unfurled to the Indian sea; and at Buda in the north his pashas quaffed their sherbet in the libraries and the galleries of the poet-king, Matthias. The Shah of Persia, the chief of the Holy Roman Empire, and the proud republics of Genoa and Venice were reckoned among the vassals whose tribute swelled his annual revenue.” The observer, who looks to moral conduct as one of the forces of empire, must have admitted that Turk and Spaniard were distinguished in private life by intense religious conviction, by loyalty to the chief of the State, by a temperate habit of life, such as monasteries profess and the service of arms exacts, and by scrupulous fidelity to their word once given. Their vices were those of soldiers in every age, lawlessness to all but their own chiefs, a cynical licentiousness and ferocity; drawbacks no doubt to a perfect character, but not very much in excess of what was held to be permissible at the time. With all these elements of strength, the Spaniard and Turk were justly regarded as a menace to the existence of other nations. Luther spoke of the Turk as the personified wrath of God, and modern criticism declares that the Turk saved Europe by curbing the power of Spain. No one doubted the strength of the two great Empires. Yet within a century from the death of Philip II. the cabinets of Europe were discussing in what way Spain should be dismembered, as they have been discussing for two generations past on whom the inheritance of the Turk in Europe shall devolve. It can hardly have been religious bigotry that destroyed Spain, for its place in Europe was taken by France, which, under Louis XIV., was almost as intolerant of heresy as Spain had ever been. It can hardly have been the drain of colonies, for those colonies were fostering Spanish trade and contributing revenue to the exchequer; and colonies, poorer and not much more wisely administered, made England a great power. It can scarcely have been comparative barbarism that ruined the Turk, for the conquerors of Constantinople compared as well for civilisation with the degenerate race they overthrew as the Poles and Russians, who have inflicted the severest losses upon them, compare with the Turks. The truth surely is, that we may extend Bacon’s axiom, by saying, that if the nation which cultivates war absorbingly is bound to achieve great success, it is bound also to do it at the cost, within measurable time, of its place among the nations of the world.

It may be argued that all the instances quoted are those in which the immediate agent of dissolution has been defeat in war. It is easy to imagine the inferior races increasing more rapidly than they do upon the higher, but difficult to suppose that they will ever be in such numbers as to crush superior skill and energy by brute weight. It is not, however, the purpose of this argument to assume that Europe is ever likely to be overrun by the Chinese, or North America subject to insurgent negroes. Each century has its own way of doing its appropriate work, and though in the face of Europe under arms it may seem perilous to count upon any dying out of the military spirit, every year seems to increase the pre-eminence of industrial over essentially martial nations. The Chinese would be less dangerous than they are if they were as warlike as the Turks in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, because, in that case, they would waste their reproductive forces in arms. The danger for Europe, and for the higher races everywhere, if the black and yellow belt encroaches upon the earth, will not be the risk that St. Petersburg or London may be made tributary to Pekin, but that the expansion of Englishmen and Russians and other like nations will be arrested, and the character of the peoples profoundly modified, as they have to adapt themselves to a stationary condition of society. Beyond this there is the more subtle danger that, while the lower races are raising themselves to the material level of the higher, the higher may be assimilating to the moral and mental depression of the lower. It is fashionable to talk regretfully of the unrest of modern civilisation. We have become conscious of the cravings for something better than they have which animate almost all classes of society, but especially those who toil with the hand. Emigration to America or Australia is the great outlet for the most energetic in Western Europe; the less imaginative merely go from the country into the large towns, and many of these latter, as they find their hopes disappointed, are seized with the desire to reconstruct society. “If the Englishman,” said Fortescue, four hundred years ago, “be poor, and see another man having riches, which may be taken from him by might, he will not spare to do so.” The Englishman is a little less disposed now to right himself by violence, but he has a power of righting himself by law which he did not possess in Fortescue’s days, and which may be used with very notable consequences. His tendency in Australia, where he is carrying out modern ideas with great freedom, is to adopt a very extensive system of State Socialism. He goes to the State for railways and irrigation works; the State in Victoria provides him with costless schooling for his children; the State in New Zealand insures him; the State everywhere provides work for him if times are bad; and it is more than probable that the State will soon be called upon to run steamers, to work coal-mines, and at least to explore for the miner in any kind of ore. In Victoria,, and more or less in all the colonies, though least of all at present in New South Wales, the State tries to protect its citizens from foreign competition. These changes from English policy have been adopted gradually, and are partially explained by the peculiar circumstances of a young country. What is noteworthy is that they entirely recommend themselves to public sentiment. It is difficult to suppose, that if emigration from England suddenly received a great check, the mother country, confronted with the task of providing for its yearly surplus of population within its own boundaries, would not gradually and cautiously resort to a Socialism like that of Australia. Even as it is, English statesmen have had to make remarkable concessions. The very existence of a Poor Law is the affirmation of the right of every man to have State support in the last extremity. The rights of property and the right of free contract have alike been disregarded in Ireland, when it became a question of the many against the few. The landlord has been assisted to drain with cheap money out of the public exchequer; English diplomacy and arms have been freely employed to open up new markets for British manufactures. The corn of India has been transported at unremunerative rates upon Government lines, in order that the food of the people might be cheapened. There is now a cry for giving free primary education to every one. All these are absolute departures from the time-honoured English principle of leaving every man to do the best for himself, and fare as he may. Some of them are unconscious concessions, and others are conscious approaches to State Socialism. It is scarcely conceivable that we have seen the end yet. There seems nothing overstrained in supposing that the State in England, as elsewhere, may undertake the construction of railways, or the reclaiming of land from the sea; and may, in fact, engage largely in industrial enterprises, so as to ensure work and support for a large part of the population. Again, it may buy up existing railways, as it has bought up telegraphs; and in this case a great body of workmen possessing votes will look to the State as paymaster, and will have a voice in determining what they are to get Lastly, it is more than conceivable that education of every kind will be made free. The expediency of giving intellect, in every condition of life, its chance to assert itself will recommend this change, and the upper classes are certain to contend that if the State relieves parents in one class of life from the charge of their children’s schooling, it is bound to relieve all.

Now, it is impossible to say beforehand whether these changes will be for good or ill. What seems evident is that they are bound to affect the character of the whole people. Nowhere in the world has the struggle for existence been so fierce as in Great Britain; and it has been the mainspring of English energy. In the sixteenth century Meteren declared that Englishmen were as lazy as Spaniards. They were, in fact, like the Spaniards of that time, ready for adventure, able to endure great hardships, unsurpassable explorers and privateers, but indisposed to the plodding industry for which Germans and Flemings were conspicuous. Two centuries later Holberg declared that the greatest examples of human indolence were to be found among the pauper class in England, and the best examples of well-applied toil among the English adventurers and merchants. The praise, though Holberg uses the word “industry,” is evidently directed to English enterprise. A greater thinker than Holberg, Kant, was peculiarly impressed by the factitious self-reliance and capricious originality of the English character; and taking the general estimate of our nation in that century, we may say that it was a popular reflection of Kant’s judgment, though commonly more favourable. The Englishman of old French novels is habitually an original, disregardful of the opinion of the world, ready to measure himself against any odds, and taking nothing upon trust. Peterborough and Clive, the knights-errant at the head of armies and councils, were in fact glorified instances of the Englishman, as his contemporaries appraised him. The reputation which the Englishman of Great Britain enjoyed has now been in great measure transferred to the Anglo-American. The original race has grown ” bulbous, heavy-witted, material,” as Hawthorne cynically puts it; is careful of its bank-balance and of the proprieties; is weighted with an ever-present sense of responsibilities. No Peterborough or Clive would now be allowed a free hand by his Government. The first impetuous act would provoke a recall by telegram. The conquest of an Empire would only terrify the British Cabinet with an apprehension of Parliamentary criticism.

Now, this change, which we see most conspicuously in matters of foreign policy, is one that may be traced in every direction. “The English,” says Holberg, “as soon as they hear of anything they are not familiar with, take hold of it at once, examine it, accept it, and teach it publicly.” Holberg referred to new opinions; and the contrast between the English school of free thought, which moulded religious enlightenment in the eighteenth century, and the utter sterility of our literature in the nineteenth, except for a single name, is sufficiently remarkable. Heine has said, that the most stupid Englishman can talk sensibly about politics, and that it is impossible to extract anything but nonsense from the best educated Englishman when religion is discussed. The reason is not that educated Englishmen are unconscious of the movement of speculative thought all the world over, but that they deliberately shrink from the impulse to explore new regions, at the cost of surrendering certain accepted and acceptable conclusions. Certainly no one can now say, as Holberg did, that there is a ready taking in and promulgation of new thought. The results of Biblical criticism in Germany have never been tolerated in England, till they were so nearly superseded in their native country as to appear comparatively Conservative; and even the scientific conclusions of the Englishman Darwin were being disseminated in text-books on the Continent while English society was reading refutations of them, or at best taking refuge in half-hearted attempts to reconcile the doctrine of evolution with the teaching of Genesis. Still, it is probably true to say that English speculation is more fearless in physical science than in metaphysics or Biblical exegesis, or the critical reconstruction of history. A great many persons are glad to acquiesce in the view that the conclusions of science may be allowed to stand by themselves, and that when they are absolutely opposed to those of faith, it is not necessary to disbelieve either.

Perhaps one of the best instances of the decadence of English energy is in the imperfect welcome accorded to mechanical invention. The end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth were conspicuous in England by the number of new inventions given to the world. The industrial supremacy of the globe was achieved almost at a bound by the men whose catalogue of names includes Arkwright and Hargreaves, Watt and Bramah, Brinsley and Stephenson, Wedgwood, Maudsley, and Davy. There is no reason why this inventive faculty should not have continued in the country. Nasmyth, Bessemer, Whitworth, and Armstrong are conspicuous instances that the race retains the power of magnificent conceptions, and the great multiplication of factories and workshops in Great Britain ought to have stimulated the thought, as it has trained the eyes and hands of a large industrial population. Indeed, it may be said that England still contributes the larger half of the world’s inventive fertility; but England no longer gets or deserves the credit for it. If we look back to actual history, we shall find that many of the best patents, such as the steam -plough, the sewing-machine, and the electric telegraph had to cross back to England from America before they could obtain recognition. Even Nasmyth’s steam-hammer was employed in Creuzot before the foundries of his own country adopted it. The English inventor is still more than the equal of his rivals; more fertile in expedients than the German, and more patient than the American. Where he fails is when he carries his work to market. The instinctive feeling in England is, that if an invention were really valuable it would have been hit upon before; the feeling in America, that whatever is new ought simply because it is new to have a trial. Naturally, perhaps, the Conservative impulse is strongest in our military administration. In 1848 the Prussian needle-gun attracted so much attention in the campaign against Denmark, that a committee of officers was appointed to report upon it. They agreed that it was quite unnecessary to give up Brown Bess, and the change to a long-range rifle had accordingly to be made during the Crimean War. “We hold our empire and preserve national existence on the condition of being stronger at sea than any other power, and yet France—a formidable rival and possible enemy—was allowed to outstrip us for a time in the construction of ironclads.

Now, the Conservatism of an ancient society, which shrinks instinctively from change, because any change may lead to dangerous combinations, is most remarkable in England, because England has in many matters been the principle of ferment in the modern world. It has changed Catholicism for Protestantism, and tempered Protestantism with free thought; it has limited monarchy; it has given a peculiar meaning to aristocracy, making that elastic and flexible which is rigid everywhere else; it has associated the working classes with government; it has experimented in making labour free, and in freeing the exchange of labour from fetters; and it has popularised the feeling, that men may make themselves a country anywhere under the sun. It has boasted that it makes the functions of the State small in order to leave the widest possible sphere to energy and enterprise. Therefore, if England becomes temporising in her policy, if her best literary work is circumscribed to the criticism of style, and the construction of literary mosaics; if her wealth is more and more withdrawn from speculative adventures; if her industry is less and less originative; if her people appear to be losing the impulse to better themselves outside of England, or are denied the opportunity, we may surely assume that these changes will be accompanied with a transformation of character. Crushed or cowed by the forces that surround him, the Englishman will invoke the aid of the State. Universal suffrage, which was inevitable, has given him the machinery for moulding all the forces of Government to his purpose, and he will in all likelihood employ them to introduce an extended socialism of the Australian type. It is quite possible that these changes will be worked out slowly, temperately, and wisely. There is no reason why they should be attended with any forcible confiscations of property or cancelling of national obligations. It is conceivable that the soil of England and Scotland might be bought back from its present proprietors, as different statesmen have proposed the soil of Ireland should be, by the creation of a large three per cent stock, the interest on which should be paid by a peasant proprietary. The coal-mines of England might be resumed in the same way, and worked for the State. The question is not whether these changes are desirable and would answer the ends expected, but whether they are not possible and even likely. The case assumed is, that the races of Europe have very nearly reached the extreme limit of expansion, that they will wrest nothing from the inhabitants of tropical countries, and are even likely to lose a little to them, and that when the Temperate Zone is fairly peopled, so that immigration on a large scale will be discouraged by every country, England, which unites a small territory to a dense population, will find itself face to face with the problem how to feed and clothe its people. If we assume a nation, so circumstanced, to become stationary, as France is tending to do, that in itself involves a very great change in character and habits of life — a change, perhaps, quite as great as the adoption of State Socialism. If, on the other hand, we suppose, as perhaps is more probable, that the passage to a stationary condition has to be spread over several generations, in that case there must be some means of supporting the ever-pressing burden of fresh lives.

The case of England has been taken because England is of all countries that which has benefited most by emigration, that which will suffer most when emigration is checked, and that in which socialistic theories have so far found least favour. There are some European countries, like Spain and Russia, which will admit of a very large increase within their own boundaries, and which accordingly need not feel the pressure of population till long after it has become a factor in British politics. There are others again, like France and Italy, which will perhaps readily adapt themselves to the stationary state. Meanwhile we may surely say of all, that it means a great deal for them if dispersion over the earth is checked, and a great deal also if liberty and enterprise come to be powerfully trammelled in the country which hitherto has furnished the greatest argument for their utility. It is possible, of course, that the new order, in which the individual withers and the man is less and less, may have compensating advantages of its own. To some it has seemed that the struggle for existence, which the English theory of unlimited competition involves, is unutterably brutal, and that the survival of the fittest in industrial war means the extinction of all who are weak, of all who have other interests than gain, of all who are scrupulous. It is not the purpose of this argument to consider whether there is any truth in this point of view. All that is contended is, that if anything like the democratic programme of the day comes to be realised; if every man, weak or strong, skilled or unskilled, is assured work on fairly equal terms; if the hours of labour are limited; if the State takes the employment of labour more and more into its own hands, buying up lands and factories and mines, the change will practically be as great as that which has transformed serfs or slaves all over the world into free labourers.

It will also be a change that will reproduce many conditions of primitive society and conditions that we associate with inferior races. The proprietorship of land by communities, as distinct from private property, has existed, to quote M. de Laveleye, “in Germany and ancient Italy, in Peru and China, in Mexico and India, among the Scandinavians and the Arabs, with precisely similar characteristics.” A change in the practice of the Western nations has accustomed us to regard this stage in a nation’s life as a rude and ephemeral one. It is difficult even to assume a modern State deriving rent from all the land in the country, and running all the factories. Yet, as a matter of fact, we administer India in conformity with the primitive rule; and every State has been compelled to organise great establishments for the construction of ships, or for providing warlike stores. In addition to this, there are numerous instances of mines belonging to the State, like the salt-mine of Wieliczka, and the quicksilver mines of Almaden. The railways are owned by the State half the world over, and there are cases where the State runs commercial steamers, though the more usual practice is for the State to subsidise them. Habitually, the European Governments have only instituted manufactures when the article to be produced was one of limited demand, like the porcelain of Sevres and Meissen, or the tapestry of the Gobelins, or when it was important to naturalise a new industry, as was the case for some time in Russia. Frederick the Great’s practice, approved by Mirabeau and by Mr. Carlyle, of forcing the rich abbeys to establish manufactures, was the action of an exceptional man, more vigorous than economically intelligent, in an exceptional time. If, however, we ask why the best economists, especially in England, have always disapproved of the State mixing itself up in industrial undertakings, we shall find the reasons to be such as would not weigh much, if at all, with Trades-Unionists. Mr. Mill, for instance, argues, that a people whose work is found for them become deficient in initiative; that as a general rule the business of life is better performed when those who have an immediate interest in it are left to take their own course, uncontrolled either by the mandate of the law, or of any public functionary; above all, that it is exceedingly dangerous to multiply State functionaries, and concentrate all the power of organised action in a dominant bureaucracy. It is a corollary from these principles that Government work cannot be as cheaply done as the work in private establishments. A Socialist, however, will only regard the first of these arguments as important, and will probably demur to its validity. He will argue, that in private establishments the workman’s improvements are habitually confiscated for the use of the master; and that if men continue to invent, where they reap only trifling advantages, they will probably have their wits sharpened when their work is secure of recognition, because the Government has no interest in defrauding them. He will maintain that the logical tendency of unlimited competition is to make profits by sweating the operative, and that the State, which can command its own market, is not liable to this temptation. A Socialist is not afraid of increasing the power of the State, or of multiplying State functionaries. He wishes the interest of the community to be paramount, and that all should be in the State’s service. Neither does he think cheap production the main object to be aimed at. It is important, because it economises the wage-fund of the administration; but the real essentials are that the work done should be good, and the workman adequately requited.

This argument has assumed throughout that the progress of the world is not, as is commonly taken for granted, to democracy, but to some form of State Socialism. It is not contended for a moment that democracy may not be, or indeed is not likely to be, a temporary form of political growth. What, however, does democracy mean? Not necessarily the extinction of hereditary kingship, for a sovereign, and even a line of sovereigns, may be approved the best possible exponents of the popular will. Not necessarily, or perhaps conceivably, the destruction of social inequality, for even if a House of Lords be swept away, men who are pre-eminent by practical ability or by wealth will always make their superiority felt, and if they use their power wisely may count upon a generous recognition. What democracy seems really to mean is the vesting of power in the people in such way that their changes of purpose may have instantaneous effect given to them. It is this approval of mutability which statesmen dread. It may mean that a w r ar will be declared wantonly, and given up disgracefully; that an alliance of long standing will suddenly be discarded; that ruinous expenditure will be incurred; that a national debt will be repudiated, or property confiscated to relieve temporary pressure; that inexperienced men will be put at the public helm in virtue of a certain talent of voluble speech, and a fertility in plausible expedients. Perhaps all these dangers have been exaggerated. The most real of all seems to be the risk of profuse expenditure; and even in this respect it would be difficult for a democracy to transcend the extravagance of the old military monarchies. At any rate, it seems likely that two great causes will so far modify the democratic unrest as to make political society in the rather distant future more stable, more wary, and more compactly cemented than it is now. In the first place, the growth of new military powers, such as China, or the augmentation of old empires, if we assume Hindoos and negroes to be subject to European States, will make it more and more necessary for every country to keep its armies and fleets in a high state of efficiency. In the next place, Socialism, which gives an industrial programme, is almost certain to be the complement of democracy, which only gives the power of adopting a programme. Socialism, however, which strives to annihilate the struggle for existence, competition, and the collision of capital with labour, aims at a millennium of orderly progress from which the pressure of want and the stimulus of ambition shall be excluded.

It may be argued, that as the nations of the world become more and more enlightened, the barbarism of war will tend more and more to be discarded; and the fact noted above, that purely warlike nations cannot hold their own against the industrial races, seems to indicate that the earth may some day be covered with States, all of which desire peace. Unhappily, the dream of peace, which was very prevalent fifty years ago, has been succeeded by a period of wars causing more eventful changes than have been known for many centuries; and Europe is now little better than a camp of instruction. The great cause that has determined this activity seems to be the conviction that only powerful empires can maintain themselves in the immediate future; and that for purposes of self-preservation the weak must unite, and the strong secure themselves by anticipating their neighbours. The gross results are, that Prussia, which could be disregarded thirty years ago, is now a first-rate Power; that Italy has become important as an ally, and that Russia is as strong as ever in Eastern Europe, and incomparably stronger in Central Asia. Meanwhile, France, Austria, and Turkey are all weaker than they were. Unless we assume the Powers that have gained strength to be satisfied with what they have got, and the nations that have lost to be convinced they cannot retrieve their losses, the war which is always being anticipated is certain some day to break out. The accident of a military sovereign, or an ambitious minister, of troubles at home or possibilities abroad, will be sufficient to determine it. More than this, the great Powers see what they may gain by annexing dominions which will give them soldiers or revenue, or outlets for their commerce. Russia is as certainly working for a harbour in the Persian Gulf as for one in the Dardanelles. Even if we assume that the next fifty years will bring a settlement of all these questions, can any one believe that finality will have been reached? The larger any empire becomes, the more numerous will be the points of contact with its neighbours and possible enemies. There will always be the little adjoining province that is desirable to round off the Imperial territory.

Neither does it seem possible to imagine that the great inert force of China will not some day be organised, and rendered mobile and capable of military aggression. Almost the most secluded of the nations in early times, China was barred from a career of conquest by the mountains of Thibet, the desert of Gobi, and the snows of Siberia. She was swept over by Tartar conquerors, and the repeated attempts of her people to trade or colonise in the Malay Archipelago were met with restrictive measures, or foiled by massacres. Gradually, her policy became one of deified inactivity. She tried to concentrate all the energy of her people upon her own soil, and was as unwilling to let the labourer depart as to welcome the merchant. Her great resources went to feed the luxury of a court and the greed of officials. We have compelled her to come into the fellowship of nations. She has adopted steamers, and European artillery and army organisation; she has accepted the telegraph; she is about to introduce railways; and she has credit enough to carry out the changes she needs with foreign capital. On three sides of her lie countries that she may easily seize, over which very often she has some old claim, and in the climate of which her people can live. Flexible as Jews, they can thrive on the mountain plateaux of Thibet, and under the sun of Singapore; more versatile even than Jews, they are excellent labourers, and not without merit as soldiers and sailors; while they have a capacity for trade which no other nation of the East possesses. They do not need even the accident of a man of genius to develop their magnificent future. Ordinary statesmanship, adopting the improvements of Europe without offending the customs and prejudices of the people, may make them a State which no Power in Europe will dare to disregard; with an army which could march by fixed stages across Asia; and a fleet which could hold its own against any the strongest of the European Powers could afford to keep permanently in Chinese waters.

It is not the purpose of this argument to anticipate what the career of military conquest may be in Europe or Asia. All that is aimed at is to show that, though the world may become more and more industrial in its tendencies, the most powerful States will still continue, and indeed must continue, to keep up large armaments, and to be prepared at a moment’s notice for defence or aggression. This, however, implies a strong and tolerably permanent Executive. The cases of the United States of America and of England offer no parallel to the condition of the continent of Europe, of Asia, and of part at least of Africa. The United States have no neighbour who can threaten them, and can afford to run the risk of being over-mastered at sea for a few weeks. The Power that ventured on such an experiment would be apt to expiate its short-lived triumph severely. England has a first line of defence for her own shores in her navy. But England is compelled, even now, to keep her Indian army more efficient and more easily mobilised than her forces at home; and this obligation will grow upon her with every decade. For the rest of the world outside the American continent, something like the state of preparation in which France, Germany, Austria, Russia, and Italy keep themselves at present, seems to be inevitable to all time. Even if a general reduction of armaments were agreed to, it is doubtful if it would much alter the equilibrium. One administration would always be in advance of another, by giving more instruction during the same term of service in the militia; so that, when war was declared, it would have an advantage of six weeks over an opponent. But, beyond this, it is difficult to conceive how a great reduction of armaments could ever be effected. Russia, for instance, may need less defence than was once the case on the side of Turkey and Sweden; but she has to guard an infinitely larger frontier against Germany and Austria, against England and China, and against the allies which any one of these powers might succeed in influencing. From the moment China becomes as strong as Roumania is now that—is, can dispose of a corps of 100,000 trained men, or their equivalent, she becomes a power that must enter into the combinations of England, Russia, and France. It seems, therefore, as if the utility of armies was likely to endure; and, if so, it can hardly be doubted that, under present conditions, the ability to handle them promptly and vigorously will also be indispensable. In other words, every State must have a strong military executive more or less independent of party combinations, and more or less autocratic. The alternative is that it ceases to exist, and in this case it will be organised by its conqueror.

It may be argued, on the other hand, by a few Liberals who love peace, that, under free institutions which endear the existing order to every man, it will be easy to enforce an universal conscription of volunteers, militia, or landwehr, on such a scale as to make invasion a danger only to the invader. Unfortunately, the conclusive evidence of history shows that half- trained troops are perfectly valueless in the open field against trained; that even where the troops are fairly matched enthusiasm is a very imperfect substitute for generalship; and that, other things being equal, those who wage a purely defensive war are at a disadvantage. If we take the most thoroughly accepted of the views referred to, the belief in volunteer soldiers, we shall find it to rest very much on the success of the Americans in the War of Independence against England; on the victories of the French Republican armies in 1793-94; on the tenacious resistance of the Spanish guerillas to the French armies; and on the defeat of a body of English soldiers by the Boers at Majuba Hill. Now every one of these supposed instances can be shown to tell the other way. Whether the Americans, many of whom had seen active service against the French, were not more than an ordinary militia may be fairly questioned. It may be conceded that they were less than regulars, and they were accordingly beaten, not dishonourably, but decisively, at Bunker’s Hill, at Brooklyn, at Chatterton’s Hill, at Germantown, at Brandy wine, at Camden, and at Guildford, though the English generals were never more than second-rate, though half the English troops were German mercenaries, and though the Americans latterly were, of course, trained soldiers. The one great success that the militia really achieved was in the third year of the war, when, with an army of 13,216 effectives, it obliged a British force of 3500 to capitulate at Saratoga. Except for the support of the French army under Rochambeau, it is more than doubtful if the Americans could have maintained the struggle in the last year of the war against an English army which never mustered more than 8000 in the field. In this instance, we must bear in mind that the Americans, from their great poverty, were unable to keep their forces together the whole year round, so as to give them the habit of concerted action which distinguishes regular from irregular troops. In 1812 their militia did incomparably worse against the veterans sent out under Ross of Bladensburg, and a little body of 4500 men marched where it liked, defeated armies of 7400 and 6400 successively, burnt Washington, and would probably have taken Baltimore in the teeth of 15,000 militia, if the enemy had not sunk ships to make the co-operation of the British fleet impossible. It may be said that the same year witnessed the defeat of a highly -trained British force under Pakenham before New Orleans. In that case 6000 men, without artillery, and without fascines or scaling ladders, were hurled against strong works defended by twice the number, and were shot down. It is no discredit to the Americans to say that, with equally good strategy, and an equally strong position, almost any troops in the world could have repelled the attack which Pakenham ought never to have made.

The second supposed instance of a defeat of regular soldiers by insurrectionary levies is when France was invaded by the Duke of Brunswick in 1793, and by the Prussians, Austrians, and British in 1794. The popular assumption is that the old French army had been disbanded or allowed to disappear, and that under the influence of revolutionary excitement hundreds of thousands of citizen soldiers sprung to arms under the command of citizen officers, drove the invaders back, and overflowed Italy, Spain, and the Low Countries. “O youth, O hope, O infinite strength of the consciousness and the feeling of right—who could resist them?” says M. Michelet poetically, while he develops this view; and General Foy, a much higher authority on military matters, says that from ” the year 1794 inclusive, our young army, commanded by new men who had escaped from studies and counting-houses, was seen to demolish the reputation of old armies and old generals.” General Foy probably refers to Moreau, who had been a lawyer, and to Jourdan, who, after serving as a private in the American War, had settled down as a draper. Taking now the facts of history, we shall find that the poetical view requires to be largely discounted. The army of the monarchy was never disbanded, though it lost a great many of its officers and men by emigration, or otherwise, and was more or less demoralised. The work of reorganising it was constantly going on. “The regulation of the infantry manoeuvres of 1791,” says Foy, “is a model of concision and clearness,” and he explains that in that year a change, bringing privates into closer contact with their officers, was introduced. “If in 1792,” says Napoleon, “France repelled the aggression of the first coalition, it is because she had had three years to prepare in, and in which to levy 200 battalions of the National Guard; it is because she was only attacked by armies of at most 100,000 men. If 800,000 men had marched under the orders of the Duke of Brunswick, Paris would have been taken, in spite of the energy and the onward rush of the nation.” What really happened then in 1792 is that a very inadequate though efficient army, under the Duke of Brunswick, prepared to march upon Paris, capturing fortresses and defeating armies on its way. The French troops, though not good enough to be called soldiers, were a great deal better than volunteers. They consisted partly of regiments out of the old army, and partly of the National Guard, under experienced officers. Dumouriez, Kellerman, Rochambeau, Lafayette, Luckner, Montesquieu, Dillon, Beurnonville, Custine, Biron, and Beaurepaire—the men who are responsible for the failures and successes of 1792—were all old officers of the aristocratic régime. They could not at first give cohesion or self-confidence to the troops under them. Brunswick’s army advanced, taking Longwy and Verdun, and winning two victories at Grand-Prè and Vaux,—in the latter of which 1500 Prussian hussars scattered a whole corps of 10,000 men in a disorderly flight which carried some of the fugitives to Paris. Gradually, however, Dumouriez received reinforcements, and was able to keep his men together in the entrenched camp of Valmy under a cannonade which only cost each side 800 men out of 70,000 or 80,000 brought into the field. The mere fact that the French forces were able to hold their position was equivalent to a victory under the circumstances. From that time forward the French were on the aggressive, and before the end of the year the victory of Jemappes, in which, however, they were two to one against the Austrians, gave them possession of Austrian Flanders. Valmy and Jemappes, such as they are, are the only victories that can be claimed for the French insurrectionary levies. They were won by soldiers and militia troops under veteran officers; and if their leaders had had a little more time in which to weld together their excellent but discordant materials, the army would have been a more than average specimen of a well-trained French force of those days. During the years next succeeding its composition steadily grew better. Carnot, a man of genius, organised it; and the opportunities given to privates and young men of rising to important command were taken advantage of by a number of able officers. Still, Moreau is perhaps the one instance of a civilian who rose rapidly to distinction in the army. Hoche, Ney, Jourdan, Junot, Massena, Bernadotte, and Berthier, had all been privates or non-commissioned officers in the Royalist army before they rose to command under the Republic.

We know what Napoleon’s opinion of short-service men was. Decrès once said to him in council, “I cannot extemporise a sailor as you do a soldier. It takes seven years to make a sailor. You turn out a soldier in six months.” “Taisez-vous,” said Napoleon. “Such ideas are enough to destroy an empire. It takes six years to make a soldier.” On another occasion he wrote of himself: “The First Consul did very good things, he put everything in the right way, but he did not work miracles; the heroes of Hohen-Linden and Marengo were not recruits, but good and old soldiers.” Evidently Napoleon’s knowledge of the levies of 1792 and 1793 had not inclined him to suppose that enthusiasm can be a substitute for drill. His own experience was, in fact, very significant. The French navy, deprived of its best officers and gunners, who were largely Royalist, had to trust to reconstruction under such administrators as the man who wound up his official report with the words, “Legislators, these are the impulses of an ingenuous patriot, who has no guiding principle but nature, and a truly French heart”; or the other, who appended a marginal note to his acceptance of resignations from the old staff: “there are plenty more to be got.” The result was seen in those engagements when ships, officered and manned by men who for courage were worthy foes of Nelson and Collingwood’s heroes, were constantly out-manœuvred and destroyed in the first engagement. Napoleon’s fall is the record of a struggle by volunteers handled by some of the best leaders in the world against men only a little better drilled, and who scarcely dared face them. If half the conscripts who fought at Leipzig could have been exchanged for an equal number of the veterans sacrificed in Russia, the map of Europe would be very different now from what it is. Raw levies did not save the Republic in 1792, but they ruined the Empire in 1814.

As little can it be said that irregular levies or guerillas saved Spain during the war with the French that began in 1808, and only ended when Wellington crossed the Pyrenees in 1813. The capitulation of Baylen and the defence of Saragossa are the only important instances during the whole of that period when raw Spanish levies did good service against a regular force. At Baylen, where the French general was incapable, perhaps half-hearted, where his forces were divided, and where two Swiss regiments turned against him in the battle, the Spanish regulars were twice as numerous as the French actually engaged, and the presence of a few thousand armed peasants only gave solidity and confidence to the regular force. At the first siege of Saragossa the defenders were as two to one compared with the investing army, and, in spite of a heroic defence, must have capitulated if the news of Baylen had not forced the French to retire. At the second siege, where the besieged were as many in number as the besiegers, they were forced to surrender after a defence in which three-fourths of their number had perished. In short, even behind walls, and when they were largely mixed with regular troops, volunteers could not hold their own against military experience and discipline. Of the guerillas, Napier tells us that they could do nothing against even a house or church, of which the French had barricaded the entrance. They were excellent for cutting off stragglers, intercepting communications, and generally giving annoyance, especially when they were backed by a regular army; but as a rule they were more formidable to their friends than to the enemy. The attempt to employ them has never again been made, except during the French occupation of Mexico, and then also it was a complete failure. Under generals of very ordinary talent, a small body of French troops kept the country down, as long as they were allowed to remain there.

The successes of the Boers in the Transvaal against British troops have revived in some quarters the belief that men who are good shots, and know the country, may be employed against well-disciplined troops, even in the open field. It must be borne in mind that one of the great sources of weakness in irregulars—their liability to get in one another’s way—scarcely occurs when only handfuls of men are brought into action. The Boers had also seen service enough in Kaffir wars to be free from the liability to sudden panics. The force which Sir George Colley led to three separate defeats consisted altogether of less than 1100 men. They were wasted in attacks on strong positions in the hills, and at Majuba Hill a portion of them were sent to occupy ground of which they knew nothing, surrounded by an enemy in superior force, whom they had neither cannon, Gatlings, nor rockets to dislodge. Such defeats, however creditable to the Boers who inflicted them, could not have affected the issue of the campaign. The English forces within striking distance of the enemy were overwhelming, and must have dispersed the insurgents, if a peace, politically defensible, but more remarkable in its surrender of military honour than the capitulations of Kloster-Zeven or Baylen, had not been hastily rushed through by the British Government.

It has seemed important to discuss this question of defence without defiance at length, because if there be any organisation by which a great State can secure itself from attack, without spending large sums on its army and navy, and using up many years of its subjects’ lives in forced service, there can be no doubt but that the wisest statesmanship will adopt it; and in that case the military influence, which is essentially absolutist, would be withdrawn from politics. What, however, we have to anticipate is, that every State will have to be constantly on its guard against dismemberment or subjugation; and this not only as now, but more than now, because some new States will have been formed, or even more, because some old ones will have become very formidable. If, however, the industrial requirements of old States have led to something like State Socialism, we may expect this to take an all-pervading form. The child will be taught at State schools, and, perhaps, taught the elements of a craft, and drilled there. The youth will be compelled to take service in the State forces; when he is discharged from service will have employment found for him by the State; and will be supported in sickness or old age from a State Insurance Fund. He will find it increasingly difficult to emigrate; and as the principal forms of labour will have been monopolised by the State, he will find it difficult to invest his savings in anything but the purchase of State funds. It is conceivable that loafers and vagrants will be hunted down and punished under this régime, with incomparably more severity than any modern State attempts. Even the institution of an idle Monday may be put down, when labour is regarded as a due to the country, and not as the private property of the individual, which he may sell or withhold at pleasure. States organised on the democratic basis for giving labour its greatest possible return, and citizens compelled to submit impartially to military discipline, ‘are likely to approach the problems of life with great seriousness, and to be very intolerant of the Bohemian element in rich and poor. Besides, if private speculation has been to a great extent extinguished by the State monopoly of some form of enterprise, large fortunes will gradually be subdivided, and the privileged class, that spends lavishly and claims to exempt itself from the ordinary burdens, from the conscription or the obligation to work, will become very unimportant.

Now it is noticeable that this form of society will be an approximation to old forms, which are eminently consonant to the genius of those races the Chinese, the Hindoo, and the American Indian which it has been shown are likely to increase in numbers and become strong. If we can assume a really powerful China, and an united India, independent, or practically so, and a strong Central African State, or federation of States—suppositions which are at least possible—we can hardly suppose that they will be without influence upon the States of European growth. The conquest of India not only introduced the Nabob into English society, but naturalised the vulgar profusion to which adventurers in the East had become accustomed. Algeria was a very small province to have any effect on French society, but many Frenchmen declare that it infected their soldiers with what is known in France as “the vice of Algeria.” To take the strongest instance of all, no one can doubt that the planters and mean whites of the Southern States were powerfully modified by their contact with the black race, becoming imperious, licentious, and disdainful of patient toil. It is the habit in England to assume that the reprobation of Chinese vice—from opium-eating and gambling to nameless immorality—which Australians and Californians feel is mere political affectation, because there is a vicious white class in every great city. The fact, however, is, that a community is distinctly injured by the introduction of new forms of immorality, which attract some for whom the old would have no fascinations. In all the instances cited, the foreign element and influence have been comparatively weak. If, however, China were organised, as she is likely to be; if her flag floated on every sea, and her naval officers visited every great port as honoured guests; if her army was an important factor in the peace of the world, and her diplomatists respected in consequence; if her commerce was world- wide; if her literature was achieving a success of esteem for style and thought, it is inconceivable that these, influences would not tell upon the character and conduct of mankind. It is not assumed that this effect would necessarily be all evil. The Chinaman might, for instance, be an example of patient toil; and this, with certain reasonable limitations, is to be admired. What, however, seems probable is, that as the Chinese race forced itself into a position of equality with its neighbours, the spectacle of lives consumed in labour, lives rewarded by nothing but the supply of animal wants, would cease to be considered repulsive and humiliating. European Socialism aims at distributing labour and wealth, so that every man may have leisure and the opportunity of becoming better than he is. The practical Socialism of the East has never aimed at more than the satisfaction of material needs. The question is, whether, when the two forces are measured one against the other, that which has the lowest aims is not bound to starve the other out of the field.

No one in California or Australia, where the effects of Chinese competition have been studied, has, I believe, the smallest doubt that Chinese labourers, if allowed to come in freely, could starve all the white men in either country out of it, or force them to submit to harder work and a much lower standard of wages. In Victoria, a single trade, that of furniture-making, was taken possession of, and ruined for white men within the space of something like five years. Only two large employers excluded Chinamen altogether; and white men, where they were retained, were kept on only to supply a limited demand for the best kind of work. Now, what Chinamen can do in Melbourne, where only the worst workmen go, and where these receive wages which would be thought high in China, Chinamen at home could do incomparably better, if they worked in establishments fitted up with the best machinery, and were directed by foremen knowing the European taste. Does any one doubt that the day is at hand when China will have cheap fuel from her coal-mines, cheap transport by railways and steamers, and will have founded technical schools to develop her industries? Whenever that day comes, she may wrest the control of the world’s markets, especially throughout Asia, from England and Germany. The alternative will be that England—having adopted and developed the principles of State Socialism—will enforce a rigidly protective tariff against the cheap industry of her rival. How far this can be practicable with the races subject to England may be a question. The Hindoo may strongly resent having to purchase English muslins, if he can get a better article at half the price from Canton. What, however, it is really important to notice is, that a reversion by England to a protective tariff would be a very powerful modification of English thought and policy; and, if there be any truth in Free Trade, would be financially disastrous to England herself in the long run. Probably, however, it would be evaded, as regarded the East, by the establishment of Chinese factories upon English soil in some part of the Straits Settlements.

It will be observed that both the changes at work within English society and the change resulting from the organisation of labour in the Black and Yellow Belt will tend to intensify toil, and to diffuse it more uniformly throughout the strata of society. Socialism, however, is aiming at something very different. Its desire is to abolish competition, to secure a fair day’s work at a fair day’s wage to every man, and to arrange for intervals of toil,—a day and a half or two days in every week,—when the body may recruit strength, and the attention be relaxed. It is certain that neither the days of slavery, nor those of serfdom, nor the palmy times when capital and labour were left to make their own terms, have ever given the workers an even tolerable existence, except it may be now and again for brief intervals. The best Professor Rogers is able to say for the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries is, that it was tolerably easy to support life, and that “the poorest and meanest man had no insurmountable and absolute impediment put in his career, if he would seize his opportunity, and make use of it.” The most grudging requirements of modern legislation demand that a family shall live in wholesome tenements, that children shall be educated up to a certain low level, that children shall not be stunted by overwork, and that women shall not be allowed to unsex themselves by certain kinds of rough labour. Practically, however, only a part of all this is enforced. Is it too much to say that, in the general interest, separation of the sexes in homes might be insisted on, with the result that, instead of families living in a single room, there should be three bedrooms at least to every married man’s domicile? Ought not the average of wages to be such, that every able-bodied man could bring up his family in a house good enough for self-respect, on food good enough to maintain the body at its highest efficiency, and at the same time to make a provision against sickness and old age? Is it not for the interest of the State that every child should be well taught, that the most capable should be able to rise out of the ranks, and that all should have a little sunshine, some respite from toil during their early years? There is so little in all this that is extravagant, that in fact everything suggested is being cared for in one country or another by philanthropists or the law. It would, no doubt, be a great step to see all carried out together in the same society, but it would not be as great a change as the transition from slavery to free labour has been.

For Europe and North America to be brought up to this state of development—other things being as they are—would imply a levelling-up of wages that is not at first sight impossible. Practically, the highest-paid artisans hold their own in the race for supremacy, so that England and the United States have nothing to fear from the competition of Russia and Austria. Indeed, in America the opportunities of money-making afforded by a young country are so great, that private enterprise is not as yet seriously threatened by Socialism, except in the bastard form of Protection. In England the principle that men who will work must not starve has always been admitted, though in a somewhat grudging fashion: law and the unions are limiting the hours of labour and fixing the wage-rate; and little remains to be done beyond providing State employment on a large scale. Probably the Continental workman would require to be content with a little less than his rival in Birmingham or Manchester, because his employer would have to get similar results to the English on a larger expenditure upon coal; but it cannot be impossible to adjust differences of this kind. In that case, we may assume that all the races possessed of the same, or nearly the same civilisation, will belong, so to speak, to the same trades-union, so far as production is concerned, but will more or less rigidly exclude one another’s manufactures by protective tariffs. England, of course, might not conform to this policy; but if England stood alone in her Free Trade, the exception would be unimportant. She would not be able to force her products upon her neighbours; she might lose to some of them, and find her industries dying out one by one. It is quite conceivable, for instance, that she might lose the carrying trade in the eastern seas to China, as her steamers there are already very largely manned by Lascars and Chinamen.

Now, it is surely probable that the European nations, with their production limited, and its price enhanced by Socialism, and with exchange among themselves fettered by protection, would find themselves at a great disadvantage in competing with a really industrial China. The resources of China are immense, the capacity of its people for toil is almost unlimited, and their wants are of the slenderest. The great mass of the people lives ascetically, and retains its habits, even when it is thrown among wasteful races like the English of America and Australia, who despise and distrust asceticism. The organisation of labour appears to be largely in the hands of employers, who maintain their ascendency by murder. We may assume all this to be modified, but we cannot assume the change to be so sudden and complete that Chinese industry will conform to the standards of the western world. What is true of the Chinese is true more or less of Hindoos and negroes. A hundred years hence when these races, which are now as two to one to the higher, shall be as three to one; when they have borrowed the science of Europe, and developed their still virgin worlds, the pressure of their competition upon the white man will be irresistible. He will be driven from every neutral market and forced to confine himself within his own. Ultimately he will have to conform to the Oriental standard of existence, or, and this is the probable solution, to stint the increase of population. If he does this by methods that are inconsistent with morality, the very life-springs of the race will be tainted. If he does it by a patient self-restraint that shows itself in a limitation to late marriages, national character will be unimpaired, but material decline will have commenced. With civilisation equally diffused, the most populous country must ultimately be the most powerful; and the preponderance of China over any rival—even over the United States of America—is likely to be overwhelming.

Let us conceive the leading European nations to be stationary, while the Black and Yellow Belt, including China, Malaysia, India, Central Africa, and Tropical America is all teeming with life, developed by industrial enterprise, fairly well administered by native governments, and owning the better part of the carrying trade of the world. Can any one suppose that, in such a condition of political society, the habitual temper of mind in Europe would not be profoundly changed? Depression, hopelessness, a disregard of invention and improvement would replace the sanguine confidence of races that at present are always panting for new worlds to conquer. Here and there, it may be, the more adventurous would profit by the tradition of old supremacy to get their services accepted in the new nations, but as a rule there would be no outlet for energy, no future for statesmanship. The despondency of the English people, when their dream of conquest in France was dissipated, was attended with a complete decay of thought, with civil war, and with a standing still, or perhaps a decline of population, and to a less degree of wealth. The discovery of the New World, the resurrection of old literature, the trumpet of the Reformation scarcely quickened the national pulse with real life till the reign of Elizabeth. Then, however, there was revival, because there were possibilities of golden conquest in America, speculative treasures in the reanimate learning of Greece, and a new faith that seemed to thrust aside the curtain drawn by priests, and to open heaven. It is conceivable that our later world may find itself deprived of all that it valued on earth, of the pageantry of subject provinces and the reality of commerce, while it has neither a disinterred literature to amuse it nor a vitalised religion to give it spiritual strength.

The foregoing argument has assumed that the growth of China will be gradual and peaceable, and that India, if it ever becomes independent of England, will split up into a cluster of states, federated it may be, but not capable of an aggressive foreign policy. There is one possible alternative to this future too important to be disregarded. We are not yet able to say whether Mahommedanism has ceased to be a ferment and a great organising influence. It was beaten in the Indian Mutiny; it has been stamped out in Yunnan and Ili, after wars in which millions of lives were destroyed; and its solitary success in the Soudan has not been followed up, and was due very much to the fact that it was combined with a national uprising against a detested foreign rule. Still it is impossible to forget that an active Mahommedan propaganda is being carried on in China, and that the province of Yunnan was, at one time, almost in the hands of the followers of the Prophet. Father Girard says that, in a single instance, when there was a famine in the province of Chan-tong, the Mahommedans bought ten thousand children, whom they educated in their own faith. The whole number of Moslems in the Empire “is estimated by some officials at 20,000,000 to 25,000,000.” Observers agree that the Mahommedan may commonly be distinguished from his Buddhist countryman by his erect bearing and fearless tones. Islam, in this country also, transforms its votaries into military fanatics. As the popular Buddhism is nothing more than Paganism of a rather gross kind, though, with a fairly good ethical code, it may, in spite of the advantage it possesses of being the faith of the large majority, and backed by the Government, go down before a monotheism that has already been embraced by the Turkish division of the Tartars, and which is the predominant religion in Malaysia. The accident of a leader of genius arising to combine the Mahommedans in a common organisation might conceivably transfer sovereignty to a follower of Islam. In that case it is difficult to suppose that China would not become an aggressive military power, sending out her armies in millions to cross the Himalayas, and traverse the Steppes, or occupying the islands and the northern parts of Australia, by pouring in immigrants protected by fleets. Luther’s old name for the Turks, that they were “the people of the wrath of God,” may receive a new and terrible application. It seems reasonable to suppose that such a visitation can only be possible in the distant future, and not unreasonable to hope that it may never occur. Should it, however, take place, the ultimate effect would probably be to drain China of population and wealth, which die out gradually whereever the Crescent floats in triumph. The military aggrandisement of the Empire, which would provoke general resistance, is, in fact, less to be dreaded than its industrial growth, which other nations will be, to some extent, interested in maintaining. Still, even a ten years’ conflict against forces far greater than Tamerlane’s, and inspired with as ferocious a spirit, would be something so horrible that we may well pray for it to be never anything more than an evil dream.


Large armies, large towns, and large national debts are said to be causes of national decline.—As nations increase, large armies will be more and more a necessity, even though statesmen may be pacific.—There are compensations to standing armies in the education given and the feelings called out by military training. Neither is war itself an unmixed evil The tendency of populations to concentrate in towns is becoming more and more marked.—People flock to towns for work, for large profits, and because the growth of railways tends to concentrate business in a few large centres.—Beyond this, excitement, amusement, social intercourse, economy, are determining motives; and the townsman, once formed, contracts a dislike for country life.—The ancient idea was that city influences elevated and civilised men. Many remarkable men have found their only congenial sphere in a city.—Cities, however, though they attract great men, and develop the life of society, have no tendency to create genius or intellectual distinction.—One drawback to city life is that it destroys physical stamina, though science has done a great deal to eliminate disease and protract life.—And though legislation has promoted the well-being of the labourer, and though some descriptions of city labour are not unwholesome.—On the other hand, the city type is changing for the worse, though the cities are still vitalised by the best life-blood of the country districts.—As cities become of monstrous dimensions, the higher society that grows up in them is too various, and habitually too frivolous, to be of much civilising potency.—Even more does the lower class suffer by being shut out from nature and debarred the sympathy of neighbours.—The conditions of life in large cities are unfavourable to the privacy and self-respect without which family life cannot grow to any perfection. Social reforms may counteract some of the evils arising from this tendency, but cannot be a cure for all.—Women are special gainers by the great wealth and variety of amusement in towns.—Nevertheless, amusements in towns are not more intellectual than they were, but less so. The lecture has been killed by the book or newspaper; the higher drama by the novel.—It is only an apparent exception that the drama maintains itself in Paris, and that Ibsen has had a success of esteem.—The city music-hall is not appreciably superior to the city tavern.—The sordid frugality of a country population is due to its circumstances, and the changes imminent in city life are such as will naturally engender avarice.—National debts may be incurred for justifiable and good reasons.—Countries with great natural resources appear to be warranted in mortgaging their future, in order to develop their resources. There may, however, be periods of depression, even of decline for prosperous states.—Under the influence of theories of State Socialism, a country may engage in a vast speculation, such as buying up the land and leasing it to small cultivators; and this speculation may prove to be unremunerative.—In such a case, there might be a danger of the taxpayer repudiating his engagements to the fund-holder, and, indeed, that he could not fulfil them.—Examples of national bankruptcy are very numerous in the past.—Repudiation lowers the tone of national character; and the impoverishment of the fund-holders would extinguish a class that is very conservative of certain valuable qualities.—Whether large armies, large cities, large debts are to ruin modern society, depends upon how we use the armies, how far we can neutralise town influences, and whether we allow the indebtedness to corrode national morality.

The late Mr. Ticknor, a learned student of history, and who was also a sagacious observer of modern society, used to express the opinion that the “ancient civilisations of the world had been undermined and destroyed by two causes—the increase of standing armies, and the growth of great cities; and that modern civilisation had now added to these sources of decay a third in the hypothecation of every nation’s property to other nations.” It has been a part of the argument in these pages to show that the maintenance of large armies, easily mobilised, is as much a necessity now as it has been in past times. For many years to come the nations of the Temperate Zones will be trying to encroach upon one another, or on the uncivilised parts of the world, not necessarily because the spirit of an Alexander or a Napoleon animates any modern monarch, but because every statesman has come to believe that national existence is only possible for great Empires. Meanwhile, the nations of the Tropics that have adopted European improvements, and it may be solidified and grown strong under European control, will inevitably adopt the policy of large armaments; all the larger because the individual Hindoo, Chinaman, or Negro is inferior to the individual European. It is quite conceivable that the soldier may be rather less of an obtrusive element in the future than he has been in the past. This, however, is not likely to be because armies will be relatively smaller, but because universal conscription will have become the rule, and military education, up to a certain point, will be part of the stock-in-trade with which every citizen is equipped when he enters life.

This conception of a world always ready for war is, of course, very different from the dreams which pacific optimists have nursed. We have been told that, as the military caste of kings and nobles is dispossessed; as society becomes more sensible and understands the waste of war; as it is informed with a higher morality and comprehends its wickedness; as the class to which war means privation and misery is able to make itself heard in the councils of the State; perhaps, too, as the risks of dismemberment to States and annihilation to combatants become more formidable, war will be replaced everywhere by international arbitration. All this may be true, but, even so, it is difficult to suppose that arbitration will not be influenced by a calculation of the forces every power interested can bring into the field; or that war will not now and again be resorted to where arbitration fails to reconcile conflicting interests, or where a decision is opposed to a high-spirited people’s sense of justice. We are bound to remember that wise and good statesmen have constantly endeavoured to promote a general peace. It may be instructive to take two comparatively modern instances. In 1736 England was administered by the peace-loving Walpole, and France by the peace-loving Fleury, Austria had almost disbanded its army, Russia was only dangerous to the Turks, and the South of Europe was profoundly lethargic. Five years later the whole civilised world was in flames. A Parliamentary intrigue had embroiled England and Spain, and the ambition of a petty German sovereign had begun a war which immediately spread beyond the limits of Germany, and led to changes that remodelled the map of Europe. Cuba and Puerto Rico and Georgia, Scotland and Bohemia, were among the countries that suffered for quarrels about which the inhabitants knew and cared little. In this instance, it may be observed that the Spanish war would have been a trifle in itself. The real trouble was the ambition of Frederic II., whose army, before his accession, was scarcely regarded as a factor in European politics, and was chiefly talked of for its pedantic discipline, and its regiment of tall men. Rather more than a century later, the same experiment was renewed. The generation that remembered Napoleon’s wars was passionately anxious for peace, and English statesmen, in particular, had learned by bitter experience that the glory of animating Continental alliances was dearly purchased at the price of overwhelming debt and general jealousy. In 1847 England was almost without army or navy; the King of France was as peace-loving as any English Premier; the King of Prussia was perpetually irresolute and unready; Austria desired only to avoid complications of any kind; and the King of Belgium was always ready to mediate when difficulties sprung up. It is doubtful if even the Emperor Nicholas would deliberately have risked a great European war. Nevertheless, in 1848-49, there was war, or rumour of war, everywhere, and in 1853 the three greatest races of the civilised world, as it then was, were waging a very desperate struggle for supremacy. The advent to power of an adventurer, who believed that he would consolidate his position by short and brilliant campaigns, was sufficient to transform Europe into a cockpit or a camp of instruction; and at this moment the standing armies of the Continent are 50 per cent more than they were forty years ago, and the forces kept in reserve, and ready to strike, incomparably greater. The vision of inspired Manchester men, that the angel of Peace was to descend on the world in a drapery of untaxed calico, is still as far from accomplishment as the vision seen in Patmos. Trade is no freer than it was, and war is a more pervading presence.

Meanwhile, an optimist is entitled to claim that a state of military preparedness is not an unmixed evil. The Archduke Constantine, who objected to a campaign because it spoiled his troops, probably meant something more than that drill was neglected and that uniforms were ruined during a campaign. He meant that the mortality of war fell upon men whom the regiments and the country could not spare. There can be little doubt that the army has been a very admirable school for the lower orders of European society. The recruit is forced to acquire habits of cleanliness; has his frame developed by athletic exercises; is taught some elements of knowledge in the regimental schools; learns implicit obedience, and acquires traditions of honour and loyalty to his colours and his comrades, that on critical occasions raise him above regard for this perishable life. The French cuirassiers who rode time after time to certain death at Reichshoffen and Froeschwiller; the German cavalry that courted annihilation in order to win time for a movement of the infantry at Mars-la-Tour; the English infantry at Inkerman; and, even more perhaps than the heroes of any war, the men of the Birkenhead, are among the innumerable evidences that the service of arms can transform generous feeling and irresolute impulse into a steady and exalted heroism. Neither is war all savagery. When England first declared war against the French Republic, the feeling in France was so bitter that the Directory issued orders for no quarter to be given; orders which the French generals, to their honour, refused to obey. After nearly thirty years of struggle, the feeling between Wellington’s and Soult’s soldiers became one of cordial respect; acts of chivalrous consideration were common on both sides, and the outposts used to mingle freely whenever there was a halt or an informal rest of any kind. A civil war is in general one of indiscriminating bitterness; but scarcely a reproach of violence to non-combatants rests upon the great armies that decided the War of Liberation in the United States. So, again, the Germans who entered France under Von Moltke were appreciably more humane and better disciplined than the soldiers whom Blücher commanded, and this to an extent that is not altogether explained by the absence of recent provocation. It seems, therefore, possible to hope that war, terrible and to some extent pitiless as it must always be, may come to be conducted without intentional injury to non-combatants, and with the smallest possible damage to private property. When horrors, like those which attended the storm of Tarragona by Suchet, and that of San Sebastian by Wellington, are reprobated as atrocities by public opinion—even in military circles—and punished with unsparing severity by courts-martial, the worst influence of war will have been abolished. Lastly, when all is said, we cannot escape from a certain truth in Shakespeare’s view of war, that it is “the great corrector of enormous times.” Many a nation dates its moral regeneration from a defeat that seemed to shatter it. Russia emancipated her serfs because she was beaten before Sebastopol; Austria tore up her Concordat and liberalised her government because she was vanquished at Solferino; France rid herself of the impurities of the Second Empire at the price of Sedan. There are also communities that have been the better for success. The United States became a nation with a consciousness of great destiny and of her duty towards the human race after the War of Independence. Italy conquered liberty and self-respect on the same battlefields. We may stop short of the splendid paradox of De Maistre, that war is divine in virtue of its supernatural results, and content ourselves with believing that it has its place in the economy of human society, as volcanoes and earthquakes have in the physical world. It took all the courage of Voltaire, less than a century and a half ago, to explain that an earthquake was not necessarily the judgment of God upon an immoral city. At present not even a theologian sees anything outrageous in Herschel’s statement that ” earthquakes may form part and parcel of some great scheme of Providential arrangement which is at work for good and not for ill.” It seems not unreasonable to suppose that a warlike spirit is as inseparable from human nature as the love of money or sexual impulse, and that like these it may have its uses, though its excess is lamentable.

That the growth of large towns is bound to go on in a constantly increasing ratio seems more than probable. England, the greatest example, is in some respects exceptional, because the existence of large properties there has hitherto been accompanied with a system of farming which only men with some capital could attempt, and because the passion of a wealthy class for field-sports induces them to make some sacrifice of rental, and deny themselves the profits which small tenants might bring. Moreover, the old poor-law system and the doctrines of Malthus co-operated in inducing many squires to keep population down on their estates. It was a direct gain that the land should not be charged with the support of paupers, and a prospective advantage that population should not increase beyond the means of support. Then, again, the development of mines and the growth of manufactures have constantly drawn rustics from their native villages, and as the towns have been able to relieve themselves when they were over-peopled by exporting emigrants to America or Australia, there has been no reason to suspect the practice gradually established of unsoundness. The urban population of England is accordingly now nearly double the rural, and would undoubtedly be larger still if a great many miners and sailors were not included in the population of the country. No other country, except Scotland, shows anything like this ratio; but Holland, Belgium, Australia, France, and the United States are making rapid progress in the same direction, and the townsmen in these highly prosperous communities are from one in five to as many as two in five of the nation. Naturally, the towns are least prominent as a rule in the nations that have an extensive area. Altogether, however, the tendency to congregate in towns seems strongest in Anglo-Saxon countries. For instance, the proportion of townsmen in the United States (22·5 per cent in 1880) and in Australia (25 per cent) is very large, though in both of these countries the area of land is considerable, and there is a great deal not taken up.

Now, if we inquire into the causes that attract population to towns, we shall find them very various, and for the most part sufficiently simple. One is, that the discoveries of science in many cases enable the farmer to substitute machinery for hand-labour. The steam-plough, or common ploughs of improved construction, reapers and binders, and threshing-machines have now come largely into use in all highly-developed countries, and the result is that a few well-trained and well-paid labourers are substituted for a great many poorly paid. Then, again, the gradual evolution of macadamised roads, canals, and railways has enormously diminished the proportion of men engaged in the transport of produce, and has also diminished the need of over-production. Formerly, there might be a famine in Gloucestershire when corn was rotting in Kent, because communication between the different parts of England was so difficult and costly, and then every district had to keep corn stored, or to sow more than was likely to be needed; but now the best-developed countries can produce with the nicest economy. Again, science has not only cheapened production and transport, but it has increased production. An acre in England yields at least three times as much at present as it did in the fourteenth century, and though deep ploughing and draining and the use of artificial manures involve rather more labour than was needed under the old system, there is still a large margin to the benefit of the modern farmer. “We may add to this that railways give the shops and professional men in towns a great advantage over their rivals in the country. Every new line that is opened induces a certain number of the country people to make their purchases where the stores are largest, and where the goods can be sold cheapest; and a man troubled about his health or his property prefers to consult the ablest city practitioner of whom he has read or heard. So it happens that the small country stores are reduced in number and importance, and that the professional class gets more and more averse to a country practice. It is scarcely wonderful if for these reasons alone large towns appear to absorb all the natural growth of the community. It is rather wonderful that the remoter and less attractive parts of the country should not be generally deserted, and that the building up of towns should not go on even more rapidly than it does. We must allow, however, for the tendency of some townsmen to make their actual homes outside city precincts, and also for the disinclination of most men to change their careers and habits suddenly. The exodus to towns takes place very much through the young, who have come to think that their best chances of employment and enjoyment are great cities, and whom their elders do not care to dissuade, and do not like to keep back from what seems certain gain.

There is, however, another very potent cause that is contributing to build up towns. Every great country has established State schools, and made education of some kind compulsory. The instruction given is in no case very profound or far-reaching. It is generally more or less confined to reading, writing, and arithmetic, with so much knowledge of geography and of the national history and literature as can be given in popular text-books. Still, what difference there is between the primary education of our own days and the “sound commercial education” of a few years back is rather to the advantage of the primary State school, which professes to teach a little less, but, as a rule, teaches what it does thoroughly and expeditiously. Accordingly, the children of the poorest classes in all English-speaking countries, and in parts of the Continent, have been raised in one important respect to the level of a higher class, have acquired its tastes and ambitions, and are able to compete with it in commerce. Naturally, the cleverest boys of the village school do not care to remain plough-boys; they yearn for the speculative gains of commerce, for the “large excitement” of city life, or at least for the fleshpots and the shelter from sun and rain that are incidental to existence as a town models it. To the yokel, London or New York or Melbourne is an inexhaustible romance; to the cockney of every nation, the country, except as a suburb or an ornamental farm, represents only what is repulsive in toil and uncongenial in society. Even more do the amusements of towns, the club, and the theatre, the exhibition, the race-course, and the ball, create wants that it is almost impossible to relinquish. Anciently, there were some compensations in the sweetness of village homes and the rough abundance of country life. At present, the educated person of small means, widow or school-teacher, or country surgeon’s wife, who is doomed to live at a distance from a town, finds that the country is mostly tenanted by those who are too unintelligent to succeed elsewhere; and that the price of necessaries is at least as high as in the city, while the price of luxuries is greater, and many conveniences or economies, such as tram-cars and co-operative stores, and the teachers of accomplishments, are unattainable. Of course this state of things is in some respects bound to be transitory. The farmer is rapidly changing into a highly-educated man; the primary school-teacher is rising in the social grade; State inspectors and employees of the higher class are being multiplied; and railways are already carried into almost every small district in England. Still, the attractions of town-life very much overbalance those of the country even now; and the industrial reasons which urge the rising generation to throng into the metropolis, or at least into towns of some kind, are powerfully enhanced by the requirements which education and a higher refinement bring with them. It seems difficult to doubt that for many years to come towns will grow everywhere at the expense of villages. They would grow even if they were not more attractive, because rural labour does not expand as rapidly as factories and shops; but they have a fascination of their own, and they rarely relax their hold on those whom they have drawn in. A year’s life amid “the crowd, the hum, the shock of men” is apt to give a distaste for that life amid green fields and pastures which poets have consented to praise; the years that make a man a confirmed townsman unfit him, morally and physically, for any other life than in populous streets. It is not often that he wishes to change, but he cannot if he would. Even the passion of the wealthy Englishman for field-sports only draws him into the country during the months sacred or possible to these. Habitually he prefers, like Dr. Johnson, to “watch the full tide of life at Charing Cross.”

Now, the influence of cities on civilisation is embalmed in language itself. Almost every word that designates the higher life among men implies town-breeding; every word appropriated anciently to country use has acquired a certain savour of contempt. To the Greeks man was by nature social, or a city-dweller (πολιτικός); the polite townsman (ἀστεῖος) was contrasted with the rough dweller in fields (ἀγροικός). The Romans repeated and enforced the idea that the body politic was in the fashion of the city (civitas), and that the city man was naturally courteous (urbanus), while the dweller outside was uncouth in manners (rusticus), and the maintainer of an outworn creed (paganus). Later on, we find the legal synonyms for country labourer (“colonus” and “villanus“) passing into our language as “clown” and “loon” and “villain.” The French vocabulary is at least equally rich in terms of this kind. We cannot disregard the historical fact, of which these etymological trifles are confirmation, that what we call progress was in antiquity at least the outcome of city life under certain favourable conditions. Something, no doubt, has to be allowed for the perpetuity of order, which at the time was scarcely possible except within city walls or under their shadow. If Attica had been as open to an invading army as Lacedemon, we can hardly imagine that Athens would have been of much more account in the world’s history than Sparta. Still, the contact of mind with mind is perhaps the main factor in intellectual development; and the incomparable benefit of Athens to its poets, its thinkers, and its orators seems to have been, that it supplied them with a society that was quick to catch at ideas, and keen to sift them. To us, who confound writers of ten centuries and fifty different places under the convenient name of “classical,” it is difficult to understand why a man banished from Athens or Kome felt that the whole world was, so to speak, closed to him. The lamentations of Cicero when he was forced to leave Italy, but had nearly every great city, except Athens, open to him in Greece or Asia; even the complaints of Ovid at being sent to a garrison town in what is now Bulgaria, seem as unmanly and incomprehensible as the wailings of Philoctetes over his wound would appear to the maimed private of an English regiment. Yet Cicero and Ovid only expressed the feeling of every educated Roman. Later on, Juvenal winds up the panegyric of a country life by remarking that it cannot be endured for five days continuously. The Greek and Roman had a feeling for Athens and Rome which only Paris among modern towns has inspired in a similar degree, and for something of the same reason. When Mdme. de Staël would have sacrificed everything but conviction for the right to live again in the Rue de Bac, what she regretted was the French salon, which could give her nothing superior in kind to what she found in Germany, in Russia, and in England, but which yet gave her the only intellectual atmosphere in which she could breathe freely. Half her shades of meaning, all that was best in her style, and much that was good in her thought, could only be understood by the people of whom she was one. Only they could tell her, and they only in the indirectness of social intercourse, how far she had gone home to the hearts and minds of her countrymen. It is quite conceivable that she really did better work for being thrown upon herself, just as we may assume that Dante drew concentration and energy from the “salt savour” of bread eaten in exile, and Milton from the enforced seclusion of his later years. There can be little doubt that genius is now and again apt to fritter itself away on things that are of the earth earthy; and Dante might have been squandered away in municipal intrigues, Mdme. de Staël in party-giving, if the poet had not been driven from Florence, and the publicist from Paris. All that is contended for is that minds of the highest order are very sensible to the need of human intercourse, and are apt to feel their own want of criticism and sympathy to an extent that is sometimes incompatible with self-reliance. City life has been praised, perhaps beyond its deserts, because it has brought thinkers into touch one with another, and has stimulated the divine impulse to originate by sympathy or antagonism.

It must be noted, however, that the instances of societies in which men of the highest distinction have been fairly numerous are so few and far between that it seems impossible to deduce any law from them. The popular examples are Athens from Aeschylus to Demosthenes, Rome from Lucretius to Juvenal, Florence in the time of Michael Angelo, London in the period from Elizabeth to Anne, Paris in the latter half of the seventeenth century, and perhaps some circles in Germany for part of the eighteenth century. No doubt a long and brilliant list could be filled with names that do not belong to any one of these times and places. Homer, Dante, Cervantes, Voltaire, Darwin, and Victor Hugo may almost be said to make epochs in themselves; and no one dreams of disputing their ability or the influence they have exercised on style and thought. The point contended for, however, is, that individuals cannot be claimed as the direct outcome of city life in the same way that a literary set can be. Homer may have owed more than we suspect to the comments of crowds in Asia Minor, Dante may have been a representative Florentine, and Voltaire certainly seems a representative Parisian; but even Voltaire, though he founded a school of thought, had no rivals or critics or colleagues comparable with himself, except, perhaps, Rousseau, who was quite dissimilar, and who derived whatever was best in him from Geneva. The remarkable point is that even in modern society, when population is so much larger, when thought is comparatively unshackled, when burning questions are in the air, when the public is a better Maecenas than Martial prayed for, there are periods in the life of large communities which seem almost as sterile as the later centuries of the Roman Empire. Whom did England produce between Swift and Byron, outside of politics, who will be read for either power or beauty of form as an imaginative writer? What Frenchmen, except Chateaubriand and Courier, were literary in the real sense of the word in the fifty years that elapsed after Voltaire’s death? Is Italy adequately represented in literature by Alfieri and Leopardi for the three centuries that have passed since the death of Tasso? and is Spain represented at all for two centuries? It is easy to say that the genius of England had a worthy expression in Gibbon and Burke during a time otherwise barren; and it is perhaps true that the nation was throwing itself into politics and invention at that period. France may reasonably claim that she put her life and thought into the glory and waste of the Revolution and of the First Empire. What is difficult to explain is the complete break of intellectual continuity. No one can suppose that Brindley, Wedgwood, or Watt would have been poets if they had not been inventors; and it seems accordingly difficult to understand why one order of genius comes to the front, while another, not necessarily, but often, recedes, and is lost for a time. The natural inference would appear to be, that neither ordinary city life, nor the presence of one or two great thinkers or artists in a community is a guarantee that there will be any general activity or real elevation of thought. We have examples of countries where millions of men have succeeded one another for generations, even for centuries, and produced nothing more than a few competent administrators without statesmanship, soldiers without strategy, and literary men without the power to originate. Civilisation, such as is the outgrowth of populous communities, appears to guarantee little more at best than a wise habit of municipal administration, some energy and deftness of commerce, and certain gracious formalities in human intercourse. The official, the merchant, and the diner-out represent the outcome of city life when society is torpid.

Now the compensating drawbacks to these advantages of general acuteness and occasional distinction are sufficiently formidable. It is very doubtful whether townsmen of many generations do not lose stamina, and decline in stature, to a degree that implies perilous degeneracy. The question, no doubt, is not a simple one. So far as the evidence of coats of armour goes, the ancestors of the English people must have been smaller-chested and of less stature than average men at present. On the other hand, the prowess of the English archers shows that their small stature was compatible with great muscular strength; and it is perhaps reasonable to suppose that incessant wars reduced the average height, as the tallest men were the first picked off. The wars of the first Napoleon produced an effect which is sometimes thought to be still noticeable in the conscription. Yet this argument cannot be pressed, as on the Continent, where the object is that no man should be exempted from military service, it is important to keep the standard of height as low as possible; while in England the reductions that have been found necessary to keep the regiments filled may be due to the fact that the attractions of private employment are now greater than they were. It must be admitted also that the average of life in England is now longer than it was,—a fact which seems inconsistent with reduced vitality. Still, it may be questioned if we can infer more from this than that science, to some extent, compensates the disadvantages that result from the city life carried to excess. What science has done cannot easily be over-estimated. Leprosy, smallpox, the Black Death, the plague, and the sweating sickness, are little more than memories of the past. In 1349 the Black Death carried off at least a third of the population of all England, the deaths in London alone being reckoned at 100,000. The cholera of 1831-32 only carried off 5275 in a ten times larger London, and was scarcely felt except in the slums of great cities. The sufferers from plague in old times used to comfort themselves with the expectation that if they recovered they would be disease-proof for the future; but the records of mortality show that these terrible visitations carried off not only two-thirds of those who were attacked, but left the remainder with debilitated constitutions. As late as Adam Smith’s time the mortality among the children of the poor was enormous. “In some places,” he says, “one-half the children born die before they are four years of age; in many places before they are seven, and in almost all places before they are nine or ten.” The mortality of children under five is still very great, but it is not half of Adam Smith‘s highest estimate, and the mortality between five and ten is not so great as that of ordinary adults.

Not only have sanitary conditions been improved, but labour has been regulated with the best possible results. The horrors of the factory system have been mitigated or removed by the legislation Lord Shaftesbury initiated; and the increasing power of Trades-Unions is making the revival of overwork on a large scale impossible. Compulsory education is assisting to keep children from that toil in stifling rooms which used to be the fruitful cause of stunted frames and impaired vitality. Some occupations that w r ere poisonous have now been made reasonably safe. A certain proportion of the workers in large towns—such as dock labourers, coalheavers, workers in foundries, and men in the building trade—work under conditions that are favourable to muscular development as well as to health, and are in a great many cases better fed than they would be in the country. Mr. Booth’s very careful analysis of the population in some of the poorest parts of London has shown that only a fraction are paupers or loafers, and that not quite 20 per cent are casual or intermittent wage-earners. It is probably correct to say that even in London, the typical instance of concentration, the poverty is still manageable, though now and again, in hard times, many thousands of men and women willing to work are within measurable distance of starvation. Still, if we could be certain that great cities would not continue to increase even faster in the future than they have done in the past, we might fairly hope that the wisdom of statesmen would contrive a remedy for present evils.

Unhappily, there is another side to the question. We have to take into account that the great English and Scotch towns have been draining the life-blood of the country districts for more than a century. Forty years ago the population of towns and country districts in England was nearly equal. In 1881 the towns were to the country as three to two; and in 1891 they are as seven to four. We must either assume that during this period the natural increase in the country has been very small, or that it has all been carried off by emigration, or that a portion of it has been attracted to the towns. Dr. Ogle, who has made a study of the subject, gives reasons for supposing that there has been a “continuous migration of the most energetic and vigorous members of the rural communities into the manufacturing districts.” So long as this lasts, and is on a large scale, we are not in a condition to appreciate how far town -life tells upon the physique of the people. Not only do the vigorous countrymen replenish the towns with new life, but they have a tendency to crowd out and starve the weaker and more stunted specimens of humanity, who are the outcome of several generations that have grown up without proper access to light and air, and without muscular exercise. Before long, however, the country immigrants will be an imperceptible addition to any great English or Scotch city. What, for instance, will 20,000 immigrants a year mean to the swarming life of a metropolis with four or five millions of inhabitants? Is it not unavoidable that the city type should become more and more pronounced? Is it not probable that the type elaborated will not be so much that of the mobile, critical, originative Athenian, who was practically an aristocrat among slaves, as of the Manchester or Bellevue operative, with an inheritance of premature decrepitude, with an horizon narrowed to parochial limits, with no interests except those of the factory or the Trades-Union; with the faith of the Salvation Army, that finds expression in antics and buffoonery, or with that even more lamentable scepticism to which the bestial element in man is the only reality?

It must be borne in mind that the city life which we associate from history with ardent public spirit and susceptibility of great ideas was never trammelled by the limitations which cramp a great capital in modern times. The Athenian could pass in a couple of hours from the Acropolis into a country solitude; he was perpetually serving as soldier or sailor, or was traversing mountain paths to consult an oracle, or to attend a festival. The free population of Eome may have amounted to nearly three-quarters of a million in part of its best literary period; but these numbers were closely packed within a circuit of thirteen miles; the country with its breezy plains or umbrageous forests or little townships was close at hand; and society was so small that, for one period at least, we know all about its leaders and their family scandals, and the places of amusement, and the chief professional men, as well as we know about the England of Queen Elizabeth’s time. In Rome, as in Paris and London during their best days, though the city was too big for a single set, and though we can perceive that the younger Pliny and Tacitus moved in a different world from Juvenal and Martial, just as Fox and Sheridan scarcely ever met Dr. Johnson, there were still points of contact between the salons, and in this way there was, as it were, a literary commonwealth, whose members exchanged ideas and reproduced each other’s thoughts with variations. Boston, not being overgrown, has been able to combine this best feature of town intercourse with a singular charm of its own during our own generation. At present London is either too vast for such a society to exist, or if it exists it is effaced by the multitudinous life of statesmen, professional men, millionaires on every side. There may be even more talent than there was in the days of Burke and Gibbon and Horace Walpole; but it is dissipated in space, or attracts no attention outside. The successful proconsul, the daring traveller, the scientific discoverer, are now passed round for a season from salon to salon, invited to air themselves in reviews, and relegated to the second place. The world at large is just as reverent of greatness, as observant of a Browning, a Newman, or a Mill, as it ever was; but the world of society prefers the small change of available and ephemeral talent to the wealth of great thoughts, which must always be kept more or less in reserve. The result seems to be that men, anxious to do great work, find city life less congenial than they did, and either live away from the metropolis, as Darwin and Newman did, or restrict their intercourse, as Carlyle and George Eliot practically did, to a circle of chosen friends. The same feature of human intercourse appears to be noticeable in France, though in France the Second Empire broke up the thinking and talking world so completely, that even the semblance of that brilliant society which existed under the last monarch has never been reconstituted. An outside observer, at least, remembers that Littré and Renan and Victor Hugo have been relics of the old world, and that Lamartine and De Musset, De Tocqueville and Michelet and Thierry, George Sand and Balzac have left no counterparts.

It is, perhaps, too early to decide whether town life is dying at the top. It may well be, that even in one of our overgrown capitals a society may spring up which shall not allow itself to be absorbed in the riot and the ennui of fashionable gatherings, which shall find better use for its thought than to tone it down into commonplace, and nobler use for its style than the affectation of epigrammatic smartness. Such a body of men might easily recover the influence and dignity which was enjoyed by the best circle of George III/s reign during the American War; by the French Liberals under the House of Orleans; and by the Boston Transcendentalists while the struggle of slavery was undecided. All that can be said with certainty is, that as towns grow to dimensions never dreamed of as possible, it must be increasingly difficult for a few men, however brilliant, to give direction to the thought of the whole urban community. What, however, can admit of no doubt is, that if wealth and numbers and uniform habit of life and speech and opinion may tend to set aside genius or cramp originality even when they act on a small coterie, they are incomparably more calculated to exercise an influence for evil upon the masses. The dweller in a great city is tending more and more to become a very small part of a very vast machine. It is not only that his daily work is less varied, and makes less demands on resource and fertility of expedient than it did, but his whole horizon is narrowed. Put, on the one hand, the elevating influence of the State school, which has taken him through a primary reader series, and add, it may be, an occasional visit to the museum; and assume, on the other hand, what is becoming more and more a fact, that the artisan’s daily walk from the house to the factory represents his knowledge of God’s earth; that he has never wandered by the seaside, or in the woods; knows nothing such as village children know of life in the hedges and the farmyard; never sees the dawn whiten and flush over heather, or has looked up at the stars except through an intervening veil of smoke and fog. Does any man dream that an excursion train, with its riotous mirth and luncheon-baskets, and few hours’ freedom to stand on a pier or stroll through the streets of a country town can compensate to millions of human beings for nature quite shut out? What kind of children will those be who grow up when the best sanitary laws have restricted the intercourse with animals even more than is now customary in towns; who have never picked buttercups and daisies; who read in poems of the song of birds that they cannot hear, and of a beauty in the seasons which they only know by vicissitudes of hot and cold? Will not their eyes be dimmed for all sights but those which a shop window can afford? and will not their minds be the poorer by many bright memories which their mothers had? Yet these are not even the chief losses which a city life entails. There is an inevitable companionship in country life which draws rich and poor together. At the cricket-ground and in the hunting-field, in church and in social gatherings, from harvest-home to school-feast, squire and parson, farmer and hind, meet together animated for the hour with the same kindly thoughts. In the great majority of villages, at least, the cottager looks for sympathy in his troubles to the Rectory and the Hall. Even where the clergyman has been torpid and the landowner non-resident, the village has still been a community of neighbours interested in one another. In the multitudinous desolation of a great city contact between rich and poor is scarcely possible, and as there are no abiding homes there are no real neighbours. Strangers who will help with relief, or, it may be, close the dying eyes of the destitute, are a poor exchange for families that have lived near one another, toiled together, taken holiday together for generations.

In very small communities the family life is deepened and intensified by isolation. Families intermarry, and it comes to be thought a scandal that any one should marry out of the clan. The result is seen in a certain rough loyalty of all who are so connected to one another, in a storing-up of family traditions, and in an enhanced self-respect. The obvious drawbacks to this kind of life are, that the interbreeding is sometimes carried to excess, though this is not often the case where the conditions of life are healthy, and that feeling for the parish or the district seems to supersede national sentiment. In large towns this sort of family life is impossible, and the traditions of old burgher families, tradesmen, or artisans, who lived in the same street for generations, is rapidly becoming extinct. The apprenticeship system that gave young men a family training of a kind has to a great extent disappeared. The workman is very constantly a bird of passage; at least an immigrant from the country or abroad. He marries, or forms an irregular connection with some chance acquaintance. The lodgings are constantly changed, so that no home associations can grow up; the husband may be absent for weeks or months at a time; the children live, out of school time, in the court or the streets, their homes being mere feeding and sleeping places; the boys scatter as they grow up, and the girls find work in a factory, where it is impossible for the mother’s eye to follow them. Of course there are thousands of cases in which the conditions are even less favourable to domesticity; where two or more families live in a room, so that not only is no separation of the sexes possible, but that an entire family cannot enjoy the privacy without which the communication of thought in counsel or sympathy is impossible. No doubt the imperishable instincts of human nature will assert themselves with perpetual miracles of gracious spontaneity in the slums as well as in Arcadia. Hermann and Dorothea will rehearse the “old, old story” in whispers or hints, and during hours when all is hushed; the mother will glow with all the hope and love of womanhood as the babe, predestined to scrofula or typhus, smiles up or crows in her face; and the father, worn out with the week’s toil, will feel a Sabbath rest as he looks round upon his children, even though he cannot talk freely, or pray, or walk in green fields with them. No one can doubt that the moral sentiment is inextinguishable who reflects how the instinct of purity has maintained itself among English women, living as they have done for the last three generations in conditions of domesticity that even in the country were often only a little better than they now are in the less crowded parts of our great cities. What it seems impossible to question is, that the old family feeling, with which self-respect, loyalty to kindred, discipline and sexual purity were intimately associated, must in course of time disappear from large towns, unless some radical change should make home-life possible to the toiling and thrifty part of the population.

Now the State Socialism which is growing upon us, and the scientific teaching which we are all disposed to admit, are combining in some respects to a hopeful solution of some of these difficulties. Science, disregarding the “let-alone” theory, which declared that the State had no right to interfere with the workman’s demand for lodgings, or the capitalist’s supply, is instructing us that it is at our own peril if we allow the conditions of disease to exist anywhere, and that the lives and fortunes of the whole community are at stake if we overlook crowded rooms, bad drainage, foul drinking-water, or diseased food. The scientific man will probably content himself with very practicable requirements, but he will hardly be satisfied with less than a proportion of cubic feet that means separation for every family, and an abundant water-supply. The temperate State Socialism that is coming in goes naturally beyond this, and asks that the State shall make itself a large employer of labour, so far as to assure a reasonable wage to every man ready to work. We can already see tendencies of progress towards a more advanced point. Philanthropists are trying to get large spaces reserved as parks or recreation-grounds in the neighbourhood of our towns, to get gymnasiums attached to our schools, and to arrange for occasional excursions into the country. If we assume every family to be living in a five-roomed house, every working-man in England to be earning his thirty shillings a week, the Saturday half-holiday to be introduced, every child to be trained in gymnastic exercises, and every young man to have the opportunity of football, cricket, or drill, we shall assume no more than would seem very moderate and perhaps inadequate in Australia; and yet changes of this kind would mean a new life for millions of human beings in such cities as London and Glasgow, Paris and Lyons, Berlin or Vienna, New York or Chicago. Nevertheless, even these reforms, which perhaps are possible and probable, would only be of partial efficacy as regards health. They would restore the sanctity of family life, but they could not bring back the old authority of family ties; and they would scarcely touch the deplorable isolation of the townsman from that world full of sweet sights and sounds, that divinity of hill and glade and running stream which were anciently the inheritance of the whole human race.

Let us now set off against these positive losses the advantage in variety of amusements which operates so largely in attracting the youth of the country districts to a town. For women, in particular, the gain seems to be incalculable. There are the theatre, the music-hall, or the opera, the picture-gallery, the comic entertainment, the lecture, the class-room, and a very considerable resource in what is known as “society” for all, except, of course, the very poor. Even if we admit that the racket and incessant change of life in very fashionable circles are carried to excess, and that the very poor are apt to be thrown upon worse associates than they would find in the country, the broad fact remains that to the great mass of women the streets within a mile of their town-house contain greater variety than they can find in a whole county. That the town acquaintanceships are as a rule perfectly superficial, that a large visiting list may not contain a single friend, or one with that sympathy of custom which neighbourhood in the country is apt to engender, may be said to be partially compensated by the comparative absence of small rivalries and petty scandals. Then, even if we assume that the old paramount influence of the best set in a metropolis has ceased to be as noticeable as it once was, there is an immense wealth of secondary, and even very high talent. The city absorbs the most practical intellects of the country, and competition keeps them from rusting. To put the case briefly, if human life in the great centres has less intensity and tenderness than in the provinces, it has also less ennui; and to the nervous, excitable, modern temperament relief from ennui is the primary condition of a healthy and desirable existence. We must probably console ourselves with this reflection, for it seems likely that the amusements of a large town rather lose than gain in character as it grows. To take the lecture-room, which is perhaps the most intellectual of all, it is noticeable that Coleridge and Carlyle had very moderate success, that Thackeray and Dickens were better received in the provinces than in London, and that Matthew Arnold was a failure in America, and had no encouragement to lecture in England. The fact probably is, that most people prefer to read a lecture in the columns of a newspaper or in a book; and if they go to a lecture at all, go only from curiosity to see or hear a distinguished man. There is nothing unreasonable in this view, but if it becomes universal, one kind of amusement that stimulated the mind in no unworthy way will be retrenched. The theatre is not likely to suffer in this manner. Hardly any one derives as much pleasure from reading a play as from seeing it well put on the stage. Even a very ordinary cast of actors, giving only the trivial stage tradition with no original renderings, will present one of Shakespeare’s plays in such a way as to stimulate or instruct a critic. Unfortunately, the age is no longer tolerant of work with a high aim. It has become a proverb that Shakespeare spells ruin, and the exceptions to this are where popular actors give the stage version more or less infamously garbled, with such gorgeousness of costume and surroundings that the mind is diverted from the words to the presentation. Putting aside Shakespeare, and admitting that where Shakespeare is only tolerated his great contemporaries cannot claim to be heard, we find that the serious work of modern times is never even regarded. Shelley, Browning, and Tennyson are experimented on from time to time, and put away almost instantly; Byron’s name has not recommended his dramas; Swinburne has never even been tried; and the comparative success of Bulwer Lytton and of Sheridan Knowles, if we can draw any inference from it, would seem to show that the public is really tolerant of the drama only when it is bad. It may be said that the world has become unfamiliar with strong emotions and incredulous of violent effects; that the hardness of Lear’s daughters, Othello’s jealousy, Iago’s villainy, Macbeth’s crimes, are too sensational properly to impress a society that is no longer prone to stormy impulses, and that can hardly understand impulses that outrage decorum. This, however, will not account for the fact that even the highest style of comedy has fallen into disrepute. Modern counterparts of Much Ado about Nothing, or The Merchant of Venice, of Tartufe or Le Misanthrope, seem to be as little attempted as the old form of tragedy. The popular form of amusement in England is broad farce or the extravaganza; and some of Mr. Gilbert’s work in this last direction is so admirable as to show that genius may impress its own stamp upon its masterpieces, and yet be popular, if it consults the spirit of the age. Perhaps it is most reasonable to assume that the novel has killed the drama as a delineation of human energy and suffering. The novel makes less demand upon the attention, can reiterate strokes and deepen colours where the first effect has failed, and can be produced in endless variety. There is a certain class of work, the minute and progressive analysis of a character undergoing change, that the novel perhaps achieves better than the play. Meanwhile, the substitution of the book for the counterfeit presentation in the higher range of subject may surely be said to have debased one large and important class of amusement by restricting it to pageantry and sensational effects or vulgar allusion; to shifts of dresses, to the jokes of a Jack-Pudding, to pugilistic encounters, or to the bringing of a whole farmyard in feather and fleece on the stage.

It is, no doubt, to be borne in mind that although the English drama was incomparably the best in the world at one time, and though the English dramatists are the only moderns who will bear comparison with the Greeks, the French have excelled us for two centuries and a half in the average excellence of their work, and in the capacity for criticism. Now, the decadence of the drama in France is by no means so marked as it is in England. Victor Hugo’s best dramas seem to many of us who are foreigners superior for dramatic situations and for the expression of fine feeling even to Corneille; and of the younger Dumas and Sardou we may at least say that they are good enough to be read and reproduced or plundered everywhere. No one supposes that a Corneille or Victor Hugo can be born in every generation; and therefore, if the best work of these men is still appreciated in their own country, if there are men, however inferior, still working upon the same lines, it would not be safe to say that the character of the drama in that country has deteriorated. Let us admit this, and allow that Paris—even though it is an overgrown city—retains one very perfect form of amusement which has seemed to decay in England as the novel superseded it for the highest work. Still, Paris is only one city, and the taste of the French people may have given them an exceptional advantage, though it has not saved even Paris from being the home of opera-bouffe. The other apparent exception to the proposition, that the taste for serious dramatic art is declining, is to be found in the vogue that Ibsen’s dramas have attained to. Writing in a tongue almost unknown to the world, translated at first only into German, as careless of popular taste and as reflective as Browning, as prone to violent effects as Webster, Ibsen has nevertheless obtained a moderate recognition even in England, where his best works are comparatively unread; altogether, I believe, unacted. Probably it is fair to say in this particular instance that the generous appreciation of scholars and experts has forced Ibsen’s plays upon the attention of a public that grudges the time it gives them, and would prefer Orpheus in Hell to Peer Gynt.

It is scarcely necessary to inquire if the music-hall or the comic entertainment minister to a sound or elevated taste. What may probably be urged, however, with truth is, that they are to a great extent the relaxations of a class that had no relaxations anciently, or only such as were coarse and brutal—the bear-bait, the bull-bait, or the cockpit. It may even be better that men and women should listen to a stupid and indelicate song trolled out by a professional singer than that there should be a large literature of tavern catches and obscene songs, such as have come down to us from every century, of which we have copious literary remains, and such as were freely sung at private parties. It may reasonably be contended that the popular music-hall production of to-day never sinks quite as low for grossness as songs that Shakespeare and Ben Jonson have embalmed, and that the decay of literary form in this lowest phase of brainwork is due to the enhanced self-respect which prevents any but the lowest craftsmen from pandering to the most debased taste. All that the present argument seeks to establish is, that certain forms of amusement which a city provides, and which are considered among the attractions of a city, are really not more intellectual or elevating, though they are unquestionably more garish and fascinating, than the riot and coarse jocularity of a village tap-room.

Perhaps the most genuine advantage of city life is, that though the greed for gold is naturally as fierce in towns as in the country, it has a tendency to be less sordid. The French peasant as Balzac has painted him, the Spanish villager as Galdos describes him, are very intense types of what country toil tends to produce everywhere an absolute concentration of the mind upon small economies, or, it may be, small pilferings, and a thorough deadening of the moral sense. Countries where the wage-rate is low, and where the peasant is disinclined to move on the chance of bettering himself, seem to be those in which the feeling is strongest, and the Scotchman, who has always had a harder struggle for existence than his Southern neighbour, is, in spite of his superior self-reliance, habitually more frugal than the Englishman. On the other hand, countries where life is easy, and where splendid chances are numerous—such countries as California and parts of Australia have been for a generation—may possess a free-handed, speculative race of countrymen—miners, and even yeomen—with none of the economical characteristics of the European peasant. The greater frugality of the country population is therefore due to its circumstances and its needs, and the comparative lavishness of town life is chiefly noticeable in cities where wealth circulates freely, and where chances are numerous. There is reason to suppose, accordingly, that this advantage of the city over the country is not in its nature permanent. If we can assume a form of State Socialism which monopolised investment, taxed accumulated wealth heavily, and secured the labouring man work on equal terms wherever he lived, the reasons for the frugality of the villager would to a great extent disappear. Even if we assume the changes effected to be much less noticeable, a closing up of the outlets for emigration would deprive a large class in cities and in some country districts of the opening and chances to which they now trust in place of economy, and a severe competition of highly-developed countries, one with another, might easily reduce wages. The motives for frugality would become imperative, and the “Père Grandet” of French romance would have his counterpart in every London court.

Mr. Ticknor, as reported, put the case against a national debt as if it .were only dangerous when it was held by the foreign creditor. On that assumption, the English, French, and United States debts, which are chiefly held in their respective countries, would be no serious evil. It seems more reasonable to consider whether a community that has anticipated its future progress to any great extent is not always in some peril. Such an inquiry will, of course, be independent of the question whether the debt was not contracted on reasonable grounds, or perhaps unavoidable. National existence would be regarded by most reasonable men as worth paying for, and when a statesman, by a nice calculation of chances, raises his country from being a second-rate state into the position of a first-class power, at the cost, it may be, of less than a year’s income, the world does not censure his policy as extravagant. The peaceable acquisition of a State like Alaska by purchase is even less open to criticism. The cost of slave emancipation to Great Britain has always been considered a reasonable charge, and we now know that if the United States had emancipated the blacks in the Southern States at double their market value, instead of freeing them by war, it would have been an extremely sound bargain. The debts contracted for the purchase of a telegraph system, or for the construction of railways or water -works, are generally allowed to be right in principle. As a rule, we may perhaps say that a community is only censured when it charges current expenses or unproductive investments, such as fortifications, to posterity. Indeed, it is sometimes held, that as fortifications are a provision against future as well as immediate dangers, part of the expenditure on them may fairly be charged to the generation that will reap the advantage. Altogether, a State is practically justified for borrowing wherever it is a question of permanent acquisition or improvement; but an administration is not at present allowed to speculate on the chances of the market as a syndicate, a merchant, or a private adventurer might.

Under the influence of these ideas the growth of national debts has been very rapid. Russia, France, Italy, Spain, and such South American States as have enjoyed credit of any kind, have been the most flagrant instances of free-borrowing, while England, Holland, and the United States are the only countries that show an inclination to reduce their funded debts. It is customary to assume that the wealth of a prosperous country increases almost as rapidly as its indebtedness. For instance, if it be shown that France owed £911,000,000 in 1882 against £140,000,000 in 1820, it is retorted that the wealth of France has increased from £1,520,000,000 to £9,070,000,000 between 1815 and 1882. Again, in the case of an undeveloped country, like one of the Australian colonies, where the money borrowed has not been squandered, as in the Argentine Confederation, but spent in reproductive works, it is usual to point to the railways and State lands as valuable assets. Then, again, the competition of money -seeking investment is so great that a large number of States can borrow at 3, 3½, 4, or, at most, 4½ per cent, where they anciently borrowed at 5 or 6. In this way the charges of old debts have been very sensibly reduced in several countries. Indeed, taking the money-market as a test, it may be said that Russia, Turkey, certain South American States, and Portugal are the only countries where national credit has been seriously impaired by borrowing, and even among these the decline is sometimes due to the fact that the country has drawn too largely in quite recent times upon its credit. The debt of Russia, if it could be kept stationary, or nearly so, for a few years, is not excessive for its growing population and immense natural resources. What financiers fear is, that the money lent is employed in preparations for war that mean waste if peace is maintained, and that may mean incalculable loss if war is resorted to. Generally, the feeling seems to be, that every country has possibilities of great industrial development; that the necessity of maintaining national credit is understood by all but barbarous communities, and as a corollary, that there is no particular reason to be alarmed at the great increase of national indebtedness throughout the world.

There are, perhaps, some considerations on the other side. An increase of indebtedness is of its nature permanent; an increase of prosperity is not only not certain to last, but is practically certain to be reduced now and again by bad years. It means that money has been laid by and invested in remunerative enterprises, such as factories, ships, railways, houses, or the reclamation of land. Obviously, if population increases slowly, or is stationary, the development of wealth at constantly increasing rates cannot continue. A point may be reached when further production becomes increasingly difficult, and when families spend their surplus incomes more and more in articles of ostentation and comfort, because investments are less and less remunerative. Six or eight years of great depression, attended with the closing of factories, the throwing of land out of tillage, and the working of half the railways at a loss, would tell very seriously upon the capacity of even a prosperous country to meet its engagements. As for the supposed guarantees of a debt, they are all more or less visionary. In a time of great depression the State must resume its customs’ duties or its mines, if it has pledged them, and its lands and its railways may be unsaleable at any depreciation. The only real guarantee of a debt is national character. The financial world requires to feel assured that under any possible form of government the importance of maintaining the national credit will be regarded as paramount to every other consideration. It is among the solid advances of practical morality that this is so much better understood than was once the case. Countries like Spain and Greece and the Argentine Confederation, that made no effort to pay their debts fifty years ago, have begun to learn by experience, though still in a halting and imperfect manner, that repudiation is far too costly a luxury to be indulged in.

Nevertheless, there seem to be two possibilities in the future that may reasonably inspire a little anxiety. One is, that States over-confident in the future may encumber themselves with obligations which it will scarcely be possible to discharge by any sacrifice. Let us suppose, for instance, that England tries an experiment in State Socialism, and buys up the land in Great Britain to distribute it again to small tenants by issuing a 2¾ per cent stock. We may assume, further, that the operation is carried out skilfully; that the landowner gets a sufficient, but not a fancy value for his land; and that the State may reasonably expect, if existing values are maintained, to lose nothing by the transaction, and even to gain ultimately, if farming by small occupiers proves a success, as great authorities have contended that it is bound to do. All of course depends upon this latter consideration. Now, it is at least conceivable that even though the small farmer gets more out of the land than the great landowner did, the farmer may yet fail to pay expenses, because the foreign market may be shut against his produce, and the home market may have diminished. For instance, the English coal-measures may have begun to fall off, or countries like China and the United States may produce so cheaply as to drive English goods out of the market. In that case the English taxpayer, who has paid £1,600,000,000, let us say, for the land, and has created the money by charging himself with interest to the amount of £44,000,000, may find himself every year losing £10,000,000 or £12,000,000 upon his purchase. It will not be easy to make up this deficit by increased taxation. A property-tax would fall largely upon the very class who are by hypothesis unable to pay rent. An income-tax, if it were severe, would drive the large class of Englishmen who have invested their savings in foreign countries to make their homes abroad. Confiscation of Church lands, large as the estates of the Church are on paper, would bring in very little, till the compensation due to actual incumbents had been paid off, and would be very unpopular in the country if money, heretofore spent in the parishes, was diverted to the Treasury for the benefit of non-resident fund-holders. Put it how we may, it is difficult to suppose that the pressure upon the taxpayer in such a case as has been assumed might not be very severe and long-continued.

Now, in such a crisis, it is difficult to believe—and this is the second danger—that the taxpayer might not be sorely tempted to draw a distinction between debts due to a foreign creditor and obligations incurred to fellow-countrymen. Forty years ago, a very able student of political economy proposed to declare the National Debt a 3 per cent annuity terminable at the end of a hundred years. A great part of the National Debt had been contracted for what the writer regarded as immoral purposes; a great part had been raised in the most wasteful way; and the difference in price between 3 per cent stock and an annuity, only determined at the end of a century, was so small as scarcely to deserve consideration when the great relief the nation would sustain was taken into account. The fact that this proposal, though it came at a time of great national depression, was received with indifference or indignation, may be taken as evidence that the commercial instinct and sense of national honour were perfectly sound in the England of that day. It may seem unreasonable to assume that the world will ever have a lower standard of good faith in the matter of indebtedness than it had forty years ago. Still, it is well to remember that even good moral purpose may break down under an impossible burden. The American States, which Sydney Smith lashed so wholesomely for repudiation, had more to say for themselves than their English creditor was disposed to see. Pennsylvania was threatened with an exodus of taxpayers if it raised money enough to provide the interest it owed. An English Government, in the hypothetical case put, might have to face the same possibility. It would probably argue that it was better for the English fund-holder to lose a part of his interest than to be paid in whole for a time by loans that would soon culminate in general bankruptcy; that if the State has a right to impose a five shillings in the pound income-tax, it may reasonably reduce incomes by five shillings in the pound; and, finally, perhaps that the fund-holder had been overpaid in the first settlement, and would receive his substantial dues on a smaller dividend. It is unnecessary to point out what is sophistical in these arguments. They cannot be called inconceivable, for every country that has repudiated has used some of them by turns, and the only question is, whether an English-speaking people would ever come to adopt them. What is to be feared is, that if national debts continue to increase on the assumption that general prosperity is bound to advance in the future as it has done in the past, a great many communities are bound to have recourse to repudiation when bad times come, though the form of bankruptcy may be artfully disguised. A sweeping succession duty would be an insidious and very practicable form of relieving the State from unpleasant obligations.

Englishmen are perhaps apt to rely too much on the precedent of integrity which has been maintained in England for two centuries. Over-indebtedness, leading to bankruptcy and to ruin or heavy temporary complications, has been a common feature of state-life throughout history. The decline of the Roman Empire was undoubtedly hastened by the heavy indebtedness of the cities, an indebtedness which was often occasioned by their engaging in great public works. The Mississippi scheme of Law, which plunged France in bankruptcy, was an attempt to apply the most daring principles of modern finance under the administration of a thoroughly corrupt court. France was bankrupt again at the time of the Revolution, and the resource of confiscating the Church lands and many private estates was perfectly valueless. The American colonies were mostly impecunious or worse under English rule. Spain has a long record of insolvencies. Even England has never paid her full bill for the glory of the French wars under Edward III., and has witnessed the spectacle of a Lord Chancellor suspending payment of debts, because the Crown was insolvent, not much more than two centuries ago. Nay, there are still men living who can remember the time when the Bank of England was relieved by law from the obligation to give gold for its notes. When a State undertakes enterprises beyond its strength, it always does it at the risk of bankruptcy, whatever its good intentions may be. The question is, whether the tendency to State Socialism may not be a tendency also to the running up of large debts.

Two consequences seem to follow inevitably upon repudiation of any kind. The one is that the private as well as the public standard of honour will be lowered. Individuals do not as a rule profess to be more moral than the Government and the law, especially in countries where the State is highly organised. The other is, that the class ruined by repudiation is likely to be that class which is essentially conservative of tradition, of refinement, of all the passive elements of character. In such a case as has been assumed, the aristocracy, deprived of power and prestige by the forcible purchase of their landed property, would be reduced to insignificance by the resumption of a large part of the compensation first awarded them.

The general purport of the argument has been in agreement with Mr. Ticknor’s predictions, though it is rather more optimistic than Mr. Ticknor would perhaps have agreed to. That standing armies are likely to increase seems probable. What we have to say, on the other hand, is, that wars need not necessarily increase in proportion, and that the training of a soldier may prove a valuable adjunct to the primary school. That cities will increase more and more upon country districts seems inevitable; and it has to be admitted that the life of the poor in an overgrown town is stunted and etiolated: neither physically sound nor morally complete. On the other hand, science and State Socialism may gradually improve the condition of the dweller in towns, and the reaction against town life may lead to changes that will make existence in the country more tolerable. That nations will plunge deeper and deeper into indebtedness as the State becomes more and more industrial seems not unlikely. The worst to be apprehended from this will be its effect upon national character. Whether we are changing in the direction of a higher or of a lower morality is, therefore, the point that is most really at issue.


The future of society depends very much on the perpetuity of national feeling.—Patriotism is generally regarded as an accidental and not very high altruism.—In antiquity it was largely alloyed with self-interest and the municipal feeling.—Patriotism is now the filial feeling to a mother country; the acknowledgment that we owe duties to our fellowmen, and cannot adequately perform them to the human race.—A nation from its richer memories and larger life ought to command more devoted allegiance than a city.—The rival feeling of personal loyalty is now disappearing, and need not be regretted.—The Church has incidentally done good work for society in vindicating the limits within which thought and morals ought to be independent of the State.—On the other hand, the attempt of the State to force morality upon the immoral will was never more than partially successful, and ended by provoking general revolt.—The State, which restrains immorality only when it becomes dangerous to society, has practically done more than the Church to enforce the moral law.—Sacrilege has ceased since it has been treated only as a secular offence.—The substitution of restraint by moderate laws and public opinion for ecclesiastical censures and punishments has not been visibly unfavourable to sexual purity.—The hypocritical formalism of modern society is not so dangerous to individuality as pressure by a Church inquisition. Moreover, under the Church rich offenders escaped, and these are now the most severely restrained.—The Church relieved poverty in a casual and ineffective way, and from a wrong motive, the idea that the alms-giver would be benefited. The State relieves it in a way better calculated to preserve self-respect in the poor, and from the higher motive, that every member of the community who will work is entitled to live.—Both systems have been only partially effective; but the Church system was a complete failure, while the State system, under all disadvantages, has reduced pauperism till it is a comparatively small feature of society.—Though the Church has in some respects and in some times and places mitigated slavery, slave emancipation has been a triumph of secular statesmanship.—The Mediæval Church has been over-praised for its services to learning. Its real object always was to save the soul, not to inform the mind.—The great extension of primary education in modern times is an. achievement of secular statesmanship, and has been repeatedly and violently opposed by the Churches.—The State has superseded the Church in its hold on popular imagination by the great benefits it assures its members.—In some instances the morality of the State is higher than that of the Churches; for instance, in the treatment of women and children and dumb animals.—The feeling of the industrial classes for industrial organisations is not likely to supersede national feeling, and industry is likely to be restricted within national limits.—The nation is bound to remain the unit of political society, because the interests and feelings of different races and countries are too discordant to be harmonised under a central Government.—The modern State does incomparably more for men and women than ancient forms of society attempted, and ought to inspire deeper reverence and love.—In return for its services it is entitled to demand a more complete surrender of selfish personal interests.

The argument thus far has attempted to show that what we now call the higher races will not only not spread over the world, but are likely to be restricted to a portion only of the countries lying in the Temperate Zone; that under the pressure which will be increasingly felt as outlets to trade and energy are closed, State Socialism will be resorted to as the most effective means of securing labour from want; that great armies will need to be maintained; that the population of cities will grow in number year by year; and that in proportion as the State’s sphere of activity is increased will the indebtedness of the State increase also in every civilised country. Whether this condition of things will be good, tolerable, or bad, must depend very much on the spirit in which the community takes it. If we compare the description in Thucydides of the state of Athens during the Peloponnesian war and that in Synesius of a Roman provincial city, surrounded and sometimes blockaded by barbarians, we shall see that the great difference lies in the temper of the men rather than in the circumstances of the time. If the people of Athens had not been quickened with the inspiration of empire, if they had stooped to count heads or ships, they would have acquiesced in the secondary place which was all their leading families were disposed to claim for them. As it was, they staked their existence upon a splendid adventure, and though they eventually failed, crowded centuries of glorious life into the achievements of two generations. Had the people of Ptolemais been led and inspired as the Athenians were, they might have made their city a stronghold of civilisation; and what is true of Ptolemais is true, of course, in a much higher degree of the Roman Empire. It fell to pieces, not because its administrators were always inefficient, or its armies weak, or its finances and mechanical resources inferior to those of the nations which overpowered it, but because there was really no sense of national life in the community. Unless the general feeling in a people is to regard individual existence and fortunes as of no practical account in comparison with the existence and self-respect of the body politic, the disintegrating forces of time will always be stronger in the long run than any given organisation.

Now patriotism, or the readiness to make sacrifices for fatherland, is a very peculiar virtue. It is generally treated as a mere phase of altruism, and is more praised by poets and orators than taken into account by moralists. For instance, Kant strikes at the root of patriotism by denying that the country has any original and natural right to claim obedience from its citizens, and theologians and writers on ethics commonly hold that patriotism is dangerously apt to be a misleading force, diverting men from their obedience to a higher law, such as the recognition of Papal authority, or of the supreme dictates of morality. Mr. Lowell—surely a patriot of very rare and high type—has laid it down that our true country is that ideal realm which we represent to ourselves under the names of religion, duty, and the like. Mr. Lowell adds: “That it is an abuse of language to call a certain portion of land, much more certain personages, elevated for the time being to high station, our country.” Now it is obvious that a view of this kind may be reconciled with conduct which appears to the world to be dictated by national sentiment. For instance, when America was rent in twain by the War of Liberation, Mr. Lowell lent his powerful assistance to the cause of nationality, and though all that he did might have been justified on cosmopolitan grounds—such as abhorrence of slavery, or the desire to see the experiment of free institutions worked out fairly upon a great continent—the fact remains, that the transcendentalist was fighting in the ranks with men who cared chiefly for the national flag, and that, except for the momentum of numbers and energy which these men gave, the cause of general civilisation could not have triumphed. It is, of course, theoretically conceivable, though it is surely very improbable, that the human race may gradually be educated into the cosmopolitan conception of duty. Capital, we are often told, has no sentiment. It is determined in its choice of a home by no other considerations than those of gain and security. Accordingly, manufactures are freely transplanted from England to Belgium, or America, or India, without regard to the interests of the English people, the merchant navy of a State entering upon a war is transferred without delay to a neutral flag, and it constantly happens that a belligerent power is supplied with arms or food or money from its enemy. It may be asked, whether the average citizen will not at some future date be careless of local and temporary interests. The man who emigrates undoubtedly shows, by the act of renouncing his native country, that he thinks himself entitled to carry his labour to the market where it is best paid without regard to any claims that England or Germany may have on him. Practically, he is often justified in contending that he will be more useful to his countrymen in his new dwelling-place than at home. A day may come, however, when a man who leaves an old and indebted State will be like the partner who peremptorily withdraws from an embarrassed firm. In other words, if it is right for States to assume large obligations, it can only be so because they have a reasonable certainty that successive generations of citizens will accept the responsibility of that indebtedness. Therefore, unless we regard the State as merely the casual aggregation of persons who find it to their advantage to live in a certain part of the earth, we must assume that there is, or ought to be, a virtue of patriotism, which will bind the Englishman to England, and the Frenchman to France in some special and not easily dissoluble way.

The difficulty is to separate patriotism, as we know it, from infinite base alloys of interest, personal feeling, or vanity, and to define its exact place in the moral code. The patriotism of Greek statesmen and heroes seems to have been a very mixed quantity. It was undoubtedly leavened—and very largely so—by self-interest. It was not as easy then as it has been in modern times to transfer nationality. The circle of possible friends was smaller even for a man of patrician birth; the isolation of exile was intolerable; the trust placed by his new protectors in the deserter more suspicious and exacting. Demaratos, Pausanias, Themistocles, Aristeides, Alcibiades are conspicuous instances of the false position in which a man disowned by his fellow-citizens found himself; while Englishmen like the Dukes of Berwick and Ormond, or Lord Bolingbroke; Frenchmen like Dumouriez, Moreau, and Pozzo di Borgo, enjoyed consideration, at least, in their new homes, and the full confidence of the Courts that protected them. Mr. Symonds has explained at length an element of Greek patriotism, so-called, that has often been misconceived the personal attachment that bound together the companies in the Sacred Band of Thebes. When it became possible for Greeks to prosper in Alexandria and Antioch and Rome, and when the peculiar feeling of the Sacred Band came to be out of date, the Greek ceased to be a patriot. So it was with Rome also, and we may say naturally and excusably. The old feeling for Rome as a sacred city, which sustained its people during the Punic Wars, seems to have passed away by the time of Sylla; and national feeling in the days of Cicero, Augustus, and Trajan, was little more than the desire of an aristocracy for caste ascendency, the contempt of Italians for conquered races, and a feeling in the higher circles of society that life was only desirable in Rome. We can scarcely give the name of patriotism to the devotion of a tribe to its chief, or to the bitter hatred of one race for another; and these feelings come out predominantly in the history of the Middle Ages. The gentlemen of Aquitaine, who so largely contributed to win the battle of Poitiers, were fighting against what we should now consider France, and were certainly not fighting for England, but for an English king, who had claims upon their allegiance, and whom they renounced when his yoke proved burdensome. Nevertheless, it is probable that the terrible French and English wars did actually lead to a great development of the spirit of nationality as we understand it, and so to a larger conception of patriotism. Still, both in England and in France, centuries passed before the duty to the laws or to Fatherland was recognised as more important than loyalty to the sovereign.

It may be admitted that a great many various motives contribute to form even a modern patriot. Still, it is not very difficult to express a popular idea of the limitations of the modern feeling. Patriotism is now the feeling that binds together people who are of the same race, or who at least inhabit the same country, so that they shall try to preserve the body politic as it exists, and recover for it what it has lost, or acquire what seems naturally to belong to it. It seeks within the country to procure the establishment of the best possible order. It enjoins the sacrifice of property, liberty, or life for the attainment of these objects. It favours the existence of whatever is peculiar and local; of a distinctive literature, manners, dress, and character. When it conceives the common country to be weak, it tries to discard every foreign element as dangerous; and when it is conscious of its strength, it tries to assimilate what is best from abroad. The fierce pride of the Englishmen in Algiers, who went back into captivity sooner than acknowledge that they owed their liberty to the King of France, is now out of date; but the general rule, that no man can receive distinctions except from the head of his country, is expressed in law and approved by opinion. Stated in this way, patriotism seems to be based on the reasonable acknowledgment of two facts in our nature: that we owe a duty to our fellowmen, and that we cannot adequately perform it to the race at large. In the American War of Liberation, to which reference has been made, there was a Southern general of high moral character (Stonewall Jackson), who, though he was a believer in State rights, was not a believer in slavery. He found it impossible to dissever the two causes, and he elected, as most will think, pardonably, to fight for the good of the State, which he clearly apprehended, against the abstract and transcendental rights of humanity. Such problems are constantly occurring; and no community can allow its citizens to take part against itself on the ground that they belong to an ideal realm of religion, duty, and the like. If a body of English officers, for instance, feeling strongly that our intervention in Egypt was immoral, had fought at Tel-el-Kebir against their countrymen, they would have been shot by martial law if they were taken, and no public opinion, however hostile to England, would have condemned the execution. Practically, it would seem, therefore, as far as our imperfect moral sense can see, there is an obligation upon every citizen not actively to injure the State he belongs to, which no man is allowed to disregard. If he finds the State attacking what he thinks a true religion, or violating the rights of labour, or waging an iniquitous war, he is bound to oppose its action by civic means; and if he fails in this, he is by modern practice allowed to renounce his citizenship. If, however, he does not take this extreme step, he commits himself to supporting the policy of the State, though he disapproves of it, and is not blamed for assisting to carry it to a successful issue.

In some important particulars, a lofty feeling of patriotism has become more possible now than it ever was in past centuries. The physical law, that the greater mass attracts more powerfully than the smaller, holds good in the moral world, and attachment to a great country is bound, other things being equal, to be more dignified and generous than attachment to a city, though the city may have been Athens or Rome. No doubt there were certain great periods in the life of antiquity when the Athenian was merged in the Hellene, fighting for the whole west against eastern barbarians, and when the cause of Rome against Carthage was practically the cause of Italy. These, accordingly, were the ideal times, when men rose above their natural level. A modern nation, however, if it has a past of any kind worth remembering, is likely to have survived greater struggles than any Greek city, to have ampler records of heroism, and an incomparably more varied life. A great country, of which it can be said that

One half her soil has walked the rest,
In poets, heroes, martyrs, sages,

is one in which the religion of the soil can scarcely be dissevered from national life. Of course it is essential to the perpetuity of this sentiment that the nation should be homogeneous. The Turks have not inherited the fame of Justinian and his generals by over-running their empire; and if by some industrial migration Germans, Polish Jews, and other even more alien races were to supersede the English labourer to any great extent, the new England would be weaker than the old by all the links of tradition. Practically, however, the case of the Turks, who have camped in Europe without absorbing or being absorbed, is exceptional; and a nation, as a rule, is too large to be swamped by an industrial immigration, as cities have now and again been. We may therefore reckon the substitution of the nation for the city in political organisation as one circumstance that is favourable to the growth of an enlightened patriotism. For intensity, nothing probably surpasses the municipal feeling, as it has existed in cities that were just powerful and dignified enough to appeal to sentiment.

The substitution of attachment to the State, the country, the fatherland, for the feeling of personal loyalty must also be regarded as a distinct moral gain. Such a sentiment as that which led Jacobites and non-Jurors to fight for a line of sovereigns whose triumph in their own estimation was bound to be dangerous to Church and law, or at least to abstain from recognising a better order, and to estrange themselves from all interest in their country’s struggles, all wish to see that country triumph, must be regarded as among the most lamentable of delusions. It was possible for the sovereign in times when this feeling prevailed to be sincerely patriotic. A king, like Charles II., who cared first for his pleasures, and next for power as a means for promoting these, and who valued neither the well-being nor the honour of his country, has been the rare exception in England. Perhaps Louis XV.—as selfish, as immoral, and less able—is his only counterpart in France. But loyalists like Strafford, who would have employed half-savage Irish troops against his own countrymen; like the Scotch Jacobites, who invited a French invasion; like the French émigrés, who were willing to serve indifferently in English, Austrian, or Prussian ranks, provided they fought against the cause approved by their countrymen—are unhappily only typical instances of what the loyalist must logically become. In a few cases the want of nobler feeling has been redeemed by an unselfish devotion, which asked for no private gain, and shrunk at no sacrifices. Habitually, the loyalist in exile has either calculated that he was on the side which would win ultimately, or has been so completely demoralised by life outside of his countrymen, as to have lost every trace of disinterested public feeling when he returned in triumph. Of the Cavaliers who lived to see the Restoration, and of the émigrés who returned to France, it may be said pretty generally that they acted as if they had not intended to serve the lost cause for nothing. The Cavaliers, indeed, though they asked for a great deal, got comparatively little, because many of their estates had been sold in the open market, and because the Presbyterians enjoyed the credit of having brought the King back. The French émigrés, whose offence against their country had been more serious, came back to find their debts and encumbrances sponged out, to get a compensation of £40,000,000, and to have something like a monopoly of office and promotion for fifteen years. It can scarcely be matter of regret that a feeling which so constantly passed into the merest self-seeking is disappearing from the domain of public life.

Even those who most feel what a gain it has been that religious considerations should be ceasing to balance secular in the estimation of citizens, will regard the old fanaticism for Churches very differently from the irrational sentiment of loyalty in its more extravagant forms. It may be presumptuous for a man to believe that the Church he was born in, or has passed over to, represents the final results of thought on the most difficult matters of speculation, and that God will punish to all eternity those who, through perversity, or it may be for want of spiritual light, refuse to accept the truth when it is put before them. Still, most men will admit that there must be one way of conceiving the relations of God to man which is truer than any other at any given time, and that to apprehend this rightly ought to be of supreme importance. Even if we assume blank materialism to be the gospel of the future, it must be useful to apprehend it distinctly, that we may clear our minds of dreams and human inventions. Still more, if we believe in any form of religion that teaches a higher law than the State prescribes, and is able to enforce it by a sanction that is not of this world, must the benefit of Church authority appear incontestable. It is well to remember that secular society has revolted not only against obsolete faiths,—for many forms of Christianity appear to men in general as rational as unbelief; not only against a corrupt clergy,—for the clergy have not always been corrupt, and, to take a single instance, were both learned and zealous in England when the great Rebellion descended upon them; but against the persistent efforts of religious organisations to enforce common morality at the expense of individual liberty. Let it be borne in mind, also, that the Church in western Europe has perpetually represented a dualism that was of the highest value for freedom of thought. Sir Thomas More died on the scaffold, not because he disputed the right of Parliament to make Anne Boleyn Queen, or to settle the crown upon her children, but because he denied that the ultimate power to determine religious controversy could be vested in the head of the State. It is probable that he misinterpreted the intentions of his contemporaries; but it is certain that after the lapse of three centuries and a half, when the secular power is far stronger than it was, it claims nothing in any civilised State that Sir Thomas More would have denied it. Except for the protest of men like Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII. might have’ made the State supreme in England, as it actually is in Russia. Take again modern times. That marriage should be treated by the State as a civil contract, and that primary education should be given on secular lines, are principles now very generally accepted. They seem to many men worth fighting for, worth dying for. Nevertheless, although their acceptance has been delayed by the opposition of the Churches, it may surely be contended that the gain resulting from a marriage-law controversy or a Kultur-Kampf infinitely outweighs its inconveniences to an administration. Few, indeed, are the journalists and thinkers on the Continent who can speak and write against a government measure with the freedom which is tolerated in the meanest priest. Lacordaire was silenced for calling Louis Napoleon a tyrant, but he submitted only because his Church was subservient to the usurper, and where he was simply ordered to change the form of his work, a lay journalist would have been imprisoned or sent to Cayenne. A few years later, the French clergy were freely comparing the head of the State to Pontius Pilate, and suffered no annoyance.

It is one thing, however, to feel that the Churches have been useful in past time as a counterpoise to autocracy, and quite another to wish that their authority should be maintained. As a rule, the Churches are in their very essence opposed to liberty of thought and conduct; while the State is gradually tending to become more and more tolerant of each. It has been noticed above that the law of life which the Churches seek to impose has been found intolerable. Two familiar instances will show what is meant. Every thoughtful student of history is aware that the Protestant Reformation was attended with a general dissolution of morals in those countries which did not provide adequately for the maintenance of ecclesiastical law. The old Church discipline was relaxed or swept away; and while even the best men, such as Luther, found themselves at sea on such a question as polygamy, the illiterate and lax plunged into every kind of vicious extravagance. We see Luther perpetually grappling with the problem, why sin was bolder and prayer less earnest since the Gospel had come into the world. Yet it does not appear difficult to understand that when the drunkard, the fornicator, or the adulterer was no longer liable to be summoned into the Dean’s Court, and was not punishable at common law, there was bound to be an interval of decline before a sound public opinion had time to form and make itself felt. The great success of Calvinism in the latter half of the century is probably due very much to the fact that Calvin’s rigorous discipline kept his Church free from scandal. The Calvinistic model was accordingly adopted in England, and the English diocesan courts combined the old Catholic rigour against ecclesiastical offences with the Calvinistic zeal against moral frailty. After a fair trial, lasting for about two generations, the whole nation rose up in arms against the inquisition domiciled in every archdeaconry. The revolt, however, had two sides. It was supported by worldly men who wished not to be meddled with, and by Puritans, who approved highly of the principle of interference, but desired to keep it in their own hands, and to use it against social gaiety as well as against faulty living. The result was that at the Restoration there was a general and strong reaction against the exercise of Church authority in any shape. It was not extinguished suddenly; but it had to content itself more and more with obscure offenders, till it became an anomaly and ridiculous. Like most abuses in England, it has remained on the Statute Book long after it had died out in practice. Less than fifty years ago an Englishman could be punished for not attending church or a registered chapel on Sunday; and later still the Ecclesiastical Court retained the theoretical right to punish him for incest and incontinence. Indeed, these were in England the only courts taking cognisance of such offences, except as private injuries; yet even this has not tended to the preservation of their use or influence. The modern State habitually prefers to legislate on secular principles for such offences against morality—incest, unnatural vice, seduction, and the like—as it finds it desirable not to tolerate.

Now the practical effect of this change is, that where the Church has always aimed at substituting a perfect rule of thought and life for liberty of opinion and moral conduct, the State has never attempted to do more than to protect its own existence against the excesses of liberty. The Church and the State may each punish the publication of blasphemy, but the Church does it because it is an offence against God, and because the individual ought not to blaspheme; while the State only considers that licentious attacks upon convictions which are sacred to some of its subjects are an offence to good feeling, and an incentive to disorder, or a cause of undesirable acrimony. The Church punishes sexual immorality as dishonouring to the libertine, and the State, as a rule, only meddles with it when advantage is taken of the young and weak, or when there is likely to be a public scandal. The Church denounces Sunday traffic as a breach of the fourth commandment, and the State only proscribes it as an encroachment on necessary rest. The Church almost invariably regards the marriage-tie as indissoluble, or nearly so; and the State, where it is not influenced by the Church, habitually allows divorce in a great number of cases. It would seem, in all these particular instances, as if the State was deliberately substituting a lower law for a higher. Practically, however, secular society will bear comparison, even on these points where it is least exacting, with any State that was governed by the Church in old days, taking even the times that were best for Church discipline. In the first place, it has never been possible to maintain the religious ideal. Now and again history records with admiration how some saintly prelate or confessor has reproved a monarch for flagrant immorality. The Bishop of Soissons, for instance, compelled Louis XV. to dismiss Mdme. de Château-Roux and her sister for a few days, as the price of receiving the sacraments. Unhappily, this brilliant instance of a great duty bravely discharged, and the fact that thirty years later the Abbé of Beauvais denounced the same king to his face, are very insufficient offsets to the general toleration which the Church extended to the vilest debauchee in Christendom. There is no occasion to suppose that the Popes or the rulers of the French hierarchy were indifferent to the scandals of Versailles and of the Œil-de-Boeuf. What influenced them in remaining apathetic—in not excommunicating the king and his mistresses—was the fear lest the Church should lose the support of royal authority; and this or a meaner motive has been equally operative with the Anglican clergy, who ought to have admonished George IV., and with the French clergy under the Second Empire. It may be said that the case taken of a sovereign and his court is exceptional. It is exceptional only in the fact that the infamy is conspicuous. How many English clergymen in the last three centuries have dared to denounce a large landowner for drunken or immoral habits? If they have done so, it has been at the risk of a civil suit for defamation of character, with a fair chance that their bishop would disapprove their zeal, and with the certainty that their parochial work would be heavily hindered, that opposition to them would be fomented, and that the alms of the richest contributor would be withdrawn. Even during the short rule of the Puritans, which was strict enough to provoke a reaction of unbridled licentiousness, there is evidence that powerful offenders—a Martyn or a Wentworth—were never meddled with. In the struggle to repress irrepressible human nature, the Churches have always been worsted, and their defeats have necessarily been disgraceful.

Even, however, if the Church ideal could be maintained, it would be at the cost of something better than the formal abstinence from evil,—of human liberty. If we can conceive a generation that abstained from saying what it thought for fear of Church censures; that was sober, moral, and cleanly-mouthed, not because it regarded vice as evil, but because it feared fine, imprisonment, or disgrace; that talked with the tongue of By-ends, while within was all uncleanness, we should have the picture of a society more hopelessly corrupt than the world has ever yet seen. The sons of such men would be born, suckled, and bred in lies; would inherit the lust of the flesh, the craven spirit, and the tortuous intellect. In vindicating for every man the right to think mistakenly, to speak foolishly, and to live within limits riotously, the State has vindicated also the right to believe on conviction, to denounce error fearlessly, and to lead sweet and wholesome lives, untainted by Pharisaism, and not degraded by the reproach of a profitable conformity. When we measure the actual results of liberty, we find surely that they are good, even in the domain where liberty is accounted most dangerous. The offence of sacrilege is so peculiar by its nature, that what appears revolting profanity to the Conservative may seem nothing more than a splendid iconoclasm to the Eeformer. In ages when there has been a religion established by law, the policy of those who assailed it has invariably been to show their contempt for it and lessen it in popular estimation by acts of public indignity. Not to mention the early Christians, who, it may be said, could not compromise with such flagrant errors as those of Paganism, we find that Protestantism, even in England, which has been conspicuously temperate, carried on its war against the Established Church by acts that must have been profoundly offensive to every pious person who retained his ancestral faith. Thus, for instance, we find as early as the days of Wycliffe that a gentleman of Wiltshire, who had received the sacramental bread from his parish priest, took it home and lunched upon it with wine, oysters, and onions. Under Henry VIII. and Queen Mary, acts which we can only designate as deliberate outrages upon the Church of the majority, were extremely common. Sometimes it was a crucifix—the symbol to ordinary men of their Lord’s death and suffering—that was carried off and burned or broken up; sometimes a cat in priest’s robes was hanged, or the priest parodied behind his back while he was officiating in the sacred mysteries; very constantly the consecrated bread of the Eucharist was ostentatiously seized and trampled under foot, or given for food to a dog. In short, the more hotheaded of the English Reformers were guilty of deliberate acts which it is possible a Hell-fire Club would have shrunk from two centuries later; and though the intemperance of the Reformers was palliated by the sincerity of their convictions, and their readiness to seal them with their blood, it is certain that much which they did would be punished in any civilised State as sacrilege. No administration, however, finds it necessary in these days to protect the convictions of its citizens from deliberate insult, except in the rare cases where the Church is practically stronger than the State, and where the war of faiths is carried on under something like the old conditions. To all appearance the liberty granted might with safety be greater than it is. The line of demarcation between the late Dr. Matthew Arnold comparing the Trinity to three Lord Shaftesburys, and the late Mr. Bradlaugh editing a comparison of it to a monkey with three tails, is rather one of literary style than of reverence; and it is difficult to see why the two offenders were so differently punished. Meanwhile, it is instructive to notice that these two sallies of irreverence, and a few lines by Mr. Swinburne, are all that represent the sacrilegious spirit in Englishmen who have taken any noticeable place among their countrymen during the last fifty years, though the temper of the times is believed to be sceptical, and even aggressively irreligious.

It would be easy to give plausible grounds for supposing that the absence of Church control, though it always led to excesses when it first ceased, has in the long run been attended with advantage to sexual purity. There are certain patent facts which give colour to this supposition. England has not seen for two centuries such a Court as that which Hamilton described in the Memoirs of Grammont, and whose tone was reflected in Wycherley’s comedies. The days when the wits of the Rolliad made it their inexhaustible joke against Pitt that he led a cleanly life, seem as far off as the days of Charles II., and it is popularly assumed now that public opinion demands absolute decorum from a leading man. Nelson, who intrigued with his friend’s wife; Wellington, who was certainly not irreproachable; and Warren Hastings, who purchased a divorced wife from a needy foreigner, would scarcely be permitted now to save the Empire. A similar change, though not quite so strongly accentuated, may be noticed everywhere. The French nation has always been taxed with a disposition to regard immorality as inevitable and venial, and so long as it is not carried to excess, nothing more than one of “such wild tricks as gentlemen will have.” Headers of Rabelais, of Brantome, of Bussy Rabutin, of Duclos, of Voltaire, and of Champfort, find it difficult to believe that there was a moral French society between Francis I. and Louis XVI. The best observers tell us that, at present, provincial life in France is as pure as it is anywhere, and that Paris would not be perceptibly worse than any other great city if it was not the favourite resort of profligate and wealthy Bohemians from every part. It is probably true to say that the rich men, who give a tone to society, are everywhere more liable to suffer from a social scandal, and consequently more anxious to avoid it, than they have been in any previous part of the world’s history. It is also true that girls and young women are better protected by law than they have ever been, and that the disposition to protect them is only kept from going further than it does by practical difficulties. The old Poor-Law of England, for instance, which threw the whole cost of an illegitimate birth upon the father, has been discarded, because it was found to deprive women of a desirable reason for self-restraint. Therefore, it is perhaps correct to say that the substitution of secular for clerical influence, of moderate laws and the restraint of public opinion for ecclesiastical censures and punishments, has not been visibly unfavourable to correctness of life in the sexes. More than this it might be hazardous to affirm at present. The great sin of great cities does not seem to be on the decrease; and temporary, or it may be permanent but irregular unions, in which the women and the children are not safeguarded as in marriage, seem to have increased of late years in undesirable proportions, especially in Catholic countries. Above all, we have to remember that what Goethe said of humanity—that “it is always advancing, but in spiral lines”—is eminently true of the ascetic principle in morals. The times of Charles I. and of the Commonwealth appeared to establish a tradition of austerity, and scarcely any one could have anticipated the deluge of depravity that overwhelmed England after the Restoration. It is certain that the literature, the art, and the tone of wealthy society in France were demoralised by the libertinage in high places of the Second Empire.

It may be asked whether the mechanical pressure exerted by public opinion in modern society is not just as destructive of vigorous individuality as Church authority could have been. Under the old system, a sceptic bowed to the consecrated wafer, though he did not believe in the Real Presence, and abstained from sacrilegious words and acts, because he was afraid of being imprisoned or burned. In the nineteenth century he attends church, repeats a creed which he believes to be outworn, and lets his children be taught from a book which he regards as a collection of old wife’s fables, because he knows that violently to repudiate the faith of the majority will injure him in society and in his profession. Under the old system, a libertine abstained from seducing his neighbour’s wife for fear of being fined in the Dean’s Court, and made to do public penance; at present, he is afraid of an action at law, of some social disrepute, and of political ruin. Are not the conformity and the morality no better than an organised hypocrisy? And where is the gain in having discarded the ecclesiastical system? The gain, it may be admitted, is not complete or unalloyed. Nevertheless, in matters of religion, it may surely be said that the tolerance of secular society is distinctly greater than that of Church courts influenced by professional feeling as well as by conviction. Probably, even now, there is essential truth in the description of English society which a German cynic gave thirty years ago. “A man in England may be an atheist, but he must belong to the Church of the atheists.” “What is dreaded is not so much the reproach of wrong belief, or of unbelief, as the awkwardness—the indecency, so to speak—of isolation. Even so, have the prophets of unpopular doctrines—a Colenso, a Herbert Spencer, or a Renan—suffered anything comparable to the treatment of a Latimer or a Du Bourg, a Servetus or a Giordano Bruno? Is it not the case, too, that where the penalty exacted is small, and almost fanciful, a man does not feel degraded by submitting to it as he does by an imperious demand upon his allegiance? Many a man is a formalist because he will not fritter away his life in the worry of a fight for his small and half-formulated doubts, who would show something of the old spirit if he were called upon to turn Protestant, being Catholic; or, being Protestant, to worship the Host. In the case of morality, another difference between ancient and modern times has to be remembered. Anciently it was the rich offender for whom the laws were spiders’ webs, which he could break through at pleasure. At present, it is the prince, the statesman, or the man in society, who is marked down for a flagrant offence against morals, while the mechanic escapes unobserved. We may surely say that a condition of society which exacts a severer rule of life from the rich than from the poor, is to that extent healthy and full of promise, and better than the old practice of the Churches.

While it is apparent that society has lost nothing by transferring the correctional functions of the old Churches in certain matters of religious and moral obligation to the secular law-giver, it is demonstrable that it has gained very much since the State has vindicated its supreme right to deal with such matters as pauperism, the rights of labour, and popular education. All these are issues in which the Church has failed from having a low ideal, as well as from inherent ineffectiveness. Take, for instance, pauperism. It is probable that no Church has ever possessed the wealth requisite for coping with national indigence after discharging the other duties that were justly demanded of it. From the very nature of Church endowments, it is habitually the wealthy parts of a country that are best supplied, and national interests and needs are inevitably sacrificed to local and family considerations. Thus we find in England of the Middle Ages that, in all Cumberland and Lancashire, with an area of more than 2,000,000 acres, there were only seventeen religious houses; and in East Hampshire, in a district that measured fifty miles by twenty, there was not a single foundation from which the poor could be relieved. On the other hand, wealthy counties, like Norfolk and Lincolnshire, were studded with rich houses at easy distances from one another. To them that had was given. But this inherent defect in the Church system, that it has always been local and parochial, rather than national, is very far from being its worse fault. Charity in the Churches is inculcated as a religious duty profitable to the person who practices it. It occasionally blesses him that gives, and it habitually demoralises and degrades him who takes. The condition of receiving Church doles has always been to need them at the moment; and the question of deserving them is most frequently treated as of very minor importance. Nothing like an attempt to give work, or even to test by work on any large scale, has ever been attempted, as a rule, by religious benefactors. Now it may freely be admitted that secular methods of dealing with pauperism have often been foolish and bad. The English Poor-Law system, as competent observers found it in 1834, was so administered as to promote inefficiency in men and immorality in women. Still the spirit of all English legislation on this subject is in its intentions sound and liberal. What lies at the bottom of every Poor-Law Act is the feeling that every man born into the body politic is bound to work, and must have work found for him if he cannot find it for himself, on the ground that every man is responsible for the support of his family—parents or children. Whether the State is to organise public works, and provide an insurance fund against sickness or old age, or whether it is best to leave these matters as much as possible to private initiative, are questions that need not be discussed here. What is important to notice is, that the promiscuous alms-giving which the Churches have habitually encouraged is discontinued, or even punished, in the most civilised communities; that secular legislation compels wealth to contribute to the support of industry; and that we seem slowly but surely to be approaching a time when no man shall need bread, except by his own fault, and when no woman shall have to purchase her children’s bread by her own shame.

It must be borne in mind that it does not necessarily follow because a bad system is abolished that a better is immediately substituted. The dissolution of the English monasteries was followed by a great debasement of the English coinage, by the confiscation of the Guild lands, which were the English artisan’s benefit funds, and by arbitrary legislation which proposed to fix the labourer’s wages below his needs. Therefore it is no wonder if the transition to the secular system of relief was not generally welcomed. The change from the old order had been complicated in an unnecessary and mischievous manner. So again, the enclosure of common lands in a later century, and the one-sided legislation in matters of trade—the sweeping away of all safeguards for workmen—were aggravations of the poverty that is bound to exist. Every country has passed through a phase when the nobles succeeding to the Church have been even less regardful of the industrial class. None the less is it on the whole true, that pauperism has declined over the greater part of the world since the Church ceased to dispense charity, and that the right of the labourer to work has come to receive universal recognition. Moreover, it is at least noticeable that in the Middle Ages the leaders of a Jacquerie were as hostile to the Church as to the State. The Primate of England was beheaded by Tyler’s followers, and the Convent of St. Albans terrorised by sympathisers with Tyler; the Bishop of Salisbury was beheaded by sympathisers with Cade, and in either movement Church officials were obliged to hide for their lives. It can scarcely be supposed, therefore, that the poor were conscious of profiting to any great extent by Church alms. As a fact, we know that lawless vagabondage and extreme destitution in great cities were features of every period of the Middle Ages. The tendency of the representatives of labour in modern times is to give increased power to the State, and to attain their ends by influencing its councils. It may prove that the expectation of obtaining relief through the State has been a fallacious one. Meanwhile, that the vagrant poverty of our large communities has been considerably reduced can hardly be doubted. The English poor-rate in Charles II. ‘s time amounted to little less than half the entire revenue of the Crown, and the paupers and beggars in 1696 were estimated at more than one-fifth of the population. They are now one-thirtieth. Two years later (1698) Fletcher of Saltoun declared that in Scotland, which had then a population of about a million, there were 200,000 persons begging from door to door, and that “in all times there have been about 100,000 of those vagabonds, who have lived without any regard or subjection either to the laws of the land, or even those of God and nature.” Scotland has now about 100,000 paupers to a population of 4,000,000. It seems on the whole fair to say, that the Church system of relieving poverty was neither effective nor popular, and entailed great demoralisation; and, on the other hand, that though the State blundered for centuries in its methods, it has already achieved an appreciable measure of success, and has raised the character of the working-man, while it has mitigated distress. It is the more remarkable that this should be the case as the action of the State in every country was for a long time trammelled or misdirected by the prejudices or interests of a wealthy class.

Next in importance to the recognition of the right of the labourer to be assured employment, is the right of the labourer to sell his work at the best possible price. In early times it was a more imperative necessity for the State to see that labour was not withheld than to secure its proper recognition. Leaving out of account, therefore, those remote ages in which whole populations were sold in the slave market, till the slave superseded the free labourer in many parts of the civilised world, we find two forms of personal bondage existing in modern or comparatively modern times—serfdom and slavery. The serf, owing duty to an estate rather than to a lord, could not be separated from wife and children, and practically has always been able to work for himself. His position, though far from perfect, has not necessarily, except at times, been so bad as to demand the interposition of the Churches, which are not charged primarily with the care of man’s material needs. This, however, cannot be said of slavery. It has habitually been so cruel that the weaker races, like Caribs and other American Indians, have died out or declined under it, and even so strong a race as the negro could not maintain itself in the West Indian Islands under British rule. Again, slavery has been the fertile cause of sexual immorality, the master practically doing as he pleased with his female slaves, even to the extent of taking married women from their husbands. Lastly, the slave system was inherently regardless of family ties, so that even in the Southern States Virginia was a mere breeding-place, out of which the members of one household were sold into every part of the country. Now it is true that an exceptional churchman, like Las Casas, has now and again denounced slavery in unsparing terms, or has even devoted his life to a crusade against it. It may also be claimed for some particular Churches that they have in their corporate capacity done a good deal to improve the position of the slave. The Roman Catholic Church, for instance, has habitually treated black and white as equals before the altar, and the Independent Smith, the Wesleyan Shrewsbury, and the Baptist Underhill did good work in exposing the cruelties of the Demerara, Jamaica, and Barbadoes planters. Habitually, however, in countries where slavery was established, the Churches have acquiesced in it as the natural order of things, have perhaps vindicated its divine original, have thrown in their weight against its abolition, and have not even protested solemnly that the marriage-tie was sacred, or that religious instruction ought to be imparted. In the latter days of North American slavery, an opinion that religious negroes were more tricky and idle than others became prevalent, and led to the withdrawal of religious teaching on many estates—the Churches making no protest. Now it may be granted that the Churches were not called upon to denounce the unrighteousness of the sin of slavery while it was tolerated by the State. Bishops and pastors have to take the world as they find it in many matters, and the great majority in a slave State are likely to have been honestly in favour of an institution with which they were familiar from childhood. Still, even moderate men have always accounted it a blot on the great Christian sects, that in their desire not to lose their influence over the propertied classes they have habitually refrained from inculcating humanity, purity, and regard for family ties, except in a very general and abstract way. At any rate, the credit of abolishing the slave-trade, of freeing the slave by war in the United States, and by legal reforms in other countries, has been left essentially to secular politicians. The negro race is not that which has profited most by the abolition of slavery. The white labourer is even a greater gainer by the fact that he is no longer forced to compete with the products of unremunerated toil, and a disgrace that was reflected on all manual labour has been removed. The industrial classes have to thank the State everywhere for this reform, and, to say the least, owe no gratitude to the Churches.

In this matter of slavery, and in the cognate question of the right of workmen to unite in Trades-Unions that they may raise the rate of wages, what we have to notice is the fact that the State is everywhere doing work which the Churches will not or cannot do, and where it has the same object as the Churches, habitually employs a more reasonable method. Another emphatic instance of this difference is seen in the treatment of education by the two great organisations. The mediaeval Church, often unwarrantably abused for defects which belonged to the age, has as often been extravagantly over-praised for its supposed services to learning. The broad fact is, that its services were to a large extent accidental, and that when it was best performing its own functions, it was hostile to letters. Accidentally it was the interest of men who had a taste for study to take the tonsure, and so secure themselves a maintenance, protection, and, if they were in a monastery, the command of a few books. The true purpose of the Church, however, as conceived by the best of its own sons, was not to inform the mind but to save the soul; and to take a single conspicuous instance, the Franciscan revival of religion in the thirteenth century was aimed at the pride of intellect as much as at the lust of the flesh. “The habit and one little book,” satisfied the founder of the order; and his disciples improved upon his teaching. There is not a more pathetic history in the records of literature than that of Roger Bacon, who, having as he believed the secret of all knowledge, was constrained to sacrifice the labours of forty years, his superiors strictly forbidding him to write or communicate his thoughts. Now in this particular instance a Pope interposed to procure for Bacon the liberty of bequeathing his results to posterity; and we have to remember that the secular clergy as a body had no tradition of opposition to learning, and that the Benedictines in particular have a splendid record—chiefly it is true for later times—of devotion to studies bearing upon ecclesiastical matters. Still, the broad fact remains, that the Church of the Middle Ages did not of set purpose promote learning of a secular kind beyond what was necessary for the vulgar needs of life; and that when there was a revival of learning, the scholars and the clergy were soon at feud. Bishop Pecock, for instance, was disgraced for teaching that faith rested upon reason; Reuchlin was fiercely attacked for studying Hebrew; and Ramus silenced for attacking the old logic. It fared no better with the precursors of scientific anatomy and the founders of astronomical science. Looking back, it is easy for us to say that the Church was unwise in its policy of attacking the new learning, which was certain to establish itself; yet this view is not indisputable. If the Church could have silenced a handful of scholars and scientific men, it would probably be the Universal Church at this day. If its rulers believed that the life of men beyond the grave was more important to them than their present enlightenment, they were justified in putting free inquiry down by the axe and by the stake.

After three centuries the opposition of all the Christian Churches to education not directed by themselves is as marked as it ever was. It is not now a question of the liberty to publish treatises that will only be read in the first instance by a highly educated minority, but of opening the gates of knowledge to every child. To the politician of western Europe, of America, or Australia, the question presents itself as a very simple one. The educated workman can use his powers more efficiently than the uneducated; the educated soldier is more than a match for the drilled barbarian, other things being equal; and there is, as a rule, less crime in an educated community. Sound schools of every kind are therefore not a mere luxury or convenience but a condition of national existence. Practically, the statesman in every country would gladly enlist the clergy on the side of education if he could do it by concessions that were not destructive of his purpose. Practically, the clergy in every country demand the control of the schools; and while they are willing to teach the elements of knowledge, desire above all to send out the scholars entrusted to them saturated with a superficial and gross theology. The battle, of course, varies in different countries. In parts of South America the clergy have succeeded in keeping the schools in their own hands, and these are among the most backward States on that continent; in Belgium they would compound for the liberty to drive out a teacher they dislike, and to interfere as they choose in school hours; in England they are united in dislike of Board or quasi-secular schools, and aspire to prohibit any improvements that may make these dangerously attractive. In Holland they have actually succeeded in securing a return to pure denominationalism. In Ontario the Church of Rome, in the first instance, procured an exceptional right for those of its members who were not within a certain distance of a Catholic school to remain uneducated; and the Protestants later on have retaliated by introducing an expurgated Bible, compiled by order of the Minister of Education, into the mixed schools. In Victoria, Catholics and Protestant ministers agreeing to oppose secular teaching, are divided among themselves what is to be substituted. On the whole, however, it is probably correct to say, that the Churches everywhere distrust and oppose any educational system which they do not themselves administer or cannot meddle in freely; and that the State everywhere finds it impossible to leave the schools to the Churches. That experiment has in fact been tried in every country and has failed in all. In England it was so absolute a mockery that in 1838 an impostor or lunatic succeeded in passing himself off as the Messiah, almost under the shadow of Canterbury Cathedral, and in a county where Church influence ought to have been predominant. A year later the Archbishop of Canterbury carried an address to the Queen, protesting against grants in aid to any but Church schools. In Victoria, after twenty years of subsidies to the denominational system, it was found that thirty per cent of the children had no school teaching provided for them, and that about forty per cent of the schools established had no religious instruction given in them at all. In France the favour shown to the Church under the Second Empire led to a complete paralysis of school-teaching, and in the day of trial France with one-third of its population illiterate was no match for Germany with her soldiers, one and all, educated up to the highest point compatible with their station in life. No doubt, secular education has also been advocated in France on moral grounds; and M. Paul Bert unquestionably showed good reason for believing that the doctrines taught in Catholic seminaries are still very much those which Pascal dissected in the Provincial Letters. The great reason, however, why secular education has been adopted generally in France, and specially in Paris, has been because the Church showed itself apathetic and unsuccessful as a disseminator of any knowledge that did not bear upon religion and obedience to the Church.

It may freely be admitted that the Church has not always been to blame for its deficiencies. It has been impossible to entrust it with that compulsory power, without which a school system can never be universally successful. It has never disposed—in modern times—of such enormous funds as the State can raise by a local rate or a tax. Its worst sins of omission belong to periods when statesmen also were careless how the children of the poor grew up. There is some truth in what the advocates of the clerical party say, when they contend that education without moral training is only putting weapons into the hands of criminals, and that to enlarge the mental horizon of many thousands, who can never struggle out of their actual low level, is only to increase misery and unrest. Even those who believe with De Maistre, that the moral man can only be formed upon his mother’s knee; even those who are convinced by the teaching of history, that the character cannot suffer because the mind is cleared, may admit that no great experiment is so absolutely successful at once as to make cavil impossible. Still, when all abatements have been made, the success achieved by the secular system is enormous. It is now the State everywhere which is fascinating every family by proffering the bâton de maréchal to its children, as it forces upon them an education that will fit them to rise to wealth and dignity. More and more the State is endeavouring to do this work costlessly, or at the smallest possible cost to the parent. Can we wonder if all the world over it is superseding the Church in its hold on popular imagination. It is still true that the peasant’s son may rise to be Bishop, Cardinal, or Pope; but it is no longer true—even proximately—that the secular lottery offers only blanks to the poor man’s son. In the United States, where primary education was well developed before the higher education had struck roots, every avenue of success is not only theoretically but practically open to the son of the poorest labourer; he may be head of department, general, judge, or president. Every State in the civilised world is approximating to this model. Every Church is proportionately weaker in the capacity to stir the democratic fibre.

It would be easy, if we pursued the comparison of State and Church ideals, to show that the State has taken the larger, more liberal, and more tender view of the relations of the weak to the strong. The Church undoubtedly forbade infanticide, but it has habitually left children under the parental control, even when this was capricious or intolerably severe. It is the State that has interposed to prevent the child’s strength from being overtaxed, and to insist that it shall receive proper education. The Churches from all time have treated the wife as the handmaid of the husband; bound to submit to ill-treatment, to spoliation, and to unfaithfulness at his hands, with none or with the slightest possible redress. The State has insensibly remodelled its customs till a woman in every civilised country can own property, can live apart from her husband, and in certain cases can retain the guardianship of her children. In these instances the State has done little more than many excellent though not typical churchmen have always desired to see done. In one remarkable particular, secular politicians deserve the credit of having discerned and successfully applied a new principle in morality—the duty of tenderness to the brute creation. No doubt it has always been natural for good men to feel compassion for everything that is capable of suffering; but even men like St. Anselm and St. Francis, who felt this instinctively, never raised it to the rank of a religious obligation. In one remarkable instance—the opposition to vivisection for scientific purposes—the reformers have proceeded on the transcendental ground that humanity at large has no right to purchase relief from its own suffering by torturing the helpless. The question is not whether all these changes are maturely thought out and administered with the wisest possible limitations. The broad fact can hardly be disputed that secular civilisation, “the wisdom and the wit of this world,” is informed with a moral purpose, and is steadily working out what we may call the Christian law of life, though it respects human liberty so profoundly that it shivers and shrinks back repeatedly before it ventures to step within the sphere of spiritual activity. The advocates of Church authority and of individual lawlessness unite to denounce as violations of freedom every fresh act of that impassive, ever-dilating power which rends asunder the unrighteous contract between employer and servant, between landlord and tenant, which protects the child from degradation and rescues the woman from misuse; but the trust of citizens in the justice of human society grows stronger as the powers of the State are enlarged. The love of an Englishman for his country in old days might be little more than love for the land in which men of his own tongue governed themselves and kept their homes from the foreign enemy. He might be at the mercy of corrupt officials, governed by harsh laws, weighted by oppressive taxation, and without the possibility of rising in any service but that of the Church. The love of any man speaking the English tongue for his country is now for a land that can give him ampler protection than his fathers ever dreamed of, that invests him with the prestige of a dominant race, that adjusts his public burdens so as to be least onerous, that gives him the right to assist in making the laws, that protects him against his own weakness, and offers him the means to start on equal terms in the race for honour or wealth. Merely the dream of what a country might be has transformed ignorant men, serving forcibly in the hostile ranks, into heroes who fell where they stood sooner than drive back the army of liberation; and has transfigured prosaic women into heroines, who gave son after son to the national cause. Is it wonderful if the prodigies of Hungarian and Italian heroism have been more than matched in America, where there was a country of noble memories with a settled government and wise liberties to maintain?

Only two causes seem likely to interfere with the growth of national feeling. On the one hand, the great body of the citizens may be more interested in industrial organisations stretching over the whole earth; and on the other hand, the dream of a few thinkers, that we shall rise beyond the nation as we have risen beyond the family, the tribe, and the province, may come to be realised. The first is the more immediate danger. It is possible to suppose the great body of artisans, for instance, taking a supreme interest in the claims of the various trades, and attaching only a secondary importance to the different countries in which individual members happen to live. Something of this kind is discernible at present. If we can assume that it will extend, it might conceivably happen that a whole labouring population would decide to repudiate burdens of purely national concern, and would migrate freely from the State, if they were outvoted, sooner than submit to any inconvenient pressure. That a man should be first a Trades -Unionist, and only in the second place an Englishman or Australian, would not be in itself more remarkable than the spectacle, which has often been witnessed, of men who were first Catholics and only Englishmen or Frenchmen when the claims of the Church were satisfied. It is difficult to conceive, however, that men will ever attach themselves as devotedly to a Trades-Union, wise and dignified though it may be, as they did in times past to the Church, which gave them a great deal in this world, and promised them everything in the next. It must be borne in mind, too, that while the State professes to reconcile or adjust conflicting interests, no trades organisation has ever been able to make itself more than sectional. The claims of one body of workers are habitually opposed to the needs of others, so that they can only unite, now and again, on some very general ground, like the limitation of the hours of work. It may be added that there is a great and not unreasonable jealousy among the workmen of every country lest they should be swamped by the immigration of competitors. This feeling is likely to become stronger as times go on, as America and Australia fill up, and as it becomes increasingly clear that there is no great field for the employment of whites in the Tropical Zone. It may, indeed, be hoped by optimists that in the far future the comity of nations will be so far extended as to make it increasingly easy for individuals to change their country; but it can hardly be expected that the United States, to take the most important instance, will continue to find land and labour for several hundred thousand emigrants yearly. It is needless to say, however, that if population in England and Germany continues to increase at its present rate, an emigration of a million will mean no more thirty years hence than half a million meant thirty years ago. Practically, then, the Trades -Unions of the future are likely to become not more international in their character, but more exclusively national. Each will try to secure the best possible terms for itself in its own country; each will protect itself against competition from outside; and as a consequence the mass of men will have to abide in the land where they are born, and to make the best of it.

These considerations apply partly to the cosmopolitan theory. It will have to contend with the narrower feeling that is bound to prevail, when men no longer look upon the world as full of possible homes for them. There are, of course, some who dream that the whole human race will be united into one grand federation. Visions of this sort, if they are ever realised, can only be so in so distant a future that it is scarcely worth while to discuss them. It may be observed, however, that there seem to be certain limits to national growth which no policy however imperial can transcend. It is fashionable to lament the infatuation of the British counsels that severed the connection of the American colonies with Great Britain; and no one at this day would care to defend George III., or Grenville, or Lord North. None the less it may be doubted whether the colonies could have borne the strain of the French war in which England engaged a few years later; and more generally, whether England has not done better for herself in India, Africa, and Australia, from having an absolutely free hand. At this moment Australia and England are united in a manner that gratifies sentiment and interest, and entails no particular obligation on either party to the union. The Australian colonies are protected to some extent by the prestige of imperial power, and attract English capital rather more freely than they would do if they were independent. England gets the repute of Empire, and the advantage that trade follows the flag, and the certainty that, in the case of another Indian Mutiny, she could call up thousands to her standard from an adjoining continent, whereas, if the colonies were independent, the Irish element would be actively sympathising with whatever was hostile to Great Britain. If, however, the dream of some English theorists were accomplished, so that Australia exchanged a very satisfactory form of self-government for representation in an imperial senate, the loss to the great dependency would be incalculable. The best men would be taken away to a distant country, would lose touch of their own proper countrymen, and even if they clearly saw what was good for Australia, would be perpetually compelled to compromise and accept what was best for the Empire. The result would be an angry separation in a very short term of years. Nevertheless, the interests of Australia and Great Britain would be incomparably more easy to reconcile in a British Parliament than the interests of the whole world in a general council. Putting aside the union of the human race as chimerical, is it possible to conceive even the Germanic race—including Germany, Scandinavia, and Holland, with the British Empire and the United States—combining for such simple purposes as the preservation of the world’s peace, or to procure Free Trade, or a common system of Protection? Yet these people have a common origin, cognate tongues, to a great extent a common religion, and might conceivably arrange their commercial interests so as not to clash violently. The difficulty is that each would feel it was surrendering more than it gave. The citizen of California would object to being taxed that a Russian attack on Herat might be repulsed; and the Australian would not care to guarantee Alsace and Lorraine. The chances are as great that some powers which are now unwieldy will be broken up, as that others will increase their boundaries; and that any but a compact dominion will be kept together under a centralised form of government seems difficult to believe. The best we can hope is, that the federal principle will be developed, and that international arbitration will become more and more practicable.

Dr. Matthew Arnold circulated a story that a catechism used in French schools, after enumerating the various benefits of civic society, asks the question, “Who gives you all this?” and makes answer, “the State.” Mr. Hamerton has shown that this story is substantially incorrect, and that all that can be said is, that in a single manual, which teachers are allowed but not obliged to use, something of this sort may perhaps be found with the words “the country” in place of “the State.” It is surely permissible to inquire whether teaching of this sort, instead of being ridiculed as superficial, denounced as irreligious, or condemned for placing the Commonwealth in a place of honour that belongs to the parents, ought not to be enforced in every school. A child, whose parents do their duty by it in a spirit of tenderness, is never likely to be insensible in after-life of what it has owed them. It is useful, no doubt, to inculcate filial reverence at schools, but it is really taught in homes. On the other hand, the more general teaching, that all good things come from God, ought not to exclude the obvious fact that God works upon human society through the agency of men and women, that is, through parents, and through the civil power. Whatever may have been the case in old days, a child’s obligations to the State are now infinite. The State watches over the infant life from birth; provides that the growing child is not stunted by excessive toil, is properly clothed and fed, and is so educated as to have a fair start in life; it assures the adult against starvation, protects him from foreign enemies, from tyrannical employers, and from the criminal classes that prey upon property; it secures him liberty of thought and faith, and it offers him the means of safe and easy insurance against illness or death. It is constantly endeavouring to extend the sphere of its beneficent energies. It is no doubt true that though all this is attempted, there are many inadequacies in the political scheme, and that myriads of human beings lead lives of unbroken toil or horrible destitution. Still the broad fact remains that human co-operation for political ends is yearly becoming more fruitful of good purpose, more sympathetic, and more successful in its attempts to relieve want; and that every child growing up towards citizenship ought to understand the incalculable debt which it owes to the brotherhood of man. Neither is it merely material benefits with which a great country endows its citizens. The countrymen of Chatham and Wellington, of Washington and Lincoln, of Joan of Arc and Grambetta,—in short, the citizens of every historic State,—are richer by great deeds that have formed the national character, by winged words that have passed into current speech, by the example of lives and labours consecrated to the service of the Commonwealth. The religion of the State is surely as worthy of reverence as any creed of the Churches, and ought to grow in intensity year by year.

It is the note of every true religion, however, that if it promises great good, it demands proportionate sacrifices. In days when to be an Englishman meant little more than to be safe from Spain and the Inquisition, and to be allowed to live in the land where a man’s fathers had made their homes, even these benefits appeared so transcendently important by the side of what was possible in France and the Low Countries, that Englishmen of every degree seemed to quicken to an electric spark of heroism. The sailors and explorers achieved impossible adventures; the poets and thinkers were of more than mortal stature. The new England which does incomparably more for its people than the Elizabethan England did, commands less and indeed scarcely any gratitude, because the Englishman has a choice of fatherlands in which he may preserve the English nationality. He transfers himself without a pang to America or Australia. If, however, the world is filling up, as seems probable; if great migrations of toilers are bound to become impossible at no very distant date, the mass of men will have to regard the country they are born in as their home for life, and will be attached to it by interest as well as by sentiment. It seems not quite visionary to suppose that a day will come when service of some sort will be exacted from every man under pain of social discredit, or legal liabilities, as military service is now exacted from every able-bodied man on the Continent; when the immigration of aliens will be restrained within reasonable limits, when wealthy men will be forced by public opinion to give money for national endowments as freely as they did in the Middle Ages;, and when the doctrine that men can divest themselves of obligations to their country by leaving it will seem extravagant. In that case, the spirit of uncalculating devotion to the common cause, which even in our own days has changed the face of half Europe and rescued society from dissolution in North America, will become a steady principle of action, deserving to be accounted a faith, and lifting all who feel it into a higher life.


The religion of the family will gradually die out as the religion of the State becomes more and more absorbing.—The power of the head of the family was anciently autocratic over the lives, property, and self-respect of the members.—The right of private war or of the blood-feud has been abolished.—The rights of fathers and husbands over the lives of children and wives have been abolished, or nearly so.—The ancient rule of secular legislation, which the Churches have copied, was that marriage was indissoluble.—The State has done its best to maintain this principle down to quite recent times.—Christianity, however, has made this important change, that it does not tolerate the libertinage which was the old compensation for the restrictions of marriage. The old marriage of suitability was not more mercenary in its ‘essence than the marriage of inclination. The essential difference between the two is, that the one makes family considerations the matter of vital importance, and the other only desires to satisfy individual caprice.—Nevertheless, changes in modern society have made the indissoluble marriage bear so heavily upon women that it is impossible to maintain it.—That the tie between husband and wife should come to be easily variable, instead of permanent, is bound to make the tie between parents and children weaker.—Moreover, the right of parents to use their children’s labour has been found to work so badly, that the State is interposing everywhere to limit work and make education compulsory.—As parents are losing their rights over children, children are losing the sense of duty and obligation to their parents.—These changes in the conjugal and parental relations are working in the direction of individualism, and may be for good as well as for evil.—The family, however, is the natural provision for the conservation of character, and the consequences may be undesirable if we destroy pride in the past, responsibility for the present, and care for the future.—The changed relations of master and servant are also taking away a small and occasional but efficient safeguard of family feeling.—The tradition of a fixed family home has been destroyed.

It has been argued that the religion of the country is likely to become a deeper and more serious feeling as the sphere of State action increases, as the State shows itself more beneficent in its aims than a good king, more effectively moral than the Churches, and more comprehensive and human than King or Church, aristocratic caste or guild of associated workmen. On the other hand, it seems possible that not only loyalty and faith and class or clan feeling will be merged in the new power, but that what we may call the religion of the family will gradually die out. In a certain sense, of course, the family must always remain the unit of the State. The union of men and women, even if we leave children out of the question, is so important in its effects upon character, that on its influence for good or evil must the condition of society very largely depend. When, however, we bear in mind that for many centuries the head of the family has exercised more or less autocratic powers under his own roof, and that infinitely various forms of virtue and vice, strength and foible, have been developed in consequence, the importance of any great changes that tend to exalt the State and emancipate the individual at the expense of the family will become apparent. What is perhaps most curious is, that the State has always been tender of family rights; and that in all its encroachments upon parental or conjugal authority, or upon family feeling, it has simply obeyed an irresistible necessity.

The powers of the family or its members have, of course, varied enormously in different ages. The right of the parents to deal as they would with the newly-born babe has been recognised more or less in all but Christian and Mahommedan communities. Children were as freely exposed in the old Greek and Roman world and among the Norsemen as they are in modern China. There was no limitation to this right, which belonged absolutely to the head of the family. In the case of the wife, or of children who had been acknowledged, the father had the rights of the magistrate; that is, he could not legitimately put to death, except for a grave and appropriate cause; but there was no recognised tribunal to which an appeal from his sentence would lie. These excessive powers over life imply an absolute authority over the person and property. The husband could lend his wife to a friend, or choose a husband for his daughter and a wife for his son. He could make his children labour as he chose, and might neglect their education as he would. Neither wife nor children could possess property. He could adopt a stranger to share his children’s inheritance. This, of course, is the extreme type of the family as it existed in the laws of Athens and Rome. Extreme as it is, it has coloured all but the most modern legislation, except in the parts relating to life and death. So completely are we at variance with ancient morality on that score, that Rousseau is considered infamous for having allowed the State to care for his children; and Philip II. and Peter the Great are generally reprobated for having, as is supposed, ordered the death of sons whom they not unreasonably regarded as a menace to the highest good of the country. On the other hand, as late as the thirteenth century the Church Courts in England ruled that a husband could transfer his wife to another man for a period determinable at the recipient’s pleasure. The right of selling a ward’s marriage was among the most profitable incidents of feudal tenure; and the ward was so far better off than the natural child, that a guardian was bound to choose the husband in her own rank. In England it is probably correct to say that the consent of the parties has always been the first thing considered, and the consent of the parents nothing more than a necessary formality, without which the marriage of minors could not be valid. As, however, a girl of seven might be betrothed in mediaeval England, and as down to a later time the marriages of mere children were still common, the parental authority was practically absolute; and to marry without the consent of the parents was regarded as an outrage upon decency. In France, the consent of the parents was anciently regarded as the most necessary point, and the consent of the parties rather as a desirable accessory. It is still impossible for a Frenchman to marry without the permission of his father, or, if his father be dead, of his mother, unless he resorts to the extremity of the legal process known as “a respectful summons.” The French father may apply to have his child imprisoned for a term not exceeding six months; but this power, which is subject to revision of the Court, is practically no more than the right of the English father to ask that his child may be sent to a reformatory. In either case, the right of imprisonment which the father could formerly exercise has been transformed into a right to move the civil power without the intervention of the public prosecutor. As for the right of the parent to transfer his child to strangers who will adopt it, to leave it uneducated, or to put it to sordid or excessive toil during the years of growth, the first of these still exists everywhere, and the second and third have only been encroached upon in quite recent times. In France, however, a child parted with by its parents to a stranger appears to retain a claim upon the parental inheritance which cannot be set aside by a will. In France, therefore, and in countries with French law, the power of the head of the family to distribute the property he has inherited or acquired has been set aside for political considerations.

The effect of this primitive legislation, though it aimed only at giving the family a religious chief and the State a person responsible for the acts of children or kinsmen, was naturally to invest relationship with very solemn obligations. The family that was a little church and a little jurisdiction within itself, that had at one time a worship of its ancestors, and that was always more closely bound to its members than to the city or the State, came naturally in many cases to be a law to itself. The blood-feud is a striking instance of the obligations which the family feeling might involve. In days when a man owed his existence in the first instance to himself, and only in a very secondary manner to the State, it was very important not only that his sons should be able to speak with the enemy in the gate, but that they should be resolute to leave no wrong done unavenged. The result, however, was of questionable value. The old Greek adage that “a man is a fool if he kills the father and leaves the children alive,” expresses what was bound actually to happen. Families were not kept from quarrels by the knowledge that a feud would be one of extermination; but whichever was the weaker or was surprised was wiped out. Accordingly the first great step in constructing political society has always been to substitute the arbitration of the State for the blood-feud. Cursory observers are often struck by the apparent barbarism of a tariff’ which assesses the exact value of injuries to the person; but such legislation really shows that the family is being merged in the nation. It was proof of considerable civilisation that Horatius was tried for killing his sister. Anciently, the offence would only have been against his father; and as it was, Horatius was acquitted when his father accepted the responsibility of the act. It is perhaps true that the blood-feud to some extent softened the spirit of revenge by systematising it. Modern sentiment, in spite of the influences of Christianity, recoils a little from Jimena marrying the Cid, whose hands are red with her father’s blood. Corneille justifies the action by duty to the King and a secret passion for Rodrigo. The old story, however, is entirely consistent with the spirit of primitive times. Rodrigo shows that Jimena has no cause for complaint, as he killed her father in fair fight and to satisfy the blood-feud, and because he is willing to make the injury done good. “I killed a man, and I give you a man.” As, however, such compositions were not often possible, the State found it desirable to interpose habitually, and has gradually adopted the rule that vengeance belongs only to the State; that the individual must never use force except in strict self-defence; and that he may not even omit his revenge that is, accept atonement or composition in any but trifling cases, as every offence is committed primarily against the body politic.

The right of the father over the lives of his children, and the right of the husband over the life of his wife, are now practically obsolete. The first is so repugnant to modern feeling that even a novelist scarcely dares to conceive a situation in which it occurs. In Serge Panin a mother-in-law kills the son-in-law who has made her daughter miserable, brought dishonour upon his name, and is too cowardly to die by his own hand; but it may be doubted if modern sentiment would have tolerated this lawless justice upon a nearer relative. The case of the wife is a little different. There is a survival of old custom, atrophied or nearly so by disuse, in the doctrine of our law-books, which justifies the slaying of an adulteress taken en flagrant délit, so far as to hold the avenging husband free of the highest guilt, and only liable for manslaughter. This relic of custom has been so far modified by judicial interpretations that a man is only allowed the benefit of it when he acts literally in the moment of wrath, and it is becoming less safe for him, year by year, to punish faithlessness by death. The modern explanation of this toleration of violence is that the provocation has been intolerable, but it seems more reasonable to regard it as a survival of that old feeling which Calderon has expressed in one of the most powerful of his plays, where “the physician of his own honour,” a man who has murdered his wife, knowing her to be innocent, for no reason but that she is the object of a dishonourable love, is publicly praised by the King, and rewarded with marriage to another noble lady, who takes his hand, knowing it, as she herself admits, to be “bathed in blood.” Calderon exhibits the feeling that the wife’s chastity was due to her husband rather than herself in its most extravagant form; while modern English practice has very nearly reached the point when adultery is only punishable as the breach of a very solemn contract, by which the man has suffered loss as husband and father. It will be noted that the husband’s rights were given to him to safeguard the family; and as the worship of ancestors, the family name, and the succession to property have never been regarded as liable to suffer by the husband’s adultery, he has never been punishable; though his wife has been allowed the relief of a judicial separation or of divorce, the redress permitted to her varying in different countries. So again, the life of the male head of the family has been regarded as peculiarly sacred. It is scarcely more than a hundred years since the penalty in England for a wife who murdered her husband was to be drawn and burned; but the husband who murdered his wife was only hanged. The ancient jurisprudence of France was equally severe for crimes against the head of the family, though it was usual to exchange the extreme penalty of burning alive for beheading in the case of well-born women.

Both those who attack and those who defend the indissolubility of the marriage-tie are apt to think that the engagement which man and woman take to remain united “till death us do part” expresses an obligation created by Christianity. This view is the very reverse of fact. The highest civilisations of the old Pagan world had derived or instinctively adopted the theory that marriage was for all time. This was especially true of Rome, where an extravagant tradition said that there was no divorce for five centuries; and of Germany, where Tacitus tells us that a woman had one husband as she had one body and one life. The very exceptions to the rule show that the law aimed at maintaining a general principle with the smallest possible concession to human weakness. Christian Churches evade the recognition of divorce by declaring that there has been no marriage if the man is incapable of founding a family. Athenian law permitted the woman in this case to have a lover in the family she had married into, but shrunk from declaring the marriage ceremony to be void. On the other hand, if the woman was sterile, Roman law allowed her to be repudiated, that the family might not be extinguished, and worship to the family gods cease. It has been a difficulty of all times that men may sometimes be unavoidably kept away from their families by being captives in a strange land, though of late this inconvenience is scarcely felt. In Roman law marriage was dissolved by captivity, because the assumption was that the loss of freedom would be permanent, and the captive accordingly ceased to belong to his proper State. If, however, the wife did not take advantage of her liberty to marry again, the husband who was ransomed or escaped might resume her when he resumed his citizenship. It is remarkable that English customary law has recognised this exception to the indissolubility of marriage, so that a wife whose husband has been absent for seven years and cannot be heard of is not punished if she contracts a second marriage, though she is still liable to be resumed by the first husband, which the Roman matron was not;—a liability which seems degrading to self-respect. Human nature has always shown itself impatient of conjugal restraints, and whatever laws the State may enact are always certain to be evaded by a large class. Roman legislation, however, was on the whole less easily foiled than that of the Latin Church. The substitute for divorce in the later and laxer times of Rome was not a dissolution of the religious marriage, but a form of concubinage under contract regulated by law and approved by fashion. The substitute in the Middle Ages was to discover that the marriage was invalid, as having been contracted within the prohibited degrees of affinity, and without a proper dispensation. The Roman custom which forbade the union of all direct ascendants or descendants, whether by blood, adoption, or marriage, did not allow of these demoralising evasions, and must be regarded as the outcome of higher sanitary science and stricter ethical practice.

On the whole, it is probably correct to say that every healthy society has endeavoured, in its best times at least, to treat marriage as indissoluble, and that when breaches of this practice have occurred, it has been through the irregular passions of powerful and wealthy men seeking to mould the law to their own wishes, or through the growth of a Bohemian and vagabond class. Christianity came into the world at a time when the old religious marriage was beginning to be found burdensome, and adopted the view which the most religiously-minded men of the time would instinctively take. The scandals of the Ecclesiastical Courts are only proof that the Church put itself into a thoroughly false position when it claimed the perilous office of determining under what circumstances the marriage-tie might be dissolved. It is noticeable that in England the change to secular society effected at the Reformation was attended with an infinitely greater rigour in matters affecting marriage. The early Reformers would no doubt have legalised divorce under conditions of absolute equality for both sexes; but under Elizabeth a theory came in that divorce was never to be permitted, and the only relaxation was when divorce by Act of Parliament was allowed. This, however, was only granted for a single cause, and was so costly as to be practically very rare. It is noticeable that in France also, after the liberty of divorce had been introduced at the Revolution, regulated by Napoleon, and practised for five and twenty years, it was abrogated without much difficulty by a reactionary but still secular government, and has only lately been restored. Summing up, it seems probable that from the earliest times of civilisation the indissolubility of marriage has appeared to be desirable, and has been promoted by the State for civil reasons, quite as strongly as it has been enjoined by traditional religions for reasons of faith that are in some instances outgrown, so as to be now scarcely intelligible except to scholars.

While, however, the difference between ancient and comparatively modern times as to the institution of marriage may seem small, there has been one enormous difference introduced by Christianity—the idea of purity. Of course, no powerful society has ever existed without a moral code of some kind. In Eome it was unchaste for a woman to commit adultery, because if a bastard were born into the family he could not continue the family worship; it was unchaste for a man to marry a barbarian, or to intrigue with a matron, and it was unchaste to commit acts that are now heavily punished in every Christian country. On the other hand, there is no reason to suppose that a man who intrigued with public women or with slaves was considered unchaste unless he did it in a scandalous way, or was held to have given his wife some special cause of complaint. That the Germanic standard was higher than the Roman is probable; but unless we assume that the Germans and Norsemen were very soon corrupted we know that their practice was not very different. To put it briefly, the ancient marriage was based on suitability of family connections and fortunes rather than on inclination, and as love had not been in the contract the husband was easily pardoned if he allowed himself some license outside the house, provided he rendered his wife all proper respect under the common roof. This mariage de convenance has lasted down to our own days on parts of the Continent, and the liberty enjoyed by the Roman husband has been more or less freely claimed by husbands everywhere; but the tolerance of old custom is becoming a thing of the past. It no doubt lingers in our laws. As a rule, the husband can divorce the wife for a single act of misconduct, while the husband must either be guilty of systematic misconduct, as in Victoria, or of some additional offence, such as protracted desertion, as in Scotland, or of cruelty, as in England, if the wife is to be absolutely released. The husband in England can claim damages from the man who has ruined his family life, but the woman can claim none from the rival who has supplanted her. The law, therefore, having the threads of obsolete theory woven into its woof, has been various and uncertain in the changes that it has admitted. Still, it can hardly be doubted that as the conception of their eternal tutelage has been dispersed, and women have come to be regarded as more or less the equals of men—at least as deserving equality before the law—men are held more strictly to account in matters of conjugal morality. In other words, the primitive marriage of suitability, the marriage which aimed first at constituting the conditions for a new family, and which only regarded inclination in the second place, is being superseded everywhere by marriages that are supposed to be based upon love, and only not disallowed by the judgment. It stands to reason that conjugal fidelity enters into the contract far more than it anciently did on the man’s side.

It cannot be supposed that a system which has endured and been approved through so many centuries as the mariage de convenance has witnessed is immoral in its essence, and the gravity of the change which is now overthrowing it cannot easily be over-estimated. Englishmen are apt to think of it as a system under which girls of fifteen, just fresh from the convent, are married to worn-out debauchees of sixty, and it is of course a system under which this abuse is possible, just as under the English system of liberty a girl in her teens may run away with her father’s groom, and a young man of one and twenty tie himself for life to a courtezan. We must look at typical instances of the French system to understand what it has really been, and how many of the noblest and best women in a country distinguished for its women have entered upon congenial lives in this manner. In its practical rendering by the best people the mariage de convenance has always meant the marriage in which the conditions of family happiness were based upon high character, suitability of circumstances, and, if possible, old family friendships. St. Simon tells us that when he first thought of marrying he fixed upon the daughter of an old friend, though he had never so much as seen the lady, because his veneration for the father’s character led him to believe that he could not go wrong in choosing from such a stock. Mdme. de Sévigné’s daughter, Mdme. de Grignan, tells us of a betrothal which was arranged after this fashion: ” The fathers at the fireside were talking over the perfections of their children (a son and daughter respectively), when M. de St. Aignan said, ‘We ought to bring together two persons so worthy of one another.’ ‘I am willing,’ said Sanguin; ‘shake hands on it.'” These no doubt are instances from the old regime and from the aristocratic class; but if we take the bourgeoisie at the time just preceding the R evolution, we shall find very much the same course of procedure, though the parental authority is perhaps a little less marked. Mdme. Roland tells us that most of her suitors proposed for her to her parents, before they had even been admitted to the house. In her case, as her father had forfeited the right to control her actions, the decision was practically left in her own hands, and she decided to marry a man twice her age, whose character she could sincerely respect. She considered marriage, as she tells us, “an austere union, a partnership in which the wife, as a rule, takes upon herself to provide for the happiness of both.” Knowing that her attachment for M. Koland was based upon esteem rather than love, she guarded herself against possible heartaches by sharing her husband’s labours and pleasures, so as to leave herself no time for irregular fancies. Mr. Hamerton tells us that even now there are many persons in France who deliberately prefer the marriage based upon suitability of position and character to the marriage of mere inclination. “I remember,” he says, “being much amused by the indignation of a very beautiful young French lady about a rumour that she had been wedded for love. She reiterated her assurance that it was a baseless fabrication, that her husband had only seen her once before her betrothal, and then quite formally in the presence of other people, and that their marriage had been entirely one of convenance. In short, she repelled the idea of love as if it had been a disgraceful and unmerited imputation.” Mr. Hamerton, however, goes on to explain that dowerless girls constantly receive good offers in France. Everywhere, of course, rational people will not entangle themselves in the obligation to support a family till they can see a fair prospect of being able to do it. Therefore, even where the assumption is that all marriages are of inclination, some are sure to have been partly determined by money considerations, while some will be purely mercenary. Where the marriage, supposed to be of inclination, has really been made for the sake of settlements, the fact that a young man or a young girl has acted from mere calculation in such a matter is perhaps rather more repulsive to sentiment than if the marriage had been treated of by the heads of the families from first to last as essentially a matter of business; and, on the other hand, where a marriage of suitability becomes almost instantly a marriage of affection, as is said to be very often the case, there seems no reason why such an alliance should be rated as in any way lower than the love marriage.

However, it is idle to argue with the master of many legions, or to say anything against a change that has been the almost inevitable result of circumstances, and that expresses the settled impulse of the Germanic race. The marriage of inclination is now the only avowed one in the greater part of the civilised world, and is rapidly supplanting the marriage of suitability in France. Writers like George Sand and Ibsen are only apologists for a revolution already made. In proportion as women are emancipated, do they claim a freedom which is desired rather as a relief to ennui than as an offset to masculine libertinage. Some changes have made the marriage yoke more difficult to bear than it was. One is, that desertion is increasingly common since emigration has become a habit with the working -classes. Another is, that the felon, who was formerly hanged without mercy, is now released periodically, and can resume full marital rights over his wife’s person and property, where the law has not been altered to meet his case. A third probably is, that the duty to children is less felt since the State has charged itself with the care of seeing that they are not positively starved or allowed to run wild. A fourth is, that partly from experience, and partly through the influence of modern notions of heredity, a wife knows that her husband’s license is a wrong inflicted upon her own children. They only receive divided tenderness, and succeed to a diminished estate; they inherit depravity, if they do not inherit disease. A fifth is, that the legislator has found it convenient everywhere to relieve the married woman from tutelage in certain important particulars; to make her responsible for her acts, capable of bearing witness against her husband, and able to own property in her own right. A sixth is, that the religious sanctions of marriage are less regarded since society has become increasingly secular. A seventh is, that as the whole conditions of industry have changed, a wife’s work is less important to her husband, and the unprotected woman is more easily able to earn a living for herself. To stay at home and spin wool, or sew, would often be very unthrifty conduct in a modern wife, who can make more out of doors as a laundress, a charwoman, a factory operative, or an employee in a shop. To all these causes of change we may add, that the law for very shame is relaxing the old harshness which was part of a logical theory. The woman who separates from her husband can now keep her children, so far as is consistent with their own good; and cannot be tortured, as was once possible, by having to renounce the privileges she bought with maternity if she will not live with a depraved and uncongenial husband. Last of all, the barbarous suit for restitution of conjugal rights, that practical reduction of marriage to what George Sand has cynically called it, “the right at Common Law to outrage a woman,” has been nullified even in conservative England.

So overwhelmingly strong are these reasons, that many even of those who regard divorce with horror and alarm are constrained to support it as a requirement of justice. They feel, too, that it is idle to talk about the sanctity of home -life being impaired where the home has had no sanctity; and that to keep men and women, who are in a false position, miserable and in a condition that inclines to immorality, is a heavy price to pay for the peace of mind of those who, having no discomfort themselves, take a pleasure in thinking that the marriage-bond is indissoluble. On the other hand, even those who regard divorce as desirable and right in itself without regard to cases of extreme hardship, must admit that the transformation of an union for life, determined by many reasons besides inclination into a partnership during good conduct,—very widely interpreted,—or it may be even during pleasure, is a change that cannot fail to be fraught with eventful consequences. Those who have advocated the marriage of inclination have found a strong argument for it in the fact that, even if the dream of compatibility has proved delusive and short, the mere fact that husband and wife came together of their own accord deprives them of the right to murmur, and interests their pride in the maintenance of the marriage-bond. Perhaps this argument tells more forcibly in countries where the two systems are in operation. The experience of those American States in which divorce is extremely easy appears to show that wherever unions are dissoluble a certain percentage of people will dissolve them. On the other hand, it seems certain that as the thought of family duties disappears more and more from marriage, as it comes more and more to be legalised concubinage, in which legal formalities are employed only to guarantee the wife’s self-respect and assure her social position, the whole condition of home-life will be- changed. It is not improbable that in many cases husband and wife, who are not very sure of themselves, will refrain from complicating their relations by having children. They will thus be always ready to quit one another, and the mere fact that they so hold themselves in readiness, will in many cases bring about a separation. Even where they have a family, the feeling is apt to be less tender to the children, who were not the first thought in marriage, but only an inevitable incident, so to speak, than is the case in countries where the perpetuation of a family, the constitution of a home, have been the first thought. Foreign observers of England have constantly commented on the disposition of those who can afford to send their children away from home to school; and on the settled principle that married couples are not to live with either father-in-law. The good effects of these customs are seen in the readiness with which the Englishman becomes a citizen of the world, making his home wherever he goes. Yet something may be said for that French intimacy of parental tenderness, which makes a mother the confidante of her mature son in all his follies and his plans, which so consecrates filial piety that it is the one virtue which it is not permitted to smile at, and which so glorifies the family surroundings that the emigrant, however prosperous, always wanders back at last to the village in which his race is settled. It will be very marvellous if the present cordial relations of parents and children in France survive marriages of inclination, and their correlative, the law making marriage dissoluble.

Till very lately the law was careful not to interfere between parents and children. It was held that the parents, so long as they cared for the lives of their offspring, had an absolute right to decide how they should be brought up. The single exception in England to this rule has been in the case of heirs to property whose future social condition might be impaired if they were left in the hands of an immoral or atheistic parent. It was under the operation of this principle that Shelley was deprived of his children, and there seems no reason for supposing that the law was not administered with perfect fairness in that particular case. Indeed, there has been a more complete instance of its application in later times, when daughters were taken from a mother’s guardianship and transferred to their father’s care, because the odium attaching to their mother’s opinions might affect their prospects in marriage. The anomaly which the English law embodied was too monstrous to endure. On the one hand, any child not entitled to property was left absolutely in the hands of a parent who might be brutal and immoral, who was often careless and lax. A girl—to take the strongest and most probable case of wrong—might be brought up ignorant of the most rudimentary knowledge, a Pagan in faith, without sufficient food or clothing, without the common decencies of life in her home, and might be forced to drudge in the fields, or at a loom from her tenderest years. As she grew older, the law did not safeguard her in any efficient way from being forced to earn money by prostitution, though it never of course actually sanctioned this. That the great nations of the world are as good as they are, shows that parents have for the most part treasured the honour of the family in a rude but sufficient fashion. On the other hand, that every country has been scourged with a criminal class that defied punishment and Church restraints is conclusive proof that in many families the parents have been untrustworthy guardians of their children’s characters. It has, however, been the healths and the minds of children that have suffered most under the enormous powers delegated to the family. Most of the labour to which the young can be put is either brutalising or unhealthy. Work in isolation, such as tending sheep or scaring birds, is apt to make the brain torpid; the work in gangs, while it endured, was actually demoralising; and for children, who need fresh air and exercise, work over a loom or in a stifling room can only be carried on at the cost of vitality. Nevertheless, the necessity for the parent to make money by his children’s earnings has habitually been so great that he has used his authority simply to compel labour. The State has interposed in the last resort, and not without many misgivings, because the interests of its future men and women—their health and mental equipment—were bound to be more important to it than the maintenance of parental authority. The State is limiting the hours of work for children in every country, and it is compelling their attendance at school.

There have been many lamentations from those who think that the father is best left alone, and that a State system cannot be adapted to various capacities, as wise parents would adapt their training; and from those who think that schools cannot teach morality in that religious form which they believe to be the best. Without examining these arguments at length, it may be observed that the State has never attempted the costly and litigious work of national education in wantonness or from a light heart, but invariably because it conceived that it had no alternative. Neither has it wrested education out of the hands of individuals, for private and endowed schools have never been the majority; but out of the hands of the Churches, which have generally been strong enough to exclude competition, and not rich or enlightened enough to use their monopoly well. However, the purpose of this argument is not to defend the change to State education, but to point out that, wherever it is introduced, it necessarily transforms the position of the children. For certain hours of the day they are working under the civil law, and very possibly against the wish of their parents. They grow up better educated than father or mother, and know that they are not indebted to them for their schooling. As they become adults, they understand more and more that the State has only exacted from them a labour profitable to themselves, while their parents are taking advantage of their tender years to confiscate the proceeds of their industry. The child in an old society knew that his father had not cast him into the streets as a foundling, had not sold him as a slave or given him away, and had provided him with food, clothing, and education out of parental tenderness. The child in a modern society knows that the parent has done little more for him than the law and public opinion exact, and draws the conclusion, very often not unreasonably, that he has no great cause to be grateful. Our modern practice is so far from being an anomalous growth of new theories that it has been exceeded in some respects by old statutory provisions. The law at one time directed the parish overseers of the poor to apprentice children, whose parents could not support them, to such among the richer parishioners as seemed capable of the burden, and these had to bear it till the apprentices were of age. Neither could the parishioner so burdened refuse to receive the child assigned to him, though he might appeal to a higher court if he was taxed beyond his means or out of his turn. It will be seen that the old law was pretty exactly one of parochial socialism. The peculiar feature about it is not that it provided for the children of needy parents for some such provision is unavoidable—but that it took the child from the control of its natural parents and practically transferred it to an artificial family. To this day the State holds—and holds, we may say, unavoidably—that pauperism suspends family ties. Husband and wife are separated from their children and from one another in the workhouse. In the boarding-out system, which is now generally adopted, and with the best results, it is a rule not to assign the child to its natural parent. Unless we are prepared to maintain that the State is bound to care for the physical well-being of the young, but may let their minds lie fallow, we must surely admit that the case for compulsory education is as strong as for poor-relief to orphans and the children of destitute or vicious parents. In one respect it is, of course, incomparably stronger, for the percentage of parents who will allow a child to starve is undoubtedly much smaller than that of parents who will allow it to grow up wild or absorbed in mechanical drudgery.

It may be noticed in passing that where the State limits conjugal rights or parental authority, it gives as much to individualism as it takes from the head of the family. In fact, most changes in the law affecting the family system have come from the need felt by statesmen to modify a power that interfered with State necessities, and from the readiness of citizens to abandon a burdensome obligation. The English husband can no longer compel his wife to return to him, or squander her estate, or deprive her of her children, or inflict on her the moderate correction Dr. Marmaduke Coghill approved of, or the restraint of her liberty which Blackstone expressly allows. On the other hand, he can more or less easily divest himself of all responsibility for her debts or misconduct, and in great part of the civilised world finds it reasonably easy to obtain a divorce. The result, good or bad, is to give man and woman immensely increased freedom of action, the power to draw back from a contract that was once irrevocable, and that was one of the most noticeable conservative forces, and the right to make a fresh start in life. Only a man of exceptional energy can change his profession or trade once fairly entered upon in an old society, but in a new society a man goes on experimenting till he finds the career in which he works best, and this facility of change has a great effect in promoting individualism. Something like this will be the condition of the married couple who feel that they are not absolutely committed by one unfortunate mistake. Whether the losses may not more than overbalance the gains—whether the frequent changes of object that make the intellect subtle and versatile may not make the affections callous and insincere, whether the Germans were not partly right in saying that there should be only one marriage for one life—may be matter for serious consideration; but the one point seems evident—that individualism is bound to gain as family obligations are weakened. So again with the duty to children. It is conceivable, and perhaps probable, that in many countries the parents will retain and deserve by increased tenderness a great deal of that authority over their children which was anciently given them by law. The instinct of parental love is so intimately associated with our nature that we cannot imagine it will ever die out; and Plato’s conception of a commonwealth, in which the children are to be taken at birth from the mother and brought up by the State, is inconceivable, for the twofold reason that the State has never assumed duties which were not forced upon it, and that parents generally would be opposed to any such surrender. Still it is conceivable that, as parents lose their proprietary and administrative rights over children, an increasing number will be inclined to shift all responsibility upon the State. We may imagine the State crèche, and the State doctor, and the State school, supplemented, it may be, by State meals, and the child, already drilled by the State, passing out from school into the State workshop. To whatever extent all this takes place, it will increase the parent’s freedom, will relieve the mother from the incessant watchfulness which a household now entails, and will set the father free to work less or to choose more congenial work. Here again it is easy to see that there may be good and evil in the change. Mrs. Grote has hinted at a common opinion, most often left unexpressed, that a man of genius is wise to take a mistress rather than a wife, in order that he may live for his art and not for his family; and Mr. Hamerton in a more temperate argument has pointed out that “the married man never goes, or hardly ever goes, on the same intellectual lines which he would have followed if he had remained a bachelor.” Now, some of the cases Mr. Hamerton puts—where a man having married a rich wife, sacrifices his career to her wishes, or where, having married an extravagant wife, he toils for her luxury—are cases that only concern a few persons. But the need of providing for children is a constant source of excessive toil and impoverishment. If fathers generally come to feel this obligation less and less, it will certainly leave them freer to consider their own pleasures, or, it may be, their own capacity for good work. They will lose what is sometimes a wholesome discipline; they will be relieved from what is often a burden heavy to bear.

Now, when we have discarded all that was temporary in the old system of family relations the need of defence against enemies, the obligation of a common family worship, and the pledges for good behaviour exacted by the State—there remains something indescribably holy and serious in the conception of the household. It might be better for society in one way that a father should never feel bound to pay his adult son’s debts, or the son his father’s, but the moral gain of such examples, which are still fortunately very frequent, is incalculable. It is certain that pride of family has often been unreasonable, even where the ancestors were men who had served their country with distinction; and where the boast is to descend from a king’s harlot, or through a long line of close-fisted fox-hunters, it can only be regarded as a very sad example of human weakness. On the other hand, if there be any truth in scientific doctrines of heredity, the descendants of ancestors who have an honourable record of integrity, of labour, it may be even of splendid public service, are surely entitled to pride themselves on their pedigree. The possibilities of atavism may determine a man to follow the line in which an ancestor distinguished himself. Neither is it easily possible to overrate the influence exercised by family traditions—however vague and unintelligent—upon a sympathetic character. Other things being equal, the member of one of those families, in which all the men have been brave and the women pure, starts with a better chance of blameless life than the child whose best hope is that its family record may not be remembered against it. No one will assume that the impairment of the old family system, the growth of the democratic feeling against titles, or the increasing disposition to treat wealth as the only title to consideration, will ever altogether extinguish the pride of descent. The instance of America shows how deeply rooted the feeling is, even in a new and democratic society. The real value of family feeling is not, however, so much based upon recognition of the past as upon forethought for the future. Whatever else science teaches us, it teaches that the family with its inherited taints of greed or lust, its quick impulses or cautious movements, its sublimated or impaired brain power, its noble or sordid proclivities, is the one indestructible factor in human society. We may destroy its vantage-ground of privilege and consideration, but, however debilitated, it will remain. No change affecting it can be other than far-reaching. The man who has not shrunk from dishonouring his ancestors has often recoiled from the prospect of bringing infamy upon his children. In proportion as the family bonds are weakened, as the tie uniting husband and wife is more and more capricious, as the relations of the children to the parent become more and more temporary, will the religion of household life gradually disappear. Certain imperishable instincts will maintain the semblance of the old relations, and it need not be apprehended that any large portion of society will either decline upon concubinage, or abandon children generally to the care of the State. What we have rather to look forward to is a state of things in which marriages will be contracted without reflection, and broken up without scruple, in which children will be cared for when they are young with, it may be, even more tenderness than of old, but with incomparably less anxiety to fit them for the moral obligations of life, and in which the claim. of parents to be obeyed will cease with the children’s need of support. Family life will be a gracious and decorative incident in the system of such a society; but the family, as a constituent part of the State, as the matrix in which character is moulded, will lose its importance as the clan and the city have done.

The relations of master and servant, of master and apprentice, of employer and employed, have in past time presented what we may call bastard forms of family life, and which have been recognised as such by custom and law. One of them, the relation of master and apprentice, has long ago been shorn of its old significance. The others are being unavoidably changed. As large establishments are superseding small in every department of industry, the personal relation between employer and man tends to become weaker; and the “hand,” as a rule, looks more to his Trades-Union for support and help than to his nominal paymaster. In domestic service it has become a principle with servants’ unions in large cities that no one is to remain in the same place for more than a limited time. It may be safely said of these changes that they have not been without cause, and have mostly been either good or unavoidable. With all allowance for the habits of a ruder time, it is difficult for a student of our old literature to believe that servants were ever really better treated than they have been in the present century; except where they corresponded to the class of what are now called “lady-helps,” like the Mercer whom Samuel Pepys played music with and took to parties, and whom his wife did not scruple to thrash when she thought punishment deserved. Swift’s notices of servants represent the Irish servants as distinctly worse than they are now, and the English servants as decidedly less to be trusted. It would be easy to quote evidence from novelists like Fielding to the same effect. Nevertheless it may be freely admitted that there was a reasonable percentage of cases till very lately in which servants remained in the same family all their lives, identified themselves with its fortunes, and shared its affections and hopes. Thousands of persons still living can remember how the family servant—often, it may be, exercising a self-assertion that was almost tyrannical—was yet an important part of the surroundings that made home lovable. Such servants are now bound to disappear, and are said to be disappearing even in France; and the compensation for their extinction has in a broad sense been more than adequate. The whole class is, as a rule, better housed and better fed, and gets better wages. All that need be here noted is that the class which goes out to service is apt to lose its own family ties, without, as was formerly the case to some extent at least, acquiring new ones; and that the family which employs servants is now contracting only for so much labour, and not only does not expect the attachment which it may conceivably deserve, but knows that it cannot retain its employees except at the cost to them of professional ostracism. The change is one that will be very differently felt in different households. There have always been many in which the servant was never naturalised. For those, however, in which the relations of high and low were gracious and cordial, the transition to a state in which the house is little more than an inn, owned and worked by the occupants, cannot fail to be an impairment of the completeness of family life.

Neither can it be doubted that, as the habit of emigration to colonies has weakened national feeling for a time, England being regarded as only one out of many countries belonging to the Englishman, so the abandonment of their country homes by many families that were identified with them for centuries has weakened one of the mainsprings of family feeling. Squireens and yeomanry have been bought out, or have left, because they found themselves overshadowed by rich neighbours with whom it was impossible to compete, and whom it was not pleasant to defer to. Associations have been destroyed that can never be renewed. Even, however, if all the representatives of the old families could be replaced, England and half a dozen modern countries are getting so crowded that their populations are forced to live for the most part in towns. Some of the disadvantages of this change have already been considered. It need only be noticed here that it is bound to destroy the religion of the homestead; and though that may only be a gross form of human weakness which induces men to linger where the cradle of the race was laid, where generation after generation has been committed to consecrated dust, where the very meadows and woods are instinct with memories of ancestral life, we are so constituted that our very weakness will sometimes lend intensity to our loves. May it be that as husband and wife, parent and children, master and servant, family and home lose more and more of their ancient and intense significance, the old imperfect feelings will be transmuted into love for fatherland.


The question postulated is whether the changes that increase the influence of the State may not diminish the sphere of individual energy.—The inquiry is complicated by the consideration that a strong motive—such as the love of power or fame may stimulate energy, even where circumstances are most unfavourable, as in ancient Athens.—Moreover, the Church and Army develop individuality in some ways, though they crush it in others.—Religious influence has been stronger than ethical in past times. What then will be the result if the State takes the place of the Church in organising society, and if science supersedes it in criticism of the past and in divination of the future?—A tendency to disbelieve in the miraculous may leave unaffected the faith that there is a moral government and foreordering of the world.—It need not therefore destroy a temperate belief in the efficacy of prayer.—The belief in a future state is likely to be less positively held.—These changes, though they may leave religion in society as an appreciable element, are bound to impair its influence over the masses, which was once great and good.—The austere tradition of Puritan family life, with its strength and its shortcomings, has gone forever, and is replaced by a sensuous, genial, and fibreless society.—Women are bound to be profoundly influenced by the changes that are making them more and more like men, as they are exempted from tutelage, encouraged to stand alone, and induced to occupy themselves with pursuits hitherto esteemed masculine.—State education and State military service are bound to render the intellect more mechanical and to sap the energy that is developed by competition.—The right of public meeting is likely to be limited in the future, and this will interfere with the power to give instantaneous body and form to new thoughts by the contagion of popular feeling.—The immigration of aliens in large numbers is likely to be restricted everywhere, as also the right of individuals to practise their professions or trades in a foreign country.—This will add enormously to the power an administration now has over those who criticise or oppose it. Exile will mean ruin.—It is anticipated by some that the future has in reserve for us great scientific discoveries which will at least elevate the mind, and which may perhaps reconcile reason and faith.—This is to assume that doctrines which aim at spiritualising the character can be reduced to the condition of problems that satisfy the intellect. They would lose all that is distinctive in the process. The most that can be said is, that religion will gain when its teaching does not outrage possibility, and science by learning that it is not all-sufficient.—Beyond this there is reason to suppose that science has done her greatest and most suggestive work. There is nothing now left for her but to fill in details.—Certain forms of literature, such as the epic, the drama, the pastoral, and the satire appear to be already exhausted.—The real genius of the age takes a lyrical form, and is feeble and incongruous when it attempts any other.—Moreover, life has been toned down, so that there is much less wealth of strong incident and effective situation than was the case anciently.—Again, when work has been perfectly done the artist does not care to attempt it again, and the world will not tolerate reproductions. Topics are being exhausted.—This, however, will tell after a time even more against lyrical poetry, because the single mood or situation is less capable of variety than the human character.—The novel is not likely to replace poetry for work of the highest kind. History, however, which is perpetually accumulating fresh material, may furnish practically inexhaustible material to minds of the highest order.—Criticism has only recently begun to exist. It is likely to exercise a growing influence over all matters of science as observation and thought are accumulated.—While, however, there is a comparative certainty about the judgments of science, the criticism of taste is apt to be very variable, as if fixed canons could not be applied with precision to living men.—Criticism generally errs by being too eulogistic, or, at least, disproportionately eulogistic.—As, however, it is likely that the classical and best models will be discarded as contemporary literature grows upon us, criticism will suffer, because its standards will be impaired.—Although the results of science admit of being communicated in good style, science is passing so much into the hands of experts that its familiar interpretation will cease to be needed.—Oratory is likely to be reduced more and more to debating and to the skilful enhancement of commonplace.—It seems probable that as the special correspondent is superseding the traveller, so journalism will absorb more and more of the world’s practical intellect; even the abstract thinker finding it advantageous to communicate his ideas through a newspaper with large circulation.—But the journalist writes for the day, and his best work is only of ephemeral value.—It is conceivable that the duration of life will be prolonged, and that the chances of health will be enormously increased by scientific improvements. It would seem as if this ought to increase self-confidence and energy.—A world predominantly of old people will be a world of more stable political order and greater efficiency of exact thought.—On the other hand, it will be a world with less adventure and energy, less brightness and hope.—Neither will ambition be so powerful a motive of action as when a single man—Caesar or Chatham—could initiate and carry out a policy of his own.—Again, it is possible that the most important and sensational changes have already been effected.—Fame is perhaps a little less capricious than of old; but it is less valuable from being more widely distributed.—This will be especially true of literary fame, as some kinds of literature are dying out, and the competition in those that survive will elicit many candidates for distinction.—The limitations imposed by State Socialism on private enterprise are never likely to be so far-reaching as to preclude money-making and destroy the passion for wealth.—Wealth, however, will be valued as the source of power and ostentation, not as the means of founding a family.—We are realising our highest dreams, and they mean a more stable and equable order, less aspiration, and less energy.—The decay of vital power in the race does not mean that it will become extinct; but that it will gradually lose interest in all but the day’s needs.—It is inspiriting to remember that the world has passed through stormy times before, and has been depressed, and yet the results have been better than expectation. As we can trace advance hitherto, why should it not be continued in the future?—The faith in progress is based upon an assumption as to the Divine purpose in creation, which is not only gratuitous, but opposed to facts.—All that can be said is, that if we are passing into the old age of humanity we may at least bear the burden laid upon us with dignity.

So far an attempt has been made to show that the races of the world are approaching a stationary condition as regards territorial limits between Aryan and others, what we call the higher being confined for practical purposes to a part of the Temperate Zone; that democracy is likely to find its consummation in State Socialism; and that certain notable influences, such as attachment to a Church, municipal feeling, and even family feeling, are likely to become less and less important as factors in the constitution of society. The great possible motors of action, if these changes actually take place, will be the sense of duty to the State, and the self-reliance of individual character. The patriotic feeling is likely to be enhanced by a sense of the great services which the State will render in the new order; by the habit of military discipline which universal service in the ranks will create; and by the mere fact that as the feelings lose a sufficient object in Church, city, or family, they will tend to concentrate themselves upon the fatherland. It remains to consider what effect the new importance of the State may have upon personal energy and independence of thought. The strength of the State can hardly be more than the sum of strength in its individual members; and it is at least conceivable that we may get political organisations which are more complete than have ever yet been—that is, which attempt more and do more—but which are yet deficient in the spiritual reserve which an older and more imperfect society possessed in the initiative and resource of its members. To take examples from history, let us assume—merely as a hypothesis—that modern society is tending more and more to the form of society that prevailed under the Incas, and that such men as Drake and Frobisher, Clive and Warren Hastings, are likely to become rare and disappear.

The initial perplexity of such an inquiry is, that it is extremely difficult to avoid the conclusion that energy of character may assert itself in certain epochs with apparent disregard of political institutions. Athens in its best time was a country in which the limitations of originality in thought or action were enormous. To be suspected of entertaining new views about religion was dangerous, and impiety was charged against statesmen like Pericles and Alcibiades, philosophers like Anaxagoras and Socrates, as effectively as if they had been statesmen of the seventeenth century in Europe. To be wealthy was to be suspected of peculation, and to be powerful was to invite ostracism. The general charged with the command of an expedition might find his plans disconcerted by omens that disheartened the forces, and was almost certain to be recalled on the smallest check. Scarcely any man was more popular than Nicias, who was religious and liberal, and whom all instinctively felt to be “a safe man”; yet Nicias, having a nervous temperament, is said to have lived in such constant disquietude, that he walked the streets day by day with a hang-dog look. Fortunately, Nicias was the rare exception, and the typical Athenian of those days, as we know him, was a man of reckless political and moral courage, setting his fortunes at stake fearlessly in the incessant contest for political power, going to any extreme against his opponents, and speaking his mind about government or religion without regard to the probability that he might be prosecuted. In fact, to take modern parallels, the freedom of thought resembled that of Paris during the last half-century of the monarchy, and the energy of initiative that of the English statesmen who created the Indian Empire. The most simple explanation is, that the Athenian of those days saw magnificent possibilities of fame and power before him. It was possible, even probable, that Athens might become the queen city of the western world, whose commands would be obeyed from Sicily to the shores of the Euxine. In that case the men who had made Athens would have a harvest of immortal glory, and if they lived to see their work done, would be the most enviable of men, rewarded by praise, wealth, and power. The vision quickened those who beheld it to immortal action.

It would seem, accordingly, that we must start upon any examination into the causes that modify character with the postulate that several and perhaps even many races are inherently energetic; and though they may be depressed for a time by foreign conquest, or by poverty, or by bad government, as the modern Italians were for centuries, it is never safe to predict that they have lost the power to rise again. Another important consideration is, that some institutions which seem to crush originality in one direction, may be found to favour the formation of a strong character in another. The influence of every Church, Christian or otherwise, is to discourage examination of those truths which it teaches as fundamental. It allows the intellect of its followers to be apologetic, explanatory, and, it may be, even complementary, but forbids it at all hazards to be critical. Beyond this, every Church is tempted to compromise with human frailty so long as its own supremacy is recognised. It often, almost habitually, prefers the immoral man, who gives it no trouble, to the moral man, who is always fingering his conscience and doubting how far the Church system is adequate. To a considerable extent, accordingly, the Churches proscribe independence of speculation, and weaken the springs of character by relaxing the moral fibre. On the other hand, every Church has a rule of life which is more ascetic and severe than men in general would naturally adopt, and its demands in this way are commonly in proportion with its shortcomings in other directions. The Catholic Church, for instance, which puts Dante and Darwin into the Index Expurgatorius, and which is very gentle to sins of the flesh when it speaks through Jesuit fathers in the confessional, does yet exact severe sacrifices from its members: forbids them to attend the theatre or the racecourse, orders them to fast, regulates the relations of husband and wife, and constrains, where it is obeyed, to a great deal of ceremonial observance. A man who complies with the rules of the Church is tolerably certain to be narrow-minded and deficient in his apprehension of independent morality; but he ought to have acquired habits of self-denial, which will partly make up for what he has lost ethically, and which will even fit him to think better, within certain limitations, if he can be trained to think at all. The Army, again, is and is intended to be a great school for extinguishing self-assertion. The ideal soldier is one who obeys orders mechanically without considering whether they are wise or right. Nevertheless, military discipline is generally regarded as elevating to moral character; the man who will suffer privation and face death at the call of duty gaining, as a rule, more by this than he loses by sacrificing the habit to do only what his conscience approves; and this is more markedly the case than ever since the laws of war have been made comparatively moral and regardful of human rights. On the other hand, the soldier is generally found wanting in flexibility when he turns his attention to the business of common life.

Taking now the great principles or motives that have influenced conduct in past times, we may surely assign the highest place to the obligations of morality and religion, which it is not always easy to distinguish from one another. Both agree in telling us to do what we recognise as our duty, because right is right; but the moralist does not care to go beyond the fact that we get our reward in this life in the spiritual elevation which transforms humanity into something higher and better; while the religious teacher, as a rule, tells us that we shall be additionally rewarded or punished by carrying our purified or degraded natures into a new state of existence. The teaching which promises most has undoubtedly had the largest influence in bygone centuries; partly because its propagators were more zealous, and partly because men and women were more fascinated by the vision of a new life without weakness or sorrow, and with the fruition of all knowledge, than by the noble commonplaces of morality. Therefore, if the Churches lose their hold upon society, as they seem to be doing in certain directions, because the State has appropriated many of their functions and is discharging them better, the change will be very momentous, though it may be balanced by gains which will be more than proportionate to the losses. We may conceive, for instance, that a population which has had its intellect quickened in State schools, which has been subjected to discipline in the State army, and which the State has compelled to work, and has tried to keep from excess in drink, may furnish more promising subjects for Christian teaching than the dwellers in great cities, mostly ignorant, often idle and vicious, have contributed hitherto. This, however, is not the anticipation entertained by the Churches in general, and as corporations guided by clever experts are commonly alive to their own interests, the view of religious leaders has to be considered. It is probably correct to say, that thoughtful churchmen conceive the Churches to be losers by all the State improvements which tend to take the relief of poverty into secular hands. Beyond this, they regard with alarm the disinclination of the Civil Government to be bound by religious precedent in such matters as the laws of marriage, the observance of the Lord’s day, or the repression of sexual immorality. But what is most dreaded is the growth of an independent and purely secular school of thought,—especially in science and history, whose conclusions may come to influence school teaching, and to permeate society. No religious man doubts that the highest scientific teaching is compatible with ardent religious faith. The names of Herschel, Brewster, Faraday, the Hamiltons, Secchi, St. George Mivart, and in History, of De Tocqueville, Guizot, Palgrave, and Stubbs,—a few names out of a host—are sufficient evidence that a faith as intelligent and as submissive as Pascal’s is still possible. None the less, it is instinctively felt that the great mass of men who possess the scientific temperament and training are apt to discard the supernatural element from religion; and that this may lead, not only to a rejection of modern miracles, but to a setting aside of the Incarnation and Ascension of Christ, of that perpetual miracle of the Real Presence, in which Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, and the Greek Church believe, and of that other perpetual miracle of the communication of the Holy Ghost in certain solemn moments, or in certain sacerdotal functions, which no Christian Church—except the Unitarian body—has renounced or explained away. It may be, of course, that these fears will be dissipated hereafter, but they certainly exist at present, and seem not unwarranted. There is a story that an Ultramontane speaker in an Austrian Parliament addressed the House with the interrogation: “I suppose we all believe in the Church?” and was met with a shout from the left,” “We believe in Darwin.” What is apprehended is that the whole world may come to be divided in the same way, and that the disciples of Darwin—or of Darwin’s successor—will be the more numerous.

A world without the belief in miracle, and without the belief in a life after death, for which life on earth is a preparation! Such a state of society has never been known yet, though the belief in a future life was not held with unwavering certainty in Hellenic and Roman times. It is not easy to realise all that a complete renunciation of these faiths would imply. It is customary to assume that belief in miracles is already held very guardedly by the great mass of educated Protestants. Almost all these suppose miracles in the ordinary acceptation of the term to have ceased with the Apostolic age. Nevertheless, almost every devout Protestant believes firmly that his own life has been so ordered beforehand for good, that every incident may subserve a moral end. Thomas a Kempis tells us in considering the difficult question of temptations to sin, that ” divine wisdom and equity weigh the condition and merits of men, and pre-ordain everything so as to fit in with the salvation of the elect.” Luther went even further than this, and declared that temptations were the spiritual discipline of the soul; quoting Archbishop Albert of Mainz for the thought commonly ascribed to himself, that the human heart is like millstones, which grind on themselves if they are not supplied with grist, as an instance that the soul needs struggle to take it out of isolation and keep it from feeding upon itself. Sometimes this doctrine has been so applied as to become trivial, and often so as to become extravagant. An old writer tells the story of a Puritan, who having declared that he should perish eternally as certainly as a glass he threw down was shattered, derived great comfort from observing that the glass lay unbroken on the ground. Mr. Keble suggests in very beautiful verse that the counsels of statesmen may be changed, and the march of armies suspended in order to facilitate the conversion of a single soul. It is probably correct to say that a sane Christianity still contents itself with the limits indicated by Thomas a Kempis. It does not conceive a world in which there are perpetual interpositions, but rather one which has been so exquisitely foreordered, that every event has its moral use and its appropriateness to the special life. There is no departure from the order of nature in the recovery from illness, or the escape from danger, that has often been the cause of a conversion; yet the religious mind, looking at the result, concludes not unnaturally, that Loyola’s transformation on a sick bed was as divinely ordered as St. Paul’s vision. Accordingly, as long as this belief in the moral government of the world as its supreme purpose is maintained, we may surely say that the belief in miracle survives, though the belief in violations of fixed natural laws may have become obsolete.

So again with the belief in prayer. We are so far from the times when Elisha saw the angels and chariots of fire compassing the city in which he lived to protect it, that such a faith would now appear a hallucination or an imposture. The belief in prayers against drought or rain or against pestilence, and the recourse to days of national humiliation, are dying out. Those who repeat prayers against war, if they do it as more than a mere formality, probably explain it to themselves as a solemn recalling by the nation of its duties to other communities. There is perhaps more real fervour in the prayers offered up for individuals: that the life of a sovereign, a great statesman, or, much more, of a near relation, may be preserved. The reason of the difference, however, lies only in our acuter perception of the uniformity of natural laws in certain cases. We understand that a prayer for rain means a reversal of climatic laws all over the world, and we see how irrational it is to ask that the order of the Universe shall be changed for the sake of a Scotch county, or of a pastoral district in Australia. As well might a Neapolitan Lazzarone pray that his face should be washed for him by the ministration of angels. The inhabitants of every country can modify the climate and enrich the soil if they will only use the intelligence given them at birth, and the Neapolitan may wash himself if he is inclined. On the other hand, the laws of disease are so little understood, and constitutions rally in such remarkable ways, that there seems less impropriety in supposing that Divine sympathy may now and again interpose in cases of this sort in answer to earnest prayer. It may be observed, however, that many of the most profoundly religious persons shrink from petitions of this kind as irreverent and unwise attempts to secure from God what He has already ordered better in another way. Sir Thomas More, who himself prayed earnestly for his daughter’s recovery, is said to have regarded the birth of a half-witted son as the answer of an angry Heaven to his wife, who had longed ungovernably for a boy. “Thou hast wearied God with prayers for a man-child, and He has given thee one, who will be always a child.” In this case we get a curious combination of the religious and reasoning faculties; a belief that effectual fervent prayer was potent, and could change the purpose of God, and the conviction that such a weapon ought not to be employed in a reckless and inconsiderate manner. In proportion as this temperate view has met with acceptance, prayer has ceased to formulate desires, and has come rather to be the expression of the soul’s unreserve towards Him who is the last comfort of the comfortless; or it is the inarticulate cry of doubt or pain, “the retreat of the solitary upon the eternal solitude.” I have heard Mr. Emerson speak in a lecture of a good man he had known who said that it seemed to him impossible not to be constantly praying, by which probably nothing more was meant than that a sense of being near to the Invisible Presence tempered every wish and animated every thought. Men of this stamp must always be rare, but there seems no reason why they should die out of society. The scientific habit of thought may reject belief in a sympathetic God as unproven and of no demonstrable utility, but cannot affect to regard it as mischievous or provably extravagant.

The belief in a future life, which seems almost instinctive, is yet one of those essential parts of Christianity which it is most difficult to establish with precision, or even to put forward convincingly. It was recommended in the first centuries of our era by the abject misery in which men and women lived. The cities and provinces burdened with debt; the nobles suspected at court, and tracked by informers; the peasantry mostly slaves at the mercy of their lord and of every government official; barbarians rushing in to destroy, or pestilence ravaging; it seemed as if the very perfection of mechanism in the central government made it all the more an inexorable fatality, crushing out hope and self-respect. Men so wretchedly circumstanced might well deem that there must be a future life to compensate for what was endured below, if they did not regard the whole drama of existence as some wild devil’s extravaganza. To this feeling later on was added the perception that such an ultimate triumph of right in this life as Job and David believed in was in no wise to be demonstrated, and that if we looked forward to an exact apportionment for every one according to his deserts, we must believe in some final tribunal where “God at the end compensates, punishes.” Circumstances have so completely changed that these arguments have lost much of their weight. Society is better ordered, and men are now happy or miserable in this life very much through their own character and conduct. Again, the enormous difficulties of realising a future state have come to be understood. The argument of Leibnitz that eternal life means the eternal development of character, good or evil, so that the good will always be growing better, the bad always declining upon lower depths, is so appalling to modern sensibility that to many it seems preferable to believe that we have our heaven and hell upon earth. Then again, science counting up the untold myriads of men and women who have passed away noiselessly, and considering how few even now lead a life very much higher than that of brutes, conceives it irrational to suppose that all will be raised again into a higher sphere of existence. There is also a revolt of morality from the doctrine of punishments and rewards. St. Teresa’s fine sentiment that she did not fear hell, or hope for heaven, but loved God for himself alone, is the expression of a thought that has always existed vaguely among men, and that is coming to be more and more recognised as the true motive of action. Nevertheless, those who hold this belief, and who are perhaps purifying religion by holding it, are withdrawing a future life from its place in the moral government of the world. Their gaze, as it were, fixes itself upon the divine life and passion as they were on earth, and refuses to see the heavens opening above.

Now, it can hardly be doubted that these tendencies in modern thought—the tendency to reduce miracle to the recognition of a moral order in the world, the tendency to limit prayer to spiritual aspiration, and the tendency to regard a future life as nothing more than a fanciful and unimportant possibility—are all bound to lessen the influence of religion upon the masses. The traveller who goes into countries where the old faith still lingers in unabated vitality—into parts of the Tyrol, or still more into Russia—is conscious that he has passed into a different moral world. Its ethics, in the acceptation of modern thinkers, are probably worse than those of the civilised west, but it is pervaded with a sense, which the west has lost, of living partly in an unseen world, and with almost entire reference to a life beyond the grave. It can scarcely be doubted that civilisation is at present the winning force, and that while its admirable police will impose a stricter morality everywhere, the scientific spirit which it fosters will dissipate the larger part of traditional religion. It is perhaps correct to say that the religious tone of mind has always been seen at its highest advantage in countries which the secular spirit was already invading and conquering. The Catholicism of the French Jansenists, the Protestantism of Puritan times, furnish the most admirable instances of unalloyed Christianity that the world has seen, and their influence elevated the men who were neither Jansenists nor Puritans. Those who judge the religion of England at its best in the seventeenth century by the life of Nicholas Ferrar or of John Bunyan, and who turn to the records of Blaise and Jacqueline Pascal to appreciate the Jansenist, will find that the religious tone of Anglican, Nonconformist, and Catholic was practically indistinguishable. Those who wish to trace what was vulgar and dishonest in the professors of those days will find inimitable portraitures in the Tartufe of Molière, which was probably aimed at a mystic or a Jansenist, and in Hudibras, which was written by a man who had lived in a Puritan household. It is well to know that there was a bad side, and to remember that the worst men were habitually those who traded upon the success of religion; for the good is so admirable as to induce a regret that it was in the very nature of things ephemeral, and carrying in it the seeds of death.

The Puritan household which many of this generation can recall in its latter-day adumbration, was an institution that has a title to be commemorated. The men and women who grew up in a faith that was something more than enthusiasm or passive conviction were penetrated by a sense of the reality of divine law in a way that perhaps is never likely to be reproduced. Habitually abstemious in food, reserved in speech, methodical in act, and possessed with an awful sense of the obligation of physical purity, they carried a certain ungainly erectness into everyday life, and fell readily into line in any great crisis. To him who feels that he is “for ever in the Great Taskmaster’s eye” nothing can be trivial, and so it came about that the Puritan approached his small duties with a seriousness that seemed to want grace and proportion; but that earnestness was the secret of a concentration of power, which, when it has been diverted into business, has made Puritans the most successful of speculators and organisers. When the Hebrew faith took possession of a soul that had the Hellenic sense of beauty, it gave the world Milton; when it informed a statesman and soldier of Roman unscrupulousness and ambition, it made Cromwell; and when it tempered the highest speculative originality, it produced a Pascal. The prevailing note in each of these great minds is austerity; and their intellectual counterparts in the modern world are apt to be discriminative and subtle and sympathetic and fibreless. Puritanism is no longer a force in art or letters or statesmanship; and the Puritan tradition of family life is dead, and cannot be revived. The results of that iron drill were obtained at a cost which none who passed through it can forget, or would submit to again, or could endure to see inflicted upon their children. The mother who almost doubted if it was not sin to love the babe that smiled up in her face; the children who spoke with bated breath and were trained to orderly composure on Sundays; the belief of young and old that they lived in a world whose amusements and thoughts were irreverent and grotesque by the side of life with its awful duties, even as laughter above a deathbed would be; the conception of marriage as indissoluble; the recoil from libertinage of thought or of moral tone as from shame and death, are all parts of a system that could only be maintained while the New Testament was believed in as something more than the best possible moral code,—as the actual word of God. Instead of this we have got a new family life, which is infinitely genial, and charming, and natural, which gives free vent to the feelings, and cares liberally for culture and advancement in life. Only the sense of obligation, of duty to God, of living forward into eternity has disappeared. When all is said, the man who orders his life as if it were to end with the grave, or as if his thoughts and works here would not follow him beyond the grave, can scarcely fail to live more in the present than the future. He may have wider perceptions and sympathies and enjoyments than the Puritan, but he will have less self-restraint and will. He will clutch with a fierce avidity at power or wealth, or at the pleasures which are purchased by the possession of power and wealth.

It is likely that this change will affect women even more than men. Hitherto in all countries, but in the Germanic above all, woman has been the moral element in households—the personification of duty and purity in family life. Probably, even now, there are very few men of over fifty who have not grown up believing in the women among whom they lived as devoutly as they believed in God. There might be vice in the highest or the lowest circles, but for men at large it was a presence outside of their homes. It may be the facts of society are still very much the same, but there is a change of tone. The reforms that are removing woman from the perpetual tutelage of husbands and parents are unavoidably constraining her to stand alone in many respects. She is more at liberty to choose her own husband, more free to refuse to marry, more able to shape out an independent career, and has come to possess nearly equal rights over property and over her children. At the same time the old idea that the woman’s real function is to be wife and mother exists almost in full force; and the women who wish to compete with men in politics, in the professions, in trade, and to some extent in serious literature, still find that they are kept back by public opinion, though they v are no longer restrained by legal difficulties. The result seems to be a conflict of old and new desires. On the one hand are the natural instinct to use beauty and attractiveness in their congenial sphere of conquest, and the practical feeling that in this one domain the woman can draw greater prizes in the lottery of life than the man. In most cases the man who has risen to wealth or eminence can look back upon laborious years, and on times in which he despaired of achieving anything. But a girl of eighteen may become the wife of a duke, a millionaire, or the greatest statesman of the day, by the mere accident of meeting him at a ball, or sitting next him at dinner. Chances of this kind, though known and moderately frequent in all ages, were not numerous enough to demoralise the imaginations of any large number; they are now a perceptible cause of ambition and unrest. On the other hand, the various causes that are driving women to make homes for themselves while they have freed society from the worst feature of conventual life, and from the unattractive celibacy of women, who having failed to marry were supposed to have failed in their careers, are assimilating the thoughts and habits of women to the masculine type. The inquiry now often made why there should be a different law of morality for the two sexes could scarcely have been formulated as lately as a century ago; and it may be questioned if women are not likely to lose something rare and inappreciable if it comes to be recognised that there is no special ideal for wives and daughters. Human nature may probably be trusted to keep its own boundary lines; and the old trick of thought that regards fearlessness in word and act as the true virtue of the man, and sexual purity as that of the woman, will not easily be unlearned. Meanwhile, for the present at least, it seems as if there were an unsettlement of ideas that may lead for a generation or more to much ferment of thought and irregularity of aim and instability of character. The license of some notoriously depraved courts is never likely to be exceeded, or even reached. It is even probable, perhaps, that as women are more and more occupied with serious interests they will be less and less tempted to be frail. What it seems most reasonable to apprehend is, that the old instinctive virtue will be replaced by a calculating common sense, which may easily become a calculating compliance; and that while family life in general will be as inviolable as heretofore, it will lose the sense of religious sanction, and continue to exist only because it is felt to be warranted by a sane estimate of loss and gain.

If these changes ever come to pass, we shall get a world that is mostly secular in its tone, though with a minority who hold a spiritualised faith, and the family, as it loses its influence, will cease to transmit the tradition of a consecrated household life. It remains to be seen whether the new forces that are supplanting the Churches and the family can so elevate individual character as to give it a new reserve of strength in place of what it is losing. What the State does, and does admirably in its way, tends almost entirely to make its citizens more perfect parts of the political machine. Its school-training is bound to be more or less automatic or mechanical; the service in the ranks which it enforces will subdue the will even more than it develops the faculties; and if it organises labour, it is likely to do it on conditions of democratic equality that will maintain as far as possible a dead level among employees. The most that can be said is, that if aristocratic privilege is abolished, and the influence of wealth reduced to a minimum, society will attain to that ideal of the “career open to talents” which has been realised in some critical periods—as under Cromwell and the First Napoleon—with very brilliant results. The best observers of democratic society are, however, apt to accuse it of a jealousy that seems to belong to its very essence—the jealousy lest it should end in constituting an official aristocracy with excessive incomes and powers. It accordingly guards against this by, as far as may be, equalising salaries, distributing powers, and giving promotion by seniority, or by some rude form of rotation; such as the wholesale displacements that occur in America after every triumph of an Opposition. We know by the instances of England and Austria that the opposite principle of selection by fitness—meaning practically selection by favour—may work very badly. That statesmen of ardent patriotism and personal incorruptibility like Pitt and Lord Castlereagh should have allowed two such incompetent commanders as the Duke of York and Lord Chatham to direct great British armies, would be inexplicable if we assumed the consideration of fitness to have entered very much into their combinations. Abercromby, Cornwallis, and Sir John Moore were available when the Royal Duke was taken; Wellesley, Baird, and Hope when Lord Chatham was employed. The Ministers must have known that they were running a fearful risk; but they undoubtedly thought it impossible to pass over officers of high rank till they had been tried and had failed. Therefore it is not very wonderful if the great democracy of the United States acquiesces in a system that puts good and bad on a level in ordinary times, and if it trusts to itself to use extraordinary remedies in the day of danger. It is easier, however, to understand this deplorable system—bad even when the principle of summary changes is abolished—than to justify it as reasonably practical, or to regard it as anything but a danger to administration and to character. In the countries where promotion by merit is now practically unknown, respectable mediocrity and a tame discharge of routine duties have come to be the almost invariable notes of the junior men in the Civil Service. If, therefore, as seems probable, the State is continually extending its control over industry, and is taking men more and more into its pay, not only will the stimulus of competition, which has often perhaps been excessive, be removed throughout the services, but the standard of work in all departments is likely to be kept at so low a level that a great school of training for character will be lost. Neither will the State be quickened into emulation of its neighbours if, as seems probable, protective tariffs defend native industry against competition, and reduce interchange within the smallest possible limits.

There are two other ways in which it seems probable that the increased powers which are of necessity claimed by bodies politic will interfere with the free development, or at least with the free expression of religious and political thought. The right of free meeting has commonly been regarded by Englishmen as something like an inherent attribute of citizenship. Even in England, however, it has repeatedly been found necessary to restrain it. In 1795 and 1820 this was done by stringent and unpopular Acts of Parliament, against which public opinion pronounced decisively, and which were, in fact, intended for the moment’s need. In 1843 a British Government of scrupulous moderation was compelled to forbid a monster meeting of Irishmen at the Hill of Tara. In 1848 London was filled with troops and special constables, because a monster meeting of Chartists was convened on Kennington Common. Since then there have been repeated occasions when the West End of London has been visited with panic or with riot, because crowds were being addressed in Hyde Park. Therefore, even in England, the right to hold large political meetings is beginning to be questioned or limited, and the right to organise religious processions has been severely abated. On the Continent large meetings in the open air have never had the indulgence of English practice accorded to them, and meetings in rooms are habitually watched by the police. The temptation for any strong party in the State to make a demonstration by showing that it is backed by imposing numbers must always be very great; and, at the same time, demonstrations of this kind may easily be the prelude of civil war. Moreover, politics and religion are intermixed. A large body of Catholic pilgrims may express its convictions in a way that is dangerous to .civil order; a procession of Orangemen may provoke a faction fight; and a parade of the Salvation Army is often the occasion of riot. It seems, therefore, to be highly probable that civil society everywhere will adopt a uniform practice, and will forbid large assemblages in the streets or in open spaces, except on occasions of general interest and specified by law. Now it can hardly be said that such a regulation would be any great restraint upon liberty; and yet it is impossible not to feel that it would diminish the influence of the emotional element in human nature. Processions and mass meetings have been instinctively adopted in every country and every age, because they worked upon the imaginations and strengthened convictions or communicated ideas by the contagion of sympathy. The impulse of great change has constantly been derived from demonstrations of this kind. Forbid them, and what administrations will gain in stability will be lost to all the causes that are in an actual minority.

Incomparably more important than even the right of holding public meetings has been the permission habitually accorded to refugees from one country to become naturalised in another. The right of asylum is perhaps more likely to be extended than withheld. The enthusiasts who make changes are, however, as a rule, not wealthy, and in the rare cases where a rich man is a reformer it is commonly difficult for him to transport his property, unless he has been making provision for the worst with almost unexampled caution. If we take some of the great emigrations, for conscience’ sake, during the last three centuries, it is obvious that the Flemings, the French Huguenots, and the Palatines could not have settled in England and Ireland if they had not been allowed to work at the industries they were acquainted with. Similarly, if the Irish Catholics, who swarmed into France and Spain during part of the eighteenth century, had been denied everything but the right to be food for powder, the influx could never have assumed the vast proportions it did. Now there are many signs at present that the employment of aliens is getting to be regarded with disfavour all the world over by professional men and by artisans. Habitually, in the case of the learned professions, the State, influenced by native protectionists, professes to be alarmed lest unqualified persons should trade upon the credulity of the public, and declines to recognise, or only partially recognises, those who have not the hall-marks of its own degrees. The excuse is sometimes exceedingly plausible. Thus, for instance, the Medical Board in Victoria has refused to register a Chinese doctor with a diploma from a medical school in China on the ground that he had not studied anatomy, and the result is that, though the thousands of Chinamen in Victoria are not absolutely debarred the professional aid they naturally believe to be best, the Chinese practitioner cannot legally call himself a doctor, or recover fees. In France there has been a movement against allowing foreign artists to exhibit, and a strike against the employment of foreign models. More reasonably, the enlistment of aliens in the army or navy is getting everywhere to be more and more unusual. The teaching profession has been the constant asylum of exiles. In proportion as the State assumes the direction of this does it confine the service to those who have passed its own special tests, and at this moment an English teacher with the highest certificates cannot obtain the lowest classified post in Victoria unless he submits to a fresh examination, nor conversely can a Victorian in England. Louis Philippe at one period supported himself by teaching mathematics in a Swiss school. Scarcely any public institution would now receive an alien, especially one who, like the Duc de Chartres, was not possessed of a University degree, however competent he might be. Naturally the feeling which asserts itself so strongly among professional men is operative also among hand-workers. When labourers are imported, or emigrate out of one country into another, it is generally because they have a lower standard of comfort than the natives whom they will come in competition with, and are prepared to work for lower wages. It is urged against them with a good deal of justice, that they displace men who are better citizens and on a higher grade of civilisation than themselves, and also in many cases that they work cheaper because they do slop work. Accordingly the feeling against allowing foreigners to come over in any large numbers is getting to be strong in the Old World, is noticeable in Australia, and is perceptible as a tendency even in the United States. At the same time several States that once encouraged the immigration of foreigners for economical reasons, are now reversing their policy on the ground that only a homogeneous nationality can be safely administered. France is less a home than it was for Germans; Germany is driving out the Poles or forcing them to renounce their language; and Russia is taking very strong steps not only against the Jews, but even against the German colonists in the South, who were anciently invited over by Government agents, and favoured with grants of land.

Now, that nations themselves may lose largely under a system which forbids the infusion of foreign blood is more than probable. Russia could scarcely have emerged from barbarism or become a great power without the aid of men of the most various nationalities; and in England, even if we exclude the descendants of aliens, there is a noticeable list that includes men like the statesman Bentinck, the soldiers Schomburg and Ruvigny, the engineer Brunei, the philologist Max Müller, and the painter Alma Tadema. The greater loss, however, is likely to be on the side of individual liberty. Till lately the restless and energetic man who dissented from the faith or disapproved the government of his country has known that if he is driven into exile he may begin life again in a new country, not indeed without some loss, but without let or hindrance from law. Napoleon himself advised Auguste de Staël to take service in England when he refused, from filial piety, to accept an appointment in France. One of the roman triumvirs of 1849 earned an honourable living by teaching Italian in Oxford, and no less a man than Garibaldi was glad to take work for a time in a soap-boiling factory in New York. A future Saffi may find that the right to teach at Oxford is confined to Oxford graduates, and a future Garibaldi that he will have to take out his citizenship before he is allowed to do manual labour of any kind in a strange country; it may be even that to take out his citizenship will be as difficult in a good many parts of the world as it is in Switzerland. The inevitable result of all this must be to impose silence upon the men who are inclined to take up arms against abuses in politics or in the social system. The Liberal reformer under a despotism will know that if he escapes being shot or imprisoned he will be starved for want of employment when he is in exile. The man who finds himself ostracised by society, as Godwin and Shelley were, will have to change his name like Godwin, if he has not, like Shelley, private means to fall back upon, and the chance that an unpopular man can disguise himself under an alias in his own country is becoming appreciably less as the right to investigate every man’s private surroundings is more and more conceded to the press. It is quite conceivable that while the laws of every civilised state become increasingly tolerant, the difficulty of changing a fatherland may compel all but the most reckless to refrain from criticising the government, the faith, or the social habits approved by their fellow- citizens. Nor, indeed, is it easy to see why England should accord the old privileges to aliens simply that the expression of thought in France and Germany may be free. Yet that fearlessness of speculation and speech is bound to die out when frank, even unguarded words are more or less certain to involve ruin to a man, and to those he holds dearest, is tolerably certain. Even reserve, even the reputation of thinking have been dangerous under some despotisms. The time may come when all who wish to be safe will render lip-service to the powers that be, and will school their very features into acquiescence, and when that arrives the capacity of feeling strongly will die out.

Happily, the secret force which has acted as a solvent of the old society is to a great extent independent of political combinations. The spirit of scientific inquiry is indeed likely to profit very much by many incidents of the new order. As education is diffused and becomes increasingly secular in its tone, the public that welcomes and can appreciate the results of science is likely to be enlarged. Even on the extreme assumption that State Socialism should discourage practical invention as unfavourable in its immediate results to the labourer, or should starve out inventors by virtually confiscating the proceeds of discovery, there would still be the great domain of abstract science, which is what the minds that chiefly influence progress are most interested about. When we consider how careless of gain the greatest men of the past have been—from Roger Bacon and Newton to Faraday and Brunei—or, in another department of thought, from Leibnitz and Pascal to Herbert Spencer and Littre, it seems that we need hardly apprehend that philosophy will cease to labour, even though the State, like the old French terrorists, should conceive that it has no need of chemists. On the other hand, there seem to be some strong reasons for expecting that science will do more for us in the future than she has attempted in the past. The first steps, that were the most difficult, have been made, and it looks as if nothing were now needed but to enter in and possess the promised land. In every department of thought there appears to be promise of infinite possibilities. The physiologist dreams of penetrating the mystery of life; the chemist of forming all possible natural combinations in his laboratory from the diamond to sugar; the engineer of extending his triumphs over space. Beyond and above all these there is the vague hope that science may succeed better than religion, either in lifting the veil of the unseen world, or in demonstrating that we need nothing but the seen. Let it be conceded that the fairyland in which our fathers lived has become impossible, and that constituted as we are we find it difficult to believe in anything where we cannot trace the sequence of cause and effect. Even so, a clearer insight into some fragment of the Divine order—something to assure us of eternal sympathy behind eternal power—may mean the bringing back of a faith which was once salutary, and which the world seems poorer for needing.

Unhappily, those who anticipate that science and faith may be reconciled, or that science will give us a new and better religion, seem a little to have underrated the difficulties that have to be overcome before either dream can be realised. It is possible, no doubt, to find theologians who think they can substitute belief in the benevolence of Divine law for belief in a sympathetic and personal God, and who are prepared to discard all that has constituted religion hitherto belief in miracles, belief in a life beyond the grave, belief in a God who cares for man so that He has put on humanity. It is possible also to find scientific men who assume that religion may be reduced to belief in a great First Cause and the practice of a few ethical principles recommended by long experience. It is doubtful whether even these views, though they converge, could ever meet. Science, with its God in the shape of a plausible hypothesis, and with its shifting lines of morality, could only signal across an impassable gulf to the faith that would regard its purified intuition as the one reality in the world. Outwardly the quietist, who will not pray or wish lest he should be asking of God something that has been better ordered already, is on the same plane as the scientific man, who believes that our acts and thoughts are the exact expression of our antecedents, and cannot be changed. Practically the one man is penetrated with a sense of Divine sympathy, and the other with belief in an order of abstract laws in which sympathy would be irrational and misplaced. Whatever befall the quietist, his obligation to support the burden of life cannot be affected, and his sense of absolute trust in God may even be deepened and purified as he is detached from earth. To the scientific man death by his own hands seems to be the natural relief from trouble, if he can once assure himself that the balance of probabilities is against his receiving what he deems desirable from life. It is needless to trace the infinite divagations into which even the morality sanctioned by science would stray from religious practice. We must either admit that two theories of religion are equally possible, and to appearance equally good, or we must be content to allow that the Stoic conception of a sublimated humanity, which is the counterfeit of religion that science would naturally adopt, is not to be called religion, though it is very beautiful and grand. Nevertheless it is probable that either system of thought gains in proportion as its teachers succeed in understanding one another. For Christianity it is a great gain to be gradually discarding fables that reduced it to the level of an ordinary mythology. For science the lesson that it does not satisfy every want, cannot teach everything, may be inappreciable.

Of the infinite possibilities of science it becomes those who are not within the sacred portals to speak diffidently. Though the dreams of an Erasmus Darwin or a Tschernischevski may still be far from accomplishment, what has actually been done is so great, and has now and then been so far beyond calculation, that it seems difficult to raise our hopes of practical discoveries too high. It is, however, in the loftiest results of science, its insight into law, that the mind has to look for its noblest satisfaction; and it is by showing itself to be inexhaustible that science must retain its ascendency. Now, it is surely not unreasonable to surmise that there are limitations in the nature of the universe which must circumscribe the achievements of speculative research. Every astronomer knows that there was only one secret of the universe to be discovered, and that when Newton told it to the world the supreme triumph of astronomy was achieved. Whether Darwin or some one else shall have disclosed the other great mystery of the generation of life, it is none the less certain that all future triumphs will be insignificant by the side of the first luminous hypothesis. Chemistry rests, when all abatements have been made, on the atomic theory, and even if future investigation enables us to forecast with absolute precision what the result of combinations hitherto unattempted will be, so that we can calculate in the study what is now worked out gropingly in the laboratory, that discovery would hardly eclipse the merit of Dalton’s contribution to science. So it is in every department of research. Even the greatest men are little more than sagacious interpreters of thought and toil which others have expended obscurely. The discovery of a new metal, a new star, or a new species is now nothing to thrill us with wonder and awe. We know that it has been worked up to by former experiments or is the result of improved instruments, and is no more matter of wonder than that this year’s best steamship should make a knot an hour more than was possible five years ago. Then again, not only is science ceasing to be a prophet, but in virtue of her very triumphs, precisely because her thoughts are passing into the life-blood of the world, is she losing visible influence as a liberal education. It is coming to be matter of history that she has taught us to substitute law for caprice in our conceptions of the Divine will; that she has relegated the belief in secondary causes and the belief in arbitrary interpositions of the First Cause to the lumber-room of fable; that she has given us a broader and intenser view of nature, while she has left us the fairyland of the world’s childhood for an appreciable treasure. Other harvests have now been gathered in. The prophet and leader is rapidly becoming a handmaid. Her possibilities can be pretty accurately summed up or forecast in a cyclopaedia; and having delivered herself of her one imperishable protest against, popular theology, she has no other great moral truth to declare.

If, however, science fails us, we shall be impoverished in that very region of intellectual toil from which alone we have a right to expect exceptional results. Science for many years past has appeared to press the higher imagination into her service, or at least fancy and imagination have seemed to be less rich than they were in their own special department—that of poetry. Nature, as the old logicians used to say, does nothing at a bound; and there has accordingly been a noticeable revival of poetry during the early period of the present century, such as might tempt an optimist to believe that the world had been endowed with a second youth. Goethe, Schiller, and Heine in Germany; Victor Hugo and De Musset in France; Leopardi in Italy; Lermontoff and Puschkin in Russia; and Tegner in Sweden, had for contemporaries in England a marvellous phalanx beginning with Wordsworth, Byron, and Shelley, and ending with Browning and Tennyson. Even if there were a silent fifty years after the last of these great men had produced really great work, it would be rash to infer that the creative faculty had said its last word. Nevertheless, looking back upon the past and counting up what we have lost, it is impossible to feel very sanguine as to the future. Certain kinds of poetry have become impossible; certain others are rapidly being exhausted. Can any one conceive that an epic poem could be written in this age? The epic turned upon the fortunes of society—the dramatic incidents of war or travel—in days when the individual could really incline the balance of a battle or an adventure by his own prowess. Modern war is a series of scientific problems, in which masses are manoeuvred and the individual hardly emerges; modern travel, though it may lead us now and again into a wonderland of man- apes or of Herodotean dwarfs, or of deserted cities and Titanic ruins, tells its tale best in prose, and is bound to tell much that cannot be given in a few picturesque strokes. The pastoral is doomed. So far as it had any reality, it was based on contrasts that have ceased to be sharp and interesting, or on a feeling for country life that is now more naturally expressed in a subjective form, such as Wordsworth has employed. The satire as Horace and Juvenal, Dryden, Boileau, and Pope fashioned it has fallen into comparative disuse, and the temper of modern times would scarcely endure the religious vehemence of Juvenal or the vitriolic epigrams of Dryden and Pope. The poetical drama, except in France, has given us nothing for two centuries but pieces for the closet, and in France only Victor Hugo has produced anything for the stage that deserves to be read for its intrinsic worth. Putting aside Shakespeare, whose powers were so godlike and exceptional that it seems unreasonable to draw any argument from them, we may surely say that there are at least six poets of the Elizabethan era, the meanest of whom showed more workmanlike conception of what was needed for dramatic representation of effective plot and situations than is to be found in Shelley, Byron, Browning, and Swinburne, though the least of these is superior in poetic feeling and taste to Beaumont, Webster, and Ford, and to Marlowe in all but two or three passages. There are, in fact, only two classes of poetry in which modern craftsmen have vindicated themselves. One of these is the epic of society of which Don Juan is the best instance for light sarcastic workmanship, and Childe Harold the most perfect for serious style. In each of these great poems, however, though social subjects are more or less touched upon, the treatment is more purely subjective—more concerned with individual characteristics and feelings—than as they would have been rendered by an old artist handling them. In this particular the story of society, as distinguished from the story of national life, is true to the spirit of its age. Where modern poetry has really discovered a new world, and is unapproachable, has been in its lyrical reproduction of moods and passions. The first part of Faust, perhaps altogether the most consummate poem of the last hundred years, derives its singular perfection from the blending of three distinct forms of art in a very exquisite form. There is an epical thought in the background of the piece. The idealist destroying his own past that he may build it up anew reflects the genius of the times when the French Revolution was in the air. Only it was not natural to the poet to conceive an epical movement in an epical form. Then again, there is a dramatic action in the scene where Faust—a free agent but caught in the devil’s meshes—is bringing the Furies into a quiet home. Still, the most effective parts of the so-called drama are the passages of self-questioning monologue or declamation and the purely lyrical pieces. Of course, dramatic and lyrical poetry both deal with the expression of human feeling, and the boundary line between them is often invisible. Still, it is probably correct to say that the drama takes for its principle of organic structure the action of men and women upon one another, while the lyrical poem expresses the feelings of men and women in themselves. Unavoidably, therefore, the dramatist is more popular in his treatment and the lyrical poet more subtle. Othello, thinking out his causes and motives of jealousy as Browning would have depicted him, would have expressed himself in very different words from those which Iago’s incisive prompting draws from him.

Now the lyrical work of the present century would seem to be distinctly in advance of any work of that exact kind done heretofore. In the ode, the battle-song, the love-song, and the drinking-song, the poets of the past cannot easily be beaten. These all are lighted up by the glint of social life. On the other hand, if we take the form of poem that hints rather than develops a thought, but hints what it means with precision, and suggests what it would be tedious to express—that form in which Goethe would have been unrivalled if Heine had not come after him,—we find that the passion, the national feeling, the religious doubt, the social cynicism of the present age have been expressed in infinite variety with marvellous wealth of feeling. Discriminate the substance from the form, and we shall see that Milton‘s L’Allegro and Il Penseroso professedly the expression of individual temperament are yet thronged with pictures of life and its works; while dramas like ManfredLuria, or Erechtheus are little more than splendid collections of passages reflecting the subjective moods of the poet. That great poets who were essentially lyrical should constantly have preferred to tell a story in narrative or dramatic form may be ascribed partly to the influence of old association, and partly to the greater variety which is offered by modes of verse that are not in their essence limited to a few stanzas. Even here, however, it may be remarked, that no one, as a rule, tells an old story again without changing its model for the worse if he deviates from the original. The writers of the Morte d’Arthur were not craftsmen of the highest order, though they understood how to diversify the rather monotonous tale of chivalrous adventure, and were sometimes capable of fine touches. They possessed, however, an instinct of congruity which kept them from anachronisms of manner and anomalies of ethical feeling. They recoiled from the naked story of Geraint and Enid as inappropriate to knightly times; they conceived Vivien as an overfond woman, not as a fin-de-siècle lorette craving for notoriety; and they never dreamed of bringing Arthur to preach morality to the penitent woman who lay before him in tears.

There is perhaps another reason besides a growing failure in the capacity to conceive or work out dramatic situations why the drama in its old form has ceased to be possible, except as a trick or sleight of the imagination. If a change in social relations has made the epic impossible by dwarfing the immediate agency of the individual, a change in manners has robbed the drama of a great deal of its effect. The carnage in Othello, though awful and pitiful even to men of that day, was not improbable. The husband had the notorious right to kill his wife if she were taken in flagrant guilt, and a Southern husband might be assumed to do a little more. Single combat was so frequent and serious that, of authors contemporary with Shakespeare, Ben Jonson had killed two men, and Marlowe was himself killed in a brawl. Jealousy may be as strong a passion now as then; it is said to have transformed the whole nature of one of the noblest writers in France; but it would not in the socially- elevated class lead to prompt and undisguised murder. Take, again, the drama of filial ingratitude. A great French author has treated again the subject of Lear in the most powerful of his works; and the modern Lear is nothing more than a man whom his daughters are ashamed of, having themselves married into a different sphere, and who delights in making unselfish sacrifices for their pleasure. Neither would the tone of modern manners allow the father, who had divested himself of estates and who was repaid with ingratitude, to complain as vociferously as Lear does. The world everywhere is more orderly and reticent than it was, and less suited to theatrical effects. No doubt it is still possible to contrive picturesque situations by choosing topics from ancient history, or from political conspiracies in half-civilised countries, or by descending to life among the criminal classes, or on their fringe. In all these cases, however, the mind of the reader is generally unfamiliar with the order of thought that makes such transgressions of law possible, and in the scenes from actual but low life is apt to be more disgusted by the vulgarity of the surroundings than moved to pity or terror by the tragical circumstances of the tale told.

There is, however, another reason, which is perhaps tending to make the drama less possible than it was, and the reason is one which tells, in a less degree, against all poetry. Human nature, various as it is, is only capable after all of a certain number of emotions and acts, and these as the topics of an incessant literature are bound after a time to be exhausted. We may say with absolute certainty that certain subjects are never to be taken again. The tale of Troy, the wanderings of Odysseus, the vision of Heaven and Hell, as Dante saw it, the theme of Paradise Lost, and the story of Faust are familiar instances. Less certainly, we may say that wherever a great dramatist, like Shakespeare or Molière, has left a masterpiece of successful delineation of character, artists will be slow to hazard rivalry and the world to tolerate it. Take, for instance, Othello. Such a subject as jealousy cannot, of course, be renounced simply because Shakespeare has treated it, and Webster in Love’s Sacrifice has given us an innocent wife, a perfidious accuser, and a husband stirred to deadly revenge; but Webster, though it probably did not occur to him that there might be some irreverence in counterfeiting Othello, was yet careful, from the different bent of his genius or to avoid the charge of plagiarism, that his conception should be essentially diverse. His husband is no Moor with a sense of incongruity about his marriage; his wife has broken no filial vow, and though she is chaste in body has strayed in thought; and the artificer of ruin is not a man with a grudge against the husband, but a courtier wishing to gain influence. Take again the religious hypocrite as limned in Tartufe. Our old literature abounds in caustic satire of the canting Puritan—from Jonson’s Zeal-of-the-Land-Busy to Howard’s Committee-Men. Nowhere, however, is the sketch so full and particular, and for the world at large—even the English world—it may safely be said that Tartufe is a living original, whom it would be difficult to displace. Now it is in the nature of things that the strongest types and -the best adapted for stage purposes should gradually be used up. Effective adaptations of an old subject may still be possible; but it is not writers of the highest capacity who will attempt them, and the reading world, which remembers what has been done before, will never accord more than a secondary recognition to the adaptation. It is not the least merit of Sheridan that he thoroughly understood this, and made his Joseph Surface an original by endowing him with the platitudes of social morality, and suppressing all reference to the religion that Tartufe desecrates. Precisely, however, because these types have been so inimitably sketched is the man who would tread in the same path uncomfortably circumscribed.

Now if there are limits to the conception of human characters, into the making up of which so many elements and motives enter, much more must there be a limit to the expression of feeling and emotion. In Hamlet or Beatrice or Macbeth we pass from one phase of thought to another, and filial sentiment or noble indignation is played off against speculative philosophy, or the woman is shown in sunshine or in storm, or the irresolute man capable of guilt is contrasted with the criminal seared by the enjoyment of power. But the single mood of thought, expressed even in its most various inflections, does not admit of very wide treatment. Browning is not easily surpassed for analysis of motive in thoughtful men; but Browning wrote more at length when he developed a character in dramatic form—in A Blot in the ‘Scutcheon or A Soul’s Tragedy—than when he made his subject soliloquise, as in Andrea del Sarto and Cleon and Bishop Blougram’s Apology, and it is noticeable that even in these he conceives an imaginary opponent, in order to bring out his thought with greater amplitude. If we turn to Heine, who was more supremely artistic than Browning, we find that he can commonly put the suggestion of sentiment or the touch of observation he desires to express into a dozen or twenty lines. Perhaps it may be added that concision in thought—the power to give the greatest effect with the fewest strokes—is the surest passport to immortality. At any rate, when we consider that the drinking-song and the Cotyttian lyric are now becoming obsolete, that there is presumably less strong passion in the world, and that what there is, is more reticent, that the greatest problems of thought have been hackneyed and made commonplace by discussion, and that a certain trick of workmanlike style is much more generally diffused than it was, it seems difficult to predict that the future of the modern lyric will be as bright as its past. It appears possible to imagine a not very distant time when the student will recoil from every new variation in worse verse of the old themes, as a lover of music closes his ear against familiar melodies ground out on a barrel-organ, and when men gifted with the power to feel and write will be paralysed if they attempt earnest work with the recollection that almost this exact thing has been done before, and has passed into household words or speech.

To some it may seem that the novel, which has been a very potent instrument in supplanting the drama, is never likely to die out, and may in a satisfactory measure take the place of poetry. No one can question that a great amount of very high ability has been spent upon the novel during the present century. Scott and George Eliot, Dickens and Thackeray, Hawthorne and Manzoni, Balzac and Charles de Bernard are only a few in a host of distinguished names. Tried by a rough and popular but fairly good test, these writers have all created types that the world has agreed to accept as very masterly. Scott, though there are signs that he is being forgotten, popularised a conception of Scotch character in its chivalrous capabilities and homely work for which his countrymen owe him a deep debt of gratitude. No other writer has done so much to invest the life of a small community with imperishable interest. Of the other writers mentioned, one George Eliot has been almost Shakespearean in the power of putting life into every touch; while Dickens, Thackeray, Balzac, and Manzoni, working more elaborately and at length, have made characters such as Pecksniff and Becky Sharp, Le Pere Goriot and Don Abbondio, appreciable additions to the world’s repertory of dramatic memories. Of Hawthorne it may safely be said that his idealism was poetical in a very high degree, and yet that one can hardly imagine it expressed intelligibly in verse. Nevertheless, when all is said it is difficult to conceive the novel taking the place for a new society which poetry has filled for the elder world. If we take the most perfect prose ever written and contrast, let us say, the last chapters of the Agricola with the death of Marcellus, Burke’s lament on the loss of his son with Milton’s sonnet upon his blindness, or Burke’s description of the ravage of the Carnatic with Milton’s sonnet on the Vaudois, or if we compare De Quincey and Ruskin at their best with Shelley and Keats, we shall surely find that the great poem, haunts the memory more certainly than the majestic prose. Neither is this merely for the reason which first suggested verse, because metre and rhythm and alliteration and rhyme are aids to remembrance, but because the limitations poetry exacts are apt to give it concision and simplicity of outline, while its very nature allows it to run riot in ideas and imagery. Now, these reasons will always make the poetical form where it is appropriate more durable and less easy to recast than prose, and it seems more likely that Scott should be superseded than that Homer or Dante should be rewritten. In one way this is to the advantage of the world, which may count upon a perennial supply of novels; but in proportion as it is appreciated will it dishearten the best novel-writers with their work, or induce them to essay other fields of literary enterprise.

While it seems unavoidable that science should come to appear less and less a revelation from God, and that poetry should degenerate into mere literary bric-a-brac, such as the composition of rondels and triolets now is, there are two departments of thought in which it would seem that the human mind may look for compensation—history and criticism. That history will ever be brought to such perfection that we shall be able to forecast the future in more than a very general way is perhaps only a dream. That it may reconstruct the past in a manner that was not even hoped for a century ago seems indisputable. We are getting to understand the constitution of primitive societies by studying primitive man as we still have him in savage communities; we are beginning to comprehend the genesis of agrarian laws, and of laws regulating property of all kinds, as each country develops a school of scientific jurists. When we consider w T hat Gibbon did without the aid of critical editions, with some sources of knowledge sealed to him, and before comparative philology existed, for times of which our records are lamentably imperfect, it seems difficult to set limits to what another Gibbon might achieve under more favourable conditions. Even for English history the work of preparation has only been begun. Were the whole of our public records printed, indexed, and digested, as a small portion has been, the whole history of families, of property, and of administration in England might be given with very few gaps for something like seven hundred years. A book like De Tocqueville‘s Ancien Regime, which forced highly educated men absolutely to recast their notions of a period of history only distant by two generations, is probably still possible for every country in every century of its existence. Now, it may be admitted of Gibbon and of De Tocqueville that, with the instinct of genius, they took two of the greatest subjects available, and, like Newton and Darwin, discovered worlds which are now mapped out and familiar. The Englishman was the first to reconstruct the Roman Empire in a way that men with ordinary political insight might apprehend—the first and perhaps the only one in England to write the true history of the Christian Church. De Tocqueville’s work, less colossal in scope but scarcely less astonishing, was to show that what men regarded as an outburst of unexpected forces was only a violent acceleration of orderly change. Still, it may be fairly said that both Gibbon and De Tocqueville have rather opened up new regions to the exploration of others than done anything so absolutely that it cannot be attempted again. Gibbon, to take a single familiar instance, made the first part of Finlay‘s Greece, if not possible, at least better than it could otherwise have been. From Lavergne to Taine and Stephens every succeeding writer on the French Revolution has begun very much where De Tocqueville left off, and has started from the points he has given to make new and fruitful investigations. Considering the vast fields in the past that remained unattempted, that fresh domains are being added in every generation, that the subject-matter is as wide as human nature in all time, and that nothing is so small as to be despised, nothing so great as to be left unessayed by the historian, it may surely be anticipated that history is bound to occupy more and more thought, and to be more clearly and fully understood as time goes on.

The critical faculty, so far as it applies to reasoning, is almost certain to be stronger in an advanced than in a young society, the only apparent exception being when the young society is one of singular acuteness and the old society stagnant for the time. It seems idle to discuss the importance of scientific criticism. It is the orderly faculty that is gradually evolving a new world out of chaos; comparative philology in the place of happy or unhappy guesses by good or bad linguists; history in the place of chronicles; and the basis of a positive belief in the place of old cosmogonies or traditions of miracle. Probably few of this generation can appreciate the incalculable debt which even men of this generation have owed to the critic. Professor Agassiz, whom many still living can remember with affection and reverence, was brought up under teachers who held that God had scattered fossils about the world as a test of faith; and an Oxford teacher of the highest local repute at least thirty years later published his belief that the typical vertebra—a column with lateral processes—was multiplied all over the world as a proof of the Crucifixion. A little later an Oxford divine, the accredited head of a great party in the Church, was consulting with an Oxford anatomist to know if it was not possible to point to a whale that might have swallowed Jonah. Now, it is of course demonstrable that a great deal which is false may be believed without substantial injury to the reasoning powers or faith. Machiavel based a work of acute political philosophy on ten books of Livy, which are a repertory of fable, and Sir Matthew Hale combined very sound judgment as a lawyer, and Sir Thomas Browne a rather rational religion with belief in witchcraft. What we have to consider, however, is first whether men like Machiavel would not have been incomparably more useful to society if they had started from the standpoint of Niebuhr and Maine, and next whether for the mass of men such a belief as that in witchcraft, which was harmful even to Hale, is not inexpressibly degrading and fruitful of bad practice. It must be borne in mind also that scientific criticism is very often much more than a mere negation. It is sometimes from the necessity of the case reconstructive, and it is commonly strongest when it supplies something in place of what it takes away. Darwin might have contented himself with showing the difficulties that beset all existing theories of the origin of species, and in that case his work, however valuable, would have been purely negative. As a fact, the mere process of detecting difficulties led him to what he thought an easier solution of the life of the universe, and his theory, true or false, has served to stimulate inquiry, and has at least, we may perhaps say, given a convenient halting-place for speculation. On the whole, whether we regard its positive results or the masculine tone of thought which it stimulates, the spirit of critical analysis in the domain of positive science seems to be that from which we have most to hope in coming centuries.

The criticism of taste is another matter. That there is an absolute canon of beauty seems hardly questionable when we consider that at a distance of more than two thousand years we are still recognising the transcendent excellence of the best Greek artists in style and marble. On the other hand, that any age can consider itself possessed of a true judgment seems a little doubtful when we- bear in mind how constantly opinions have varied upon subjects where there ought to be very little difference. There was probably no man of his day better qualified to write sound criticism on the drama as he knew it than Dryden. Dryden tells us that he loved Shakespeare, and he says a great deal about Shakespeare that shows an appreciation unusual for those times, but he confesses that he admired Ben Jonson more, and thought Beaumont and Fletcher superior for the construction of plots, for natural dialogue, for pathos, and for gaiety. Even this might pass, but before he died Dry den declared Congreve to be the equal of Shakespeare. A century later we find Dr. Johnson praising Shakespeare by comparing him with Rowe, and remarking that he had not perhaps produced “one play which if it were now exhibited as the work of a contemporary writer would be heard to the conclusion.” Rowe’s best piece is an adaptation of Massinger, and if it were true that the audiences which thronged the London theatres to see Shakespeare’s plays cared more for Garrick’s acting than for the poet, it is certainly proof, as we should esteem it, that the standard of criticism may decline at times. The simple fact seems to be that Shakespeare, though always popular after a fashion, was above the level of his own times; that he survived on the stage because he was less dependent on tricks of style and modes of society than his contemporaries; that Voltaire by his various notices and Garrick by his acting are responsible for a good deal of the dramatist’s popularity in the eighteenth century; and that Coleridge and Hazlitt are the first English critics who did him real justice. It is fortunate for the world that Athenian taste was more discriminative of its great poets.

In spite, however, of Lord Beaconsfield’s aphorism that “critics are writers who have failed,” the fact probably is that literary criticism more often errs by indiscriminate praise than by imperfect recognition. Dryden’s panegyric on Congreve is an instance in point, and though we may assume that it was a little coloured by personal friendship, praise so deliberately given in his noblest style by a critic with a reputation to support must be regarded as on the whole a genuine opinion. No one now doubts either that Congreve was very clever or that he is not one of the immortals. Dr. Johnson‘s Lives of the Poets represent an extremely high average of the work done in England during the eighteenth century. Macaulay’s limitation that the critic “was undoubtedly an excellent judge of compositions fashioned on his own principles,” must be qualified by the recollection that Johnson’s principles were substantially those of the age. Now, that Johnson would have put Cowley on a level with Shakespeare or Milton if he had been asked the question, may fairly be doubted, but his praise of the small man is as liberal as what he awards the great, and more appreciative, and he quotes approvingly a sentiment ascribed to Milton, that Spenser, Shakespeare, and Cowley were the three greatest English poets. His praise of Pope‘s Iliad as “the noblest version of poetry which the world has ever seen,” will appear strong to those who remember Spenser‘s Ruins of RomeFairfax‘s Tasso, and Dryden‘s Vergil and Juvenal, but is reasonable by the side of the eulogy on Savage, a deservedly forgotten poetaster, who is praised so that a foreigner reading the two lives would rank him above Gray. It may be admitted that Dr. Johnson was a man of strong prejudices. What, however, are we to say to Dr. Matthew Arnold, a modern critic of feeling, of knowledge, and it may even be said of genius, who has extolled Joubert and De Sénancour, men infinitely below his own standard, as if they were great writers? Must we not assume that personal feeling and peculiarities of temperament enter into the criticism of taste to such an extent that no single judgment can be accepted except as the argument of an advocate? May we not also say that though it is always possible to distinguish excellence, it is not always easy to define proportions while a work is yet new? Of two books that deservedly achieved an immediate and great success—Buckle‘s History of Civilisation and Maine‘s Ancient Law—Buckle’s was the greatest triumph at the moment and Maine’s has been incomparably the more enduring. Again, the critic of style is perhaps peculiarly liable to be overawed by a great reputation. Where the scientific controversialist can advance observation and experiment in proof of his censure, the critic of taste can do little more than assert a damnatory opinion. At this distance of time few would dispute that George Eliot‘s works after Middlemarch exhibit distinct and lamentable falling off in power, but Daniel Deronda at least was as vociferously praised as the author’s best work had been. Probably only two or three writers in a generation attain such an eminence that criticism is suspended in presence of their works, but these two or three are the very ones who have most influence in moulding a generation, and in whose regard the verdict of a sane judgment is most desirable.

On the whole, it seems difficult to suppose that the criticism of taste will be more discriminative, more independent of contemporary fashion, or more original and suggestive than the criticism of the last century has been. Moreover, if, as this argument has attempted to prove, there is likely to be a general decline in the poetic faculty, criticism will have to occupy itself with worse material, for contemporary writers are after all those with whom the age is bound to be most conversant. Whether men of scholarly taste are even likely to hold their ground as society becomes more distinctly industrial in its tone, and if means are taken to prevent the transmission of easy fortunes, may be fairly doubted; but already the men who are conversant with our old literature are comparatively rare, and the scholars who can appreciate an old classic—Sophocles, Catullus, or Dante—are too few to make any impression on thought. As classical studies are gradually eliminated from all but a few schools, they will become rarer still. In the English colonies I have known, the tendency is to tolerate University training as a necessity for professional men, but to regard primary school education, or something only a little above it, as sufficient for all the needs of practical men and men of the world. Indeed, high schools in Australia seem to be maintained chiefly because some people like their children to have the distinction of a rather costly training, because a few others intend to send their sons and daughters into professions, and because a good many find it convenient to keep their children of a certain age away from home during the day. Now, the primary school Reader of commerce and of educational use has been brought to very great perfection by different editors, and contains a fair sample of what children of thirteen or fourteen will be likely to appreciate or ought to understand. It is giving scores of thousands who would have learned nothing under the old regime a knowledge of some good prose and verse, and is educating many whose mental food would otherwise have been Watts and Tupper and Robert Montgomery to an understanding of Campbell and Macaulay and Longfellow. For its special purpose the best work of this kind can hardly be improved upon. Still, there can be little doubt that selections of this kind are coming to be thought all-sufficient, and are displacing the higher English classics, from Shakespeare to Wordsworth, so that these are less and less studied. The probabilities are that two generations hence it will be rare in any civilised country to find an adult who cannot read or write, or who has not a tincture of letters derived from school manuals and completed by newspapers; but that it will be rarer still to find even a wealthy man who knows the classics as Fox knew them, or who is as conversant with the literature of his own land as Canning and Peel were.

It may be argued with some plausibility, that although works of the higher imagination will perhaps cease to be produced, as the field is exhausted, and as the faculty of subtle criticism dies out among the learned and the multitude, the mind will be able to recover in prose even more than it has lost in poetry. It has been assumed that history will take a wider range than ever; it may be supposed that oratory will become more and more an art, as States governed by Parliaments give more and more advantage to fluent speech. Beyond this the example of Mill has shown how much even political economy may be recommended by a faultless setting; and it may be safely said, that no subject however abstruse—in metaphysics or in natural science—is incapable of being enhanced by style. Plato has embalmed discussions of great subtlety and of difficult argument in prose, which the world will not consent to forget; and Buffon produced a voluminous work on natural history, which made the tour of the world, and was known by repute or by fragments in the salon and in the cottage. Probably the instantaneous success of Mr. Darwin‘s Origin of Species was due very much to the admirable simplicity and sustained interest of the narrative, which even the general public could follow sufficiently to understand. In connection with this it must be remembered that style after all can only be dignified or effective if it expresses dignified or effective thought. The decay of poetry has been assumed to be due to the fact that topics are being exhausted, and that the less varied and emotional life we are approaching will not lend itself to energy and colour in description. Unhappily, very much the same may be said of science. Even if the epoch of great discoveries is not exhausted, the new results are almost certain to be less simple, less sensational, more painfully approached by long processes of inquiry, less easy of comprehension to the outside world than the first revelations of astronomy and geology have been. Goethe has remarked that the beginnings of a science are always its most attractive part. The luminous conception, the broad outlines, the strong contrasts of colouring can be indicated from the first; but as inquiry and research proceed, abatements and modifications of the central theory have to be considered, and the attention is wearied with detail The man of encyclopaedic knowledge is being supplanted by the specialist, and the specialist is constantly finding that he cannot narrow his work too much. Darwin from his wonderful powers was capable of both kinds of work; but we may safely say that his monograph on earthworms, though part of a broad theory, would never have stimulated thought as the Origin of Species did. It seems probable, at least, that the Buffon and Darwin of the past will be replaced by a cohort of skilful investigators, each taking for the work of his life an exhaustive inquiry into a single species of Scarabœus or Bakterion. What happens in physical science will have its counterpart in scientific history. The successors of Gibbon, Mr. Finlay, and Mr. Bury, are inevitably less capable of giving pictorial effect to their narrative, because it is more circumstantial and minute. The mere hesitations of a man balancing evidence are against effect in style; and as the scientific spirit takes nothing on trust, it would not allow even a Gibbon in the present day to present his conclusions more or less positively in a flowing narrative.

The experience of free assemblies during the present century does not seem to sanction the hope that there is a great future for oratory. The very marked tendency has been to substitute what is known as debating for the classical form of speech. In other words, appeals to the feelings are very little valued, and statements of fact and the clear exposition of argument very much. It is difficult to say whether much has really been lost by this transformation. The reports of speeches from the best times of the British House of Commons appear to show that Lord Chatham ranted in very overflown language, that Sheridan was chiefly regarded as an exhibition of fireworks, and Burke hardly listened to at all; and that Fox and Pitt were very much speakers of the modern school. On the other hand, there is some reason to suppose that Sheridan’s most remarkable effort—the Begum speech—has been so mutilated in the printed version as to be unrecognisable; and the chances are that this applies in great measure to Lord Chatham. Taking the modern oratory in its best form—a clear business-like argument, relieved by pathetic touches or appeals to generous feeling—it may be admitted to be a measurable force. It has been said that no speech ever changed a vote; but even if this be true of . Parliament, there remains the fact that some speeches have powerfully influenced national feeling, and that a party is always the weaker for being without orators. Still there are two strong reasons why we may expect a gradual and growing change towards a lower level of eloquence. One is that the art of public speaking is much more generally practised than it was, and that it is difficult for any one with the limitations imposed by the modern preference for debating to tower head and shoulders above the mob of gentlemen who spout with ease. The other is that the great common-places of oratory are even more easily exhausted than those of poetry. Patrick Henry carried a House of Assembly with him by asking if they who had cowed the British lion were to be afraid of its whelps. So hackneyed an allusion as to the British lion would now only provoke ridicule. We can hardly doubt that allusions to Marathon and Salamis, though still common, were becoming a joke in the time of Aristophanes. That Demosthenes was able to thrill a judicial assembly with them again testifies to his genius, but does not prove that smaller men could have succeeded by playing upon the same thought.

On the whole, it seems probable, that the best work of men able to write good prose will go even more than it already does into the form of general literature—reviews and newspaper articles. Given a much larger reading public than at present—and State schools are bound to provide this,—and a much lower general level of acquirement and taste than the educated classes of the world have possessed for the last century, it seems inevitable that hand-to-mouth work should meet the essential needs of the generation. No one who considers the admirable results achieved by modern leader-writers and correspondents can doubt that a great deal of supremely good literary power is actually used up in this manner. A hundred years ago an Englishman wanting to be informed about the state of the Continent would have found much better material in Clarke‘s Travels in Russia, Poland, and Scandinavia; in Moore‘s Travels in France and Germany; in Beckford‘s Letters from Spain; and in Brydone‘s Letters from Sicily, than the Times or the Courier would have given him. At present the current statistics of any Continental country are best learned from a gazetteer or a handbook, and its ephemeral politics or excitement from the special correspondent of any great paper. The old-fashioned traveller has to explore some provincial district, like the Carpathians or Bosnia, or to give information not easily obtained about some interesting stratum of society, if he would attract readers. Books of travel are still numerous; but the traveller only makes a reputation when he opens up a field which the correspondent has not attempted; when he is a Burton, a Vambery, or a Stanley. It may be a century or more before the world at large is Europeanised, and before all its countries are brought under pretty much the same conditions, so that local dialects, costumes, and customs will have disappeared; but every change in this direction is increasing the capacity of the daily press to deal adequately with what the public cares to know. This is perhaps the least noticed instance of the way in which the press supplies a want anciently catered for in a less ephemeral manner; but of course it has supplanted governments for the ascertainment and propagation of authentic news; and its statistical summaries are practically what the commercial world goes by. All this is so completely within the domain of a newspaper that it seems impossible to regret it, or even cavil at it. That significant or interesting facts should be put freshly before the notice of all is bound to be an important factor in progress. It must be remembered, however, that it is not only new facts which are best disseminated through the newspaper or the magazine. Journalism is the most efficient, if not the only real medium through which new thoughts pass into circulation. So popular a measure as Free Trade might perhaps have been carried anyhow, but was carried ten years sooner than it would have been, because the press gave opportunities for discussing it freely. So abstruse an idea as Hare’s, of the representation of minorities, would probably be as forgotten by this time as Harrington’s theories, if the press had not from time to time revived it for controversy or advocacy. A thinker, like Hobbes or Harrington, would have gained little in immediate notoriety by writing for the Mercury of the day; and would have lost everything in permanent consideration. At present, there is no man contemplating any immediate reform, who may not reasonably balance in his own mind whether he will not exert more influence through a newspaper with a large or an influential circulation than through a book. If he is important enough to be assured that the press will discuss his book adequately, or if his subject is too complicated and vast for newspaper articles, he will naturally prefer the less ephemeral form. Cases of another kind are, however, the more numerous, and to a man who feels that his volume, that has cost years of preparation, may probably only get a success of esteem—half a dozen favourable notices and three months of circulating library existence—the temptation to write in the form that is certain to count readers by thousands, and likely to provoke discussion, is very great, even if his motives are purely disinterested. If, like many authors, he lives to some extent by his pen, the attraction of journalism is incomparably stronger. A list of really successful books that have paid nothing or very little to their authors would include some names of distinction, and many of men who might have done reasonably well if they had put their thoughts into an ephemeral form.

Now, that the press, being as it is bound to be a great power in modern society, should be perpetually recruited from the best thinking ability of the day is in itself highly desirable. What we are bound, however, to regard as an offset to the manifest advantages of the free promulgation and discussion of public matters, is the fact that the journalist’s work, calculated as it is for the day’s needs, is rarely sufficient for anything beyond. In some cases a man employed for a time on the press has also done permanent work, and the reverence attaching to his name has caused the ephemerides to be collected and preserved. Will any one say that the political articles of Coleridge and Heine, even the literary articles of Goethe, were in any way worthy of their genius? To take more modern instances, is Sir Henry Maine likely to be remembered by his articles in the Saturday Review? or Mr. R. H. Hutton by his contributions to the Spectator? In all these cases the work bears the impress of the master’s genius, but the form is of transitory interest. No doubt, Pascal’s most celebrated work was thrown into the form of fugitive letters; and Swift was practically a journalist; and Junius is reputed a classic; and Courier‘s Letters to the Censeur are not easily distinguishable from his other works. Each case has to be examined separately. Pascal put the argument for secular society against churchmen in general, for the inflexible law against moral casuistry, into a form that made it intelligible to the fashionable and popular reader. Whether modern journalism could tolerate so much abstruse controversy is questionable; but at any rate Pascal’s genius was exceptional, and much of the Letters preserves its vitality from being still applicable to Continental Catholicism. Of Junius, I confess to thinking that he has been extravagantly overrated. He had the good fortune to come at a time when the art of trenchant writing had suffered temporary eclipse, and to espouse popular views against the Court; but Macaulay‘s casual remark that he was “a most unequal writer,” and De Rémusat‘s verdict, that he had “more cleverness than inspiration,” pretty well reduce him to his proper level. On the whole Swift and Courier seem to be the best instances of transcendent journalism. Now Swift, who is undoubtedly the greatest name in English literature between Milton and Burke, did much more bad work than good when he wrote for the moment. Out of thirty-two articles which he contributed to the Examiner, the one comparing Marlborough to Crassus is the only one that lives and is most remembered. No one but a scholar now reads the pamphlet on the Conduct of the Allies, or that on the Barrier Treaty. The really successful work Swift did as a journalist in the modern sense was in his Drapier’s Letters; and even these, and some of the pamphlets on Irish matters, owe their real importance to the fact that the author, almost unconsciously, transcended his own purpose, and advocated the more permanent interests of his country, self-government, and an administration that should be regardful of the poor. Even so Swift owes his place among the immortals to the Tale of a Tub and to Gulliver’s Travels, rather than to his attacks on the policy of his own day. We may say equally of Courier—in spite of his own admirable defence of the pamphlet—that he is always best when he handles an adequate theme; and that his Letters to the Censeur would not have been preserved if he had not written the Pamphlet des Pamphlets and the Réponse aux Lettres Anonymes. Now Courier was a very remarkable and very rare combination. Delécluze tells us that his real passion was to turn a phrase in the happiest possible style; and that he was not so much a fanatical politican as a Rabelaisian critic of whatever seemed extravagant and grotesque in administration. Courier therefore is an exceptional instance of the best conceivable man for newspaper work; a man who is not so much concerned with the thought itself as with the way of putting it before the world. It is surely not unreasonable to think that, as a rule, men who write with the sense that they will not be remembered, and that only the immediate impression is of importance, will differ from those who “speak to time and to eternity,” as the moulder in wax differs from the artist in marble or in bronze.

The influence of deep religious feeling and the influence of exalted intellectual energy have been of such incomparable importance in moulding individual character hitherto, that if we assume them to be powerfully reduced it is difficult to see what can take their place. The love of country or reverence for the State which seems likely to supersede both Church organisation and the tradition of family life, is hardly a principle that will strengthen initiative or self-reliance. Now and again, no doubt, in some great time of crisis the State may have to appeal to the self-devotion and fertility of resource of its citizens, but that great times of crisis wars and social convulsions will become less and less frequent, more and more temporary in their duration, and increasingly mild in the changes they cause, seems a consummation as probable as it is desirable. There remains, however, the .question, just worth notice, whether a change in the physical conditions of human life may not affect character for the better. Science has done a great deal, and is constantly holding out the hope of more. Let us assume its anticipations realised—preventible sickness, which includes every form of epidemic, eliminated; the science of healing enormously improved; the average of life prolonged by ten or twenty years; and all this consolidated by the State Socialism which insists upon healthy homes and provides adequate wages. It is no great stretch of imagination to look forward to the day when there shall be a reasonable expectation of life for every child born, when the sorrow of premature bereavement shall be rarely felt, and when even the population of large towns, from which we cannot expect an exuberant vitality, may have such an average of wiry strength and capacity to work and enjoy as will at least render life tolerable. Should these anticipations be realised, it would seem that society ought to gain as it has gained in past years by the political improvements that have made life and property secure, or by the inventions and engineering works that have reduced the frequency of famines. To take exceptional instances, times like the breaking up of the Roman Empire in Europe, the rise of Mahratta power in India, or the Tae-Ping revolt in China, were times that demoralised the imagination and paralysed industry. Even the ploughman and the shepherd very often renounced toil which seemed profitless and turned themselves to plunder or vagabondage, but much more was the higher commerce extinguished and the educated professions died out. At Y present war is the only great source of ruin that seems likely to be permanent, and even wars are less frequent and shorter and more humane, and lead to less violent change where conquest is absolute. Of political convulsions like the French Revolution we may probably say that they also are likely to be mitigated by the ghastly recollection of the ruin they cause, and by the remedy for. social unrest which the spread of liberal institutions offers. The worst effects of floods and droughts are now obviated by the great facilities for international traffic. Therefore, if we can conceive cholera, typhus, and all such diseases extirpated by sanitary science, the diseases that scourge immorality disappearing before a rigid police, and cures, such as are even now anticipated, actually discovered for consumption and cancer, perhaps even for diseases of the liver and kidneys, it will not be too much to say that the present expectation of life under healthy conditions would be more than doubled. Tennyson has alluded to the great stimulus hope would derive if we were

In lieu of many mortal flies, a race
Of giants, living each a thousand years.

It does not seem possible that we should ever attain to the thousand years, but there is perhaps nothing palpably unreasonable in assuming that ninety may be for some coming generation what seventy is in our own days; that the death-rate of children, which is one-third in Victoria for the very young of what it is for Austria, Italy, and Spain, may be reduced very far below the healthiest average at present; and that for the ordinary adult illnesses may come to be so manageable as to be hardly taken into account in the scheme of life. In this case it would seem that the generation would be far more able than now to “see its own work out,” and that self-confidence, which is an efficient spring of energy, would be proportionately increased. To take a single instance from literature, Gibbon was only fifty-one when he completed the great work which is an epoch in historical literature. It had taken him twenty-seven years to perfect, and his expectation of life, as he himself tells us, allowed him only about fifteen years more. He seems to have decided that, after taking the rest which was his just due, it would be too late for him to attempt any new task. Yet had his expectation of life been of thirty years instead of fifteen, his decision might have been different, and the world, had his life actually been prolonged, might have been the richer by a work showing Gibbon’s ripest learning and maturest thought.

Against this consideration we must perhaps set the fact that a world in which the term of life is sensibly prolonged will be predominantly a world of old people. Unless we can assume, what is most unlikely, that the struggle for existence will become less and less severe as numbers multiply and the earth fills up, we must suppose that countries in the Temperate Zone at least will gradually approximate more and more to the stationary state. Society will accommodate itself to this by late marriages or by conjugal agreements to limit the number of children; and while the proportion of men and women over fifty is now, let us say, one in eight, it may easily come to be one in six. At this moment the proportion of persons over sixty-five in France, the capital instance of a civilised country that is stationary, is nearly double what it is England and more than double the proportion in America or Australia, not because the average of life is higher, for it is rather lower, but because the proportion of children born is so incomparably smaller. Now, it may be admitted that none of the evils which Swift depicted as incident to the condition of the Struldbrugs would be likely to arise where the duration of life was still limited, and where physical strength was continued as now till within a short time of decay and death. What we have to suppose is that men with the admirable vitality of Newman, Gladstone, Radetsky, Moltke, Bismarck, Littré, Chevreuil, and Lesseps will become increasingly common, and that, as, in cases where the exact reason is more required than quick insight and promptitude of action or alacrity of eye and ear, the best work is very often done by the old, we may get an increasing average of the best work. We may even conjecture that the predominance of experienced and reflective men in a population—for those between forty-five and ninety might easily come to be more numerous than those between twenty and forty-five—would be an important conservative force balancing the democratic tendency to impulsive change. Increased stability of political order, increased efficiency of exact thought, are possible advantages that cannot be disregarded.

Yet in some respects they would perhaps be dearly purchased. A restriction of the birth-rate means a diminution of family life with its consecrating cares and pleasures. The protraction of life means that a woman shall outgrow motherhood by forty or fifty instead of by twenty years, and that she and her husband shall relapse practically into the conditions of single life without its liberty or its hopes. The general retarding of marriages will mean the blotting-out of a page of romance which, if often foolish, was almost always bright and animate. That children should be comparatively an infrequent presence will rob life of its most appreciable consolation. But the most visible effect to the world will probably be the decay of energy. If youth is the season of unrest, when change is welcomed for its own sake and when orderly growth is despised, it is also the brooding-time of speculation, the maturing-time of adventure. Old men are probably best fitted for carrying on the mechanical and routine work of the world, but the artists, the poets, the explorers, the propagators of new ideas are habitually to be found among the young. Of two great changes that have powerfully influenced modern society, it may probably be said that both the Reformation and the Revolution owed their impetus to the generation under forty. Wherever war has depended more upon promptitude and insight than upon scientific combinations—that is to say, where it was not imperative to handle great masses and arrange for long distances—the army commanded by a young general—a Condé, a Hoche, or a Napoleon—is apt to triumph over age and military lore. Therefore, if we assume men of middle and of mature age to add the influence of numbers to that which they already get from seniority, it is difficult to suppose that the history of- the. world will not be a great deal tamer in the future than it has been in the past. That life should be essentially sadder and grayer than it has been may mean very little; that it should be less capable of energy and reform, more prone to entrench itself in an established order, will undoubtedly mean that it is passing into its old age, and that those whom the present does not satisfy will have nothing to hope from what is to come.

It has seemed desirable to dwell minutely upon these conditions of character and action, because if religious conviction is replaced by sentimental morality, if imagination and fancy are circumscribed, finding no worlds to occupy, and if the prolongation of physical existence tends to make society as a whole less energetic and confident of its own powers, it is difficult to suppose that any external motives can take the place of faith, intellect, and hope. Nevertheless, it is easy to see that such external motives as the love of power, the love of money, and the love of fame are likely to become less and less powerful as the world becomes more settled and larger. It will always be an object of ambition to be the first man or among the first men in the community. In the past, however, the great man, whether he were the successful soldier, a Caesar or a Napoleon, or the organising statesman, an Augustus Caesar, a Richelieu, or a Chatham, was a man who had a policy of his own, which he was prepared to carry out single-handed. Such men were necessities of an imperfect civilisation. It needed two men of such different, yet sympathetic genius, as Julius and Augustus Caesar to rescue Roman administration and the fortunes of the whole civilised world from the violence and rapacity of the patrician order. Only a dictator could have crushed the nobles, established French unity, and inaugurated a new and national policy as Richelieu did. Only Chatham’s will and insight could have given England an empire; and only a soldier, wielding the whole military force of the country, could have rescued France from anarchy. To take the example most easily comprehended, can any one imagine a Pitt in these later times dominating a subservient senate, staking the whole fortunes of England upon wars of only halfcomprehended importance, and, in order to conciliate the king, maintaining a vast army in Germany, though if the nation had one settled conviction it was to avoid Hanoverian entanglements. When Lord Palmerston, one of the most powerful and popular ministers of his time, meditated an intervention in favour of Denmark, he was met with a private remonstrance from a strong section of his supporters, and found that to carry out his policy he would have to rely upon the votes of his opponents. No doubt what is true of England and America is not yet true, to the same extent, of any Continental State. The most that even a hopeful observer can say is that religious wars are less likely to break out than they were, that States are approximating more and more to their natural limits, and that there is a growing disposition to form alliances that may prevent war from taking place, and that may restrict the acquisitions a conqueror makes. Beyond this, however, we may perhaps hope, without being oversanguine, that as the influence of the masses increases, and those masses are educated, they will throw their weight more and more into the scale of peace. Universal conscription has at least had this advantage, that it forces every household in a nation to realise the inconveniences of military service, and to dread the horrors of war. Every improvement that makes civic life more tolerable will tend to the same result. It is probably safe to say that a Cromwell is already impossible in England or the United States, and that a Napoleon is becoming impossible in France. The statesmen of this generation are not the originators of a policy, but the adaptors of innovations endorsed by public opinion. That the change tends incomparably to the advantage of society is probable, but it undoubtedly dwarfs the individual. Of the various attributes which Gray ascribed to power, the statesman in a civilised country retains only one in its completeness. He can command “the applause of listening senates”; but he is only the exponent of his party if he “scatters plenty,” and happily he is no longer permitted to “shut the gates of mercy on mankind.”

It is conceivable that the statesman’s importance may be circumscribed in another and most desirable way. That change will ever cease to be needful cannot be anticipated. Rather as the sphere of State action is enlarged, the obligation ceaselessly to adjust an enlarged legislation to new wants will come to be more sensitively felt. Still it seems possible to suppose that the most momentous changes are already accomplished. The subordination of Church to State, the abolition of forced labour, the suppression of privilege, the right to express opinions with perfect fearlessness, the humanising of the penal code, have been reforms of such transcendent significance that we can hardly conceive any changes in the future that will renew society to the same extent. If women were to receive the suffrage in any great country, the experiment would excite a good deal of noisy feeling on both sides; but it is difficult to suppose that it could have the importance which the first Reform Bill had for its own generation in England. A measure to buy back the lands of a country from their owners, such as has been contemplated in New Zealand, would be as important as the seizure of Church lands in England, or as the confiscations of the French Revolution; but it would in all likelihood be carried out more temperately and equitably, and it would not involve the same tremendous consequences—a change of faith or a sudden transformation of the whole social structure. Moreover, something depends on the more or less sensational manner in which a change is effected. Negro emancipation still impresses the imagination as a very memorable fact. In one sense its importance can hardly be exaggerated, for, by recognising the obligation to free even a half-brutal race, England practically accepted an enhanced duty towards the higher forms of labour. Nevertheless, looking back on it, one can see that the actual expectations entertained of lifting a degraded race to a higher level have been absolutely futile. On the other hand, the reforms of the criminal law, which have abolished pressing to death, burning, torture, and promiscuous hangings for almost every kind of fraud and larceny, have been so gradual that they have passed almost unobserved. It is only if we look back and sum them up that we can estimate their full importance, and we mostly forget the names of the men who carried them. It is probable that change in the future will generally be of the same tentative and orderly kind, giving no great popularity or power to the statesman who has the good fortune to associate himself with some of the details.

Swift, in a characteristic passage, declares that the names of those who have rendered the greatest services to their country are to be found upon no record, except a few of them whom history has represented as the vilest rogues and traitors. As even Swift passionately admired half a dozen great men of antiquity, we must allow for some exaggeration in his trenchant aphorism. It is probably truer to say that the public estimate of notable men has always been capricious, and determined by such conditions as personal magnetism or the popularity of the causes they were connected with. To take one conspicuous instance, no one would seriously doubt at the present day that Sir Eobert Peel was an incomparably greater man than Canning or Lord Althorp or Palmerston; but it is certain that he was more steadily reviled and depreciated than any of these, or than all three together. Fonblanque wrote of him as the Joseph Surface or Tartufe of politics; Disraeli taunted him before an applauding house with “sublime mediocrity.” The facts are, that with every private virtue he was a cold ungenial man in mixed society, and his singular fortune impelled him to carry out two distasteful reforms—Catholic Emancipation and Free Trade—which he had for years tried to avert. Still, even in a case of this kind we can see that the circumstances of modern society are incomparably more just to a reputation than those of the ancient world were. Peel as a Roman of the Empire would have come down to us in the pages of a Suetonius or a Tacitus, as the aristocratic clique loved to speak of him; his greatness would have been toned down by epigrammatic sentences, such as we now know to be unjust, and in all likelihood his memory would have been charged with some scandals of which he was wholly innocent. As it is, the worst that has happened has been that Peel never enjoyed during his lifetime the harvest of reputation that was his due, and that the honour we now pay him is as cold and unmeaning as an epitaph. Still the votary of fame, “that last infirmity of noble minds,” must lay his account for forfeiting immediate recognition if he wishes to do the purest work in any capacity. Shelley never lived to see his works read, and Wordsworth and Browning were only honoured when they were old. Peel frankly admitted that to Cobden rather than himself should have belonged the honour of passing Free Trade into law; and Cobden was impossible. There is therefore a chance in these matters which is never likely to be eliminated. Beyond this, while the great names of the past are luminous from being few, the prominent men of modern times are jostled in an almost indistinguishable crowd. One of the few of this generation in England, whose reputation in the higher mathematics was more than insular, used to speak regretfully of the chances by which real distinction of intellect was enabled to forge to the front in days when the whole civilised world was scarcely more populous than Scotland and London together are now.

Napoleon is said to have inquired what the lifetime of a great picture was, and being told that in the nature of things it could only last some centuries, to have ejaculated contemptuously, “Quelle belle immortalité!” It is more than conceivable that, as new nations spring into prominence, as the record of past time is extended, as the occupations in which men take interest multiply, fame will become less and less durable, though celebrity will be more and more cheaply purchased. An educated man in Shakespeare’s time needed only to burden his memory with a few names, and of those mentioned casually in Montaigne‘s Essays the larger number are now obscure except to professed scholars. It is probably not too much to say that every great epoch to some extent obliterates one that has gone before it. If Wellington’s victories had not been won, Marlborough would still be treasured with pride and familiarly known to Englishmen, and it is noticeable that the memory of the War of Independence has become fainter in the United States since the War of Liberation was fought with results equally momentous and with battles upon an incomparably grander scale. War, however, from its tragical circumstances and far-reaching effects, is the surest passport to immortality. Homer is comparatively forgotten, but Alexander is still a name of glory over great part of the world. Courier, indeed, has argued that some one else would have gained the battle of Kocroi if Condé had not been present, but that no one except Molière could have written the Misanthrope; and draws the inference that literary fame is of more intrinsic worth than military. Against this, however, we have to set the fact that literary fame is circumscribed by the duration of the phase of the language to which it belongs. To a Frenchman of the present day Molière is only a little archaic, and for civilised men generally French is still one of the languages of society which no one dares disregard; but it cannot be fanciful to anticipate a time when Molière will only be read with a sense of strangeness by Frenchmen and as a classic, and when some new literature, such as Russian, will be dividing the attention of highly-educated men. Nevertheless, the old dramatists are always likely to retain the advantage of being unsurpassable in a style that modern times will not care seriously to imitate. What, however, are we to say of lyrical poets, of essayists, of the vast multitude who will compete for distinction in such new forms as the coming age will tolerate, and who will be like the sand of the sea for number? It is surely impossible to suppose that the fame of many thousand men contesting recognition on fairly even terms, and producing fairly even work, will be so individual and distinct as to be a measurable incentive to action. Now, the argument that is good of literature will apply to every field of human activity. As chemists, engineers, physicians, lawyers, politicians, and soldiers multiply, it will be difficult, in the language of an old proverb, to see the trees for the wood.

The love of money is perhaps more likely to survive the changes of modern society than either the lust of power or the passion for fame. Even if we assume the State to encroach more and more upon the domain of private industry, and to undermine large properties with taxes and succession-duties, human nature will still remain with its inextinguishable cravings for whatever gold can purchase, and with a fertility of resource for acquiring wealth that will defy legislation. The experience of the United States, though there has been no modifying cause there like State Socialism, is very instructive up to a certain point. Gold in the United States does not purchase political power, and to some extent disqualifies for it. For a long time it did not even give social distinction, and the class that possessed it was unable to enjoy field-sports or costly pictures, and was limited in its private life by the trouble attending large households in a new country. Nevertheless, men went on speculating and accumulating with far more avidity than in Europe, and were very often content to find their reward in the lace and jewels which their wives wore. There was the desire to achieve success against competitors, and there was perhaps a feeling that if wealth was acquired the science of enjoying wealth would gradually be learned. With a few there was the honourable wish to connect their names with great public benefits—to found a Girard College or a Cornell University. It is conceivable that State Socialism, while it reduces the chances of money-making, will even increase its desirability. If we assume industry and property to pass more and more under the control of the State, we are almost bound to assume a large body of State functionaries, none of whom the democratic temper will permit to be very highly paid. A system that turned physicians into public officers salaried by the State, as vaccinators now are in some countries, would almost certainly make no important distinction between the highest and the lowest talent. Unless, therefore, private practice were forbidden, the ablest men would entrench themselves in this, and would probably make larger incomes than they at present do, as they would refer all pauper patients to the State medical men. Again, though it is possible to conceive the State monopolising all the land and all the mines, it is difficult to think that it could set itself to monopolise production and distribution. It may conceivably limit, the occupation of land so as to prevent the building up of large leaseholds, but it can hardly forbid the purchase of corn and cotton on the most extensive scale. Neither can it prevent a particular mine from turning out fabulously rich and giving enormous dividends to its lessees. Even the expedient of taxes designed to break up large properties can only be cautiously applied, as it is certain to be met by evasions and corruption of State officials. Therefore, in the most extreme and hypothetical case that seems at present possible, when the State has taken to itself all land, railways, steamers, canals, tramways, waterworks, gasworks, telegraphs, and telephones, has salaried the professions, and has even invaded finance with a State bank, there will still remain infinite possibilities for speculation and for the amassing of great fortunes. The distance between wealth and competence will indeed be more sharply accentuated than it is at present, for large professional incomes and inherited fortunes will be comparatively rare, and these it is which at present fill up the interval between the small ordinary stipends of clerical work and the great gains of the speculator.

That the passion for wealth will be a little changed in one respect is perhaps conceivable. Hitherto it has generally been associated with the desire to found a family. If, however, we conceive the family ties weakened, and it has been argued that many changes are conspiring to this result, and an active interposition of the State to prevent the transmission of property in great sums, wealth will come to be valued especially with a view to present consideration and enjoyment. The type of the old-fashioned miser is already obsolete except among the uneducated, and if these changes in social structure come to pass it will rapidly be discarded everywhere. The ideal of men with the money-grasping intelligence will be to realise the capacities of a Monte Cristo, not of course for a steady purpose of revenge, but for opportunities of magnificent ostentation.

Summing up, then, we seem to find that we are slowly but demonstrably approaching what we may regard as the age of reason or of a sublimated humanity; and that this will give us a great deal that we are expecting from it—well-ordered polities, security to labour, education, freedom from gross superstitions, improved health and longer life, the destruction of privilege in society and of caprice in family life, better guarantees for the peace of the world, and enhanced regard for life and property when war unfortunately breaks out. It is possible to conceive the administration of the most advanced states so equitable and efficient that no one will even desire seriously to disturb it. On the other hand, it seems reasonable to assume that religion will gradually pass into a recognition of ethical precepts and a graceful habit of morality; that the mind will occupy itself less and less with works of genius, and more and more with trivial results and ephemeral discussions; that husband and wife, parents and children, will come to mean less to one another; and that romantic feeling will die out in consequence; that the old will increase upon the young; that two great incentives to effort, the desire to use power for noble ends, and the desire to be highly esteemed, will come to promise less to capable men as the field of human energy is crowded; and generally that the world will be left without deep convictions or enthusiasm, without the regenerating influence of the ardour for political reform, and the fervour of pious faith which have quickened men for centuries past as nothing else has quickened them, with a passion purifying the soul. It would clearly be unreasonable to murmur at changes that express the realisation by the world of its highest thought, whether the issue be good or bad. The etiolated religion which it seems likely we shall subside upon; the complicated but on the whole satisfactory State mechanism, that will prescribe education, limit industry, and direct enjoyment, will become, when they are once arrived at, natural and satisfactory. The decline of the higher classes as an influence in society, the organisation of the inferior races in menacing forms throughout the Tropical Zone, are the natural result of principles that we cannot disown if we would. It would be impossible for a conservatively – minded monarch to reconstruct the nobility of the eighteenth century in the twentieth; and even now no practical statesman could dream of arresting Chinese power or Hindoo or negro expansion by wholesale massacres. The world is becoming too fibreless, too weak, and too good to contemplate or to carry out great changes which imply lamentable suffering. It trusts more and more to experience; less and less to insight and will.

The Medea of Corneille, face to face with supreme misfortune, was able to say that there at least remained to her herself. But that which is the saving hope of a strong character is the denial of hope to a generation of weak men. What is a society that has no purpose beyond supplying the day’s needs, and amusing the day’s vacuity, to do with the terrible burden of personality? It is doomed to live on into the ages, with all that the best ordered polity can secure it, with all inherited treasures of beauty, with a faith in science that is perpetually mocked by weaker and weaker results, and with no spiritual sense to understand what surrounds it, with the mind’s vision growing dim, with the apprehension of art dwarfed to taking comfort in bric-a-brac, with no hope or suggestion of sight beyond the grave. In the old age of the plant the roots continue to thicken out and deepen down, when there is neither blossom nor fruit. The spectacle of an old man with his intellect keen, with his experience bitter, with his appetites unsatiated, with the memory of past enjoyment stinging him, and deprived of the physical power to enjoy, is so familiar that we accept it as one of the commonplaces of life. Scarcely any one remembers that he will in turn live on into such an old age, if he does not sacrifice daily to the invisible powers; and even less does any of us assume that the world may easily put on this form of decrepitude:

The consummation coming past escape,
When we shall live most, and yet least enjoy.

Our morality will then be the emasculate tenderness of those who shrink from violence, not because it is a transgression of order, but because it is noisy and coarse; and having outlived strong passions, and the energy by which will translates itself into act, we shall plume ourselves on having abolished vice. Our intellectual discipline will be derived from the year-book and the review, and our intellectual pleasure from the French novel. Yet there seems no reason why men of this kind should not perpetuate the race, increasing and multiplying, till every rood of earth maintains its man, and the savour of vacant lives will go up to God from every home.

As an offset to these forebodings, it is undoubtedly well to remember that the world has passed through evil times before and has outlived them. It may even be admitted that wherever men have reflected enough to occupy themselves with forecasts of the future, their presentiments have been apt to take colour from their surroundings, and have sometimes been needlessly sombre. History tells us that the days upon which Gibbon afterwards looked back as the happiest humanity had known were days in which Christians and Jews were expecting the crash of the world, and in which the wisest of Roman Emperors gave it as a counsel of perfection, that the man who felt God within him should be ready for death as for a trumpet’s call. At a later time, which we now look back to as the golden season of romance and chivalry, England was covered with religious foundations created avowedly, as the charter of one of them states, because all things were tending visibly to extinction. In the first of these cases the depression of thoughtful men was greater than the actual state of the world warranted; in the second, than facts later on justified; and yet if Marcus Aurelius could have seen the state of the world in the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries, or if the pessimists of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries had lived on into the fifteenth, when Pecock was able to say that “ever more the world decreaseth in people,” they might have found abundant warrant for their despondency. On the other hand, history reminds us also that there have been two ages in which the world was hopeful and sanguinely self-confident. The first was the period when printing had conquered back a lost territory for the mind, and when the discovery of America offered a new world to Christendom in exchange for the lost East. These dreams of enlightenment and prosperity were the prelude to bloody religious wars extending over more than a century. The second time, of which those who shared its delirium have said, as one great contemporary said of the first, that merely to live in it was a joy, was the period that preceded the French Revolution—a time when men were dreaming that all which philosophy recommended could be inaugurated without bloodshed by decrees and mutual embraces and the planting of trees of liberty. There was some disenchantment from those dreams also. On the whole, neither our despondency nor our cheerful expectation can be assumed to correspond with any real forecast of the future. For a man to argue that he will recover from senile decay because he has outlived fever and a fall from his horse, would clearly be irrational. Neither do we, in fact, attach much importance to arguments of this sort. They are stimulating for a man or a nation in difficulties, but they lack the proportion necessary for comparison when we come to deal with the system of the Universe. What we mostly trust to, perhaps, is the sentiment expressed by Tennyson, that “somehow good will be the final goal of ill,” and we either assume that we shall go on to all time vindicating the Creator’s purpose by the mellowing perfection of our lives, or at least that we shall be allowed some centuries during which we may mature and sweeten in a world where incalculable terms of life seem already to have been allotted to the lower types. This man argues that we shall last as long as the coal-measures, and this other that there is no reason why the race should die out till the earth itself shall have begun to cool down into a skeleton of rock without atmosphere or central heat. Assume this protracted existence, and it seems natural to suppose that we are at present only in the infancy of man, and to anticipate that our remote descendants may be as far superior to ourselves in polity and intelligence as we are to the tribes of the lake period.

It is natural and perhaps good to indulge in these dreams, which encourage us to continued effort; but it is impossible not to remember that they derive no warrant from the analogies of nature, so far as we can be said to understand the natural world. If the recent surmises of geologists are correct, man has already been an inhabitant of the earth for some very long period, whether we measure it by tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of years, and has only had a history worth recording for some forty centuries at most. Even during historical times, so-called, the world has mostly been peopled by races, either like the negro very little raised above the level of brutes, or at best, like the lower-caste Hindoo and the Chinaman, of such secondary intelligence as to have added nothing permanent to our stock of ideas. At this moment, though the civilised and progressive races have till quite recently been increasing upon the inferior types, and though the lowest forms of all are being exterminated, there seems, as we have seen, good warrant for assuming that the advantage has already passed to the lower forms of humanity, and indeed it appears to be a well-ascertained law that the races which care little for comfort and decency are bound to tide over bad times better than their superiors, and that the classes which reach the highest standard are proportionally short-lived. Nay, so profusely is life given in excess of what we can account the efficient use made of it, so many purposeless generations seem to pass away before humanity is in travail of a prophet or a thinker, that some inquirers have actually defined the method of creation as a law of waste. “To work in vain,” said the author of The Plurality of Worlds, “is so far from being contrary to the usual proceedings of nature that it is an operation which is constantly going on in every part of nature.” Of the weeds we trample down every one represents a wealth of wasted germs; of the fish that people the deep not one but is the fortunate survivor where, it may be, a million possible existences have perished before birth, and these again, if we go further back, represent other and often higher types that were animate and are extinct. Above us the infinite distances of space are studded with orbs, of almost all of which we can say more or less certainly that if they admit life at all it is not our life. Have we any warrant for assuming that man, the creature of a moment in time, the inhabitant of a speck in space, is really the heir of all the ages, or anything more than a sublimated form of terrestrial life, which will have its youth, its maturity, and its decay like everything else hitherto created. Science, with its record of glacial epochs and its forecast of vanishing heat; religion, with its warning that “the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up,” do not speak of life, but of death.

Happily, what the distant future of the world may be is a matter that does not much concern us, and about which we may rejoice to know nothing. It is quite possible that if the noblest Greeks and Romans had foreseen how short-lived the supremacy of Athens was to be, or at what cost of national character the empire of the world was to be achieved by Rome, they would have folded their arms, or have set sail, as Sertorius thought of doing, in quest of the Fortunate Isles, where life was nothing more than lotos-eating. We are able to see that though the aspirations of patriotism have been defeated, the greater world of humanity has been the richer for what these men ventured and thought. Should it so be that something like what the Norsemen conceived as “the twilight of the gods” is coming upon the earth, and that there will be a temporary eclipse of the higher powers, we may at least prepare- for it in the spirit of the Norsemen, who, as the Ynglinga Saga tells us, deemed that whether God gave them victory or called them home to himself either award was good. We are so accustomed to the fierce rapture of struggle and victory, to that rough training of necessity by which the weak are destroyed, to revolutions of the political order, transferences of power and wealth, and discoveries in science, that we can hardly conceive a quiet old age of humanity, in which it may care only for sunshine and food and quiet, and expect nothing great from the toil of hand or thought. Knowing something of the limitations and very little of the capabilities of our moral nature, it is perhaps natural we should shrink from the prospect that the classes which have been the depository of refinement and breeding will be submerged below the level of democracy, that distinctions of rank and fortune, of character and intellect, will become unimportant, that the family with its consecrated memories and duties will be transformed into a genial partnership of independent wills, that fancy and imagination will find no expression in literature, and that the faiths for which men have lived and died in times past will only survive as topics of meditation or as the discipline of ethical practice. When the gods of Greece passed away with the great Pan, nature lost its divinity, but society was overshadowed by a holier presence. When Christianity itself began to appear grotesque and incredible, men reconciled themselves to the change by belief in an age of reason, of enlightment, of progress. It is now more than probable that our science, our civilisation, our great and real advance in the practice of government are only bringing us nearer to the day when the lower races will predominate in the world, when the higher races will lose their noblest elements, when we shall ask nothing from the day but to live, nor from the future but that we may not deteriorate. Even so, there will still remain to us ourselves. Simply to do our work in life, and to abide the issue, if we stand erect before the eternal calm as cheerfully as our fathers faced the eternal unrest, may be nobler training for our souls than the faith in progress.