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Freeland by Theodor Hertzka

Part 4 out of 9

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to everyone, and no one has either the right or the might to reserve any
advantage to himself alone, we are fortunately able to entrust the decision
of all questions affecting material interest to those who are the most
directly interested--therefore, to those who possess the most special
knowledge. Not merely do the legislature and the executive thereby acquire
in the highest degree a specialist character, but there disappears from
public life that passionate prepossession which elsewhere is the
characteristic note of party politics. As a well-understood public interest
and sound reason decide in all matters, we have no occasion to become
heated. At our elections our aim is not 'to get in one of our party,' but
the only thing about which opinions may differ is which of the candidates
happens to be the most experienced, the most apt for the post. And as, in
consequence of the organisation of our whole body of labour, the
capabilities of each one among us must in time be discovered, mistakes in
this determining point in our public life are scarcely possible.

As the constituent assembly retained the twelvefold division of the
governing authority, there were henceforth in Freeland, besides the twelve
different executive boards--which in their sphere of action were to some
extent analogous to the ministries of Western nations--twelve different
consultative, determining, and supervising assemblies, elected by the whole
people, in place of the single parliament of the Western nations. These
twelve assemblies were elected by the whole of the electors, each elector
having the right to give an equal vote in all the elections; but the
distribution of the constituencies was different, and the election for each
of the twelve representative bodies took place separately. Some of these
elections--those, namely, for the affairs of the chief executive and
finance, for maintenance, for education, for art and science, for
sanitation and justice--took place according to residence; the elections in
the other cases according to calling. For the latter purpose, the whole of
the inhabitants of Freeland were divided, according to their callings, into
larger or smaller constituencies, each of which elected one or more
deputies in proportion to its numbers. Of those callings which had but few
followers, several of the more nearly allied were united into one
constituency. Membership of the respective constituencies depended upon the
will of the elector--that is, every elector could get his or her name
entered in the list of any calling with which he or she preferred to vote,
and thus exercise the right of voting for the representative body elected
by the members of that calling.

The highest officers in the twelve branches of the executive were appointed
by the twelve representative bodies; the appointment of the other officers
was the business of the chiefs of the executive. In all the more important
matters all these had to consult together beforehand upon the measures that
were to be laid before the representative bodies.

The discussions of the different representative bodies, as a rule, took
place apart, and generally in sessions held at different periods. Several
of the bodies sat permanently, others met merely for a few days once a
year. The numerical strength of these specialist parliaments was different:
the smallest--that for statistics--consisted of no more than thirty
members, the four largest of a hundred and twenty members each. When
matters which interested equally several different representative bodies
had to be discussed, the bodies thus interested sat together. Disputes as
to the competency of the different bodies were impossible, as the mere wish
expressed by any representative body to take part in the debates of another
sufficed to make the subject under consideration a common one.

The natural result of this organisation was that every inhabitant of
Freeland confined his attention to those public affairs which he
understood, or thought he understood. In each branch of the administration
he gave his vote to that candidate who in his opinion was the best
qualified for a seat in that branch of the administration. And this, again,
had as a consequence a fact to Western ideas altogether incredible--namely,
that every branch of the public administration was in the hands of the most
expert specialists, and the best qualified men in all Freeland. Very soon
there was developed a highly remarkable kind of political honour,
altogether different from anything known in Western nations. Among the
latter, it is held to be a point of honour to stick to one's party
unconditionally through thick and thin, to support it by vote and influence
whether one understands the particular matter in question or not. The
political honour of a citizen of Freeland demands of him yet more
positively that he devote his attention and his energy to public affairs;
but public opinion condemns him severely if--from whatever motive--he
concerns himself with matters which he plainly does not understand. Thus it
is strictly required that the elector should have some professional
knowledge of that branch of the administration into which he throws the
weight of his vote. The elections, therefore, are in very good hands;
attempts to influence the electors by fallacious representations or by
promises would, even if they were to be made, prove resultless. There is no
elector who would vote in the elections of the whole twelve representative
bodies. The women, in particular, with very few exceptions, refrain from
voting in the elections in which the separate callings are specially
concerned; on the other hand, they take a lively interest in the elections
in which the electors vote according to residence; and in the elections for
the board of education their votes turn the scale. Their passive franchise
also comes into play, and in the representative bodies that have charge of
maintenance, of art and science, of sanitation and justice, women
frequently sit; and in that which has charge of education there are always
several women. They never take part in the executive. By way of completing
this description, it may be mentioned that the elected deputies are paid
for their work at the rate of an equivalent of eight labour-hours for each
day that they sit.

After the constituent assembly had passed the constitution it dissolved
itself, and the election of the twelve representative bodies was at once
proceeded with. Punctually on the 20th of October these bodies met, and the
committee handed its authority over into their hands. The members of the
committee were all re-elected as heads of the different branches of the
administration, except four who declined to take office afresh. The
government of Freeland was now definitively constituted.

In the meantime, the three expeditions sent to discover the best route for
a railway to the coast had returned. The expedition which had been
surveying the shortest route--that through the Dana valley to the Witu
coast--had met with no exceptional difficulty as to the land, and the
expectation that this, by far the shortest, would prove to be also
technically preferable had been verified. Nor in any other respect had any
serious difficulty been encountered within about 125 miles from Kenia. But
from thence to the coast the Galla tribes offered to the expedition such a
stubborn and vicious opposition that the hostilities had not ceased at the
end of two months, and several conflicts had taken place, in which the
Galla tribes had always been severely punished; but this did not prevent
the expedition from having to carry out its thoroughly peaceful mission in
perpetual readiness to fight. A railway through that region would have had
to be preceded by a formal campaign for the pacification or expulsion of
the Galla tribes, and could then have been constructed only in the midst of
a permanent preparedness for war. This route had therefore, provisionally
at least, to be rejected.

There were not less weighty reasons against the route over Ukumbani along
the Athi river. Along the river-valley the road could have been made
without special technical difficulty, but, particularly on the second half
of it, the route lay through unhealthy swamps and jungles, which could not
immediately be brought under cultivation. And if a route were chosen which
would leave the valley proper and pass among the adjoining hills, the
technical conditions would not be more favourable, nor the estimated cost
less, than a line along the third route following the old road to Mombasa.
This third route was therefore unanimously fixed upon. It had in its favour
the important circumstance that it passed through friendly districts, which
at no very distant future would most probably be settled by Freeland
colonists. That it was the longest and the most expensive of the three
could not, therefore, prevent us from giving it the preference, unless the
difference in cost proved to be too great--which, as the event showed, was
not the case.

The work was begun forthwith. Powerful and novel machines of all kinds
were, in the meantime, constructed in great number by our Freeland
machine-factories, and, furnished with these, 5,000 Freeland and 8,000
negro workers began the work at eighteen different points, not including
the eleven longer and the thirty-two shorter tunnels--with a total length
of twenty-four miles--each of which formed a separate part of tin work. The
rails, of the best Bessemer metal, were partly made by ourselves, and were
partly--those for the distance between Mombasa and Taveta--brought from
Europe. Two years after the turning of the first sod the part between Eden
Vale and Ngongo was ready for traffic; three months later the part between
Mombasa and Taveta; and nine months later still the middle portion between
Ngongo and Taveta. Thus exactly five years after our pioneers had first set
foot in Freeland, the first locomotive, which the day before had seen the
waves of the Indian Ocean breaking upon the shore at Mombasa, greeted the
glaciers of the Kenia with its shrill whistle.

That this extensive work could be completed in so short a time and with so
little expenditure of labour we owed to our machinery; which also enabled
us to keep the cost within comparatively moderate limits, despite the fact
that we had necessarily to pay our workers at a rate at which no railway
constructors were ever paid before. Our Freeland railway constructors, who
had at once formed themselves into a number of associations, earned in the
first year 22s. a day each, and in the third year 28s. a day, though they
worked only seven hours a day. Notwithstanding this, the whole 672 miles,
most of it tolerably difficult work through hills, cost only 9,500,000, or
a little over 14,000 per mile. Our 13,000 workers did more with their
magnificent labour-sparing machines than 100,000 ordinary workers could
have done with pick and barrow; and the employment of this colossal
'capital'--valued at 4,000,000--was profitable because labour was paid at
so high a rate.

As a matter of course, a telegraph was laid between Eden Vale and Mombasa
together with this double-railed railway.

Whilst these works were in progress and the incessantly growing population
of Freeland was brought into closer connection with the old home, important
changes had been brought about in our relations with our native African
neighbours--changes in part pacific, in part warlike, and which exercised a
not less important influence upon the course of development of our
commonwealth.

In the first place, the Masai of Lykipia and the lake districts between
Naivasha and Baringo, had, at their own initiative and at their own cost,
though under the direction of some of our engineers, constructed a good
waggon-road, 230 miles long, through their whole district from the Naivasha
lake northwards, and then eastwards through Lykipia as far as Eden Vale.
They declared that their honour and their pride were offended by having to
pass through a foreign district when they wished to visit us, the only
practicable road having been one through the country of the Wa-Kikuyu. So
strong was their desire to be in immediate touch with our district that,
when a part of the hired Wa-Taveta road-makers, on account of some
misunderstanding, left them in the lurch, the Masai themselves took their
places, and, taking turns to the number of 3,000, they carried on the work
with an energy which no one could have supposed to be possible in a people
who not long before had been so averse to labour. We decided to reward this
proof of strong attachment and of great capacity by an equally striking act
of recognition. When the Masai road was finished, and a deputation of the
elders and leaders of all the tribes made a jubilant and triumphant entry
by it into Eden Vale, we received them with great honour, and gave them
presents for the whole Masai people which were worth about as much as the
new road had cost. In addition, the 6,500 Werndl rifles, which had hitherto
been only lent to the Masai, and 2,000 horses were given them as their own
property in token of our friendship and respect. It goes without saying
that the weapons were received by this still martial people with great
enthusiasm. And the horses were almost more valuable still in their eyes;
for riding was the one among all our arts which the Masai most admired, and
among all our possessions which they esteemed most highly were our horses.
But we had hitherto been very frugal with our horses, and we had given away
only a few to individual natives in Masailand and Taveta in recognition of
special services. The number of horses in Freeland had, partly by breeding,
but mainly by continuous systematic importation, increased during the first
two years to 26,000; but we expected at first to make more use of horses
than was afterwards found to be necessary, and that was the reason why this
noble animal, which we had been the first to establish in Equatorial
Africa, was still a much-admired rarity everywhere outside of Freeland,
particularly in Masailand, where the horse was regarded as the ideal of
martial valour.

In the second place, it should be mentioned that the civilisation of the
Masai, as well as of the other tribes in alliance with us, made rapid
progress. The _el-moran_, when once they had become accustomed to light
work, and had given up their inactive camp-life, allowed themselves to be
induced by us to enter early upon the married state. Our women succeeded in
uprooting the Ditto abuse. Several of the ladies, with Mrs. Ney at their
head, undertook a tour through Masailand, and offered to every Masai girl
who made a solemn promise of chastity until marriage, admission into a
Freeland family for a year, and instruction in our manners, customs, and
various forms of skilled labour. So great was the number who accepted this
offer, that they could not all be received into Freeland at once, but had
to be divided into three yearly groups. Yet even those who could not be
immediately received were decorated with the insignia of their new
honour--a complete dress after the Freeland pattern, their barbarian wire
neck-bands, leg-chains, and ear-stretchers, as well as their coating of
grease, being discarded--and they were solemnly pronounced to be 'friends
of the white women.' So permanent was the influence of this distinction
upon the Masai girls, who had not given up their ambition along with their
licentious habits, that not one of them proved to be unworthy of the
friendship of the virtuous white ladies. The Masai youth were so zealous in
their efforts to win the favour of the girls who were thus distinguished,
that the latter were all very soon married. That at the end of the year
there was an eager competition for the girls who were returning home is as
much a matter of course as that those who in the meantime had married, even
if they had had children, had not forfeited their right to a residence in
Freeland--a circumstance that led to not a few embarrassments. The ultimate
result was that in a very short time the once so licentious Masailand was
changed into a model country of good morals. The hitherto prevalent
polygamy died out, and several hundred good schools arose in different
parts of the country, which in that way made gigantic strides towards
complete civilisation.

In the meantime, in the north-west, among our Kavirondo friends on the
north shore of the Victoria Nyanza, events of another kind were preparing.
The Kavirondo, a very numerous and peaceable agricultural and pastoral
tribe, touched Uganda, where, during recent years, there had been many
internal struggles and revolutions. Unlike the other peoples whom we have
become acquainted with, and who lived in independent, loosely connected,
small tribes under freely elected chiefs with little influence, the
Wangwana (the name of the inhabitants of Uganda) have been for centuries
united into a great despotically governed State under a _kabaka_ or
emperor. Their kingdom, whose original part stretches along the north bank
of the Victoria Nyanza, has been of varying dimensions, according as the
fierce policy of conquest of the _kabaka_ for the time being was more or
less successful; but Uganda has always been a scourge to all its
neighbours, who have suffered from the ceaseless raids, extortions, and
cruelties of the Wangwana. Broad and fertile stretches of country became
desert under this plague; and as for many years the _kabaka_ had been able,
by means of Arab dealers, to get possession of a few thousand (though very
miserable) guns, and a few cannons (with which latter he had certainly not
been able to effect much for want of suitable ammunition), the dread of the
cruel robber State grew very great. Just at the time of our arrival at the
Kenia there was an epoch of temporary calm, because the Wangwana were too
much occupied with their own internal quarrels to pay much attention to
their neighbours. After the death of the last _kabaka_ his numerous sons
terribly devastated the country by their ferocious struggles for the rule,
until in the previous year one of the rivals who was named Suna (after an
ancestor renowned both for his cruelty and for his conquests) had got rid
of most of his brothers by treachery. The power was thenceforward
concentrated more and more in the hands of this _kabaka_, and the raids and
extortions among the neighbouring tribes at once recommenced. Suna's anger
was directed particularly against the Kavirondo, because these had allowed
one of his brothers, who had fled to them, to escape, instead of having
delivered him up. Repeatedly had several thousand Wangwana fallen upon the
Kavirondo, carried off men and cattle, burnt villages, cut down the
bananas, destroyed the harvests, and thus inflicted inhuman cruelty. In
their necessity the Kavirondo appealed to the northern Masai tribes for
help. They had heard that we had supplied the Masai with guns and horses;
and they now begged the Masai to send a troop of warriors with European
equipments to guard their Uganda frontier. As payment, they promised to
give to every Masai warrior who came to their aid a liberal maintenance and
an ox monthly, and to every horseman, two oxen.

Less on account of this offer than to gratify their love of adventure, the
Masai, having first consulted us in Freeland, consented. We saw no
sufficient reason to keep them from rendering this assistance, although we
were by no means so certain as to the result as were our neighbours, who
considered themselves invincible now they were in possession of their new
weapons. We offered to place several experienced white leaders at the head
of the troops they sent to Kavirondo; but as we saw that our martial
friends looked upon this as a sign of distrust and were a little displeased
at the offer, we simply warned them to be cautious, and particularly not to
be wasteful of the ammunition they took with them.

At first everything went well. Wherever the Wangwana marauders showed
themselves they were sent home with bleeding heads, even when they appeared
in large numbers; and after a few months it seemed almost as if these
severe lessons had induced the Wangwana to leave the Kavirondo alone in
future, for a long time passed without any further raids. But suddenly,
when we were busy getting in our October harvest, there reached us the
startling news of a dreadful catastrophe which had befallen our Masai
friends in Kavirondo. The _kabaka_ Suna had only taken time to prepare for
an annihilating blow. While the former raids had been made by bodies of
only a few thousand men, this time Suna had collected 30,000, of whom 5,000
bore muskets; and, placing himself at their head, he had with these fallen
upon the Kavirondo and Masai unexpectedly. He surprised a frontier-camp of
900 Masai with 300 horses when they were asleep, and cut them to pieces
before they had time to recover from their surprise. The Masai thus not
only lost more than a third of their number, but the remainder of them were
divided into two independent parts, for the surprised camp was in the
middle of the cordon. But, instead of hastily retreating and waiting until
the remaining force had been able to unite before taking the offensive, one
of the Masai leaders, as soon as he had hurriedly got some 500 men
together, was led by his rage at the overthrow of so many of his comrades
to make a foolhardy attack upon the enormously over-numbering force of the
enemy; he thereby fell into an ambush, and, after having too rashly shot
away all his cartridges, was, together with his men, so fearfully cut down
that, after a most heroic resistance, only a very few escaped. Our friend
Mdango, who now took the command, was able to collect only 1,100 or 1,200
Masai on the other wing; and with these he succeeded in making a tolerably
orderly retreat into the interior of Kavirondo, being but little molested
by Suna, whose eye was kept mainly fixed upon collecting the colossal
booty.

Our ultimatum was despatched to Suna on the very day on which we received
this sad news. We told the Masai, who offered to send the whole body of
their warriors against Uganda, that 1,000 men, in addition to the 1,200 at
present in Kavirondo, would be sufficient. We placed these 2,200 Masai
under our Freeland officers, chose from among ourselves 900 volunteers,
including 500 horsemen, and added twelve cannons and sixteen rockets,
together with thirty elephants. On the 24th of October Johnston, the leader
of this campaign, started for Kavirondo along the Masai road.

There he found, around the camp of the _el-moran_--now, when it was too
late, very carefully entrenched and guarded--unnumbered thousands of
Kavirondo and Nangi, armed with spear and bow. These he sent home as a
useless crowd. On the 10th of November he crossed the Uganda frontier; six
days later Suna was totally overthrown in a brief engagement near the Ripon
falls, his host of 110,000 men scattered to the winds, and he himself, with
a few thousand of his bodyguard armed with muskets and officered by Arabs
from the coast, taken prisoner.

On the second day after the fight our men occupied Rubaga, the capital of
Uganda. Thither came in rapid succession all the chief men of the country,
promising unconditional submission and ready to agree to any terms we might
offer. But Johnston offered to receive them into the great alliance between
us and the other native nations--an offer which the Wangwana naturally
accepted with the greatest joy. The conditions laid upon them were:
emancipation of all slaves, peaceful admission of Freeland colonists and
teachers, and reparation for all the injury they had done to the Kavirondo
and the Masai. In this last respect the Wangwana people suffered nothing,
for the countless herds of cattle belonging to their _kabaka_ which had
fallen into our hands as booty amply sufficed to replace what had been
stolen from the Kavirondo and as indemnity for the slain Kavirondo and
Masai warriors. Suna himself was carried away as prisoner, and interned on
the banks of the Naivasha lake.

The subsequent pacific relations were uninterrupted except by an isolated
attempt at resistance by the Arabs that had been left in the country; but
this was promptly and vigorously put down by the Wangwana themselves
without any need of our intervention. What contributed largely to inspire
respect in the breasts of the Wangwana were a military road which the
Kavirondo and Nangi constructed from the Victoria Nyanza to the Masai road
on the Baringo lake, and a Masai colony of 3,000 _el-moran_ on the
Kavirondo and Uganda frontier. But on the whole, after the battle at the
Ripon falls, the mere sound of our name was sufficient to secure peace and
quiet in this part also of the interior of Equatorial Africa. All round the
Victoria Nyanza, whose shores from time immemorial had been the theatre of
savage, merciless fighting, humane sentiments and habits gradually
prevailed; and as a consequence a considerable degree of material
prosperity was developed with comparative rapidity among what had
previously been the wildest tribes.

Even apart from its size, the Victoria Nyanza is the most important among
the enormous lakes of Central Africa. It covers an area of more than 20,000
square miles, and is therefore, with the exception of the Caspian, the Sea
of Aral, and the group of large lakes in North America, the largest piece
of inland water in the world. It is larger than the whole of the kingdom of
Bavaria, and its depth is proportionate to its size, for the plummet in
places does not touch the ground until it has sunk 250 fathoms; it lies
4,400 feet above the sea-level--more than 650 feet above the Brocken, the
highest hill in Middle Germany. This lake is nearly encircled by ranges of
hills which rise from 1,500 to 5,000 feet above its surface; so that the
climate of the immediately contiguous country, which is healthy without
exception and quite free from swamp, is everywhere temperate, and in some
districts positively Arcadian. And this magnificent, picturesque, and in
many places highly romantic lake is the basin source of the sacred Nile,
which, leaving it at the extreme northern end by the Ripon falls, flows
thence to the Albert Nyanza, which is 1,500 feet lower, and thence
continues its course as the White Nile.

Two months after we had established ourselves in Kavirondo and Uganda a
screw steamer of 500 tons burden was ploughing the sea-like waves of the
Victoria Nyanza, and before the end of the next year our lake flotilla
consisted of five ships. These were well received everywhere on the coast,
and the brisk commerce created by them proved to be one of the most
effective of civilising agencies. The fertility of the lands surrounding
this splendid lake is positively unbounded. A few hundred square yards of
well-watered ground are sufficient to supply the needs of a large family;
and when we had once instructed the natives in the use of agricultural
implements, the abundance of the choicest field and garden produce was
unexampled. But the growth of higher needs, particularly among the tribes
that dwelt on the western shores of the lake, remained for a long time
remarkably behind the improvement in the means of production. These simple
tribes produced more than sufficient to supply their wants, almost without
any expenditure of labour, and often out of mere curiosity to see the
results of the improved implements which had been furnished to them. As
they had no conception of property in land, and the non-utilisable
over-production could not, therefore, with them--as would unquestionably
have happened elsewhere--beget misery among the masses, here for years
together the fable of the Castle of Indolence became a reality. The idea of
property was almost lost, the necessities of life became valueless,
everyone could take as much of them as he wished to have; strangers
travelling through found everywhere a well-spread table; in short, the
Golden Age seemed about to come to the Victoria Nyanza. This absolute lack
of a sense of higher needs, however, proved to be a check to further
progress, and we took pains--not altogether without regret--so far to
disturb this paradisiacal condition as to endeavour to excite in the tribes
a taste for what they had not got. Our endeavours succeeded, but the
success was long in coming. With the advent of more strongly felt needs a
higher morality and intellectual culture at once took root in this corner
of the earth.

CHAPTER XII

One of the principal tasks of the Freeland government, and one in which, as
a rule, the ministries for art and science and for public works
co-operated, was the thorough investigation and survey of our new home:
first of the narrower district of the Kenia, and then of the neighbouring
regions with which we were continually coming into closer relationship. The
orographic and hydrographic systems of the whole country were determined;
the soil and the climate were minutely examined. In doing this, both the
higher scientific standpoint and that of prosaic utility were kept in view.
For scientific purposes there was constructed an accurate map of the whole
of the Masai and Kikuyu territories, showing most of the geographical
details. All the more prominent eminences were measured and ascended, the
Kenia not excepted.

The view from the Kenia is magnificent above measure; but, apart from the
mountain itself and its glaciers, it offers little variety. In a circle, as
far as the eye can reach, spreads a most fertile country, intersected by
numerous watercourses, which nowhere, except in a great trough-like basin
of about 1,900 square miles in extent in the north-west, give rise to
swamps. The most striking feature of the whole region is the tableland
falling away in a number of terraces, and broken by the shoulders of
massive hills. The foot-hills proper of the Kenia begin with the highest
terrace, where they form a girdle of varying breadth and height around the
central mass of the mountain, which rises with a steep abrupt outline. This
central mass, at a height of from 16,000 to 18,000 feet, bears a number of
gigantic glacier-fields, from the midst of which the peak rises abruptly,
flanked at some distance by a yet steeper, but small, horn.

A very different character marks the next in importance of the
mountain-formations that belong to the district of Freeland--namely, the
Aberdare range, about forty-five miles west of the Kenia, and stretching
from north to south a distance of more than sixty miles, with an average
breadth of twelve and a-half miles. The highest peak of this chain reaches
nearly 15,000 feet above the sea; and while the Kenia everywhere bears an
impress of grandeur, a ravishing loveliness is the great characteristic of
the Aberdare landscapes. It is true that here also are not wanting colossal
hills that produce an overwhelming impression, but the chief peculiarity is
the charming variety of romantic billowy-outlined hills, intermingled with
broad valleys, covered in part with luxuriant but not too dense forests, in
part spreading out into emerald flowery pastures everywhere watered by
numberless crystal-clear brooks and rivers, lakes and pools. This
mountain-district of nearly 800 square miles resembles a magnificent park,
from whose eminences the mighty snow-sea of the Kenia is visible to the
east, and the emerald-and-sapphire sheen of the great Masai
lakes--Naivasha, El-Meteita, and Nakuro--to the west. And this marvellously
lovely landscape, which combines all the charms of Switzerland and India,
bears in the bosom of its hills immense mineral treasures. Here, and not at
the Kenia, as our geologists soon discovered, was the future seat of the
Freeland industry, particularly of the metallurgic industry. Beds of coal
which in extent and quality at least equalled the best of England,
magnetite containing from fifty to seventy per cent. of iron, copper, lead,
bismuth, antimony, sulphur in rich veins, a large bed of rock-salt on the
western declivity just above the salt lake of Nakuro, and a number of other
mineral treasures, were discovered in rapid succession, and the most
accessible of them were at once taken advantage of. In particular, the
newly opened copper-mines had a heavy demand made upon their resources when
the telegraph was laid to the coast; the demand was still heavier as
electricity became more and more largely used as a motive force.

For great changes had meantime taken place at the Kenia. New-comers
continued to arrive in greater and greater numbers. At the close of the
fourth year the population of Freeland had risen to 780,000 souls. A great
part of Eden Vale had become a city of villas, which covered forty square
miles and contained 58,000 dwelling-houses, whose 270,000 occupants devoted
themselves to gardening, industrial, or intellectual pursuits. The
population of the Dana plateau had risen to 140,000, who, besides
cultivating what land was still available there for agriculture, gave by
far the greater part of their attention to various kinds of industries. The
main part of the agriculture had been transferred to a plain some 650 feet
lower down, beyond the zone of forest. This lower plateau extended, with
occasional breaks, round the whole of the mountain, and offered in its
3,000 square miles of fertile soil abundant agricultural ground for the
immediate future.

Here some 240,000 acres were at first brought under the plough after they
had--like all the cultivated ground in Freeland--been protected against the
visits of wild animals by a strong timber fence. The smaller game, which
could not be kept away from the seed by fencing, had respect for the dogs,
of which many were bred and trained to keep watch at the fences as well as
to guard the cattle. This protection was amply sufficient to keep away all
the creatures that would have meddled with the seed, except the monkeys,
some of which had occasionally to be shot when, in their nocturnal raids,
they refused to be frightened away by the furious barking of the
four-footed guardians.

Steam was still provisionally employed as motive power in agriculture; but
provision was being made on a very large scale to substitute electric for
steam force. The motive power for the electric dynamos was derived from the
Dana river where, after being supplemented by two large streams from the
hills just below the great waterfall, it was broken into a series of strong
rapids and cataracts as it hurried down to the lower land. These rapids and
cataracts were at the lower end of the tableland which, as indicative of
the use we made of it, we named Cornland. It was these rapids and smaller
cataracts, and not the great waterfall of 800 feet, that were utilised for
agricultural purposes. These afforded a total fall of 870 feet; and, as the
river here already had a great body of water, it was possible, by a
well-arranged combination of turbines and electro-motors, to obtain a total
force of from 500,000 to 600,000 horse-power. This was far more than could
be required for the cultivation of the whole of Cornland even in the
intensest manner. The provision made for the next year was calculated at
40,000 horse-power. Well-isolated strong copper wires were to convey the
force generated by twenty gigantic turbines in two hundred dynamos to its
several destinations, where it had to perform all the labours of
agriculture, from ploughing to the threshing, dressing, and transport of
the corn. For a network of electrical railways was also a part of this
system of agricultural mechanism.

The great Dana cataract, with what was calculated to be a force of 124,000
horse-power, was utilised for the purposes of electric lighting in Eden
Vale and in the town on the Dana plateau. For the time being, for the
public lighting it sufficed to erect 5,000 contact-lamps a little more than
100 feet high, and each having a lighting power of 2,000 candles. These
used up a force of 12,000 horse-power. For lighting dwelling-houses and
isolated or night-working factories, 420,000 incandescent-lamps were
employed. This required a force of 40,000 horse-power; so that the great
cataract had to supply a force of 52,000 horse-power to the electro-motors.
This was employed during the day as the motive power of a net of railways,
with a total length of a little over 200 miles, which traversed the
principal streets and roads in the Dana plateau and Eden Vale. In the
evening and at night, when the electricity was used for lighting purposes,
the railways had to be worked by dynamos of several thousand horse-power.
In this way altogether nearly two-fifths of the available force was called
into requisition at the close of the fifth year; the remaining three-fifths
remained for the time unemployed, and formed a reserve for future needs.

The fourth and fifth years of Freeland were also marked by the construction
of a net of canals and aqueducts, both for Eden Vale and for the Dana
plateau. The canals served merely to carry the storm-water into the Dana;
whilst the refuse-water and the sewage were carried away in cast-iron pipes
by means of a system of pneumatic exhaust-tubes, and then disinfected and
utilised as manure. The aqueducts were connected with the best springs in
the upper hills, and possessed a provisional capacity of supplying
22,000,000 gallons daily, and were used for supplying a number of public
wells, as well as all the private houses. By the addition of fresh sources
this supply was in a short period doubled and trebled. At the same time all
the streets were macadamised; so that the cleanliness and health of the
young towns were duly cared for in all respects.

The board of education had made no less vigorous efforts. A public opinion
had grown up that the youth of Freeland, without distinction of sex and
without reference to future callings, ought to enjoy an education which,
with the exception of the knowledge of Greek and Latin, should correspond
to that obtainable, for example, in the six first classes in a German
gymnasium. Accordingly, boys and girls were to attend school from the age
of six to that of sixteen years, and, after acquiring the elements, were to
be taught grammar, the history of literature, general history, the history
of civilisation, physics, natural history, geometry, and algebra.

Not less importance was attached to physical education than to intellectual
and moral. Indeed, it was a principle in Freeland that physical education
should have precedence, since a healthy, harmoniously developed mind
presupposed a healthy harmoniously developed body. Moreover, in the
cultivation of the intellect less stress was laid upon the accumulation of
knowledge than upon the stimulation of the young mind to independent
thought; therefore nothing was more anxiously and carefully avoided than
over-pressure of mental work. No child was to be engaged in mental
work--home preparation included--longer than at most six hours a day; hence
the hours of teaching of any mental subject were limited to three a day,
whilst two other school hours were devoted daily to physical
exercises--gymnastics, running, dancing, swimming, riding; and for boys, in
addition, fencing, wrestling, and shooting. A further principle in Freeland
education was that the children should not be _forced_ into activity any
more than the adults. We held that a properly directed logical system of
education, not confined to the use of a too limited range of means, could
scarcely fail to bring the pliable mind of childhood to a voluntary and
eager fulfilment of reasonably allotted duties. And experience justified
our opinion. Our mode of instruction had to be such as would make school
exceedingly attractive; but, when this had been achieved, our boys and
girls learnt in half the time as much, and that as thoroughly, as the
physically and intellectually maltreated European boys and girls of the
same age. For health's sake, the teaching was carried on out of doors as
much as possible. With this in view, the schools were built either in large
gardens or on the border of the forest, and the lessons in natural history
were regularly, and other lessons frequently, given in connection with
excursions into the neighbourhood. Consequently our school children
presented a different appearance from that we had been accustomed to see in
our old home, and especially in its great cities. Rosy faces and figures
full of robust health, vigour, and the joy of living, self-reliance, and
strong intelligence were betrayed by every mien and every movement. Thus
were our children equipped for entering upon the serious duties of life.

Naturally such a system of instruction demanded a very numerous and highly
gifted staff of teachers. In Freeland there was on an average one teacher
to every fifteen scholars, and the best intelligence in the land was
secured for the teaching profession by the payment of high salaries. For
the first four classes, which were taught chiefly by young women--single or
widowed--the salaries ranged from 1,400 to 1,800 labour-hour equivalents;
for the other six classes from 1,800 to 2,400. In the fifth year of the
settlement these salaries, reckoned in money, amounted to from 350 to
600.

But even such a demand for high intelligence Freeland was determined to
meet out of its own resources. In the third year, therefore, a high school
was founded, in which all those branches of knowledge were taught which in
Europe can be learnt at the universities, academies, and technical
colleges. All the faculties were endowed with a liberality of which those
outside of Freeland can have scarcely any conception. Our observatories,
laboratories, and museums had command of almost unlimited means, and no
stipend was too high to attract and retain a brilliant teacher. The same
held good of the technical, and not less of the agricultural and
commercial, professorial chairs and apparatus for teaching in our high
school. The instruction in all faculties was absolutely untrammelled, and,
like that in the lower schools, gratuitous. In the fifth year of the
settlement the high school had 7,500 students, the number of its chairs was
215; its annual budget reached as high as 2,500,000, and was rapidly
increasing.

The means for all this enormous outlay was furnished in rich abundance by
the tax levied on the total income of all producers; for this income grew
amazingly under the double influence of the increasing population and the
increasing productiveness of labour. When the railway to the coast was
finished and its results had begun to make themselves felt, the value of
the average profit of a labour-hour quickly rose to 6s.; and as at this
time, the end of the fifth year in Freeland, 280,000 workers were
productively engaged for an average of six hours a day--that is, for 1,800
hours in the year--the total value of the profit of labour that year in
Freeland amounted to 280,000 1,800 6s.--that is, to a round sum of
150,000,000. Of this the commonwealth reserved thirty-five per cent. as
tax--that is, in round figures, 52,500,000; and this was the source from
which, after meeting the claims for the maintenance allowances--which
certainly absorbed more than half--all the expenses it was held desirable
to indulge in were defrayed.

In fact, the growth of revenue was so certain and had reached such large
proportions that, at the end of the fifth year, the executive resolved to
place before the representative bodies, meeting together for the purpose,
two measures of great importance: first, to make the granting of credits to
the associations independent of the central authority; and, secondly, to
return the free contributions of the members who had already joined, and in
future to accept no such contributions.

For the reasons given in the eighth chapter, the amount and order of the
loans for productive purposes had hitherto been dependent upon the decision
of the central authority. The stock of capitalistic aids to labour, and
consequently the productive means of the community, had now, however,
reached such a stage as to make any limit to the right of free and
independent decision by the workers themselves quite unnecessary. The
associations might ask for whatever they thought would be useful to
themselves, the capital of the country being considered equal to any
demands that could be reasonably anticipated. And this confidence in the
resources of Freeland proved to be well grounded. It is true that twice, in
the years that immediately followed this resolution, it happened that, in
consequence of unexpectedly large demands for capital, the portion of the
public revenue used for that purpose considerably exceeded the normal
proportion; but, thanks to the constant increase in all the profits of
production, this was borne without the slightest inconvenience. Later, the
reserves in the hands of the commonwealth sufficed to remove even this
element of fluctuation from the relations between the demand for capital
and the public revenue.

On the other hand, this resolution called forth a remarkable attempt to
swindle the commonwealth by means of the absolute freedom with which loans
were granted. In America a syndicate of speculative 'men of business' was
formed for the purpose of exploiting the simple-minded credulity of us
'stupid Freelanders.' Their plan was to draw as large a sum as possible
from our central bank under the pretence of requiring it to found an
association. Forty-six of the cleverest and most unscrupulous Yankees
joined in this campaign against our pockets. What they meant to do, and how
far they succeeded, can be best shown by giving the narrative written by
their leader, who is at present the honoured manager of the great saltworks
on the Nakuro lake:

'After we had arrived in Eden Vale, we decided to try the ground before we
proceeded to execute our design. We noticed, to our great satisfaction,
that the mistrust of the Freelanders would give us very little trouble. The
hotel in which we put up supplied us with everything on credit, and no one
took the trouble to ask we were. When I remarked to the host in a paternal
tone that it was a very careless procedure to keep a pump indiscriminately
free to any stroller who might come along, the host--I mean the director of
the Eden Vale Hotel Association--laughed and said there was no fear of
anyone's running away, for no one, whoever he might be, ever thought of
leaving Freeland. "So far, so good," thought I; but I asked further what
the Hotel Association would do if a guest _could_ not pay? "Nonsense," said
the director; "here everyone can pay as soon as he begins to work." "And if
he can't work?" "Then he gets a maintenance allowance from the
commonwealth." "And if he won't work?" The man smiled, slapped me on the
shoulder, and said, "Won't work won't last long here, you may rely upon it.
Besides, if one who has sound limbs _will_ be lazy--well, he still gets bed
and board among us. So don't trouble yourself about paying your score; you
may pay when you can and will."

'He made a curious impression upon us, this director. We said nothing, but
resolved to sound these Freelanders further. We went into the great
warehouses to get clothes, linen, &c., on credit. It succeeded admirably.
The salesmen--they were clerks, as we found--asked for a draft on the
central bank; and when we replied that we had no account there as yet, they
said it did not matter--it would be sufficient if we gave a written
statement of the amount of our purchases, and the bank, when we had an
account there, would honour it. It was the same everywhere. Mackay or Gould
cannot get credit in New York more readily than we did in Freeland.

'After a few days, we began to take steps towards establishing our
association. As I have said, we had at first no fear of exciting distrust.
But it was inconvenient that the Freeland constitution insisted upon
publicity in connection with every act, date, and circumstance connected
with business. We knew that we had nothing to fear from police or courts of
justice; but what should we do if the Freeland public were to acquire a
taste for the proposed association and wish to join it? Naturally we could
not admit outsiders as partners, but must keep the thing to ourselves,
otherwise our plan would be spoilt. We tried to find out if there were any
means of limiting the number of participators in our scheme. We minutely
questioned well-informed Freelanders upon the subject. We complained of the
abominable injustice of being compelled to share with everybody the benefit
of the splendid "idea" which we had conceived, to reveal our business
secrets, and so forth. But it was all of no use. The Freelanders remained
callous upon this point. They told us that no one would force us to reveal
our secrets if we were willing to work them out with our own resources; but
if we needed Freeland land and Freeland capital, then of course all
Freeland must know what we wanted to do. "And if our business can employ
only a small number of workers--if, for example, the goods that we wish to
make, though they yield a great profit, yet have a very limited
market--must we also in such a case let everybody come in?" "In such a
case," was the answer, "Freeland workers will not be so stupid as to force
themselves upon you in great numbers." "Good!" cried I, with dissembled
anger; "but if more should come in than are needed?" The people had an
answer even to this; for they said that those workers that were not needed
would withdraw, or, if they remained, they would have to work fewer hours,
or work in turns, or do something of that sort; opportunity of making
profitable use of spare time was never lacking in Freeland.

'What was to be done? We should be obliged to give our plans such a
character as to prevent the Freeland workers from having any wish to share
in them. But this must not be done too clumsily, as the people would after
all smell a rat, or perhaps join us out of pure philanthropy, in order to
save us from the consequences of our folly. We ultimately decided to set up
a needle-factory. Such a factory would be obviously--in the then condition
of trade--unprofitable, but the scheme was not so absolutely romantic as to
bring the inquisitive about our necks. We therefore organised ourselves,
and had the satisfaction of having no partners except a couple of
simpletons who, for some reason or other, fancied that needle-making was a
good business; and it was not very difficult to pet rid of these two. The
next thing was to fix the amount of capital to be required for the
business--that is, the amount of credit we should ask for at the central
bank. We should very naturally have preferred to ask at once for a million
pounds sterling; but that we could not do, as we should have to state what
we needed the money for, and a needle-factory for forty-eight workers could
not possibly have swallowed up so much without bringing upon us a whole
legion of investigating critics in the form of working partners. So we
limited our demand to 130,000, and even this amount excited some surprise;
but we explained our demand by asserting that the new machines which we
intended to use were very dear.

'But now came the main anxiety. How were we to get this 130,000, or the
greater part of it, into our pockets? Our people had elected me director of
the first "Eden Vale Needle-factory Association," and, as such, I went the
next day into the bank to open our account there and to obtain all the
necessary information. The cashier assured me that all payments authorised
by me should be at once made; but when I asked for a "small advance" of a
few thousand pounds, he asked in astonishment what was to be done with it.
"We must pay our small debts." "Unnecessary," was his answer; "all debts
are discharged here through the bank." "Yes, but what are my people and I
to live upon in the mean time, until our factory begins to work?" I asked
with some heat. "Upon your work in other undertakings, or upon your
savings, if you have any. Besides, you cannot fail to get credit; but we,
the central bank, give merely productive credit--we cannot advance to you
what you consume."

'There we were with nothing but our credit for 130,000, and we began to
perceive that it was not so easy to carry off the money. Certainly we could
build and give orders for what we pleased. But what good would it do us to
spend money upon useless things?

'The worst was that we should have to begin to work in earnest if we would
not after all excite a general distrust; so we joined different
undertakings. But we would not admit that we were beaten, and after mature
reflection I hit upon the following as the only possible method of carrying
out the swindle we had planned. The central bank was the channel through
which all purchases and sales were made, but, as I soon detected, did not
interfere in the least with the buyer or the person who ordered goods in
the choice of such goods as he might think suitable. We had, therefore, the
right to order the machinery for our needle-factory of any manufacturers we
pleased in Europe or America, and the central bank would pay for it. We,
therefore, merely had to act in conjunction with some European or American
firm of swindlers, and share the profits with them, in order to carry off a
rich booty.

'At the same time, it occurred to me that it would be infinitely stupid to
make use of such a method. It was quite plain that very little was to be
gained in that way; but, even if it had been possible for each of us to
embezzle a fortune, I had lost all desire to leave Freeland. The chances
were that I should be a loser by leaving. I was a novice at honest work,
and any special exertion was not then to my taste. Yet I had earned as much
as 12s. a day, and that is 180 a year, with which one can live as well
here as with twice as much in America or England. Even if I continued to
work in the same way, merely enough to keep off _ennui_, my income would
very soon increase. In the worst case, I could live upon my earnings here
as well as 400 or 500 would enable me to live elsewhere; and there was
not the slightest prospect of being able to steal so much. The result was
that I declined to go away. Firstly, because I was very happy here;
intercourse with decent men was becoming more and more pleasant and
attractive to the scoundrel, which I then was; and then--it struck me as
rather comical--I began to get ashamed of my roguery. Even scoundrels have
their honour. In the other parts of the world, where _everyone_ fleeces his
neighbour if he can, I did not think myself worse than the so-called honest
people: the only difference was that I did not adhere so closely to the
law. There, all are engaged in hunting down their dear neighbours; that I
allowed myself to hunt without my chart did not trouble my conscience much,
especially as I only had the alternative of hunting or being hunted. But
here in Freeland no one hunted for his neighbour's goods; here every rogue
must confess himself to be worse than all the rest, and indeed a rascal
without necessity, out of pure delight in rascality. If one only had the
spur of danger which in the outer world clothed this hunting with so much
poetry! But here there was not a trace of it! The Freelanders would not
even have pursued us if we had bolted with our embezzled booty; we might
have run off as unmolested as so many mangy dogs. No; here I neither would
nor could be a rascal. I called my companions together to tell them that I
resigned my position as director, withdrew altogether from the company, and
meant to devote myself here to honest work. There was not one who did not
agree with me. Some of them were not quite reconciled to work, but they all
meant to remain. One specially persistent fellow asked whether, as we were
once more together by ourselves, and might not be so again, it would not be
a smart trick if we were to embezzle a few thousand pounds before we became
honest folks; but it did not even need a reference to the individual
responsibility of the members of the association for the debts that the
association contracted in order to dispose of the proposition of this last
adherent to our former rascality. Not only would they all stay here, but
they would become honest--these hardened rogues, who a few weeks before
were wont to use the words _honest_ and _stupid_ as synonyms. So it came to
pass that the fine plan, in devising which the "smartest fellows" of New
England had exhausted their invention, was silently dropped; and, if I am
well informed, not one of the forty-six of us has ever uttered a
complaint.'

The second proposal brought before the united representatives of
Freeland--the repayment of the larger or smaller contributions which most
of the members had up to then paid on admission into the Society--involved
the disbursement of not less than 43,000,000. The members had always been
told that their contributions were not repayable, but were to be a
sacrifice towards the attainment of the objects of the Society.
Nevertheless, the government of Freeland considered that now, when the new
commonwealth no longer needed such a sacrifice, it was only just to
dispense with it, both prospectively and retrospectively. The generous
benefactors had never based any claim to special recognition or higher
honour upon the assistance they had so richly afforded to the poorer
members; in fact, most of them had even refused to be recognised as
benefactors. Neither was this assistance in any way inconsistent with the
principles upon which the new community was founded; on the contrary, it
was quite in harmony with those principles that the assistance afforded by
the wealthy to the helpless should be regarded as based upon sound rational
self-interest. But when the time had come when, as a consequence of this so
generously practised rational egoism, the commonwealth was strong enough to
dispense with extraneous aids, and to repay what had been already given, it
seemed to us just that this should be done.

This proposal was unanimously accepted without debate, and immediately
carried into execution. All the contributors received back their
contributions--that is, the amounts were placed to their credit in the
books of the central bank, and they could dispose of them as they pleased.

With this, the second epoch of the history of Freeland may be regarded as
closed. The founding of the commonwealth, which occupied the first epoch,
was effected entirely by the voluntary sacrifices of the individual
members. In the second period, this aid, though no longer absolutely
necessary, was a useful and effective means of promoting the rapid growth
of the commonwealth. Henceforth, grown to be a giant, this free
commonwealth rejected all aid of whatever kind that did not spring out of
its regular resources; and, recompensing past aid a thousand-fold, it was
now the great institution upon whose ever-inexhaustible means the want and
misery of every part of the world might with certainty reckon.

_BOOK III_

CHAPTER XIII

Twenty years have passed away--twenty-five years since the arrival of our
pioneers at the Kenia. The principles by which Freeland has been governed
have remained the same, and their results have not changed, except that the
intellectual and material culture, and the number and wealth of the
inhabitants have grown in a continually increasing ratio. The immigration,
by means of fifty-four of the largest ocean steamers of a total of 495,000
tons register, had reached in the twenty-fifth year the figure of 1,152,000
heads. In order to convey into the heart of the continent as quickly as
possible this influx to the African coast from all parts of the world, the
Freeland system of railways has been either carried to or connected with
other lines that reach the ocean at four different points. One line is that
which was constructed in the previous epoch between Eden Vale and Mombasa.
Four years later, after the pacification of the Galla tribes, the line to
the Witu coast through the Dana valley was constructed. Nine years after
that, a line--like all the other principal lines in Freeland,
double-railed--along the Nile valley from the Victoria Nyanza and the
Albert Nyanza, through the equatorial provinces of Egypt, Dongola, the
Soudan, and Nubia, was connected with the Egyptian railway system, and thus
brought Freeland into railway communication with the Mediterranean.
Finally, in the twenty-fourth year, the finishing touch was given to the
great Equatorial Trunk Railway, which, starting from Uganda on the Victoria
Nyanza, and crossing the Nile where it leaves the Albert Nyanza, reaches
the Atlantic Ocean through the valleys of the Aruwhimi and the Congo. Thus
we possess two direct railway communications with the Indian Ocean, and one
each with the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Naturally, the
Mombasa line was largely superseded by the much shorter Dana line; our
passenger trains run the 360 miles of the latter in nine hours, while the
Mombasa line, despite its shortening by the Athi branch line, cannot be
traversed in less than double that time. The distance by rail between Eden
Vale and Alexandria is 4,000 miles, the working of which is in our hands
from Assuan southward. On account of the slower rate of the trains on the
Egyptian portion, the journey consumes six days and a half; nevertheless,
this is the most frequented route, because it shortens the total journey by
nearly two weeks for all the immigrants who come by the Mediterranean
Sea--that is, for all Europeans and most of the Americans. The Grand
Equatorial Trunk Line--which, by agreement with the Congo State, was
constructed almost entirely at our cost and is worked entirely by us--has a
length of above 3,000 miles, and travellers by it from the mouth of the
Congo can reach Eden Vale in a little less than four days.

Eden Vale, and the Kenia district generally, have long since ceased to
receive the whole influx of immigrants. The densest Freeland population is
still to be found on the highlands between the Victoria Nyanza and the
Indian Ocean, and the seat of the supreme government is now, as formerly,
in Eden Vale; but Freeland has largely extended its boundaries on all
sides, particularly on the west. Freeland settlers have spread over the
whole of Masailand, Kavirondo, and Uganda, and all round the shores of the
Victoria Nyanza, the Mutanzige, and the Albert Nyanza, wherever healthy
elevated sites and fruitful soil were to be found. The provisional limits
of the territory over which we have spread are formed on the south-east by
the pleasant and fertile hill-districts of Teita; on the north by the
elevated tracts between the lakes Baringo and Victoria Nyanza and the Galla
countries; on the west by the extreme spurs of the Mountains of the Moon,
which begin at the Albert lake; and on the south by the hilly districts
stretching to the lake Tanganika. This makes an area of about 580,000
square miles. This area is not, however, everywhere covered with a compact
Freeland population; but in many places our colonists are scattered among
the natives, whom they are everywhere raising to a higher and freer
civilisation. The total population of the territory at this time under
Freeland influence amounts to 42,000,000 souls, of whom 26,000,000 are
whites and 10,000,000 black or brown natives. Of the whites 12,500,000
dwell in the original settlement on the Kenia and the Aberdare range;
1,500,000 are scattered about over the rest of Masailand, on the north
declivities of the Kilimanjaro and in Teita; the hills to the west and
north of Lake Baringo have a white population of 2,000,000; round the
Victoria Nyanza have settled 8,500,000; among the hills between that lake
and Lakes Mutanzige and Albert 1,500,000; on the Mountains of the Moon,
west of Lake Albert Nyanza, 3,000,000; and finally, to the south, between
these two lakes and Lake Tanganika, are scattered 2,000,000.

The products of Freeland industry comprehend almost all the articles
required by civilised men; but mechanical industry continues to be the
chief branch of production. This production is principally to meet the home
demand, though the productive capacity of Freeland has for years materially
surpassed that of all the machine-factories in the rest of the world. But
Freeland has employment for more machinery than the whole of the rest of
the world put together, for the work of its machines takes the place of
that of the slaves or she wage-labourers of other countries; and as our
26,000,000 whites--not to reckon the civilised negroes--are all
'employers,' we need very many steel and iron servants to satisfy our
needs, which increase step by step with the increase of our skill.
Therefore comparatively few of our machines--except certain specialties--go
over our frontiers. On the contrary, agriculture is pursued more largely
for export than for home consumption; indeed, it can with truth be asserted
that the whole of the Freeland corn-produce is available for export, since
the surplus of the corn-production of the negroes which reaches our markets
is on an average quite sufficient to cover our home demand. In the
twenty-fourth year there were 22,000,000 acres of land under the plough,
which in the two harvests produced 2,066,000,000 cwt. of grain and other
field-produce, worth in round figures 600,000,000. To this quantity of
agricultural produce must be added other export goods worth 550,000,000;
so that the total export was worth 1,150,000,000. On the other hand, the
chief item of import goods was that of 'books and other printed matter';
and next to this followed works of art and objects of luxury. Of the
articles which in other countries make up the chief mass of outside
commerce, the Freeland list of imports shows only cotton goods, cotton
being grown at home scarcely at all. This item of import reached the value
of 57,000,000. The import of books--newspapers included--reached in the
previous year 138,000,000, considerably more than all the rest of the
world had in that same year paid for books. It must not be inferred that
the demand for books in Freeland is entirely, or even mainly, covered by
the import from without. The Freeland readers during the same year paid
more than twice as much to their home publishers as to the foreign ones. In
fact, at the date of our writing this, the Freelanders read more than three
times as much as the whole of the reading public outside of Freeland.

The above figures will show the degree of wealth to which Freeland has
attained. In fact, the total value of the productions of the 7,500,000
producers during the last year was nearly seven milliard pounds sterling
(7,000,000,000.) Deducting from that amount two milliards and a-half to
cover the tax for the purposes of the commonwealth, there remained four
milliard and a-half as profit to be shared among the producers, giving an
average of 600 to each worker. And to produce this we worked only five
hours a day on the average, or 1,500 hours in the year; so that the average
net value of an hour's labour was 8s.--little less than the average weekly
wage of the common labourer in many parts of Europe.

Almost all articles of ordinary consumption are very much cheaper in
Freeland than in any other part of the civilised world. The average price
of a cwt. of wheat is 6s; a pound of beef about 2-1/2d., a hectolitre
(twenty-two gallons) of beer or light wine 10s., a complete suit of good
woollen clothing 20s. or 80s., a horse of splendid Arab stock 15, a good
milch cow 2, &c. A few articles of luxury imported from abroad are
dear--_e.g._ certain wines, and those goods which must be produced by
hand-labour--of which, however, there are very few. The latter were all
imported from abroad, as it would never occur to a Freelander to compete
with foreigners in hand-labour. For though the harmoniously developed,
vigorous, and intelligent workers of our country surpass two- or three-fold
the debilitated servants of Western nations in the strength and training of
their muscles, they cannot compete with hand-labour that is fifty- or a
hundred-fold cheaper than their own. Their superiority begins when they can
oppose their slaves of steel to the foreign ones of flesh and bone; with
these slaves of steel they can work cheaper than those of flesh and bone,
for the slaves which are set in motion by steam, electricity, and water are
more easily satisfied than even the wage-labourers of 'free' Europe. These
latter need potatoes to fill their stomach, and a few rags to cover their
nakedness; whilst coal or a stream of water stills the hunger of the
former, and a little grease suffices to keep their joints supple.

This superiority of Freeland in machinery, and that of foreign countries in
hand labour, merely confirms an old maxim of experience, which is none the
less true that it still escapes the notice of the so-called 'civilised
nations.' That only the relatively rich nations--that is, those whose
masses are relatively in the best condition--very largely employ machinery
in production, could not possibly long escape the most obtuse-minded; but
this undeniable phenomenon is wrongly explained. It is held that the
English or the American people live in a way more worthy of human nature
than, for example, the Chinese or the Russians, because they are richer;
and that for the same reason--namely, because the requisite capital is more
abundant--the English and Americans use machinery while the Chinese and
Russians employ merely human muscles. This leaves unexplained the principal
question, whence comes this difference in wealth? and also directly
contradicts the facts that the Chinese and the Russians make no use of the
capital so liberally and cheaply offered to them, and that machine-labour
is unprofitable in their hands as long as their wage-earners are satisfied
with a handful of rice or with half-rotten potatoes and a drop of spirits.
But it is a part of the _credo_ of the orthodox political economy, and is
therefore accepted without examination. Yet he who does not use his eyes
merely to shut them to facts, or his mind merely to harbour obstinately the
prejudices which he has once acquired, must sooner or later see that the
wealth of the nations is nothing else than their possession of the means of
production; that this wealth is great or small in proportion as the means
of production are many and great, or few and small; and that many or few
means of production are needed according as there is a great or a small use
of those things which are created by these means of production--therefore
solely in proportion to the large or small consumption. Where little is
used little can be produced, and there will therefore be few instruments of
production, and the people must remain poor.

Neither can the export trade make any alteration; for the things which are
exported must be exchanged for other things, whether food, or instruments
of labour, or money, or some other commodity, and for that which is
imported there must be some use; which, however, is impossible if there is
no consumption, for in such a case the imported articles will find as
little sale as the things produced at home. Certainly those commodities
which are produced by a people who use neither their own productions nor
those of other people, may be lent to other nations. But this again depends
upon whether foreigners have a use for such a surplus above what is
required at home; and as this is not generally the case, it remains, once
for all, that any nation can produce only so much as it has a use for, and
the measure of its wealth is therefore the extent of its requirements.

Naturally this applies to only those nations whose civilisation has reached
such a stage that the employment of complex instruments of labour is
prevented, not by their ignorance, but simply by their social political
helplessness. To such nations, however, applies in full the truth that they
are poor simply because they _cannot_ eat enough to satisfy themselves; and
that the increase of their wealth is conditioned by nothing else than the
degree of energy with which the working classes struggle against their
misery. The English and the Americans _will_ eat meat, and therefore do not
allow their wages to sink below the level at which the purchase of meat is
possible; this is the only reason why England and America employ more
machinery than China and Russia, where the people are contented with _rice_
or _potatoes_. But we in Freeland have brought it to pass that our working
classes are secure of obtaining the whole profit of their labour, however
great that profit may be; what, therefore, could be more natural than that
we should employ as much machinery as our mechanicians can invent?

Nothing can permanently prevent the operation of this first law of
economics. Production exists solely for the sake of consumption, and must
therefore--as ought long since to have been seen--depend, both in its
amount and in the character of its means, upon the amount of consumption.
And if some tricksy Puck were to carry off overnight to some European
country all our wealth and all our machinery, without taking to that
country our social institutions as well, it is as certain that that country
would not be a farthing richer than it was before, as it is that China
would not be richer if all the wealth of England and America were carried
thither without allowing the Chinese labourers more than boiled rice for
food and a loin-cloth for clothing. Just as in this case the English and
American machinery would become mere useless old iron in China, so in the
former case would our machinery in Europe or America. And just as the
English and the Americans, if their working classes only retained their
present habits, would very quickly produce fresh machinery to take the
place of that which had been spirited away to China, and would thereby
regain their former level of wealth, so it would not be difficult for us to
repeat what we have already effected--namely, to place ourselves afresh in
possession of all that wealth which corresponds to _our_ habits of life.
For the social institutions of Freeland are the true and only source of our
wealth; that we can _use_ our wealth is the _raison d'etre_ of all our
machinery.

Under the name of machinery we here include everything which on the one
hand is not a free gift of nature, but the outcome of human effort, and on
the other hand is intended to increase the productiveness of human labour.
This power has grown to colossal dimensions in Freeland. Our system of
railways--the lines above-named are only the four largest, which serve for
communication with other countries--has reached a total length of road of
about 358,000 miles, of which less than 112,000 miles are main lines, while
about 248,000 miles are lines for agricultural and industrial purposes. Our
canal system serves mainly for purposes of irrigation and draining, and the
total length of its numberless thousands of larger and smaller branches is
beyond all calculation, but these canals are navigable for a length of
86,000 miles. Besides the passenger ships already mentioned, there are
afloat upon the seas of the world nearly 3,000 of our freight steamers with
a total registered tonnage of 14,500,000. On the lakes and rivers of Africa
we possess 17,800 larger and smaller steamers with a total register of
5,200,000 tons. The motive power which drives these means of communication
and the numberless machines of our agriculture and our factories, our
public and private institutions, reaches a total of not less than
245,000,000 horse-power--that is, fully twice the mechanical force employed
by the whole of the rest of the world. In Freeland there is brought into
use a mechanical force of nearly nine and a-half horse-power per head of
the population; and as every registered horse-power is equal to the
mechanical force of twelve or thirteen men, the result in labour is the
same as if every Freelander without exception had about 120 slaves at his
disposal. What wonder that we can live like masters, notwithstanding that
servitude is not known in Freeland!

The value of the above enormous investments of all kinds can be calculated
to a farthing, because of the wonderful transparency of all our industrial
operations. The Freeland commonwealth, as such, has, during the twenty-five
years of its existence, disbursed eleven milliards sterling for investment
purposes. The disbursement through the medium of associations and of
individual workers (the latter in relatively insignificant numbers) has
amounted to twenty-three milliards sterling. So that the total investments
represent a sum of thirty-four milliards, all highly profitable capital,
despite--or rather because of--the fact that it belongs to no one
particular owner; for this very absence of private proprietorship of the
total productive capital is the reason why any labour power can avail
itself of those means of production by the use of which the highest
possible profit can be realised. Every Freelander is joint-possessor of
this immense wealth, which amounts--without taking into account the
incalculable value of the soil--to 1,300 per head, or 6,000 per family.
Thus, in these twenty-five years we have all become in a certain sense
quite respectable capitalists. This capital does not bear us interest; but,
on the other hand, we owe to it the labour-profit of seven milliards
sterling, which gives an average of 270 per head for the 26,000,000 souls
in Freeland.

But, before we describe the Freeland life which has developed itself upon
the foundation of this abundance of wealth and energy, it will be necessary
to give a brief outline of Freeland history during the last twenty years.

In the former section we had reached the first railway connection with the
Indian Ocean on the one hand, and the campaign against Uganda, with the
first colonisation of the shores of the Victoria Nyanza, on the other. The
attention of our explorers was next directed to the very interesting
hill-country north and north-west of Lake Baringo, particularly Elgon, the
district on the frontier of Uganda, which rises to an elevation of some
14,000 feet. Here was a large field for future settlement equal to the
Kenia and Aberdare ranges in fertility, climate, and beauty of scenery. In
variety, the view from the summit of Elgon surpassed anything we had before
seen. To the south-west stretched the sea-like expanse of the Victoria
Nyanza, bounded only by the horizon. To the north, forty miles away rose
the snow-covered peak of Lekakisera. To the east, the eye ranged over
immense stretches of forest-hills, whilst the smiling highlands of Uganda
closed the view to the west.

The very evident traces of the former activity of a highly developed
civilised people stimulated the spirit of investigation of our
archaeologists. The great caves which had been noticed by earlier
travellers in the foot-hills around the Elgon had every appearance of being
of an artificial origin. It was quite as evident that none of the races
dwelling within thousands of miles of these caves could have excavated
them. They are all in a hard agglomerate, and their capacity varies from
about 25,000 to 125,000 cubic yards. Their purpose was as enigmatical as
their origin. For the most part they are to be found on steep, scarcely
accessible, precipitous mountain-sides, but, without exception, only in a
thick layer of breccia or agglomerate interposed between a trachytic and a
volcanic stone. At that time they were inhabited by a race of a very low
type, subsisting solely upon the chase and pasturage, and who were utterly
incapable of making such dwellings, and declared that the caves had existed
from the beginning. But who made them, and for what purpose were they
originally made? That they were to be found only in one particular stratum
naturally gave rise to the supposition that they were made by mining
operations. They must have been opened in a past age for some kind of ore
or other mineral product, and have been worked with a great expenditure of
labour and for a very long period; for the caves are so many and so large
that, even with modern appliances, it would have needed thousands of men
for many decades to excavate them in the hard agglomerate of sand and
pebbles. The excavation had been made, however, not with powder and
dynamite, but with chisel and pickaxe; the caves must therefore have been
the work of thousands of years. There was only _one_ people who could here
have expended upon such a work sufficient strength for a sufficient
time--the Egyptian. This most ancient civilised people in the world, whose
history covers thousands of years, must have excavated these caves; of this
there was no doubt among our archaeologists.

That in the grey antiquity the Egyptians penetrated to the sources of their
holy river (it may be remarked in passing that the Ripon falls, where the
Nile flows out of the Victoria Nyanza, are in clear weather very plainly to
be seen from the Elgon) has nothing in it so remarkable, even though modern
historical investigation has not been able to find any trace of it. But
wherever the Egyptians penetrated, and particularly wherever they built,
one is accustomed to find unmistakable traces of their activity. It behoved
us, therefore, to search for such traces, and then to discover what the
Pharaohs of the ancient dynasties had sought for here. Our researches were
successful as to the first object, but not as to the second. In two places,
unfortunately outside of the entrances to the caves in question, where
atmospheric and perhaps other influences had been destructively at work,
there were found conically pointed basalt prisms, which exhibited
unmistakable traces of hieroglyphic writing. These inscriptions were no
longer legible; and though our Egyptologists, as well as those of London
and Paris, agreed in thinking that the inscription on one stone distinctly
referred to the goddess Hathor, this view is rather the verdict of a kind
of archaeological instinct than a conclusion based upon tangible evidence.
That the stones bore Egyptian inscriptions, and had stood for thousands of
years at the entrances to these caves, was plain enough, even to the eyes
of laymen. Parenthetically it may be remarked that this discovery throws
light upon the origin of the Masai, of whom it has already been said that
they were not negroes, but a bronze-coloured race showing the Hamitic type.
Plainly the Masai are Egyptians, who, in a forgotten past, were cut off
from the rest in the highlands south of the Baringo lake. Their martial
habits would suggest descent from the ancient Egyptian warrior caste,
possibly from those discontented warriors who, twenty-five centuries ago,
in the days of Psammetichus I., migrated to Ethiopia, when Pharaoh had
offended them by the employment of Greek mercenaries.

But this did not tell what the Egyptians, in honour either of Hathor or of
some other celestial or terrestrial majesty, were looking for on the Elgon.
We spared no pains in seeking further evidence; both in the caves and in
other parts of the agglomerate in which they were excavated, we diligently
looked for something to throw light upon the subject. But we found nothing,
at least nothing that appeared to be of any special use to the Egyptians,
either in the way of metals or of precious stones. We were finally
compelled to content ourselves with the supposition that some of the
variously coloured stones which were present in the formation in great
number and variety were highly valued in the days of the Pharaohs, without
the knowledge of the fact having descended to our days. There would be
nothing remarkable in this, for neither would it have been the first
instance in which men have for thousands of years reckoned as very precious
that upon which subsequent generations scarcely deigned to glance, nor do
we know enough of the life of the ancient Egyptians to be able positively
to assert that every object in the inscriptions and papyrus-rolls means
this or that. It is therefore very possible that in many of the Egyptian
inscriptions which have come down to us a great deal is told of the stones
found here on the Elgon, whilst we, misled by the great value which the
narrator ascribes to the said stones, think that some precious stone now
highly valued was referred to, and that generations of Egyptian slaves have
spent their lives here in cruel toil, in order to procure for their masters
an object of luxury which we to-day carelessly kick aside when it
accidentally comes in our way.

Let this be as it may, we found nothing of any value in the agglomerate in
which the Egyptians had excavated. But, in the immediate neighbourhood of
the cave-hills, we found something else: something that men coveted
thousands of years ago, as they do to-day, but which, singularly enough,
escaped the miners of the Pharaohs, and was not looked for by them on the
Elgon--namely, gold, and that in large rich veins. It was accidentally
discovered by one of the engineers engaged in the examination of the caves,
who, significantly, was at first seized with horror at his discovery. He
was an enthusiastic young Spaniard, who had only recently reached Freeland,
and he saw in his discovery a great danger for those Freeland principles
which were so passionately worshipped by him, and he therefore at first
resolved to keep it secret. He reflected, however, that some one else would
soon come upon the same trace, and that the evil which he dreaded would
become a fact. He therefore decided to confide in those under whom he was
acting, and to point out to them the danger that threatened the happiness
of Freeland. It was very difficult to make Nunez--as this young enthusiast
was named--understand that there would be little hope for the security and
permanent vitality of the institutions of Freeland if the richest possible
discovery of gold were able to put them in jeopardy, and to convince him
that gold-mining was like any other kind of work--that labour would flow to
the mines as long as it was possible to earn as much there as in any other
branch of production, and the result of his discovery could only be that of
slightly raising the average earnings of Freeland labour.

And so it was. Nunez had not erred in his estimate of the productiveness of
the mines; the newly opened gold-diggings soon yielded some 12,000,000 a
year.

The managers of the central bank utilised this new source of wealth in gold
for the establishment of an independent Freeland coinage. Hitherto the
English sovereign had been our gold currency, and we had reckoned in
English pounds, shillings, and pence. Now a mint was set up in Eden Vale,
and the coinage underwent a reform. We retained the sterling pound and the
shilling, but we minted our pound nearly one per cent. lighter than the
English one, so that it might be exactly equal to twenty-five francs of the
French or decimal system of coinage; the shilling we divided, not into
twelve parts, but into a hundred.

Of these Freeland pounds, which in the course of a few years acquired
undisputed rank as a cosmopolitan coin, and passed current everywhere, only
a comparatively small number circulated in Freeland itself. We needed in
our domestic transactions scarcely any cash. All payments were made through
the bank, where every one--our civilised negroes not excepted--had an
account, and which possessed branches all over the country. At first the
coins were used for paying small amounts, then cheques came into general
use for these, and later still it came to be sufficient, to write a simple
order on the bank. The coinage was therefore almost exclusively needed for
foreign use; in the course of sixteen years the mint has issued some
130,000,000 of which scarcely seven per cent. remained in Freeland, and
all except a very small portion of this lies in the bank cellars, where its
repose is never disturbed. For with us there are no fluctuations of the
money market, since there exists scarcely any demand for money in Freeland.
Gold is our measure of value, and will remain so as long as there is no
commodity discovered better fitted to perform this function--that is,
exposed to less variation in value--than this metal. The instrument of
_transferring_ value among us is not money, but paper, ink, and pen.
Scarcity and superfluity of gold are therefore in Freeland as meaningless
conceptions as would be a scarcity or superfluity of metres in Europe.

The gold discoveries on the Elgon at any rate contributed towards hastening
the settlement of those splendid highlands lying to the north-west of Lake
Baringo. The adjacent Uganda was used as a seat of agriculture, whilst the
towns, essentially copies of Eden Vale, whose wooden houses had meanwhile
given place to elegant villas of stone and brick, wore located on the
cooler heights of the wooded hills.

Our pioneers pursued their way ever farther and farther. There was still
abundant room in the older settlements; but the spirit of discovery,
together with the fascination of novelty that hung around the distant
districts, continually led new bands farther and farther into the 'Dark
Continent.' When the shores of the Victoria Nyanza no longer contained
anything unknown, our pathfinders penetrated the primitive forests of the
hilly districts between Lakes Mutanzige and Albert Nyanza. Here, for the
first time, we came into contact with cannibal races, the subjection of
whom was no small task and was not accomplished without bloodshed. From the
Albert Nyanza, the east shores of which are mostly bare and barren, we
obtained an enticing view of the Mountains of the Moon, whose highest point
rises above 13,000 feet, and in the cool season frequently shows a cap of
snow. Down the picturesque declivities that look towards the lake fall from
incredible heights a number of powerful cataracts, giving rise to pleasant
inferences as to the nature of the district in which the streams have their
source. Naturally they did not long remain unvisited, and the fame of the
new marvels of natural beauty found there soon drew hundreds of thousands
of settlers thither. There also we came into collision with cannibal races,
some of which still carry on their evil practices in secret. From hence our
pioneers turned southwards, everywhere making use of the hill-ranges as
highways. Six years ago our outposts had reached Lake Tanganika, where they
gave preference to the western heights that rise in places 3,000 feet above
the level of the lake, which is itself about 5,000 feet above the sea. At
present hundreds of thousands of our people are settled on the lovely
shores of this the longest, though only the second largest, of the
equatorial lakes. Lake Tanganika is not quite half so large as the Victoria
Nyanza, and is nowhere too broad for a good eye to see the opposite hills,
but its length reaches 360 miles, about three-fourths as long as the
Adriatic Sea, and the fastest of the 286 steamers which at this time
navigate it at our charge takes nearly twenty-four hours to go from end to
end.

We now came more and more into immediate contact with colonies under
European influence. In the south and east we touched German and English
interests and spheres of influence; in the north-east, more or less
directly, French and Italian; in the north Egyptian; in the west the
vigorously developing Congo State. Our intercourse was everywhere directed
by the best and most accommodating intentions, but a number of questions
sprang up which urgently demanded a definitive solution. For instance, the
neighbouring colonies found it inconvenient to be in close proximity to
Freeland settlements; their population was drawn away by us like iron
filings by a magnet. Wherever a Freeland association established itself
near a foreign colony, nothing of that colony was left after a little
while, except the empty dwellings and the forsaken plantations: the
colonists had settled among us and become Freelanders. At the same time,
the foreign governments neither could nor wished to do anything, since the
interests of their subjects were not damaged; but with respect to the
establishment of their power in the countries in question, the foreign
governments were necessarily made uncomfortable by the impossibility of
asserting themselves in our neighbourhood.

We were also compelled to moot the question, what would happen if
Freelanders wore to settle in any district belonging to a Western nation?
We had hitherto purposely avoided doing this, but ultimately it would be
unavoidable. What would happen then? Should we, in possession of the
stronger form of civilisation, yield to the weaker and more backward one?
Could we do so, even if we were willing? Freeland is not a state in the
ordinary sense of the word. Its character does not lie in dominion over a
definite territory, but in its social institutions. These institutions are
in themselves quite compatible with foreign forms of government, and for
the sake of keeping peace with our neighbours we were compelled to try to
obtain legal recognition of our institutions, in the first place, in the
neighbouring colonial districts.

And not merely upon the continent of Africa, but in other parts of the
world also, there came into existence a number of questions between
ourselves and various governments, which urgently needed settling. On
principle we avoided getting mixed up with any of the political affairs of
foreign countries; but we held it to be our right and our duty to help with
our wealth and power our needy brethren, in whatever part of the inhabited
world they might live. Freeland money was to be found wherever want had to
be relieved and the disinherited and wretched to be aided against
exploitage. Our offices and our ships were gratuitously at the service of
all who wished to flee to us out of the sorrow of the old system of
society; and we never wearied in our efforts to make the blessings of our
institutions more and more accessible to our suffering brethren. All this,
as has been said, we considered to be both our duty and our right, and we
were not disposed to allow ourselves to be turned aside from the fulfilment
of our mission by the protests of foreign Powers. But it became impossible
not to perceive that the relations between us and several European and
Asiatic governments were getting more and more strained. In the democratic
west of Europe, in America, and in Australia, public opinion was too strong
in our favour for us to fear any--even passive--resistance to our efforts
from those countries. But the case was different with several Eastern
States. Particularly since our means, and consequently our propagandist
activity, had attained the colossal dimensions of the last few years, with
a promise of continued growth, it had been here and there seriously asked
whether, and by what means, it was possible to keep out Freeland money and
to counteract Freeland influence. For a time the governments in question
avoided an open breach with us, partly on account of the public opinion
which was powerful in our favour even in their countries, and partly on
account of the large financial resources which were in our hands. They did
not wish to have us as avowed enemies, but they wished to control the
influx of Freeland money and the purposes to which it was applied, and to
check the emigration to Freeland.

We were not disposed to stand and look upon such attempts with folded arms.
The right to spring to the aid of our enslaved fellow-men, or to keep open
to them a refuge in Freeland, we were determined to defend to the utmost of
our strength; and no one in Freeland doubted that we were strong enough in
case of need to resist any attempts by foreign Powers to limit our
activity. But all in Freeland were agreed that every conceivable pacific
means must be tried before we appealed to arms. And the difficulty in the
way of a bloodless settlement of the quarrel lay in the fact that the
Freelanders and the foreigners held opposite views concerning the military
strength of Freeland. Whilst we, as has been said, were convinced that we
were as strong as any military State in the world--nay, as several of them
put together--those very foreign governments with whom we were at variance
looked upon us as powerless from a military point of view. We were
therefore convinced that a definitive threat by our plenipotentiaries would
not be taken seriously, and that on this very account any attempt
energetically to maintain our position could produce the requisite effect
only by actual war. And a war it was that confirmed our position everywhere
abroad, though not with either an European or an Asiatic, but with an
African power--a war which, though it had a very indirect bearing upon the
subject in question, yet brought this question to a decision.

How this came about will be told in the letters given in the following
chapters. These letters were written by Prince Carlo Falieri, a young
Italian diplomatist, who has since settled in Freeland, but who at the time
to which these letters refer was visiting Eden Vale in his country's
service. This correspondence will, at the same time, give a vivid picture
of Freeland manners and life in the twenty-fifth year of its history.

CHAPTER XIV

Eden Vale: July 12, ----

After a silence of several months I am writing to you from the chief city
in Freeland, where my father and I have already been for some days. What
has brought us to the country of social liberty? You know--or perhaps you
do not know--that my chiefs at Monte Citorio have for some time not known
how to deal with the brown Napoleon of the East Coast of Africa, the Negus
John V. of Abyssinia; and that our good friends in London and Paris have
experienced the same difficulty. So the cabinets of the three Western
Powers have agreed to seek an African remedy for the common African malady.
To find this we are here. Lord E---- and Sir W. B---- are sent on the part
of England; Madame Charles Delpart and M. Henri de Pons on the part of
France; while Italy is represented by Prince Falieri and his son--my
littleness. We are commissioned to represent to the Freelanders that it
would be to their interest as well as to ours if they allowed their country
to be the theatre of war against Abyssinia.

Those of us among Europeans who have possessions on the African coast of
the Red Sea and south of the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb have had much trouble
with the Negus. During the late war he kept the allied armies of England,
France, and Italy in check; and, had it not been for the intervention of
our Italian fleet, those armies would narrowly have escaped the fate of
that Egyptian host which, according to the Bible, was drowned in the Red
Sea 3,300 years ago. The Negus--plainly with the aid of certain friends of
his in Europe--has utilised the five years' peace (which was not a very
creditable one for us) in perfecting his already powerful army and
organising it according to the Western pattern. He now possesses 300,000
men armed with weapons of the best and most modern construction, an
excellent cavalry of at least 40,000, and an artillery of 106 batteries,
which our representatives describe as quite equal to any European troops.
What John means to do with an armament so enormously beyond the needs of
poor Abyssinia has been rendered plain by the events of the last five
years. He wishes to take from us and the English the coast towns on the Red
Sea, and from the French their province south of Bab-el-Mandeb. Our coast
fortresses and fleet will not be able in the long run to prevent this,
unless we can defeat the Abyssinians in the open field. But how are armies,
equal to the reorganised Abyssinian forces, to be maintained on those
inhospitable coasts? How can a campaign be carried on, with nothing but the
sea at the rear, against an enemy of whose terrible offensive strength we
have already had only too good proof? Yet the Negus must be met, cost what
it will; for with the sacrifice of the coast towns the connection with East
Asia, and with that part of East Africa which during the last twenty years
has become one of the principal seats of commerce, will be lost to all
European Powers. We know only too well that John V. has been making the
most extensive preparations. To-day his agents in Greece, Dalmatia, and
even North America are engaging sailors by thousands, who are evidently
intended to man a fleet of war as soon as the possession of the points on
the coast makes it possible for the Abyssinians to keep one. Whether he
will buy his fleet abroad or build it himself is at present an enigma. If
he did the former, it could not possibly escape the knowledge of the Powers
threatened by this future fleet; but none of the great shipwrights of the
world have any warships of unknown destination, in course of construction.
If the Abyssinian fleet is to be built in the Red Sea after the coast has
passed into the possession of Abyssinia, why does he want so many sailors
at once? This enigma is by no means calculated to lay our fears as to the
ultimate aims of Abyssinia. In short, it has been decided in London, Paris,
and Rome to take the bull by the horns, and to begin offensive operations
against the East African conqueror. The three cabinets will together
furnish an expedition of at least 300,000 men, and immediately after the
close of the five years' peace--that is, at the end of September
next--attack Abyssinia. But Freeland, and not this time our own coast
possessions, is to form the basis of the operations. This will give the
allied armies a secure rear for provisioning and retreat; and our task as
diplomatists is to win over the Freeland government to this project. We ask
for nothing but passive co-operation--that is, a free passage for our
troops. Whether our instructions go so far as to compel this passive
assistance in case of need I do not know; for not I, but merely my father,
is initiated into the most secret views of the leaders of our foreign
politics; and though my well-known enthusiasm for this land of Socialists
has not prevented our government from appointing me as _attach_ to my
father's mission, yet I imagine I shall not be admitted to share the more
important secrets of our diplomacy.

Now you know, my friend, _why_ we have come to Freeland. If you are curious
to know _how_ we got here, I must tell you that we came from Brindisi to
Alexandria by the 'Uranus,' one of the enormous ships which Freeland keeps
afloat upon all seas for the mail and passenger service. With us came 2,300
immigrants to Freeland; and if these find in the new home only one-half of
what they promised themselves, Freeland must be a veritable paradise. My
father, who at first hesitated to entrust himself to a Freeland steamer
which carries all its passengers free of charge and, as is well known,
makes no distinction in the treatment of those on board, admitted, when he
had been two days on the voyage, that he did not regret having yielded to
my entreaty. Our cabins were not too small, were comfortable, and most
scrupulously clean; the cooking and commissariat in general left nothing to
be desired; and--what surprised us most--the intercourse with the very
miscellaneous immigrants proved to be by no means disagreeable. Among our
2,300 fellow-voyagers were persons of all classes and conditions, from
_savants_ to labourers; but even the latter showed themselves to be so
inspired by the consciousness that they were hastening to a new home in
which all men stood absolutely on an equality, that not the slightest
rowdyism or disturbance was witnessed during the whole voyage.

At Alexandria we took the first express-train to the Soudan, which,
however, until it reached Assuan--that is, as long as it was in the hands
of Egyptian conductors and drivers--was express in little more than the
name. At Assuan we entered a Freeland train; and we now went on with a
punctuality and speed elsewhere to be met with only in England or America.
Sleeping, dining, and conversation cars, furnished with every convenience
and luxury, took us rapidly up the Nile, the line crossing the giant stream
twice before we reached Dongola. It was characteristic that no fare was
charged above Assuan. The food and drink consumed in the dining-cars or in
the stations had to be paid for--on the 'Uranus' even the board was given
for nothing--but travelling accommodation is provided gratuitously by the
Freeland commonwealth, on land as well as at sea.

You will allow me to omit all description of land and people in Egypt and
its dependencies. In the last decade, and especially since the completion
of the Freeland Nile line, there has been some change for the better; but
on the whole I found the misery of the fellahs still very severe, and only
different in degree and not in essence from what has been so often
described by travellers in these regions. A picture of a totally different
kind presented itself to the eye when we neared the Albert Nyanza and
reached Freeland territory. I could scarcely trust my senses when, on
awaking on the morning of the fifth day of our railway journey, I looked
out of the car and, instead of the previous scenery, I caught sight of
endless cultivated fields pleasantly variegated by luxuriant gardens and
smiling groves, among which elegant villas, here scattered and there
collected into townships, were conspicuous. As the train stopped soon after
at a station the name of which was a friendly omen for an
Italian--Garibaldi--we saw for the first time some Freelanders in their
peculiar dress, as simple as it is becoming, and, as I at once perceived,
thoroughly suitable to the climate.

This costume is very similar to that of the ancient Greeks; even the
sandals instead of shoes are not wanting, only they are worn not on the
naked foot, but over stockings. The dresses of the Freeland women are, for
the most part, more brightly coloured than those of the men, which latter,
however, do not exhibit the dull and monotonous tints of the dress of men
in the West. In particular, the Freeland youths are fond of bright clear
colours, the younger women preferring white with coloured ornaments. The
impression which the Freelanders made upon me was quite a dazzling one.
Full of vigour and health, they moved about with cheerful grace in the
simile of the trees in the station-garden; they showed such an aristocratic
self-possessed bearing that I thought at first that this was the rendezvous
of the leaders of the best society of the place. This notion was
strengthened when several Freelanders entered the train, and I discovered,
in conversation with them as the train went on, that their culture fully
corresponded to their appearance. Yet these were but ordinary country
people--agriculturists and gardeners, with their wives, sons, and
daughters.

Not less astonishing was the respectability of the negroes scattered among
and freely mingling with the whites. Their dress was still lighter and
airier than that of the whites--mostly cotton garments instead of the
woollen clothes worn by the latter; for the rest, these natives had the
appearance of thoroughly civilised men. From a conversation which I held
with one in the train I found that their culture had reached a high
stage--at any rate, a much higher one than that of the rural population in
most parts of Europe. The black with whom I conversed spoke a fluent,
correct English, had a Freeland newspaper in his hand, and eagerly read it
during the journey; and he showed himself to be well acquainted with the
public affairs not only of his own country, but also of Europe. For
instance, he gave expression to the opinion that our difficulties with
Abyssinia had evidently been occasioned by the Russian government, who
necessarily wished to make it difficult for the Western Powers, and
particularly England, to communicate with India; and he justified this
opinion in a way that revealed as much knowledge as soundness of judgment.

Towards noon, at the station 'Baker,' we reached the Albert lake, just
where the White Nile flows out of it. Here a very agreeable surprise
awaited me. You remember David Ney, that young Freeland sculptor with whom
we trotted about Rome together last autumn, and to whom I in particular
became so much attached because the splendid young fellow charmed me both
by his outward appearance and by the nobility of his disposition. What you
probably did not know is that, after David left Europe at the close of his
art studies in Rome, we corresponded; and he was therefore informed of my
intended visit. My friend had taken the trouble to make the thirty hours'
journey from Eden Vale, where he lives with his parents--his father is, as
you know, a member of the Freeland government--to the Albert Nyanza, had
got as far as 'Baker' station, and the first thing I noticed as we entered
the station was his friendly, smiling face. He brought to my father and me
an invitation from his parents to be their guests while we remained in Eden
Vale. 'If you, your grace,' said he to my father, 'will be content with the
house and entertainment which a citizen of Freeland can offer you, you will
confer a very great favour upon all of us, and particularly upon me, who
would thus have the privilege of undisturbed intercourse with your son. The
splendour and magnificence to which you are accustomed at home you will
certainly miss in our house, which scarcely differs from that of the
simplest worker of our country; but this deprivation would be imposed upon
you everywhere in Freeland; and I can promise that you shall not want for
any real comfort.' To my great satisfaction, after a moment's reflection my
father cordially accepted this invitation.

I will not now enlarge upon what I saw during the day and a half's journey
from the Albert lake to Eden Vale, as I shall have occasion to refer to it
again. Indeed, this my first Freeland letter will swell to far too great a
size if I give you only a superficial report of what first interested me
here--that is, of the daily life of the Freelanders. Our express flew in
mad speed past the cornfields and plantations that clothe the plains of
Unyoro and the highlands of Uganda; then ran for several hours along the
banks of the billowy Victoria Nyanza, through a lovely country of hill and
mountain--the whole like one great garden. Leaving the lake at the Ripon
falls, we turned into the wildly romantic mountain district of Elgon, with
its countless herds and its rich manufacturing towns, skirted the
garden-fringed Lake Baringo, and sped through the Lykipia to the Alpine
scenery of the Kenia. Towards nine in the evening of the sixth day of our
railway journey we at length reached Eden Vale.

It was a splendid moonlit night when we left the station and entered the
town; but brighter than the moon shone the many powerful electric
arc-lamps, so that nothing escaped the curious eye. Even if I wished to do
it now, I could not describe to you in detail the impression made upon me
by this first Freeland town into which I had been. Imagine a fairy garden
covering a space of nearly forty square miles, filled with tens of
thousands of charming, tastily designed small houses and hundreds of
fabulously splendid palaces; add the intoxicating odours of all kinds of
flowers and the singing of innumerable nightingales--the latter were
imported from Europe and Asia in the early years of the settlement and have
multiplied to an incredible extent--and set all this in the framework of a
landscape as grand and as picturesque as any part of the world can show;
and then, if your fancy is vigorous enough, you may form some mild
conception of the delight with which this marvellous city filled me, and
fills me still more and more the longer I know it. The streets and open
places through which we passed were apparently empty; but David assured us
that the shores of the lake were full of life every evening until midnight.
In many of the houses which we passed could be heard sounds of mirth and
gaiety. On broad airy terraces and in the gardens around them sat or
sauntered the inhabitants in larger or smaller groups. The clinking of
glasses, music, silvery laughter, fell upon the ear: in short, everything
indicated that here the evenings were devoted to the most cheerful
sociality.

After a rapid ride of about half an hour, we reached the home of our hosts,
near the centre of the town and not far from the lake. The family Ney
received us in the most cordial manner; nevertheless their dignified
bearing very profoundly impressed even my proud father. The ladies in
particular were so much like princesses in disguise that my father at once
transformed himself into the inimitable gallant Paladin of chivalry you
have known him to be in Rome, London, and Vienna. Father Ney betrayed, at
the first glance, the profound thinker accustomed to serious work, but who
by no means lacked the mien of agreeable self-possession. Judging from the
fact that he had been six-and-twenty years in the service of the Freeland
commonwealth, he must be at least fifty years old, but he looks to be
scarcely forty. The younger of the sons, Emanuel, technician by calling, is
a complete duplicate of David, though a little darker and more robust than
the latter, who, as you know, is no weakling. The mother, Ellen by name, an
American by birth, who--thanks, evidently, to David's reports of
me--received me with a truly motherly welcome, must be, judging from the
age of her children, about forty-five, but her youthful freshness gives her
the appearance rather of a sister than a mother of her children. She is
brilliantly beautiful, but is rendered specially charming by the goodness
and nobility of mind impressed upon her features. She introduced to us
three girls between eighteen and twenty years of age as her daughters, of
whom only one--Bertha--resembled her and her sons. This one, a young copy
of the mother, at once embarrassed me by the indescribable charm of her
presence. She was so little like the others--Leonora and Clementina--that I
could not refrain from remarking upon it to David. 'These two are not
blood-relations to us, but pupil daughters of my mother; what that means I
will tell you by-and-by,' was his answer.

As, despite the comfort of Freeland cars, we were naturally somewhat
exhausted by our six days' railway journey, after a short conversation with
our hosts we begged to be allowed to retire to our rooms. David acted as
our guide. After leaving the spacious garden-terrace upon which we had
hitherto lingered, we passed through a simple but tastefully arranged
drawing-room and a stately dining-hall which communicated, as I noticed,
with a large room used as a library on the right, and with two smaller
rooms on the left. These latter rooms were, David told us, his parents'
workrooms. We then came into a richly decorated vestibule, from which
stairs led above to the bedrooms. Here David took us into two bedrooms with
a common anteroom.

Then followed a short explanation of the many provisions for the comfort of
the users of the rooms. 'Pressure upon this button on the right near the
door-post,' demonstrated David, 'lights the electric chandelier; a touch on
the button near the bedside-table lights the wall-lamp over the bed. Here
the telephone No. 1 is for use within the house and for communication with
the nearest watch-room of the Association for Personal Service. A simple
ringing--thus--means that some one is to come hither from the watch-room.
All these buttons--they are known by their distinctive borders--here and
there about the walls, there by the writing, desk and here by the bed, are
connected with this telephone-bell. Thus, whenever you wish to call a
member of this association, which always has persons on duty, you need not
move either from the arm-chair in which you may be sitting or from the bed
on which you are resting. Every telephone and every signal has its number
in the watch-room as well as on a list in the vestibule we have just left;
in two minutes at the longest after you have rung, a messenger of the
association will have hastened to wait on you.'

'That is a wonderful arrangement,' I remarked, 'which secures for you all
the convenience of having a _valet-de-chambre_ ready to obey every hint of
yours, without being obliged to put up with the trouble which our valets
cost us. But this luxury must be very costly, and therefore not commonly
enjoyed.'

'The cost is very moderate, just because everybody makes use of this public
service,' answered my friend. 'There is one such watch-room with three
watchers for every 600 or 800 houses. The attendance is paid for--or rather
calculated--according to the length of time during which it is required,
and, as is customary with us, the rate of payment is measured by the
average value of an hour's work as shown by the accounts published every
year by our central bank. In the past year, when an hour's work was worth
8s., we had to pay about 5d. for every three minutes--for that is the unit
upon which this association bases its calculation. Those who ring often and
keep the association busy have to pay a larger share at the end of the
year, and those who ring seldom a smaller share. But in all cases the
association must come upon them for its expenses and for the payment of its
nine watching members--for the three watchers change morning, noon, and
evening. Last year the amount required for each watch-room was in round
figures 6,000; and as, for example, the time-bills of the 720 families of
our radius amounted to not quite two-thirds of that sum, the remaining
2,000 had to be assessed in proportion to the use made of the service by
each family. Our family makes comparatively little demand upon the service
of this association; we paid, for example, last year 6 in all--that is, 4
direct payment for time, and 2 additional assessment--for we used the
service only 203 times during the whole year.'

'Why,' asked my father, 'is there comparatively less use of the service in
your house than elsewhere?'

'Because our household always contains two or three young women, who make
it their pleasant duty to give to my parents all that personal attendance
which is befitting well-bred cultured women. Those two girls--for a year
they have been assisted by my sister--are young Freelanders such as are to
be found in every Freeland house whose housewife has a special reputation
for intelligence and refined manners; pardon me for classing my mother
among these exceptions. Every young woman of Freeland esteems it a special
honour and a great privilege to be received into such a house for at least
a year, because it is universally acknowledged that nothing refines the
intellect and the manners of developing girls more than the most intimate
intercourse possible with superior women. As a matter of course such young
ladies are regarded and treated exactly as if they were children of the
family; and they render to their adoptive parents the same service as
thoughtful and affectionate daughters. Father and mother can scarcely feel
a wish which is not divined and gratified.'

'Ah, that is exactly our institution of royal maids of honour,' said my
father, smiling.

'Certainly; but I very much doubt whether your royal pair are so
thoroughly, and in particular so tenderly, confided in as my parents always
are by these pupil-daughters of my mother. During the past eighteen
years--which is the age of this institution in Freeland--not less than
twenty-four of these young ladies have passed through our house; and they
all still maintain filial relations with my parents and sisterly ones with
us. Those who are at present with us--Leonora and Clementina--you have
already seen.'

'You said just now,' said my father, 'that your whole household--four
ladies and three gentlemen--during a whole year, called for your
ministering spirits by means of this alarum only two hundred times three
minutes. You mentioned, besides, the service rendered by those charming
young ladies. But who does all that coarser work, which even the spirit of
Aladdin's lamp could scarcely get through in 600 minutes, or ten hours, a
year in such a house as this? It seems to me that you have some ten or
twelve dwelling-rooms. It is true the floor is of marble, but it must be
swept. Everywhere I see heavy carpets--who keeps these clean? In a word,
who does the coarser work in this comfortably furnished house, which one
can see at a glance is kept most carefully in order?'

'The association with whose watch-room I have already made you acquainted.
Only we do not need to ring in order to get our regular requirements
attended to. The household work is done on the basis of a common tariff
without any trouble on our part, and with a punctuality that leaves nothing
to be desired. The association possesses duplicates of the house-keys and
room-keys of all the houses that it serves. Early in the morning, when we
are most of us still asleep, its messengers come noiselessly, take the
clothing that has to be cleaned--or rather that has to be exchanged, for we
Freelanders never wear the same garment on two successive days--from where
they were left the previous evening, put the clean clothes in the proper
place, get ready the baths--for in most Freeland houses every member of the
family has a separate bath which is daily used, unless a bath in the lake
or the river is preferred--clean the outer spaces and some of the rooms,
take away the carpets, and disappear before most of us have had any
knowledge of their presence. And all this is done in a few minutes. It is
almost all done by machinery. Do you see that little apparatus yonder in
the corridor? That is a hydraulic machine brought into action by the
turning of that tap there, which places it in connection with the
high-pressure service from the Kenia cascades. (In other towns, where a
hydraulic pressure of thirty-five atmospheres is not so easily to be had,
electric or atmospheric motors are employed.) Here the steel shaft in the
hollow in the floor covered with that elegant grating, and there near the
ceiling the bronze shaft that might be mistaken for a rod on which to hang
mirrors or pictures--these transmit the motion of the hydraulic machine to
every room in the house, from the cellar to the rooms under the roof. And
there, in that room, are a number of machines whose uses I can scarcely
explain to you unless you see them at work. The three or four messengers of
the association bring a number of other implements with them, and when
these machines are brought into connection with the shafts above or below,
and the tap of the water-motor is opened, the room is swept and washed
while you can turn round, and the heaviest articles set in their places; in
short, everything is put right silently and with magical rapidity, though
human hands could have done it only slowly and with a great deal of
disagreeable noise.

'A little later the workers of the association reappear in order to clean
the rest of the rooms, to lay the carpets in their places, and prepare
everything in the kitchen and the breakfast-room for breakfast. And so
these people come and go several times during the day, as often as is
agreed upon, in order to see that all is right. Everything is done without
being asked for, silently, and with the speed of lightning. Our house
belongs to the larger, and our style of living to the better, in Freeland;
the association has, therefore, more to do in few houses than in ours;
nevertheless, last year, for all these services they charged us for not
more than 180 hours, for which, according to the tariff already mentioned,
we had to pay 72. I question if any house equal to ours in Europe or
America could be kept in a like good condition for double or treble this
sum. And instead of having to do with troublesome "domestics," we are
served by intelligent, courteous, zealous men of business who are compelled
by competition--for we have six such associations in Eden Vale--to do their
utmost to satisfy the families that employ them. The members of these
associations are "gentlemen" with whom one can very properly sit at the
same table, the table which they have themselves just prepared, and neither
our two "maids of honour" nor my sister would have the slightest objection
to wait upon, among other guests, members of the Association for Personal
Services.

'You will soon become acquainted with the gentlemen of the association, for
the members that have charge of our house will come immediately to obtain
the most exact information as to all your special wishes. You must not grow
impatient if _you_ have to undergo a somewhat circumstantial examination;
it will be for your comfort, and will not be repeated. When you have once
been subjected to the association's questions, which leave out nothing
however trivial, it will never, so long as you are in Freeland, happen to
you to find the wrong garments brought you, or your bath a degree too hot
or too cold, or your bed not properly prepared, or any of those little
items of neglect and carelessness on the absence of which domestic
happiness in no small degree depends.

'That is enough about the Association for Rendering Personal Services. I
can now go on with my explanation of our domestic arrangements. This other
telephone has the same use as the telephone in Europe, with this
difference, that here everyone possesses his own telephone. That screw
there opens the cold-air service, which brings into every room artificially
cooled and slightly ozonised air, should the heat become unpleasant; and as
this sometimes happens even at night--as when in the hot months a nocturnal
storm rises--the screw is placed near the bed.'

I give you all these details because I think they will interest you as
showing how marvellously well these Freelanders have understood how to
substitute their 'iron slaves' for our house slaves. I will merely add that
the Association for Rendering Personal Services satisfied even my father's
very comprehensive demands. He declares that he never found better
attendance at the Bristol Hotel in Paris.

Not to weary you, I will spare you any description of the first and second
breakfast on the next day, and will only make your mouth water by
describing the principal meal, taken about six o'clock in the evening. But
first I must introduce you to two other members of the Ney family with whom
we became acquainted in the course of our second day. These are David's
aunt Clara, his father's sister, and her husband, Professor Noria, both
originals of a very special kind. Aunt Clara, at heart an ardent
Freelander, has a passion for incessantly arguing about the equality which
here prevails, in which 'truly high-toned' sentiments and manners cannot
possibly permanently exist. But woe to anyone who would venture to agree
with her in this. In spite of her sixty years, she is still a resolute
lively woman, with a very respectable remnant of what was once great
beauty. Nineteen years ago she married the professor, first because in him
she found an indefatigable antagonist in her attacks upon Freeland, and
next because he realised in a very high degree her ideal of manly
'distinction.' For Professor Noria is passionately fond of studying
heraldry, has all kinds of chivalrous and courtly ceremonials, from the
days of King Nimrod down to the present, at his fingers' ends, but has
always been too proud to degrade his knowledge by selling it for filthy
lucre. Being an enthusiast in the cause of equality and freedom he came to
Freeland, where for a few hours at morn and eve he works at gardening, and
thereby comfortably supports himself and his wife--children they have none;
but through the day he labours at his great heraldic work, which, if it is
ever finished, is to prove to the world that all the ills it has hitherto
suffered can be explained by the facts expressed in heraldry.

But now for our dinner. David admitted, when I questioned him, that in
honour of us a fifth course was added to the customary four. But the charm
of the meal consisted, not in the number, but in the superiority of the
dishes, and not less in the absence of the attendants, who, not belonging
to the society at table, necessarily are a disturbing element. I may say,
without exaggeration, that I have seldom seen a meal so excellently
prepared, and never one consisting of such choice material. The flesh of
young oxen fattened upon the aromatic pastures of the higher hills and of
the tame antelopes cannot be matched anywhere else; the vegetables throw
the choicest specimens of a Paris Exhibition in the shade; but the special
pride of Freeland is the choiceness and multiplicity of its fruits. And now
for the mysterious mode of serving. A cupboard in the wall of the
dining-room yielded an apparently inexhaustible series of eatables. First
Miss Bertha fetched from this cupboard a tureen, which she had to lift
carefully by its ivory handles, and which when uncovered was found to
contain a delicious soup. Then from another compartment of the same
cupboard was brought a fish as cold as if it had just come from the ice.
Then followed, from yet another compartment, a hot ragout, followed by a
hot joint, with many vegetables and a salad. Next came ices, with pastry,
fruits, cheese. The meal was ended with black coffee made in the presence
of the guests, and choice cigars, both, like the beer and the wine, of
Freeland growth and manufacture. There was no attendance visible during the
meal; the three charming girls fetched everything either out of the
mysterious cupboard or from a side-table.

Mrs. Ney now became the cicerone. 'This wall-cupboard,' she explained, 'is
one-half ice-cellar--that is, it is cooled by cold air passing through it;
the other half is a kind of hearth--that is, it is furnished with an
electrical heating apparatus. Between the two compartments, and divided
from them by non-conducting walls, is a neutral space at the ordinary
temperature. The cupboard has also the peculiarity of opening on two
sides--here into the dining-room, and outside into the corridor. Whilst we
were at table the Food Association brought in quick succession the dishes
which had been ordered, in part quite ready, in part--as, _e.g._, the roast
meat and the vegetables--prepared but not cooked. The food that was ready
was placed in the respective compartments of the cupboard from the
corridor; a member of the association cooked the meat and vegetables in a
kitchen at the back of the house, furnished also with electrical cooking
apparatus. This is not the usual order; when we are alone the cooking is as
a rule done in the cupboard, and attended to by my daughters. It takes but
a little time, and the smell of the cooking is never perceptible, as the
cupboard is both hearth and ice-cellar in one, and therefore possesses the
character of a good ventilator. Washing the dishes, &c., is the business of
the association, as is also attendance at table if it is required.'

Coffee was taken out-of-doors on one of the terraces, where the ladies sang
to the harp and the piano. Meantime Mr. Ney told us the family
relationships of the two pupil-daughters. Leonora is the child of an
agriculturist in Lykipia, Clementina the daughter of one of his heads of
departments. The latter information surprised us. 'Why,' I asked, 'do these
ladies forsake the parental houses, which must be highly respectable ones?'
Mr. Ney explained that it was not a respectable house that the
pupil-daughters sought, but simply the cultured, intellectual housewife.
The husband may be ever so famous and learned, but if the housewife is only
an ordinary character, no pupil-daughters will ever cross the threshold.
The institution was intended to afford girls the benefit of a higher
example, of an ennobling womanly intercourse, and not the splendour of
richer external surroundings; which, it may be remarked, had no application
to the prevailing circumstances in Freeland, as, generally speaking, all
families here live on the same footing. Clementina's mother is a brave
woman with a good heart, but after all only a good practical housekeeper,
'therefore,' said he, with a sparkle in his eye,' she begged my Ellen, who
is reckoned among the noblest women in this country which is so rich in
fine women, to take her Clementina for a couple of years as a favour.'

I must now conclude for to-day, for I am tired; but I have a great deal

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