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Latter-Day Pamphlets by Thomas Carlyle

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man she, much inquiring, can hear tell of in her three kingdoms)
President of the Poor-Law Board, Under Secretary of the
Colonies, Under, or perhaps even Upper Secretary of what she and
her Premier find suitablest for a working head so eminent, a
talent so precious; and grants him, by her direct authority, seat
and vote in Parliament so long as he holds that office. Upper
Secretaries, having more to do in Parliament, and being so bound
to be in favor there, would, I suppose, at least till new times
and habits come, be expected to be chosen from among the
_People's_ Members as at present. But whether the Prime
Minister himself is, in all times, bound to be first a People's
Member; and which, or how many, of his Secretaries and
subordinates he might be allowed to take as _Queen's_ Members, my
authority does not say,--perhaps has not himself settled; the
project being yet in mere outline or foreshadow, the practical
embodiment in all details to be fixed by authorities much more
competent than he. The soul of his project is, That the Crown
also have power to elect a few members to Parliament.

From which project, however wisely it were embodied, there could
probably, at first or all at once, no great "accession of
intellect" to the Government Offices ensue; though a little
might, even at first, and a little is always precious: but in
its ulterior operation, were that faithfully developed, and
wisely presided over, I fancy an immense accession of intellect
might ensue;--nay a natural ingress might thereby be opened to
all manner of accessions, and the actual flower of whatever
intellect the British Nation had might be attracted towards
Downing Street, and continue flowing steadily thither! For, let
us see a little what effects this simple change carries in it the
possibilities of. Here are beneficent germs, which the presence
of one truly wise man as Chief Minister, steadily fostering them
for even a few years, with the sacred fidelity and vigilance that
would beseem him, might ripen into living practices and habitual
facts, invaluable to us all.

What it is that Secretaries of State, Managers of Colonial
Establishments, of Home and Foreign Government interests, have
really and truly to do in Parliament, might admit of various
estimate in these times. An apt debater in Parliament is by no
means certain to be an able administrator of Colonies, of Home or
Foreign Affairs; nay, rather quite the contrary is to be presumed
of him; for in order to become a "brilliant speaker," if that is
his character, considerable portions of his natural internal
endowment must have gone to the surface, in order to make a
shining figure there, and precisely so much the less (few men in
these days know how much less!) must remain available in the
internal silent state, or as faculty for thinking, for devising
and acting, which latter and which alone is the function
essential for him in his Secretaryship. Not to tell a good story
for himself "in Parliament and to the twenty-seven millions, many
of them fools;" not that, but to do good administration, to know
with sure eye, and decide with just and resolute heart, what is
what in the _things_ committed to his charge: this and not that
is the service which poor England, whatever it may think and
maunder, does require and want of the Official Man in Downing
Street. Given a good Official Man or Secretary, he really ought,
as far as it is possible, to be left working in the silent state.
No mortal can both work, and do good talking in Parliament, or
out of it: the feat is impossible as that of serving two hostile

Nor would I, if it could be helped, much trouble my good
Secretary with addressing Parliament: needful explanations; yes,
in a free country, surely;--but not to every frivolous and
vexatious person, in or out of Parliament, who chooses to apply
for them. There should be demands for explanation too which were
reckoned frivolous and vexatious, and censured as such. These, I
should say, are the not needful explanations: and if my poor
Secretary is to be called out from his workshop to answer every
one of these,--his workshop will become (what we at present see
it, deservedly or not) little other than a pillory; the poor
Secretary a kind of talking-machine, exposed to dead cats and
rotten eggs; and the "work" got out of him or of it will, as
heretofore, be very inconsiderable indeed!--Alas, on this side
also, important improvements are conceivable; and will even, I
imagine, get them whence we may, be found indispensable one day.
The honorable gentleman whom you interrupt here, he, in his
official capacity, is not an individual now, but the embodiment
of a Nation; he is the "People of England" engaged in the work of
Secretaryship, this one; and cannot forever afford to let the
three Tailors of Tooley Street break in upon him at all hours!--

But leaving this, let us remark one thing which is very plain:
That whatever be the uses and duties, real or supposed, of a
Secretary in Parliament, his faculty to accomplish these is a
point entirely unconnected with his ability to get elected into
Parliament, and has no relation or proportion to it, and no
concern with it whatever. Lord Tommy and the Honorable John are
not a whit better qualified for Parliamentary duties, to say
nothing of Secretary duties, than plain Tom and Jack; they are
merely better qualified, as matters stand, for getting admitted
to try them. Which state of matters a reforming Premier, much in
want of abler men to help him, now proposes altering. Tom and
Jack, once admitted by the Queen's writ, there is every reason to
suppose will do quite as well there as Lord Tommy and the
Honorable John. In Parliament quite as well: and elsewhere, in
the other infinitely more important duties of a Government
Office, which indeed are and remain the essential, vital and
intrinsic duties of such a personage, is there the faintest
reason to surmise that Tom and Jack, if well chosen, will fall
short of Lord Tommy and the Honorable John? No shadow of a
reason. Were the intrinsic genius of the men exactly equal,
there is no shadow of a reason: but rather there is quite the
reverse; for Tom and Jack have been at least workers all their
days, not idlers, game-preservers and mere human clothes-horses,
at any period of their lives; and have gained a schooling
_thereby_, of which Lord Tommy and the Honorable John, unhappily
strangers to it for most part, can form no conception! Tom and
Jack have already, on this most narrow hypothesis, a decided
_superiority_ of likelihood over Lord Tommy and the Honorable

But the hypothesis is very narrow, and the fact is very wide; the
hypothesis counts by units, the fact by millions. Consider how
many Toms and Jacks there are to choose from, well or ill! The
aristocratic class from whom Members of Parliament can be elected
extends only to certain thousands; from these you are to choose
your Secretary, if a seat in Parliament is the primary condition.
But the general population is of Twenty-seven Millions; from all
sections of which you can choose, if the seat in Parliament is
not to be primary. Make it ultimate instead of primary, a last
investiture instead of a first indispensable condition, and the
whole British Nation, learned, unlearned, professional,
practical, speculative and miscellaneous, is at your disposal!
In the lowest broad strata of the population, equally as in the
highest and narrowest, are produced men of every kind of genius;
man for man., your chance of genius is as good among the millions
as among the units;--and class for class, what must it be! From
all classes, not from certain hundreds now but from several
millions, whatsoever man the gods had gifted with intellect and
nobleness, and power to help his country, could be chosen: O
Heavens, could,--if not by Tenpound Constituencies and the force
of beer, then by a Reforming Premier with eyes in his head, who I
think might do it quite infinitely better. Infinitely better.
For ignobleness cannot, by the nature of it, choose the noble:
no, there needs a seeing man who is himself noble, cognizant by
internal experience of the symptoms of nobleness. Shall we never
think of this; shall we never more remember this, then? It is
forever true; and Nature and Fact, however we may rattle our
ballot-boxes, do at no time forget it.

From the lowest and broadest stratum of Society, where the births
are by the million, there was born, almost in our own memory, a
Robert Burns; son of one who "had not capital for his poor
moor-farm of Twenty Pounds a year." Robert Burns never had the
smallest chance to got into Parliament, much as Robert Burns
deserved, for all our sakes, to have been found there. For the
man--it was not known to men purblind, sunk in their poor dim
vulgar element, but might have been known to men of insight who
had any loyalty or any royalty of their own--was a born king of
men: full of valor, of intelligence and heroic nobleness; fit
for far other work than to break his heart among poor mean
mortals, gauging beer! Him no Tenpound Constituency chose, nor
did any Reforming Premier: in the deep-sunk British Nation,
overwhelmed in foggy stupor, with the loadstars all gone out for
it, there was no whisper of a notion that it could be desirable
to choose him,--except to come and dine with you, and in the
interim to gauge. And yet heaven-born Mr. Pitt, at that period,
was by no means without need of Heroic Intellect, for other
purposes than gauging! But sorrowful strangulation by red-tape,
much _tighter_ then than it now is when so many revolutionary
earthquakes have tussled it, quite tied up the meagre Pitt; and
he said, on hearing of this Burns and his sad hampered case,
"Literature will take care of itself."--"Yes, and of you too, if
you don't mind it!" answers one.

And so, like Apollo taken for a Neat-herd, and perhaps for none
of the best on the Admetus establishment, this new Norse Thor had
to put up with what was going; to gauge ale, and be thankful;
pouring his celestial sunlight through Scottish
Song-writing,--the narrowest chink ever offered to a Thunder-god
before! And the meagre Pitt, and his Dundasses and red-tape
Phantasms (growing very ghastly now to think of), did not in the
least know or understand, the impious, god-forgetting mortals,
that Heroic Intellects, if Heaven were pleased to send such, were
the one salvation for the world and for them and all of us. No;
they "had done very well without" such; did not see the use of
such; went along "very well" without such; well presided over by
a singular Heroic Intellect called George the Third: and the
Thunder-god, as was rather fit of him, departed early, still in
the noon of life, somewhat weary of gauging ale!--O Peter, what a
scandalous torpid element of yellow London fog, favorable to owls
only and their mousing operations, has blotted out the stars of
Heaven for us these several generations back,--which, I rejoice
to see, is now visibly about to take itself away again, or
perhaps to be _dispelled_ in a very tremendous manner!

For the sake of my Democratic friends, one other observation. Is
not this Proposal the very essence of whatever truth there is in
"Democracy;" this, that the able man be chosen, in whatever rank
be is found? That he be searched for as hidden treasure is; be
trained, supervised, set to the work which he alone is fit for.
All Democracy lies in this; this, I think, is worth all the
ballot-boxes and suffrage-movements now going. Not that the
noble soul, born poor, should be set to spout in Parliament, but
that he should be set to assist in governing men: this is our
grand Democratic interest. With this we can be saved; without
this, were there a Parliament spouting in every parish, and
Hansard Debates to stem the Thames, we perish,--die
constitutionally drowned, in mere oceans of palaver.

All reformers, constitutional persons, and men capable of
reflection, are invited to reflect on these things. Let us brush
the cobwebs from our eyes; let us bid the inane traditions be
silent for a moment; and ask ourselves, like men dreadfully
intent on having it _done_, "By what method or methods can the
able men from every rank of life be gathered, as diamond-grains
from the general mass of sand: the able men, not the
sham-able;--and set to do the work of governing, contriving,
administering and guiding for us!" It is the question of
questions. All that Democracy ever meant lies there: the
attainment of a truer and truer Aristocracy, or Government again
by the _Best_.

Reformed Parliaments have lamentably failed to attain it for us;
and I believe will and must forever fail. One true Reforming
Statesman, one noble worshipper and knower of human intellect,
with the quality of an experienced Politician too; he, backed by
such a Parliament as England, once recognizing him, would loyally
send, and at liberty to choose his working subalterns from all
the Englishmen alive; he surely might do something? Something,
by one means or another, is becoming fearfully necessary to be
done! He, I think, might accomplish more for us in ten years,
than the best conceivable Reformed Parliament, and utmost
extension of the suffrage, in twice or ten times ten.

What is extremely important too, you could try this method with
safety; extension of the suffrage you cannot so try. With even
an approximately heroic Prime Minister, you could get nothing but
good from prescribing to him thus, to choose the fittest man,
under penalties; to choose, not the fittest of the four or the
three men that were in Parliament, but the fittest from the whole
Twenty-seven Millions that he could hear of,--at his peril.
Nothing but good from this. From extension of the suffrage, some
think, you might get quite other than good. From extension of
the suffrage, till it became a universal counting of heads, one
sees not in the least what wisdom could be extracted. A
Parliament of the Paris pattern, such as we see just now, might
be extracted: and from that? Solution into universal slush;
drownage of all interests divine and human, in a Noah's-Deluge of
Parliamentary eloquence,--such as we hope our sins, heavy and
manifold though they are, have not yet quite deserved!

Who, then, is to be the Reforming Statesman, and begin the noble
work for us? He is the preliminary; one such; with him we may
prosecute the enterprise to length after length; without him we
cannot stir in it at all. A true _king_, temporary king, that
dare undertake the government of Britain, on condition of
beginning in sacred earnest to "reform" it, not at this or that
extremity, but at the heart and centre. That will expurgate
Downing Street, and the practical Administration of our Affairs;
clear out its accumulated mountains of pendantries and cobwebs;
bid the Pedants and the Dullards depart, bid the Gifted and the
Seeing enter and inhabit. So that henceforth there be Heavenly
light there, instead of Stygian dusk; that God's vivifying light
instead of Satan's deadening and killing dusk, may radiate
therefrom, and visit with healing all regions of this British
Empire,--which now writhes through every limb of it, in dire
agony as if of death! The enterprise is great, the enterprise
may be called formidable and even awful; but there is none nobler
among the sublunary affairs of mankind just now. Nay tacitly it
is the enterprise of every man who undertakes to be British
Premier in these times;--and I cannot esteem him an enviable
Premier who, because the engagement is _tacit_, flatters himself
that it does not exist! "Show it me in the bond," he says. Your
Lordship, it actually exists: and I think you will see it yet,
in another kind of "bond" than that sheepskin one!

But truly, in any time, what a strange feeling, enough to alarm a
very big Lordship, this: that he, of the size he is, has got to
the apex of English affairs! Smallest wrens, we know, by
training and the aid of machinery, are capable of many things.
For this world abounds in miraculous combinations, far
transcending anything they do at Drury Lane in the melodramatic
way. A world which, as solid as it looks, is made all of aerial
and even of spiritual stuff; permeated all by incalculable
sleeping forces and electricities; and liable to go off, at any
time, into the hugest developments, upon a scratch thoughtfully
or thoughtlessly given on the right point:--Nay, for every one of
us, could not the sputter of a poor pistol-shot shrivel the
Immensities together like a burnt scroll, and make the Heavens
and the Earth pass away with a great noise? Smallest wrens, and
canary-birds of some dexterity, can be trained to handle
lucifer-matches; and have, before now, fired off whole
powder-magazines and parks of artillery. Perhaps without much
astonishment to the canary-bird. The canary-bird can hold only
its own quantity of astonishment; and may possibly enough retain
its presence of mind, were even Doomsday to come. It is on this
principle that I explain to myself the equanimity of some men and
Premiers whom we have known.

This and the other Premier seems to take it with perfect
coolness. And yet, I say, what a strange feeling, to find
himself Chief Governor of England; girding on, upon his
moderately sized new soul, the old battle-harness of an Oliver
Cromwell, an Edward Longshanks, a William Conqueror. "I, then,
am the Ablest of English attainable Men? This English People,
which has spread itself over all lands and seas, and achieved
such works in the ages,--which has done America, India, the
Lancashire Cotton-trade, Bromwicham Iron-trade, Newton's
Principia, Shakspeare's Dramas, and the British
Constitution,--the apex of all its intelligences and mighty
instincts and dumb longings: it is I? William Conqueror's big
gifts, and Edward's and Elizabeth's; Oliver's lightning soul,
noble as Sinai and the thunders of the Lord: these are mine, I
begin to perceive,--to a certain extent. These heroisms have
I,--though rather shy of exhibiting them. These; and something
withal of the huge beaver-faculty of our Arkwrights, Brindleys;
touches too of the phoenix-melodies and _sunny_ heroisms of our
Shakspeares, of our Singers, Sages and inspired Thinkers all this
is in me, I will hope,--though rather shy of exhibiting it on
common occasions. The Pattern Englishman, raised by solemn
acclamation upon the bucklers of the English People, and saluted
with universal 'God save THEE!'--has now the honor to announce
himself. After fifteen hundred years of constitutional study as
to methods of raising on the bucklers, which is the operation of
operations, the English People, surely pretty well skilled in it
by this time, has raised--the remarkable individual now
addressing you. The best-combined sample of whatsoever divine
qualities are in this big People, the consummate flower of all
that they have done and been, the ultimate product of the
Destinies, and English man of men, arrived at last in the fulness
of time, is--who think you? Ye worlds, the Ithuriel javelin by
which, with all these heroisms and accumulated energies old and
new, the English People means to smite and pierce, is this poor
tailor's-bodkin, hardly adequate to bore an eylet-hole, who now
has the honor to"--Good Heavens, if it were not that men
generally are very much of the canary-bird, here, are
reflections sufficient to annihilate any man, almost before

But to us also it ought to be a very strange reflection! This,
then, is the length we have brought it to, with our
constitutioning, and ballot-boxing, and incessant talk and effort
in every kind for so many centuries back; this? The golden
flower of our grand alchemical projection, which has set the
world in astonishment so long, and been the envy of surrounding
nations, is--what we here see. To be governed by his Lordship,
and guided through the undiscovered paths of Time by this
respectable degree of human faculty. With our utmost soul's
travail we could discover, by the sublimest methods eulogized by
all the world, no abler Englishman than this?

Really it should make us pause upon the said sublime methods, and
ask ourselves very seriously, whether, notwithstanding the eulogy
of all the world, they can be other than extremely astonishing
methods, that require revisal and reconsideration very much
indeed! For the kind of "man" we get to govern us, all
conclusions whatsoever centre there, and likewise all manner of
issues flow infallibly therefrom. "Ask well, who is your Chief
Governor," says one: "for around him men like to him will
infallibly gather, and by degrees all the world will be made in
his image." "He who is himself a noble man, has a chance to know
the nobleness of men; he who is not, has none. And as for the
poor Public,--alas, is not the kind of 'man' you set upon it the
liveliest symbol of its and your veracity and victory and
blessedness, or unveracity and misery and cursedness; the general
summation and practical outcome of all else whatsoever in the
Public and in you?"

Time was when an incompetent Governor could not be permitted
among men. He was, and had to be, by one method or the other,
clutched up from his place at the helm of affairs, and hurled
down into the hold, perhaps even overboard, if he could not
really steer. And we call those ages barbarous, because they
shuddered to see a Phantasm at the helm of their affairs; an
eyeless Pilot with constitutional spectacles, steering by the ear
mainly? And we have changed all that; no-government is now the
best; and a tailor's foreman, who gives no trouble, is preferable
to any other for governing? My friends, such truly is the current
idea; but you dreadfully mistake yourselves, and the fact is not
such. The fact, now beginning to disclose itself again in
distressed Needlewomen, famishing Connaughts, revolting Colonies,
and a general rapid advance towards Social Ruin, remains really
what it always was, and will so remain!

Men have very much forgotten it at present; and only here a man
and there a man begins again to bethink himself of it: but all
men will gradually get reminded of it, perhaps terribly to their
cost; and the sooner they all lay it to heart again, I think it
will be the better. For in spite of our oblivion of it, the
thing remains forever true; nor is there any Constitution or body
of Constitutions, were they clothed with never such
venerabilities and general acceptabilities, that avails to
deliver a Nation from the consequences of forgetting it. Nature,
I assure you, does forevermore remember it; and a hundred British
Constitutions are but as a hundred cobwebs between her and the
penalty she levies for forgetting it. Tell me what kind of man
governs a People, you tell me, with much exactness, what the net
sum-total of social worth in that People has for some time been.
Whether _they_ have loved the phylacteries or the eternal
noblenesses; whether they have been struggling heavenward like
eagles, brothers of the radiances, or groping owl-like with
horn-eyed diligence, catching mice and balances at their
banker's,--poor devils, you will see it all in that one fact. A
fact long prepared beforehand; which, if it is a peaceably
received one, must have been acquiesced in, judged to be "best,"
by the poor mousing owls, intent only to have a large balance at
their banker's and keep a whole skin.

Such sordid populations, which were long blind to Heaven's light,
are getting themselves burnt up rapidly, in these days, by
street-insurrection and Hell-fire;--as is indeed inevitable, my
esteemed M'Croudy! Light, accept the blessed light, if you will
have it when Heaven vouchsafes. You refuse? You prefer Delolme
on the British Constitution, the Gospel according to M'Croudy,
and a good balance at your banker's? Very well: the "light" is
more and more withdrawn; and for some time you have a general
dusk, very favorable for catching mice; and the opulent owlery is
very "happy," and well-off at its banker's;--and furthermore, by
due sequence, infallible as the foundations of the Universe and
Nature's oldest law, the light _returns_ on you, condensed, this
time, into _lightning_, which there is not any skin whatever too
thick for taking in!

[April 15, 1850.] No. IV. THE NEW DOWNING STREET.

In looking at this wreck of Governments in all European
countries, there is one consideration that suggests itself, sadly
elucidative of our modern epoch. These Governments, we may be
well assured, have gone to anarchy for this one reason inclusive
of every other whatsoever, That they were not wise enough; that
the spiritual talent embarked in them, the virtue, heroism,
intellect, or by whatever other synonyms we designate it, was not
adequate,--probably had long been inadequate, and so in its dim
helplessness had suffered, or perhaps invited falsity to
introduce itself; had suffered injustices, and solecisms, and
contradictions of the Divine Fact, to accumulate in more than
tolerable measure; whereupon said Governments were overset, and
declared before all creatures to be too false.

This is a reflection sad but important to the modern Governments
now fallen anarchic, That they had not spiritual talent enough.
And if this is so, then surely the question, How these
Governments came to sink for _want_ of intellect? is a rather
interesting one. Intellect, in some measure, is born into every
Century; and the Nineteenth flatters itself that it is rather
distinguished that way! What had become of this celebrated
Nineteenth Century's intellect? Surely some of it existed, and
was "developed" withal;--nay in the "undeveloped," unconscious,
or inarticulate state, it is not dead; but alive and at work, if
mutely not less beneficently, some think even more so! And yet
Governments, it would appear, could by no means get enough of it;
almost none of it came their way: what had become of it? Truly
there must be something very questionable, either in the
intellect of this celebrated Century, or in the methods
Governments now have of supplying their wants from the same. One
or other of two grand fundamental shortcomings, in regard to
intellect or human enlightenment, is very visible in this
enlightened Century of ours; for it has now become the most
anarchic of Centuries; that is to say, has fallen practically
into such Egyptian darkness that it cannot grope its way at all!

Nay I rather think both of these shortcomings, fatal deficits
both, are chargeable upon us; and it is the joint harvest of both
that we are now reaping with such havoc to our affairs. I rather
guess, the intellect of the Nineteenth Century, so full of
miracle to Heavyside and others, is itself a mechanical or
_beaver_ intellect rather than a high or eminently human one. A
dim and mean though authentic kind of intellect, this; venerable
only in defect of better. This kind will avail but little in the
higher enterprises of human intellect, especially in that highest
enterprise of guiding men Heavenward, which, after all, is the
one real "governing" of them on this God's-Earth:--an enterprise
not to be achieved by beaver intellect, but by other higher and
highest kinds. This is deficit _first_. And then _secondly_,
Governments have, really to a fatal and extraordinary extent,
neglected in late ages to supply themselves with what intellect
was going; having, as was too natural in the dim time, taken up a
notion that human intellect, or even beaver intellect, was not
necessary to them at all, but that a little of the _vulpine_ sort
(if attainable), supported by routine, red-tape traditions, and
tolerable parliamentary eloquence on occasion, would very well
suffice. A most false and impious notion; leading to fatal
lethargy on the part of Governments, while Nature and Fact were
preparing strange phenomena in contradiction to it.

These are two very fatal deficits;--the remedy of either of which
would be the remedy of both, could we but find it! For indeed
they are vitally connected: one of them is sure to produce the
other; and both once in action together, the advent of darkness,
certain enough to issue in anarchy by and by, goes on with
frightful acceleration. If Governments neglect to invite what
noble intellect there is, then too surely all intellect, not
omnipotent to resist bad influences, will tend to become
beaverish ignoble intellect; and quitting high aims, which seem
shut up from it, will help itself forward in the way of making
money and such like; or will even sink to be sham intellect,
helping itself by methods which are not only beaverish but
vulpine, and so "ignoble" as not to have common honesty. The
Government, taking no thought to choose intellect for itself,
will gradually find that there is less and less of a good quality
to choose from: thus, as in all impieties it does, bad grows
worse at a frightful _double_ rate of progression; and your
impiety is twice cursed. If you are impious enough to tolerate
darkness, you will get ever more darkness to tolerate; and at
that inevitable stage of the account (inevitable in all such
accounts) when actual light or else destruction is the
alternative, you will call to the Heavens and the Earth for
light, and none will come!

Certainly this evil, for one, has _not_ "wrought its own cure;"
but has wrought precisely the reverse, and has been hourly eating
away what possibilities of cure there were. And so, I fear, in
spite of rumors to the contrary, it always is with evils, with
solecisms against Nature, and contradictions to the divine fact
of things: not an evil of them has ever wrought its own cure in
my experience;--but has continually grown worse and wider and
uglier, till some _good_ (generally a good _man_) not able to
endure the abomination longer, rose upon it and cured or else
extinguished it. Evil Governments, divested of God's light
because they have loved darkness rather, are not likelier than
other evils to work their own cure out of that bad plight.

It is urgent upon all Governments to pause in this fatal course;
persisted in, the goal is fearfully evident; every hour's
persistence in it is making return more difficult. Intellect
exists in all countries; and the function appointed it by
Heaven,--Governments had better not attempt to contradict that,
for they cannot! Intellect _has_ to govern in this world and
will do it, if not in alliance with so-called "Governments" of
red-tape and routine, then in divine hostility to such, and
sometimes alas in diabolic hostility to such; and in the end, as
sure as Heaven is higher than Downing Street, and the Laws of
Nature are tougher than red-tape, with entire victory over them
and entire ruin to them. If there is one thinking man among the
Politicians of England, I consider these things extremely well
worth his attention just now.

Who are available to your Offices in Downing Street? All the
gifted souls, of every rank, who are born to you in this
generation. These are appointed, by the true eternal "divine
right" which will never become obsolete, to be your governors and
administrators; and precisely as you employ them, or neglect to
employ them, will your State be favored of Heaven or disfavored.
This noble young soul, you can have him on either of two
conditions; and on one of them, since he is here in the world,
you must have him. As your ally and coadjutor; or failing that,
as your natural enemy: which shall it be? I consider that every
Government convicts itself of infatuation and futility, or
absolves and justifies itself before God and man, according as it
answers this question. With all sublunary entities, this is the
question of questions. What talent is born to you? How do you
employ that? The crop of spiritual talent that is born to you,
of human nobleness and intellect and heroic faculty, this is
infinitely more important than your crops of cotton or corn, or
wine or herrings or whale-oil, which the Newspapers record with
such anxiety every season. This is not quite counted by seasons,
therefore the Newspapers are silent: but by generations and
centuries, I assure you it becomes amazingly sensible; and
surpasses, as Heaven does Earth, all the corn and wine, and
whale-oil and California bullion, or any other crop you grow. If
that crop cease, the other crops--please to take them also, if
you are anxious about them. That once ceasing, we may shut shop;
for no other crop whatever will stay with us, nor is worth having
if it would.

To promote men of talent, to search and sift the whole society in
every class for men of talent, and joyfully promote them, has not
always been found impossible. In many forms of polity they have
done it, and still do it, to a certain degree. The degree to
which they succeed in doing it marks, as I have said, with very
great accuracy the degree of divine and human worth that is in
them, the degree of success or real ultimate victory they can
expect to have in this world.--Think, for example, of the old
Catholic Church, in its merely terrestrial relations to the
State; and see if your reflections, and contrasts with what now
is, are of an exulting character. Progress of the species has
gone on as with seven-league boots, and in various directions has
shot ahead amazingly, with three cheers from all the world; but
in this direction, the most vital and indispensable, it has
lagged terribly, and has even moved backward, till now it is
quite gone out of sight in clouds of cotton-fuzz and
railway-scrip, and has fallen fairly over the horizon to

In those most benighted Feudal societies, full of mere tyrannous
steel Barons, and totally destitute of Tenpound Franchises and
Ballot-boxes, there did nevertheless authentically preach itself
everywhere this grandest of gospels, without which no other
gospel can avail us much, to all souls of men, "Awake ye noble
souls; here is a noble career for you!" I say, everywhere a road
towards promotion, for human nobleness, lay wide open to all men.
The pious soul,--which, if you reflect, will mean the ingenuous
and ingenious, the gifted, intelligent and nobly-aspiring
soul,--such a soul, in whatever rank of life it were born, had
one path inviting it; a generous career, whereon, by human worth
and valor, all earthly heights and Heaven itself were attainable.
In the lowest stratum of social thraldom, nowhere was the noble
soul doomed quite to choke, and die ignobly. The Church, poor
old benighted creature, had at least taken care of that: the
noble aspiring soul, not doomed to choke ignobly in its penuries,
could at least run into the neighboring Convent, and there take
refuge. Education awaited it there; strict training not only to
whatever useful knowledge could be had from writing and reading,
but to obedience, to pious reverence, self-restraint,
annihilation of self,--really to human nobleness in many most
essential respects. No questions asked about your birth,
genealogy, quantity of money-capital or the like; the one
question was, "Is there some human nobleness in you, or is there
not?" The poor neat-herd's son, if he were a Noble of Nature,
might rise to Priesthood, to High-priesthood, to the top of this
world,--and best of all, he had still high Heaven lying high
enough above him, to keep his head steady, on whatever height or
in whatever depth his way might lie!

A thrice-glorious arrangement, when I reflect on it; most
salutary to all high and low interests; a truly human
arrangement. You made the born noble yours, welcoming him as
what he was, the Sent of Heaven: you did not force him either to
die or become your enemy; idly neglecting or suppressing him as
what he was not, a thing of no worth. You accepted the blessed
_light_; and in the shape of infernal _lightning_ it needed not
to visit you. How, like an immense mine-shaft through the dim
oppressed strata of society, this Institution of the Priesthood
ran; opening, from the lowest depths towards all heights and
towards Heaven itself, a free road of egress and emergence
towards virtuous nobleness, heroism and well-doing, for every
born man. This we may call the living lungs and
blood-circulation of those old Feudalisms. When I think of that
immeasurable all-pervading lungs; present in every corner of
human society, every meanest hut a _cell_ of said lungs; inviting
whatsoever noble pious soul was born there to the path that was
noble for him; and leading thereby sometimes, if he were worthy,
to be the Papa of Christendom, and Commander of all Kings,--I
perceive how the old Christian society continued healthy, vital,
and was strong and heroic. When I contrast this with the noble
aims now held out to noble souls born in remote huts, or beyond
the verge of Palace-Yard; and think of what your Lordship has
done in the way of making priests and papas,--I see a society
without lungs, fast wheezing itself to death, in horrid
convulsions; and deserving to die.

Over Europe generally in these years, I consider that the State
has died, has fairly coughed its last in street musketry, and
fallen down dead, incapable of any but _galvanic_ life
henceforth,--owing to this same fatal want of _lungs_, which
includes all other wants for a State. And furthermore that it
will never come alive again, till it contrive to get such
indispensable vital apparatus; the outlook toward which
consummation is very distant in most communities of Europe. If
you let it come to death or suspended animation in States, the
case is very bad! Vain to call in universal-suffrage parliaments
at that stage: the universal-suffrage parliaments cannot give
you any breath of life, cannot find any _wisdom_ for you; by long
impiety, you have let the supply of noble human wisdom die out;
and the wisdom that now courts your universal suffrages is
beggarly human _attorneyism_ or sham-wisdom, which is _not_ an
insight into the Laws of God's Universe, but into the laws of
hungry Egoism and the Devil's Chicane, and can in the end profit
no community or man.

No; the kind of heroes that come mounted on the shoulders of the
universal suffrage, and install themselves as Prime Ministers and
healing Statesmen by force of able editorship, do not bid very
fair to bring Nations back to the ways of God. Eloquent
high-lacquered _pinchbeck_ specimens these, expert in the arts of
Belial mainly;--fitter to be markers at some exceedingly
expensive billiard-table than sacred chief-priests of men!
"Greeks of the Lower Empire;" with a varnish of parliamentary
rhetoric; and, I suppose, this other great gift, toughness of
character,--proof that they have _persevered_ in their Master's
service. Poor wretches, their industry is mob-worship,
place-worship, parliamentary intrigue, and the multiplex art of
tongue-fence: flung into that bad element, there they swim for
decades long, throttling and wrestling one another according to
their strength,--and the toughest or luckiest gets to land, and
becomes Premier. A more entirely unbeautiful class of Premiers
was never raked out of the ooze, and set on high places, by any
ingenuity of man. Dame Dubarry's petticoat was a better
seine-net for fishing out Premiers than that. Let all Nations
whom necessity is driving towards that method, take warning in

Alas, there is, in a manner, but one Nation that can still take
warning! In England alone of European Countries the State yet
survives; and might help itself by better methods. In England
heroic wisdom is not yet dead, and quite replaced by attorneyism:
the honest beaver faculty yet abounds with us, the heroic manful
faculty shows itself also to the observant eye, not dead but
dangerously sleeping. I said there were many _kings_ in England:
if these can yet be rallied into strenuous activity, and set to
govern England in Downing Street and elsewhere, which their
function always is,--then England can be saved from anarchies and
universal suffrages; and that Apotheosis of Attorneyism, blackest
of terrestrial curses, may be spared us. If these cannot, the
other issue, in such forms as may be appropriate to us, is
inevitable. What escape is there? England must conform to the
eternal laws of life, or England too must die!

England with the largest mass of real living interests ever
intrusted to a Nation; and with a mass of extinct imaginary and
quite dead interests piled upon it to the very Heavens, and
encumbering it from shore to shore,--does reel and stagger
ominously in these years; urged by the Divine Silences and the
Eternal Laws to take practical hold of its living interests and
manage them: and clutching blindly into its venerable extinct
and imaginary interests, as if that were still the way to do it.
England must contrive to manage its living interests, and quit
its dead ones and their methods, or else depart from its place in
this world. Surely England is called as no Nation ever was, to
summon out its _kings_, and set them to that high work!--Huge
inorganic England, nigh choked under the exuviae of a thousand
years, and blindly sprawling amid chartisms, ballot-boxes,
prevenient graces, and bishops' nightmares, must, as the
preliminary and commencement of organization, learn to _breathe_
again,--get "lungs" for herself again, as we defined it. That is
imperative upon her: she too will die, otherwise, and cough her
last upon the streets some day;--how can she continue living? To
enfranchise whatsoever of Wisdom is born in England, and set that
to the sacred task of coercing and amending what of Folly is born
in England: Heaven's blessing is purchasable by that; by not
that, only Heaven's curse is purchasable. The reform
contemplated, my liberal friends perceive, is a truly radical
one; no ballot-box ever went so deep into the roots: a radical,
most painful, slow and difficult, but most indispensable reform
of reforms!

How short and feeble an approximation to these high ulterior
results, the best Reform of Downing Street, presided over by the
fittest Statesman one can imagine to exist at present, would be,
is too apparent to me. A long time yet till we get our living
interests put under due administration, till we get our dead
interests handsomely dismissed. A long time yet till, by
extensive change of habit and ways of thinking and acting, _we_
get living "lungs" for ourselves! Nevertheless, by Reform of
Downing Street, we do begin to breathe: we do start in the way
towards that and all high results. Nor is there visible to me
any other way. Blessed enough were the way once entered on;
could we, in our evil days, but see the noble enterprise begun,
and fairly in progress!

What the "_New_ Downing Street" can grow to, and will and must if
England is to have a Downing Street beyond a few years longer, it
is far from me, in my remote watch-tower, to say with precision.
A Downing Street inhabited by the gifted of the intellects of
England; directing all its energies upon the real and living
interests of England, and silently but incessantly, in the
alembics of the place, burning up the extinct imaginary
interests of England, that we may see God's sky a little plainer
overhead, and have all of us a great accession of "heroic wisdom"
to dispose of: such a Downing Street--to draw the plan of it,
will require architects; many successive architects and builders
will be needed there. Let not editors, and remote unprofessional
persons, interfere too much!--Change in the present edifice,
however, radical change, all men can discern to be inevitable;
and even, if there shall not worse swiftly follow, to be
imminent. Outlines of the future edifice paint themselves
against the sky (to men that still have a sky, and are above the
miserable London fogs of the hour); noble elements of new State
Architecture, foreshadows of a new Downing Street for the New Era
that is come. These with pious hope all men can see; and it is
good that all men, with whatever faculty they have, were
earnestly looking thitherward;--trying to get above the fogs,
that they might look thitherward!

Among practical men the idea prevails that Government can do
nothing but "keep the peace." They say all higher tasks are
unsafe for it, impossible for it,--and in fine not necessary for
it or for us. On this footing a very feeble Downing Street might
serve the turn!--I am well aware that Government, for a long time
past, has taken in hand no other public task, and has professed
to have no other, but that of keeping the peace. This public
task, and the private one of ascertaining whether Dick or Jack
was to do it, have amply filled the capabilities of Government
for several generations now. Hard tasks both, it would appear.
In accomplishing the first, for example, have not heaven-born
Chancellors of the Exchequer had to shear us very bare; and to
leave an overplus of Debt, or of fleeces shorn _before_ they are
grown, justly esteemed among the wonders of the world? Not a
first-rate keeping of the peace, this, we begin to surmise! At
least it seems strange to us.

For we, and the overwhelming majority of all our acquaintances,
in this Parish and Nation and the adjacent Parishes and Nations,
are profoundly conscious to ourselves of being by nature
peaceable persons; following our necessary industries; without
wish, interest or faintest intention to cut the skin of any
mortal, to break feloniously into his industrial premises, or do
any injustice to him at all. Because indeed, independent of
Government, there is a thing called conscience, and we dare not.
So that it cannot but appear to us, "the peace," under dexterous
management, might be very much more easily kept, your Lordship;
nay, we almost think, if well let alone, it would in a measure
keep _itself_ among such a set of persons! And how it happens
that when a poor hardworking creature of us has laboriously
earned sixpence, the Government comes in, and (as some compute)
says, "I will thank you for threepence of that, as per account,
for getting you peace to spend the other threepence," our
amazement begins to be considerable,--and I think results will
follow from it by and by. Not the most dexterous keeping of the
peace, your Lordship, unless it be more difficult to do than

Our domestic peace, we cannot but perceive, as good as keeps
itself. Here and there a select Equitable Person, appointed by
the Public for that end, clad in ermine, and backed by certain
companies of blue Police, is amply adequate, without immoderate
outlay in money or otherwise, to keep down the few exceptional
individuals of the scoundrel kind; who, we observe, by the nature
of them, are always weak and inconsiderable. And as to foreign
peace, really all Europe, now especially with so many railroads,
public journals, printed books, penny-post, bills of exchange,
and continual intercourse and mutual dependence, is more and more
becoming (so to speak) one Parish; the Parishioners of which
being, as we ourselves are, in immense majority peaceable
hard-working people, could, if they were moderately well guided,
have almost no disposition to quarrel. Their economic interests
are one, "To buy in the cheapest market, and sell in the
dearest;" their faith, any _religious_ faith they have, is one,
"To annihilate shams--by all methods, street-barricades
included." Why should they quarrel? The Czar of Russia, in the
Eastern parts of the Parish, may have other notions; but he knows
too well he must keep them to himself. He, if he meddled with the
Western parts, and attempted anywhere to crush or disturb that
sacred Democratic Faith of theirs, is aware there would rise from
a hundred and fifty million human throats such a _Hymn of the
Marseillaise_ as was never heard before; and England, France,
Germany, Poland, Hungary, and the Nine Kingdoms, hurling
themselves upon him in never-imagined fire of vengeance, would
swiftly reduce his Russia and him to a strange situation!
Wherefore he forbears,--and being a person of some sense, will
long forbear. In spite of editorial prophecy, the Czar of Russia
does not disturb our night's rest. And with the other parts of
the Parish our dreams and our thoughts are of anything but of
fighting, or of the smallest need to fight.

For keeping of the peace, a thing highly desirable to us , we
strive to be grateful to your Lordship. Intelligible to us,
also, your Lordship's reluctance to get out of the old routine.
But we beg to say farther, that peace by itself has no feet to
stand upon, and would not suit us even if it had. Keeping of the
peace is the function of a policeman, and but a small fraction of
that of any Government, King or Chief of men. Are not all men
bound, and the Chief of men in the name of all, to do properly
this: To see, so far as human effort under pain of eternal
reprobation can, God's Kingdom incessantly advancing here below,
and His will done on Earth as it is in Heaven? On Sundays your
Lordship knows this well; forgot it not on week-days. I assure
you it is forevermore a fact. That is the immense divine and
never-ending task which is laid on every man, and with
unspeakable increase of emphasis on every Government or
Commonwealth of men. Your Lordship, that is the basis upon which
peace and all else depends! That basis once well lost, there is
no peace capable of being kept,--the only peace that could then
be kept is that of the churchyard. Your Lordship may depend on
it, whatever thing takes upon it the name of Sovereign or
Government in an English Nation such as this will have to get out
of that old routine; and set about keeping something very
different from the peace, in these days!

Truly it is high time that same beautiful notion of No-Government
should take itself away. The world is daily rushing towards
wreck, while that lasts. If your Government is to be a
Constituted Anarchy, what issue can it have? Our one interest in
such Government is, that it would be kind enough to cease and go
its ways, _before_ the inevitable arrive. The question, Who is
to float atop no-whither upon the popular vertexes, and act that
sorry character, "carcass of the drowned ass upon the
mud-deluge"? is by no means an important one for almost
anybody,--hardly even for the drowned ass himself. Such drowned
ass ought to ask himself, If the function is a sublime one? For
him too, though he looks sublime to the vulgar and floats atop, a
private situation, down out of sight in his natural ooze, would
be a luckier one.

Crabbe, speaking of constitutional philosophies, faith in the
ballot-box and such like, has this indignant passage: "If any
voice of deliverance or resuscitation reach us, in this our low
and all but lost estate, sunk almost beyond plummet's sounding in
the mud of Lethe, and oblivious of all noble objects, it will be
an intimation that we must put away all this abominable nonsense,
and understand, once more, that Constituted Anarchy, with however
many ballot-boxes, caucuses, and hustings beer-barrels, is a
continual offence to gods and men. That to be governed by small
men is not only a misfortune, but it is a curse and a sin; the
effect, and alas the cause also, of all manner of curses and
sins. That to profess subjection to phantasms, and pretend to
accept guidance from fractional parts of tailors, is what
Smelfungus in his rude dialect calls it, 'a damned _lie_,' and
nothing other. A lie which, by long use and wont, we have grown
accustomed to, and do not the least feel to be a lie, having
spoken and done it continually everywhere for such a long time
past;--but has Nature grown to accept it as a veracity, think
you, my friend? Have the Parcae fallen asleep, because you
wanted to make money in the City? Nature at all moments knows
well that it is a lie; and that, like all lies, it is cursed and
damned from the beginning.

"Even so, ye indigent millionnaires, and miserable bankrupt
populations rolling in gold,--whose note-of-hand will go to any
length in Threadneedle Street, and to whom in Heaven's Bank the
stern answer is, 'No effects!' Bankrupt, I say; and Californias
and Eldorados will not save us. And every time we speak such
lie, or do it or look it, as we have been incessantly doing, and
many of us with clear consciousness, for about a hundred and
fifty years now, Nature marks down the exact penalty against us.
'Debtor to so much lying: forfeiture of existing stock of worth
to such extent;--approach to general damnation by so much.' Till
now, as we look round us over a convulsed anarchic Europe, and at
home over an anarchy not yet convulsed, but only heaving towards
convulsion, and to judge by the Mosaic sweating-establishments,
cannibal Connaughts and other symptoms, not far from convulsion
now, we seem to have pretty much _exhausted_ our accumulated
stock of worth; and unless money's 'worth' and bullion at the
Bank will save us, to be rubbing very close upon that ulterior
bourn which I do not like to name again!

"On behalf of nearly twenty-seven millions of my
fellow-countrymen, sunk deep in Lethean sleep, with mere
owl-dreams of Political Economy and mice-catching, in this
pacific thrice-infernal slush-element; and also of certain select
thousands, and hundreds and units, awakened or beginning to
awaken from it, and with horror in their hearts perceiving where
they are, I beg to protest, and in the name of God to say, with
poor human ink, desirous much that I had divine thunder to say it
with, Awake, arise,--before you sink to death eternal! Unnamable
destruction, and banishment to Houndsditch and Gehenna, lies in
store for all Nations that, in angry perversity or brutal torpor
and owlish blindness, neglect the eternal message of the gods,
and vote for the Worse while the Better is there. Like owls they
say, 'Barabbas will do; any orthodox Hebrew of the Hebrews, and
peaceable believer in M'Croudy and the Faith of Leave-alone will
do: the Right Honorable Minimus is well enough; he shall be our
Maximus, under him it will be handy to catch mice, and Owldom
shall continue a flourishing empire. '"

One thing is undeniable, and must be continually repeated till it
get to be understood again: Of all constitutions, forms of
government, and political methods among men, the question to be
asked is even this, What kind of man do you set over us? All
questions are answered in the answer to this. Another thing is
worth attending to: No people or populace, with never such
ballot-boxes, can select such man for you; only the man of worth
can recognize worth in men;--to the commonplace man of no or of
little worth, you, unless you wish to be _mis_led, need not apply
on such an occasion. Those poor Tenpound Franchisers of yours,
they are not even in earnest; the poor sniffing sniggering
Honorable Gentlemen they send to Parliament are as little so.
Tenpound Franchisers full of mere beer and balderdash; Honorable
Gentlemen come to Parliament as to an Almack's series of evening
parties, or big cockmain (battle of all the cocks) very amusing
to witness and bet upon: what can or could men in that
predicament ever do for you? Nay, if they were in life-and-death
earnest, what could it avail you in such a case? I tell you, a
million blockheads looking authoritatively into one man of what
you call genius, or noble sense, will make nothing but nonsense
out of him and his qualities, and his virtues and defects, if
they look till the end of time. He understands them, sees what
they are; but that they should understand him, and see with
rounded outline what his limits are,--this, which would mean that
they are bigger than he, is forever denied them. Their one good
understanding of him is that they at last should loyally say, "We
do not quite understand thee; we perceive thee to be nobler and
wiser and bigger than we, and will loyally follow thee."

The question therefore arises, Whether, since reform of
parliament and such like have done so little in that respect, the
problem might not be with some hope attacked in the direct
manner? Suppose all our Institutions, and Public Methods of
Procedure, to continue for the present as they are; and suppose
farther a Reform Premier, and the English Nation once awakening
under him to a due sense of the infinite importance, nay the
vital necessity there is of getting able and abler men:--might
not some heroic wisdom, and actual "ability" to do what must be
done, prove discoverable to said Premier; and so the
indispensable Heaven's-blessing descend to us from _above_,
since none has yet sprung from below? From above we shall have
to try it; the other is exhausted,--a hopeless method that! The
utmost passion of the house-inmates, ignorant of masonry and
architecture, cannot avail to cure the house of smoke: not if
_they_ vote and agitate forever, and bestir themselves to the
length even of street-barricades, will the _smoke_ in the least
abate: how can it? Their passion exercised in such ways, till
Doomsday, will avail them nothing. Let their passion rage
steadily against the existing major-domos to this effect, "_Find_
us men skilled in house-building, acquainted with the laws of
atmospheric suction, and capable to cure smoke;" something might
come of it! In the lucky circumstance of having one man of real
intellect and courage to put at the head of the movement, much
would come of it;--a New Downing Street, fit for the British
Nation and its bitter necessities in this Now Era, would come;
and from that, in answer to continuous sacred fidelity and
valiant toil, all good whatsoever would gradually come.

Of the Continental nuisance called "Bureaucracy,"--if this should
alarm any reader,--I can see no risk or possibility in England.
Democracy is hot enough here, fierce enough; it is perennial,
universal, clearly invincible among us henceforth. No danger it
should let itself be flung in chains by sham secretaries of the
Pedant species, and accept their vile Age of Pinchbeck for its
Golden Age! Democracy clamors, with its Newspapers, its
Parliaments, and all its twenty-seven million throats,
continually in this Nation forevermore. I remark, too, that, the
unconscious purport of all its clamors is even this, "Find us men
skilled,"--_make_ a New Downing Street, fit for the New Era!

Of the Foreign Office, in its reformed state, we have not much to
say. Abolition of imaginary work, and replacement of it by real,
is on all hands understood to be very urgent there. Large
needless expenditures of money, immeasurable ditto of hypocrisy
and grimace; embassies, protocols, worlds of extinct traditions,
empty pedantries, foul cobwebs:--but we will by no means apply
the "live coal" of our witty friend; the Foreign Office will
repent, and not be driven to suicide! A truer time will come for
the Continental Nations too: Authorities based on truth, and on
the silent or spoken Worship of Human Nobleness, will again get
themselves established there; all Sham-Authorities, and
consequent Real-Anarchies based on universal suffrage and the
Gospel according to George Sand, being put away; and noble
action, heroic new-developments of human faculty and industry,
and blessed fruit as of Paradise getting itself conquered from
the waste battle-field of the chaotic elements, will once more,
there as here, begin to show themselves.

When the Continental Nations have once got to the bottom of
_their_ Augean Stable, and begun to have real enterprises based
on the eternal facts again, our Foreign Office may again have
extensive concerns with them. And at all times, and even now,
there will remain the question to be sincerely put and wisely
answered, What essential concern _has_ the British Nation with
them and their enterprises? Any concern at all, except that of
handsomely keeping apart from them? If so, what are the methods
of best managing it?--At present, as was said, while Red Republic
but clashes with foul Bureaucracy; and Nations, sunk in blind
ignavia, demand a universal-suffrage Parliament to heal their
wretchedness; and wild Anarchy and Phallus-Worship struggle with
Sham-Kingship and extinct or galvanized Catholicism; and in the
Cave of the Winds all manner of rotten waifs and wrecks are
hurled against each other,--our English interest in the
controversy, however huge said controversy grow, is quite
trifling; we have only in a handsome manner to say to it:
"Tumble and rage along, ye rotten waifs and wrecks; clash and
collide as seems fittest to you; and smite each other into
annihilation at your own good pleasure. In that huge conflict,
dismal but unavoidable, we, thanks to our heroic ancestors,
having got so far ahead of you, have now no interest at all. Our
decided notion is, the dead ought to bury their dead in such a
case: and so we have the honor to be, with distinguished
consideration, your entirely devoted,--FLIMNAP, SEC. FOREIGN
DEPARTMENT."--I really think Flimnap, till truer times come,
ought to treat much of his work in this way: cautious to give
offence to his neighbors; resolute not to concern himself in any
of their self-annihilating operations whatsoever.

Foreign wars are sometimes unavoidable. We ourselves, in the
course of natural merchandising and laudable business, have now
and then got into ambiguous situations; into quarrels which
needed to be settled, and without fighting would not settle.
Sugar Islands, Spice Islands, Indias, Canadas, these, by the real
decree of Heaven, were ours; and nobody would or could believe
it, till it was tried by cannon law, and so proved. Such cases
happen. In former times especially, owing very much to want of
intercourse and to the consequent mutual ignorance, there did
occur misunderstandings: and therefrom many foreign wars, some of
them by no means unnecessary. With China, or some distant
country, too unintelligent of us and too unintelligible to us,
there still sometimes rises necessary occasion for a war.
Nevertheless wars--misunderstandings that get to the length of
arguing themselves out by sword and cannon--have, in these late
generations of improved intercourse, been palpably becoming less
and less necessary; have in a manner become superfluous, if we
had a little wisdom, and our Foreign Office on a good footing.

Of European wars I really hardly remember any, since Oliver
Cromwell's last Protestant or Liberation war with Popish
antichristian Spain some two hundred years ago, to which I for my
own part could have contributed my life with any heartiness, or
in fact would have subscribed money itself to any considerable
amount. Dutch William, a man of some heroism, did indeed get
into troubles with Louis Fourteenth; and there rested still some
shadow of Protestant Interest, and question of National and
individual Independence, over those wide controversies; a little
money and human enthusiasm was still due to Dutch William.
Illustrious Chatham also, not to speak of his Manilla ransoms and
the like, did one thing: assisted Fritz of Prussia, a brave man
and king (almost the only sovereign King I have known since
Cromwell's time) like to be borne down by ignoble men and
sham-kings; for this let illustrious Chatham too have a little
money and human enthusiasm,--a little, by no means much. But
what am I to say of heaven-born Pitt the son of Chatham? England
sent forth her fleets and armies; her money into every country;
money as if the heaven-born Chancellor had got a Fortunatus'
purse; as if this Island had become a volcanic fountain of gold,
or new terrestrial sun capable of radiating mere guineas. The
result of all which, what was it? Elderly men can remember the
tar-barrels burnt for success and thrice-immortal victory in the
business; and yet what result had we? The French Revolution, a
Fact decreed in the Eternal Councils, could not be put down: the
result was, that heaven-born Pitt had actually been fighting (as
the old Hebrews would have said) against the Lord,--that the Laws
of Nature were stronger than Pitt. Of whom therefore there
remains chiefly his unaccountable radiation of guineas, for the
gratitude of posterity. Thank you for nothing,--for eight
hundred millions _less_ than nothing!

Our War Offices, Admiralties, and other Fighting Establishments,
are forcing themselves on everybody's attention at this time.
Bull grumbles audibly: "The money you have cost me these
five-and-thirty years, during which you have stood elaborately
ready to fight at any moment, without at any moment being called
to fight, is surely an astonishing sum. The National Debt itself
might have been half paid by that money, which has all gone in
pipe-clay and blank cartridges! "Yes, Mr. Bull, the money can be
counted in hundreds of millions; which certainly is
something:--but the "strenuously organized idleness," and what
mischief that amounts to,--have you computed it? A perpetual
solecism, and blasphemy (of its sort), set to march openly among
us, dressed in scarlet! Bull, with a more and more sulky tone,
demands that such solecism be abated; that these Fighting
Establishments be as it were disbanded, and set to do some work
in the Creation, since fighting there is now none for them. This
demand is irrefragably just, is growing urgent too; and yet this
demand cannot be complied with,--not yet while the State grounds
itself on unrealities, and Downing Street continues what it is.

The old Romans made their soldiers work during intervals of war.
The New Downing Street too, we may predict, will have less and
less tolerance for idleness on the part of soldiers or others.
Nay the New Downing Street, I foresee, when once it has got its
"_Industrial_ Regiments" organized, will make these mainly do its
fighting, what fighting there is; and so save immense sums. Or
indeed, all citizens of the Commonwealth, as is the right and the
interest of every free man in this world, will have themselves
trained to arms; each citizen ready to defend his country with
his own body and soul,--he is not worthy to have a country
otherwise. In a State grounded on veracities, that would be the
rule. Downing Street, if it cannot bethink itself of returning
to the veracities, will have to vanish altogether!

To fight with its neighbors never was, and is now less than ever,
the real trade of England. For far other objects was the English
People created into this world; sent down from the Eternities, to
mark with its history certain spaces in the current of sublunary
Time! Essential, too, that the English People should discover
what its real objects are; and resolutely follow these,
resolutely refusing to follow other than these. The State will
have victory so far as it can do that; so far as it cannot, defeat.

In the New Downing Street, discerning what its real functions
are, and with sacred abhorrence putting away from it what its
functions are not, we can fancy changes enough in Foreign Office,
War Office, Colonial Office, Home Office! Our War-soldiers
_Industrial_, first of all; doing nobler than Roman works, when
fighting is not wanted of them. Seventy-fours not hanging idly
by their anchors in the Tagus, or off Sapienza (one of the
saddest sights under the sun), but busy, every Seventy-four of
them, carrying over streams of British Industrials to the
immeasurable Britain that lies beyond the sea in every zone of
the world. A State grounding itself on the veracities, not on
the semblances and the injustices: every citizen a soldier for
it. Here would be new _real_ Secretaryships and Ministries, not
for foreign war and diplomacy, but for domestic peace and
utility. Minister of Works; Minister of Justice,--clearing his
Model Prisons of their scoundrelism; shipping his scoundrels
wholly abroad, under hard and just drill-sergeants (hundreds of
such stand wistfully ready for you, these thirty years, in the
Rag-and-Famish Club and elsewhere!) into fertile desert
countries; to make railways,--one big railway (says the Major
[Footnote: Major Carmichael Smith; see his Pamphlets on this
subject]) quite across America; fit to employ all the able-bodied
Scoundrels and efficient Half-pay Officers in

Lastly,--or rather firstly, and as the preliminary of all, would
there not be a Minister of Education? Minister charged to get
this English People taught a little, at his and our peril!
Minister of Education; no longer dolefully embayed amid the wreck
of moribund "religions," but clear ahead of all that; steering,
free and piously fearless, towards his divine goal under the
eternal stars!--O heaven, and are these things forever
impossible, then? Not a whit. To-morrow morning they might all
begin to be, and go on through blessed centuries realizing
themselves, if it were not that--alas, if it were not that we are
most of us insincere persons, sham talking-machines and hollow
windy fools! Which it is not "impossible" that we should cease
to be, I hope?

Constitutions for the Colonies are now on the anvil; the
discontented Colonies are all to be cured of their miseries by
Constitutions. Whether that will cure their miseries, or only
operate as a Godfrey's-cordial to stop their whimpering, and in
the end worsen all their miseries, may be a sad doubt to us. One
thing strikes a remote spectator in these Colonial questions:
the singular placidity with which the British Statesman at this
time, backed by M'Croudy and the British moneyed classes, is
prepared to surrender whatsoever interest Britain, as foundress
of those establishments, might pretend to have in the decision.
"If you want to go from us, go; we by no means want you to stay:
you cost us money yearly, which is scarce; desperate quantities
of trouble too: why not go, if you wish it?" Such is the humor
of the British Statesman, at this time.--Men clear for rebellion,
"annexation" as they call it, walk openly abroad in our American
Colonies; found newspapers, hold platform palaverings. From
Canada there comes duly by each mail a regular statistic of
Annexationism: increasing fast in this quarter, diminishing in
that;--Majesty's Chief Governor seeming to take it as a perfectly
open question; Majesty's Chief Governor in fact seldom appearing
on the scene at all, except to receive the impact of a few rotten
eggs on occasion, and then duck in again to his private
contemplations. And yet one would think the Majesty's Chief
Governor ought to have a kind of interest in the thing? Public
liberty is carried to a great length in some portions of her
Majesty's dominions. But the question, "Are we to continue
subjects of her Majesty, or start rebelling against her? So many
as are for rebelling, hold up your hands!" Here is a public
discussion of a very extraordinary nature to be going on under
the nose of a Governor of Canada. How the Governor of Canada,
being a British piece of flesh and blood, and not a Canadian
lumber-log of mere pine and rosin, can stand it, is not very
conceivable at first view. He does it, seemingly, with the
stoicism of a Zeno. It is a constitutional sight like few.

And yet an instinct deeper than the Gospel of M'Croudy teaches
all men that Colonies are worth something to a country! That if,
under the present Colonial Office, they are a vexation to us and
themselves, some other Colonial Office can and must be contrived
which shall render them a blessing; and that the remedy will be
to contrive such a Colonial Office or method of administration,
and by no means to cut the Colonies loose. Colonies are not to be
picked off the street every day; not a Colony of them but has
been bought dear, well purchased by the toil and blood of those
we have the honor to be sons of; and we cannot just afford to cut
them away because M'Croudy finds the present management of them
cost money. The present management will indeed require to be cut
away;--but as for the Colonies, we purpose through Heaven's
blessing to retain them a while yet! Shame on us for unworthy
sons of brave fathers if we do not. Brave fathers, by valiant
blood and sweat, purchased for us, from the bounty of Heaven,
rich possessions in all zones; and we, wretched imbeciles, cannot
do the function of administering them? And because the accounts
do not stand well in the ledger, our remedy is, not to take shame
to ourselves, and repent in sackcloth and ashes, and amend our
beggarly imbecilities and insincerities in that as in other
departments of our business, but to fling the business overboard,
and declare the business itself to be bad? We are a hopeful set
of heirs to a big fortune! It does not suit our Manton
gunneries, grouseshootings, mousings in the City; and like
spirited young gentlemen we will give it up, and let the
attorneys take it?

Is there no value, then, in human things, but what can write
itself down in the cash-ledger? All men know, and even M'Croudy
in his inarticulate heart knows, that to men and Nations there
are invaluable values which cannot be sold for money at all.
George Robins is great; but he is not onmipotent. George Robins
cannot quite sell Heaven and Earth by auction, excellent though
he be at the business. Nay, if M'Croudy offered his own life for
_sale_ in Threadneedle Street, would anybody buy it? Not I, for
one. "Nobody bids: pass on to the next lot," answers Robins.
And yet to M'Croudy this unsalable lot is worth all the
Universe:--nay, I believe, to us also it is worth something; good
monitions, as to several things, do lie in this Professor of the
dismal science; and considerable sums even of money, not to speak
of other benefit, will yet come out of his life and him, for
which nobody bids! Robins has his own field where he reigns
triumphant; but to that we will restrict him with iron limits;
and neither Colonies nor the lives of Professors, nor other such
invaluable objects shall come under his hammer.

Bad state of the ledger will demonstrate that your way of dealing
with your Colonies is absurd, and urgently in want of reform; but
to demonstrate that the Empire itself must be dismembered to
bring the ledger straight? Oh never. Something else than the
ledger must intervene to do that. Why does not England repudiate
Ireland, and insist on the "Repeal," instead of prohibiting it
under death-penalties? Ireland has never been a paying
speculation yet, nor is it like soon to be! Why does not
Middlesex repudiate Surrey, and Chelsea Kensington, and each
county and each parish, and in the end each individual set up for
himself and his cash-box, repudiating the other and his, because
their mutual interests have got into an irritating course? They
must change the course, seek till they discover a soothing one;
that is the remedy, when limbs of the same body come to irritate
one another. Because the paltry tatter of a garment, reticulated
for you out of thrums and listings in Downing Street, ties foot
and hand together in an intolerable manner, will you relieve
yourself by cutting off the hand or the foot? You will cut off
the paltry tatter of a pretended body-coat, I think, and fling
that to the nettles; and imperatively require one that fits your
size better.

Miserabler theory than that of money on the ledger being the
primary rule for Empires, or for any higher entity than City owls
and their mice-catching, cannot well be propounded. And I would
by no means advise Felicissimus, ill at ease on his
high-trotting and now justly impatient Sleswicker, to let the
poor horse in its desperation go in that direction for a
momentary solace. If by lumber-log Governors, by Godfrey's
cordial Constitutions or otherwise, be contrived to cut off the
Colonies or any real right the big British Empire has in her
Colonies, both he and the British Empire will bitterly repent it
one day! The Sleswicker, relieved in ledger for a moment, will
find that it is wounded in heart and honor forever; and the
turning of its wild forehoofs upon Felicissimus as he lies in the
ditch combed off, is not a thing I like to think of! Britain,
whether it be known to Felicissimus or not, has other tasks
appointed her in God's Universe than the making of money; and woe
will betide her if she forget those other withal. Tasks,
colonial and domestic, which are of an eternally _divine_ nature,
and compared with which all money, and all that is procurable by
money, are in strict arithmetic an imponderable quantity, have
been assigned this Nation; and they also at last are coming upon
her again, clamorous, abstruse, inevitable, much to her
bewilderment just now!

This poor Nation, painfully dark about said tasks and the way of
doing them, means to keep its Colonies nevertheless, as things
which somehow or other must have a value, were it better seen
into. They are portions of the general Earth, where the children
of Britain now dwell; where the gods have so far sanctioned their
endeavor, as to say that they have a right to dwell. England
will not readily admit that her own children are worth nothing
but to be flung out of doors! England looking on her Colonies
can say: "Here are lands and seas, spice-lands, corn-lands,
timber-lands, overarched by zodiacs and stars, clasped by
many-sounding seas; wide spaces of the Maker's building, fit for
the cradle yet of mighty Nations and their Sciences and Heroisms.
Fertile continents still inhabited by wild beasts are mine, into
which all the distressed populations of Europe might pour
themselves, and make at once an Old World and a New World human.
By the eternal fiat of the gods, this must yet one day be; this,
by all the Divine Silences that rule this Universe, silent to
fools, eloquent and awful to the hearts of the wise, is
incessantly at this moment, and at all moments, commanded to
begin to be. Unspeakable deliverance, and new destiny of
thousand-fold expanded manfulness for all men, dawns out of the
Future here. To me has fallen the godlike task of initiating all
that: of me and of my Colonies, the abstruse Future asks, Are
you wise enough for so sublime a destiny? Are you too foolish?"

That you ask advice of whatever wisdom is to be had in the
Colony, and even take note of what _un_wisdom is in it, and
record that too as an existing fact, will certainly be very
advantageous. But I suspect the kind of Parliament that will
suit a Colony is much of a secret just now! Mr. Wakefield, a
democratic man in all fibres of him, and acquainted with
Colonial Socialities as few are, judges that the franchise for
your Colonial Parliament should be decidedly select, and advises
a high money-qualification; as there is in all Colonies a
fluctuating migratory mass, not destitute of money, but very much
so of loyalty, permanency, or civic availability; whom it is
extremely advantageous not to consult on what you are about
attempting for the Colony or Mother Country. This I can well
believe;--and also that a "high money-qualification," in the
present sad state of human affairs, might be some help to you in
selecting; though whether even that would quite certainly bring
"wisdom," the one thing indispensable, is much a question with
me. It might help, it might help! And if by any means you could
(which you cannot) exclude the Fourth Estate, and indicate
decisively that Wise Advice was the thing wanted here, and
Parliamentary Eloquence was not the thing wanted anywhere just
now,--there might really some light of experience and human
foresight, and a truly valuable benefit, be found for you in such

And there is one thing, too apt to be forgotten, which it much
behooves us to remember: In the Colonies, as everywhere else in
this world, the vital point is not who decides, but what is
decided on! That measures tending really to the best advantage
temporal and spiritual of the Colony be adopted, and strenuously
put in execution; there lies the grand interest of every good
citizen British and Colonial. Such measures, whosoever have
originated and prescribed them, will gradually be sanctioned by
all men and gods; and clamors of every kind in reference to them
may safely to a great extent be neglected, as clamorous merely,
and sure to be transient. Colonial Governor, Colonial Parliament,
whoever or whatever does an injustice, or resolves on an
_un_wisdom, he is the pernicious object, however parliamentary he

I have known things done, in this or the other Colony, in the
most parliamentary way before now, which carried written on the
brow of them sad symptoms of eternal reprobation; not to be
mistaken, had you painted an inch thick. In Montreal, for
example, at this moment, standing amid the ruins of the "Elgin
Marbles" (as they call the burnt walls of the Parliament House
there), what rational British soul but is forced to institute the
mournfulest constitutional reflection? Some years ago the
Canadas, probably not without materials for discontent, and blown
upon by skilful artists, blazed up into crackling of musketry,
open flame of rebellion; a thing smacking of the gallows in all
countries that pretend to have any "Government." Which flame of
rebellion, had there been no loyal population to fling themselves
upon it at peril of their life, might have ended we know not how.
It ended speedily, in the good way; Canada got a
Godfrey's-cordial Constitution; and for the moment all was
varnished into some kind of feasibility again. A most poor
feasibility; momentary, not lasting, nor like to be of profit to
Canada! For this year, the Canadian most constitutional
Parliament, such a congeries of persons as one can imagine,
decides that the aforesaid flame of rebellion shall not only be
forgotten as per bargain, but that--the loyal population, who
flung their lives upon it and quenched it in the nick of time,
shall pay the rebels their damages! Of this, I believe, on
sadly conclusive evidence, there is no doubt whatever. Such,
when you wash off the constitutional pigments, is the
Death's-head that discloses itself. I can only say, if all the
Parliaments in the world were to vote that such a thing was just,
I should feel painfully constrained to answer, at my peril, "No,
by the Eternal, never!" And I would recommend any British
Governor who might come across that Business, there or here, to
overhaul it again. What the meaning of a Governor, if he is not
to overhaul and control such things, may be, I cannot conjecture.
A Canadian Lumber-log may as well be made Governor. _He_ might
have some cast-metal hand or shoulder-crank (a thing easily
contrivable in Birmingham) for signing his name to Acts of the
Colonial Parliament; he would be a "native of the country" too,
with popularity on that score if on no other;--he is your man, if
you really want a Log Governor!--

I perceive therefore that, besides choosing Parliaments never so
well, the New Colonial Office will have another thing to do:
Contrive to send out a new kind of Governors to the Colonies.
This will be the mainspring of the business; without this the
business will not go at all. An experienced, wise and valiant
British man, to represent the Imperial Interest; he, with such a
speaking or silent Collective Wisdom as he can gather round him
in the Colony, will evidently be the condition of all good
between the Mother Country and it. If you can find such a man,
your point is gained; if you cannot, lost. By him and his
Collective Wisdom all manner of _true_ relations, mutual
interests and duties such as they do exist in fact between Mother
Country and Colony, can be gradually developed into practical
methods and results; and all manner of true and noble successes,
and veracities in the way of governing, be won. Choose well your
Governor;--not from this or that poor section of the Aristocracy,
military, naval, or red-tapist; wherever there are born kings of
men, you had better seek them out, and breed them to this work.
All sections of the British Population will be open to you: and,
on the whole, you must succeed in finding a man _fit_. And
having found him, I would farther recommend you to keep him some
time! It would be a great improvement to end this present
nomadism of Colonial Governors. Give your Governor due power;
and let him know withal that he is wedded to his enterprise, and
having once well learned it, shall continue with it; that it is
not a Canadian Lumber-log you want there, to tumble upon the
vertexes and sign its name by a Birmingham shoulder-crank, but a
Governor of Men; who, you mean, shall fairly gird himself to his
enterprise, and fail with it and conquer with it, and as it were
live and die with it: he will have much to learn; and having
once learned it, will stay, and turn his knowledge to account.

From this kind of Governor, were you once in the way of finding
him with moderate certainty, from him and his Collective Wisdom,
all good whatsoever might be anticipated. And surely, were the
Colonies once enfranchised from red-tape, and the poor Mother
Country once enfranchised from it; were our idle Seventy-fours
all busy carrying out streams of British Industrials, and those
Scoundrel Regiments all working, under divine drill-sergeants, at
the grand Atlantic and Pacific Junction Railway,--poor Britain
and her poor Colonies might find that they _had_ true relations
to each other: that the Imperial _Mother_ and her
constitutionally obedient Daughters were not a red-tape fiction,
provoking bitter mockery as at present, but a blessed God's-Fact
destined to fill half the world with its fruits one day!

But undoubtedly our grand primary concern is the Home Office, and
its Irish Giant named of Despair. When the Home Office begins
dealing with this Irish Giant, which it is vitally urgent for us
the Home Office should straightway do, it will find its duties
enlarged to a most unexpected extent, and, as it were, altered
from top to bottom. A changed time now when the question is,
What to do with three millions of paupers (come upon you for
food, since you have no work for them) increasing at a frightful
rate per day? Home Office, Parliament, King, Constitution will
find that they have now, if they will continue in this world
long, got a quite immense new question and continually recurring
set of questions. That huge question of the Irish Giant with his
Scotch and English Giant-Progeny advancing open-mouthed upon us,
will, as I calculate, change from top to bottom not the Home
Office only but all manner of Offices and Institutions
whatsoever, and gradually the structure of Society itself. I
perceive, it will make us a new Society, if we are to continue a
Society at all. For the alternative is not, Stay where we are,
or change? But Change, with new wise effort fit for the new
time, to true and wider nobler National Life; or Change, by
indolent folding of the arms, as we are now doing, in horrible
anarchies and convulsions to Dissolution, to National Death, or
Suspended-animation? Suspended-animation itself is a frightful
possibility for Britain: this Anarchy whither all Europe has
preceded us, where all Europe is now weltering, would suit us as
ill as any! The question for the British Nation is: Can we work
our course pacifically, on firm land, into the New Era; or must
it be, for us too, as for all the others, through black abysses
of Anarchy, hardly escaping, if we do with all our struggles
escape, the jaws of eternal Death?

For Pauperism, though it now absorbs its high figure of millions
annually, is by no means a question of money only, but of
infinitely higher and greater than all conceivable money. If our
Chancellor of the Exchequer had a Fortunatus' purse, and
miraculous sacks of Indian meal that would stand scooping from
forever,--I say, even on these terms Pauperism could not be
endured; and it would vitally concern all British Citizens to
abate Pauperism, and never rest till they had ended it again.
Pauperism is the general leakage through every joint of the ship
that it is rotten. Were all men doing their duty, or even
seriously trying to do it, there would be no Pauper. Were the
pretended Captains of the world at all in the habit of
commanding; were the pretended Teachers of the world at all in
the habit of teaching,--of admonishing said Captains among
others, and with sacred zeal apprising them to what place such
neglect was leading,--how could Pauperism exist? Pauperism would
lie far over the horizon; we should be lamenting and denouncing
quite inferior sins of men, which were only tending afar off
towards Pauperism. A true Captaincy; a true Teachership, either
making all men and Captains know and devoutly recognize the
eternal law of things, or else breaking its own heart, and going
about with sackcloth round its loins, in testimony of continual
sorrow and protest, and prophecy of God's vengeance upon such a
course of things: either of these divine equipments would have
saved us; and it is because we have neither of them that we are
come to such a pass!

We may depend upon it, where there is a Pauper, there is a sin;
to make one Pauper there go many sins. Pauperism is our Social
Sin grown manifest; developed from the state of a spiritual
ignobleness, a practical impropriety and base oblivion of duty,
to an affair of the ledger. Here is not now an unheeded sin
against God; here is a concrete ugly bulk of Beggary demanding
that you should buy Indian meal for it. Men of reflection have
long looked with a horror for which there was no response in the
idle public, upon Pauperism; but the quantity of meal it demands
has now awakened men of no reflection to consider it. Pauperism
is the poisonous dripping from all the sins, and putrid
unveracities and god-forgetting greedinesses and devil-serving
cants and jesuitisms, that exist among us. Not one idle Sham
lounging about Creation upon false pretences, upon means which he
has not earned, upon theories which he does not practise, but
yields his share of Pauperism somewhere or other. His sham-work
oozes down; finds at last its issue as human Pauperism,--in a
human being that by those false pretences cannot live. The Idle
Workhouse, now about to burst of overfilling, what is it but the
scandalous poison-tank of drainage from the universal Stygian
quagmire of our affairs? Workhouse Paupers; immortal sons of Adam
rotted into that scandalous condition, subter-slavish, demanding
that you would make slaves of them as an unattainable blessing!
My friends, I perceive the quagmire must be drained, or we cannot
live. And farther, I perceive, this of Pauperism is the corner
where we must _begin_,--the levels all pointing thitherward, the
possibilities lying all clearly there. On that Problem we shall
find that innumerable things, that all things whatsoever hang.
By courageous steadfast persistence in that, I can foresee
Society itself regenerated. In the course of long strenuous
centuries, I can see the State become what it is actually bound
to be, the keystone of a most real "Organization of Labor,"--and
on this Earth a world of some veracity, and some heroism, once
more worth living in!

The State in all European countries, and in England first of all,
as I hope, will discover that its functions are now, and have
long been, very wide of what the State in old pedant Downing
Streets has aimed at; that the State is, for the present, not a
reality but in great part a dramatic speciosity, expending its
strength in practices and objects fallen many of them quite
obsolete; that it must come a little nearer the true aim again,
or it cannot continue in this world. The "Champion of England"
eased in iron or tin, and "able to mount his horse with little
assistance,"--this Champion and the thousand-fold cousinry of
Phantasms he has, nearly all dead now but still walking as
ghosts, must positively take himself away: who can endure him,
and his solemn trumpetings and obsolete gesticulations, in a Time
that is full of deadly realities, coming open-mouthed upon us?
At Drury Lane, let him play his part, him and his thousand-fold
cousinry; and welcome, so long as any public will pay a shilling
to see him: but on the solid earth, under the extremely earnest
stars, we dare not palter with him, or accept his tomfooleries
any more. Ridiculous they seem to some; horrible they seem to
me: all lies, if one look whence they come and whither they go,
are horrible.

Alas, it will be found, I doubt, that in England more than in any
country, our Public Life and our Private, our State and our
Religion, and all that we do and speak (and the most even of what
we _think_), is a tissue of half-truths and whole-lies; of
hypocrisies, conventionalisms, worn-out traditionary rags and
cobwebs; such a life-garment of beggarly incredible and
uncredited falsities as no honest souls of Adam's Posterity were
ever enveloped in before. And we walk about in it with a stately
gesture, as if it were some priestly stole or imperial mantle;
not the foulest beggar's gabardine that ever was. "No Englishman
dare believe the truth," says one: "he stands, for these two
hundred years, enveloped in lies of every kind; from nadir to
zenith an ocean of traditionary cant surrounds him as his
life-element. He really thinks the truth dangerous. Poor
wretch, you see him everywhere endeavoring to temper the truth by
taking the falsity along with it, and welding them together; this
he calls 'safe course,' 'moderate course,' and other fine names;
there, balanced between God and the Devil, he thinks he _can_
serve two masters, and that things will go well with him."

In the cotton-spinning and similar departments our English friend
knows well that truth or God will have nothing to do with the
Devil or falsehood, but will ravel all the web to pieces if you
introduce the Devil or Non-veracity in any form into it: in this
department, therefore, our English friend avoids falsehood. But
in the religious, political, social, moral, and all other
spiritual departments he freely introduces falsehood, nothing
doubting; and has long done so, with a profuseness not elsewhere
met with in the world. The unhappy creature, does he not know,
then, that every lie is accursed, and the parent of mere curses?
That he must _think_ the truth; much more speak it? That, above
all things, by the oldest law of Heaven and Earth which no man
violates with impunity, he must not and shall not wag the tongue
of him except to utter his thought? That there is not a grin or
beautiful acceptable grimace he can execute upon his poor
countenance, but is either an express veracity, the image of what
passes within him; or else is a bit of Devil-worship which he and
the rest of us will have to pay for yet? Alas, the grins he
executes upon his poor _mind_ (which is all tortured into St.
Vitus dances, and ghastly merry-andrewisms, by the practice) are
the most extraordinary this sun ever saw.

We have Puseyisms, black-and-white surplice controversies:--do
not, officially and otherwise, the select of the longest heads in
England sit with intense application and iron gravity, in open
forum, judging of "prevenient grace"? Not a head of them
suspects that it can be improper so to sit, or of the nature of
treason against the Power who gave an Intellect to man;--that it
can be other than the duty of a good citizen to use his god-given
intellect in investigating prevenient grace, supervenient
moonshine, or the color of the Bishop's nightmare, if that
happened to turn up. I consider them far ahead of Cicero's Roman
Augurs with their chicken-bowels: "Behold these divine
chicken-bowels, O Senate and Roman People; the midriff has
fallen eastward!" solemnly intimates one Augur. "By Proserpina
and the triple Hecate!" exclaims the other, "I say the midriff
has fallen to the west!" And they look at one another with the
seriousness of men prepared to die in their opinion,--the
authentic seriousness of men betting at Tattersall's, or about to
receive judgment in Chancery. There is in the Englishman
something great, beyond all Roman greatness, in whatever line you
meet him; even as a Latter-Day Augur he seeks his fellow!--Poor
devil, I believe it is his intense love of peace, and hatred of
breeding discussions which lead no-whither, that has led him
into this sad practice of amalgamating true and false.

He has been at it these two hundred years; and has now carried it
to a terrible length. He couldn't follow Oliver Cromwell in the
Puritan path heavenward, so steep was it, and beset with
thorns,--and becoming uncertain withal. He much preferred, at
that juncture, to go heavenward with his Charles Second and merry
Nell Gwynns, and old decent formularies and good respectable
aristocratic company, for escort; sore he tried, by glorious
restorations, glorious revolutions and so forth, to perfect this
desirable amalgam; hoped always it might be possible;--is only
just now, if even now, beginning to give up the hope; and to see
with wide-eyed horror that it is not at Heaven he is arriving,
but at the Stygian marshes, with their thirty thousand
Needlewomen, cannibal Connaughts, rivers of lamentation,
continual wail of infants, and the yellow-burning gleam of a
Hell-on-Earth!--Bull, my friend, you must strip that astonishing
pontiff-stole, imperial mantle, or whatever you imagine it to be,
which I discern to be a garment of curses, and poisoned
Nessus'-shirt now at last about to take fire upon you; you must
strip that off your poor body, my friend; and, were it only in a
soul's suit of Utilitarian buff, and such belief as that a big
loaf is better than a small one, come forth into contact with
your world, under _true_ professions again, and not false. You
wretched man, you ought to weep for half a century on discovering
what lies you have believed, and what every lie leads to and
proceeds from. O my friend, no honest fellow in this Planet was
ever so served by his cooks before; or has eaten such quantities
and qualities of dirt as you have been made to do, for these two
centuries past. Arise, my horribly maltreated yet still beloved
Bull; steep yourself in running water for a long while, my
friend; and begin forthwith in every conceivable direction,
physical and spiritual, the long-expected _Scavenger Age_.

Many doctors have you had, my poor friend; but I perceive it is
the Water-Cure alone that will help you: a complete course of
_scavengerism_ is the thing you need! A new and veritable
heart-divorce of England from the Babylonish woman, who is
Jesuitism and Unveracity, and dwells not at Rome now, but under
your own nose and everywhere; whom, and her foul worship of
Phantasms and Devils, poor England _had_ once divorced, with a
divine heroism not forgotten yet, and well worth remembering now:
a clearing-out of Church and State from the unblessed host of
Phantasms which have too long nestled thick there, under those
astonishing "Defenders of the Faith,"--Defenders of the
Hypocrisies, the spiritual Vampires and obscene Nightmares, under
which England lies in syncope;--this is what you need; and if you
cannot get it, you must die, my poor friend!

Like people, like priest. Priest, King, Home Office, all manner
of establishments and offices among a people bear a striking
resemblance to the people itself. It is because Bull has been
eating so much dirt that his Home Offices have got into such a
shockingly dirty condition,--the old pavements of them quite gone
out of sight and out of memory, and nothing but mountains of
long-accumulated dung in which the poor cattle are sprawling and
tumbling. Had his own life been pure, had his own daily conduct
been grounding itself on the clear pavements or actual beliefs
and veracities, would he have let his Home Offices come to such a
pass? Not in Downing Street only, but in all other thoroughfares
and arenas and spiritual or physical departments of his
existence, running water and Herculean scavengerism have become
indispensable, unless the poor man is to choke in his own
exuviae, and die the sorrowfulest death.

If the State could once get back to the real sight of its
essential function, and with religious resolution begin doing
that, and putting away its multifarious imaginary functions, and
indignantly casting out these as mere dung and insalubrious
horror and abomination (which they are), what a promise of reform
were there! The British Home Office, surely this and its
kindred Offices exist, if they will think of it, that life and
work may continue possible, and may not become impossible, for
British men. If honorable existence, or existence on human terms
at all, have become impossible for millions of British men, how
can the Home Office or any other Office long exist? With thirty
thousand Needlewomen, a Connaught fallen into potential
cannibalism, and the Idle Workhouse everywhere bursting, and
declaring itself an inhumanity and stupid ruinous brutality not
much longer to be tolerated among rational human creatures, it is
time the State were bethinking itself.

So soon as the State attacks that tremendous cloaca of Pauperism,
which will choke the world if it be not attacked, the State will
find its real functions very different indeed from what it had
long supposed them! The State is a reality, and not a
dramaturgy; it exists here to render existence possible,
existence desirable and noble, for the State's subjects. The
State, as it gets into the track of its real work, will find that
same expand into whole continents of new unexpected, most blessed
activity; as its dramatic functions, declared superfluous, more
and more fall inert, and go rushing like huge torrents of extinct
exuviae, dung and rubbish, down to the Abyss forever. O Heaven,
to see a State that knew a little why it was there, and on what
ground, in this Year 1850, it could pretend to exist, in so
extremely earnest a world as ours is growing! The British State,
if it will be the crown and keystone of our British Social
Existence, must get to recognize, with a veracity very long
unknown to it, what the real objects and indispensable
necessities of our Social Existence are. Good Heavens, it is not
prevenient grace, or the color of the Bishop's nightmare, that is
pinching us; it is the impossibility to get along any farther for
mountains of accumulated dung and falsity and horror; the total
closing-up of noble aims from every man,--of any aim at all, from
many men, except that of rotting out in Idle Workhouses an
existence below that of beasts!

Suppose the State to have fairly started its "Industrial
Regiments of the New Era," which alas, are yet only beginning to
be talked of,--what continents of new real work opened out, for
the Home and all other Public Offices among us! Suppose the Home
Office looking out, as for life and salvation, for proper men to
command these "Regiments." Suppose the announcement were
practically made to all British souls that the want of wants,
more indispensable than any jewel in the crown, was that of men
_able to command men_ in ways of industrial and moral well-doing;
that the State would give its very life for such men; that such
men _were_ the State; that the quantity of them to be found in
England lamentably small at present, was the exact measure of
England's worth,--what a new dawn of everlasting day for all
British souls! Noble British soul, to whom the gods have given
faculty and heroism, what men call genius, here at last is a
career for thee. It will not be needful now to swear fealty to
the Incredible, and traitorously cramp thyself into a cowardly
canting play-actor in God's Universe; or, solemnly forswearing
that, into a mutinous rebel and waste bandit in thy generation:
here is an aim that is clear and credible, a course fit for a
man. No need to become a tormenting and self-tormenting
mutineer, banded with rebellious souls, if thou wouldst live; no
need to rot in suicidal idleness; or take to platform preaching,
and writing in Radical Newspapers, to pull asunder the great
Falsity in which thou and all of us are choking. The great
Falsity, behold it has become, in the very heart of it, a great
Truth of Truths; and invites thee and all brave men to cooperate
with it in transforming all the body and the joints into the
noble likeness of that heart! Thrice-blessed change. The State
aims, once more, with a true aim; and has loadstars in the
eternal Heaven. Struggle faithfully for it; noble is _this_
struggle; thou too, according to thy faculty, shalt reap in due
time, if thou faint not. Thou shalt have a wise command of men,
thou shalt be wisely commanded by men,--the summary of all
blessedness for a social creature here below. The sore struggle,
never to be relaxed, and not forgiven to any son of man, is once
more a noble one; glory to the Highest, it is now once more a
true and noble one, wherein a man can afford to die! Our path is
now again Heavenward. Forward, with steady pace, with drawn
weapons, and unconquerable hearts, in the name of God that made
us all!--

Wise obedience and wise command, I foresee that the regimenting
of Pauper Banditti into Soldiers of Industry is but the beginning
of this blessed process, which will extend to the topmost heights
of our Society; and, in the course of generations, make us all
once more a Governed Commonwealth, and _Civitas Dei_, if it
please God! Waste-land Industrials succeedingt, other kinds of
Industry, as cloth-making, shoe-making, plough-making,
spade-making, house-building,--in the end, all kinds of Industry
whatsoever, will be found capable of regimenting.
Mill-operatives, all manner of free operatives, as yet
unregimented, nomadic under private masters, they, seeing such
example and its blessedness, will say: "Masters, you must
regiment us a little; make our interests with you permanent a
little, instead of temporary and nomadic; we will enlist with
the State otherwise!" This will go on, on the one hand, while
the State-operation goes on, on the other: thus will all Masters
of Workmen, private Captains of Industry, be forced to
incessantly co-operate with the State and its public Captains;
they regimenting in their way, the State in its way, with
ever-widening field; till their fields _meet_ (so to speak) and
coalesce, and there be no unregimented worker, or such only as
are fit to remain unregimented, any more.--O my friends, I
clearly perceive this horrible cloaca of Pauperism, wearing
nearly bottomless now, is the point where we must begin. Here,
in this plainly unendurable portion of the general quagmire, the
lowest point of all, and hateful even to M'Croudy, must our main
drain begin: steadily prosecuting that, tearing that along with
Herculean labor and divine fidelity, we shall gradually drain the
entire Stygian swamp, and make it all once more a fruitful

For the State, I perceive, looking out with right sacred
earnestness for persons able to command, will straightway also
come upon the question: "What kind of schools and seminaries, and
teaching and also preaching establishments have I, for the
training of young souls to take command and to yield obedience?
Wise command, wise obedience: the capability of these two is the
net measure of culture, and human virtue, in every man; all good
lies in the possession of these two capabilities; all evil,
wretchedness and ill-success in the want of these. He is a good
man that can command and obey; he that cannot is a bad. If my
teachers and my preachers, with their seminaries, high schools
and cathedrals, do train men to these gifts, the thing they are
teaching and preaching must be true; if they do not, not

The State, once brought to its veracities by the thumb-screw in
this manner, what will it think of these same seminaries and
cathedrals! I foresee that our Etons and Oxfords with their
nonsense-verses, college-logics, and broken crumbs of mere
_speech_,--which is not even English or Teutonic speech, but old
Grecian and Italian speech, dead and buried and much lying out of
our way these two thousand years last past,--will be found a most
astonishing seminary for the training of young English souls to
take command in human Industries, and act a valiant part under
the sun! The State does not want vocables, but manly wisdoms and
virtues: the State, does it want parliamentary orators, first of
all, and men capable of writing books? What a rag-fair of
extinct monkeries, high-piled here in the very shrine of our
existence, fit to smite the generations with atrophy and
beggarly paralysis,--as we see it do! The Minister of Education
will not want for work, I think, in the New Downing Street!

How it will go with Souls'-Overseers, and what the _new_ kind
will be, we do not prophesy just now. Clear it is, however, that
the last finish of the State's efforts, in this operation of
regimenting, will be to get the _true_ Souls'-Overseers set over
men's souls, to regiment, as the consummate flower of all, and
constitute into some Sacred Corporation, bearing authority and
dignity in their generation, the Chosen of the Wise, of the
Spiritual and Devout-minded, the Reverent who deserve reverence,
who are as the Salt of the Earth;--that not till this is done can
the State consider its edifice to have reached the first story,
to be safe for a moment, to be other than an arch without the
keystones, and supported hitherto on mere wood. How will this be
done? Ask not; let the second or the third generation after this
begin to ask!--Alas, wise men do exist, born duly into the world
in every current generation; but the getting of _them_ regimented
is the highest pitch of human Polity, and the feat of all feats
in political engineering:--impossible for us, in this poor age,
as the building of St. Paul's would be for Canadian Beavers,
acquainted only with the architecture of fish-dams, and with no
trowel but their tail.

Literature, the strange entity so called,--that indeed is here.
If Literature continue to be the haven of expatriated
spiritualisms, and have its Johnsons, Goethes and _true_
Archbishops of the World, to show for itself as heretofore, there
may be hope in Literature. If Literature dwindle, as is
probable, into mere merry-andrewism, windy twaddle, and feats of
spiritual legerdemain, analogous to rope-dancing, opera-dancing,
and street-fiddling with a hat carried round for halfpence, or
for guineas, there will be no hope in Literature. What if our
next set of Souls'-Overseers were to be _silent_ ones very
mainly?--Alas, alas, why gaze into the blessed continents and
delectable mountains of a Future based on _truth_, while as yet
we struggle far down, nigh suffocated in a slough of lies,
uncertain whether or how we shall be able to climb at all!

Who will begin the long steep journey with us; who of living
statesmen will snatch the standard, and say, like a hero on the
forlorn-hope for his country, Forward! Or is there none; no one
that can and dare? And our lot too, then, is Anarchy by
barricade or ballot-box, and Social Death?--We will not think so.

Whether Sir Robert Peel will undertake the Reform of Downing
Street for us, or any Ministry or Reform farther, is not known.
He, they say, is getting old, does himself recoil from it, and
shudder at it; which is possible enough. The clubs and coteries
appear to have settled that he surely will not; that this
melancholy wriggling seesaw of red-tape Trojans and Protectionist
Greeks must continue its course till--what _can_ happen, my
friends, if this go on continuing?

And yet, perhaps, England has by no means so settled it. Quit
the clubs and coteries, you do not hear two rational men speak
long together upon politics, without pointing their inquiries
towards this man. A Minister that will attack the Augeas Stable
of Downing Street, and begin producing a real Management, no
longer an imaginary one, of our affairs; _he_, or else in few
years Chartist Parliament and the Deluge come: that seems the
alternative. As I read the omens, there was no man in my time
more authentically called to a post of difficulty, of danger, and
of honor than this man. The enterprise is ready for him, if he
is ready for it. He has but to lift his finger in this
enterprise, and whatsoever is wise and manful in England will
rally round him. If the faculty and heart for it be in him, he,
strangely and almost tragically if we look upon his history, is
to have leave to try it; he now, at the eleventh hour, has the
opportunity for such a feat in reform as has not, in these late
generations, been attempted by all our reformers put

As for Protectionist jargon, who in these earnest days would
occupy many moments of his time with that? "A Costermonger in
this street," says Crabbe, "finding lately that his rope of
onions, which he hoped would have brought a shilling, was to go
for only sevenpence henceforth, burst forth into lamentation,
execration and the most pathetic tears. Throwing up the window,
I perceived the other costermongers preparing impatiently to pack
this one out of their company as a disgrace to it, if he would
not hold his peace and take the market-rate for his onions. I
looked better at this Costermonger. To my astonished
imagination, a star-and-garter dawned upon the dim figure of the
man; and I perceived that here was no Costermonger to be expelled
with ignominy, but a sublime goddess-born Ducal Individual, whom
I forbear to name at this moment! What an omen;--nay to my
astonished imagination, there dawned still fataler omens.
Surely, of all human trades ever heard of, the trade of Owning
Land in England ought _not_ to bully us for drink--money just

"Hansard's Debates," continues Crabbe farther on, "present many
inconsistencies of speech; lamentable unveracities uttered in
Parliament, by one and indeed by all; in which sad list Sir
Robert Peel stands for his share among others. Unveracities not
a few were spoken in Parliament: in fact, to one with a sense of
what is called God's truth, it seemed all one unveracity, a
talking from the teeth outward, not as the convictions but as
the expediencies and inward astucities directed; and, in the
sense of God's _truth_, I have heard no true word uttered in
Parliament at all. Most lamentable unveracities continually
_spoken_ in Parliament, by almost every one that had to open his
mouth there. But the largest veracity ever _done_ in Parliament
in our time, as we all know, was of this man's doing;--and that,
you will find, is a very considerable item in the

Yes, and I believe England in her dumb way remembers that too.
And "the Traitor Peel" can very well afford to let innumerable
Ducal Costermongers, parliamentary Adventurers, and lineal
representatives of the Impenitent Thief, say all their say about
him, and do all their do. With a virtual England at his back,
and an actual eternal sky above him, there is not much in the
total net-amount of that. When the master of the horse rides
abroad, many dogs in the village bark; but he pursues his journey
all the same.

[May 1, 1850.] No. V. STUMP-ORATOR.

It lies deep in our habits, confirmed by all manner of
educational and other arrangements for several centuries back, to
consider human talent as best of all evincing itself by the
faculty of eloquent speech. Our earliest schoolmasters teach us,
as the one gift of culture they have, the art of spelling and
pronouncing, the rules of correct speech; rhetorics, logics
follow, sublime mysteries of grammar, whereby we may not only
speak but write. And onward to the last of our schoolmasters in
the highest university, it is still intrinsically grammar, under
various figures grammar. To speak in various languages, on
various things, but on all of them to speak, and appropriately
deliver ourselves by tongue or pen,--this is the sublime goal
towards which all manner of beneficent preceptors and learned

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