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Memoir and Letters of Francis W. Newman by Giberne Sieveking

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where she is strong and her neighbours weak, she is as grasping and unjust
as Russia, Austria, France, or the U.S.... Lord Palmerston had never heard
(or pretended never to have heard) of the peace of Satmar, and that
England was mediator of it between Austria and Hungary. I think it is not
mere knowledge, but higher morality, which is the first need of policy on
_both_ sides the Atlantic."

It is now that Louis Napoleon comes on the scene as regards the beginnings
of his connection with Kossuth. Newman says that it was in 1856 that the
closer friendship between Napoleon and Cavour (Sardinian Minister) had
begun. Not very long after it was borne in on the mind of Cavour that
Kossuth would be an invaluable ally in the plans of future conquest which
they were then preparing.

Louis knowing that Kossuth was in sore need of funds for his political
enterprises, sent a messenger to him to intimate that he would join forces
with him; that _he_ would supply him financially with all he would require
in the way of ready cash. Kossuth was not averse from receiving in good
part Napoleon's advances, though he offered temporary resistance. He saw
clearly that if France were to help Italy, Austria would be weakened,
Newman tells us that when Napoleon announced in 1858 that he was about to
marry Clotilde, daughter of the King of Sardinia, Kossuth at once said to
him: "I have always resisted Napoleon's overtures, but I expect now that I
shall be forced to visit him in Paris, because I now see that he is
resolved upon war against Austria. This Piedmontese marriage is evidently
his pledge also to Italians that he means to drive Austria out of Italy."

Then, in 1859, a few inimical words which Napoleon spoke to the Austrian
ambassador showed very clearly to what quarter the political wind in
France had veered. "War was felt to be intended, and Russia was no longer
a support to Austria behind."

In March, or a little later, Kossuth and Pulszky were invited to Paris,
and were met, very cordially, at the station by Prince Napoleon, cousin to
the Emperor. Later, Louis Napoleon himself spoke with them, and said very
frankly that he had never had any special idea of assisting Hungary, but
that in case he could not settle affairs in Italy, as regarded his war
with Austria, and he should find himself obliged to send his army into
Croatia, he wanted advice with respect to many details regarding this
province, which he knew that Kossuth could give him. Newman was the
recipient of Kossuth's communications concerning this secret interview
with Napoleon. And he told him that besides needing his advice about
Croatia, he wanted him (knowing he had influence in England) "to drive
Lord Derby out of office." I quote Napoleon's words as recorded by Newman.

"The French army is very formidable; but I cannot pretend that in it I
have such superiority to Austria that I may expect easy or certain
success. My only clear superiority is on the sea. As Louis Philippe
before, so have I from the first carefully nursed my fleet. Hereby I
override Austria in the Adriatic--a most critical advantage.... I cannot
be sure but that without declaring war, or giving warning, he (Lord Derby)
may all at once strike a blow which will annihilate my fleet, and then
what could compensate me? If you can find any way of moving discontent
against this ministry, I want you to cripple or eject him."

Newman adds that Kossuth did not tell him what reply he himself gave to
all this.

Everyone knows the sequel to this. After Lord Derby had resigned in March,
Lord Palmerston took office. In May the Austrians were defeated; and this
defeat was followed by more disaster for them, and the end of the whole
matter resolved itself into a peace between Francis Joseph and Louis

Then it was that the latter proclaimed freedom from Austrian supremacy to
all Italy; and _now_ came the end for which Kossuth had struggled, and
longed, and waited. Napoleon despatched a messenger to him asking what
demands Kossuth wished now to make. His prompt answer was delivered thus
to the envoy:--

"Sir, I have two demands on your master: _First_, he must extract from the
Emperor Francis Joseph an amnesty for every Hungarian or Croatian soldier
who has taken military service under the King of Sardinia. _Secondly_, no
man thus amnestied shall ever be pressed into the Austrian army."

A fortnight went by, and Kossuth heard nothing from the Emperor. Then,
when at last the news came, it was almost too good to be true. Francis
Joseph had agreed to both stipulations.

In August, 1860, Francis Newman, writing from Keswick, touches on the
progress in success made by the Italian patriot, Garibaldi.

"I do not think you can be dissatisfied with Garibaldi's progress. Louis
N. _could_ have stopt [sic] him, and ruined his hopes for ever, by one
word to Austria as soon as Garibaldi landed in Sicily. On the contrary, he
has sternly forbidden Austria to meddle at all in Italy, and has allowed
Cavour to proclaim in Parliament that L. N.'s greatest merit to Italy is
_not_ the great battle of Solferino, _but_ his having avowed in his letter
to the Pope _that priests shall no longer rule in Italy_.... When Hungary
is free, all views will change, and perhaps France also."

Kossuth and Pulszky, who had visited England constantly between the years
1851 and 1860, finally left our shores for good in the latter year,
Kossuth for Italy, for he took no further share in politics, and Pulszky
for Hungary, where he became Finance Minister to Francis Joseph's new
constitutional monarchy.

Before finally leaving England, Kossuth gave to Newman his own "reading"
of the real character of Louis Napoleon. He said: "Louis Napoleon is a man
at whom, on account of his _coup d'etat_, [Footnote: Louis Napoleon's raid
on the French citizens, in violation of his promises, in order to make
himself supreme.] I shudder, and it may seem a duty to hate him. Yet I am
bound to say, not only has he been wholly faithful to us, but every time I
have been closeted with him I have come away with a higher opinion, not
only of his talents and sagacity, _but also of his morals_." The italics
are mine. It seems difficult for the outsider to-day quite to sign to this
point of view, when one remembers Louis Napoleon's deception and his
broken honour and cruelty. There is a very enlightening and suggestive
passage in one of Robert Louis Stevenson's books, "To travel happily is
better than to arrive." In Kossuth's case the reverse was true. He
travelled towards his goal unhappily, but he "arrived," and that was a
reward which is not given to every patriot who gives his life to win his
country's freedom.

In _Hungary in 1851_, by Charles Loring Brace, there are many keenly
interesting details about Kossuth. Mr. Brace made a tour in Europe,
chiefly on foot, during the spring of 1851, and met Kossuth in Pesth; his
mother was then living there. "To say that Kossuth is beloved here seems
hardly necessary after what I have seen. He is idolized. Every word and
trait of his character is remembered with an indescribable affection ...";
but they all acknowledged, he added, that he did not possess the necessary
gifts for a revolutionary leader. Still, he moved his countrymen in so
stirring a manner that they would have followed him anywhere. "He
'agitated' the whole land, and there is not a Bauer in the villages or a
Csikos (wild cattle driver) on the prairies, they say, who does not
remember as the day of days the time when he listened to those thrilling
tones ... as they spoke ... of the wrongs of their beloved Fatherland."

This is a short account by a journalist who knew him personally, and was
present at the time, of the manner in which Kossuth was received in
Scotland during his visit to Britain:--

"In travelling from Edinburgh to Perth, Kossuth was received at every
station by vast crowds of people, including many ladies, with vociferous
cheers and waving of hats and handkerchiefs. This was particularly the
case at Stirling, where hundreds crowded up to the carriage in which he
sat to grasp his hand."

One day it was suggested that Kossuth, Colonel Ibaz his aide-de-camp, and
the journalist should go for a drive up Kinnoul Hill, near Perth. "We soon
got into a rough country road winding among the farms. At one place the
carriage came to a stand while a gate had to be opened to allow it to pass
through. At this gate stood a tall, venerable-looking farmer, with long
white hair and beard ... who might have served as a painter's model for an
old Scottish Covenanter. He stood ready to open the gate.... He had, of
course, heard of Kossuth's invitation to lecture in Perth, and at once
divined that the carriage might contain his hero, as all visitors to Perth
ascend the Hill of Kinnoul.... In a very deep and solemn voice he said ...
'I reckon that Loois Koshoot is in this carriage. Am I richt? Whuch is
him?' Kossuth leaned forward and said in a very gracious manner, 'Yes, he
is, good man. I am Louis Kossuth.' Whereupon the venerable man reverently
took off his bonnet, came close up, grasped Kossuth's hand in both his
own, and said, 'God bless you, sir, an' may He prosper you in your great
waurk to free yer kintra frae the rod o' the oppressor. May He strengthen
ye and croon ye wi' victory....'

"Colonel Ihaz was a bronzed, stern-looking officer, perhaps ten years
older than his chief; yet with all his military stiffness and sternness he
was quite capable of relaxing into ordinary human feelings and becoming
quite a facetious old fellow under favourable conditions. He could speak
very little English. He enjoyed the humour of some Scottish stories and
anecdotes I told, and which Kossuth translated for him. He was greatly
pleased and amused when I initiated him into the art and mystery of
concocting a tumbler of whisky toddy as a proper and orthodox finish to
the evening.... He thoroughly appreciated the beverage, smacking his lips
... and exclaiming with gusto, 'Toddo is goot. Toddo _very_ goot.'" He
mentions that Kossuth was keenly interested in Scottish ballads and
stories, etc., and he actually learnt _one_ ballad by heart, "which for
thrilling passion, and power, and sweetness ... were never equalled by
human voice. His appeals ... were addressed exceedingly often to the
religious feelings of his hearers. In fact, this tendency of his is
perhaps one great secret of his power over the people of Hungary--for the
peasantry of that land, beyond that of almost any other, are remarkable
for a simple, reverent piety."

When, after the deliverance of Hungary from the yoke of Austria, Kossuth
was made Governor, Brace says that he considers he belonged, by reason of
his talent for organization and finance, to the highest rank of statesmen.
He had not "the unrelenting, tremendous force of a Cromwell or Napoleon,
or the iron will of a Jackson...." But he has shown that a man "could be a
military Dictator without staining his hands either in the blood of his
rivals or of his friends."

"One of the privates in an Austrian regiment stationed in Vienna, himself
a Hungarian, was overheard by his officer to say 'Eljen Kossuth!' He was
ordered 'five-and-twenty' at once. It appears when a man is flogged in the
Austrian army he is obliged by law to thank the officer. This the
Hungarian refused to do. Another 'five-and-twenty' were given him. Still
he refused. Again another flogging; and the Hungarian, as he rose,
muttered his thanks with the words, 'My back belongs to the Emperor, but
my heart to Kossuth.'"

In regard to Kossuth's manner of delivery in his great public speeches,
Mr. Brace says: "His opening words, they say, were like Hungarian national
airs, always low and plaintive in the utterance.... But gradually his face
lighted up, his voice deepened and swelled with his feeling," and there
came forth tones which thrilled his hearers with a strange rousing power.



In every civilization there will always be found, sheltering under its
wall, evil things not yet brought to book--not yet revealed in their true
nature, but still dragging back the wheel of true progress and the
betterment of humanity. Yet though they come "in such a questionable
shape," it is often not until someone ahead of his or her age, pulls them
into the open glare of another point of view, and thus shows up all their
hidden moral leprosy, that the arrow of condemnation is driven full-tilt
at them from the stretched bow of a Higher Criticism.

In Francis Newman's _Miscellanies_, Vol. III, four of these evil things
are dragged by him into the open daylight of a mind far ahead of its age,
and these four are: Cruelty to Animals; Degradation of Man, as brought
about by the drink traffic; War, as the great throw-back to Civilization;
Punishment as understood in England, and our own methods of reform as
regards the treatment of misdemeanants.

To take the first of these--Cruelty to Animals. Of course there are three
kinds: Legalized cruelty, cruelty caused by thoughtlessness, and cruelty
caused in order to give pleasure to men and women. Of the first--well, of
course this has to do with vivisection, said to be carried on for the
advancement of science and for the sake of alleviating the sufferings of

As regards the first reason, men who know what they are talking about are
pretty generally agreed that science has _not_ largely benefited by
vivisection. As regards the second, it is by no means sure that anything
can be proved of direct use to mankind from discoveries made by doctors
and scientists after operating on animals. "What sort of tenderness for
man can we expect from surgeons who can thus teach by torture, or from
students who can endure to listen?" Here Francis Newman puts his finger on
a very significant factor in the case--that of the barbarizing, the
deteriorating of the mind that cannot touch the black pitch of torture and
not be defiled.

Everyone will remember the words of Lord Shaftesbury, one of the greatest
men of his day: "I would rather be, before God, the poor victim in the
torture-trough than the vivisector beside him." And it is this point also
which is of importance in the vivisection question--not the point of view
alone of the animal tortured, but as well the inevitable effect on the
vivisector. For there are some things undeniably which, when done, do not
leave the man who does them where he was before in the moral scale.

As Archdeacon Wilberforce says: "If all that is claimed by vivisectors
were true--and I absolutely disbelieve it--the noblest attitude would be
to refuse physical benefit obtained at the cost of secrets stolen from
other lives by hideous torture." These words exactly express the attitude
of all thoughtful men and women who feel the impossibility of accepting
help at the cost of such torture to the lower creation by what the
Archdeacon very aptly calls the "barbarities of science."

Well may Francis Newman say: "When we ask by what _right_ a man tortures
these innocent creatures, the only reply that can be given is, because we
are more intelligent. If in the eye of God this is justifiable, then a
just God might permit a devil to torture us in the cause of diabolic
science.... To cut up a living horse day after day in order to practise
students in dissection is a crime and abomination hardly less monstrous
from his not having an immortal soul. An inevitable logic would in a
couple of generations unteach all tenderness towards human suffering if
such horrors are endured, and carry us back into greater heartlessness
than that of the worst barbarians." The bill in 1876, of which the chief
aim was to amend the law, to regulate better the doings of vivisectors,
insisted on the fact that a licence from the Home Secretary was to be a
_sine qua non_ in the case of all who practised these experiments upon
animals. But experience of the way in which this law works shows quite
clearly that very inadequate inspection takes place, because in so many
cases inspectors and vivisectors play into each other's hands.

Of the other kinds of cruelty, those caused by thoughtlessness and in
order to minister to the pleasure of men and women are very many and very
present to us. I use the word "thoughtlessness," but perhaps it would be
nearer the truth to say lack of power to realize, for thoughtlessness can
no longer be pleaded by those women who persist in wearing aigrettes, and
other plumage of birds. The barbarous method has been too often described
to them by which these aigrettes are procured: how the plumes are torn
from the males of the small white heron; how, this appalling cruelty
perpetrated, the birds are left to die on the shore. Women of fashion
cannot but be aware how wholesale this savage slaughter of the innocents
is; that each bird only contributes one-sixth of an ounce of aigrette
plumes; that we are told that thousands of ounces of plumes are sold by
one firm during the course of one season alone. It is not too much to say
that each woman's bonnet in which these plumes (so barbarously procured)
figure, is a veritable juggernaut car. It is not alone for fashion's sake
that we perpetrate these barbarisms, however, for what can be said in
defence of cruelties practised upon animals for the sake of man's stomach?
Of the method in vogue now of stuffing capons by means of an instrument
which forces food down their throats relentlessly in order to make them of
great size and of tender flesh? or of calves being slowly bled to death
that their flesh may be white? What of the horrors which precede the
making of _pate de foie gras_? The name of these atrocities is legion,
however, and it is useless to enumerate them here. Fashion loves to have
it so, and the ordinary diner does not trouble his head about the terrible
ordeal of the animal which has preceded the delicacy for himself. But,
putting his dinner aside, the Englishman's sport is often not far removed
from barbaric.

Look at coursing! What can be the nature that can take _pleasure_ in
seeing an absolutely defenceles animal let out in a confined space, with
no chance of escape, no fair play at all, nothing in front of it but
certain death whichever way it turns? What can be the nature which can
_enjoy_ the death-scream of the agonized hare as the dogs' fangs dig into
the quivering flesh? Coursing is nothing more nor less than an absolutely
degrading sport to the beholders.

There is no _sport_, in the right acceptation of the word, in it at all.
At any rate, there is far more of the element of real sport in fox-hunting
or in stag-hunting, especially in those districts where one is told that
the stag practically enters into the spirit of the game, when, after a
good run, it pauses, and is helped into the cart which is to take it into
"home cover" again! Be that as it may, at least there is some fair play to
the quarry. In coursing that is an unknown quantity.

"The accomplished Englishman shoots for sport. Sport, being a mental
impulse or appetite, is insatiable, and therefore far more deadly than
hunger.... A boast is made that ninety millions of rabbits are reared for
the consumption of our nation. Ninety million rabbits sent out at large to
nibble the young shoots of the growing crops--each of whom destroys and
wastes ten times what a tame rabbit would eat in a hutch--are boasted of
as an increase of our supplies! If twenty million of these reach the town
markets, it is much; how many beside are cruelly massacred with no profit
to man! and how many beside, with unhappy hares, foxes, rats, stoats, and
weasels, are held for days and nights in lingering torture by horrible
steel traps? All this goes on in the midst of refinement, without
prohibition from men or remonstrance from women. It is a fruit of the
modern English system of game preserving;... and the artificial love of
sport which cruel Norman tradition has fostered in the stolid Anglo-Saxon
race." [Footnote: "On Cruelty" (_Miscellanies_, III, by Francis W.
Newman).] It is an unassailable truth that if you look for the last
remains of barbarity in a civilized nation you will find them in their
sports. But I confess that to me it is difficult to justify a _woman's_
love of sport when it is combined--before her very eyes--with the
suffering of an animal. Yet I heard only the other day of a woman who
boasted that she had been among the few "in at the death" one day in fox-
hunting, and that when the brush was given to her, her face was _spattered
with the blood of the fox_.

To turn to another "barbarism of civilization"--the subject of the Drink

Newman's words about this come with startling appositeness to-day, when we
are all eager as regards the pros and cons of the new Licensing Act, and
when all the publicans in the country are watching anxiously in fear of
the ruin it may spell for themselves. Thirty years ago Francis Newman
flung these words broadcast into the country:--

"Parliament ignominiously sits on the beer barrel. The thirty-three
millions a year" (which was the revenue in 1877 derived from "complicity
with distillers and brewers"), "are to every Ministry like the proverbial
wolf which the woodsman holds by the ears. To keep him is difficult, to
let him go is dangerous. Their position is becoming worse than
embarrassing when the best _men_ of every class, and _all the women_ who
see the public miseries, condemn the deadly policy of bartering national
morality for payments to the exchequer.... The mode in which those in
power fight to retain the public immoralities proclaims the quality of
their motives. As one example out of several, see with what tenacity the
Sunday sale of intoxicating drink in Ireland is kept up, after it is
visible that Ireland disapproves, and after the English Parliament has
voted with Ireland. _Trickery_ is here the only right word; but _trickery_
cannot in the long run support any cause. In this matter, as in several
others, national indignation is ripening. Many old ways will have to be
reversed, among which the treatment of the drink traffic has quite a
leading place."

He then goes on to treat in detail of the pros and cons of Sir Wilfrid
Lawson's Bill, and its principle of Popular Local Control; also of those
of Mr. Joseph Cowen's Bill on the same subject, both belonging to the year
in which he wrote his article on "Local Control of the Drink Traffic." And
he proceeds to consider the two alternatives: the Permissive Popular Veto,
and the Popular Control by an unfettered Licensing Board.

Later on Newman propounds his own opinion as to where the true remedy lies
for the shocking state of public morality in connection with the drink
traffic. Almost invariably his remedies for social evils are based on
specialization. In this case he advises Licensing Boards in large towns.
He urges that each Board should have full power to frame its own
restrictions, that "no Board should be numerous: _five_ or _seven_ persons
may be a full maximum"; that each Board should be elective, "without power
to bind their successors in the next year." "What shadow of reason," he
asks, "is there for doubting that such sales as are necessary and
inevitable will be far more sagaciously managed by a Local Board, which
the ratepayers elect _for this sole purpose_, than either by magistrates
who are irresponsible and do not suffer sensibly from the public vice, or
by an _irresponsible_ or _multitudinous_ Committee of Parliament? Finally,
a Board elected for this one duty is immeasurably better than the Town
Councils, who are distracted by an immensity of other business."

It is not difficult to see that his suggestion for a local Licensing Board
has a great deal that might be said for it. His idea as regards a Ward-
Mote to settle difficulties in local self-government in the same way would
deal first hand with difficulties. In both cases these local boards would
obviate the necessity for the despatching of endless little Private Bills
to a Parliament which really has not time to deal effectually with them.
Francis Newman certainly taught a truth which only gets more insistent as
year succeeds year, that specialization is indeed the word of all others
which holds within its letters in great measure "the healing of the
nations," the simplifying of their puzzles.

As regards the rights and wrongs of making war, Newman asks, "Why does
one murder make a villain, but the murder of thousands a hero?" And again,
"Why do princes and statesmen, who would scorn to steal a shilling, make
no difficulty in stealing a kingdom?"

Before calling this, as many an Englishman would not hesitate to do, a
topsy-turvy morality, let us realize that sayings such as these really
give us the true values of things as nothing else could. For there are
more sins "in heaven and earth than are dreamt of" in a nation's
classified immoralities. Stealing a shilling is a recognized immorality,
and as such the law of the land punishes the thief. Stealing a kingdom,
however, is one of those national achievements which men justify to
themselves as a patriotic feat, or, it may be, a necessity of empire, and
it is not classified among punishable offences at all. And then it is
necessary to remember that many things that are indefensible when only a
few do them, seem to become, by an extraordinary method of reasoning,
regarded as allowable when so many people do them that a spurious public
opinion and a decadent fashion is born, which shelters them and prevents
the light of an unbiassed judgment from showing up their shortcomings in
morality. One has only to read up old records of the eighteenth century to
see how slavery flourished in England among otherwise honourable men, and
how public opinion condoned, nay, justified it to realize that public
opinion regarded as _vox populi_, is often many spiritual leagues away
from being _vox Dei_.

Newman's point of view regarding war and extension of territory was not
the popular one:--

"There are many who believe that the time will come when no weapons of war
shall be forged, and universal peace shall reign.... We also believe that
a time will come when men will look back in wonder and pity on our present
barbarism; a time at which to begin a war--unless previously justified by
the verdict of an impartial tribunal, bound in honour to overlook what is
partially expedient to their own nation or party--will be esteemed a high
and dreadful crime.

"The 'Governments' will never initiate such institutions until compelled
by public opinion and by the inevitable pressure of circumstances, nor is
any nation in the world yet ripe to put forth such pressure; otherwise it
would not be difficult to devise a supreme court, or rather jury, which
would put a totally new moral aspect on war." [Footnote: _Ethics of War_,
Francis W. Newman.]

He goes on to say that a great many wars might have been avoided by us if
we had been willing, which we are not, to submit to arbitration; and he
urges that war should be "declared _in the Capital... with the formal
assent of Lords and Commons_."

Under the present system, as he points out, when war is declared against
any country, it is not a necessity, as it was in the fourteenth century,
that Parliament should be applied to for consent and approval when the
King of England wished to make war. Later, Henry V asked Parliament what
it would advise in "matters of foreign embroilment"; and when the King of
France wanted to make peace with him, he would do nothing in the matter
until his _Parliament_ had told him "what will be most profitable and
honourable to do in the matter."

But to-day, in arranging to make war or to make peace, it is the Cabinet--
the two or three in the inner Chamber--who take all responsibility upon
themselves. As often as not their decision is largely influenced by party
questions--and the questions do _not_ depend on the morality of the war,
whether the reason for it is a just one or no. "It is the singular
disgrace of modern England, [Footnote: _Deliberations before War_, Francis
Newman, 1859.] to have allowed the solemn responsibility of war to be
tampered with by the arbitrary judgment of executive officers; ... the
nation permits war to be made, lives by the twenty thousand or fifty
thousand to be sacrificed, provinces to be confiscated, and permanent
empire over foreign subjects established, at the secret advice of a
Cabinet, _all of one party, acting collectively for party objects_, no one
outside knowing how each has voted." Yet "the whole nation is implicated
in a war, when once it is undertaken, inasmuch as we all have the same
national disgrace, if it is unjust; the same suffering, if it is tedious;
the same loss, if it is expensive"; and all the time, "according to the
current morality of Christendom, two nations may be engaged in deadly
struggle, and _neither be in the wrong_."

Newman attributes this present method of deciding war or peace by means of
the Cabinet, rather than the voice of the people as expressed by their
representatives in assembled Parliament, to the "anomaly of the East
Indian Empire." Then, when the Board of Control was formed in 1784, "the
orders to make, or not to make war, went out direct from the Board of
Control; that is, really, from the ministry in Downing Street. Two, or
even one, resolute man had power to make war without check." The fatal war
with Afghanistan in the eighteen-thirties which cost us so dear in the
matter of men and fame, was settled in England by "secret orders of two or
three _executive_ officers of the Queen, without previous debate in
Parliament." It is necessary to remember, when thinking of the barbarisms
which war brought in its train, not a hundred years ago, that what Newman
calls, very justly, "the atrocious system" of paying our soldiers and
sailors _head-money_ for the numbers killed by them, was only done away
with about sixty years ago.

But it is impossible even to touch here upon the unthinkable miseries
which are inevitably suffered by thousands of innocent men, women, and
children whenever that Barbarism of Civilization, War, marches through a
land. Apart from all the devastation that marks its advent, no one can
know how indescribably far the real moral and industrial progress of
civilization is retarded by even what we consider a _small_ war. As Newman
says: "No one can wonder at the rise and progress of an opinion that war
is essentially an immoral state."

In connection with Punishments as understood in England, and Penal
Reformation, [Footnote: _Corporal Punishments and Penal Reformation_,
Francis Newman, 1865.] he owns that "it has hitherto been most difficult
to discover what due punishment of felony will not demoralize the felon."
And of course, undoubtedly, that _is_ the crux of the whole matter. But
there is no one in England to-day but will agree that some change in our
prison system is imperatively needed. Only the other day a woman,
thoroughly qualified to judge, declared that the inevitable effect of
prison life on women was to make them lose their self-respect. It was a
degradation and nothing else. Now a punishment practically loses its whole
point if it is simply a lowering, without any building up; while apart
from any other considerations, to herd, without due specialization, a
number of criminals and misdemeanants (for that last is the true
description of very many who are punished by this system of incarceration)
tends, in many instances, to increase, by "evil communications," the
numbers of those who are in for a first offence only, and would not, but
for the enforced bad influence of others in prison, offend again. Newman's
conclusion of the whole matter as regards prisons is irrefragable: "In
order to _prevent_ crime, the institutions which generate crime must be
remodelled." He urges upon the nation's consideration that for a great
many cases which now fill our prisons (thereby adding enormously to the
national expenses) there is a very simple punishment, which has been
condemned from many modern points of view as being degrading to the
sufferers and brutalizing to the inflictors.

"The infliction of flogging," he argues, undeniably answers in these
cases, both as a sharp and effectual punishment, and also as a deterrent
from future misdoing. "To us it appears an obvious certainty, that
whatever punishment is believed to be righteous--whether the whipping of a
child, the shooting of a soldier, the constraint of the treadmill, or
whatever else--is wholly free from the least tendency to brutalize the
officers who inflict it." As to the wisdom of this statement, one would
think, there could be no question. He quotes our old laws as regards the
practising of public floggings, and adds, "We cannot hesitate to believe
that all outrages on women ought to be punished by the severest
whippings.... Dastardly offences against the weak and the weaker sex
eminently call for this punishment; and in such offences may be included
the seduction of a woman." That offences against the body should be
visited by punishment _on_ the body is beyond all doubt just. Had we been
in the past, or were we at the present moment, as eager as we ought to be
for defence, for justice, to be given to the citizeness as equally as to
the citizen, there would not be so many wrongs done to the weaker sex as
now is the case in England. Newman strongly condemns long sentences and
transportation, not so much on account of the prisoner, (though for him
the long term of "doing time" with other criminals exercises in most cases
a distinct low moral tone upon himself) as on account of his wife and
family, if he is married. These people are left without news of him, and
without their legal means of subsistence during his absence. His wife
often indeed, practically becomes a pauper.

"It is vain to talk of the evil of 'degrading' a criminal by flogging him,
if we degrade him by penal labour, subjecting him to a very ignominious
and tedious slavery. It is vain to say that whipping demoralizes, until we
have a system of effective and severe punishment, clearly free from this
danger.... A felon destined to long penal servitude cannot fulfil a
father's duties, and no one is so weak as to imagine that his commands
concerning his children deserve respect.

* * * * *

Legislation must deliberately study this problem, not wink at it."
[Footnote: _Corporal Punishments and Penal Reformation_.]

Perhaps when it does, something more stringent will be determined on
concerning our regulations as regards the marriage of criminals: those
with insanity or inherited disease strongly marked on their family
records; and those who have shown the tendency to the latter in their own



Fifty years ago Newman was cutting and polishing his diamond scheme of
legislative decentralization till its facets flashed to the lighted
intellects of the world a thousand messages--a thousand clear-cut
suggestions for the welfare of his country and the betterment of its
legislation, as he firmly believed. He was never tired of urging it on the
notice of his fellow men, never tired of pleading for it as a solution of
many social difficulties, as a setting of many dislocations of our local
systems. Perhaps there was no more earnest apostle of decentralization
than was Francis Newman. But at the same time, to be fair to him, it
should be said that, first, he threw light upon the old paths, and,
secondly, showed where modern obstructions lay which seemed to him to
hinder true progress. At all costs the fact must be kept well in view, he
believed, that the paths were made for the men, not the men for the paths
--a fact which is not always so well remembered as it should be to-day.
Fifty years ago he published an article in _Fraser's Magazine_ on
"Functions of an Upper House of Parliament." Eight years later he gave a
brilliant lecture [Footnote: In the Athenaeum, Manchester.] on
"Reorganizations of English Institutions." In this last he touched only
briefly upon the former subject because of a notice by the metaphysical
railings of his lecture that he was "to keep to the path," and not speak
trenchantly on the question of the Upper House, because it would not have
found an appreciative audience there!

To begin, however, first upon the article which came out in 1867. He
affirmed that the House of Lords does, by its veto, exercise a very
powerful, though unseen, influence over the administration of the country.
He insisted on the urgent need of its becoming "a real, supreme, judicial
court for maintaining the rights of the princes of India, and an
authoritative expounder of the treaties which have passed between us and
them." It will be seen why this step is called for when we recall the fact
that in 1833 the Home Government signed a treaty in which it was
definitely agreed that the professions in India should be open to the
natives--a promise which has never been kept.

Newman goes on to say, "Until India can have its own Parliament, it needs
to find in England such protection as only our own Upper House can give
it." He places before us the possibility of economizing the time--to-day
so terribly overcrowded--of the House of Commons by letting domestic
legislation, "which is in no immediate relation to executive necessities,"
proceed from the Upper House. That in that House it could be so adapted
and so regulated, that when it came back finally to the House of Commons
no otherwise inevitable delay need occur. Thus "the Commons would have for
their chief business Bills connected with immediate administrative
exigencies, _and private Bills would be cast upon local legislatures_" (a
measure for which he was, as we know, constantly pleading). He reminds us
that the Roman executive was successful and prompt in the methods at which
they aimed, _because_ "the Senate guided and controlled it, _prescribed
the policy and required the execution_."

In his "Reorganization of English Institutions" he insists very strongly
on the great need of such a scheme of decentralization as the formation of
Provincial Chambers--in other words, the dividing the country into local
government centres which should send delegates, chosen delegates of tried
men, "virtually its ambassadors to Parliament, with instructions and a
proper salary, for a three years' term; but reserving the power to recall
any delegate earlier by a two-thirds vote, and to replace him, like an
ambassador, by a successor." Now, here comes in Newman's proposed drastic
change--a change which, in the opinion of those of us who have seen at
close focus the evils of our present system of canvassing for votes, could
not be condemned as a change for the worse.

For each delegate sent up to Parliament "would be elected without
candidacy and without expense ... confusion and intrigue would be
lessened.... There would be no convulsive interruptions of public
business." Many questions very naturally rise in our minds when we fairly
face this plan. Newman feels so confident, besides, that it would "settle
our harassing Irish difficulties."

The "old institutions of the shires are known only to students of ancient
law," says Mr. Toulmin Smith, one of the greatest authorities of his
country's old records, documents, etc. "They have been overridden by
justices of the peace, county lieutenants, and other functionaries....
From this general decay of local institutions centralization has grown

From this "decay of local institutions," Newman points to what he
designates as the "Trades' Union"--the Cabinet (the "Secret Diplomacy"),
which has, he declares, superseded the old Privy Council.

"Since William III became king, parliaments of Scotland and Ireland have
been annihilated, and no subsidiary organs have replaced them.... Our
population is four times as great as William III knew it; yet the people
are more than ever divorced from the soil and cramped into town...." Now,
"Parliament is too busy for domestic local reforms; it has to control the
action of the whole Executive Government, Central and Local.... It has
sole right to direct public taxation.... It has to control the action of
the ministry towards foreign Powers.... It has a similar function towards
colonies ... and the Army and the Navy.... It is responsible for all
India" (population then two hundred and forty millions).... "It is the
only court of appeal to Indian princes who believe themselves wronged" (by
the king's representatives).... "No other authority can repeal bad laws,
or enact new laws for the general public." But were we to _return_ to the
"legislative courts of our shires," Newman protests, which existed before
our present systems of Parliament, all the inevitable delays and
congestions which now occur to prevent the dealing with and passing of
imperatively necessary reforms would be done away with _in toto_.

Long ago Lord Russell said that for any great measure a ministry needs "a
popular gale to carry the ship of State over the bar." "Hence all our
reforms, working against a stiff current, sail over the bar fifty or one
hundred years too late."

This, then, briefly stated, was Francis Newman's plan of dealing with the
accumulation of business, etc., which beset the House of Commons as
matters stand at present.

The whole of Great Britain, he urged, should be divided in provincial
chambers for local legislation. He proposed ten for England, four for
Ireland, two for Scotland, and one for Wales.

These local powers "must be to the central like planets round a sun....
All unforeseen business would fall to the central power, which in all
cases would undertake: public defence, communications with foreign Powers,
principal highways, shores and harbours, Crown lands, national money and
weights, and national taxes.... Our impending Church and State question
will be solved in this island, with least convulsion, if local variety of
sentiment be allowed free play." [Footnote: Perhaps then we should be rid
of the anomaly which allows a Prime Minister, of whatever religious
denomination, to choose Bishops for the Anglican Church.] Newman proceeds
thus to describe further his suggestions with regard to the working of the
provincial courts: "Each electoral district to send one member to the
Provincial Chamber; household franchise, of course, would be the rule, and
I trust women householders would not be arbitrarily excluded." They would
deal directly, and on the spot, with local pauperism in the provincial
courts. That, in itself, would be one great gain. For pauperism cannot
effectively be dealt with except by local legislation. Some system such as
Ruskin's, with powerful local legislation, could not fail to end the
trouble which is at the present moment making a tremendous drain on the
pockets of the law-abiding citizen of this country, in that system of
workhouses, which besides being subversive of the very idea of home-life
amongst our poor, degrades the non-worker, and rankles as a lasting shame
in the hearts of those whom misfortune alone has driven to that last
resource of the unfortunate. Were one able to follow the example set us,
among cities, by Leipsic (where the word pauperism is absolutely non-
existent), we should have effectually turned the corner out of the ill-
kept vagrant road into which Henry VIII first led us, when "pauperism"
began to be a sore in the midst of England's healthy body of citizens.
Now, it is a self-evident fact that "pauperism," which is a living drag on
our social wheel, can _not_ be dealt with other than by rigorous local
government. Cases could then be dealt with personally; the whole area
would not be too gigantic for this; but, of course, it is a moral
impossibility to generalize in dealing with this subject.

After all, this is not, as Francis Newman insists, a new departure in any
way. He points to other countries to show that as a fact, centralization
has been gradually establishing itself in England, though in other times
decentralization was a very potent force in our midst, and a success.

In 1875, Newman quotes the following countries as regards their local
legislatures: "Look ... at Switzerland. Environed by ambitious neighbours
far superior in power, her institutions have well stood the severe trial
of time. She has her Central Diet and Ministry, vigorous enough; but also
in her several cantons she has local legislatures, each with well-trained
soldiers, simply because every man is bound to learn the use of arms, as
Englishmen used to be; therefore they need no standing army.... Italy also
has local legislatures which belonged to independent States--Sicily,
Naples, Piedmont, Tuscany, and so on--besides her National Parliament....
In Hungary notoriously the national spirit has been maintained for three
centuries and a half ... solely by the independent energy of the local
institutions.... The seven united provinces of Holland similarly prove the
vitality of freedom and good order when free local power is combined with
a strong centre.... And on a far greater scale we have... an illustrious
example in the United States--a mighty monarchy and a mighty republic....
The American Union started in that advanced stage. It is a cluster of some
thirty-seven States, each with its own legislature, for all which, and for
the outlying territories, the Federal Parliament also legislates. Contrast
their condition with ours. Only of late has their population outrun ours.
They have thirty-eight legislative systems: we have one only. Surely our
system is a barbarous simplicity. France ... goes beyond us. Nay, our
Indian centralization is worse still. No virtue, no wisdom in rulers can
make up when the defect of organs lays on them enormous duties."

Finally, Newman urges for provincial chambers that they should be on the
"scale of petty kingdoms," and not of mere town populations. "All parts
and ranks of the local community are then forced to take interest in local
concerns. Each province becomes a normal school for Parliament, and a
ladder by which all high talent of poor men may rise."


This was a question constantly in Newman's mind. That, and the answer.

Everyone is doubtless aware that he wrote a very great deal upon the
subject, and spoke a great deal also. In the third volume of the
_Miscellanies_ he has four or five articles on this great question. The
first was printed in 1859, the second in 1860, the third 1871, and the
fourth 1877. Then in "Europe of the Near Future" (1871) he treats it at
greater scope, chiefly in regard to the Franco-German War. In
"Deliberations before War" (1859) Newman takes the two points of view from
which the question of war is as a rule regarded--the Moral and the
International. The first considers if a war is a just one or no, and
considers the prosecutor of an unjust war as neither more nor less than a
robber. The International (or second) "looks only to the ostensible marks
which make a war 'lawful'--that is to say, 'regular.'" As Newman very
rightly says, however, there is a third point of view, which he calls the
"National." I shall quote his words regarding this third view. "Inasmuch
as the whole nation is implicated in a war, when once it is undertaken--
inasmuch as we all have the same national disgrace if it is unjust, the
same suffering if it is tedious, the same loss if it is expensive--it is
an obvious principle of justice ... that every side of the nation should
be heard to plead against it by its legitimate representatives."

I cannot forbear saying that at the present moment of writing this last is
impossible, for those who often suffer most from a war--at any rate
longest--are the women, and there is no legitimate representation for this
large body of the community. Thus, even if the men of the nation could
"plead against" a war, the women would have no voice.

Newman urges that there are many among us who firmly believe that a time
is coming when no destructive weapons will be made, and "universal peace
shall reign." He believes himself, he says, that "a time will come when
men will look back in wonder and pity on our present barbarism, a time at
which to begin a war--unless previously justified by the verdict of an
impartial tribunal, bound in honour to overlook what is partially
expedient to their own nation or party--will be esteemed a high and
dreadful crime." These are strong words, but they are not too strong, for,
looked at by any thoughtful man or woman, war is an anomaly. It proves
nothing by reason; it simply acts by brute force, and by sheer superior
strength the victor, at the sword's point, drives defeat down the throat
of the defeated. But the arbitrary destruction of thousands of men on each
side who slay each other at the word of command (often for no reason that
concerns their own welfare, but only on account of some political
quarrel), is, from the point of view of civilization, of morality, of
humanity, without reasonable defence. It throws civilization, land
development, education back incalculably. Indeed, when one regards the
matter _au fond_, one sees that nothing could hinder the _true_
civilization, the _true_ humanity, more than does war. It _is_ barbaric;
there is no other word for it. It _is_ the great flaw that runs throughout
the whole garment of humanity.

Newman reminds us that it is only within very recent years "that the
atrocious system of paying _head money_ to soldiers and sailors for the
numbers they kill, was abolished by us."

John Stuart Mill very rightly said "that our force ought to be as strong
as possible for defence and as weak as might be for offence," only that it
is so very difficult sometimes to tell which is which.

In the _Ethics of War_, Newman argues that "there is nothing more
fundamental to civilized warfare than that no war shall be commenced
without a previous statement of grievances, and demand of redress--a
demand made to the Sovereign himself; and that _only after_ he has refused
redress, and when in consequence war has been solemnly declared, with its
motives and aim, shall hostilities be begun. In dealing with great Powers
we anxiously observe these forms.... But it is our Asiatic wars which have
brought out the formidable fact that the Cabinets claim to discard the
authority of Parliament altogether.... There is no more fundamental
principle of freedom ... than that no nation shall be dragged into a war
by its executive, against its will and judgment.... Nay, if even a
majority of every class in the nation desired war, yet they have no right
to enter into it without first hearing what the minority has to say on the
other side. This is the essential meaning of deliberative institutions."

Mr. Toulmin Smith, whose weighty words bring to bear on the subject the
witness of an England of medieval days, says that in the fourteenth
century it was a positive rule that "_consent_ of the Great Council, and
afterwards _of the Parliament_, _was necessary_ to a war or to a treaty."
In his _Parliamentary Remembrances_ he gives many precedents, both from
the histories of England and Scotland, showing that no peace was made, no
war was made, without Parliament being summoned. Henry V, he says, would
not enter "matters of foreign embroilment" (war with France, for instance)
without the consent of Parliament; and when the French king wished for
peace, Henry replied that peace needed to "be allowed, accepted, and
approved by the three Estates of each kingdom." The same process was gone
through with regard to the French king and his Estates of France. Newman
quotes Rome, whose citizens went through a long formality before making
any war, the King and Senate "consulting the College of Heralds for
erudite instructions as to minute ceremonies. For perhaps four centuries
the discipline of the army was admirable; its decline began from the day
when a general (Gen. Manlius) first took upon himself to make war at his
own judgment, trusting to obtain a bill of indemnity."

Livy tries to force on us the belief that the Romans were never
aggressive; that they only conquered the world in self-defence. And it is
true that here would come in difficulties in the way of carrying out John
Stuart Mill's _obiter dictum_ as regards wars of defence and of offence,
for many plausible reasons have been constantly brought forward for
aggressive wars: to take one only, it is not always easy to say what is
"defence" and what "offence." One may see some other country assuming a
warlike attitude towards ourselves, and it might very possibly be allowed
to come within the bounds of the word "defence" if we were prepared to
strike the initial blow before our enemy--to all intents and purposes,
save for the actual throwing of the glove--were fully prepared as to
armaments, etc. It is well known how earnestly Richard Cobden, the
Manchester Apostle of Free Trade, was one of the most prominent champions
of peace; he who, for championing the cause of the Abolition of corn
duties for the sake of his poorer countrymen, when he and others pushed
forward the "Anti-Corn Law League" (which was passed in 1846), lost all
his own private funds, and his business was ruined, simply because his
time was _all_ given not to his own affairs, but to the service of his
country. Mr. Cobden, as Newman reminds us, "was entirely convinced that
European wars could be stopped by a general agreement to abide by
arbitration." Indeed, he prevailed on the Ministers of his day so far
that, when the Russian War ended in 1856, "Lord Clarendon, in the name of
England, initiated some important clauses, of which one avowed that the
Powers who signed the treaty would never thenceforward undertake war
without first attempting to stay and supersede it by arbitration. England,
France, Russia, Sardinia, and Turkey all signed this treaty, yet in a very
few years the solemn promise proved itself to be mere wind." He goes on
say, "When passions are at work, superior might, not unarmed arbitration,
is needed to control them."

Cobden always declared that no one need fear Russia's strength because of
her climate, her vast wildernesses, her frozen seas, her great
unwieldiness. It is seen, therefore, that the sort of arbitration planned
out by Cobden did not work. It must, according to Newman, be an armed one.
It is clear that it is not possible to agree _in toto_ with the Quaker
method of opposing war, and the most thoughtful Quakers will hardly urge
it perhaps to-day. War, for defence of one's country, is a present
necessity. What, then, are Francis Newman's proposed remedies? For in the
beginning of this chapter I stated that he, very definitely, had his
answer to the great question as regards the nation: its veto or agreement,
whenever war is proposed. First of all, before giving these however, let
us look for a moment at the plan pursued in such case in modern England.
This plan he always set himself against with all the force of personal
conviction: "It is the singular disgrace of modern England to have allowed
the solemn responsibility of war to be tampered with by the arbitrary
judgment of executive officers: ... this same nation permits war to be
made; lives by the twenty thousand or fifty thousand to be sacrificed ...
at the secret advice of a Cabinet, _all of one party, acting collectively
for party objects_, no one outside knowing how each has voted.... The
orders to make or not to make war went out direct from the Board of
Control--that is, really from the Ministry in Downing Street. Two, or even
one resolute man had power to make war without check.... If Earl Grey is
right, and a Cabinet must be a _party_, this is a decisive, irrefragable
reason why a Cabinet must _never_ exercise the function of deciding on
Peace or War. The recent [Footnote: He is writing in 1859.] overthrow of
the East India Company has swept away all the shams which have hidden from
England that the Ministry in Downing Street worked the Indian puppet....
Parliament should claim that public debate shall precede all voluntary
hostilities, small or great ... to protest in the most solemn way that
henceforth no blow in war shall be struck until the voice of Parliament
has permitted and commanded it."

Then, in Newman's article "On the War Power," he goes on to say: "In
regard to the difficulties as regards arbitration, and also as regards the
voice of the people being made a _sine qua non_, whenever a proposal for
war emanates from the powers that be: When an evil is undeniable, serious,
unjust in principle ... (referring to secret diplomacy), a remedy must
exist. Where there is a will there is a way: nay, many ways."

Then he declares that these (following) measures have commended themselves
to him. The full discussion in Parliament by representatives of the
people; the determination that nothing shall be settled by secret
diplomacy as regards war until the whole matter has been thoroughly
threshed out. In more than a few ways, _Vox populi, vox Dei_ is still

Next he puts before us the advisability of an _armed_ arbitration.

"If we look to a great central European Power as having for one of its
functions to repress wars and enforce arbitration, it is evident that a
large increase of force is necessary beyond all that is at present in
prospect. If wars voluntarily taken up for noble objects must be sustained
out of spare energy, much more does the place of that Power which is to
forbid wars require a great superfluity of energy. To be able to do this
within the limits of a great federation is in itself a mighty
achievement." [Footnote: Europe in the Near Future, F. W. Newman.] And
again: "Apparently the only way in which European wars can be suppressed
is by the successive agglomeration of free men, living under and retaining
their separate institutions, into powers which have no interest in war,
but much interest in peace; until unions reach such a magnitude as to be
able to forbid wars of cupidity, and offer a high tribunal for the redress
of international grievances.... If all parts of a mighty union have their
proportionate weight in questions of war and peace, no partial and vicious
expediency can actuate them in common. Justice alone is the universal good
which can unite their desires and efforts, or make them collectively
willing to undergo sacrifice.... The wider the federation, the more benign
its aspect on the whole world without, especially if the populations
absorbed into it are heterogeneous in character, in pursuit, and in
cultivation.... A federation resting on strict justice, conceding local
freedom, but suppressing local wars and uniting its military force for
national defence, is economic of military expenditure in time of peace in
proportion to the magnitude of the populations federated."



"If law be centralized, it always lingers far behind men's needs." This
_obiter dictum_ of Francis Newman's, spoken nearly sixty years ago,
strikes one as more true to-day even than when he originally gave voice to
it. For if there is one thing truer than another, it is that half the
wrongs to which we are heir to-day, are due to centralization. This may be
due in part, no doubt, to the enormous increase of population; but
certainly one overwhelming reason is that class with class has lost in
very great measure all sense of cooperation, all sense of sympathy, all
sense of their real intimate connection and relationship with each other.
Instead of provincial legislature, we have our one parliamentary centre,
instead of treating our own local matters ourselves, we hale them up
before a central bureaucracy--a bureaucracy already so overcrowded with
business that it is absolutely and practically unable to deal with all the
questions which come up for settlement. So that instead of imperative
local matters being dealt with first hand, private bill after private bill
swarms through the doors of Parliament, and it becomes a veritable
impossibility to go into detail with respect to the pros and cons which
they bear upon their pages, much less grasp the whole drift of the
question with justice in its entirety.

Far wiser was the old system of provincial legislature, in which the
people were really represented, a system in which personality counted for
much and men were brought into familiar and friendly relations with each
other, not kept apart by the rubicon of red-tapeism, and liable to have
the door of the Closure slammed in their faces at some critical juncture
of discussion, and the subject shelved. It is true that since Francis
Newman's day we may have made some effort after local councils, but it is
also true that these local councils do not really bring class and class
together. Each class is by no means adequately represented in them, nor is
it the council's object that this should be the case. To compare the
England of to-day--the agricultural England, at any rate--with the England
of the past, brings all true thinkers to the same conclusion, that class
demarcations are as insistent, as absolute as ever they were, even in the
culminating early Victorian days. [Footnote: "We must mainly refer our
practical evils to the _demoralization_ of the State which the restoration
of the Stuarts caused.... Then began the estrangement of the Commonalty
from the Church of the aristocracy."--Francis Newman.] One has but to go
abroad to be convinced how "classy" we are as a nation, for class
prejudices and insularity are produced by provincial England, and
indigenous to the soil, and alas! this crop never fails. There are,
unfortunately, no lean years. There are, it is true, plenty of
organizations in which the more fortunate class tries to ameliorate the
lot of the less fortunate one, plenty of organizations in which the more
cultured class tries--often devotes its whole life to this trying--to make
better conditions for the less cultured one, and all honour and praise is
due to self-denying work of the kind, but it is not enough. The truest,
purest Christian socialism [Footnote: I use the word in its truest ancient
sense.] requires that helper and helped meet on absolutely equal ground;
that there is banished that indescribable stalking figure which follows
close in the wake of most meetings between rich and poor in England, the
Gentleman-hood (or Lady-hood, for I have seen that often quite as
insistently in evidence) of the class which, so to speak, "_stoops_ to
conquer," the limitations of the less fortunate classes, in its work for
the people.

I remember coming across the word "gentleman" interpreted in a far
different sense in an old fifteenth-century book. Many words change their
meaning with time, but this word has changed from its fifteenth-century
interpretation more than any. The sentence ran thus: "Jesus Christ was the
first Gentleman." Anything further from the original conception of its
meaning as set forward in this sentence than our English idea of what is
meant to-day by "gentleman" it would be difficult to find. For He went
among the people as one of themselves, was born among them, and was
educated as they were. There was no hint of patronage, no suggestion of
any social demarcation. He Who was the world's Redeemer was yet a
Socialist [Footnote: I cannot but add here that, in my opinion, the much-
abused word "Socialist" has changed in character in the same way as the
word "gentleman," and the modern interpretation is very far from being the
true, admirable, original thing signified.] in the highest and best sense
of the term.

We have come far since those days, but we have not come beyond the need to
deprive birth and riches of some of that arbitrary power by which they
have assumed more authority than is their due in the matter of
legislation, influence, disposal of land, and economic local conditions in
the provinces.

As regards decentralized government and the "immense importance of local
liberties," I cannot do better than quote first from the preface written
by Francis Newman to his lectures on _Political Economy_, when he issued
them in a printed form in 1851:--

"Of the immense importance of local liberties, and their actual
deficiencies among us, I became fully convinced during six years'
residence in Manchester; but it is only from Mr. Toulmin Smith's works
(the most important political work, as to me appears, which the nineteenth
century has produced in England) that I have learnt the immense resources
of the Common Law of England, and that nothing but the arbitrary
encroachments of Parliament at this moment hinders a vigorous local
legislation and local government under the fullest local freedom which can
be desired."

The lectures themselves, notably the twelfth, are in my opinion a counsel
of perfection which we should do well to follow to-day in very many
respects. For instance, he urges very strongly that "every town in
England, and every county, ought to have the feelings of a little State,
_as in fact it once had_" [the italics are my own]. "Our own history for
many centuries shows that this is quite consistent with the existence of a
central power--a Crown Parliament--_for all purposes truly national_; and
if the action of the central power were strictly limited to such things,
the provinces would, now more than ever, have abundant room for high
ambition." He shows how all organization has been lost in large provincial
towns, even though meetings are held from time to time, and men _seem_ to
come together for counsel and combination of ideas; the only really fixed
"moral union" being that narrow tie of family life which does but make a
number of separate entities in the big whole of citizenship. There is no
corporate union which makes each citizen the charge, to all intents and
purposes, of his neighbour. Each family holds together. It rises and falls
by itself. It holds to its heart no innate real sense of responsibility of
a wider citizenship. That is lost--undeniably lost.

[Illustration: TOULMIN SMITH

The question arises naturally: When was this splendid link of "Each for
All" broken and mislaid? For nothing is more imperatively necessary among
the ranks of workers to-day.

Mr. Toulmin Smith tells us: "The link which has been broken and mislaid was
the "English Guild" (or "gild," as seems the more correct spelling). He
tells us--and it is generally conceded that he is our great authority on
this subject--that as a system of practical and universal institutions, a
English Guilds are older than any kings of England." [Footnote: "They were
associations of those living in the same neighbourhood, who remembered
that they had, as neighbours, common obligations."] And as another
authority on medieval life--Dom Gasquet--says: "The oldest of our ancient
laws--those, for example, of Alfred, of Athelstan, and Ina--assume the
existence of guilds to some one of which, as a matter of course, everyone
was supposed to belong."

There were of course trade (or handicraft) associations and social guilds.
Dom Gasquet describes thus their object: "Broadly speaking, they were the
benefit societies and the provident associations of the Middle Ages. They
undertook towards their members the duties now frequently performed by
burial clubs, by hospitals, by almshouses, and by guardians of the poor."
[Footnote: "Poor laws had no existence in medieval England, yet the
peasants did not fear and die of starvation in old age. The Romans had no
poor laws ... until the destruction of small freehold."--Francis Newman.]
"Not infrequently they are found acting for the public good of the
community in the mending of roads and in the repair of bridges.... The
very reason of their existence was to afford mutual aid." [Footnote:
Parish Life of Medieval England.] They were in very deed, as Mr. Toulmin
Smith describes them, institutions of "local self-help." And everyone who
knows anything of the subject is aware that they "obviated pauperism,
assisted in steadying the price of labour, and formed a permanent centre."
Also it has been proved that they acted as the lever which effectually
made citizenship more together as a whole, bound together by common need
and common responsibilities.

This sense of oneness of interest of "Each for All," then, we have
unfortunately as a nation lost. And with the loss have gone many of the
people's rights and privileges both with regard to local self-government,
local liberties, and co-operation.

Now the question arises how are we to recover what was so necessary to the
public well-being? And Francis Newman is ready with an answer.

"To recognize little states in our towns and countries would be the first
step of organization; I believe it would be an easy one.... If each town
had full power to tax itself for public purposes, a thousand civilizing
ameliorations would be introduced.... If local institutions had been kept
up in energy, the unhealthy buildings which now exist could never have
arisen; there is at present an Augean stable to cleanse.... Look at the
sellers in the street, look at the cab-drivers and their horses on a rainy
day; what can be more barbarous than their exposure?... Nothing surely is
more obvious than that in a city where thirty or forty thousand persons
live all day under the sky, having no power to shelter themselves, there
ought to be numerous covered piazzas, market-places, and sheds for
cabriolets. By such means, to save the poor from rheumatism and
inflammations, would be cheaper than to raise their wages, if that were
possible, and would confer far more direct benefit on them than the
removing of taxes."

Here is indeed the mind of a modern Hercules in its strong, rational
suggestions as to how this particular "stable" must be swept out. It is a
striking illustration of how far we have come since the days of the
medieval guilds, this lack of grasp on our part of the particular needs of
particular sections of the community. For were our local self-government
in working order and thoroughly representative, it is not to be thought of
for a moment that such a lack of shelters and proper appliances for the
labouring man and woman would be in such evidence amongst us as now is the
case. For look at England as she is, in respect of unsettled, rainy and
stormy weather: her spells of wintry weather, her spring changes: one day
warm, and the next, constant spells of snow, sleet, and bitter driving
gusts of wind. Where do the loafers of our streets go? Where do the
unemployed, hanging about at the street corner in search of a job, go
during some pelting shower which drenches whoever remains to face it in
less than three minutes? The centre of the street, and the streaming
pavements clear almost at once, but where does the "man in the street"--
the woman--the child go? Certainly they do not go into a shelter put up by
Government for their protection, as a rule. There are, in provincial
towns, no shelters sufficiently large to accommodate them.

I have often talked to the inspectors--to take a case in point--of
provincial trams. These men have to wait, to stand about at corners of
streets or cross roads great part of the day. Many of them suffer in no
small degree from this constant standing about in all weathers.

Then again, there is no provision made for the drivers of the trams. It
would be quite possible to provide seats for them, as is often done in
motor buses, but the same reason holds good for this not having been
thought of, as is in evidence with regard to the lack of street shelters.

There is not sufficient co-operation in the local government. When the
guilds died out, no local arrangements took their place. In other words,
the local government, of whatever nature it is, is not sufficiently
representative. The men who work upon the road, day in day out, have not
sufficient opportunity of saying, in open meeting of their fellow
citizens, where their particular trade shoe pinches. It is, as old Sir
Thomas More said very truly, the matter of the rich legislating for the
poor, which is at fault.

Here, then, is the remedy suggested by Francis Newman: "The stated meeting
of a number of people in a _Ward-mote_ would make their faces familiar to
one another, and give to the richer orders a distinct acquaintance with a
definite portion of the vast community. Out of this ... meeting for
discussion of practical business in a _Ward-mote_ ... would rise numerous
other relations."

Here men would meet--men drawn from every class--and could voice their
complaints, their difficulties, their desire for improved conditions of
work. Only in this way could local government become really a help to its
neighbourhood. Only in this way could men consult on the best way of
improving economic conditions, frame their own amelioration of existing
laws, and send them up to the Imperial Parliament for consent or veto.

Then it would probably follow that some measure of land reform would be
the natural result of such local government. Perhaps it is over the land
that the Plough of Reform needs most urgently to be driven. More than
eight centuries ago the first idea of parks began in this country. Then it
was that in the selfish desire for private property the dwellings of the
people were swept away to make room for those of game for royal sport.
Later this method was adopted by Henry VIII's baronial retainers, who
ejected the tenants from their estates for the sake of trade profit--
profit to be gained by exporting wool from the large sheep farms into
which they made their private estates.

But the system of large tracts of land in a small country, such as our
own, being bought up for private property, and made into parks or game
preserves, is of course at the root of very many economic evils which have
largely helped to cause pauperism and unhealthy conditions of life for the
agricultural labourer. If rich men may add, without the law stepping in to
limit amount, land to land as their pocket makes it possible, it follows,
as a matter of course, that more of the rustic population must move into
the towns: and that more and more crowding and over-competition are the
result later on.

Newman--the man who was always boldest where there was a cause that needed
fighting for, or fellow citizens who were powerless to right their own
wrongs, and who required someone to voice them--spoke out his views on
this subject, unhesitatingly. "That a man should be able to buy up large
tracts of land, and make himself the owner of them--to keep them in or out
of culture as he pleases--to close or open roads, and dictate where houses
should be built ... this is no natural right, but is an artificial
creation of arbitrary law; law made by legislation for personal
convenience ... certainly not for the benefit of the nation.... I find it
stated that in 1845 the Royal Commission estimated that, since 1710, above
seven millions of acres had been appropriated by Private Acts of
Parliament." (This was because of the enormous extension of claims made by
lords of the manors.) "It is certain that wild land was not imagined to be
a property in old days. The moors and bogs, and hillsides and seacoast
imposed on the baron the duty of maintaining the King's peace against
marauders, but yielded to him no revenue.... Supplies open to all ought
never to have been made private property.... Vast private estates are
pernicious in every country which permits them. It was notorious to the
Romans under the early emperors how ruinous they had been to Italy....
There they wrought out, among other evils, emptiness of population, and
extinction of agriculture." He represents that it was really due to the
break-up of the feudal system in the Tudor times which was responsible for
the "chronic pauperism" and multitude of "sturdy beggars" of later
centuries. And the reason is a very patent one. If more and more land is
swamped in private enterprise, private revenue, it is a _sine qua non_
that peasant proprietorship must get less and less. There is not, in
effect, enough land to go round. Newman points out that, as regards land
cultivation, we are behind France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Hungary;
that a hundred years ago there were far more small freeholds in England
than is now the case; that England is a "marked exception in Europe in the
land tenure." "We know not whither beside England to look for a nation of
peasants living by wages, and divorced from all rights in the crops which
they raise."

As Henry Fawcett said long ago, these wages of English labourers will not
allow of the least provision to be made either for the sickness or the
feebleness of old age. They have, at the close of a life of hard toil,
nothing but the workhouse to live in, the road to beg in or sell in that
out-at-elbow, trade, the modern "chapman's."

Look at the average labourer of our own day. He has, as Newman clearly
points out, "more than enough to do in rearing a family, and has no better
prospect in his declining years than rheumatism and the poorhouse, perhaps
with separation from his wife, or at least a miserable dole of out-door
relief." [Footnote: We have gone some way since these words were written
in our Old Age Pensions.] Here he puts his finger on the very spot where
one thoughtless cruelty of bureaucratic legislation is most shown. For
many faithful servants of the State come in their last extremity to this
destiny. This irony of legislation shone out lately in its true colours
when it was discovered that, of over a thousand survivors of the Indian
Mutiny, a large proportion, who were invited to the demi-centenary
celebration dinner, came out of workhouses where they, who had served
their country so well in the days of their youth, had been forced to spend
their old age.

There is no doubt that Francis Newman's remedy for the economic evils of
the people is the right one. To develop rural industry, to come back to
the land, is the hope for England's future. "It is essential to the public
welfare to multiply to the utmost the proportion of actual cultivators or
farmers who have a firm tenure of the soil by paying a quit-rent to the
State.... The soil of England ought to be the very best investment for
rich and poor, pouring out wealth to incessant industry, and securing to
every labourer the fruit of his own toils."

And in this way, he urges, can this suggestion be carried to its definite
conclusion. The revival of small freeholds, the re-institution of peasant
proprietorships, are the ways out of the block at the end of the way where
there is at present a deadlock in regard to the peasants' individual
advancement. It is well known how admirably this system has worked in
France, where millions of peasants have profited by the law in favour of
small freeholds, and its regulation that such land shall always be divided
equally among the children of the landholder. It is well known how largely
Indian revenue was drawn from the rent paid by small cultivators in the
Dekkan. It may be taken as an invariable consequence that the measure
which really profits the citizen profits the State too.

I remember seeing among some old papers dating back to the early quarter
of the nineteenth century, an account showing that tobacco planting was
really started somewhere in the Midlands by two or three Englishmen, and
it was found that the soil was thoroughly adapted to the culture of
tobacco. Indeed, the venture proved a complete success. Then the
Government of that day, fearing later consequences to the import trade,
promptly intervened and put a stop to the home cultivation. But the fact
remains that it had been proved, by a definite experience, that there
_was_ an opening for this industry in England.

It was suggested to me only the other day how many more cider-growing
districts, for instance, might be with advantage started in the provinces.
For the truth of the matter, when we look at it fairly and squarely, is
that the home country can give rural work to many more of her inhabitants
than she is allowed to do at present; that, as Newman was always
suggesting in his lectures, the labourer should be given an interest in
the land; that he should be encouraged in trying to make a crop as good as
possible by adopting some modification of the Metayer Culture; that he
should have _rights_ in the land; be associated in the profit accruing to
his overlord; that if the wages of a farm labourer were small, yet that he
should be given, perhaps, one-twentieth of the produce; and that he should
be encouraged to invest what saving might be possible to him in the farm
or trade. Newman was not in favour of the Savings Bank, as we understand
it in this country. He thought that associated profit and investment of
savings in the employer's land or trade would work far better in the long
run, and lead to keener fellowship between labourer and master.

To-day his plan, as it seems to many, stands very good chance of success,
if given a fair trial among the right sort of Englishmen. I am aware that
these last four words sound vague, but I have a very clear idea of what
they mean myself! Newman thought that if a co-operative society began by
buying a moderate-sized farm, and divided it into "portions of six to ten
acres, they might find either among their own members or among other
tradesmen known and trusted among them, persons rich enough to provide
seed and stock, and thus to live through the first year on such holdings,
and willing (later) to occupy them for themselves or for their sons. The
beginning is the great difficulty.... The first thing of all is to show,
on however small a scale, that such a cultivation can succeed.... If once
peasants see peasant proprietors they will have new motive for saving."



The London Vegetarian Society was founded in 1847. When Newman joined it,
therefore, it was, so to speak, in its childhood. It will easily be
understood, therefore, that much amazement was excited (as is shown by the
following letters), by his fellow guests at some large dinner parties at
which he was present, when Newman withstood valiantly the long siege of
savoury dishes at his elbow; and it seemed as if, though present in body,
he was absent in appetite. This amazement was scarcely lessened when,
after passing seventeen dishes, at length he threw the gates of his
personal fortress open before some small omelet (prepared specially for
him by the cook), and that, practically, formed his entire dinner!

To Newman's mind the theory of Vegetarianism was proved. He published some
_Essays on Diet_; and was always an exponent of its rational claims on

Since the days when he wrote up the subject, many people have come over to
his way of thinking, and the way is made easy for those who wish to follow
its _obiter dicta_ for health.

But it is quite as keenly a subject for debate now as formerly among a
large proportion of men, though perhaps few among anti-vegetarians would
dispute the point that there are, and must be, certain conditions involved
by anti-vegetarianism which can hardly be evaded, or defended. One of
these conditions, of course, is that it is not always possible to detect
some diseases in flesh sold for food: and that these diseases are
communicable to man; another, the degrading spectacle of the slaughter-
house; another, the presence in our midst of the butcher's shop, with all
its revolting display: [Footnote: I have not forgotten that M. Zola
contended that the atmosphere of a butcher's shop conduced to the best and
most healthy complexions of those who served in it!] another, as Mr.
Josiah Oldfield points out to us, that "horticulture ... would employ an
enormously greater amount of labour than does stock-raising, and so tend
to afford a counter current to the present downward drift, and to
congested labour centres." Mr. Oldfield urges also that "all elements for
perfect nutrition in assimilable forms are found in a proper vegetarian

I have not opportunity for finding out in what years Newman took up this
practical dietary of vegetarianism for himself, but I think it must have
been towards the latter end of his life. Mention will be found in the
Reminiscences contributed by Mrs. Bainsmith, the sculptor, relating to his
bringing across occasionally, when she and her father and mother lived
just opposite the Professor's house at Weston-super-Mare, some
particularly delicious vegetarian dish (concocted by his own cook), which
he had thought his friends could not fail to appreciate.

The following letters have been kindly sent me for reproduction by Mr. F.
P. Doremus in connection with Newman's views on Vegetarianism:--

_To Mr. F. P. Doremus from Professor Newman._

"_21st Sept._, 1883.

"Dear Sir,

* * * * *

"I _deliberately prefer_ the rule of our Society and by preference adhere
to it. But I have never interpreted it as severely as I find some to do.
On some occasions, in early years, when I could get no proper vegetarian
food, I have eaten some small bit of ham fat (as I remember on _one_
occasion) to aid dry potato from sticking in my throat. I do not interpret
our rule as forbidding _exceptional_ action _under stress of difficulty_.
But when I found what a fuss was made about this, and saw that many people
took the opportunity of _inferring_ that a simple act implied a habit, I
saw that it was unwise to give anyone a handle of attack....

"I can only say that I interpret our rules conscientiously, and obey them
according to my interpretation faithfully. I do not see in our profession
any vow or engagement comparable to that about _never tasting_
intoxicating drink. If my wife, who is not a professed vegetarian (though
in practice she is all but one), asks me to taste a bit of flesh and
see... whether it is good, I find nothing in our rules to forbid my
gratifying her _curiosity_. In that case I do not take it _as diet_ to
nourish me nor to gratify me. My words of adhesion simply declared that I
had abstained from such _food_ for half a year, and _I intended to abstain
in the future_. Of course this forbids my _habit_ or any _intention_ to
the contrary; but I deprecate interpreting this as a vow or as a trap and
a superstition. One who feels and believes as I do the vast superiority of
our vegetarian food, never can desire, unless perhaps in some abnormal
state of illness, the inferior food....

"Faithfully yours,

"F. W. Newman."

"_1st Oct._, 1883.

"Dear Sir,

"... On reading yours anew after some ten days or less, I think I ought to
notice what you say of an unknown publisher.

"I cannot remember that for twenty years I have ever eaten in the company
of any well-known publisher (anyone known to _me_ as a publisher) except
Mr. Nicolas Trubner _before_ I joined the Vegetarians, and _one other_
more recently. The latter was in the house of a lady friend who always
anxiously humoured me by providing a _special dish_ for me.

"Her cook was not skilful in _our_ cookery, but did her best. I remember
distinctly who was present on this occasion with this respected publisher.
It was a luncheon with meats. I ate at the same table, and it may very
easily have escaped his notice that a different dish was handed to me.

* * * * *

"I have several times sat at this friend's table with a large number of
guests. I remember once counting that seventeen dishes were handed to me.
I dined on my own food to the great marvel of those near me....

"I have always maintained that the main reason for proclaiming any _rule_
of diet is, that the outsiders may be afforded facts to aid their own
judgment; and that our engagement has no other element of obligation than
that we shall not vitiate the materials of such judgment.

"Therefore also I have advocated several grades--for instance, an
engagement allowing of _fish_ as food (which many will take who will not
go our length), and another in which absence from home (where one cannot
arrange the cookery) is an exemption. I rejoice also in the Daniclete
rule. Provided that it is KNOWN what is the diet, we give valuable

"_14th Oct._, 1883.

* * * * *

"I knew that the publisher to whom you referred could only be Mr. Kegan
Paul, who met me some few years back at luncheon in the house of my
friends the Miss Swanwicks: that until _you told_ me his name, I thought
it better not to write to him. But thereupon I wrote and explained to him
that my friend Miss Anna Swanwick knew perfectly that I could not accept
their hospitality (as I have habitually done for a week or more at a time)
if they expected me to partake of any food inconsistent with the rules of
our Society. I long ago furnished her with some of our recipes, and she
_showed her cook_ always to make a _special_ dish for me. At one of their
dinner parties I remember the amazement of guests at my passing _all_ the
dishes, as at first it seemed, until my own little dish came. I told Mr.
Kegan Paul that _he must have mistaken_ what was in my plate (perhaps
crumb omelette _browned over_--which I remember the cook was apt to give
me) for some fish of which he and others were partaking. I have no doubt
that this was the whole matter....

"I am sincerely yours,

"F. W. Newman."

The closing letter in this series is evidently an answer to some questions
from Mr. Doremus as regards Newman's portrait, and as regards the
incidents of his life.

"My life has been eminently uneventful." When one remembers in how many
questions of social reform, of theology, of written matter, Newman had
been concerned, this short sentence strikes one's eyes strangely enough.
For what is an "event"? Surely it does not mean only something which is a
carnal happening: a material outbreak in some form or other which occurs
before our eyes? Surely there are far greater spiritual "events" than
physical ones? And of _this_ kind of event Newman's life had been full.
Originality of thought, of conception, of aim, is the Event which takes
precedence of all other. And these events were strewn like Millet's
"Sower" from side to side of his path: to take the true Latin significance
of the word, they _came out_ from him.

"_31st July_, 1884.

"Dear Sir,

"Your letter has been forwarded to me from home to this place
[Keswick].... Messrs. Elliot and Fry (Baker Street, Portman Square),
recently by pressure induced me to let them take my photograph. In fact
they took four, in different positions, all judged excellent, all of
cabinet size. Each, I believe, costs 2/-. I have none at my disposal. With
or without my leave, anyone can publish them in any magazine. Now, as to
my biography--my life has been eminently uneventful. There is nothing to
tell but my studies, my successive posts as a teacher, and the list of
books, etc., from my pen, _unless one add_ the effects of study on my
CREED, which more than one among you might desire _not_ to make prominent
in the _Food Reformer_.

* * * * *

"Can I assent to the request that I will myself write something? Others
might wish to know in how many _Antis_ I have been and am engaged!!
Certainly more than you will care to make known will go into two pages of
your magazine.

"I am, sincerely yours,

"F. W. Newman."

Two letters to Dr. Nicholson from Newman I think may be given here: one in
April, 1875, and one in June, 1881, as both bear strongly on the
vegetarian question:--

"25 _April_, 1875.

"My dear Nicholson,

"How time flies! Bearded men, active in moral and political questions,
tell me they know nothing of the Austro-Hungarian events, because they
happened when they were children.

"One of them asked me to give a lecture on Austria and Hungary of the
Past, as he was curious and totally ignorant.... We are overrun with every
kind of meeting, and the public are sated....

* * * * *

"Happily every day is too short for me, and I cannot have time on my
hands.... I do not know whether you have attended the movement against
vivisection, which is becoming lively. It has long been a dire horror to
me. I rejoice to see that Sir W. Thomson, [Footnote: Sir William Thomson,
born 1843, was late President of the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland;
Exam. in Surgery, Queen's University and Royal College of Surgeons,
Ireland.] and other scientific men, desire a severe restriction to be put
on it. I agree heartily with those who say we have no more RIGHT to
torture a dog than to torture a man; but I fear that to move at present
with Mr. Jesse for the total prohibition will only give to the worst
practices a longer lease of life.

"Our vegetarianism is becoming more active with the pressure from the high
price of butcher's meat. Not that we make many entire conversions, but
plentiful well-wishers and half-converts, and a great increase in the
belief that _too much_ flesh meat is eaten, and that the doctors are much
to blame for having pressed it as they press wine and ale, calling it
'generous' food. At the same time it is remarkable that the argument
against slaughter-houses and for tenderness to tame animals plays a more
decisive part, especially with women, than economic and sanitary
arguments.... I am ever in experiment on something. At present it is on
cacao butter and vegetable oils. We esteem the cacao butter for _savoury
dishes_ very highly. Messrs. Cadbury sell it 'to me and my friends' for
1s. a lb. In pastry and sweets the chocolate smell offends most people;
but my wife likes it. It is too hard to spread on cold meat.

* * * * *

"The gardens are becoming sprightly. I have not had success with new
vegetables, viz. German peas, celery, turnips, Belgian red dwarf beans.
The drought last summer was bad. No _warm rain_ in spring last year.

"Ever yours heartily,

"F. W. Newman."

The following is quoted from the second letter I mentioned:--

"I send to you a Penny Vegetarian Cookery Book herewith. Surely I was a
Vegetarian when I last was with you? I began the practice in 1867. But let
me recite: (1) At breakfast and the third meal I need nothing but what all
fleshmeaters provide. (2) At dinner the utmost that I need is _one_
Vegetarian dish, which may be a soup. (3) If it so happen that you have
any _really solid_ sweet puddings that alone will suffice. (4) For the
_one_ Vegetarian dish good _brown_ bread and butter is an acceptable
substitute, or rather fulfilment. But I confess I am desirous of
propagating everywhere a knowledge of our peculiar dishes, which teach how
to turn to best account the manifold and abundant store of leaves, roots,
and grains, besides pulse.

"My wife is fully able to impart practical knowledge: to please me, and
see that others please me, she has given great attention to Vegetarian
cookery for many years back...."



It is rare indeed that an Englishman looks at India as Francis Newman
looked at it. Fifty years ago--probably longer--he put his finger on
exactly the spot which to-day is the crux which most puzzles and baffles
politicians. In social and intellectual questions his were the clear-
sighted, far-focussed eyes that reached beyond the measures of most men's
minds. He saw clearly, fifty years ago, that India was drawing ever closer
and closer to an inevitable terminus. That she was beginning to recognize
--every year more definitely--her ultimate destination: was beginning to
realize, too, that her foreign rulers were aware also of that terminus,
but were not very anxious that she should reach it. Nay, were practically
rather jogging her elbow to prevent her becoming so conscious of the
direction in which the tide of affairs was drifting.

Nevertheless it is becoming more and more patent to everyone who really
studies the question impartially that things are not what they were fifty
or sixty years ago; that a critical juncture is drawing ever nearer and
nearer--a juncture which inevitably will mean great changes for the
governed and the governors.

Even the slow-moving East does move appreciably in half a century, when
centres of education are doing their best to train Indians in European
ideas of civilization, in European ideas of government, and of the
authority which learning gives. We cannot expect to educate and yet leave
those we educate exactly where we find them; for with education comes
invariably, inevitably, the growth of ideas planted by it--their growth,
and no less invariable fruition. To show someone all that is to be gained
by reaching forward, and then to expect him not to reach, but to remain
quiescent, is the act of a fool.

We have, as a nation, so taken it for granted that India is our own to do
as we like with, that it is perhaps not a pleasant reminder which faces us
as we cast our thoughts back to the initial steps taken by ourselves in
the days which preceded the formation of the Honourable East India
Company. It bids us realize that at first, as Francis Newman says in his
_Dangerous Glory of India_, "neither king, statesmen, nor people ever
deliberately planned from the beginning or desired such an empire. It
began as a set of mercantile establishments which took up private arms for
mere self-defence.... The Honourable East India Company was glad to
legitimate its position by accepting from the Grand Mogul the subordinate
position of a rent-collector; indeed, from the beginning to the end of its
political career it was animated by a consistent and unswerving
disapproval of aggression and fresh conquest."

Since that time, however, the English dominion spread rapidly. Since that
time we became more and more aware of what a splendid field lay ready for
occupation by our surplus population. Since that time we have moved
forward through a vast country that formerly, through lack of European
ways of civilization and co-operation, practically lay at our feet. It is
true that we have done much--very much for India. It is impossible for
anyone to deny that. We have brought to her doors European civilization;
modern points of view; the miracles of new discoveries in science;
inventions for making the wheels of life move easier; opportunities for
cultivating and selling her land's produce, and for its quick transport.
We have lifted her up--yes, but here is where the mental shoe pinches--we
have insisted on preventing her from reaching her full stature. We have
trained her sons to be able to work side by side with ourselves in various
official duties; and then when they are desirous--as is indeed only the
inevitable consequence of their education--of entering the lists side by
side with Englishmen, they find there is no crossing the rubicon which
officially divides the two nations.

It is true that many Anglo-Indians stand aghast at this idea that they
should cross it, but it is only those who are unaware that, as a general
rule, education and environment combined come out as top dog over heredity
in most instances in which it plays a part. It is only those who, when
they go out to India, take, as it were, England with them, and fail to
recognize how far Indian points of view and power of dealing with things
have progressed. It is only those who have forgotten--if indeed they ever
truly realized it--that it is a point of honour that such a proceeding
should be carried out, if we, as Englishmen, remember all that the notable
charter of 1833 bound us to do.

For the charter of 1833 [Footnote: During Lord Grey's ministry.]
definitely promised that native Indian subjects of the English Government
were to be admitted on equal terms with English subjects _to every office
of State_, except that of governor-general or commander-in-chief. Not only
that, but the solemn proclamation of the late Queen was issued in 1858,
pledging the word of Sovereign and Parliament that the "sole aim of
British rule in India was the welfare of the Indian people, and that no
distinction would be made between Indians and Europeans in the government
of the country, on the grounds of race, or creed, or colour."

As Francis Newman says very clearly, it is a "task which we have
voluntarily assumed-to rule India, which means" (the italics are his) "_to
defend it from itself in infancy, to train it into manhood_.... It
presupposes that the people gradually get more and more power until, like
a son who comes of age, the parental control is discontinued.... We cannot
take the last steps first, nor can we abruptly and recklessly resign our

The Hon. M. G. K. Gokhale, in a keenly interesting paper read before the
East India Association in the summer of 1906, states very definitely the
point of view of educated Indians as regards our unfulfilled pledges of
nearly eighty years since. He says: "Until a few years ago, whatever might
have been thought of the pace at which we were going, there was no general
disposition to doubt the intention of the rulers to redeem their plighted
word. To-day, however, the position is no longer the same.... There is no
doubt that the old faith of the people in the character and ideals of
British rule has been more than shaken.... Half a century of Western
education, and a century of common laws, common administration, common
grievances, common disabilities, have not failed to produce their natural
effect even in India.... Whatever a certain school of officials in India
may say, the bulk of educated Indians have never in the past desired a
severance of the British connection.... "But, he adds: "It is a critical
juncture in the relations between England and India.... The educated
classes in India ... want their country to be a prosperous, self-
governing, integral part of the Empire, like the colonies, and not a mere
poverty-stricken bureaucratically-held possession of that Empire."

Fifty years ago Francis Newman was urging with all the force in his power
--and no one in his day was more farsighted in detecting just that social
reform which would make more and more insistent demand for a hearing, as
decade followed decade--that it was to our own interest as a nation, as
well as the only honourable course open to us, to open up public offices
in India to the educated native. It need not, he showed, be done otherwise
than with caution, and gradually "many variations" were "imaginable; many
different ways might succeed, if only the _right end in view_" was
"steadily held up, namely, to introduce, fully and frankly, _into true
equality with ourselves_" [Footnote: To "exclude natives from all high
office," Sir Charles Napier said once emphatically, "is what debases a
nation."] (again the italics are his) "as quickly as possible, and as many
as possible, of the native Indians whose loyalty could be counted on....
Lord Grey and his coadjutors, in renewing the charter of 1833, understood
most clearly that nothing but an abundance of black faces in the highest
judicature, and intelligent Indians of good station in the high police,
could administer India uprightly.... Every year that we delay evils become
more inveterate and hatred accumulates. To train India into governing
herself, until English advice is superfluous, would be to both countries a
lasting benefit, to us a lasting glory."

Now, what are the "evils" which "every year become more inveterate" in our
method of government in India? Perhaps one of the most palpable is the
strongly centralized bureaucracy. Another, is the constant change of men
in chief office every five years. Another, is that all competitive
examinations are held in London. Mr. Gokhale very rightly urges that it is
a great deal to require of an Indian that he should have to come all the
way to England for these examinations _on the chance_ of passing, and
suggests their being held simultaneously in India and in England. Another,
is that the field of law is the only officialdom open to the Indian, yet
that there he is found capable of rising to the highest post. Another,
that we have not pushed forward the education of the masses as far as we
reasonably might if we had worked hand in hand with the educated classes.
Mr. Gokhale tells us that to-day seven children out of eight are growing
up in ignorance, and four villages out of five are as yet without a

There are other drawbacks to this system of foreign bureaucracy, which can
only be briefly touched on here, but certainly Newman was right when he
condemned that mistaken, high-handed measure of the autocratic East India
Company--their destruction of all the local treasuries, and the manner in
which these funds were diverted into the central treasury. Thus, as he
pointed out very clearly, no moneys were left for the repair of roads,
bridges, and tanks, etc. As he remarks, "In comparison with this monster
evil, all other delinquencies seem to fade away."

As everyone probably is aware, Newman lost no opportunity in pressing home
on the minds of his countrymen that it is decentralization that is so
urgently needed; and that not alone in India, but in our own country as
well. Repeatedly he urged that if Government is administered from one
central bureaucracy, it follows inevitably that the business to be dealt
with bulks so enormously that it is literally impossible to deal, in
detail and with complete understanding, with the rights and wrongs of
citizens at a distance in the provinces and remote parts of a big empire.
Consequently, he was always trying to show how far more successfully local
self-government--a local ward-mote, for instance--would deal with
provincial matters in England. That every town should be, as it were, a
little State, with all classes represented in it, and matters dealt with
locally should only come up to the Central Parliament for veto or for
sanction. In the same way he recommended strongly that in India every
facility should be given to "voluntary (limited liability) companies to
execute roads, works of irrigation, etc...." That country districts should
be given local treasuries, as well as towns.

In "English institutions and their most necessary reforms," Newman
declares and reiterates that this lack of local treasuries is a "hideous
blunder," and adds, "every coin in every province is liable to be spent in
some war." He urges other changes, which have come to pass in some
measure, such as a Viceroy, a "prince of the blood royal," sent out to
"receive their occasional homage." But there again lack of cooperation
with the natives, lack of real understanding between us and them, have, as
everyone is aware, worked havoc when a man [Footnote: It is impossible to
forget in this connection what the _Tribune_ called our "Curzonian
statescraft" in the recent past.] without the necessary insight and
sympathy into the people's points of view and ways of thought has been
sent to posts of supreme authority.

There have been men of splendid capabilities for understanding and
sympathizing with these points of view, men such as Sir James Outram, the
Bayard of India; Sir John Malcolm, Lord Elphinstone, Sir George Russell
Clerk, Lord Lawrence, Ovans, and many others, who helped forward the
better understanding between England and India very greatly; and of these,
Outram suffered grievous misrepresentations at the hands of his
Government, Clerk was put aside, and Ovans had to stand his trial in
England for an absolutely unjustifiable charge.

Whenever the question of co-operation and sympathy comes up, as from time
to time it does, between Englishmen and Indians, whether it is fifty or
sixty years ago, in Newman's day or now in the year of grace 1909, with a
few honourable exceptions, the answer is identically the same. It is
practically an unknown quantity. The East and West have not really met.
Still the ranks of the service are absorbed by Englishmen; still, as all
educated Indians protest, the "true centre of gravity for India is in
London"; still India is unrepresented in the Viceroy's Executive Councils,
and in Customs, Post, Survey, Telegraph, Excise, etc., and also in the
Commissioned ranks of the Army; still, because district administration is
to all intents and purposes not in existence, there is no compulsory
education for boys _and_ girls, though most educated Indians are very
strongly in favour of it.

It is not, it cannot be, because our eyes, as a nation, have been shut to
the fact of what the faults of our own administration have been in years
gone by. If no one else had trumpeted them abroad, at least one man spoke
out the whole truth and nothing but the truth about it in the last
century: Francis, the great Social Reformer--Francis Newman, who was no
time-server, no prophesier of smooth things; but, as much as in him lay,
desired more than anything else to lay the whole unvarnished truth before
his fellow men, things that concerned the weaker members of the community.
In lecture after lecture he turned things to the "rightabout-face" which
had hitherto been done _sub rosa_ in India. He did in effect pull down the
very rose tree which had acted as such an efficient shelter. His bull's-
eye lantern always cast an uncompromising glare upon those sometimes very
"shady" doings of our countrymen which characterized their treatment of
natives in the early Victorian era, and--occasionally perhaps, even since.

No one has forgotten, for instance, the words of Mr. Halliday, Lieutenant-
Governor of Bengal, when he described our police as a curse to India in

Newman reminded his countrymen that in 1852 a petition had been sent to
the House of Commons from Lower Bengal, "among other grievous complaints,"
which "stated that by reason of the hardships inflicted on witnesses, the
population" were averse from testifying to the ill-doings and tyranny of
these police.

Again, as regarded the courts of law in India, Newman reminded us of the
revelations contained in that volume by the Hon. Mr. Shore concerning our
Government (the book which was withdrawn 1844).

It was there stated definitely that, until the days of Lord William
Bentinck, Persian was the only language used in these courts.
Consequently, as neither judge, nor clerk, nor litigating party, nor
person accused, nor his witnesses understood it, it constantly happened
that the case was a veritable _reductio ad absurdum_. No one knew what was
happening until at last the man--if it was a case of murder--was shown
that the case had gone against him by being shown the gallows!

It is true _nous avons change tout cela_, in these days, and the
vernacular tongue is used instead, but now it is the judge who doesn't
always know accurately what is going on, for he cannot always understand
what the witnesses are saying! As Newman says very shrewdly: "If self-
confident, he trusts his own impressions; if timid, he leans on the
judgment of his native clerk; if formal and pedantic, he believes all
clear and coherent statements. His weaknesses are watched, and it is soon
understood whether he is to be better managed by fees to the clerk, or by
the forging of critical evidence, in cases for which it is worth while.
Very scandalous accounts have been printed in great detail ... and one
thing is clear, that those Englishmen who have looked keenly into the
matter and dare to speak freely, believe justice to have a far worse
chance in such tribunals than before native judges."

Francis Newman tells us that his own eyes were opened to the prevailing
state of things in those days, by "a very intelligent, and widely informed
indigo-planter." He told him that when he first began indigo-planting, his
partner had given this emphatic rule of conduct: "Never enter the
Company's Courts!" And to his own amazed question as to what course of
action was to be pursued when a difficulty arose, he clearly and openly
explained. "If a native failed to pay us our dues, we never sued him, but
simply publicly seized some of his goods, sold them by auction, deducted
our claim from the proceeds, and handed over to him the balance." There is
something almost humorous in this travesty of an _amende honorable_ for so
highhanded a measure!

One may in very deed be thankful that since the day of all these
happenings, Indians _have_, as Mr. Gokhale tells us, "climbed in the field
of law, to the very top of the tree," and can now deal out first-hand
justice to their fellow countrymen.

I think I cannot give a fitter close to this chapter than by quoting
Newman's suggestions as to measures of urgent importance with regard to
our Indian Empire, which were made a little over forty years ago.

"The establishment of an Imperial Court in India to judge all causes....
The mark of a 'tyrant' (according to the Old Greeks) was his defence by a
foreign body-guard: _we_ bear that mark of illegitimate sway at present.

"To make India loyal, to save the yearly sacrifice of health or life to
10,000 young men, now the miserable victims of our army system, is so
urgent an interest, that I put this topic foremost. Too much importance
can hardly be given to it. Each soldier is said to cost us L100; hence the
pecuniary expense also is vast. But until we restrain ourselves from
aggression, all attempts permanently to improve our millions at home must
be fruitless.... Our task is to rear India into political manhood, train
it to English institutions, and rejoice when it can govern itself without
our aid."



There is always a large percentage of people who range themselves on the
side of the majority in regard to any question of the day. They range
themselves there not because of any principle involved, but simply and
solely because they consider this mode of action expedient. And they feel
far safer, far happier, taking the flabby, muscleless arm of Expediency
than in venturing into unknown difficulties behind the uncompromisingly
stiff figure of Principle. But there are others-thank God for them!--who
hate the shifty, cunning eye of Expediency far too much to have anything
to do with him. These others would far rather be in the minority in
championing some good cause than with the "expedient" majority.

These others are the pioneers of civilization. Sometimes--to-day we have
many cases in point as regards the social crusade of brave women against
taxation without representation--they are martyrs as well as pioneers. But
the splendid spirit of knight-errantry, which shone so vividly with the
fire of enthusiasm in medieval days, is still abroad in our midst to-day.
A few militant personalities fight for a great cause, a great principle--
the raising of a better moral tone amongst us, the betterment of the lives
of their fellows. Newman was one of these. His sword was always in the
thickest of the fight when it was a fight against some social injustice to
his fellow citizens. Forty years ago and more he spoke out in championship
of woman's rights. So long ago as 1867 he led the movement which tilted at
social wrongs, social injustices dealt out to the sex. It is a movement
which has taken, as I said, more than half a century to make its way to
the position it holds to-day. It has been opposed bitterly almost every
inch of the way by men who love expediency, and turn their backs on the
principle of the thing; which is fair play for women. Nevertheless,
England is a country which prides herself on her keen sense of justice and

If Newman had done nothing else, his work for this movement would be
unforgettable; his words were so outspoken, his way of dealing with the
subject so broad-minded. In one of his articles he urged the following on
his fellow men:--"Readers of History, and Lawyers, are aware that women's
wrongs are an ancient and terribly persistent fact.... Why has our law
been so unjust to women?--Because women never had a voice in the making of
it, and men as a class _have not realized the oppression of women as a
class_" (the italics are my own). "Men have deep in their hearts the idea
that women _ought_ to be their legal inferiors; that neither the persons
of women nor their property ought to remain their own; that marriage is
not a free union on equal terms; and that the law ought to favour the
stronger sex against the weaker. It is remarkable that our law is more
unjust to women than that of the great historically despotic nations, and
in some important respects less favourable than that of the Turks. All
these things point out that _equality of the sexes in respect to the
Parliamentary Franchise_ is essential to justice. The conscience of men is
opening to the truth...." "Readers of newspapers cannot be ignorant of the
miseries endured by wives from brutal husbands. In ordinary decorous
families, sons at lavish expense are trained to self-support. The
_daughters_ in one class have nothing spent on their education; in
another, are educated as elegant ornaments of a drawing-room, where they
live in luxury for a parent's delight; yet when he dies, and their youth
is spent, they are often turned adrift into comparative poverty,
incompetent for self-help. When complaint is made of this, the ascendant
sex graciously tells them, 'they ought to marry,' and this in a country
where women are counted by the hundred thousand more numerous than men;
where also men do not universally accept the state of marriage. Meanwhile,
the law is made as if to dissuade the woman from such a remedy. If she
dare to adopt it, it instantly strips her of all her property, great or
little; [Footnote: Since then some amendment of the wrong has been done by
the "Married Women's Property Act."] and if she earn anything, authorizes
her husband to seize it by force. In the Marriage Service, the husband, as
if in mockery, says, 'With all my worldly goods I thee endow': while the
law allows him to gamble away her whole fortune the day after the
marriage, or to live in riotous indulgence on _her_ money, and give to her
the barest necessaries of life.... He may maliciously refuse her the sight
of her own children.... And if to gain one sight of them she return to his
house for two days, the law holds her to have 'condoned' all his offences
however flagrant."

Mr. Haweis many years ago said a very significant thing. He said that the
best--if the rarest--men had always a good share of the woman nature in
themselves. Francis Newman was one of these men. He understood the woman's
point of view without any telling. He knew instinctively, intuitively, the
mental cramp, the moral inability to rise to her full stature, which is
induced by man's perpetual effort to fit her into a measured mould
prepared by himself. He knew that if "a man's reach must exceed his grasp,
or what's a heaven for?" what a hell faced the woman who could not even
_reach_ forward to fulfil all the many aims which she was conscious were
stirring within her, longing for attainment. He had seen women, his
countrywomen, shake the bars behind which they faced their world for the
very passion of revolt against these man-set limits, which kept them in on
every side. He knew that, of all hard fates, perhaps few are more bitter
than to feel the power and ability within you to do some work as well as
another does it, and yet to have no freedom to use that power. To be

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