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  • 1891
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to everyone, and no one has either the right or the might to reserve any advantage to himself alone, we are fortunately able to entrust the decision of all questions affecting material interest to those who are the most directly interested–therefore, to those who possess the most special knowledge. Not merely do the legislature and the executive thereby acquire in the highest degree a specialist character, but there disappears from public life that passionate prepossession which elsewhere is the characteristic note of party politics. As a well-understood public interest and sound reason decide in all matters, we have no occasion to become heated. At our elections our aim is not ‘to get in one of our party,’ but the only thing about which opinions may differ is which of the candidates happens to be the most experienced, the most apt for the post. And as, in consequence of the organisation of our whole body of labour, the capabilities of each one among us must in time be discovered, mistakes in this determining point in our public life are scarcely possible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Eden Vale: July 12, —-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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