including his pony, were returned to him, a friend whispered

acquaintance networkdata2023-12-05 16:17:41 1571 773

Indisputably enough the meaning of all reform-movement, electing and electioneering, of popular agitation, parliamentary eloquence, and all political effort whatsoever, is that you may get the ten Ablest Men in England put to preside over your ten principal departments of affairs. To sift and riddle the Nation, so that you might extricate and sift out the true ten gold grains, or ablest men, and of these make your Governors or Public Officers; leaving the dross and common sandy or silty material safely aside, as the thing to be governed, not to govern; certainly all ballot-boxes, caucuses, Kennington-Common meetings, Parliamentary debatings, Red Republics, Russian Despotisms, and constitutional or unconstitutional methods of society among mankind, are intended to achieve this one end; and some of them, it will be owned, achieve it very ill!--If you have got your gold grains, if the men you have got are actually the ablest, then rejoice; with whatever astonishment, accept your Ten, and thank the gods; under this Ten your destruction will at least be milder than under another. But if you have _not_ got them, if you are very far from having got them, then do not rejoice at all, then _lament_ very much; then admit that your sublime political constitutions and contrivances do not prove themselves sublime, but ridiculous and contemptible; that your world's wonder of a political mill, the envy of surrounding nations, does not yield you real meal; yields you only powder of millstones (called Hansard Debatings), and a detestable brown substance not unlike the grindings of dried horse-dung or prepared street-mud, which though sold under royal patent, and much recommended by the trade, is quite unfit for culinary purposes!--

including his pony, were returned to him, a friend whispered

But the disease at least is not mysterious, whatever the remedy be. Our disease,--alas, is it not clear as the sun, that we suffer under what is the disease of all the miserable in this world, _want of wisdom_; that in the Head there is no vision, and that thereby all the members are dark and in bonds? No vision in the head; heroism, faith, devout insight to discern what is needful, noble courage to do it, greatly defective there: not seeing eyes there, but spectacles constitutionally ground, which, to the unwary, _seem_ to see. A quite fatal circumstance, had you never so many Parliaments! How is your ship to be steered by a Pilot with no _eyes_ but a pair of glass ones got from the constitutional optician? He must steer by the _ear_, I think, rather than by the eye; by the shoutings he catches from the shore, or from the Parliamentary benches nearer hand:--one of the frightfulest objects to see steering in a difficult sea! Reformed Parliaments in that case, reform-leagues, outer agitations and excitements in never such abundance, cannot profit: all this is but the writhing, and painful blind convulsion of the limbs that are in bonds, that are all in dark misery till the head be delivered, till the pressure on the brain be removed.

including his pony, were returned to him, a friend whispered

Or perhaps there is now no heroic wisdom left in England; England, once the land of heroes, is itself sunk now to a dim owlery, and habitation of doleful creatures, intent only on money-making and other forms of catching mice, for whom the proper gospel is the gospel of M'Croudy, and all nobler impulses and insights are forbidden henceforth? Perhaps these present agreeable Occupants of Downing Street, such as the parliamentary mill has yielded them, are the _best_ the miserable soil had grown? The most Herculean Ten Men that could be found among the English Twenty-seven Millions, are these? There _are_ not, in any place, under any figure, ten diviner men among us? Well; in that case, the riddling and searching of the twenty-seven millions has been _successful_. Here are our ten divinest men; with these, unhappily not divine enough, we must even content ourselves and die in peace; what help is there? No help, no hope, in that case.

including his pony, were returned to him, a friend whispered

But, again, if these are _not_ our divinest men, then evidently there always is hope, there always is possibility of help; and ruin never is quite inevitable, till we _have_ sifted out our

actually divinest ten, and set these to try their band at governing!--That this has been achieved; that these ten men are the most Herculean souls the English population held within it, is a proposition credible to no mortal. No, thank God; low as we are sunk in many ways, this is not yet credible! Evidently the reverse of this proposition is the fact. Ten much diviner men do certainly exist. By some conceivable, not forever impossible, method and methods, ten very much diviner men could be sifted out!--Courage; let us fix our eyes on that important fact, and strive all thitherward as towards a door of hope!

Parliaments, I think, have proved too well, in late years, that they are not the remedy. It is not Parliaments, reformed or other, that will ever send Herculean men to Downing Street, to reform Downing Street for us; to diffuse therefrom a light of Heavenly Order, instead of the murk of Stygian Anarchy, over this sad world of ours. That function does not lie in the capacities of Parliment. That is the function of a _King_,--if we could get such a priceless entity, which we cannot just now! Failing which, Statesmen, or Temporary Kings, and at the very lowest one real Statesman, to shape the dim tendencies of Parliament, and guide them wisely to the goal: he, I perceive, will be a primary condition, indispensable for any progress whatsoever.

One such, perhaps, might be attained; one such might prove discoverable among our Parliamentary populations? That one, in such an enterprise as this of Downing Street, might be invaluable! One noble man, at once of natural wisdom and practical experience; one Intellect still really human, and not red-tapish, owlish and pedantical, appearing there in that dim chaos, with word of command; to brandish Hercules-like the divine broom and shovel, and turn running water in upon the place, and say as with a fiat, "Here shall be truth, and real work, and talent to do it henceforth; I will seek for able men to work here, as for the elixir of life to this poor place and me:"--what might not one such man effect there!

Nay one such is not to be dispensed with anywhere. in the affairs of men. In every ship, I say, there must be a _seeing_ pilot, not a mere hearing one! It is evident you can never get your ship steered through the difficult straits by persons standing ashore, on this bank and that, and shouting _their_ confused directions to you: "'Ware that Colonial Sandbank!--Starboard now, the Nigger Question!--Larboard, _larboard_, the Suffrage Movement! Financial Reform, your Clothing-Colonels overboard! The Qualification Movement, 'Ware-re-re!--Helm-a-lee! Bear a hand there, will you! Hr-r-r, lubbers, imbeciles, fitter for a tailor's shopboard than a helm of Government, Hr-r-r!"--And so the ship wriggles and tumbles, and, on the whole, goes as wind and current drive. No ship was ever steered except to destruction in that manner. I deliberately say so: no ship of a State either. If you cannot get a real pilot on board, and put the helm into his hands, your ship is as good as a wreck. One real pilot on board may save you; all the bellowing from the banks that ever was, will not, and by the nature of things cannot. Nay your pilot will have to succeed, if he do succeed, very much in spite of said bellowing; he will hear all that, and regard very little of it,--in a patient mild-spoken wise manner, will regard all of it as what it is. And I never doubt but there is in Parliament itself, in spite of its vague palaverings which fill us with despair in these times, a dumb instinct of inarticulate sense and stubborn practical English insight and veracity, that would manfully support a Statesman who could take command with really manful notions of Reform, and as one deserving to be obeyed. Oh for one such; even one! More precious to us than all the bullion in the Bank, or perhaps that ever was in it, just now!



Latest articles

Random articles

  • mud-banks as the tide falls. They occasionally possess
  • countenance are like other symbols — not always easy
  • flush, which had alarmed his children because it had so
  • mind was already made up. Mrs. Tulliver had suggested to
  • of the Eurasian. She turned and faced him, threw up both
  • “Which day is it that Dorlcote Mill is to be sold? Where’s
  • you didn’t bid for it and raise the price. And it ‘ud
  • experience — not by mere words, which must remain weaker
  • the leadership of each to men whom he believed that he
  • A man who had made a large fortune, had a handsome house
  • a little amateur farming, and had certainly been an excellent
  • position for a certain favorite lad whom he meant to bring
  • gruffly, explaining that he had always been fond of the
  • his vindictiveness. But when Mr. Tulliver called Wakem
  • needful piece of work. Poor Mrs. Tulliver went submissively
  • To suppose that Wakem had the same sort of inveterate hatred
  • good old blooms of northern Europe which My Dear had so
  • three years ago, before I went to school at Mr. Stelling’s.
  • he knew nothing had often transiently arrested him before,
  • there was four of us, and you’re quite aware as Mrs.
  • the steps again, finding himself now nearly up to his armpits
  • somebody else can; there’s plenty o’ people in the
  • had been more deeply dejected than ever during the last
  • sir, for I forgot to tell you as I remember your wedding
  • sought her out. She did not know that he had even better
  • talking, it had occurred to the rapid-minded lawyer, among
  • “Yes, he died of apoplexy nearly a year ago. I remember
  • that pursuant gaze which convalescent persons often have
  • either a watch or a clock; and an old man who was supposed
  • married, for there was no mills in our family — not the
  • with his rough tongue filed by a sense of obligation, would
  • mind, that he could never humble himself enough; for that
  • moving westward. Then, one day, he announced that half
  • Mr. Wakem, with cold politeness. “But you have some question
  • and he looks upon it as you’ve been the ruin of him all
  • “You know what there is in the letter, father?” said
  • tables, and lifting Helen Cumberly, carried her half-way
  • when it comes easily in their way, and is no hindrance
  • and I niver said as you’d be the man to do contrairy
  • Miss Firniss’s, where I’ve been to school, you know.”
  • and one man even sent us a cask of cider as a present.
  • too fond of the people who openly revile us. The successful
  • of the family by the wayside. Mr. Tulliver, Mrs. Glegg
  • That is a sort of revenge which falls into the scale of
  • then directed the ray of the little lamp toward the further
  • Poor Mrs. Tulliver’s voice trembled a little, and she
  • That gentleman was not yet come to his office; would Mrs.
  • devil whom the lawyer had defeated several times; a hot-tempered
  • of an ancient tertiary epoch) of which these islands are
  • impression on his mind that it was but yesterday when he
  • tags