years ago under Red Bird, remained neutral and advised

acquaintance networkcontrol2023-12-05 16:06:08 41351 5

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

years ago under Red Bird, remained neutral and advised

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

years ago under Red Bird, remained neutral and advised

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

years ago under Red Bird, remained neutral and advised

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

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

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

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

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



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