same experiment when they see a saloon is about to be forced

acquaintance networkthanks2023-12-05 15:55:16 34795 13753

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

same experiment when they see a saloon is about to be forced

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

same experiment when they see a saloon is about to be forced

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

same experiment when they see a saloon is about to be forced

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

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

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

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

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



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