to their conversation, when Big Foot became so enraged

acquaintance networkpower2023-12-05 16:28:26 14869 48

Such, from sad personal experience and credited prevailing rumor, is the exoteric public conviction about these sublime establishments in Downing Street and the neighborhood, the esoteric mysteries of which are indeed still held sacred by the initiated, but believed by the world to be mere Dalai-Lama pills, manufactured let not refined lips hint how, and quite _un_salvatory to mankind. Every one may remark what a hope animates the eyes of any circle, when it is reported or even confidently asserted, that Sir Robert Peel has in his mind privately resolved to go, one day, into that stable of King Augeas, which appalls human hearts, so rich is it, high-piled with the droppings of two hundred years; and Hercules-like to load a thousand night-wagons from it, and turn running water into it, and swash and shovel at it, and never leave it till the antique pavement, and real basis of the matter, show itself clean again! In any intelligent circle such a rumor, like the first break of day to men in darkness, enlightens all eyes; and each says devoutly, "_Faxitis_, O ye righteous Powers that have pity on us! All England grateful, with kindling looks, will rise in the rear of him, and from its deepest heart bid him good speed!"

to their conversation, when Big Foot became so enraged

For it is universally felt that some _esoteric_ man, well acquainted with the mysteries and properties good and evil of the administrative stable, is the fittest to reform it, nay can alone reform it otherwise than by sheer violence and destruction, which is a way we would avoid; that in fact Sir Robert Peel is, at present, the one likely or possible man to reform it. And secondly it is felt that "reform" in that Downing-Street department of affairs is precisely the reform which were worth all others; that those administrative establishments in Downing Street are really the Government of this huge ungoverned Empire; that to clean out the dead pedantries, unveracities, indolent somnolent impotences, and accumulated dung-mountains there, is the beginning of all practical good whatsoever. Yes, get down once again to the actual _pavement_ of that; ascertain what the thing is, and was before dung accumulated in it; and what it should and may, and must, for the life's sake of this Empire, henceforth become: here clearly lies the heart of the whole matter. Political reform, if this be not reformed, is naught and a mere mockery.

to their conversation, when Big Foot became so enraged

What England wants, and will require to have, or sink in nameless anarchies, is not a Reformed Parliament, meaning thereby a Parliament elected according to the six or the four or any other number of "points" and cunningly devised improvements in hustings mechanism, but a Reformed Executive or Sovereign Body of Rulers and Administrators,--some improved method, innumerable improvements in our poor blind methods, of getting hold of these. Not a better Talking-Apparatus, the best conceivable Talking-Apparatus would do very little for us at present;--but an infinitely better Acting-Apparatus, the benefits of which would be invaluable now and henceforth. The practical question puts itself with ever-increasing stringency to all English minds: Can we, by no industry, energy, utmost expenditure of human ingenuity, and passionate invocation of the Heavens and Earth, get to attain some twelve or ten or six men to manage the affairs of this nation in Downing Street and the chief posts elsewhere, who are abler for the work than those we have been used to, this long while? For it is really a heroic work, and cannot be done by histrios, and dexterous talkers having the honor to be: it is a heavy and appalling work; and, at the starting of it especially, will require Herculean men; such mountains of pedant exuviae and obscene owl-droppings have accumulated in those regions, long the habitation of doleful creatures; the old _pavements_, the natural facts and real essential functions of those establishments, have not been seen by eyes for these two hundred years last past! Herculean men acquainted with the virtues of running water, and with the divine necessity of getting down to the clear pavements and old veracities; who tremble before no amount of pedant exuviae, no loudest shrieking of doleful creatures; who tremble only to live, themselves, like inane phantasms, and to leave their life as a paltry _contribution_ to the guano mountains, and not as a divine eternal protest against them!

to their conversation, when Big Foot became so enraged

These are the kind of men we want; these, the nearest possible approximation to these, are the men we must find and have, or go bankrupt altogether; for the concern as it is will evidently not hold long together. How true is this of Crabbe: "Men sit in Parliament eighty-three hours per week, debating about many things. Men sit in Downing Street, doing protocols, Syrian treaties, Greek questions, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Egyptian and AEthiopian questions; dexterously writing despatches, and having the honor to be. Not a question of them is at all pressing in comparison with the English question. Pacifico the miraculous Gibraltar Jew has been hustled by some populace in Greece:--upon him let the British Lion drop, very rapidly indeed, a constitutional tear. Radetzky is said to be advancing upon Milan;--I am sorry to hear it, and perhaps it does deserve a despatch, or friendly letter, once and away: but the Irish Giant, named of Despair, is advancing upon London itself, laying waste all English cities, towns and villages; that is the interesting Government despatch of the day! I notice him in Piccadilly, blue-visaged, thatched in rags, a blue child on each arm; hunger-driven, wide-mouthed, seeking whom he may devour: he, missioned by the just Heavens, too truly and too sadly their 'divine missionary' come at last in this authoritative manner, will throw us all into Doubting Castle, I perceive! That is the phenomenon worth protocolling about, and writing despatches upon, and thinking of with all one's faculty day and night, if one wishes to have the honor to be--anything but a Phantasm Governor of England just now! I entreat your Lordship's all but undivided attention to that Domestic Irish Giant, named of Despair, for a great many years to come. Prophecy of him there has long been; but now by the rot of the potato (blessed be the just gods, who send us either swift death or some beginning of cure at last!), he is here in person, and there is no denying him, or disregarding him any more; and woe to the public watchman that ignores him, and sees Pacifico the Gibraltar Jew instead!"

What these strange Entities in Downing Street intrinsically are; who made them, why they were made; how they do their function; and what their function, so huge in appearance, may in net-result amount to,--is probably known to no mortal. The unofficial mind passes by in dark wonder; not pretending to know. The official mind must not blab;--the official mind, restricted to its own square foot of territory in the vast labyrinth, is probably itself dark, and unable to blab. We see the outcome; the mechanism we do not see. How the tailors clip and sew, in that sublime sweating establishment of theirs, we know not: that the coat they bring us out is the sorrowfulest fantastic mockery of a coat, a mere intricate artistic network of traditions and formalities, an embroiled reticulation made of web-listings and superannuated thrums and tatters, endurable to no grown Nation as a coat, is mournfully clear!--

Two kinds of fundamental error are supposable in such a set of Offices; these two, acting and reacting, are the vice of all inefficient Offices whatever.--_First_, that the work, such as it may be, is ill done in these establishments. That it is delayed, neglected, slurred over, committed to hands that cannot do it well; that, in a word, the questions sent thither are not wisely handled, but unwisely; not decided truly and rapidly, but with delays and wrong at last: which is the principal character, and the infallible result, of an insufficient Intellect being set to decide them. Or _second_, what is still fataler, the work done there may itself be quite the wrong kind of work. Not the kind of supervision and direction which Colonies, and other such interests, Home or Foreign, do by the nature of them require from the Central Government; not that, but a quite other kind! The Sotomayor correspondence, for example, is considered by many persons not to be mismanaged merely, but to be a thing which should never have been managed at all; a quite superfluous concern, which and the like of which the British Government has almost no call to get into, at this new epoch of time. And not Sotomayor only, nor Sapienza only, in regard to that Foreign Office, but innumerable other things, if our witty friend of the "live coal" have reason in him! Of the Colonial Office, too, it is urged that the questions they decide and operate upon are, in very great part, questions which they never should have meddled with, but almost all of which should have been decided in the Colonies themselves,--Mother Country or Colonial Office reserving its energy for a quite other class of objects, which are terribly neglected just now.

These are the two vices that beset Government Offices; both of them originating in insufficient Intellect,--that sad insufficiency from which, directly or indirectly, all evil whatsoever springs! And these two vices act and react, so that where the one is, the other is sure to be; and each encouraging the growth of the other, both (if some cleaning of the Augeas stable have not intervened for a long while) will be found in frightful development. You cannot have your work well done, if the work be not of a right kind, if it be not work prescribed by

the law of Nature as well as by the rules of the office. Laziness, which lies in wait round all human labor-offices, will in that case infallibly leak in, and vitiate the doing of the work. The work is but idle; if the doing of it will but pass, what need of more? The essential problem, as the rules of office prescribe it for you, if Nature and Fact say nothing, is that your work be got to pass; if the work itself is worth nothing, or little or an uncertain quantity, what more can gods or men require of it, or, above all, can I who am the doer of it require, but that it be got to pass?



Latest articles

Random articles

  • without actually submerging his head, and to regain the
  • The latter, not liking to live with such an account on
  • instrument propagates its pulses through the air and awakens
  • saw. In this way he soon attained such skill that his representations
  • and gunpowder. The latter article was required for a very
  • and indomitable fortitude. And if his spirit of revenge
  • their limbs, their faculties, their weapons, and their
  • The one of Forrest's New Orleans friends first to be named
  • In three strides he found his foot splashing in water.
  • the partial insensibility of a defective conscience. If
  • Under the guidance of this typical man, who was always
  • wilfulness, and was an error and a fault. The code of fashion,
  • before. For what was he waiting, or for whom? He heard
  • in advance for his protégé, saying to his friends that
  • master of every trick of his art and of every weapon of
  • and closed his soul, Forrest had a heart as much formed
  • the gunpowder was wanted for making a noise on their saint
  • where the best thoroughbreds were to be seen, attending
  • flashing black eyes, his breast scarred all over with stabs.
  • finer and higher, some portion of this still clung to him.
  • either a watch or a clock; and an old man who was supposed
  • inherited this gift from his father, for whom he had a
  • was drawn warmly to Forrest from his first appearance in
  • more than is usually supposed. Their giving and taking
  • in water. He just managed to get in under the sluice gate
  • Push-ma-ta-ha was a natural orator of a high order. He
  • in her hand. Caroline stood with her bonnet on, just starting
  • cut your ears off! The man paused a few seconds to take
  • or that other infinitely more beautiful flower who wandered
  • description, partly by personal introduction, are essential
  • under it he moved in subtle ease and concealment, allowing
  • Forrest and in one way or another exerted the strongest
  • end of the apartment. A steady stream of dirty water was
  • of the instincts of animals. What he did not know concerning
  • and hardships. Cooper, the novelist, paints Indian life
  • be extremely instructive to confront Philip of Pokanoket
  • was scarcely superior to an English cottager. At night
  • to act with the precision of astronomical clock-work. His
  • both dropped dead: the bullet of one struck exactly between
  • the motions of his limbs as easy and darting as those of
  • They were approaching the river, and there was a fog to-night!
  • of the case; but the artist naturally selects the favorable
  • But studied more nearly, inspected critically in the detail
  • at three hundred paces; if these failed, advance with pistols;
  • to sleep, rose and wandered out into the garden. The Hon.
  • It was partly by the first, chiefly by the second, hardly
  • are replaced here by fictitious ones on account of their
  • in the city, five men intimately grouped, to be the confidant
  • They were approaching the river, and there was a fog to-night!
  • a kind heart, he was not incapable of taking a frightful
  • tags