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LECKY’S «THE MAP OF LIFE: CONDUCT AND CHARACTER »
ing produced by great acts of wrong, or to the belief that -to reclaim savage tribes to civilization, and to place the outlying dominions of civilized countries which are anarchical or grossly misgoverned in the hands of rulers who govern wisely and uprightly, are sufficient justification for aggression and conquest. Many who, as a general rule would severely censure an unjust and unprovoked war, carried on for the purpose of annexation by a strong Power against a weak one, will excuse or scarcely condemn such a war if it is directed against a country which has shown itself incapable of good government. »
But even in such cases he does not allow that wars are undertaken from purely philanthropic motives, holding that – _«the philanthropy of nations, when it takes the form of war and conquest, is seldom or never unmixed with selfishness, though strong gusts of humanitarian enthusiasm often give an impulse, a pretext, or a support to the calculated actions of statesmen. But when wars, however selfish or unprovoked, contribute to enlarge the boundaries of civilization, to stimulate real progress, to put an end to savage customs, to oppression, or to anarchy, they are now very indulgently judged even in the many cases in which the inhabitants of the conquered Power do not desire the change and resist it strenuously in the field.»
The author condemns the systematic, persistent, and deliberate fostering of class, race, and international hatreds by the press, and the falsehoods wilfully circulated to attain this end.
He equally blames the press for venality in the diffusion of falsehood from a desire to create a lucrative sensation, to gratify a personal dislike, or for purposes of stock-jobbing. He scores the financial dishonesty which, being conducted on a large scale, generally escapes the punishment which surely overtakes the petty criminal, the burglar or pickpocket. In this connection he writes:
«In the management of companies, in the great fields of industrial enterprise and speculation, gigantic fortunes are acquired by the ruin of multitudes and by methods which, though they evade legal penalties, are essentially fraudulent. In the majority of cases these crimes are perpetrated by educated men who are in possession of all the necessaries, of most of the comforts, and of many of the luxuries of life, and some of the worst of them are powerfully favored by the conditions of modern civilization. There is no greater scandal or moral evil in our time than the readiness with which public opinion excuses them, and
the influence and social position it accords to mere wealth, even when it has been acquired by notorious dishonesty or when it is expended with absolute selfishness or in ways that are positively demoralizing.”
While the author admits the undoubted moral progress of mankind he yet considers that social morality, both in England and America, has seriously retrograded.
Though some of the passages we have quoted have somewhat the tone of a jeremiad, Mr. Lecky does not hesitate to acknowledge the existence of a vast amount of genuine kindness, self-sacrifice, and heroism; and he recognizes the splendid qualities of courage and endurance, and the love of excitement, adventure, and danger developed in times of war, which, while neither virtues nor vices, blend powerfully with some of the best as well as with some of the worst actions of mankind.
Four chapters of the book are devoted to the discussion of moral compromises, which the author points out are necessary in war, in law, in politics, in statecraft, and in the church.
The “white lies” of society, he says, are so purely matters of phraseology that they deceive no one. Falsehoods for useful purposes he considers justifiable under special circumstances, as the saving of a patient from shock which would probably result in death, or the deception of a criminal to prevent his accomplishing a crime.
Anti-Imperialists of our own country have recently enounced the moral legality of repudiating an oath of enlistment when the service in which troops are engaged is contrary to the standard of right adopted by the individual soldier. Herein Mr. Lecky points out the different standing of the officer and the private soldier, the former having the choice of throwing up his commission, while the latter is held bound for his full term of enlistment. He says that the strongest case of justifiable disobedience that can be alleged is when a soldier is ordered to do something which involves apostasy from his faith,” and cites as a case in point the mutiny of the Sepoys in India. But while he upholds the Sepoys in their refusal to bite the cartridges which, on so high an authority as the testimony of Lord Roberts, were actually greased with cow's fat and lard, - a combination in the highest degree abhorrent to the Sepoy
mind, - he condemns in strong terms the action of John Boyle O'Reilly, who, being at the time a Fenian, and bound by the Fenian oath, entered a regiment of British hussars, assumed the uniform of the Queen, and took the oath of allegiance for the express purpose of betraying his trust and seducing the soldiers of his regiment.”
The nice questions of legal ethics which puzzle so many brains are discussed, and notable instances are cited where the necessity and propriety of moral compromise in the law have been upheld or criticised. Similarly the ethics of party are treated, and the questions of supporting government measures or of opposing them, bargaining, log-rolling, and obstruction are dealt with.
Mr. Lecky roundly condemns the Irish land laws formulated under Mr. Gladstone and afterwards extended by his opponents, and declares that under the United States constitution such legislation would be impossible. While he is in error in stating that it is beyond the power of Congress to pass any law violating contracts » — the Federal constitution only forbidding the States to pass such acts — the methods by which the Irish landlord is deprived of his right to use his land as he pleases savor very strongly of what is forbidden by the Fifth Amendment and by many of our State constitutions, - the impairing of the obligation of contracts and the taking of property without due process of law and due compensation.
The learned author holds that it is impossible to apply the full stringency of private morals to the cases of men holding posts of great responsibility in times of panic, revolution, or civil war. Such must often take measures which cannot be wholly or legally justified. To judge such actions rightly, allowance must be made for circumstances, and a statesman's career must be judged as a whole and not by its least defensible events. In this connection he reviews at some length the coup d'état of Napoleon III, and sums up the varying opinions of its morality and expedience as follows:
« Few things in French history are more honorable than the determination with which so many men who were the flower of the French nation refused to take the oath or give their adhesion to the French government ... and ... accepted poverty, exile, and the long eclipse of the most honorable
ambitions rather than take an oath which seemed to justify the usurpation. At the same time some statesmen of unquestionable honor did not wholly and in all its parts condemn it. Lord Palmerston was conspicuous among them. Without expressing approval of all that had been done, he always maintained that the condition of France was such that a violent subversion of an unworkable Constitution and the establishment of a strong government had become absolutely necessary; that the coup d'état saved France from the gravest and most imminent danger of anarchy and civil war, and that this fact was its justification. If it had not been for the acts of ferocious tyranny which immediately followed it his opinion would have been more largely shared.”
While Mr. Lecky approves the action of Governor Eyre in Jamaica, he unqualifiedly denounces the Jameson raid in the Transvaal, which he describes as (one of the most discreditable as well as mischievous events in recent colonial history,
entirely unrelieved by any gleam either of heroism or of skill); and though he acknowledges Mr. Rhodes's brilliant services to the empire, he does not hesitate to condemn his methods in the Johannesburg fiasco.
The book contains so much of interest that this paper could be extended indefinitely by quoting striking passages and following its author through the whole scope of his work. Suffice it, therefore, to say that the last seven chapters deal with the subject of moral compromise in the Church; the management of character; money; marriage; success; time; and the end. In the contemplation of old age the natural reluctance of most men to look Time in the face is alluded to, and the author admits that many “ shrink from what seems to them the dreary truth, that they are drifting to a dark abyss; ” while others count the thought of the work achieved in the vanished years the most real and abiding of their possessions,” saying with Dryden: «Not heaven itself upon the past has power; That which has been has been, and I have had my
The writer's own philosophy of old age and the contemplation of the future would seem to be summed up in the following passage:
“He who would look Time in the face without illusion and without fear should associate each year as it passes with new developments of his nature, with duties accomplished, with work performed. To fill the time allotted to us to the brim with action and with thought is the
only way in which we can learn to watch its passage with equanimity.”
« The end of the voyage of life over which this skilled writer has acted as pilot through seventeen chapters, after alluding to the various philosophies of death, human terror of its coming, and the superstitions that have always attended it, re-echoes the thought of the foregoing
passage; and our opening words, in which we compared this book to a chart on which are laid down both beacons and dangers, are borne out in the author's closing sentence:
« The great guiding landmarks of a wise life are indeed few and simple: to do our duty; to avoid useless sorrow; to acquiesce patiently in the inevitable.» AKRON, O.
ELFORD E. TREFFRY.
BETTING AND GAMBLING
OLOMON has said that “in all labor without the seeds being sown, and this
there is profit.” There may be some involves the previous labor of countless
who will think that the wisest of generations. This series of producers men and monarchs, like his father, uttered reaches back in an unbroken chain this sentiment in his haste," and that it until, in thought, we reach the point is as devoid of general applicability as at which we can conceive only of the David's hasty generalization respecting original production of material things by the truthfulness of his contemporaries. an Almighty Power which endowed the It is certain that there is much labor of ground and the seed with mutual powers brain and hand that brings no material of production and reproduction, and utreward, and many lives that seem only tered the life-giving words: «Be fruitful filled with toil sufficing to keep body and and multiply.” soul together, but devoid of what might It is evident, also, labor being necessary, legitimately be called profit;" that is, a that there should be some incentive worthy margin above and beyond the cost and of the expenditure of toil. Few would entravail of living. A great deal, however, gage in any occupation were there not depends on definitions. It is but a superfi- some advantage to be reaped thereby. It cial way of looking at things to regard is right and proper that men should seek profit as purely material, or as merely the for those material gains that are the reexcess over the cost of production. Suc- ward of any legitimate occupation. But cess is, it is true, largely measured by if man be more than an amaba, if he be dollars and cents and by popular applause. endowed with qualities of soul as well as But what really constitutes success is not of body, it is not only right, but necessary, solely effect, but effort; it is what one gets that he strive worthily for that profit which to be, not what one gets to have. Other- consists in the inward satisfaction that wise success is beyond the reach of the springs from the consciousness of duty multitude of the poor and undistinguished. done, of honest effort effectively put forth, But experience discloses the fact that even if the results cannot be reckoned up riches and position seldom bring real and in dollars and cents. This is profit of the abiding happiness. They whet the appe- most valuable kind, because it is permatite for more, and so the illusive quest nent, and is that which enables the one goes on, ever striving after but never reach- possessing it to enjoy the better what maing a satisfying goal. The happiest, the terial gain he may make. most successful, those whose profit is in But to come to the real point: Is there character and contentment, are to be found such a thing as legitimate speculation? among those upon whose memorial tablets There is. In every business there must the dates of birth and death are all that is be risk, and need for a venture of faith. recorded for the information of posterity. The tradesman is as much a speculator as
A study of nature and of man makes it the man who deals in futures” or “puts evident that labor was intended to be the up” on “margins.” But he is a legitimate normal occupation of the race. Her trea- speculator, while the other is not. Wherein sures are only to be won from her at the lies the difference? The tradesman makes cost of a certain expenditure of labor. his mercantile venture after a reasonable The products of the soil cannot be reaped effort has been made to ensure honest
success. His venture entails upon him a good deal of money changed hands” is the steady and careful application of sound polite way of saying that a certain number business principles as well as a large of foolish people have handed over to an amount of mental and physical exertion. equal number of foolish but successful And he proposes to give value for what people sums of money which many of the money he takes in over the counter. The former could ill afford to part with, and limit he sets for himself, or that is set by some of which was not theirs to use. And the market, is a fair return for his outlay, they did so, not to possess anything subenough to yield a competence, not merely stantial in return, but simply because of a. the accumulation of wealth by any and mere difference of opinion as to which every means, chiefly chance. He has con- man or horse could travel a certain disstantly to study his constituency and its tance faster than another; or whether one needs, and to pay a fair market price to human brute could pound another into secure what it wants.
insensibility in a given number of rounds. Now contrast with this the methods of The assertion that horse-racing, for inthe speculator on “margins.” He makes stance, is indulged in to improve the his venture upon no certain previous know- breed of horses, is an absurd fallacy. If it ledge. He trusts to hazard. He does not were so, racing every day, hail, rain, or make adequate and continuous effort after shine, and every night by electric light, honest, decent profit. He sets no limit to is treatment best .calculated to ruin any his winnings, and his capital is utterly decent horse. The statement that “the inadequate to his prospective gains. In only honest thing about a horse race is the his selfishness he cares little or nothing horse,” is much nearer the truth than is. whether others are ruined by his success. the case with many such bits of proverHe professes to buy what he never sees bial wisdom. Why do we see crowds of and neither could nor would use if he frenzied spectators rush upon the grounds had it. His prosperity depends upon the at some athletic contest to protest against activity of his fellow gamblers, and not some decision? It is not that they wish upon any law of legitimate supply and fair play; for their action prevents it. demand. He does not propose to give The real truth is that they are the people value for what he gets, and makes no con- who have money on the result, and are tribution to the needs of the community; determined not to lose it if they can preindeed he seeks to make his money out of vent it, no matter how. Betting requires. its necessities, and in proportion to them, ready money. If it cannot be got by but without supplying it with any substan- honest means, many a sad case shows tial return. His wealth is unproductive in that those who must have money to cover the sense that it is not used for any public up their losses will take what is not their good, or made to serve as capital for the own, intending to settle up some day. employment of labor or the manufacture But “some day” seldom comes, and in the and distribution of its products. He seeks meantime the unfortunates become more to reap where he has not sown, and strives and more involved by further efforts to reto get something for nothing and to enrich trieve their fortunes, and disgrace, if not himself at the expense of the community. suicide, is often the only result of all their He gives countenance to the evil doctrine labor: poor profit, but vigorously dethat success is only to be measured by manded and inexorably paid. The gameffect, not effort; and is a staunch uphold- bler or the betting man, despite the false er of the vicious doctrine that the end praise of his nerve and skill, is a coward, justifies the means so long as the end is a failure, and an enemy to society. He is. gain. The speculator often makes large a coward, because he will not labor for profits, but he usually does so at the ex- labor's rewards, but seeks to get what is pense of that inward feeling of satisfaction another's by false and unworthy means. which marks the man of character, and at He is a failure, because he unfits himself the expense, also, of the approval of con- for any honest occupation that calls for science, which is the voice of God within sustained effort. He is an enemy to the soul.
society, for he preys upon its weaknesses Betting is gambling on a small scale. It or necessities in order to furnish himself is the vice of the many, and unfortunately with what he is too lazy to seek to acquire invades most honest and lawful sports by honest toil. and pastimes. The statement that “a
FREDERIC B. HODGINS..
THE WORLD AND ITS DOINGS:
The War in
The uncompromising nation that would bar England's resort South Africa and defiant temper of the to the sword. Both of these expectaTransvaal government in its relation to tions have so far failed him, notably the Great Britain, which we dealt with in our latter, since not only has the English last issue, has since then sought and Cabinet been of one mind in resenting found definite though lamentable expres- the defiant ultimatum, but it has practision. By President Kruger's ultimatum cally united the British people in answerto the British government, under date of ing the challenge to war. That there October 9 last,- in itself a declaration of were dissensions in the English Cabinet war, - diplomacy gave place to hostilities or serious divergences of opinion even in and to the armed invasion by the Trans- Parliament
know were vain vaal and the Orange Free State of British imaginings, and what differences there possessions in South Africa. This rash were among the political parties were and precipitate action on the part of the patriotically silenced in presence of the Boer Executives of Pretoria and Bloem- threatened peril to the nation. These fontein sadly detracts from the great facts are a significant answer to the charge romance of the pathetic “trekking ” era that England cherished sinister designs and qualifies one's sympathy for a people against the independence of the Transwho were fain to pose before the world as vaal or desired to enter upon an immoral a simple pastoral community cherishing, war of aggression. The falsity of this with boasted singleness of heart, its own charge may be gathered from the stirring aloofness. That the Boers are neither appeal of Lord Rosebery, the great Engpeace-loving nor docile, we already knew lish Liberal, to the British nation, to from the history of their warrings with «close the ranks” of faction in presence the natives of the country, as well as of Boer threats and “unite in rescuing our from their recent contumelious and obdu- fellow countrymen in the Transvaal from rate rejection of British pleadings and intolerable conditions of subjection and counsellings in the interests at once of injustice and so secure equal rights for justice and of peace. That they are posi- the white races of South Africa.” tively unreasoning and doggedly set in Nor has the Boer hope of intervention their ways we also now see; while their by foreign Powers been justified, if we perilous action in resorting to war with take as proofs the official attitude of the a mighty and resourceful nation, in defi- governments of this country and of Gerance of every dictate of prudence and many, and the utterances of the more moral right, shows them to be inexcusa- influential public men of those nations bly prejudiced and perversely blinded by and the organs of their press. Among passion.
the latter there is more or less difference Sympathetic, in great measure, as we of opinion, though in the great centres have been with the Boers, and desir- public feeling is on the whole favorable ing above all things that peace between to Britain, as may be seen in the utterthem and the Imperial Power in South ances of such influential journals as the Africa should not be broken,
New York «Tribune,” « Times,” Journal keenly the shock of Mr. Kruger's ulti- of Commerce,” « Commercial Advertiser,” matum. Nor have we found it easy to "Journal,” «Press,” the Brooklyn "Eagle,” account for his precipitate initiation of the Washington “Star” and “Times,” the the strife, save on the hypothesis that he St. Louis “Globe-Democrat,” and the reckoned on European and possibly on Chicago “Times-Herald.” All of these American intervention, and most of all on journals take the British side of the conparty divisions in the British Cabinet and troversy and uphold what they esteem to