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our servants to
ind persona of
in or a colonel
Year in, year out.
• in an obvious sn
i may have been
t more, ago and in
this; it may never
l; it may indeed, if
never have been
- card be merely the
in considerations as
i and he will
nue can almost
i reader exclaim.
hou art, and how in
ulest!" One can
-Ming: but that is
have forogtten to
!.an babies. Behold
Hess summer evening.
ng fathers and these
iers paying hom
nd, perceiving it, one
this little moment.
the City and the so
f the tea-table have
•tten; that even the
have faded into R
iflcance. For in real
iall atoms of plump
the lords dominant
last court of appeal.
spring of all its striv
le it is a comforting
H. H. Hush ford.
view, it is plain that unrestricted competition among the creatures lower than man evolved at length a power, thought, which overthrew the previous conditions and dominated the world of brute force and blind contest for survival. This force has its own way of dealing with things, and the more completely that is followed the greater is the success of those who follow it. No human beings approach so nearly to the kind of competition that prevails among beasts as the lowest races of mankind, who are rightly called the most backward. The proposal to eliminate the results of thought in order that we may revert to that condition of affairs over which thought has trinmphed, and the belief that further progress can only be attained by returning to the form of competition which at last produced thought as its mastering term, are illusory; in fact the suggestion is that we should decapitate progress, s) to speak, in order that advance may continue. Nor is the protective p •wer of organized "social" life, as distinct from the free struggle of individuals, without example even outside humanity. The development of instinct g ves examples of it . "The phases of s •clal life exhibited by animals other than man," said Huxley, "sometimes curiously foreshadow human policy."' 1nstances in the insect world are well known, and for one example among many in the case of the higher animals it is interesting to refer to the account given from personal observation by Mansfield Parkyns of the organization of baboons in their forays on the cornfields.2
Nor, indeed, is a return to the Free Competition, the unrestricted struggle for existence, as it flourishes outside humanity, practicable; but this is what the individualist system postulates if it is logical in its doctrine of progress.
•"The Anatomy of 1nvertebrated Animals." "" Life in Abyssinia."
Law, from the point of view of the strict individualists, is Socialism; at least, one of its most important functions is the use of the power of the community to protect those who are not strong enough to enforce their own rights. if it were the solemn duty of humanity to adopt consistent and thorough individualism, law should be abolished; he only should preserve his property, or even his life, who could do so by his own hand or cunning; widows and orphans should be a prey to those strong enough to seize them. The decalogue should be deleted. Then we should ,indeed have reverted to the kind of competition which prevails in the ocean and the forest. But it would hardly mean progress.
As compared with a doctrine which, pushed to its logical extreme, involves the disappearance of morality, the creed of Socialism appears, in the abstract, a most beneficent gospel. it proposes to use the individual for the best advantage of the State and to organize the State for the best advantage of the individual. And if practice could be made to conform to theory, Socialism would have a claim upon humanity that could not rightly be repudiated.
A principle enunciated in a few lines in the late Professor W. Wallace's "Prolegomena to the Study of Hegel's Philosophy" may be cited:
The apprehension of a thing from one side or aspect—the apprehension of one thing apart from its connections—the retention of a term or formula apart from its context—is what Hegel terms "'abstract" . . . To abstract is a necessary stage in the process of knowledge. But it is equally necessary to insist on the danger of clinging, as to an ultimate truth, to the pseudo-simplicity of abstraction, which forgets altogether what it is in certain situations desirable for a time to overlook.
in this sense, Socialism is a system full of the err6r of "abstraction." it regards men and women as uniform units for the construction of that State which the visionary sees completed in his dreaius. If Individualism ignores conscience. Socialism ignores character. But the development of character with the consequent multiplication of the objects to which human energy directs itself Is one of the strongest motive forces of civilization. Diversity of character is necessary In ti healthy, progressive community, and it cannot flourish In a dead level sameness of surroundings. Moreover, Socialism ignores that love of independence which is not only an incentive to work, but an element in nobility of disposition. And It condemns the good form of acquisitiveness as well as the bad. The abuses of the desire for property are patent to everybody. But there is a sense In which a man is denied the exercise of his best relations with the world if the right of individual possession is denied to him. In family life this Is especially manifest. A parent should not be the servant of the State to administer as concerns his children a system decreed by it There should be safeguards against the abuse of parental power,
The Gentleman's Magaslne.
but, these being provided, the family should be the very means of developing to the best the individual characters of the parents. And the fruit of a man's art, handicraft or labor should be his own, in order to satisfy that basal concept of right in the human mind that he who creates should have power to dispose; lacking this, how can a man have that love of his work which alone prompts him to give to it his finest energy? He may dedicate his output to the common use; but the gift should be voluntary.
Though the Hegelian system has been abandoned as an explanation of the Universe, it remains a very valuable indicator of the course of the human mind; and one may well hope that the movement of the twentieth century will be neither to a creed of Individualism nor to a creed of Socialism, but to a plan which, rising above both, will eliminate the brutality of the one and the futility of the other, and harmonize all that is found to be good In he two seemingly contradictory conceptions of a right civilization.
THE SOUL OF OUR SUBURB.
It is with a proper reticence that one shrinks from the baring of a soul, with a certain trepidation that one sets upon paper any aspects of its development For the soul of our suburb is both real and very desperately in earnest; and it has almost found itself. Four years have gone to its making, four pregnant years, that have cnlled Into being a thousand new emotious, a thousand dauntless aspirations. Four years ago this suburb of ours was but the merest red-brick tag. strung out along a railway leading to a place that shall be nameless. It was a raw
and unfledged youngling, that lolled in its shirt-sleeves and talked across garden-walls, that kept poultry in Its backyards and lodgers in its upper chambers, it was Intensely democratic;
and indeed it still remains so, across
the line. But then it is hardly necessary to remark that, in common with all railway lines, this one is extremely unmistakable, and It is upon this side of it that our suburb has really evolved. Here, from its former waste, from it* jungle of dusty grass and half-made roads, it has grown to Its present high estate. Four years ago it was not; today it is maguiflceut in an esplanade and desirable residential properties. it possesses at least a dozen bouses of real architectural merit: it owns a lawntennis court; and one can admit, too, without undue pride, that it has already outgrown very many of its earlier faults, still, alas, so visible across the line.
As a community we seldom mix, in the social sense, with our immediate ancestors. The line is our rublcon. The dwellers beyond it work for wages; the dwellers upon this side labor for salaries. The dwellers upon the other side herd genially in workmen's trains at extraordinarily nominal fares: the dwellers upon this side have season tickets, and go towuwards with newspapers. The gulf therefore is great, and not crossed with impunity.
Even after four years one has come to wonder whether the first clerk, who took his forty-pound house on the only side of the line worth considering, felt himself to be something of a pioneer. Possibly he did, but it is a little hard to realize that there can ever have been a first. There are now so many. From a thousand City offices they, return to us night by night, their cuffs in paper, and the latest news upon their lips. To a thousand City offices they hurry from us each morning, their pipes in their mouths, and their eyes fixed earnestly upon the neighboring clocks. One likes to emphasize their earnestness, for, though they do not spend much time with us, they are responsible for the atmosphere that pervades the place. The days of our rollicking coatless youth are over; we have grown earnest, though we are still young; for most of these newcomers are young, and the majority have bean married but a year or two. They take themselves with enormous seriousness, and the desire to rise dominates them all.
These represent the second stage in our suburban development; but already
in their wake has come the third, the man of leisure. He is, at present, of the retired description, retired from the commerce that the youngsters still pursue, retired upon that competence which can ensure at least one servant and a proportionate distinction. By day he moves sedately through our deserted streets, a rare figure, but recruiting comrades. At even-time he is lost in the younger army that has returned from its duties. T^hese one meets in their leisure hours, pale of face, frockcoated, with caps of tweed or hats of straw. One sees them examining their garden-beds or reading their evening newspapers. They have conferred distinction on our suburb: they have lifted our soul from the vulgar mire; and yet. how unerringly, one reflects, would the youth from Oxford class them as bounderx. And yet again, what good fellows they are, and how they cleave with both hands to their ideals of respectability. They would sooner die than go hatless; and how magnificently they are seconded (or led perhaps?) by their wives.
it has been our rare privilege to be the witness of a suburban At-home, where all things were done in the completest fashion of a correct society. Nobody was introduced, for example, and the whole air of the little drawingroom was electric with social appraisings. One could tell at a glance that books upon etiquette were not only present, but had been diligently studied in the various houses from which these guests had assembled. And never surely was the half-extended hand more sternly quenched by the frigid bow, or the lady so thoroughly overwhelmed who would take a lump of sugar in her fingers; and only once might one have heard an ft drop in a silence that could be felt. Some friends, too, drove up during the afternoon in a hired landau; and this vehicle, as it waited outside, lifted us all to the best that was in us. Presently some husbands dropped in, dressed for the occasion since early morning in the pink of suburban wardrobes, their tongues gllb with the jokes of last week's Punch, and all manner of debonair ways to chide the ladies for their small appetites; one never eats more than two cucumber sandwiches at an Athome in our suburb. Hard, too, will it be to forget the hushed exaltation that was ours when a lady at the piano informed us musically that it was morn. Yet our applause was refined and chastened, and none of us referred to the rehearsals of this ballad that had made at least one of our streets melodious for a fortnight past.
Krom ai l this it will be gathered that our suburb has been busy in roanding itself to maturity; and indeed we have already thrown aside the greater part of our earlier gaitcheries. But the climax was only reached last week, and we are now hall-marked in very truth. A colonel has come to live in our midst; an army colonel, so we casually refer to him in our conversations with one another. Few of us have spoken with him: he only came on Wednesday; but the postman has left letters at his door, and the neighbors have seen an elderly warrior wandering round the garden. Does he guess, one wonders, in how real a sense he has become the king of all he surveys? is he aware how infinitely more precious than rubles his visitingcards will so shortly be, how for weeks, nay years, to come they will dominate the surrounding card-trays? For in the card-trays of our suburb the more substantial names have a marvelous faculty of rising to the top. despite the
ignorant efforts of our servants to cover them up with later comers. Browns and Smiths and persons of lessor account. But a dean or a colonel will top them all. Year in, year out, he will repose there in an obvious supremacy. His call may have been made ten years, or more, ago and in another place than this; it may never have been repeated; it may indeed, if the truth be told, never have been made at all, and his card be merely the appendage of a wedding-present. But what of such slight considerations as these? He is a dean and he will remain.
"Ah, snobbishness." one can almost hear an enlightened reader exclaim. "Ah, glorious Anglo-Saxon snobbishness, how great thou art, and how invariably thou prevallest!" One can almost hear him sighing: but that is only because we have forogtten to mention the suburban babies. Behold then, upon a cloudless summer evening, these earnest young fathers and these aspiring young mothers paying homage to a thousand perambulators. it is a tender sight, and, perceiving it, one imagines that, for this little moment, the long hours in the City and the social emulations of the tea-table have perhaps been forgotten; that even the colonel himself may have faded into a comparative insignificance. For in reality it is these small atoms of plump humanity that are the lords dominant of our suburb, the last court of appeal, and the very mainspring of all its strivings. At any rate it is a comforting thought. God bless them!
H. H. Bashford.