Project Gutenberg Australia
a treasure-trove of literature
treasure found hidden with no evidence of ownership

Title: Man Abroad (1887)
Author: Anonymous
* A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook *
eBook No.: 0800131.txt
Language:  English
Date first posted: February 2008
Date most recently updated: February 2008

This eBook was produced by: George Snoga

Project Gutenberg of Australia eBooks are created from printed editions
which are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright notice
is included. We do NOT keep any eBooks in compliance with a particular
paper edition.

Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the
copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this

This eBook is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictions
whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms
of the Project Gutenberg of Australia License which may be viewed online at

To contact Project Gutenberg of Australia go to


Title: Man Abroad (1887)
Author: Anonymous




"John," said the President of the United States to his private
secretary, "did you send those nominations over to the Senate?"

"I did, sir."

"Were any confirmed?"

"Yes; the Ministers to Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, and the
postmasters at London, Paris, Rome, Berlin and Dublin. The asteroid
consulships were laid over, and so were most of the nominations for the
home offices, the post offices in South America, and the District
Attorneyships of Asia and Africa."

"Well, drop a line to the State Department, telling the Secretary to
telegraph to Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn, asking the
representatives of the late Administration for their resignations. By
the way, the man in Mars is to be retained-don't make any mistake. He is
a good business man, represents us well, and I don't care if he is an
oppositionist-he's good till he does something to be bounced for."

The private secretary withdrew. The President sat down at a walnut desk
and opened a map of the Moon, on which the volume and value of that
satellite's principal products were illustrated in a colored chart,
while on the representation of the moon's surface itself corresponding
colors indicated the regions producing the staples mentioned in the
chart. The Moon had just applied for a commercial treaty with the United
States, and the question demanded of the President the gravest
consideration, in the light of the productive capacity of the
territories under American control.

At this point a messenger of Australian extraction entered, with a card.

"Show him in," said the President.

A minute later the Secretary of the Treasury appeared.

"I have just heard from the Secretary of State," said he. "The importers
of the Transvaal will be anxious for this treaty, but there will be
bitter opposition in Brazil."

"Well, they will have a chance to talk when the treaty goes before the
Senate for ratification. Curious, isn't it, that after all the bitter
fight which the House made at the end of the nineteenth century against
the infringement of its prerogatives regarding revenue legislation, it
should have come to yield so completely to the Senate in everything, as
it does now?"

"Yes; did you notice how many bills were introduced in the Senate
yesterday? two thousand three hundred and sixty."

"How many in the House?" asked the President.

"Fourteen. Speaker Smith told me last night that the members of the
House didn't think it worth while to introduce bills any more; the
Senate would kill them regardless of party, unless they favored the
millionaires, and bills of the latter kind always get introduced into
the Senate first."

"By the way, how is Smith's senatorship fight coming on?"

"Oh! between ourselves, he has no show, and he knows it. Why, old man
Pluterson, of Calcutta, is running against him, and they say he has
bought up the whole East India Legislature."

"A blamed shame!" said the President; "but let's get to business. Who's
a good man to negotiate this Moonish treaty?"

"Much Tin, of Pekin."


"Because he is rich enough to be beyond temptation, and honest enough to
be a decent sort of a fellow when he isn't tempted."

"Let's see-isn't he vice-president of the Earth and Mars Ether Fast


"Then I guess he's rich enough for us. I think his grandfather held a
controlling interest in that solid concern when it started."

"He's out inspecting the line somewhere, now."

"Any idea where?"

"I think he will be in Mars to-night."

"Telegraph and ask him how soon he can be in Washington."

"I don't think I can get off a despatch before tomorrow-a comet has
interrupted the electric current for twelve hours, and is only half-way
across its path."

"Oh! then the mail will reach him in time. I'll get Jack to write to
him, so that the letter will catch him as he stops in the Moon on his
way back."

The President pressed a knob twice, and Jack reappeared.

"Jack, write to the Hon. Much Tin, care American Minister to the Moon,
asking him to wait there for a special commission from me, and for
further instructions."

Jack retired. Half an hour later the Secretary of the Treasury also went

The Australian messenger brought in another card. It read "Weber

"Show him in!" again said the President. "Well, young man," said he, to
the new arrival, "I have just half an hour to give you today. What can I
do for you?"

"You have now been in office long enough to know your ground pretty
thoroughly, and I want an interview."

"I supposed so." They seated themselves on opposite sides of a desk and
the Washington correspondent immediately opened fire with questions.

"First, Mr. President, tell me the civil service reform outlook."

"Civil service reform," said the President, "has abolished one ancient
maxim: 'To the victors belong the spoils.' It must yet abolish another;
namely: 'To the Senate belong the spoils.'"

"Wait a moment, Mr. President. Do you regard the first maxim as entirely

"I do, so far as its power for evil is concerned. It has, however, a
power for good which must be recognized. In fact, there are very few, if
any, doctrines to be found anywhere in the history of the world of
thought, which have not a germ of truth at the heart of them. When,
therefore, we speak of abolition, we cannot mean total abolition, and at
the same time be rational. We can only abolish certain aspects or
acceptations of a doctrine. The truth in it will live in spite of us,
even if it has to take an entirely new shape to do it. Every doctrine or
maxim represents some tendency, some craving of human nature, and in one
sense is true. It may be but partially true in that it ignores some
opposing but equally essential demand of human nature, and must be
translated into some other mode of thought, as into a language, before
it can be brought into consistency with that other demand; but that is
the fault of mental language, not of the truth expressed by it."

"What, then, is the truth at the bottom of the old spoils doctrine?"

"Why, the truth that your newspapers are continually holding up to your
readers, in your efforts to get good men to run for office: the truth
that it is an honorable thing to serve one's fellow-men; that it is
worth striving after; that the strivers should be rewarded in proportion
to their merit in the strife. Now that we have got our principles clear,
is it not becoming as clear that the abuse of those principles, and not
their right use in harmony with the necessity of pure and effective
service, is at the root of all the need of civil service reform?"

"I see, Mr. President. Now, tell me how far the maxim, 'To the victors
belong the spoils' can, in your judgment, safely be applied to the
public service as a permanent principle."

"It must be applied so far as to keep up the organization of opposing
parties, and to stimulate public interest in the affairs of the
Government. To understand me, you must imagine the offices of the
Government divided into an upper and a lower stratum. Now, the best
interest of the public service demands that that lower stratum shall be
filled by persons who hold their positions during good behavior,
regardless of their politics; in other words, a permanent office-holding
class. The original spoils doctrine, you will remember, made all these
lower offices the prey of professional politicians. When the notion of
civil service reform began to obtain, the spirit of the law would have
protected the lower stratum of office-holders but for a term that was
introduced into our political vocabulary to suit the occasion. This term
was: 'offensive partisanship.' It was extremely elastic, and when
executive supremacy passed from one party to another, the members of the
defeated party who occupied the lower stratum were removed from their
positions by the victorious members of the other party who had entered
the upper stratum, on what were, in many cases, inadequate pretexts. An
official might have conducted his office to the utmost satisfaction of
all reasonable persons, but if he had exercised his right of free
speech, or free press, to utter his partisan views in public, he was
convicted of 'offensive partisanship' by superior officers, who united
in their own persons the capacities of judge, prosecutor and jury. The
subordinate official was beheaded, and his place was given to some even
more 'offensive partisan,' in every rational sense of those two words,
who belonged to the other party.

"But that application of the term was too absurdly unjust to last. It
began to dawn on men's minds that a citizen did not forfeit his rights
of citizenship-the rights to speak, to participate in campaigns, to
manage them and to contribute to campaign funds-when he entered the
public service. It was hard to root the idea out, because the vicious
rotation principle held it in. One party would say: They turned us out
when they had the power; now that we have the power, we will turn them
out;' and thus history repeated itself with each party change, until it
gradually began to be recognized that the interests of the public
service were still suffering. Then a new principle was enunciated;
namely, that a subordinate official who did not neglect his public
duties, or abuse them for partisan purposes, was valuable in direct
proportion to his participation in the duties of private citizenship,
regardless of the party in behalf of which he performed the latter
duties. At first, close watching was required, but gradually an
unwritten law enacted itself-that official privileges must not be abused
for party purposes, and official duties must not be neglected for party
duties, any more than for any other cause."

"Are you hopeful, Mr. President, that this unwritten law will be
universally respected in time?"

"I am."

"Why, then, may I ask, do you insist on making the upper stratum of
public offices the permanent goal of party strifes? Why not make that
stratum, as well as the lower one, exemplify civil service reform?"

"Because, my dear fellow, the upper stratum already exemplifies civil
service reform. I have not yet told you where I would draw the line
between the upper and the lower strata. It is a variable line, because
parties and their principles vary. It is simply the line separating the
offices in which party policy is carried out from those which have
nothing to do with it."

"How, then, can you protect the office holders in the lower stratum by

"I do not want any law. I want to do it by the pressure of enlightened
public opinion, by unwritten law, by the right of the public to the best
service that their officers can give them. Now, can't you see that when
the people think a certain party's policy is demanded by the situation,
the interests of the public require that the public service should be
modified so far as to include men who will enforce that policy?"

"That is clear."

"Now, is it not equally clear that an office-holding aristocracy can be
avoided by making the office-holders of the lower stratum feel that the
office-holders of the upper stratum can turn them out if they neglect
their duties or abuse their powers; that the offices do not belong to
them, but to the public, and that their superiors, (who may, after any
election, be new men with new ideas fresh from the people) have a motive
to turn them out, if there is an excuse for doing so?"

"Mr. President, I think I understand you now."

"You can now see that civil service reform is not a question of laws, so
much as one of the high or low tone of public opinion, and that it
depends on the people themselves. The civil masters, and not the civil
servants, make or mar governments."

"Now, Mr. President, tell me what you mean by the maxim: 'to the Senate
belong the spoils.'"

"Simply this: that the President, no matter how desirous he may be of
appointing good men to positions which are subject to confirmation by
the Senate, must appoint only such men as the Senate is willing to
confirm. Responsibility is divided between the President and the Senate,
and each blames the other when things go wrong. I wish the Senate could
be induced to surrender its Constitutional privilege of confirmation,
but of course it will not. Civil service reform will never be
accomplished until it does."

"What remedy can you suggest, Mr. President?"

"First, last, and all the time, the education of public opinion up to a
plane at which good, honest, capable and independent men will always be
elected to the Senate, and to the House. I say the House, because the
President is forced to depend largely on members of the House for his
knowledge of the character of those whom he appoints. Our territory now
embraces the whole world, and may in time include other worlds, so the
difficulty of one man doing more than acting on the recommendations of
other men is likely to increase indefinitely. Secondly, the civil
service must be reduced in depth, as it, by reason of continual
territorial expansion, increases in extent. By this I mean that as many
duties as possible must be continually referred back to the States. The
States, in time, can distribute their duties among the country or other
local district authorities, and the general principle must be pushed and
urged everywhere, that individual and unofficial forces should do as
much as possible of all that needs to be done, without the aid of any
public authority or governmental machinery whatever. This principle must
be the ultimate hope of every great country."

At this point the half hour which the President had at the
correspondent's disposal expired, and another visitor arrived, evidently
by previous engagement. The correspondent, of whom the reader will learn
more hereafter, withdrew.


A bevy of ghosts sat gloomily around the edges of an extinct volcano's
crater, on an undiscovered asteroid. One of them, an old man in form,
with long white beard and a bald head that shone like a
will-o'-the-wisp, sadly shook the will-o'-the-wisp from side to side and
grumbled thus:

"I wish I could die a real death instead of a ghost of one. Soon there
will be no place for us to go to. Hardly a day passes but an aerial and
ethereal car lights on one of these asteroids and colonizes it with
human beings. Look how they have settled and developed Jupiter, Mars,
Venus, Saturn and the Moon. When I was alive on Earth, they used to tell
me that a man couldn't live in the Moon or on any other planet; but he
is doing so, all the same. He accommodates himself to his environment,
just as the oysters and monkeys did before him. He is fruitful, and
multiplies, and he is gradually taking possession of the solar system."

"When did he first extend his operations beyond his original planet?"
asked another lazy old ghost, rubbing his eyes, and wondering in what
century he was, anyhow.

"I think it was done just after the Americans conquered the rest of the
world that was worth conquering," said the first ghost. "Nobody else
would have thought of it. Do you remember when the Great Comet struck an
asteroid out between here and Mars, and carried it toward the Earth?"


"Well, when it passed close to the Earth, some American explorers were
wandering about the summits of the Himalayas, experimenting with
telegraphy by means of upper air currents. As I understand the story,
the solid nucleus of the comet struck the side of a peak on which twenty
or thirty of them were holding a picnic, and broke it off, carrying it
along in the air until it was farther from the Earth's surface than from
that of the nucleus. Then it gravitated to the surface of the latter,
and the picnic party were borne along the comet's path. The fog was so
thick that they didn't know where they were for forty-eight hours. Two
or three chemists in the party analyzed the soil, and found in it all
the constituents needed to sustain life, animal and vegetable. They had
some canned vegetables among their provisions, and they planted the
seeds of these in the soil of the comet. The electricity with which the
nucleus was charged caused a much more rapid growth of vegetation than
takes place in the Earth-you remember how feeble the electricity is
there-and they had a truck patch in full productiveness before they got
into the neighborhood of the Moon. The comet struck the Moon more
directly than it struck the Earth, and stopped there. The party was
shaken off and lodged on the Moon's surface, which they at once began to
explore. They had provided themselves, for their mountain explorations,
with instruments very sensitive to electric currents, and with the aid
of these they soon detected a current flowing in the direction of the
Earth. Then they determined to try to communicate with the Earth by
intercepting the current. They repeated the following message a number
of times:

"'We are in the Moon; do you understand us? We are in the Moon; do you
understand us?'

"The current reached a wire on the plains of Russia, and the operators
at the lonely country station thought some one of their number insane.
They tried to find out who the insane operator was, but they could not
trace the message to any terrestrial telegraph office. Then they agreed
to telegraph: 'Hello, Moon!' simultaneously from a hundred or so
offices. Thirty or forty concurred so exactly as to affect the
Moon-bound current, and a conversation was opened. The scientists were
told that animal life was not impossible, after all, outside of the
Earth's atmosphere, for the electricity was so strong that it could be
brought into play upon the Moon's surface to make oxygen, nitrogen and
carbonic acid gas, by developing, in proper proportions, the rapid
cultivation of plants and herbs that give off these gases.

"An American inventor soon improved the ordinary electric air-car, so as
to admit of its being steered outside of the Earth's atmosphere, and in
a few months the overcrowded plains of Earth were losing population by
thousands. The Moon was rapidly settled up, then Venus, then Mars, then
Jupiter, then Saturn, and now the asteroids. I don't think they have
discovered this one yet, but there's no telling when they will."

A weary groan ran through the conclave of ghosts at the growing spirit
of irreverence for old objects of awe.

"Why, when I was a man," said one who wore the aspect of a priest of the
middle ages, "they were afraid of the planets-thought they affected the
fortune of men. One man was born under a lucky star, another under a
malign star, etc."

"What worries me is the question what we are going to do about it,"
growled a lank ghost who had been silent heretofore.

"How many years have you old chaps been sitting here?" chirped a frisky
young ghost, who suddenly made his appearance in the midst of the group,
without asking anybody's-beg pardon, any ghost's-leave.

"What else are we to do," asked the ghost of the middle ages.

"Do? why, do as I did; hang around and watch your chances to occupy the
bodies of new-born babies."

"Merciful heavens!" said the long-bearded ghost, jumping up. "I never
thought of that."

"The more fool you," said the irreverent young ghost. "Why, I am only
off on a midnight call. My temple is asleep in Saturn yonder. I have
lots of time yet, before morning."

The young ghost's suggestion made a profound impression, and the ghosts'
convention adjourned, soon to try the experiment. One ghost took
possession of a new born babe that was murdered in ten minutes by its
unwedded mother. It found the ten minutes of life so pleasant, that,
being of a benevolent disposition, it stationed itself at the gate of
the largest cemetery in the United States, and advised every ghost that
came out, after bidding farewell to its dead home, to go and get a new
one. A few other benevolent ghosts did this elsewhere. Ghosts whose
second bodies died early, found their third bodies sometimes more and
sometimes less agreeable. Information of general interest spread rapidly
among ghosts, and in the course of time every crowd of ghosts
instinctively sought bodies of that constitution best suited to its
members. For ghosts of a feather flock together.


"I rise to ask the Administration," said a representative from the First
Moon, in the Parliament of Jupiter, "whether it has any information on
the subject of a proposed commercial treaty, now being negotiated
between the United States of America and the inhabitants of the Moon
that accompanies the planet controlled by that nation."

The buzz that followed the remark, from members from the First Moon of
Jupiter, showed, that, whether the Administration had any information on
the subject or not, the report was news to a great majority of the
members. Many faces were turned in the direction of an old man, who wore
side-whiskers, and sat on a front bench with his hat pulled down over
his eyes. The hat well concealed a settled frown, which evidently became
deeper when the inquiry was heard. At length the old man slowly rested
his hands on the edge of the bench beside his thigh, and lifted himself
to his feet. Then he cleared his throat, and coughed, and cleared his
throat again. Then he began to speak, in a drawling, halting and
unmusical fashion.

"The Administration--ahem! is not prepared to make public the information
which it may--ahem!--happen to--possess on the subject of--of
negotiations in progress. There are--ahem! usually--circumstances
which render it inadvisable to be premature in announcing--the--ah! the
progress of-ahem! well, I may say, incomplete arrangements-which may,
when completed, affect the interests of this Government."

After uttering these words, apparently with great difficulty, the old
gentleman dropped down into his seat again, with the air of having
silenced an impertinent obstructionist. But long before he was
comfortably seated again, the impertinent obstructionist was on his
feet. His delivery was brisk and decisive, and he resumed possession of
the floor with an air of triumph.

"Is the House to understand the Prime Minister to say that he is in
possession of the information for which I was so presumptuous as to

With an annoyed expression, the Premier again went through the arising
act, which, in his case, seemed to consist principally of unbending his
legs. He said:

"I will simply state, that-the-ahem! the Government positively declines
to admit--"

The pauses were so long that there was time enough at each one for a
member with a rapid delivery to interject a complete sentence, if he
chose to do so. What the first speaker chose to interject was:

"To admit that it knows anything about the negotiations referred to."

"To admit-the gentleman from the First Moon-into its confidence." And he
sat down again, this time with the air of saying: "I shan't get up
again." The first speaker was on his feet in a second.

"I trust," said he, sarcastically, "it will please the distinguished
gentleman to know that, personally, I am entirely satisfied with his
reply-or, rather, with his refusal to reply-to a perfectly courteous and
pertinent inquiry. The honorable gentleman has succeeded in impaling
himself upon both horns of a particularly uncomfortable dilemma. For, if
the Ministry has not been shamefully neglectful of its duty to protect
Jupitern interests--which, of course, none of us of the Opposition
would presume to insinuate--it must possess no inconsiderable amount of
information on the subject referred to. But this House has the undoubted
right to that information-at any rate this right should be undoubted.
The entire Opposition, and apparently not a few ignored supporters of
the Administration-to judge from the whispered inquiries I hear upon my
left-are anxious to know whether the Administration itself prefers to be
in the position of neglecting to observe and inform itself about
negotiations between other nations which may involve Jupiter's
interests, or to take the responsibility of refusing to trust the
people, or the people's representatives, with the truth concerning those
negotiations. Either horn is sharp enough to be exceedingly disagreeable
to the Administration, but the latter horn is the one upon which the
Administration may be tossed so high that its fall will be final."

The cries of "Hear, hear," and the other expressions of applause,
created such a hubbub that it was several minutes before any individual
speaker could make himself heard without the lungs of a Stentor. The
lungs of the Premier were not of that variety, but the enthusiasm of the
Opposition over the point that their leader had made, and the anxiety of
the Administration party about the consequences of the debate, alike
contributed to the general curiosity to hear what the Premier had to
say, and the noise ebbed gradually. In the same halting manner as
before, he said:

"If the honorable member from the First Moon does not know that there
are matters at stake which are of far more concern to the Jupitern
nation than commercial negotiations between the United States of America
and its Moon, it is high time that he undertook to inform himself
better. He has seen fit to impeach the sufficiency of the Ministry's
sense of responsibility to the people, because the Ministry refused to
admit its responsibility to him. This is a trick which the gentleman,
when he is older, will find to be older still than he is. Such tricks
are not necessary, however, to bring the Ministry to a sense of what it
owes the people. It may be a surprise to the gentleman from the First
Moon, but it is nevertheless a fact, that a much more respectful mode of
inquiry on his part would have been an equally effectual, and a much
more prompt, means of securing the information which, I perceive, many
members of this House desire, as he does, to obtain. The Ministry deems
it proper to give that information in a general way, and to withhold the
details. The Ministry freely makes known to the House the fact that
negotiations are in progress between the United States and its Moon,
with a view to a commercial treaty; that their progress has been closely
watched by this Government from the beginning; that, so far, nothing has
occurred to indicate a disposition on the part of either party to
encroach on Jupitern rights, and that, consequently, this Government
has, so far, had no cause to interfere. The Ministry has the utmost
confidence in the people, and is candid enough to make public such
information as the people's best interests call for. It assumes,
however, that the confidence is not all on one side; that the people, in
their turn, have confidence in the Ministry; that they have, in
expression of that confidence, entrusted it with the conduct of the
details of management; and that they do not desire to burden themselves
with these details, or to burden their servants with the added
responsibility of continually explaining these details to partisan
obstructionists. This is the position of the Ministry, and it is willing
to stand or fall, according to the results of this policy."

It was evident, from the applause that broke out as the Premier sat
down, and from the nods which his supporters gave each other, that his
reply was satisfactory, not only to the fair-minded of both parties in
matter, but also to the sticklers for the maintenance of dignity in
manner. The member from the First Moon was too shrewd a politician not
to recognize the favorable impression which the reply made on most of
those around him, so he at once reflected that degree of satisfaction in
his own person. When he arose to speak again, his manner was so
mollified as to be positively sugary, if not reverential.

"Nothing is farther from my thoughts, because nothing is less desired by
my constituency, than the embarrassment of the Ministry by inquiries
which cannot properly be answered. For myself, I am free to confess that
I am satisfied with the courteous explanation which the venerable
Premier has given the House, but, in the interests of those who are more
radical than myself, and for whom I am reluctantly obliged to speak on
this occasion, I would inquire if there are not grounds to suspect an
intention on the part of the United States Government to annex the Moon,
and whether the evidences of a desire to exceed the bounds of the planet
to which that Government is now confined are not to be regarded as
dangerous to Jupitern interests."

The interest excited by this question showed itself in the profound
silence with which the reply of the Premier was awaited. But he only

"This Government has received no evidence of any such intention on the
part of the United States Government."

In a voice tremulous with the perception of an opportunity, the
inquiring member said:

"The Opposition has such evidence." (Sensation.) "I have in my pocket a
dispatch from a personal friend, now visiting Washington, the Capitol of
the United States of America, stating that he knows of a formidable
secret organization, the object of which is the extension of American
power to the Satellite of that planet."

Immediately, a young and sharp-faced Administration member popped up,
and said:

"A secret organization of private citizens is not the Government."

"But it is large enough to make its influence felt with the Government;
it includes a majority of the United States Senate, and it is only a
question of time when it will include a majority of the House also, by
those methods of purchase with which students of American institutions
are familiar."

"I would like to ask the honorable member from the First Moon a
question," remarked the sharp-faced orator.

"Ask it."

"If it was right for the people of Jupiter to conquer the Moons of
Jupiter, to one of which the honorable member is accredited, is it wrong
for the people of the United States to conquer and annex the solitary
moon attached to that planet?"

"I am very glad," said the Opposition leader, "that the gentleman asked
me that question. As I interpret the unwritten code of the rights of
national extension, it is right, from an American standpoint, for that
country to extend its domain. True patriotism should inspire every
American to join the secret order referred to, to demand legislation
favorable to its purposes, and to fight for them. But exactly the same
rule of patriotism requires us to resist those purposes as calculated to
interfere with our own similar purposes of gradual and indefinite
extension. It is our duty not to wait till America starts out for a
conquest of the Moon, but to interfere at the earliest symptoms of close
commercial relations. For the great nation that establishes such
relations with a small nation will sooner or later absorb it
politically, if given a chance."

The Premier here arose, and interrupted him with: "It is our duty to
respect the rights of these small nations to independence and
self-government. The people of the Moon have as much right to govern
themselves as we have to govern ourselves, and far more than we
have to govern them."

The Opposition leader resumed: "I am again glad to have been
interrupted. I hold, Mr. Speaker, that the right of self-government, as
to personal liberty and property, is separable from the right of
self-government in the choice of national allegiance. I hold that, when
we subdue a world, respecting the private rights of its citizens, and
giving them the benefits of Jupitern associations, Jupitern influence,
Jupitern civilization, and Jupitern institutions generally, we are doing
them a kindness in saving them from themselves, so far as they
themselves would choose a different and inferior object of national
allegiance. Do we not give them a Provincial Parliament for the conduct
of their local affairs? Are they not as well off in that respect as they
were before we subdued them? Are they not immeasurably better off in
every other respect? Why, sir, it seems to me that the blindness of
those who ignore the advantages of such a policy is insane! Their
ignorance incapacitates them from the proper performance of Governmental
duties. That is the charitable side of it. A more uncharitable man than
myself, Mr. Speaker, would call such a policy unpatriotic to the point
of treason."

These words, impressively delivered, stirred up a tempest of applause.
In fact, there was something in the manner of the orator which commanded
a hearing, and smoothed the way for assent to the thing heard. He paused
and looked all around him, and saw members clambering on benches, and on
each other's shoulders, and waving their hats and handkerchiefs as they
cheered. It was another opportunity, and he utilized it. He raised his
voice, and its seductive and penetrating tones were heard ringing out
above the buzz and roar of the assemblage.

"The time has come to arraign this Administration for its failure to
guard Jupitern interests in other worlds, its miserable neglect of the
means of information as to what is going on in those worlds that may
imperil Jupitern interests, and its stubborn refusal to recognize the
principles that should direct its conduct in any event."

The tempest of cheers broke out again, and yells of "Resign! Resign!"
were dinned into the ears of the Premier. He sat perfectly still, with
bowed head, with hat over his eyes, as before, and with his frown
deepened till the lines extended around the sides of his face. An
anxious adherent took him by the arm and shook him, shouting in his ear,
in a stage whisper: "Reply! Reply!"

The Opposition orator, still on his feet, looked eagerly in the
direction of the Premier, and said nothing. As his pause was prolonged,
others looked. Many members had arisen from their seats, and were
crowding around the Premier with anxious faces. At length one of them
motioned the rest back, and the confused buzz grew louder.

Five minutes later the Premier's body was borne out amid an awed hush.
The old man was deaf to applause, hisses and other Jupitern expressions
of opinion forevermore. Five weeks later a fleet of electric ethereal
ships bore an army of one hundred thousand Jupiterns in the direction of
the Moon, and Parliament was engaged in fitting out another army to
follow it.


No sooner had the Venusian Minister to Jupiter notified the Emperor of
Venus that an army of Jupiterns had started to invade the Moon, than
that potentate summoned a meeting of his advisers. Handing the telegram
to each one in turn, he asked if the welfare of the Empire seemed to
demand any action.

"It occurs to me," said the Minister of War, "that now is the time for

"On whom?"


"What reason have we to seek revenge on America?" asked the Minister of
Finance, who was conservatively disposed.

"If there is any one here," said the Minister of War, "who does not
intuitively feel that America is our enemy, it is useless to reason with
him. Did not America drive us out of the world?"

"A few of us, but not many."

"Does not every patriotic Venusian feel, in his heart, that the few who
were actually driven out by America represent the great bulk of our
younger generation, in their wish that justice be done to them? Have we
not an indefinable sense of wrong, received at the hands of America, as
though the spirits of some who have suffered much from those avaricious
aggressors had passed into our bodies at birth?"

"Come! come!" said the Emperor, "let this wrangling cease. What does the
Minister of War wish?"

That official, being directly appealed to, proceeded to justify his
desire for a policy that would enable him to magnify his office. "I
wish," said he, "to give counsel that will be to the national advantage,
when I say that this is an excellent opportunity to feed fat the ancient
grudge which many of us bear America. We cannot conquer America alone.
Mars has tried it, Saturn has tried it, Neptune has tried it, and with
what result? All have failed. But now that Jupiter is engaging America
in a war, we can attack the same nation, divide its energies, perhaps
conquer it, and control a Hemisphere, leaving Jupiter in possession of
the other. Thus we will be revenged."

"There is another consideration," remarked the Minister of Public
Morals, "which is of great weight with me just here. Should we succeed,
as is probable under the circumstances, we can capture enough American
women to make good the growing deficiency in our female population. Has
your Imperial Majesty read the new census statistics? There are now only
half as many women in Venus as there are men. There are four hundred
thousand women in Venus who have five husbands, one million who have
four, two million who have three, and four million, eight hundred
thousand who have two. I am convinced that our polygamy system is evil,
and that one husband for each wife is the proper proportion. I have
refrained from expressing this opinion heretofore, because of the
impracticability of remedying the present state of affairs. But this war
between America and Jupiter offers us the opportunity we want. It is the
only war between two other planets which has offered us a prospect of
successful interference. The result of America's wars with Saturn, with
Mars, with Neptune, could be foreseen by impartial powers. We foresaw
it. The result of the war just declared cannot be foreseen. The two
nations are so nearly equal in power that, without the interference of a
third party, a long and bloody struggle is inevitable; with it, the
fighting will be brief and decisive. If the peace party here can rise
above country in this crisis, they will see an opportunity for the
establishment of universal peace at the cost of a little self-sacrifice
on our part. We fight, we win, we divide the American world with
Jupiter. We make a Peace League with Jupiter, and the two strongest
nations in the Solar System can influence the rest to join them."

"That is well said," remarked the Emperor, while the Minister of Finance
frowned; for, peace man as he was, he would have felt just a little
delight in being able to report such a deficit in the treasury as
precluded the idea of war. Unfortunately, there was no such deficit, and
he could not dissuade his colleagues.

That quick, impulsive temperament, for which the Venusians are noted, is
of great value in making preparations for war. The sudden recall of the
American Minister from the Venusian Capitol to assume the Secretaryship
of War was converted into a pretext, by an artificial construction, as
an insult. An apology was demanded of the United States, but the
President took no notice of the demand, and, in his haste to fill the
vacancy before giving his attention to the war details that might make
him forget it, appointed a citizen of German descent. The Venusians were
furious, and the Emperor had no difficulty in raising a large volunteer
army to man the electric transports. No time was lost in concluding
terms of alliance with Jupiter, contemplating the equal division of
whatever territory should be conquered. The Jupitern authorities,
however, knew that this arrangement would not be agreeable to either the
voters at home nor the soldiers abroad, so they aimed to keep it secret
till the close of the war. No officer below the rank of General was
permitted to know it.

But a war correspondent of one of the New York daily papers got hold of
it. His private electric car happened to cross a current, over which the
General commanding the Jupitern army was sending a message to the
Premier. An apparatus in his car registered it, and he halted long
enough to turn aside into the current itself, and travel far enough in
it to read the completion of the message.

It was a stroke of luck, but it was the making of him. He became famous
from New York to Rome. At the first great battle, in the neighborhood of
the Moon, the Jupiterns captured a brigade of Americans, with several
thousand copies of the article containing the message, and the Jupitern
soldiers read it eagerly.


Among the captured Americans were a few special agents of the War
Department, chiefly detailed for spy duty. The Secretary of War,
desiring to ascertain as much about the enemy's purposes as possible,
had assigned some of these agents to regiments from sundry doubtful
States. The political complexion of these regiments had been carefully
canvassed, and the General of the army had been privately instructed to
order them to the post of honorable danger, whenever there was a chance
of reducing an adverse majority, or a dangerous minority, of the other
party's votes, so as to ensure the endorsement of the Administration by
the State in question at the next election.

The spies assigned to these regiments were generally men who were not in
robust health, and therefore more likely to be exchanged, if taken
prisoners of war. They were informed of the destination of their
regiments, and were under instructions to surrender, individually, when
the fight became lively; find out all they could, while prisoners, and
then press their claims for an exchange, or use their discretion if they
thought of any plan for misleading the enemy.

Some of these fell into the hands of the Jupiterns, and some were
captured by the Venusians. One of the former heard his guards
indignantly denouncing the secret agreement that the conquered territory
should be divided equally between Venus and Jupiter. He immediately
began to talk about his immense stock farm in one of the Asteroids, and
what a fine country it was, though thinly settled.

The Jupitern soldiers seemed to take an interest in the Asteroid
business, and the guards and others listened to the spy in eager
silence. The mutinously inclined inquired if there was any political
organization in his Asteroid.

"None," he answered.

"They are not American dependencies?"

"Some few are, but this is not, and others equally fine are as

"Would you like to go back to your stock farm?"

"Very much."

The next day the spy was told that it had been decided to transport
certain American prisoners to the Asteroids, and that he was among the
number. The mutineers, however, had secretly decided upon this, and not
the commanders of the army. The spy's glowing accounts of several
Asteroids had suggested a scheme of wholesale desertion to the
disaffected. A few hours sufficed for the arrangements. At a given
signal, the objectors to the policy of equal division with Venus were to
seize the electric transports, or as many of them as they could control,
and start immediately to the thinly settled Asteroids, where they would
set up an independent government, and fight for it if necessary.

Several of the spies captured by the Venusian wing of the enemy's forces
no sooner learned the urgent need of Venus for a reinforcement of the
female population, than they began to remember the time when they were
attaches of the American Minister to Jupiter. The beauty of the Jupitern
women was praised in unmeasured terms, and it was asserted, in the most
emphatic manner, that there were many more women in Jupiter than men.

The Venusian wing of the army had been severely handled, and the
soldiers were sufficiently discouraged to listen, with unusual interest,
to anything that proposed an abandonment of the American invasion. When
the news of a vast mutiny in the Jupitern army arrived, the Venusian
Generals held a council of war. The desertion of two-thirds of the
Jupitern army did not look promising, so far as prospects of the
conquest of American territory were concerned.

"I have it!" said one little marshal, impatiently. "Let us invade
Jupiter, and capture the women we want there."

Doubts were expressed as to whether there were not enough men in Jupiter
to repel an invasion. A copy of the last Jupitern census was consulted,
and elaborate estimates made as to the number of able-bodied citizens
who were likely to leave for the Asteroids as soon as they heard of the
mutiny, in order to suppress it.

So momentous a question could not, of course, be decided without
communicating with the Emperor. He again summoned his advisers, and laid
the situation before them. A majority favored an invasion, while a
minority stood with the Emperor for the abandonment of the entire

The incendiary Republican press broke out the next day into appeals for
revolution; for the overthrow of the Empire, and the instalment of a
Government that would represent the people, and aim to supply their

By noon a howling mob surrounded the Imperial palace, and the Emperor,
after a few unsuccessful attempts to force the populace from behind
their barricades, was forced to resign, and consent to the formation of
a Constitutional Republic, of which the Minister of War was to be
President. Another appeal was made for volunteers, this time for the
Jupitern expedition. The people responded with great enthusiasm, and the
army in the vicinity of the Moon received orders to move in the
direction of Jupiter, assured that reinforcements would follow at the
earliest possible date.


Having defeated Jupiter and Venus in war, and got them into war with
each other, there sprung up a variety of opinions at Washington as to
what the United States ought to do next. There was a certain portion of
the young and warlike element who made no secret of their desire to have
a war with Mercury. It was the only important planet which the United
States had not thrashed, and as it is not a very big planet, there was
no question in their minds that the United States could thrash it. But
just at this time there was no occasion whatever to pick a quarrel with

Comparatively little was known at Washington about the people of
Mercury. Commerce was restricted, and the King of that planet did not
encourage the American Minister to his Court to make any researches with
a view to increasing it. The Mercurians occasionally increased their
wealth by sending out purely national expeditions, but they aimed rather
to colonize desirable localities, than to bind themselves closer to
other nations. The chief reason for this conservative policy was the
fact that the people of Mercury were enormously rich, already. The
humblest citizen was wealthy enough to be a member of the United States
Senate. But the desire for wealth increases with the possession of it,
and hence it happened that the King of Mercury, on learning that the
able-bodied populace of Venus had chiefly gone off in several armies to
fight Jupiter, decided to send an army of occupation to Venus.

The American Minister promptly notified the President, at Washington, of
the appearance of the Mercurian army of occupation, ready to start for
Venus. The Secretary of State lost no time in communicating with the
King, by ethereal telegraphic currents, to the following effect:

"Reported to this Government that you intend to occupy Venus, in absence
of Venusian armies. This Government, having defeated Venus in war,
claims first right to occupy territory, and will consider such action on
your part as unfriendly to the United States."

The reply was as follows:

"The King of Mercury declines to recognize your right to prevent others
from occupying Venus, if you do not choose to occupy that planet

The Secretary of State at once sent, as a rejoinder:

"The United States will take immediate measures to enforce its rights."

The next day the American Minister to Mercury was recalled.


One of the lower classes of Mercury's citizens sat in front of his
cottage reading an evening paper. On the ground at his feet sat his
four-year-old son, a youth of an inquiring mind, playing with several
gold marbles. Occasionally he would look up at his father's face, and
seeing the parent too much absorbed to notice him, resume consideration
of the marbles. The child, however, soon wearied of his toys, and hurled
the gold marbles into the street, taking advantage of the passing of a
foraging cat to throw one so as to strike the animal in the side, the
cat sniffed at the marble, and turned up his nose whiskers in disgust.

"Father," said the child, "what are you reading?"

"The war news, my son."

"What is the war news?"

"The army is coming home, my son."

"What is the army coming home for?"

"To keep the American army from invading Mercury."

"Where is our army now, father?"

"In Venus."

"What is the army there for, father?"

"To take possession of the planet, my son."

"What is the American army coming here for?"

"To take possession of this planet."

"Well, if it's right for us to take possession of Venus, isn't it right
for them to take possession of us?"

"No, my son."

'Why not?'

"Run into the house and talk to your mother, my son."

The boy was silent for several minutes; then, as if a thought had struck
him, he suddenly looked up again.

"Father, does Venus belong to us?"

"No, my son."

"Will it belong to us, if we get it?"

"I am afraid we won't get it, my son."

"Will it belong to the United States?"


"Not even if they get it?"


"Why not?"

"Because it belongs to the people of Venus."

"Then it won't belong to us either, even if we get it?"


"Then we will be stealing, won't we?"

"You will understand these things better when you are older, my son. Now
run away and play."

"I don't want to play. I want to hear about Venus."

"Good gracious!"

"What's the matter, father?"

The matter was that the father had read a later dispatch than anything
else in the paper, announcing the sudden withdrawal of the American army
from the atmosphere of Mercury.

"That is very strange," said the Mercurian.

"What is very strange?"

"I wonder if they can mean to back out in as disgraceful a manner as
that?" mused the Mercurian, rather to himself, than as if taking any
notice of the child.

"Who back out, father?"

"The Americans."

"Are the Americans going to back out?"

"It looks like it."

The dispatch which had excited the surprise of the Mercurian father was
as follows:

"It is reported that the President of the United States, in obedience to
strong pressure exerted by the Senate, has ordered the withdrawal of the
entire American army from the vicinity of Mercury.

"That the Senate should have so much power will surprise foreigners,
whose knowledge of American government is restricted to simple
acquaintance with the Constitutional machinery of that planet. The
original theory of American government was that the legislative, the
executive and the judicial branches should be coequal. The Senate, which
is the wealthy and aristocratic branch of the legislative third of the
Government, has virtually become the supreme power. The President is
generally under obligations to Senators for campaign funds, the Supreme
Court is a sort of shelf for retired Senators, and the House of
Representatives bows to the expressed or implied will of the Senate in
everything. This subserviency has been brought about by the judicious
encouragement of the idea that one term in the House is enough for one
man, and that he should stand aside and give somebody else a chance.

"Thus nobody is a member of the House long enough to acquire experience
that will raise him above mediocrity, and every ex-Representative is
sent to the State Legislature by one of the Senators from his State, to
whom he is supposed to be eternally grateful, when the time for a
Senatorial election comes round. Thus Senators remain in the Senate as
long as they choose to stay there, and then retire themselves as Judges.
As the Senate confirms the President's appointments, he can do nothing
without their consent; and as they ratify commercial treaties, by which
the tariff, the source of all revenue, is regulated, they have usurped
legislative, executive, and, indirectly, judicial powers, and the other
branches of the Government are but figure-heads.

"In short, the Senators are the bosses of the American planet."


I had been appointed Minister to Mercury, in recognition of my services
in discovering the secret agreement of the Jupiterns and Venusians to
divide equally such American territory as they should conquer, and
publishing it in the newspaper which I represented as war correspondent.
When I was recalled, on the prospect of war between America and Mercury,
I was engaged in an investigation which I very much desired to complete
before returning home. I had therefore postponed my departure, and was
just ready to start, when the news came that, through the influence of
the Senate, the American army had been ordered away from Mercury.

Just after my arrival, I had bought and paid for a large block of stock
in a company that had been formed for the mining and preparation of
Mercurian gold for the American market. Extensive new deposits had been
discovered, far too large for the needs of the Mercurian market, which
was already greatly overstocked.

The King and his Ministers were likewise stockholders in this company,
and one day they called a secret meeting of the Board of Directors, and,
without taking a stock vote, ordered the issue of 100,000 new shares.

I inquired why this had been done, and what disposition was to be made
of the money which I naturally supposed would be received for this new
stock, but could get no satisfaction. All the large stockholders seemed
to regard me with suspicion. Finally I hunted up the janitor of the
King's council chamber, and by promising to send him certain American
curiosities which he was ambitious to possess, but unwilling to pay for
out of his hoardings, induced him to search with me in the heaps of
paper removed from the King's waste basket, for memoranda regarding the

I was fortunate enough to find a memorandum containing a list of names,
opposite each of which was a number. The sum of the numbers was the
amount of new stock secretly issued. The names I recognized as those of
most of the members of the United States Senate.

I immediately suspected that the stock was issued to the members of the
United States Senate as a bribe, or rather in consequence of an
agreement, in fulfillment of which they had forced the withdrawal of the
American army and disgraced the United States in the eyes of the whole
solar system. To satisfy myself, however, I visited the company's office
and demanded the book containing the stubs of the receipts given when
stockholders paid for their stock. As a stockholder, I had a right to
see it. The treasurer, however, on the pretext of difficulty in finding
it, delayed handing it to me, and I heard him tear something out. I
pretended not to notice this, made a routine examination of the book,
and returned it, apparently satisfied. The stubs showed that the
receipts for the new stock had been torn out, and the hurried manner in
which this was done was registered by the adhesion of several corners of
the receipts themselves to the stubs. I had to see another janitor, but
the next morning I had those crumpled receipts. They contained no names,
but were simply endorsed "U.S.S." I put them carefully away, and in a
few hours completed my preparations for returning to America, paid my
parting respects to the King, and left in a special electric dummy car
for the earth.

The discovery that the members of the Senate had betrayed the nation's
honor filled me with shame, and I sat for some hours in my luxurious
traveling apartment, meditating on the disgrace to which I would have to
bear testimony, and wondering whether the State Department would publish
such a scandal to the world. As for myself, I was resolved on my own
course. I would communicate my discovery to the Secretary of State, and
if he feared to publish the facts, I would, with the proceeds of the
sale of my own stock (which would make me as rich as any man on earth,
and nearly as rich as a Mercurian nobleman), buy up one or more
influential newspapers, publish the whole story, and demand the
abolition of the United States Senate by Constitutional amendment, and
the election of Representatives in Congress on the merits of the
candidates. I anticipated a bitter fight from the rich men of the
Senate, but now that I was as rich as any of them, I determined to
appeal to the "common sense of most" for the concentration of the
appointing power in the President, and the legislative power in the
House of Representatives.

My ethereal journey proceeded several weeks without interruption or
event. But one day while I was asleep and dreaming of the power I should
wield when I controlled several great daily newspapers, a sudden shock
awoke me, and with a nightmarish fear that the car was tumbling through
space, I arose and hastened to investigate.


A small break in the machinery of the electric car had compelled a
stoppage; fortunately we were in the vicinity of a stray asteroid,
which, in the remote past, had cut loose from its fellows between Mars
and Jupiter, and, drawn by some temporary source of attraction, had
located its orbit between the Earth and Venus. The Ethereal Fast Line,
on which I was traveling, had located a flag station upon it, but it was
little used, although the company ran its cars so as to cross the
asteroid's orbit at a point at which that body itself was due at the
time of crossing.

A peculiar people inhabited this asteroid. There was but little
communication between them and the United States, and the Jupiterns and
Venusians had even less to do with them, while the inhabitants of
Mercury and Mars ignored them entirely. The prevailing notion was that
the population of this asteroid consisted of Socialists. The asteroid
itself is known as Henrygeorgia.

While awaiting the completion of the repairs needed by the car, I
strolled about the neighborhood of the station, in the hope of meeting
some of the inhabitants. I was not disappointed. I encountered an
intelligent farmer, whose Yankee ancestry was evident from his fondness
for asking questions and his sincere desire to hear the answers. Having
given him all the information consistent with prudence concerning my
past, my present, and my intentions for the future, I shut down the
answer factory and opened upon him with an overproduction of questions.

"Your countrymen, I infer, are followers of Henry George, the prophet of
San Francisco."

"Yes; we owe much of our prosperity and happiness to Henry George."

"You are Socialists, I suppose?"

"Socialists? By no means. We are Individualists of the most pronounced
type. Why should we be Socialists?"

"I had supposed that land nationalization was practicable only through a
system of taxation which would raise an enormous surplus revenue, unless
the State cultivated and used the land as well as owned it. Either
alternative would be Socialism, for the necessity of finding ways to
spend the surplus revenue would develop a variety of governmental
functions that would ultimately amount to the same thing."

"You are mistaken. David Dudley Field's celebrated objection to Henry
George's theory has been obviated. We have no surplus revenue and no
undue extension of the powers of government at the expense of

"Pray, how was this accomplished, consistently with the realization of
Henry George's ideas?"

"His idea was the concentration of taxation upon land, so that the
natural opportunities for labor should not be limited, while the demand
for those opportunities was unlimited in growth. The subordinate idea
that everybody should pay rent to the Government is by no means
essential to the main principle.

"Our ancestors, as you have probably heard, colonized this asteroid on a
Henry George platform, following him blindly, not only where he was
right, but where he was wrong; ignoring the objections which he ignored,
for the sake of the Utopia which he thought not inconsistent with a
large surplus revenue. Socialism came, and Individualism went. Every
foot of land was taxed, and corruption reigned supreme, as a result of
the necessity of spending or stealing the contents of a plethoric public
treasury. Our intellectual and moral development was checked, halted,
and ultimately reversed. Wealth accumulated and men decayed. At length
it occurred to our thinkers, in a lucid interval, that we should do less
for man and more for men, and they took a new departure. It proved a
success, and we have departed farther and farther from that era of
blighting corruption ever since.

"This new departure was in the direction of economy-a revenue limited to
the actual need of a Government whose functions were restricted by the
rule that governmental powers should not be given the benefit of any
doubt whatsoever; the presumption being that the Government had no right
to do anything that could possibly be done without its aid."

"That is radical," said I. "I should imagine that with such a principle
once adopted there would ultimately be very little use for a Government
after all."

"That is true-we have very little use for any power of government
whatsoever. Our Government's principal duty is to represent us in our
external relations, and as we have very few external relations, we
require very few officials. Our laws are so respected that they
administer themselves, so far as we are concerned."

"Pray tell me how this doubtless admirable state of affairs was brought
about. What was the new departure which you spoke of?"

"We found that a one-sided application of Henry George's theories
sacrificed the moral benefit that comes from the sense of independence
stimulated by land holding in the mind of the holder. The first question
was, how to re-establish that sense of independence and encourage it,
without sacrificing the benefits of a reasonable theory which prevented
land monopolization.

"The answer was, the fixing by law of a certain area of land as the
minimum taxable. As soon as it became understood that the holder of,
say, less than ten acres was exempt from taxation, land broke up into
holdings of less than ten acres as if by magic. Books on small farms had
a boom, and the surplus revenue fell off at a rate that indicated that
the solution of the difficulty was in sight.

"The next step was to tax unimproved land, rather than improved. The
ten-acre minimum was repealed so far as absolutely idle land was
concerned, and five acres was fixed as the minimum taxable area of
pasture land."

"What are your laws regarding timber lands?"

"They are elastic. Local officials are authorized to regulate taxation
on timber lands according to the demand and supply of timber, and to
encourage timber culture by low tax rates, when necessary, upon land on
which a crop of timber is planted. A discrimination is made in favor of
the timber land holder who sells off a certain amount of timber a year,
while the man who locks up timber land is taxed severely. The principle
underlying our application of Henry George's doctrines is that the taxes
should vary according to the area of a holding. In this district, for
instance, ten acres is the minimum taxable, and between ten and twenty
acres there is a uniform tax rate. Above twenty acres, however, the tax
rate increases abreast of the area of the holding. The tax rate on a
farm of thirty acres is fifty per cent heavier than it is on twenty
acres or less."

"Whew! I guess you have no land monopolists in this asteroid."

"None, sir, and we don't want any."

"How do you arrange your taxation of building lots? Are they taxed in
any special way?"

"They are assessed every year in accordance with the demand for land for
building purposes in the vicinity, and when their assessed value reaches
a certain sum per foot, they are taxed as building lots. An unimproved
lot is then taxed more than an improved lot, and a badly improved lot
more than a well improved lot. Sewer rents, water rents and gas rents
are assessed on the lot holders who do not use sewer connections, city
water or city gas, instead of those who do. A house of more than a
certain number of rooms, with all sanitary improvements, and set back a
minimum distance from the street, is exempt from taxation, provided its
owner resides in it himself. If he owns two houses, he has to pay a tax
on the one he does not occupy, and if he owns three, his tax rate is
doubled; if four, it is tripled; if five, quadrupled, and so on. If he
tries to evade the law by owning property in other folks' names, the law
refuses to aid him in collecting rents, or to protect him against fraud
on the part of his representatives in ownership.

"The effect of such a system, you see, is to discourage landlordism,
squatterism, shantyism and bad sanitary conditions, for sewer and water
and gas connections are furnished at low rates-in some cities for
nothing. Individualism, independence, a respect for one's own rights, as
well as the rights of others, and a wholesome jealousy of the powers of
the Government-all are encouraged by these laws. Our people read, and
think, and vote intelligently, in the highest sense of the word, for
their moral perceptions are cultivated to a degree of refinement
commensurate with their superior importance."

"It seems to me," said I, "that you have drifted far away from Henry
George, after all. Why should you call your world Henrygeorgia?"

"Because, although we seem to have improved upon Henry George, we have
done so largely by applying one of his incidental suggestions to the
evils otherwise inevitable as the result of his chief doctrine. He
pointed out, more than once, that the old-fashioned way of taxing real
property in a direct ratio to the degree of its improvement tended to
discourage the spirit of improvement. On the other hand, taxation on the
opposite principle encouraged improvement, and the more improvements the
fewer the taxes. Thus it is always easy to keep down the surplus
revenue. Henry George poisoned us unwittingly, but he gave us the
antidote unwittingly."

"But, after all," said I, "what is the use of applying an anti-monopoly
principle to land, when we have access to the entire Solar System? It
was all very well for Henry George to write when men were still confined
to the earth, but surely there is more land available now than can ever
be monopolized?"

"Certainly there is more land than can be monopolized, if Henry George's
principles were applied everywhere. But they are not. A syndicate of
your United States Senators can go and lock up a continent in Neptune
any day. Every member of your Senate owns an asteroid now, and when your
States multiply so that the number of your Senators increases still
further, they may yet lock up the whole Solar System against the poor
man who emigrates from earth, and the squatter on a planet may be told
to move on into the depths of space, and not to trespass on private

The flashing of a signal of electric light from the station where my car
had halted for repairs warned me at this point that our interview was at
an end. I bid the Henrygeorgian farewell, and in a few minutes was again
whizzing through space.


I lost no time, on arriving in my native planet, in carrying into
execution a plan on the attractions of which I had often dwelt in the
early days of my journalistic experience, and which I had scarcely dared
hope ever to realize. In fact, after I had attained a very fair standing
in the profession, I had relegated this scheme to a place among the
air-castles of my youth; satisfied with the realization of a more
moderate ambition, which sought to teach the public, day by day, in
plain but independent terms, the dangers and the duties of the hour,
through the columns of a daily journal. When I found myself in a
position to do this, I cared not that others who shared this opportunity
with me failed to appreciate it. I reflected that their indifference was
no affair of mine, and that the thing of importance, to me, at least,
was to make the best use of my time. I envied not the popular preacher
who addressed a thousand or two of people once or twice a week, for I
addressed tens of thousands of readers daily. Nor did I envy the author
whose book is read by thousands, and who writes perhaps one book a year.
But when I found that so long as I was only a salaried employee, I was,
after all, not independent, but the slave of a proprietor, I also
discovered that I was writing his opinions and not my own. It was all
very well so long as his opinions and mine agreed, but when they were
not in harmony, mine were not expressed and his were. So I longed again
to realize the wild project of my youth to which I have referred.

This project, of course, was one requiring wealth for its fruition, but
that quality never stops youthful projections. It was, in fact, the
harmonious management of a chain of daily newspapers extending around
the world. Now, by an unexpected result of my temporary engagement as a
war correspondent, I found myself the possessor of a fortune that
enabled me to accomplish this design.

I found intelligent people all over the world in a state of indignation
at the as yet unexplained conduct of the Senate. No time was to be lost.
By the free use of the cable and telegraph I obtained, within
forty-eight hours, a controlling interest in one daily morning newspaper
in each of the following cities: New York, Chicago, New Orleans, San
Francisco, Pekin, Canton, Calcutta, Melbourne, Cape Town, Cairo,
Constantinople, Rome, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Paris and London; and
immediately assumed direction of the editorial policy of these sixteen

I then sat down and wrote an exhaustive account of my discovery that the
majority of the United States Senate had been bribed by the issue of
stock to them without consideration, to force a disgraceful termination
of the war with Mercury. I telegraphed this to each one of my sixteen
newspapers, and gave a condensation of it to the Associated Press,
Reuter's and other news agencies. I next prepared a leading article
denouncing the United States Senate and demanding the amendment of the
Constitution so as to abolish it and concentrate all executive power in
the President, and all legislative power in the House of
Representatives, holding each directly responsible to the people for the
proper discharge of the duties assigned it. This was put in type in the
office of the New York Universe, and fifteen revises of it, or clean
proofs, were taken. Each one of these was given to a member of the
Universe staff, with instructions to each man to put the ideas into
different language as far as possible without bad style. The fifteen
approximations thus obtained were sent to the fifteen newspapers in
other cities, to be used as the leading editorial article on the great
sensation which they were all to contain.

It was in the midst of a fall campaign in which members of the House of
Representatives and of the State Legislatures were to be elected. The
existing Congress had been in extra session all the summer, and an
investigation of the conduct of the Senate was in progress, bidding fair
to produce the usual whitewashing result. Nobody seemed to know
anything. The news from Mercury, however, told the story, and popular
indignation at once reached a white heat. An angry crowd, composed not
of lawless vagrants and adventurers, but of reputable and scandalized
citizens, collected around the Senate wing of the Capitol at Washington,
long before the hour of assembling, on the day of publication. A lawyer
who had prepared a draft of the Constitutional amendments suggested,
read them to the crowd and then thrust them into the hands of a scared
Senator who was trying to make his way to the Chamber. Mr. Senator had
to promise to introduce, speak and vote for the amendments.

An army of messenger boys flew as fast as the crowd would let them, for
the electric flying machines dotted the air in every quarter. Telegrams
from all over the globe came in, advising the introduction of the
amendments, and their adoption by Congress, and submission to the State
Legislatures for ratification. The Senate was disposed to be stubborn at
first, but the President, who expected to be re-elected and who had no
objection to monopolizing the appointing power, told the Senators
individually in turn that he thought it inadvisable to tempt the
populace to mob violence. At the mere hint of mob violence, the Senate
of cowards agreed to the amendments. The House, of course, did what the
Senate did, as it had done for many years.

From that day the campaign became a tidal wave movement all over the
world. I devoted myself chiefly to the New York Universe, the London
Fact, and the Calcutta Will of the People. I kept myself in constant
communication with the other thirteen newspapers in my control, and all
sixteen were daily engaged in stirring up the people to elect
Legislators that would ratify the amendments. For fear the rich Senators
would prevent their ratification by corruption, the sixteen newspapers
urged the appointment of committees in every State to watch for
evidences of corrupt methods, expose them, and prevent their success by
appealing to public opinion and using money in every legitimate manner
known to thorough political organizers.

The following are specimens of the editorial and campaign literature
published from time to time during the autumn:

"The Senate ought to go. It has become the favorite resort of
plutocrats. It has usurped the appointing power of the President, who,
no matter how wise and good he may be, must nominate only such men as
the Senate is willing to confirm. Every city has given its Mayor, and
every State its Governor, the power of appointment, with absolute
independence of the body that formerly confirmed local nominations. The
national Government alone has adhered to the old worn-out plan of
dividing responsibility.

"As the power of appointment should be concentrated in the Presidential
office, so the power of legislation should be concentrated in the
popular body of Representatives. If they are not to be trusted without a
check on their action, then the people themselves are not to be trusted.

"But even if a check be needed now, it will not always be needed if the
House is taught to do without it and take all the responsibility. When
it is reduced to a question of fitness for trust, we are obliged to ask,
'Is the Senate to be trusted?' Not one man in the world can give but one
answer to this question. If we are asked whether we will hereafter trust
the Senate or the people, let us all answer, The People!'"

Long before election day, it became so plain that every Legislature
would be favorable to the Constitutional amendments that many members of
the Senate resigned in advance of the result. Nobody, as a rule, could
be found to fill the vacancies.

The Constitutional amendments were ratified by three-fourths of the
Legislatures within three months after the election. The King of
Mercury, expecting a vigorous prosecution of the war from this result,
made overtures for peace, offering an enormous sum of money as
indemnity. Enough was accepted to pay off the national debt, and the
rest was returned, with a message informing His Majesty that honest
dealing by intelligent methods would thereafter suffice to secure the
good will of the American people, and that venality was not our national


The Constitutional amendment abolishing the United States Senate proved
highly beneficial to the public service. The President was the kind of
man to appreciate his increased responsibility for the moral tone and
business efficiency of the Executive departments, and his freedom from
Senatorial dictation concentrated upon him the potential criticism of
watchful public opinion. But before the first new Congress had been in
session many weeks it became evident that the House of Representatives
felt its vote. The aggressiveness of a party caucus when it finds itself
in the majority for the first time for many years was feeble compared to
the evident purpose of the House, when it discovered its power to
exercise that power without restraint.

Desiring to get as strong a grip on patronage as possible, the
Representatives tried to establish an unwritten law compelling the
President not only to consult them, but to defer entirely to them
regarding appointments. The power of confirmation or rejection had, of
course, been abolished with the Senate, but the Representatives depended
on threats of the withdrawal of moral support, the passage of
embarrassing statutes, and the refusal of legislation anxiously urged by
the President, to bring him to terms, and every effort was made to
deceive him regarding the character of persons recommended for
appointment, in order to bring him into bad odor if he continued firm.
The moral and intellectual tone of Representatives elected in the era of
Senatorial dictation had been so low that there was room for a great
deal of reform in the character of the average Congressman, and this
reform had barely begun.

The President was kept much busier than usual writing veto messages. The
old notion that anything could be done by Act of Congress seemed to be
revived, and all sorts of foolish bills were pushed through on the log
rolling plan. Never was the same lack of principle in recommending
applicants for office, even when there was no desire to embarrass the
Administration. A Congressman would recommend a bad man for office just
as readily as he would vote for a bad candidate on his own ticket, which
is saying a good deal; and he would recommend two or more men for the
same appointment without dreaming, or if he dreamed, caring, that his
conduct was as heinous in morals as repeating at the ballot box.

The majority of the House of Representatives belonged to the Demagogue
party, and were supposed, therefore, to be in full sympathy with the
Administration. The Reprobates were without a leader, the Senate having
been their stronghold. It was one of the emergencies in which the demand
for a leader who is a leader indeed ignores all the minor aspirants, and
seeks the man who has been ripening for years and biding his time. The
Presidential campaign was approaching, and the Demagogues, disorganized
by their wretched legislative record, clung to the President as the only
hope of their continuance in power. Circumstances had required him to be
so conservative that he had had no time to be aggressive, and his wise
and conservative exercise of the veto power had rallied the Independent
element of votes around him everywhere, so that his renomination was a
foregone conclusion. The Reprobates had no issue at hand which the
President did not represent better than any possible candidate of
theirs. The result was that they had to make an issue or make no fight.

Their party leaders, all over the world, stood aghast, each one waiting
for somebody else to speak and define the issue. Suggestions, large or
small, were thankfully received, but for a time none came worth

At length, early in January of the Presidential election year, the issue
appeared, and the man who made it appear was dragged out of what they
called his obscurity by the leading politicians of the Reprobate party.
As a matter of fact, however, he was eminent in the world of science. He
was Alexander Beetlebrow, A.M., Professor of Biology in the University
of Everest.

Professor Beetlebrow, in a lecture to his classes, had taken occasion to
air his views on heredity. In the course of one of these talks he had
remarked, incidentally, that the hereditary principle was better
understood now than ever before, and that instead of abolishing
hereditary Upper Houses (the Jupitern Parliament was beginning to
discuss something of the sort) the time was coming when they could be
better based on that principle than formerly. He further remarked that
Congress needed the re-establishment of the Senate, and that a
hereditary Senate, to be created by awarding Senatorships to
distinguished and honorable citizens, and to be maintained (in possible
default of the supply of distinguished and honorable citizens) by
transmission from father to son, no further than the third generation,
would not be a bad idea. One of the students was the son of the chairman
of the Reprobate State Committee of Ceylon, a shrewd politician who
stood high in the councils of the party. Writing to his father on the
same day, he quoted from the Professor's remarks, taking the occasion to
ridicule his venerable preceptor as an ass and a crank.

His father, however, saw the matter in a different light. Here was an
issue-the re-establishment of the Senate on approved principles of the
most modern of sciences. Here embodying the issue was a candidate whose
fame was co-extensive with the Solar System, and whose private
character, as described a hundred times by newspaper correspondents of
every possible bias, was irreproachable. The chairman of the Ceylon
Reprobate State Central Committee said "Eureka!" and called a conference
of leading politicians to meet him in the Siberian National Park, the
following week. The result of that conference was the appointment of a
committee to wait upon Professor Beetlebrow and ask permission to use
his name as a candidate before the National Reprobate Convention.


GENTLEMEN:-In accepting the nomination for the Presidency of United
States, tendered me with such marked unanimity by the National
Convention of the Reprobate party, it devolves upon me to define, to
some extent, the issue upon which that party has decided to base its
campaign, and which I have the honor to represent. That issue is, in
brief, the need of legislative reform by the restoration of Upper House
of Congress, lately abolished.

The need of a select and conservative branch of the national Legislature
to act as a wholesome check upon a discordant popular branch has become
painfully evident to every good citizen in the past few months. The
people of the United States are not yet prepared to submit to mob rule
under sanction of law, and while the Constitution arms the President
with the veto power, his supreme and constantly increasing
responsibility for the efficiency of the administrative branch of the
Government renders it physically impossible for him to give that
attention to the legislation brought before him which is demanded for
the due consideration thereof. Hence the need of a distinct and
independent system of legislative checks and balances.

The excellent platform put forth by your convention embodies the issue
far better than my words can do. It is not proposed to confer upon the
restored Senate the power of acting upon the nominations made by the
President of the United States. The appointing power is to remain
concentrated in him, while upon the restored Senate will devolve the
duty of vetoing improper measures passed by the House of
Representatives. The simplicity and directness of this arrangement
cannot be excelled. It is my confident belief that it cannot fail to
commend itself to every thoughtful citizen, for the important reason
that no President, however well fitted he may be for the performance of
his duties as at present defined, or earnest in his intention to serve
his country faithfully, can prove equal to the herculean task now
imposed upon the Executive. I would not under any circumstances accept a
nomination or an election to the Presidency, if called upon to discharge
the duties now pertaining to that office.

I do not see how any one can question the necessity of re-establishing
the Senate, and confident that our views are in harmony on this point, I
will now pass on to a consideration of the method of accomplishing this
object, with which I have the honor to be specially identified.

The method in question is an application of one of the most obvious
principles of the growing science of heredity to the problem of
government. When the fundamental data of a science suffice to warrant
the induction of a single principle, this principle may be wisely
employed in a spirit of opportunism as the basis of experiment and
invention. The urgent necessity for legislative reform in this instance
removes our proposed experiment from the field of voluntary research,
and imposes upon us the duty of realizing it as the nation's only avenue
of escape from anarchy seated supreme in the citadel of power.

Until that period of the remote future when the popular branch of a
nation's legislative body becomes practically infallible, the existence
of a select branch will be useful, even if the members of the latter
have no higher motive than to magnify the importance of the body to
which they belong. The former United States Senate and the ancient
British House of Lords both did good service from time to time, although
the former was constituted on an arbitrary basis of States of almost
every possible territorial extent, and the latter was governed far more
by the individual interests of its members than by proper considerations
of public welfare.

It is true that the old British House of Peers embodied the hereditary
principle, but no one will pretend that that principle was ever afforded
a fair test thereby. The institution was the outgrowth of feudal
conditions which made a general spirit of selfish conservatism the
ruling influence, while the principles of heredity and of other ancient
or modern sciences counted for nothing at all.

Let us examine the teachings of heredity, with a view to ascertaining if
it is not possible to base thereon a limited aristocracy in which the
public interest shall be represented simultaneously with the best
results of contemporary culture. The public is certainly very deeply
interested in concentrating its best and most matured thought upon the
problems presented from time to time in the administration of its
affairs. The age is ripe for the creation of a Senate of brains, and if
breeding can produce highly organized beasts, a similar result should be
attainable with men, by substituting for compulsory union with select
specimens of the opposite sex, the designation of men who are capable of
making a wise choice when contemplating matrimony, just as they act
wisely in deciding upon other matters of deep interest to themselves and
to their race. Thousands have paid tribute to heredity by repeating the
maxim, "blood will tell," but blood cannot be expected to tell for an
indefinite period under haphazard conditions, either in man or in the
lower animals. When no special effort is made to preserve a breed by
judicious combination, it will deteriorate gradually to the common
level. When efforts for the preservation of a stock are circumscribed by
the political necessity of marrying within a narrow range of families
already more or less related by blood, like the sovereigns and nobility
of ancient Europe, hereditary characteristics became intensified, no new
and positive traits being introduced to counteract the tendency to
predominance. Balance of temperament was destroyed, while the power to
do evil remained, until the excesses indulged in completed the process
of degeneration. Thus what was once known as hereditary aristocracy
developed vicious representatives who brought it into bad odor, and we
may see the same tendency to-day in remote planets settled by emigration
from our own, and imitating the institutions of extinct races. Good
blood requires occasional reinforcement from sources not related to it
by consanguinity.

It is of the first importance, then, to ascertain at what point the
introduction of new elements becomes desirable, not that we may
formulate a plan for securing that introduction, but in order to learn
how far it is safe, in creating a hereditary Senatorship, to depend upon
the voluntary exercise of the prudence likely to be possessed by the
head of the line and his immediate descendants, in the choice of
consorts. If it can be discovered how many generations may elapse before
a family stock will need the advantage of an exceptionally favorable
union with another family stock, to preserve its distinctive value, the
reasonable limit of a hereditary peerage may be provisionally and
approximately indicated. If a Senatorial family produces an
exceptionally meritorious scion beyond this limit, the principle upon
which original appointments to the Senate will be made will give the
nation the opportunity of securing anew, and for another stated series
of generations, the benefit of such highly organized products of the
general policy of encouraging good blood in men. For the plan in
question is that of appointing to the Senate any citizen of signal
ability and character, for whose promotion there may be a popular
demand, and offering to him the inducement of honor for his immediate
descendants, with a view to encouraging him to marry well.

The fourth generation has been indicated more frequently than any
preceding or succeeding one, as the point beyond which hereditary
attributes, unless of extraordinary strength, become inappreciable
through dilution with the characteristics of commonplace consorts. The
law of Moses visits the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the
third and fourth generation, and admits the descendants of Edomite and
Egyptian parents to the Commonwealth of Israel only in and after the
third generation of their removal from alien influences. The prophet's
promise to Jehu, as a reward for his eminent services to the nation,
that his children shall reign to the fourth generation, by which time
the seer apparently expected that the vigorous traits of character which
distinguished the hero would disappear. Ancient Israel evidently had a
firm belief in hereditary transmission to the fourth generation, and
what nation so likely to observe the phenomena of degeneracy so closely
as the one in which, of all the races in history, race characteristics
are so strongly marked and so resolutely maintained? Doubtless the fact
that the progenitor of a line, if he lives to a good old age, will have
the opportunity of exerting his personal influence upon his descendants
as far as the fourth generation, must, in all candor, be taken into
account in distinguishing the influences due and not due to hereditary
transmission, but this coincidence rather strengthens than weakens the
position we take in favor of fixing the fourth generation as the extreme
limit of a possible hereditary Senatorship.

To recapitulate, we are in favor of reviving the United States Senate by
a Constitutional amendment providing for the creation of one hundred
Senators by appointment by the President, said Senators to be selected
from among citizens distinguished in the spheres of statesmanship,
literature, art, science, philanthrophy, or any other field of human
action in which individual services may command general recognition as
deserving reward; said Senatorship, on the death of a Senator, to be
conferred upon his oldest surviving son, and on the latter's death, upon
his oldest surviving son, with whose death the Senatorship shall again
pass into the hands of the President for bestowal as he may think
proper. Should the original appointee or his son die without issue, the
Senatorship is in like manner to escheat to the Republic for re-award.
The fourth generation thus constitutes a limit which will never be
reached, the safer policy being to make the third generation the extreme
actual limit.

I see no reason why this plan should not be realized to the glory of the
Republic and the advancement of every legitimate interest of mankind,
and I pledge myself, if elected and charged with the duty of executing
the Constitutional amendment which we are pledged to carry through, to
exercise the appointing power, in this, as in other respects, with an
eye single to the best interests of the world. With renewed gratitude
for the honor conferred upon me, I am, etc.



GENTLEMEN:-It is with feelings of pleasure and gratification that I
accept the renomination for the office of President of the United
States, tendered me by your committee on behalf of the great convention
which you represent. I regard this renewed honor as a mark of the
confidence of a great nation, and one that cannot be too highly
esteemed. I congratulate you on the prospects of success which await
you, and beg leave to renew my former pledges to administer the
executive branch of the Government with an eye single to the best
interests of the whole people.

I trust that it will not be regarded as egotistical if I say that no
doubt of the result ought to exist. Our opponents have taken the field
with a platform which can hardly represent the honest belief of any well
balanced citizen of the world to-day, and a candidate who, although
personally entitled to our utmost respect, represents nothing in
particular except his platform.

They deliberately propose to restore the United States Senate and to
organize it on the hereditary principle. It is astounding that any one
could hope for a following in the American nation, while advocating such
a theory as that, and it can only be accounted for by calling to mind
the fact that the unrestricted freedom of our institutions affords room
for every possible form of absurd suggestion and discussion, on the
theory that what is wise and politic can afford to concede every
facility for the consideration of what is foolish and impolitic on its
own merits.

That the leading promulgator of the idea of a hereditary Senate, limited
in transmission of membership to three generations, should be able to
acquire sufficient following for an organization, illustrates the fact,
occasionally observed by clear headed members, that blind partisanship
still rules no inconsiderable number of men. No one pretends that the
mass of voters belonging to the Reprobate party believes in this theory.
It has not had time to become a matter of general intelligence with
them. They have merely accepted it as an issue, in default of a better
one, in obedience to the leaders who seized upon it as a forlorn hope.
It is expected by them that the dissatisfaction with the course of
Congress since that body began to consist of a single house will result
in the concentration of the dissatisfied about any plan for the
restoration of the Senate, just as the dissatisfaction of the Reprobate
leaders with the issues which presented themselves led them to rally
around an issue which had not been proved by experience to be
worthless-the only such issue available.

As a matter of fact, however, the hereditary Senate issue is more absurd
than the others upon which the Reprobate party has failed before the
people, for most of the others were crystallized into laws, tried, and
found wanting before they could be truthfully pronounced dead. Very
little argument is needed to convince intelligent citizens of any party
that a hereditary Senate would be useless to this country.

I will first grant, for the sake of argument, that which I propose
subsequently to disprove; namely, that a Senate is necessary as a check
upon the tendency of the House of Representatives to unwise legislation,
and will endeavor to show that, even were this true, a hereditary Senate
is not the sort of body needed, and that the hereditary feature would be
a positive draw-back to its usefulness.

Few words are necessary to show this. Hereditary Senators, by which I
mean more particularly the descendants of appointed or selected
Senators, would naturally take pride in the achievements and opinions of
their ancestors. Their veneration for traditional doctrines would tend
to close their eyes to the progressive views which other citizens would
recognize as suggested by the altered and continually altering
conditions of our national life. There is not, and apparently there
never will be, until the constitution of human nature undergoes a
miraculous change, any reason to anticipate that a hereditary
legislative body, no matter how constituted in reference to minor
details, can be anything else than a hindrance to progressive
legislation or to progress without legislation.

The avowed purpose of the advocates of a hereditary Senate is to make
directly available for the public interest the benefits to be derived
from applying to mankind the theory of breeding. The only difference
between the proposed application of this theory and its application to
the multiplication of live stock, is that the human type is to pick out
a worthy mate for himself, while the stock raiser picks out the mate for
his blooded stock; it being argued that if a man has sense enough to
choose in the one case for the lower animals, he will have sense enough
to choose in the other for himself. It will not be disputed that there
is ample material for the choice of new Senators without resorting to
any device of hereditary distinction; nor can it be denied that in this
age of universal intellectual progress and development, the chances
favor the selection of a better man from the list of worthy and eminent
citizens by any plan which leaves to the designating power the largest
freedom of action in the recognition of merit, than any hereditary
Senator would be likely to be. Hereditary Senators, on the date of
accession to their honors, would average comparatively few years of age;
their preparation for public duties, no matter how carefully looked
after, would often be inadequate, and the assurance of well-paid
positions, the tenure of which was independent of effort or merit, would
encourage the processes of degeneration, rather than improvement, after
they had attained the honor for which they were waiting. The lessons of
history on this subject are based on permanent natural laws. History
also proves to us that self-made men are of more value to a nation than
those whose position is conferred upon them without proportionate effort
of their own, and that civic honors derive no inconsiderable additional
value from the fact that they are open to all citizens who shall deserve
them, without regard to birth. The importance of this feature of our
institutions as an incentive to worthy ambition in all citizens is too
great to admit of its sacrifice. I cannot believe that these reasonable
and obvious considerations can fail to impress themselves upon all
intelligent citizens, or that they require further elucidation from your
candidate. I will therefore proceed to consider whether it is necessary
to restore the United States Senate in any form whatever.

The cry for restoration is suggested by the mass of bad legislation
passed by the House of Representatives at its last session, which tends
to show the need of a more effectual check than the veto power of an
Executive Department, controlled by one man. It is a physical
impossibility for the President of the United States to give to each
measure sent to him for his approval, that consideration which is
demanded of him, entirely apart from the legal merits of the question,
concerning which he must, of course, depend upon the Attorney General. A
great pressure of legislation tends to distract the Executive from the
duties of administration, and one or the other of the President's
functions must inevitably suffer if the present tendency to an
indefinite increase of national legislation, and a corresponding
increase in the official machinery needed for effective administration,
is allowed to continue. In my judgment, the time has come for a tendency
to react from this indefinite growth, by mutual stimulation, of the
volume of legislative and executive business. How this reaction may be
brought about, I will now try to suggest.

It was formerly supposed that it was proper for Congress to legislate on
whatsoever subjects of legislation were of general rather than local
interest; but our recent history has shown that the question of
Constitutional right of legislation is unimportant, whether compared
with the demands of circumstances in which the immediate defense of the
nation is involved, or with the question of efficiency in
administration; to my mind the last-named question is the most important
of all. Whether such and such a law is enacted by the States in turn, or
whether it is enacted by Congress, is a matter of small moment, except
as concerns certain antiquated theories of Constitutional construction.
The real point is to determine what legislative authority is best
adapted for this duty, by virtue of its relations to the most desirable
conditions of administration and enforcement. All other considerations
are dwarfed by this. The non-enforcement and half-enforcement of
existing laws is largely responsible for the continual pressure for
further legislation. Better enforcement means less legislation, and
better legislation.

It is evident that the elastic nature of the theory that Congress can
provide for the general welfare has led us into a state of affairs in
which the machinery of national administration is too vast and
complicated to be properly conducted under one central head. As our
national machinery is near the people all the time, why not have it more
directly responsible to the people? Its present condition reminds me of
a fruit tree in the center of a field, the owner of which should
undertake, by grafting again and again, on each branch, to have the
entire field covered thereby. How much simpler it would be to cut off
all branches that were unproductive, and shorten all that were so long
as to trail on the ground unless propped up, and then to plant other
trees elsewhere in the field. No one can doubt that the yield of fruit
would be larger with many trees than with one. Is it statesmanship to do
in a government what we would call insanity in an orchard?

The centers of administration, to command the respect necessary to
proper enforcement of laws, should be directly responsible to limited
constituencies. Then the limited constituencies would also feel
responsibility, and take local pride in their success. Issues would not
be so numerous as to conflict, as is always the case in enforcing the
responsibility of the national Government by rebuke at the polls. A
constituency needs to be small enough, for administrative purposes as
well as legislative, to admit of its electoral voice expressing an
opinion as the opinion of one man-not as a confused mass of opinions,
each man of the many millions expressing several opinions in one vote.

Before the days of prompt communication between all parts of the world,
there was a time when local jealousies and difficulties of
administration, variations of temperament, and other more or less
impalpable, but powerful, obstacles, tended to prevent expectations of
obtaining uniform laws from any source beside a common law making body.
But the growth of the press, the emancipation of law courts from the
rule of technicality, and the gradual assertion of that of equity,
proper intent and natural construction, render it unnecessary to insist
upon any such source of uniform legislation to-day. We are now one
people, instead of an agglomeration of hundreds of peoples. What is
recognized by wise men in one part of the world is very soon admitted by
the wise men of all the other parts, for reasons and their exhaustive
discussions travel around the world with lightning speed. We are,
therefore, at liberty to seek that method of obtaining uniform
legislation which is most in harmony with the principles of good
administration, and the most direct means of obtaining it.

When the United States was confined to that portion of the North
American continent which is bounded on the north by the present States
of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Victoria, and on the south by Mexico
and the sea, there was a national convention, for the purpose of
obtaining a uniform law of marriage and divorce, the foundation of
which was due to the process which I now wish to recommend for
endorsement by the State conventions of the party which you and I have
the honor to represent. An association of citizens, founded for the
purpose of investigating social problems, issued a call for a national
divorce reform convention, and requested the Governor of each State to
recommend to the Legislature thereof the appropriation of a small amount
of money to pay the expenses of two delegates to said convention; at
least one delegate to be a jurist learned in the law of his State. The
convention was to prepare a draft of an act to regulate marriages and
divorces, and this was to be introduced into each Legislature for
enactment. This plan succeeded admirably. Most of the Governors took up
the idea at once, and others followed when they saw what the majority
were doing. Acts constituting a commission from each State were passed
by the Legislatures, authorizing the Governor to appoint the
commissioners; the convention met, and harmoniously adopted an admirable
measure, which, thus endorsed, was recommended by every Governor and
enacted by every Legislature. To it the old United States owes its high
plane of morality to-day. The success of the plan was largely due to the
dangerous results of variation in State laws regarding marriage and
divorce, and to the strong and conservative opposition which was excited
against a plan for a National Divorce Act of Congress. But there is no
reason why the idea should not be indefinitely applied. In my opinion,
each State ought to have one or more permanent law commissioners, and
the Uniform State Law Convention, composed of these commissioners,
should be in session several months of each year. There is no subject
short of the relations of this planet to some other planet that such a
body of approved jurists and intelligent citizens would not be competent
to discuss and legislate upon. The results of their work would have no
binding force upon any State. This would leave those results to stand or
fall upon their merits, and if they did not appear to the general common
sense as being worthy of enactment, they would never be enacted. Coming,
however, before the public as they would if so presented, every merit in
them would be promptly recognized, and their general enactment (if
worthy) and harmonious enforcement would be only a question of time.

It is impossible to foresee the extent to which such an institution
would be likely to encroach upon the traditional and acquired domain of
Congress. This fact strongly recommends it to my mind as a safe and
reasonably sure protection against the indefinite increase of
Congressional legislation and of the machinery necessary to execute it.
Congress would continually be freer to consider subjects that admittedly
require its attention, and the Executive would be able to devote time
now spent on the details of local administration to the study of methods
of improving the necessary machinery of national supremacy.

Congress cannot reasonably be expected to abdicate its present powers,
in part, by taking the initiative in a process for their acquisition by
State Legislatures; it remains for the States themselves to do this. Let
the State organizations of our party endorse this plan, and the members
of our party who are elected to the Legislatures will feel honorably
committed to it. In the event of that national triumph which we have
every reason to anticipate, we will control the Legislatures of most
States in its interest, and the intrinsic wisdom of the plan itself will
commend it to the minority party, which, under the discipline of defeat,
will be likely to turn from hair-brained theories to practicable ideas
that command the approval of advanced political philosophers. This,
then, is our substitute for the plan of checking bad legislation which
our antagonists have proposed. The problem which it seems to solve is
the issue of the campaign. On other issues, it is needless that I should
address you now. The ideas expressed in my former letter of acceptance,
and carried out, as far as possible, in my administration, have been
kindly approved by you, and it has been the general sense of the party
that I should define the position to be taken before the people. I have
done so. It only remains for me to express again my appreciation of the
honor which I have twice received at your hands, and to promise to
endeavor to deserve it. I have the honor to be your obedient servant,



Of course, the Reprobate move to re-establish the Senate on a hereditary
basis proved a failure. With very few exceptions, the candidates in
favor of the proposed Constitutional amendment were snowed under by the
large majorities which the Demagogues polled everywhere. The largest
majorities were those of candidates for the Legislature, defeating the
Reprobates' nominated to propose the amendment. A distinctly
anti-amendment Congress was also elected, which was natural, as the
Representative who would favor the re-establishment of a check on the
action of the body to which he belonged would lose his popularity with
his fellow members, and his Presidential prospects would be seriously
impaired thereby. Thus even the few Reprobate candidates for Congress
who were members of the sitting Congress concealed their real views as
much as was consistent with party fidelity to the head of the ticket.
The President's scheme for an inter-State convention for uniform State
legislation took well, and Demagogue candidates for Governorships and
for State Legislatorships came out in favor of immediate action on his
suggestions. His triumphant re-election was generally construed as a
popular endorsement of his suggestion, as much as a repudiation of the
hereditary Senate idea. Candidates of Congress were less ardently in
favor of it, but were afraid to oppose it after seeing how strongly and
generally it was endorsed by the newspapers. Weber Lockmore's world
girdle of newspapers advocated it with great vigor, and other leading
journals favored it, partly from a wish to be consistent, as they had
generally committed themselves to a strong condemnation of Congress, and
to the idea that its functions could advantageously be abridged.

Meanwhile, important events were occurring in other parts of the Solar
System. The war between Jupiter and Venus had grown bitter, but the home
feeling in either planet was still more bitter. The immense expense of
fitting out aerial expeditions with all the artificial appliances for
supplying soldiers with tolerable atmosphere until they should be
acclimated, made it necessary to increase the taxes continually. Only by
the most frantic appeals to patriotism could the Jupitern Premier keep
his Parliamentary majority in line. He was reinforced from time to time
by seceding members of the other party, but disgusted members of his own
not only seceded, but talked openly of forcing open revolt, or an appeal
to the planet. The Premier privately conceded the necessity of resigning
if he should again lose his majority. The House had gone against him
several times, earlier in the war, and he had resigned, but had been
again sent for to form a Ministry, when the Parliamentary elections gave
him a narrow majority of supporters. The majority was further reduced at
each election, and the rate of reduction left little room for doubt that
the tide of Jupitern sentiment was gradually turning against the long
drawn-out war.

As for the Venusians, they had again become riotous. Of course, some of
the citizens wanted to change the form of government once more, and
processions of revolutionists paraded the streets to the music of the
national anthem. The Republicans seemed about to be forced to take a
position in favor of asking to be admitted to the United States. As this
idea was supposed to be antagonistic to national independence, it
excited bitter opposition within the party, and desertions strengthened
the ranks of the Imperialists and improved the prospects of a

The idea of asking for admission to the Union of American States was
suggested to the Venusian Republicans by the conduct of the little
Republic of Henrygeorgia. The prejudice of both the Jupiterns and the
Venusians against the peculiar institutions of this Asteroid had made
the armies of both planets forage and fight on it without scruple, but
rather with the zest of hatred. Its rich agricultural interests were
robbed, to sustain the troops, and its manufacturing establishments were
seized and converted to the use of contractors who were manufacturing
artificial necessities of war. The Government of Henrygeorgia prudently
avoided giving unnecessary offense to either combatant, but managed,
nevertheless, to exist with the entire respect of its citizens. The
National Assembly had temporarily modified its rules of procedure, so as
to sit in secret, and quietly adopted and forwarded to Washington, by
special messenger, an application for the admission of Henrygeorgia as a
State. This was sought as the best way to escape the aggressions of
Jupiter and Venus.

The Republicans of Venus, who were profoundly impressed by their
continued defeat in the war with Jupiter, foresaw an ultimate surrender
to that planet, unless they could secure the intercession of the only
nation that had proved itself still more powerful. They thought they
were sure of this, if they cultivated the American good will by seeking
the admission of Venus as a State.

The Opposition in Jupiter also had a scheme for admission to the Union,
but, of course, not as a single State. The old idea of the size of a
State had gradually expanded with the admission of rival nations to the
American federation, and even the proposition that the entire landed
area of the planet Venus should constitute a single State struck no one
as extraordinary; but the Jupiterns naturally thought their enormous and
populous planet entitled to recognition in the shape of a whole league
of States, each province being designated as one. The Opposition had
such a proposal ready for transmission to Washington as soon as the
Government should fall, and the new Administration effect an

This was the condition of affairs abroad when the First Inter-State
Convention for the Consideration of Uniform State Legislation assembled
at Melbourne, Australia.

The Convention had hardly effected an organization, when a bombshell was
thrown in by the announcement that commissioners from the "State of
Henrygeorgia" had presented their credentials, and asked to be admitted
to seats in the Convention.

"This a convention of purely American States," said a commissioner from
Russia, "and I have not heard of the admission of Henrygeorgia to the
Union." The Sergeant-at-Arms retired to consult the applicants, and
returned to announce that they confidently expected to be admitted as a
State before this Convention ceased its deliberations. This statement
was greeted with a storm of laughter and hisses. A dozen motions were
heard, to the effect that the application for the admission of
Henrygeorgian delegates be laid on the table, but Weber Lockmore, who
was present as a commissioner from New York, caught the President's eye,
and moved that the petition be referred to a select committee of three,
with authority to report at such time as should seem, to its members,

The Convention was evidently puzzled by Lockmore's motion. He was known
to lean to Henrygeorgian views, but the President was believed to be a
conservative man, who, if he appointed Lockmore chairman of the
committee of three, could be depended on to see that the other two
members were conservative.

The great bulk of the Convention, however, thinking it possible that
Congress might admit Henrygeorgia before the Convention adjourned, and
that it would then be necessary to admit the new State's commissioners,
regardless of prejudice against Henrygeorgian institutions, saw in the
motion only an easy way of disposing of the question for the present,
without doing harm to any interest. Consequently, the motion was adopted
by acclamation.

Lockmore's private purpose was to secure the admission of the delegates
from Henrygeorgia without regard to the admission of that Asteroid as a
State. He called a meeting of the committee on the third night after its
appointment, and then wrote a personal note to each member, requesting a
private interview on the first and second nights, respectively.

The interview on the first night was with a commissioner from Russia-the
one who had made the first remark against the recognition of the
Henrygeorgian commissioners. He was, of course, strongly prejudiced
against Henrygeorgian institutions. Lockmore furnished him with a list
of certain members of Congress, and requested him to communicate with
each of them by cipher cable at his (Lockmore's) expense, regarding the
prospects of Henrygeorgia's admission as a State. The list consisted
largely of Congressmen known to Lockmore to be secret admirers of
Henrygeorgian ideas, with a minority of opponents, whose replies would
be likely to make the Russian believe in the representativeness of the

The other member of the committee, a quiet and languid Brazilian,
entertained Henrygeorgian views. To him Lockmore also gave a list of
certain Congressmen to be consulted by cable. It included all the most
bitter opponents of the Henrygeorgian issue in the House, with a few
advocates of the doctrines practiced in Henrygeorgia. The
Henrygeorgianists, however, would have been found in the majority in a
list formed by combining these two.

But little remains to be told. The anti-Henry-georgianists in Congress
pointed out to wavering members the danger of establishing a precedent
for the admission of any other planet than the Earth, or any part of any
other, to the Union. It would lead to endless complications. There could
be, if Henrygeorgia was admitted, no good reason for refusing to admit
other Asteroids, or Venus, or a whole union of States in Jupiter.

Lockmore knew that the Russian would waive his own views, if convinced
that intelligent public opinion led in a different direction, and felt
sure of the Brazilian. Every adverse response from Washington, he was
convinced, would only reinforce him in his purpose to vote for a
favorable report on the application.

The committee reported favorably on the fourth day, by a unanimous vote;
Lockmore, in presenting the report, read the names of the Congressmen
consulted, in alphabetical order. The list included all the leaders of
both parties, and convinced the Convention that the committee had, in
the frankest manner, sought and obtained the views of the most
representative members of Congress, as to the probability that
Henrygeorgia would be admitted as a State. The chances seemed to favor
admission, for, as Lockmore well knew, the worst enemies of
Henrygeorgianism proposed to admit the Asteroid first, and force the
reconstruction of its Constitution afterward.

Not until it was announced at Washington that the commissioners from the
would-be State of Henrygeorgia had been admitted to the Melbourne
Convention, did the anti-Henrygeorgian members of Congress realize how
they had been used. When they did, they determined to prevent the
admission of Henrygeorgia, at all hazards.

A strong conservative sentiment was artificially created, in favor of
the limitation of the American national authority to the American
planet, and the offer of commercial treaties and international
arbitration facilities to all remote bodies. But while matters were
shaping themselves at Washington for the refusal of Statehood to
Henrygeorgia, Lockmore took care to see that a Henrygeorgian amendment
to State Constitutions was introduced, exhaustively debated, and amended
into a very fair shape for experimental operation, by the Convention at

On the day of the defeat of the bill to admit Henrygeorgia to the Union
as a State, Lockmore pressed the Henrygeorgian amendment for State
Constitutions to a vote. He meanwhile blockaded all the cables by
sending correspondence to his newspapers. The vote in Congress did not
reach Melbourne until after the Convention had formally adopted the
Henrygeorgian amendment by a substantial majority.

Other measures adopted were drafts of uniform laws for marriage and
divorce, the regulation of primary and general elections, the
prohibition of payment of public officials by fees, the regulation of
corporations, the regulation of bankruptcy and forms of charters for
cities according to population. All these forms were ultimately adopted
by a number of States, and the benefits of this system of uniformity of
legislation were extended to other planets, for when the Second Uniform
Legislation Convention met, the Henrygeorgian precedent became the means
of securing the admission of all bona fide applicants, and subsequent
Conventions represented all parts of the Solar System.


This site is full of FREE ebooks - Project Gutenberg Australia