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Full text of "Looking backward, 2000-1887, or, Life in the year 2000, A.D."

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Hooking gaekwafd 


Or, Life in the Year 2000, A. D. 




" For a* that, and a' that— 

It's comin' yet, for a' that, 
When man to man, the warld o'er, 
Shall brithers be for a* that." 


766 Dundas Street 
London, Ontario, Can. 





I first saw the light in the City of Boston in the 
year 1857. "What !" you say, "eighteen fifty- 
seven ? That is an odd slip. He means nineteen 
fifty-seven, of course," r: I beg pardon, but there is 
no mistake. It was about four in the afternoon of 
December 26th, one day after Christmas, in the 
year 1857, not 1957, that I first breathed the east 
wind ef Boston, which, I assure the reader, was 
at that remote period marked by the same 
penetrating quality characterising it in the 
present year of grace, 2,000. 

These statements seem so absurd on their face, 
especially when I add that I am a young man 
apparently of about thirty years of age, that no 
person can be blamed for refusing to read another 
word of what promises to be a mere imposition 
upon his credulity. Nevertheless I earnestly as- 
sure the reader that no imposition is intended, and 
will undertake, if he will follow me a few pages, 
to entirely convince him of this. If I may, then, 
provisionally assume, with the pledge of justifying 
the assumption, that I know better than the reader 
when I was born, I will go on with my narrative. 
As every schoolboy knows, in the latter part of the 
nineteenth century the civilization of to-day, or 
anything like it, did not exist, although the ele- 
ments which were to develop it were already in 
ferment. Nothing had, however, occurred to 
modify the immemorial division of society into the 
four classes (or nations, as they may be more fitly 
called, since the differences between them were 
far greater than those between any nations nowa- 
days), of the rich and the poor, the educated and 
the ignorant. I myself was rich and also edu- 
cated, and possessed, therefore, all the elements 
of happiness enjoyed by the most fortunate in that 
age. Living in luxury, and occupied only with the 
pursuit of the pleasures and refinements of life, I 
derived the means of my support from the labor 
of others, rendering no sort of service in return. 
My parents and grandparents had lived in the 
same way, and I expected that my descendants, 
if I had any, would enjoy a like easy existence. 

But how could I live without service to the 
world ? you ask. Why should the world have 
supported in utter idleness one who was able to 
render service ? The answer is that my great- 
grandfather had accumulated a sum of money on 
which his descendants had ever since lived. The 
sum, you will naturally infer, must have been very 
large not to have been exhausted in supporting 
three generations in idleness. This, however, was 
not the fact. 1 The sum had been originally by no 
means large. It was, in fact, much larger now 
that three generations had been supported upon 
it in idleness, than it was at first, ^his mystery 

of use without consumption, of warmth without 
combustion, seems like magic, but was merely an 
ingenious application of the art (now happily lost 
but carried to great perfection by your ancestors) 
of shifting the burden of one's support on the 
shoulders of others. The man who had accom- 
plished this, and it was the end all sought, was 
said to live on the income of his investments. To 
explain at this point how the ancient methods of 
industry made this possible would delay us too 
much. I shall only stop now to say that interest 
on investments was a species of tax in perpetuity 
upon the product of those engaged in industry 
which a person possessing or inheriting money 
was able to levy. It must not be supposed that an 
arrangement which seems so unnatural and pre- 
posterous according to modern notions was never 
criticised by your ancestors. It has been the effort 
of lawgivers and prophets from the earliest ages to 
abolish interest, orat least to limit it to the smallest 
possible rate. All these efforts had, however, 
failed, as they necessarily must so long as the 
ancient social organization prevailed. At the time 
of which I write, the latter part of the nineteenth 
century, governments had generally given up try- 
ing to regulate the subject at all. 

By way of attempting to give the reader some 
general impression of the way people lived to- 
gether in those days, and especially of the relations 
of the rich and poor to one another, perhaps I can- 
not do better than to compare society as it then 
was to a prodigious coach which the masses of hu- 
manity was harnessed to and dragged toilsomely 
along a very hilly and sandy road. The driver was 
hunger, and permitted no lagging, though the pace 
was necessarily slow. Despite the difficulty of 
drawing the coach at all along so hard a road, the 
top was covered with passengers who never got 
down, even at the steepest ascents. These seats on 
the top were very breezy and comfortable. Well 
up out of the dust, their occupants could enjoy the 
scenery at their leisure, or critically discuss the 
merits of the straining team. Naturally such places 
were in great demand and the competition for them 
was keen, everyone seeking as the first end in life 
to secure a seat on the coach for himself and to 
leave it to his child after him. By the rule of the 
coach a man could leave his seat to whom he wish 
ed, but on the other hand there were many acci 
dents by which it might at any time be wholly lost. 
For all that they were so easy, the seats were very 
insecure, and at every sudden jolt of the coach per 
sons were slipping out of them and falling to the 
ground, where they were instantly compelled to 
take hold of the rope and help to drag the coach on 
which they had before ridden so pleasantly. It was 
naturally regarded as a terrible lose 
one's seat, and the apprehension that this migli' 



happen to them or their friends was a constant 
cloud upon the happiness of those who rode. 

But did they think only ofthemseves? you ask. 
Was not their very luxury rendered intoler- 
able to them by comparison with the lot of their 
brothers and sisters in the harness, and the 
knowledge that their own weight added to the 
toil 1 Had they no compassion for fellow beings 
from whom fortune only distinguished them ? 
Oh, yes ; commisseration was frequently ex- 
pressed by those who rode for those who had to 
pull the coach, especially when the vehicle came 
to a bad place in the road, as it was constantly 
doing, or to a particularly steep hill. At such 
times, the desperate straining of the team, their 
agonized leaping and plunging under the pitiless 
lashing of hunger, the many who fainted at the 
rope and were trampled in the mire, made a very 
distressing spectacle, which often called forth 
highly creditable displays of feeling on the top of 
the coach. At such times the passengers would 
call down encouragingly to the toilers of the rope, 
exhorting them to patience, and holding out 
hopes of possible compensation in another world 
for the hardness of their lot, while others contri- 
buted to buy salves and liniments for the crippled 
and injured. It was agreed that it was a great 
pity that the coach should be so hard to pull, and 
there was a sense of general relief when the 
specially bad piece of road was gotten over. 
This relief was not, indeed, wholly on account of 
the team, for there was always some danger at 
these bad places of a general overturn, in which 
all would lose their seats. 

It must in truth be admitted that the main effect 
of the spectacle of the misery of the toilers at 
the rope was to enhance the passengers' sense of 
the value of their seats upon the coach, and to 
cause them to hold on to them more desperately 
than before. 

It the passengers could only have felt assured 
that neither they nor their friends would ever fall 
from the top, it is probable that, beyond contri- 
buting to the funds for liniments and bandages, 
they would have troubled themselves extremely 
little about those who dragged the coach. 

I am well aware that this will appear to the men 
and women of the twentieth century an incredible 
inhumanity, but there are two facts, both very 
curious, which partly explain it. In the first place, 
it was firmly and sincerely believed that there was 
no other way in which Society could get along, 
except the many pulled at the rope, and the few 
rode, and not only this, but that no very radical 
improvement even was possible, either in the 
harness, the coach, the roadway, or the distribu- 
tion of the toiL It had always been as it was, and 
it would always be so. It was a pity, but it could 
not be helped, and philosophy forbade wasting 
compassion on what was beyond remedy. 

The other fact is yet more curious, consisting in 
a singular hallucination which those on top of the 
coach generally shared, that they were not 
exactly like their brothers and sisters who pulled 
at the rope, but of finer clay, in some way belong- 
ing to a higher order of beings who might justly 
expect to be drawn. This seems unaccountable, 
but, as I once rode on this/very coach and shared 

that very hallucination, I ought to be believed. 
The strangest thing about the hallucination was 
that those who had but just climbed up from the 
ground, before they had outgrown the marks 
of the rope upon their hands, began to fall under 
its influence. As for those whose parents and 
grandparents before them had been so fortunate 
as to keep their seats on the top, the conviction 
they cherished of the essential difference between 
their sort of humanity and the common article, 
was absolute. The effect of such a delusion in 
moderating fellow-feeling for the sufferings of the 
mass of men into a distant and philosophical 
compassion, is obvious. To it I refer as the only 
extenuation I can offer for the indifference which, 
at the period I write of, marked my own attitude 
toward the misery of my brothers. 

In 1887 I came to my thirtieth year. Although 
still unmarried, I was engaged to wed Edith 
Bartlett. She, like myself, rode bn the top of the 
coach. That is to say, not to encumber ourselves 
further with an illustration which has, I hope, 
served its purpose of giving the reader some gen- 
eral impression of how we lived then, her family 
was wealthy. In that age, when money alone 
commanded all that was agreeable and refined in 
life, it was enough for a woman to be rich to have, 
suitors; but Edith Bartlett was beautiful and 
graceful also. 

My lady readers, I am aware, will protest at 
this. "Handsome she might have been," I hear 
them saying, "but graceful never, in the costumes 
which were the fashion at that period, when the 
head covering was a dizzy structure a foot tall, 
and the almost incredible extension of the skirt 
behind, by means of artificial contrivances, more 
thoroughly dehumanised the form than any former 
device of dressmakers. Fancy any one graceful 
in such a costume !" The point is certainly well 
taken, and I can only reply that while the ladies of 
the twentieth century are lovely demonstrations of 
the effect of appropriate drapery in accenting femi- 
nine graces, my recollection of their great grand- 
mothers enables me to maintain that no deformity 
of costume can wholly disguise them. 

Our marriage only waited on the completion 
the house which I was building for our occupan 
in one of the most desirable parts of the city, th 
is to say, a part chiefly inhabited by the rich. F 
it must be understood that the comparative desir 
bility of different parts of Boston for residence 
depended then, not on natural features, but on the 
character of the neighboring population. Each 
class or nation lived by itself, in quarters of its 
own. A rich man living among the poor, an edu- 
cated man among the uneducated, was like one 
living in isolation among a jealous and alien race. 
When the house had been begun, its completion 
by the winter of 1886 had been expected, The 
spring of the following year found it, however, yet 
incomplete, and my marriage still a thing of the 
future. The cause of a delay calculated to be 
particularly exasperating to an ardent lover, was 
a series of strikes, that is to say, concerted refusals 
to work on the part of the bricklayers, masons, 
carpenters, painters, plumbers, and other trades 
concerned in house building. What the specific 
causes of these strikes were I do not remember. 



strikes had become so common at that period that 
people had ceased to enquire into their particular 
grounds. In one department of industry or an- 
other, they had been nearly incessant ever since 
the great business crisis of 1873. In fact, it had 
come to be the exceptional thing to see any class 
of laborers pursue their avocation steadily for 
more than a few months at the time. . 

The reader who observes the dates alluded to 
will of course recognize in these disturbances of 
industry the first and incoherent phase of the 
great movement which ended in the establish- 
ment of the modern industrial system with all its 
social consequences. This is all so plain in the 
retrospect that a child can understand it, but not 
being prophets we of that day had no clear idea 
of what was happening to us. What we did see 
was that industrially the country was in a very 
queer way. The relation between the working 
man and the employer, between labour and 
capital, appeared in some unaccountable manner 
to have become dislocated. 

The working classes had quite suddenly and 
very generally become infected with a profound 
discontent with their condition, and an idea that 
it could be greatly bettered if they only knew 
how to go about it. 

On every side, with one accord, they preferred 
demands for higher pay, shorter hours, better 
dwellings, better educational advantages, and a 
share in the refinements and luxuries of life, de- 
mands which it was impossible to see the way to 
granting unless the world were to become a great 
deal richer than it then was. Though they knew 
something of what they wanted, they knew no- 
thing of how to accomplish it, and the eager en- 
thusiasm with which they thronged about anyone 
who seemed likely to give them any light on the 
subject lent sudden reputation to many would-be 
leaders, some of whom had little enough light to 
give. However chimerical the aspirations of the 
labouring classes might be deemed, the devotion 
with which they supported each other in the 
strikes, which were their chief weapon, and the 
sacrifices which they underwent to carry them 
out, lefc no doubt of their dead earnestness. 

As to the final outcome of the labour troubles, 
which was the phrase by which the movement I 
have described was most commonly referred to, 
the opinions of the people of my class differed 
according to individual temperament. The san- 
guine argued very forcibly that it was in the 
very nature of things impossible that the new 
hopes of the working men could be satisfied, 
simply because the world had not the where- 
withal to satisfy them. It was only because the 
masses worked very hard and lived on short 
commons that the race did not starve outright, 
and no considerable improvement in their condi- 
tion was possible while the world, as a whole, 
remained so poor. It was not the capitalists 
whom the labouring men were contending with, 
these maintained but the iron-bound environment 
of humanity, and it was merely a question of the 
thickness of their skulls when they would dis- 
cover the fact and make up their minds to en- 
dure what they could not cure. 

The less sanguine admitted all this. Of course 

the working men's aspirations were impossible of 
fulfilment for natural reasons, but there were 
grounds to fear that they would not discover this 
fact until they had made a sad mess of society. 
They had the votes and the power to do so if they 
pleased, and their leaders meant they should. 
Some of these desponding observers went so far* 
as to predict an impending social cataclysm. 
Humanity, they argued, having climbed to the 
top round of the ladder of civilization, was about 
to take a header into chaos, after which it would 
doubtless pick itself up. turn round, and begin to 
climb again. Repeated experiences of this sort 
in historic and prehistoric times possibly account- 
ed for the puzzling bumps on the human cranium. 
Human history, like all great movements, was 
cyclical, and returned to the point of beginning. 
The idea of indefinite progress in a right line was 
a chimera of the imagination with no analogue 
in nature. The parabola of a comet was perhaps 
a yet better illustration of the career of humanity. 
Tending upward and sunward from the aphelion 
of barbarism, the race attained the perihelion of 
civilization only to plunge downward once more 
to its nether goal in the regions of chaos. 

This, of course, was an extreme opinion, but I 
remember serious men among my acquaintances 
who, in discussing the signs of the times, adopt- 
ed a very similar tone. It was no doubt the 
common opinion of thoughtful men that society 
was approaching a critical period which might 
result in great changes. The labour troubles, 
their causes, course, and cure, took lead of all 
other topics in the public prints, and in serious 

The nervous tension of the public mind could 
not have been more strikingly illustrated thaW it 
was by the alarm resulting from the talk of a 
small band of men who called themselves an- 
archists, and proposed to terrify the American 
people into adopting their ideas by threats of 
violence, as if a mighty nation which had but 
just put down a rebellion of half its own numbers, 
in order to maintain its political system, were 
likely to adopt a new social system out of fear. 

As one of the wealthy, with a large stake in the 
existing order of things, I naturally shared the 
apprehensions of my class. The particular griev- 
ance I had against the working classes at the 
time of which I write, on account of the effect of 
their strikes in postponing my wedded bliss, no 
doubt lent a special animosity to my feeling to- 
wards them. 


The thirtieth day of May, 1887, fell on a Mon- 
day. It was one of the annual holidays of the 
nation in the latter third of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, being set apart under the name of Decora- 
tion Day, for doing honor to the memory of the 
soldiers of the North who took part in the war 
for the preservation of the union of the States. 
The survivors of the war, escorted by military 
and civic processions and bands of music, were 
wont on this occasion to visit the cemeteries and 
lay wreaths of flowers upon the graves of their 
dead comrades, the ceremony being a very 



solemn and touching one. The eldest brother or 
Edith Bartlett had fallen in the war, and on 
Decoration Day the family was in the habit ot 
making a visit to Mount Auburn, where he lay. 

I had asked permission to make one ot the 
party, and, on our return to the city at nightfall 
"remained to dine with the family of my betrothed. 
In the drawing-room, after dinner, I picked up 
an evening paper and read of a fresh strike in 
the building trades, which would probably still 
further delay the completion of my unlucky 
house. I remember distinctly how exasperated 
I was at this, and the objurgations, as forcible as 
the presence of the ladies permitted, which I 
lavished upon workmen in general, and these 
strikes in particular. I had abundant sympathy 
from those about me, and the remarks made in 
the desultory com ersations which followed upon 
the unprincipled conduct of the labour agitators, 
were calculated to make those gentlemen's ears 
tingle. It was agreed that affairs were going 
from bad to worse very fast, and that there was 
no telling what we should come to soon. " The 
worst of it," I remember Mrs. Bartlett's saying, 
" is that the working classes all over the world 
seem to be going crazy at once. In Europe it is 
far worse even than here. I am sure I should 
not dare to live there at al . I asked Mr. Bart- 
lett the other day where we should emigrate to 
if all the terrible things took place which those 
Socialists threaten. He said he did not know 
any place now where society could be called 
stable except Greenland, Patagonia, and the 
Chinese Empire." " Those Chinamen knew 
what they were about," somebody added, "when 
thev refused to let in our western civilization. 
T^y knew what it would lead to better than we 
did. They saw it was nothing but dynamite in 

After this, I remember drawing Edith apart and 
trying to persuade her that it would be better to 
be married at once, without waiting for the com- 
pletion of the house, spending the time in travel 
till our home was ready for us. She was remark- 
ably handsome fhat evening, the mourning cos- 
tume that she wore in recognition of the day 
setting off to great advantage the purity of her 
complexion. I can see her even now with my 
mind's eye just as she looked that night. When 
I took my leave she followed me into the hall, 
and I kissed her good-bye as usual. There was 
no circumstance out of the common to distinguish 
this parting from previous occasions when we 
had bade each other good-bye, for a night or a 
day. There was absolutely no premonition in 
my mind, or I am sure in hers, that this was 
more than any ordinary separation. 

Ah, well ! 

The hour at which I left my betrothed was a 
rather early one for a lover, but the fact was no 
reflection on my devotion. I was a confirmed 
sufferer from insomnia, and though otherwise 
perfectly well, had been completely fagged out 
that day, from having slept scarcely at all the 
two previous nights. Edith knew this, and had 
insisted on sending me home by nine o'clock, 
with strick orders to go to bed at once. 

The house in which I lived had been occupied 

by three generations of the family of which I was 
the only living representative in the direct line. 
It was a large, ancient wooden mansion, very 
elegant in an old-fashioned way within, but 
situated in a quarter that had long since become 
undesirable for residence, from its invasion by 
tenement houses and manufactories. It was not 
a house which I could think of bringing a bride, 
much less so dainty a one as Edith Bartlett. I 
had advertised it for sale, and meanwhile merely 
used it for sleeping purposes, dining at my club. 
One servant, a faithful coloured man by the 
name of Sawyer, lived with me and attended to 
my few wants. One feature of the house I ex- 
pected to miss greatly when I should leave it, 
and this was the sleeping chamber, which I had 
built under the foundations. I could not have 
slept in the city at all, with its never-ceasing 
nightly noises, if I had been obliged to use an 
upstairs chamber. But to this subterranean 
room no murmur from the upper world ever 
penetrated. When I had entered it and closed 
the door, I was surrounded by the silence of the 
tomb. In order to prevent the dampness of the 
subsoil from penetrating the chamber, the walls 
had been laid in hydraulic cement, and were 
very thick, and the floor was likewise protected. 
In order that the room might serve also as a 
vault equally proof against violence and flames, 
for the storage of valuables, I had roofed it with 
stone slabs hermetically sealed, and the outer 
door was of iron covered with a thick coating of 
asbestos. A small pipe, communicating with a 
windmill on the top of the house, insured the; 
renewal of air. 

It might seem that the tenant of such a 
chamber ought to be able to command slumber,, 
but it was rare that I slept well, even there, two 1 
nights in succession. So accustomed was I to! 
wakefulness that I minded little the loss of one 
night's rest. A second night, however, spent in 
my reading chair instead of my bed, tired me, 
out, and I never allowed myself to go longer 
than that without slumber, for fear of nervou&j 
disorder. From this statement it will be inferred, 
that I had at my command some artificial means 
for inducing sleep in the last resort, and so inS 
fact I had. If after two sleepless nights I found 
myself on the approach of the third without- 
sensations of drowsiness, I called in Dr. Pillsbury^ 

He was a doctor by courtesy only, what wad 
called in those davs an "irregular" or "quack'N 
doctor. He called himself a " Professor of 
Animal Magnetism." I had come across him in 
the course of some amateur investigations in tot 
the phenomena of animal magnetism. I don'tf 
think he knew anything about medicine, but he 
was certainly a remarkable mesmerist. It wa» 
for the purpose of being put to sleep by hit 
manipulations that I used to send for him wheif 
I found a third night of sleeplessness impending. 
Let my nervous excitement or mental pre-occu* 
pation be however great, Dr. Pillsbury never 
failed, after a short time, to leave me in a deep 
slumber, which continued till I was aroused by a 
reversal of the mesmerising process. The pro- 
cess for awaking the sleeper was much simpler 
than that of putting him to sleep, and for con- 



renience I had made Dr. Pillsbury teach Sawyer 
how to do it. 

My faithful servant alone knew for what pur- 
pose Dr. Pillsbury visited me, or that he did 60 at 
all. Of course, when Edith became my wife I 
should have to tell her my secrets. I had not 
hitherto told her this, because there was unques- 
tionably a slight risk in the mesmeric sleep, and 
I knew she would set her face against' my prac- 
tice. The risk, of course, was that it might 
become too profound and pass into a trance be- 
yond the mesmeriser's power to break, ending in 
death. Repeated experiments had fully con- 
vinced me that the risk was next to nothing if 
reasonable precautions were exercised, and ot 
this I hoped, though doubtingly, to convince 
Edith. I went directly home after leaving her, 
and at once sent Sawyer to fetch Dr. Pillsbury. 
Meanwhile, I sought my subterranean sleeping 
chamber, and exchanging my costume for a 
comfortable dressing-gown, sat down to read 
the letters by the evening mail which Sawyer had 
laid on my reading table. 

One of them was from the builder of my new 
house, and confirmed what I had inferred from 
the newspaper item. The new strikes, he said, 
had postponed indefinitely the completion of the 
contract, as neither master nor workmen would 
concede the point at issue without a long strug- 
gle. Caligula wished that the Roman people 
had but one neck that he might cut it off, and as 
I read this letter I am afraid that tor a moment I 
was capable of wishing the same thing concern- 
ing the labouring classes of America. The re- 
turn of Sawyer with the doctor interrupted my 
gloomy meditations. 

It appeared that he had with difficulty been 
able to secure his services, as he was preparing 
to leave the city that very night. The doctor 
explained that since he had seen me last he had 
learned of a fine professional opening in a dis- 
tant city, and decided to take prompt advantage 
of it. On my asking, in some panic, what I was 
to do for some one to put me to sleep, he gave 
me the names of several mesmerisers in Boston, 
who, he averred, had quite as great powers as he. 

Somewhat relieved on this point, I instructed 
Sawyer to rouse me at nine o'clock next morning, 
and, lying down on my bed in my dressing gown, 
assumed a comfortable attitude, and surrendered 
myself to the manipulation of the mesmeriser. 
Owing perhaps to my unusually nervous state, I 
was slower than usual in losing consciousness, 
but at lengtha delicious drowsiness stole over me. 


"He is going to open his eyes. He had bet- 
ter see but one of us at first." 

"Promise me, then, that you will not tell him." 

The first voice was a man's, the second a 
woman's, and both spoke in whispers. 

"I will see how he seems," replied the man. 

"No, no, promise me," persisted the other. 

"Let her have her way," whispered a third 
voice, also a woman's. 

"Well, well, I promise, then," answered the 
man. "Quick, go! He is coming out of it." 

There was a rustle of garments, and 1 opened 
my eyes. A fine looking man of perhaps sixty 
was bending over me, an expression of much 
benevolence mingled with great curiosity upon 
his features. He was an utter stranger. I raised 
myself on my elbow and looked around. The 
room was empty. I certainly had never been in 
it before, or one furnished like it. I looked back 
at my companion. He smiled. 

"How do you feel ?" he inquired. 

"Where am I?" I demanded. 

"You are in my house," was the reply. 

"How came I here ?" 

"We will talk about that when you are strong- 
er. Meanwhile, I beg you will feel no anxiety. 
You are among friends and in good hands. How 
do you feel ?" 

"A bit queerly," I replied, "but I am well, I 
suppose. Will you tell me how I came to be in- 
debted to your hospitality ? What has happened 
to me ? How came I here ? It was in my own 
house that I went to sleep." 

"There will be time enough for explanations 
later," my unknown host replied with a reassur- 
ing smile. "It will be better to avoid agitating 
talk until you are a little more yourself. Will you 
oblige me by taking a couple of swallows of this 
mixture ? It will do you good. I am a physician." 

I repelled the glass with my hand, and sat up 
on the couch, although with an effort, for my 
head was strangely light. 

"I insist upon knowing at once where I am and 
what you have been doing with me," I said. 

"My dear sir," responded my companion, "let 
me beg that you will not agitate yourself. I 
would rather that you did not insist upon ex- 
planations so soon, but if you do, I will try to sat- 
isfy you, provided you will first take this draught, 
which will strengthen you somewhat." 

I thereupon drank what he offered me. Then 
he said, "It is not so simple a matter as you evi- 
dently suppose to tell you how you came here. 
You can tell me quite as much on that point as I 
can tell you. You have just been roused from a 
deep sleep, or, more properly, trance. So much 
I can tell you. You say you were in your own 
house when you fell into that sleep. May I ask 
you when that was?" 

"When?" I replied, "when?" Why, last even- 
ing, of course, at about ten o'clock. I left my 
man Sawyer orders to call me at nine o'clock. 
What h?s become of Sawyer?" 

"I can't precisely tell you that," replied my 
companion, regarding me with a curious expres- 
sion, "but I am sure that he is excusable for not 
being here. And now can you tell me a little 
more explicitly when it was that you fell into 
that sleep, the date I mean ?" 

"Why, last night, of course; I said so,didn't I ? 
that is, unless I have overslept an entire day. 
Great Heavens! that cannot be possible; and yet 
I have an odd sensation of having slept a long 
time. It was Decoration Day that I went tosleep." 

"Decoration Day?" 

"Yes, Monday, the 30th. ~*«aei«*» 
"Pardon me, the 30th of what ?" 
"Why, of this month, of course, unless I have 
slept into June, but that can't be," 



"This month is September. 

"September I You don't mean that I've slept 
since May 1 God in Heaven 1 Why it is in- 

"We shall see," replied my companion; "you 
say that it was May 30th when you went to sleep?" 

"May I ask of what year ?" 

I stared blankly at him, incapable of speech, 
for some moments. 

"Of what year ?" I feebly echoed at last. 

"Yes, of what year, if you please ? After you 
have told me that I shall be able to tell you how 
long- you have slept." 

"It was the year 1887," I said. 

My companion insisted that I should take an- 
other draught from the glass, and felt my pulse. 

"My dear sir," he said, "your manner indicates 
that you are a man of culture, which I am aware 
was by no means the matter of course in your 
day it now is. No doubt, then, you have your- 
self made the observation that nothing in this 
world can be truly said to be more wonderful 
than anything else. The causes of all phenomena 
are equally adequate, and the results equally 
matters of course. That you should be startled 
by what I shall tell you, is to be expected; but I 
am confident that you will not permit it to affect 
your equanimity unduly. Your appearance is 
that of a young man of barely thirty, and your 
bodily condition seems not greatly different from 
that of one just roused from a somewhat too long 
and profound sleep, and yet this is the tenth day 
of September in the year 2000, and you have 
slept exactly one hundred and thirteen years, 
three months and eleven days." 

Feeling partially dazed, I drank a cup of some 
sort of broth at my companion's suggestion, and, 
immediately afterwards becoming - very drowsy, 
went off into a deep sleep. 

When I awoke it was broad daylight in the 
room, which had been lighted artificially when I 
was awake before. My mysterious host was sit- 
ting near. He was not looking at me when I 
opened my eyes, and I had a good opportunity 
to study him and meditate upon my extraordin- 
ary situation, before he observed that I was 
awake. My giddiness was all gone, and my 
mind perfectly clear. The story that I had been 
asleep one hundred and thirteen years, which, in 
my former weak and bewildered cowdition I had 
accepted without question, recurred to me now 
only to be rejected as a preposterous attempt at 
an imposture, the motive of which it was impos- 
sible remotely to surmise. 

Something extraordinary had certainly hap- 
pened toaccount for my waking up in this strange 
house with this unknown companion, but my fancy 
was utterly impotent to suggest more than the 
wildest guess as to what that something might 
have been. Could it be that I was the victim of 
some sort of conspiracy ? It looked so, certain- 
ly; and yet if human lineaments ever gave true 
evidence, it was certain that this man by my side, 
with a face so refined and ingenuous, was no 
party to any scheme of crime or Outrage. Then 
it occurred to me to question if I might not be the 
butt of some elaborate practical joke on the part 

of friends who had somehow learned the secret of 
my underground chamber and taken this means 
of impressing me with the peril of mesmeric ex- 
periments. There were great difficulties in the 
way of this theory: Sawyer would never have be- 
trayed me, nor had I any friends at all likely to 
undertake such an enterprise; nevertheless the 
supposition that I was the victim of a practical 
joke seeded on the whole the only one tenable. 
Half expecting to catch a glimpse of some famil- 
iar face grinning from behind a chair or curtain, 
I looked carefully about the room. When my 
eyes next rested on my companion, he was look- 
ing at me. 

"You have had a fine nap of twelve hours,' J 
he said briskly, "and I can see that it has done 
you good. You look much better. Your color] 
is good and your eyes are bright. How doj 
you feel ?" 

"I never felt better," I ^aid, sitting up. 

"You remember your first waking, no doubt, i 
he pursued, "and your surprise when I told you 1 
how long you had been asleep." 

"You said, I believe, that I had slept one hun- I 
dred and thirteen years." 


"You will admit," I said, with an ironical smile, 
"that the story was rather an improbable one." I 

"Extraordinary, I admit," he responded, "but* 
given the proper conditions, not improbable nor* 
inconsistent with what we know of the trance.^ 
state. When complete, as in your case, the vitatS 
functions are absolutely suspended, and there i« 
no waste of the tissues. No limit can be set toj 
the possible duration of a trance when the exter-l 
nal conditions protect the body from physical in-5 
jury. This trance of yours is indeed the longest 
of which there is any positive record, but there is) 
no known reason wherefore, had you not been 
discovered, and had the chamber in which wcj 
found you continued intact, you might not have* 
remained in a state of suspended animation till, 
at the end of indefinite ages, the gradual refrig- 
eration of the earth had destroyed the bodily tis* 
sues and set the spirit free." 

I had to admit that, if I was indeed the victim 
of a practical joke, its authors had chosen an ad- 
mirable agent for carrying out their imposition.. 
The impressive and even eloquent manner of this 
man would have lent dignity to an argument than 
the moon was made of cheese. The smile 
with which I regarded him as he advanced his 
trance hypothesis did not appear to confuse him 
in the slightest degree. 

"Perhaps," I said, 4, you will go on and favor 
me with some particulars as to the circumstances 
under which you discovered' the chamber of which 
you speak, and its contents. I enjoy good fiction.*! 

"In this case," was the grave reply, "no fic- 
tion could be so strange as the truth. You must 
know that these many years I have been cherish- 
ing the idea of building a laboratory in the large 
garden beside this house for the purpose of chem- 
ical experiments for which I have a taste. Last 
Thursday the excavation for the cellar was at last 
begun. It was completed by that night, and Fri- 
day morning I found my cellar a frog-pond and 
the walls washed down, My daughter, who had 



come out to view the disaster with me, called my 
attention to a corner of masonry laid bare by the 
crumbling away of one of the walls. I cleared a 
little earth from it, and finding- that it seemed 
part of a large mass, determined to investigate it. 
The workman I sent for unearthed an oblong 
vault some eight feet below the surface and set 
in the corner of what had evidently been the 
foundation walls of an ancient house. A layer of 
ashes and charcoal on the top of the vault showed 
that the house above had perished by fire. The 
vault itself was perfectly intact, the cement be- 
ing as good as when first applied. It had a door, 
but this we could not force, and found entrance 
by removing one of the flagstones which formed 
the roof. The air which came up was stagnant, 
but pure, dry, and not cold. Descending with a 
lantern, I found myself in an apartment fitted up 
as a bedroom in the style of the nineteenth cen- 
tury. On the bed lay a young man. That he was 
dead, and must have been dead a century, was 
of course to be taken for grantedf but the extra- 
ordinary state of preservation of the body struck 
me and the medical colleagues whom I had sum- 
moned with amazement. That the art of such 
embalming as this had ever been known we 
should not have believed, yet here seemed con- 
clusive testimony that our immediate ancestors 
had possessed it. My medical colleagues, whose 
curiosity was highly excited, were at once for un- 
dertaking experiments to test the nature of the 
process employed, but I withheld them. My mot- 
ive in so doing, at least the only motive I now 
speak of, was the recollection of something I had 
once read about the extent to which your con- 
temporaries had cultivated the subject of animal 
magnetism. It had occurred to me as just con- 
ceivable that you might be in a trance, and that 
the secret of your bodily integrity after so long 
a time was not the craft of an embalmer, but life. 
So extremely fanciful did this idea seem, even to 
me, that I did not risk the ridicule of my fellow 
physicians by mentioning it, but gave some other 
reason for postponing their experiments. No 
sooner, however, had they left me, than I set on 
foot a systematic attempt at resuscitation, of 
which you know the result." 

Had its theme been yet more incredible, the 
circumstantiality of this narrative, as well as the 
impressive mannerand personality of the narrator, 
might have staggered a listener, and I had begun 
to feel very strangely, when, as he closed, I 
chanced to catch a glimpse of my reflection in a 
mirror on the wall of the room. I rose and went 
up to it. The face I saw was the face to a hair 
and a line, and not a day older than the one I 
had looked at as I tied my cravat before going 
to Edith that Decoration Day, which, as this man 
would have me believe, was celebrated one hun- 
dred and thirteen years before. At this, the 
colossal character of the fraud which was being 
attempted on me, came over me afresh. Indigna- 
tion mastered my mind as I realised the outrage- 
ous liberty that had been taken. 

"You are probably surprised," said my com- 
panion, " to see that, although you are a century 
older than when you lay down to sleep in that 
underground chamber, your appearance is un- 

changed. That should not amaze you. It is by 
virtue of the total arrest of the vita] functions 
that you have survived this great period of time. 
If your body could have undergone any change 
during your trance, it would long ago have 
suffered dissolution." 

"Sir," I replied, turning to him, "what your 
motive can be in reciting to me with a serious 
face this remarkable farrago, I am utterly unable 
to guess ; but you are surely yourself too intelli- 
gent to suppose that anybody but an imbecile 
could be deceived by it. Spare me any more or 
this elaborate nonsense, and once for all tell me 
whether you refuse to give me any intelligible 
account of where I am and how I came here. It 
so, I shall proceed to ascertain my whereabouts 
for myself, whoever may hinder." 

" You do not, then, believe that this is the year 
2000 ?" 

" Do you really think it necessary to ask me 
that?" I returned. 

"Very well," replied my extraordinary host, 
" Since I cannot convince you, you shall convince 
yourself. Are you strong enough to follow me 
upstairs ?" 

" I am strong as ever I was," I replied angrily, 
" as I may have to prove if this jest is carried 
much farther." 

"I beg, sir," was my companions response, 
"that you will not allow yourself to be too fully 
persuaded that you are the victim of a trick, lest 
the reaction when you are convinced of the truth 
of my statements, should be too great." 

I knew then that I had been told the truth 
concerning the prodigious thing which had be- 
fallen me. 


I did not faint, but the effort to realise my 
position made me very giddy, and I remember 
that my companion had to give me a strong arm 
as he conducted me from the roof to a roomy 
apartment on the upper floor of the house, where 
he insisted on my drinking a glass or two of good 
wine and partaking of a light repast. 

" I think you are going to be all right now," he 
said cheerily. "I should not have taken so 
abrupt a means to convince you of your position 
if your course, while perfectly excusable under 
the circumstances, had not rather obliged me to 
do so. I confess," he added laughing, "I was 
a little apprehensive at one time that I should 
undergo what I believe you used to call a knock- 
down in the nineteenth century, if I did not act 
promptly. I remembered that the Bostonians or 
your day were famous pugilists, and thought best 
to lose no time. I take it you are now ready to 
acquit me of the charge of hoaxing you." 

" If you had told me," I replied, profoundly 
awed, "that a thousand years instead of a hun- 
dred had elapsed since I last looked on this city, 
I should now believe you." 

"Only a century has passed," he answered, 
" but many a millenium in the world's history has 
seen changes less extraordinary." 

"And now," he added, extending his hand 
with an air of irresistible cordiality, " let me give 


% yoa a hearty welcome to the Boston of the twen- 
tieth century and to this house. My name is 
Leete | Dr. Leete they call me." 

"My name," I sahi, as I shook his hand, "is 
Julian West." 

" I am most happy in making your acquaint- 
ance, Mr. West," he responded. " Seeing that 
this house is built on the site of your own, I hope 
you will find it easy to make yourself at home 
in it." 

After my refreshment Dr. Leete offered me a 
bath and a change of clothing, of which I gladly 
availed myself. 

It did not appear that any very startling revolu- 
tion in men's attire had been among the great 
changes my host had spoken of, for, barring a 
few details, my new habiliments did not puzzle 
me at all. 

Physically, I was now myself again. But 
mentally, how was it with me, the reader will 
doubtless wonder. What were my intellectual 
sensations, on finding myself so suddenly dropped 
as it were into a new world ? In reply let me ask 
him to suppose himself suddenly ,*in the twinkling 
of an eye, transported from earth, say* to Para- 
dise or Hades. What does he fancy would be 
his own experience ? Would his thoughts return 
at once to the earth he had just left, or would he, 
after the first shock, well-nigh forget his former 
life for a while, albeit to be remembered later, in 
the interest excited by his new surroundings? 
All I can say is, that if his experience were at 
all like mine in the transition that I am describ- 
ing, the latter hypothesis would prove the correct 
one. The impressions of amazement and curi- 
osity which my new surroundings produced occu- 
pied my mind, after the first shock, to the 
exclusion of all other thoughts. For the time the 
memory of my former life was, as it were, in 

No sooner did I find myself physically rehabil- 
itated through the kind offices of my host, than I 
became eager to return to the housetop ; and 
presently we were comfortably established there 
in easy chairs, with the city beneath and around 
us. After Dr. Leete had responded to numerous 
questions on my part, as to the ancient land- 
marks I missed, and the new ones which had 
replaced them, he asked me what point of the 
contrast between the new and the old city struck 
me most forcibly. 

'•To speak of small things before great," I 
responded, " I really think that the complete 
absence of chimneys and smoke is the detail that 
6rst impressed me." 

"Ah I" ejaculated my companion, with an air 
of much interest, "I had forgotten the chimneys, 
it is so long since they went out of use. It is 
nearly a century since the crude method of com- 
bustion on which you depended for heat became 

"In general," I said, "what impresses me 
most about the city is the material prosperity on 
the part of the people which its magnificence 

" I would give a great deal for just one glimpse 
of the, Boston of your day," replied Dr. Leete. 
" No doubt, as you imply, the cities of that 

period were rather shabby affairs. Ir you had 
the taste to make them splendid, which I would 
not be so rude as to question, the general poverty 
resulting from your extraordinary industrial sys- 
tem would not have given you the means. 
Moreover, the excessive individualism which 
then prevailed was inconsistent with much public 
spirit. What little wealth you had seems almost 
wholly to have been lavished in private luxury. 
Now-a-days, on the contrary, there is no destina- 
tion of the surplus wealth so popular as the 
adornment of the city, which all enjoy in equal 

The sun had been setting as we returned to 
the housetop, and as we talked night descended 
upon the city. 

" It is growing dark," said Dr. Leete." " Let 
us descend into the house ; I want to introduce 
my wife and daughter." 

His words recalled to me the feminine voices 
which I had heard whispering about me as I was 
coming back to conscious life ; and, most curious 
to learn what the ladies of the year 2000 were 
like, I assented with alacity to the proposition. 
The apartment in which we found the wife and 
daughter of my host, as well as the entire interior 
of the house, was filled with a mellow light, 
which I knew must be artificial, although I could 
not discover the source from which it was 
diffused. Mrs. Leete was an exceptionally fine 
looking and well-preserved woman of about her 
husband's age, while her daughter, who was in 
the first blush of womanhood, was the most 
beautiful girl I had ever seen. Her face was as 
bewitching as deep blue eyes, delicately tinted 
complexion and perfect features could make it, 
but even had her countenance lacked special 
charms, the faultless luxuriance of her figure 
would have given her a place as a beauty among 
the women of the nineteenth century. Feminine 
softness and delicacy were in this lovely creature 
deliciously combined with an appearance of 
health and abounding physical vitality too often 
lacking in the maidens with whom alone I could 
compare her. It was a coincidence trifling in 
comparison with the general strangeness of the 
situation, but still striking, that her name should 
be Edith. 

The evening that followed was certainly unique 
in the history of social intercourse, but to sup- 
pose that our conversation was peculiarly strain- 
ed or difficult, would be a great mistake. I 
believe, indeed, that it is under what may be 
called unnatural, in the sense of extraordinary, 
circumstances that people behave most naturally, 
for the reason no doubt that such circumstances 
banish artificiality. I know, at any rate, that 
my intercourse that evening with those repre- 
sentatives of another age and world was marked 
by an ingenuous sincerity and frankness such as 
that as but rarely crown long acquaintance. No 
doubt the exquisite tact of my entertainers had 
much to do with this. Of course there was no- 
thing we could talk of but the strange experience 
by virtue of which I was there, but they talked 
of it with an interest so naive and direct in its 
expression as to relieve the subject to a great 
degree of the element of 'the weird and the un- 



canny which might so easily have been over- 
powering. One would have supposed that they 
were quite in the habit of entertaining waifs from 
another century, so perfect was their tact. 

For my own part, never do I remember the 
operations of my mind to have been more alert 
and acute than that evening, or my intellectual 
sensibilities more keen. Of course, I do not 
mean that the consciousness of my amazing 
situation was for a moment out of mind, but its 
chief effect thus far was to produce a feverish 
elation, a sort of mental intoxication. [In 
accounting for this state of mind it must be re- 
membered that except for the topic of our con- 
versations there was in my surroundings next to 
nothing to suggest what had befallen me. With- 
in a block of my home in the old Boston I could 
have found social circles vastly more foreign to 
me. The speech of the Bostonians of the twen- 
tieth century differs even less from that of their 
cultured ancestors of the nineteenth than that of 
the latter from the language of Washington and 
Franklin, while the differences between the style 
of dress and furniture of the two epochs are not 
more marked than I have known fashion to make 
in the time of one generation.] 

Edith Leete took little part in the conversation, 
but when several times the magnetism of her 
beauty drew my glance to her face, I found her 
eyes fixed on me with an absorbed intensity, al- 
most like fascination. It was evident that I had 
excited her interest to an extraordinary degree, 
as was not astonishing supposing her to be a 
girl of imagination. Though I supposed curiosity 
was the chief motive of her interest, it could but 
affect me as it would not have done had she 
been less beautiful. 

Dr. Leete, as well as the ladies, seemed great- 
ly interested in my account of the circumstances 
under which I had gone to sleep in the under- 
ground chamber. All had suggestions to offer 
to account for my being forgotten there, and the 
theory which we finally agreed upon offers at 
least a plausible explanation, although whether 
it be in its details the true one, nobody, of course, 
will ever know. The layer of ashes found above 
the chamber indicated that the house had been 
burned down. Let it be supposed that the con- 
flagration had taken place the night I fell asleep. 
It only remains to assume that Sawyer lost his 
life in the fire or by some accident connected 
with it, and the rest follows naturally enough. 
No one but he and Dr. Pillsbury either knew of 
the existence of the chamber or that I was in it, 
and Dr. Pillsbury, who had gone that night to 
New Orleans, had probably never heard of the 
fire at all. The conclusion of my friends and of 
the public must have been that I had perished in 
the flames. An excavation of the ruins, unless 
thorough, would not have discovered the recess 
in the foundation walls connecting with my 
chamber. To be sure, if the site had been again 
built upon, at least immediately, such an excava- 
tion would have been necessary, but the trouble- 
some times and the undesirable character of the 
locality might well have prevented rebuilding. 
The size of the trees in the garden now occupy- 
ing the site indicated, Dr. Leete said, that for 

more than half-a-century at least it had been 
open ground. 


When, in the course of the evening the ladies 
retired, leaving Dr. Leete and myself alone, he 
sounded me as to my disposition for sleep, saying 
that if I felt like it my bed was ready for me ; 
but if I was inclined; , to wakefulness nothing 
would please him better than to bear me com- 
pany. " I am a late bird myself," he said, 
"and, without suspicion of flattery, I may say 
that a companion more interesting than yourself 
could scarcely be imagined. It is decidedly not 
often that one has a chance to converse with a 
man of the nineteenth century." 

Now I had been looking forward all the even- 
ing with some dread to the time when I should 
be alone, on retiring for the night, surrounded 
by these most friendly strangers, stimulated and 
supported by their sympathetic interest, I had 
been able to keep my mental balance. Even, 
then, however, in pauses of the conversation I 
had had glimpses, vivid as lightning flashes, of 
the horror of strangeness that was waiting to be 
faced when I could no longer command diversion. 
I knew I could not sleep that night, and as for 
lying awake and thinking, it argues no coward- 
ice, I am sure, to confess that I was afraid of it. 
When, in reply to my host's question, I frankly 
told him this, he replied, that it would be strange 
if I did not feel just so, but that I need have no 
anxiety about sleeping ; whenever I wanted to 
go to bed, he would give me a dose which would 
insure me a sound night's sleep without fail. 
Next morning, no doubt, I would awake with 
the feeling of an old citizen. 

"Before I acquire that," I replied, "I must 
know a little more about the sort of Boston I 
have come back to. You told me when we were 
upon the housetop that though a century only 
had elapsed since I fell asleep, it had been 
marked by greater changes in the conditions of 
humanity than many a previqus millenium. 
With the city before me I could well believe that, 
but I am very curious to know what some of the 
changes have been. To make a beginning some- 
where, for the subject is doubtless a large one, 
what solution, if any, have you found for the 
labour question ? It was the Sphinx's riddle of 
the nineteenth century, and when I dropped out 
the Sphinx was threatening to devour society, 
because the answer was not forthcoming. It is 
well worth sleeping a hundred years to learn 
what the right answer was, if, indeed, you have 
found it yet." 

"As no such thing as the labour question is 
known nowadays^" replied Dr. Leete, "and there 
is no way in which it could arise, I suppose we 
may claim to have solved it. Society would in- 
deed have fully deserved being devoured if it 
failed to answer a riddle so entirely simple. In 
fact, to speak by the book, it was not necessary 
for society to solve the riddle at all. It may be 
said to have solved itself. The solution came 
of the result of a process of industrial evo- 
lution which could not have terminated other- 



wise. All that society hau to do was to recog- 
nise and co-operate with that evolution, when its 
tendency had become unmistakable." 

"I can only say," I answered, "that at the 
time I fell asleep no such evolution had been 

"It was in 1887 that you fell into this sleep, I 
think you said " 

My companion regarded me musingly for some 
moments. Then he obse^ed, "And you tell me 
that even then there was no general recognition 
of the nature of the crisis which society was 
nearing? Of course, I fully credit your state- 
ment. The singular blindness of your contem- 
poraries to the signs of the times is a phenomenon 
commented on by many of our historians, but 
few facts of history are more difficult for us to 
realise, so obvious and unmistakable as we look 
back seem the indications, which must have also 
come under your eyes, of the transformation 
about to come to pass. I should be interested, 
Mr. West, if you would give me a little more 
definite idea of the view which you and men ot 
your grade of intellect took of the state and 
prospects of society in 1887. You must at least 
have realised that the widespread industrial and 
social troubles, and the underlying dissatisfaction 
of all classes with the inequalities of society, and 
the general misery of mankind, were portents of 
great changes of some sort." 

"We did, indeed, fully realise that," I replied. 
"We felt that society was dragging anchor and 
in danger of going adrift. Whither it would 
drift nobody could say, but all feared the rocks." 

"Nevertheless," said Dr. Leete, "the set of 
the current was perfectly perceptible if you had 
but taken the pains to observe it, and it was not 
toward the rocks, but toward a deeper channel." 

"We had a popular proverb," I replied, "that 
'hindsight is better than foresight,' the force of 
which I shall now, no doubt, appreciate more 
fully than ever. All I can say is that the prospect 
was such when I went into that long sleep that I 
should not have been surprised had I looked 
down from yoOr housetop to-day on a heap of 
charred and moss-grown ruins instead of this 
glorious city." 

Dr. Leete had listened to me with close atten- 
tion and nodded thoughtfully as I finished speak- 
ing. "What you have said," he observed, "will 
be regarded as a most valuable vindication of 
Storiot, whose account of your era has been 
generally thought exaggerated in its picture of 
the gloom and confusion of men's minds. That 
a period of transition like that should be full of 
excitement and agitation was indeed to be looked 
for, but seeing how plain was the tendency of the 
forces in operation, it was natural to believe that 
hope rather that fear would • have been the 
prevailing temper of the popular mind." 

"You have not told me what was the answer 
to the riddle which you found," I said. "I am 
impatient to know by what contradiction of 
natural sequence the peace and prosperity which 
you now seem to enjoy could have been the 
outcome of an era like my own." 

"Excuse me," replied my host, "but do you 
wmoke?" It was not till our cigars were lighted 

and drawing well that he resumed. "Since you 
are in the humour to talk rather than to sleep, as I 
certainly am, perhaps I cannot do better than to 
try to give you enough idea of our modern indus- 
trial system to dissipate at least the impression 
that there is any mystery about the process of its 
evolution. The Bostonians of your day had the 
reputation of being great askers of questions, 
and I am going to show my descent by ask- 
ing you one to begin with. What should you 
name as the most prominent feature of the labour 
troubles of your day?" 

"Why, the strikes, of course," I replied. 

"Exactly ; but what made the strikes so for- 
midable ?" 

"The great labor organisations." 

"And what was the motive of these great 
organisations ?" 

"The workmen claimed they had to organise 
to get their rights from the big corporations," I 

"That is just it," said Dr. Leete, "the organis- 
ation of labour and the strikes were an effect, 
merely, of the concentration of capital in greater 
masses than had ever been known before. Before 
this concentration began, while as yet commerce 
and industry were conducted by innumerable 
petty concerns with small capital instead of a 
small number of great concerns with vast capital, 
the individual workman was relatively important 
and independent in his relations to the employer. 
Moreover, when a little capital or a new idea was 
enough to start a man in business for himself, 
working men were constantly becoming em- 
ployers, and there was no hard and fast line 
between the two classes. Labour unions were 
needless, then, and general strikes out of the 
question. But when the era of small concerns 
with small capital was succeeded by that of the 
great aggregations of capital, all this was 
changed. The individual labourer who had been 
relatively important to the small employer was 
reduced to insignificance and powerlessness over 
against the great corporation, while at the same 
time the way upward to the grade of employer 
was closed to him. Self-defence drove him to 
unite with his fellows. 

"The records of the period show that the 
outcry against the concentration of capital was 
furious. Men believed that it threatened society 
with a form of tyranny more abhorrent than it 
had ever endured. They believed that the great 
corporations were preparing for them the yoke of 
a baser servitude than it had ever imposed on the 
race, servitude, not to men, but to soulless 
machines, incapable of any motive but insatiable 
greed. Looking back, we cannot wonder at 
their desperation, for certainly humanity was 
never confronted with a fate more sordid and 
hideous than would have been the era of cor- 
porate tyranny which they anticipated. 

"Meanwhile, without being in the smallest 
degree checked by the clamour against it, the 
absorption of business by ever larger monopolies 
continued. In the United States, where this 
tendency was later in developing than in Europe, 
there was not, after the beginning of the last 
quarter of the century, any opportunity whatever 



for individual enterprise in any important field of 
industry, unless backed by a great capital. 
During the last decade of the century, such small 
businesses as still remained were fast failing 
survivals of a past epoch, or mere parasites on 
the great corporations, or else existed in fields 
too small to attract the great capitalists. Small 
businesses, as far as they still remained, were 
reduced to the condition of rats and mice, living 
in holes and corners, and counting on evading 
notice for the enjoyment of existence. The rail- 
roads had gone on combining till a few great 
syndicates controlled every rail in the land. In 
manufactories every important staple was con- 
trolled by a syndicate. These syndicates, pools, 
trusts, or whatever their name, fixed prices and 
crushed all competition, except when combina- 
tions as vast as themselves arose. Then a 
struggle, resulting in a still greater consolida- 
tion ensued. The great city bazaar crushed its 
country rivals with branch stores, and in the city 
itself absorbed its smaller rivals till the business 
of a whole quarter was concentrated under one 
roof with a hundred former proprietors of shops 
serving as clerks. Having no business of his 
own to put his money in, the small capitalist, at 
the same time that he took service under the 
corporation, found no other investment for his 
money but its stocks and bonds, thus becoming 
doubly dependent upon it. 

"The fact that the desperate popular opposi- 
tion to the consolidation of business in a few 
powerful hands had no effect to check it, proves 
that there must have been strong economical 
reasons for it. The small capitalists, with their 
innumerable petty concerns, had, in fact, yielded 
the field to the great aggregations of capital, 
because they belonged to a day of small things 
and were totally incompetent to the demands of 
an age of steam and telegraphs and the gigantic 
scale of its enterprises. To restore the former 
order of things, even ii possible, would have 
involved returning to the day of stage coaches. 
Oppressive and intolerable as was the regime of 
the great consolidations of capital, even its vic- 
tims, while they cursed it, were forced to admit 
the prodigious increase of efficiency which had 
been imparted to the national industries, the 
vast economies effected by concentration, of 
management and unity of organisation, and to 
confess that since the new system had taken the 
place of the old, the wealth of the world had 
increased at a rate before undreamed of. To be 
sure, this vast increase had gone chiefly to make 
the rich richer, increasing the gap between them 
and the poor ; but the fact remained that, as a 
means merely of producing wealth, capital had 
been proved efficient in proportion to its consol- 
idation. The restoration of the old system, with 
the sub-division of capital, if it were possible, 
might bring back a greater equality of conditions 
with more individual dignity and freedom, but it 
would be at the cost of general poverty and the 
arrest of material progress. 

"Was there, then, no way of commanding the 
services of the mighty wealth-producing principle 
of consolidated capital, without bowing down to 
a plutocracy like that of Carthage ?" As soon as 

men began to ask themselves these questions, 
they found the answers ready for them. The 
movement toward the conduct of business by 
larger and larger aggregations of capital, the 
tendency toward monopolies, which had been so 
desperately and vainly resisted, was recognized 
at last in its true significance, as a process which 
only needed to complete its logical evolution to 
open a golden future to humanity. 
* "Early in the last century the evolution was 
completed by the final consolidation of the entire 
capital of the nation. The industry and com- 
merce of the country, ceasing to be conducted by 
a set of irresponsible corporations and syndicates 
of private persons at their caprice and for their 
profit, were entrusted to a single syndicate repre- 
senting the people, to be conducted in the common 
profit. The nation, that is to say organised as 
the one great business corporation in which all 
other corporations were absorbed; it became the 
one capitalist in the place of all other capitalists, 
the sole employer, the final monopoly, in which 
all previous and lesser monopolies were swal- 
lowed up, a monopoly in the profits and economies 
of which all citizens shared. In a word, the 
people of the United States concluded to assume 
the conduct of their own business, just as one 
hundred odd years before they had assumed the 
conduct of their own government, organising 
now for industrial purposes on precisely the same 
grounds on which they had then organised for 
political ends. At last, strangely late in the 
world's history, the obvious fact was perceived 
that no business is so essentially the public busi- 
ness as the industry and commerce on which the 
people's livelihood depends, and that to entrust it 
to private persons to be managed for private 
profit, is a folly similar in kind, though vastly 
greater in magnitude to that of surrendering the 
functions of public government to kingsand nobles 
to be conducted for their personal glorification." 

"Such a stupendous change as you describe," 
said I, " did not, of course, take place without 
great bloodshed and terrible convulsions." 

" On the contrary," replied Dr. Leete, " there 
was absolutely no violence. The change had 
been long foreseen. Public opinion had become 
fully ripe for it, and the whole mass of the people 
was behind it. There was no more possibility of 
opposing it by force than by argument. On the 
other hand the popular sentiment toward the 
great corporations and those identified with them 
had ceased to be one of bitterness, as they came 
to realise their necessity as a link, a transition 
phrase, in the evolution of the true industrial 
system. The most violent foes of the great 
private monopolies were now forced to recognise 
how invaluable and indispensable had been their 
office in educating the people up to the point ot 
assuming control of their own business. Fifty 
years before, the consolidation of the industries 
of the country under national control would have 
seemed a very daring experiment to the most 
sanguine. But by a series of great lessons, seen 
and studied by all men, the great corporation had 
taught the people an entirely new set of ideas on 
this subject. They had seen for many years syn- 
dicates handling revenues greater than those of 


States, and directing the labours of hundreds of 
thousands of men with an efficiency and economy 
unattainable in smaller operations. It had come 
to be recognised as an axiom that the larger the 
business the simpler the principles that can be 
applied to it ; that, as the machine is truer than 
the hand, so the system, which in a great concern 
does the work of the master's eye in a small busi- 
ness, turns out more accurate results. Thus it 
came about that, thanks to the corporations them- * 
selves, when it was proposed that the nation 
should assume their functions, the suggestion im- 
plied nothing which seemed impracticable even to 
the timid. To be sure it was a step beyond any 
yet taken, a broader generalisation, but the very 
fact that the nation would be the sole corporation 
in the field would, it was seen, relieve the under- 
taking of many difficulties with which the partial 
monopolies had contended." 


Dr. Leete ceased speaking, and I remained 
silent, endeavouring to form some general con- 
ception of the changes in the arrangement of 
society implied in the tremendous revolution 
which he had described. 

Finally I said, "The idea of such an extension 
of the functions of government is, to say the least, 
rather overwhelming." 

" Extension !" he repeated, " where is the 
extension ?" 

"In my day," I replied, "it was considered that 
the proper functions of government, strictly 
speaking, were limited to keeping the peace and 
defending the people against the public enemy, 
that is, to the military and police powers." 

" And in heaven's name who are the public 
enemies?" exclaimed Dr. Leete. "Are they 
France, England, Germany, or hunger, cold and 
nakedness ? In your day governments were 
accustomed, on the slightest international misun- 
derstanding, to seize upon the bodies of citizens 
and deliver them over by hundreds of thousands 
to death and mutilation, wasting their treasures 
the while like water ; and all ihis oftenest for no 
imaginable profit to the victims. We have no 
wars now, and our government no war powers, 
but in order to protect every citizen against hun- 
ger, cold, and nakedness, and provide for all his 
physical and mental needs, the function is assumed 
of directing his industry for a term of years. No, 
Mr. West, I am sure on reflection you will per- 
ceive that it was in your age, not in ours, that the 
extension of the functions of government was 
extraordinary. Not even for the best ends would 
men now allow their government such powers as 
were then used for the less maleficent." 

"Leaving comparisons aside," I said, "the 
demagoguery and corruption of our public men 
would have been considered, in my day, insuper- 
able objections to any assumption by government 
of the charge of the national industries. We 
should have thought that no arrangements could 
be worse than to entrust the politicians with con- 
trol of the wealth-producing machinery of the 
country. Its material interests were quite too 
much the football of parties as it was." 

"No doubt you were right," rejoined Dr. Leete, 
" but all that has changed now. We have no 
parties or politicians, and as for demagoguery 
and corruption, they are words having only an 
historical significance." 

"Human nature itself must have changed very 
much," I said. 

"Not at all," was Dr. Leete's reply, "but the 
conditions of human life have changed, and with 
them the motives of human action. The organ- 
isation of society no longer offers a premium on 
baseness. -But these are matters which you can 
only understand as you come, with time, to know 
us better. 

" But you have not yet t«ld me how you have 
settled the labour problem. It is the problem of 
capital which we have been discussing," I said. 
"After the nation had assumed conduct of the 
mills, machinery, railroads, farms, mines and 
capital in general of the country, the labour ques- 
tion still remained. In assuming the responsibil- 
ities of capital, the nation had assumed the 
difficulties of the capitalist's position." 

" The moment the nation assumed the respon- 
sibilities of capital, those difficulties vanished," 
replied Dr. Leete. "The national organisation 
of labour under one direction was the complete 
solution of what was, in your day and under your 
system, justly regarded as the insoluble labour 
problem. When the nation became the sole 
employer, all the citizens, by virtue of their 
citizenship, became employees, to be distributed 
according to the needs of industry." 

" That is," I suggested, "you have simply ap- 
plied the principle of universal military service, 
as it was understood in our day, to the labour 

" Yes," said Dr. Leete, " that was something 
which followed as a matter of course as soon as 
the nation had become the sole capitalist. The 
people were already accustomed to the idea that 
the obligation of every citizen, not physically dis- 
abled, to contribute his military services to the 
defence of the nation was equal and absolute. 
That it was equally the duty of every citizen to 
contribute his quota of industrial or intellectual 
services to the maintenance of the nation was 
equally evident, though it was not until the nation 
became the employer of labour that citizens were 
able to render this sort of service with any pre- 
tence either of universality or equity. No organ- 
isation of labour was possible when the employing 
power was divided among hundreds of thousands 
of individuals and corporations, between which 
concert of any kind was neither desired, indeed, 
nor feasible. It constantly happened then that 
vast numbers who desired to labour could find no 
opportunity, and on the other hand, those *vho 
desired to evade a part or all of their debt could 
easily do so." 

" Service now,"I suppose, is compulsory upon 
all," I suggested. 

" It is rather a matter of course than of com- 
pulsion," replied Dr. Leete. "It is regarded as 
so absolutely natural and reasonable that the idea 
of its being compulsory has ceased to be thought 
of. He would be thought to be an incredibly con- 
temptible person whe should need compulsion in 


such a case. Nevertheless, to speak of service 
being compulsory would be a weak way to state 
its absolute inevitableness. Our entire social 
order is so wholly based upon and deduced from 
it that it it were conceivable that a man could 
escape it, he would be left with no possible way 
to provide for his existence. He would have 
excluded himself from the world, cut himself off 
from his kind, in a word, committed suicide." 

" Is the term of service in this industrial army 
for life?" 

V Oh, no ! it both begins later and ends earlier 
than the average working period in your day. 
Your workshops were filled with children and old 
men, but we hold the period of youth sacred to 
education, and the period of maturity, when the 
physical forces begin to flag, equally sacred to 
ease and agreeable relaxation. The period of 
industrial service is twenty-four years, beginning 
at the close of the course of education at twenty- 
one and terminating at forty-five. After forty-five, 
while discharged from labour, the citizen still 
remains liable to special calls, in case of emerg- 
encies causing a sudden great increase in the 
demand for labour, till he reaches the age of 
fifty-five, but such calls are rarely, in fact, almost 
never made. The fifteenth day of October of 
every year is what we call Muster Day, because 
those who have reached the age of twenty-one 
are then mustered into the industrial service, 
and at the same time those who, after twenty-four 
years' service, have reached the age of forty-five, 
are honourably mustered out. It is the great 
event of the year with us, whence we reckon all 
other events, our Olympiad, save that it is annual." 


"It is after you have mustered your industrial 
army into service," I said, "that I should expect 
the chief difficulty to arise, for there its analogy 
with a military army must cease. Soldiers have 
all the same thing, and a very simple thing, to do, 
namely to practice the manual of arms, to march 
and stand guard. But the industrial army must 
learn and follow two or three hundred diverse 
trades and avocations. What administrative 
talent can be equal to determining wisely what 
trade or business every man in a great nation shall 
pursue ?" 

" The administration has nothing to do with 
determining that point." 

" Who does determine it, then," I asked. 

"Every man fdr himself, in accordance with his 
natural aptitude, the utmost pains being taken to 
enable him to find out what his natural aptitude 
really is. The principle on which our industrial 
army is organised is that a man's natural endow- 
ments, mental and physical, determine what he 
can work at most profitably, to the nation and 
most satisfactorily to himself. While the obliga- 
tion of service in some form is not to be evaded, 
voluntary election, subject only to necessary 
regulation, is depended on to determine the par- 
ticular sort of service every man is to render. As 
an individual's satisfaction during his term of 
service depends on his having an occupation to 
his taste, parents and teachers watch from early 

years for indications of special aptitudes in 
children. Manual industrial training is no part 
of our educational system, which is directed to 
general culture and the humanities, but a theo- 
retical knowledge of the processes of various 
industries is given, and our youth are constantly 
encouraged to visit the workshops, and are fre- 
quently taken on long excursions to acquire 
familiarity with special industries. Usually long 
before he is mustered into service, a young man, 
if he has a taste for any special pursuit, has found 
it out and probably acquired a great deal of infor- 
mation about it. If, however, he has no special 
taste, and makes no election when opportunity is 
offered, he is assigned to any vocation among 
those of an unskilled character which may be in 
need of men." 

"Surely," I said, "it can hardly be that the 
number of volunteers for any trade is exactly the 
number needed in that trade. It must be gener- 
ally either under or over the demand." 

" The supply of volunteers is always expected 
to fully equal the demand," replied Dr. Leete. 
" It is the business of the administration to see 
that this is the case. The rate of volunteering 
for each trade is closely watched. If there be a 
noticeably greater excess of volunteers over men 
needed in any trade, it is inferred that the trade 
offers greater attractions than others. On the 
other hand, if the number of volunteers for a 
trade tends to drop below the demand, it is in- 
ferred that it is thought more arduous. It is the 
business of the administration to seek constantly 
to equalise the attractions of the trades so far as 
the conditions of labour in them are concerned, 
so that all trades shall be equally attractive to 
persons having natural tastes for them. This is 
done by making the hours of labour in different 
trades to differ according to their arduousness. 
The lighter trades, prosecuted under the most 
agreeable circumstances, have in this way the 
longest hours, while an arduous trade, such as 
mining, has very short hours. There is no 
theory, no a priori rule, by which the respective 
attractiveness of industries is determined. The 
administration, in taking burdens of one class of 
workers and adding them to other classes, sim- 
ply follows the fluctuations of opinions among the 
workers themselves as indicated by the rate of 
volunteering. The principle is that no man's 
work ought to be, on the whole, harder for him 
than any other man's for him, the workers them- 
selves to be the judges. There are no limits to 
the application of this rule. If any particular 
occupation is in itself so arduous or so oppres- 
sive, that, in order to induce volunteers, the day's 
work in it had to be reduced to ten minutes, it 
would be done. If even then, no man was willing 
to do it, it would remain undone. But of course, 
in point of fact, a moderate reduction in the 
hours of labor or addition of other privileges, 
suffices to secure all needed volunteers for any 
occupation necessary to men. If, indeed, the 
unavoidable difficulties and dangers of such a 
necessary pursuit were so great that no induce- 
ment of compensating advantages would over- 
come men's repugnance to it, the administration 
would only need to take it out of the common 

•'•4. ; w^^i ■ ' f\''' ll /,s'Ii'vC lH ''. 


order of occupations by declaring' it ' extra haz- 
ardous/ and those who pursued it especially 
worthy of the nation's gratitute, to be overrun 
with volunteers. Our young men are very greedy 
of honour, and do not let slip such opportunities. 
Of course you will see that dependence on the 
purely voluntary choice of the avocations involves 
the abolition in all of anything like unhygienic 
conditions or special peril to life and limb. 
Health and safety are conditions common to all 
industries. The nation does not maim and 
slaughter its workmen by thousands, as did the 
private capitalists and corporations of your day." 

"When there are more who want to enter a 
particular trade than there is room for, how do 
you decide between the applicants?" I inquire. 

" Preference is given to those with the best 
general records in their preliminary service as 
unskilled labourers, and as youths in their educa- 
tional course. No man, however, who through 
successive years remains persistent in his desire 
to show what he can do at any particular trade, 
is in the end denied an opportunity. I should 
add, in reference to the counter-possibility of 
some sudden failure of volunteers in a particular 
trade, or some sudden necessity of an increased 
force, that the administration, while depending 
on the voluntary system for filling up the trades 
as a rule, holds always in reserve the power to 
call for special volunteers, or draft any force 
needed from any quarter. Generally, however, 
all needs of this sort can be met by details from 
the class of unskilled or common labourers." 

" How is this class of common labourers re- 
cruited?" I asked. 4 ' Surely nobody voluntarily 
enters that." 

" It is the grade to which all new recruits be- 
long for the first three years of their service. 
It is not till after this period, during which he is 
assignable to any work at the discretion of his 
superiors, that the young man is allowed to elect 
a special avocation. These three years of 
stringent discipline none are exempt from." 

"As an industrial system I should think this 
might be extremely efficient," I said, "but I don't 
see that it makes any provision for the profes- 
sional classes, the men who serve the nation 
with brains instead of hands. Of course you 
can't get along without the brain-workers. How, 
then, are they selected from those who are to 
serve as farmers and mechanics? That must 
require a very delicate sort of sifting process, I 
should say." 

"So it does," replied Dr. Leete, "the most 
delicate possible test is needed here, and so we 
leave the question whether a man shall be a brain 
or hand worker entirely to him to settle. At 
the end of the term of three years as a common 
laborer, which every man must serve, it is for 
him to choose in accordance to his natural tastes 
whether he will fit himself for an art or profession, 
or be a farmer or mechanic. If he feels that he 
can do better work with his brains than his mus- 
cles he finds every facility provided for testing 
the reality of his supposed bent, of cultivating it, 
and if fit, of pursuing it as his avocation. ' The 
schools of technology, of medicine, of art, of 
music, of histrionics and of higher liberal learn- 

ing, are always open to aspirants without condi- 

"Are not the schools flooded with young men 
whose only motive is to avoid work ?" 

Dr. Leete smiled a little grimly. 

"No one is at all likely to enter the professional 
schools for the possibility of avoiding work, I as- 
sure you," he said. "They are intended for those 
with special aptitude for the branches they teach, 
and any one without it would find it easier to do 
double hours at his trade than try to keep up 
with the classes. Of course many honestly mis- 
take their vocation, and finding themselves un- 
equal to the requirements of the school, drop out 
and return to the industrial service; no discredit 
attaches to such persons, for the public policy is 
to encourage all to develop suspected talents 
which only actual tests can prove the reality of. 
The professional and scientific schools of your 
day depended on the patronage of their pupils for 
support, and the practice appears to have been 
common of giving diplomas to unfit persons, who 
afterwards found their way into the professions. 
Our schools are national institutions, and to have 
passed their tests is a proof of special abilities not 
to be questioned." 

"This opportunity for a professional training," 
the doctor continued, "remains open to every 
man till the age of thirty-five is reached, after 
which students are not received, as there would 
remain too brief a period before the age of dis- 
charge in which to serve the nation in their pro- 
fessions. In your day young men had to choose 
their professions very young, and therefore in a 
large proportion of instances, wholly mistook 
their vocations. It is recognised nowadays 
that the natural aptitudes of some are later than 
those of others in developing, and therefore, 
while the choice of a profession may be made as 
early as twenty-four, it remains open for eleven 
years longer. I should add that the right of 
transfer, under proper restrictions, from a trade 
first chosen to one preferred later in life, also re- 
mains open to a man till thirty-five." 

A question which had a dozen times before 
been on my lips, now found utterance, a question 
which touched upon what, in my time, had been 
regarded as the most vital difficulty in the way of 
any final settlement of the industrial problem. 
"It is an extraordinary thing," I said, "that you 
should not yet have said a word about the method 
of adjusting wages. Since the nation is the sole 
employer the government must fix the rate of 
wages and determine just how much everybody 
shall earn, from the doctors to the diggers. 
All I can say is, that this plan would never have 
worked with us, and I don't see how it can now, 
unless human nature has changed. In my day, 
nobody was satisfied with his wages or salary. 
Even if he felt he had received enough, he was 
sure his neighbor had too much, which was as 
bad. If the universal discontent on this subject, 
instead of being dissipated in curses and strikes 
directed against innumerable employers could 
have been concentrated upon one, and that the 
government, the strongest ever devised would 
not have seen two pay days. 

Dr. Leete laughed heartily. 


"Very true, very true," he said, "a general 
strike would most probably have followed the first 
pay day, and a strike directed against a govern- 
ment is a revolution." 

"How, then, do you avoid a revolution every 
pay day," I demanded. "Has some prodigious 
philosopher devised a new system of calculus 
satisfactory to all for determining the exact and 
comparative value of all sorts of service, whether 
by brawn or brain, by hand or voice, by ear or 
eye? Or has human nature itself changed, so 
that no man looks upon his own things, but 
'every man upon the things of his neighbor?' 
One or the other of these events must be the 

"Neither one nor the other, however, is," was 
my hosts laughing response. "And now, Mr. 
West," he continued, "you must remember that 
you are my patient as well as my guest, and per- 
mit me to prescribe sleep for you before we have 
any more conversation. It is after three o'clock." 

"The prescription is, no doubt, a wise one," I 
said. "I only hope it can be filled." 

"I will see to that," the doctor replied, and he 
did, for he gave me a wine glass of something or 
other which sent me to sleep as soon as my head 
touched the pillow. 


When I awoke I felt greatly refreshed and lay 
a considerable time in a dozing state, enjoying 
the sensation of bodily comfort. The experience 
of the day previous, my waking to find myself in 
the year 2000, the sight of the new Boston, my 
host and hi* family, and the wonderful things I 
had heard were a blank in my memory. I thought 
I was in my bedchamber at home, and the half- 
dreaming, half waking fancies which passed be- 
fore my mind related to the incidents of Decora- 
tion Day, my trip in company with Edith and her 
parents to Mount Auburn, aad my dining with 
them on my return to the city. I recalled how 
extremely well Edith had looked, and from that 
fell to thinking of our marriage; but scarcely had 
my imagination begun to develop this delightful 
theme than my waking dream was cut short by 
the recollection of the letter I had received the 
night before from the builder, announcing that 
the fresh strikes might postpone indefinitely the 
completion of the new house. The chagrin which 
this recollection brought with it effectually aroused 
me. I remembered that I had an appointment 
with the builder at eleven o'clock, to discuss the 
strike, and opening my eyes, looked up at the 
clock at the foot of the bed to see what time it 
was. But no clock met my glance, and what 
was more, I instantly perceived that I was not in 
my room. Starting up on my couch, I stared 
wildly around the strange apartment. 

I think it must have been many seconds that I 
sat up thus in bed staring about without being 
able to regain the clue to my personal identity. 
I was no more able to distinguish myself from 
pure being during those moments than we may 
suppose a soul in the rough to be before it has 
received the ear-marks, the individualising touches 
which make it a person. Strange that the sense 

of this inability should be such anguish, but so we 
are constituted. There are no words for the 
mental torture I endured during this helpless, 
eyeless groping for myself in a boundless void. 
No other experience of the mind gives probably 
anything like the sense of absolute intellectual 
arrest from the loss of a mental fulcrum, a start- 
ing point of thought, which comes during such a 
momentary obscuration of the sense of one's iden- 
tity. I trust I may never know what it is again. 

T do not know how long this condition had 
lasted — it seemed an interminable time — when, 
like a flash, the recollection of everything came 
back to me. I remembered who and where I 
was, and how I had come here, and that these 
scenes as of the life of yesterday which had been 
passing before my mind concerned a generation 
long, long ago mouldered to dust. Leaping 
from my bed, I stood in the middle of the room 
clasping my temples with all my might between 
my hands to keep them from bursting. Then I 
fell prone on the couch and, burying my face in 
the pillow, lay without motion. The reaction 
which was inevitable, from the mental elation, 
the fever of the intellect that had been the first 
effect of my tremendous experience, had arrived. 
The emotional crisis, which had awaited the full 
realisation of my actual position and all that it 
implied, was upon me, and with set teeth and 
labouring chest, gripping the bedstead with 
frenzied strength, I lay there and fought for my 
sanity. In my miad, all had broken loose, 
habits of feeling, associations of thought, ideas 
of persons and things, all had dissolved and lost 
coherence and were seething together in appar- 
ently irretrievable chaos. There were »o rally- 
ing points, nothing was left stable. There oaly 
remained the will, and was any human will strong 
enough to say to such a weltering sea, "Peace 
be still ?" I dared not to think. Every effort to 
reason upon what had befallen me, and realise 
what it implied, set up an intolerable swimming 
of the brain. The idea that I was two persons, 
that my identity was double, began to fascinate 
me with its simple solution of my experience. 

I knew that I was on the verge of losing my 
mental balance. If I lay there thinking I was 
doomed. Diversion of some sort I must have, at 
least the diversion of physical exertion. I sprang 
up and, hastily dressing, opened the door of my 
room and went down stairs. The hour was very 
early, it being not yet fairly light, and I found no 
one in the lower part of the house. There was a 
hat in the hall, and, opening the front door, 
which was fastened with a slightness indicating 
that burglary was not among the perils of the 
modern Boston, I found myself in the street. For 
two hours I walked or ran through the streets of 
the city, visiting most quarters of the peninsular 
part of the town. None but an antiquarian who 
knows something of the contrast which the Bos- 
ton of to-day offers to the Boston of the nine- 
teenth century, can begin to appreciate what a 
series of bewildered surprises I underwent dur- 
ing that time. Viewed from the housetops the 
day before, the city had appeared strange to 
me, but that was only its general aspect. How 
complete the change had been I first realised 



now that 1 walked the streets. The few old land- 
marks which still remained only intensified this 
effect, for without them I might have imagined 
myself in a foreign town. A man may leave his 
native city in childhood, and return fifty years 
later, perhaps, to find it transformed in many 
features. He is astonished, but he is not bewild- 
ered. He is aware of a great lapse of time, and 
of changes likewise occurring in himself mean- 
while. He but dimly recalls the city as he knew 
it when a child. But remember that there was 
no sense of any lapse of time with me. So far as 
consciousness was concerned, it was but yester- 
day, but a few hours since I had walked these 
streets in which scarcely a feature had escaped 
a complete metamorphosis. The mental image 
of the old city was so fresh and strong that it 
did not yield to the impression of the actual city, 
but contended with it, so that it was first one and 
then the other which seemed the more unreal. 
There was nothing I saw which was not blurred in 
this way, like the faces of a composite photograph. 

Finally I stood again at the door of the house 
from which I had come out. My feet must have 
instinctively brought me back to my old home, for 
I had no clear idea of returning thither. It was 
no more homelike to me than any other spot in 
this city of a strange generation, nor were its in- 
mates less utterly and necessarily strangers than 
all the other men and women now on the earth. 
Had the door of the house been locked I should 
have been reminded by its resistance that I had 
no object in entering, and turned away, but it 
yielded to my hand, and advancing with uncer- 
tain steps through the hall, I entered one of the 
apartments opening from it. Throwing myself 
into a chair, I covered my burning eyeballs with 
my hands to shut out the horror of strangeness. 
My mental confusion was so intense as to pro- 
duce actual nausea. The anguish of those mo- 
ments, during which my brain seemed melting, 
or the abjectness of my sense of helplessness, 
how can I describe ? In my despair I groaned 
aloud. I began to feel that, unless some help 
should come, I was about to lose my mind. And 
just then it did come. I heard the rustle of drap- 
ery and looked up. Edith Leete was standing 
before me. Her beautiful face was full of the 
most poignant sympathy. 

"Oh, what is the matter, Mr. West?" she said. 
"I was here when you came in. I saw how dread- 
fully distressed you looked, and when I heard 
you groan, I could not keep silent. What has 
happened to you ? Where have you been ? Can't 
I do something for you ?" 

Perhaps she involuntarily held out her hands 
in a gesture of compassion as she spoke. At any 
rate I caught them in my own, and was clinging 
to them with an impulse as instinctive as that 
which prompts the drowning man to seize upon 
and cling to the rope which is thrown him as he 
sinks for the last time. As I looked up into her 
compassionate face and her eyes moist with pity, 
my brain ceased to whirl. The tender human 
sympathy which thrilled in the soft pressure of 
her fingers had brought me the support I needed. 
Its effect to calm and soothe was like that of 
some wonder-working elixir. 

"God bless you," I said, after a few moments. 

"He must have sent you to me just now. I think 
I was in danger of going crazy if you had not 
come." At this the tears came into her eyes. 

"Oh, Mr. Westl" she cried. "How heartless 
you must have thought us ! How could we leave 
you to yourself so longl But it is over now, is it 
not ? You are better, surely." 

"Yes," I said, "thanks to you. If you will not 
go away quite yet, I shall be myself soon." 

"Indeed I will not go away," she said, with a 
little quiver of the face more expressive of her 
sympathy than a volume of words. "You must 
not think us so heartless as we seemed in leaving 
you so by yourself. I scarcely slept last night, 
for thinking how strange your waking would be 
this morning; but father said you would sleep till 
late. He said that it would be better not to show 
too much sympathy with you at first, but to try to 
divert your thoughts and make you feel that you 
were among friends." 

"You have indeed made me feel that," I an- 
swered. "But you see it is a good deal of a jolt 
to drop a hundred years, and although I did not 
seem to feel it so much last night, I have had very 
odd sensations this morning." While I held her 
hands and kept my eyes on her face, I could al- 
ready even jest a little at my plight. 

"No one thought of such a thing as your going 
out into the city alone so early in the morning." , 
she went on. "Oh, Mr. West, where have you ; 
been ?" 

Then I told her of my morning's experience 
from my first waking till the moment I had looked 
up to see her before me, just as I have told it^ 
here. She was overcome with distressful pity' 
during the recital, and though I had released one 
of her hands, did not try to take from me the 
other, seeing, no doubt, how much good it didj 
me to hold it. "I can think a little what this 
feeling must have been like," she said. "It must- 
have been terrible. And to think that you were 
left alone to struggle with it 1 Can you ever for-^ 
give us ?" 

"But it is gone now. You have driven it quite;! 

away for the present," I said. 

"You will not let it return again," she queried 


"I can't quite say that," I replied. "It might 
be too early to say that, considering how strange 
everything will still be to me." 

"But you will not try to contend with it alone 
again, at least," she persisted. "Promise that^ 
you will come to us, and let us sympathise withjj 
you and try to help you. Perhaps we can't doi 
much, but it will surely be better than to try to: 
bear such feelings alone." 

"I will come to you if you will let me," I said. 

"Oh, yes, yes, I beg you will," she said eager- 
ly. "I would do anything to helpyou that I could." 

"All you need do is to be sorry for me, as you 
seem to be now," I replied. 

"It is understood, then," she said, smiling with 
wet eyes, "that you are to come and tell mc next 
time, and not run all over Boston among strang- 
ers. " 

This assumption that we were not stranger* 
seemed scarcely strange, so near within these 



few minutes had my troubles and her sympathetic 
tears brought us. 

"I will promise when you come to me," she 
added, with an expression of charming- archness, 
passing, as she continued, into one of enthusiasm, 
"to seem as sorry for you as you wish, but you 
must not for a moment suppose that I am really 
sorry for you at all, or that I think you will long- 
be sorry for yourself. I know as well as I know- 
that the world now is heaven compared with what 
it was in your day, that the only feeling you will 
have after a little while will be one of thankful- 
ness to God that your life in that age was so 
strangely cut •ff to be returned to you in this." 


Dr. and Mrs. Leete were evidently not a little 
startled to learn, when they presently appeared, 
that I had been all over the city alone that morn- 
ing, and it was apparent that they were agreeably 
surprised to see that I seemed so little agitated 
after the experience. 

"Your stroll could scarcely have failed to be a 
very interesting one," said Mrs. Leete, as we sat 
down to table soon after. "You must have seen 
a good many new things." 

"I saw very little that was not new," I replied. 
"But I think what surprised me as much as any- 
thing, was not to find any stores on Washington 
street or any banks on State. What have you 
done with the merchants and bankers ? Hung 
them all, perhaps, as the anarchists wanted to do 
in my day ?" 

"Not so bad as that," said Dr. Leete." We 
have simply dispensed with them. Their func- 
tions are obsolete in the modern world." 

"Who sells you things when you want to buy 
them," I inquired. 

"There is neither selling nor buying nowadays; 
the distribution of goods is effected in another 
way. As to bankers, having no money, we have 
no use for those gentry." 

"Miss Leete," said I, turning to Edith, "I am 
afraid that your father is making sport of me. j 
don't blame him, for the temptation my innocence 
offers must be extraordinary. But, really, there 
are limits to my credulity as to possible altera- 
tions in the social system." 

"Father has no idea of jesting, I am sure," she 
replied, with a reassuring smile. 

The conversation took another turn then, the 
point of ladies' fashions in the nineteenth century 
being raised, if I remember rightly, by Mrs. Leete, 
and it was not till after breakfast, when the doc- 
tor had invited me up to the housetop, which ap- 
peared to be a favorite resort of his, that be re- 
curred to the subject. 

"You were surprised," he said, "at my saying 
that we got along without money or trade, but a 
moment's reflection will show that trade existed 
and money was needed in your day simply be- 
cause the business was left in private hands, and 
that, consequently, they are superfluous now." 

"I do not at once see how that follows," I replied. 

"It is very simple," said Dr. Leete "When 
innumerable unrelated and independent persons 
produced the various things needful <o ' ;r > ' 

comfort, endless exchanges between individuals 

were requisite in order that they might supply 
themselves with what they desired. These ex- 
changes constituted trade, and money was es- 
sential as their medium. But as soon as the na- 
tion became the sole producer of all sorts of 
commodities, there was no need of exchanges 
between individuals that they might get what 
they required. Everything- was procurable from 
one source, and nothing could be procured any- 
where else. A system of direct distribution 
from the national storehouse took the place of 
trade, and for this money was unnecessary." 

"How is the distribution managed ?" I asked. 

"On the simplest possible plan," replied Dr. 
Leete. "A credit corresponding to his share of 
the annual product of the nation is given to every 
citizen on the public books at the beginning of 
each year, and a credit card issued him with 
which he procures at the public storehouses, found 
in every community, whatever he desires when- 
ever he desires it. This arrangement you will 
see totally obviates the necessity for business 
transactions of any sort between individuals and 
consumers. Perhaps you would like to see what 
our credit cards are like." 

"You observe," he pursued, as I was curiously 
examining the piece of pasteboard he gave me, 
"that this card is issued for a certain number of 
dollars. We have kept the old word, but not the 
substance. The term, as we use it, answers to 
no real thing, but merely serves as an algebraical 
symbol for comparing the values of products with 
one another. For this purpose they are all priced 
in dollars and cents, just as in your day. The 
value of what I procure on this card is checked 
off by the clerk, who pricks out of these tiers of 
squares the price of what I order." 

"If you wanted to buy something- of your 
neighbor, could you transfer part of your credit 
to him as consideration ?" I inquired. 

"In the first place," replied Dr. Leete, "our 
neig-hbors have nothing to sell us, but in any 
event our credit would not be transferable, being 
strictly personal. Before the nation could even 
think of honouring such transfer as you speak of, 
it would be bound to enquire into all the circum- 
stances of the transaction, so as to be able to 
guarantee its absolute equity. It would have 
been reason enough, had there been no other, for 
abolishing money, that its possession was no in- 
dication of rightful title to it. In the hands of the 
man who has stolen it or murdered for it, it was 
as good as in those which had earned it by in- 
dustry. People nowadays exchange gifts and 
favours out of friendship, but buying and selling 
is considered absolutely inconsistent with the 
mutual benevolence ar-d disinterestedness which 
should prevail bet*w?»n citizens, and the sense of 
community of interests w r hich supports our social 
system. According to our ideas, buying and 
selling is essentiall" anti-social in all its tenden- 
cies. It is an education in self-seeking at the 
expense of others, and no society whose citizens 
are trained la auot a school can possibly rise 
above a very l»v grade of civilisation." 

"What if you have to spend more than your 
card in any one v^ar?" I askedi 



"The provision is so ample that we are more 
likely not to spend it all," replied Dr. Leete. 
"But if extraordinary expenses should exhaust it, 
we can obtain a limited advance on the next 
year's credit, though this practice is not encour- 
aged, and a heavy discount is charg-ed to check 

"If you don't spend your allowance, I suppose 
it accumulates ?" 

"That is also permitted to a certain extent, 
When a special outlay is anticipated But unless 
notice to the contrary is given, it is presumed 
that the citizen who dees not fully expend his 
credit did not have occasion to do so, and the 
balance is tur»ed into a general surplus." 

"Such a system does not encourage saving 
habits on the part e» r citizens," I said. 

"It is not intended to," was the reply. "The 
nation is rich, and does net wish the people to 
deprive themselves «*f any good thing. In your 
day, men were bound to lay up goods and money 
against coming failure of the means of support 
and for their children. The necessity made par- 
simony a virtue. But now it would have no such 
laudable object, and, having lost its utility, it 
has ceased to be regarded as a virtue. No man 
any more has any care for the morrow, either for 
himself or his children, for the nation guarantees 
the nurture, education and comfortable mainten- 
ance of every citizen, from the cradle to the 

"That is a sweeping guarantee,"! said. "What 
certainty can there be that the value of a man's 
labour will recompense the nation for its outlay 
on him ? On the whole, society may be able to 
support all its members, but some must earn less 
than enough for their support, and others more; 
and that brings us back once more to the wages 
question on which you have hitherto said nothing. 
It was at just this point, if you remember, that 
our talk ended last evening; and I say again, as 
I did then, that here I should suppose a national 
industrial system like yours would find jts main 
difficulty. How, I ask once more, can you ad- 
just satisfactorily the comparative wages or re- 
muneration of the multitude of avocations, so un- 
like and so incommensurable, which are neces- 
sary for the service of society ? In our day the 
market rate determined the price of labour of all 
sorts, as well as of goods. The employer paid 
as little as he could, and the worker got as much. 
It was not a pretty system ethically, I admit; but 
it did, at least, furnish us a rough and ready for- 
mula for settling a question which must be set- 
tled ten thousand times a day if the world was 
ever going to get forward. There seemed to us 
no other practicable way of doing it." 

<4 Yes," replied Dr. Leete, " ; t was the only 
practicable way under a system which made the 
interests of every individual antagonistic to those 
of every other; but it would have been a pity if 
humanity could never Jaave devised a better plan, 
for yours was simpJj the application to the mu- 
tual relations of wen of the devil's maxim, 'Your 
necessity is my opportunity.' The reward of any 
service depended not upon its difficulty, danger, 
•r hardship, for throughout the world it seems 
Jthat the most perilous, severe and repulsive labour 

was done by the worst paid classes; but solely 
upon the strait of those who needed the service." 

"All that is conceded," I said. "But, with all 
its defects, the plan of settling prices by the mar- 
ket rate was a practical plan ; and I cannot con- 
ceive what satisfactory substitute you can have 
devised for it. The government being the only 
possible employer there is, of course, no labour 
market or market rate. Wages of all sorts must 
be arbitrarily fixed by the government. I cannot 
imagine a more complex or delicate function than 
that must be, or one, however performed, more 
certain to breed universal dissatisfaction." 

"I beg your pardon," replied Dr. Leete, "but I 
think you exaggerate the difficulty. Suppose a 
board of fairly sensible men were charged with 
settling the wages for all sorts of trades under a 
system which, like ours, guaranteed employment 
to all, while permitting the choice of avocations. 
Don't you see that, however unsatisfactory the 
first adjustment might be, the mistakes would 
soon correct themselves ? The favoured trades 
would have too many volunteers, and those dis- 
criminated against would lack them till the errors 
were set right. But this is aside from the pur-' 
pose, for, though this plan would, I fancy, be 
practicable enough, it is no part of our system." 

"How, then, do you regulate wages?" I once 
more asked. 

Dr. Leete did not reply till after several mo- 
ments of meditative silence. "I know, of course," 
he finally said, "enough of the old order of things 
to understand just what you mean by that ques- 
tion ; and yet the present order is so utterly 
different at this point that I am a little at ^ loss 
how to answer you best. You ask me how we 
regulate wages ; I can only reply that there is no 
idea in the modern social economy which at all 
corresponds with what was meant by wages in 
your da}'." 

"I suppose you mean that you have no money 
to pay wages in," said I. "But the credit given 
to the worker at the Government storehouse 
answers tc his wages with us. How is the 
amount of credit given respectively to the 
workers in different lines determined ? By what 
title does the individual claim his particular 
share? What is the basis of allotment ?" 

"His title," replied Dr. Leete, "is his human- 
ity. The basis of his claim is the fact that he is 
a man." 

"The fact that he is a man !" I repeated in- 
credulously. "Do you possibly mean that all: 
have the same share ?" 

"Most assuredly." 

The readers of this book never having prac- 
tically known any other arrangement, or perhaps 
very carefully considered the historical accounts; 
of former epochs in which a very different systeml 
prevailed, cannot be expected to appreciate the| 
stnpor of amazement into which Dr. Leete's 
simple statement plunged me. 

"You see," he said, smiling, "that it is not* 
merely that we have no money to pay wages in fi 
but, as I said, we have nothing at all answering 
to your idea of wages." 

By this time I had pulled myself together suffi- 
ciently to voice some of the criticisms which, 



man of the nineteenth century as I was, came 
uppermost in my mind upon this, to me, astound- 
ing - arrangement. 

"Some men do twice the work of others !" I 
exclaimed. "Are the clever workmen content 
with a pla. that ranks them with the indifferent ?" 

"We leave no possible ground for any com- 
plaint of injustice," replied Dr. Leete, "by 
requiring- precisely the same measure cf service 
from all." 

"How can you do that, I should like to know, 
when no two men's powers are the same ?" 

"Nothing could be simpler," was Dr. Leete's 
reply. "We require of each that he shall make 
the same effort ; that is, we demand of him the 
best service it is in his power to give." 

"Ana! supposing all do the best they can," I 
answered, "the amount of the product resulting 
is twice greaterfrom one man than from another." 

"Very true," replied Dr. Leete, "but the 
amount of the resulting product has nothing 
whatever to do with the question, which is one 
of desert. Desert is a moral question, and the 
amount of the product a material quantity. It 
would be ar extraordinary sort of logic which 
should try to determine a moral question by a 
material standard. The amount of the effort 
alone is pertinent to the question of desert. All 
men who do their best do the same. A man's 
endowments, however godlike, merely fix the 
measure of his duty. The man of great endow- 
ments who does not do all he might though he 
may do more than a man of small endowments 
who does his best, is deemed a less deserving 
worker than the latter, and dies a debtor to his 
fellows. The Creator sets men's tasks for them 
by the faculties h* gives them ; we simply exact 
their fulfilment" 

"No doubt that is very fine philosophy," I 
said ; "nevertheless it seems hard that the man 
who produces twice as much as another, even if 
both do their best, should only have the same 

"Does it indeed seem so to you ?" responded 
Dr. Leete. "Now, do you know that seems 
very curious to me ? The way it strikjes people 
nowadays is, that a man who can produce twice 
as much as another with the same effort, instead 
of being- rewarded for doing so, ought to be 
punished if he does not do so. In the nineteenth 
century, when a horse pulled a heavier load than 
a goat, I suppose you rewarded him. Now, we 
should have whipped him soundly if he had not, 
on the ground that, being- much stronger, he 
ought to. It is singular how ethical standards 
change." The doctor said this with such a 
twinkle in his eye that I was obliged to laugh. 

"I suppose," I said, "that the real reason that 
we rewarded men for their endowments, while 
we considered those of horses and goats merely 
as fixing- the service to be severally required of 
them, was that the animals, not being reasonable 
beings, naturally did the best they could, where- 
as men could only be induced to do so by 
rewarding- them according- to the amount of their 
product. That brings me to ask why, unless 
human nature has mightily chang-ed in a hundred 
^ears, you are not under the same necessity." 

"We are," replied Dr. Leete. "I don*t think 
there has been any change in human nature in 
that respect sinee your da\ . I' is still so consti- 
tuted that special incentives in U,i< form of prizes, 
and advantages to be gained, are requisite to 
call out the best endeavors of the average man 
in any direction." 

"But what inducement," I asked, "can a man 
have to put forth his best endeavors when, how- 
ever much or little he accomplishes, his income 
remains the same? High characters may be 
moved by devotion to the common welfare under 
such a system, but does not the average man 
tend to rest back on his oar, reasoning that it is 
of no use to make a special effort, since the effort 
will not increase his income, nor its withholding 
diminish it ?" 

"Does it then really seem to 3'ou," answered 
my companion, "that human nature is insensible 
to any motives save fear of want and love of 
luxury, that should expect security and equality 
of livelihood to leave them without possible 
incentives to effort ? Your contemporaries did 
not really think so, though they might fancy thejr 
did. When it was a question Of the grande*i 
class of efforts, the most absolute self-devotion, 
they depended on quite other incentives. Not 
higher wag-es, but honour and the hope of men's 
gratitude, patriotism and the inspiration of duty, 
were the motives which they set before their 
soldiers when it was a question of dying for th<t 
nation, and never was there an ag-e of the worl4 
when these motives did not call out what is best 
and noblest in men. And not only this, but when 
you come to analyse the love of money which 
was the general impulse to effort in your day, 
you find that the dread of want and the desire of 
luxury were but two of several motives which 
the pursuit of money represented ; the others, 
and with many the more influential, being desire 
of power, of social position and reputation for 
ability and success. So you see that though we 
have abolished poverty, and inordinate luxury 
with the hope of it, we have not touched the 
greater part of the motives, which underlay the 
love of money in former times, or any of those 
which prompted the supremer sorts of effort. 
The coarser motives, which no longer move ufe 
have been replaced by higher motives wholl^ 
unknown to the wage earners of your age. Now 
that the industry of whatever sort is no longer 
self-service, but service of the nation, patriotism, 
passion for humanity, impel the worker as in your 
day they did the soldier. The army of industry 
is an army, not alone by virtue of its perfect 
organisation, but by reason also of the ardour of 
self-devotion which animates its members. I 
"But as you used to supplement the motives of 
patriotism with the love of glory, in order to 
stimulate the value of your soldiers, so do we. 
Based as our industrial system is on the principle 
of requiring the same unit of effort from every 
man, that is the best he can do, you will see that 
the means by which we spur the workers to do 
their best must be a very essential part of ouj* 
scheme. With us, diligence in the national ser-t 
vice is the sole and certain way to public repute, 
social distinction, and official power. The value 


of a man's services in society fixes his rank in it. 
Compared with the effect of our social arrange- 
ments in impelling* men to be zealous in business, 
we deem the object lessons of biting - poverty and 
wanton luxury on which you depended a device 
as weak and uncertain as it was barbaric." 

"I should be extremely interested," I said, "to 
learn something of what these social arrange- 
ments are." 

"The scheme in its details," replied the doc- 
tor, "is, of course, very elaborate, for it under- 
lies the entire organisation of our industrial 
army ; but a few words will give you a general 
idea of it." 

At this moment our talk was chartriingly in- 
terrupted by the emergence upon the aerial plat- 
form where we sat of Edith Leete. She was 
dressed for the street, and had come to speak to 
her father about some commission she was to do 
for him. 

"By the way, Edith," he exclaimed, as she 
was about to leave us to ourselves, "I wonder if 
Mr. West would not be interested in visiting the 
store with you ? I have been telling him some- 
thing about our system of distribution, and 
perhaps he might like to see it in practical 

"My daughter," he added, turning to me, "is 
an indefatigable shopper, "and can tell you 
more about the stores than I can." 

The proposition was naturally very agreeable 
to me, and Edith being good enough to say that 
she should be glad to have my company, we left 
the house together. 


"If I am going to explain our way of shopping 
to you," said my companion, as we walked along 
the street, "you must explain your way to me. I 
have never been able to understand it from all I 
have read on the subject. For example, when you 
had such a vast number of shops, each with its 
different assortment, how could a lady ever settle 
upon any purchase until she had visited all the 
shops? For until she had she could not know 
what there was to choose from." 

"It was as you suppose; that was the only way 
she could know," I replied. 

"Father calls me an indefatigable shopper, but 
I should soon be a very fatigued one it I had to 
do as they did," was Edith's laughing comment. 

" The loss of time in going frem shop to shop 
was indeed a waste which the busy bitterly com- 
plained of," I said ; " but as for the ladies of the 
idle class, though they complained also, I think 
the system was really a godsend by furnishing a 
device to kill time." 

'•But say there were a thousand shops in a city, 
hundreds, perhaps, of the same sort, how could 
even the idlest find time to make their rounds?" 

" They really could not visit all, of course," I 
replied. "Those who did a great deal of buying, 
learned in time where they might expect to find 
what they wanted. This class had made a 
science of the specialties or the shops, and bought 
at advantage, always getting the most and best 
for the least money. It required, however, long 

experience to acquire this knowledge. Those 
who were too busy, or bought too little to gain it, 
took their chances and were generally unfor- 
tunate, getting the least and worst for the most 
money. It was the merest chance if persons not 
experienced in shopping received the value of 
their money. 

"But why did you put up with such a shockingly 
inconvenient arrangement when you saw its faults 
so plainly ?" 

" It was like all our social arrangements," I 
replied. "You can see their faults scarcely more 
plainly than we did, but we saw no remedy for 

"Here we are at the store of our ward," said 
Edith, as we turned in at the great portal of one 
of the magnificent public buildings I had observed 
in my morning walk. There was nothing in the 
exterior aspect of the edifice to suggest a store 
to a representative of the nineteenth century. 
There was no display of goods in the great win- 
dows, or any device to advertise wares or attract 
custom. Nor was there any sort of sign or legend 
on the front of the building to indicate the char- 
acter of the business carried on there; but instead, 
above the portal, standing out from the front of 
the building, a majestic life-size group of statuary, 
the central figure of which was a female ideal of 
Plenty, with her cornucopia. Judging from the 
composition of the throng passing in and out, 
about the same proportion of the sexes among 
shoppers obtained as in the nineteenth century. 
As we entered, Edith said that there was one of 
these great distributing establishments in each 
ward of the city, so that no residence was more 
than five or ten minutes' walk from one of them. 
It was the first interior of a twentieth century 
public building that I had ever beheld, and the 
spectacle naturally impressed me deeply. I was 
in a vast hall full of light, received not alone from 
the windows on all sides, but from the dome, the 
point of which was a hundred feet above. Be- 
neath it, in the centre of the hall, a magnificent 
fountain played, cooling the atmosphere to a 
delicious freshness with its spray. The walls 
and ceiling were frescoed in mellow tints, calcu- 
lated to soften without absorbing the light which 
flooded the interior. Around the fountain was a 
space occupied with chairs and sofas, on which 
many persons were seated conversing. Legends 
on the walls all about the hall indicated to what 
classes of commodities the counters below were 
devoted. Edith directed her steps towards one 
of these, where samples of muslin of a bewilder- 
ing variety were displayed and proceeded to 
inspect them. 

" Where is the clerk?" I asked, for there was 
no one behind the counter, and no one seemed 
coming to attend to the customer. 

" I have no need of the clerk yet," said Edith ; 
"I have not made my selection." 

"It was the principal business of clerks to help 
people to make their selections in my day," I 

" What! To tell people what they wanted?" 
"Yes ; and oftener to induce them to buy what 
they didn't want." 

"But did not ladies find that very impertiment ?" 


Edith as fed wonderingly. "What concern could 
it possibly be to the clerks whether people bought 
or n«t ?" 

" It was their whole concern," I answered. 
"They were hired for the purpose of getting- rid 
of the goods, and were expected to do their 
utmost, short of the use of the force, to compass 
that end." 

"Ah, yesl Hor stupid I am to forget !" said 
Edith. "The storekeeper and his clerks depended 
for their livelihood on selling the goods in your 
day. Of course that is all different now. The 
goods are the nation's. They are here for those 
who want them, and it is the business of the clerks 
to wait on people and take their orders ; but it is 
not the interest of the clerk or the nation to dispose 
of a yard or a pound of anything to anybody who 
does not want it." She smiled as she added, "How 
exceedingly odd it must have seemed to have 
clerks trying to induce one to take what one did 
not want, or was doubtful about I" 

" But even a twentieth century clerk might 
make himself useful in giving you information 
about the goods, though he did not tease you to 
buy them," I suggested. 

" No," said Edith, "that is not the business of 
the clerk. These printed cards, for which the 
government authorities are responsible, give us 
all the information we can possibly need." 

I saw then that there was fastened to each 
sample a card containing in succinct form a com- 
plete statement of the make and materials of the 
goods and all its qualities, as well as price, leaving 
absolutely no point to hang a question on. 

"The clerk has then, nothing to say about the 
goods he sells ?" I said. 

"Nothing at all. It is not necessary that he 
should know or profess to know anything about 
them. Courtesy and accuracy in taking orders 
are all that are required of him." 

"What a prodigious amount of lying that simple 
arrangement saves," I ejaculated. 

" Do you mean that all the clerks misrepre- 
sented their goods in your day?" Edith asked. 

" God forbid that I should say so !" I replied, 
"for there were many who did not, and they were 
entitled to a special credit, for when one's liveli- 
hood and that of his wife and babies depended 
upon the amount of goods he could dispose of, 
the temptation to deceive the customer, or let 
him deceive himself — was well nigh overwhelm- 
ing. But, Miss Leete, I am distracting you from 
your task with my talk." 

"Not at all. I have made my selections." With 
that she touched a button, and in a moment a 
clerk appeared. He took down her order on a 
tablet with a pencil which made two copies, of 
which he gave one to her, and enclosing the 
counterpart in a small receptacle, dropped it into 
a transmitting tube. 

"The duplicate of the order," said Edith, as she 
turned away from the counter, after the clerk had 
punched the value of her purchase out of the credit 
card she ga*'» him, "is given to the purchaser, so 
that any m; dees in filling it can be easily traced 
and rectifie 

"You wer v j«ry quick about your selections," 
I aajd. "May I ask how you knew that you might 

not have found something to suit you better in 
some of the other stores ? But probably you are 
required to buy in your own district." 

" Oh, no," she replied. " We buy where we 
please, though naturally most often near home. 
But I should have gained nothing by visiting other 
stores. The assortment in all is exactly the same, 
representing as it does in each case samples of all 
the varieties produced or imported by the United 
States. That is why one can decide quickly, and 
never need visit two stores." 

"And is this merely a sample store ? I see no 
clerks cutting off goods or marking bundles." 

"All our stores are sample stores, except as to 
a few classes of articles. The goods, with these 
exceptions, are all at the great central warehouse 
of the city to which they are shipped directly from 
the producers. We order from the sample and the 
printed statement of texture, make and qualities. 
The orders are sent to the warehouse, and the 
goods distributed from there." 

"That must be a tremendous saving of hand 
ling," I said. "By our system, the manufacture 1 
sold to the wholesaler, the wholesaler to tht 
retailer and the retailer to the consumer, and tht 
goods had to be handled each time. You avoid 
one handling of the goods, and eliminate the 
retailer altogether, with his big profit and the 
army of clerks it goes to support. Why, Miss 
Leete, this store is merely the order department 
of a wholesale house, with no more than a whole- 
saler's complement of clerks. Under our system 
of handling the goods, persuading the customer 
to buy them, cutting them off and packing them, 
ten clerks would not do what one does here. The 
saving must be enormous." 

"I suppose so," said Edith, but of course we 
have never known any other way. But, Mr. West, 
you must not fail to ask father to take you to the 
central warehouse some day, where they receive 
the orders from the different sample houses all 
over the city and parcel out and send the goods 
to their destinations. He took me there not long 
ago, and it was a wonderful sight. The system 
is certainly perfect; for example, over yonder in 
that sort of cage is the despatching clerk. The 
orders, as they are taken by the different depart- 
ments in the store, are sent by transmitters to him. 
His assistants sort them and enclose each class 
in a carrier-box by itself. The despatching clerk 
has a dozenpneumatic transmilters before him an- 
swering to the general classes of goods, each 
communicating with the corresponding depart- 
ment at the warehouse. He drops the box of or 
ders into the tube it calls for, and in a few mo- 
ments later it drops on the proper desk in the 
warehouse, together with all the orders of the 
same sort from the other sample stores. The 
orders are read off, recorded and sent to be filled 
like lightning. The filling I thought the most in- 
teresting part. Bales of cloth are placed on 
spindles and turned by machinery, and the cut- 
ter, who also has a machine, works right through 
one bale after another till exhausted, when an- 
other man takes his place, and it is the same 
with those who fill the orders in any other staple. 
The packages are then delivered by larger tubes 
to the city districts and thence distributed to the 



houses. You may understand how quickly it is 
all done when I tell you that my order will prob- 
ably be at home sooner than I could have carried 
it from here." 

"How do you manage in the thinly settled 
rural districts," I asked. 

"The system is the same," Edith explained: 
"the village sample shops are connected by trans- 
mitters with the central county warehouse, which 
may be twenty miles away. The transmission 
is so swift, though, that the time lost on the way 
is trifling 1 . But, to save expense, in many coun- 
ties one set of tubes connects several villages 
with the warehouse, and then there is time 
lost waiting for one another. Sometimes it is 
two or three hours before goods ordered are re- 
ceived. It was so where I was staying last sum- 
mer, and I found it quite inconvenient." [I am 
infor d since the above was in type that this 
lack of perfection in the distributing service of 
some of the country districts is to be remedied.] 

"There must be many other respects also, no 
doubt, in which the country stores are inferior to 
the city stores," I suggested. 

"No," Edith answered, "they are otherwise 
precisely as good. The sample shop of the small- 
est village, just like this one, gives you your 
choice of all the varieties of goods the nation has, 
for the county warehouse draws on the same 
source as the city warehouse." 

As we walked on I commented on the great 
variety in the size and cost of the houses. "How 
is it," I asked, "that this difference is consistent 
with the fact that all citizens have the same in- 

"Because," Edith explained, "although the in- 
come is the same, personal taste determines how 
the individual shall spend it. Some like fine 
horses; others, like myself, prefer pretty clothes; 
and still others want an elaborate table. The rents 
which the nation receives for these houses vary, 
according to size, elegance and location, so that 
everybody can find something to suit. The larger 
houses are usually occupied by large families, in 
which there are several to contribute to the rent, 
while small families, like ours, find smaller houses 
more convenient and economical. It is a matter 
of taste and convenience wholly. I have read that 
in old times people often kept up establishments 
and did other things which they could not afford 
for ostentation, to make people think them richer 
than they were. Was it really so, Mr. West ?" 

"I shall have to admit that it was," I replied. 

"Well, you see, it could not be so nowadays, 
for everybody's income is known, and it is known 
that what is spent in one way must be saved in 


When we arrived home Dr. Leete had not yet 
returned, and Mrs. Leete was not visible. "Are 
you fond of music, Mr. West," Edith asked. 

I assured her it was half of life, according to 
my notion. 

"I ought to apologise for enquiring," she said. 
'It is not a question that we ask one another 
owadays; but I have read that in your day,even 

among the cultured class, there were some who 

did not care for music." 

"You must remember, in excuse," I said, "that 
we had some rather absurd kinds of music." 

"Yes," she said, "I know that; I am afraid I 
should not have fancied it all myself. Would you 
like to hear some of ours now, Mr. West ?" 

"Nothing would delight me so much as to 
listen to you," I said. 

"To me !" she exclaimed, laughing. "Did you 
think I was going to play or sing to you ?" 

"I hoped so, certainly," I replied. 

Seeing that I was a little abashed, she subdued 
her merriment and explained : "Of course, we 
all sing nowadays as a matter of course in the 
training of the voice, and some learn to play 
instruments for their private amusement ; but the 
professional music is so much grander and more 
perfect than any performance of ours, and so 
easily commanded when we wish to h^ar it, that 
we don't think of calling our singing or playing 
music at all. All the really fine singers and 
players are in the musical service, and the rest of 
us hold our peace for the main part. But would 
you really like to hear some music ?" 

I assured her once more that I would. 

" Come, then, into the music room," she said, 
and I followed her into an appartment finished, 
without hangings, in wood, with a floor ofpolished 
wood. I was prepared for new devices in musical 
instruments, but I saw nothing in the room which by 
any stretch of imagination could be conceived as 
such. It was evident that my puzzled appearance 
was affording intense amusement to Edith. 

'* Please look at to-day's music," she said, 
handing me a card, "and tell me what you would 
prefer. It is now five o'clock, you will remember.' 

The card bore the date, "September 12, 2000," 
and contained the largest programme of music I 
had ever seen. It was as various as it was long, 
including a most extraordinary range of vocal and 
instrumental solos, duets, quartets, and various 
orchestral combinations. I remained bewildered 
by the prodigious list until Edith's pink finger-tip 
indicated a particular section of it, where several 
selections were bracketed with the wards "5 
p.m." against them ; then I observed that this 
prodigious programme was an all day one, divided 
into twenty-four sections answering to the hours. 
There were but a few pieces of music in the " 5 
p.m." section, and I indicated an organ piece as 
my preference. 

" I am so glad you like the organ," said she. 
"I think there is scarcely any music that suits my 
mood oftener." 

She made me sit down comfortably and crossing 
the room, so far as I could see, merely touched 
one or two screws, and at once the room was filled 
with the music of a grand organ anthem ; filled, 
not flooded, for, by some means, the volume of 
melody had been perfectly graduated to the size 
of the apartment. I listened, scarcely breathing, 
to the close. Such music, so perfectly rendered, 
I had never expected to hear. 

"Grand !" I cried, as the last great wave of 
sound broke and ebbed away into silence. "Bach 
must be at the keys pf that organ ; but where is 
the organ ?" 


"Wait a minute, please," said Edith ; "I want 
t© have you listen to this waltz before you ask 
any questions. I think it is perfectly charming," 
and as she spoke the sound of violins filled the 
room with witchery of summer night. When this 
had also ceased, she said : " There is nothing in 
the least mysterious about the music as you seem 
to imagine. It is not made by the fairies or genii, 
but by good, honest and exceedingly clever 
human hands. We have simply carried the idea 
of labour-saving by co-operation into our musical 
service as in everything else. There are a number 
of music rooms in the city, perfectly adapted 
acoustically to the different sorts of music. These 
halls are connected by telephone with all the 
houses of the city whose people care to pay the 
small fee, and there are none, you may be sure 
who do not. The corps of musicians attached to 
each hall is so large that, although no individual 
performer, or group of performers, has more than 
a brief part, each day's programme lasts through 
the twenty-four hours. There are on that card 
for to-day, as you will see if you observe closely, 
distinct programmes of four of these concerts, 
each of a different order of music from the others, 
being now simultaneously performed, and any one 
of the four pieces now going on that you prefer, 
you can hear by merely pressing the button 
which will connect your house wire with the hall 
where it is being rendered. The programmes are 
so co-ordinated that the pieces at any one time 
simultaneously proceeding in the different halls 
usually offer a choice, not only between instru- 
mental and vocal, and between different sorts of 
instruments ; but also between different motives, 
from grave to gay, so that all tastes and moods 
pan be suited." 

" It appears to me, Miss Leete," I said, " that 
if we could have devised an arrangement for 
providing everybody with music in their homes, 
perfect in quality, unlimited in quantity, suited to 
«very mood, and beginning and ceasing at will, 
we should have considered the limit of human 
felicity already attained, and ceased to strive for 
further improvements." 

* I am sure I never could imagine how those 
among you who depended at all on music man- 
aged to endure the old-fashioned system for 
providing it," replied Edith. "Music really worth 
hearing must have been, I suppose, wholly out of 
the reach of the masses, and attainable by the 
most favoured only occasionally at great trouble, 
prodigious expense, and then for brief periods, 
arbitrarily fixed by somebody else and in connec- 
tion with all sorts of undesirable circumstances. 
Your concerts, for instance, and operas ? How 
perfectly exasperating it must have been, for the 
sake of a piece or two of music that suited you, 
to have to sit for hours listening to what you did 
not care for ! Now, at dintaer one can skip the 
courses one does not care for. Who would ever 
dine, however hungry, if required to eat every- 
thing brought on the table? And I am sure 
one's hearing is quite as sensitive as one's taste. 
I suppose it was these difficulties; in the way of 
commanding really good music which made you 
endures© much playing and singing in your hemes 
by people who had only the rudiments of the art." 

•'Yes," I replied, "it was that sort of music or 
none for most of us." 

"Ah, well," Edith sighed, " when one really 
considers, it is not so strange that people in those 
days so generally did not care for music. I dare 
say I should have detested it too." 

" Did I understand you rightly," I inquired, 
"that this musical programme covers the entire 
twenty-four hours ? It seems to be on this card, 
certainly ; but who is there to listen to music 
between say midnight and morning?" 

"Oh, many," Edith replied. "Our people keep 
all hours ; but if the music were provided from 
midnight to morning for no others, it would still 
be for the sleepless, the sick, and the dying. All 
©ur bedchambers have a telephone attachment at 
the head of the bed by which any person who may 
be sleepless can command music at pleasure, ot 
the sort suited to the mood." 

" Is there such an arrangement in the room 
assigned to me ?" 

" Why, certainly ; and how stupid, how very 
stupid, of me not to think to tell you of that last 
night. Father will show you about the adjustment 
before you go to bed to-night, however; and with 
the receiver at your ear, I am quite sure you will 
be able to snap your fingers at all sorts of uncanny 
feelings if they trouble you again. 

That evening Dr. Leete asked us about our visit 
to the store, and in the course of the desultory 
comparison of the ways of the nineteenth century 
and the twentieth, which followed, something 
raised the question of inheritance. "I suppose," 
I said, "the inheritance of property is not now 

"On the contrary," replied Dr. Leete, "there is 
no interference with it. In fact, you will find, Mr. 
West, as you come to know us, that there is far 
less interference of any sort with personal liberty 
nowadays than you were accustomed to. We 
require, indeed, by law that every man shall serve 
the nation for a fixed period, instead of leaving 
him his choice as you did, between working, 
stealing, or starving. With the exception of this 
fundamental law which is, indeed, merely the 
codification of the law of nature — the edict of 
Eden — by which it is made equal in its pressure 
on men, our system depends in no particular upon 
legislation, but is entirely voluntary, the logical 
outcome of the operation of human nature under 
rational conditions. This question of inheritance 
illustrates just that point. The fact that the 
nation is the sole capitalist and landowner of 
course restricts the individual's possessions to his 
annual credit, and what personal and household 
belongings he may have procured with it. His 
credit, like an annuity in your day, ceases on his 
death, with the allowance of a fixed sum for 
funeral expenses. His other possessions he 
leaves as he pleases." 

"What is to prevent, in course of time, such 
accumulations of valuable goods and chattels in 
the hands of individuals as might seriously inter- 
fere with equality in the circumstances of citi- 
zens ?" I asked. • 

"That matter arranges itself very simply," 
was the reply. "Under the present organisation 
of socieb-7,; accumulations of personal property 


are merely burdensome the moment they exceed 
what adds to the real comfort. In your day, if a 
man had a house crammed full of gold and silver 
plate, rare china, expensive furniture, and such 
things, he was considered rich, for these things 
represented money, and could at any time be 
turned into it. Nowadays, a man whom the 
legacies of a hundred relatives, simultaneously 
dying, should place in a similar position, would 
be considered very unlucky. The articles, not 
being saleable, would be of no real value to him 
except for their actual use or the enjoyment of 
their beauty. On the other hand, his income 
remaining the same, he would have to deplete 
his credit to hire houses to store the goods in, 
and still farther to pay for the service of those 
who took care of them. You may be very sure 
that such a man would lose no time in scattering 
among his friends possessions which only made 
him the poorer, and that none of those friends 
would accept more of them than they could 
easily spare room for and time to attend to. 
You see, then, that to prohibit the inheritance of 
personal property with a view to prevent great 
accumulations, would be a superfluous precaution 
for the nation. The individual citizen can be 
trusted to see that he is not overburdened. So 
careful is he in this respect, that the relatives 
usually waive claim to most of the effects of 
deceased friends, reserving only particular ob- 
jects. The nation takes charge *f the resigned 
chattels, and turns such as are of value into the 
common stock once more." 

"You spoke of paying for sevice to take care 
of your houses," said I ; that suggests a question 
I have several time* been on the point of asking. 
How have you disposed of the problem of 
domestic service ? Who are willing to be 
domestic servants in a community where all are 
social equals? Our ladies found it hard enough 
to find such even when there was little pretence 
of social equality." 

"It is precisely because we are all social equals 
whose equality nothing can compromise, and 
because service is honourable in a society whose 
fundamental principle is that all in turn shall 
serve the rest, that we could easily provide the 
corps of domestic servants such as you neve* 
dreamed of, if we needed them," replied Dr. 
Leete. "But we do not need them." 

"Who does your house- work, then ?" I asked. 
"There is none to do," said Mrs. Leete, to 
whom I had addressed this question. "Our 
washing is all done at public laundries at exces- 
sively cheap rates, and our cooking at public 
kitchen. The making and repairing of all we 
wear is done outside in public shops. Electricity, 
of course, takes the place of all fires and lighting. 
We choose houses no larger than we need, and 
furnish them so as to involve the minimum of 
trouble to keep them in order. We have no use 
for domestic servants." 

"The fact," said Dr. Leete, "that you had in 
the poorer classes a boundless supply of serfs on 
Whom you could impose all sorts of painful and 
disagreeable tasks, made you indifferent to 
devices to avoid the necessity for them. But 
qow that we aU have to do in turn whatever 

work is done for society, every individual in tha 
nation has the same interest, and a personal one, 
in devices for lightening the burden. This fact 
has given a prodigious impulse to labor saving 
inventions in all sorts of industry, of which the 
combination of the maximum of comforts and 
minimum of trouble in household arrangements 
was one of the earliest results." 

"Yes," said Mrs. Leete, "I have read some- 
thing of that ; enough to convince me that, badly 
off as the men, too, were in your day, they were 
more fortunate than their mothers and wives." 

"In case of special emergencies in the house- 
hold," pursued Dr. Leete, "such as extensive 
cleaning or renovation, or sickness in the family, 
we can always secure assistance from the indus- 
trial force." 

"But how do you recompense these assist- 
ants, since you have no money ?" 

"We do not pay them, |of course, but the nation 
for them. Their services can be obtained by 
application at the proper bureau, and their value 
is pricked off the credit card of the applicant." 

"What a paradise for womankind the world 
must be now !" I exclaimed. "In my day, even 
wealth and unlimited servants did not enfranchise 
their possessors from household cares, while the 
women of the merely well-to-do and poorer 
classes lived and died martyrs to them." 

"The broad shoulders of the nation," said Dr. 
Leete, "bear now like a feather the burden that 
broke the backs of the women of your day. 
Their misery came, with all your other miseries, 
from the incapacity for co-operation which 
followed from the individualism on which your 
social system was founded, from your inability to 
perceive that you could make ten times more 
profit out of your fellow-men by uniting with 
them than by contending with them. The won- 
der is, not that you did not live more comfort- 
ably, but that you were able to live together at 
all, who were all confessedly bent'on making one 
another your servants, and securing possession 
of one another's goods." 

"There, there, father, if you are so vehement, 
Mr. West will think you are scolding him," 
laughingly interposed Edith. 

"When you want a doctor," I asked, "do you 
simply apply to the proper bureau and take any 
one that may be sent ?" 

"That rule would not work well in the case o 
physicians," replied Dr. Leete. "The good a 
physician can do a patient depends largely on 
his acquaintance with his constitutional tenden- 
cies and condition. The patient must be able, 
therefore, to call in a particular doctor, and he 
does so, just as patients did in your day. The 
only difference is that, instead of collecting his 
fee for himself, the doctor collects it for the 
nation by pricking off the amount, according to 
a regular scale for medical attendance, from the 
patient's credit card." 

"I can imagine," I said, "that if the fee is 
always the same, and a doctor may not turn away 
patients, as I suppose he may, the good doctors 
are called constantly and the poor doctors left ia 

"In the first pte— , if you will overlook tho 


apparent conceit of the remark from a retired 
physician," replied Dr. Leete, with a smile, "we 
have no poor doctors. Anybody who pleases to 
get a little smattering 1 of medical terms is not now 
at liberty to practice on the bodies of citizens, as 
in your day. None but students who have passed 
the severe tests of the schools, and clearly proved 
their vocation, are permitted to practice. Then, 
too, you will observe that there is nowadays no 
attempt of doctors to build up their practice at 
the expense of other doctors, there would be no 
motive for that. For the rest, the doctor has to 
render regular reports of his work to the medical 
bureau, and if he is not reasonably well employed, 
work is found for him." 


The questions which I needed to ask before I 
could acquire even an outline acquaintance with 
the institutions of the twentieth century being 
endless, and Dr. Leete's good nature appearing 
equally so, we sat up talking for several hours 
after the ladies left us. Reminding my host of 
the point at which our talk had broken off that 
morning, I expressed my curiosity to learn how 
the organization of the industrial army was made 
to afford a sufficient stimulus to diligence in the 
lack of any anxiety on the worker's part as to his 

" Yau must understand in the first place," 
replied the doctor, "that the supply of incentives 
to effort is but one of the objects sought in the 
organisation we have adopted for the army. The 
other, and equally important, is to secure for the 
file-leaders and captains of the force and the 
great officers of the nation, men of proven abilities 
who are pledged by their own careers to hold 
their followers up to the highest standard of per- 
formance and permit no lagging. With a view 
to these two ends, the whole body of members of 
the industrial army is divided into four general 
classes. First, the unclassified grade of common 
. labourers, assigned to any sort of work, usually 
the coarser kinds. To this, all recruits during 
their first three years belong. Second, the 
apprentices, as the men are called in the first year 
after passing from the unclassified grade, while 
they are mastering the first elements of their 
chosen avocations. Third, the main body of the 
full workers, being men between twenty-five and 
forty-five. Fourth, the officers, from the lowest 
who have charge of men to the highest. These 
four classes are all under a different form of 
discipline. The unclassified workers, doing mis- 
cellaneous work, cannot, of course, be so rigidly 
graded as later. They are supposed to be in a 
sort of school, learning industrial habits. Never- 
theless, they make their individual records, and 
excellence receives distinction and helps in the 
after career, something as academic standing 
added to the prestige of men in your day. The 
year of apprenticeship follows. The apprentice 
is given the first quarter of it to learn the rudi- 
ments of his avocations, but he is marked on the 
la&t three quarters with a view to determine which 
grade among the workers he shall be enrolled in 
on becoming a full' workman. It may seem 


strange that the term of apprenticeship should 
be the same in all trades, but this is done for the 
sake of uniformity in the system, and practically 
works precisely as if the term of apprenticeship 
varied according to the difficulty of acquiring the 
trade. For, in the trade in which one cannot 
become proficient in a year, the result is that the 
apprentice falls into the lower grades of the full 
workmen, and works upwards as he grows in skill. 
This is indeed what ordinarily happens in most 
trades. The full workmen are divided into three 
, grades, according to efficiency, and each grade 
into a first and second class, so that there are in 
all six classes, into which the men fall according 
to their ability. 

" To facilitate the testing of efficiency, all 
industrial work, whenever by any means, and even 
at some inconvenience, it is possible, is conducted 
by piece work, and if this is absolutely out of the 
question, the best possible substitute for deter- 
mining ability is adopted. The men are regraded 
yearly, so that merit never need wait long to rise, 
nor can any rest on past achievements, unless 
they would drop into a lower rank. The results 
of each annual regrading, giving the standing of 
every man in the army, are gazetted in the public 

"Apart from the grand incentive to endeavour, 
afforded by the fact that the high places in the 
nation are open only to the highest class men, 
various incitements of a minor, but perhaps equally 
effective, sort are provided in the form of special 
privileges and immunities in the way of discipline, 
which the superior class men enjoy. These, while 
not in the aggregate important, have the effect 
of keeping constantly before every man's mind 
the desirability of attaining the grade next above 
his own. 

" It is obviously important that not only the 
good, but also the indifferent and poor workmen 
should be able to cherish the ambition of rising. 
Indeed, the number of the latter being so much 
greater, it is even more essential than the ranking 
system should not operate to discourage them 
than that it should stimulate the others. It is to 
this end that the grades are divided into classes. 
The classes being numerically equal, there is not 
at any time, counting out the officers and the 
unclassified and apprentice grades, over one- 
eighth of the industrial army in the lowest class, 
and most of this number are recent apprentices, 
all of whom expect to rise. Still further to 
encourage those of no great talent to do their 
best, a man who, after attaining a higher grade 
falls back into a lower, does not loose the fruit of 
his efforts, but retains, as a sort of brevet, his 
former rank. The result is that those under our 
ranking system who fail to win a«y prize, by way 
of solace to their pride, remaining during the 
entire term of service in the lowest class, are but 
a trifling fraction of the industrial army, and 
deficient in sensibility to their position as in ability 
to better it. 

"It is not even necessary that a worker should 
win promotion to a higher grade to have at least 
a taste of glory. While promotion requires a 
general excellence of record as a worker, honour- 
able mention and various sorts of distinction are 


awarded for excellence less than sufficient for 
promotion, and also for special feats and single 
performances in the various industries. It is in- 
tended that no form of merit shall wholly fail of 

" As for actual neglect of work, positively bad 
work, or other overt remissness on the part of 
men incapable of generous motives, the discipline 
of the industrial army is far too strict to allow 
much of that. A man able to do duty, and per- 
sistently refusing, is cut offfrom all human society. 

"The lowest grade of the officers of the indus- » 
trial army, that of assistant foremen or lieutenants, 
is appointed out of men who have held their place 
for two years in the first class of the first grade. 
Where this leaves too large a range of choice, 
only the first group of this class are eligible. No 
one thus comes to the point of commanding men 
until he is about thirty years old. After a man 
man becomes an officer, his rating, of course, no 
longer depends on the efficiency of his own work, 
but on that of his men. The foremen are ap- 
pointed from among the assistant foremen, by the 
same exercise of discretion, limited to a small 
eligible class. In the appointment to the still 
higher grades, another principle is introduced, 
which it would take too mugh time to explain now. 

"Of course such a system of grading as I have 
described would have been impracticable applied 
to the small industrial concerns of your day, in 
some of which there were hardly enough em- 
ployees to have left one apiece for the classes. 
You must remember that,under the national organ- 
isation of labour, all industries are carried on by 
great bodies of men, a hundred of your farms or 
shops being combined as one. The superintend- 
ent, with us, is like a colonel, or even a general, 
in one of your armies. 

"And now, Mr. West, I will leave it to you, on 
the bare outline of its features which I have given, 
if those who need special incentives t» do their 
best, are likely to lack them under our system." 

I replied that it seemed to me the incentives 
offered were, if any objections were to be made, 
too strowg ; that the pace set for the young men 
was too hot, and such, indeed, I would add with 
deference, still remains my opinion, now that hy 
longer residence among you I have become better 
acquainted with the whole subject. 

Dr. Leete, however, desired me to reflect, and 
I am ready to say that it is perhaps a sufficient 
reply to my objection, that the worker's livelihood 
is in no way dependent on his ranking, and anxiety 
for that never embitters his disappointments; that 
the working hours are short, the vacations regu- 
lar, and that all emulation ceases at forty-five, with 
the attainment of middle life. 

44 There are two or three other points I ought 
to refer to," he added, " to prevent your getting 
mistaken impressions. In the first place, you 
must understand that this s}^em of preferment 
given the more efficient workers over the less so, 
in no way contravenes the. fundamental idea of 
our social system, that all who do their best are 
equally deserving, whether that best be great or 
small. I have shown that the system is arranged to 
encourage the weaker as well as the stronger 
with the hope of rising, while the fact that the 

stronger are selected for the leaders is in no way 
a reflection upon the weaker, but in the interest 
of the common weal. 

"Do not imagine, either, because emulation is 
given free play as an incentive under our system, 
that we deem it a motive likely to appeal to the 
nobler sort of men, or worthy of them. Such as 
th*;se find their motive within, not without, and 
measure their duty by their own endowments, not 
by those of others. So long as their achievement 
is proportioned to their powers, they would con- 
sider it preposterous to expect praise or blame 
because it chanced to be great or small. To such 
natures emulation appears philosophically absurd 
and despicable in a moral aspect by its substitution 
of envy for admiration and exultation for regret, 
in one's attitude towards the successes and the 
failures of others. 

" But all men, even in the last year of the 
twentieth century, are not of this high order, and 
the incentives to endeavour requisite for those 
who are not, must be of a sort adapted to their 
inferior natures. For these, then, emulation of 
the keenest edge is provided as a constant spur. 
Those who are above its influence do not need it. 

" I should not fail to mention," resumed the 
doctor, "that for those too deficient in mental or 
bodily strength to be fairly graded with the main 
body of workers, we have a separate grade, un- 
connected with the others — a sort of invalid corps, 
the members of which are provided with a light 
class of tasks fitted to their strength. All our 
sick in mind or body, all our deaf and dumb, and 
lame and blind and crippled, and even our insane, 
belong to this invalid corps, and bear its insignia. 
The strongest often do nearly a man's work, the 
feeblest, of course, nothing ; but none who can do 
anything are willing quite to give up. In their 
lucid intervals, even our insane are eager to do 
what they can." 

44 That is a pretty idea of the invalid corps," 1 
said. 44 Even a barbarian from the nineteenth 
century can appreciate that. It is a very graceful 
way of disguising charity, and must be very grate- 
ful to the feelings of its recipients." 

44 Charity I" repeated Dr. Leete. " Did you 
suppose that we consider the incapable class we 
are talking of objects of charity ?" 

44 Why, naturally," I said, 44 inasmuch as they 
are incapable of self-support." 

But here the doctor took me up quickly. 

44 Who is capable of self-support?" he demand- 
ed. 44 There is no such thing in civilised society 
as self-support. In a state of society so barbarous 
as not even to know family co-operation, each 
individual may possibly support himself, though 
even then for a part of his life only ; but from the 
moment that men begin to live together, and con- 
stitute even the rudest sort of society, self-support 
becomes impossible. As men grow more civilised, 
and the subdivision of occupations and services is 
carried out, a complex mutual dependence be- 
comes the universal rule. Every man, however 
solitary may seem his occupation, is a member of 
a vast industrial partnership, as large as the 
nation, as large as humanity^ The necessity of 
mutual dependence should imply the duty and 
guarantee of mutual support ; and that it did not 


a 9 

in your day, constituted the essential cruelty and 
unreason of your system." 

" That may all be so," I replied, " but it does 
not touch the case of those who are unable to con- 
tribute anything to the product of industry." 

" Surely, I told you this morning-, at least I 
thought I did," replied Dr. Leete, "that the right 
of a man to maintenance at the nation's table de- 
pends on the fact that he is a man, and not on the 
amount of health and strength he may have, so 
long as he does his best." 

"You said so," I answered, " I supposed the 
rule applied only to the workers of different ability. 
Does it also hold of those who can do nothing 
at all." 

"Are they not also men ?" 

" I am to understand then, that the lame, the 
blind, the sick, and the impotent, are as well off 
as the most efficient, and have the same income?" 

"Certainly," was the reply. 

41 The idea of charity on such a scale," I an- 
swered, "would have made our most enthusiastic 
philanthropists gasp." 

" If you had a sick brother at home," replied 
Dr. Leete, "unable to work, would you feed him 
on less dainty food, and lodge and clothe him 
more poorly than yourself? More likely far, you 
would give him the preference ; nor would you 
think of calling it charity. Would not the word, in 
that connection, fill you with indignation?" 

"Of course," I replied ; "but the cases are not 
parallel. There is a sense, no doubt, in which all 
men are brothers; but this general sort of brother- 
hood is not to be compared, except for rhetorical 
purpose, to the brotherhood of blood, either as to 
its sentiment or its obligations." 

" There speaks the nineteenth century !" 
exclaimed Dr. Leete. "Ah, Mr. West, there is 
no doubt as to the length of time that you slept. 
If I were to give you, in one sentence, a key to 
what may seem the mysteries of our civilisation 
as compared with that of your age, I should say 
that it is the fact that the solidarity of the race 
and the brotherhood of man, which to you were 
but fine phrases, are, to our thinking and feeling, 
ties as real and as vital as physical fraternity. 

" But even setting that consideration aside, I 
do not see why it so surprises you that those who 
cannot work are conceded the full right to live on 
the produce of those who can. Even in your day, 
the duty of military service for the protection of 
the nation, to which our industrial service corres- 
ponds, while obligatory on those able to discharge 
it, did not operate to deprive of the privileges of 
citizenship those who were unable. They stayed 
at home, and were protected by those who fought, 
and nobody questioned their right to be, or 
thought less of them. So bow, the requirement 
of industrial service from those able to render it 
does not operate to deprive of the privileges of 
citizenship, which now implies the citizen's main- 
tenance, him who cannot work. The worker is 
not a citizen because he works, but works be- 
cause he is a citizen. As you recognised the 
duty of the strong to fight for the weak, we, now 
that fighting is gone by, recognise his duty to 
Work for him. 

" A solution which leaves an unaccounted for 

residuum is no solution at all ; and our solution of 
the problem of human society would have been 
none at all had it left the lame, the sick, and the 
blind outside with the beasts to fare as they might. 
Better far have left the strong and well unpro- 
vided for, than these burdened ones, toward whom 
every heart must yearn, and for whom ease of 
mind and body should be provided, if for no 
others. Therefore it is, as I told you this morning, 
that the title of every man, woman, and child to 
the means of existence rests on no basis less 
plain, broad, and simple than the fact that they 
are fellows of one race — members ef one human 
family. The »nly coin current is the image of 
God, and that is good for all we have. 

" I think there is no feature of the civilisation 
of your epoch so repugnant to modern ideas as 
the neglect with which you treated your depend- 
ent classes. Even if you had no pity, no feeling 
of brotherhood, how was it that you did not see 
that you were robbing the incapable class of their 
plain right in leaving them unprovided for ?" 

" I don't quite follow you there," I said. " I 
admit the claim of this class to our pity, but how 
could they who produced nothing claim a share 
of the product as a right ?" 

" How happened it," was Dr. Leete's reply, 
" that your workers were able to produce more 
than so many savages would have done ? Was it 
not wholly on account of the heritage of the past 
knowledge and achievements of the race, the 
machinery of society thousands of years in con- 
triving, found by you ready mnde to your hand ? 
How did you come to be possessors of this 
knowledge and this machinery, which represent 
nine parts to one contributed by yourself, in the 
value of your product ? You inherited it, did you 
not? And were not these others, these unfor- 
tunate and crippled brothers whom you cast out, 
joint inheritors, co-heirs with you ? What did 
you do with their share ? Did you not rob 
them, when you put them off with crusts who 
were entitled to sit with the heirs, and did you not 
add insult to robbery when you called the crusts 
charity ? 

"Ah, Mr. West," Dr. Leete continued, as I did 
not respond, "what I do not undsrstand is, setting 
aside all considerations either of justice or bro- 
therly feeling toward the crippled and defective, 
how the workers of your day could have had any 
heart for their work, knowing that their children 
orgraudchildren, if unfortunate, would be deprived 
of the comforts and even necessities of life. It is 
a mystery how men with children could favour a 
system under which they were rewarded beyond 
those less endowed with bodily strength or mental 
power. For by the same discrimination by which 
the father profited the son, for whom he would 
give his life, being perchance weaker than others, 
might be reduced to want and beggary. How 
men dared leave children behind them I have 
never been able to understand. [Note. — Al- 
though in his talk on the previous evening Dr. 
Leete had emphasised the pains taken to enable 
every man to ascertain and follow his natural 
bent in choosing an occupation, it was not till I 
learned that the workers income is the same in 
all occupations, that I realised how absolutely be 


may be counted on to do so, and thus, by select- 
ing the harness which sets most lightly on him- 
self find that in which he can pull best. The 
failure of my age in any systematic or effective 
way to develope and utilise the natural aptitude 
of men for the industries and intellectual avoca- 
tions, was one of the great wastes, as well as one 
of the most common causes of unhappiness, in 
that time. The vast majority of my contempor- 
aries, though nominally free to do so, sever 
really chose their occupations at all, but were 
forced by circumstances into work for which they 
were relatively inefficient, because not naturally 
fitted for it. The rich, in this respect, had little 
advantage over the poor. The latter, indeed, 
being generally deprived of education, had no 
opportunity even to ascertain the natural apti- 
tudes they might have, and, on account of their 
poverty, were unable to develope them by culti- 
vation, even when ascertained. The liberal and 
technical professions, except by favourable 
accident, were shut to them, to their own great 
loss and that of the nation. On the other hand, 
the well-to-do, although they could command 
education and opportunity, were scarcely less 
hampered by social prejudice, which forbade 
them to pursue manual avocations even when 
adapted to them, and destined them, whether fit 
or unfit, to the professions, thus wasting many 
an excellent handicraftsman. Mercenary con- 
siderations, tempting men to pursue money- 
making occupations for which they were unfit, 
instead of less remunerative employments for 
which they were fit, were responsible for another 
vast perversion of talent. All these things now 
are changed. Equal education and opportunity 
must needs bring to light whatever aptitudes a 
man has, and neither social prejudices nor 
mercenary considerations hamper him in the 
choice of his life work.] 


As Edith had promised he should do, Dr. 
Leete accompanied me to my bed-room when I 
retired, to instruct me as to the adjustment of the 
musical telephone. He showed how, by turning 
a screw, the volume of the music could be made 
to fill the room, or die away to an echo so faint 
and far that one could scarcely be sure whether 
he heard or imagined it. If, of two persons side 
by side, one desired to listen to music and the 
other to sleep, it could be made audible to one 
and inaudible to another. 

"I should strongly advise you to sleep if you 
can to-night, Mr. West, in preference to listening 
to the finest tunes in the world," the doctor said, 
after explaining these points. "In the trying ex- 
perience you are just now passing through, sleep 
ts a nerve tonic for which there is no substitute." 

Mindful of what happened to me that very 
morning, I promised to heed his counsel. 

"Very well," he said ; "then I will set the tele- 
phone at eight o'clock." 

"What do you mean?" I asked. 

He explained that, by a clockwork combina- 
tion, a person could arrange to be awakened at 
any hour by the music. 

It began to appear*, as has since fully proved 
to be the case, that t bad ieft my tendency to 
insomnia behind me with the other discomforts 
of existen ce in the nineteenth century ; for though 
I took no sleeping draught this time, yet, as the 
night before, I had no sooner touched the pillow 
than I was asleep. 

I dreamed that I sat on the throne of the 
Abencerrages in the banqueting hall of the 
Alhambra, feasting my lords and generals, who 
next day were to follow the crescent against the 
Christian dogs of Spain. The air, cooled by the 
spray of fountains, was heavy with the scent of 
flowers. A band of Nautch girls, round-limbed 
and luscious-lipped, danced voluptuous grace to 
the music of brazen and stringed instruments. 
Looking up to the latticed galleries, one caught 
a gleam now and then from the eye of same 
beauty of the royal harem, looking down upon 
the assembled flower of Moorish chivalry. 
Louder and louder clashed the cymbals, wilder 
and wilder grew the strain, till the blood of the 
desert race could no longer resist the martial 
delirium, and the swart nobles leaped to their 
feet ; a thousand scimitars were bared, and the 
cry "Allah il Allah !" shook the hall and awoke 
me, to find it broad daylight, and 0\e room 
tingling with the electric music of the "Turkish 

At the breakfast-table, when I told my host of 
my morning's experience, I learned that it wai 
not a mere chance that the piece of music which 
awakened me was a reveille. The airs played 
at one of the halls during the waking hours of 
the morning were always of an inspiring type. 

"By the way," I said, "that reminds me, 
talking of Spain, that I have not thought to ask 
you anything about the state of Europe. Have 
the societies of the Old World also been 
remodelled ?" 

"Yes, replied Dr. Leete, "the great nations of 
Europe, as well as Australia, Mexico, and parts 
of South America, are now industrial republics 
like the United States, which was the pioneer «f 
the evolution. The peaceful relations of these 
nations are assured by a loose form of federal 
union of world-wide extent. An international 
council regulates the mutual intercourse and 
commerce of the members of the union, and their 
joint policy toward the more backward races, 
which are gradually being educated up to civi- 
lised institutions. Complete autonomy within its 
own limits is enjoyed by everj' nation." 

"How do you carry on commerce without 
money?" I said. "In trading with other nations, 
you must use some sort of money, although you 
dispense with it in the internal affairs of the 

"Oh, no; money is as superfluous in our 
foreign as in our internal relations. When 
foreign commerce was conducted by private 
enterprise, money was necessary to adjust it on 
account of the multifarious complexity of the 
transactions ; but nowadays it is a function of 
the nations as units. There are thus only a 
dozen or so merchants in the world, and their 
business being supervised by the international 
council,, a simple system of book accounts serves 


perfectly to regulate their dealing*. Each nation 
has a bureau of foreign exchange, which 
manages its trading. For example, the Ameri- 
can bureau, estimating such and such quantities 
of French goods necessary to America for a 
given year, sends the order to the French bureau, 
which in turn sends its order to our bureau. The 
same is done mutually by all the nations." 

"But how are the prices of foreign goods 
settled, since there is no competition ?" 

"The price at which one nation supplies an- 
other with goods," replied Dr. Leete, "must be 
that at which it supplies its own citizens. So you 
see there is no danger of misunderstanding. Of 
course, no nation is theoretically bound to supply 
another with the product of its own labour, but 
it is for the interest of all to exchange com- 
modities. If a nation is regularly supplying 
another with certain goods, notice is required 
from either side of any important change in the 

"But what if a nation, having a monopoly of 
some natural product, should refuse to supply it 
to the others, or to one of them ?" 

"Such a case has never occurred, and could 
not without doing the refusing party vastly more 
harm than the others," replied Dr. Leete. "In 
the first place, no favouritism could be shown. 
The law requires that each nation shall deal with 
the others, in all respects, on exactly the same 
footing. Such a course as you suggest would 
cut off the nation adopting it from the remainder 
of the earth for all purposes whatever. The 
contingency is one that need not give us much 

"But," said I, "supposing a nation, having a 
natural monopoly in some product of which it 
exports more than it consumes, -should put the 
price away up, and thus, without cutting off the 
supply, make a profit out of its neighbour's 
necessities ? Its own citizens would, of course, 
have to pay the higher price on that commodity, 
but as a body would make more out of foreigners 
than they would be out of pocket themselves." 

"When you come to know how prices of all 
commodities are determined nowadays, you will 
perceive how impossible it is that they could be 
altered, except with reference to the amount or 
arduousness of the work required respectively to 
produce them," was Dr. Leete's reply. "This 
principle is an international as well as a national 
guarantee ; but even without it the sense of 
community of interest, international as well as 
national, and the conviction of the folly of selfish- 
ness, are too deep nowadays to render possible 
such a piece of sharp practice as you apprehend. 
You must understand that we all look forward 
to an eventual unification of the world as one 
nation. That, no doubt, will be the ultimate 
form of society, and will realise certain 
economic advantages over the present federal 
system of autonomous nations. Meanwhile, 
however, the present system works so nearly 
perfectly that we are quite content to leave 
to posterity the completion of the scheme. 
There are indeed, some who hold that it never 
will be completed, on the ground that the federal 
plan is not merely a provisional solution of the 

problem of human society, but the best ultimate 

"How do you manage," I asked, when the 
books of any two nations do not balance ? 
Supposing we import more from France than we 
export to her." 

"At the end of each year," replied the doctor, 
"the books of every nation are examined. If 
France is found in our debt, probably we are in 
the debt of some nation which owes France, and 
so on with all the nations. The balances that 
remain after the accounts have been cleared by 
the international council, should not be large 
under our system. Whatever they may be, the 
council requires them to be settled every few 
years, and may require their settlement at any 
time if they are getting too large ; for it is not 
intended that any nation shall run largely in debt 
to another, lest feelings unfavorable to amity 
should be engendered. To guard further against 
this, the international council inspects the com 
modities interchanged by the nations, to see that 
they are of perfect quality." 

"But what are the balanees finally settled with, 
seeing that you have no money ?" 

"In national staples ; a basis of agreement as 
to what staples shall be accepted, and in what 
proportions, for settlement of accounts, being 
a preliminary to trade relations." 

"Emigration is another point I want to ask 
you about," said I. "With every nation organ- 
ised as a close industrial partnership, monopolis- 
ing all means of production in the country, the 
emigrant, even if he were permitted to land, 
would starve. I suppose there is no emigration 

"On the contrary, there is constant emigra- 
tion, by which I suppose you mean removal to 
foreign countries for permanent residence," 
replied Dr. Leete. "It is arranged on a simple 
international arrangement of indemnities. For 
example, if a man at twenty-one emigrates from 
England to America, England loses all the ex- 
pense of his maintenance and education, and 
America gets a workman for nothing. America 
accordingly makes England an allowance. The 
same principle, varied to suit the case, applies 
generally. If the man is near the term of his 
labour when he emigrates, the country receiving 
him has the allowance. As to the imbecile per- 
sons, it is deemed best that each nation should 
be responsible for its own, and the emigration of 
such must be under full guarantees of support by 
his own nation. Subject to these regulations, the 
right of any man to emigrate at any time is un- 

"But how about mere pleasure trips; tours of 
observation? How can a stranger travel in a 
country whose people do n*»t receive money, and 
are themselves supplied with the means of life on 
a basis not extended to him ? His own credit 
card cannot, of course, be good in other lands. 
How does he pay his way ?" 

"An American credit card," replied Dr. Leete, 
"is just as good in Europe as American gold used 
to be, and on precisely the iame condition — 
namely, that it be exchanged into the currency 
of the country you are travelling in. An Amer- 


lean in Berlin takes his credit card to the local 
office of the international council, and receives 
in exchange for the whole er part of it a German 
credit card, the amount being- charged against 
the United States in favor of Germany on the 
international account." 

"Perhaps Mr. West would like to dine at the 
Elephant to-day," said Edith, as we left the table. 

"That is the name we give to the general din- 
ing-house of our ward," explained her father. 
"Not only is our cooking done at the public kitch- 
ens, as I told you last night, but the service 
and quality of the meals are much more satisfac- 
tory if taken at the dining-house. The tw* minor 
meals of the day are usually taken at home, as 
not worth the trouble of going out; but it is gen- 
eral to go out to dine. We have not done so 
since you have been with us, from a notion that 
it would be better to wait till you had become a 
little more familiar with our ways. What do you 
think ? Shall we take dinner at the dining-house 
to-day ?" 

I said that I should be very much pleased to 
do so. 

Not long after Edith came to me smiling and 

"Last night as I was thinking what I could do 
to make you feel at home until you came to be a 
little more used to us and our ways, an idea oc- 
curred to me. What would you say if I were to 
introduce you to some very nice people of your 
own times, whom I am sure you used to be well 
acquainted with?" 

I replied rather vaguely that it would certainly 
be very agreeable, but I did not see how she was 
going to manage it. 

"Come with me," was her smiling reply, "and 
see if I am not as good as my word." 

My susceptibility to surprise had been pretty 
well exhausted by the numerous shocks it had 
received, but it was with some wonderment that 
I followed her into a room which I had not before 
entered. It was a small cosy apartment, walled 
with cases filled with books. 

"Here are your friends," said Edith, indicating 
one of the cases, and as my eyes glanced over 
the names on the backs of the volumes, Shakes- 
peare, Milton, Wordsworth, Shelley, Tennyson, 
Defoe, Dickens, Thackeray, Hugo, Hawthorne, 
Irving, and a score of other great writers, of my 
time and all time, I understood her meaning. She 
had indeed made good her promise in a sense 
compared with which its literal fulfillment would 
have been a disappointment. She had introduced 
me to a circle of friends whom the century that 
had elapsed since last I cemmuned with them 
had aged as little as it had myself. Their spirit 
was as high, their wit as keen, their laughter and 
their tears as contagious as when their speech 
had whiled away the hours of a former century. 
Lonely I was not, and could not be more, with 
this goodly companionship, however wide the gulf 
of years that gaped between me and my old life. 

"You are glad I brought you here," exclaimed 
Edith, radiant, as she read in my face the success 
of her experiment; "It was a good idea, was it 
not, Mr. West ?" How stupid in me not to think 
ef it before? I will leave yeu sow with your old 

friends, for I know there will be no company for 
you like them just now; but remember you must 
not let old friends make you quite forget new 
ones," and with that smiling caution she left me. 

Attracted by the most familiar of the names be- 
fore me, I laid my hand on a volume of Dickens, 
and sat down to read. He had always been my 
prime favourite among the book-writers of the 
century — I mean the nineteenth century, — and a 
week had rarely passed in my old life during 
which I had not taken up some volume of his 
works to while away an idle hour. Any volume 
with which I had been familiar would have pro- 
duced an extraordinary impression, read under 
my present circumstances; but my exceptional 
familiarity with Dickens, and his consequent 
power to call up the associations of my former 
life, gave to his writings an effect no others could 
have had, to, intensify, by force of contrast, my 
appreciation of the strangeness of my present 
environment. However new and astonishing 
one's surroundings, the tendency is to become a 
part of them so soon that almost from the first 
the power to see them objectively, and fully 
measure their strangeness, is lost. That power, 
already dulled in my case, the pages of Dickens 
restored by carrying me back through their as- 
sociations to the standpoint of my former life. 
W T ith a clearness which I had not been able be- 
fore to attain, I saw now the past and present, 
like contrasting pictures, side by side. 

The genius of the great novelist of the nine- 
teenth century, like that of Homer, might indeed 
defy time; but the setting of his pathetic tales, 
misery of the poor, the wrongs of power, the 
pitiless cruelty of the system of society had pass- 
ed away as utterly as Circe and the sirens, 
Charybdis and Cyclops. 

During the hour or so that I sat there with 
Dickens open before me, I did not actually read 
more than a couple of pages. Every paragraph, 
every phrase, brought up some new aspect of the I 
world-transformation which had taken place, and f 
led my thoughts on long and widely ramifying ! 
excursions. As meditating thus in Dr. Leete's 
library, I gradually attained a more clear and 
coherent idea of the prodigious spectacle which j 
I had been so strangely enabled to view, I was 
filled with a deepening wonder at the seeming 
capriciousness of the fate that had given to one 
who so little deserved it, or seemed in any way 
set apart for it, the power alone among his con- 
temporaries to stand upon the earth in this latter 
day. I had neither foreseen the new world nor 
toiled for it, as many about me had done, regard- 
less of the scorn of fools or the misconstruction 
of the good. Surely it would have been more in ac- 
cordance with the fitness of things had one of 
those prophetic and strenuous souls been enabled 
to see the travail of his soul, and be satisfied, he, 
for example, a thousand times rather than I, who, 
having beheld in a vision the world I looked on, 
sang of it in words that again and again during 
these last wondrous days had rung in my mind: 
For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could 

Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder 
that would be, 



Tfll the war-drum throbbed no longer, and the 

battle-flags were furled 
In the Parliament of man, the federation of the 


Then the common sense of most shall hold a 

fretful realm in awe, 
And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in 

universal law. 
For I doubt net through the ages one increasing 

purpose runs, 
And the thoughts of men are widened with the 

process of the suns. 
What though, in his old age, he momentarily 
lost faith in his own prediction, as prophets in 
their hours of depression and doubt generally do, 
the words had remained eternal testimony to the 
seership of a poet's heart, the insight that is 
given to faith. 

I,was still in the library when some hours later 
Dr. Leete sought me there. "Edith told me of 
her idea," he said, "and I thought it an excellent 
one. I had a little curiosity what writer you 
would first turn to. Ah, Dickens 1 You admire 
him, then ? That is where we moderns agree 
with you. Judged by our standards he over- 
tops all the writers of his age, not because 
his literary genius was highest, but because his 
great heart beat for the poor, because he made 
the cause of the victims of society his own and 
devoted his pen to exposing its cruelties and 
shams. No man of his time did so much as he 
to turn men's minds to the wrong and wretched- 
ness of the old order of things, and open their 
eyes to the necessity of the great change that 
was coming, although he himself did not clearly 
forsee it." 


A heavy rainstorm came up during the day, and 
I had concluded that the condition of the streets 
would be such that my hosts would have to give 
up the idea of going out to dinner, although the 
dining hall I had understood to be near. I was 
much surprised when at the dinner hour the 
ladies appeared prepared to go out, but without 
either rubbers or umbrellas. 

The mystery was explained when we found 
ourselves on the street, for a continuous water- 
proof covering had been let down so as to enclose 
the side-walk and turn it into a well-lighted and 
perfectly dry corridor, which was filled with a 
stream of ladies and gentlemen dressed for din- 
ner. At the corners light bridges, similarly 
covered in, led over the streets. Edith Leete, 
with whom I walked, seemed much interested in 
learning, what appeared to be entirely new to her, 
that in the stormy weather the streets of the 
Boston of my day had been impassable, except 
to persons protected by umbrellas, boots, and 
heavy clothing. "Were sidewalk coverings not 
used at all?" she asked. They were used, I ex- 
plained, but in a scattered and unsympathetic 
way, being private enterprises. She said to me 
that at the present time all the streets were pro- 
vided against inclement weather in the manner 
I saw, the apparatus being rolled out of the way 
when it was unnecessary. She intimated that it 

would be considered an extraordinary imbecility 
to permit the weather to have any effect on the 
social movements of the people. 

Dr. Leete, who was walking ahead, overhear- 
ing something of our talk, turned to say that the 
difference between the age of individualism and 
that of concert, was well characterised by the 
fact that, in the nineteenth century, when it 
rained the people of Boston put up three hundred 
thousand umbrellas over as many heads, and in 
the twentieth century they put up one umbrella 
over all the heads. 

As we walked on Edith said, "The private 
umbrella is father's favorite figure to illustrate 
the old way when everybody lived for himself 
and his family. There is a nineteenth century 
painting at the art gallery representing a crowd 
of people in the rain, each one holding his um- 
brella over himself and his wife, and giving his 
neighbours the drippings, which he claims must 
have been meant by the artist as a satire on his 

We now entered a large building into which a 
stream of people was pouring. I could not see 
the front, owing to the awning, but, if in cor- 
respondence to the interior, which was even 
finer than the store I visited the day before, it 
would have been magnificent. My companion 
said that the sculptured group over the entrance 
was especially admired. Going up a grand stair- 
case we walked some distance along a broad 
corridor with many doors opening upon it. At 
one of these, which bore my host's name, we 
turned in, and I found myself in an elegant din- 
ing-room containing a table for four. Windows 
opened on a courtyard where a fountain played 
to a great height, and music made the air 

"You seem at home here," I said, as we seated 
ourselves at the table, and Dr. Leete touched an 

"This is, in fact, a part 01 our house, slightly 
detached from the rest," he replied. "Every 
family in the ward has a room set apart in this 
great building for its permanent and exclusive 
use for a small annual rental. For transient 
guests and individuals there is accommodation 
on another floor. If we expect to dine here, we 
put in our orders the night before, selecting any- 
thing in market, according to the daily reports 
in the papers. The meal is as expensive or as 
simple as we please, though of course everything 
is vastly cheaper as well as better than it would 
be if prepared at home. There is actually nothing 
which our people take more interest in than the 
perfection of the catering and cooking done for 
them, and I admit that we are a little vain of the 
success that has been attained by this branch of 
the service. Ah, my dear Mr. West, though 
other aspects of your civilisation were more 
tragical, I can imagine that none could have 
been more depressing than the poor dinners you 
had to eat, that is, all of you who had not great 

"You would have found none of us disposed to 
disagree with you on that point," I said. 

The waiter, a fine looking young fellow, wear- 
ing a slightly distinctive uniform, now made his 


appearance. I observed him closely, as it was 
the first time I had been able to study particularly 
the bearing of one of the enlisted members of the 
industrial army. This young man, I knew from 
what I had been told, must be highly educated, 
and the equal socially and in all respects of 
those he served. But it was perfectly evident 
that to neither side was the situation in the 
slightest degree embarassing. Dr. Leete ad- 
dressed the young man in a tone devoid, of 
course, as any gentleman's would be, of super- 
ciliousness, bu,t at the same time not any way 
deprecatory, while the manner of the young man 
was simply that of a person intent on discharging 
correctly the task he was engaged in, equally 
without familiarity or obsequiousness. It was, 
in fact, the manner of a soldier on duty, but 
without the military stiffness. As the youth left 
the room, I said, "I cannot get over my wonder 
at seeing a young man like that serving so con- 
tentedly in a menial position." 

"What is that word 'menial? I never heard 
it," said Edith. 

"It is obsolete now," remarked the father. 
"If I understand it rightly, it applied to persons 
who performed particularly disagreeable and un- 
pleasant tasks for others, and carried with it an 
implication of contempt. Was it not so, Mr. 
West ?" 

"That is about it," I said. "Personal service, 
such as waiting upon tables, was considered 
menial, and held in such contempt, in my day, 
that persons of culture and refinement would 
suffer hardship before condescending to it." 

"What a strangely artificial idea," exclaimed 
Mrs. Leete wonderingly. 

"And yet these services had to be rendered," 
said Edith. 

"Of course," I replied. "But we imposed 
them on the poor, and those who had no alterna- 
tive but starvation." 

"And increased the burden you imposed on 
them by adding your contempt," remarked Dr. 

"I don't think I clearly understand," said 
Edith. "Do you mean that you permitted 
people to do things for you which you despised 
them for doing, or that you accepted services 
from them which you would have been unwilling 
to render them ? You can't surely mean that, 
Mr. West ? 

I was obliged to tell her that the fact was just 
as she had stated. Dr. Leete, however, came 
to my relief. 

"To understand why Edith is surprised," he 
said, "you must know that nowadays it s an 
axiom of ethics that to accept a service from 
another which we would be unwilling to return 
in kind, if need were, is like borrowing with the 
intention of not repaying, while to enforce such 
a service by taking advantage of the poverty or 
necessity of a person would be an outrage like 
forcible robbery. It is the worst thing about any 
system which divides men, or allows them to be 
divided, into classes and castes, that it weakens 
the sense of common humanity. Unequal dis- 
tribution of wealth, and, still more effectually, 
«n equal opportunities of education and culture, 

divided society in your day into classes which, 
in many respects, regarded each other as dis- 
tant races. There is not, after all, such a differ- 
ence as might appear between our ways of look- 
ing at this question of service. Ladies and 
gentlemen of the cultured class in your d*y 
would no more have permitted persons of their 
own class to render them services they would 
scorn to return than we would permit anybody to 
do so. The poor and the uncultured, however, 
they looked upon as of another kind from them- 
selves. The equal wealth and equal opportunities 
of culture which all persons now enjoy have 
simply made us all members of one class, which 
corresponds t« the most fortunate class with you. 
Until this equality of condition had come to pass, 
the idea of the solidarity of humanity, the brother- 
hood of all men, could never have become the 
real conviction and practical principle of action 
it is now-a-days. In your day the same phrases 
were indeed used, but they were mere phrases." 

"Do the waiters, also, volunteer?" 

"No," replied Dr. Leete. "The waiters are 
young men in the unclassified grade of the in- 
dustrial army who are assignable to all sorts ot 
miscellaneous occupations not requiring special 
skill. Waiting on table is one of these, and every 
young recruit is given a taste of it. I myself 
served as a waiter for several months in this 
very dining-house some forty years ago. Once 
more you must remember that there is recognis- 
ed no sort of difference between the dignity of 
the different sorts of work required by the nation. 
The individual is never regarded, nor regards 
himself, as the servant of those he serves, nor is 
he in any way dependent upon them. It is al- 
ways the nation which he is serving. No differ- 
ence is recognised between a waiter's functions 
and those of any other worker. The fact that 
his is a personal service is indifferent from our 
point of view. So is a doctor's. I should as 
soon expect our waiter to-day to look down on 
me because I served him as a doctor, as think of 
looking down on him because he serves me as a 

After dinner my entertainers conducted me 
about the building, of which the extent, the mag- 
nificent architecture and richness of embellish- 
ment astonished me. It seemed it was not mere- 
ly a dining-hall, but likewise a great pleasure- 
house and social rendezvous of the quarter, and 
no appliance of entertainment or recreation was 

"You find illustrated here," said Dr. Leete, 
when 1 had expressed my admiration, "what I 
said to you in our first conversation, when you 
were looking out over the city, as to the splen- 
dour of our pubMc and common life as compared 
with the simplicity of our private and home 
life, and the contrast which, in this respect, 
the twentieth bears to the nineteenth century. 
To save ourselves useless burdens, we have as 
little gear about us at home as is consistent with 
comfort, but the social side of our life is ornate 
and luxurious beyond anything the world ever 
knew before. All the industrial and professional 
guilds have club-houses as extensive as this, as 
well as country, mountain, and seaside houses 



for sport and rest in vacations." — [During- the 
latter part of the nineteenth century it became a 
practice of needy young- men at some of the 
colleges of the country, to earn a little money for 
their term bills by serving as waiters on tables at 
hotels during the long summer vacation. It was 
claimed, in reply to critics who expressed the 
prejudices of the time in asserting that persons 
voluntarily following such an occupation could 
not be gentlemen, that they were entitled to 
praise for vindicating, by their example, the 
dignity of all honest and necessary labour. The 
use of this argument illustrates a common con- 
fusion in thought on the part of my former con- 
temporaries. The business of waiting on tables 
was in no more need of defence than most of the 
other ways of getting a living in that day, but to 
talk of dignity attaching to labour of any sort 
under the system then prevailing was absurd. 
There is no way in which selling labour for the 
highest price it will fetch is more dignified than 
selling goods for what can be got. Both wens 
commercial transactions to be judged by the 
commercial standard. By setting a price in 
money on his service, the worker accepted the 
money measure for it, and renounced all clear 
claim to be judged by any other. The sordid 
taint which this necessity imported to the noblest 
and the highest sorts of service was bitterly 
resented by generous souls, but there was no 
evading it. There was no exemption, however 
transcendent the quality of one's service, from 
the necessity of haggling for its price in the 
market-place. The physician must sell his heal- 
ing and the apostle his preaching like the rest. 
The prophet, who had guessed the meaning of 
God, must dicker for the price of the revelation, 
and the poet hawk his visions in printer's row. 
If I were asked to name the most distinguished 
felicity of this age, as compared to that in which 
I first saw the light, I should say that to me it 
seems to consist in the dignity you have given to 
labour by refusing to set a price upon it and 
abolishing the market-place for ever. By re- 
quiring of every man his best you have made 
God his task master, and by making honour the 
sole reward of achievement you have imparted 
in all service the distinction peculiar in my day 
to the soldier's.] 

When, in the course of our tour of inspection, 
we came to the* library, we succumbed to the 
temptation of the luxurious leather chairs with 
which it was furnished, and sat down in one of 
the book-lined alcoves to rest and chat awhile. — 
[Note. — I cannot sufficiently celebrate th^e glor- 
ious liberty that reigns in the public libraries of 
the twentieth century as compared with the in- 
tolerable management of those of the nineteenth 
century, in which the books were railed away 
from the people, and obtainable only at an ex- 
penditure of time and red tape calculated to dis- 
courage any ordinary taste for literature.] 

"Edith tells me that you have been in the 
library all the morning," said Mrs. Leete. "Do 
you know it seems to me, Mr. West, that you 
! are the most enviable of mortals." 

"I should like to know just why," I replied. 

"Because the books of the last hundred years 
will be new to you," she answered. "You will 
have so much of the most absorbing literature to 
read as to leave you scarcely time for meals 
these five years to come. Ah, what would I 
give if I had not already read Berrian's novels." 

"Or Nesmyth's, mamma," added Edith. 

"Yes, or 'Oates' poems,' or 'Past and Present,' 
or 'In the Beginning,' or — oh, I could name a 
dozen books, each worth a year of one's life," 
declared Mrs. Leete, enthusiastically. 

"I judge then, that there has been some noble 
literature produced in this century." 

"Yes," said Dr. Leete. "It has been an era 
of unexampled intellectual splendour. Probably 
humanity never before passed through a moral 
and mater a' evolution, so vast in its scope and 
brief in its time of accomplishment, as that from 
the old order to the new in the early part of this 
century. When men came to realise the great- 
ness of the felicity which had befallen them, and 
the change through which they had passed was 
not merely an improvement in details of their 
condition, but the rise of the race to a new plane 
of existence with an illimitable vista of progress, 
their minds were affected in all their faculties 
with a stimulus, of which the outburst of the 
mediaeval renaissance offers a suggestion but 
faint indeed. There ensued an era of mechanical 
invention, scientific discovery, art, musical and 
literary productiveness to which no previous age 
of the world offers anything comparable." 

"By the way," said I, "talking of literature, 
how are books published now ? Is that also 
done by the nation ?" 


"But how do you manage it? Does the Gov- 
ernment publish everything that is brought it as 
a matter of course, at the public expense, or does 
it exercise a censorship and print only what it 
approves ?" 

"Neither way. The printing department has 
no^ censorial powers. It is bound to print all 
that is offered it, but prints it only on condition 
that the author defray the first cost out of his 
credit. He- must pay for the privilege of the 
public ear, and if he has any message worth 
hearing we consider that he will be glad to do it. 
Of course if incomes were unequal, as in the old 
times, this rule would enable only the rich to be 
authors, but the resources of citizens being equal, 
it merely measures the strength of the author's 
motive. The cost of an edition of an average 
book can be saved out of a year's credit by the 
practice or economy and some sacrifices. The 
book, on being published, is placed on sale by 
the nation." 

"The author receiving a royalty on the sales 
as with us, I suppose ?" I suggested. 

"Not as with you, certainly," replied Dr. Leete; 
"but nevertheless in one way. The price of 
every book is made up of the cost of its publica- 
tion with a royalty for the author. The amount 
of this royalty is set to his credit, and he is dis- 
charged from other service to the nation for so 
long a period as this credit at the rate of allow- 
ance for the support of citixens shall suffice to 


support him. If his book be moderately success- 
ful, he has thus a furlough for several months, a 
year, two or three years, and if he in the mean- 
time produces other successful work, the remis- 
sion of service is extended so far as the sale of 
that may justify. An author of much acceptance 
succeeds in supporting - himself by his pen during 1 
the entire period of service, and the degree of 
any writer's literary ability, as determined by 
the popular voice, is thus the measure of the 
opportunity given him to devote his time to 
literature. In this respect the outcome of our 
system is not very dissimilar to that of yours s 
but there are two notable differences. In i^,e 
first place, the universally high level of educa- 
tion nowadays gives the popular verdict a con- 
clusiveness on the real merit of literary work 
which in your day it was as far as possible from 
having. In the second place, there is no such 
thing now as favouritism of any sort to interfere 
with the recognition of true merit. Every author 
has precisely the same facilities for bringing his 
work before the popular tribunal.' To judge 
from the complaints of the writers of your day, 
this absolute equality of opportunity would have 
been greatly prized." 

"In the recognition of merit in other fields ot 
genius, such as music, art, invention, design," I 
said, "I suppose you follow a similar principle." 

"Yes," he replied, "although the details differ. 
In art, for example, as in literature, the people 
are the sole judges. They vote upon the accept- 
ance of statues and paintings for the public build- 
ings, and their favourable verdict carries with it 
the artist's remission from other tasks to devote 
himself to his vocation. In all these lines of orig- 
inal genius the plan pursued is the same, — to offer 
a free field to aspirants, and as soon as an excep- 
tional talent is recognised to release it from all 
trammels and let it have free course. The remis- 
sion of other service in these cases is not in- 
tended as a gift or reward, but as a means of ob- 
taining more and higher service. Of course there 
are various literary, art and scientific institutes 
to which membership comes to the famous and 
is greatly prized. The highest of all honours in 
the nation, higher than the presidency, which 
calls merely for good sense and devotion to duty, 
is the red ribbon awarded by the vote of the 
people to the great authors, artists, engineers, 
physicians and inventors of the generation. Not 
over one hundred wear it at any one time, though 
every bright young fellow in the country loses 
; nnumerable night's sleep dreaming of it. I even 
lid myself." 

"Just as if mamma and I would have thought 
!iy more of you with it," exclaimed Edith; "not 
aat it isn't, of course, a very fine thing to have." 

"You had no choice, my dear, but to take your 
ather as you found him, and make the best of 
um," Dr. Leete replied; but as for your mother, 
here, she would never have had me if I had not 
issured her that I was bound to get the ribbon." 

On this extravagance Mrs. Leete's only com- 
nent was a smile. 

"How about periodicals and newspapers," I 
s-*id. "I won't deny that your book publishing 
system is a considerable improvement on ours, 


both as to its tendency to encourage a real liter- 
ary vocation, and, quite as important, to discour- 
age mere scribblers; but I don't see how it can 
be made to apply to magazines and newspapers. 
It is very well to make a man pay for publishing 
a book, because the expense will be only occas- 
ional; but no man could afford the expense of 
publishing a newspaper every day in the year. It 
took the deep pockets ©f our private capitalists 
to do that, and often exhausted even them before 
the returns came in. If you have newspapers at 
all, they must, I fancy, be published by the Gov- 
ernment at the public expense, with Gov- 
ernment editors, reflecting Government opinions. 
Now, if your system is so perfect that there is 
never anything to criticise in the conduct of af- 
fairs, this arrangement may answer. Otherwise 
I should think the lack of an independent unof- 
ficial medium for the expression ot public opin- 
ion would have most unfortunate results. Con- 
fess, Dr. Leete, that a free newspaper press, 
with all that it implies, was a redeeming incident 
of the old system when capital was in private 
hands, and that you have to set off the loss ot 
that against your gains in other respects." 

"I am afraid I can't give you even that con- 
solation," replied Dr. Leete, laughing. "In the 
first place, Mr. West, the newspaper press is by 
no means the only, or, as we look at it, the best 
vehicle for serious criticism of public affairs. To 
us, the judgments of your newspapers on such 
themes seem generally to have been crude and 
flippant, as deeply tinctured with prejudice and 
bitterness. In so far as they may be taken as 
expressing public opinion, they give an unfavour- 
able impression of the popular intelligence, while 
so far as they may have formed public opinion, 
the nation was not to be felicitated. Nowadays, 
when a citizen desires to make a serious impres- 
sion upon the public mind as to any aspect of 
public affairs, he comes out with a book or 
pamphlet, published as other books are. But 
this is not because we lack newspapers or maga- 
zines, or that they lack the most absolute free- 
dom. The newspaper press is organised so as 
to be a more perfect expression of public opinion 
than it possibly could be in your day,when private 
capital controlled and managed it primarily as a 
money-making business, and secondary only as a 
mouthpiece for the people." 

"But," said I, "if the government prints the 
papers at the public expense, how can it fail to 
control their policy? Who appoints the editors 
if not the Government ?" 

"The Government does not pay the expense of 
the papers, nor appoint their editors, nor in any 
way exert the slightest influence on their policy," 
replied Dr. Leete. 

' 'The people who take the paper pay the ex- 
pense of its publication, choose its editor, and 
remove him when unsatisfactory. You will 
scarcely say, I think, that such a newspaper 
press is not a free organ of popular opinion." 

"Decidedly, I shall not," I replied, "but how 
is it practicable ?" 

"Nothing could be simpler. Supposing some 
of my neighbors or myself think we ought to 
have a newspaper reflecting our opinions, and 



devoted especially to our locality, trade or pro- 
fession, we go about among the people till we 
get the names of such a number that their annual 
subscriptions will meet the cost of the paper, 
which is little or big according to the largeness 
of its constituency. The amount of the subscrip- 
tions is marked off the credits of the citizens and 
guarantees the nation against loss in publishing 
the paper, its business, you understand, being 
that of a publisher purely, with no option to re- 
fuse the duty required. The subscribers to the 
paper now elect somebody as editor, who, if he 
accepts the office, is discharged from other ser- 
vice during his incumbency. Instead of paying 
a salary to him, as in your day, the subscribers 
pay the nation an indemnity equal to the cost of 
his support for taking him away from the general 
service. He manages the paper just as one of 
your editors did, except that he has no counting- 
room to obey, or interests of private capital as 
against the public good to defend. At the end 
of the first year the subscribers for the next 
either re-elect the former editor or choose any 
one else to his place. An able editor, of course, 
keeps his place indefinitely. As the subscription 
list enlarges, the funds of the paper increase and 
it is improved by the securing of better contrib- 
utors, just as your papers were." 

"How is the staff of contributors recompensed, 
since they cannot be paid in money ?" 

"The editor settles with them the price of 
their wares. The amount is transferred to their 
individual credit from the guarantee credit of the 
paper, and a remittance of service is granted the 
contributor for a length of time corresponding to 
the amount credited him, just as to other authors. 
As to magazines, the system is the same. Those 
interested in the prospectus of a new periodical 
pledge enough subscriptions to run it for a year; 
select their editor, who recompenses his contrib- 
utors just as in the other case, the printing 
bureau furnishing the necessary force and mater- 
ial for publication, as a matter of course. When 
an editor's services are no longer desired, if he 
cannot earn the right to his time by other liter- 
ary work, he simply resumes his place in the in- 
dustrial army. I should add that, though ordin- 
arily the editor is elected only at the end of the 
year, and as a rule is continued in office ror a 
term of years, in case of any sudden change he 
should give to the tone of the paper, provision is 
make for taking the sense of the subscribers as 
to his removal at any time." 

When the ladies retired that evening, Edith 
brought me a book and said: 

"If you should be wakeful to-night, Mr. West, 
you might be interested in looking over this story 
by Berrian. It is considered his masterpiece, 
iand will at least give you an idea what the 
stories nowadays are like." 

I sat up in my room that night reading "Pen- 
thesilia," till it grew grey in the east, and did not 
lay it down till I had finished it. And yet let no ad- 
mirer of the great romancer of the twentieth cen- 
tury resent my saying that at the first reading 
what most impressed me was not so much what 
was in the book as what was left out of it. The 
story-writers of my day would have deemed the 

making of bricks without straw a light task com- 
pared with the construction of a romance from 
which should be excluded all effects drawn from 
the contrasts of wealth and poverty, education 
and ignorance, coarseness and refinement, high 
and low, all motives drawn from social pride and 
ambition, the desire of being richer or the fear 
of being poorer, together with sordid anxieties 
of any sort, of one's self or others; a romance in 
which there should, indeed, be love galore, but 
love unfettered by artificial barriers created by 
differences of stations or possessions, owning no 
other law but that of the heart. The reading of 
"Penthesilia" was of more value than almost any 
amount of explanation would have been in giving 
me something like a general impression of the 
social aspect of the twentieth century. The in- 
formation Dr. Leete had imparted was indeed 
extensive as to facts, but they had affected my 
mind as so many separate impressions, which I 
had as yet succeeded but imperfectly in making 
cohere. Berrian put them together for me in a 


Next morning I rose somewhat before the 
breakfast hour. As I descended the stairs, 
Edith stepped into the hall from the room which 
had been the scene of the morning interview be- 
tween us described some chapters back. 

"Ah!" she exclaimed, with a charmingly arch 
expression, "you thought to slip out unbeknown 
for another of those solitary morning rambles 
which have such nice effects upon you. But you 
see I am up too early for you this time. You are 
fairly caught." 

"You discredit the efficacy of your own cure," 
I said, "by supposing that such a ramble would 
now be attended with bad consequences." 

"I am very glad to hear that," she said. I 
was in here arranging some flowers for the 
breakfast table when I heard you come down, 
and fancied I detected something surreptitious 
in your step on the stairs." 

"You did me injustice," I replied. "I had 
no idea of going out at all." 

Despite her effort to convey an impression that 
my interception was purely accidental, I had at 
the time a dim suspicion of what I afterwards 
learned to be the fact, namely, that this sweet 
creature, in pursuance of her self-assumed guar- 
dianship over me, had risen for the last two or 
three mornings at an unheard-of hour, to insure 
against the possibility of my wandering off alone 
in case I should be affected as on the former oc- 
casion. Receiving permission to assist her in 
making up the breakfast bouquet, I followed her 
into the room from which she had emerged. 

"Are you sure," she asked that you are quite 
done with those terrible sensations you had that 
morning ?" 

"I can't say that I do not have times of feel- 
ing decidedly queer," I replied; "moments when 
my personal identity seems an open question. It 
would be too much to expect after my experience 
that I should not have such sensations occasion- 
ally, but as for being carried entirely off my feet, 



as I w»s on the point of being that morning, I 
think the danger is past." 

"I shall never forget how you looked that 
morning," she said. 

"If you had merely saved my life, "I continued, 
"I might, perhaps, find words to express my 
gratitude, but it was my reason you saved, and 
there are no words that would not belittle my 
debt to you." I spoke with emotion, and her 
eyes grew suddenly moist. 

"It is too much to believe all this," she said, 
"but it is very delightful to hear you say it. 
What I did was very little. I was very much dis- 
tressed about you, I know. Father never thinks 
anything ought to astonish us when it can be ex- 
plained scientifically, as I suppose this long sleep 
of yours can be, but even to fancy myself in your 
place makes my head swim. I know that I 
could not have borne it at all." 

"That would depend," I replied, "on whether 
an angel came to support you with her sympathy 
in the crisis of your condition, as one came to 
me." If my face at all expressed the feelings I 
had a perfect right to have towards this sweet 
and lovely young girl, who had played so angelic 
a rdle towards me, its expression must have been 
very worshipful just then. The expression or the 
words, or both together, caused her now to drop 
her eyes with a charming blush. 

"For the matter of that," I said, "if your ex- 
perience has not been as startling as mine, it 
must have been rather overwhelming to see a 
man belonging to a strange century and appar- 
ently a hundred years dead, raised to life." 

"It seemed indeed strange beyond any de- 
scribing at first," she said, "but when we began 
to put ourselves in your place, and realise how 
much stranger it must seem to you, I fancy we 
forgot our own feelings a good deal; at least I 
know I did. It seemed then not so much as- 
tounding as interesting and touching beyond 
anything ever heard of before." 

"But does it not come over you as astounding 
to sit at table with me, seeing who I am ?" 

"You must remember that you do not seem so 
strange to us as we must to you," she answered. 
"We belong to a future of which you could not 
form an idea, a generation of which you knew 
nothing until you saw us. But you belong to a 
generation of which our forefathers were a part. 
We know all about it; the names of many of its 
members are household words with us. We have 
made a study of your ways of living and think- 
ing; nothing you say or do surprises us, while we 
say and do nothing which does not seem strange 
to you. So you see, Mr. West, that if you feel 
that you can, in time, get accustomed to us, you 
must not be surprised that from the first we have 
scarcely found you strange at all." 

"I had not thought of it in that way," I re- 
plied. "There is indeed much in what you say. 
One can look back a thousand years easier than 
forward fifty. A century is not so very long a 
retrospect. I might have known your great 
grandparents. Possibly I did. Did they live 
in Boston ?" 

"I believe so." 

"You are not sure, then ?" 

"Yes," she replied. "Now I think, they did." 

"I had a very large circle of acquaintances in 
the city," I said. "It is not unlikely that I knew, 
or knew of, some of them. Perhaps I may have 
known them well. Wouldn't it be interesting if I 
should chance to be able to tell you all about 
your great grandfather, for instance ?" 

"Very interesting." 

"Do you know your genealogy well enough to 
tell me who your forbears were* in Boston of my 

day ?" 

"Oh, yes." 

"Perhaps, then, you will sometime tell me what 
some of their names were." 

She was engrossed in arranging a troublesome 
spray of green and did not reply at once. Steps 
upon the stairway indicated that other members 
of the family were descending. 

"Perhaps, sometime," she said. 

After breakfast, Dr. Leete suggested taking 
me to inspect the central warehouse and observe 
actually in operation the machinery ot distribu- 
tion, which Edith had described to me. As we 
walked away from the house, I said, "It is now 
several days that I have been living in your 
household on a most extraordinary footing, or 
rather on none at all. I have not spoken of this 
aspect of my position before because there were 
so many other aspects yet more extraordinary. 
But now that I am beginning a little to feel my 
feet under me, and to realise that, however I 
came here, I am here, and must make the best 
of it, I must speak to you on this point." 

"As for your being a guest in my- house," re- 
plied Dr. Leete, "I pray you not to begin to be 
uneasy on that point, for I mean to keep you a 
long time yet. With all your modesty, you can 
but realise that such a guest as yourself is an 
acquisition not willingly to be parted with." 

"Thanks, doctor," I said. "It would be ab- 
surd, certainly, for me to affect any oversen- 
sitiveness about accepting the temporary hos- 
pitality of one to whom I owe it that I am not 
still awaiting the end of the world in a living 
tomb. But if I am to be a permanent citizen of 
this century I must have some standing in it. 
Now, in my time, a person more or less entering 
the world, however he got in, would not be 
noticed in the unorganised throng of men, and 
might make a place for himself anywhere he 
chose if he were strong enough. But nowadays 
everybody is a part of a system, with a distinct 
place and function. I am outside the system, 
and don't see how I can get in; there seems no 
way to get in, except to be born in or to come 
in as an emigrant from some other system." 

Dr. Leete laughed heartily. 

"I admit," he said, "that our system is defect- 
ive in lacking provision for cases like yours, but 
you see nobody anticipated additions to the 
world except by the usual process. You need, 
however, have no fear that we shall be unable to 
provide both a place and occupation for you in 
due time. You have as yet been brought in con- 
tact only with the members of my family,but you 
must not suppose that I have kept you a secret. 
On the contrary, your case, even before your 
resuscitation, and vastly more since, has excited 



the profoundest interest in the nation. In view 
of your precarious nervous condition, it was 
thought best that I should take exclusive charge 
of you at first, and that you should, through me 
and my family, receive some general idea of the 
sort of world you had come back to before you 
began to make the acquaintance generally of 
its inhabitants. As to finding a function for you 
in society, there was no hesitation as to what 
that would be. Few of us have it in our power 
to confer so great service on the nation as you 
will be able to when you leave my roof, which, 
however, you must not think of doing for a good 
time yet." 

"What can I possibly do ?" I asked. "Perhaps 
you imagine that I have some trade or art of 
special skill. I assure you that I have none 
whatever. I never earned a dollar in my life or 
did an hour's work. I am strong, and might be 
a common laborer, but nothing more." 

"If that were the most efficient service you 
were able to render the nation, you would find 
that avocation considered quite as respectable 
as any other," replied Dr. Leete; "but you can 
do something else better. You are easily the 
master of all our historians on questions relating 
to the social condition of the latter part of the 
nineteenth century, to us one of the most absorb- 
ingly interesting periods of history; and when- 
ever in due time you have sufficiently familiarized 
yourself with our institutions, and are willing to 
teach us something concerning those of your day, 
you will find an historical lectureship in one of 
ur colleges awaiting you." 

"Very good, very good, indeed," I said, much 
relieved by so practical a suggestion on a point 
which had begun to trouble me. "If your people 
are really so much interested in the nineteenth 
century, there will indeed be an occupation ready 
made for me. I don't think there is anything 
else that I could possibly earn my salt at, but I 
certainly may claim without conceit to have 
some special qualifications for such a post as 
you describe." 


I found the processes at the warehouse quite 
as interesting as Edith had described them, and 
became even enthusiastic over the truly remark- 
able illustration which is seen there of the pro- 
digiously multiplied efficiency which perfect or- 
ganisation can give to labour. It is like a gigan- 
tic mill, into the hopper of which goods are being 
constantly poured by the train-load and ship- 
load, to issue at the other end in packages of 
pounds and ounces, yards and inches, pints and 
gallons, corresponding to the infinitely complex 
personal needs of half a million people. Dr. 
Leete, with the assistance of data furnished by 
me as to the way goods were sold in my day, fig- 
ured out some astounding results in the way of 
the economies effected by the modern system. 

As we set out homeward, I said: "After what 
I have seen to-day, together with what you have 
told me, and what I learned under Miss Leete's 
tutelage at the sample store, I have a tolerably 
clear idea of your system of distribution, and 

how it enables you to dispense with a circulating 
medium. But I should like very much to know 
something more about your system of production. 
You have told me in general how your industrial 
army is levied and organised, but who directs its 
effects ? What supreme authority determines 
what shall be done in every department so that 
enough of everything is produced and yet no 
labour wasted ? It seems to me that this must 
be a wonderfully complex and difficult function, 
requiring very unusual endowments." 

"Does it indeed seem so to you?" responded 
Dr. Leete. "I assure you that it is nothing of 
the kind, but on the other hand so simple, and 
depending on principles so obvious and easily 
applied, that the functionaries at Washington to 
whom it is trusted require to be nothing more 
than men of fair abilities to discharge it to the 
entire satisfaction of the nation. The machine 
which they direct is indeed a vast one, but so 
logical in its principles and direct and simple in 
its workings that it all but runs itself, and no* 
body but a fool could derange it, as I think you 
will agree after a few words »f explanation. 
Since you already have a pretty good idea of the 
working of the distributive system, let us begin 
at that end. Even in your day statisticians were 
able to tell you the number of yards of cotton, 
velvet, woolen, the number of barrels of flour, 
potatoes, butter, number of pairs of shoes, hats, 
and umbrellas annually consumed by the nation. 
Owing to the fact that production was in private 
hands, and that there was no way of getting 
statistics of actual distribution, these figures 
were not exact, but they were nearly so. Now 
that every pin which is given out from a national 
warehouse is recorded, of course the figures of 
consumption for any week, month or year in the 
possession of the department of distribution at 
the end of that period are precise. On these fig- 
ures, allowing for tendencies to increase or de- 
crease, and for any special causes likely to effect 
demand, the estimates, say for a year ahead, are 
based. These estimates, with a proper margin 
for security, having been accepted by the gen- 
eral administration, the responsibility of the dis- 
tributing department ceases until the goods are 
delivered to it. I speak of the estimates being 
furnished for an entire year ahead, but in reality 
they cover that much time only in case of the 
great staples for which the demand can be cal- 
culated on as steady. In the great majority of 
smaller industries, for the products of which pop- 
ular taste fluctuates and novelty is frequently re- 
quired, production is kept barely ahead of con- 
sumption, the distribution department furnishing 
frequent estimates based on the weekly state of 

"Now the entire field of productive and con- 
structive industry is divided into ten great de- 
partments, each representing a group of allied 
industries, each particular industry being^ in turn 
represented by a subordinate bureau, which has 
a complete record of the plant and force under 
its control, of the present product, and means of 
increasing it. The estimates of the distributive 
department, after adoption by the administra- 
tion, are s^nt as mandates to the ten great de- 



partments, which allot them to the subordinate 
bureaus representing 1 the particular industries, 
and these set the men at work. Each bureau is 
responsible for the task given it, and this respon- 
sibility is enforced by departmental oversight and 
that of the administration; nor does the distri- 
butive department accept the product without its 
own inspection; while even if in the hands of the 
consumer an article turns out unfit, the system 
enables the fault to be traced back to the orig- 
inal workman. The production of the commodi- 
ties for actual public consumption does not, of 
course, require by any means all the national 
force of workers. After the necessary contin- 
gents have been detailed for the various indus- 
tries, the amount of labour left for other employ- 
ment is expended in creating fixed capital, such 
as buildings, machinery, engineering works, and 
so forth. " 

"One point occurs to me," I said, "on which I 
should think there might be dissatisfaction. 
Where there is no opportunity for private enter- 
prise, how is there any assurance that the claims 
of small minorities of the people to have articles 
produced, for which there is no wide demand, 
will be respected? An official decree at any 
moment may deprive them of the means of grat- 
ifying some special taste, merely because the 
majority does not share it." 

"That would be tyranny indeed," replied Dr. 
Leete, "and you may be very sure that it does 
not happen with us, to whom liberty is as dear 
as equality or fraternity. As you come to know 
our system better, you will see that our officials 
are in fact, and not merely in name, the agents 
and servants of the people. The administration 
has no power to stop the production of any com- 
modity for which there continues fo be a demand. 
Suppose the demand for any article declines to 
such a point that its production becomes very 
costly. The price has to be raised in proportion, 
of course, but as long as the consumer cares to 
pay it, the production goes on. Again, suppose 
an article not before produced is demanded. If 
the administration doubfe the reality of the de- 
mand, a popular petition guaranteeing a certain 
basis of consumption compels it to produce the 
desired article. A government or a majority, 
which should undertake to tell the people, or a 
minority, what they were to eat, drink, or wear, 
as I believe governments in America did in your 
day, would be regarded as a curious anachronism 
indeed. Possibly you had reasons for tolerating 
these infringements of personal independence, 
but we should not think them endurable. I am 
glad you raised this point, for it has given me a 
chance to show you how much more direct and 
efficient is the control over production exercised 
by the individual citizen now than it was in your 
day, when what you called private initiative 
prevailed, though it should have been called cap- 
italist initiative, for the average private citizen 
had little enough share in it." 

"You speak of raising the price of costly 
articles," I said. "How can prices be regulated 
in a country where there is no competition 
between buyers and sellers ?" 

"Just as they were with you," replied Dr. 

Leete. "You think that needs explaining, " he 
added, as I looked incredulous, "but the explan- 
ation need not be long ; the cost of the labour 
which produced it was recognised as the legiti- 
mate basis of the price of an article in your day, 
so it is in ours. In your day, it was the dif- 
ference in wages that made the difference in the 
cost ef labour ; now it is the relative number of 
hours constitutinga day's work indifferent trades, 
the maintenance of the worker being- equal in all 
cases. The cost of a man's work in a trade so 
difficult that in order to attract volunteers the 
hours have to be fixed at four a day, is twice as 
great as that in a trade where the men work 
eight hours. The result as to the cost of labour, 
you see, is just the same as if the man working 
four hours were paid, under your system, twice 
the wages the other gets. This calculation 
applied to the labour employed in the various 
processes of a manufactured article gives its 
price relatively to other articles. Besides the 
cost of production and transportation, the factor 
of scarcity affects the prices of some commodi- 
ties. As regards the great staples of life, of 
which an abundance can always be secured, 
scarcity is eliminated as a factor. There is 
always a large surplus kept on hand, from which 
any fluctuations of demand or supply can be cor- 
rected, even in most cases of bad crops. The 
prices of the staples grow less year by year, but 
rarely, if ever, rise. There are, however, cer- 
tain classes of articles permanently, and others 
temporarily, unequal to the demand, as, for ex- 
ample, fresh fish or dairy products in the latter 
category, and the products of hig-h skill and rare 
materials in the other. All that can be done here 
is to equalise the inconvenience of the scarcity. 
This is done by temporarily raising the price if 
the scarcity be temporary, or fixing- it hig-h if it 
be permanent. High prices in your day meant 
restriction of the articles affected to the rich, but 
nowadays, when the means of all are the same, 
the effect is only that those to whom the articles 
seem most desirable are the ones who purchase 
them. I have given you now some general 
notion of our system of production, as well as 
distribution. Do you find it as complete as you 
expected ?" 

I admitted that nothing could be much simpler. 

"I am sure," said Dr. Leete, "that it is within 
the truth to say that the head of one of the 
myriad private businesses of your day, who had 
to maintain sleepless vigilance against the fluc- 
tuations of the market, the machinations of his 
rivals, and the failure of his debtors, had a far 
more trying task than the group of men at 
Washington who, nowadays, direct the industries 
of the entire nation. All this merely shows, my 
dear fellow, how much easier it is to do things 
the right way than the wrong. It is easier for a 
general up in a balloon, with perfect survey 01 
the field, to manoeuvre a million men to victory, 
than for a sergeant to manage a plantoon in a 

"The general of this army, including- the 
flower of the manhood of the nation, must be the 
foremost man in the country, really greater even 

than the president of the United States," I said 



" He is the president of the United States," 
replied Dr. Leete ; "or rather the most impor- 
tant function of the presidency is the headship 
of the industrial army." 

" How is he chosen?" I asked. 

"I explained to you before," replied Dr. 
Leete, " when I was describing- the force of the 
motive of emulation among - all grades of the in- 
dustrial army, that the line of promotion for the 
meritorious lies through three grades to the 
officers grade, and thence up through the lieu- 
tenancies to the captaincy, or foremanship, and 
superintendency or colonel's rank. Next, with 
an intervening grade in some of the larger 
trades, comes the general of the guild, under 
whose immediate control all the operations ot 
the trade are conducted. This officer is at the 
head of the national bureau representing his 
trade, and is responsible for its work to the 
administration. The general of his guild holds 
a splendid position, and one which amply satis- 
fies the ambition of most men, but above his 
rank, which may be compared, to follow the 
military analogies familiar to you, to that of a 
general of division or major-general, is that ot 
the chiefs of the ten great departments or groups 
of allied trades. The chiefs of these ten grand 
divisions of the industrial army may be compared 
to your commanders of army corps, or lieutenant- 
generals, each having from a dozen to a score 
of generals of separate guilds reporting to him. 
Above these ten great officers, who form his 
council, is the general-in-chief, who is the presi- 
dent of the United States. 

"The general-in-chief of the industrial army 
must have passed through all the grades below 
him, from the common labourers up. Let us see 
how he rises. As I have told you, it is simply 
by the excellence of his record as a worker that 
one rises through the grades of the privates and 
becomes a candidate for a lieutenancy. Through 
the lieutenancy he rises to the colonelcy or sup- 
erintendent's position by appointment from above, 
strictly limited to the candidates of the best 
records. The general of the guild appoints to 
the ranks under him, but he himself is not ap- 
pointed, but chosen by suffrage." 

"By suffrage!" I exclaimed. "Is not that 
ruinous to the discipline of the guild, by tempting 
the candidates to intrigue for the support of the 
workers under them ?" 

"So it would be, no doubt," replied Dr. Leete, 
"if the workers had any suffrage to exercise, 
or anything to say about the choice. But they 
have nothing. Just here comes in a peculiarity 
of our system. The general of the guild is 
chosen from among the superintendents by vote 
of the honorary members of the guild, that is, of 
those who have served their time in the guild 
and received their discharge. As you know at 
the age of forty-five we are mustered out of the 
army of industry, and have the residue of life for 
the pursuit of our own improvement or recrea- 
tion. Of course, however, the associations of 
our active lifetime retain a powerful hold on us. 
The companionships we formed then remain our 
companionships till the end of life. We always 
continue honorary members of our former guilds. 

and retain the keenest and most jealous interest in 
their welfare and repute in the hands of the fol- 
lowing generation. In the clubs maintained by 
the honorary members of the several guilds, in 
which we meet socially, there are no topics *of 
conversation so common as those which relate 
to these matters, and the young aspirants for 
guild leadership who can pass the criticism of us 
old fellows are likely to be pretty well equipped. 
Recognising this fact, the nation intrusts to the 
honorary members of each guild the election of 
its general, and I venture to claim that no previ- 
ous form of society could have developed a body 
of electors so ideally adapted to their office, as 
regards absolute impartiality, knowledge of the 
special qualifications and record of candidates, 
solicitude for the best result, and complete 
absence of self-interest. 

" Each of the ten lieutenant-generals or heads 
of departments, is himself elected from among 
the generals of the guilds grouped as a depart- 
ment, by vote of the honorary members of the 
guilds thus grouped. Of course there is a ten- 
dency on the part of each guild to vote for its 
own general, but no guild of any group has 
nearly enough votes to elect a man not supported 
by most of the others. I assure you that these 
elections are exceedingly lively." 

"The president, I suppose, is selected from 
among the ten heads of the great departments," 
I suggested. 

" Precisely, bat the heads of the departments 
are not eligible for the presidency till they have 
been a certain number of years out of office. It 
is rarely that a man passes through all the grades 
to the headship of a department much before he 
is forty, and at the end of a five years' term he is 
usually forty-five. If more, he still serves through 
his term, and if less, he is nevertheless discharged 
from the industrial army at its termination. It 
would not do for him to return to the ranks. 
The interval before he is a candidate for the 
presidency is intended to give time for him to 
recognise fully that he has returned into the 
general mass of the nation, and is identified with 
it rather than with the industrial army. More- 
over, it is expected that he will employ this 
period in studying the general condition of the 
army, instead of that special group of guilds of 
which he was the head. From among the former 
heads of departments who may be eligible at the 
time, the president is elected by vote of all the 
men of the nation who are not connected with 
the industrial army." 

"The army is not allowed to vote for presi- 
dent ?" 

" Certainly not. That would be perilous to its 
discipline, which it is the business of the presi- 
dent to maintain* as the representative of the 
nation at large. The president is usually not faf 
from fifty when elected, and serves five years, 
forming an honourable exception to the rule of 
retirement at forty-five. At the end of his term 
of office, a national Congress is called to receive 
his report and approve or condemn it. If it 
is approved, Congress usually elects him to 
represent the nation for five years more in the 
international council. Congress, I should alae 


say, passes on the reports of the outgoing- heads 
of departments, and a disapproval renders any 
one of them ineligible for president. But it is 
rare, indeed, that the nation has occasion for 
other sentiments than those of gratitude towards 
its high officers. As to their ability, to have 
risen from the ranks by tests so various and 
severe to their positions, is proof in itself of ex- 
traordinary qualities, while as to faithfulness, our 
social system leaves them absolutely without 
any other motive than that of winning the esteem 
of their fellow citizens. Corruption is impossible 
in a society where there is neither poverty to be 
bribed or wealth to bribe, while as to dema- 
goguery or intrigue for office, the conditions ot 
promotion render them out ot the question." 

" One point I do not quite understand," I said. 
"Are the members of the liberal professions 
eligible to the presidency ; and if so, how are 
they ranked with those who pursue the industries 

"They have no ranking with them," replied 
Dr. Leete. "The members of the technical pro- 
fessions, such as engineers and architects, have 
a ranking with the constructive guilds ; but the 
members of the liberal professions, the doctors, 
teachers, as well as the artists and men of letters 
who obtain remissions of industrial service, do 
not belong to the industrial army. On this 
ground they vote for the president, but are not 
eligible to his office. One of its main duties be- 
ing the control and discipline of the industrial 
army, it is essential that the president should 
have passed through all its grades to understand 
his business." 

"That is reasonable," I said ; "but if doctors 
and teachers do not know enough of industry to 
be president, neither, I should think, can the pre- 
sident know enough of medicine and education 
to control those departments." 

"No more does he," was the reply. "Except 
in the general way that he is responsible for the 
enforcement of the laws as to all classes, the 
president has nothing to do with the faculties ot 
medicine and education, which are controlled by 
boards of regents of their own, in which the pre- 
sident is ex-officio chairman and has the casting 
vote. These regents, who, of course, are re- 
sponsible to Congress, are chosen by the honor- 
ary members of the guilds of education and 
medicine, the retired teachers and doctors of 
the country." 

" Do you know," I said, "the method of elect- 
ing officials by votes of the retired members of 
the guilds is nothing more than the application 
on a national scale of the plan of government by 
alumni, which we used to a slight extent occa- 
sionally in the management of our higher educa- 
tional institutions ?" • 

" Did you, indeed ?" exclaimed Dr. Leete, with 
animation. " That is quite new to me, and I 
fancy will be to most of us, and of much interest 
as well. There has been great discussion as to the 
germ of the idea, and we fancied that it was for 
once something new under the sun. Well ! well 1 
In your higher educational institutions ! That is 
interesting indeed. You must tell me more of 


" Truly, there is very little more to tell than 1 
have told already," I replied. " If we had the 
germ of your idea, it was but as a germ." 


That evening I sat up for some time after the 
ladies had retiied, talking with Dr. Leete about 
the effect of the plan of exempting men from 
further service to the nation after the age of forty- 
five, a point brought up his account of the part 
taken by the retired citizen in the government. 

"At forty-five," said I, "a man still hasten 
years of good manual labour in him, and twice 
ten years of good intellectual service. To be 
superannuated at that age and laid on the shelf 
must be regarded rather as a hardship than a 
favour by men of energetic dispositions." 

" My dear Mr. West," exclaimed Dr. Leete, 
beaming upon me, " you cannot have any idea of 
the piquancy your nineteenth century ideas have 
for us of this day, the rare quaintness of their 
effect. Know, oh child of another race and yet 
the same, that the labour we have to render as 
our part in securing for the nation the means of a 
comfortable physical existence, is by no means 
regarded as the most important, the most inter- 
esting, or the most dignified employment of our 
powers. We look upon it as a necessary duty to 
be discharged before we can fully devote our- 
selves to the higher exercise of our faculties, 
the intellectual and spiritual employment and 
pursuits which alone mean life. Everything 
possible is indeed done by the just distribution of 
burdens, and by all manner of special attractions 
and incentives to relieve our labour of irksome- 
ness, and, except in a comparative sense, it is not 
usually irksome, and is often inspiring. But it is 
not our labour but the higher and larger activi- 
ties which the performance of our task will leave 
us free to enter upon, that are considered the 
main business of existence. 

" Of course not all, nor the majority, have 
those scientific, artistic, literary, or scholarly 
interests which make leisure the one thing valu- 
able to their possessors. Many look upon the 
last half of life chiefly as a period for enjoyment 
of other sorts ; for travel, for social relaxation in 
the company of their lifetime friends ; a time for 
the cultivation of all manners of personaHdiosyn- 
cracies and special tastes, and the pursuit of 
every imaginable form of recreation ; in a word, 
a time for the leisurely and unperturbed appre- 
ciation of the good things of the world which 
they have helped to create. But whatever the 
difference between our individual tastes as to the 
use we shall put our leisure to, we all agree in 
looking forward to the date of our discharge as 
the time when we shall first enter upon the full 
enjoyment of our birthright, the period when 
we shall first really attain our majority and 
become enfranchised from discipline and control, 
with the fee of our life vested in ourselves. As 
eager boys in your day anticipated twenty-one, 
so men nowadays look forward to forty-five. At 
twenty-one we become men, but at forty-five we 
renew youth. Middle age, and what you would 
have called old age, are considered, rather thap 



jrouth, the enviable time of life. Thanks to the 
better conditions of existence nowadays, and 
above all the freedom of every one from care, old 
age approaches many years later, and has an 
aspect far more benign than in past times. Per- 
sons of average constitutions usually live to 
eighty-five or ninety, and at forty-five we are 
physically and mentally younger, I fancy, than 
you were at thirty-five. It is a strange reflection 
that at forty-five, when we are just entering upon 
the most enjoyable period of life, you already 
began to think of growing old and to look back- 
ward. With you it was the forenoon, but with 
us it is the afternoon which is the brighter half of 

After this I remember that our talk branched> 
into the subject of popular sports and recreations 
at the present time as compared with those of the 
nineteenth century. 

11 In one respect," said Dr. Leete, " there is a 
marked difference. The professional sportsman, 
which were such a curious feature of your day, we 
have nothing answering to, nor are the prizes for 
which our athletes contend money prizes, as with 
you. Our contests are always for glory only. 
The generous rivalry existing between the var- 
ious guilds, and the loyalty of each worker to his 
own, afford a constant stimulation to all sorts ox 
games and matches by sea and land, in which the 
young men take scarcely more ieterest than the 
honorary guildsmen who have served their time. 
The guild yacht races off Marblehead take place 
next week, and you will be able to judge for 
yourself of the popular enthusiasm which such 
events nowadays call out as compared with your 
day. The demand for 'partem et cir censes' pre- 
ferred by the Roman populace is recognised 
nowadays as a wholly reasonable one. If bread 
is the first necessary of life, recreation is a close 
second, and the nation caters for both. Ameri- 
cans of the nineteenth century were as unfortun- 
ate in lacking an adequate provision of the one 
sort of need as for the other. Even if the people 
of that period had enjoyed larger leisure, they 
would, I fancy, have often been at loss how to 
pass it agreeably. We are never in that predica- 

In the course of an early morning constitutional 
I visited Charlestown. Among the changes, too 
numerous to attempt to indicate, which mark the 
lapse of a century in that quarter, I particularly 
noted the total disappearance of the old state 

"That went before my day, but I remember 
hearing about it," said Dr. Leete, when I alluded 
to the fact at the breakfast table. " We have no 
jails nowadays. All cases of atavism are treated 
in the hospitals." 

"Of atavism !" I exclaimed, staring. 

" Why, yes !" replied Dr. Leete. " The idea or 
dealing punitively with these unfortunates was 
given up at least fifty years ago, and I think 

" I don't quite understand you," I said. 
f Atavism in my day was a word applied to the 
cases of persons in whom some, trait of a remote 

ancestor recurred in a noticeable manner. Am I 
to understand that crime is nowaday looked upon 
as the recurrence of an ancestral trait ?" 

" I beer your pardon," said Dr. Leete, with a 
smile half humorous, half deprecating, " but 
since you have so explicitly asked the question, I 
am forced to say that the fact is precisely that." 

After what I had already learned of the moral 
contrasts between the nineteenth and the twen- 
tieth centuries, it was doubtless absurd in me to 
begin to develop sensitiveness^on the subject, and 
probably if Dr. Leete had not spoken with that 
apologetic air, and Mrs. Leete and Edith shown 
a corresponding embarrassment, I should not 
have flushed, as I was conscious I did. 

" I was not in much danger of being vain of 
my generation before," I said ; " but really — " 

"This is your generation, Mr. West," inter- 
posed Edith. "It is the one in which you are 
living, you know, and it is anly because we are 
alive now that we call it ours." 

" Thank you. I will try to think of it so," I 
said, and as my eyes met hers their expression 
quite cured my senseless sensitiveness. " After 
all," I said, with a laugh, " I was brought up a 
Calvinist, and ought not to be startled to hear 
crime spoken of as an ancestral trait." 

" In point of fact," said Dr. Leete, "our use of 
the word is no reflection at all oh your genera- 
tion, if, begging Edith's pardon, we may call it 
yours, so far as seeming to imply what we think 
ourselves, apart from our circumstances, better 
than you were. In your day fully nineteeH- 
twentieths of the crime, using the word broadly 
to include all sorts of misdemeanours, resulted 
from the inequality in the possessions of individ- 
uals ; want tempted the poor, lust of greater 
gains, or the desire to preserve former gains, 
tempted the wefl-to-do. Directly or indirectly, 
the desire for money, which then meant every 
good thing, was the motive of all this crime, the 
taproot of a vast poison growth, which the 
machinery of law, courts, and police could barely 
prevent from choking your civilisation outright. 
When we made the nation the sole trustee of the 
wealth of the people, and guaranteed to all 
abundant maintenance, on the one hand abolish- 
ing want, and on the other checking the 
accumulation of riches, we cut this root, and the 
poison tree that overshadowed your society with- 
ered like Jonah's gourd in a day. As for the 
comparatively small class of violent crimes 
against persons, unconnected with any idea of 
gain, they were almost wholly confined, even in 
your day, to the ignorant and bestial, and in 
these days when education and good manners 
are not the monopoly of a few, but universal, 
such atrocities are scarcely ever heard of. ^You 
now see why i,the word ■ atavism ' is used for 
crime. It is because nearly all forms of crime 
known to you are motiveless now, and when 
they appear can only be explained as the out- 
croppings of ancestral traits. You used to call 
persons who stole, evidently without any rational 
motive, • kleptomaniacs, and when the case was 
clear deemed it absurd to punish them as thieves. 
Your attitude towards the genuine kleptomaniac 
is precisely ours toward the victim of atavism, 


an attitude of compassion and firm but gentle 

" Your courts must have an easy time of it," I 
observed. " With no private property to speak 
of, no disputes between citizens over business 
relations, no real estate to divide or debts to 
collect, there must be absolutely no civil business 
at all for them ; and with no offences against 
property,' and mighty few of any sort to provide 
criminal cases, I should think you might do 
without judges and lawyers altogether," 

" We do without lawyers, certainly," was Dr. 
Leete's reply. " It would not seem reasonable 
te us, in a case where the only interest of the 
nation is to find out the truth, that persons should 
take part in the proceedings who had -an 
acknowledged motive to colour it." 

11 But who defends the accused ?" 

" If he is a criminal, he needs no defence, for 
he pleads guilty in most instances," replied Dr. 
Leete. "The plea of the accused is not a mere 
formality with us, as with you. It is usually the 
end of the case." 

" You don't mean'that the man who pleads not 
guilty is thereupon discharged ?" 

" No, I do not mean that. He is not accused 
on light grounds, and if he denies his guilt must 
still be tried. But trials are few, for in most 
cases the guilty man pleads guilty. When he 
makes a false plea and is clearly proved guilty, 
his penalty is doubled. Falsehood is, however, 
so despised among us that few offenders would 
lie to save themselves." 

" That is the most astoungjjng thing you 
have yet told me," I exclaimed. " If lying has 
gone out of fashion, this is indeed the * new 
heavens and the new earth wherein dwelleth 
righteousness,' which the prophet foretold." 

" Such is, in fact, the belief of some persons 
nowadays," was the doctor's answer. " They 
hold that we have entered upon the millenium, 
and the theory from their point of view does not 
lack plausibility. But as to your astonishment at 
finding that the world has outgrown lying, there 
is really no ground for it. Falsehood, even in 
your day, was not common between gentlemen 
and ladies, social equals. The lie of fear was 
the refuge of cowardice, and the lie of fraud the 
device of the cheat. The inequalities of men and 
the lust of acquisition offered a constant premium 
on lying at that time. Yet even then, the man 
who neither feared another nor desired to defraud 
him, scorned falsehood. Because we are now all 
social equals, and no man either has anything to 
fear from another or can gain anything by 
deceiving him, the contempt of falsehood is so 
universal that it is rarely, as I told you, that even 
a criminal in other respects will be found willing 
to lie. When, however, a plea of not guilty is 
returned, the judge appoints two colleagues to 
state the opposite sides of the case. How far 
these men are from being like your hired advo- 
cates and prosecutors, determined to acquit or 
convict, may appear from the fact that unless 
both agree that the verdict found is just, the case 
is tried over again, while anything like bias in 
the tone of either of the judges stating the case 
would be a shocking scandal." 


" Do I understand," I said, " that it is a judge 
who states each side of the case as well as a 
judge who hears it ?" 

" Certainly. The judges take turns in serving 
on the bench and at the bar, and are expected to 
maintain the judicial temper equally whether in 
stating or deciding a case. The system is indeed 
in effect that of trial by three judges occupying 
different points of view as to the case. When 
they agree upon a verdict, we believe it to be as 
near to absolute truth as men can well come." 

" You have given up the jury system, then ?" 

" It was well enough as a corrective in the days 
of hired advocates, and a bench sometimes venal, 
and often with a tenure that made it dependent, 
but is needless now. No conceivable motive but 
justice could actuate our judges." 

" How are these magistrates selected ?" 

"They are an honourable exception to the rule 
which discharges all men from service at the age 
of forty-five. The presidont of the nation ap- 
points the necessary judges year by year from 
the class reaching that age. The number 
appointed is, of course, exceedingly few, and the 
honour so high that it is held an offset to the 
additional term of service which follows, and 
though a judge's appointment may be declined, it 
rarely is. The term is five years, without eligibil- 
ity to reappointment, The members of the 
Supreme Court, which is the guardian of the 
constitution, are selected from among the lower 
judges. When a vacancy in that court occurs, 
those of the lower judges, whose terms expire that 
year, select, as their last official act, the one of 
their colleagues left on the bench whom they 
deem fittest to fill it." 

" There being no legal profession to serve as 
a school for judges," I said, " they must, of 
course, come directly from the law school to the 

" We have no such things as law schools," 
replied the doctor, smiling. "The law as a special 
science is obsolete. It was a system of casuistry 
which the elaborate artificiality of the old order 
of society absolutely required to interpret it, but 
only a few of the plainest and simplest legal 
maxims have any application to the existing state 
of the world. Everything touching the relations 
of men to one an6ther is now simpler, beyond 
any comparison, than in your day. We should 
have no sort of use for the hair-splitting experts 
who presided and argued in your courts. You 
must not imagine, however, that we have any 
disrespect for those ancient worthies because we 
have no use for them. On the contrary, we 
entertain an unfeigned respect, amounting almost 
to awe, for the men who alone understood and 
were able to expound the interminable complexity 
of the rights of property, and the relations of 
commercial and personal dependence involved in 
your system. What, indeed, could possibly give 
a more powerful impression of the intricacy and 
artificiality of that system than the fact that it 
was necessary to set apart from other pursuits 
the cream of the intellect of every generation, in 
order to provide a body of pundits able to make 
it even vaguely intelligible to those whose fate it 
determined. The treatises of your great lawyers. 



the works of Blackstone and Chitty, of Story and 
Parsons, stand in our museums side by side with 
the tomes of Duns Scotus and his fellow scholas- 
tics, as curious monuments of intellectual subtlety 
devoted to subjects equally remote from the in- 
terests of modern men. Our judges are simply 
widely informed, judicious, and discreet men of 
ripe years. 

" I should not fail to speak ot one important 
function of the minor judges," added Dr. Leete, 
"This is to adjudicate all cases where a private 
of the industrial army makes a complaint of 
unfairness against an officer. All such questions 
are heard and settled without appeal by a single 
judge, three judges being required only in graver 

" There must be need of such a tribunal in your 
system, for under it a man who is treated unfairly 
cannot leave his place a3 with us." 

"Certainly he can," replied Dr. Leete. "Not 
only is a man always frure of a fair hearing and 
redress in case of actual oppression, but if his 
relations with his toreman or chief are unpleas- 
ant, he can secure a transfer on application. 
Under your system a man could indeed leave 
work if he did not like his employer, but he left 
his means of support at the same time. One of 
our workmen, however, who finds himse*lf dis- 
agreeably situated is not obliged to risk his 
means of subsistence to find fair play. The 
efficiency of industry requires the strictest discip- 
line in the army of labour, but the claim of the 
workman to just and considerate treatment is 
backed by the whole power of the nation. The 
officer commands and the private obeys, but no 
officer is so high that he would dare display an 
overbearing manner toward a workman of the 
lowest class. As for churlishness or rudeness by 
an official of any sort, in his relations to the 
public, not one among minor offences is more 
sure of a prompt penalty than this. Not only 
iustice but civility is enforced by our judges in 
all sorts of intercourse. No value of service is 
accepted as a set off to boorish or offensive 

It occurred to me, as Dr. Leete was speaking, 
that in all his talk I had heard much of the nation 
and nothing of the state governments. "Had the 
organisation of the nation as an industrial unit 
done awaty with the states ?" I asked. 

"Necessarily," he replied. "The state govern- 
ment would have interfered with the control and 
discipline of the industrial army, which, of course, 
required to be central and uniform. Even if the 
state governments had not become inconvenient 
for other reasons, they were rendered superfluous 
by the prodigious simplification in the task of 
government since your day. Almost the sole 
function of the administration now is that of 
directing the industries of the country. Most of 
the purposes for which governments formerly 
existed no longer remained to be subserved. We 
have no army or navy, and no military organisa- 
tion. We have no departments of state or 
treasury, no excise or revenue services, no taxes 
or tax collectors. The only function proper of 
government, as known to you, which still remains, 
is the judiciary and police system. I have already 

explained to you how simple is out judicial system 
as compared with your huge and complex 
machine. Of course the same absence of crime 
and temptation to it which makes the duties ot 
judges so light, reduces the number and duties of 
the police to a minimum." 

"But with no slate legislatures, and Congress 
meeting only once in five years, how do you get 
your legislation done ?" 

"We have no legislation," replied Dr. Leete, — 
"that is, next to none. It is rarely that Congress, 
even when it meets, considers any new laws ot 
consequence, and then it only has power to com- 
mend them to the following Congress, lest any 
thing be done hastily. If you will consider a 
moment, Mr. West, you will see that we have 
nothing to make laws about. The fundamental 
principles on which our society is founded settle 
for all time the strifes and misunderstandings 
which, in your day, called for legislation. 

" Fully ninety-nine hundredths of the laws oi 
that time concerned the defination and protection 
of private property and the relations of buyers 
and sellers. There is neither private property, 
beyond personal belongings, now, nor buying 
and selling, and therefore the occasion of nearly 
all the legislation formerly necessary has passed 
away. Formerly, society was a pyramid poised 
on its apex. All the gravitations of human nature 
were constantly tending to topple it over, and it 
could be maintained upright, or rather upwrong 
(if you will pardon the feeble witticism) by an 
elaborate system of constantly renewed props 
and buttresses of guyropes in the form of laws. 
A central Congress and forty state legislatures 
turning out some twenty thousand laws a year, 
could not make new props fast enough to take the 
place of those which were constantly breaking 
down or becoming ineffectual through some 
shifting of the strain. Now society rests on its 
base, and is in as little need of artificial supports 
as the everlasting hills. ' 

"But you have at least municipal governments 
besides the one central authority ?" 

"Certainly, and they have important and exten- 
sive functions in looking out for the public comfort 
and recreation, and the improvement and embel- 
lishment of the villages and cities." 

"But having no control over the labour of their 
people, or means of hiring it, how can they do 
anything ?" 

" Every town or city is conceded the right to 
retain, for its own public works, a certain pro- 
portion of the quota of labour its citizens contri- 
bute to the nation. This proportion, being 
assigned it as so much credit, can be applied in 
any way desired." 


That afternoon Edith casually inquired if I had 
yet revisited the underground chamber in the 
garden in which I had been found. 

" Not yet," I replied. "To be frank, I have 
shrunk thus far from doing so, lest the visit might 
revive old associations rather too strongly for my 
mental equilibrium." 

"Ah, yes," she said, " I can imagine that you 

4 6 


have done well to stay away. I ought to have 
thought of that." 

"No," I said, "I am glad you spoke of it. The 
danger, if there was any, existed only during the 
first day or two. Thanks to you, chiefly and 
always, I feel my footing now so firm in this new 
world, that if you will go with me to keep the 
ghosts off, I should really like to visit the place 
this afternoon." 

Edith demurred at first, but, finding that I was 
in earnest, consented to accompany me. The 
rampart of earth thrown up from the excavation 
was visible among the trees trom the house, and 
a few steps brought us to the spot. All remained 
as it was at the point when work was interrupted 
by the discovery of the tenant of the chamber, 
save that the door had been opened and the slab 
from the roof replaced. Descending the sloping 
sides of the excavation, we went in at the door and 
stood within the dimly lighted room. 

Everything was just as I beheld it last on that 
evening one hundred and thirteen years previous, 
just before closing my eyes for that long sleep. I 
stood for some time silently looking about me. I 
saw that my companion was furtively regarding 
me with an expression of awe and sympathetic 
curiosity. I put my hand out to her and she 
placed hers in it, the soft fingers responding with 
a reassuring pressure to my clasp. Finally, she 
whispered, "Had we better not go out now ? You 
must not try yourself too far. Oh, how strange 
it must be to you I" 

"On the contrary," I replied, "it does not seem 
strange ; that is the strangest part of it." 

"Not strange?" she echoed. 

" Even so," I replied. " The emotions with 
which you evidently credit me, and which I anti- 
cipated would attend this visit, I simply do not 
feel. I realise all that these surroundings suggest, 
but without the agitation I expected. You can't 
be nearly as much surprised at this as I am my- 
self. Ever since that terrible morning when you 
came to my help, I have tried to avoid thinking 
of my former life, just as I have avoided coming 
here, for fear of the agitating effects. I am for 
all the world like a man who has permitted an in- 
jured limb to lie motionless under the impression 
that it is exquisitely sensitive, and on trying to 
move it finds that it is paralysed." 

"Do you mean your memory is gone?" 

"Not at all. I remember everything connected 
with my former life, but with a total lack of keen 
sensation. I remember it for clearness as if it had 
been but a day since then, but my feelings about 
what I remember are as faint as if to my con- 
sciousness, as well as in fact, a hundred years had 
intervened. Perhaps it is possible to explain this, 
too. The effect of change in surroundings is like 
that of lapse of time in making the past seem 
remote. When I first woke from that trance, my 
former life appeared as yesterday, but now, since 
I have learned to know my new surroundings, and 
to realise the prodigious changes that have trans- 
formed the world. I no longer find it hard, but 
very easy, to realise that I have slept a century. 
Can you conceive of such a thing as living a hun- 
dred years in four days ? It really seems to me 
that I have done just that, and that it is this 

experience which has given so remote and unreal 
an appearance to my former life. Can you see 
how such a thing might be ?" 

"1 can conceive it," replied Edith, meditative- 
ly, "and I think we ought all to be thankful that 
it is so, for it will save you much suffering, I am 

"Imagine," I said, in an effort to explain, as 
much to myself as to her, the strangeness of my 
mental condition, "that a man first heard of a 
bereavement many, many years, half a lifetime 
perhaps, after the event occurred. I fancy his 
feelings would be perhaps something as mine is. 
When I think of my friends in the world of that 
former day, and the sorrow they must have felt 
for me, it is with a pensive pity, rather than keen 
anguish, as of a sorrow long, long ago ended." 

' 4 You have told us nothing yet of your friends," 
said Edith. "Had you many to mourn you ?" 

"Thank God, I had very few relatives, none 
nearer than cousins," I replied. "But there was 
one, not a relative, but dearer to me than any 
kin of blood. She had your name. She was to 
have been my wife soon. Ah me !" 

"Ah me !" sighed Edith by my side. "Think 
•f the heartache she must have had." 

Something in the deep feeling of this gentle 
girl touched a chord in my benumbed heart. My 
eyes, before so dry, were flooded with the tears 
that had till now refused to come. When I had 
regained my composure, I saw that she too had 
been weeping freely. 

"God bless your tender heart," I said. "Would 
you like to see her picture ?" 

A small locket with Edith Bartlett's picture, 
secured about my neck with a gold chain, had 
lain upon my breast all through that long sleep, 
and removing this I opened and gave it to my 
companion. She took it with eagerness, and 
after poring long over the sweet face, touched 
the picture with her lips. 

"I know that she was good and lovely enough 
to well deserve your tears," she said ; "but re- 
member her heartache was over long ago, and 
she has been in heaven for nearly a century." 

It was indeed so. Whatever her sorrow had 
once been, for nearly a century she had ceased 
to weep, and my sudden passion spent, my own 
tears dried away. I had loved her very dearly 
in my other life, but it was a hundred years ago ! 
I do not ktiaw but some may find in this confes- 
sion evidence of lack of feeling, but I think, per- 
haps, that none can have had an experience 
sufficiently like mine to enable them to judge me. 
As we were about to leave the chamber, my eyes 
rested upon the great iron safe which stood in 
one corner. Calling my companion's attention 
to it I said : 

"This was my strong room as well as my 
sleeping room. In the safe yonder are several 
thousand dollars in gold, and any amount of 
securities. If I had known when I went to sleep 
that night just how long my nap would be, I 
should still have thought that the gold was a safe 
provision for my needs in any country or any 
century, however distant. That a time would 
ever come when it would lose its purchasing 
power, I should have considered the wildest of 



fancies. Nevertheless, here I wake up to find 
myself among a people of whom a cart-load of 
£old will not procure a loaf of bread. 

As might be expected, I did not succeed in 
impressing Edith that there was anything re- 
markable in this fact. "Why in the world should 
it ?" she merely asked. 


It had been suggested by Dr. Leete that we 
should devote the next morning to an inspection 
of the schools and colleges of the city, with some 
attempt on his own part at an explanation of the 
educational system of the twentieth century. 

"You will see," said he, as we set out after 
breakfast, " many very important differences be- 
tween our methods of education and yours, but 
the main difference is that nowadays all persons 
equally have those opportunities of higher ed- 
ucation which, in your day, only an infinitesimal 
portion of the population enjoyed. We should 
think we had gained nothing worth speaking of, 
in equalising the physical comfort of men, with- 
out this educational equality." 

"The cost must be very great," I said. 

"If it took half the revenue of the nation, no- 
body would grudge it," replied Dr. Leete, "nor 
even if it took it all save a bare pittance. But in 
truth the expense of educating ten thousand 
youth is not ten or five times that of educating 
one thousand. The principle which makes all 
operations on a large scale proportionately 
cheaper than on a small scale holds as to educa- 
tion also." 

"College education was terribly expensive in 
my day," said I. 

"If I have not been misinformed by our histo- 
rians," Dr. Leete answered, "it was not college 
education but college dissipation and extrava- 
gance which cost so highly. The actual expense 
of your colleges appears to have been very low, 
and would have been far lower if their patronage 
had been greater. The higher education nowa- 
days is as cheap as the lower, as all grades of 
teachers, like all other workers, receive the 
same support. We have simply added to the 
common school system of compulsory education, 
in vogue in Massachusetts a hundred years ago, 
a half-dozen higher grades, carrying the youth 
to the age of twenty-one, and giving him what 
you used to call the education of a gentleman, 
instead of turning him loose at fourteen or fif- 
teen with no mental equipment beyond reading, 
writing, and the multiplication table." 

"Setting aside the actual cost of these addi- 
tional years of education." I replied, "we should 
not have thought wt could afford the loss of 
time from industrial pursuits. Boys of the poor- 
er classes usually went to work at sixteen or 
younger, and knew their trade at twenty." 

"We should not concede you any gain even in 
material product by that plan," Dr. Leete re- 
plied. "The greater efficiency which education 
gives to all sorts of labor, except the rudest, 
makes up in a short period for the time lost in 
acquiring it." 

"We should also have been arraid," said I, 

"that a high education, while it adapted men to 
the professions, would set them against manual 
labour of all sorts." 

"That was the effect of high education in 
your day, I have read," replied the doctor ; 
"and it was no wonder, for manual labour meant 
association with a rude, coarse, and ignorant 
class of people. There is no such class now. It 
was inevitable that such a feeling should exist 
then, for the further reason that all men receiv- 
ing a high education were understood to be 
destined for the professions or for wealthy leis- 
ure, and such an education in one neither rich 
nor professional was a proof of disappointed as- 
pirations, an evidence of failure, a badge of in- 
feriority rather than superiority. Nowadays, ot 
course, when the highest education is deemed 
necessary to fit a man merely to live, without 
any reference to the sort of work he may da, 4ts 
possession conveys no such implication." 

"After all," I remarked, "no amount of educa- 
tion can cure natural dullness or make up for 
original mental deficiencies. Unless the average 
natural mental capacity of men is much above its 
level in my day, a high education must be pretty 
nearly thrown away on a large element of the 
population. We used to hold that a certain 
amount of susceptibility to educational influences 
is required to make a mind worth cultivating just 
as a certain natural fertility in soil is required if 
it is to repay tilling." 

"Ah," said Dr. Leete, "I am glad you used 
that illustration, for it is just the one I would 
have chosen to set forth the modern view ot 
education. You say that land so poor that the 
product will not repay the labour of tilling is not 
cultivated. Nevertheless, much land that does 
not begin to repay tilling by its product was cul- 
tivated in your day and is in ours. I refer to 
gardens, parks, lawns, general to pieces 
of land so situated that, v&re they left to grow 
up to weeds and brier's, they would be eyesores 
and inconvienences to all about. They are there- 
fore tilled, and though their product is little, 
there is yet no land that, in a wider sense, better 
repays cultivation. So it is with the men and 
women with whom we mingle in the relations of 
society, whose voices are always in our ears, 
whose behaviour in innumerable ways affects 
our enjoyment, — who are, in fact, as much con- 
ditions of our lives as the air we breathe, or any 
of the physical elements on which we depend. 
If, indeed, we could not afford to educate every- 
body, we should choose the coarsest and dullest 
by nature, rather than the brightest, to receive 
what education we could give. The naturally 
refined and intellectual can better dispense with 
aids to culture than those less fortunate in natural 

"To borrow a phrase which was often used in 
your day, we should not consider life worth liv- 
ing if we had to be surrounded by a population 
of ignorant, boorish, coarse, wholly uncultivated 
men and women, as was the plight of the few 
educated in your day. Is a man satisfied mere- 
ly because he is perfumed himself, to mingle 
with a malodorous crowd ? Could he take more 
than a very limited satisfaction, even in a pala- 



tial apartment, it the windows on all rour sides 
opened into stable yards ? And yet just that 
was the situation of those considered most for- 
tunate as to culture and refinement in your day. 
I know that the poor and ignorant envied the 
rich and cultured then ; but to us the latter, liv- 
ing as they did, surrounded by squalor and brut- 
ishness, seem little better off than the former. 
The cultured man in your age was like one up to 
the neck in a nauseous bog solacing himself 
with a smelling bottle. You see, perhaps, now, 
how we look at this question of universal high 
education. No single thing is so important to 
every man as to have for neighbours intelligent, 
companionable persons. There is nothing, 
therefore, which the nation can do for him- that 
will enhance so much his own happiness as to 
educate bis neighbours. When it fails to do so, 
the value of his own education to him is is re- 
duced by half, and many of the tastes he has 
cultivated are made positive sources of pain. 

"To edncate some to the highest degree, and 
leave the mass wholly uncultivated, as you did, 
made the gap between them almost like that be- 
tween different natural species, which have no 
means of communication. What could be more 
inhuman than this consequence of a partial enjoy- 
ment of education ? Its universal and equal enjoy- 
ment leaves, indeed, the differences between men 
as to natural endowments as marked as in a state 
of nature, but the level of the lowest is vastly 
raised. Brutishness is eliminated. All have some 
inkling of the humanities, some appreciation of the 
things of the mind, and an admiration for the still 
higher culture they have fallen short of. They 
have become capable of receiving and imparting, 
in various degrees, but all in some measure, the 
pleasures and inspirations of a refined social life. 
The cultured society of the nineteenth century, — 
what did it consist of but here and there a few 
microscopic oasis in a vast, unbroken wilder- 
ness ? The proportion of individuals capable of 
intellectual sympathies or refined intercourse, to 
the mass of the contemporaries, used to be so 
infinitesimal as to be in any broad view of 
humanity scarcely worth mentioning. One gen- 
eration of the world to-day represents a greater 
volume of intellectual life than any five centuries 
ever did before. 

"There is still another point I should mention 
in stating the grounds on which nothing less 
than the universality of the best education could 
now be tolerated,' continued Dr. Leete, "and 
that is the interest of the coming generation in 
having educated parents. To put the matter in 
a nutshell, there are three main grounds on 
which our educational system rests : first, the 
right of every man to the completest education 
the nation can give him on his own account as 
necessary to the enjoyment of himself ; second, 
the right of his fellow-citizens to have him edu- 
cated, as necessary to their enjoyment of his 
society ; third, the right of the unborn to be 
guaranteed an intelligent and refined parentage." 

I shall not describe in detail what I saw in the 
schools that day. Having taken but slight in- 
terest in educational matters in my former life, 
I could offer few comparisons of interest. Next 

to the fact of the universality ot the higher as 
well as the lower education, I was most struck 
with the prominence given to physical culture, 
and the fact that proficiency in athletic feats and 
games as well as in scholarship had a place in 
the rating of the youth. 

"The faculty of education," Dr. Leete ex- 
plained, "is held to the same responsibilities for 
the bodies as for the minds of its charges. The 
highest possible physical, as well as mental, de- 
velopment of every one is the double object of a 
curriculum which lasts from the age of six to 
that of twenty-one." 

The magnificent health of the young people in 
the schools impressed me strongly. My previous 
observations, not only of the notable personal 
endowments of the family of my host, but of the 
people I had seen in my walks abroad, had al- 
ready suggested the idea that there must have 
been something like a general improvement in 
the physical standard of the race since my day; 
and now, as I compared these stalwart young 
men and fresh, vigorous maidens with the young 
people I had seen in the schools of the nineteenth 
century, I was moved to impart my thought to 
Dr. Leete. He listened with great interest to 
what I said. 

"Your testimony on this point," he declared, 
"is invaluable. We believe that there has been 
such an improvement as you speak of, but of 
course it could only be a matter of theory with 
us. It is an incident of your unique position that 
you alone in the world of to-day can speak with 
authority on this point. Your opinion, when you 
state it publicly, will, I assure you, make a pro- 
found sensation. For the rest it would be strange, 
certainly, if the race did not show an improve- 
ment. In your day, riches debauched one class 
with idleness of mind and body, while poverty 
sapped the vitality of the masses by overwork, 
bad food and pestilent homes. The labour re- 
quired of children, and the burdens laid on 
women, enfeebled the very springs of life. In- 
stead of these maleficent circumstances, all now 
enjoy the most favourable conditions of physical 
life; the young are carefully nurtured and stud- 
iously cared for; the labour which is required of 
all is limited to the period of greatest bodily vig- 
our, and is never excessive; care for one's self 
and one's family, anxiety as to livelihood, the 
strain of a ceaseless battle of life — all these in- 
fluences which once did so much to wreck the 
minds and bodies of men and women, are known 
no more. Certainly, an improvement of the 
species ought to follow such a change. In cer- 
tain specific respects we know, indeed, that the 
improvement has taken place. Insanity, for in- 
stance, which in the nineteenth century was so 
terribly common a product of your insane mode 
of life, has almost disappeared, with its alterna- 
tive, suicide." 

We had made an appointment to meet the 
ladies at the dining-hall for dinner, after which, 
having some engagement, they left us sitting at 
table there, discussing our wine and cigars with 
a multitude of other matters. 



" Doctor/' said I, in the course of our talk, 
" morally speaking 1 , your social system is one 
which I should be insensate not to admire in com- 
parison with any previously in vogue in the world, 
and especially with that of my own most un- 
happy century. If I were to fall into a mesmeric 
sleep to-night as lasting as that other, and mean- 
while the course of time were to take a turn 
backwards instead of forward, and I were to 
wake up again in the nineteenth century, when I 
had told my friends what I had seen, they would 
every one admit that your world was a paradise 
of order, equity and felicity. But they were a 
very practical people, my contemporaries, and 
alter expressing their admiration for the moral 
beauty and material splendour of the system, 
they would presently begin to cipher and ask 
how you got the money to make everybody so 
happy; for certainly, to support the whole nation 
at a rate of comfort, and even luxury, such as I 
see around me, must involve vastly greater 
wealth than the nation produced in my day. 
Now, while I could explain to them pretty nearly 
everything else of the main features of your sys- 
tem, I should quite fail to answer this question, 
and failing there, they would tell me, for they 
were very close cipherers, that I had been dream- 
ing; nor would they ever believe anything else. 
In my day, I know that the total annual product 
of the nation, although it might have been 
divided with absolute equality, would not have 
come to more than tl.ree or four hundred dollars 
per head, not very much more than enough to 
supply the necessities of life, with the few or any 
of its comforts. How is it that you have so 
much money ?" 

"That is a very pertinen <-> question, Mr. West," 
replied Dr. Leete, "and I should not blame your 
friends, in the case you supposed, if they declared 
your story all moonshine, failing a satisfactory 
reply to it. It is a question which I cannot answer 
exhaustively at any one sitting, and as for the 
exact statistics to bear out my general state- 
ments,! shall have to refer you for them to books 
in my library, but it would certainly be a pity to 
leave you to be put to confusion by your old ac- 
quaintances, in case of the contingency you 
speak, for lack of a few suggestions. 

"Let us begin with a number of small items 
wherein we economise wealth as compared with 
you. We have no national, state, county, or 
municipal debts, or payments on their account. 
We have no sort of military or naval expendi- 
tures for men or materials, no army, navy, or 
militia. We have no revenue service, no swarm 
of tax assessors and collectors. As regards our 
judiciary, police, sheriffs and jailers, the force 
which Massachusetts alone kept on foot in your 
day far more than suffices for the nation now. 
We have no criminal class preying upon the 
wealth of society as vou had. The number of 
persons more or less absolutely lost to the work- 
ing force through physical disability, of the lame, 
Sick and debilitated, which constituted such a 
burden on the able-bodied in your day, now that 
all live under conditions of health and comfort, 
fas shrunk tp scarcely perpeptible proportions, 

and with every generation is becoming more com- 
pletely eliminated. 

"Another item wherein we save is the disuse 
of money and the thousand occupations con- 
nected with financial operations of all sorts, 
whereby an army of men was formerly taken 
away from useful employments. Also consider 
that the waste of the very rich in your day on in- 
ordinate personal luxury has ceased, though, in- 
deed, this item might easily be over estimated. 
Again, consider that there are no idlers now, rich 
or poor — no drones. 

"A very important cause of former poverty was 
the vast waste of labour and materials which re- 
sulted from domestic washing and cooking-, and 
the performing separately of innumerable other 
tasks to which we apply the co-operative plan. 

"A larger economy than any of these — yes, of 
all together — is effected by the organisation of our 
distributing system, by which the work done one* 
by the merchants, traders, storekeepers, with 
their various grades of jobbers, wholesalers, re- 
tailers, agents, commercial travellers and middle- 
men of a thousand sorts, with an excessive waste 
of energy in needless transportations and inter- 
minable handlings, is performed by one-tenth the 
number of hands and an unnecessary turn of not 
one wheel. Something of what our distributing 
system is like you know. Our statisticians calcu- 
late that one-eightieth part of our workers suffice 
for all the processes of distribution which in your 
day required one-eighth of the population, so much 
being withdrawn from the force engaged in pro- 
ductive labour." 

"I begin to see," I said, "where you get your 
greater wealth." 

"I beg your pardon," replied Dr. Leete, "but 
you scarcely do as yet. The economies I have 
mentioned thus far, in the aggregate, considering 
the labour they would save directly and indirectly 
through saving of material, might possibly be 
equivalent to the addition to your annual produc- 
tion of wealth of one-half its former total. These 
items are, however, scarcely worth mentioning 
in comparison with other prodigious wastes, now 
saved, which resulted inevitably from leaving the 
industries of the nation to private enterprise. 
However great the economies your contempor- 
aries might have devised in the consumption of 
products, and however marvellous the progress 1 "* 
of mechanical invention, they could never have 
raised themselves out of the slough of poverty so 
long as they held to that system. 

"No mode more wasteful for utilising human 
energy could be devised, and for the credit of the 
human intellect it should be remembered that the 
system never was devised, but was merely a re- 
vival from the rude ages when the lack of social 
organisation made any sort of co-operation im 

"I will readily admit," I said, "that our indus 
trial system was ethically very bad.butasa mere 
wealth-making machine, apart from social as 
pects, it seemed to us admirable." 

"As I said," responded the doctor, "the subject 
is too large to discuss at length now, but if you 
are really interested to know the main criticisms 
which vye moderns make on your industrial sys- 



tem as compared with our own, I can touch 
briefly on some of them* 

"The wastes which resulted from leaving the 
conduct of industry to irresponsible individuals, 
wholly without mutual understanding or concert, 
were mainly four ; first, the waste by mistaken 
undertakings; second, the waste from the com- 
petition and mutual hostility of those engaged in 
industry; third, the waste by periodical gluts and 
crises, with the consequential interruptions of in- 
dustry; fourth, the waste from idle capital and 
labour, at all times. Any one of these four great 
leaks, were all the others stopped, would suffice 
to make the difference between wealth and pov- 
erty on the part of a nation." 

"Take the waste by mistaken undertakings to 
begin with. In your day the production and dis- 
tribution of commodities being without concert 
or organisation, there was no means of knowing 
just what demand there was for any class of pro- 
ducts, or what was the rate of supply. Therefore 
•ny enterprise by a private capitalist was always 
A doubtful experiment. The projector.having no 
general view of the field of industry and consump- 
tion, such as our government has, could never be 
•tire either what the people wanted, or what ar- 
^ngements other capitalists were making to sup- 
ply them. In view of this, we are not surprised 
to learn that the chances were considered several 
to one in favour of the failure of any given busi- 
ik^gs enterprise, and that it was common for per- 
sons who at last succeeded in making a hit, to 
have failed repeatedly. If a shoemaker, for every 
pair of shoes he succeeded in completing, spoiled 
the leather of four or five pair, besides losing the 
time spent on them, he would stand about the same 
chance of getting rich as your contemporaries did 
with their system of private enterprise, and its 
average of four or five failures to one success. 

" The next of the great wastes was that from 
competition. The field of industry was a battle- 
field as wide as the world, in which the workers 
wasted, in assailing one another, energies which, 
if expended in concerted effort, as to-day, would 
have enriched all. As for mercy or quarter in 
this warfare, there was absolutely no suggestion 
of it. To deliberately enter a field of business 
and destroy the enterprises of those who occu- 
pied it previously, in order to plant one's own 
enterprise on their ruins, was an achievement 
which never failed to command popular admira- 
tion. Nor is there any stretch of fancy in com- 
paring this sort of struggJe with actual warfare, 
so far as concerns the mental agony'and physical 
suffering which attended the struggle, and the 
misery which overwhelmed the defeated and 
those dependent on them. Now, nothing about 
your age is, at first sight, more astounding to a 
man of modern times than the fact that men 
engaged in the same industry, instead of fratern- 
ising as comrades and co-labourers to a common 
end, should have regarded each other as rivals 
and enemies to be throttled and overthrown. 
This certainly seems like sheer madness, a scene 
from bedlam. But more closely regarded, it is 
seen t» be no such thing. Your contemporaries, 
with their mutual throat-cutting, knew very well 
flrbat they were at. The producers of the nine- 

teenth century were not, like ours, working 
together for the maintenance of the community, 
but each solely for his own maintenance at the 
expense of the community. If, in working to this 
end, he at the same time increased the aggregate 
' wealth, that was merely incidental. It was just 
as feasible and as common to increase one's 
private hoards by practices injurious to the gen- 
eral welfare. One's worst enemies were neces- 
sarily those of his own trade, for, under your 
plan of making private profit, the motive of 
production, a scarcity of the article he produced 
was what each particular producer desired. It 
was for his interest that no more of it should be 
produced than he himself could produce. To 
secure this consummation as far as circumstances 
permitted, by killing off and discouraging those 
engaged in his line of industry, was his constant 
effort. When he had killed off all he could, his 
policy was to combine with those he could not 
kill, and convert his general welfare into a war- 
fare upon the public at large by cornering the 
market, as I believe you used to call it, and 
putting up prices to the highest point people 
would stand before going without the goods. 
The daydream of the nineteenth century pro- 
ducer was to gain absolute control of the supply 
of some necessity of life, so that he might keep 
the public at the verge of starvation, and always 
command famine prices for what he supplied. 
This, Mr. West, is what was called in the nine- 
century a system of production. I will leave 
it to you if it does not seem, in some of its 
aspects, a great deal more like a system 
for preventing production. Some time when 
we have plenty of leisure I am going to ask 
you to sit down with me and try to make me 
comprehend, as I never yet could, though I have 
studied the matter a great deal, how such shrewd 
fellows as your contemporaries appeared to have 
been in many respects ever came to entrust the 
business of providing for the community to a 
class whose interest it was to starve it. I assure 
you that the wonder with us is not that the world 
did not get rich under such a system, but that it 
did not perish outright from want. This winder 
increases as we go on to consider some of the 
other prodigious wastes that characterised it. 

"Apart from the waste of labour and capital by 
misdirected industry, and that from the constant 
bloodletting of your industrial warfare, your 
system was liable to periodical convulsion over- 
whelming alike the wise and the unwise, the 
successful cut-throat as well as his victim. I refer 
to the business crises at intervals of five to ten 
years, which wrecked the enterprises of the 
nation, prostrating all weak enterprises and 
crippling the strongest, and were followed by 
long periods, often of many years, of so-called 
dull times, during which the capitalists slowly 
regatherad their dissipated strength, while the 
labouring classes starved and rioted. Then would 
ensue another brief season of prosperity, followeu 
in turn by another crisis and the ensuing years of 
exhaustion. As commerce developed, making the 
nations mutually dependent, these crises became 
world-wide, while the obstinacy of the ensuing 
state of collapse increased with the area affected 


by the convulsions, and the consequent lack of 
rallying - centres. In proportion as the industries 
of the world multiplied and became complex, and 
the volume of capital involved was increased, 
these business cataclysms became more frequent 
till, in the latter part of the nineteenth century, 
there were two years of bad times to one of good, 
and the system of industry never before so ex- 
tended or so imposing, seemed in danger of 
collapsing by its own weight. After endless dis- 
cussions, your economists appear by that time to 
have settled down to the despairing conclusion 
that there was no more possibility of preventing 
or controlling these crises than if they had been 
droughts or hurricanes. It only remained to 
endure them as necessary evils, and when they 
had passed over to build up again the shattered 
structure of industry, as dwellers in an earthquake 
country keep on rebuilding their cities on the 
same site. 

"So far as considering the causes of the trouble 
inherent in their industrial system, your contem- 
poraries were certainly correct. They were in its 
very basis, and must needs become more and 
more maleficent as the business fabric grew in 
size and complexity. One of these causes was 
the lack of any common control of the different 
industries, and the consequent impossibility of 
their orderly and co-ordinate development. It 
inevitably resulted from this lack that they were 
continually getting out of step with one another, 
and out of relation with the demand. 

" Of the latter there was no criterion such as 
organised distribution gives us, and the first notice 
that it had been exceeded in any group of indus- 
tries was a crash of prices, bankruptcy of pro- 
ducers, stoppage of production, reduction of 
wages, or discharge of workmen. This process 
was constantly going on in many industries, even 
in what were called good times, but a crisis took 
place only when the industries affected were 
extensive. The markets then were glutted with 
goods, of which nobody wanted beyond a suffi- 
ciency at any price. The wages and profits of 
those making the glutted class of goods being 
reduced or wholly stopped, their purchasing power 
as consumers of other classes of goods, of which 
there was no natural glut, was taken away, and 
as a consequence, goods of which there was no 
natural glut became artificially glutted, till their 
prices were also broken down and their makers 
thrown out of work and deprived of income. The 
crisis was by this time fairly under way, and 
nothing could check it till a nation's ransom had 
been wasted. 

"A cause, also inherent in your system, which 
often produced and always terribly aggravated 
crises, was the machinery of money and credit. 
Money was essential when production was in 
many private hands, and buying and selling was 
necessary to secure what one wanted. It was, 
however, open to the obvious objection of substi- 
tuting for food, clothing and other things y *.merely 
conventional representative of them. Tto con- 
fusion of mind whichthis favoured, between goods 
and their representative, led the way to the 
credit system and its prodigious illusions. Already 
accustomed to accept money for commodities, the 

people next accepted promises for money, and 
ceased to look at all behind the representative for 
the thing represented. Money was a sign of real 
commodities, but credit was but the sign of a sign. 
There was a natural limit to gold and silver, that 
is, money proper, but none to credit, and the 
result was that the volume of credit, that is, the 
promises of money, ceased to bear any ascertain- 
able proportion to the money, still less to the 
commodities, actually in existence. Under such 
a system frequent and periodical crises were 
necessitated by a law as absolute as that which 
brings to the ground a structure overhanging its 
cenire of gravity. It was one of your fictions 
that the government and the banks authorised by 
it alone issued money ; but everybody who gave 
a dollar's credit issued money to that extent, 
which was as good as any to swell the circulation 
till the next crisis. The great extension of the 
credit system was a characteristic of the latter 
part of the nineteenth century, and accounts 
largely for the almost incessant business crises 
which marked that period. Perilous as credit 
was, you could not dispense with its use, for, 
lacking any national or other public organisation 
of the capital of the country, it was the only means 
you had for concentrating it and directing it upon 
industrial enterprises. It was in this way a most 
potent means for exaggerating the chief peril of 
the private enterprise system of industry by enabl- 
ing particular industries to absorb disproportion- 
ate amounts of the disposable capital of the 
country, and thus prepare disaster. Business 
enterprises were always vastly in debt for 
advances of credit, both for one and another, 
and to the banks and capitalists and the prompt 
withdrawal of this credit at the first sign of a 
crisis was generally the precipitating cause of it. 

"It was the misfortune of your contemporaries 
that they had to cement their business fabric with 
a material which an accident might at any mo- 
ment turns into an explosive. They were in the 
plight of a man building a house with dynamite 
for mortar, for credit can be compared with 
nothing else. 

" If you would see how needless were these 
convulsions of business which I have been speak- 
ing of, and how entirely they resulted from 
leaving industry to private and unorganised 
management, just consider the working of our 
system. Over-production in^ special lines, which 
was the great hobgoblin in your day, is impossible 
now, for by the connection with distribution and 
production, supply is geared to demand, like an 
engine to the governor which regulates its speed. 
Even suppose by an error of judgment an exces- 
sive production of some commodity. The conse- 
quent slackening or cessation of production in 
that line throws nobody out of employment. The 
suspended workers are at once found occupation 
in several other departments of the vast work- 
shop and lose only the time spent in changing, 
while, as for the glut, the business of the nation 
is large enough to carry any amount of product 
manufactured in excess of demand till the latter 
overtakes it. In such a case of over-production, 
as I have supposed, there is not with us, as with 
you, any complex machinery to get out of order 


and magnify a thousand times the original mis- 
take. Of course, having" not even money, we 
still less have credit. All estimates deal directly 
with the real thing's, the flour, iron, wood, wool, 
and labour, of which money and credit were for 
you the very misleading representatives. In our 
calculations of cost there can be no mistakes. 
Out of the annual product the amount necessary 
for the support of the people is taken, and 
the requisite labour to produce the next year's 
consumption provided for. The residue of the 
material and labour represents what can be safe- 
ly expended in improvements. If the crops are 
bad, the suplus for the year is less than usual, 
that is all. Except for the slight occasional 
effects of such natural causes there are no 
"iuctuations of business ; the material prosperity 
of the nation flows on uninterruptedly from 
generation to generation, like an ever broaden- 
ing and deepening river. 

"Your business crises," Mr. West," continued 
the doctor, "like either of the great wastes I 
mentioned before, were enough, alone, to have 
kept your noses to the grindstone for ever ; but 
I have still to speak of one other great cause of 
your poverty, and that was the idleness of a 
great part of your capital and labour. With us 
it is the business of the administrations to keep 
in constant employment every ounce of available 
capital and labour in the country. In your day 
there was no general control of either capital or 
labour, and a large part of both failed to find 
employment. 'Capital,' you use to say, 'is 
naturally timid,' and it would certainly have 
been reckless if it had not been timid in an epoch 
when there was a large preponderance of pro- 
bability that any particular business venture 
would end in failure. There was no time when, 
if security could have been guaranteed it, the 
amount of capital devoted to productive industry 
could not have been greatly increased. The 
proportion of it so employed underwent constant 
extraordinary fluctuation, according to the 
greater or less feeling of uncertainty as to the 
stability of the industrial situation, so that the 
output of the national industries greatly varied 
is different years. But, for the same reason 
that the amount of capital employed at times of 
special insecurity was far less than at times of 
somewhat greater security, a very large propor- 
tion was never employed at all, because the 
hazard of business was always very great in the 
best of times. 

"It should be also noted that the great amount 
>f capital always seeking employment where 
tolerable safety could be insured, terribly em- 
bittered the competition between capitalists 
when a promising opening presented itself. The 
idleness of capital, the result of its timidity, of 
course meant the idleness of Jabbur in cor- 
responding degree. Moreover, every chang-e in 
the adjustments of business, every slightest al- 
teration in the condition of commerce or manu- 
factures, not to speak of the innumerable busi- 
ness failures that took place yearly, even in the 
best of times, were constantly throwing a 
multitude of men out of employment for periods 
of weeks or months, or even years. A great 

number of these seekers after employment were 
constantly traversing the country, becoming in 
time professional vagabonds, then criminals. 
'Give us work !' was the cry of an army of the 
unemployed at nearly all seasons, and in seasons 
of dullness in business this army swelled to a 
host so vast and desperate as to threaten the 
stability of the government. Could there con- 
ceivably be a more conclusive demonstration ot 
the imbecility of the system of private enterprise 
as a method for enriching a nation than the fact 
that in an age of such general poverty and want 
of everything, capitalists had to throttle one 
another to And a safe chance to invest their 
capital, and workmen rioted and burned because 
they could find no work to do. 

"Now, Mr. West," continued Dr. Leete, "I 
want you to bear in mind that these points of 
which I have been speaking indicate only nega- 
tively the advantages of the national organisation 
of industry by showing certain fatal defects and 
prodigious imbecilities of the system of private 
enterprise which are not found in it. These 
alone, you must admit, would pretty well explain 
why the nation is so much richer than in 
your day. But the larger half of our advantage 
over you, the positive side of it, I have yet barely 
spoken of. Supposing the system of private en- 
terprise in industry were without any of the great 
leaks I have" mentioned ; that there were no 
waste on account of misdirected effort growing 
out of mistakes as to the demand, and inability 
to command a general view of the industrial 
field. Suppose, also, there were no neutralising",! 
and duplicating of effort from competition. Sup-', 
pose, also, there were no waste from business 
panics and crises through bankruptcy and long 
interruptions of industry, and also none from the 
idleness of capital and labour. Supposing these 
evils, which are essential to the conduct of 
industry by capital in private hands, could all 
be miraculously prevented, and the system yet 
retained ; even then the superiority of the results 
attained by the modern industrial system of 
national control would remain overwhelming. 

"You used to have some pretty large textile 
manufacturing establishments even in your day, 
although not comparable with ours. No doubt 
you have visited these great mills in your time, 
covering acres of ground, employing thousands 
of hands, and combining under one roof, under 
one control, the hundred distinct processes be- 
tween, say, the cotton bVle and the bale oV 
glossy calicoes. You have admired the vast 
economy of labour as of mechanical force result- 
ing from the perfect interworking with the rest, 
of every wheel and every hand. No doubt you; 
have reflected how much less the same force of: 
workers employed in that factory would accom-i 
plish if they were scattered, each man working; 
independently. Would you think it an exagger-i 
ation to say that the utmost product of those] 
workers, working thus apart, however amicable 
their relations might be, was increased not"; 
merely by a percentage, but many fold, when 
their efforts were organised under one control ? 
Well now, Mr. West, the organisation of the in- 
dustry of the nation under a single control, so 



that all its processes interlock, has multiplied 
the total product over the utmost that could be 
done under the former system, even leaving- out 
of account the four great wastes mentioned, in 
the same proportion that the product of those 
mill-workers was increased by co-operation. The 
effectiveness of the working force of a nation, 
under the myriad-headed leadership of a private 
capital, even if the leaders were not mutual 
enemies, as compared with that which it attains 
under a single head, may be likened to the mili- 
tary efficiency of a mob, or a horde of barbarians 
with a thousand petty chiefs, as compared with 
that of a disciplined army under one general — 
such a fighting machine, for example, as the 
German army in the time of Von Moltke." 

" After what you have told me," I said, " I do 
not so much wonder that the nation is richer 
now than then, but that you are not all 

"Well," replied Dr. Leete, "we are pretty 
well off. The rate at which we live is as luxuri- 
ous as we could wish. The rivalry of ostentation, 
which in your day led to extravgance in no way 
conducive to comfort, finds no place, of course, 
in a society of people absolutely equal in re- 
sources, and our ambition stops at the surround- 
ings which minister to the enjoyment of life. We 
might, indeed, have much larger incomes, indi- 
vidually, if we chose so to use the surplus of our 
product, but we prefer to expend it upon public 
works and pleasures in which all share, upon 
public halls and buildings, art galleries, bridges, 
statuary, means of transit, and the conveniences 
of our cities, great musical and theatrical exhi- 
bitions, and in providing on a vast scale for the 
recreations of the people. You have not begun 
to see how we live yet, Mr. West. At home we 
have comfort, but the splendour of our life is, on 
its social side, that which we share with our 
fellows. When you know more of it you will see 
where the money goes, as you used to say, and 
I think you will agree that we do well so to 
expend it." 

" I suppose," observed Dr. Leete, as we 
strolled homeward from the dining hall, "that 
no reflection would have cut the men of your 
wealth-worshipping century more keenly than 
the suggestion that they did not know how ro 
make money. Nevertheless, that is just the 
verdict history has passed on them. Their sys- 
tem of unorganised and antagonistic industries, 
was as absurd economically as it was morally 
abominable. Selfishness was their only science, 
and in industrial production selfishness is suicide. 
Competition, which is the instinct of selfishness, 
is another word for dissipation of energy, while 
combination is the secret of efficient production ; 
and not till the idea of increasing the individual 
hoard gives place to the idea of increasing the 
common stock, can industrial combination be 
realised, and the acquisition of wealth really be- 
gin. Even if the principle of share and share 
alike for all men were not the only humane and 
rational basis for a society, we should still enforce 
it as economically expedient, seeing that until 
the disintegrating influence of self-seeking is 

suppressed no true concert of industry is pos- 


That evening, as I sat with Edith in the music 
room, listening to some pieces in the programme 
of that day which had attracted my notice, I 
took advantage of an interval in the music to 
say, " I have a question to ask you which I fear 
is rather indiscreet." 

" I am quite sure it is not that," she replied, 

" I am in the position ot an eavesdropper," I 
continued, "who, having overheard a little of a 
matter not intended for him, though seeming to 
concern him, has the impudence to come to the 
speaker for the rest." 

"An eavesdropper!" she repeated, looking 

"Yes," I said, "but an excusable one, as I 
think you will admit." 

"This is very mysterious," she replied. 

"Yes," said I, "so mysterious that I often 
have doubted whether I really overheard at all 
what I am going to ask you about, or only 
dreamed it. I want you to tell me. The matter 
is this : When I was coming out of that sleep of 
a century, the first impression of which I was 
conscious was of voices talking around me, 
voices that afterwards I recognised as your 
father's, your mother's, and your own. First, I 
remember your father's voice saying, 4 He is 
going to open his eyes. He had better see but 
one person at first.' Then you said, if I did not 
dream it all, ' Promise me, then, that you will 
not tell him,' Your father seemed to hesitate 
about promising, but you insisted, and your 
mother interposing, he finally promised, and 
when I opened my eyes I only saw him." 

I had been quite serious when I said that I 
was not sure that I had not dreamed the conver- 
sation I fancied I had overheard, so incompre- 
hensible was it that these people should know 
anything of me, a contemporary of their great- 
grandparents, which I did not know myself. 
But when I saw the effect of my words upon 
Edith, I knew that it was no dream, but. another 
mystery, and a more puzzling one than any I 
had before encountered. For from the moment 
that the drift of my question became apparent, 
she showed indications of the most acute embar- 
rassment. Her eyes, always so frank and direct 
in expression, had dropped in a panic before 
mine, while her face crimsoned from neck to 

" Pardon me," I said, as soon as I had recov- 
ered from bewilderment at the extraordinary 
effect of my words. " It seems, then, that I was 
not dreaming. There is some secret, something 
about me, which you are withhholding from me 
Really, doesn't it seem a little hard that, a person 
in my position should not be given all the infor- 
mation possible concerning himself?" 

" It does not concern you — that is, not direci- 
ly. It is not about you — exactly," she replied, 
scarcely audibly. 

"But it concerns me in some way," I persisted. 
" must be something that would interest me." 



** I don't know even that," she replied, ventur- 
ing a momentary glance at my face, furiously 
blushing, and yet with a quaint smile flickering 
about her lips which betrayed a certain percep- 
tion of humour in the situation despite its embar- 
rassment, — I am not sure it would even interest 

" Your father would have told me," I insisted, 
with an accent of reproach. "It w*as you who 
forbade him. He thought I ought to know." 

She did not reply. She was so entirely charm- 
ing in her confusion that I was now prompted as 
much by the desire to prolong the situation as 
by my original curiosity, in importuning her 

"Am I never to know? Will you never tell 
me?" I said. 

" It depends," she answered, after a long 

" On what?" I persisted. 

"Ah, you ask too much," she replied. Then, 
raising to mine a face which inscrutable eyes, 
flushed cheeks, and smiling lips combined to 
render perfectly bewitching, she added, " What 
should you think if I said that it depended on — 

"On myself?" I echoed. "How can that 
possibly be ?' 

" Mr. West, we are losing some charming 
music," was her only reply to this, and turning 
to the telephone, at a touch of her finger she set 
the air swaying to the rythm of an adagio. 
After that she took good care that the music 
should leave no opportunity for conversation. 
She kept her face averted from me, and pre- 
tended to be absorbed in the airs, but that it was 
a mere pretence the crimson tide standing at 
flood in her cheeks sufficiently betrayed. 

When at length she suggested that I might 
have heard all I cared to, for that time, and we 
ro>e to leave the room, she came straight up to 
me and said, without raising her eyes, " Mr. 
West, you say I have been good to you. I have 
not been particularly so, but if you think I have, 
I want you to promise me that you will not try 
again to make me tell you this thing you have 
asked to-night, and that you wMl not try to find 
it out from anyone else - my father or mother, 
for instance." 

To such an appeal there was but one reply 
possible. " Forgive me for distressing you. Of 
course I will promise," I said. "I would never 
have asked you if I had fancied it could distress 
you. But do you blame me for being curious?" 

" I do not blame you at all." 

" And some time." I added, " If I do not tease 
vou, you may tell me of your own accord. May 
I not hope so ?" 

" Perhaps," she murmured. 

" Only perhaps ?" 

Looking up she read my face with a quick- 
deep glance. "Yes," she said, "I think I may 
tell you — some time ;" and so our conversation 
ended, for she gave me no chance to say any- 
thing more. 

That night I do not think even Dr. Pillsbury 
could have put me to sleep, till toward morning, 
at j least. Mysteries had been my accustomed 

food for days now, but none had before confront- 
ed me at once so mysterious and so fascinating 
as this, the solution of which Edith Leete had 
forbidden me even to seek. It was a double 
mystery. How, in the first place, was it con- 
ceivable that she should know any secret about 
me, a stranger from a strange age? In the 
second place, even if she should know such a 
secret, how account for the agitating effect 
which the knowledge of it seemed to have upon 
her? There are puzzles so difficult that one 
cannot even get so far as a conjecture to the 
solution, and this seemed one of them. I am 
usually of too practical a turn to waste time on 
such conundr jms ; but the difficulty of a riddle 
embodied in a beautiful young girl does not 
detract from its fascination. In general, no 
doubt, maiden's blushes may be safely assumed 
to tell the same tale to young men in all ages 
and races, but to give that interpretation to 
Edith's crimson cheeks would, considering my 
position and the length of time I had known her, 
and still more the fact that this mystery dated 
from before I had known her at all, be a piece of 
utter fatuitv. And yet she was an angel, and I 
should not have been a young man if reason and 
common sense had been able quite to banish a 
roseate tinge from my dreams that night. 


In the morning I went downstairs early in the 
hope of seeing Edith alone. In this, however, I 
was disappointed. Not finding her in the house, 
I sought her in the garden, but she was not there. 
In the course of my wanderings I visited the un- 
derground chamber, and sat down there to rest. 
Upon the reading table in the chamber several 
periodicals and newspapers lay, and thinking that 
Dr. Leete might be interested in glancing over a 
Boston daily of 1887, I brought one of the papers 
with me into the house when I came. 

At breakfast I met Edith. She blushed as she 
greeted me, but was perfectly self-possessed. As 
we sat at table, Dr. Leete amused himself with 
looking over the paper I had brought in. There 
was in it, as in all newspapers of that date, a 
great deal about the labour troubles, strikes, 
lockouts, boycotts, the programmes of labour 
parties, and the wild threats of the anarchists. 

"By the way," said I, as the doctor read aloud 
to us some of these items, "what part did the fol- 
lowers of the red flag take in the establishment 
of the new order of things? They were making 
considerable noise the last thing that I knew." 

"They had nothing to do with it except to 
hinder it, of course," replied Dr. Leete. "They 
did that very effectually while they lasted, for their 
talk so disgusted people as to deprive the best- 
considered projects for social reform of a hearing. 
The subsidising of these fellows was one of the 
shrewdest moves of the opponents of reform." 

"Subsidising them !" I exclaimed in astonish- 

"Certainly," replied Dr. Leete. "No historical 
authority nowadays doubts that they were paid 
by the great monopolies to wave the red flag and 
talk about burning-, sacking and blowing people 



up, ifl order, by alarming the timid, to head off 
any real reforms. What astonishes me most is 
that you should have fallen into the trap so un- 

"What are your grounds for believing that the 
red flag party was subsidised?" I inquired. 

"Why simply because they must have seen that 
their course made a thousand enemies of their 
professed cause to one friend. Not to suppose 
that they were hired for the work is to credit them 
with an inconceivable folly. In the United States, 
of all countries, no party could intelligently expect 
to carry its point without first winning over to its 
ideas a majority of the nation, as the national 
party eventually did." 

"The national party !" I exclaimed. "That 
must have arisen after my day. I suppose it 
was one of the labour parties." 

"Oh, no!" replied the doctor. "The labour 
parties, as such, never could have accomplished 
anything on a large or permanent scale. For 
purposes ot national scope, their basis as merely 
class organisations was too narrow. It was not 
till a rearrangement of the industrial and social 
system on a higher ethical basis, and for the more 
efficient production of wealth, was recognised as 
interest, not of one class, but equally of all classes, 
of rich and poor, cultured and ignorant, old and 
young, weak and strong, men and women, that 
there was any prospect that it would be achieved. 
Then the national party arose to carry it out by 
political methods. It probably took that name 
because its aim was to nationalise the functions 
of production and distribution. Indeed, it could 
not well have had any other name, for its purpose 
was to realise the idea of the nation with a grand- 
eur and completeness never before conceived, not 
as an association of men for certain merely polit- 
ical functions affecting their happiness only re- 
motely and superficially, but as a family, a vital 
union, a common life, a mighty heaven-touching 
tree whose leaves are its people, fed from its veins, 
and feeding it in turn. The most patriotic of all 
possible parties, it sought to justify patriotism and 
raise it from an instinct to a national devotion, by 
making the native land truly a father land, a father 
who kept the people alive and was not merely an 
idol for which they were expected to die." 


The personality of Edith Leete had naturally 
impressed me strongly ever since I had come, in 
so strange a manner, to be an inmate of her 
father's house, and it was to be expected that 
after what had happened the night previous, I 
should be more than ever preoccupied with 
thoughts of her. From the first I had been struck 
with the air of serene Irankness and ingenuous 
directness, more like that of a noble and innocent 
boy than any girl I had ever known, which char- 
acterised her. I was curious to know how far this 
charming quality might be peculiar to herself, 
and how far possibly a result of alterations in the 
social position of women which might have taken 
place since my time. Finding an opportunity 
that day, when alone with Dr. Leete, I turned 
the conversation in that direction. 

•I suppose," I said, that women nowadays 

having been relieved of the burden of housework, 
have no employment but the cultivation of their 
charms and graces." 

"So far as we men are concerned, "replied Dr. 
Leete, "we should consider that they amply paid 
their way, to use one of your forms of expression, 
if they confined themselves to that occupation, 
but you may be very sure that they have quite too 
much spirit to consent to be mere beneficiaries o 
society, even as a return for ornamenting it. 
They did, indeed, welcome their riddance from 
housework, because that was not only excep- 
tionally wearing in itself, but also wasteful in the 
extreme of energy, as compared with the co-op- 
erative plan; but they accepted relief from that 
sort of work only that they might contribute in 
other and more effectual, as well as more agree- 
able ways, to the common weal. Our women, as 
well as our men, are membjers of the industrial 
army, and leave it only when maternal duties 
claim them. The result is that most women, at 
one time or another of their lives, serve indus- 
trially some five or ten or fifteen years, while 
those who have no children fill out the full time." 

"A woman does not, then, necessarily leav 
the industrial service on marriage ?" I queried. 

"No more than a man," replied the doctor 

"Why on earth should she? Married women 
have no housekeeping responsibilities now, you 
know, and a husband is not a baby that he should 
be cared for." 

"It was thought one of the most grievous fea- 
tures of our civilisation that we required so much 
toil from women," I said, "but it seems to me 
you get more out of them than we did." 

Dr. Leete laughed. "Indeed we do, just as we 
do out of our men. Yet the women of this age 
are very happy, and those of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, unless contemporary references greatly mis- 
lead us, were very miserable. The reason that 
women nowadays are so much more efficient co- 
labourers with the men, and at the same time arei 
so happy, is that, in regard to their work as well 
as men's, we follow the principle of providing 
every one the kind of occupation he or she«is best 
adapted to. Women being inferior in strength 
to men, and further disqualified industrially in 
special ways, the kinds of occupation reserved 
for them, and the conditions under which they 
pursue them, have reference to these facts. The 
heavier sorts of work are everywhere reserved for 
men, the lighter occupations for women. Under 
no circumstances is a woman permitted to follow 
any employment not perfectly adapted, both as to 
kind and degree of labour, to her sex. Moreover, 
the hours of women's work are considerably 
shorter than those of men's, more frequent vaca- 
tions are granted, and the most careful provision 
is made for rest when needed. The men of this 
day so well appreciate that they owe to the beauty 
and grace of women the chief zest of their lives 
and their main incentive to effort,that they permit 
them to work at all only because it is fully under- 
stood that a certain regalar requirement of labour, 
of a sort adapted to their powers,is well for body 
and mind, during the period of maximum physical 
vigour. We believe that the magnificent health 


which distinguishes our women from those of your 
day, who seem to have been so generally sickly, 
is owing largely to the fact that all alike are fur- 
nished with healthful and inspiriting occupation." 

"I understood you," I said, that' the women- 
workers belong to the army of industry; but how 
can they be under the same system of ranking 
and discipline with the men when the conditions 
of their labour are so different ?" 

"They are underanentirely different discipline," 
replied Dr. Leete, "and constitute rather an allied 
force than an integral part of the army of the 
men. They have a woman general-in-chief, and 
are under an exclusively feminine regime. This 
general, as also the higher officers, is chosen 
by the body of women who have passed the time 
of service, in correspondence with the manner in 
which the chiefs of the masculine army and the 
president of the nation are elected. The general 
of the women's army sits in the cabinet of the 
president and has a veto on measures respecting 
women's work, pending appeals to Congress. I 
should have said, in speaking of the judiciary, 
that we have women on the bench, appointed by 
the general of the women, as well as men. 
Causes in which both parties are women are de- 
termined by women judges, and where a man and 
a woman are parties to a case, a judge of either 
sex must consent to the verdict. 

"Womanhood seems to be organised as a sort 
of imperium in imperio in your system," I said. 

"To some extent," Dr. Leete replied; "but the 
inner imperium is one from which you will admit 
there is not likely to be much danger to the na- 
tion. The lack of some such recognition of the 
distinct individuality of the sexes was one of the 
innumerable defects of your society. The pas- 
sional attraction between men and women has too 
often prevented a perception of the profound dif- 
ferences which make the members of each sex in 
many things strange to the other, and capable of 
sympathy only with their own. It is in giving full 
play to the differences of sex rather than in seek- 
ing to obliterate them, as was apparently the effort 
of some reformers in your day, that the enjoyment 
of each by itself.and the piquancy which each has 
for the other, are alike enhanced. In your day 
there was no career for women except in an un- 
natural rivalry with men. We have given them a 
world of their own, with its emulations, ambi- 
tions and careers, and I assure you they are very 
happy in it. It seems to us that women were 
more than any other class the victims of your 
civilisation. There is something which, even at 
this distance of time, penetrates one with pathos 
in the spectacle of their ennuied, undeveloped 
lives, stunted at marriage, their narrow horizon, 
bounded so often, physically, by the four wails of 
home, and morally by a petty circle of personal 
interests. I speak not now of the poorer classes, 
who were generally worked to death, but also of 
the well-to-do and rich. From the great sorrows, 
as well as the petty frets of life,the3 r had no refuge 
in the breezy outdoor world of human affairs,nor 
any interests save those of the family. Such an 
existence would have softened men's brains or 
driven them mad. All that is changed to-day. No 
woman is heard now-a-days wishing she were a 

man, nor parents desiring boy rather than giri 
children. Our girls are as full of ambition for 
their careers as our boys. Marriage, when it 
comes, does not mean incarceration for them, nor 
does it separate them in any way from the large 
interests of society, the bustling life of the world. 
Only when maternity fills a woman's mind with 
new interests does she withdraw from the world 
fpr a time. Afterwards, at any time, she may re- 
turn to her place among her comrades, nor need 
she ever lose touch with them. Women are a 
very happy race nowadays, as compared with 
what they ever were before in the world's his- 
tory, and their power of giving happiness to men 
has been of course increased in proportion." 

"I should imagine it possible," I said, "that the 
interest which girls take in their careers as mem- 
bers of the industrial army and candidates for its 
distinctions might have an effect to deter them 
from marriage." 

Dr. Leete smiled, "Have no anxiety on that 
score, Mr. West, "he replied. "The Creator took 
very good care that whatever other modifications 
the dispositions of men and women might with 
time take on, their attraction for each other should 
remain constant. The mere fact that in an age 
like yours when the struggle for existence must 
have left people little time for other thoughts, and 
the future was so uncertain that to assume par- 
ental responsibilitief must have often seemed like 
a criminal risk, there was even then marrying 
and giving in marriage, should be conclusive on 
this point. As for love nowadays, one of our 
authors says that the vacuum left in the minds of 
men and women by the absence of care for one's 
livelihood has been entirely taken up by the ten- 
der passion. That, however, I beg you to be 
believe, is something of an exaggeration. For 
the rest, so far is marriage from being an inter- 
ference with a woman's career that the higher 
positions in the feminine army of industry are in- 
trusted only to women who have been both wives 
and mothers, as they alone fully represent their 

"Are credit cards issued to the women just as 

to the men ?" 

"The credits of the women I suppose are for 
smallar sums, owing to the frequent suspension 
of their labours on account of family responsi- 

"Smaller !" exclaimed Dr. Leete, "O, no ! 
The maintenance of all our people is the same. 
There are no exceptions to that rule, but if any 
difference were made on account of the inter- 
ruptions you speak of, it would be by making the 
woman's credit larger, not smaller. Can you 
think of any service constituting a stronger 
claim on the nation's gratitude than bearing and 
nursing the nation's children ? According to our 
view, none deserve so well of the world as good 
parents. There is no task so unselfish, so neces- 
sarily without return, though the heart is well 
rewarded, as the nurture of the children who are 
to make the world for one another when we are 

"It would seem to follow from what you have 



said, that wives are in no way dependent on 
their husbands for maintenance." 

"Of course they are not," replied Dr. Leete, 
"nor children on their parents either, that is, for 
means of support, though of course they are for 
the offices of affection. The child's labor, when 
he grows up, will go to increase the common 
stock, not his parents', who will be dead, and 
therefore he is properly nurtured out of the com- 
mon stock. The account of every person, man, 
woman, and child, you must understand, is al- 
ways with the nation directly, and never through 
any intermediary, except, of course, that par- 
ents, to a certain extent, act for their children as 
their guardians. You see that it is by virtue of 
the relation of individuals to the nation, of their 
membership in it, that they are entitled to sup- 
port ; and this title is in no way connected with 
or affected by their relations to other individ- 
uals who are fellow members of the nation with 
them. That any person should be dependent for 
the means of support upon another, would be 
shocking to the moral sense, as well as indefens- 
ible on any rational social theory. What would 
become of personal liberty and dignity under 
such an arrangement ? I am aware that you 
called yourselves free in the nineteenth century. 
The meaning of the word could not then, how- 
ever, have been at all what it is at present, or 
you certainly would not have applied it to a 
society of which nearly every member was in a 
position of galling personal dependence upon 
others as to the very means of life, the poor upon 
the rich, or employed upon employer, women 
upon men, children upon parents. Instead of 
distributing the product of the nation directly to 
ts members, which would seem the most natural 
and obvious method, it would actually appear 
that you had given your minds to devising a 
plan of hand to hand distribution involving the 
maximum of personal humiliation of all classes 
of recipients. 

"As regards the dependence of women upon 
men for support, which then was usual, of course 
natural attraction in case of marriages of love 
may often have made it endurable, though for 
spirited women I should fancy it must always 
have remained humiliating. What, then, mast 
it have been in the innumerable cases where 
women, with or without the form of marriage, 
had to sell themselves to men to get their living ? 
Even your contemporaries, callous as they were 
to most of the revolting aspects of their society, 
seem to have had an idea that this was not as it 
should be ; but, it was still only for pity's sake 
that they deplored the lot of the women. It did 
not occur to them that it was robbery as well as 
cruelty when men seized for themselves the 
whole product of the world and left women to 
beg and wheedle for their share. Why — but 
bless me, Mr. West, I am really running on at a 
remarkable rate, just as if the robbery, the 
sorrow, and the shame which those poor women 
endured were not over a century since, or as if 
you were responsible for what you no doubt de- 
plored as much as I do." 

"I must bear my share of responsibility for the 
world as it then was?*' I replied. "All I can 

say in extenuation is that until the nation was 
ripe for the present system of organised produc- 
tion and distribution, no radical improvement in 
the position of woman was possible. The root 
of her disability, as you say, was her personal 
dependence upon man for her livelihood, and I 
can imagine no other mode of social organisa- 
tion than that you have adopted which would 
have set woman free of man, at the same time 
that it set men free of one another. I suppose, 
by the way, that so entire a change in the posi- 
tion of women cannot have taken place without 
affecting in marked ways the social relations of 
the sexes That will be a very interesting study 
for me.' 

"The change, you will observe," said Dr. 
Leete, "will chiefly be, I think, the entire frank- 
ness and unconstraint which now characterises 
those relations, as compared with the artificially 
which seems to have marked them in your time. 
The sexes now meet with the ease of perfect 
equals, suitors to each other for nothing but love. 
In your time the fact that women were depend- 
ent for support on men, made the woman in 
reality the one chiefly benefited by marriage. 
The fact, so far as we can judge from contem- 
porary records, appears to have been coarsely 
enough recognised among the lower classes, 
while among the more polished it was glossed 
over by a system of elaborate conventionalities 
which aimed to carry the precisely opposite 
meaning, namely, that the man was the party 
chiefly benefited. To keep up this convention it 
was essential that he should always seem the 
suitor. Nothing was therefore considered more 
shocking to the proprieties than that a woman 
should betray a fondness for a man before he 
had indicated a desire to marry her. Why, we 
actually have in our libraries books, by authors of 
your day, written for no other purpose than to 
discuss the question whether, under any conceiv- 
able circumstances, a woman might, without dis- 
credit to her sex, reveal an unsolicited love. All 
this seems exquisitely absurd to us, and yet we 
know that, given your circumstances, the pro- 
blem might have a serious side. When for a 
woman to proffer her love to a man was in effect 
to invite him to assume the burdens of her sup- 
port, it is easy to see that pride and delicacy 
might well have shocked the promptings of the 
heart. When you go out into our society, Mr. 
West, you must be prepared to be often cross- 
questioned on this point by our young people, 
who are naturally much interested in this aspect 
of old-fashioned manners." 

"And so the girls of the twentieth century tell 
their love." 

"If they choose," replied Dr. Leete. 'There 
is no more pretence of concealment of feeling on 
their part than on the part of their lovers. 
Coquetry would be as much despised in a girl as 
in a man. Affected coldness, which in your day 
surely deceived a lover, would deceive him 
wholly now, for no one thinks of practising it." 

"One-result which must follow from the inde- 
pendence of woman, I can see for myself," I 
said. "iThere can be no marriages now, except 
those of Inclination." 


"That Is a matter of course," replied Dr. Leete. 

"Think of a world in which there are nothing 
but matches of pure love ! Ah, me> Dr. Leete, 
how far you are from being able to understand 
what an astonishing phenomenon such a world 
seems to a man of the nineteenth century !" 

"I can, however, to some extent, imagine it," 
replied the doctor. "But the fact you celebrate, 
that there are nothing but love matches, means 
even more, perhaps, than you probably at first 
realise. It means that for the first time in human 
history the principle of sexual selection, with its 
tendency to preserve and transmit the better 
types of the race, and let the inferior types drop 
out has unhindered operation. The necessities 
of poverty, the need of having a home, no longer 
tempt women to accept as the fathers of their 
children men whom they neither can love nor 
respect. Wealth and rank no longer divert 
attention from personal qualities. Gold no longer 
•gilds the straitened forehead of the fool.' The 
gifts of person, mind, and disposition, beauty, 
wit, eloquence, kindness, generosity, geniality, 
courage, are sure of transmission to posterity. 
Every generation is sifted through a little finer 
mesh than the last. The attributes that human 
nature admires are preserved, those that repel 
it are left behind. There are, of course, a great 
many women who with love, must mingle ad- 
miration, and seek to wed greatly, but these not 
the less obey the same law, for to wed greatly 
now is not to marry men of fortune or title, but 
those who have risen above their fellows by the 
solidity or brilliancy of their services to human- 
ity. These form nowadays the only aristocracy 
with which alliance is distinction. 

"You were speaking, a day or two ago, of the 
physical superiority of our people to your con- 
temporaries. Perhaps more important than any 
of the causes I have mentioned then as tending 
to race purification, has been the effect of un- 
trammelled sexual selection upon the quality of 
two or three successive generations. I believe 
that when you have made a fuller study of our 
people you will find in them not only a physical, 
but a mental and moral improvement. It would 
be strange if it were not so, for not only is one 
of the great laws of nature now freely working 
out the salvation of the race, but a profound 
moral sentiment has come to its support. In- 
dividualism, which in your day was the animating 
idea of society, not only was fatal to any vital 
sentiment of brotherhood and common- interest 
among men, but equally to any realisation of the 
responsibility of the living for the generation to 
follow. To-day this sense of responsibility, prac- 
tically unrecognized in all previous ages, has be- 
come one of the great ethical ideas of the race, 
reinforcing with an intense conviction of duty, 
the natural impulse to seek in marriage the best 
and noblest of the other sex. The result is, that 
not all the encouragements and incentives of 
every sotf which we have provided to develop 
industry, talent, genius, excellence of whatever 
kind are comparable in their effect on ofrr voufig 
men with the fact that our women sit aloft as 
judges of the race, and reserve themselves to 
reward the winners. Of all the whips and spurs 


and baits and prizes, there is none like the 
thought of the radiant faces, which the laggards 
will find averted. 

"Celibates nowadays are almost invariably 
men who have failed to acquit themselves cre- 
ditably in the work of life. The woman must be 
a courageous one, with a very evil sort of cour- 
age, too, whom pity for one of these unfortunates 
should lead to defy the opinion of her generation 
— for otherwise she is free — so far as to accept 
him for a husband. I should add that, more 
exacting and difficult to resist than any other 
element in that opinion, she would find the senti- 
ment of her own sex. Our women have risen to 
the full height of their responsibility as the war- 
dens of the world to come, to whose keeping the 
keys of the future are confided. Their feeling of 
duty in this respect amounts to a sense of 
religious consecration. It is a cult in which they 
educate their daughters from childhood." 

After going to my room that night, I sat up 
late to read a romance of Berrian, handed me by 
Dr. Leete, the plot of which turned on a situation 
suggested by his last words, concerning the 
modern view of parental responsibility. A similar 
situation would almost certainly have been treat- 
ed by a nineteenth century romancist so as to 
excite the morbid sympathy of the reader with 
the sentimental selfishness of thie lovers, and his 
resentment towards the unwritten law which 
they outraged. I need not describe — for who 
has not read "Ruth Elton ?" — how different is 
the course which Berrian takes, and with what 
tremendous effect he enforces the principle 
which he states : "Over the unborn our power is 
that of God, and our responsibility like His to- 
wards us. As we acquit ourselves toward them, 
so let Him deal with us." 


I think if a person were ever excusable for los- 
ing track of the days of the week, the circum- 
stances excused me. Indeed, if I had been told 
that the method of reckoning time had been 
wholly changed and the days were now counted 
in lots of five, ten or fifteen instead of seven, I 
should have been in no way surprised after what 
I had already heard and seen of the twentieth 
century. The first time that any inquiry as to 
the days of the week occurred to me was the 
morning following the conversation related in the 
last chapter. At the breakfast table Dr. Leete 
asked me if I would care to hear a sermon. 

"Is it Sunday, then ?" I exclaimed. 

"Yes," he replied. "It was Friday of last 
week you see when we made the lucky discovery 
of the buried chamber to which we owe your so- 
ciety this morning. It was Saturday morning 
soon after midnight when you first awoke, and 
Sunday afternoon when you awoke the second 
time with faculties fully regained." 

"So you still have Sundays and sermons," I 
said. "We bad prophets who foretold that long 
before this time the World would have dispensed 
with both. I am very curious to know how the 
ecclesiastical systems fit in with the rest of your 
social arrangements. I suppose you have a sort 
of national church with official clergymen." I 



Dr. Leete laughed, and Mrs. Lecte and Edith 
seemed greatly ajnused. 

"Why, Mr. West," Edith said, "what odd 
people you must think us. You were quite- done 
with national religious establishments in the nine- 
teenth century, and did you fancy we had gone 
back to them ?" 

"But how can voluntary churches and an 
unofficial clerical profession be reconciled with 
national ownership of all buildings, and the in- 
dustrial service required of all men ?" I answered. 

"The religious practices of the people have 
naturally changed considerably in a century," 
replied Dr. Leete ; "but supposing them to have 
remained unchanged, our social system would 
accommodate them perfectly. The nation sup- 
plies any person or number of persons with 
buildings on guarantee of the rent, and they 
remain tenants while they pay it. As for the 
clergyman, if a number of persons wish the ser- 
vices of an individual for any particular end of 
their own, apart from the general service of the 
nation, they can always secure it, with that in- 
dividual's own consent of course, just as we 
secure the services of our editors, by contribut- 
ing from their credit-cards an indemnity to the 
nation for the loss of his services in general in- 
dustry. This indemnity, paid the nation for the 
individual, answers to the salary in your day 
paid to the individual himself ; and the various 
applications of this principle leave private initia- 
tive full play in all details to which national con- 
trol is not applicable. Now as to hearing a 
sermon to-day, if you wish to do so, you can 
either go to a church to hear it or stay at home." 

"How am I to hear if I stay at home ?" 

"Simply by accompanying us to the music room 
at the proper hour and selecting an easy chair. 
There are some who still prefer to hear sermons 
in church, but most of our preaching, like our 
musical performances, is not in public, but de- 
livered in acoustically prepared chambers, con- 
nected by wire with subscribers' houses. If you 
prefer to go to a church I shall be glad to 
accompany you, but I really don't believe you 
are likely to hear anywhere a better discourse 
than you will at home. I see by the paper that 
Mr. Barton is to preach this morning, and he 
preaches only by telephone, and to audiences 
often reaching 150,000." 

"The novelty of the experience of hearing a 
sermon under such circumstances would incline 
me to be one of Mr. Barton's hearers, if no other 
reason," I said. 

An hour or two later, as I sat reading in the 
library, Edith came for me, and I followed her to 
the music room, where Dr. and Mrs. Leete were 
waiting. We had not more than seated our- 
selves comfortably when the tinkle of a bell was 
heard and a few moments after the voice of a 
man, at the pitch of ordinary conversation, 
addressed us, with an effect of proceeding from 
an invisible person in the room. This was what 
the voice said : 


"We have had among us, during the past 
week, a critic from the nineteenth century, a 
living representative of the epoch of our rreat- 

grandparents. It would be strange if a fact so 
extraordinary had not somewhat strongly affect- 
ed our imaginations. Perhaps most of us have 
been stimulated to some effort to realise the 
society of a century ago, and figure to ourselves 
what it must have been like to live then. In in- 
viting you now to consider certain reflections 
upon this subject which have occurred to me, I 
presume that I shall rather follow than divert the 
course of your own thoughts." 

Edith whispered something to her father at 
this point, to which he nodded assent and turned 
to me. 

"Mr. West," he said, "Edith suggests that you 
may find it slightly embarrassing to listen to a 
discourse on the lines Mr. Barton is laying down, 
and if so, you need not be cheated out 0? a ser- 
mon. She will connect us with Mr. Sweetser's 
speaking room if you say so, and I can still 
promise you a very good discourse." 

"No, no," I said. "Believe me, I would much 
rather hear what Mr. Barton has to say." 

"As you please," replied my host. 

When her father spoke to me Edith had touch- 
ed a screw and the voice of Mr. Barton had 
ceased abruptly. Now at another touch the 
room was once more filled with the earnest, 
sympathetic tones which had already impressed 
me most favourably. 

"I venture to assume that one effect has been 
common with us as a result of this effort at retro- 
spection, and that it has been to leave us more 
than ever amazed at the stupendous change 
which one brief century has made in the material 
and moral conditions of humanity. 

"Still, as regards the contrast between the 
poverty of the nation and the world in the nine- 
teenth century and their wealth now, it is not 
greater, possibly, than had been before seen in 
human history, perhaps not greater, for example, 
than that between the poverty of this country 
during the earliest colonial period of the seven- 
teenth century and the relatively great wealth it 
had attained at the close of the nineteenth, or 
between the England of William the Conqueror 
and that of Victoria. Although the aggregate 
riches of a nation did not then, as now, afford 
any accurate criterion of the condition of the 
masses of its people, yet, instances like these 
afford partial parallels for the merely material 
side of the contrast between the nineteenth and 
the twentieth centuries. It is when we contem- 
plate the moral aspect of that contrast that we 
find ourselves in the presence of a phenomenon 
for which history offers no precedent, however 
far back wo may cast our eye. One might al- 
most be excused who should exclaim, ' Here, 
surely, is something like a miracle !' Neverthe- 
less, when we give over idle wonder and begin 
to examine the seeming prodigy critically, wo 
find it no prodigy at all, much less a miracle. It 
is not necessary to suppose a moral new birth of 
humanity, or a wholesale destruction of the 
wicked, and survival of the good, to account for 
the fact before ua, It finds its simple and ob- 
vioue axfdaMtkm la the reaction of a changed en- 
vironment upon human nature. It means merely 
that a form of society which was founded on the 



pseudo self-interest of selfishness, and appealed 
solely to the anti-social and brutal side of human 
nature, has been replaced by institutions based 
on the true self-interest of a rational unselfish- 
ness, and appealing" to the social and generous 
instincts of men. 

"My friends, if you would see men again the 
wild beasts they seemed in the nineteenth cen- 
tury, all you have to do is to restore the old so- 
cial and industrial system, which taught them to 
view their natural prey in their fellowmen, and 
find their gain in the loss of others. No doubt 
it seems to you that no necessity, however dire, 
would have tempted you to subsist on what super- 
ior skill or strength enabled you to wrest from 
others equally needy. But suppose it were not 
merely your own life that you were responsible 
for. I know well that there must have been many 
a man among our ancestors who, if it had been 
merely a question of his own lire, would sooner 
have given it up than nourished it by bread 
snatched from others. But this he was not per- 
mitted to do. He had dear lives dependent on 
him. Men loved women in those days, as now. 
God knows how they dared be fathers, but they 
had babies as sweet, no doubt, to them, as ours 
to us, whom they must feed, clothe, educate. 
The gentlest creatures are fierce when they have 
young to provide for, and in that wolfish society 
the struggle for bread borrowed a peculiar des- 
peration from the tenderest sentiments. For the 
sake of those dependent on him a man might not 
choose, but must plunge into the foul fight — 
cheat, overreach, supplant, defraud, buy below 
worth and sell above, break down the business 
by which his neighbor fed his young ones, tempt 
men to buy what they ought not and to sell what 
they should not, grind his labourers, sweat his 
debtors, cozen his creditors. Though a man 
sought it carefully with tears, it was hard to find 
a way in which he could earn a living and provide 
for his family except by pressing in before some 
weaker rival and taking the food from his mouth. 
Even the ministers of religion were not exempt 
from this cruel necessity. While they warned 
their flocks against the love of money, regard for 
their families compelled them to keep an outlook 
for the pecuniary prizes of their calling. Poor 
fellows, theirs was indeed a trying business, 
preaching to men a generosity and unselfishness 
which they, and everybody, knew would, in the 
existing state of the world, reduce to poverty 
those who should practise them, laying down 
laws of conduct which the law of self-preservation 
compelled men to break. Looking on the in- 
human spectacle of society, these worthy men 
bitterly bemoaned the depravity of human nature; 
as if angelic nature would not have been de- 
bauched in such a devil's school ! Ah, my friends, 
believe me, it is not now in this happy age that 
humanity is proving the divinity within it. It was 
rather in those evil days when not even the fight 
for life with one another, the struggles for mere 
existence, in which mercy was folly, could wholly 
banish generosity and kindness from the earth. 

"It is not hard to understand the desperation 
with which men and women, who under other 
conditions would have been full of gentleness and 

truth, fought and tore each other in the scramble 
for gold, when we realise what it meant to miss 
it, what poverty was in that day. For the body 
it meant hunger and thirst, torment by heat and 
trost; in sickness, neglect; in health, unremitting 
toil; for the moral nature it meant oppression, 
contempt, and the patient endurance of indignity, 
brutish associations from infancy, the loss of all 
the innocence of childhood, the grace of woman- 
hood, the dignity of manhood; for the mind it 
meant the death of ignorance, the torpor of all 
those faculties which distinguish us from brutes 
the reduction of life to a round of bodily functions. 

"Ah, my friends, if such a fate as this were of- 
fered you and your children as the only alterna- 
tive of success in the accumulation of wealth, 
how long do you fancy would you be in sinking 
to the moral level of your ancestors ? 

"Some two or three centuries ago an act ot 
barbarity was committed in India, which, though 
the number of lives destroyed was but a few 
score, was attended by such peculiar horrors 
that its memory is likely to be perpetual. A 
number of English prisoners were shut up in a 
room containing not enough air to supply one- 
tenth their number. The unfortunates were gal- 
lant men, devoted comrades in service, but, as 
the agonies of suffocation began to take hold or 
them, they forgot all else, and became involved 
in a hideous struggle, each one for himself and 
against all others, to force a way to one 
of the small apertures at which alone it was 
possible to get a breath of air. It was a struggle 
in which men became beasts, and the recital of 
its horrors by the few survivors so shocked our 
forefathers that for a century later we find it a 
stock reference in their literature as a typical 
illustration of the extreme possibilities of human 
misery, as shocking in its moral as its physical 
aspect. They could scarce have anticipated 
that to us the Black Hole of Calcutta, with its 
press of maddened men tearing and trampling 
one another in the struggle to win a place at the 
breathing holes, would seem a striking type or 
the society of their age. It lacked something of 
being a complete type, however, for in the Cal- 
cutta Black Hole there were no tender women, 
no little children and old men and women, no 
cripples. They were at least all men strong to 
bear, who suffered. 

"When we reflect that the ancient order ot 
which I have been speaking was prevalent up to 
the end of the nineteenth century, while to us the 
new order which succeeded it already seems 
antique, even our parents having known no 
other, we cannot fail to be astounded at the 
suddenness with which a transition so profound 
beyond all previous experience of the race, must 
have been effected. Some observation of the 
state of men's minds during the last quarter of 
the nineteenth century will, however, in great 
measure, dissipate this astonishment. Though 
general intelligence in the modern sense could 
not be said to exist in any community at that 
time, yet, as compared with previous genera- 
tions, the one then on the stage was intelligent. 
The inevitable consequence of even this compar- 
ative degree of intelligence had been a perception 



of the evils of society, such as had never before 
been general. It is quite true that these evils 
had been even worse, much worse, in previous 
ages. It was the increased intelligence of the 
masses which made the difference, as the dawn 
reveals the squalor of surroundings which in the 
darkness may have seemed tolerable. The key- 
note of the literature of the period was one of 
compassion for the poor and unfortunate, and 
indignant outcry against the failure of the social 
machinery to ameliorate the miseries of men. It 
is plain from these outbursts that the moral hid- 
eousness of the spectacle about them was, at 
least by flashes, fully realized by the best of the 
men of that time, and that the lives of some of 
the more sensitive and generous hearted of them 
were rendered well-nigh unendurable by the 
intensity of their sympathies. 

"Although the idea of the vital unity of the 
family of mankind, the reality of human brother- 
hood, was very far from being apprehended by 
them as the moral axiom it seems to us, yet it is a 
mistake to suppose that there was no feeling at 
all corresponding to it. I could read you pas- 
sages of great beauty from some of their writers 
which show that the conception was clearly 
attained by a few, and no doubt vaguely by many 
more. Moreover, it must not be forgotten that 
the nineteenth century was in name Christian, 
and the fact that the entire commercial and in- 
dustrial frame of society was the embodiment of 
the anti-Christian spirit, must have had some 
weight, though I admit it was strangely little, 
with the nominal followers of Jesus Christ. 

"When we inquire why it did not have more, 
why in general, long after a vast majority of men 
had agreed as to the crying abuses of the exist- 
ing social arrangement, they still tolerated it, or 
contented themselves with talking of petty re- 
forms in it, we came upon an extraordinary fact. 
It was the sincere belief of even the best of men 
at that epoch that the only stable elements in 
human nature, on which a social system could be 
safely founded, were its worst propensities. They 
had been taught and believed that greed and self- 
seeking were all that held mankind together, and 
that all human associations would fall to pieces if 
anything were done to blunt the edge of these 
motives or curb their operation. In a word, they 
believed — even those who longed to believe 
otherwise — the exact reverse of what seems to 
us self-evident ; they believed, that is, that thp 
anti-social qualities of men, and not their social 
qualities were what furnished the cohesive force 
of society. It seemed reasonable to them that 
men lived together solely for the purpose of 
overreaching and oppressing one another, and 
of being overreached and oppressed, and that 
while a society that gave full scope to these pro- 
pensities could stand, there would be little chance 
for one based on the idea of co-operation for the 
benefit of all. It seems absurd to expect anyone 
to believe that convictions like these were ever 
seriously entertained by men ; but that they were 
not only entertained by our great-grandfathers, 
but were responsible for the long delay in doing 
away with the ancient order, after a conviction 
of its intolerable abuses had become general, is 

as well established as any fact in history can be. 
Just here you will find the explanation of the pro- 
found pessimism of the literature of the last 
quarter of the nineteenth century, the note of 
melancholy in its poetrj , and the cynicism of its 

"Feeling that the condition of the race was 
unendurable, they had no clear hope of anything 
better. They believed that the evolution of 
humanity had resulted in leading it into a cul de 
sac, and that there was no way of getting 
forward. The frame of men's minds at this time 
is strikingly illustrated by treatises which have 
come down to us, and may even now be consult- 
ed in our libraries by the curious, in which labor- 
ious arguments are pursued to prove that despite 
the evil plight of men, life was still, by some 
slight preponderance of considerations, probably 
better worth living than leaving. Despising 
themselves, they despised their Creator. There 
was a general decay of religious belief. Pale 
and watery gleams, from skies thickly veiled by 
doubt and dread, alone lighted up the chaos of 
earth. That men should doubt Him whose breath 
is in their nostrils, or dread the hand that mould- 
ed them, seems to us indeed a pitiable insanity ; 
but we must remember that children who are 
brave by day have sometimes foolish fears at 
night. The dawn has come since then. It is 
very easy to believe in the fatherhood of God in 
the twentieth century. 

"Briefly, as must needs be in a discourse of 
this character, I have adverted to some of the 
causes which had prepared men's minds for the 
change from the old to the new order, as well as 
some causes of the conservatism of despair which 
for a while held it back after the time was ripe. 
To wonder at the rapiditv with which the change 
was completed, after its possibility was first 
entertained, is to forget the intoxicating effect of 
hope upon minds long accustomed to despair. 
The sunburst, after so long and dark a night, 
must needs have had a dazzling effect. From 
the moment men allowed themselves to believe 
that humanity after all had not been meant for a 
dwarf, that its squat stature was not the measure 
of its possible growth, but that it stood upon the 
verge of an avatar of limitless development, the 
reaction must needs have been overwhelming. 
It is evident that nothing was able to stand 
against the enthusiasm which the new faith 

"Here at last, men must have felt, was a cause 
compared with which the grandest of historic 
causes had been trivial. It was doubtless be- 
cause it could have commanded millions of mar- 
tyrs, that none were needed. The change of a 
dynasty in a petty kingdom of the old world often 
cost more lives than did the revolution which set 
the feet of the human race at last in the right 

"Doubtless it ill beseems one to whom the 
boon of life in our resplendent age has been 
vouchsafed to wish his destiny other, and yet I 
have often thought that I would fain exchange 
my share in this serene and golden day for a 
place in that stormy epoch of transition, when 
heroes burst the barred gate of the future and 


revealed to the kindling: gaze of a hopeless 
race, in place of the blank wall that had closed 
its path, a vista of progress whose end, for the 
very excess of light, still dazzles us, Ah, my 
friends ! who will sav that to have lived then, 
when the weakest influence was a lever to whose 
touch the centuries trembled, was not worth a 
share, even in this era of fruition ? 

"You know the story of that last, greatest, 
and most bloodless of revolutions. In the time 
of one generation men laid aside the social tra- 
ditions and practices of barbarians, and assum- 
ed a social order worthy of rational and human 
beings. Ceasing to be predatory in their habits, 
hey became co-workers, and found in fraternity, 
at once, the science of wealth and of happiness. 
'What shall I eat and drink, and wherewithal 
shall I be clothed?' state as a problem beginning 
and ending in self, had been an anxious and an 
endless one. But when once it was conceived, 
not from the individual but the fraternal stand- 
point, 'What shall we eat and drink, and where- 
withal shall we be clothed?' — its difficulties 

"Poverty with servitude had been the result 
for the mass of humanity, of attempting to solve 
the problem of maintenance from the individual 
standpoint, but no sooner had the nation become 
the sole capitalist and employer, than not alone 
did plenty replace poverty, but the last vestige 
of the serfdom of man to man, disappeared from 
earth. Human slavery, so often vainly scotched, 
at last was killed. The means of subsistence no 
longer doled out by men to women, by employer 
to employed, by rich to poor, was distributed 
from a common stock as among children at the 
father's table. It was impossible for a man any 
longer to use his fellow men as tools for his own 
profit. His esteem was the only sort of gain he 
could thenceforth make out of him. There was no 
more either arrogance or servility in the relations 
of human beings to one another. For the first 
time since the creation every man stood up 
straight before God. The fear of want and the 
lust of gain became extinct motives, when 
abundance was assured to all and immoder- 
ate possessions made impossible of attainment. 
There were no more beggars nor almoners. 
Equity left charity without an occupation. The 
ten commandments became well-nigh ohselete in 
a world where there was no temptation to theft, 
no occasion to lie either for fear or favour, no 
room for envy where all were equal, and little 
provocation to violence where men were disarm- 
ed of power to injure one another. Humanity's 
ancient dream of liberty, equality, fraternity, 
mocked by so many ages, at last was realised. 

"As in the old society, the generous, the just, 
the tender-hearted had been placed at a disad- 
vantage by the possession of these qualities, so 
in the new society the cold-hearted, the greedy 
and self-seeking found themselves out of joint 
with the world. Now that the conditions of life for 
the first time ceased to operate as a forcing pro- 
cess to develop the brutal qualities ot human na- 
ture, and the premium which had heretofore en- 
couraged selfishness was not only removed but 
placed upon unselfishness, it was for the first time 

possible to see what unperverted human nature 
really was like. The depraved tendencies, which 
had previously overgrown and obscured the bet- 
ter to so large an extent, now withered like cel- 
lar fungi in the open air, and the nobler qualities 
showed a sudden luxuriance which turned cynics 
into panegyrists and for the first time in human 
history tempted mankind to fall in love with itself. 
Soon was revealed what the divines and philo- 
sophers of the old world never would have be- 
lieved, that human nature in its essential qual- 
ities is good, not bad, that men by their natural 
intention and structure are generous, not selfish, 
pitiful, not cruel, sympathetic, not arrogant, god- 
like in aspirations, instinct with divinest impulses 
of tenderness and self-sacrifice, images of God 
indeed, not the travesties upon Him they had 
seemed. The constant pressure, through num- 
berless generations, of conditions of life which 
might have perverted angels, had not been able 
to essentially alter the natural nobility of the stock, 
and these conditions once removed, like a bent 
tree,it had sprung back to its normal uprightness. 

"To put the whole matter in the nutshell of a 
parable, let me compare humanity in the olden 
time to a rose-bush planted in a swamp, watered 
with black bog-water, breathing miasmatic fogs 
by day, and chilled with poison dews at night. 
Innumerable generations of gardeners had done 
their best to make it bloom , but beyond an oc- 
casional half-opened bud with a worm at the 
heart, their efforts had been unsuccessful. Many, 
indeed, claimed that the bush was no rosebush 
at all, but a noxious shrub, fit only to be uprooted 
and burned. The gardeners, for the most part, 
however, held that the bush belonged to the rose 
family, but had some ineradicable taint about it 
which prevented the buds from coming out, and 
accounted for its general sickly condition. There 
were a few, indeed, who maintained that the stock 
was good enough, that the trouble was in the 
bog, and that under more favorable conditions 
the plant might be expected to do better. But 
these persons were not regular gardeners, and 
being condemned by the latter as mere theorists 
and day dreamers, were, for the most part, so 
regarded by the people. Moreover, urged some 
eminent moral philosophers, even conceding for 
fiie sake of the argument that the bush might 
possibly do better elsewhere, it was a more val- 
uable discipline for the buds to try to bloom in a 
bog than it would be under more favourable cir- 
cumstances. The buds that succeeded in open- 
ing might, indeed, be very rare, and the flowers 
pale and scentless, but they represented far more 
moral effort than if they had bloomed spontan- 
eously in a garden. 

"The regular gardeners and the moral philo- 
sophers had their way. The bush remained 
rooted in the bog, and the old course of treat- 
ment went on. Continually new varieties of 
forcing mixtures were applied to the roots, and 
more recipes than could be numbered, each de- 
clared by its advocates the best and only suitable 
preparation, were used to kill the vermin and re- 
move the mildew. This went on a very long 
time. Occasionally some one claimed to observe 
a slight improvement in the appearance of the 



bush, but there were quite as many who declar- 
ed that it did not look so well as it used to. On 
the whole there could not be said to be any 
marked change. Finally, during a period of 
general despondency as to the prospects of the 
bush where it was, the idea of transplanting it 
was again mooted, and this time found favor. 
•Let us try it,' was the general voice. 'Perhaps 
it may thrive better elsewhere, and here it is cer- 
tainly doubtful if it be worth cultivating longer.' 
So it came about that the rosebush of humanity 
was transplanted, and set in sweet, warm, dry 
earth, where the sun bathed it, the stars wooed 
it, and the south wind caressed it. Then it 
appeared that it was indeed a rosebush. The 
vermin and the mildew disappeared, and the 
bush was covered with most beautiful red roses, 
whose fragrance filled the world. 

"It is a pledge of the destiny appointed for us 
that the Creator has set in our hearts an infinite 
standard of achievement, judged by which our 
past attainments seem always insignificant, and 
the goal never nearer. Had our forefathers con- 
ceived a state of society in which men should 
live together like brethren dwelling in unity, 
without strifes or envyings, violence or over- 
reaching, and where, at the price of a degree of 
labour not greater than health demands, in their 
chosen occupations, they should be wholly freed 
from care for the morrow and left with no more 
concern for their livelihood than trees which are 
watered by unfailing streams, — had they con- 
ceived such a condition, I say, it would have 
seemed to them nothing less than paradise. 
They would have confounded it with their idea 
of heaven, nor dreamed that there could possibly 
lie further beyond anything to be desired or 
striven for 

"But how is it with us who stand on this 
height which they gazed up to? Already we 
have well-nigh forgotten, except when it is 
especially called to our minds by some occasion 
like the present, that it was not always with 
men as it is now. It is a strain on our 
imaginations to conceive the social arrangements 
of our immediate ancestors. We find them 
grotesque. The solution of the problem of phys- 
ical maintenance so as to banish care and crime, 
so far from seeming to us an ultimate at- 
tainment, appears as but a preliminary to 
anything like real human progress. We have but 
relieved ourselves of an impertinent and needless 
harassment which hindered our ancestors from 
undertaking the real ends of existence. We are 
merely stripped for the race ; no more. We are 
like a child which has just learned to stand 
upright and to walk. It is a great event from the 
child's point of view, when he first walks. Per- 
haps he fancied that there can be little beyond 
that achievement, but a year later he has forgot- 
ten that he could not always walk. His horizon 
did but widen when he rose, and enlarge as he 
moved. A great event indeed, in one sense, was 
his first step, but only as a beginning, not as an 
end. His true career was but then first entered 
on. The enfranchisement of humanity in the last, 
"century, from mental and physical absorption in 
working and scheming for the mere bodily neces- 

sities, may be regarded as a species or second 
birth of the race, without which its first birth to 
an existence that was but a burden would for 
ever have remained unjustified, but whfcneby it is 
now abundantly vindicated. isineefhen, human- 
ity has entered on a new phase of spiritual 
development, an evolution of higher faculties, the 
very existence of which in human nature our 
ancestors scarcely suspected. In place of the 
dreary hopelessness of the nineteenth century, its 
profound pessimism as to the future of humanity, 
the animating idea of the present age is an 
enthusiastic conception of the opportunities of 
our earthly existence, and the unbounded possi- 
bilities of human nature. The betterment of man- 
kind from generation to generation, physically, 
mentally, morally, is recognized as the one great 
object supremely worthy of effort and of sacrifice. 
We believe the race for the first time to have 
entered on the realization of God's ideal of it 
and each generation must now be a step forward 
"Do you ask what we look for when unnum- 
bered generations shall have passed away ? I 
answer, the way stretches far before us, but the 
end is lost in light. For twofold is the return of 
man to God, 'who is our home,' the return of the 
individual by the way of death, and the return of 
the race by the fulfilment of its evolution, when 
the divine secret hidden in the germ shall be 
perfectly unfolded, with a tear for the dark past, 
turn we then to the dazzling future, and, veiling 
our eyes, press forward. The long and dreary 
winter of the race is ended. Its summer has 
begun. Humanity has burst the chrysalis. The 
heavens are before it.' 


I never could tell just why, but Sunday after- 
noon during my old life had been a time when I 
was peculiarly subject to melancholy, when the 
color unaccountably faded out of all the aspects 
of life, and everything appeared pathetically 
uninteresting. The hours, which in general were 
wont to bear me easily on their wings, lost the 
power of flight, and, toward the close of the day 
drooping quite to earth, had fairly to be dragged 
along by main strength. Perhaps it was partly 
owing to the established association of ideas that, 
despite the utter change in my circumstances, I 
fell into a state of profound depression on the 
afternoon of this, my first Sunday in the twentieth 

It was not, however, on the present occasion 
depression without a specific cause, the mere 
vague melancholy I have spoken of, but a senti- 
ment suggested and certainly quite justified by 
my position. The sermon of Mr. Barton, with its 
constant implication of the vast moral gap be- 
tween the century to which I belonged and that 
in which I found myself, had had an effect strong- 
ly to accentuate my sense of loneliness in it. 
Considerately and philosophically as he had 
spoken, his words could scarcely have failed to 
leave upon my mind a strong impression of the 
mingled pity, curiosity, and aversion which I, as 
a representative of an abhorred epoch must 
excite in all around me. 



The extraordinary kindness with which I had 
been treated by Dr. Leete and his family, and 
especially the goodness of Edith, had hitherto pre- 
vented my fully realizing that their real sentiment 
toward me must necessarily be that of the whole 
generation to which they belonged. The recog- 
nition of this, as regarded Dr. Leete and his 
amiable wife, however painful, I might have 
endured, but the conviction that Edith must 
share their feelings was more than I could bear. 

The crushing effect with which this belated 
perception of a fact so obvious came to me, 
opened my eyes fully to something which per- 
haps the reader already suspected — I loved 

Was it strange that I did? The affecting 
occasion on which our intimacy had begun, when 
her hands had drawn me out of the whirlpool of 
madness; the fact that her sympathy was the 
vital breath which had set me up in this new life 
and enabled me to support it ; my habit of looking 
to her as the mediator between me and the world 
around in a sense that even her father was not — 
these were the circumstances that had predeter- 
mined a result which her remarkable loveliness 
of person and disposition would alone have 
accounted for. It was quite inevitable that she 
should have come to seem to me in a sense quite 
different from the usual experience of lovers, the 
only woman in this world. Now that I had be- 
come suddenly sensible of the fatuity of the hopes 
that I had begun to cherish, I suffered not 
merely what another lover might, but in addition 
a desolate loneliness, an utter forlornness, such 
as no other lover, however unhappy, could have 

My hosts evidently saw that I was depressed 
in spirits, and did their best to divert me. Edith 
especially, I could see, was distressed for me ; 
but according to the usual perversity of lovers, 
having once been so mad as to dream of receiv- 
ing something more from her, there was no 
longer any virtue for me in a kindness that I 
knew was only sympathy. 

Towards nightfall, after secluding myself in 
my room most of the afternoon, I went into the 
garden to walk about. The day was overcast, 
with an autumnal flavour in the warm, still air. 
Finding myself near the excavation, I entered 
the subterranean chamber and sat down there. 
"This," I muttered to myself, "is the only home 
I have. Let me stay here, and not go forth any 
more." Seeking aid from the familiar surround- 
ings, I endeavoured to find a sad sort of consola- 
tion in reviving the past and summoning up the 
forms and faces that were about me in my former 
life. It was in vain. There was no longer any 
life in them. For nearly one hundred years the 
stars had been looking down on Edith Bartlett's 
grave, and the graves of all my generation. 

The past was dead, crushed beneath a cen- 
tury's weight, and from the present I was shut 
out. There was no place for me anywhere. I 
was neither dead nor properly alive. 

"Forgive me for following you." 

I looked up. Edith stood in the door of the 
subterranean room, regarding me smilingly, but 
with eyes full of sympathetic distress. 

"Send me away if I am intruding on you," she 
said ; "but we saw that you were out of spirits, 
and you know you promised to let me know if 
that were so. You have not kept your word." 

I rose and came to the door, trying to smile, 
but making, I fancy, rather sorry work of it, 
for the sight of her loveliness brought home to 
me more poignantly the cause of my wretched- 

"I was feeling a little lonely, that is all," I 
said. "Has it never occurred to you that my 
position is so much more utterly alone than any 
human being ever was before that a new word 
is really needed to describe it ?" 

"Oh, you must not talk that way — you must 
not let yourself feel that way — you must not I" 
she exclaimed, with moistened eyes. "Are we 
not your friends ? It is your own fault if you 
will not let us be. You need not be lonely." 

"You are good to me beyond my power ot 
understanding," I said, "but don't you suppose 
that I know it is pity merely, sweet pity, but pity 
only. I should be a fool not to know that I can- 
not seem to you as other men of your own 
generation do, but as some strange uncanny be- 
ing, a stranded creature ot an unknown sea, 
whose forlornness touches your compassion de- 
spite its grotesqueness. I have been so fool- 
ish, you were so kind, as to almost forget 
this must needs be so, and to fancy I might in 
time become naturalized, as we used to say, in 
this age, so as to feel like one of you and to 
seem to you like the other men about you. But 
Mr. Barton's sermon taught me how vain such a 
fancy is, how great the gulf between us must 
seem to you." 

"Oh, that miserable sermon V* she exclaimed, 
fairly crying now in her sympathy. "I wanted 
you not to hear it. What does he know of you ? 
He has read in old musty books about your times, 
that is all. What do you care about him, to let 
yourself be vexed by anything he said ? Isn't it 
anything to you that we who know you feel dif- 
ferently ? Don't you care more about what we 
think of you than what he does who never saw 
you ? Oh, Mr. West ! you don't know, you can't 
think, how it makes me feel to see you so for- 
lorn. I can't have it so. What can I say to you ? 
How can I convince you how different our feel- 
ing for you is from what you think ?" 

As before, in that other crisis of my fate when 
she had come to me, she extended her hands to- 
ward me in a gesture of helpfulness, and, as then, 
I caught and held them in my own; her bosom 
heaved with strong emotion, and little tremors in 
the fingers which I clasped emphasized the depth 
of her feeling. In her face, pity contended in a 
sort of divine spite against the obstacles which 
reduced it to impotence. Womanly compassion 
surely never wore a guise more lovely. 

Such beauty and such goodness quite meitexl 
me, and it seemed that the only fitting response I 
could make was to tell her just the truth. 01 
course I had not a spark of hope, but on the 
other hand I had no fear that she would be angry. 
She was too pitiful for that. So I said presently, 
"It is very ungrateful in me not to be satisfied 
witn such kindness as you have shown me, and 



are showing 1 me now. But are you so blind as 
not to see why they are not enough to make me 
happy? Don't you see that it is because I have 
been mad enough to love you ?" 

At my last words she blushed deeply and her 
eyes fell before mine, but she made no effort to 
withdraw her hands from my clasp. For some 
moments she stood so, panting a little. Then 
blushing deeper than ever, but with a dazzling 
smile, she looked up. 

"Are you sure it is not you who are blind?" 
she said. 

That was all, but it was enough, for it told me 
that, unaccountable, incredible as it was, this 
radiant daughter of a golden age had bestowed 
upon me not alone her pity, but her love. Still, 
I half believed I must be under some blissful 
hallucination even as I clasped her in my arms. 
"If I am beside myself," I cried, "let me remain 

"It is I whom you must think beside myself," 
she panted', escaping from my arms when I had 
barely tasted the sweetness of her lips. "Oh ! 
oh ! what must you think of me almost to throw 
myself in the arms of one I have known but a 
week? I did not mean that you should find it 
out so soon, but I was so sorry for you I forgot 
what I was saying. No, no, you must not touch 
me again till you know who I am. After that, 
sir, you shall apologise to me very humbly for 
thinking, as I know you do, that I have been 
over quick to fall in love with you. After you 
know who I am, you will be bound to confess 
that it was nothing less than my duty to fall in 
love with you at first sight, and that no girl of 
proper feeling in my place could do otherwise." 

As may be supposed, I would have been quite 
content to waive explanations, but Edith was 
resolute that there should be no more kisses until 
she had been vindicated from all suspicion of 
precipitancy in the bestowal of her affections, 
and I was fain to follow the lovely enigma into 
the house. Having come where her mother was, 
she blushingly whispered something in her ear 
and ran away, leaving us together. 

It then appeared that, strange as my experi- 
ence had been, I was now first to know what 
was perhaps its strangest feature. From Mrs. 
Leete I learned that Edith was the great grand- 
daughter of no other than my lost love, Edith 

After mourning me for fourteen years ; she had 
made a marriage of esteem, and left a son who 
had been Mrs. Leete's father. Mrs. Leete had 
never seen her grandmother, but had heard 
much of her, and when her daughter was born 
gave her the name of Edith, This fact might 
have tended to increase the interest which the 
girl took, as she grew up, in all that concerned 
her ancestress, and especially the tragic story of 
the supposed death of the lover, whose wife she 
expected to be, in the conflagration of his house. 
It was a tale well calucated to touch the sym- 
pathy of a romantic girl, and the fact that the 
blood of the unfortunate heroine was in her own 
veins naturally heightened Edith's interest in it. 
A portrait of Edith Bartlett and some of her 
papers, including a packet of my own letters, 

were among the family heirlooms. The picture 
represented a very beautiful young woman about 
whom it was easy to imagine all manner of 
tender and romantic things. My letters gave 
Edith some material for forming a distinct idea 
of my personality, and both together sufficed to 
make the sad old story very real to her. She 
used to tell her parents, half jestingly, that she 
would never marry till she found a lover like 
Julian West, and there were none such nowadays. 

Now all this, of course, was merely the day- 
dreaming of a girl whose mind had never been 
taken up by a love affair of her own, and would 
have had no serious consequence but for the dis- 
covery that morning of the buried vault in her 
father's garden, and the revelation of the identity 
of its inmate. For when the apparently lifeless 
form had been borne into the house, the face in 
the locket found upon the breast was instantly 
recognised as that of Edith Bartlett, and by that 
fact, taken in connection with the other circum- 
stances, they knew that I was no other than 
Julian West. Even if had there been no thought, 
as at first there was not, of my resuscitation, 
Mrs. Leete said she believed that this event 
would have affected her daughter in a critical 
and life-long manner. The presumption of some 
subtle ordering of destiny, involving her fate 
with mine, would under the circumstances have 
possessed an irresitible fascination for almost 
any woman. 

Whether when I came back to life a few hours 
afterward, and from the first seemed to turn to 
her with a peculiar dependence and to find a 
special solace in her company, she had been too 
quick in giving her love at the first sign of mine, 
I could now, her mother said, judge for myself. 
If I thought so, I must remember that this, after 
all, was the twentieth and not the nineteenth 
century, and love was, no doubt now quicker in 
growth, as well as franker in utterance than then. 

From Mrs. Leete I went to Edith. When I 
found her, it was first of all to take her by both 
hands and stand a long time in rapt contemplation 
of her face. As I gazed the memory of that 
other Edith, which had been affected as with a 
benumbing shock by the tremendous experience 
that had parted us, revived, and my heart was 
dissolved with tender and pitiful emotions, but 
also very blissful ones. For she who brought to 
me so poignantly the sense of my loss, was to 
make that loss good. It was as if from her eyes 
Edith Bartlett looked into mine, and smiled con- 
solation to me. My fate was not alone the 
strangest, but the most fortunate that ever befell 
man. A double miracle had been wrought for 
me. I had not been stranded upon the shore of 
this strange world to find myself alone and com- 
panionless. My love, whom I had dreamed lost, 
had been re-embodied for my consolation. When, 
at last, in an ecstasy of gratitude and tenderness 
I folded the lovely girl in my arms, the two 
Ediths were blended in my thought, nor have 
they ever since been clearly distinguished. I 
was not long in finding tha t on Edith's part there 
was a corresponding confusion of identities. 
Never, surely, was there between freshly united 
loyers a stranger talk than ours that afternoon, 



She seemed more anxious to have me speak of 
Edith Bartlett than of herself, of how I had loved 
her, than how I loved herself, rewarding my fond 
words concerning another woman with tears and 
tender smiles and pressures of the hand. 

"You must not love me too much for myself," 
she said. "I shall be very jealous for her. I 
shall not let you forget her. I am going to tell 
you something which you may think strange. 
Do you not believe that spirits sometime come 
back to the world to fulfil some work that lay 
near their hearts ? What if I were to tell you 
that I have sometimes thought that her spirit 
lives in me — that Edith Bartlett, not Edith Leete, 
is my real name? I cannot know It ; of course none 
of us can know who we really are, but I can feel 
it. Can you wonder that I have such a feeling, 
seeing how my life was affected by her and by 
you, even before you came. . So you see you need 
not trouble to love me at all, if only you are true 
to her. I shall not be likely to be jealous." 

Dr. Leete had gone out that afternoon, and I 
did not have an interview with him until later. 
He was not, apparently, wholly unprepared for 
the intelligence I conveyed, and shook my hand 

"Under any ordinary circumstances, Mr. 
West, I should say that this step had been taken 
on rather short acquaintance , but these are 
decidedly not ordinary circumstances. In fair- 
ness, perhaps, I ought to tell you," he added, 
smilingly, "that while I cheerfully consent to the 
proposed arrangement, you must not feel too 
much indebted to me, as I judge my consent is a 
mere formality. From the moment the secret of 
the locket was out, it had to be, I fancy. Why, 
bless me, if Edith had not been here to redeem 
her great-grandmother's pledge, I really appre- 
hend that Mrs. Leete's loyalty to me would have 
suffered a severe strain." 

That evening the garden was bathed in moon- 
light, and till midnight Edith and I wandered to 
and fro there, trying to grow accustomed to our 
happiness. ^ 

"What should I have done if you had not cared 
for me ?" she exclaimed. "I was afraid you were 
not going to. What should I have done then, 
when I felt I was consecrated to you ? As soon 
as you came back to life, I was as sure as if she 
had told me that I was to be to you what she 
could not be, but that could only be if you would 
let me. Oh, how I wanted to tell you that 
morning, when you felt so terribly strange among 
us, who I was, but I dared not open my lips 
about that, or let father or mother—" 

"That must have been what you would not let 
your father tell me," I exclaimed, referring to 
the conversation I had overheard as I came out 
of my trance." 

"Of course it was," Edith laughed. "Did you 
only just guess that? Father being only a man, 
thought that it would make you feel among 
friends to tell you who we were. He did not 
think of me at all. But mother knew what I 
meant, and so I had my way. I could never 
have looked you in the face if you had known 
who I was. It would have been forcing myself 
pn you quite too boldly. I am afraid you think 

I did that to-day, as \t was. I am sure I did not 

mean to, for I know girls were expected to hide 
their feelings in your day, and I was dreadfully 
afraid of shocking you. Ah me, bow hard it 
must have been for them to have always had to 
conceal their love like a fault. Why did they 
think it such a shame to love anyone till they had 
been given permission ? It is so odd to think of 
waiting for permission to fall in love. Was it 
because men in those days were angry when 
girls loved them ? That is not the way women 
would feel, I am sure, or men either, I think 
now. I don't understand it at all. That will be 
one of the curious things about the women of 
those days that you will have to explain to me. 
I don't think Edith Bartlett was so foolish as the 

After sundry ineffectual attempts at parting, 
she finally insisted that we must say goodnight. 
I was about to imprint upon her lips the positively 
last kiss, when she said with an indescribable 

archness : 

"One thing troubles me. Are you sure that 
you quite forgive Edith Bartlett for marrying 
anyone else? The books that have come down 
to us make out lovers of your time more jealous 
than fond, and that is what makes me ask. It 
would be a great relief to me if I could feel sure 
that you were not in the least jealous of my 
great grand-father for marrying your sweet- 
heart. May I tell my great grand-mother's pic- 
ture when I go to my room that you quite forgive 
her for proving false to you ?" 

Will the reader believe it, this coquettish quip, 
whether the speaker harself had any idea of it or 
not, actually touched, and with the touching 
cured a preposterous ache of something like 
jealousy which I had been vaguely conscious of 
ever since Mrs. Leete had told me of Edith Bart- 
lett's marriage. Even while I had been holding 
Edith Bartlett's great grand-daughter in my 
arms, I had not, till this moment, so illogical are 
some of our feelings, distinctly realised that but 
for that marriage I could not have done so. The 
absurdity of this frame of mind could only be 
equalled by the abruptness with which it 
dissolved as Edith's roguish query cleared the 
fog from my perceptions. I laughed as I kissed 

"You may assure her of my entire forgive- 
ness," I said, "although if it had been any other 
man but your great grand-father whom she 
married, it would have been a very different 


On reaching my chamber that night I did not 
open the musiual telephone that I might be lulled 
to sleep with soothing tunes, as had become my 
habit. For once my thoughts made better music 
than even twenty century orchestras' discourse, 
and it held me enchanted till well toward morn- 
ing, when I fell asleep. 


"It's a little after the time you told me to wake 
you, sir. You did not come out of it as quick as 
common, sir." 

The voice was the voice of my man Sawyer, I 



started bolt upright in bed and stared around. 
1 was in my underground chamber. The mellow 
light of the lamp which always burned in the 
room when I occupied it, illuminated the familiar 
walls and furnishings. By my bed-side, with the 
glass of sherry in his hand, which Dr. Pillsbury 
prescribed on first rousing from a mesmeric sieep 
by way of awakening the torpid physical func- 
tions, stood Sawyer. 

"Better take this right off, sir," he said, as I 
stared blankly at him. "You look kind of 
flustered like, sir, and you need it." 

I tossed off the liquor and began to realise what 
had happened to me. It was, of course, very 
plain. All that about the twentieth century had 
been a dream. I had but dreamed of that en- 
lightened and care-free race of men and their 
ingeniously simple institutions, of the glorious 
new Boston with its domes and pinnacles, its 
gardens and fountains, and its universal region 
of comfort. The amiable familiarity which I had 
learned to know so well, my genial host and 
Mentor, Dr. Leete, his wife, and their daughter, 
the second and more beauteous Edith, my be- 
trothed, these, two, had been but figments of a 

For a considerable time I remained in the atti- 
tude in which this conviction had come over me, 
sitting up in bed gazing at vacancy, absorbed in 
recalling the scenes and incidents of my fantastic 
appearance. Sawyer, alarmed at my looks, was 
meanwhile anxiously inquiring what was the 
matter with me. Rou9ed at length by his impor- 
tunities to a recognition of my surroundings, I 
pulled myself together with an effort and assured 
the faithful fellow that I was all right. "I have 
had an extraordinary dream, that's all, Sawyer," 
I said, "a most ex-tra-or-dinary dream." 

I dressed in a mechanical way, feeling light- 
headed and oddly uncertain of myself, and sat 
down to the coffee and rolls which Sawyer was in 
the habit of providing for my refreshment before 
I left the house. The morning newspaper lay by 
my plate, I took it up, and my eye fell on the date 
May 31, 1887. I had known, of course, from 
the moment I opened my eyes that my long and 
detailed experience in another century had been 
a dream, and yet it was startling to have it so 
conclusively demonstrated that the world was but 
a few hours older than when I had lain down to 

Glancing at the table of contents at the head 
of the paper which reviewed the news of the 
morning, I read the following summary : 

"Foreign Affairs. — The impending war be- 
tween France and Germany. The French Cham- 
bers asked for new military credits to meet Ger- 
many's increase of her army. Probably that all 
Europe will be involved in case of war. — Great 
suffering among the unemployed in London. They 
demand work. Monster demonstrations to be 
made. The authorities uneasy. — Great strikes 
in Belgium. The government preparing to re- 
press outbreaks. Shocking facts in regard to the 
employment of girls in Belgian coal mines. — 
Wholesale evictions in Ireland. 

"Home Affairs.— The epidemic of fraud un- 
checked. Embezzlement of half a million in New 

York. — Misappropriation of a trust fund by ex- 
ecutors. Orphans left penniless. — QJever system 
of thefts by a bank teller ; 50,000 dollars gone.— 
The coal barons decide to advance the price of 
coal and reduce production. — Speculators en- 
gineering a great wheat corner in Chicago. — A 
clique forcing up the price of coffee. — Enormous 
land-grabs of Western syndicates. — Revelation^ 
of shocking corruption among Chicago officials 
Systematic bribery. — The trials of the Boodlt 
aldermen to go on at New York. — Large failures 
of business houses. Fears of a business crisis. — 
A large grist of" burglaries and larcenies. — 
A woman murdered in cold blood for her money 
at New Haven. — A householder shot by a bur- 
glar in this city last night. — A man shoots him- 
self in Worcester because he could not get work. 
A large family left destitute. — An aged couple in 
New Jersey commit suicide rather than go to the 
poor-house. — Pitable destitution among the wo- 
men wage-workers in the great cities.— Startling 
growth of illiteracy in Massachusetts. — More in- 
sane asylums wanted. — Decoration Day address- 
es. Professor Brown's oration on the moral 
grandeur of nineteenth century civilisation." 

It was indeed the nineteenth century to which 
I had awakened ; there could be no kind of doubt 
about that. Its complete microcosm this sum- 
mary of the day's news had presented, even to 
that last unmistakable touch of fatuous self-com- 
placency. Coming after such a damning indict- 
ment of the age as that one day's chronicle of 
world-wide bloodshed, greed and tyranny, it was 
a bit of cynicism worthy of Mephistopheles, and 
yet of all whose eyes if had met this morning I 
was, perhaps, the only one who perceived the 
cynicism, and but yesterday I should have per- 
ceived it no more than the others. That strange 
dream it was which had made all the difference. 
For I know not how long I forgot my surround- 
ings after this, and was again in fancy moving in 
that vivid dream-world, in that glorious city, 
with its homes of simple comfort and its gorgeous 
public palaces. Around me were again faces un- 
marred by arrogance or servility, by envy or 
greed, by anxious care or feverish ambition, and 
stately forms of men and women who had never 
known fear of a fellow man or depended on his 
favour, but always, in the words of that sermon 
which still rang in my ears, had "stood up 
straight before God." 

With a profound sigh and a sense of irreparable 
loss not the less poignant that it was a loss ol 
what had never really been, I roused at last from 
my reverie, and soon after left the house. 

A dozen times between my door and Washing- 
ton Street I had to stop and pull myself together, 
such power had been in that vision of the Boston 
of the future to make the real Boston strange. 
The squalor and malodorousness of the town 
stuuck me, from the moment I stood upon the 
streetj as facts I had never before observed. But 
yesterday, moreover, it had seemed quite a mat- 
ter of course that some of my fellow citizens 
sl#Ud wear silks, and other rags, that somt 
should look well fed, and others hungry. Now, 
on the contrary, the glaring disparities in the 
dress and condition of the men and women who 



brushed each other on the sidewalks shocked me 
at every step, and yet more the entire indifference 
which the prosperous showed to the plight of the 
unfortunate. Were these human beings, who 
could behold the wretchedness of their fellows 
without so much as a change of countenance? 
And yet, all the while, I knew well that it was I 
who had changed, and not any contemporaries. 
I had dreamed of a city whose people fared all 
alike as children of one family, and were one 
another's keepers in all things. 

Another feature of the real Boston which assum- 
ed the extraordinary effect of strangeness that 
marks familiar things seen in a new light, was the 
prevalence of advertising-. There had been no 
personal advertising in the Boston of the twentieth 
century, because there was no need of any, but 
here the walls of the buildings, the windows, the 
broadsides of the newspapers in every hand, the 
very pavements, everything in fact in sight, save 
the sky, were covered with the appeals of in- 
dividuals who sought, under innumerable pre- 
texts, to attract the contributions of others to 
their support. However the wording might vary, 
the tenor of all these appeals was the same : 

"Help John Jones. Never mind the rest. They 
are frauds. I, John Jones, am the right one. 
Buy of me. Employ me. Visit me. Hear me, 
John Jones. Look at me. Make no mistake, 
John Jones is the man and nobody else. Let the 
rest starve, but for God's sake remember John 

Whether the pathos, or the moral repulsiveness 
of the spectacle most impressed me, so suddenly 
become a stranger in my own city, I know not. 
Wretched men, I was moved to cry, who, be- 
cause they will not learn to be helpers of one 
another, are doomed to be beggars of one an- 
other from the least to the greatest ! This 
horrible babel of shameless self-assertion and 
mutual depreciation, this stunning clamour of 
conflicting boasts, appeals and adjurations this 
stupendous system of brazen beggary, what was 
it all but the necessity of a society in which the 
opportunity to sever the world according to his 
gifts, instead of being secured to every man as 
the first object of social organization, had to be 
fought for ! 

I reached Washington Street at the busiest 
point, and there I stood and laughed aloud, to 
the scandal of the passers by. For my life I 
could not have helped it, with such a mad humor 
was I moved at sight of the interminable rows of 
stores on either side, up and down the street so 
far as I could see, scores of them, to make the 
spectacle more utterly preposterous, within a 
stone's throw devoted to selling the same sort 
of goods. Stores ! stores ! .stores ! miles of 
stores ! ten thousand stores to distribute the 
goods needed by this one city, which in my 
dream had been supplied with all things from a 
single warehouse, as they were ordered through 
one great store in every quarter where the buyer, 
without waste of time or labour, found under one 
roof the world's assortment in whatever line he 
desired. There the labour of distribution had 
been so slight as to add but a scarcely percept- 
ible fraction to the cost of commodities to the 

user. The cost of production was virtually all 
he paid. But here the mere distribution of the 
goods, their handling alone, added a fourth, a 
third, a half and more, to the cost. All these 
ten thousand plants must be paid for, their rent, 
their staff of superintendence, their platoons of 
salesmen, their ten thousand sets of accountants, 
jobbers, and business dependents, with all they 
spent in advertising themselves and fighing one 
another, and the consumers must do the paying. 
What a famous process for beggaring a nation ! 

Were these serious men I saw about me, or 
children, who did their business on such a plan ? 
Could they be reasoning beings who did not see 
the folly which, when the product is made and 
ready for use, waste so much of it in getting it to 
the user? If people eat with a spoon that leaks 
half its contents between the bowl and lip, are 
they not likely to go hungry ? 

I had passed through Washington-street thou- 
sands of times before and viewed the ways of 
those who sold merchandise, but my curiosity 
concerning them was as if I had never gone by 
their way before. I took wondering note of the 
show windows ot the stores, filled with goods 
arrang ed with a wealth of pains and artistic de- 
vice to attract the eye. I saw the throngs of 
ladies looking in, and the propeietors eagerly 
watching the effect of the bait. I went within 
and noted the hawk-eyed floor-walker watching 
for business, overlooking the clerks, keeping 
them up to their task of inducing the customers 
to buy, buy, buy for money if they had it, for 
credit if they had it not, to buy what they wanted 
not, more than they wanted, and what they could 
not afford. At times I momentarily lost the clue 
and was contused by the sight. Why this effort 
to induce people to buy? Surely that had noth- 
ing to do with the legitimate business of dis- 
tributing products of those who needed them. 
Surely it was the sheerest waste to force upon 
people what they did not want, but what might 
be useful to another. The nation was so much 
the poorer for every such achievement. What 
were these clerks thinking of? Then I would 
remember that they were not acting as distribut- 
ors like those in the store I had visited in the 
dream Boston. The)' were not serving the pub- 
lic interest but their immediate personal interest, 
and it was nothing to them what the ultimate 
effect of their course on the general prosperity 
might be if but they increased their own hoard, 
for these goods were their own, and the more 
they sold and the more they got for them the 
greater their gain. The more wasteful the peo- 
ple were the more articles they did not want 
which they could be induced to buy, the better 
for these sellers. To encourage prodigality was 
the express aim of the ten thousand stores of 

Nor were these storekeepers and clerks a whit 
worse men than any others in .Boston. They must 
earn a living and support their families, and how 
were they to find a trade to do it by which did not 
necessiatate placing" their individual interests be- 
fore those of others and that of all ? They could 
not be asked to starve while they waited for an 
order of things such as I had seen in my dream, 



in which the interest of each and that of all were 
identical. But, God in heaven ! what wonder, 
under such a system as this about me, what won- 
der that the city was so shabby and the people so 
meanly dressed, and so many of them ragged 
and hungry. 

Some time after this it was that I drifted over 
into South Boston, and found myself among the 
manufacturing establishments. I had been in 
this quarter of the city a hundred times before, 
just as I had been on Washington street, but 
here, as well as there, I now first perceived the 
true significance of what I witnessed. Formerly 
I had taken pride in the fact that, by actual count, 
Boston had some four thousand independent 
manufacturing establishments, but in this very 
multiplicity and independence I recognised now 
the secret of the insignificant total product of 
their industry. 

If Washington-street had been like a lane in 
Bedlam, this was a spectacle as much more 
melancholy, as production is a more vital 
function than distribution. For not only were 
these four thousand establishments not working 
in concert, and for that reason alone operating at 
prodigious disadvantage, but, as if this did not 
involve a sufficiently disastrous loss of power, 
they were using their utmost skill to frustrate 
one another's efforts, praying by night and 
working by day for the destruction of one an- 
other's enterprises. 

The roar and rattle of wheels and hammers 
resounding from every side was not the hum of a 
peaceful industry, but the clangour of swords 
wielded by foemen. These mills and shops were 
so many forts, each under its own flag, its guns 
trained on the mills and shops about it, and its 
sappers busy below, undermining them. 

Within each of these forts the strictest organ- 
isation of industry was insisted on ; the separate 
gangs worked under a single central authority. 
No interference and no duplicating ot work was 
permitted. Each had his alloted task, and none 
were idle. By what hiatus in the logical faculty, 
by what last link of reasoning, account, then, for 
the failure to recognise the necessity of applying 
the same principle to the organisation of the 
national industries as a whole, to see that if 
lack of organisation could impair the efficiency 
of the shop, it must have effects as much more 
disastrous in disabling the industries of the na- 
tion at large as the latter are vaster in volume and 
more complex in the relationship of their parts. 

People would be prompt enough to ridicule an 
army in which there were neither companies, 
battalions, regiments, brigades, divisions, or army 
corps, — no unit of organisation, in fact, larger 
than the corporal's squad, with no officer higher 
than a corporal, and all the corporals equal in 
authority. And yet just such an army were the 
manufacturing industries of the nineteenth cen- 
tury Boston, an army of four thousand indepen- 
dent squads led by four thousand independent 
corporals, each with a separate plan of campaign. 

Knots of idle men were to be seen here and 
there on every side, some idle because they could 
find no work at any price, others because they 
could not get what they thought a fair price. 

I accosted some of the latter and they told me 
their grievances. It was very little comfort I 
could give them. " I am sorry for you," I said. 
"You get little enough, certainly, and yet the 
wonder to me is, not that industries conducted as 
these are do not pay you living wages, but that 
they are able to pay you any wages at all." 

Making my way back again after this to the 
peninsular city, toward three o'clock I stood on 
State street, staring as if I had never seen them 
before, at the banks and brokers' offices, and 
other financial institutions, of which there had 
been in the State Street of my vision no vestige. 
Business men, confidential clerks, and errand 
boys, were thronging in and out of the banks, for 
it wanted but a few minutes of the closing hour. 
Opposite me was the bank where I did business, 
and presently I crossed the street, and going in 
with the crowd, stood in a recess of the wall 
looking- on at the army of clerks handling money, 
and the cue of depositors at the tellers' windows. 
An old gentleman whom I knew, a director of the 
bank, passing me and observing my contemplative 
attitude, stopped a moment. 

"Interesting sight, isn't it, Mr. West ?" he said. 
"Wonderful piece o^f mechanism; I find it so, 
myself. I like sometimes to stand and look on 
at it just as you are doing. It's a poem, sir, a 
poem, that's what I call it. Did you ever think, 
Mr. West that the bank is the heart of the busi- 
ness system ? From it and to it, in endless flux 
and reflux, the life-blood goes. It is flowing in 
now. It will flow out again in the morning;" and 
pleased with his little conceit, the old man passed 
on smiling. 

Yesterday I should have considered the simile 
apt enough, but since then I had visited a world 
incomparably more affluent than this, in which 
money was unknown and without conceivable use. 
I had learned that it had a use in the world around 
me only because the work of producing the na- 
tion's livelihood, instead of being regarded as the 
most strictly public and common of all concerns, 
and as such conducted by the nation was aban- 
doned to the haphazard efforts of individuals. This 
original mistake necessitated endless exchanges 
to bring about any sort of general distribution of 
products. These exchanges money effected — 
how equitably, might be seen in a walk from the 
tenement house districts to the Bark Bay — at the 
cost of an army of men taken from productive 
labour to manage it, with constant ruinous break- 
downs of its machinery, and a generally debauch- 
ing influence on mankind which ha6 justified its 
description, from ancient time, as the " root of 
all evil." 

Alas for the poor old bank director with his 
poem ! He had mistaken the throbbing of an 
abscess for the beating of the heart. What he 
called " a wonderful piece of mechanism," was 
an imperfect device to remedy an unnecessary 
defect, the clumsy crutch of a self-made cripple. 

After the banks had closed I wandered aim- 
lessly about the business quarter for an hour or 
two, and later a while sat on one of the benches 
of the Common, finding an interest merely in 
watching the throngs that passed, such as one 
has in studying the populace of a foreign city, so 



strange since yesterday had my fellow-citizens and 
their ways become to me. For thirty years I had 
lived among- them, and yet I seemed to have 
never noted before how drawn and anxious were 
their faces, of the rich as of the poor, the refined, 
acute faces of the educated as well as the dull 
masks of the ignorant. And well it might be so, 
for I saw now, as never before I had seen so 
plainly, that each as he walked constantly turned 
to catch the whisper of a spectre at his ear, the 
spectre of Uncertainty. " Do your work never 
so well," the spectre was whispering, "rise early 
and toil till late, rob cunningly or serve faithfully, 
you shall never know security. Rich you may 
be now and still come to poverty at last. Leave 
never so much wealth to your children, you 
cannot buy the assurance that your son may not 
be the servant of your servant, or that your 
daughter will not have to sell herself for bread." 

A man passing by thrust an advertising card in 
my hand, which set forth the merits of some new 
scheme of life assurance. The incident reminded 
me of the only device, pathetic in its admission of 
the universal need it so poorly supplied, which 
offered these tired and hunted men and women 
even a partial protection from uncertainty. By 
this means, those already w#ll-to-do, I remember, 
might purchase a precarious confidence that after 
their death their loved ones would not, for a while 
at least, be trampled under the feet of men. But 
this was all, and this was only for those Hvho 
could pay well for it. What idea was possible to 
these wretched dwellers in the land of Ishmael, 
where every man's hand was against each and 
the hand of each against every other, of true life 
insurance as I had seen it among the people of 
that dream land, each of whom by virtue merely 
of his membership in the national family, was 
guaranteed against need of any sort, by a policy 
underwritten by one hundred million fellow- 

Some time after this it was that I recall a 
glimpse of myself standing on the steps of a 
building on Tremont Street, looking at a military 
parade. A regiment was passing. It was the 
first sight in that dreary day which had inspired 
me with any other emotion than wondering pity 
and amazement. Here at last were order and 
reason, an exhibition of what intelligent co-oper- 
ation can accomplish. The people who stood 
looking on with kindling faces, could it be that 
the sight had for them no more than a spectacular 
interest ? Could they fail to see that it was their 
perfect concert of action, their organisation under 
one control, which made these men the tremend- 
ous engine they were, able to vanquish a mob 
ten times as numerous ? Seeing this so plainly, 
could they fail to compare the scientific manner in 
which the nature went to war with fhe unscientific 
manner in which it went to work ? Would they 
not query since what time the killing of men had 
been a task so much more important than feeding 
and clothing them, that a trained army should be 
deemed alone adequate to the former, while the 
latter was left to a mob. 

It was now toward nightfall, and the streets 
were thronged with the workers from the stores, 
the shops, and mills. Carried along with the 

stronger part of the current, I found myself as it 
began to grow dark, in the midst of a scene of 
squalor and human degradation such as only the 
South Cove tenement district could present. I 
had seen the mad wasting of human labour, here 
I saw in direst shape the want that waste had 

From the black doorways and windows of the 
rookeries on every side came the gusts of foetid 
air. The streets and alleys recked with the 
effluvia of a slave ship's between-decks. As I 
passed I had glimpses within of pale babies 
gasping out their lives amid sultry stenches, of 
hopeless-faced women deformed by hardship, 
retaining of womanhood no trait save weakness, 
while from the windows leered girls with brows 
of brass. Like the starving bands of mongrel 
curs that infest the streets of Moslem towns, 
swarms of half-clad brutalized children filled the 
air with shrieks and curses as they fought and 
tumbled among the garbage that littered the 
court yards. 

There was nothing in all this that was new to 
me. Often had I passed through this part of the 
city and witnessed its sights with feelings of dis- 
gust mingled with a certain philosophical wonder 
at the extremities mortals will endure and still 
cling to life. But not alone as regarded the econ- 
omical follies of this age, but equally as touched 
its moral abominations, scales had fallen from 
my eyes since that vision of another century. No 
more did I look upon the woeful dwellers in this 
inferno with a callous curiosity as creatures 
scarcely human. I saw in them my brothers and 
sisters, my parents, my children, flesh of my 
flesh, blood of my blood. The festering mass of 
human wretchedness about me offended not now 
my senses merely, but pierced my heart like a 
knife, so that I could not repress sighs and 
groans. I not only saw but felt in my body all 
that I saw. 

Presently, too, as I observed the wretched be- 
ings about me more closely, I perceived that they 
were all quite dead. Their bodies were so many 
living sepulchres. On each brutal brow was 
plainly written the hicjacet of a soul dead within. 

As I looked, horror struck, from one death's 
head to another, I was affected by a singular 
hallucination. Like a wavering translucent spirit 
face superimposed upon each of these brutish 
masks, I saw the ideal, the possible face that 
would have been the actual if mind and soul had 
lived. It was not till I was aware of these ghost- 
ly faces and of the repproach that could not be 
gainsaid which was in their eyes, that the full 
piteousness of the ruin that had been wrought 
was revealed to me. I was moved with contrition 
as with a strong agony, for I had been one of 
those who had endured that these things should 
be. I had been one of those who, well knowing 
that they were, had not desired to hear or be com- 
pelled to think much of them, but had gone on as if 
they were not, seeking my own pleasure and pro- 
fit. Therefore now I found on my garments the 
blood of this great multitude of strangled souls 
of my brothers. The voice of their blood cried 
out against me from the ground. Every stone of 
the reeking pavements, every brick of the pesti- 


lential rookeries found a tongue and called after 
me as I fled : What has thou done with thy 
brother Abel ? 

I have no clear recollection of anything- after 
this till I found myself standing- on the carved 
stone steps of the magnificent home of my betroth- 
ed in Commonwealth avenue. Amid the tumult ot 
my thoughts that day, I had scarcely once thought 
of her, but now obeying some unconscious im- 
pulse my feet had found the familiar way to her 
door. I was told that the family was at dinner, 
but word was sent out that I should join them at 
table. Besides the family, I found several guests 
present, all known to me. The table glittered 
with plate and costly china. The ladies were 
sumptuously dressed, and wore the jewels of 
queens. The scene was one of costly elegance 
and lavish luxury. The company was in excellent 
spirits, and there was plentiful laughter and a 
running fire of jests. 

To me it was as if, in wandering through the 
place of doom, my blood turned to tears by its 
sights, and my spirit attuned to sorrow, pity and 
despair, I had happened in some glade upon a 
merry party of roysterers. I sat in silence until 
Edith began to rally me upon my sombre looks. 
What ailed me ? The others presently joined in 
the playful assault, and I became a target for 
quips and jests. Wher6 had I been, and what 
had I seen to make such a dull fellow of me ? 

"I have been in Golgotha, "at last I answered. 
"I have seen humanity hanging on a cross. Do 
none of you know what sights the sun and stars 
look down on in this city, that you can think and 
talk of anything- else ? Do you know that close 
to your doors a great multitude of men and wo- 
men, flesh of your flesh, live lives that are one 
agony from birth to death ? Listen ! their dwel- 
lings are so near that if you hush your laughter 
you will hear their grievous voices, the piteous 
crying of the little ones that suckle poverty, the 
hoarse curses of men sodden in misery, turned 
half-way back to brutes, the chaffering of an 
army of women selling themselves for bread. 
With what have you stopped your ears that you 
do not hear these doleful sounds. For me I can 
hear nothing else." 

Silence followed my words. A passion of pity 
had shaken me as I spoke, but when I looked 
around upon the company I saw that, far from 
being stirred as I was, their faces expressed a 
cold and hard astonishment, mingled in Edith's 
with extreme mortification, in her father's with 
anger. The ladies were exchanging scandalised 
looks, while one of the gentlemen had put up his 
eye-glass, and was studying me with an air of 
scientific curiosity. When I saw that things 
which were to me so intolerable moved them not 
at all, that words that melted my heart to speak 
had only offended them with the speaker, I was 
at first . stunned and then overcome with a 
desperate sickness and faintness at the heart. 
What hope was there for the wretched, for the 
world, if thoughtful men and tender women were 
not moved by things like these ! Then I be- 
thought myself that it must be because I had not 
spoken aright. No doubt I had put the case 
badly. They were angry because they thought 

I was berating them, when God knew I was 
merely thinking of the horror of the fact without 
any attempt to assign the responsibility for it. 

I restrained my passion and tried to speak 
calmly and logically that I might correct this 
impression. I told them that I had not meant to 
accuse them, as if they, or the rich in general, 
were responsible for the misery of the world. 
True indeed' it was that the superfluity which 
they wasted would, otherwise bestowed, relieve 
much bitter suffering. These costly viands, 
these rich wines, these gorgeous fabrics and 
glistening jewels represented the ransom of 
many lives. They were verily not without the 
guiltiness of those who waste in a land stricken 
with famine. Nevertheless, all the waste of all 
the rich, .were it saved, would go but a little way 
to cure the poverty of the world. There was so 
little to divide that even if the rich went share 
and share with the poor, there would be but a 
common fare of crusts, albeit made very sweet 
then by brotherly love. 

The folly of men, not their hard-heartedness, 
was the great cause of the world's poverty. It 
was not the crime of men, nor of any class of 
men, that made the race so miserable, but a 
hideous, ghastly mistake, a colossal world-dark- 
ening blunder. And then I showed them how 
four-fifths of the labour of man was utterly wasted 
by the mutual warfare, the lack of organisation 
and concert among the workers. Seeking to 
make the matter very plain, I instanced the case 
of arid lands where the soil yielded the means of 
life only by careful use of the water courses for 
irrigation. I showed how in such countries it was 
counted the most important function of the gov- 
ernment to see that the water was not wasted by 
the selfishness or ignorance of individuals, since 
otherwise there would be famine. To this end 
its use was strictly regulated and systematised, 
and individuals of their mere caprice were not 
permitted to dam it or divert It, or in any way to 
tamper with it. 

The labour of men, I explained, was the fertilis- 
ing stream which alone rendered earth habitable. 
It was but a scanty stream at best, and its use 
required to be regulated by a system which ex- 
pended every drop to the best advantage, if the 
world were to be supported in abundance. But 
how far from any system was the actual practice! 
Every man wanted the precious fluid as he wished, 
animated only by the equal motives of saving his 
own crop and spoiling his neighbour's, that his 
might sell the better. What with greed and what 
with spite some fields were flooded, while others 
were parched and half the water ran wholly to 
waste. In such a land, though a few by strength 
or cunning might win the means of luxury, the 
lot of the great mass must be poverty, and of the 
weak and ignorant bitter want and perennial 

Let but the famine-stricken nation assume the 
function it had neglected and regulate for the 
common good the course of the life-giving 
stream, and the earth would bloom like one 
garden, and none of its children lack any good 
thing. I described the physical felicity, mental 
enlightenment, and moral elevation which would 



then attend the lives of all men. With fervency 
I spoke of that new world blessed with plenty, 
purified by justice and sweetened by brotherly 
kindness, the world of which I had indeed but 
dreamed, but which might so easily be made real. 

But when I had expected now surely the faces 
around me to light up with emotions akin to mine, 
they grew ever more dark, angry, and scornfui. 
Instead of enthusiasm, the ladies showed only 
aversion and dread, while the men interrupted 
me with shouts of reprobation and contempt. 
"Mad, man!" "Pestilent fellow !" "Fanatic!" 
"Enemy of society 1" were some of their cries, 
and the one who had before taken his eye-glass 
to me exclaimed, " He says we are to have no 
more poor. Ha ! Ha !" 

"Put the fellow out 1" exclaimed the father of 
my betrothed, and at the signal the men sprang 
from their chairs and advanced upon me. 

It seemed to me that my heart would burst 
with the anguish of finding that what was to me 
so plain and so all-important, was to them mean- 
ingless, and that I was powerless to make it other. 
So hot had been my heart that I had thought to 
melt an iceberg with its glow, only to find at last 
the overmastering chill seizing my own vitals. It 
was not emnity that I felt toward them as they 
thronged me, but pity only for Wiem and for the 

Though despairing, I could not give over. 
Still I strove with them. Tears poured frOm my 
eyes. In my vehemence I became inarticulate. 
I panted, I sobbed, I groaned, and immediately 
afterward found myself sitting upright in bed in 
my room in Dr. Leete's house, and the morning 
sun shining through the open window into my 
eyes. I was gasping. The tears were streaming 
down my face, and I quivered in every nerve. 

As with an escaped convict who dreams that he 
has been recaptured and brought back to his dark 
and reeking dungeon, and opens his eyes to see 
the heaven's vault spread above him, so it was 
with me, as I realised that my return to the nine- 
teenth century had been the dream, and my 
presence in the twentieth the reality. 

The cruel sights which I had witnessed in my 
vision, and could so well confirm from the experi- 
ence of my former life, though they had, alas 1 

once been, and must in the retrospect to the end 
of time move the compassionate to tears, were 
God be thanked, for ever gone by. Long ago 
oppressor and oppressed, prophet and scorner, 
had been dust. For generations rich and poor 
had been forgotten words. 

But in that moment, while yet I mused with 
unspeakable thankfulness upon the greatness ot 
the world's salvation, and my privilege in be- 
holding it, there suddenly pierced me like a 
knife a pang of shame, remorse, and wondering 
self-reproach, that bowed my head upon my 
breast and made me wish the grave had hid me 
with my fellows from the sun. For I had been a 
man of that former time. What had I done to 
help on this deliverance whereat I now presumed 
to rejoice? I who had lived in those cruel, 
insensate days, what had I done to brin^ them 
to an end ? I had been every whit as indifferent 
to the wretchedness of my brothers, as cynically 
incredulous of better thiugs, as besotted a wor- 
shipper of Chaos and Old Night, as any of my 
fellows. So far as my personal influence went, 
it had been exerted rather to hinder than to help 
forward the enfranchisement of the race which 
was even then preparing. What right had I t» 
hail a salvation which reproached me, to rejoice 
in a day whose dawning I had mocked ? # 

"Better for you, better for you," a voice wif»- 
in me rang, had this evil dream been the reality 
and this fair reality the dream ; better your part 
pleading for crucified humanity with a scoffing 
generation, than here, drinking of wells you 
digged not, and eating of trees whose husband- 
men you stoned ; and my spirit answered, 
"Better, truly." 

When at length I raised my bowed head and 
looked forth from the window, Edith, fresh as 
the morning, had come into the garden and was 
gathering flowers. I hastened to descend to her. 
Kneeling before her, with my face in the dust, 
I confessed with tears how little was my worth 
to breathe the air of this golden century, and 
how infinitely less to wear upon my breast its 
consummate flower. Fortunate is he who, with 
a case so desperate as mine, finds a judge so 








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